Posts Tagged ‘carbon footprint’


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.



29
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Car Sharing and your iPhone is this the future


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


The Merging Worlds of
Technology and Cars
By Alex Webb and Chloe Whiteaker
June 28, 2016
The line between the technology and automotive industries is blurring. The rise of rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft means that transportation is being tied ever more closely to your cell phone, while autonomous driving technology is turning your car into a computer. But these developments are expensive: Carmakers’ R&D budgets jumped 61 percent, to $137 billion from 2010 to 2014.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne thinks it makes no sense for carmakers to spend billions of dollars developing competing, yet largely identical systems. To share some of the risk—and the cost—the incumbent automotive giants and their would-be disruptors are teaming up in an ever-growing, ever more complex series of alliances.

So Fiat Chrysler, for instance, has paired up with Google to develop 100 self-driving minivans, and is in discussions with Uber about a similar venture. Google has, in turn, invested in Uber, as have Toyota, Microsoft and Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover. Bill Ford, chairman of the eponymous carmaker, has meanwhile invested in Lyft, as has General Motors, and Lyft has partnered with China’s Didi, itself the subject of a $1 billion investment from Apple.

Investment
Partnership
Failed talks
Personnel move
Google
GM invested
$500 million in
Lyft and bought
Cruise Automation
for $1 billion.
Fiat
Chrysler
Sidecar
Uber hired Google’s VP of engineering.
GM
Cruise
Automation
Toyota
Uber
Lyft
Ford
Tata
Owner of
Jaguar
Land Rover
Uber hired Ford’s head of electronic systems
engineering to become VP of global vehicle programs.
Didi
Microsoft
Apple invested
$1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company, Didi, which partners with Lyft.
Apple
Scoop
DriveNow is a joint venture between BMW and Sixt Rent a Car.
Car2Go
Daimler founded Car2Go and acquired MyTaxi and RideScout.
RideScout
DriveNow
Daimler
BMW
Nokia
HERE
MyTaxi
Blacklane
Baidu
VW, BMW and Daimler partnered to buy Nokia’s HERE maps.
Daimler invested in Blacklane, an app for booking chauffeurs.
VW hired the head of Apple’s car project, who previously worked at Daimler.
VW
VW invested
$300 million in
taxi-hailing
company, Gett.
VW owns a stake in the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
Gett
DFKI
The prize is lucrative, and the carmakers want to ensure that software players don’t win the lion’s share of it. McKinsey estimates that rideshare and onboard-data services could generate an additional $1.5 trillion of annual automotive revenue by 2030, adding to the $5.2 trillion from traditional car sales and services. And it’s attractive for consumers too: It costs an average of $8,558 per year to own a car in the U.S., but each vehicle is used just 4 percent of the time. Ridesharing in an autonomous vehicle could ensure that cars are always in use.

SOURCE: Data compiled by Bloomberg
ADDITIONAL WORK: John Lippert, Keith Naughton and Cedric Sam



21
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Have Carnival Fun and also help to save carbon emissions


Category: Community Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


PRESS RELEASE

Count On Me – Community Campaign at Winton Carnival

Everyone is welcome to help us collectively save 50,000 kgs of our personal carbon emissions by the weekend of 25th June 2016 for the Winton Carnival Parade and ongoing. This is like filling the Bournemouth Balloon five times over!

It would be great if Bournemouth could lead the behavioural shift needed in dealing with our changing climate. Cleaner vehicles and renewable energy, in addition to our conscious personal choices will help preserve our beautiful town, country and world!

Count On Me is a local community campaign and more details can be found on our website www.countonme.today (with Twitter and Facebook links). We are inviting the people of Bournemouth to choose one or more sustainable activities like riding a bike, taking public transport, or growing your own fruit and vegetables.  Any activity where you reduce your carbon emissions is helpful.  Please tell us about it #CountOnMe to be counted!

We will be having some fun and parading in Winton Carnival with our live human counter, and you can come and chat to us after the parade on the Winton Recreation ground and find out about the simple ways we can all make a difference.

