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Imported carbon makes up the lion's share of New Zealand's carbon footprint, with households driving most of it

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Imported carbon makes up the lion's share of New Zealand's carbon footprint, with households driving most of it
Photo by Kyle Ryan on Unsplash

New Zealand's imported carbon levels rose, accounting for the production processes of goods and services arriving from overseas, figures released by Statistics NZ late last month showed.

This time it wasn't the usual suspects, livestock or transport, boosting our carbon footprint.

"In the year ended December 2019, greenhouse gas emissions embodied in our imported goods and services increased 3.2 percent from the previous year, to 30,728 kilotonnes and accounted for 51 percent of our carbon footprint", the report noted.

New Zealand's total carbon footprint for the year was 60,527 kilotonnes, an increase of 1.8% on the previous year.

The level of imported carbon is calculated by measuring the emissions spent in the creation of goods and services in their country of origin, before they are imported to New Zealand.

Because the goods or services are consumed here, our carbon figures take the hit.

The graph below shows the type of emissions embodied in imported manufactured goods, the level of which rose overall - up 5.6% on 2018.

“Consumption-based emission statistics present a broader picture of how international trade, producers, and consumers influence our carbon footprint.

"They illustrate how a nation’s consumption and lifestyle choices impact on emissions,” said Stephen Oakley, environmental-economic accounts manager at Statistics NZ.

Our total carbon footprint was made up of household consumption on 71% (42,888 kilotonnes), followed by gross capital formation (capital investment and inventories), 20% and government (central and local) consumption, 8%.

Household demand accounted for the lion's share of imported emissions during 2019 and was up 1.6 percent on the previous year.

To break household emissions down further: transport use made up 37%, food and non-alcoholic beverages was 24% and housing and household utilities (electricity) contributed 13%.

“Over the last five years household consumption-based emissions have hovered around 42,000 to 43,000 kilotonnes. Increases in population and expenditure per capita have offset decreases in the emissions intensity of household consumption,” said Oakley.

On the export side, unsurprisingly, the majority of our emissions were from agricultural products, which have inherently high embodied methane and nitrous oxide. 

In 2019, New Zealand exported 80% of the methane produced here.

“New Zealand is a net exporter of embodied emissions as its consumption-based emissions are significantly less than its production-based emissions. This means that as a nation we export more emissions than we import,” said Oakley.

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51 Comments

Any guesses as to why transport, food and utilities (e.g. power and water) would be such a big leap above the others? Because they're essentials? That these are the basic necessities for any modern society, no?

Al;so, is this placing the blame for high carbon emissions on the common person, rather than government and corporations who have done little to change the way things are that allowed for such high carbon emissions?

Has the government built better and more efficient transport infrastructure? How many projects have stalled or taken far too long to complete than they should? AND gone over-budget frequently? How much has government spent on commissions and committees, studies and reports? How many corporations have invested in better, proven and  more energy-efficient technology?

The common person needs transport because there is no better alternative for many than having more than one car per household (usually minimum of two these days), they have to eat and they need power and water. Sure, everyone can switch to LED lighting or put solar panels on their roofs or switch to EVs, but the real and greater issue is huge waste by government and corporations.

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Christchurch council have invested a lot of money into cycle ways, bikes are now an easier option than cars for most journeys in and around the city centre. It'll take a while for the culture to change unfortunately - people are very stuck in their ways but more and more will raise the health, environmental and financial benefits.

And every step along the way, a significant part of the population has complained the money isn't spent on making driving easier instead. Sigh. 

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Except your local plumber, builder, electrician and food supplier cannot use cycleways and we all need homes, sewage, electricity and food. Kinda surprised you missed the essentials for basic living in NZ and the fact cycleways are not accessible and create further harm to the most vulnerable population with disabilities. But so long as your alright jack living in a home with employment opportunities and food and luxuries you buy but don't think of the basic logistics everything must be ok.

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The good news is we still have roads for those who need them and for our logistics. Cycle paths are just there to replace the ~50% of car journeys which can be done quite adequately without dragging half a tonne of metal around with you. Trips to the shops, dropping the kids to school, visiting a friend, office workers commuting etc (for those able to cycle - obviously some people do need cars)

This is not an either/or situation, and I'm not sure why you drew that conclusion from my original post. 

