Posts Tagged ‘renewable energy’


16
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Co-Founder of Green and Black hits out…..


Category: Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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We sent Craig Sams the co-founder of Green and Black an article about how difficult the Government had made the development of renewable energy to continue its development right now.

He came back with the following comment:

“One thing is the EU’s 74.5% tariff on imports of solar glass from China. This props up some European manufacturers but it also makes the cost of solar installations less competitive. Fossil fuels are still heavily subsidised while subsidies for solar are slashed and solar glass is heavily taxed. The Chinese lead the world in wind and solar – they have no big oil companies and want to get rid of coal.”

This dispels the myth that renewables are costing consumers a lot on their energy bills. Compared with the support overtime for fossil fuels and nuclear its extremely modest.

Take another look at our website that aim to give you the real facts about renewables and get involved in the debate now, its our real future for energy and the Planet.



21
JAN

Vince Adams says:
Keith Wheaton Green speaks out


Category: Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Power from the People
I was at a meeting of the South Somerset Hydropower Group (SSHG) a couple of weeks ago. Have you noticed how whenever a group of British people meet on more than one occasion to discuss matters of mutual interest, they instinctively elect a chairman, secretary, treasurer and thereafter, manage their affairs with integrity? Their interests usually also have some benefit to wider society. This has certainly been true of SSHG. The group have had a profoundly positive effect on developing the hydropower industry in the SW. Members attend consultation events organised by the Environment Agency and government departments as well as opening their sites for visits. Apparently 39% of the UK population volunteer at least once a year. People give their time and energy to achieve things for society as a whole. Very civilised. David Cameron described it as the “Big Society” and gave much encouragement including “The Building a Stronger Civil Society Strategy” published in 2010.
There followed in 2014 a “Community Energy Strategy” which set out a vision for rapid expansion of the community owned energy sector and an explanation of the financial incentives from government.
Many of us interested renewable energy responded by setting up a community energy society to develop installations owned and managed by people living nearby. There are now over 5,000 of these who have developed PV, wind and hydro projects in the UK with the south west well represented. A lot of voluntary work went into finding sites, negotiating with site owners and renewable energy installers, writing share offer documents and sorting out land and roof leases. Volunteers organisations cannot be as fleet of foot as in the commercial world. In most cases the volunteers are on a steep learning curve. But the future for this activity was bright. The government had told us so.
However, during the latter half of 2015 – without the Lib Dems pushing this agenda from the Department of Energy and Climate Change – we have seen a dramatic change of emphasis. First we had the consultation to reduce the feed in tariffs (FITs) by 87%. We don’t know for sure whether government will take any notice of the 55,000 responses, which include what DECC describe as “2800 detailed written responses,” but they don’t usually make a difference. Secondly, the ability to pre-accredit a project – so that it has a FIT rate guaranteed two years before installation – has been removed. This is particularly cruel for hydro projects because it can take years to get the necessary licenses and permissions, and money spent achieving them is even more at risk when the returns are unknown. Thirdly, George Osborne announced that – despite the promises in the Community Energy Strategy – Social Investment Tax Relief would specifically not be available for Community Energy Societies.
The net result of these changes is that the projects that have soaked up so much volunteer time, energy and enthusiasm, that cannot be installed before the multiple deadlines do not stack up financially. It seems our efforts may have been wasted. So much for Cameron’s “Big Society
Government U turns are also having an impact on the South West’s renewable energy installation companies. The Renewable Energy Association estimates 20.000 jobs will be lost so I was interested to listen to the CEO of a small SW company. They had diversified from their long established plumbing and heating company to install PV, solar thermal, biomass boilers and heat pumps. In the year ending June 2015 their turnover of renewable energy business was £600k which amounted to 2/3 of their business. New premises had been taken on and staff diverted from traditional boiler work. Money was spent in training. Since the proposed FITs cuts were announced there has been a large amount of work booked for installation before January 2016 to take advantage of the current tariffs. There have been no enquiries for work after then so they will have to lay off one member of staff. The company will revert to its original core business and hope to take work from other competing business. Basically, renewables were an area of growth enabling existing businesses to expand and new ones to set up. We will now see a contraction and redundancies.
Individual Conservative MPs have been supportive of their constituents pro renewables dialogue. However, I suspect many currently working in the renewables industry regret the loss of Lib Dem MPs in the SW that lead to the demise of the Coalition government.

