Archive for August, 2012


31
AUG

Paul McIntosh says:
Big Energy Savings Week 22nd – 27th October 2012


Category: Community Energy, Renewable Energy
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Big Energy Savings Week aims to raise awareness with consumers on help that is available regarding energy bills, providing advice on energy efficiency and much more.
This year, Big Energy Saving Week will take place between 22–27 October 2012. The name reflects the collaboration with the Energy Saving Trust, who traditionally hold an event in October called ‘Energy Saving Week’.

Citizens Advice will co-ordinate the week in partnership with a large and diverse range of national organisations, including Government, charities, advice agencies and energy suppliers who are providing an increased level of funding to support the week.

Rural communities are a key target for this week and there are a range of opportunities for RCAN members to participate in promoting BESW – from running an event to promote your oil buying scheme or working in partnership with CAB, Age UK and others to deliver a larger project. RCAN members can attend free training provided by Scottish Power or apply for funding for fieldworkers to take a City and Guilds Energy Awareness course.
An overview of BESW activities are below and full details along with the Local Delivery Fund application form are attached in the email:

* A small grants fund for partners to help with the costs of holding events or providing advice.

* A larger grants fund, Local Delivery Fund, which local partnerships can apply for – to further the work of BESW in the long term (application form available to apply for funding and the closing date is 10 September 2012).

* Free half-day training sessions nationwide for 1,500 fieldworkers and advice workers on switching, energy tariffs, energy efficiency and more. Places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

* Support with promotional and materials for events

For more information and related downloads visit the Sustainable Dorset website:  http://www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/events/2012-10-22/big-energy-savings-week



29
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Time to build the Electric Highway


Category: Electric Transport
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As one of the growing number of electric car owners I am travelling to just West of Taunton tomorrow a journey of 51 miles. My Nissan LEAF has a one charge range of 100 miles so its quite a finite judgement on whether or not I can make the return journey without a top up charge.

If I can find a Nissan dealer who has the high speed charger within 30 minutes I can have 80% of my battery life re-charged, but they are few and far between. If I can find an outside 13 amp plug socket I can plug in and within 3 hours I have 30/40 miles which is all the comfort level I need to be sure of completing the return journey.

But would you believe it they again take so much finding in convenient places. Already I have been parked on lawns outside hotels, behind the kitchens in factory sites and wedged in with golf carts at Golf Clubs.
For my Taunton trip I have rung ahead and explained my situation and although I am sure we shall find a way the person I talked to was not able to confirm 100% all would be well.

It’s interesting that in just the same way intrepid early motorists set out on 10/15 journeys not knowing if they would find a chemist or corner store selling petrol in glass jars.So they would take their own supply of small jars and top up regularly even on such a small run. It’s amazing to think of the advances that have been made in petrol delivery, stations etc. So it’s little wonder that at the beginning of the electric highway the going is tough for forward proofers like myself.

It’s why I urge business and councils to begin to invest in the new way of travelling. Supermarkets are starting to put in charging pods but they are few and far between and hard to find. It’s time to really open up the highway, reduce CO2 emissions, reduce our reliance on Oil and focus on the new way forward.

We can do it, and you know it’s a real New Industrial Revolution opportunity for the Country in these times of recession.

Let’s get on with it sooner rather than just following the rest of the World.
Just take a look at what is possible! See: http://www.charging-solutions.com/Products/solarpowered.aspx#desc


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "It still seems rather astonishing that more businesses haven`t realised that by offering even a basic 13Amp plug/recharge facility, they could gain the support and the custom of electric vehicle users – and that of course includes electric cars, electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric motorbikes and of course electric mobility scooters as well. Seems like missed opportunity to me. "
    August 29, 2012 a 5:26 pm


23
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Are Renewable Energy Co-operatives the Way Forward?


Category: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
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It’s interesting to see that one oft raised objection to commercial and larger scale Renewable Energy installations is one concerning profit. Perhaps understandably some find it to be a problem that wealthy and/or distant investors are making large profits from a Renewable Energy installation, though I must say that particular problem or issue had not occurred to me, but perhaps there is a way of addressing this problem by sharing the profits locally? For instance on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border there is a Solar Power installation which is seeking investors to join a Co-operative, a Co-operative that will reap the profits as well as the benefits of supporting clean and renewable energy.

There’s an interesting article about the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire Solar Power project on the Low Impact website here: http://www.lowimpact.org/blog/2012/Jul/you-can-be-part-owner-of-a-solar-power-plant.htm

Perhaps such a method of bringing Renewable Energy to an area might make it more palatable by being far more inclusive – and of course by demonstrating that just because Renewable Energy makes a profit that does not make the energy it produces somehow less clean.

One thing that often crops up when discussing Renewables is how the larger scale installations seem to be more readily accepted in the countries of, say, Northern Europe than they are here in the UK. Perhaps one reason for that acceptance is that in those countries people are used to having smaller conventionally fuelled Power Stations in their neighbourhoods and towns – often these Power Stations providing piped hot water as well as electricity. Here in the UK we are used to (& generally expect) our power generation to be large scale and remote from where most of us live – perhaps then accepting local larger scale Renewable Energy plants (Solar, Wind, etc) for us in the UK is a bit more challenging than it is for our continental neighbours used, as I say, to having local coal or gas fuelled Power Stations? Could be that this extra level of unfamiliarity might be one further reason for the oft expressed reluctance to embrace Renewable Energy, it being a steeper learning curve, so to speak?

Let us know your thoughts!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • CheaperGasEnergy comments:
    "I suppose many people may have not been properly educated on how they can use renewable energy. Some people that have had solar panels installed are making some money back. It really can be a good way to make money and save on energy bills. "
    August 28, 2012 a 4:04 pm

  • Paul McIntosh comments:
    "yes, yes, yes!
    Why is it those on the continent are more comftorble with sharing the wealth and in turn taking collective responsability. Perhaps the Germans can help (below is taken from the Low Carbon Communities Network Newsletter) German-British Parliamentary initiative in sharing lessons in Community Energy The success of Germany’s 600-plus locally accountable co-operatives in green energy carries inspiration, plus important lessons, for us here in the UK. In this International Year of Co-operatives, co-operatives now provide 13 per cent of Germany’s electricity, itself a market double the size of ours. Central to Germany’s success in energy co-operatives is wide support across the entire political spectrum for community energy, in national and in local politics, as well as in civil administration. LCCN committee member Alban Thurston is launching a freelance Parliamentary initiative, aiming to link pro-renewables Conservative parliamentarians in the Bundestag with their less numerous brothers & sisters on Conservative benches at Westminster. The goal would be a ‘trickle down’, strengthening the will of the minority of pro-renewables British Conservative MPs to convince the vocal opponents within their own party, through close experience of the electoral and social success achieved by the equivalents in Germany. Launched only as Parliament rose for the summer, the initiative, dubbed ‘Projekt Sonnenschein’ has attracted interest from leading pro-renewables Conservatives such as Tim Yeo, Zac Goldsmith, and Martin Vickers. Alban is working with the Bundestag office of Josef Goeppel, spokesman on energy collectives in Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU party. One or more briefings in Westminster are planned in October, where Goeppel will spell out to British Conservatives how right-of-centre politicians should be embracing in their planning, financing and civil policies the benefits of democratised, locally accountable energy. Drawing on his 10 year advocacy of energy co-operatives, Goeppel recently sent the UK think tank ResPublica his message of support for democratised energy in the UK. In it, he said: “The most successful way of letting many people participate in energy production is through community energy co-operatives. They allow the broader public to share in the profits of energy production…In addition they foster responsible energy consumption”. "

    August 24, 2012 a 2:39 pm


22
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
BREG/Ourganics Anaerobic Digestion Training Events 23rd – 30th September 2012


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Living
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Article by Richard Toft from BREG – the Bridport Renewable Energy Group:

BREG are now at the stage where our anaerobic digester is producing gas reliably from grass cuttings (what else you might ask?!), and turning our attention to how it can contribute to the activities at our host site, Ourganics. This has given us the confidence to tell you about the project, and to invite you to one of the events we are planning in late September at Ourganics in Litton Cheney.

The first on Sunday 23rd September, is a general introduction to Ourganics and the AD process. This will run in both the morning and afternoon, and there will be a charge of £5.

The second, rather more technical and perhaps more targeted at food producers, is on Wednesday morning 26th September. You will get lunch as part of the package, hence the price of £10.