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Let see massive amounts of household and business access has been stripped due to the installed cycleways. I had family with MS die in Chch because of the installed cycleways removing access and making the roads more unsafe to medical facilities. Houses have reduced access and massive increased costs for basic essentials because of the diverted funds for cycleways and the cost for basic medical and necessary living transport costs for the vulnerable have increased ten fold. Tell me how many disabled students do you know that can afford over $80 for transport a day. How many employees. This is the damage the focus on overcharging the most vulnerable so the most able bodied can travel in lazier methods. Now we have near 50% of disabled youth not able to access education, employment or training. Most disabled people cannot even afford basic market rent on all of their income, let alone the increases to transport costs you forced on them. Try walking before you take money from those most likely below the breadline and not able to afford doctors visits for your ideals. Because of installed cycleways we cannot get access to most CBD businesses and cannot access basic hospital outpatients facilities. They are further stripping access to council buildings and parks. Thanks for stripping our lives from us and then telling us we are at fault because our ONLY transport option were roads and parking and then charging most disabled too poor through the roof so they cannot access employment or housing. How kind of you to cut the most vulnerable while lording your ableism over us.

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OK, clearly a lot going on here and I would point out I am not responsible for Council budgets. There should be a desirable middle-ground in this issue. Unless you think that cyclists don't deserve space to get around the city safety, there clearly need to be cycle paths. The current program is merely building Christchurch up to a bare-bones level where most people who are able to might actually consider cycling, as they can do so without being ~1 foot away from speeding traffic the whole way. It is of course unfortunate that this correction of historic car-centric planning means changes to parking/access and a chunk of Council spending, and while I'm sure we have differences of opinion on the scope and design of the network, surely you can't think the previous setup was acceptable for cyclists - I arrived in 2013 and many routes were a death trap. 

There may be other common ground here. If those who are able to do so get out of their cars and onto bikes (or walk, or bus), it frees up the roads for those who actually need them while saving the country from importing and burning more fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the improved infrastructure may help prevent the ~2 cyclist deaths that Christchurch sees every year, and much larger number of injuries. 

https://can.org.nz/article/new-zealand-cycling-deaths

For further context, the price of building the entire cycling network in Christchurch is roughly equivalent to the price of 16km of new road for the Northern Corridor. It is clear that roads are still the financial priority overall. 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/124611551/building-101km-of-cycl…

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Cyclists already had safe spaces but adding barriers and removing the only access from those without the option of cycling, without the option of walking (like cyclists have already with footpaths) is literally putting barriers that cut access and transport. Denying the ONLY form of access so an ablebodied person can be more lazy in their MANY travel options is discrimination and you demonise the disabled in your comments and statements when you state they do not have a need when many literally cannot get transport for life saving necessary appointments and work. How kind of you to force cuts to disabled transport, force increased cost to those on the lowest incomes and force people to give up living necessities for your lazy options that you cannot be bothered to expend effort with when you are able bodied. People like you are reprehensible in your discrimination and hatred towards access for disabled people and for necessary services for people to live.

 

Most disabled people have estimated lifespans artificially lowered to below retirement age from lack of access and lack of support from people like you denying them basic rights. I have seen young friends and middleaged friends buried because their transport access was denied. More family and friends have died from lack of access than the entirety of those who have cycle deaths year on year and none of disabled had the option to take a higher risk form of exercise. Their lives were discriminated and denied from the moment of their birth because it is people like you removing their access to homes, removing access to places of education, removing access to medical facilities and removing access to work. All so you can have more luxury forms of travel compared to existing ones. Where is the free travel option for people with mobility needs? How come the poorest have to pay the highest costs to add to the coffers of your luxury white elephants. How come when it is our blood covering the streets all the more do our lives get treated like we don't deserve to even exist at all and have ANY form of transport available to live at all. When you put up literal barriers and strip the ONLY form of access for disabled people you do real harm and kill real people. We just don't make the news as much as the cycle lobby because poor disabled people dying has always been hidden in the media. When near half of youth are denied access to tertiary study or employment tell me how a your barriers will enable that access you are cutting off further.

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I'm going to disengage from this discussion. You are misrepresenting what I said and blaming me for things I had no part in. I sympathise with your concerns and am happy for my rates and taxes to help those in need of support, and at the same time I support the encouragement of cycling for those able as one of the many necessary steps for us to achieve our climate goals. 