 

“this article first appeared in The Landsman”



19
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Regen’s upbeat message


Category: Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


Who said renewable energy has been dealt a lethal blow by our Government ? Regen SW are extremely upbeat.

“Cognitive Dissonance: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change”

  • “Let’s just imagine for a moment what we would have to say to our grandchildren if we failed. We would have to say, it was all too difficult,”  David Cameron, Paris ‘COP 21’ Climate Summit, 30th November 2015.
  • “New measures to deal with the projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies have been announced today” DECC announcement, 17 December 2015.

 

t many ways 2015 has been a spectacular year for clean energy with 60 GW of wind and 55 GW of solar deployed globally and global commitments to clean energy culminating in the Paris agreement. In the UK renewables topped 25 per cent of electricity generation for two quarters in a row. Perhaps it is this very success and the threat to incumbent business models it represents, that has led to the policy backlash in the UK over the last six months.

We at Regen have been inspired by the resilience and innovation in the sector – so strikingly on display at our Renewable Futures: Pathways to Parity conference. Working with our sector to develop new business models will be our key focus in the year ahead.

Our first event of 2016 will be our reception at the House of Commons on 13th January with Amber Rudd, on our Entreprenurial Women in Renewable Energy initiative.

For lots more detail and info contact: Regen SW rhayes@regensw.co.uk



13
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO


Category: Community Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
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Wind Turbines in Dorset? Planning Committee says NO

kwgwtkwg1

I recently attended a wind turbine planning determination in a crowded village hall when the planning committee (well 6 of the 11 members attended) decided the fate of an application for 4 large wind turbines. We all listened to officers of the council and AONB explain the landscape and heritage sensitivities (the turbines would be seen in the setting of listed buildings and the beautiful Dorset landscape) followed by numerous speakers against and for the application.

Those opposed to the application made the point that our landscape must be preserved, that the turbines would be seen from village houses and gardens and even that wind turbines damage people’s health. The CPRE claimed that renewable energy targets in Dorset had been exceeded so no new installations were needed. Each speaker received rapturous applause.

I have witnessed a few campaigns to oppose wind turbine applications in Somerset and Dorset. There is usually assistance from outside organisations. Meetings, leaflets and doorstep petitions are arranged. The purpose – of course – is to raise anxiety levels. Misinformation is spread such as; bird and bat populations are put at risk; infra sound prevents people sleeping and gives them headaches; house prices will fall and tourists will stay away. Wind turbines are inefficient and generate hardly anything. Sometimes photographs that exaggerate the scale are published.

In reality, the choice to approve or not – as the officers and members present acknowledged –is justified on the basis of a subjective view of landscape and visual aesthetics.

About seven of us spoke up in favour of the application. It was explained that climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with so urgently we need to move to 100% of our electricity from renewables ASAP, that wind turbines are the cheapest technology but that there are very sites suitable for their installation in Dorset.

When I spoke, looking out onto the big audience of grey haired baby boomers while younger people were at work, I realised just where the divide in opinion lay. The majority of the audience – many retired to timeless Hardy’s Dorset – would not sacrifice their views from around the village to give the younger generation a better future. Yet just think what the generation before the baby boomers sacrificed in the 30s, 40s and 50s!

Anyone wanting to live in Hardy’s Dorset should stop using electricity, swap their car for a horse and cart, live in a very small draughty house and campaign to take out pylons and large roads. If we walk backwards into the future, we will suffer because we can’t see where we are going.

