Archive for ‘Climate Change’


06
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Letsgetenergized is making its return to champion Renewable Energy


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


This prototype Electric Tram is being tested in China, it runs on white painted lines in the road. Its highly advanced batteries give it amazing serviceability and it carries over 300 people.

Everyday I’m sent examples of new ways of developing electric transport capabilities. From cars to aeroplanes the future is electric and combined with the enormous development of renewable energy we are entering a new fossil fuel free era.

We can dramatically reduce pollution which effects everyone of us going about our daily routine.

We can begin to reverse the worst forecasts of climate change and together make our Planet once again safe for the generations to come.

Join us in spreading the word that the UK should be taking a lead in developing renewable energy and of course majoring on moving from petrol/diesel powered transport to electric or eventually even hydrogen.

None of our political parties are focussing on renewable energy or climate change the most important issues of our times. Hold your potential MP’s locally to account and make commitments of support on both subjects.

Our commitment is clear, to the Planet, to landscape, to people and of course to the Natural World.

Tell us your own stories about installing solar, buying an electric car anything that will give confidence to other people thinking of making changes.

Forward our website details to all your friends, relatives and colleagues. Lets shout about this new energy and really get the show on the road here in the UK.https---blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com-uploads-card-image-499014-01beaa53-bfe5-4474-adef-a6a4a3fc0533



29
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Is this PR or a real time to re-think energy policy


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,


We have an amazing opportunity to say No to Nuclear and Hinkley Point B and focus on a future that embraces renewable energy and builds a sustainable future for us all.

Please read on:

 

LEADING ARTICLE
july 29 2016, 12:01am, the times
No Point in Hinkley
Alternatives to the large-scale nuclear power station planned for Somerset are now so numerous that the government should cut its losses and start again

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Hours after the French energy giant EDF gave final approval for its investment in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station last night, the government put the project under review. It was right to do so. The EDF decision is the wrong one for British consumers, Britain’s energy infrastructure and for the company itself. As part of a sensible overhaul of this country’s energy strategy for the next half-century, taking into account fast-changing renewable technologies that could render fossil fuels obsolete within a generation, Hinkley Point needs to be scrapped.
The twin reactors planned for the Somerset site would constitute the biggest and most expensive nuclear power station in the world. Their combined capacity would power five million homes and help to make up a shortfall that the National Grid already has to remedy by paying inflated prices to existing power producers. But EDF’s design is unproven and unaffordable. The project as a whole is too dependent on Chinese investment. Even EDF is not wholly behind it. Last year its chief financial officer resigned rather than support it. Yesterday a board member quit for the same reason.

Hinkley Point C was supposed to produce electricity from next year. The earliest date now envisaged is 2025. If that were plausible the project might still be worth considering. In reality two plants of the same design now under construction in Finland and France are years behind schedule and billions over budget after a series of technical problems. Two more in China have been built faster and more cheaply but have yet to enter service.

EDF has modified the design for France’s own modernisation plans. It is absurd to persist with the discredited version at Hinkley Point, especially when there are so many alternatives.

The US, Japan and Britain’s own Rolls-Royce produce smaller nuclear reactors that could fit more flexibly and much less expensively into our future energy mix. Gas-powered stations can be built in as few as two years once planning requirements have been met, and are the cleanest, most efficient bridge to a low-carbon supply as Britain’s last coal-powered plants are phased out.

Most auspiciously, recent advances in artificial photosynthesis offer the prospect of a solar power revolution that is likely to pull renewables from the fringe to the centre of the energy industry within the lifetime of any nuclear plant under construction today. Last month a team from Harvard announced a breakthrough towards “artificial leaves” that can produce liquid fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide — as plants do, but with up to ten times the efficiency. A second project, at the University of Illinois, has achieved the same trick with low-cost catalysts built into solar panels producing burnable gas rather than electricity. The process solves the energy storage problem that conventional solar power can only address with batteries.

Artificial photosynthesis has long been seen as a holy grail of energy science because its output is carbon-neutral and its input, the sun, is limitless. Its commercialisation will take time, but that of traditional solar panels is far advanced. Falling in price by an average of 10 per cent a year, they are expected to produce a fifth of the planet’s power within a decade.

Energy planners must be nimble enough to embrace these new technologies. To proceed with Hinkley Point C instead is to be held hostage to a design that is outdated before it is built and will never be commercially viable. The strike price agreed by Britain for EDF is twice the current wholesale price for electricity. The evidence suggests that Britain and France are pressing ahead with Hinkley Point C to save the blushes of successive governments that put their faith in it without paying enough attention to its many flaws. Shame on them.



04
MAY

Vince Adams says:
Immigration and the future, don’t let Brexit fool you


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


This report identifies how immigration trends will develop during the coming years and why the recent problems with Syrian refugees are just the tip of a huge movement of people unless we tackle Climate Change urgently.

