March 12, 2023

Spirit

Small Growers Deserve Same Green Subsidies As Farmers

ALL over the world, governments are handing farmers green subsidies in the form of carbon credits for certain types of planting and land management that sequester or reduce carbon consumption. But small growers, including off-gridders and allotment owners, are excluded from this cosy arrangement. The grants total tens of billions each year according to McKinsey, a consulting firm.

If you are a smallholder who wants to apply for your carbon credits, get in touch with us at off-grid.net, or leave a comment at the end of this story. We will collate all claims and submit them when there are enough to qualify.

In Britain, for example, farmers have two options – go green or go under. The calculation is simple – A farmer plants a wood, grows bigger hedgerows or tends the soil in a certain way, that sucks a certain number of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

This is verified and the farm is then granted a certificate for how much CO2 it has absorbed, which can be sold to a business that needs to reduce its own carbon footprint.

The UK is not alone in this field, with similar initiatives under way in the US, the EU, Australia and New Zealand.

In eastern Australia, a vast area called the “mulga belt” is now home to a booming carbon trading industry that has netted 150 businesses at least $300m in less than a decade, according to official figures reported by the Washington Post.

Businesses should be looking to reduce their own emissions first, say experts, but carbon credits could help with any residual emissions, the ones that are difficult or impossible to remove.

Farms and landowners are well placed to help with this, as many actions they can take to improve their own operations will also cut carbon emissions.

Farmers can apply for carbon credits if they plant their fields with environmentally-approved crops. Small growers cannot. The amount seems small, only a £100 per Hectare in the UK and £168 for woodland, but to someone with a two Hectare smallholding who survives perfectly well on £10,000 a year, its a 2% pay rise, for doing what they were going to do anyway.

At the moment, UK farmers cannot participate in the British emissions trading scheme, although this may change soon with the Government having recently consulted on proposals to bring them in. But there is nothing to stop us all, every landowner, garden owner and allotment owner who wants to log-in to any online application form set up for farmers.

In the meantime, farms and others can participate in voluntary carbon trading markets. The two most established are the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code, both of which are recorded on the UK Land Carbon Registry.

The woodland code rewards landowners for planting trees, typically over a typical period of 30 to 40 years. It …

Read More »
Land

Converted Underground Bunker Near Austin – $425k

Salado, Texas – 11th March – – A partially underground bunker house has gone up for sale in a small town near Austin, for sale in Texas.

Any Texan will be quick to tell you that the weather in the Lone Star state can be somewhat chaotic — from temperatures rapidly dropping 40 degrees within a two-minute span to terrifying tornadoes that touch down from time to time. So it’s always a good idea to have a home that’s safe, secure, and — well — partially underground.

The two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house is on the real estate market in Salado for $425,000.

“Here’s an amazing one-of-a-kind partially submerged earth-type concrete OFF-GRID capable home on .939 acre with two private gated entrances,” the listing on Har.com says. “The property is incredibly picturesque, heavily wooded and partially sloped with a seasonal stream far below the home and views of a pond.”

According to the listing, the home was custom-built with “a southwestern vibe” thanks to the first owners’ love of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

There is a Huge kitchen,Attached garage, Water well, Two storage tanks, Three buried propane tanks, Two rainwater tanks, and a Generator

“Nestled in the beautiful and best part of Salado, this home was thoughtfully and artfully designed by antique dealers who liked to entertain and show off their furnishings,” HomeSmart agent Shirley Kopecky told the New York Post. “This house has all the bells and whistles and was outfitted — at great expense — for uncertain weather.”

Read More »
Energy|Urban

World’s First Micro-Nuclear Greenlit in Canada

In January, GE Hitachi signed a deal to build the first small modular reactor in North America, agreeing a deal with authorities in Ontario, Canada.

GE is among dozens of companies around the world with designs for small, factory-produced reactors. The theory behind mass-producing them is that development costs can be spread over many units to lower costs.

They are also cheap enough for private companies to buy, with the smallest versions being touted as a prospect for powering container ships.

Early leaders like Rolls Royce are falling behind because of slow Government decision-making on SMRs and their higher-tech cousins advanced modular reactors (AMRs), which are a few years further away in deployment.

Some developers have abandoned hopes of taxpayer funding, but without guidance from the regulator about how far off design approvals may be, and a site to show that their technology works, lenders are skittish about committing to big projects.

Without these assurances, orders and jobs are on the line. However, the industry is hesitant to attack governments openly, given the requirement to win Government approval (and funding). Governments tend to favor home-grown companies, whihc makes the GE deal suprising.

In the UK, for example, foreign-controlled Rolls Royce still has the inside track – a government spokesman said: “Small modular reactors could play a vital role in our nuclear programme as we work to increase our energy independence and security, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices.

“The Government is investing in these new technologies through the £385m Advanced Nuclear Fund including £210m towards the Rolls-Royce SMR programme. We will announce plans for the set-up of Great British Nuclear soon, and we are committed to backing it with appropriate funding to support projects and investment.”

Tom Samson, chief executive Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “We have over 600 members of staff in the UK, dedicated to bringing our technology to market at pace – a British solution to a global energy crisis.

“Rolls-Royce SMR has called for rapid progress from the Government and we welcome the adoption of that principle in this process.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Government and Great British Nuclear to realise their ambitions as quickly as possible.”

Read More »

off-grid.net

Join the global off-grid community

Register for a better experiencE on this site!