I spoke up for farmers. They may be sitting on land and property worth millions with large sums flowing through their business but their disposable income can be modest. They work very long hours as standard and consider themselves guardians of the land (and landscape) which they expect to pass on to their children rather than realize paper wealth.

I was once told by a farmer – only half-jokingly – that I shouldn’t expect him to take my opinions on local matters seriously because my family had not been in Dorset since Saxon times. Despite that comment, farmers are usually quiet, self-effacing, not prone to voicing their opinions and actually can be intimidated.

Wind turbines make sense to farmers because they give resource efficient future financial security. The opposing camp are very ably led by people some of which, have moved into the area to retire. They put high value on the landscape the farming community have created and look after, but look to the past rather than the constant change and planning for the future they may have experienced in their own working lives.

The media are underestimating the connection between peoples voting intentions and their views on climate change. The Green surge is largely due to younger people with a strong sense of injustice against their generation. Baby boomers have had it good with their jetting around the world on holiday, big cars and houses by mortgaging their children’s and grandchildren’s futures (the deficit.) This put the carbon in the atmosphere that puts future generations in jeopardy.



10
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Explore renewable energy technologies for your home, business or farm


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags:


Just wanted to share these great interactive diagrams created by MCS certified renewable energy installers Futurum Renewable Energy Systems who are based here in Dorset but cover much of the UK.

They are a really quick and easy visual way to explore what renewable energy options are possible for your home, business or farm – from Solar, Heat Pumps and Biomass Energy to Water and Wind Power.

futurum-home

futurum-business

futurum-farm

Click on the diagrams to link through to their site to see more, or to explore technologies further go to: http://futurumltd.co.uk/technologies.



17
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Power in the hands of other Countries


Category: Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


Power in the hands of other Countries

Europe imports over half the energy it consumes. Only Denmark is left as an exporter. We import 90 percent of our crude oil. We import 66 percent of our natural gas. Even 40 percent of our nuclear fuel comes from beyond European borders.

So my friends to state the obvious that if we want to have a sustainable energy supply for the UK its time to get fully behind, wind, water and solar power generation.

Lets not quibble about how we get there just letsgetenergized and make it happen.



05
JUN

Vince Adams says:
New Spanish Blameless Wind Turbines


Category: Uncategorized, Wind Power, Wind Power
Tags: ,


New Spanish Blameless Wind Turbines

Big news from Spain, the launch of bladeless wind turbine’s indeed.

50% less cost, even better rates of energy generation they also have less impact on the landscape, people and wildlife.
Wow with all those plus’s can we assume that all the Anti’s will now give up on their opposition and get fully behind the Countries move towards fossil free energy generation.

The wind has been our friend since the beginning of time with transport, food production and even drying our clothes before tumble dryers were even invented. So lets embrace its force and use it for the common good.

If you would like to comment on this or any other subject please go to our blog comment page or the comment section below this article.

For more information go to :
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/01/can-bladeless-wind-turbines-mute-opposition?CMP=new_1194&CMP=



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
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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


03
JUN

Guest Energizer says:
Making Your New Home More Energy Efficient


Category: Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


If you are going to move to a new home soon, you might want to consider ways to make it more energy efficient and green. While it is true that the whole situation is stressful enough, indicated by the fact many surveys rank this among the most difficult tasks one has to deal with in life, it is also true that moving house presents many new opportunities.

One of the most important things you can consider for your home is implementing green technology and features. Now is the perfect opportunity to become a better eco-friendly person, start a new life in your new and improved home. Relocation to a new place is your opportunity to live in a home that is green and less taxing on the environment.