The final event, the masterclass, is intended for people who are thinking of installing their own system or are just hungry for detailed technical knowledge. It will be on Sunday 30th September and be an all day event with lunch included, for £40.

Please note all these events will include tea /coffee and cake, and we’ll be making use of the biogas.

The distinctions I make above are only suggestions, and of course you would be welcome at any event. Before you decide you might like to look at the events page on our website on www.breg.org.uk/events, as it gives you all the information that is missing from the above.

Please contact BREG if you would like to attend through our website on www.breg.org.uk or feel free to email info@breg.org.uk.

You can also check out this video where BREG’s Malcolm explains micro AD:



21
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
How Efficient Are Solar Panels?


Category: Solar Energy
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How efficient are solar panels and how much energy do they need to be made?

Tim Evans from Ace Energy for Plumbing, Heating and Renewables –  www.ace-energy.net – has sent us some PDFs on Solar Energy produced by a Norwegian company called REC – www.recgroup.com.

REC state that “Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency with cost-effective renewable energy sources are now more important than ever. Solar energy is an increasingly competitive solution able to meet this global challenge. With control of the complete value chain, and an uncompromising focus on quality, efficiency and operational excellence, alongside strict adherence to environmental standards, REC is leading the way towards this goal. Through continuous innovation REC maintains a leading position in the industry, working to ensure solar solutions deliver sustainable value.”

The information sheets are clearly manufacturer produced, but very interesting and positive if you compare their payback time with the payback time for Nuclear, at best 50 years, and with waste being active for centuries.

The REC downloads include information on:

  • The Solar Value Chain
  • Lifecycle Analysis
  • Energy Payback Time of One Year
  • Reducing Waste in Product Design
  • Reducing Energy Payback Time

Download the REC Sustainability sheet >>
Download the REC Reducing Energy Payback Time sheet >>
Download the REC Commitment to the Production of Clean Energy sheet >>


1Comments | Post your own comment


16
AUG

Vince Adams says:
A Response to the Milborne Wind Farm Proposal


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
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Earlier this week I visited an exhibition presented by West Coast Energy in the village of Tolpuddle, famous for its worker’s 19th century revolt and where another revolution is being planned…

…This time the revolution is creating renewable energy from a Wind Farm.

This is an exciting opportunity for Dorset and its people to really get involved in renewables and begin to take its fair share of the UK’s national energy targets.

West Coast are not a huge conglomerate but have a lot of experience in local wind farm start-ups and have so far created 800 megawatts of renewable energy with projects in Scotland, Wales and the Midlands. Some of their team were at the Tolpuddle Village Hall to answer questions and take on board any suggestions or ideas from the local community. I really liked their approach and their emphasis on working with the local community, discussing problems at first hand and generally listening to genuine concerns.

What also struck me was their emphasis on Community – something that I believe is so important with renewable energy projects. They aim to give 10% of total revenues to the local community to fund whatever they decide is wanted. Over the 25 year life of the project will amount to circa £7 million pounds. Local people, groups and Councils will be consulted and the project funds will be controlled locally. This is hugely important and something that everyone in or near the location should become an integral part of.

Creating clean, sustainable energy with a win for well planned local projects to enhance the area is in itself an amazing opportunity.

The plan itself is to position 10 wind turbines of various sizes in fields North of Tolpuddle. The topography is excellent and runs almost parallel with the A35 trunk road from Poole to Dorchester. I never realised just how busy the road is and the car noise will more than drown out any noise created by the turbines. The lack of buildings within the vicinity make it excellent siting and we know for sure that in 25 years time after reaping the wind’s harvest, the fields will be in much the same condition as they are today. No doubt in due course the farmers will expand on what they intend to continue to do agriculturally near the turbines.

Of course from other areas across Dorset you will be able to see the turbines and my hope is that over time they will become iconic symbols of a new way to fuel the development of future generations.

The site itself comes under the control of West Dorset and a special Parish Meeting is planned for the people of Milborne St Andrew in the Autumn where they will present the project and answer questions etc.

Communication is vital, as is respect for the concerns of everyone. Crucial to this is having the right information so can I suggest that anyone who wants to know more about wind turbines or any related renewable subject looks on the relevant pages here on the Dorset Energized website where they will find real advice and information including the pros and cons, plus ways to get involved personally with other forms of renewable energy – visit www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy.

More details on the Milborne Wind Farm Proposal (which has already caused some debate here on our blog) can be found at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/08/08/milborne-wind-farm-in-west-dorset.

See our specific page on Wind Power at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power.
For related blog posts go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/category/wind-power.


15Comments | Post your own comment

  • Claire Green comments:
    "I was at several of West Coast Energy presentations. All I can say is tht you ust have had your eyes closed, your easrs closed and your mind shut down. The presenters were dismissive, patronising, conceited, rude and offensive. I object to wind farms in principle because the are inefficient, have a lifetime of only 20-25 years, and depend on unpredictable weather patterns. They is plenty of scientific proof to dispute everything the wind farms claim they can do. Without Government subsidies none of these energy companies would be operating. Nobody would be investing on a private basis. But I really wish you wouldn’t lie about the tone of these meetings you purport to have attended. "
    March 21, 2013 a 12:20 am

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 8:46 pm

  • Bob Lancaster comments:
    "Think on this, Thomas Hardy monument, that is so easily visible from the approach into Dorchester and around, is only…. 22 metres high, that’s all 22! On the Weymouth viewing tower, if you look from White horse hill, as we used to call it, where you have King Georges White horse on the right……..look to the left at the view towards Weymouth, the viewing tower is very easily in view, just imagine ten of them! What a horror! Not just ten but bigger. I think Mr Holmans measurements do not include to the tip of the blades, if the blades were in a 12 O clock position with the top blade! Please not here, no in Dorset. "
    August 29, 2012 a 11:48 am

  • Bob Lancaster comments:
    "David is quite right, the turbines are however hideously close to the very small hamlet called Milborne Wood. People do not probably realise quite how huge these turbines are…..it is very hard to imagine such a height without something to compare it too. A good start would be this. The Weymouth viewing tower stands at about 53 metres, sit on Weymouth beach and look at that tower, then imagine that tower times three in height..and you have the height of the tallest turbine that is involved…once you have done that imagine that times 10…they will be hideously tall. St Paul’s Cathedral stands at 122 metres in height, the tallest structure in West Europe is the Shard, and these proposed wind turbines will be about half the height of the Shard!
    People who are in favour of this development keep saying, Dorset should do it’s bit…etc……get real! Dorset has very little trade in comparison to other counties, for example in the South East, we depend on the Tourist trade, that is where we make our money…. Thomas Hardy Country, if we ruin this landscape it is gone forever. The developement is in the wrong place, it is too huge, it will damage our economy, it will be a blot on our beautiful landscape. Iconic beauty, I ask you….no no no, an ineffectual white elephant, there are so much better ways of producing energy, in ways that do not cause such a negative outcome. People have commented that the people prepared to have this windfarm in their backyard should be seen as heros….firstly would people who utter such comments like to have it in their backyard…and would the developers who are not based in Dorset……who know very little of our area, and probably care little for it..would they like this in their backyard, ruining the quality of their lives, damaging the value of their properties, ruining their economy.
    Dorset is not a Brown field site, if these turbines go ahead, we will not be able to stop the others that will line up after them.
    Our beautiful jewel, what we should prize will be ruined for ever and for what? So some a company that is nt even based here can profit, while the local people lose…oh yes the contribution to the local council, ha…after 25 years, worth 3 million, probably less I should imagine if not index linked, how many peoples lives blighted over that time…and remember who pays for the substation that deals with these monsters, oh yes the taxpayer, not the developers….
    I repeat, these turbines are huge, look on the net, you see how unhappy people are, how uneconomical they are. You realise that this development is under 1000 metres from the first dwelling it will affect… you think of the risk to our tourism….it is unacceptable. "

