Archive for April, 2015


29
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015

As the Environment and Community Services Apprentice for North Dorset District Council. The Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015 provided me with an excellent opportunity to find out more about local companies as well those further afield who shared my general philosophy and interest in renewables with a view to identifying possible future employment opportunities. I was grateful to Vince Adams, co-founder of Energise Stur Valley who very kindly sponsored my attendance as well as providing transport to the event in his electric car, so minimising our impact on the environment. I was extremely fortunate that following an initial discussion, a local renewable energy company offered me a post as administrator. Although extremely flattered I indicated that I wish to complete my apprenticeship at North Dorset prior to securing further employment within the industry.

The event hosted a good range of companies including installers, facilitators and informers. At the start there was a stimulating debate between the local (to Exeter) leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and The Green Party. They took questions from attendees and there were clearly many differences in opinion. Diana Moore representing The Green Party made clear her disagreement with the views put forward by Neil Parish representing the Conservatives. The debate has not affected who I plan to vote for in the upcoming elections, although it has encouraged me to undertake further research into the finer details of each party’s policies.

The stalls were well grouped in terms of subject matter and the stall holders were all very approachable, knowledgeable and keen to promote their organisations. The arts and communities section was of particular interest and through discussion I met a fellow attendee who is considering putting on an Eco Fashion Show in Dorchester, so I may get involved in this as I enjoy textiles and fashion. There were various seminars including one on arts and energy which discussed Whitby the Musical, a performance which uses the opportunity of using musical theatre to portray a positive image of the renewable energy industry. It would be the first of its kind and a brilliant way of getting local communities on board with a renewable energy scheme and raising awareness amongst young people.

Outside the exhibition area there were several electric and hybrid cars, which in addition to my conversation with Vince travelling to and from the event, persuaded me that they offered a viable future mode of transport, particularly now that charging points are more widely available including at service stations. The choice of cars available on the current market is varied ranging from a little run-around such as the Toyota Yaris Hybrid to the larger BMW i8. Some of the cars could be test driven which was a great way to attract future customers and raising interest in them.

The Renewable Energy Bake Off was quite a success and there were some very decorative cupcakes with wind turbines, solar panels and other renewables iced on which someone had carefully crafted. The cakes were delicious and particularly welcome given there was little else on offer in terms of food at the event. Next time, I would suggest having a greater range of stalls providing local produce.

In terms of attendees it appeared only to attract those already involved in the renewables market in some way, rather than wider members of the public. I feel it would have been beneficial and more attractive to wider audiences if admission had been free rather than £18 entry plus £54 if wishing to attend a conference.

Overall the event was a success with Westpoint in Exeter buzzing with environmental enthusiasts and companies. There were many interesting organisations and individuals available and it was an ideal opportunity to network. I hope to attend again in the future.

This is a first posting to our site by Kathryn Flint



28
APR

Guest Energizer says:
DARPA Algae Biofuels Program and Future Jet Fuels


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


DARPA Algae Biofuels Program and Future Jet Fuel Solutions

Have you ever imagined that the future of jet fuels may actually lie in algae or other alternative solutions other than kerosene? If that is the case, then you would be glad to hear of the program the US Department of Defense has been working on over the past years, attempting to find a more sustainable solution for aviation that stays away from the excessive consumption of petroleum fuels. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the people that gave the world ARPANET, which served as the basis of the internet are working on a great many projects at the same time, some with purely military applications, while others have a much wider range of use that could easily find their ways into the civilian world, much like ARPANET did back in the late 60s.

The scientific minds behind the DoD’s most dedicated think tank have their projects ranging from robotics to biotechnology, but this particular project for biofuel implementation seems like a promising step toward a more eco-friendly solutions for aviation needs worldwide. As this program’s main goal is to reduce the incredible reliance upon imported oil, DARPA scientists have been working on a renewable jet fuel known as JP-8 that aims to not only meet, but also exceed the performance metrics of the more traditional sources of jet fuel.

This type of fuel will be derived from a cellulose base materials and algae that won’t compete with food crops. The best part of the goals of the JP-8 project is the intention to create a stable fuel that acts in a way to allow easy integration with current engine systems and fuel storage without adjustments to airplanes. While still in development, the program has a promising future due to a number of factors, such as lowered fuel costs overall, fewer carbon emissions and a lower carbon footprint for global air travel without the need for expensive retrofitting of existing aircraft.