More info at www.countonme.today Email countonmebmth@gmail.com

Or please contact Angela Fendley 07719 093530



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


06
FEB

John Olver says:
Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

The most compelling reason for the purchase is that we strongly believe fossil fuel use must be reduced for many reasons and EV’s are one of the biggest changes we can make at the individual level to meet that need. The UK’s Department of energy and climate change says that to hold global warming to less than 2C, among other things “There would need be hundreds of millions of electric cars on the road by 2050, and the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity would need to fall by at least 90%.” (BBC News 28Jan2015) So the need for EV’s and the need to power them with solar is obvious

By coupling our EV to a few solar panels we have decoupled ourselves from the corner gasoline station and from the gas fired power plant that provides electricity to the Monterey Bay area. Since we were going to buy a new car the decision to go EV translates to a much smaller carbon footprint for our household.

We also wanted to press for change at the societal level and supporting the budding EV industry seemed like a good way to achieve that goal. Nissan’s Leaf is an excellent EV and hybrid’s are certainly a step in the right direction. But neither of them caught the public’s attention the way Tesla has with the Model S. It’s been just three years since the Model S came on the market and major auto builders around the world have been forced to respond with EV’s of their own. Porsche, Kia, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Diamler, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan as well as new auto companies either have entered the EV market or are just about to do so. The first company to offer a 200 mile per charge car for under $40K US will sell a lot of cars.

Not many years ago Toyota came out with the Prius. Nay sayers scoffed but now every manufacturer has a line of hybrid vehicles. The Nay sayers are at it again but the industry seems to be saying that EV’s are here to stay. Battery technology will advance and so will solar power technology. As these technologies advance the prices will fall and sales will rise.

The future of driving is as bright as the sun

Mini E recharging in the UK

Mini E recharging in the UK


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Jack Olver comments:
    "I second all of Roger’s reasons. Next month it will have been a year since I visited a gas station – don’t miss it a bit. Yes, the regenerative braking is great. It’s amazing how little I use the brake pedal. I’m due to bring Mr. T in for a yearly check up in late March. The service folks will probably refill the windshield washer fluid for me. And by the way, having Mr. T’s abilities upgraded from time to time while I sleep is very nice. "
    February 13, 2015 a 8:43 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Roger what colour is yours and where do you charge it ? "
    February 7, 2015 a 11:19 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "as a leaf owner I can only echo the story that ev is here to stay and will grow hugely as all the technologies improve.
    By the way in the UK we have gone in 18 months from 500 to over 5000 charging points to make the ELECTRIC HIGHWAY a reality. "

    February 7, 2015 a 11:16 am

  • Roger Manley comments:
    "Hi John, beyond the reasons you mentioned I also bought the Tesla Model S for a few others. My 5 KWH photovoltaic system provides lots of power etc. But it is an awesome car. It looks great, drives well, and just puts a smile on your face as you pass by the gas stations. I have just under 8,000 miles and had no scheduled services since there isn’t anything specifically to service on an EV on a regular basis. I doubt I will ever have to replace the brakes because of the regenerative braking system, but I may have to add windshield wiper fluid and have to change the tires a few years down the road. So besides doing it for all the “right” reasons you can still have a very safe automobile that is very fun to drive. "
    February 6, 2015 a 4:20 pm


27
OCT

Erik Blakeley says:
Climate Change Deniers


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Climate Change Deniers

So right wingers are calling for us to ditch the Climate Change Act entirely and to stop making progress on decarbonisation unless it is matched by other countries. Sounds good? Sounds reasonable? Well No and No in my opinion.

It’s easy to say let’s not bother, let’s just go for the cheapest quickest option and to hell with the longer term consequences but sticking our heads in the sand won’t make those consequences go away. All these arguments hinge on what is likely to happen regarding Climate Change. We are all sceptical about individual scientific results after so many false scare stories about food or vaccinations etc etc but there is something different about the work of the IPCC. It doesn’t just look at one set of data from one scientist it has been looking at thousands of sets of data from huge numbers of scientists on all sides of the debate and has been returning to the data at regular intervals to incorporate new findings. This iterative process means that it rules out the occasional rogue set of results or biased experimentation. We can rely on the trends that the IPCC reports regarding the likely outcomes.

