Archive for August, 2013


30
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Open Energy-Saving Homes in Hampshire Saturday 7th September 2013


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset
Tags:



Open energy-saving homes tour
Saturday 7th September 2013, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Camp Road, Bordon, GU35 0LH (Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire)

As part of a series of events happening throughout the South West and the UK for the Community Energy Fortnight (24th August – 8th September 2013), The Co-Operative has joined up with Energy Saving Trust to offer you an exclusive opportunity to join another free event in our neighbouring county of Hampshire…

You can tour homes that have been retrofitted with a number of energy-saving measures, and visit the retrofitted old firestation (now called the Eco-station) which houses an interactive exhibition about the Whitehill & Bordon regeneration project, and you can tour the first zero-carbon home in the town which has a range of innovative energy-saving measures including an inter-seasonal heatstore.

To book tickets for this event email stephanie.beggs@easthants.gov.uk or more information visit www.whitehillbordon.com

For other Community Energy Fortnight events in the South West (including the FREE ‘Energy Saving Workshop’ in Bridport, Dorset on 3rd September) visit: www.ukcec.org/events?field_region_value%5B%5D=South+West



29
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Good Energy plans 3 new solar farms in Dorset


Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy
Tags: , ,


Good News for Dorset!

Good Energy are planning 3 new solar farms here in Dorset.

Good Energy are based in the South West (in Dorset’s neighbouring county of Wiltshire) and were the UK’s first dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier. Their mission has always been to help tackle climate change by giving people the opportunity to buy electricity generated from UK renewable sources, rather than imported fossil fuels.

Dorset below the national average for renewables despite being the sunniest county?!

Shockingly, currently only 1% of Dorset’s total energy demand comes from renewables – this is a third of the UK national average! To play our part in meeting national renewable energy targets, generation needs to increase by over 15 times in just 8 years.

Apparently, we have the highest number of sun hours in the country, so solar is an obvious solution for Dorset.

Above: Mock-up of the proposed Mapperton Solar Farm

Good Energy Solar Projects for Dorset

Good Energy is seeking to develop 3 solar farms in Dorset to generate over 47,000 MWh of peak daytime power for customers whilst fostering wildflower meadows, biodiversity and creating substantial benefits for Dorset communities. The proposed sites are:

  1. Homeland Solar Farm
  2. Mapperton Solar Farm 
  3. Woolbridge Solar Farm

Above: Mock-up of the proposed Woolbridge Solar Farm

Go to the Good Energy website to download detailed plans for each Dorset Solar Farm at: www.goodenergy.co.uk/dorsetsolar

If you aren’t already a Good Energy customer, you can switch your energy supply to them for competitive and stable energy bills, and if you quote ‘Dorset Energized’ they’ll give you £50 off your first bill!

Switch to Green Energy at Good Energy today to get £50 off your first bill at: www.goodenergy.co.uk/affiliates/dorset-energized


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Paul McIntosh comments:
    "Its good to see that Good Energy are engaging with the communities which are affected by these installations and negotiating meaningful community benefit. "
    September 13, 2013 a 10:24 am


28
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Could Weymouth have its own Tidal Mill… Again…?


Category: Community Energy, Water Power
Tags:


Tidal mills were once a fairly common feature in medieval Europe. They were deemed a reliable source of energy. Even in relatively modern times a few lingered on. But now of course they are regarded as interesting historical curiosities if they are noticed at all.

Tidal mills have inspired the idea of building modern electricity generating plants using the same basic principles (allowing the tide to flow in, but capturing the water and then releasing it later to drive a wheel/turbine). But so far there are very few examples of electricity being generated this way (there’s one on the Rance estuary in France which cleverly uses the incoming tide as well as the outgoing).

No UK Tidal Mills… yet!
In the UK so far there are none. The Severn Estuary has been proposed as a site for an enormous tidal mill – but probably due to it being so enormous many obstacles stand in the way, so it never gets beyond the drawing board. But, if we could build these tidal mills in the middle ages, why can’t we now?

