Posts Tagged ‘dorset energy’


31
JAN

Vince Adams says:
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Wind Energy in Dorset


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: ,


Last week opponents of Wind Energy won yet another victory in stopping the Slyers Lane proposal.
This was indeed a sad day for Dorset whose target for clean energy is now in tatters.
This horrendous not in my backyard approach of a minority of Dorset’s people will no doubt comeback to haunt them one day soon when Fracking becomes the goto alternative for our County.
If anyone thinks that WT’s are a threat compared with the ravages of Fracking then they are nuts.
So to the next generation I say sorry, sorry we could not win the argument for you.
Remember its our Country and when its your time to vote next think about how the current Government have decimated the renewable energy industry.
Come forward Mr Corbin and The Green Party we want and need alternative thinking !!



12
MAR

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset Energized support West Dorset Election Hustings in Dorchester on 15th April 2015


Category: Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset
Tags: ,


west-dorset-hustings

Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, Dorset

Dorset Energized are one of a number of local organisations taking part in the West Dorset Election Hustings for local Environmental and Wildlife issues.

All 5 political candidates for West Dorset will be answering your questions on:

  • Landscape
  • Climate Change
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Hunting and Shooting
  • Farm Animal Welfare
  • Badger Cull and Vaccination
  • Marine Conservation
  • Fracking
  • Renewable Energy
  • and more…

Tickets will be available from Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester from Monday 16th March (max. 4 per person). Tickets must be collected from the school, they cannot mail them. N.B. the school will be closed for 2 weeks over Easter from 28th March to 12th April.

Tickets are FREE but donations will be welcome at the end of the event for the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project and Hardye’s students’ environmental projects.

Please share this post widely across the West Dorset area.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE POSTER >>

What question would you like us to ask?

Please let us know what question you would like us to ask our local candidates re renewable energy by submitting your ‘COMMENTS’ in this post below…



27
NOV

Lets Get Energized says:
South West Renewable Energy Installer Launches Fuel Cell Product at The National Renovation Centre


Category: Heat Pumps
Tags: , , ,


ace-oct

Renewable energy company Ace Energy held the official launch of their partnership with BlueGen manufacturers – Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd during the Mitsubishi Electric Renewables Roadshow.

The event held at the National Renovation Centre on 31st October presented the benefits of combining electricity generating fuel cells with air source heat pumps.

BlueGen is the world’s most efficient, small-scale electricity generator, delivering up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency. BlueGen delivers 13,000 kilowatt-hours of low-emission electricity per year which is the equivalent output of around 12 kWp of solar PV. Being a combined heat and power generator it will also provide 200 litres of domestic hot water per day increasing its efficiencies to 85 per cent. Considering that a power station delivers maximum efficiencies of just 30 per cent BlueGen is a significant development for onsite microgeneration. It has a wide operating range and as it works day and night – through summer and winter – it can be used to balance electricity from intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Keith Joynes of Ceramic Fuel Cells explained that when installed alongside a heat pump technology like the Mitsubishi Electric’s Ecodan® significant savings can be made on energy bills. Keith told the Renewable Roadshow audience – which ranged from self-builders and green energy consultants to housing association and local authority executives – that together the two technologies can have a significant impact on reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions. One of the major attractions for the social housing sector is that BlueGen installations and their ongoing maintenance can be fully funded through an ESCO scheme. This means that a residential social landlord can address issues of fuel poverty and pollution without having to meet the costs themselves.

Ace Energy have built a strong working relationship with Mitsubishi Electric since it originally launched Ecodan in the UK seven years ago and are now extending the benefits renewable heating offers by bringing BlueGen to market.

Ace Energy MD Alan Seviour commented:

“We are pleased and proud to be appointed as the regional distributor and installer of BlueGen. This unique technology promises to become a major contributor to the UK energy mix with the capability of providing crucial support of our dwindling electricity supply as aging UK power stations close. We have always been several steps ahead within the energy efficiency marketplace and BlueGen is our latest example of the innovative approach we take in our business. The technology will take an important position within our portfolio of low carbon services and we intend to place it prominently on the green energy map across the areas we cover in the South West of England and the South Wales regions.”

For more information on BlueGen visit www.ace-energy.net or www.bluegen.info

For information on Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan visit www.heating.mitsubishielectric.co.uk



15
NOV

Paul McIntosh says:
da21 Annual General Meeting


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy
Tags: , ,


All welcome to Dorset green charity’s annual get together on Saturday 23 November

· Keynote talk from Hugo House of Good Energy on renewable energy in Dorset at da21’s Annual General Meeting

· Hear the latest on a £1 million project to promote greener living and help tackle climate change in West Dorset.

A keynote speech from Hugo House, of Good Energy and the latest on a £1million project to promote greener living in West Dorset are two great reasons to come along to da21’s Annual General Meeting.

The event takes place in St. George’s Church Hall, Fordington, Dorchester, at 10.30am on 23 November and is free to everyone.

da21 is an environmental charity that works with local people, businesses, education, government and other organisations to encourage sustainable living in Dorset. Da21, in collaboration with local partners from the voluntary, statutory and business sectors, recently secured £960,000 to work with communities in Dorchester, Bridport and surrounding areas.

Good Energy are a South West company, based in Wiltshire and were the first dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier. They supply over 35,000 customers and support over 55,000 homes, business and communities generating their own energy.