Making Your New Home more Energy Efficient

Here are some projects you can consider:

Rainwater harvest system – that is one thing you should definitely consider for your new home. An RHS allows the collection of rainwater from your rooftop, which would normally go to waste. It is a precious resource, which the system will store in a tank, allowing you to utilise it later for various needs. Collected rainwater can easily be used for various cleaning tasks, all of which you will have to perform a lot of after relocation. The benefits of having an RHS installed in your home are huge – it can save you up to 50% of your water bill, which is not a small amount at all.

Solar panelssolar power has become a widespread reality. Many homes have panels installed, and this is very good, because it is a great way of saving energy and utilising a renewable source for power. The thing to consider before moving house to a place with solar panels is that the investment is a rather large one. You can expect a long-term return, but that should not stop you from implementing this project in your home.

Energy efficient electronics – if you want to pay less for moving services, you can leave part of your old electronics behind or sell them in order to acquire new and more energy efficient ones. This is definitely something to consider, because it not only makes your move easier, but also makes your new home much more eco-friendly and green.

Wind turbine – another great way of making your home more eco-friendly is to harness the power of the winds by mounting a wind turbine on the roof of your new home. Even small models can make quite a difference in reducing your electricity bill. Of course, you have to keep in mind whether or not the conditions are good – your home must be in an area with plenty of winds, otherwise the turbine will not produce electricity.

It is by implementing these 4 features in your new home that you can make it green and eco-friendly. Definitely consider the upgrades, because they are worth it and their positive impact on the environment will be noticeable.

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



02
JUN

Lets Get Energized says:
Proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
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Proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall

Good Energy, the 100% renewable electricity supplier, encourages you to have your say on its proposed solar farm in East Dorset.

As you may know, Good Energy is a 100% renewable electricity supplier dedicated to helping the UK achieve a future that’s powered purely by renewables.

In addition to our first solar farm near Wool in Dorset, we’re committed to developing further renewable electricity generation capacity to help build energy security for the UK and tackle climate change. This is where our proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall, comes in.

If it gets the go-ahead, this project will generate enough renewable electricity to supply around 6,000 average homes*, making a significant contribution to Dorset’s renewable energy targets.

This site itself is in a sparsely populated area that is naturally screened from view by the surrounding landscape. It is outside any conservation areas but it will also benefit from various measures designed to increase the wildlife value of the site.

The local area will receive a range of community benefits including a locally-controlled fund of £35,000 per year to support local initiatives. You can read more about the community benefits package here.

Our proposals are due to be considered by the planning committee at East Dorset District Council within the next few weeks. Local voices like yours could make all the difference to the future of this important project, so we urge you to register your support for our planning application.

You can submit your comments by registering on the Council’s planning website here or by e-mailing JBrightman@ christchurchandeastdorset.gov. uk quoting the application number 3/13/0681/FUL. Alternatively you can write to the planning officer as follows:

FAO James Brightman

Planning Applications (East Dorset)

Council Offices

Furzehill

Wimborne

BH21 4HN

 

We would urge you to make sure that your comments are submitted by Friday 12th June to ensure that they can be taken into account in the planning officers report.

Further information about the project is available on Good Energy’s website: www.goodenergy.co.uk/ dorsetsolar/mapperton-farm.  I f you have any questions or comments about the project, please get in touch viamappertonsolar@goodenergy. co.uk.



26
MAY

Lets Get Energized says:
News from Regen SW


Category: Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,


News from Regen SW

regen logo

Community and localised energy supply can benefit consumers, renewable generators and network operators. However, there are still many commercial and regulatory barriers to selling the energy you generate directly to your local community. In the context of increasing grid constraints, we need to look at how local supply can help overcome this barrier. So where do we go from here?

Sign the 10:10 petition to buy your power direct from local wind, solar and hydro here.

Join us for the Community Energy Markets Conference, 25 June, Bristol.

This conference will address the next steps for community energy markets. We will examine what local supply projects are currently in place, what issues they have faced and how policy or regulation can help solve these problems.