    August 29, 2012 a 10:54 am

  • David Holman comments:
    "Milborne Windfarm is not at Milborne it is sited directly along the line of Tolpuddle Village with the tallest availabe industrial scale wind turbines proposed for this outstanding rural idyll.
    Tolpuddle is an international tourist destination and forms the gateway to West Dorset and Hardy Country,the damage to the local economy will be out of all proportion to the small number of homes the windfarm can really supply.
    The noise,vibration anad flicker will affect the residents and visitors all day and night, summer and winter with no respite,with many hundreds of people and businesses sited well within the international guidance of at least 2km from such dwellings. The adverse health affects (Wind Farm Syndrome) from these kind of large turbines is well documented at sites acrossthe UK and is becoming increasingly acknowledged by scientists and doctors.
    The visual intrusion from ten 126m high turbines is wholly inappropriate to the locale and the resulting despoilation will be prominent from vast tracts of South and West Dorset and the Jurassic Heritage Coast along with Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty. The alien towering masts are more than twice as tall as any man made structure in Dorset. The loss of amenity to walkers,cyclists and horeseriders would be enormous as will be the damage to wildlife especially birds and bats who suffer frequent deaths from strike by turbine blades.
    If you love Dorset and value its special and unique tranquillty and beauty and wish to see this preserved for future generations please take action,contact your coucillors and oppose this planning application by West Coast Energy.Beware of their selective and frequently misleading propaganda if this plan goes ahead the fundamental rural nature of much of Central Dorst will be lost forever. "

    August 28, 2012 a 9:55 am

  • Samson comments:
    "“Noise complaints about one in six wind farms this article below appears in the Daily telegrah, it is very very worrying, there is alot of information about there, people are either being untruthful on one side or another… The cottages around Askam wind farm occupy the perfect spot, looking out to sea over to the isle of Man and inland to the Lake District. The only problem is the noise.
    The seven turbines have sparked the most complaints about wind farms in the country. Residents complain of a noise like someone is “mixing cement in the sky” or a “clog is stuck in the tumble dryer” and they are not the only ones. New figures reveal that at least one in six wind farms have had complaints about noise causing a lack of sleep or just been “dreadfully irritating”. The statistics show the growing concern around the health impacts of wind turbines as the Government plans to spend billions of pounds encouraging developers to erect around 1,000 new onshore turbines over the next ten years. This weekend campaigners meet in Darlington for WindConf 2010 to hear from victims and experts about the impacts of wind farms on areas of outstanding beauty. Gillian Haythornthwaite, who lives near the wind farm in Askam with her partner Barry Moon, said it has been a “devastating” experience.”
    It is a dreadfully irritating whoosh, whoosh noise,” she said. “It is unbearable to be outside in the garden when there is the noise.” The local council in Barrow in Furness said there have been more than 100 official complaints since the turbines were erected in 1999, although campaigners claim it is more than 270 from around a dozen people. E. On, the energy company that runs the wind farm, said it has introduced a “noise reduction monitoring reduction system” that turns off the turbines when they turn in a certain direction in order to resolve the problem. But David Brierley, a retired policeman who also lives nearby, said there is still a problem. He described the noise as like a train that never arrives or a helicopter landing outside. “It is a horrendous situation,” he added. Campaigners are gathering evidence on the noise problems caused by wind farms to pressure the Government to take action. A Freedom of Information request has revealed the names of 27 wind farms that were included in a 2007 report on noise submitted to the Department for Business. Since then Jane Davis, who is hoping to take her complaint about a wind farm near her home in Lincolnshire to the High Court, has recorded at least ten more noisy wind farms out of a total of 255 in the country. She has submitted all the information to the Government but claims that many people are reluctant to make complaints because they fear nothing will be done. “This is not about saying no wind farms anywhere, this is about saying lets have wind farms in the right place with the right regulations,” she said. Dick Bowdler, an acoustic consultant, used to advise the Government on wind farm noise. However he resigned because he felt concerns about noise from wind farms were not being followed up. “I have no doubt that there are some people who are seriously affected by wind farm noise,” he said. Mr Bowdler said it was impossible to complain because the noise limits set for wind farms are too high. “You cannot do anything except for a make a lot of fuss,” he said. “What is needed is stricter standards that bring wind farms into line with every other industrial noise.” Dr Chris Hanning, a retired NHS sleep consultant, said the main problem is sleep disturbance that can lead to extreme stress. “It you have this sound thumping away all day and there is nothing you can do to try and turn it off, it is very annoying,” he said. The Department for the Environment insisted that the Government takes the problem seriously. A spokesman said: “Renewable energy is needed for the long term prosperity of Britain, and wind energy is an important part of this. Any complaints about noise from wind turbines should be investigated by the local authorities.” Wind farms that have been the subject of noise complaints, according to official document submitted to the Government by Salford University: Glens of Foudland, Aberdeenshire Cruach Mhor, Argyll and Bute Royd Moor, Barnsley Askam, Barrow in Furness Blaen Bowi, Carmarthenshire Carland Cross, Carrick Four Burrows, Carrick Moel Maelogen, Conwy Hafoty Ucha, Conwy Tir Mostyn & Foel Goch, Denbighshire Michelin Tyre Factory, Dundee Causeymire, Caithness Llyn Alaw, Anglesey Rhyd-y-Groes, Anglesey Trysglwyn, Anglesey Cold Northcott, North Cornwall Bears Down, North Cornwall Delabole, North Cornwall St Breock, North Cornwall Llandinam, Powys Mynydd Clogau, Powys Crystal Rig, Scottish Borders Hadyard Hill, South Ayrshire Deeping St Nicholas, South Holland Harlock Hill, South Lakeland Lynch Knoll, Stroud Forest Moor, Bradworthy, Torridge these turbines are so very huge, and there are so many of them, as the story says the objection is not to green energy just not such energy in the wrong places. "

    August 26, 2012 a 8:42 pm

  • phil comments:
    "http://fifewindfarms.org.uk/developers-fairy-tales-denounced/ An item appears regarding West Coast energy, it does not make encouraging reading, how does West Coast Energy answer this, and can they understand why people are so untrusting. the item is entitled “Developers “fairy tales” denounced” “Wind developer; West Coast Energy has been accused of “comprehensively misleading” Holyrood about levels of popular opposition to its wind projects in a “desperate effort to hang on to political support for big wind companies”. http://www.fifewindfarms.org.uk “The storm broke after Steve Salt, West Coast Energy’s Planning and Development Director, appeared at Wednesday’s meeting of the Energy, Economy and Tourism Committee’s Inquiry into the 2020 Renewables Targets.” "
    August 26, 2012 a 8:06 pm

  • Caz comments:
    "We have a large MOD training area in Dorset why not go put them on there where the tanks will drownd out the noise, The local monkeys might complain though! "
    August 23, 2012 a 10:25 am

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Hallo,
    I do agree with your thoughts on people who have worked hard to buy a house and if there is potential reductions in value I think that this has to be addressed.
    My own view on the road issue’s are that it will do little to increase accident rates, indeed it might even have the effect of reducing speeds.
    But all issues need good discussion and careful consideration.
    Just a thought do you think that wind turbines have reduced tourism in Cornwall for example ??
    Vince "

    August 21, 2012 a 9:25 am

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Well jets do have to take off from somewhere. Anyway it is a challenge we are all facing – what to do about our energy needs, for the present and more particularly for the future. One might wonder if in the future people might be regarded as good examples (even heroes) for having given the go ahead to have renewable energy installations in their neighbourhood – heck it might even make a person want to live in that vicinity. In the meantime though there is this perception that having windfarms nearby is a Bad Thing. But what can we do to ensure there is electricity? You hear of this “Fracking” which can release underground methane, yet that apparently sets off earthquakes – think I`d prefer a Wind Turbine. Or Solar Power – which does seem to offer the most easy on the palate solution, it might be interesting to know how many square metres of solar panels would be required to match the (anticipated) output of the Wind Farm we are discussing. These are challenging times, energy wise, it`s good to debate and heck maybe one of the inventive people of this land might come up with a far better solution, now that`d be good! "
    August 21, 2012 a 9:08 am

  • K Edmunds comments:
    "thankfully jumbo jets tend to fly rather too high to generally be a distraction, where as turbines tend to be attached to the ground! Looking at info available the Highways Agency advises that windfarms should be sited with due care and attention to the surrounding topography hazzards road use etc. In an area where the turbines become a regular fixed feature there is less of a hazard, but next to a road used by tourists who may not have used the road very often this could clearly be a danger. I think you would find most people would leap at the chance to have solar power installed at their houses if it was cheaply available, people do want to do their bit I am sure. The problem for Windfarm developers is this, we live in a time when information is available on a Global proportion, we are not stupid, we read of peoples lives being blighted by such developments, people launching 2.5 million lawsuits against developers etc. tourist sites in other parts of the country being adversely affected.
    Plus people can read that some very prominent people are making alot of money from these developments, so is it right to tell people that they should do their bit, accept the fact that their house that they have worked hard and long to have will be devalued but that’s fine. If you look at the current news reports regarding houses having their council tax bands reduced because the local councils have accepted that their houses have been devalued by having a windfarm near to them, one realises this is a fact. We all want to do what we can, but fairly and safely.
    We live in a beautiful county whose living comes from Tourism, we must not risk destroying the goose that lays the golden egg. "