It highlights the need for working closely together with our European partners to develop strategies that really do begin to address the key problem and how climate change will change the whole face of where people live and work.

80 days at 114 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit is probably too many for most people to endure and that is a likely scenario for summers in parts of the Middle East and North Africa thirty to fifty years from now. That means 500 million people or more will need to move. Where they will go is an interesting question.

 

“More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa — a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The number of extremely hot days has doubled since 1970. “In future, the climate in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa could change in such a manner that the very existence of its inhabitants is in jeopardy,” says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Professor at the Cyprus Institute.

Lelieveld and his colleagues have investigated how temperatures will develop in the Middle East and North Africa over the course of the 21st century. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth’s temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. By mid-century, during the warmest periods, temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit). By the end of the century, midday temperatures on hot days could even climb to 50 degrees Celsius (approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit). Another finding: Heat waves could occur ten times more often than they do now.

By mid-century, 80 instead of 16 extremely hot days

In addition, the duration of heat waves in North Africa and the Middle East will prolong dramatically. Between 1986 and 2005, it was very hot for an average period of about 16 days, by mid-century it will be unusually hot for 80 days per year. At the end of the century, up to 118 days could be unusually hot, even if greenhouse gas emissions decline again after 2040. “If humankind continues to release carbon dioxide as it does now, people living in the Middle East and North Africa will have to expect about 200 unusually hot days, according to the model projections,” says Panos Hadjinicolaou, Associate Professor at the Cyprus Institute and climate change expert.

Atmospheric researcher Jos Lelieveld is convinced that climate change will have a major impact on the environment and the health of people in these regions. “Climate change will significantly worsen the living conditions in the Middle East and in North Africa. Prolonged heat waves and desert dust storms can render some regions uninhabitable, which will surely contribute to the pressure to migrate,” says Jos Lelieveld.

The research team recently also published findings on the increase of fine particulate air pollution in the Middle East. It was found that desert dust in the atmosphere over Saudi Arabia, Iraq and in Syria has increased by up to 70 percent since the beginning of this century. This is mainly attributable to an increase of sand storms as a result of prolonged droughts. It is expected that climate change will contribute to further increases, which will worsen environmental conditions in the area.

In the now published study, Lelieveld and his colleagues first compared climate data from 1986 to 2005 with predictions from 26 climate models over the same time period. It was shown that the measurement data and model predictions corresponded extremely well, which is why the scientists used these models to project climate conditions for the period from 2046 to 2065 and the period from 2081 to 2100.

Largest temperature increase in already hot summers

The researchers based their calculations on two future scenarios: The first scenario, called RCP4.5, assumes that the global emissions of greenhouse gases will start decreasing by 2040 and that the Earth will be subjected to warming by 4.5 Watt per square meter by the end of the century. The RCP4.5 scenario roughly corresponds to the target set at the most recent UN climate summit, which means that global warming should be limited to less than two degrees Celsius.

The second scenario (RCP8.5) is based on the assumption that greenhouse gases will continue to increase without further limitations. It is therefore called the “business-as-usual scenario.” According to this scenario, the mean surface temperature of the Earth will increase by more than four degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

In both scenarios, the strongest rise in temperature in the Middle East and North Africa is expected during summer, when it is already very hot, and not during winter, which is more common in other parts of the globe. This is primarily attributed to a desert warming amplification in regions such as the Sahara. Deserts do not buffer heat well, which means that the hot and dry surface cannot cool by the evaporation of ground water. Since the surface energy balance is controlled by heat radiation, the greenhouse effect by gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor will increase disproportionately.

Regardless of which climate change scenario will become reality: both Lelieveld and Hadjinicolaou agree that climate change can result in a significant deterioration of living conditions for people living in North Africa and the Middle East, and consequently, sooner or later, many people may have to leave the region”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.



18
MAR

Vince Adams says:
Time for us all to face the truth and do something about it


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags: ,


Keith Wheaton Green speaks with such personal understanding and eloquence regarding our continued Denial of the most obvious. Is it really just total selfishness by a few who hold back everyone of us and generations to come after us ??

 

Someone in denial obviously can’t see the truth even when the evidence is all around them. I believe I have only been in denial once in my lifetime to date – when a loved one was dying but I refused to believe it even though everyone around me understood the truth. Obviously, denial has no impact on the inevitable. And so it is with climate change. It can be difficult to accept the truth when it affects cosy lives or  world views. Change, or the perception that things will change can be uncomfortable.

