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Old 31-10-2019   #1
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Carbon offsetting?

In all honesty always thought this was a bit of joke, buy a Range Rover and we'll plant a few trees to balance it out.

But I've been a shell customer for years due to being the only local place that did 98-99 octane and as a result a loyalty card holder.

Apparently as a result they will support schemes to plant trees to capture the equivalent of the CO2 emissions.

I'm on 95 these days anyway as much usage means I see no benefit from vpower now..but I don't mind paying less than a £1 a tank..so about 3 quid a month over Morrisons fuel to plant some trees.

Wondering what peoples opinions of these sorts of schemes are? Way I see it, unlike previous schemes where the inducement was to buy something new..I was always going to buy the fuel I'm just paying a small amount more so if it plants some trees well that's good.

But interested to see if anyone has more information or opinions?
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Old 31-10-2019   #2
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

No great experience myself..

But was only saying last week what a fantastic business opportunity that it all was : is

Conversation started with the news that the Bentley factory in Crewe is now accredited as carbon neutral.

Seems a tad extreme (unrealistic) to me...
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Old 31-10-2019   #3
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

I don't believe for a second you can offset an international manufacturing operation by planting some trees.

But more trees should be a good thing you would imagine compared to doing exactly the same activity and planting no trees.

You would think this sort of thing will become more common as alternative fuels become more common. Realistically there's no manufacturing base to replace all the conventional cars tomorrow. All the electric cars have long waiting lists even if they halved in price they are going to be trickling rather than flooding on to roads. That and if all new cars were suddenly electric only that will push battery prices back up, even before you get to questions of infrastructure.
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Old 31-10-2019   #4
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Resident Shell employee here!

I've just had my first offset statement - apparently we've offset around half a tonne of carbon from my business trips over the last few weeks.

This is done via investment in protection and re-forestation projects in Peru, preservation and restoration of the jungle in Indonesia (including projects which will help prevent the extinction of the orang-utan) and some forestry projects in Scotland and the Lake District.

Largely, it means one tree for every 150 litres of fuel, although this is just a ball park figure as tropical trees grow quicker and offset carbon more quickly than Scottish trees.

Interestingly, we are paying for this in the UK, whilst some competitors are want to (optionally) charge consumers extra.

We're spending a lot of money on low emissions energy - be it battery manufacturing, wind and solar farms, CNG (compressed natural gas), LNG (Liquefied natural gas), or EV charging. We also have an interest (either fully owned or via joint venture) in around 50% of Germany's 100 H2 filling stations.
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Old 01-11-2019   #5
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is a great idea but its also a great way for unscrupulous outfits to look green when they are really far from it. No disrespect on Shell I use their Optimax. I dont really see how offsetting can really replace the large volumes of CO2 we create from car usage.

I also use Tesco 99 which definitely runs better in the 100HP. The cost is less than 5% more, I gain more than 5% in mpg and the car drive better.

The oil and gas industry also need to reduce methane leaks to atmosphere. It has 85 times the warming effect of CO2 so big efforts in leak control have big benefits.

Shell really should be looking at investing in these guys -

https://www.moltexenergy.com/
Competitors? Not necessarily.

Nuclear power is zero CO2 but nukes are silly expensive. Not these designs.

Moltex have gone out of their way to design out everything possible which needs regulatory attention. That increases safety, and massively cuts build costs and regulatory costs. The latter are especially expensive.
When nukes are cheaper than coal, the filthy high CO2 black stuff will fall out of the energy market. That makes room for petroleum. BUT high temperature, low cost energy can make ammonia which can be used as a vehicle fuel. Nukes are zero CO2 and the molten salt versions are extremely low waste.

This explains how they do it.
https://www.moltexenergy.com/learnmo..._Portfolio.pdf
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 01-11-2019 at 12:08.
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Old 01-11-2019   #6
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

I may have done a small amount of research last night and the consensus seems to be the majority of offsetting is just moving numbers around rather than funding new things.

But in the course of this I decided I'd actually quite like to know how much carbon it has produced in the 5 years I've had it. Off to an online calculator where you plug in miles covered, fuel type and economy figures.