“I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in environmental issues to come along,” says da21’s Chairman Andrew Barker. “It’s a great chance to hear some inspirational thinking, catch up on how we’re working for a greener Dorset and meet like-minded people over a bit of lunch.”

da21’s AGM is at St.George’s Church Hall, High Street Fordington, Dorchester, DT1 1LB 10.30am-1pm, on Saturday 23 November.

 

da21s logo

da21s logo



06
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Energize Stur Valley meets Bob Walter MP to discuss renewable energy in Dorset


Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


Over 40 years ago I launched ‘Vegeburgers’ to an unsuspecting bunch of consumers and although the product didn’t suit everyone it was crucial in the fact that today over 40% of the population actively avoid eating meat 2 to 3 times per week and the popularity of vegetarian food has increased dramatically.

Some 20 years later I also spearheaded the first Supermarket launches of authentic chilled Indian meals and whoosh the market took off and today represents upwards of one billion poundsworth of sales per year.

My new passion is renewable energy and I consider that today’s consumers are just as keen to get involved as earlier generations getting Vegetarian or Indian foods rolling. How you sell food is pretty much the same as renewables. You put great quality out there and through packaging, marketing and lots of hard work you get people to buy their first pack. If they like it they buy another pack a week later, tell their friends about it and whoosh the market will flourish.

So it should be with renewables…

There are some great stories out there how ordinary people are saving a heck of a lot of money off their energy bills and at the same time contributing greatly to reducing our carbon emmissions. Lets stop all the senseless in-fighting that creates nothing but negativity. If someone has a hang-up about Wind Turbines then get them focussed on Solar. If they don’t like fields of solar then think anerobic digestion or Biomass – whatever it is join the need to get involved in some way. Spread good news not bad.

Don’t be put off by costs or salesman promising the earth. Research using www.letsgetenergized.co.uk and link to people who know what they are talking about and can help you to become part of the revolution.

Small Change = Big Difference

Start small and change to a green energy supplier – its so easy!!! Talk to Companies like Good Energy with their simple tariffs, longer term pricing and the fact that you get to talk to people who really care. All the energy that they sell is generated by renewable projects many of which are here in the South West.

Think about your community, where could they create energy projects and with organisations like Energize Stur Valley’s Industrial Provident Society they can create their own funding and share the profits equally between the local people.

I was encouraged yesterday in meeting our local MP Bob Walter. Starting at 8.30am we had an hour with the ESV team to discuss and see where its possible for Bob to support the drive for renewable energy. I think its fair to say that he is fully aware and supportive of the potential of renewable energy. The opportunities for increased local employment and investment is crucial to any MP. His key concern is to protect the countryside whilst finding solutions to getting Dorset on the renewable roadmap. We all stressed the need for good honest discussion and finding ways to breakdown the objections and barriers.

Currently we are frankly not pulling our weight, so wake up now Dorset its time to stand up and be counted! To many people this is life or death. To others its just keeping ourselves warm and dry during this coming Winter.

Whatever it is, let us debate, explore and find ways of coming together for future generations of people both in Dorset, the UK and Worldwide.

Thank you Bob for listening- we look forward to the next stage!



28
NOV

Wendy Pillar says:
Solar thermal rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops!


Category: Solar Energy
Tags: , , ,


Photovoltaic solar panels, which generate electricity, have been rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops in the last couple of years. Solar thermal systems seem less popular for some reason, but make perfect energy and financial sense if you have a south- or near-south-facing roof.

Solar thermal is like having a radiator on the roof that works in reverse – instead of taking heat from the hot water cylinder and distributing it into the internal space of the house, it takes heat from the sun on the roof and concentrates it into the hot water cylinder. In fact, you can make a DIY version with an old radiator painted black and placed in a sunny spot. There are some technicial issues with this, and it’s nowhere near as efficient as a modern purpose-built system, but on the other hand it is nearly free! (By the same token, you can make a solar shower with just a very long hosepipe and a shower head, but that’s a different story!)

A well-installed system should provide 60–70% of annual domestic hot water requirements. Simpler to install than photovoltaics, the installer drills the fixings through the slates or tiles into the rafters, sealing the holes afterwards. Inside the house there is a pump, temperature sensors and a controller that stops heat being removed from the cylinder when it is cold outside. You will probably also need a new hot water cylinder with an extra coil inside. It is important to calculate the size of the installation correctly – larger isn’t necessarily better, as the system may overheat if it generates more heat than can be absorbed by the water in the cylinder. For this reason, it is important to pick an experienced local installer. Once installed, your hot water is effectively free for about eight months of the year for at least 20 years into the future. You can turn your boiler off altogether over the summer months, making major savings on gas or heating oil.

The Renewable Heat Incentive currently provides a grant of £300 towards solar thermal installation costs, and a new grant is likely to be announced in the next few months that, similar to the feed-in tariff, will make payments for the heat generated, paying back the cost of installation in around 7 years.

So, with the cost of heating oil, gas and electricity steadily climbing, solar thermal makes sense on financial as well as environmental grounds, and there is plenty of time to get it installed before the sun finally returns in the spring.

For more information and the options available see our section on Solar Energy.



12
NOV

Theresa McManus says:
FREE Fuel poverty awareness training in West Dorset 21st & 27th November 2012


Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security, Sustainable Living
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Dorset Energy Advice Centre are offering FREE fuel poverty awareness training for Community, Volunteer, Health and other home-visiting professionals and volunteers.