I saw this discomfort last week when – yet again – I attended a planning determination for a wind farm in Dorset, this time on the outskirts of Dorchester. The proposed six large (giant?) turbines would produce the annual equivalent of Dorchester’s electrical consumption. That British paranoia with wind was on show yet again. Fifty three of us speakers (for and against) were each given a firm maximum of three minutes. Everything and everyone was polite and professional. The surprise for me was the fact there appeared to be more speakers in support than against the turbines. I haven’t seen this before. Again and again, speakers were passionate and eloquent. People of all ages – even several living in sight of the turbines – expressed a desire to see beautiful turbines. Comments included “turbine installation is reversible, climate change is not, our selfishness is leaving a poisonous legacy to our children, this is the last turbine application in Dorset and our last opportunity to do the right thing, landscape impact of the turbines is dwarfed by the new residential developments of Poundbury and Charlton Down.”

I think the floods of the last three years, the fact that the 15 hottest years on record were during the last 16 years and the uncharacteristically warm, daffodil blooming December 2015 has led to the penny having dropped. Dorchester seems to have a surprising wealth of well-informed people.

However, the planning establishment are wedded to the concept of “landscape harm” and their professional (?!) opinion was that this outweighed the benefit of renewable energy generation. The case officer spent most of his presentation time explaining that harm, with only a passing mention of the schemes benefits. I would say he was in denial of the benefits and the degree of public support. He was not alone. One speaker erroneously stated that there had been no global warming since 2000 and that wind turbine saved no carbon emissions because of the back-up generation required. There were many other statements made that were simply not true. Denial of reality to keep themselves in the cosy zone of their imagined reality.

Councillors had evidently already made up their minds and voted 6 to 3 to reject the application with little discussion. There is no prospect of an appeal to our wind turbine hating government.

Our government is also evidently in denial. Despite David Cameron speaking with apparent passion in support of the firm targets to reduce carbon emissions in Paris, and his statement that Britain was “already leading the way in work to cut emissions,”  the current trajectory to reduce UK emissions is dire. Thanks to previous DECC ministers, Eds Milliband and Davey, we did indeed show leadership up until election of our current government. The introduction of the feed in tariff in 2009 and the renewable heat incentive in 2011 led to impressive expansion in renewables. Wind now regularly supplies around 14% of electrical demand (and is not as intermittent as you might think) and photovoltaics show up as a significant reduction of midday demand. (If you don’t believe me, have a look at the excellent gridwatch.templar website where you will find up to the minute and historical easy to understand data.) However, our current government cannot claim responsibility.

Here is a list of what they have done to halt our progress;

  • Closed the Renewables Obligations 12 months early
  • Closed the ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CfDs) to onshore wind (which aimed to support new investment in all forms of low-carbon generation and to offer price stabilization.)
  • Removed Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) pre-accreditation and implemented a wholesale review of FiT with expectation that it could be scrapped entirely.
  • Changed  planning laws for Renewable Energy, making the rules significantly different from shale gas
  • Removed renewable electricity from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption
  • Accepted that the whole of South West England has no grid access for renewable energy
  • Removed tax breaks for small community-led projects.