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"People are very stuck in their ways" yep Thanks for stripping our lives from us and then telling us we are at fault because our ONLY transport option were roads and parking and then charging most disabled too poor through the roof so they cannot access employment or housing. How kind of you to cut the most vulnerable while lording your ableism over us.

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Electric cargo bikes.

And yes to more (and more) cycleways.

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I need 40 cubes of concrete for founds, nearest plant 10 clicks away, vertical ascent 70m.  What, brave cargo bicyclists, am I bid per cube for Delivery?

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You'd probably be better off looking for a truck for that. The point is to replace the dumb waste of fuel that is a health individual taking half a tonne of metal with them as they pop out for some milk or take their own 70kg frame to work. Future generations will be amazed at how we wasted precious oil. 

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Need?

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How do you think buildings, stores and businesses are made. Magic and fairies. How did the plumbing materials and sewage get managed in your neighbourhood. With your ideals we would be dead from transmissible diseases, poor sanitation, and lack of electrical services in homes. Hear is a newsflash you cannot get apartments and homes without construction materials and those materials cannot be carried by bike. But you can cripple many humans and animals trying to use the earlier transport measures prior to powered high weigh bearing vehicles and building machines. Hence the high death rates that meant many people did not even see retirement age. Modern technology enables us to have higher density & healthier populations. We can house more people, provide basic services and sanitation and can ensure less work disablement. So why are you advocating measures that have been proven and known for centuries disable and cripple those that use them for entirely known design flaws, (simple things like balance and basic safety flaws in use that would see other vehicles recalled permanently like lack of safe braking) and the inability of bikes to do basic logistics of living necessities for even basic housing. 

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Sounds strange to me that we account for carbon on imports AND on exports.  Dairy is mostly exported yet is in the firing line for emissions.  It's getting a bit surreal.

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Hard to be consistent and continue your political attack on the farmers at the same time.

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We're net negative. Party on! 

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This article is flawed. The flaw arises from a Stats Department information release which is less than clear and appears to have confused the writer.

The accepted international method of accounting for carbon is 'production-based'. Therefore we are 'responsible' for the emissions that actually occur in New Zealand. That means that we include the emissions that occur in the production of meat and dairy. We also include the emissions that occur when we consume fossil fuels because we are 'producing' those emissions here in NZ.  But we are not debited for the emissions associated with manufacture of the machinery that we import. 

The Stats Department to data used to produce the article here is calculated in a different way , with that being 'consumption-based'. Using that methodology we would include the emissions associated with the manufacture of machinery that the import into New Zealand. But we would not include the emissions embedded in dairy products except for the small amount of those products actually consumed in NZ. 

One can argue for either methodology, but there is no logic in trying to combine the two methodologies. It is  one or the other.  

The problem with the consumption methodology is that it is very hard to keep track of the embedded emissions as they work their way through global supply chains. For example, was a particular machine constructed using renewable energy sources or fossil fuels?   

So, to make it crystal clear, when we report internationally on our emissions we use the production approach. That means we do not include the emissions that occurred in the manufacture of imported machinery.  Nor do we include the emissions involved in  drilling for oil and the energy used in refining the oil. But we do include the emissions that occur when we burn the fuel. 

Essentially  the Stats Department is assessing what we would would be debited with if we used a consumption methodology, but has not made it sufficiently explicit that in that situation we would not be debited with most of the agricultural emissions that happen in NZ, as it would be the overseas consumers who would be debited with these.

KeithW

 

 

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Thanks for a clear explanation. Our geography results in NZ having a higher than average emissions for international flights and ships.  They are very easy to record whether using your consumption or production methodologies - either fuel used getting here or fuel used leaving NZ. 

When I last asked these emissions were simply ignored - the NZ govt response being it was the agreed international convention.  I suspect this may be changing. However our taxes were being used to encourage mass international tourism by air and cruise liner.

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Yes, you are correct. International airline emissions are currently  ignored. The challenge is to decide which country bears the cost. Also, where airlines are domiciled in different countries with different carbon accounting rules, some airlines would be favoured over others. 
KeithW

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Halve it between the locations? 