    August 20, 2012 a 9:54 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Fascinating info about the “distraction to drivers effect” apparently reported – makes me wonder if Airports and suchlike ought to be sited well away from roads as well – if Wind Turbines can distract, how much more so a jumbo jet? As regards the fears of noise and loss of value in housing (and the other oft reported reasons why Wind Farms are opposed), perhaps this reflects an unwillingness to take personal responsibility for the energy future of this country – a “not my problem” thing rather than a NIMBY thing? I don`t know – but to me it still seems like a worthwhile project! "
    August 20, 2012 a 2:17 pm

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Thanks to everyone so far for coming forward with their comments and beginning a truly democratic debate.
    What we at Dorset Energized wish to do is:
    Ensure that all the points raised by anyone are met with informed professionally thought through answers.
    Let us cut through rumour,smoking mirrors and let the facts speak loudly for themselves so that the local people can come to their own conclusions.
    I shall be asking all the contributors to DE to answer specific technical questions and of course bring West Coast Energy fully into the debate wherever possible. Please network everyone you know with the website and enable them to become a real part of the renewable energy future.
    vince adams "

    August 20, 2012 a 10:13 am

  • p jesty comments:
    "For those of us who want to find out more about windfarms, their pitfalls and plus’s could make a good start with reading below, first two from The Telegraph, the third, the latter which addresses the safety issues is from the Caithness Windfarm information forum, it has probably the most uptodate accident information available. “The great wind delusion has hijacked our energy policy” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9468604/The-great-wind-delusion-has-hijacked-our-energy-policy.html “Wind turbines do bring down property prices” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9418617/Wind-farms-do-bring-down-property-values.html This makes very interesting reading piece researched and published by http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk Caithness Windfarm Information Forum this contains
    “accompanying detailed table includes all documented cases of wind turbine related accidents which could be found and confirmed through press reports or official information releases up to 30 June 2012. CWIF believe that this compendium of accident information may be the most comprehensive available anywhere.” Fascinating reading, and makes one aware of safety issues that one had not realised exist with wind turbines, doubly makes one question the distance of the planned wind turbines from the dwellings there, and the distance from the road. very very worrying. "

    August 20, 2012 a 8:06 am

  • p jesty comments:
    "7 Million over 25 years will add to about 3 Million, unless it is index linked? Not a very big input into the local economy.
    It seems from searching the web there has been alot of negative outcomes from Windfarms placements, up North Tourist areas have been damaged, with people from Campsites sighting the near by windfarms as the reason why they no longer wish to visit and stay in an area.
    Yes the turbines will be very visible from the A35, and perhaps this presents a danger, the view will be obscured by Weatherbury fort, and from the other direction from the natural bend, the turbines will loom up suddenly, an issue that the Highways Agency has highlighted as a concern in the placement of Windfarms, because of a danger of “driver distraction”. Also the turbines will be visible from the A354 at a point where there has already been a fatality due to distraction. The A35 is as noisy as it is at this point due to the concrete treatment of the road, if the road is resurfaced as it should be to make it quieter, then the sound balance will alter, and the turbine volume will be louder.
    Also it should be noted that the A35 and A354 are not busy roads at night, it is quite quiet, especially when not in the Tourist season, since Windturbines create alot of noise at night, and people are attempting to sleep at night, it could be a really serious issue!
    As for households being at a distance from the turbines there are several dwellings at approximately a kilometre or less, in Denmark such a development of the windfarm would not be allowed, a distance of 2 kilometres must be made between the turbines and any dwelling; as the developers are probably aware the Scottish Parliament are considering passing such a ruling that no wind farm should be closer than 2 km to a dwelling.
    I know personally from a Friend who lives near to a Windfarm that they were told by an estate agent that their house had it’s value wiped out by the plan to site a farm so near by, and now the windfarm is in existance they have been told that the value of their property is almost completely gone is this a fair thing to do to someone? How do the developers plan to recompense anyone likewise affected?
    It is indeed interesting to look at West Coast energys plans on their website there are alot of windfarms planned by them. It is also interesting to do searches to get information from independent sources regarding Windfarms, pros and cons. I think it is important to take a completely open minded approach, find out the pros and cons.
    I think it would display alot of decency if the West coast energy could excercise real community spirit they should contribute more to the economy if this goes ahead, and they should immediately approach any near by dwelling of 2 kilometres or less and offer to buy them out at full market value before these plans were put in place, this would be very forward thinking and positive. Surely if it is accepted by Denmark, and other countries that this 2 Kilometre ruling should exist, then it should be observed here too! Plus it should be kept in mind that rules and laws can be applied retrospectively, a Council may even be held liable for allowing a developement to go ahead in a way that is deemed wrong in the future, this must be born in mind too.
    Finally I am concerned that Windturbines are not the answer to the problem, we must look further, imagine if solar technology was made cheaper, so that practically everyone could be producing solar energy. Perhaps Wind turbines can have their place in producing energy, but perhaps in this position it would be wrong. It is after all very close to an Area of Outstanding natural beauty, it is the Heart of Hardy Country, famed for it’s rural beauty..perhaps we should keep that in mind. Perhaps windfarms of a smaller size positioned properly 2 km away from households, not in the view of drivers where they might cause a distraction, not positioned near to areas that depend on their rural beauty for their bread and butter……..ie tourist industry.
    I ask the developers to please consider how they treat local people, I ask them to be totally transparent in what sort of volume these turbines will create, what sort of distraction the flashes caused by the blades will create, if this is safe next to a major road.
    I think alot of people do not realise quite how very large these turbines will be, something like twice the height of the Weymouth tower, which looks pretty large to me!
    I recommend to all involved in this that they keep an open mind, they research beyond the information helpfully given by West Coast energy into the pros and cons. It is very important that we seek as much information as possible, because if this is truly a disastrous approach we will be stuck with them, and if this windfarm goes up, there will be alot more of them in Dorset, so we need to be very careful that this is the best course of action. "

    August 19, 2012 a 11:12 pm


15
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Award-Winning Renewables Roadshow starts September 2012


Category: Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy
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The award-winning Renewables Roadshow returns this September and has been designed to deliver the essential day in your year!

Whether you’re looking for information, innovation or inspiration you will find it there. So if you need to get up to speed or if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the rapidly evolving renewables marketplace, make sure you visit the Renewables Roadshow.

The nearest venue to Dorset is Exeter, so if you can travel it should be well worth the effort!

2012 Dates & Venues:

  • Ricoh Arena, Coventry – 13 September
  • Westpoint Arena, Exeter – 18 September
  • International Centre, Harrogate – 20 September
  • SECC, Glasgow – 26 September
  • Event City, Manchester – 28 September
  • Wembley Stadium, London – 03 October

You will also have the opportunity to attend a succession of key demonstrations & presentations delivered by real industry experts FREE of charge.

Energy Efficient Technologies on display will include:
Air Source, Biomass, Commercial, Controls, Domestic, Electric Efficient Technologies, Energy Management, Greywater Recycling, Ground Source, Hydro, Industrial, Insulation, Low Energy Lighting, MHVR, Micro CHP, Micro Wind, Rainwater Harvesting, Smart Metering, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Underfloor Heating, Ventilation, Water Efficient Technologies.

Demonstration & Presentation areas include:
Green Deal Theatre, Commercial Theatre (CPD Points), Domestic Theatre, Solar Theatre, Training Theatre, Water Efficiency Theatre, Installer Theatre.

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKETS via the website at: http://renewables-roadshow.co.uk



14
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Join Cornwall Together to save money on your energy bills


Category: Dorset Energized News, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags:


Vince has told us about this interesting ‘power to the people’ project he heard of via Energy Share (www.energyshare.com)…

Cornwall Together is a collaboration of Cornish businesses and communities that aims to help reduce fuel poverty in the area and put money back into the local economy.

Energy is of course a national issue that affects all of us, and the energy companies certainly don’t operate regionally. So Cornwall Together welcomes members from all across the UK. You just need to have a recent energy bill to hand, answer a few questions, and when they have enough people on board they will try to negotiate a better deal for everyone.

Regardless of where you live you could save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills just by joining Cornwall Together.

Check out the video below and for visit the website: http://www.cornwalltogether.com/en.