What the IPCC is saying is that scientists are more and more certain that the effects of Climate Change are real, dangerous and being initiated by human actions that we are in a position to modify and that we should be doing so. Climate Change deniers are on a par with believers in a flat Earth. They just refuse to accept anything that isn’t immediately obvious from their exceptionally limited vantage point or that upsets their preconceived assumptions. They grasp desperately at any individual piece of work that casts the tiniest doubt on the consensus opinion like the measurements that show that the recorded temperature figures over the last 15 years or so haven’t risen appreciably. They ignore all the other data such as the diminishing ice levels in the polar regions, the increasing occurrence of severe or extreme weather conditions, the changing pattern of the jet stream or the changing behaviour of flora and fauna in response to the changes in the timings of season changes. They ignore any logical explanation of their pet data that might still be compatible with the consensus view such as the suggestion that the oceans are acting as more of a buffer to temperature rise than we expected which, whilst it buys us some time to make the changes we need, does not mean that Climate Change and global warming do not exist.

The right wing economists suggesting that we do away with the Climate Change Act are like people who would rather burn all the furniture in their house than go out and chop some firewood in the yard. It’s certainly easier in the short term but doesn’t make much sense when you want to be able to sit down or go to bed in the future or need to pay for replacements for all the stuff you have ruined.

Is it reasonable to say that we shouldn’t do anything until we can get everyone else to agree? I think not for two main reasons. Firstly it is a false claim by the Climate Change deniers that the likes of India, China and the US are doing nothing. They are making significant efforts with renewable energy and new technologies and we actually need to try harder to keep up if we are to remain a country that makes much of its wealth by technical innovation. Secondly it is true China and India are also increasing their use of non-sustainable technologies but only because their per capita wealth and consumption is so much less than ours and they would like a richer and more affluent population. We cannot reasonably say that we will not lead the way on sustainable technologies unless we first get our per capita carbon footprint down to the level of India or China’s which I would suggest we need to do by advancing sustainable tech not by making ourselves poor.

The other thing that is being said is that we need to ditch the Act and reject renewable`s because “The lights might go out!” Well firstly I would argue that it is the anti-renewable campaigns that are stopping us building the scale and quantity of renewable capacity that is the problem here and a quick temporary fix through some dash for gas is not the answer. Secondly there is this unwritten assumption that the lights going out is the end of the world. If there were to be some limited phased outages during the 8pm winter peaks of demand during a couple of winters over the next few years would this really matter so much that we need to tear up our plans for long term improvements in favour of short term measures that will push us ever closer to real catastrophe? So you miss your favourate soap on broadcast TV and have to go to bed early. Hospitals and other vital services now have much better stand by generation due in part to the green incentives favouring CHP plants and old people’s homes are better insulated than they were due to the ECO schemes so a couple of hours without power won’t see the temperature drop excessively and you can always watch the program on your computer tomorrow. It is only the politicians who have made this an election losing issue who might suffer particularly if this were to happen. Lastly what are they suggesting doing that could come on line before these suggested outages in 2016-2020? About all we could do is build a few OCGT power plants of the sort that the anti-renewable lobby say are undoing any good that wind turbines do do because of the intermittency of wind. If we want to do something now we should be pushing ahead with the energy saving side of the “green crap” to keep demand down to the levels we can reach and keep building the sustainable low carbon capacity that we will need in the next decade as we reach the 2020 targets and progress beyond them toward true sustainability.

A relevant and interesting article can be found here: http://www.scoop.it/t/climate-change-science-risk-economics-sustainability


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Anna has a point but unfortunately the news today is full of further calls by Owen Paterson to ditch the Climate Change Act because the National Grid is mildy concerned that there may be power cuts this winter. Ironically the final straws have been the ongoing problems with several of the nuclear power stations and the fire at Didcot gas powered station. Its hard to see what the logic is as no large scale centralized plant can be built between now and Jan 15 unless it is already under construction. There might be some fossil fuel capacity being underused but using it isn’t illegal it just means buying out a larger proportion of the ROCs so there is no need to scrap the Climate Change Act to get a short term fix like that. There might be time to build a bit more dispersed capacity which gives us a choice of fast tracking some solar and wind or building a few inefficient Open Cycle Gas units or internal combustion gas units both of which would be very polluting, expensive to run and would in all likelihood commit us to widespread fracking if we intend to use them as anything but a few months stopgap. There are people who are only interested in the easiest way to make more money. To some degree we all feel that way and that is why the cliche “Its the Economy Stupid” entered common usage. Short term the cheapest way of dealing with the problems we face are probably the dirtiest. This is why the question of climate change does matter. It is the reason why it is worth paying more for rapid decarbonisation now because it will save us much higher costs and loads of suffering in the future. The big tobacco firms spent ages casting doubt on the links between smoking and cancer and telling young smokers why give up something you enjoy now just because there might be a risk many years in the future and we cannot even be certain that there is a risk. They manipulated and bent the science until it was no sort of truth all in the name of profits. Climate Change deniers are doing the same thing now and they have the added advantage that many of the people with power and influence probably won’t live to see the worst results of climate change. "
    October 28, 2014 a 9:19 am

