Archive for January, 2015


29
JAN

Erik Blakeley says:
The Great Global Warming Hiatus Con


Category: Climate Change, Uncategorized
Tags:


The Great Global Warming Hiatus Con

A presentation of the case – the pdf of this is available here: The Great Global Warming Hiatus con pdf

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2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Here’s an update on this giving more evidence that the so called hiatus never really existed. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/recent-global-surface-warming-hiatus "
    August 24, 2015 a 11:29 am

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "If you click on the pdf link at the top of the piece you will get the panels in the right order. "
    January 29, 2015 a 4:52 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Please note that due to technical difficulties the the panels in this piece have appeared in the wrong order. If you are feeling clever you can work out the correct order to read them in. If you prefer to wait I will add to this thread when they are in the correct order. "
    January 29, 2015 a 4:49 pm


27
JAN

Guest Energizer says:
Wind Turbines in the landscape in Portugal


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Wind Turbines in the landscape in Portugal

I stood on a hill in the Eastern Algarve looking at the beautiful landscape towards Spain.

It was too early for Spring Flowers but nevertheless the views were breathtaking.

I could see a multitude of Wind Turbines glowing in the winter sunshine and all turning in the distance – were they in Spain or Portugal ?

Wind turbines in Portugal?

Wind turbines in Portugal?

It didn’t matter- they were a part of the total experience. I knew at once that they must have been creating pure, clean energy and it felt good.

Wind Turbines in Spain?

Wind Turbines in Spain?

No intrusion of the view just enhancing !!

This is a guest post by Lin Adams – while holidaying in Portugal


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Kathryn Flint comments:
    "I agree, wind turbines are aesthetically pleasing and they don’t take up much room compared to a solar farm producing the same amount of energy. I was on Hambledon Hill very recently and the solar farm really is an eye-saw which detracts from the typical English beauty of its surroundings. "
    May 15, 2015 a 9:57 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "Dorset artist says yes to Wind Turbines they even enhance the landscape and are so important for our future on this planet "
    January 27, 2015 a 10:01 am


24
JAN

John Olver says:
Life with Mr T – the Tesla


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,


Life with Mr T – the Tesla

Here are two pictures. One of our Model S charging in our carport and the other of the solar panels on the roof of our house. Perhaps this will be a good starting point from which to discuss the experiences of my wife and I as well as other electric car owners.

Tesla S

 

Tesla S - charging

We picked up our Tesla Model S 85 on March 28th, 2014 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. I had ordered the car through the Tesla web site and expected the car to be completed and ready for pickup during the first week of April but it was ready a week early. When the Tesla rep called us with the good news I shocked her by telling her we’d already arranged for public transportation to get us the 110 miles from our home to Fremont for the following week and we’d rather wait than change our plans. It turns out they don’t like having cars sitting on the lot so after a bit of haggling and three calls from the rep we agreed to accept a free taxi ride to Fremont on the 28th.

The Tesla dealership experience is different than any other auto dealership I’ve ever dealt with. Since every customer coming in the door has either already bought their car or desperately wants to order one there is no salesperson trying to make as much money from the deal as possible. The price is the price and that’s it. We were seated in a very nice lounge where we could examine a Model S platform. Without the body and interior there is very little to a Tesla. A watermelon sized electric motor, the axles, wheels and a 4’X 8’X 4″ (approximately) battery pack. Nice and clean, not a lot of moving parts. We had a cup of coffee and talked with the other excited soon to be new owners while waiting for our tour of the factory.

The factory tour can be found on U-Tube.

After a forty minute hands on session with a tech to explain how to operate our Model S we drove home to Pacific Grove, first through heavy Silicon Valley traffic and then to highways 101, 156 and 1. I was recovering from a heart operation so my wife drove. She was a bit nervous at first but the Model S put her at ease within the first few miles. It is the smoothest, most easily controlled car either one of us has ever driven. During the month before we picked up our car, we’ve named it Mr. T, I’d had a 50 amp, 240 volt circuit installed in the carport. This charges Mr. T at a rate of 30 miles per hour of charging. So the 110 miles from the factory was recharged in a little less than four hours. I programmed Mr. T to start charging at 11pm so it was charged by the next morning.