13
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Win a year’s free electricity in Friends of the Earth’s Photo Competition


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags:


Friends of the Earth’s photo competition ends this 17th August 2012!

Send a photo of an inspiring example of clean British energy and you could win an amazing prize – free electricity for a year from our friends at Good Energy (the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier) or from Ecotricity.

Your photo could also appear in Friends of the Earth’s exhibition to show politicians that renewable energy is popular – and delivers huge benefits, as part of their Clean British Energy campaign.

They want your creative take on clean green British energy and would love to see stunning shots that capture things like:

  • People and wildlife interacting with renewables.
  • The importance of renewables to households, businesses and communities.
  • Images that make you think of the power of renewable energy.
  • Obvious or abstract – it’s your call.

For more information visit Friends of the Earth’s website: http://www.foe.co.uk/living/competitions/cbe_photo_competition_36350.html

… and good luck!



10
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The Wiggins Effect


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: ,


There’s been much talk recently, in the media and elsewhere, about the Wiggins effect. It being wondered if, as a result of the recent successes of Bradley Wiggins in competitive cycling (in Tour de France 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics), more people will take up cycling.

Much of this focus is of course on the competitive element of cycling and it might well be the case that people will start to take an interest in the sport – and possibly might even boost the numbers taking part, who knows. It’s interesting though that Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman (who set the ball rolling with the recent British successes in cycling sport) have both mentioned cycling as a means of everyday transport as well as for sport. To my way of thinking that is a good thing. Bicycles can be a practical means of getting around, doing the shopping, and so forth.

Of course if you haven’t cycled in years or aren’t quite as fit as you might be, then cycling can seem more chore than fun, impractical as it seems just too hard, rather than practical. And that of course is where an electric bike can come in – it did for me some years ago. Got me back into cycling despite not being as fit as I once was back in my teens – and once riding the bike with the electric motor, well the realisation came that this is fun, as well as practical.

The problem might be of course that although an electric bike can make cycling accessible to those less fit – the fact that electric bikes are often very expensive can be itself a reason why cycling again seems inaccessible. There are many expensive electric bikes available, and many of those expensive electric bikes do perform superbly, while the cheaper ones might often perform well at first, but soon problems arise, especially with the batteries, and then…. Well perhaps the bike goes into the shed or garage and is forgotten, the purchase regretted?

However their are reasonably cheap and affordable routes into electrically assisted cycling – one such method is buying a kit to fit (or to have fitted) to an existing bike. Again many are available and again there are some that are very expensive (and work very well) and others that seem cheap, but perhaps might not last very long.

From my own experience though, I would say there is a reasonably cheap option available which will do the job and that will give good service over many years. I’m talking about the Currie Pro Drive – an American made kit. I bought one second hand off the internet years ago and it has served me well – I’ve fitted it to a variety of bikes; my Rebike recumbent, where it worked well pulling me up steep hills on what is a rather heavy bike, and also on a mountain bike where it helped me get places pretty quickly on the road and even took me along some rather muddy and bumpy bridleways and forest tracks while doing a bit of off roading. All in all I’d say the Currie Pro Drive is a practical and fairly affordable route into electric cycling – tried and tested technology that perhaps looks a little less sophisticated than some of the more recent and/or expensive kits, but it works and it works well. Powerful little motor which on a 26″ wheel bike (standard mountain bike sized wheel) will take you up to the legal limit of 15mph, it will pull you up hills if you do your share of pedalling as well – and with the Lead Acid batteries that come with it as standard you know you have the energy available to take you 10 miles or so on mixed terrain if you pedal a bit as well.

So how much might you pay – well from Electric Mountain Bikes near Glastonbury the Currie kit is available for £400 (http://electricmountainbikes.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/currie-electro-drive.html) and possibly second hand ones might come up on Ebay now and then.

Oh and a little word on batteries – many electric bikes now come with Lithium Ion batteries and they are generally considered state of the art, but they are expensive and have been prone to malfunction on the cheaper electric bikes – meaning expensive replacements and so on – it’s definitely a good idea to check what guarantee there is on the battery, the better packages include a proviso that if a Lithium Ion battery loses it’s ability to hold a set level of charge within 1 or sometimes 2 years of purchase it will be replaced. The Lead Acid batteries as used on the Currie Pro Drive (and elsewhere) are old technology, and hold less charge per kilogram – but they are reliable and cheap to replace.

Anyway to return to the Wiggins Effect – let’s hope there is one, and if you feel too unfit to participate, why not try electric. You might even find that you are fitter than suspected or maybe after a few months cycling electrically assisted, discover fitness returning and either move onto a non assisted bike or just enjoy the whole cycling experience more and find yourself out there on two wheels when you used to be on four.



09
AUG

Wendy Pillar says:
Windmills – The New North Sea Oil for Dorset


Category: Wind Power
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Windmills (or wind turbines) can produce very polarized reactions – they are ugly, inefficient white elephants ruining the landscape, or beautiful and practical solutions to the energy crisis. However, the information in circulation about them can sometimes be out of date.

Windmills are an ancient technology, having been in use since Biblical times. However, new technology has made them increasingly relevant. The UK is the windiest country in Europe. The wind is our largest natural resource, with the possible exception of rain! It is the new North Sea oil – except that it will never run out. There is enough wind power available in the UK to supply all of our electrical power needs many times over, enabling us to maintain our prosperity into the far future. Even at this early stage of their development, the UK’s windmills prevent the emission of nearly 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Wind energy is financially competitive with new clean coal-fired power stations and cheaper than new nuclear power, without the drawbacks of either.

The latest windmills are quieter, cheaper and more efficient than the early models. At 300 metres, which planning rules state is the minimum distance from houses, they produce about 40 decibels, which is below average background noise and about the same as a domestic fridge. Basically, if anyone can hear it from their home, it will be refused planning permission. They produce electricity about 75% of the time, in conditions from a light breeze up to a gale, being turned off only in storm-force winds. A single windmill produces enough electricity to power up to 1000 homes, that is, the entire power needs of a large village.

Windmills repay the carbon footprint of their manufacture in around 6 months, and repay the financial investment in around 4 years, with a 25 year lifespan. At the end of that time, they can be easily decommissioned and recycled, or replaced. The cost of installing a windmill is now within the reach of a local community, with individuals investing between £250 and £20,000 and receiving shares in the sales of the electricity.

As for how they look, well beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder. It is often said that windmills might deter tourists, but eco-tourism is becoming big business. In the Brecon Beacons, which has many windmills, charging points for electric cars and bicycles are being installed to meet the needs of green tourists, and a MORI poll in Scotland showed that 80% of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm.

Energize Stur Valley is a voluntary group that can provide independent, expert advice to landowners and communities who are interested in setting up their own renewable energy projects.
For more information please contact Energize Stur Valley by emailing stur.transitiontown1@gmail.com.



08
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Milborne Wind Farm in West Dorset – Public Exhibitions 14th & 15th August 2012


Category: Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , ,


West Coast Energy invites you to attend the public exhibitions as part of the launch of the Milborne Wind Farm project.

The  proposed onshore wind farm development is north of Tolpuddle, southwest of Milborne St Andrew and currently comprises ten wind turbines which could provide clean energy equivalent to the annual electricity consumption requirements of some 14,000 homes, or more than one third of all domestic dwellings in the West Dorset area.

A couple of public exhibitions are to be held, on 14 and 15 August, as follows:

Tuesday 14th August 2012 – Tolpuddle Village Hall, 2-8pm

Wednesday 15th August 2012 – Puddletown Village Hall, 2-8pm

The exhibitions are being held to give the local community an insight into the proposed development. They will be public events open for attendance by anyone, and everyone will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals, ask questions and put forward views to the West Coast Energy project team directly.

West Coast Energy remains committed to the principle that communities should benefit financially from the generation of local renewable energy. By owning a share of the wind farm and using the income to fund projects that will better the community, residents are able to make a real difference to their environment.

In order for communities to participate and share in the benefits of local renewable energy generation West Coast Energy has an established policy to offer local communities a share in the ownership of the profit from wind energy generation by providing an annual payment to the community based upon 10% of the annual net profits from its wind farm developments.

For the Milborne Wind Farm this 10% of annual net profits effectively equates to the net profit from one of the 10 turbines – which will be dedicated as the “Community Turbine”.