DARPA has ties to many of the scientific communities out there, which have often been used to create life-changing solutions worldwide, such as the phone app Siri, originally an offshoot of the CALO project funded by DARPA. The Biofuels program has accomplished a number of large steps toward completion of the project; mostly in ensuring algae and cellulose can be safely and effectively used to create a feedstock for the JP-8 fuel. General Atomics handle the algae project, while Logos Technologies are working on the cellulosic approach as part of the concentrated efforts to make the project work.

The effort to make cellulose fuel more widespread is still ongoing with further developments to follow in the coming years, but the future of air travel looks to finally and possibly be cheaper if civilian implementation of this type of fuel becomes more widespread. The applications of this can have far-reaching effects on the economy, being a boost to trade, moving companies and logistics and relocation of trade goods everywhere. While the boon to commercial passenger aviation should not be underestimated, the greatest benefit will still end up being cargo shipping across the globe, whether it is by companies or movers. What the project will create in the end as a finished result still remains to be seen in the near future.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for: Van removal services in Westminster. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about house removals, storage, office relocation, green living home solutions, other home related topics.



27
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Ecotricity Founder talks about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election & greening up football


Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: ,


With less than 2 weeks to go before the UK General Election, we thought we should share this recent video of Dale Vince, Founder of Green Energy Suppliers Ecotricity, talking about his politic donations for the 2015 General Election, and greening up football…

Our Lets Get Energized and Dorset Energized team, predominentaly ran by volunteers, are obviously keen that we offer a non-biased political opinion, but of course green energy in the UK is so dependent on the decisions made by government that it would be silly to ignore politics altogether at such a time. I should point out that I myself have no political affiliations at all, so am just as ignorant to politics as most everyday members of the public!

It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that there is only one party fully committed to green energy issues as a key part of their agenda, and that is of course the Green Party, so it may come as a surprise to many renewable energy supporters (like it did to me) to learn that the Founder of Ecotricity has not donated to the Green Party, but to Labour AND also to the Liberal Democrats.

Ecotricity have however previously donated money to the Green Party, specifically Caroline Lucas’ campaign, and continue to do so via a partnership arrangement, where they donate up to £60 per sign up of any new green energy customer. This has apparently been hugely successful since the membership numbers have increased significantly.

Interviewed by Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf!), Dale discusses the Green issues which he thinks need to get more air time in the election debate, his donations, and why he thinks there needs to be a leaders debate if we are to really tackle the environmental issues we face.

Soundbites include:

“The idea that we could run the whole country by renewable energy is not just a pipe dream, it’s absolutely possible”

“It seems to me that the Conservatives have made this a presidential election”

“A leaders debate would be the most useful thing for all of us in the country so we can make a better judgement about the qualities of the two people who are pitching to run the country”

“The conservative ideology is a failed ideology”

“We should have a ministry of carbon, whose job is to focus on the carbon emissions from energy, transport and food”



27
APR

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,


Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest

Roger Manley bought his Tesla Model S about six months ago and has put quite a few miles on it since then. He and his wife and son are adding a lot more miles while touring America’s National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I’ll let Roger tell the tale.

Hi John, I’m sitting in my Tesla charging at the Buckeye supercharger. I am meeting Carolann at airport at 3 PM this afternoon. We’re staying in Scottsdale for the week. My son Brian is flying into Flagstaff next Saturday and we are driving a loop around southern Utah to see the national parks. I left yesterday and stayed Needles last night. I’ve driven seven hundred and 20 miles to the Buckeye charging station. I didn’t have to wait anywhere except for Barstow because there is a lot of traffic going to Las Vegas for some major convention. Thought I’d let you know that I’m taking the Tesla on the trip! The Tesla is working perfectly and getting the mileage that I expected based on evtripplanner.com.