Check out these links below for some historical examples and interesting UK museums:

The Tide Mill Living Museum in Suffolk – www.woodbridgetidemill.org.uk
Welsh Mills Society – www.welshmills.org.uk/carew.m0.html
The House Mill London – www.housemill.org.uk (you can support them to reinstate the machinery to working order and develop education and hydroelectricity at the site – the deadline is this September 2013)

Perhaps the problem is this determination that unless it’s a large system it’s not worth bothering with? Maybe (one day) it might seem worthwhile to build small Tidal Mills/Power Stations? And perhaps being smaller they will be seen to be practical and then we might have (found) another source of renewable (and reliable) energy to contribute to the overall supply.

And that it seems to me, could be rather beautiful (the historical ones have a sort of practical beauty after all).

Weymouth Historic Tidal Mill
It is possible that there was once a Tide Mill in Weymouth – see more on https://sites.google.com/site/dorsetwindmills/weymouth-tidal-mill – and it does seem clear that the tidal race in Weymouth Harbour is of sufficient strength to show such a mill would have been viable, as of course an electricity generating mill/turbine would also.

Water Power on a Smaller Scale in Dorset & Beyond

There are Community Energy projects going on throughout the UK including by the Stour and Vale Hydro Group in Dorset to reinstate old water mills. Check out the Bindon Mill Screw Turbine Installation – a local project which turned a disused water mill into a hydropowered renewable electricity generator. Perhaps you could help regenerate an old watermill near you, to power your community?!

Find out more about how Water Power can generate renewable electricity at: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/water-power


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Just came across news in The Guardian that Scotland has given the green light to Europe’s largest tidal energy project where wave power will provide electricity to 40% homes in the Highlands as work on building turbines in Pentland Firth gets approved – let’s hope Dorset will follow their example! : ) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/16/scotland-tidal-energy-project "
    September 17, 2013 a 1:21 pm


27
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Green Golf Clubbing!


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags:


Dorset is a County fortunate to have many world class golf courses from which much pleasure and bio-diversity is created. As a keen golfer myself I love spending time on my local golf course  in North Dorset.

What the future holds for Golf Clubs is the opportunity to focus their attention on energy savings, use of renewables and even more concern for the environment.

Inspired by Poole based renewable energy suppliers NGPS Ltd having recently installed solar panels at The Honiton Bowling Club in Devon, I would suggest that the potential for savings costs at all the Golf Clubs in Dorset, by creating individual energy programmes and setting in place plans for conservation and creation of natural resources, is now very important. Important both for the clubs and the Dorset environment.

So what next?…

Take a look the website for The Scottish Golf Environment Group (SGEG) on www.sgeg.org.uk and checkout what Kenmay Golf Club have done.

Why not set up small working groups within your own golf club and ask Dorset Energized for advice on how to start the process and who to ask for specific information and help.

The benefits of savings in costs and what good we can all do will soon inspire a whole generation of golfers to get involved in the renewable revolution.

See you on the Green!



27
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
RSPB raises fracking fears for wildlife


Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Wind Power
Tags:


Objections to fracking in the UK are pouring in thick and fast!
We have now heard that the RSPB is issuing its first objections to fracking proposals over concerns that the controversial drilling technique will harm wildlife and the climate.

Their website stated that the charity has lodged a letter of objection with Lancashire County Council to a proposal by Cuadrilla at Singleton near Blackpool in Lancashire. The drilling site is close to an internationally important protected area for pink footed geese and whooper swans and could cause disturbance to the birds. The RSPB is also officially objecting to the contentious plans to explore for oil and gas at Balcombe in Sussex on the grounds that no Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out, and because increasing oil and gas use will scupper their chances of meeting climate targets.

Harry Huyton, RSPB head of climate and energy policy, said: “Balcombe has hit the headlines as the battleground in the debate over fracking. The public there are rightly concerned about the impact this new technology will have on their countryside. These are not just nimbys worried about house prices – there is a very real public disquiet about fracking. We have looked closely at the rules in place to police drilling for shale gas and oil, and they are simply not robust enough to ensure that our water, our landscapes and our wildlife are safe.”

Mr Huyton added: “Figures suggest that in the north of England there is potential for 5,000 sites and a total of up to 100,000 wells. The idea that these will not have an impact on the countryside is very difficult to believe. Fracking is technology largely untested in the UK and we really have no idea what the impact will be on our wildlife. We do know, however, that concentrating our resources on extracting fossil fuel from the ground instead of investing in renewable energy threatens to undermine our commitment to avoiding dangerous levels of climate change.”