Sessions include:

  • Policy overview and context
  • Examples of local supply models
  • How local supply can overcome grid constraints
Confirmed speakers:
  • Fiona Booth, head of community energy, DECC
  • Jeff Hardy, sustainable energy policy team, OFGEM
  • Sonya Bedford, partner, Stephens Scown
To book for this conference please click here.Regen are offering community energy groups in our network a discount of £75 off the members rate bringing it to £50 + VAT.Full details and booking are available here.  Use the code ‘discount’ when making your booking.


21
MAY

Vince Adams says:
The Island of Eigg “Renewable Energy in ACTION”


Category: Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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The Island of Eigg “Renewable Energy in ACTION”

This week’s radio 4 programme Costing the Earth described how the people of one of the UK’s most remote Islands had developed a renewable energy plan that now provides the Island with 90% of its energy and in the near future they hope to have 100% sustainability.

Their plan and implementation is creating a blueprint for Islands around the World to create similar renewable energy projects.

If you subscribe to Iplayer the programme is inspirational and you will be well rewarded for your time.

Equally this link will take you to an informative and interesting report on the project.

Scotland and Egg is leading the way with development and implementation of renewable energy projects that can and will be our main source of energy moving forward into the next decade.

http://www.ashden.org/files/reports/Isle%20of%20Eigg%20case%20study.pdf

Please let us have your own comments and reactions to this and other issues concerning the future of RE

 



20
MAY

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
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Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2

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

After 2,560 miles driving in the Tesla Model S, my son Brian and I are now home. We had a great trip and saw natural wonders in Arizona and Utah that everyone should plan to see one day. During the trip we used 787 KWh and averaged 307 wh/mi. We made 17 Tesla Supercharger stops, two charges at BLINK 25 AMP stations in Scottscale, AZ., one HPWC 100 AMP charging station at the Tesla Sales location in Scottsdale, and used two 50 AMP charging stations at RV parks in Utah. In general charging was easy and quick at the Tesla Supercharging infrastructure. The BLINK 25 AMP stations were slow, but available, only charging at approximately 20 miles per hour. Charging at the Tesla Superchargers and HPWC is free. The BLINK chargers cost $.02 per minute and I spent about $13 total, plus $8.50 at one of the RV parks.

The Tesla Model S ran perfectly. The first part of the trip featured in the last post I checked the mileage at every stop to make sure I understood how the car was performing. I had printed out detailed spreadsheets from evtripplanner.com and compared actual to planned from Monterey to Scottsdale. After that I just used the navigation and trip software in the car. The last post was from Monument Valley, about 300 miles north of Phoenix on the Utah and Arizona border. After staying overnight at Goulding Lodge and RV Park we took a 3.5 hour guided tour narrated by a local Navajo an. He drove us through amazing scenery in Monument Valley, all off the main roads and completely on reservation lands. He talked about Navajo traditions and culture. After the tour we headed to Blanding, Utah and plugged in at the Tesla Supercharger. Blanding is a small town and relatively closed up on a Sunday afternoon. We ate lunch at the local A&W and headed off to stay the next two nights in Moab, Utah. On the way I had researched a stop called “Newspaper Rock Monument” just a few miles from the south side of Canyonlands National Park.

Newspaper Rock is a large rock wall with a dark patina that has petroglyphs carved in the face. It is estimated these were carved by Native Americans between 2,000 BC and 1,300 AD. An hour later we stopped in Moab at the Best Western Plus Canyonlands hotel. A Tesla Supercharger is located in the parking lot of this hotel making it an easy choice. Moab is a small vibrant town with tourists visiting many local attractions including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. The next day we drove through Arches National Park making many stops and taking two different hikes. The first was to the lower viewpoint for Delicate Arch. The second at Devils Garden where we hiked to many different arches including Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. The scenery was amazing and we were tired after 10 miles of combined hiking. On the way out of Arches we stopped at Park Avenue and were blown away by the beauty of this small valley at dusk. Needless to say there is lots to see at each of the stops we made. The next day we were off to Bryce Canyon National Park.

