What we learned this week

  • I came across In Kind Direct this week, a charity that takes surplus goods from companies and redistributes them to charities and not-for-profits. They’re 20 years old this year, so perhaps you all know about them already.
  • What it looks like when bike-sharing schemes go wrong – with hundreds of bikes dumped in Shenzhen, someone needs to look again at the business scheme.
  • Have you signed 10:10’s petition to maintain support for renewable energy in the March budget? You can sign it here.


  1. There are questions I would want to know the answers to about tidal lagoons.

    1) How much embodied energy do they consume in construction?

    2) What are the ecological effects?

    3) What maintenance do they require – eg dredging, clearance of marine growths?

    4) How long do the structures last?

    1. One of the things that has won me over about the project is how much information is available and how transparent the developers have been. It’s a stark contrast to most big projects of this kind, which only divulge the legal minimum.

      1) Available in detail from the Infrastructure Planning Directorate, which estimates that the project will be carbon neutral within four years. I was sceptical of how quick that was and looked up why. The main reason is that the bulk of the seawall will be made by pumping dredged sand into ‘Geotubes’, and then cladding it in rock at the end – essentially using local sea floor materials to lower embodied emissions.
      2) All available here: http://www.tidallagoonpower.com/environment/environmental-impact-assessment/
      3) Yes, the lagoon will silt up and will need dredging. They’ve been dredging Swansea harbour channels for centuries. There’s not much information on maintenance yet as there’s no comparable project. The turbines will need it, the wall not so much.
      4) Projections are based around a lifespan of 120 years

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