Britain just set a new record: 55 hours without using the dirtiest fossil fuel out there
For 55 hours, not a speck of coal was used to toast crumpets in England. How did the U.K. give up the dirtiest fossil fuel?
Between 10:25 pm on Monday and 5:10 am Thursday, no coal was used by power stations in the U.K. It’s a record!
Great Britain has just gone 48+ hours without any coal generation.— National Grid Control Room (@NGControlRoom) April 18, 2018
How was it able to accomplish this? I knew you’d ask.
The U.K. was a very early adopter of renewable energy sources and it has more offshore wind turbines installed than anybody else. Here’s the breakdown of what it used for energy during that period:
On Wednesday #gas produced 31.6% of British electricity followed by wind 25.1%, nuclear 20.2%, solar 7.6%, imports 7.4%, biomass 5.2%, hydro 1.4%, storage 1.2%, other 0.4%, coal 0.0%, national demand 779 GWh— National Grid Control Room (@NGControlRoom) April 19, 2018
Turbines of the new Burbo Bank offshore wind farm in the mouth of the River Mersey on May 12,2008 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
National Grid director of U.K. system operations Fintan Slye made the announcement: “We have set a new record by operating the electricity system without coal for just under 55 hours. The U.K. benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of electricity and our energy mix continues to change. National Grid adapts the system operation to embrace these changes.”
We could do that right here in the good ol’ US of A if we put our minds to it. Oh, and a little bit of financial backing.
It’s only the latest record for the country: 40.5 coal-free hours were logged during the last few days of October 2017. It’s only going to get better from here; the country’s coal-fired plants are due to be phased out in 2025.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
- Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
- This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.
One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".
- Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
- Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
- A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
- The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
- For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
- This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.