Read the full article on the RSPB website at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/351702-rspb-raises-fracking-fears-for-wildlife

RSPB Wind Turbine Proposal
As an animal and nature lover, I find it very reassuring to see that the RSPB who are dedicated to protecting wildlife are working hard against climate change and, like Dorset Energized, believe we must invest in renewables. Interestingly, earlier this year in April 2013, the RSPB announced its grand plans for its own wind turbine (see my previous post at: ‘RSPB announces plans for a wind turbine at its HQ’).

Adam Murray from the RSPB, previously commented that “We believe that renewable energy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, which poses the single biggest threat to the long term survival of birds and wildlife.” He added “We know that with the right design and location wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife, but we always take care to consider any wind turbine proposal on a case-by-case basis.”

Dorset Energized also agree strongly with the RSPB that wind turbine proposals should always be very carefully considered on a case by case basis to make sure they will not have a detrimental impact on wildlife. Find out more about Wind Power here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power



26
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Green Community Fair at Bournemouth Air Show 30th and 31st August 2013


Category: Energy Events in Dorset
Tags:


Pic: Nick Good from NGPS with the Mayor and Mayoress of Poole at the Poole Town & Country Show August 2013

If you are worried about rising energy costs and would like free information on energy saving in association with the Dorset Green Knowledge Network, you can visit the NGPS stand as part of The Sustainability Roadshow at various events throughout Dorset.

The next event is this weekend:
The Green Community Fair
Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August 2013
Shelley Park Bournemouth as part of the Bournemouth Air Show

There will be free and friendly advice and information on Energy Efficiency and Renewables including:

  • Solar PV (Electricity)
  • Solar Thermal (Hot Water)
  • Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Energy efficient lighting and LED lights
  • ETA Biomass boilers
  • The Governments “Green Deal” initiative providing energy efficient improvements at no upfront cost.


23
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset & the South West Going Solar Powered with NGPS


Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , , ,


Dorset Energized are very excited to be in partnership with the “Best Renewables Installers in the South” – NGPS Ltd – Award Winning Electrical and Renewable Energy Contractors experienced in the design, supply and installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Thermal, as well as Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps which are the perfect renewable energy partner for Solar Power.

They have been busy getting the people of Dorset and surrounding counties energized with solar power! Check out some examples of their solar installations below:

Solar Powered Home in Bridport
In 2013 NGPS fitted 16 Canadian 250 watt Mono modules with Enphase micro inverters on a home in Bridport, Dorset. These inverters are guaranteed for 25 years.

As of 1st July 2013, NGPS have actually completed 50 Enphase PV systems and are the first Dorset company to do so. Enphase is described as “The future of Solar” as its proven microinverter technology maximizes production of each module, enabling flexible designs and cost-effective installations. Enphase delivers more kilowatt-hours daily, monthly and yearly – even through the partial shade of clouds, trees, or structural obstructions. Plus, it increases uptime by eliminating the single point of failure common to traditional inverters.

 

Solar Powered Adventure Park in Swanage
In June 2013 NGPS installed solar panels for a specialist adventure park builders, JM Adventure of Swanage, Dorset. They had 10kW of solar PV installed onto its business premises, adding to the growing list of companies who are going green and reducing their carbon footprint here in Dorset and the UK.

 

Solar Powered Garages in Wimborne
The owners of a thatched cottage near Wimborne, Dorset wanted solar PV so NGPS installed 4kW onto the South facing garage back in February 2012. This system is producing over 3900 kW hours a year, providing the owners a return on investment above 12% per year, tax free and index linked for 20 years. The electricity generated is fed back into the cottage, reducing the import bill.

 

Solar Powered Home in Poole
In May 2013, a 3 kW PV system was installed by NGPS in Creekmoor, Poole, Dorset. This is 12 Canadian 250 MONO modules with Enphase individual inverters. All this equipment has a 25 year warranty. All installed including energy performance certificate and VAT for under £6,000. This system will pay for itself in under 7 years, will provide a tax free index linked income and reduce the electrical import cost.