  • Anna Celeste comments:
    "In a way I personally feel that it almost doesn’t matter whether people believe in climate change or not, or disagree about whether it is a natural phenomena or man-made or a bit of both – what matters is that we should all have the common sense to realise either way, we simply can not go on exhausting our planet of its natural resources like we are currently doing, there will be nothing left very soon, and we have to work in balance with nature which means harnessing energy sustainably i.e., from renewable energy sources – IF we cherish the earth, its animals, our people and the future of our own children and family that is. I think that is what matters and that it is worth fighting for : ) "
    October 27, 2014 a 2:30 pm


04
JUL

Conor MacGuire says:
Some Ways YOU Can Help Reduce Carbon Footprint


Category: Climate Change, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Reducing carbon footprint is a mutual responsibility for all of us who inhabit this planet. It is not just your local municipality, state government, a well funded non-profit or national government that can do something significant to help reduce the carbon footprint. You too can do your bit. Read on to find out how!

‘Carbon footprint’ means the amount of carbon dioxide released into the earth’s atmosphere as a result of various activities. Increasing concentrations of this gas are resulting in higher overall temperatures, melting of glaciers and various other changes in the climate that are and will adversely affect the ecology of this planet. Listed below are some meaningful ways YOU as an individual can help reduce carbon footprint:

1. Start with how you use your car

Most people cannot stop using a car altogether but you can reduce your contribution to the carbon footprint by 30% per gallon.

  • Always accelerate slowly and as smoothly as you can.
  • Stay within the speed limit and drive steadily.
  • Always keep your car in good working condition.
  • Replace your filters on time.
  • Or invest in an Electric Car with zero emissions.

That’s all it takes!

2. Change the way you travel

By taking a handful of smart decisions related to travel, you can make a considerable difference to the emission level due to vehicles.

  • Combine errands in one trip instead of many.
  • Use a carpool and save up to 20% per gallon.
  • Once a week, use a cycle to reach office or take out the bike instead of the car. And if your workplace is less than a mile, why not just take a walk!
  • If possible, you can even work from home on some days.

3. Charity begins at home

  • Invest in programmable thermostats in order to control the temperature of your home.
  • Keep your house in prime shape by regularly maintaining the caulking and the insulation.
  • Change your lighting to CFL’s, they cut down the energy bill by two thirds and work for a very long time.
  • At all times, keep your heating and cooling systems in good shape to keep energy loss at the minimum.
  • Teach your children to keep the faucet off while brushing and shaving.
  • When buying appliances, check that it has the Energy Star Label.
  • Replace windows that are losing heat. And start looking for solar energy options for the house.

4. When it’s celebration time

  • Use recycled paper for sending out invites. Or go one step further and cut out paper altogether; go for a virtual set up for invitations.
  • Set a menu having ingredients that can be procured locally and are organic.
  • Set the venue outside in the lap of nature to avoid decorations and other fanfare.
  • Choose a location that involves very little transportation.

5. Reduction at your workplace

  • Shut down your computer and switch off the monitor before you leave for the day.
  • Before printing a document, see if it can be given on a pen drive or better still, can be passed on through an e-mail. If you really need to print, do it on both sides.
  • Carpool to work or walk it if possible.
  • Open your windows to save energy, if you can.
  • Carry your lunch from home or walk to the coffee shop; don’t drive just because it has become a habit.
  • Only switch on lights you need.

The most important thing to remember is – Reuse, reduce, and recycle.

You can do it! Let’s make our planet more beautiful than we our ancestors left it us for.

