Archive for ‘Renewable Heat Energy’


09
OCT

Guest Energizer says:
Mind the Gap: How the London Underground Will Help Heat Houses


Category: Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


New and innovative ways of saving energy are constantly being thought up as we attempt to reduce our carbon footprints and live more eco-friendly lifestyles. Solar power and wind power are becoming more prevalent, but some more unusual ways to generate power are making headlines. One of these is the use of waste heat from the London Underground to heat homes.

A New Way to Harvest Heat

The project was announced in 2013 by Islington Council (here), which joined forces with the mayor of London, Transport for London and UK Power Networks. The plan is for heat to be captured from a ventilation shaft on the Northern Line, as well as a substation that is run by UK Power Networks, which will then be used to heat buildings in the area.

The senior advisor to the mayor of London, Matthew Pencharz, said that it was important to do everything possible to support energy that is sourced locally to reduce carbon emissions and bills. It is also hoped that this kind of project will create more jobs in the sector.

The council has applied for £1 million in grant funding from the European Commission, and it will also provide funding itself. It is the first such project in Europe, and it is hoped that it will allow 500 more homes be connected to the heat network in Islington.

A New Focus on Innovative Energy

This scheme is one of the most innovative energy producing schemes announced so far, and it will help many households to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions by using energy that would otherwise be wasted.

But there are many other schemes that are also being introduced that are changing the way we produce and use energy. One of these is the Pavegen system, which is a way of creating energy from paving slabs as people walk over them. This was displayed during the London Olympics, and although it will probably not go mainstream in the near future, it shows what is possible.
Other innovations are on a smaller scale, like the Nest Learning Thermostat. This new smart thermostat, which is now being installed for free by npower.com (here) on its Intelligent Fix tariff, programmes itself, turns itself down when no one is home, adapts to your lifestyle and can be controlled by a smartphone.

Of course, there are other standard things you can do in your home, such as installing insulation, double-glazing windows and solar panels, or simply being more careful about turning devices off when you leave the room.

Look Out for More Innovative Ways to Save Energy

The London Underground project shows the way forward for innovative ways to capture energy and reduce wastage. Over time, we are likely to see an increasing number of such schemes arise as we look for ways to reduce waste. However, don’t forget that you can also do your bit to reduce energy in the home through taking simple steps like installing insulation or making use of new technology like smart thermostats. And by making small steps, we can all collectively help to make a huge difference.

This is a post by Guest Energizer Emily Whittaker who has a great enthusiasm for energy research. With an eye for creative solutions and emerging technology, she loves blogging about the ideas and innovations for a more efficient energy future.



15
AUG

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Anaerobic Digestion for Gas – not Fracking


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Fracking, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , ,


Anaerobic Digestion for Gas – not Fracking

We need to give installation of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant our strong support as the counter-balance to our opposition of fracking. Both produce methane gas that can be injected to the gas grid to heat homes and businesses as well as generating electricity in quick start up power plant that can be used to balance intermittent renewables. Obviously biogas from AD is preferable.

British Gas estimate 50% of UK gas needs could be met from waste and there is a lot plant being installed at the moment such as this http://www.nextgenmedia.co.uk/news/1373-4-5m-anaerobic-plant-plans-for-malt-supplier

No one seems to have calculated how much could be produced from farm integrated AD plant but perhaps it could produce the other 50%. The big one at Poundbury (info: here) produces up to 80% of West Dorset’s gas needs from just six farms growing grass and maize on a 4 year crop rotation between cereal crops.

The solid digestate looks and smells similar to horse plop and is used for the cereal crops as an alternative to inorganic fertilisers. It is slow release and an excellent soil improver. On livestock farms, part of the motivation to install AD is to process the animal waste to produce a high quality digestate to spread on the land as a replacement to the raw animal dung which can pollute nearby water courses in some weather conditions. AD plant should be seen as an integral part of efficient British agriculture making it more sustainable, more organic, more productive.

Grass grows exceptionally well in the damp UK climate and is the ideal feedstock for AD. Rather than leave cuttings on the ground. we could divert cuttings from road verges, sports fields, parks and any area where a less fertile soil is the aim (so that wild flowers compete better with the grass)to AD plant.