 

Solar Powered Business Unit in the New Forest
Freestyle Signs near Cadnam in the New Forest, Hampshire/Dorset have reduced their company’s carbon footprint and installed a 2.25kW solar PV system onto the business unit, installed by NGPS in June 2013. This will provide them with a feed in tariff income which is tax free and index linked, and will also reduce the electrical import costs. All guaranteed for 20 years.

 

Solar Farm in Worth Matravers
NPGS installed solar panels on a farm at the Renscombe Estate, Worth Matravers, Dorset.

 

Solar Power Bowling Club in Honiton
In July 2013, NGPS fitted Honiton Bowling Club in Devon with 7.9 kW of solar PV to reduce its running costs and reduce its carbon footprint. This £15K system with 260 watt ELPS modules and Enphase micro inverters will pay for itself in less than 6 years. All the equipment is guaranteed for 25 years and the feed in contract is 20 years. On 4th July this system started generating at 5.10 am and stopped at 9.20pm.

 

Solar Powered Offices in Poole
And of course, the NGPS offices in Poole, Dorset, are also solar powered!

 

NGPS offer a FREE Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Energy Survey to establish your energy usage and tailor your renewable installations to suit. They are not tied to any manufacturer or supplier and can therefore supply and install the best solution to each application. As Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) members they have built their business on quality installations using quality tradesmen. The ECA represents the best in electrical engineering and building services and only associate themselves with the top few percent of electrical contractors. Their quality and customer care is second to none, as Dorset Energized’s own founding member Vince Adams can testify after being particularly impressed with his recent solar PV installation by NGPS.

They are accredited by MSC, Green Deal, REAL Assurance, BPVA, ECA, NAPIT and Trust Mark.

Their company mission statement is: NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM (Nothing But The Best)! They believe that Renewable Energy systems add value to your property and significantly improve your homes Energy Performance Certificate. Their founder Nick Good, who also runs the Sustainability Roadshow and Green Deal Dorset in association with the Dorset Green Knowledge Network, says: “We may be beaten on price by others using fixed price sub contractors using cheap low quality equipment, but we are never beaten on quality.”

Find out more about Solar Energy here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/solar-energy



22
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Energy Saving Workshop in Bridport on Tuesday 3rd September 2013


Category: Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset
Tags:



Energy Saving Workshop
Tuesday 3rd September 2013, 4:00pm
Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR

As part of a series of events happening throughout the South West and the UK for the Community Energy Fortnight (24th August – 8th September 2013), The Co-Operative has joined up with Energy Saving Trust to offer you an exclusive opportunity to join a free event which provides advice and takes you through some straightforward ways to save money on your energy bills and at the same time reduce your carbon footprint.

The session will cover everything from small changes you can make in your home, to deals you can negotiate with suppliers, and habits you can change to make a real difference. Their simple ‘Three Steps’ programme can save you up to £155 a year without having to invest a penny!

You will also have a chance to hear about exciting community energy initiatives in the rejoin, such as the Bindon Mill Screw Turbine installation, and meet local groups that are working within your community.

This event is open to members and guests, and booking will be on a first come, first served basis. Places are limited.

To book and secure your place, visit www.co-operative.coop/memberevents, click the ‘Book tickets’ button on the right, or call 01884 266892.

For other Community Energy Fortnight events in the South West (including the ‘Open energy-saving homes’ in Hampshire on 7th September) visit: www.ukcec.org/events?field_region_value%5B%5D=South+West



20
AUG

Sharon Fay says:
Nissan’s 1st 100% electric van being showcased at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show Wednesday 21st August 2013


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Nissan Electric Vehicle Dealers FJ Chalke are very excited to be showing a prototype of the e-nv200 at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show in Dorset tomorrow on Wednesday 21st August 2013.

This is Nissan’s first 100% electric van and it will be there alongside the British built Nissan LEAF.

Come along to the FJ Chalke  stand and have a chat with myself and Shane and have a look at the e-nv200 which is due to be launched early in 2014.

(The pic above was taken when it arrived and had not been cleaned, but it will be very lovely and shiny for the show!)



20
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Today is Earth Overshoot Day (20th August 2013)


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency
Tags: ,


According to the charity WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature), last year in 2012, we demanded more natural resources in eight months than what it takes the earth 12 months to produce.