The article is by Conor MacGuire, author for Green Energy Scotland Limited, who provides energy saving advice in Scotland. They help people of Scotland to make their home energy efficient so that they can save on energy bills. They also replace boilers under boiler replacement scheme in Scotland.



20
AUG

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


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency
Tags: ,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2Comments | Post your own comment

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

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


20
DEC

Lets Get Energized says:
Tell the Prime Minister that Green Means Growth


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , ,


We know everyone is busy in the run-up to the Christmas holidays, but our local Friends of the Earth group have reminded us of a campaign by Action on Renewables to get David Cameron to stand up for green energy. It only takes a few seconds to join the call for a real commitment to clean renewable energy.

They have already had a great response, and if like hundreds of others you’ve already taken part in the campaign, thank you for your support!

If not, it takes less than a minute to add your support by following this link: www.actionforrenewables.org/greenmeansgrowth

The Government’s Energy Bill and Gas Strategy have now been published, but they’re missing something vital, a 2030 target to make sure we’re on course for cutting our carbon emissions.

Green means Growth. Low carbon energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s helping to get the UK economy get back on track.

In 2010-2011 over one third of economic growth came from our low carbon economy, things like the huge London Array offshore wind farm, community solar schemes like Wadebridge, or energy from farm waste.

Action on Renewables are calling on David Cameron to back a 2030 target. A 2030 target is vital to show the Government won’t pull back from the great start we’ve made in using our natural resources to create electricity in a few years time. Without it companies won’t invest, jobs won’t be created, and we’ll be locked into relying on the expensive imported fossil fuels that made up over 50% of people’s energy bills.

We want to make sure that the government prioritises our home-grown green energy sources like wind power, solar, and energy from waves and tides, boosting our flagging economy, bringing long term stability to fuel prices, all while reducing our carbon emissions and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. We have a chance to really change the way we power the UK.

If you want to get involved click: www.actionforrenewables.org/greenmeansgrowth



07
DEC

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
How the UK National Media Treats Renewables


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , , ,


We came across this article by E2B pulse – the UK carbon reduction network on a new study which has revealed the extent of negative media coverage of renewables.

It says: “More than half of articles on renewable energy published by the UK’s leading newspapers are either ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’, according to research by the CleanTech division of PR consultancy CCGroup.”

You can read the full article here: http://www.e2bpulse.com/Articles/335473/E2B/Pulse/News/News_Articles/2012/Study_reveals_extent.aspx

The article essentially tells us what we already knew… that the printed media in particular is biased against renewables and that the nuclear and fossil fuels lobbies have been successful in promoting their industries at the expense of renewables. The public interest is best served through provision of decentralised energy generation that will prove to be cheaper in the medium to long term. Wind and solar for example cost nothing to run! It is only possible to compete with that by an attempt to totally rubbish it through misinformation. But, you can kid all the people for some of the time… (you know the rest!).

Obviously the last thing centralised energy companies want is energy independence and much lower bills to their current consumers. The best thing that renewable energy enthusiasts such as myself can do, is inform people as honestly as we can, how we can install our own domestic renewables and buy our electricity and heat from a specialist energy supplier with a renewable energy focus. Then enjoy our lower energy bills while others continue to be fooled into an upward spiral of dependency and cost.

For more information on all your renewable energy options see Dorset Energized’s section here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy

For tips on saving energy see: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/energy-efficiency or to switch your energy supply to Good Energy go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/switch-energy-suppliers



23
NOV

Nathan Shaw says:
The Energy Bill: Is the future green?


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


After weeks of delays and political bickering, you could be forgiven to thinking that ‘the greenest government ever’ were taking the time to produce an Energy Bill that delivered clear energy policies whilst concentrating on lowering carbon emissions. But what was the outcome?

No 2030 decarbonisation target has been announced:

After months of attempts from the coalition to agree on this topic, a decision was made to delay any target until at least 2016. This opens the door to a ‘dash for gas’ favoured by George Osborne, and it was quietly announced that a Gas Generation Strategy will be released next month. According to the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), following this strategy will put our legally binding carbon budgets at risk increasing the chance of large scale fines.

Another problem arises from this short term solution to a long term problem. If a decarbonisation target was introduced in 2016, then newly built gas plants would need to be shut down early to ensure the target is reached. This would invoke a spike in gas prices and leave a hole in the energy mix – a substantial future problem that seems to have been side-lined.