We made two Supercharger stops along the way and reached the Best Western Ruby’s Inn at the entrance to the park. The rim of this park reaches over 9,000 feet and we could feel a big difference in elevation as we hiked up to Inspiration Point at dusk. The weather was cloudy with a few rain showers, but the clouds parted and sunshine filled the valley right before sunset. The next morning we stopped at the Visitor Center. Each of the parks we visited had a theatre that shows a 20 minute film on the history and geology of the areas. We hiked down into Bryce Canyon at Fairyland Point and got a different perspective down among the “hoodoo’s”. Later that afternoon we drove to Zion National Park with an elevation of 3,500 feet and only used 15 KWh over 88 miles. Zion National Park has many outstanding features, one being cars are not allowed into the park, unless you are staying at the National Park Lodge. Everyone else parks at the Visitor Center and uses a free shuttle that is very convenient. Again more hiking to Weeping Rock, The Emerald Pools, and the Riverside Walk.

That night we blindly ran into two friends coming off the shuttle bus we have known for thirty years and had a nice dinner at “Wildcat Willies” in Springdale, Utah. What a surprise!

The last day of our trip was Friday April, 24th. We left Zion National Park at 6am and drove 680 miles to home in Monterey. I thought it was quite a feat in an electric car given we stopped to charge in St. George, Utah; Primm, Nevada; Barstow, Mojave, and Harris Ranch in California before arriving home at 10pm. The Tesla Model S was flawless the whole trip and both my son and I agreed the miles went by faster because of the quiet, smooth ride.

I decided to make this trip last September after seeing an article in Sunset Magazine about the national parks in Utah. I hadn’t taken a long road trip in the Tesla and thought this would be an excellent journey especially since I was turning 60 this year. My wife and I spent a week in Scottsdale, AZ and then my son joined me in Flagstaff, AZ for the rest of the trip. The national parks were even more than what I could have imagined, having never been to these previously, and definitely left me wanting to spend more time there in the future.



16
MAY

Lets Get Energized says:
Public consultation for Stapehill Solar Farm near Wimborne


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


Public consultation for Stapehill Solar Farm near Wimborne

Local residents, councillors and other members of the community have been invited to a public consultation for a proposed solar farm at Stapehill Farm, Uddens, near Wimborne.

The consultation will be held on Monday 18th May from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Betty Webster Room, Colehill Memorial Hall, Cannon Hill Road, BH21 2LS and will provide an opportunity for local people to view the proposals, provide feedback and meet the developers.

The proposed development, by Wiltshire-based Solstice Renewables, is for a 5 Mega Watt peak (MWp) solar park that would generate enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,500 typical homes.

Giovanni Maruca, Director, Solstice Renewables, said: “Stapehill is a great site for a solar farm. The land is low grade and is currently used for grazing horses, so we can make a big difference to biodiversity and ecology. We’ll be sowing native grasses and wildflowers around the panels to encourage more wildlife and help stem the decline in pollinators like bees and butterflies. As well as transforming the site into a wildlife haven, we will maintain the land with sheep grazing around the panels so that it can be used for food production as well as generating renewable electricity.

“We’re looking forward to meeting people from the local community and welcome their suggestions for how the scheme could be improved. We’re also offering a community benefit fund of approximately £5,000 a year for 25 years – over £125,000 in total – plus £2,000 a year funding for educational support to local schools linked to the solar farm.”

The site is approximately 7.4 hectares in area and is currently used for grazing horses. It is located between Colehill and Ferndown, next to the A31.

This is Solstice Renewables’ third proposed solar development in the area. A 20 MWp solar farm at Manor Farm, Verwood, was connected to the grid in February 2015 and a 7MWp solar farm at Bedborough Farm, near Wimborne, is due to begin construction later this month.