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Yet all international shipping and air travel has far far less emissions than the fashion industry alone. You could do more good for the environment by encouraging clothes recycling and lower the import market and constant need for new fashions then stripping the right to access work, family and overseas medical support via air travel. But then instagram influencers would not be able to convince their followers to constantly buy new crp they really don't need. As covid border restrictions alone have shown a large proportion of air travel and shipping really is necessary to live. In fact NZ still has people leaving the country to become medical refugees in other nations because they literally cannot stay alive with NZs medical system. You would kill people with your ideals just to not face the more damaging emissions from your luxuries.

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I expect you are right and all international shipping and air travel has far less emissions than the fashion industry worldwide.  But I doubt that is true for NZ - we manufacture few clothes but most of us travelled overseas pre-Covid and flying Kiwis were outnumbered by flying foreign tourists. I have a vague memory that international shipping and air travel represented 5% of our emissions or would have done so if counted.  Post Covid changing to a high value long stay tourism from our current cheap mass tourism makes sense.

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And I agree with your clothes recycling. Most of my shirts come from the local Sallies family store.  A better range than any of the stores in my local mall.

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Actually most airtravel was for necessities according to living and cultural needs, i.e. family & work engagements. We still have the greatest amount of travel for those reasons prior to covid and still more when borders were relaxed during a short period to Australia. In comparison the tourism market is not the greatest driver for population movement. Not surprising given our immigration and population dynamic shifts, not surprising given the brain drains over housing crisis. Many families are more split across the globe and much of the recent issues with MIQ have been that critical cultural and family ties are cut when air travel is limited to a lottery. So many working in NZ or in other countries cannot return to see close family members or children even prior to death. This runs directly contrary to the core of NZs promise to honour the treaty and allow recognition of cultural and medical importance in its travel MIQ exemption decisions.  Similarly much of our health staff and their families are predominantly not NZ citizens (especially considering our wider health network roles). Yet many of these people had higher travel needs to perform their roles, fulfill cultural & familial needs and this can cripple the health system when airtravel is not available. Already nursing support for many has been pulled, necessary health needs denied and real harm from a choke hold on airtravel to mostly those who can have friends in high places or exceptionally wealthy. 

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Many developed countries that have off-shored large amounts of manufacturing and food production would import tonnes of embedded carbon per person, and not have to account for it. A consumption model would be interesting.

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Or we could split the difference so the importing country gets allocated half and the producing country (ies) the other?

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Trying to calculate end point consumption carbon runs headlong into the Reverse BOM conundrum.

For a single car, there might be 3000 parts, by 30 to 50 manufacturers.  Some of those 'parts' will be assemblies, like a wiper or window motor, itself composed of several tens of parts. 

Each part will have been made of metals or oils which involved mining,  transport, refinement, more transport, wholesale, transport, manufacturing including some outwork, transport, stored, transport, sold via wholesaler, transport, assembled into kit or final product, storage, transport, wholesale, transported, stored, transported, retailed to end consumer.

Now calculate, with sufficient precision, each carbon embodiment in every step, for every part, kit, subassembly, for a single individual final-product SKU.

Add them up...  it's literally thousands to millions of individual steps,  and the cumulative error is likely to be shall we say Substantial.

Repeat exercise for every make, model, variant of chosen sector imports.

This will result, over even a modest few thousand SKU's, in billions to trillions of required precision calculations.

It's easier to do  the SNZ approach and take a wild and completely unsubstantiated guess, then pass that off as Gospel.

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Importing more people and their subsequent demand on resources will drive up carbon and emissions even further.

Will the govts ever recognize this and halt the immigration ponzi?

Or must the property market be supported at all costs?

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The original free money policy was to support consumption and stop financial markets seizing up and it worked, but once bubbles started inflating and people noticed there were $100 of thousands of free money being handed out when swapping properties, the whole thing became a "too big to fail" scenario.  I agree the whole importing people to keep the illusion of "growth" going is as dumb as it gets. All of our politicians are still in 1950-80s mode. We are entering an age of declining resource quantity and quality, along with mounting waste. Whatever it is that motivates our political, class, it sure isn't reality!

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"Increases in population and expenditure per capita have offset decreases in the emissions intensity of household consumption" I'm curious how our esteemed leadership plan to balance the problem of wanting to increase population and consumption, while wanting to appear sensitive to the extinction event both are causing? If only jawboning could actually influence physics. 

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2 Things.