For the rest of the year, we lived on resources borrowed from future generations. Falling on August 22nd in 2012, this year ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ has come 2 days earlier than last year, TODAY 20th August 2013. In fact, since 2001, Overshoot Day has moved ahead by an average of 3 days per year.

On a finite planet, we need to change the way we think about everything, but especially about where and how we live, work and travel, along with what and how much we consume. In short, we need to find ways to do more with less.

How BIG is YOUR Environmental Footprint?
Our lifestyle choices make up our environmental footprint. Measuring yours takes less than 5 minutes and could change the way you live: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk

WWF’s Earth Overshoot Day website is also filled with ideas on ways you can help to create a greener world including by buying environmentally-friendly products, reducing your carbon footprint and to better prepare for climate change. Visit the website on: http://worldwildlife.org/pages/overshoot-day

And of course our Dorset Energized site is also jam packed with top tips to help you be more energy efficient, invest in renewable energy and generally lead a more sustainable life.

Please share any other ideas you have and let us know what small steps you are taking today to reduce your personal impact on our earth’s precious resources.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Hi Chris, we know it can seem like things are a mess in the world, but please take heart – there are a LOT of good people doing good things and we truly believe that every little positive step we take as individuals can make a difference – all big global change starts with small changes by a small number of people. This very website is filled with ideas to help people make positive changes to reduce their impact on our environment while still benefiting ourselves – whether by saving money on our energy bills now, as a financial investment for the longer term, or even just to make you feel good that you are at least “doing something”! "
    August 21, 2013 a 1:36 pm

  • Chris comments:
    "Today will pass by as have so many days with our mind on ourselves and our little expensive freedoms and liberties, pains and shortages. And tomorrow will come and pass the same way. And it hurts so much to see that we dont understand life, even in the 21. technological, super dooper, advanced face lift century. With all egoistic force to make this world a better place we are only creating more and more uncomfortable comfort. Tomorrow never comes… "
    August 20, 2013 a 9:40 pm


19
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Did you know the first electric car is over 100 years old?!


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Pic: Electric battery for the first electric car circa 1912 (Speed 25 kilometres ph, Range 77/90k)

Pic: Electric car in a parade just after the First World War

Pic: Electric car elegance 1920!

Pic: Electric Speedster

Pic: The world's first electric car in 1912 was used by the army for invalid soldiers. After that came this sexy black beast!

On my recent travels to Sweden I visited an amazing museum with a fascinating collection of electric cars at the Johannes Museet 20k south of Malmo. A Swedish man called Johannes was given an old electric car which he restored lovingly. Then one thing led to another and he ended up creating the museum. My wife Lin and I met his surviving son who continues the line and has become a real national personality in Sweden.

Electric cars were in production even before the First World War, in fact there were over 2000 made over 5 years and the company who produced them became a part of Audi in the late 1940’s I believe.

Isn’t it amazing, that at that point in time a whole century ago, we could have gone electric but we choose petrol – why? Because it was cheap!

Now we have used most of it up, electric is next if hydrogen does not work, but its a long push uphill to get things started.

I’m glad to say my 100% Electric Nissan LEAF is rather more practical and comfortable than these original electric cars and the technology is progressing all the time, and becoming much more accessible to everyone.

Find out more about electric cars in the 21st century and how you can take a free test drive here in Dorset: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/electric-transport



15
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Milborne St Andrew / Bere Regis Wind Turbine


Category: Wind Power
Tags:


Just thought I’d share a photo I took of the Wind Turbine that’s located between Milborne St Andrew and Bere Regis here in Dorset (taken from the Milborne St Andrew side).

Like many people I think this turbine looks rather beautiful sitting there in the landscape! To my eye it has the same sort of visual impact as seeing something like a medieval castle or large country house does. Plus it’s producing clean electricity.