Got my answer at approximately 10 metric tonnes which sounds a lot..but flying to New York from London is about 1.5 metric tons per passenger.

Also all the pro-electric literature seems to list the average car emissions at between 4 and 6 tonnes annually. The only one that quotes an MPG figure gives 22mpg as the average economy of petrol car. You can only assume these are figures rearched in the US.

Hopefully it won't be a clean diesel situation where all the figures say things should get better..but the reality doesn't match up as sums were based on incorrect information.
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Old 01-11-2019   #7
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Quote Originally Posted by StevenRB45 View Post
I may have done a small amount of research last night and the consensus seems to be the majority of offsetting is just moving numbers around rather than funding new things.

But in the course of this I decided I'd actually quite like to know how much carbon it has produced in the 5 years I've had it. Off to an online calculator where you plug in miles covered, fuel type and economy figures.

Got my answer at approximately 10 metric tonnes which sounds a lot..but flying to New York from London is about 1.5 metric tons per passenger.

Also all the pro-electric literature seems to list the average car emissions at between 4 and 6 tonnes annually. The only one that quotes an MPG figure gives 22mpg as the average economy of petrol car. You can only assume these are figures rearched in the US.

Hopefully it won't be a clean diesel situation where all the figures say things should get better..but the reality doesn't match up as sums were based on incorrect information.
10 tons of CO2 is a lot if you think of it in terms of volume, with one ton of co2 occupying 556.2m≥ of space and the world produces 40 billion tons every year, that is a mind boggling amount of CO2 thatís being produced.
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Old 01-11-2019   #8
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
10 tons of CO2 is a lot if you think of it in terms of volume, with one ton of co2 occupying 556.2m≥ of space and the world produces 40 billion tons every year, that is a mind boggling amount of CO2 that’s being produced.
I agree, though that's over 5 years so 2 tonnes a year. If for example me and the Mrs flew to New York we would be more than doubling our annual emissions for transport.

My issue is more with the figures being used to promote electric vehicles If you do 30k miles a year in a diesel at 60 mpg. Then you still produce less CO2 than some green car sites promote as the average emissions of a conventional vehicle. If you take a more average 10k miles at 40mpg petrol then they are overestimating Co2 emissions from conventional cars by about 50%.

I will be doing offset thing, just cos there's not really any reason not to, a small benefit is better than no benefit.

It's just that in the process of looking into that I wandered off campus and it does rather strike me that not flying around the world and reducing annual mileage would be as effective as building lots of new infrastructure and cars and scrapping lots of old ones. Especially when they seem to be overstating the emissions of the 'average' car by so much so are rather setting themselves up for a disappointing return.

Although there's not much money in telling people to use what they have more efficiently...
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Old 01-11-2019   #9
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

We should reduce CO2. However am shocked by the number of man made gases with thousand fold greater greenhouse effects, not least some air conditioning gases, refer to another live thread on the forum! An example is gas used in some electric switch and transformer gear in order to prevent arching, very common around wind farms for example, which would do more harm than any of our cars put together if allowed to release. Which must happen more often than some might admit. Much more research and legislation is needed in many places.
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Old 02-11-2019   #10
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

I make 1 x220 mile trip weekly in a loaded diesel @60 mpg equates to @10p per mile =£22 In derv

Either end is 10 mins walk from a train station.. but train is £56 return..

Doesnt seem any incentive..and I cannot take much with me on the train


Give us European rate train fares..and thats 12k miles my old mj isnt doing.
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Old 02-11-2019   #11
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
I make 1 x220 mile trip weekly in a loaded diesel @60 mpg equates to @10p per mile =£22 In derv

Either end is 10 mins walk from a train station.. but train is £56 return..

Doesnt seem any incentive..and I cannot take much with me on the train


Give us European rate train fares..and thats 12k miles my old mj isnt doing.
I'm in a similar boat.

Back in 90s when I was growing up I used to get the bus to town, it went past where I work now (literally the bus stop is outside), it took 30 mins on a bad day.