The goal of this trip was to try out the Tesla on a long drive, using supercharger capability where possible and a few RV parks along the way. The first leg of the trip was driving from Monterey to Phoenix. The second leg from Phoenix through Southern Utah with stops in Monument Valley, and then four National Parks including Arches, Canyon Lands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. I also planned the entire trip on Evtripplanner.com. This allowed me to select the route with energy usage estimates for the various charging legs. Overall, I found this tool to be fairly accurate and would recommend it highly. In addition the 6.2 release from Tesla was received the week before I left and it promised “the end of range anxiety” with its new trip planner software. However, it is a beta version currently. It worked fine until I got to the first stop and then I couldn’t get it to recognize my second planned stop at Mojave. There weren’t a lot of directions on usage so maybe it was pilot error on my part. After I finally got it to cancel, I went back to using the Energy Usage App showing the Trip Leg planned in Navigation which estimates battery usage at the finish point. I find that works really well and matches closely to Evtripplanner estimates. I’m sure the new software will get better with the next OTA release.

The first day my goal was to drive from Monterey to Needles. Initially I had planned to drive through Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but found the Coachella Music Festival was going on at that time and there wasn’t a place to sleep within a 100 miles of the Indio Supercharger. So with the Mojave Supercharger just opening I decided to go north and stay out of the traffic. My first stop was Harris Ranch in Coalinga after a beautiful drive over highway 198 from just south of King City. It was 127 miles. I used 40.4 kWh at 318 W/m with 44% battery left. I was a bit surprised that I used 144 rated miles. But, I figured out it was 46 degrees that morning which probably increased energy usage slightly.

Harris Ranch is a huge beef “CAFO” with restaurant and Inn. There were 8 superchargers and space when I arrived, but within a few minutes all were full. Most of the time I was charging at 87 to 120 amps. I believe this is one of the original superchargers and isn’t as fast as the new ones which are much more powerful. Next stop was the Mojave Supercharger. Actual mileage was 164 and rate miles used was 185. I used 51.5 kWh at 315 W/m. Arrived at Mojave with 57 rated miles left. The rated miles are higher on this leg because of the approximate 3000 foot climb up the mountains out of Bakersfield. The Mojave Supercharger is brand new and charges very fast. It is located in a small shopping center next to a cafe that serves Mexican food, a grocery store, and a few other various shops. Third stop of the day was in Barstow, only 73 miles from Mojave, but I wanted to top off for the longer drive to Needles. Barstow was very busy on this Friday afternoon. All eight superchargers were full and I had to wait about 10 minutes for an open stall. Barstow is a huge freeway crossroads with lots of traffic from L.A. to Las Vegas. Apparently there were some big conventions in Vegas that weekend. There were several new P85D’s there and that was the first time I had seen one. The Barstow Supercharger has a solar platform over 4 of the charging stalls that also provides shade. I used 76 rated miles, 20.7 kWh at 284 W/m.

I left Barstow and set out to Needles, my last stop of the day. I arrived around 6:15 pm after starting the day at 7am. The last leg was 149 miles and I used 152 rated miles. I used 43 kWh at 288 W/mile. I arrived at Needles with 35% battery left. Needles has 4 superchargers at a Shell station and I was the only one charging there. It was right next to the Rio Del Sol Motel where I stayed that night. Total mileage that day was 515 miles. I made 3 charging stops that day which added about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I actually enjoyed having an hour off every couple hours so I could eat or stretch. I charged in Needles for about 45 minutes that evening. One other note, the first leg of the drive was cool under 50 degrees so I had the air conditioning off and just used the fan. The rest of the day had warmed up, mostly high 70’s to low 80’s and I used the air conditioner the whole way and still achieved the efficiencies as listed above. I was pretty happy that the EPA numbers for the car were pretty accurate and Evtripplanner was a great tool.

The next morning I was and on the road to Phoenix via the Quartzsite and Buckeye supercharger stops. The first leg to Quartzsite was straight south from Needles about 100 miles. I saw about 4 cars the entire way and desert landscape was beautiful. Arrived in Quartzsite at 8:30am after driving 105 miles. I used 110 rated miles, 32.1 kWh at 303 W/m and 45% battery left. There were 6 superchargers there and I was the only one charging. The last leg to the Buckeye Supercharger was 101 miles. I arrived at 11am, using 119 rate miles, 34 kWh, and 336 W/mile. The speed limit was 75 and I ran at 77 mph the whole way. I arrived with 42% battery left. It was 79 degrees. Each of the superchargers is located with restaurants or shopping near by, some better than others. I made one stop each day at a Rest Stop on the side of the road. California and Arizona have quite a few along the way.