The training will cover:
• Definition of Fuel Poverty
• The Causes
• Health implications
• The help available

You will also receive resources, including a “fuel poverty checklist” to assist you in spotting those in fuel poverty. Each session lasts two hours and you only need to attend one session:

Session 1
Wednesday 21st November 9.30 – 11.30am, Room 1, the Bournemouth Learning Centre, Ensbury Avenue, BH10 4HG

Session 2
Tuesday 27th November 9.30 – 11.30am, Committee Room 3, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ

Places are limited to a total of 25 on a first come first served basis, so please contact me, Theresa McManus, at DEAC to book your place now: info@deac.co.uk / 0800 975 0166.

This training is kindly funded by Bournemouth LINks.
A Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a network of local people and groups who have joined forces to improve health and social care services by listening to people like you. They’re independent of the local council and the NHS and exist throughout England. There’s a LINk local to where you live. Register with LINks today to have your say: http://www.makesachange.org.uk



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
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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.



18
OCT

Paul McIntosh says:
Draught Busters Workshops in Bridport 27th October & 1st December 2012


Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security
Tags: , , ,


Transition Town Bridport are running 2 Draught Busters workshops to help people reduce their heating bills.

27th October & 1st December 2012
Draught Busters
Unitarian Church,Victoria Grove, Bridport  

The workshops will be run by Chit Chong and willinclude training on how to stop draughts around leaky windows and doors, and is suitable for anyone who can use a small hammer. Transition Town Bridport will also supply the materials at cost to participants. Typically, the cost will be around £10-£15 for the plastic strips; the workshops are free.

Cutting out draughts makes a huge difference to keeping a house warm and cosy, and saving money from fuel bills, as well as reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Chit has recently started a business in Bridport providing more extensive insulation, and he will be available to discuss other ways of saving energy in the home. His website is at www.dorsetdraughtproofing.co.uk.

Anyone who would like to attend a workshop should email admin@transitiontownbridport, telephone Chit Chong at 01297 480825 or visit www.transitiontownbridport.co.uk.

Download the Draught Busters Poster >>


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Theresa McManus comments:
    "People often ignore measures like draughtproofing, but they can save as much wasted energy as double glazing – and doesn’t cost anything like as much ! Invest in some sealant today! "
    October 18, 2012 a 2:58 pm


12
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset energy company supporting controversial Silton turbines as ‘logical answer’


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


Wendy Pillar and Erik Blakeley from Energize Stur Valley, a local community group and partners of Dorset Energized, have outlined the benefits of wind power and why the controversial Silton turbines should be built, in a letter to The Blackmore Vale Magazine which was published today and highlighted as the top news item in thisisdorset.co.uk.

We recommend you read the full article here and as always, we welcome your constructive comments: 
www.thisisdorset.co.uk/Dorset-energy-company-supporting-controversial/story-17072969-detail/story.html


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I believe all renewable energy installations have value. However, the Silton turbines were not universally accepted because the project had not grown from the local community and the very substantial financial rewards would not have been spread locally beyond the landowner. "
    December 19, 2012 a 11:27 am

  • Wendy Pillar comments:
    "The result of the enquiry is disappointing as I believe it reflects a well-organised campaign more than the majority view. On-shore wind power remains a valuable part of the solution to the pending energy crisis, although projects are better organised from within the community. "
    December 19, 2012 a 11:26 am

  • Theresa comments:
    "The appeal against the Silton wind turbine proposal has sadly been lost.
    All the more reason for Dorset to focus on REDUCING ENERGY DEMAND, so that the regrettably small proportion of renewable energy we are generating will grow in comparison. More investment in energy efficiency and more investment in encouraging behavioural change are needed in order to help make a smooth transition to a low carbon economy. "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:27 pm

  • Martin Usherwood comments:
    "Re: Wendy and Erik’s article. How naive to make statements about wind power fulfilling our energy needs when it only works when the wind blows and it must be at the within tight strength tolerances. Conventional fossil fuel stations are needed as back-up for other times.
    These are not attractive windmills but large industrial machines. They may take up a small amount of land on the surface but what about the tons of concrete below the ground needed to stabilise the tower. A half ton of CO2 per ton of concrete is generated.
    These schemes are being promoted by get rich venture capitalist who are interested in tax and bill payers money from the traded ROC’s(£2billion last year)These people are not concerned with Green issues or saving the environment. As usual they are init for the money. Do not be fooled! "

    October 25, 2012 a 5:54 pm


10
OCT

Theresa McManus says:
Updates on Grants & Rewards for Renewables & Energy Saving in Your Home


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , ,


Free Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation
We have been saying that CERT, the mechanism behind utility companies providing money for insulation grants, is on it’s last legs for so long, it feels a bit like we’ve been crying wolf. The official end date was March 2011, but it’s been extended and extended to allow for the Green Deal, it’s replacement, to be fleshed out (to a point) and (soft) launched.

For Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE), the provider of grants for our area, the main funding stream is now closed. However, Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC) have negotiated a separate stream of funding with SSE so that we can continue to offer grants until early November. We are also investigating other funding opportunities to enable this service, providing free insulation, to be extended for as long as possible.

The Green Deal
The Green Deal was officially launched on 1st October 2012 with the establishment of an enabling legal framework. From 28th January 2013, Green Deal Providers will be able to offer Green Deal plans to consumers and begin deliver a wide range of energy efficiency and heating measures at no up front cost to the customer.

In practice it means that these few months are intended to be used by Green Deal providers, assessors and installers who can start to become authorised to provide Green Deal services and to display the Green Deal Quality Mark, and put in place their quality systems for delivering assessments to customers .