15
MAY

Vince Adams says:
Flatford Wildlife Gardens


Category: Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: , , , , ,


Flatford Wildlife Gardens

One of the reasons that I co-founded Dorsetenergized and then Letsgetenergized.co.uk was my love of wildlife. For me the obvious way we can support wildlife is by making our own gardens a haven for insects, birds and other wildlife. Supporting and engaging in the development of renewable energy is another obvious way to help our environment, the fight against global warming and the Planet itself.

In recent weeks I have been encouraged by the work of environmental groups and in particular the RSPB. They really get it and their members magazine is just full of encouragement for us all to get involved and be a part of the solution.

In the latest edition I cam across an interesting article about Flatford Wildlife Garden on the boarder of Sufflok and Essex. Famous for its connections with John Constable and now its wildlife gardens.

The gardens were the inspiration and life’s work of two sisters who were given a small patch of land by their Mother. They lived in the garden one in a converted tram and the other in an old gypsy caravan. Everyday they baked and ran a small tea room for visitors whilst developing the garden over many years. Clearly their life’s work and what better than to leave the gardens to the RSPB as their legacy.

What interested me was the words of Shirley Boyle who manages the gardens today, “I think the big issues in the World these days can leave people feeling rather daunted and powerless. By gardening for wildlife, you can do something where you live that has real value for wildlife and your local environment. It can be very empowering and having an RSPB garden can provide people with real inspiration”

Shirley and her team have obviously had to work extremely hard to restore and maintain the garden and they have created a wonderful space where visitors can engage simply and without pressure with whats possible when working to support wildlife.

My own garden is a small oasis for wildlife to live, breath and thrive and frankly less is more. I don’t cut the grass so often, I leave piles of organic matter and wood around. I have some bee boxes. My wife grows many flowers specifically for bees to forage at certain times of the year. We let our trees grow and become havens for insect eating birds who seem to know throughout the year exactly what is available for them to eat.

From natural wildlife gardening it was a very short step to renewable energy. If we are to thrive ourselves alongside wildlife it won’t be done with continued pollution of our air with fossil fuels. It won’t be solved by nuclear when we have no idea how to eliminate the risk of catastrophe and storage of spent fuels we have to embrace clean renewable energy..

Renewable Energy is the future and with all us engaging and supporting its development we can reduce carbon emissions, turn back the scourge of industrialisation, get rid of old power stations and develop electric transport.

So if you have a garden make it wildlife friendly and at the sometime take time to explore the possibilities for renewable energy in your life both at home, at work and in the community.

We at Letsgetenergized only want to help, ask questions, rid yourself of confusing thoughts caused by incorrect statements in the media and by friends. We will give you the facts and we want to hear your opinions.

There really are so many people who care so lets herald the good news not the bad for a change,

For anyone interested in the Gardens the link is: http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/f/flatford/


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • John W. Olver comments:
    "Great piece Vince. Here in Central California we have several organizations that assist in designing wildlife friendly and drought resistant yards and gardens. Native plant societies can help plan yards that grow well in your area and offer a bounty to the local wildlife as well. Go native! It saves water, energy and is good for the neighborhood (especially if you consider the local wildlife to be part of the neighborhood). "
    May 19, 2015 a 5:29 pm


13
MAY

Lets Get Energized says:
NORTH DORSET OPEN ECO-HOMES EVENT 15-17 MAY


Category: Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset, Green Electricity & Gas, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


NORTH DORSET OPEN ECO-HOMES EVENT 15-17 MAY

Do you want to save money on your energy bills? Are you thinking of installing renewable energy at home? Want to reduce your impact on the environment or encourage more wildlife into your garden?

North Dorset District Council’s Eco Homes Event may be the ideal opportunity to find out answers to your questions from those who have already done it.

Paul McIntosh, Sustainability Officer for the council, said: “Seventeen homes and projects with eco-friendly features will be open for people to visit over the weekend of 15 – 17 May and they are all viewable on the website http://northdorset.greenopenhomes.net/  Some homes are open to visit all weekend while others have specific open times or need to be booked – please check on the website or in the booklet.”