This announcement also seemingly ignores the 50 companies, including Microsoft and Marks & Spencer, who signed a letter to George Osborne stating that they needed to see a decarbonisation target as a sign of commitment and stability from the government before investing in the UK.

Renewable Energy projects receive large subsidy boost:

In what was widely believed to be the product of a compromise on the decarbonisation target, significant funding has been cemented for investment in renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage – with the aim of a 30% contribution to the energy mix by 2020.

At least £7.6 bn a year will be available come 2020, to aid development through so-called contract for difference (CfD) incentives, a government initiative aimed at producing low carbon electricity projects. This will provide some consolation and certainty to investors that were hoping to see a decarbonisation target.

It will lead to further increases in energy bills, but these will largely be offset by efficiency gains. A strong, short-term investment now means we will reap the financial benefits in the long run.

Introduction of a capacity market:

This mechanism will provide additional payments to thermal plants that agree to supply back-up power as the UK becomes more reliant on intermittent energy sources. This is due to start in the winter of 2018-2019.

In conclusion, it feels like we are walking what is a 100m sprint. No decarbonisation targets mean there is a free rein on emissions over the next 4 years at least. With the gas strategy, the government have shied away from making tough decisions now which will benefit the country in the long run. Eventually every country will be reliant on renewables, so why not switch now and become a leading player? Yes, the clear intent from the government to invest in renewables is a major step forward but it might be some time before we see the benefits.

So is the future green? Let’s say its light green…

For something more inspiring and to take action TODAY, check out Dorset Energized’s web pages on choosing renewable energyswitching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.



23
NOV

Theresa McManus says:
Dorset Energized’s First Reaction to the Energy Bill


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


The Dorset Energized team have been waiting for the release of the Energy bill which is designed to encourage low carbon investment such as new windfarms.

We have been given that the Tories have been grappling with the lib dems and derailing all their plans for utopia from day 1 (remember proportional representation?). I guess it was only a matter of time before they put a spike in the wheel of their arch-enemies’ chariot – the world famous Climate Change Act introduced by Labour.

A few years ago I went to Whitehall with Tony Hamilton from Poole Agenda 21, where we were proposing that Climate Change is a planetary emergency that needs to be dealt with outside of party politics – a bit like the government during the last war. How visible does that emergency need to be before party idealogy can be put aside? Anyone notice the juxtaposition of news about the Energy Bill and the news about widespread flooding?

By deferring setting carbon targets, especially when those targets need to be front-end-loaded, just makes the overall aim of reducing our carbon emissions to 20% of what they were in 1990 so much more difficult to reach, especially when even the emissions the government have been reporting for the UK (which are not the whole picture) have shown a 20% increase since 1990.

All the more reason for people to start taking action by themselves!
We can all help to get the UK and the planet out of this mess.

Use less energy, use it more efficiently, and where you can generate renewable energy, and pester your MP to start taking your opinions on energy and climate change into account.

As a start, check out our pages on switching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I agree with Theresa’s comments its time for us to act if our Governments will not.
    Install renewables, don’t change to gas, turn to bio-mass etc
    Pester your local MP ask him what he thinks and ask him to come out publicly.
    Do everything to get this message out there and use this site to advise, help, offer hope for the future. "

    November 23, 2012 a 8:40 pm

  • Sophie comments:
    "There is a great link on the Greenpeace site I found which gives the lowdown on the Energy Bill in simple terms for people like me who find the whole thing baffling. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/energy-market-reform-six-things-you-need-know I switched to Good Energy this week through this site – so I can use my money personally to encourage low carbon investment. Can’t sit around waiting for the government to take action can we? "
    November 23, 2012 a 12:45 pm


08
NOV

Anna Celeste Watson says:
EvoEnergy’s Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide


Category: Biomass Energy, Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


I have stumbled across this fantastic website and wanted to share it with you!

A green electricity company called EvoEnergy have produced an interactive site (designed by Epiphany Search) to show how energy in the UK has changed over the last 40 years.

In 1980 when I was just a baby, Solid Fuel accounted for 36% and Petrol 37% for primary energy consumed, with Gas 22% and Electricity making up just 5%. After 30 years as of 2010 Gas use alone has nearly doubled and has risen up to a staggering 43%. Good news is that Petrol has reduced slightly to 32% and we now use Biomass as a renewable energy but that currently accounts for only a pathetic 3%.