DEAC, our Green Deal partners and network of local installers, have been preparing to be Green Deal ready for a number of months, and these activities are progressing well. We will be offering assessments, plans, installed measures, and providing finance options that are as locally-based as possible to ensure a high quality service to the customer.

Feed In Tariff for Home Energy Generators
For those customers who are considering installing solar PV panels on their home, the Feed in Tariff (FIT) payment amount will be set according to the date of installation. To see how much you would be eligible for, look at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Getting-money-back/Feed-In-Tariffs-scheme-FITs#rates

From the date of the installation, you will receive that amount plus the annual index-linked uplift for the duration of the FIT payments. Note that from 1st August 2012, evidence of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating will be required when applying for FITs. If no evidence showing the EPC has a band D or higher, then the lower rate of FIT will apply.

Energy Performance Certificates have been a mandatory requirement of the Home Information Pack since 2007. If your home does not already have one, call DEAC to get one arranged on 0800 975 0166.

Renewable Heat Incentives
The domestic element of the Renewable Heat Incentive, (RHI – like FITs except for heat energy produced by renewable, e.g. solar thermal panel producing hot water), won’t be available until mid-2013. However, the interim offer of approximately 10% of the install cost for some of these technologies, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, is still available until the end of March 2013, subject to funding. For more details see http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Getting-money-back/Renewable-Heat-Premium-Payment-Phase-2.

For further advice on any of the above incentives, get in touch with myself or my colleagues at DEAC on www.deac.co.uk or call  0800 975 0166.



04
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Eco-homes in Dorchester a great success


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
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Dorchester recently had its first weekend of free visits to eco-homes, on 8th and 9th September 2012. The weekend was part of Architectural Heritage Week and was organised by greendor, a local community project. The event was a great success, with over 260 visits to the seven homes that were open over the two days. Visitors commented that they found the visits “inspirational” and said it was “lovely to have such informed people to tell us about it”.

The open homes ranged from an individually designed low-carbon home built in 2010 to historic Listed Buildings that have been adapted for low-energy living.

The aim was to show in a practical way how people can save energy at home and still be comfortable. In fact by saving money on their fuel, water and electricity bills they can lighten the load on the household budget. At the same time it’s helping Dorchester to move towards lower-carbon living, which we all need to do as oil is getting more expensive and climate change is increasing.

Some of the things that visitors enjoyed seeing were unusual materials at different homes, such as external wall insulation made from lime and wood-fibre, a light tube to bring natural daylight into a dark area of the building, and a rainwater harvesting system which host Tobin Sykes said “has halved our water costs – and that was our highest utility bill.”

Many people expressed interest in following up their visit, and greendor is planning some further events. Ideas include : an opportunity to use a thermal imaging camera, which can show up where heat is leaking out of a building; home visits by local independent energy advisers; talks by energy and building experts; and small home-based groups where people can learn together about greener living.

Anyone who would like to know more about these events is welcome to contact Sally Cooke at greendor2012@gmail.com or 07794 432 297.

Details will also be posted on the website www.greendor.wordpress.com

Here’s some further reading:

1. greendor is a newly started community initiative. It works in association with Transition Town Dorchester, and is grateful for a small grant from Dorset County Council towards the costs of the weekend. It is also very grateful for practical help from Dorset Energy Advice Centre, and for the generosity of the eco-homes hosts in opening up their homes. We also appreciate the help of East Dorset Heritage Trust, who administer Architectural Heritage Week in Dorset.

2. Energy from buildings is a big contributor to the UK’s overall carbon footprint, providing 36% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. See the UK’s government-established Climate Change Committee website: http://downloads.theccc.org.uk.s3.amazonaws.com/4th%20Budget/4th-Budget_Chapter5.pdf

3. Dorset has a target of raising its contribution to clean energy generation by over ten-fold by 2020, and home generation has a part to play in that. See Dorset’s Renewable Energy Strategy: http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=171439&filetype=pdf

4. The building industry employs over 2 million people in the UK, and has great potential for transforming the country’s building stock. Providing an opportunity to see the skills that are involved in low-carbon building or re-fitting has been one of the aims of the open eco-homes weekend. Guests from the local planning and building sector attended a special event at the Chalk Wall House, Dorchester, on Sunday 9th September.



03
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
Rare earth elements in renewable energy


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


I have heard it said that electric cars and other renewable energy technology use rare earth elements and that this is a reason why they are not really ‘green’. But is this true?

Dysprosium, terbium, europium, neodymium and yttrium are all extremely rare and are vital in renewable energy and electric cars, especially in batteries. The economic crisis has meant that the super-rich have a shortage of profitable outlets for their billions, with a sluggish stock market and a worldwide depression in consumption. One of the few areas that is booming is renewable energy, and the rarity of these elements has led to a modern ‘goldrush’. While much of the production comes from countries like Australia, there are also cases of land being ‘grabbed’ from indigenous people, and open cast mining in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Amazon. It is perfectly obvious to most of us that destroying rainforest to make a ‘green’ car makes no sense, but not it seems to big business.

So is this a reason not to buy renewable energy products? No. It is the same issue of regulating multinational corporations and preventing them from exploiting poor countries and the environment in their short-term grab for profits that is largely what got us into this mess in the first place, both financially and environmentally! The same problems occur for elements in the screens of your laptop and mobile phone, components in conventional cars, and even something as common as aluminium, not to mention coal for conventional power generation.