And no one can deny that.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "David Saunders long term guru of renewable energy comments on Keith’s article “Nice article, lovely to see your passion, and worrying of course to know it’s against the stream of government thinking. I attended a public economics lecture at Bristol University last night, on ’the one thing that would change everything’. Beautifully and clearly arguing that if polluters pay the real costs of pollution, rather than externalise them, it would put everything right – meaning climate change. He dismissed 4 or 5 other approaches including a magic techno fix, and said he’d expect to get questions on the alternatives, which gave me the chance to ask one… And I was fresh from Regen SW’s much-smaller-than-last-year-because-of-the-cuts Smart Energy day in Exeter. I’d been practicing my future-of-energy-in-two-diagrams on various of the attendees and exhibitors, while picking up ideas for the shared renewable energy systems that we want to be planning for our bale-build-community-led-hopefully-very-affordable-cohousing projects. So I framed the question by saying that I’m actually rather skeptical (based on long experience, plus observation of the Thatcher and Cameron governments) about us being able to persuade the government to legislate to tell us to do the right thing, even post-Paris, and especially in light of recent moves – like the elimination of the petroleum production tax in the budget which is hardly aimed at reducing emissions. So can I ask a question about a technology solution? Given permission, I pointed out my thesis that solar was following a Moore’s law curve (and at Exeter yesterday, people were agreeing, and no longer putting up the ‘but the energy companies will fight it all the way’ argument, if only because they already have been fighting it all the way, and what we’ve achieved is in spite of that opposition). And it is significant – solar has grown by a factor of ten three times in the last 21 years, in roughly eight, then seven, and then six years respectively. Halving its cost each time, to the point where – in 2014 – it supplied one percent of world electricity, and is lowering grid prices for energy, with or without subsidies. Given this, I said that doing all you can to reduce pollution, or charge people for making it, is a fine ambition. But what if you replace pollution with something that ACTUALLY COSTS LESS and does not pollute? And what if that replacement, whether it’s a techno fix or not, and whatever timescales they may have been talking about in Paris around 2030, 2040 or 2050, is on target to produce ten percent of our electrical energy in 6 years or less, and then
    one hundred percent in a few years more? Because it will have shut down a whole bunch of the polluting energy sources, and replaced our current electricity supply with something far cheaper? Wouldn’t that be alright? He said “I have just two words for you – ‘I agree.’ “. And then slipped into a kind of precautionary ‘do both’ reply, with which I have no problem whatsoever – though as you are pointing out Keith, the likelihood of our present government legislating to promote the right things seems both microscopic, and receding. He was helpful enough to mention the issue of storage being something we’d have to work on for solar, giving me the opportunity come back and say something about that. Fortunately I had already discussed the issue of storage in the gas grid earlier in the day with a Wales and West Energy guy. Rather than shutting down the gas grid to stop methane emissions – which they recognise has to happen some time – they are already thinking about switching it to hydrogen instead of methane, made from hydrolysis using excess summer solar energy. In Germany, the gas grid has three months worth of national energy demand in storage capacity – so it is already a massive, low cost storage solution. I summarised and shared this information at the lecture, and got another ‘I agree’ from the lecturer, and was shortly afterwards surrounded by students as the questioning ended and the lecture started to disperse, and had a fun chat with some of them. It was very sweet, actually, to find that an old geezer who had been a bit of a nerd for most of his life, could find lots of common ground with today’s young people. And my point is?… Whatever our governments are doing or saying, it is a truism that politicians are at best generalists, and not in touch with real trends and or solutions in areas in which they are supposed to be expert. (And only a truism, not the fiull truth – there are smart politicians, and politicians who aren’t in the pockets of vested interests). But it does make it uphill work talking with politicians. If it’s around getting permission for wind farms, that becomes a problem. But if it’s around putting solar on most roofs that can take it, there’s no need to have that conversation, and eventually they come round to your point of view, because it’s so obviously working, and there’s no way for them to stop you. Except, of course, that by virtually removing feed in tariffs, they have done their utmost to stop solar dead in its tracks, and stop the next tenfold increase in the UK. Which would, incidentally, take us from 8Gw, to 80Gw, which is quite a lot more than our peak daytime electricity demand, and takes us well into the territory where nuclear is long dead (whatever the cleanup cost) and storage has become the issue, and by which time, switching the gas grid from methane to hydrogen will have become a well-discussed and understood topic, and we’ll be working towards it – hopefully. It’s the least cost solution so it should be a no brainer for people owning gas grids to switch to hydrogen. Renewables have already demonstrably caused a lowering of grid wholesale prices, and only solar has the ability to halve its cost again, and then one more time again. Meaning a wholesale price for energy around 1p to 2p per unit? That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Whether we manage to get this to reduce prices for energy end users is up to us – communities have to own the solar generation, and distribution as well, for this to happen There’s no reason why not – or, rather, there’s every reason why not, as it will go against vested interests, and the need for corporations to continually increase profits in a growth economy. SO. In just two diagrams and far less time than it took me to write this, and even less time than it took you to read this (if you’ve been kind enough to do so) we have a complete solution to our energy problems. Abundant, cheap, secure, 100% renewable year-round energy. There’s plenty that could be said to flesh it out, and fill in the evidence base to support the logic, as well as fill in the steps that get us from here to there. But the bottom line is it’s pretty simple, and almost absolutely unstoppable – as with Moore’s law in electronics, it did not need government legislation to get super powerful smartphones in everyone hands, and reduce the cost of storage from £600 for 40 megabytes (my first hard disk drive in or around 1992) to £199 for 8 terabytes (my latest, which would have cost £120,000,000 at 1992 prices). Similarly, government can’t stop the growth of the solar economy, because economics itself drives the change – but government could help the development of the solar hydrogen economy. Once Hinckley C is dead (or, rather, once it is recognised as dead) there’s no reason for government not to go for this. Discuss? Tough about the wind, and cost of nuclear cleanup, but no worries about the long term renewable future. And the ‘long term’ is a lot sooner than governments imagine – see above…” "

    March 18, 2016 a 4:40 pm


29
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Thoughts from the USA


Category: Climate Change, Uncategorized
Tags:


This article from BBC reports on the So. Cal. methane leak, the largest in US history. It’s not just the burning of fossil fuels that is the problem. In order to burn them we have to extract, transport and store them. Each step in the process exposes the environment to leaks, spills and waste disposal problems.It’s a dirty business from beginning to end. A tax on carbon at the source, and end to government subsidies and enforcement of pollution laws would bring the cost pop fossil fuels far above that of renewables.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35659947



18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Why not use UK coal instead of imports


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Today’s closure of the last coal mine in Britain got me to think why ?