West Coast Energy would secure all the necessary consents and financing facilities and procure, build and operate the turbine on behalf of the community. The community would then receive all of the net financial benefit from the generation of electricity from the turbine for the whole operational life of the wind farm. It would be down to local people to determine how the income from the community turbine should be spent on social, educational and environmental projects that will benefit the wider community.

Based upon an operational 10 turbine scheme, and taking into account present known financial and site technical data, the benefit generated by the Milborne Wind Farm community turbine is expected to total almost £7 million over the 25 year anticipated life of the wind farm.

If you require more information on this proposed development then please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Hayes on 01352 705236, email matthew.hayes@westcoastenergy.co.uk or visit West Coast Energy’s website: www.westcoastenergy.co.uk.

West Coast Energy Limited is a leading independent wind energy developer and operator based in Mold, North Wales. The company was established in 1996 and specialises in the identification, design, planning, development, construction and operation of wind energy projects.  They recently won the Community Engagement Award in the RenewableUK Energy Awards 2012.

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UPDATE 16th August 2012
Dorset Energized volunteers Vince Adams and Theresa McManus attended these exhibitions – check out Vince’s response at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/08/16/a-response-to-the-milborne-wind-farm-proposal.


16Comments | Post your own comment

  • Richard comments:
    "So there will be a “Commuity Turbine” will there? I suppose that this is a “sweetener” for the local residents? And I suppose that everyone within view of the turbine will receive free or discounted electricity when the 10 turbines are built. NO: for sure! As we are constantly lied to by the companies that install this technology, as to the efficiency (generally 10 – 30% of the maximum power output on the literature supplied by the installer), and the general “green” credentials of wind power, all these companies are interested in is making profit for themselves and their shareholders. They FAIL to mention that these turbines are not suitable for the British climate, which is the reason they are so inefficient in the UK. They also FAIL to mention the effect that the downwind turbulence has on the microclimate in the area. The turbulence caused as the wind spills over the blades (whether turning or not), mixes the air strata downwind of the turbine, which generally has a devastating effect on farm crops, forest ecosystems, and anywhere where the microclimate has not been disturbed for 100’s of years.
    I have seen exactly what the residents of M. St. A. are doing for the environment and producing green energy. there solar pv panels sprouting up on roofs all over the village. If you cannot afford to buy the installation array to go on your roof, there are plenty of ways to generate, clean, green energy anyway. for example you can rent out your roof space to a solar pv company. Solar PV While not the most efficient method of electrical power generation is the least obtrusive, (dark roof, dark panels, no moving parts, no noise, no blinking sun reflecting blades). I AM all for renewables, but not the vicious eyesores that are wind turbines.
    All this proposal is about is blinkering the local populus into believing that they will get something good out of it, but as others above have mentioned, it will result in a loss of property value, no free or discounted electricity, and eyesore on the horizon, and massive profits to the company that builds and installs them.
    Dam off the Severn estuary and provide us with the TerraWatts of regular (twice a day guarunteed 24/7) electricity we need. And not the fickle, profiteering suggestion that is the Milborne Wind farm idea.
    AND don’t make me get the activists involved, either. "

    September 4, 2012 a 3:09 pm

  • Sally Cooke comments:
    "I went to the consultation expecting to support the Milborne Wind Farm. I was disappointed by what I saw and heard. I felt short-changed on my queries about noise and vibration (although I have subsequently had more robust information provided by email, which I’m happy to share). The visual impact looks major to me. I was a bit shaken to learn that West Coast Energy can’t afford to do the whole development themselves, and will need to involve a much larger financial partner.
    On the other hand, I don’t doubt that we need major development of renewable energy in Dorset. According to the county renewable energy strategy, wind is by far our biggest potential land-based resource for renewables. For Dorset to play its fair part in the national picture, we need to increase our generating capacity from renewables by 15 times (yes, really!) in the next 8 years.
    I do however think that these developers need actively to make the case, and not just assume that their proposal will succeed because the need is so great. I also think that the community benefit needs to be clearly thought through and secured in such a way that future changes in the ownership or management of the wind farm – if it goes ahead – will not jeopardise the community’s interests. Does anyone know how to do this? "

    August 24, 2012 a 12:09 am

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "No chance please for the sake of integrity you really have to give us some facts.
    It makes no sence of siting WT’s over or very near to property and if mistakes have been made in the past surely its for all of us to see that this type of thing does not happen in the future….not put a stop to the whole idea…..which is rather like taking a hammer to crack and egg.
    Its time to really move the argument on and debate and find solutions !! "

    August 21, 2012 a 9:40 am

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Fair enough – speaking from my own experience, I have an Electric Bike which has an older style (brushed) motor, and although it`s not loud, it certainly is far from silent. But if you come across one of the newer Electric Bikes equipped with a modern (unbrushed) motor, you`ll be hard pressed to hear it at all. The same seems to apply to Wind Turbines – the older, earlier models were apparently (as described by my fellow commenter) not quiet, but the newer ones are much quieter, technology having moved on (as it does). And here in Milton Abbas there is a Wind Turbine, located next to a farm and put there by the people who live there, so what can I say. As to profits – well that`s generally why anything happens in a free economy – apart from nuclear power of course, where the costs (of setting up and even more of dismantling) are so vast no private company is any longer willing to take such a thing on (from what I understand). Anyway it`s good to be airing our views (if you`ll excuse the pun) on this site, long may free speech continue! "
    August 16, 2012 a 8:10 pm

  • No chance comments:
    "Dearest bloggers, I am very sorry if you feel that I am ‘sniping’ at anyone on this web-site. I am merely choosing to air my thoughts and opinions in a way that I choose to. I may be wrapped up comfortably in my anonymity but I feel that I am one of the few people on this site who is talking from personal experience of living close to a wind farm. Can I ask, are you speaking from real life experience of having lived very close to such a turbine? I have, and most definitely did experience noise pollution and rather frustratingly (as many of my neighbours found) when we tried to leave the area where said wind farm was, found that all of our property values had fallen by 18 – 20 % despite what the energy companies may quote.
    I feel that it is important that everyone acknowledges that the companies who set up these wind farms are not doing this for the good of the environment or the community, they are doing it solely for profit. It sounds wonderful that potentially the local area could get £7m over the next 25 years, but please, has everyone lost sight that the company will therefore retain £63 million and furthermore £7m over 25 years will be significantly reduced by inflation. In 20 years time £7m will equate to essentially peanuts. Please bear in mind also the grants that said companies get to set up these wind farms. As much as we may all feel that it is our responsibility to protect our environment, these companies are purely driven by profit. "

    August 16, 2012 a 7:00 pm

  • Geoff Hodgson comments:
    "I am bemused by people who, rather than standing up and being counted, choose instead to snipe from the cover of anonymity. Is their moral cowardice anything to do, I wonder, with the fact that these people are unable to put the social good before their own perceived self-interest? Let us debate the issues, and do each other the courtesy of letting people know with whom they are engaging in debate. "
    August 16, 2012 a 8:44 am

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Myself and everyone else I have ever met think wind turbines are beautiful and iconic! But much more importantly (as that’s just a personal choice and I don’t have one within view from my home), surely they are a necessity until we find better renewable energy sources and… TODAY?! To be honest I have no idea whether this is specifically an ideal location, but I’ve definitely never heard any argument that justifies being against wind turbines – noise and ugliness surely carry very little weight when we consider we may not even have a planet left to live if we don’t act now! People have been talking about being ‘green’ ever since I can remember – it’s time to stop talking about it and take action, and in the best way we can at this time including using on-shore and off-shore wind power. It’s just a shame that it’s the small minority of people opposed to wind power that seem to make the biggest noise! I really just don’t see we have much choice and I much prefer them over those horrendous pylons! Surely we must invest in more wind turbines and if happens to be on mine or your back yard I guess it’s either tough or we can move (although I would never actually wish that on anyone and of course life isn’t always that simple)! Sometimes we just have to make sacrifices for the good of the whole – there’s everyone else and a whole planet to think about here – and yes, even here in Dorset!!! I just hope people at least don’t right it off without having gone to this consultation first and/or asking the Developers questions… I guess we’ll see what happens next and will just have to trust they make the right decision for this area… "
    August 15, 2012 a 8:28 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Regarding the North Dorset, West Dorset question – the boundary between the two passes somewhere between Tolpuddle and Milborne St Andrew and South of the A354. The proposed Wind Farm being also to the South of the border in West Dorset. Fortunately we live in a democracy so we all can have a say in such matters once the planning application is in progress. Personally I support this development and would have done so were I still living in Tolpuddle as I used to. And I do hope North Dorset gets one or more Wind Farms in the future as well. Off shore developments also of course make sense, but in terms of cost of electricity generated (and ultimately cost to the consumer) onshore is, at least for the moment, much cheaper. "
    August 15, 2012 a 8:24 pm