One thing we can do about it is to always recycle electrical products by taking them to the recycling centre, rather than letting them go to landfill in the domestic rubbish. The more components are recycled, the less has to come out of the ground. We can also help by placing our financial business with ethical funds or an ethical bank, since many of these environmental crimes are committed with the collective money from our pension funds and savings.

The issue also highlights that merely switching to another kind of consumption is not the whole answer. Buying an electric car instead of a conventional car is good, but so is doing half as many miles in your existing car and making it last twice as long, or waiting until your mobile breaks, instead of until it goes out of fashion, before replacing it.

Check out our pages on Energy Efficiency on: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/energy-efficiency and Sustainable Living: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/sustainable-living

We can all also support the work of charities such as Greenpeace, Christian Aid and Oxfam in fighting ‘land grabbing’.



03
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
The renewable energy goldrush


Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , ,


You know when something is worthwhile and profitable when high-pressure sales types attempt to cash in. Such is the case with renewable energy.

The other day I received a cold call from a call centre in Scotland, in which a young woman told me that the government had just introduced a new grant called the Feed in Tariff, from which I could benefit. I only had to agree for a free visit from an energy advisor. I agreed to be put through to the next young person to talk about this, interested in what they were going to say. This young man talked a lot, at high speed, about how much I could make from photovotaic panels and the ‘new’ government ‘grant’, and very little about the fact that I would have to pay for the panels up front, receiving payments from the Feed in Tarrif over the next few years. The patter was all about getting the advisor/salesman in through the front door. I was not even asked which direction my roof faced, or whether it was shaded, which might even have saved the ‘advisor’ a visit.

Now I’m not saying that this company sold a bad product, or were doing anything more dubious than normal advertising ‘puff’, although their script was misleading. However, it is unnecessary to do business with this kind of company. There are good, local businesses who have much experience in installing renewable energy, and care about getting exactly the right product for your property. For a large project, there is plenty of advice and information available for you to organize the installation yourself, and maximise the income from the project.

PV panels are still an excellent investment, despite the falling Feed in Tariff – if they weren’t, there would not be so many salesmen interested in selling them to you!

For impartial advice you can contact our team at Dorset Energized and check out our renewable energy pages on: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy



02
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
90% of North Dorset want to generate renewable energy


Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Energize Stur Valley recently carried out a survey of North Dorset residents on their views on renewable energy. Enthusiasts on the subject that we are, even we were surprised at just how positive they all are about renewable energy.

Some 90% of people questioned felt positive towards renewable energy projects, and 90% also felt that Dorset should generate more if its own electricity, since it currently generates a tiny 0.0001% of the electricity that it uses.

The most popular idea for generating renewable energy was photovoltaic panels on industrial and agricultural buildings, with 93% of those questioned in favour. These are frequently very suitable for PV owing to their large roof areas that are not overshadowed, as long as they face south.

Also extremely popular was the idea of putting PV panels on the roofs of public buildings, such as schools, with 90% in favour. Again, these buildings tend to have large, accessible roof areas. PV panels at ground level were far less popular, with only 52% in favour, it being often remarked that it is better to grow food in fields where possible.

The latest large wind turbines are by far the most efficient way to generate electricity in our climate. However, they do have a significant impact on the landscape, and not everyone considers them things of beauty. This was reflected in the survey, with 48% in favour of the large wind turbines and 59% in favour of the smaller 20-metre-high models.

Both hydropower and anaerobic digesters were highly popular, both with 86% in favour. Anaerobic digesters can be a good option on farms producing animal waste, such as indoor poultry and pig units. They can also use collected food waste from catering outlets and food processing businesses.

Finally, 65% of those questioned thought that it was a good idea to set up community investment funds, whereby local people can invest in local renewable energy projects with a relatively small investment, thereby keeping the income generated within the community. We have taken this on board, and are looking into how this can be done.

The survey gave a fascinating insight into what North Dorset people really think about renewable energy, and we plan to repeat it in the future to see how views change as renewable energy projects come into production. Watch this space!

There is still just about time to get new PV projects installed before the Feed in Tariff goes down in October 2012 – find out more on our webpage: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/solar-energy


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Caz comments:
    "Dont think the locals would complain if you put quiet, low PV panels in the Milborne area.
    What I want to know is if this is a survey of North Dorset residents where and how was it carried out because as a North Dorset resident no one has asked me to fill out a survey? And how many surveys were returned as unless you had a return rate of 75% of North Dorset residents it’s not a true reflection of the area! This site needs to clarify the data it uses! Otherwise its just a sales pitch. May be trading standards should look in to it! "

    October 13, 2012 a 11:19 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Regarding the “Survey” of North Dorset Residents to which Ms Pillar refers, can she, in the interests of transparency, please advise:- a. The total sample size
    b. The sampling methodology (Nb ‘Internet’ is not a valid sampling technique)
    c. The sample demographic Thank you
    Richard Howman "

    October 12, 2012 a 6:39 pm

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 9:05 pm


01
OCT

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Energise Stur Valley Comments on the Silton Wind Turbine Enquiry


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


I am posting as a member of Energise Stur Valley and following on from Vince’s blog post last week ‘Don’t be led by the small minority: the Anti Wind Turbine Brigade!’ about the Silton Wind Turbine Enquiry (you can read his post on http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/09/25/silton-enquiry).

Energise Stur Valley (EVS) is a group of individuals favouring renewable energy generation installations. We believe we represent the majority of opinion in Dorset (as evidenced in all Dorset Citizen Panel questionnaire results that related to wind turbines).

