No such thing

Despite being heavily involved in the “renewables” sector I have to say that it should be obvious to anyone that the term renewable is complete rubbish. Firstly, energy can neither be created or destroyed and therefore it can’t be renewed! Secondly, energy always flow from hot to cold (in plain speak!) and never the other way, so once we’ve used energy (that is moved it from hot to cold, for example taking a nice hot shower and dissipating the heat to the room, your body and eventually to the environment ) we cannot get it back.

What we actually mean is short carbon cycle energy. Catchy title! All of our energy (keep quiet the deep geothermal crowd you are in a minority) comes from the sun. Some of it started out millions of years ago, made trees grow, which died and eventually made coal. Some of it landed on a PV solar panel 30 seconds ago, some more hit a tree last year which was just burnt in biomass power station. All three could be powering my ipad right now. The difference? The sunlight that got turned to coal and locked away, emitted CO2 when burnt that had been locked away for millions of years. The recent tree emitted CO2 that had been locked away for 40 years and the PV emitted no CO2 directly.

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