It is very interesting to see the changes over the years (decade by decade) but we have a LOT more work to do – by 2020 I hope we’ll see a major increase in electricity specifically generated by renewable energy sources (including Wood Energy (Biomass), Solar Energy and Wind Power) with very little reliance (if any!) on petrol and gas. I guess the only way that will happen though is for us, the people – yes that includes me, you and your family – to make changes today and start investing in renewable energy for our future. At least to stop using petrol we now have supercool electric cars like the Nissan LEAF (not quite the personal ‘hoverpacks’ my Dad wants to be able to fly around with, but we’re getting nearer!). And of course if you do just 1 thing, you can simply switch to a green energy supplier such as Good Energy and be more energy efficient by using less energy in your home – to save energy, save money and feel more secure.

Have a play around on The Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide for yourself at: http://evoenergy.co.uk/uk-energy-guide


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Theresa comments:
    "The Evoenergy interactive guide is great. It would be lovely to have something similar that could represent personal energy use so that people could model making changes to see what the impact would be.
    I just wanted to add another suggestion for saving energy, which is to buy less stuff. Have a look at http://www.storyofstuff.org to see the story of stuff movie. It only takes 20 mins but it’s 20 mins of a roller coaster ride through the recent rise of consumerism – you will never look at a shop window in the same way again …:) "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:14 pm


07
NOV

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Take Part in Britain’s Biggest Climate Change Challenge for Climate Week March 2013


Category: Climate Change
Tags: ,


Dorset Energized are very excited to hear that plans are now underway for Climate Week 2013, and there are loads of ideas on the Climate Week website to inspire!

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 4 to 10 March 2013, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. During the first Climate Week in 2012 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

You can now register for your organisation to take part in the Climate Week Challenge, Britain’s biggest ever environmental competition, where over 130,000 people participate and entries are judged by celebrities and it is completely free to take part.

The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel has contained figures such Tony Juniper, Special Advisor to the Prince of Wales Charities International Sustainability Unit, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London in the past.

The Climate Week Swap is a new element to the campaign for 2013, highlighting the positive impact that swapping clothes, books, toys, DVDs and other items can have on our environment. Run a swap event in your school, community group or workplace to save resources from going to landfill. All those who register a Swap event will be entered into a draw to win a swap with a celebrity.

There are a number of other elements to the campaign. Bubble and Squeak for Climate Week is encouraging people to make the food that they eat a part of the solution to climate change. They can do this by joining in the call to action of eating a low carbon meal during Climate Week, either by using up leftovers to make Bubble and Squeak or by cooking food made from local ingredients or less meat and dairy.
The Climate Week Pub Quiz will be run in hundreds of pubs and workplaces.

Start thinking about how you can showcase your organisation’s sustainability initiatives and engage your members in Climate Week 2013. There are loads of ways you can take part! Check out our ‘Things to do Guide’ for how you can get involved or create you own event promoting positive solutions to climate change for Climate Week 2013!

Whatever you are doing, make sure you register your event on the Climate Week website and help to create a national movement for change.

Keep a look out for news on how Dorset Energized plan to celebrate Climate Week, and for more information on Climate Week or to register your event go to www.climateweek.com.



06
NOV

Paul McIntosh says:
Free Thermal Image Camera Training Workshop for Domestic Home Energy Surveys in Dorchester 22nd November 2012


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


FREE Event: Thermal image camera training workshop 
Date: Thursday 22nd November 2012, 2pm – 4.30pm
Venue: Main Hall, Dorford Centre, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RR

Booking: The course is FREE but booking is essential.
Places are limited to 25 people on a first -come- first- served basis.

Dorset County Council in partnership with Dorset Community Action is offering a free technical training course on using a thermal imaging camera for heat loss surveys of domestic properties.

The training is aimed at community volunteers who have experience of using a thermal imaging camera and want to learn more about interpreting thermal images. Also community energy groups, Transition Town groups and others who have access to a thermal imaging camera. Dorset Energy Advice Centre can provide free loans of a thermal imaging camera to local community groups.