Find out more about wind power here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Darren how really nice to hear from the voice of sanity, I totally agree and believe that in time we shall all come to our senses "
    October 7, 2014 a 10:14 am

  • Darran Potter comments:
    "Hi Thought you might like to know that we’ve partnered with leading UK renewable crowd funders Abundance Generation Ltd to offer a an 18yr debenture investment in our wind turbine at Rogershill Farm in Bere Regis. The offer (opening very soon) is open to everyone but we’re hoping to spread the word locally to allow as many Dorset residents the chance to invest – if they want to of course! Full details will be available on the Abundance website at http://www.abundancegeneration.com/projects/#!/3186367 Additional info on our website http://www.distgen.co/projects/rogershill-farm Abundance are fully regulated by the FCA. "
    October 6, 2014 a 8:19 pm


15
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Navitus Bay Development Offshore Wind Farm Proposals in Dorset


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


Navitus Bay Development Limited released a video earlier this year to show how their proposed wind farm off the coast of Bournemouth, Dorset will look, along with some mock-up photo montages of the proposed views.

The proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park is an exciting 50-50 Joint Venture between Eneco Wind UK Ltd (Eneco) and EDF Energy.

Pic: Mock-up of Viewpoints from Bournemouth West Cliff and Undercliffe where the wind turbines would be barely visible

You can watch the video here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21277906

According to The Guardian’s recent article on the global growth of wind turbines at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21277906, the UK is by far the world leader in offshore wind deployment. Eneco Wind UK Ltd and EDF Energy, who will be installing the turbines have said the scheme could start generating energy by 2020 and has the potential to produce enough energy for the domestic needs of 790,000 average UK households.

A nine week public consultation began back on 1st February 2013, and Navitus Bay are hosting consultations throughout the area this September 2013 showing new pictures and interactive 3d models of the site. There will also be experts on hand to talk through the plans and answer any questions you might have.

Friends of the Earth reported that anti-wind protestors gathered on Swanage seafront back in January, but they were surprised to see the strength of support for the project, with over 100 brought together by the newly formed BH Green alliance.

Visit the Nativus Baywebsite for full details on www.navitusbaywindpark.co.uk or call 0800 008 6763.

For general information on the pros and cons of wind power visit our webpage on Wind Power.



14
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
UnFrack Me! Switch to energy suppliers that don’t frack


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags:


You may or may not have noticed there is still an awful lot of fuss about fracking here in the UK at the moment in the national media. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth (literally under our feet). Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies (as explained on www.what-is-fracking.com).

While environmental action groups including Frack Free Dorset and ethical companies such as Lush continue to put pressure on local councils (you can ask Dorset County Council not to frack on council owned land at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-fracking-dorset-county-council) and our government to stop fracking for gas and to instead invest in sustainable green energy, we must never underestimate the power that we have as individuals to make a stand and make a difference…

Frack-Off are therefore asking us as consumers to use our power and to support energy suppliers that don’t frack.

We’re always banging on about switching to renewable energy suppliers here at Dorset Energized anyway, as we know how simple and effective it is. 100% renewable electricity suppliers Good Energy who are on the list of green suppliers who also don’t frack, even currently have a special offer just for Dorset Energized users to save £50 off your first bill to help you make the switch (make sure you quote ‘Dorset Energized’). I put my money where my mouth is last year and made the switch myself and am pleasantly surprised that my bill is pretty much the same as it used to be when I was with Scottish Power (and before that British Gas).

As Frack-Off say, IT TAKES 3 MINUTES TO SWITCH! You won’t need account numbers or meter readings.

Compare green energy suppliers here: http://unfrack.me/choose

What is fracking?
I like the way Frack-Off explain what fracking is! They say:
You know those scenes in films when junkies scratch around the house looking everywhere for one last tiny rock or heroin, find it, take it, and are found dead the next day? That’s fracking.

Why should I care?
As Frack-Off also put it, you should care about fracking:
Because every penny spent on fracking makes the problem worse, and isn’t spent on green energy which would make the problem better. It will also help melt the permafrost triggering massive methane release, poison water supplies, and make selfish sociopaths very rich.

Find out more about fracking at: www.frack-off.org.uk
Check out the ‘Dangers of Fracking’ website if you haven’t already at: www.dangersoffracking.com



13
AUG

Theresa McManus says:
New website launched to ‘Keep On Track’ of the EU’s 2020 Renewable Energy Objectives


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
Tags:


A new website has been launched called www.keepontrack.eu. The ‘Keep on track’ project is coordinated by the European Renewable Energy Council, and it monitors the progress made by EU member states in the implementation of renewable energy legislation to achieve the 2020 objectives in obtaining 20% of its final energy consumption from renewables.