  • No chance comments:
    "I am keen to see how long it takes for Geoff and Susan Hodgson to sell their home after the new wind turbines arrive – you have clearly never lived close to any turbines and had to suffer the horrendous noise pollution that accompanies them. Anyone who is in support of these turbines so close to rural communities is ill informed. I am all for renewable energy but do not wish it to be so obtrusive in such a small area of natural beauty. The developers have gone about their business in previous areas (Cornwall) in an aggressive, under-hand manner yet you support this project within your local area. Surprising ! "
    August 15, 2012 a 7:53 pm

  • No chance comments:
    "Am wholely opposed to this proposed development. Having previously lived in an area close to a wind farm and been exposed to the extremely annoying noise that these farms generate I would never ever support the building of another wind farm in a domestic or rural area. There is a large expanse of sea out there, with much more wind out there – put them there please! I agree with other comments also – why is it being put in north dorset yet needs to go to west dorset council for approval? If West dorset are so keen to have wind turbines – find somewhere else for them ! "
    August 15, 2012 a 6:44 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "North Dorset could very well do with some – I`d love to have some in my back yard :-) Though to be fair it isn`t big enough. All the same there is one of the smaller ones here in Milton Abbas and personally I think it looks beautiful and of course does beautiful things – like providing clean energy! "
    August 14, 2012 a 11:50 am

  • p jesty comments:
    "very very concerned, and very opposed to the development for a number of reasons, the blight on the near by dwellings, will there be compensation, full market value compensation. Will it cause driver distraction on the A35 a busy road already blighted by road accidents? Wind power is expensive, uneconomic, there are far better ways of harnessing natural energy. Is the rush for this development more to do with the current subsidy rate and the threatened cuts that are coming in.
    With the claims that West Dorset residents will benefit, can anyone explain how the North Dorset residents who will be most blighted are to benefit? As for any accusation of NIMBY, would the developers cherish having a windfarm in closeby?
    What of the residents nearby who are severely Autistic, are the developers happy with the hell they would inflict on them? "

    August 14, 2012 a 11:13 am

  • Geoff Hodgson comments:
    "Marvellous to hear about this project. We are hugely in favour of clean power generation from wind. The ‘community turbine’ is a great idea – we can look forward to some tangible benefits in Tolpuddle and Milborne St Andrew in the years to come. We live in an elevated position in Milborne St Andrew (probably the highest house in the locality – and it has three storeys – so we should be able to see the turbines when they are built. We hope so. Geoff & Susan Hodgson "
    August 14, 2012 a 8:36 am

  • Caz comments:
    "“ten wind turbines which could provide clean energy equivalent to the annual electricity consumption requirements of some 14,000 homes, or more than one third of all domestic dwellings in the West Dorset area.” Go stick them in WEST Dorset then! Milbourne St Andrew is in NORTH DORSET! Bet you can’t get them to have them in Poundbury! NIMBY! "
    August 13, 2012 a 5:36 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Much of the negativity toward alternative energy and transport and so on – I suspect derives from the notion that we are trying to suggest that we have the perfect solution to replace what currently exists – and when our solutions are of course not perfect (unlike the present situation – excuse my sarcasm :-) then they are rejected wholesale and outright. But not much we can do about that I suppose – except point out the practicalities and work with those who are not blinded by total prejudice. "
    August 10, 2012 a 8:57 am

  • Theresa comments:
    "I see that the proposed Milborne Farm windfarm includes giving 10% of the net profits back to the local community. This looks to be a great offer, as there is no obligation on the developer to do this, but I wonder how it compares to other commercial wind farms voluntary contributions to local communities? "
    August 8, 2012 a 11:25 am


08
AUG

Theresa McManus says:
Greenest Olympics Ever?


Category: Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


There has already been a lot of praise for the achievements of the London Olympics in the field of sustainability, as well as for the amazing sportspeople taking part. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on these games being the greenest ever.

In the early planning stages in 2005, the organisers involved the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and BioRegional in determining the sustainability benchmark, defined in a report called Towards a One Planet Olympics. This has recently reviewed (see http://www.bioregional.com/files/publications/towards-a-one-planet-olympics-revisited.pdf) and on the whole a lot of good progress has been made. Whilst praising the Games green credentials, this report warned that organisers were likely to miss a target to deliver 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. However, this disaster has now been averted as the Olympic Park now sports 7 vertical axis turbines, provided by British manufacture Quiet Revolution. They are each 18-metres tall with 8kW of capacity and can provide up to 7,500 kWh of power a year if average wind speeds reach seven metres per second.

The UN has also praised London’s Olympic achievements. Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), says the eco achievements of the London 2012 Games should act as an inspiration for following organisers: “London’s clean-up of an old industrial site; the restoration of flows and habitat on the River Lea; the greening of supply chains; the low energy linked with the design and construction of the stadium, including utilizing old gas pipes for the facility’s Olympic ring; and the use of temporary structures to reduce emissions are among the actions that can assist in inspiring the organizers of the Rio 2016 games and beyond” .

Meanwhile, some questions have been asked of the sustainability of some of the sponsors – notably EDF and BP, especially as The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL), which oversees the provision of sustainability for London 2012, yet was not involved in selecting these partners. When EDF failed to deliver their low carbon torch, CSL made a point of embarrassing them in their latest report, ‘In sight of the finishing line.’  The report notes: “The promise of a low-carbon torch was made in 2007 so the excuse of “we ran out of time” is not acceptable”.

The big skeleton in the Olympic’s closet, however, is clothing. According to Kathy Marks, in the Independent on 14/4/2012, “Olympic-branded gear – to be worn by British athletes and Games volunteers – is being manufactured for Adidas in sweatshop conditions in Indonesia, making a mockery of claims by London 2012 organisers that this summer’s Games will be the most ethical ever”. She goes on to say that “the German company – which unveiled its Stella McCartney-designed kit for British athletes last month – hopes to make £100m from its Olympic lines, the mainly young, female factory employees work up to 65 hours (25 hours more than the standard working week), for desperately low pay. They also endure verbal and physical abuse, they allege, are forced to work overtime, and are punished for not reaching production targets. None of the nine factories pays its employees a living wage – about 20 per cent higher than the official minimum wage – one of the cornerstones of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, an internationally recognised labour code adopted by the Olympics organising committee, Locog. Workers struggle to survive on pay as low as 5,000 rupiah (34p) an hour.”.

Please let us know what you think of the Olympic’s green credentials – they may well be the greenest ever so far, but are they any where near green enough?


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Our wonderful Olympians are amazing Ambassador’s for sporting achievement of course but is anyone of them ready to be an Ambassador for Renewable Energy ??
    If anyone know’s or has contact with one of our local Dorset/South West members of team GB and they might be interested in helping DE to popularise its message amongst all the people of Dorset please do let us know
    info@dorsetenerzied.co.uk "

    August 16, 2012 a 11:38 am


07
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
I’ve Switched to Good Energy for ‘Feel Good Energy’!


Category: Climate Change, Dorset Energized News, Green Electricity, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags: , , , , , ,


I was very excited to hear of Good Energy’s latest news that they have reduced their gas prices for dual fuel customers, as I’ve been planning to switch to them ever since I started working on the Dorset Energized website, but was a bit worried it would cost more, when we’re trying our best to reduce our household costs wherever we can! But…. with this latest offer there really seemed no excuse to put it off any further and having checked on their website for our actual energy use today, it looks like they will cost exactly the same as our current provider BUT now we can also have ‘feel good energy’ and a clear conscious, so I can’t wait to know that all the energy running through our home and office comes from the greenest energy provider in the UK!

Good Energy say that they “like to keep our prices simple, stable and fair. Our domestic electricity prices have been frozen since April 2009 and we are reducing our dual fuel gas prices on 1st August 2012 – they will go down by 5% for the average dual fuel customer.”

That means they tend to cost about the same as the Big Six’s standard dual fuel tariffs.
Check out their prices for yourself here: http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/switch/our-prices.