We have solar panels on the roof of our house that reliably generate 15kW a day. That translates to a full charge, 85kW or 265-300 miles depending on how and where you drive, every five and a half days. Since we seldom drive more than fifty miles a day we are almost always driving on sunlight. Our electric bill, Mr. T included, was about $39.00 US for all of 2014.

Although we’ve only had Mr. T for a bit less than ten months my wife and I both agree it is the best car we’ve ever owned and one of the best purchases we’ve ever made.

I have some friends that own a Leaf as well as several friends that have Teslas. I’ll find out what their experiences have been and would be interested in reading the experiences of other electric car owners.

This a blog post by guest energizer John Olever


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I just talked to Tesla UK and what do you think about having the opportunity to test drive the worlds best electric car down here in Dorset. Special event for the Spring and idea’s what would make a good venue ? "
    January 28, 2015 a 10:53 am


21
JAN

Guest Energizer says:
Leftovers Soup


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Leftovers Soup

Soup is one of the easiest and tastiest ways of eating a few more vegetables, and nature offers us just the vegetables our bodies need through the seasons. So, during winter, we can warm up with comforting carrot, squash and celeriac, while in the summer we can lighten things up with garden peas, tomato gazpachos and even lettuce soup.

We also love how soup is perfect for using up veg, and if you come across any ‘ugly’ veg that isn’t quite perfect in the looks department, soup loves all vegetables. Perhaps you have an organic farm or farmer’s market near you that struggles to sell its funny looking or slightly blemished fruit and vegetables – when it all goes in the pot it really doesn’t matter. For this recipe, you can use any combination of root vegetables and winter greens you like. We had leek, potato, carrot, cabbage and chard to hand.

Leftovers Soup

Winter vegetable soup

1. Chop an onion as fine as possible, followed by your root veg, for example a carrot and some celeriac. You might want to add a little chopped leek, too. Gently sweat all of these in olive oil in a large pan.

2. Shred some cabbage, perhaps some chard or cavelo nero. Saute this separately in a large frying pan or wok.

3. Add hot stock to the onions and root veg. We love to use a stock made with brown miso paste. Add the leafy veg to the pot.

4. Meanwhile, soft boil an egg for each person (6 minutes from boiling water), run under the cold tap, peel and slice in halves.

5. Ladle into deep bowls and add the egg halves to each.

photo-2-6

 

 

This is a Guest Post by Kate Adams, co-author with Nicole Pisani of Magic Soup: Food for Health and Happiness


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "We at Letsgetenergized believe in great vegetarian food being another plank in creating a way of life kind to our planet and utilising good food rather than creating more waste.
    Enjoy !! "

    January 21, 2015 a 6:08 pm


21
JAN

Steve Bewers says:
There’s power in them ‘ills!


Category: Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


There’s power in them ‘ills!

The road from Blandford to Winterborne Stickland has many things to recommend it; rolling countryside, peaceful woodlands, 9.3 megawatts of electricity, open views over to Poole Harbour and The Solent, fresh air, and a feeling of escape from the bustling market town.

Woahhhh! Hold on! What was that about electricity?

Ahhh yes, enough electricity for 2,700 typical households being made quietly in a field at Canada Farm. There wasn’t much fuss about that, I saw the signs saying BSR (British Solar Renewables) but didn’t take much notice. It wasn’t until someone cut the hedges that I realised it was there at all!

solar-farm-s

Solar Farm – What Solar Farm?

That’s the thing really, there is a new solar farm of 35,600, 260 watt panels in this picture, somewhere. There are about 10,500 people in Blandford, which means the whole town could be supplied from this one field, and you wouldn’t even know it was there.

I heard that there are still people out there who raise objections to this sort of thing! Are these the same people who switch lights on, cook, re-charge their electric cars and watch the telly?

