Jan 30, 2015

[INFOGRAPHIC] How Overpopulation Could Screw Everything Up

Energy Digital Staff
3 min
Anyone who’s been paying attention to the news over the last decade or so has had to either buy in to or ignore a number of doomsday prediction...

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the news over the last decade or so has had to either buy in to or ignore a number of doomsday predictions, ranging from peak oil to water scarcity, the resource wars that either could spawn and all the other scenarios in-between.

But let’s keep our heads about us. Have things been getting sketchier lately? Well, let’s take a step back and look at some fundamentals.

Yes, much of the world has indeed been gripped by fears of a water shortage as of late brought on mainly by droughts. California, for instance, has been in the midst of a developing drought since 2011. Today, even after the few storms that the last month and a half has brought them, just shy of 40 percent of the Sunshine State is experiencing an “exceptional drought,” the most severe classification used by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Things don’t get much better in the rest of the state, with 37.52 percent falling into the second most severe classification and only 1.87 percent falling into the lowest.

What about oil? While the concept of peak oil is still rather contentious, supermajor BP estimated in July 2014 that the world had roughly 53.3 years of oil left at current consumption and production levels. But as China, India and many other relatively newly developing countries experience a heightened standard of living, their demand for crude is skyrocketing. It would therefore stand to reason we could shave a few years off of that estimate to compensate for growing consumption.

It should also be noted that BP’s estimate includes the exploitation of some resource areas that for one reason or another have been highly opposed, such as drilling in the Arctic.

There are also economic considerations because no one with television, radio, the internet or a personal income was able to make it through the last seven years without being abundantly aware of the economic collapse. Though they’ve massively improved since 2008 in the United States, overall employment numbers still leave a substantial chunk of Americans without or with very little work.

And this is all just scratching the surface, completely ignoring issues like deforestation, climate change, overfishing and food shortages in much of the world. Is there a unifying theory for why all these things seem to be increasing in severity or pace?  Though they’ve massively improved since 2008 in the United States, overall employment numbers still leave a substantial chunk of Americans without or with very little work.

And this is all just scratching the surface, completely ignoring issues like deforestation, climate change, overfishing and food shortages in much of the world. Is there a unifying theory for why all these things seem to be increasing in severity or pace?

Yes. Overpopulation.

It’s an undeniable fact that there are more humans on the planet than at any other time in history, leaving many to ask if the Earth is actually able to support a population of this size. The following infographic produced by GainesvilleCoins.com takes a look at some of the trends that support the idea of “peak population” and how the explosion in people could seriously impact the availability of resources we all depend on.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Drax
Biomass
Sustainability
BECCS
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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