1 It is all very well to angst over how the average house hold carbon footprint is distributed.  We are totally choosing to ignore the elephant in the room, that is, our total emissions are directly proportional to the number of households; i.e. our population.  We need to reduce our population if we sincerely want to reduce our total emissions.  It is hard to take any government seriously when on one hand they are increasing the population as hard as they can go, while on the other hand they are ineffectively wittering on about reducing CO2 emissions.  Pure insincere politics and window dressing. 

 

2 Our imported CO2 emissions will start rising considerably as we have to import increasingly greater quantities of coal to generate electricity to power pure electric vehicles and replace gas fired industrial process heat systems which we are now starting to see.  The pure electric cars are bad enough, but the industrial process heat is just raving idiocy.  In effect some industries are choosing to replace gas fired systems that deliver 85% of the relatively clean gas energy to the process with 100 % efficient electric heat.  All well and good inside their narrow little bubble, but, the trouble is that any extra electrical load can only come from fossil fueled power stations which convert fuel energy to electrical energy at an efficiency of about 36% then loose about 10% of this through transmission. 

The caliber of leadership across the full NZ political spectrum means that we will be going backwards for a long time yet.

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Too logical,  Chris-m, and doesn't fit the Narrative  which assumes every required electron can be moved easily, even Magically.

We must wait for the Gods of the Copybook Headings to limp up and explain things once more to the Powers That Be.

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Increase in our population would not be a problem, if that increase wasn't buying 200m3+ single level houses, in country suburbs ,and commuting to work , 1 person per car.

Presumably the statistic is mean't to show our overall carbon production , not how it is proportioned and paid for. A net zero product from Europe is a very different import than a product from a non agreement country, with no carbon credits planted or paid for. 

further , the  effects of covid has taken money away from services , to be spent on buying non essential goods. 

As far as power production goes , yes , some of the solutions don't make sense if we continue to use fossil fuels to produce power. but eventually , renewables will be built to produce and distribute enough power. 

I do agree using electrical resistance heating for industrial heat is         not a good idea, but there areheat pumpprocesses that could be developed.

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Producing 250 Celsius heat?  References please we need to know how to do this.

 

Quick lesson in basic thermodynamics.  A heat pump is a Carnot cycle machine and its maximum theoretical efficiency when acting as a heat pump is = Hot temperature sink Temp in deg Kevin/(Hot sink temp- low temp heat source temp)  For a typical heat pump providing say 50 deg C (323 deg Kelvin) heating fluid with the source of heat coming from 5 degree C (278 deg K) refrigerant, the maximum theoretical efficiency is about 6.5 or 650% - in reality significantly less but still pretty useful  However as the heating temperature required rises this efficiency falls.  eg for the same heat source providing heat to a 250 C sink the theoretical maximum drops to something closer to 2.  In reality obviously significantly less so it is very much a case of diminishing returns. In practice I would imagine that it is very hard to find and get a working fluid to span the temperature difference.  A quick net search indicates that 80 to 100 Celsius is achieved industrially but above that is in the realm of experimental and developmental.

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Most processes dont need 250 degrees c. https://www.fujielectric.com/company/research_development/theme/heatpum…

https://genless.govt.nz/assets/Business-Resources/High-temperature-heat…

I am sure a multi stage approach could be used for higher temperatures. You do need a heat source to "multiple", wether burning biomass, lower grade geothermal , or inter seasonal stored heat . Many industries that require heat also require refrigeration , which is a source of waste heat as well. 

 I think Christchurch is even investigating taking heat from the waste water in the main sewage system .. 

 

 

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Most of the processes that I deal with need at least 230 C, but sure there are others that don't.  Sure if you have a higher temperature heat source then higher temperatures would be achievable.  Matching the available waste heat source with the demand location may not be so easy to achieve.  I think that for NZ biomass in the form of forestry waste is a great option that will produce all the temperature that you need.  This is well established technology and I am heartened to see that some of the powdered milk plant operators are investigating this.  Recovering the forestry wood waste also helps address the huge environmental problem that it creates as witnessed around Gisborne. I have a suspicion that a proportion of the wood waste produces methane when it rots, so would better burnt to CO2.  It would be great if the Govt applied a carrot and stick approach to move industry in the direction of using wood waste for process head.  A stick on the forestry industry to pay for cleaning up their forests after harvest and a carrot to industry to use wood waste.