There is another solar farm being built near Blandford, that would make the area a net exporter of electricity, more on that later.
I’m off to absorb the peace and quiet of the Dorset countryside.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Great pic showing how little solar farms positioned in the right places can be so unobtrusive, thanks Steve for your first pic !! "
    January 21, 2015 a 6:11 pm


19
JAN

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how


Category: Dorset Energized News, Green Electricity & Gas, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how

The most recent statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that North Dorset consumes 290.8 GWh/yr

The last census shows 30,397 households, only 11% of those being flats. Quite a few of these dwellings already have PV installed on their roofs but that number is likely to increase substantially when PV becomes so cheap that it will make better financial sense to install it than pay for all your electricity from the grid. This grid parity (without subsidy) is expected to come about as early as 2020. More than half of houses have close to south facing roof space and it’s reasonable to assume that 60% or so could accommodate a 4 kW array. These would generate around 65 GWh/yr

There are 3,800 businesses in North Dorset including farms. Not all will have their own roof space but all those steel sheds on industrial estates and agricultural barns have low pitched roofs that are viable for PV whatever their orientation. A quick look at Google Earth shows at least 50 big enough to take around 50 kW in the towns and farm barns would probably double that. So I estimate these could generate 5 GWh/yr.

There are already quite a few large and small ground mounted solar farms installed and enough space to generate the equivalent of the districts needs without impacting food production. A reasonably large solar farm is 10 MW generating 10 GWh/yr so 29 of those would equate to the district’s annual consumption.

There are at least 6 small 20 kW wind turbines (up to 20 m mast and 7 m blades) in North Dorset tucked away virtually un-noticed. The landscape could easily accommodate 50 small turbines without travellers and walkers constantly coming across them. They could generate 0.35 GWh/yr.

The River Stour and its tributaries already has 4 hydro turbines installed at mills and weirs with another 5 to be installed soon and potential for at least 6. They range from 3.7 to 89 kW and in total could generate 1.75 GWh/yr.

Now the elephant in the room, which is big wind power They may be very much out of favour with a vocal minority punching well above their weight but the fact is that a 2.3MW on-shore wind turbine is the cheapest source of renewable electricity. It would require 60 of these to generate the equivalent of all the district’s electricity and that could not be accommodated easily. I would say a maximum of 20 could be found a home and 10 would be more realistic and they could generate 48.5 GWh/yr

So North Dorset could generate equivalent to all its electrical need with;

65 GWh/yr from domestic roof tops

5 GWh/yr from commercial and agricultural roof tops

0.35 GWh/yr from small wind turbines

1.75 GWh/yr from hydropower

That leaves 218.7 GWh/yr to be found from a combination of large solar farms and wind turbines. Personally, I would like to see 10 large wind turbines, some of those to be clearly viewed from my back garden. That would mean 17 x 10 MW solar farms to take up the slack.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Keith gives a cogent and totally understandable summary of how North Dorset with just a number of small steps could create 100% of its energy needs renewably.
    Think what if every district, County did a similar exercise how simple going renewable could be and how we could see the end of coal, gas and nuclear power for ever.
    This is now not in the realms of fairy stories its hard economic sense and will support reductions in climate change temps and give us better air quality all at the sametime. "

    January 19, 2015 a 6:42 pm


17
JAN

Erik Blakeley says:
What Pause in Global Warming?


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


What Pause in Global Warming?

I have recently been engaged in frankly a rather pointless online debate with a Climate Change Denier that took too much of my time and showed no signs of being read by anyone else but the pair of us and he seemed entirely brainwashed by Denial propaganda, incapable of engaging with the basic science behind the issue and much preferred to just regurgitate the classic Denial nonsense. However it did prompt me to look again at one of the most important Climate Change Denial claims – the claim that there has been a pause in global warming since 1998. Now I thought this was just a case of one of those statistical blips and deviations from the trend line that you would expect in a set of scientific data covering over a century but on digging deeper I found that it is in fact such a mendacious misrepresentation of scientific data that it amounts to a huge lie by the Denial propagandists. Let me explain why.

The measurements cited by the Deniers are those that show that the mean surface temperature of the planet in 1998 is very much the same as it was in 2011-2013 based on findings by Prof Matt England of the University of New South Wales. Now, at first glance this seems very reasonable as a bit of data suggesting a pause in global warming but this is not the case.

Firstly is the surface temperature in isolation a reliable measure of “global warming”? No it is not. The planet can also warm as the deep oceans absorb heat, as the upper atmosphere absorbs heat and as heat is absorbed as the latent heats of fusion and vapourisation when ice decreases and the atmosphere carries more water vapour. These combined effects vary in their relative contribution to the overall global warming and therefore to claim that a pause or even a reversal in the data for any one of them in isolation means that global warming has stopped is false.