Here are some key points about Wind Turbines that we want to highlight (some of which expand on Vince’s points already posted):

1. There is obviously polarisation of opinion about wind turbines in Dorset. Those with a history of activity in the local rural economy – sometimes going back generations – tend to understand the landscape as an active part of Dorset’s economy. Those with more recent interest in the Dorset landscape tend to have moved into the area to escape more densely populated areas of the country looking for their idealised rural idle. They are less likely to be working and are time rich.

2. The representations against the application are motivated by concerns about visual impact, which is inevitably a big issue for those living closest to the proposed turbines but it must be remembered that they are definitely a minority within the district and – we would argue – even within the locality of the proposed wind turbines. The majority in favour of the application tend to be less motivated to voice their opinion and in some cases feel bullied to remain silent such is the robustness by which every positive comment is countered.

3. There is much misinformation being repeated by objectors to the application and reported in the local media. Statements made about the proposed turbines being inefficient, Ecotricity being financially unstable, the concrete to be used affecting the water table and emitting more CO2 than the turbines save are not correct. A more dispassionate analysis is required for this application.

4. With 4000 turbine now installed it is possible for wind generation to stand out from the statistical noise. Hard data available now shows the skeptics to be wrong. A new wind generation record of 4,131 megawatts (10.6% of UK consumption) was set on 14th September 2012. The average for September has been 6% of daily national electricity requirement. National Grid data analysis over the last three months shows a clear correlation between windiness, reduction in gas fired generation and actual CO2 savings.

5. Even with 4 times the current number of wind turbines expected by 2020, National Grid have stated they will be able to handle the new generation without major additional investment in dirty open cycle gas back-up. Responding to sudden surges in demand for electricity during the X Factor ad breaks is more difficult to deal with than the intermittency of wind.

6. All surrounding counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire have multi MW turbines either already installed or with positive planning determinations.

7. The substantial wind resource in Dorset is not being utilised as described in the Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy.

8. Data from the CECC wind speed database shows the site to have viable wind speeds. Electrical loses through the grid will be low due to the close proximity of Gillingham which provides constant electrical demand.

9. There are no wind turbines larger than 20 kW currently installed in Dorset.

10. We want to see large wind turbines in Dorset. Their elegance, beauty and positive aesthetic are matched only by a building such as Salisbury Cathedral.


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "For informed unbiased comment on the relationship between wind power and the back-up generation required, have a look at the view from DECC at http://www.e2bpulse.com/Articles/329507/E2B/Pulse/Blogs/Members_Blogs/DECC_Blog/The_viability_of.aspx "
    October 16, 2012 a 10:49 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Will Keith Wheaton-Green be apologising to all the Dorset residents he has so roundly and inaccurately patronised with his insulting comments? And would he also acknowledge the simple fact that the ‘Citizen Panel’ to which he refers, consists of 3000 people aged 16 or over, only, out of a Dorset Resident population (according to Council data) of 710,000, indicating that the Panel represents only 0.42% of Dorset residents. Even the clearly biased Mr Wheaton-Green will realise that this is hardly representative of majority opinion on any subject. Richard Howman "
    October 12, 2012 a 9:56 am

  • Wendy Pillar comments:
    "On Countryfile last night, the featured investigation was into how the new planning rules make approval of new open cast coal mines more or less automatic, and nothing the local community or planning can do. There are about a dozen of these in the pipeline, frequently very close to villages or environmentally sensitive areas – makes windmills seem rather benign doesn’t it? We have to face the fact that energy is going to have to come from somewhere – nuclear (here, not out of sight, out of mind), coal or wind and solar. The choice is ours, for the time being at least, until the government feels the need to make the choice for us. "
    October 1, 2012 a 2:00 pm


27
SEP

Sharon Fay says:
Introducing FJ Chalke’s New Electric Vehicle Relationship Manager


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , ,


My name is Sharon Fay and I am the new Electric Vehicle Relationship Manager at Dorset Energized’s partners FJ Chalke in Wincanton.

I have worked for FJ Chalke previously as Receptionist and then as Electric Vehicle Relationship Manager, but having been out of the car industry for a year and missing the buzz of sales, the role came up again as Electric Vehicle Relationship Manager [as Beverley has gone onto pastures new] and as they say… the rest is history.

I am looking forward to taking the Nissan LEAF on the next stage of its journey and introducing new electric vehicles to the Nissan EV range. So if you would like to arrange a test drive, ask a question or have a chat about the LEAF please do not hesitate to contact me on 01963 34335 or sharon.fay@fjchalke.co.uk and of course there is lots more information on our website on: www.fjchalke.co.uk/eco.



25
SEP

Vince Adams says:
Don’t be led by the small minority: the Anti Wind Turbine Brigade!


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


Myself and fellow members of Energise Stur Valley and Transition Town Sturminster Newton are concerned that the headlines in the Blackmore Vale Magazine this weekend gave a highly negative view towards Wind Turbines.

If only the voices of a small vocal minority are heard with substantial amounts of dis-information, then it would appear the process of Public Inquiry is itself under threat.

Energise Stur Valley, Transition Town Sturminster Newton and Dorset Energized are committed to helping to give good information to local people upon which they can make truly informed decisions about the way that we and Dorset should be developing renewable energy resources. We are keen to express the need for Community action and ownership of energy creating schemes whilst supporting in general principal the growth of all forms of renewable development.