From Buckeye I drove about 30 miles to the Phoenix Airport to pick up my wife and then off to the Westin Kierland Villas where we are spending this week. The total trip was 763 miles. I stopped at 6 superchargers along the way. I may not have needed to stop in Barstow, but I didn’t want to take a chance since this was my first voyage out in the Starship Teslaprise, yes, that is what I named my car. The Tesla ran perfectly the whole way. For the most part it was uneventful and I saw some beautiful scenery and learned a lot how the car really operates on the open road. Everyone should take a trip in a Tesla! On Saturday I will pick up my son in Flagstaff and be off to Utah. More to come.

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Oh, in Phoenix I had the Tesla washed and detailed to remove all the bug art! Blink Network has charging stations all around the area. They are only 25amps and charge at 15 mph at a cost of about $3 per hour!! No wonder they all show available. I talked with the Tesla Sales Center at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and they let me use their HPWC at 80amps. This bye the way, was the spot I took my first test drive last year before ordering the car.

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Stayed in Monument Valley last night and added 50 miles of charge at Gouldings Lodge RV Park via NEMA 14-50. Monument Valley was awesome and took tour this morning. In Moab now to see Arches and Canyonlands over next two days, then on to Bryce an Zion!

More to come….



16
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Infographic: ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: ,


Just a quick one to share this great infographic that we have been sent by Adept on the Feed-in Tariff Scheme for UK homeowners.

Using data from Ofgem and the UK Government, this infographic shows some of the reasons why having an eco-friendly home can mean lower bills and a more sustainable future:

ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme Infographic

By Adept Concepts – ECOnomic Benefits of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme



16
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Guidelines on Solar Power for Homeowners


Category: Solar Energy
Tags:


Guidelines on Solar Power for Homeowners

There are many things we can agree upon and one of them is that utility bills can certainly be smaller. We can make it happen however, especially if you know what you’re doing and how to deal with them in a creative way. Residential solar power will allow you to deal with that, as it is one of many solutions for such needs that allow us to become more and more independent from our local power supplier. Of course solar power can be used in a strictly supplementary role if we simply don’t have the weather for optimal use, but in the end it remains an excellent solution. The tips ahead will explain how you can make use of it around your home:

  • There are a lot of commercial systems that allow us to take advantage of solar power better than the more common residential ones, but they need to be placed in locations with good light levels to take advantage of the technology. They possess better storage cells and efficiency, but they are also more expensive as well. Working with this type of tech will allow you to lower your energy bills drastically, assuming your local weather allows it.
  • There is a lot of independence in owning solar panels and making use of them around your home. Using this type of green power source not only saves you from power outages when they happen, but they also give you a chance to stay away from the grid entirely if you happen to live in arid climates. Using solar power is attainable as a goal, but you will need to keep in mind that it will still take a good bit of time to pay the setup. It will work for itself, but it still carries a good bit of financial strain as well, so you will need to consider that before you move on to the actual task at hand.
  • Once you work this out, you will need to decide on subsidies and the final price. Solar water heating systems will be simpler to pay off, but a true photovoltaic system will need about a decade to pay for itself with current prices. You can always combine a good solar water heater with photovoltaic panels, but you will need a good bit of space to do so. You may want to consider doing that before you move into a new home, whether you use a moving company or not. This will be the best time to do so, as choosing your property will largely dictate the solar power capability it will possess. Make sure you do so long before the moving truck arrives at your front door and see about doing an energy audit for your new home.
  • You may need to retire your system as a purely supplemental power source if you don’t have a steady weather pattern of unobstructed sunlight where you live. Doing so will still allow you to keep your bills low, but at the same time you will still benefit from solar power in the end.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for: London Removals Ltd. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about house removals, storage, office relocation, green living home solutions, other home related topics.



