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WORLD ORGANIC NEWS - mrjonmoore - Conservation Farming, Permaculture, organic gardening, organic farming, Climate Change.


Jul 16, 2017

Links

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

 

Explainer: what can Tesla’s giant South Australian battery achieve? — Random Thoughts

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJf

     In defense of Yeomanry.

     http://www.worldorganicnews.com/published-books/long-pieces-and-ideas/

Vermicomposting: Tips from First Timers — EcoBLOGic

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fIV

1.5 Acres of High Intensity, No-Till Vegetable Production – Neversink Farm — Permie Flix

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJr

Rural New Zealand Quarter Acre Permaculture Farm / Market Garden — growingarden

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJO

****

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 17th of July 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!

This week we look at the Tesla battery in South Australia, one version of vermicomposting and two examples of intensive, organic veggie production.

So to the Tesla Battery! The post entitled: Explainer: what can Tesla’s giant South Australian battery achieve? From the blog Random Thoughts explains: It was announced this past week that Tesla has won a tender to set up a 100 megaWatt battery in conjunction with the Hornsdale wind farm. A little background is necessary. Back in September 2016 a huge storm rolled across South Australia. A gas fired electricity generator was closed down by it operators on the ground that electricity spot prices were likely to be too low that day to justify running the plant. As the storm rolled in some wind farms were powered down and some high tension power lines were ripped out of the ground. Widespread blackouts resulted.

For some reason, some members of the farther right of politics in this country have a problem with wind power in particular and renewables in general. So the knee jerk reaction was to blame the wind farms even when transmission lines were ripped out of the ground. So electricity supply is political.

Will the new Tesla battery system help? Probably not a great deal.

Quote:

The project will incorporate a 100MW peak output battery with 129 megawatt hours of storage alongside Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm, near Jamestown. When fully charged, we estimate that this will be enough to power 8,000 homes for one full day, or more than 20,000 houses for a few hours at grid failure, but this is not the complete picture.

The battery will support grid stability, rather than simply power homes on its own. It’s the first step towards a future in which renewable energy and storage work together.

End Quote

It is the grid stability and the example set which is the greatest outcome of this project. Once the idea of batteries set within the grid becomes established, price signals will complete the job. Now we don’t just need electric batteries. Batteries are nothing but a chemical form of storage. The authors of the post are themselves working on a different form of energy storage:  off-river pumped hydro energy storage. This uses the mature technology of the hydro industry to storage renewable energy in the form of potential energy rather than chemical. By using renewable electricity to pump water from say the bottom of a mine to a reservoir at ground level, the energy is held and then released back through the system to turn the potential energy into electric by running the pumps “backwards” and allowing the water to pool at the bottom of the mine again.

The storage form is somewhat immaterial, it is the storage to stabilise the grid which is most important. Creative minds are being allied to this matter and the future look bright. There is even some argument that microgrids rather than nation wide grids are a better solution. Localisation and interconnection of generating nodes require less infrastructure and therefore less loss of power moving electricity from say a hydro scheme in one state to consumers in another. Indeed the local seems to be answer to many of the issues we face today.

I have argued elsewhere in the blog for localised food production in a piece entitled: In Defense of A Modern Yeomanry – Small mixed farms as the answer. Food, electricity, politics all better serve the citizenry if localised.

In that spirit we have a blog post from EcoBLOGic entitled: Vermicomposting: Tips from First Timers. Dealing with “waste” at a local level retains nutrients where they can be reapplied to local food growing systems. Traditional composting can be intimidating and time consuming. Vermicomposting, using compost worms to process organic matter is an alternative with a quicker turn around. It is my preferred method.

Long Quote:

In the I Love A Clean San Diego office, we have multiple team members who collect food waste to be brought back to their composting bins. This past June, Moriah and Lauren made their own vermicomposting bins and began their composting journeys! With a few simple tools, we enjoyed time in the sun making the bins and learning all the details of vermicomposting!

Both Moriah and Lauren have been using their vermicomposting bins about a month now. With that experience under their belt, we checked back in to see how the process has been going. Lauren explained, “I have to say it’s intimidating to have another thing to take care of in my household, but the simplicity and beauty of this natural process are what astonishes me the most, day after day.” Moriah shared how having Emily – our Education Manager and composting expert – in our office as a resource impacted her experience:

“Having Emily as a resource has been super helpful. She has even responded to Snapchats I’ve sent to her of the bin to let me know if it looks like it is healthy and thriving. Emily’s help and the resources in our office have led to a pretty healthy bin. The worms are breeding and eating everything much quicker than I expected!”

End quote.

The point being, it is possible to go from zero to an effective system quickly. The vermicompost is wonderful stuff, I think of it as rocket fuel for plants. Have a read of the piece for more info, it is well worth it.

To continue this local theme we have two video posts: From Permieflix: 1.5 Acres of High Intensity, No-Till Vegetable Production – Neversink Farm and from growingarden: Rural New Zealand Quarter Acre Permaculture Farm/Market Garden.

The principles explored in these videos are Permacultural in nature. Things like “Waste is simply a resource in the wrong place.” and “Ensure every part of the system provides at least two outcomes.” The income potential is quite staggering. As is the production without large investment in fossil fueled machinery. The systems basically run themselves, once set up and humans maintain the system, collecting useful surpluses.

Both videos run 20 minutes plus. Both would fit nicely with the idea I suggested in “In defense of Yeomanry.” Turning golf courses into market gardens. Even if we don’t liberate these landscapes just yet, the principles discussed in the videos are applicable to suburban backyards, suburban front yards and even to balconies in high rise apartments.

On that note I’m putting together a small eBook: The one Square Metre Garden - Year round veggies from almost no space. I’ll keep you posted when that comes out!

So we can live well, we can live healthily and we can did it with green energy if we put our minds to it.

And on that happy note we will end this week’s episode.

If you’ve liked what you heard, please tell everyone you know any way you can! I’d also really appreciate a review on iTunes. This may or may not help others to find us but it gives this podcaster an enormous thrill! Thanks in advance!

Any suggestions, feedback or criticisms of the podcast or blog are most welcome. email me at podcast@worldorganicnews.com.

Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.

****

Links

CONTACT:  podcast@worldorganicnews.com

Explainer: what can Tesla’s giant South Australian battery achieve? — Random Thoughts

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJf

In defense of Yeomanry.

http://www.worldorganicnews.com/published-books/long-pieces-and-ideas/

Vermicomposting: Tips from First Timers — EcoBLOGic

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fIV

1.5 Acres of High Intensity, No-Till Vegetable Production – Neversink Farm — Permie Flix

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJr

Rural New Zealand Quarter Acre Permaculture Farm / Market Garden — growingarden

http://wp.me/p5Cqpo-fJO