We should not forget that renewable gas is almost as important as renewable electricity.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "Thanks John for joining the debate on these pages. You are very welcome. I agree quantification is the best way to reach an idea of what is possible. Looking at the statistics from DECC 700 TWh is a reasonable estimate of 2014/2015 UK gas demand. However, we must take into account ongoing reduction in gas demand from electricity generation as more and more renewable electricity generation comes on line. It was a modest 1% reduction in 2013 but our present government, with its destabilising influence on renewable electricity due to wild changes in tariff levels and licensing costs and ease (or not) of gaining planning consent, is holding back installation of renewables. With proper stable backing, renewables, let of the leash, could rocket. So let’s hope for a diminished Conservative influence in the next government. Poundbury produces 0.004 Twhy which would mean 86,000 Pounbury sized plants in the UK (or 1000 per UK county) to meet the 344 TWhy domestic gas consumption. I agree this is probably not realistic but think your estimate of 20 TWhy ceiling (or 5,000 Poundbury sized AD plant) for the UK is also not accurate. I still maintain that with falling gas demand due to better insulated and better constructed houses following the 2016 improvement to building regulations, roll out of solar thermal and wood heat and much reduced demand to generate electricity, AD could meet a much higher proportion of UK gas demand than anyone is currently predicting. I admit I can’t quantify the potential accurately yet because AD to gas grid is at the first stage of development. However, I believe continued use of slowly declining extraction of North Sea gas along with rapid expansion of AD gas, big improvements in energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation can see us through without the need for fracked gas. Like nuclear power, fracking carries low probability but high impact risks that are just not worth taking. Keith Wheaton-Green "
    August 19, 2014 a 12:58 pm

  • John Baldwin comments:
    "Biomethane is great and Poundbury has been a success, helping 20 projects that are being built this year. But realistic max Biomethane is 20 TWh/Annum…..total gas consumption is 700 TWh so we need to import lots of gas Qatar LNG is very high GHG and forecast to cost £10 billion/Annum in 2025….that’s a lot of money, if we can produce this gas in UK we will have £7 billion tax…..to fund renewables and insulation "
    August 16, 2014 a 3:20 pm


12
DEC

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset’s Ace Energy Win Large Heating Contract at Spiritual Healing Centre


Category: Biomass Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: ,


Ammerdown-biomass

Ace Energy have just succeeded in winning a contract to install 180 kW of biomass heating at The Ammerdown Centre near Bath.

The new Windhager wood pellet system will replace three oil boilers and save the centre £8,700 in heating bills annually.

As a commercial project the centre will also benefit from the Non Domestic Renewable Heat incentive (RHI) providing them with over £21,000 each year for the next 20 years.

The first phase installation is expected to be followed with a further 60 kW in the staff quarters and at the chapel on site bringing the total installed to 240 kW. Over the term of the RHI the Ammerdown Centre are set to benefit by a staggering £450,000 in fuel savings and quarterly RHI receipts.

If you have a commercial property or even an annex on your home you may also be eligible for this energy saving, finance generating system so give Ace Energy a call for your free assessment on 01747 858853 or 01225 729005 or visit www.ace-energy.net



01
JAN

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Happy 2013! Time to Join to the Renewable Energy Revolution


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Dorset Energized News, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy, Sustainable Living
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Myself and everyone at Dorset Energized would like to say: Very Happy New Year!

Join the Green Energy Revolution
After all the Christmas festivities, and dare I say with the current economic climate, at this time of year we all need to tighten our belts, keep warm, oh yes, and make those new year resolutions! So here’s a simple idea for you that could snowball into a green energy revolution…

Whether you are an individual, household, business or part of a community, take 1 step TODAY to:

1) invest in renewable energy
2) reduce your energy demand by becoming more energy efficient and sustainable

Like many people, money is very tight for me at the moment and I am not a homeowner myself so cannot invest in most renewable energy technologies, but I do care deeply about the Earth, and all the people and animals who live here, so I want to play my part. Every individual can make a difference. You can choose to ignore the fact that we all need to save energy and invest in renewables, or pretend your actions don’t count, or you can choose to take positive action – however small – and you never know you may even save some money, right now!