15
APR

John Olver says:
Electric Vehicles, An Unstoppable Market Force


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,


Electric Vehicles, An Unstoppable Market Force

Worldwide increase in demand for EV’s.
The Nissan Leaf is the world leader in number of cars on the road and increase in sales but all makes are up. Although total numbers are small, less than million worldwide, EV’s arre coming on market in a world dominated by ICE’s for a hundred years. The infrastructure for EV’s is just beginning and the technology is in it’s infancy. What is evident is that there is a market demand for EV’s and that demand is growing as consumers become familiar with EV’s, the number of models grows and the infrastructure comes on line.

http://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/28/ev-demand-growing-global-market-hits-740000-units/

Battery costs are falling more rapidly than predicted.
In 2007 lithium-ion batteries were priced at US$1000 per kWh. By 2014 the price ha fallen to US$300 per kWh. This has been due to increased demand and technological improvements in both the batteries and the manufacturing process. At this pace the US$150 price should be reached within the next few years as Tesla and Nissan bring their mass battery production facilities on line and further improvements are made to the batteries themselves. EV’s will be price competitive with ICE vehicles when the US$150 range is reached. At that same time consumers will be over the range phobia that has held up sales, the EV’s offered will have increased range and probably recharge more quickly. Those that own or rent a living space that makes charging at home possible will find it hard to resist a vehicle that is much cheaper to operate than an ICE vehicle.

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/23/falling-battery-prices-boost-outlook-for-electric-vehicles/

Environmental benefits of EV’s will lead to faster adoption.
Mass adoption of EV’s would lead to less environmental devastation caused by fossil fuel extraction and transport, less smog in densely populated areas and cooler cities as well as other benefits. Certainly there is an environmental impact to manufacturing EV’s but the vehicles themselves have far fewer parts than ICE vehicles and therefore manufacturing impact should be less and the battery manufacturing process can be made nearly pollution free if we wish it to be. A recent study at Michigan State University found that EV’s produce only 20% of the heat that ICE vehicles produce. This translates to cooler cities and lower air conditioning costs.

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/23/falling-battery-prices-boost-outlook-for-electric-vehicles/

Will other technology jump ahead of EV’s?
Toyota is pushing hard for hydrogen fuel cell powered EV’s but to date they haven’t solved all the technical problems needed to make the fuel cells practical and cheap and the infrastructure is a long way behind the battery infrastructure. But in the end there will be room for both formats. The biggest breakthrough that put a stop to individually owned EV’s is the driverless vehicle movement. If we all have multipurpose hand held device and a driverless vehicle can be summoned with the push of a button to drive us to our destination it would seem far cheaper to have the vehicles owned by a transportation company and just call a car as needed. Of course these vehicles are likely to be either battery or hydrogen EV’s.

Cleaner transportation is inevitable.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince comments:
    "At an election hustings last night the failure to grasp the need to focus and do something now about climate change was so obvious from the key parties.
    Sure they all make noises but it needs real guts to pioneer and challenge the status quo that is the political classes today.
    Right now you have a chance to insist even demand that if any candidate wants your vote then they must champion carbon reduction at far higher levels than the current Dorset target.
    Other countries will be mainly renewable before we even achieve modest targets and why ? Old thinking, attachment to fossil fuels, dependance on Nuclear and all totally un-necessary.
    Listen to your conscious and vote independently of old baggage or misplaced loyalty.
    Vote for the future of generations to come and the Planet. "

    April 16, 2015 a 3:29 pm


08
APR

Conor MacGuire says:
Renewable Energy – Power Your Home More Effectively and Efficiently


Category: Biomass Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags:


In the recent years, the rising costs of energy have boosted the overall cost of living to all new heights. Thus, it now becomes necessary for the homeowners to set their sights on the alternative energy sources. These sources reduce both, energy dependence and expense to a significant amount.

As the fear of ending conventional sources of energy rises, the homemakers have started weighing other options for their energy consumption. More and more people now ought to invest in alternative energy resources of energy, and it seems to be a growing market. Along this, a number of states now offer rebates, tax credits, and other incentives to promote clean energy. So, now it’s your turn to switch to these energy sources, before it gets too late. Read out here to find some promising solutions, which can help power your home efficiently and effectively:

renewable-energy

Solar

When it comes to renewable sources, ‘Solar energy’ is the first to strike your brain. The reason for its ever increasing popularity is that it is the easiest solution, or better say, one of the most easily accessible. For your home, all you need is the photo-voltaic solar panels, batteries and an inverter.