To be honest, even if it does work out more expensive, it should be minimal and it’s just one of those things I feel that I should do anyway as just “the right thing to do”, as I don’t have a car (can’t drive and don’t really want to!) and as we are renting so can’t invest in any other forms of renewable energy at the moment (apart from insulating the roof to reduce our energy wastage and hopefully reduce our energy bills – that’s our next step so I will let you know what our landlord says!!!)…

Good Energy’s electricity is 100% renewable and with your help they can build more new sources of renewable energy production, like their wind farm in Delabole, Cornwall, and continue to support a growing community of over 40,000 independent generators across Britain with their industry-leading Feed-in Tariff service. I’m going to be on their Gas+ tariff as buying gas from Good Energy isn’t like buying gas from anyone else, because they’ll use some of my bill to reward people who generate their own renewable heat. So quite simply, it’s only with Good Energy that you’ll help the UK reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and get a gas supply.

Plus, because I was referred from the Dorset Energized website I’ll get £25 off my first bill as a bonus!

So, if you do 1 thing today…  join me and switch to Good Energy and get £25 off your first bill too – find out more on our webpage here: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers/.

(By the way, the woman in the illustration on that very webpage is actually of me at my desk, just with blonde hair, so I really did have no excuse but to switch myself, and now at last… I have!)


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna comments:
    "Good News from Good Energy! We’ve just been informed today that everything has now transferred so our home and offices are powered by 100% renewable electricity and we are further supporting Good Energy’s investment in renewables by being on their Gas+ too, which means we’ll get money off as a dual fuel customer! PLUS looking forward to getting £25 of our first bill which will at least go towards the £50 fine Scottish Power are charging us for breaking the contract (but of course no one ever reads the small print!!!). "
    September 14, 2012 a 3:15 pm

  • Theresa comments:
    "I have been a customer of Good Energy for so many years now I can’t remember – at least 10. I was introduced to the idea by eco-friendly friends of mine, and even though I was a single parent, I was happy to pay a little bit extra to make sure my electricity was being sourced from renewables. I have since moved house and Good Energy made that very easy for me. I have also had solar PV panels installed and have had no problems getting the Feed in Tariff paid – unlike customers of other suppliers, I hear! I have not had to contact Good Energy very often, but each time I have it has been like chatting with a friend. They are a great organisation and I would recommend them to anyone. "
    August 8, 2012 a 11:24 am

  • George comments:
    "I’m in the same situation as you – I’m renting my current home and therefore can’t invest in solar panels or other large-scale renewables projects. Good Energy does look like the perfect solution for people in our situation, as it enables us to get 100% green energy even if we’re not generating it ourselves. Well, you can’t have everything! :-) Although when I buy a home within the next couple of years, I will go a step further and have solar panels installed. "
    August 7, 2012 a 9:39 pm

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "These guys do what it says on the tin, they offer a fair constant deal, total commitment to renewables and really any extra cost is negligible. For me, it’s something simple that almost makes you feel good about paying your bills! "
    August 7, 2012 a 4:16 pm


07
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Open Eco-Homes 2012 – Book in advance by August 17th


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Dorchester’s first open eco-homes weekend is coming up on 8th and 9th September 2012. Visits are FREE but some need to be booked in advance.

With fuel prices and government policy all pushing us to save energy, this is an excellent chance to find out how local ‘green’ householders are cutting their bills.

The homes taking part include a Listed Building, homes in Conservation Areas, a modern terraced house and an innovative self-build, finished in 2010. All have been designed or adapted to save energy and other resources. Visitors can exchange ideas with home-owners, and hear what has worked well – and not so well. Click here for more details of the homes.

Intriguing materials that can be seen include:

  • chalk dug on site to make massive, heat-retaining walls
  • traditional lime plaster
  • recycled plastics used as work surfaces

There are energy-saving features, including electricity monitors, as well as poly-bead, mineral fibre and sheeps-wool insulation. Renewable energy installations include solar PV and solar hot water panels, and heating with log stoves and wood-chip. Other eco-features include rainwater recycling and eco-paints; one home even boasts a solar-powered garden railway!

How to book

The main booking period is open until mid-day on 17th August ; any places remaining after that will be released on a first-come, first-served basis from 25th August. The eco-homes will be open on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th September. Click here for booking details.

The event forms part of the annual Heritage Open Days, and is supported by members of Transition Town Dorchester.

To book visit: http://greendor.wordpress.com/visiting/.



06
AUG

Paul McIntosh says:
The Myths & Realities of Wind Power – Free Webinar by CSE


Category: Renewable Energy Film/Video, Wind Power
Tags: ,


CSE (Centre for Sustainable Energy) hosted a free webinar on 31 July 2012 which covered the myths and realities about wind power, as covered in their publication ‘Common concerns about wind power’.

Presented by the report’s author and independent science writer, Iain Cox, from his home in Texas, it had CSE’s technical expert Martin Holley on hand to give a UK perspective and was hosted by CSE’s James Watt.

The webinar consisted of a 30 minute talk covering the main issues, followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

Iain and Martin focused particularly on how wind can be an appropriate vehicle for community owned energy projects with the hope that the webinar will give groups further confidence to talk about wind projects in their community. The webinar was recorded and you can now view the whole thing back here:

You can also download the publication ‘Common concerns about wind power’ at:  http://www.cse.org.uk/downloads/file/common_concerns_about_wind_power.pdf

‘Common concerns about wind power’ is one of CSE’s most popular publications and has been downloaded nearly 10,000 times from their website. It covers issues such as: payback time, costs, efficiency, subsidies, property prices, safety, shadow flicker, noise and ‘bird strike’. Printed copies of this publication are also available free for individuals and community groups.

Why not check out the wind power video CSE made for their PlanLoCaL initiative below on ‘Wind: an introduction – Things to consider before starting a wind project’:

Please let us know what YOU think about wind power and if you are thinking of starting a project by sending your comments below!



03
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset Renewable Energy Installers NGPS Nominated in the National Renewable Awards 2012


Category: Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


National Renewable Awards 2012
Thursday 13th September

This years National Renewable Awards 2012 to be held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on the 13th September will be hosted by Gabby Logan with a top comedian, and we are very pleased to hear that Dorset Renewable Energy Installation Specialists NGPS (Nick Good Property Services) have been shortlisted in 2 categories – for Best Energy Efficiency Project and Best Residential Renewables Project for the Renscombe Estate.

Last years event was hosted by Julia Bradbury and Michael McIntryre at the same Venue in September 2011, and NGPS Ltd of Poole were the only Dorset company to get through the selection process and be invited to the glittering black tie event where they won Best Southern Installer. This year NGPS are again the only Dorset company to get shortlisted and invited to the finals evening.

There are now over 5000 Microgeneration Approved (MCS) contractors in the UK and these were responsible for more than 150,000 renewable installations in the last year. NGPS installed two Danfoss ground source heat pumps systems with 600m of collector coils, a 12kW ground mounted PV system and reduced 10kw of lighting load down to 800 watts with use of LED light fittings supplied by LED ZIP lighting of Bournemouth. This has resulted in a Purbeck Estate reducing its annual energy costs from £18,000 a year to only £1,600.

NGPS is a family run electrical and renewables installation business who have built their reputation on high quality installations, and their recognition at the awards proves that quality of installation is the way forward! Pictures of last year’s awards event are on the NGPS website at: http://www.ngps-ltd.co.uk.

25% Early Bird Discount on the Awards Night – confirm your interest by 5pm Friday 10th August!

• First-come, First-served Positioning
• Drinks & Networking reception
• Host: Gabby Logan
• Comedian/s: Revealed on the Evening
• 3 Course Meal including Drinks Package
• Live Band & Disco
• Late Night Casino

For full details of the Awards and the full shortlist visit the website:
http://renewables-roadshow.co.uk/awards.

And of course we wish NGPS the very best of luck in this year’s awards…



01
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
In awe of Tour De France and the specialized turbo electric bicycle


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


It is such an extraordinary experience watching the Tour de France, something I did for the first time this year. Cyclists travelling 100+ miles at speeds almost unimaginable to the non racing cyclist. To put their performance into perspective – if an Electric Bike could go at the average speeds the Tour cyclists do, that bike would be considered illegal.

15mph is the speed Electric Bikes are allowed, in the UK and most of Europe too, yet on many days 28mph was the speed the Tour cyclists averaged – extraordinary. A real exhibition of human energy – as an Electric assist cyclist myself, I stand back in amazement and awe.

Here’s an example of an Electric Bike made by Specialised (who also make bikes for the actual Tour de France) that is capable of doing 28mph – it’s not road legal of course, but sure looks fun – especially for those of us not quite as fit as the pro cycling teams.



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