That’s why I took my first step and switched my energy supply to Good Energy last August, and they are now offering you £50 off your first bill when you switch just by quoting ‘Dorset Energized’ – find out more here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers

Here’s some more options for keeping warm, and saving energy and money this Winter:

Wood Energy
Why not take advantage of the new year sales to check out your local heat energy showrooms to choose a more energy efficient woodburning stove (often referred to as Biomass Boliers). Wood stoves are becoming an increasingly popular choice not just for providing a focal point to a room, allowing you to gaze into the flames, but also for providing cheap hot water for central heating and domestic hot water for the whole home. Plus don’t miss out on getting £950 back in the form of a voucher when you install a Biomass Boiler, with The Renewable Heat Premium.
For more information go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wood-energy

Heat Pumps
Take advantage of The Renewable Heat Premium until March 2013, with a money-back scheme to get either a £850 voucher when you install an Air Source Heat Pump, or £1,250 for a Ground Source or Water Source Heat Pump. Heat pumps extract the warmth from solar energy which is stored in the ground, water courses and in the air. The systems use electricity to drive a pump which extracts the warmth and upgrades it into useful heat. Fridges are heat pumps and work by the same principal but in reverse, moving heat from inside the fridge to outside, thus cooling the inside.
For more information go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/heat-pumps

Combined Heat & Power
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a technology that can replace your standard boiler for your heating system, but also integrates the production of electricity, in one single, highly efficient process making it a low carbon technology. A domestic CHP unit can reduce yearly fuel bills by up to £600 and cut household carbon emissions by up to 40%.
For more information go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/combined-heat-power

Our Hopes for 2013
In 2013 we hope to develop the Dorset Energized website and inspire even more people to connect with renewable energy and reduce their energy demand. We want to recommend even more friendly and trusted local experts in renewable energy. And we want to bring you even more fantastic energy and money saving offers to help you take the next step to becoming part of the green energy revolution!

We also want this to be YOUR website – so please do send us your comments for taking positive action on energy via our blog, and we want to hear YOUR stories on your experiences with renewable energy, saving energy, and sustainable living – to help inspire others.

So here’s to a fabulous 2013 and the green energy revolution!



20
DEC

Theresa McManus says:
Renewables keep household fuel bills lower than gas


Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
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Here’s some warming news for Winter!

RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has welcomed a report last week by the Committee on Climate Change which shows that generating energy from renewable sources will keep British household fuel bills lower than relying on expensive fossil fuels such as gas.

The CCC’s report highlights the fact that increases in gas prices drove household bills up by 62% between 2004 and 2011. In comparison, support for the entire spectrum of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, led to an increase of less than 10% over the same period.

Looking ahead, the Committee warns of the risks of focussing investment on unabated gas-fired generation, which it says could push household bills £600 higher in 2050 compared to relying on low-carbon sources of electricity.

The Committee also states that support for the entire range of low-carbon technologies will increase domestic bills by around £100 by 2020 (a 10% increase on the 2011 bill) – far lower than figures quoted in some media reports.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive, said:
“This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables, rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost, but gas has proved to be an extraordinarily volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources. The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas. The Chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small minority of less well-informed voices.”

The report came on the day that the Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, announced that shale gas would not contribute to the UK’s energy mix for some time to come, and that what he described as the “seismic risks” brought by shale would be subject to new controls.

Mr Davey said: “We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly. It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment”.

In the meantime I highly recommend you switch your electricity and gas supply to Good Energy’s 100% renewable energy today. I have been with them for at least 10 years now and they offer a very competitive tariff plus you can save £50 off your first bill by simple quoting ‘Dorset Energized’. Switch to Good Energy here: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers



22
OCT

Theresa McManus says:
Cornish Manufacturer Launches Pixie Heat Pump


Category: Heat Pumps, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


Cornwall-based Kensa engineering, has launched the smallest ground source heat pump on the market, designed to provide space heating and domestic hot water for flats and small dwellings.

The Shoebox Heat Pump is small enough to fit inside a kitchen cabinet! Like all ground source heat pumps it is ideal for new builds, but it can also be retrofitted to properties that have suitably sized outside space, such as a car park, to contain the boreholes for the heat-collecting slinky pipes.