Sadly, Britain is showing as red, for NOT being on track to achieve our objectives, in comparison to most of our EU neighbours.

The website states that ‘Growth rates in the electricity and heat sectors would be sufficient to reach the 2020 target’ www.keepontrack.eu/keeping-track/united-kingdom/

Every individual reading this, including YOU, can contribute by investing in renewable energy now before it is too late. The most simple thing you can do TODAY is make the switch to a renewable electricity supplier. We recommend Good Energy because they are the only UK supplier that uses 100%  renewable electricity. For many customers, including myself, their Good Energy bill costs the same as a non eco-friendly supplier. They are also currently offering £50 off your first bill when you quote ‘Dorset Energized’ to help you make the switch!

Switch to renewable energy suppliers at:
www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers
and remember there’s loads more info here on our site on Renewable Heat and other energy options too: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy



12
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Can Dorset follow South Korea’s lead & have roads that wirelessly recharge electric buses?!


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags:


Photo: Electric Bus by Primove Technology

In the field of electrically powered transport innovations are coming thick and fast – unlike the vehicles themselves (in the UK at least) which are still almost as rare as the proverbial “hen’s teeth”.

South Korean road wirelessly recharges OLEV buses

So it is that another new and innovative idea has been put into practice in a small showcase demo in South Korea – where they have switched on a road which can recharge electric vehicles as they drive over it! More details at www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23603751.

It is of course very early days with that particular project – and of course the nay sayers are already predicting it’s infeasibility due to cost and so forth. But what it does show is that all over the world people, companies, universities and so on, are trying to find solutions for the generally expected moment when the oil flow can no longer match the demand (leading to ever higher prices, etc).

The system being demonstrated in South Korea uses inductive coils embedded in the road to provide charge for electric vehicles travelling above (the inductive transmission method has been known about for a long time. Basically it is a simple idea – a primary coil sits passively under the road, when it detects a similar coil – in a vehicle above which has been fitted with one – a powerful alternating current is set up in the primary coil, this creates a strong magnetic field which stimulates a current in the coil in the vehicle and energy is transferred, without wires). The major difference with the South Korean system to others under trial elsewhere is that the coils run continuously along the length of the road (thus the cost) rather than being located at occasional and particular points.

In Germany (for instance) in the city of Braunschweig a system is being tested using 3 induction loop charging points on an 8 mile circuit (one bus route). The system is being developed and tested by a partnership of the local bus company, the city, the Technical University of Braunschweig and Bombardier Transportation.

Read more at the Braunschweig University inductive loop project page – www.tu-braunschweig.de/forschung/zentren/nff/projekte/primove/index.html;jsessionid=TRIFORK9394182716

Watch a video of PRIMOVE’s system which provides a contactless power source for all types of electric transport – from light rail and bus networks to commercial vehicles and cars:

The Bombardier developed system being trialled uses their PRIMOVE inductive charging system, which itself is being developed further by replacing some batteries with high density capacitors in a system called MITRAC. The advantage of capacitors is that being electrical (rather than chemical like batteries) they can withstand tens or hundreds of thousands of charge cycles, they also weigh much less than batteries and although they cannot (yet) store as much energy as batteries do this (disadvantage) is obviated when there are inductive loop charging points available on a route.

Read more about PRIMOVE at: primove.bombardier.com

Read more about MITRAC at: www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/technology-solutions/eco4-technologies/mitrac-energy-saver.html

Could Dorchester’s Electric Bus Route wirelessly charge electric buses?

Perhaps inductive loop charging may be the (or a) coming thing? We shall see. Neil and Judith Forsyth writing in AtoB Magazine June 2013 (Issue 96) – www.atob.org.uk/store – about inductive loop systems (and to whom I am obliged for many of the references here about Bombardiers systems and so forth), suggest in their article that the Poundbury electric bus route could perhaps utilise an inductive loop charge point, perhaps at its railway station end? The route currently requiring two buses (as one is re-charging at the depot while the other is in use) could manage with one, charging at a point in the route, leaving the other bus for a further route. That would make Dorchester (and Dorset) even more leading edge (in the UK context) than it already is. Prince Charles himself was one of those who sought to have electric buses used to serve Poundbury – maybe he might take an interest in this further development of the inductive loop?