The anti wind turbine brigade are well funded, totally committed to protecting their own backyards and irrational in their views. Old heresy is dredged up time and time again which have little truth and stop Dorset and this Country moving forward and making the very most of our natural resources.

So please listen to both sides, make your own decisions and don’t be lead by the Anti Brigade.

Here are just a few points that take up some of the dis-information and are far more informed:

1. The substantial wind resource in Dorset is not being utilised as described in the Dorset Renewable Energy Strategy. There are no wind turbines larger than 20 kW currently installed in Dorset.

2. All surrounding counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire) have multi MW turbines either already installed or with positive planning determinations.

3. In every survey of Dorset residents ever undertaken there has always been a majority in favour of large wind turbines (Dorset Citizens Panel questionnaires).

4. The representations against the application are motivated by concerns about visual impact, which is inevitably a big issue for those living closest to the proposed turbines but it must be remembered that they are a minority within the district.

5. The majority in favour of the application tend to be less motivated to voice their opinion and in some cases feel bullied to remain silent such is the robustness by which every comment of theirs is countered (as we have even seen on the comments on this very blog!).

6. There is much misinformation being repeated by objectors to the application and reported in the local media.

7. Statements made about the proposed turbines being inefficient, Ecotricity being financially unstable, the concrete to be used affecting the water table and emitting more CO2 than the turbines save, are not correct.

For more information on Wind Power see our page on:
www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power


10Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "To hear the opponents talk you would think that no other form of power plant ever need maintenance or replacement. Nuclear has one of the highest O&M costs around. Gas plant has a similar life expectancy to wind. As to the health worries these scare stories are repeatedly discredited yet still they come back again and again. I know its all still out there on the internet but so are the claims that aliens are probing our brains – it doesn’t mean its true. I sympathize with people that are being frightened by the new technology especially the gentleman who is concerned about his epileptic relative but the epilepsy society has pointed out that the large turbines rotate too slowly for them to pose a threat to epileptics. Wind turbine syndrome was a bit of pseudoscience generated by poor scientific technique used by biased researchers in the US and elsewhere which isn’t even mentioned by the more informed opponents these days because they know it is just not real. Other forms of power generation do pose real and significant threats to public health so wind power is one of the generation technologies least likely to injure or harm you as a member of the public and consumer of energy. We cannot solve our problems by just using one form of low carbon technology – we cannot just build solar (what happens at night?) We cannot even just build nuclear (nuclear power is very inflexible and needs to be run at a steady output making it just as dependent on storage as wind if it is to cope with changes in demand). We need a wide range of technologies working together to give us a flexible and reliable energy system. Onshore wind is an indispensable part of that mix. "
    May 9, 2014 a 8:15 am

  • Cameron Phillips comments:
    "I for one am against wind turbines on shore, especially the Blandford hill one, as I live on Blandford Hill, I dont want my and my family’s health to get worse, my younger sibling has epilepsy, If someone put them in your backyard, you would feel the way Im feeling "
    May 8, 2014 a 8:03 pm

  • daniel comments:
    "there is too much information that shows that they are inefficient, there are days throughout the UK when the wind does not blow, they need support net works of power stations, and often there will be a need for more pylons to support them! Plus with the big turbines, they are more prone to going wrong, look at Professional Industry pieces on this. It is agreed that turbines need new gearboxs etc. once every five years, which can be 10 percent of the cost of the turbine itself! They need regular maintenance, to guard against blade failure, brake failure etc. In Europe Insurers are waking up to the costs of Wind turbines, regretably they do go wrong, and if you have houses near by, the results can be very unpleasant. Records in Germany and other countries have turbine collapse and blades crashing through peoples roofs! Very frightening! I think the approach is wrong, if wind turbines are efficient etc then people should be campaigning that they be sited over 2kms away from peoples homes, you cannot deny how ever keen you feel about turbines that they are blighting peoples lives when they are too close… wind turbine syndrome looks like it may be a real problem and not in peoples minds, so what better way of tackling this than making sure that wind turbines are responsibly placed, if they have to be placed anywhere… finally please understand that wind turbines, the large ones, like the ones planned for Tolpuddle are Industrial installations, it will be an industrial site, and it is being placed near areas of outstanding natural beauty etc. where it may have an impact on Tourist trade….it is in the wrong place. Industrial installations should be for brown field sites, not agricultural land that will be down graded into being a brown field site. Please look on the net, learn how people are affected through out the World by having windfarms so close to them, how it damages the quality of their lives, and then perhaps you can understand why people are resistent to them! "
    November 29, 2012 a 11:41 am

  • Theresa comments:
    "I know I bang on about energy efficiency and demand reduction, but having an energy efficient home means we only use about 1500kW electricity a year (and a titchy amount of gas for our gas cooker). If other homes were like this, then the contribution from wind turbines would go much further and our fossil fuel dependence would be so much less ….. "
    November 26, 2012 a 7:10 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Same old arguments about WT’s. Please just look at the facts, they are efficient, payback their cost/carbon investment amazingly quickly, do not effect birds and they look beautiful.
    If people had taken the same approach in earlier centuries we would not have had some of the most efficient food producing installations ever: THE WINDMILL.
    I don’t want to see them in people’s backyards but in the right location they are a key part of our energy future.
    There are plenty of people who have far worse things to put up with including Nuclear, Gas Fired Power and soon Fracking sites. Do they get a choice and if they did how would you heat your own homes. Its time to think about all our neighbours.
    Be positive, eventually the future will be RENEWABLE. "