The performance depends greatly on the region you are residing, for example, the location having sunny and brighter days for most of the time per year will show better results. But, that doesn’t mean the areas with less sunlight cannot use solar panels. Even, if the temperature falls off, the solar energy users can still keep their homes warm and bright.

Another advantage of solar energy is that it demands a little maintenance. The solar panels once installed, can provide large amounts of electricity and don’t ask for repairs often.

Wind

Do you know that wind energy is the second most widely used renewable source? But, many homemakers associate it with those mammoth wind farms, neglecting their usage at home. The fact which remains silent is that there are a number of small sized turbines available, perfect for producing a significant amount of energy.

So, it is a valuable solution for those looking for non- conventional sources. The speed of the wind in your region will decide over the right solution for your home. You can seek help from the weather services, they will let you know the average wind speed in your region.

Undoubtedly, bigger turbines are capable of generating a large amount of energy, but you can use a 10-kilowatt turbine for your home. It is 100 feet tall, the turbine is nearly 23 feet and is sufficient to produce enough energy for a house.

Micro Hydro Electricity

This is an effective solution and its installation is much easier. Warning!!! – It is ideal only if you live near moving water.

All you need is to place a pipe, running from the higher area (where water is flowing) to a lower piece of ground. As the water moves downhill, turns the turbine at the end of the pipe, energy is produced. Surprisingly, a number of micro hydro systems have been known to produce ten or even 100 times more power than wind or solar. Moreover, it is more efficient than the two other sources, as it can run non-stop and overnight.

Biomass

As far as the use of biomass for your home is considered, it usually includes the stove used to heat water or for general home heating. You can use plants, including wood waste, grass, crops or trees to fuel your stoves. It is sometimes reported to pollute the air, but it is still a green option as it produces less pollution than those fossil fuels, which involves burning of harsh chemicals.

So, there is a multitude of combinations available. Now, it depends on your budget to achieve energy independence with help of these renewable sources!

UK Gov is inspiring folks to use these technologies and providing loan under the scheme like Green Deal. If you need green deal in Scotland then contact Green Energy Scotland Limited for your needs. UK Gov is also running another scheme called: Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat. The RHI pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings.



01
APR

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Who should you vote for if Climate Change and Renewable Energy are important to you?


Category: Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Who should you vote for if Climate Change and Renewable Energy are important to you?

I put party attitudes in two categories. Twentieth century concepts of centralised energy generation, fossil fuel and nuclear technologies and a reluctance to push forward with renewables quickly to avoid the worst effects of a changed climate future, dominate UKIP and Conservative thinking. Decentralisation, strong government incentives for a rapid switch to renewables, lack of sympathy for entrenched fossil fuel dominated companies and a sense that climate change is a fairness issue because the poorest in the country/the world cannot pay to get themselves out of the firing line of flooding, sea level rise and drought characterise the other parties.

Rather surprisingly, considering their appreciation of the need to “be independent and take control of our own destiny” UKIP have not made any link between home grown renewable energy, UK resilience and reduced dependence on energy from “dodgy” countries. Instead, they express intense dislike for wind turbines in particular and “renewable energy subsidies which penalise consumers.” Let’s be honest, generally speaking, UKIPers don’t accept the premise that man-made climate change is a serious threat to our well-being. It’s clear that UKIP MPs will not be voting for any government promotion of renewable energy.

The Greens have an extensive set of policies relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage. They want to see “a complete transformation of our energy supply systems to one based on efficient use of energy supplied mainly by electricity from renewable sources, accelerated heat production from renewable sources, improved energy performance of buildings, heat and energy storage, stimulation of research and development, a land and sea framework for development of renewable energy, a diversity of ownership of energy generation and energy democracy. Green MPs would evidently be voting to support renewables, as well as challenging bills that prevent or slow down development of renewables.