The system is certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and is eligible for funding under the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) because it qualifies as a district heating system. The marketing executive at Kensa Heat Pumps has been reported as saying that the approximate cost per unit is around £4000, including the borehole and other costs, and that it would typically pay for itself over the lifetime of the RHI.


Find more about Heat Pumps here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/heat-pumps.



10
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wood I lie to you?


Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , , ,


We live in and off mains gas like a lot of people in rural areas and have a large propane tank that had been costing us around £1200 a year to keep filled. There have been price rises most years and sometimes more than one a year. I have asked Centrica if our village is ever likely to be connected to mains gas and was told “No, very unlikely.” So we will be stuck with having to heat our house with expensive oil or – in our case – propane gas. Or so I thought until recently (more on that later)…

We needed to reduce our reliance on this expensive fuel. Our first action was to replace the gas fire in the living room with a log burner. OK its not quite so convenient but I have learnt to enjoy acquiring wood for free from a variety of sources and the healthy exertions of sawing and chopping. Our garden actually supplies a lot of the wood. Ash trees grow here like weeds and I have allowed about 15 of them to become small trees. I cut one down every year and reckon that the stump will have produced another useful crop by the time I get back to it (15 years later) to chop again. It’s also surprising how much wood I get from friends and neighbour’s rubbish piles and my own DIY. Basically, in the 10 years we have had the log burner, I’ve only ever bought one load of wood, and that was as a favour to the seller because he was in urgent need of money.

Then earlier in 2012 we replaced the gas hob with an efficient electric induction hob. These are amazing! They heat up so quickly, controllably and safely using surprisingly little electricity. A lot of the electricity comes from our recently installed photovoltaic panels. When possible, we cook during daylight hours to use the free electricity. The propane gas tank has only been filled once this year so far and it is still 60% full. So it seems the change of hob will have reduced our energy bills significantly.

But we still need the propane for hot water and central heating and the high cost means we don’t keep the house as warm and cosy as we’d like. We get mildew in the top corners of the bedrooms because we only turn the central heating on when it’s really cold.

So I was very interested to discover – through a presentation at our village hall – that there is a company willing and able to replace our boiler with a heat exchanger, install a district heat main under the road and connect it to a wood chip boiler that will serve me and my neighbours. This is providing enough of my neighbours agree to get connected to make the scheme viable. The company will do all this at no cost to me and will then bill me for the heat we use, which will apparently cost about 65% of what we currently pay. The company reckon that – unlike oil and propane – the cost will not need to rise any more than general inflation. I suppose they might be right. (Maybe I’ll keep the boiler in the garage just in case!)

I’m going to a Residents Association meeting tonight to attempt to persuade as many of my neighbours as possible to agree to connect to a district heat main. If everything goes well I can look forward to a sustainable, warmer, cheaper future…



24
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Wood Fuelled District Heating for Rural Communities


Category: Community Energy, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


At trueheat (Renewable Heat Utility Limited) we’ve been exploring the viability of providing wood fuelled district heating systems to rural communities in Dorset. This can provide a low cost, environmentally sustainable way to heat homes. For areas not served by gas and with a sufficient density of housing, a small scale wood fuelled district heating system will reduce your carbon footprint and lower your heating bills.

Click here to download our Wood Fuelled District Heating PDF Infosheet or to find out more visit our website at www.true-heat.com.

Posted by Andrew Lawton



23
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
B&Q Eco House Complete


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy, Solar Energy
Tags: ,


B&Q’s Eco House which has been refurbished to help you reduce the amount of energy used in your home is apparently now complete. Follow their experts as they continue to make improvements to the 3 bedroom end of terrace into an eco-friendly 22nd century home. Follow the latest developments, watch videos… and get inspired!

By the way, we’re not sure why it’s a 22nd century home though – definitely 21st century as everything they have done is accessible  to us now, and B&Q of course sell a whole range of products to help you on your way to your own eco house!

Check out the B&Q Eco House website here: http://www.diy.com/content/marketing/one_planet_home/about_the_house.jsp?menu=eco.



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