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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    Very interesting article from Circular Ecology on the embodied carbon footprint of PV panels and what that means in terms of (carbon) payback in the context of a rapidly decarbonising UK grid.

    It's been taken down and edited once already to add a few caveats (presumably following feedback/pressure from the industry) but raises a few interesting points. The comparison with wind power is particularly enlightening.

    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2020
    Very good. The bottom line is, as electricity (and to a lesser extent, other energy forms and uses as well) decarbonises, traditional notions of 'payback' become less conclusive. If a new PV or other renewable energy installation is no longer displacing legacy fossil, but instead another, lower-carbon energy form, then the convincing payback rapidly diminishes, may even go negative. Things like comparative embodied energy, toxicity and pollution, also robustness and autonomy, become the new issue.
    I'd be very surprised if a new PV panel in the UK displaces any low-carbon generation though... Still plenty of fossil generation to displace! And that's the marginal (higher unitcost) generation, which gets turned down whenever there's incremental pv.

    And what with electrification of transport and heat, and lifetime of the remaining nuclear, I don't see that changing soon....

    The article has used 'average' instead of 'marginal' intensity which is why they get strange conclusions. They acknowledge this in an end note, but state that it's too difficult to do the numbers otherwise.
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