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Actually considering anything that is produced most processes do need high heat of up to 250C... For example surely you have heard of food, well most of what is sold in supermarkets actually does need high heat even in the preservation methods and containers (even the ones made from biodegradable & compostable materials).  The production of necessary items for living all need high heat, especially a lot of medical equipment and medication... soooo are you just really clueless on how stuff works and how stuff gets made. Perhaps a summer job actually working in production of something useful for living might help you learn more or perhaps just look at the equipment in your kitchen if you cannot do the work. Here is an idea stare at the bottle you are drinking from and try to think of the processes to make and fill glass or metal containers with the stuff you drink.

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Sure, there are some process that need higher heat, and biomass can be used for them. But there are plenty of instances where steam is used to make hot water, or to provide space heating. Virtually every older school or hospital for example. In the freezing works I worked in , 4 coal boilers made steam, most went to making hot and stererlizing water, 70 degrees. Plus space heating in winter. Only 1 or 2 processes needed steam , mainly to cook the offal and dry the blood. The main challenge was to keep the space heating warm enough to stop the workers walking off, vs mad shutting us down if the water went below 69 degrees

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Actually considering anything that is produced most processes do need high heat of up to 250C... For example surely you have heard of food, well most of what is sold in supermarkets actually does need high heat even in the preservation methods and containers (even the ones made from biodegradable & compostable materials).

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"renewables will be built to produce and distribute enough power"

Excluding hydro and zero-carbon nuclear, you need to add "Occasionally, and with rapid drop-outs as Europe discovers..."

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European blackouts are caused by distruptions to the fossil fuel supply. 

Aproperly designed system would not have blackouts , or even come near it . We do need more stored hydro , most of ours been run of the river.  

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Proper design means backup, synchronized, spinning generation ready to take up the slack when the sun sets, the wind drops, or neighboring countries decide enough is enough and island your kingdom.  Batteries are good for a few seconds to minutes only, as long as they aren't on fire.  Demand controls imply no heat, light or cooling when consumers are disconnected remotely, and for industrial process users, zero production unless on-site backup via gas or diesel is installed and able to be switched in at short notice.

But as 'design' is now dictated by pollies, by shareholder activists and other non-engineers, good luck getting anything sensible 'designed' anytime soon.  

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The grid has an inherent amount of back up built in, due to its size, and multitude of generators and consumers. I don't think we would ever have enough PV that the sun going down would be a major factor. Besides anyone that has grid tie PV that wants it to payback, will have demand control tied to their PV production. The hot water or air con will be controlled to match the PV production for example. They don't want to export to the grid for 7 cents, then buy power back for 25 cents. But as I said a beefed up grid, and pumped storage near demand centres will be needed.

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Size of grid and number of consumers is irrelevant to grid resilience.  What counts is number  location and availability of dispatchable generation sources D, versus number, location of intermittent generation sources I.  If I > D  look out below.   Germany is the poster child here, reducing nuclear D in favor of wind and solar I, and causing havoc with neighboring grids when I power is surplus  to the point where most have installed isolation to stop the ripple effects.  And when I stops, as is inherent, Germany relies on.....lignite-burning D because nuclear is goneburger.  That damp ooze around their border is Green tears......

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200m3+ single level houses

That's a very small house! ;)

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Our family of four live in a 140m3 house. We would probably be quite happy living in the hallway of my sisters house (2 occupants, but nothing to the 600m3 their neighbours are planning. ). 

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Sorry i was being facetious, and probably not obvious enough. Surely you mean 140m2 not cubic metres?

Assuming a 2m room height 140m3 would mean you're living in a 70m2 footprint. ..? 10m by 7m for four of you?!

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Yes, i know you were , and yes , I mean't 140m2. 

I was expecting someoneto comew up with the monty python sketch , living in the middle of the road in a cardboard box. you were lucky!      

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More double-speak from our simple state services? Or is this just another writer block?

Too many words, not enough deeds.

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What I find fascinating are the very weak assertions that are nowadays regarded by most as either religious dogma or fundamental laws of nature.  Examples could be CO2 causing global warning, or covid vaccines being beneficial, or issues around woke culture & gender politics.  The assertions are incorrect, but to question them means losing ones job or being “cancelled”.   We’re facing a very serious danger in that we’re creating models of how the world works that are divorced from reality.  Policy decisions predicated on flawed models will produce perverse outcomes.     

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