Secondly, it has always seemed to me odd that the Deniers are often so specific about there not having been any global warming since 1998. Not since the late 90s, not since 1997 and not since 1999. Why is 1998 special? It turns out it is. Not only can the deep oceans absorb heat, it appears that under certain conditions relating to winds and currents they can push heat back to the surface. This means that over and above the sort of natural spread of data discussed earlier some years can be warmer in terms of surface temperature than others regardless of the presence or absence of global warming. 1998 was a warm year. Therefore, if you specifically take 1998 as your base-line then the 15 years after it give data that either shows lower or broadly similar surface temperatures. If however you don’t cheat in this way the trend line, even in surface temperature in isolation, is in keeping with the predictions of climate change science.

Finally if you google “prof Matt England University of New South Wales” you will find some Climate Change Denial websites slagging him off because, much to their annoyance, he has spent quite a bit of time since publishing his data (perfectly good data in itself it turns out) telling people that Global Warming has not stopped and his data is being misrepresented.

So next time some Denier or wind NIMBY tells you that there has been no Global Warming in the last 15 years tell them they are talking rubbish!

I will leave the last word to Prof England in a quote I found on-line:
“Global warming has not stopped. People should understand that the planet is a closed system. As we increase our emissions of greenhouse gases, the fundamental thermal dynamics tells us we have added heat into the system. Once it’s trapped, it can go to a myriad of places – land surface, oceans, ice shelves, ice sheets, glaciers for example.”


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "As a post script I have just heard confirmation that 2014 was the warmest on record. Of course it is tempting to say “See global warming is back – 2014 is the proof” but of course the 2014 figures on their own are not proof. They do however act to confirm the upwards trend line and, combined with all the other factors that need considering make it very clear that global warming never stopped. We must nail this question of whether it is right to read too much into individual peaks and troughs. If we don’t the Climate Change Deniers will simply abuse the 2014 figures in the same way they abused the 1998 figures. It is very likely that 2015, 2016 etc will not be higher than 2014. This does not mean that global warming has stopped again. We need to keep looking at all of the factors and at the long term trend lines in those factors. "
    January 19, 2015 a 9:14 am


12
JAN

Lets Get Energized says:
Good News for Slyers Lane Wind Farm Proposal in Dorset


Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


Good News!

Dorchester Town Council and Charminster Parish Council have voted in support of Slyers Lane Wind Farm in Dorset, as consultees. 

Good coverage in Dorset Echo on January 7th of Dorchester 2015’s meeting – even if voting numbers not accurate – 8 (not 6) councillors in favour to 3 opposed.

Next…

Stinsford Parish Council Meeting – Monday 12th January, 7pm at the Old Library at Kingston Maurward College, Stinsford near Dorchester (main building).

If you are a resident in Stinsford, or know someone who is, come along and give your support.

Too busy before Christmas to write in?
It’s not too late to be part of the public consultation!

Online comments and letters received in mid-January will still be included.
Go to: www.westdorsetprowindgroup.org.uk
Two clicks to the planning application and add your comment. Takes 10 minutes.

For Facebook users, join West Dorset Pro Wind Group for up to date wind energy news at: www.facebook.com/groups/1419225865025391


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "What amazingly good news that the Councils are finally supporting local energy initiatives. The Slyers Lane project is excellent will provide a huge amount of energy and at very little cost to the landscape.
    Come on people wake up, its our future we are fighting for not a silly nimby reaction. "

    January 14, 2015 a 5:35 pm


06
JAN

Lets Get Energized says:
January Prize Draw: Win a year’s subscription to STIR Magazine


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


stir7

 

A very happy new year to you all, from everyone at Dorset Energized and Lets Get Energized! We hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas break, and are ready to make 2015 a super year for the development of renewable technologies, and green living…

To help you get 2015 off to a great start, this January, we are offering an annual subscription to the fantastic inspirational living magazine STIR – that’s 4 copies of STIR delivered in print, straight to your door, for FREE!

STIR Into Action

STIR started as an online magazine and has now launched as a quarterly print magazine that features articles and interviews on the international co-operative movement, the emergence of the commons and collaborative networks, and other community-orientated alternatives in technology, agriculture, food, sports, energy, education and other important aspects of our lives.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 31st January 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 2nd February.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LAST MONTH’S PRIZE DRAW WINNER LYNN DOE who has won a £30 Ecotopia voucher…

Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>



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