Conservatives support the current regime of continually reducing renewables subsidies. They promise to end the on shore wind turbine subsidy (currently the cheapest renewable!) and restrict new solar farms. Eric Pickles has called in nearly all recent planning permissions for on-shore wind turbines and quite a few solar farms. They much prefer on roof PV and would support changes in planning law to encourage this. Conservatives are enthusiastic supporters of fracking and value the contribution fossil fuels make to the economy. One senses their support for renewables is conditional, that they don’t understand the full potential of renewables to growing the economy, and would expect renewables to flourish in spite of, rather than because of, government policies.

A Labour government set up the Feed in tariff, the Renewable heat Incentive and a pathway to zero carbon homes. The coalition have continued these. More recently, Labour have announced policies on energy efficiency, interest free home improvement loans, replacement of Ofgem and freezing energy prices. Labour have a good track record with renewables and have recently stated that they “will support community energy, and explore the huge potential for individuals and communities to create and save energy through community ownership and collective consumer action.” They have not explained the instruments they would use but it seems likely that Labour would provide strong support for renewables.

Liberal Democrat controlled DECC has overseen huge expansion of PV and off-shore wind against Conservative scepticism. Their manifesto includes “doubling renewable electricity and heat generation by 2020, making the UK zero carbon by 2050, a zero carbon bill with a legally binding decarbonisation target for the power sector up to 2030, an office for accelerated low carbon innovation to fast-track new green tech including tidal power, renewable heat, ultra-low emission vehicles and energy storage.” It’s clear that a strong Liberal Democrat presence in parliament is good for the renewables industry.

The economy is the second most important issue for voters so we should focus on the fact that every pound invested in renewables contributes £3.20 to GDP and £1.27 in taxes. The UK could be self-sufficient in renewable energy, thus giving us a more resilient economy. To achieve this, the renewables industry wants stable financial and regulatory support while it matures and drives costs down. I think that’s worth voting for.



01
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Heat Pump Green Energy Guidelines


Category: Heat Pumps
Tags:


Heat Pump Green Energy Guidelines

Heat pumps take heat from the ground, water or air and use that for space heating and heating up water as well. Where a fridge works by taking the heat from your food and water and removing it, while heat pumps take the heat from the ground itself or water and air and pump it into your home to keep it warm.

Heat pumps don’t always work great in most homes however, since they usually have the best efficiency in insulated buildings and may also be a pretty good choice when you’re building a new home as well. If you hope that using a heat pump will help lower the heating costs of your home, this may not be the case if you plan on replacing a gas boiler, for instance. If you are currently heating your home with electricity, oil or LPG, then you may have greater results overall and an easier time financially.

If you want to install a ground source heat pump, then you have to have plenty of space around your property if you want to achieve that. The space will be necessary for all the pipework that becomes part of it, buried underground to make it happen. It may also be installed using a borehole, but that will cost you more in the end. You will also have to have suitable locations for your drilling machinery if you want to make it happen. Air source heat pumps will end up taking less space, but you still need to have a good bit of distance away from your neighbouring homes and space to do so.

Heat pumps can help heat up water to a lower overall temperature than most traditional boilers, so you would do well to ensure you have a very well insulated home with good floor heating. You can make use of a heat pump with radiators involved, but you will need to use a larger set of them if you want to reach a good level of heating involved. A lot of the older buildings are not really good enough in terms of energy efficiency so they can use floor heating for low temperature radiators.

A traditional boiler with a hot water cylinder will heat up to 60°C or even higher. Using a heat pump will allow you to heat your water easily, but the hotter you make it, the more power it will require to make it happen, so you may want to keep the temperature around 50°C. Boosting it all the way to 60°C once a week will allow you to keep legionella away, which are pathogenic bacteria that happen to grow in such water sources with the right conditions. In many cases heat pumps come with an integrated immersion heater as well.

Since they tend to take up less space, air heat pumps will better serve urban areas and apartments, especially where there is no gas supply at the ready or when they need to replace electric heating. Installing one after a major house clearance initiative will work well, since you will have the most space for it. You also need to consider the chance of hiring a clearance company that works for junk clearance, furniture clearance and more.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for Rubbish Waste Ltd. who offer house clearance, recycling, rubbish collection. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about waste removal, cleaning, green living home solutions, removals and other home related topics.



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