    November 26, 2012 a 3:49 pm

  • Marcus comments:
    "By the way, not knowing anyone in Dorset in the circle of people I know who has ever been asked by any one to fill in a survey regarding how they feel about wind turbines, I wonder at the information that most of us think the large turbines are a good thing. I am sorry if you find that a small minority of us, who dont think wind turbines are a good thing act as bullies, as a small minority I am surprised people are all that bothered, goodness me!
    Shall I tell you something, if wind turbines were efficient, if they did not potentially pose a health risk due to infrasound, if they were sited 2km minimum distance from peoples homes I would be the FIRST to be in favour of them! Unfortunately in these days of the internet, People have access to alot of information available globally regarding wind turbines there safety, the affect on peoples lives etc etc. and one cannot fail to be concerned, if I only read Greenpeace info. and other like minded infomation providers, I too would be ever so happy I am sure! But regretably, I have read alot of information that makes me genuinely very concerned. I think there are other ways of producing energy that do not create noise, are not visually intrusive, that do not risk damaging Dorsets tourist trade, do not produce infrasound etc. if photovoltaic technology was advanced so that the technology became cheaper, alot of people would choose to use solar power, how bout instead of the huge subsidies spent on wind turbines the money could be spent on cheapening Solar power! I am sorry if you only want people on this blog being for windpower, but if you make claims that the vast majority of us are for huge Windturbines, you are wrong. "

    November 25, 2012 a 8:01 pm

  • Marcus comments:
    "Ill informed people, hum, I think you would find that there is a lot of information out there, about the safety record of Windturbines, how the larger they get there more dangerous they are. The inefficiencys of them. The dangers to wildlife, bats and birds that has been vastly underestimated, and under reported, the noise pollution, the believed danger from Low frequency Noise which is believed to be causing the Wind turbine syndrome often reported by people dwelling near by to turbines. etc etc. We might say that people who are blindly in favour of wind turbines are ill informed, look on the internet, look at all the information available World wide, look to why it is the Germans are turning away from Wind power, why it is the Danish will only allow windfarms 2 kms away from dwellings etc etc…wonder why it is the so called minority are against windfarms. The Low frequency noise is an issue of great concern, Scientists who are neither for nor against wind farms are calling for more research, because it is feared that Low Frequency noise or infrasound can do real damage to the human brain, and physiology for the long term. Look at the research available, and think, if there is a risk, if there is a risk, do you really think we should blindly go on saying windfarms are a good thing. Do you think in years to come, when people have had their health irreversably damaged that we shall feel pleased with ourselves? Yes it’s all in the mind is nt it, that’s what the wind turbine companys would like you to think, but you look at the research! Its there, if you can be bothered. Have a look at the accident data, have a look at the film of wind turbines exploding! Listen to the noise they create, see the light flicker that blights people lives and makes roads dangerous! See the hollow faces of people whose lives have been ruined by having large scale windfarms placed by them……the information is out there, we are not idiots, we can read, have a look yourself, and wonder perhaps are we ill informed, also can I ask this finally, who is the one who profits from this, is it the minority objector? Or is the windfarm company who desperately tells you how efficient their windfarms will be etc etc. hum! "
    November 25, 2012 a 7:49 pm

  • Frederic comments:
    "A modest small rural home without gas which uses oil and woodburners for domestic heating and electricity solely for cooking, lighting and domestic appliances will use 8000-8500KW hours per year If your electricity bill is £80-100/month then you are that household using 1KW hour every hour of the year. So the turbines could power 3750 homes this is one quarter of the homes in the wholly inaccurate estimate of 14000 made by West Coast Energy. Even this is far from the true picture, at you peak daily usage you will require 10KW to power your lights cooker and kettle and so the whole industrial complex would power just 375 local homes. The populations of Tolpuddle are 360 and Puddletown 1220 to set this in a local context. .Is the noise, visual landscape destruction, intrusion on byways, damage to wildlife and the local tourism economy worth this paltry and unreliable power station.
    ….. i AM sorry, they are inefficient, fullstop. "

    November 25, 2012 a 7:38 pm

  • Vince comments:
    "I have just come back from the Silton Wind Farm enquiry this morning where a small number of ill-informed people are standing in the way of progress for the majority. It was so depressing and then to be sent The Guardian’s article extolling the case for Wind Turbines and their growing effect on our energy supply and reduction in carbon emissions was wonderful! Read the article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions.
    We at Dorset Energized aim for the truth, well researched facts that give proper advice to people here in Dorset regarding Renewable Energy.
    Be inspired by this latest report and share it with family and friends in the hope that more of us will understand the potential positive effect for all our futures. "

    September 26, 2012 a 12:50 pm

  • Wendy comments:
    "I understand that the Save our Silton group is upset about the visual impact of the possible wind turbines on their landscape, particularly being so close to them. However, in their protest, they really should stick to the facts. Wind turbines are neither inefficient nor useless. They are the most efficient way to generate renewable energy in our climate. They pay back the carbon of their installation in a matter of months. They should generate electricity 75% of the time. If you see wind turbines standing idle, it is most likely because there is too much electricity going into the grid at that moment, and turbines can be switched off at a flick of a switch, whereas conventional power stations take hours to power down and back up. I can’t imagine how on earth wind turbines would drive jobs away. They may or may not be ugly, and that is what the debate is really about. "
    September 25, 2012 a 9:28 am


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