Why throw good men and true out of their lifetime of working there when we still have a requirement to use coal. Sure its being phased out which for me as an advocate for renewables in a great step forward but in the interim we still have coal powered power stations in use.

My understand is that we will be importing millions of tonnes of coal from around the World adding senseless cost to the process in terms of travel, people and our own resiliance.

The local Conservative MP when questioned about the closure blamed everything on renewables. That showed a total lack of understanding and highlighted the problem we have with our present Government.

He should have said, we believe that if its cheaper to import coal then who gives a sod for the few remaining miners and their families. He even called Wind Power as ineffectice as a chocolate fire guard in supplying energy, which is total nonsense. His consituents should seriously question his understanding of climate change and the need to develop clean energy and the huge part that wind power has to play.

So over Christmas spare a thought for the people in Yorkshire effected by the closure and wish them all good speed in finding work and futures for them and their families.

They will succeed but wow why do we make it so difficult.

 

Oh and how ironic that this week the Commons passed the Bill allowing fracking exploration to continue, hey ho

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35124077



18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Update and response from Regen on Fit’s cuts


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Solar Energy
Tags: , ,


Regen SW statement regarding Feed in Tariff cuts

Dear Vince

Commenting on the cuts on the support for renewable energy today, Regen SW chief executive Merlin Hyman said:

“The Government has pulled back from the worst of its proposals to cut support for renewable energy following a strong reaction from communities and businesses.

However, the strict caps to support for renewables are in painful contrast to the ambitions set out in Paris at the weekend.

The Paris agreements have fired the starting gun on the global race to clean energy and made the shift to a radically different decentralised energy system unstoppable.  The UK clean energy sector is determined to play a leading role in that shift despite the UK Governments attempts to prop up fossil fuel and nuclear power.”

Summary of key points from Feed in Tariff (FIT) announcements:

  • The FIT budget has been confirmed as up to £100m from 15 January 2016 up to the end of 2018/19
  • The Government response sets out measures to pause new applications to the FIT scheme from 15 January to 8 February to allow time for the implementation of cost control measures through the parliamentary process
  • Quarterly deployment caps will be introduced from 8 February 2016, including a queuing system for applicants who miss out on quarterly caps
  • A two stage re-cycling mechanism for underspent budget within the FIT scheme will be introduced
  • Tariff levels for <50kW solar PV and >50kW to 1.5MW onshore wind have received a small uplift compared to that proposed in the consultation. Other technologies and bandings have received tariff levels as set out in the consultation with the exception of standalone solar PV and hydro, which have received further reductions
  • Pre-accreditation of projects will been re-introduced from 8 February 2016
  • Generation tariff’s for extensions will be removed for all installations which commission on or after 15 January 2016
  • Government does not propose to introduce changes to the FIT scheme in relation to export tariffs, tariff indexation, competition, smart meters and grid management.
  • A separate consultation is expected for anaerobic digestion tariff levels and sustainability criteria early in 2016
  • The banding review consultation for solar PV projects of 5MW and below within the Renewables Obligation has been published today.  Details can be found here

The full Government response to the Feed in Tariff review can be found here

Rachel Hayes
Head of membership and events
Regen SW
‘Delivering sustainable energy’


28
JUN

Vince Adams says:
David Attenborourgh says “


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living
Tags:


One of my heroes David Attenborough was interviewed this morning on the Andrew Marr Show and asked about his views on climate change.

His response was that if we only replace now fossil fuels with renewables we can turn back climate change.

This is so fundamental and such a small step to take so we urge you to support renewables, get involved and make things happen. Urge your MP’s, local Coucillors and Company Leaders to create serious plans to go renewable.

We know that costs will overtime plummet and our bills let alone the cost to the Planet will come down.

Wherever there are strong local communities get together and creat your own local Community Energy Schemes using the many vehicles that now exist for making this possible.

DA has just come back from meeting with President Obama who he engages with questions on climate change and his attitudes towards it.

The following is a short video trailering tonights programme, try and make the effort to watch two pretty amazing people talking together.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150625-when-obama-met-attenborough



24
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Growing Vegetables


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


At Letsgetenergized we believe that local sustainability is hugely important and in partnership with a move to renewable energy will begin to drive back climate change and protect the Planet.

As someone who finds it difficult to grow vegetables this initiative by Pam and Ken to engage and develop growing your own is excellent.

Do support them if you can!!