07
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
The world watches as the first test tube beefburger is unveiled


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
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This week on Monday 5th August 2013 the world’s first lab-grown beefburger was cooked and served to a live audience in London under the glare of the world’s media. Hailed by experts as an exciting step towards food security, but slammed by many as something straight out of science fiction, ‘cultured meat’, or ‘lab meat’, is the subject of hot debate.

I’ve been vegan for many years so like many people my initial thoughts were of repulse, but according to my favourite charity Compassion in World Farming and their RAW campaign, the test-tube burger which was grown in a lab from the stem cells of a cow, could herald a new era of meat production as synthetic meat could prevent the future suffering of millions of farm animals and stop the pollution factory farming causes.

Can ‘cultured’ meat help feed the world? 

With the world population predicted to rise to around 9 billion by 2050, experts believe that food production must increase dramatically. The developer of the lab-grown burger, Professor Mark Post from the University of Maastricht in Holland, hopes that artificial meat could meet the future global demand for meat.

He says that: “The result of years of research, the breakthrough burger offers what experts believe could be a sustainable solution to the problem of feeding a growing population that’s more meat-hungry than ever. The current system of intensive livestock farming is threatening the environment, human health and the welfare of millions of animals, and alternatives need to be found.”

Compassion and RAW agree that cultured meat therefore has the potential to be part of the solution to world hunger. According to the BBC, a study in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal found that lab beef uses 45% less energy than farming cattle, produces 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires 99% less land. These figures are simply too significant to be ignored.

Read RAW’s full blog on ‘Cultured Beef: ‘Frankenburger’ or Food Saviour?’ at: www.raw.info/latest/cultured-beef-frankenburger-or-food-saviour

But would you eat a test tube beefburger?

Compassion’s CEO Philip Lymbery, when asking if he would eat a lab-grown burger, says that he would. He says “The cost to the environment of industrial meat production is vast; a third of the world’s cereal harvest and most soya are destined for animal factories with huge inefficiency; a fraction of the calories and protein value of the crops is returned as meat, milk or eggs. To give a sense of scale; if the arable crops used to provide animal feed were planted in a single field, it would near cover the entire land surface of the European Union… To me, lab-produced meat has the scope to be the real win-win scenario for animals, people and the planet“.

Many people will simply be ‘yucked out’ by the thought of eating test tube meat, but as Jason Matheny from one of the companies involved in the research has commented, “the yuck factor should really be focused on conventional meat and the way it’s produced right now which is simply unhealthy, unsafe and unsustainable”.

Read Phillip Lymbery’s full blog post to see why he would eat lab-grown meat: www.acompassionateworld.org/2013/08/would-you-eat-lab-grown-meat

Eat less meat, but better meat

Personally I feel that lab-grown meat still sounds completely unnatural and unnecessary – the fact that humans have such an insatiable desire for meat that is so inhumane and threatening to our planet and very survival that we have to resort to ‘growing’  meat in labs, when we can live perfectly healthily and happily on a plant based diet,  just seems obsurd and against nature. However, if it means that billions and billions of animals will not have to suffer miserable lives and/or premature deaths just in order to sustain what is an unnatural and unsustainable demand by humans in developed countries like ours, and to help people in poor third world countries who are starving as they don’t have enough food, then lab-grown meat seems a far more humane and environmentally sustainable option, and may help people question the whole system of our current food production.

But, as RAW also commented this week: “The truth is that we need an arsenal of tools to overcome predicted food shortages. So alongside this triumph of science, which may or may not become mainstream, people everywhere should be looking to eat less but better meat. Not only is this option cheaper, but it’s good for us and the planet, and can get underway today.”

Remember that every small step we take today as individuals and families to lead a more sustainable life, can lead the way for others and make a big difference to our planet (and make you feel good too!).

Let us know what you think!

Eating less meat, that is free-range and organic, is a great way to help the planet and to save money, plus there’s loads more tips on Sustainable Living here as well >>



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