Booklets are being distributed in many venues across the district with details of the properties.  You can also phone or email the project co-ordinator, Kathryn Flint, on 01258 484372 and kflint@north-dorset.gov.uk for help and information.

Venues include a Franciscan Friary, a water mill, farms and many private homes all linked by the desire to meet the challenges of the changing world of energy supply and sustainability.

There is something for everyone even if you have never given much thought to the energy you use in your home before. If you have, then this might be just the thing to spur you on to a new eco-friendly project!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Kathryn Flint comments:
    "There is still time to book for the weekend. Just give me a call on 01258 484732.
    Thanks for sharing this LGE team. "

    May 15, 2015 a 3:31 pm


29
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015


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


Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a first posting to our site by Kathryn Flint



01
APR

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



25
MAR

John Olver says:
Argument over solar subsidies in the UK


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


Argument over solar subsidies in the UK

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

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

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


1Comments | Post your own comment

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


13
MAR

John Olver says:
EV’s are not good for the environment!


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


EV’s are not good for the environment!

That headline or similar claims have been floating about the media for some time now. A 2014 study by the University of Minnesota among others found that EV’s can contribute to global pollution if the source of the electricity they use is not clean. Why the headlines don’t read, “Coal Fired Power Plants are a Threat to Civilization” instead of lambasting EV’s is no mystery. Most of the articles quickly get to this point but headlines lambasting coal fired power plants don’t draw the eyeballs that anti-EV banners do and media of all sorts depends on attracting eyeballs for validation. The potential number of EV’s on the road is far greater than the number of power plants so why not focus the cleanup at the source.

The fact is that EV’s are good for the environment. You can power them with wind, solar, hydro, nuclear and yes, fossil fuel. But whatever the source EV’s don’t go around spewing CO2 and other pollutants into cities towns and the countryside. If clean up is required it can be done at the source.

Additionally, if you choose to power your EV with sustainably derived electricity you do away with the need to transport explosive and toxic materials around the world in ships, trains, trucks and pipelines and avoid all the spillage associated with that transport. EV’s don’t require mountaintop mining, deep sea oil drilling or other destructive extractive processes.

100605091242BP_Gulf_Oil_Spill_Affected_Wildlife_Images30

Technologies are already available to scrub pollutants from power plant stacks but that would add to the cost of electricity. Most consumers would rather pretend that the hundreds of billions of dollars, pounds, rand, yen, etc. added to global health costs by the fossil fuel industry do not exist and that the rise in power cost would be far more onerous than the heart disease, lung disease, lower intelligence in offspring and many other problems associated with fossil fuels.

And by the way, if fossil fuel companies were required to clean up their messes the price of fossil fuels would be quite a bit higher than the price of sustainable energy. This cost adjustment would drive the sustainable industry, technological improvements would follow rapidly due to the increase in research funding and the world would be a much cleaner place.

EV’s are not the problem, the problem our insistence on “cheap” energy no matter what the true cost.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bristolboy comments:
    "I agree fully with your smmary that it ultimately depends on the source of the electricity. In the UK the carbon emissions associated with electricity generation for a typical electric car like the Nissan Leaf are as good or better than the best diesels. However, this is getting better all the time due to higher renewables penetration. I would also estimate that those with electric cars are much more likely to be on “renewable” supply tariffs or have solar panels on their house and therefore will have lower emissions than the UK average. Of course, electric cars produce no emissions (other than manufacture) in countries where grid electricity is 100% renewable such as Norway, Iceland and Costa Rica and in these countries electric cars win hands down. "
    April 12, 2015 a 5:13 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Get the message, we are being feed rubbish from the Media to protect the existing forces of power, its time to wake and see whats happening before our own eyes or it will be to late. "
    March 15, 2015 a 10:12 am


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