Dear Friends,
As Ken or I may already have mentioned to some of you, we have set up two local groups on Meetup.com which you may be interested in joining – if so, please click on the relevant link below to register as a member (free of charge) so that you can receive email updates and come along to our talks and meetups.
Our groups are: ‘Grow It Yourself Dorset’, which meets monthly on a the first Wednesday evening of the month in Blandford and may be of interest to those wanting to learn more about growing fruit and vegetables and other related topics, and the other is ‘Resurgence Dorset’, which holds monthly talks on the last Tuesday of the month at Blandford Museum and bi-monthly on a Saturday at Hilfield Friary, for those interested in green-living, social justice, animal welfare, ethical living and environmental issues etc.  Full details of these groups are on the links below:
If you are not interested, or have already joined, sorry to bother you, but please do forward this email on to anyone else in North Dorset you think might like to join either of our groups.
Many thanks,
Pam and Ken


04
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Cover all new roof spaces with Solar or Plants


Category: Climate Change, Energy News for UK, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,


Cover all new roof spaces with Solar or Plants

I just read this article on the Guardian website and its so simple why don’t we do something similar. Local authorities will be empowered to ensure that on all new builds they will have to have either solar panels or plant covering. Both options are a win, win for the local community with new natural energy being created or more food and living space for wildlife.

In the coming years we shall be having Local Plans created probably without any input from many of the communities that they are being created for.

Here’s an idea to take to your own Local Plan facilitators, get involved and see what they are doing, are they thinking Green, local and sustainable.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/20/france-decrees-new-rooftops-must-be-covered-in-plants-or-solar-panels


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Such a no brainer get onto your local MP’s, Councillers, Builders and make them see sense "
    June 5, 2015 a 10:14 am


25
MAY

Vince Adams says:
Wind Turbine Technology and the Lake Turkana Project


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags:


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Wind Turbine Technology and the Lake Turkana Project

For centuries, humans have utilized wind energy through traditional windmills. The Netherlands has played a prominent role in the development of this sector, due to its geographic conditions. It has claimed significant portions of land through a complex water management system, driven by windmill power.

The traditional windmill has for long kept its original concept, with a horizontal shaft connected to the wind vanes, which in turn was connected to a vertical shaft through a right angle transmission. This rotating shaft was utilized for the particular purpose of the windmill.

It was only towards the end of the 1970s and early 80s that the windmill was seriously developed into modern turbines for generating electricity. Various test parks were built and it became a serious alternative method to generate electricity. The first significant wind turbines had a capacity of 100 kW, with steel wind blades.

Since the early 90s, the developments in wind technology accelerated. Computer systems were incorporated to optimize the utilization and efficiency of the turbines. The capacity increased significantly with new, larger mills and better materials. Also the safety was drastically improved by using stronger, but also lighter materials.

In addition, the knowledge and insight in wind streams and climatological circumstances further advanced, allowing the modern wind turbines to better anticipate the rapidly changing circumstances during showers, storms and other turbulent situations. The wind turbines were also equipped with lightning conduction and (if necessary) heating systems to prevent icing on the blades.

Meanwhile, the scale of the turbines continued to grow. Whereas the capacity of the largest wind turbine in 1990 had a capacity of 225 kW, today’s turbines can produce up to 6 MW each. The diameter of the rotor increased from 27 to 112 meters, and the shaft height (hub height) from 30 to 125 meters.

The latest models are equipped with sensors to determine undesired vibrations and allow the computer controlling system to take preventive measures. These sensors also make it possible to control the rotors individually, adjusting the angle of each blade independently during every rotation. This improves the efficiency, since the wind conditions for the blade in upright position differs from the ones below.

Don’t believe what you hear that wind energy turbines are not efficient its not true and developing our on-shore and off shore wind farms will give the UK greater energy sustainability

Just take a look at this project in Kenya !!

 

Lake Turkana Wind Project

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) aims to provide 300MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenya national grid, equivalent to approximately 20% of the current installed electricity generating capacity.  The Project is of significant strategic benefit to Kenya, and at more than €620 million will be the largest single private investment in Kenya’s history.  The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres (162km2), is located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County, in north-eastern Kenya, approximately 50km north of South Horr Township.

The Project will comprise 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kW), the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation.  The Project also includes upgrading of the existing road from Laisamis to the wind farm site, a distance of approximately 204km, as well as an access road network in and around the site for construction, operations and maintenance.  The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco) is constructing a double circuit 400kv, 428km transmission line to deliver the LTWP electricity along with power from other future plants to the national grid.

The power produced will be bought at a fixed price by Kenya Power (KPLC) over a 20-year period in accordance with the signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Norfund has supported the development of the project with NOK 13.6 million. When the project is ready for ordinary investment (fist half of 2014), Norfund will take a substantial equity share in the project company.