Now I'm an adult the former 3 local bus routes have been consolidated into one service....that goes every where...and is therefore only useful as a tour bus. My house to town is now 2.5 hours, also the route now no longer goes past work adding a further 30 mins walk.

To top it off it's 5.60 each way, the car costs 2 quid odd in petrol and takes 15 minutes or at worst 25 mins at rush hour.

If we still had a decent bus I'd take it, yes 30 mins is longer but I could read a book like I used to..go for drinks after work e.t.c. but no.

As result of this we have to have 2 cars...if I could use the bus for work we'd only need one.
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Old 02-11-2019   #12
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Quote Originally Posted by StevenRB45 View Post
I'm in a similar boat.

Back in 90s when I was growing up I used to get the bus to town, it went past where I work now (literally the bus stop is outside), it took 30 mins on a bad day.

Now I'm an adult the former 3 local bus routes have been consolidated into one service....that goes every where...and is therefore only useful as a tour bus. My house to town is now 2.5 hours, also the route now no longer goes past work adding a further 30 mins walk.

To top it off it's 5.60 each way, the car costs 2 quid odd in petrol and takes 15 minutes or at worst 25 mins at rush hour.

If we still had a decent bus I'd take it, yes 30 mins is longer but I could read a book like I used to..go for drinks after work e.t.c. but no.

As result of this we have to have 2 cars...if I could use the bus for work we'd only need one.
Ahmen to that. Found out that bus from Bury St Edmunds to Thetford really is a PIA. Left the car in Bury for a service, i enjoy the walk to the bus station, waiting ages for the bus... It got to outskirts of Thetford, not a big town, then took ages to weave round the housing estate before getting to the station. Once I realised how much it might continue I offered to get off at a critical point and the driver stopped me as not a designated stop. From both that point, and the original outskirts of Thetford, it would have been quicker for me to walk past the bus station to my house than sit on that bus. What's worse is not one of the passengers would have been infirm for their respective walks. Not an efficient service nor appealing.
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Old 04-11-2019   #13
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Quote Originally Posted by andydiver View Post
We should reduce CO2. However am shocked by the number of man made gases with thousand fold greater greenhouse effects, not least some air conditioning gases, refer to another live thread on the forum! An example is gas used in some electric switch and transformer gear in order to prevent arching, very common around wind farms for example, which would do more harm than any of our cars put together if allowed to release. Which must happen more often than some might admit. Much more research and legislation is needed in many places.
High voltage power switch gear uses Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) gas to insulate the switch contacts and reduce arcing. The stuff is 23.500 times the global warming effect of CO2 and it hangs up there for at least 100 years. Nobody mentions its effects on the ozone layer.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49567197

So (assuming the same density) a car generating 2 tons of CO2 per year has the same warming effect as just 85ml of that insulating gas. Obviously it's not allowed to leak, top ups are minimal and its always purged for safe disposal. We can see that happening on a wind turbine tower out in the North Sea. Oh yes.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 04-11-2019 at 15:59.
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Old 04-11-2019   #14
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Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
High voltage power switch gear uses Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) gas to insulate the switch contacts and reduce arcing. The stuff is 23.500 times the global warming effect of CO2 and it hangs up there for at least 100 years. Nobody mentions its effects on the ozone layer.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49567197

So (assuming the same density) a car generating 2 tons of CO2 per year has the same warming effect as just 85ml of that insulating gas. Obviously it's not allowed to leak, top ups are minimal and its always purged for safe disposal. We can see that happening on a wind turbine tower out in the North Sea. Oh yes.
How about a comparison to the older... now banned air con refrigerant gasses R...

1 LITRE lost for @ 10% of cars on the planet .. thats a lot of litres.
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Old 05-11-2019   #15
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Re: Carbon offsetting?

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
How about a comparison to the older... now banned air con refrigerant gasses R...

1 LITRE lost for @ 10% of cars on the planet .. thats a lot of litres.
Absolutely. Lots of fuss was made (correctly) about the ozone layer but nothing said about global warming effects of fridge gasses.
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