The workshop will provide practical advice on using a thermal imaging camera for domestic home energy surveys. The training will cover applications for domestic thermal imaging, limitations and problem areas, interpreting thermal images, etc. It will not cover the basics of how to operate a thermal imaging camera. Case studies of domestic thermal image surveys will be presented.

Please see this weblink for further details of registration for the free workshop: http://www.dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=301



02
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
Save £50 off your first energy bill with Good Energy


Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


We have doubled our special offer discount when you switch to Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier.

Quote ‘Dorset Energized’ and they’ll give you £50 off your first bill (this offer is open to all UK customers so you don’t have to live in Dorset).



02
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
Eco Skills Courses for Self Reliance in Dorset & South West this November 2012


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


Skills for Self Reliance are offering various eco courses including on; Renewable Energy, Sustainable Building & Construction, Food & Nutrition and Lifestyle.

Venues in Dorset include Monkton Wyld (near Charmouth, Bridport) and Kingston Maurward College (Dorchester).

Confirmed upcoming 2012 Courses include:

Bricklaying 5th November £tbc
Plastering 8th – 9th & 22nd – 23rd November £tbc
Willow Weaving 17th November £15
Celebration Food 20th November £20
Living Nutrition 30th November – 2nd December £50
Renewable Technology 1st, 15th, 29th November £FREE

Skills for Self Reliance is a unique public, private and third sector partnership, which links together 5 partners who provide training in a wide range of skills such as permaculture, sustainable construction, anaerobic digestion, running an eco-business, developing herbal products and much more. Thanks to funding secured by the project they are able to offer many places on their training courses at a hugely subsidised rate and in some cases free of charge.

For more information and to book a course email sophie@s4sr.org.uk or visit their website at: www.s4sr.org.uk.



30
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
Green Bananas


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


When thinking about our carbon footprint, our attention naturally goes to transport, holidays, heating – all things that clearly use oil. However, for most households, their weekly food shop makes up a greater proportion of their carbon footprint than transport. Unlike driving your car, though, it is not immediately obvious where you are clocking up the carbon, or how you can reduce it.

It’s not all about food miles. More important is how the food travels those miles. Bananas and oranges, for example, travel huge distances, but do so by boat because they store well and are naturally well-packaged, and so their carbon footprint is modest. On the other hand, those out-of-season luxuries grown in Africa or South America and air-freighted to the UK, like asparagus, blueberries and mange tout, have a colossal footprint. To put some figures on it, a kilo of bananas has a carbon-equivalent footprint of 480 g; that of a kilo of air-freighted asparagus is 14 kg, that’s nearly 30 times as much!

Another major factor is how food is grown. Again, bananas are grown in the tropics with no input of heat and light – it definitely wouldn’t be ‘green’ to grow them locally! Major offenders in this respect are the salad and mediterranean vegetables grown in artificially heated and lit Dutch greenhouses and trucked to the UK. It actually uses less carbon to grow them naturally in Africa and air-freight them, but neither option makes any sense. Tomatoes grown in artificial conditions in winter can have a carbon footprint of up to 50 kg per kilo, compared with 0.4 kg when grown in unheated greenhouses locally in summer.

The third main factor in your food carbon footprint is whether it is animal or plant based. When you feed soya or grain to animals instead of directly to humans, they use most of the calories to walk around, keep warm and generally do their thing, and little to actually make meat or milk. Beef has a carbon footprint of around 16 kg per kilo, compared with less than 1 kg for wheat. Chicken and pork have a far smaller footprint than red meat, because they are ready to eat at a much younger age and they don’t produce methane in digesting their food.

All of these figures are obviously approximate, but they make it easy to see the difference between different kinds of food. Cutting down on winter tomatoes or having a meat-free day once a week will have a major impact on your food carbon footprint, as will sticking to the UK season for asparagus, but its not worth depriving yourself by cutting out bananas and oranges.



23
OCT

Theresa McManus says:
DECC Green Deal Quick Guides


Category: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , , , ,


The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have published some guides on the various aspects of the Green Deal which are available to download. These are aimed at domestic customers, and will hopefully make it easier to access funding for a wide range of energy efficiency measures AND renewable energy measures. Funding will be available from  the end of January 2013.

Visit the DECC website to download the Green Deal Quick Guides: www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/green_deal/gd_quickguides/gd_quickguides.aspx



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