 


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Latest thoughts from the USA and Jack Olver
    “As you know I read a lot about this problem. Yesterday a pipeline broke along the California Coast. It was a small spill, only 21,000 gallons made it to the ocean of the 120,000 gallons spilled. That makes insignificant in most parts of the world but a big deal here in California. Meanwhile the Alberta oil sands lie under 140,000 square kilometers of Canadian forest – kiss those trees and all the wildlife that live there goodbye. The Deepwater Horizon spill is still killing dolphins and the Exxon Valdez is still killing sea otters. Both those ocean spills killed a lot of birds and other sea creatures too and the planktonic base of the food web was devastated. Mexico just had a rig explode and kill four people but no spill was reported. On land we have the constant pollution from the intentional burning of fossil fuels for energy as well as the continued practice of mountain top coal mining. Google Mountain top coal mining and click images to see some real devastation and then take a look at the Wikipedia article on that subject. Wind energy does have some problems, as does solar . But these problems can and will be addressed as more sustainable materials and practices come into play. Fossil fuels have had almost two centuries of use and they have gotten nothing but dirtier”. "

    May 25, 2015 a 11:55 am


24
MAY

Erik Blakeley says:
Recycling Rare Earth Magnets


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Recycling Rare Earth Magnets

The recycling of rare earth magnets from wind turbines is of great importance but is also highly practical. A 3MW wind turbine can use up to 2.7 tonnes of rare earth magnetic material (23). Ironically this is precisely why wind turbine magnets are not a major problem. In these quantities it is highly advantageous and economic to recycle magnets from wind turbines. The real problem with rare earths is in the vast number of tiny magnets in throw away electronics such as mobiles phones, earphones and computers that cannot easily be extracted from waste electronics material (24) (25) (26).
Erik Blakeley



05
MAY

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Where the Parties stand on Green Issues for the UK General Election 2015


Category: Climate Change, Energy News for UK, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,


Just a quick post as its Election Week to recommend you check out Friends of the Earth’s page on the Election manifestos: highs and lows to help you understand where all the parties stand on key environmental issues.

You can also check out www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/manifesto-guide then select ‘Environment’ under the issues which include; energy supply, climate change, flooding and air and water quality.

Hope this helps you to decide how to use your vote this week to help make a difference for the environmental and energy issues that will massively affect each and everyone one of us.

I also recommend checking out Animal Aid’s Vote for Animals website to find out your MPs policy towards wildlife, farm animals and pets on www.voteforanimals.org.uk


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "There is one thing we can all do, take a look at this !!
    This report by a Duke University Professor interested me: “As Duke University Professor Drew Shindell noted recently: [D]amages from a typical mid-range gasoline-powered vehicle total nearly $2,000 a year. In comparison, annual damages associated with an electric vehicle are around $1,000 if the power comes exclusively from coal, about $300 if the power is generated using natural gas, and minimal if the electricity is from renewable sources.
    The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die per year as a result of air pollution exposure, and, as organizations across the board are noting, ocean acidification that hurts fisheries is a threat to both local economies and the people who rely on the ocean as a food source” It means my electric car using my own renewable energy is almost carbon free. It also means that I’m not adding to air pollution which I believe to be one of the most serious threats to our health and the Planet. My own 2nd generation Leaf will soon be up for sale as I am upgrading so anyone who is interested let me know, I don’t wish to profit from a sale but it will need a good home and be at a very fair market price with no commissions etc "

    May 10, 2015 a 11:59 am

  • Anna Celeste comments:
    "Hi Karl, it is very disappointing news for our environment and animals too. I read a great response from Animal Aid though with regards to how its people that really change things – it relates to animal welfare but it can apply to green issues too, in that we can all support renewable energy at home and in our communities, and support green organisations who are fighting to protect our planet – its on http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_living//3263// "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:28 pm

  • Karl Bristol comments:
    "I fear the worst after today’s results; our environment is in desperate need of saving and it looks like this simply will not be happening "
    May 8, 2015 a 1:17 pm


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”



25
MAR

John Olver says:
Argument over solar subsidies in the UK


Category: Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Argument over solar subsidies in the UK

The UK, as with the rest of the world, has seen a dramatic surge in solar power generation over the past few years. the cost of solar panels has dropped quickly and governments have subsidized the industry. Now governments are considering cutting these subsidies because solar is beginning to be competitive with fossil fuels. I would agree with this action if governments would also cut the subsidies they have been giving to fossil fuel companies since the inception of that industry.

Fossil fuel companies have never had to pay the cost of the environmental damage they do when extracting or burning their products. Neither have fossil fuel companies had to pay for the damage to human health caused by their products. Paying these costs would make sustainable energy sources more than competitive and that’s why the fossil fuel industry contributes so much to political campaigns around the world. Consumer prices would go up for fossil fuel energy but come down for sustainable sources and that would bring a cleaner world sooner rather than later.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32028809


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bristolboy comments:
    "In terms of UK solar I would say the feed in tariff cuts for small scale solar (eg building mounted) are suitable and the new way in which cuts are relative to install rates are suitable. This is shown by install rates being very constant, indicating that the feed in tariff cuts correspond well to install cost reductions. The major issue at the moment is that the subsidy cuts for large scale solar that were effective from 1st April have been too extreme. Previously such projects were getting 1.4 ROCs/MWh which was probably too generous following capex falls, hence the large number of solar farms appearing over the last year or so. However, they now have to compete for Contracts for Difference (CFDs) against onshore wind projects which is something solar is unable to do until further capex reductions occur. "
    April 12, 2015 a 5:23 pm


20
FEB

Lets Get Energized says:
Fracking & Better Energy Solutions – Talk in Bridport Dorset, 12th March


Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , ,


fracking-bridport

Fracking & Better Energy Solutions

Talk by Charles Miller
Thursday 12 March 2015

Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start
Bridport Town Hall, Dorset

Admission FREE

West Dorset Friends of the Earth group are delighted to invite you to this interesting and informative talk regarding fracking, presented by Charles Miller.

With twenty-five years experience in the oil industry worldwide, Charles Miller gives a brief outline of the Energy Crisis. He will then explains the problems with Fracking and safer and sustainable Energy solutions that other countries are choosing instead of Fracking, to protect their citizens and countryside and to keep energy bills from rising.

There will be time for your questions at the end of the talk.

We hope to see you there.



11
FEB

Erik Blakeley says:
The Bird


Category: Climate Change
Tags:


He could have moved the Bird

I was reading recently that a senior American politician from the Climate sceptic camp seriously suggested that anthropogenic Climate Change couldn’t possibly exist because God wouldn’t permit anything as trivial as human GHG emissions to interfere with His world http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2013/12/creationists_and_climate_change_political_union_of_science_critics.html .

I understand that there is a real debate especially within the Evangelical Christian movement as to whether we live in an age of miracles or whether miracles are just a feature of biblical times. I recently asked pretty seriously whether Eric Pickles, an Evangelical Christian, was expecting a miracle to solve the Climate Change problem given his attitude to wind farm planning applications.

My attitude to miracles is that He could have moved the bird! What do I mean? Well let’s take a fictional but typical example of a “miracle”. A plane is taking off from an international airport with 150 people on board. It strikes a bird and, because it is so close to the ground, the resulting damage is enough to cause the plane to crash before the pilot can react. 149 people die horribly in the flaming wreckage but one small baby is thrown clear and survives albeit as an orphan with nasty burns. The baby comes from one particular faith group who hail this as a miracle (“Praise the Lord!”) If challenged they say something like “What were the chances of the baby surviving it must be a miracle!” Arguing over the probabilities isn’t my objection to the notion of this sort of event as a miracle. I reject this sort of thing as a miracle because God could have just moved the bird 100m to the right or left so that the accident didn’t happen at all and no negative outcome would have resulted except one slightly disorientated bird who would quickly work out where he was and carry on with his life as before. It seems to me that there are only two possible explanations for this. The first is that it was no miracle. It was just that when you live in a world so surrounded by bad stuff, then eventually, however unlikely, a few good things come along. The second is that God is so obnoxious that, when faced with the choice of two miracles involving very similar tweaks to the laws of physics, one that will save one life and one that will save 151 lives, He will pick option A because option B doesn’t give Him the same publicity.

Some may think this is either a silly point or one disrespectful of God and/or peoples’ faith but remember we are talking about the politics of the American religious right who are simultaneously driving both the climate change denial agenda and such things as the campaigns to force schools to teach creationism alongside or even instead of evolution. They are driving those agendas remarkably successfully. When we consider the possible outcomes of climate change some of the worst case scenarios seem too terrible to contemplate even if we don’t believe that God would step in to help us. We say “What are the chances of catastrophic anthropogenic Global Warming? Surly that isn’t likely.” By the way you know that you are reaching the last bastion of climate change denial when the sceptic starts talking not about “Global Warming” or “Anthropogenic Global Warming” but about “Catastrophic, Anthropogenic Global Warming” or CAGW. It is true that we cannot be certain when or if CAGW will kick in due to tipping points and the range of possible sensitivities of the system to CO2 concentration, but we can be certain that there is a probability that it will occur, that that probability is significant and that it is far higher than the probability that no further Anthropogenic Global Warming will occur if we continue with business as usual. I suggest that, with due respect, if God was going to get us out of this fix he would have done so quietly and subtly long before now and we wouldn’t be having this debate. We need to act now not waste time arguing about the exact probabilities!



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

gghwgghw1gghw2gwgh agghw5gghw6gghw7gghw8gghw9gghw10gghw11gghw12gghw13gghw14gghw15gghw16gghw17gghw18


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


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