Posts Tagged ‘solar power’


11
DEC

Vince Adams says:
The final hurdle please help and support Mapperton Farm Solar Project


Category: Community Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


I received the following report from Good Energy this weekend and it appears that the final planning decisions will be made concerning Mapperton Farm’s Solar project in the near future.

Its been a long haul but with a final push this project is going to happen.

So if you feel strongly about the need for more renewable energy projects please show your support as per the details below.

Thankyou

vince adams

Dear Vince,

As someone who kindly helped rally local support for the project in the past, I am writing to ask for your help one more time in securing planning permission for our proposed solar farm at Mapperton near Sturminster Marshall.

Good Energy’s planning application for a proposed 24.2MW solar project at Mapperton Farm is being reconsidered by the local authority after a previous approval was overturned following a legal challenge.

Councillors on East Dorset District Council’s planning committee are due to consider this proposal for a second time at a meeting on 17th January 2017. The application is unchanged from that approved in June 2015 but, in reaching their decision, councillors will take into account any new submissions from members of the public. So we’re asking everyone who backed the previous application to confirm their support by writing to the planning officer one more time.

Please feel free simply to repeat the comments you made on the previous application. If you don’t have these to hand, some key facts about the project are shown at the bottom of this email.

The easiest way to show support is by letter or email directly to the local planning officer, James Brightman, using the details below. Please make sure you quote planning application number 3/13/0681/FUL and submit your comment by the deadline of 19th December 2016.

Email: JBrightman@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

Postal address:
FAO James Brightman
Planning Applications (East Dorset)
Council Offices
Furzehill
Wimborne
BH21 4HN

Key points to consider in your submission:
· Once built at the proposed capacity of 24.2MW, the solar farm would generate renewable electricity energy to power around 6,000 average homes, equivalent to around 70% of the new homes planned for Christchurch and East Dorset over the Local Plan period;

· The solar farm would deliver investment in local community initiatives worth at least £35,000 per year for the lifetime of the project, together with funding for rooftop solar PV systems for a local primary school and village hall;

· The solar farm would protect the land for current and future agricultural use, providing opportunities for sheep grazing along the avenues of solar panels, a practice endorsed by the National Farmers’ Union;

· The proposals include wildlife habitat enhancements such as wildflower meadows throughout the site, hedgerow improvements, planting around field margins and installation of birds and bat boxes in a nearby woodland.

· When last considered by the planning committee in June 2015, the application attracted considerable public support, with over 80 letters being submitted from the local community and the wider Dorset area in favour of the project.

If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With best wishes and many thanks for your continued support

James
Good Energy



18
DEC

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


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


Regen SW statement regarding Feed in Tariff cuts

Dear Vince

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


13
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Visit to local Solar Farm


Category: Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


Lightsource Takes Local Residents on Guided Tour of Dorset Solar Farm as Part of Nationwide Solar Independence Day

 

Lightsource Renewable Energy invited visitors for a very special behind-the-scenes look at look at Manor Farm solar farm, in Dorset, as part of the Solar Independence Day celebrations.

 

Visitors of all ages and from all walks of life – from school children and wildlife groups to farmers and local politicians – were given guided tours of the park to see first-hand the benefits of solar energy.

 

Once a solar farm is installed, members of the public rarely get a chance to step foot inside the gates, but the event gave people a chance to get a better understanding of how a solar farm works, the impact on the land and improvements to biodiversity that can be made.

Installed in just six weeks, the 25-acre solar farm solar farm is now capable of providing locally-sourced, renewable energy to 1,400 homes – roughly a third of the homes found in nearby Gillingham.

Lightsource has put into action a planting and landscape plan at Manor Farm, which provides numerous benefits to local biodiversity. The planting of new trees and shrubs around the site provides foraging habitats for local wildlife, while the new wild-flower meadow mix will offer a favourable environment to flying insects including bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Since its installation, the landowner has also reported an increase in the numbers of hares, raptors and hawks – a strong sign that wildlife is flourishing on site.

Manor Farm was one of many solar farms, homes and commercial installations to open up to the public as part of Solar Independence Day, which also gave the public an insight into why “energy independence” in the UK is so important. Solar power can play a vital role in achieving this goal by reducing the UK dependence on importing polluting fossil fuels, in favour of generating clean “home-grown” energy.

Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource, said: “We relish opportunities to give the public a greater insight into what solar energy is all about. On top of providing a source of clean, renewable energy, solar installations offer far reaching benefits for local communities with improvements to local biodiversity and by supporting agricultural businesses. The Manor Farm is a great example of the positive effects a solar farm can have on an area. ”

Lightsource_Manor Farm-86


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Vince Adams of Letsgetenergized.co.uk and esvips.com comments: As the founder of letsgetenergized a portal that supports renewable energy I was fascinated by my visit.The remoteness of the site gave it a Cathedral like quiet only broken by the sound of distant traffic Not a sound was heard from the panels themselves with sheep grazing happily all around us the visit was rather special.To think that our future energy needs can come from Solar Farms rather than Power station belching out smoke and carbon 24 hours a day is remarkable. The small footprint that the site has with a small concreted area for the inverters to sit on and everything else instantly removable is amazing. Thanks to Lightsource and Liza for opening the site my only regret was missing the barbecue. "
    July 13, 2015 a 6:56 pm


24
JUN

Vince Adams says:
4th July is Solar Independance Day


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


Your chance to visit a working Solar Farm and see for yourself whats going on under the panels.

Please find attached an invitation to visit Race Solar Farm near Lytchett Matravers which will be open to the public to celebrate Solar Independence Day, on Saturday July 4th from 11 am to 3 pm.

Solar Independence Day is the UK’s annual solar celebration showcasing solar homes, solar schools, commercial solar rooftops and solar homes.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about the growing solar industry, how it works, what’s involved, as well as seeing it in action! The event is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of solar to you, your local community, and the UK as a whole, and the huge potential the technology has for safe, renewable and low carbon energy for the UK.
If you would like to attend please register via Eventbrite, if you would like any further information feel free to contact the Solar Trade Association at enquiries@solar-trade.org.uk.
Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy Solar Independence Day!
Kind regards,
Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall
sophy@sfwcommunications.co.uk
07979 368238
@sfwcomms



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
Tags: , , ,


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
Tags: , ,


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

 



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.



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


27
APR

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest


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


Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest

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 tell the tale.

Hi John, I’m sitting in my Tesla charging at the Buckeye supercharger. I am meeting Carolann at airport at 3 PM this afternoon. We’re staying in Scottsdale for the week. My son Brian is flying into Flagstaff next Saturday and we are driving a loop around southern Utah to see the national parks. I left yesterday and stayed Needles last night. I’ve driven seven hundred and 20 miles to the Buckeye charging station. I didn’t have to wait anywhere except for Barstow because there is a lot of traffic going to Las Vegas for some major convention. Thought I’d let you know that I’m taking the Tesla on the trip! The Tesla is working perfectly and getting the mileage that I expected based on evtripplanner.com.

The goal of this trip was to try out the Tesla on a long drive, using supercharger capability where possible and a few RV parks along the way. The first leg of the trip was driving from Monterey to Phoenix. The second leg from Phoenix through Southern Utah with stops in Monument Valley, and then four National Parks including Arches, Canyon Lands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. I also planned the entire trip on Evtripplanner.com. This allowed me to select the route with energy usage estimates for the various charging legs. Overall, I found this tool to be fairly accurate and would recommend it highly. In addition the 6.2 release from Tesla was received the week before I left and it promised “the end of range anxiety” with its new trip planner software. However, it is a beta version currently. It worked fine until I got to the first stop and then I couldn’t get it to recognize my second planned stop at Mojave. There weren’t a lot of directions on usage so maybe it was pilot error on my part. After I finally got it to cancel, I went back to using the Energy Usage App showing the Trip Leg planned in Navigation which estimates battery usage at the finish point. I find that works really well and matches closely to Evtripplanner estimates. I’m sure the new software will get better with the next OTA release.

The first day my goal was to drive from Monterey to Needles. Initially I had planned to drive through Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but found the Coachella Music Festival was going on at that time and there wasn’t a place to sleep within a 100 miles of the Indio Supercharger. So with the Mojave Supercharger just opening I decided to go north and stay out of the traffic. My first stop was Harris Ranch in Coalinga after a beautiful drive over highway 198 from just south of King City. It was 127 miles. I used 40.4 kWh at 318 W/m with 44% battery left. I was a bit surprised that I used 144 rated miles. But, I figured out it was 46 degrees that morning which probably increased energy usage slightly.

Harris Ranch is a huge beef “CAFO” with restaurant and Inn. There were 8 superchargers and space when I arrived, but within a few minutes all were full. Most of the time I was charging at 87 to 120 amps. I believe this is one of the original superchargers and isn’t as fast as the new ones which are much more powerful. Next stop was the Mojave Supercharger. Actual mileage was 164 and rate miles used was 185. I used 51.5 kWh at 315 W/m. Arrived at Mojave with 57 rated miles left. The rated miles are higher on this leg because of the approximate 3000 foot climb up the mountains out of Bakersfield. The Mojave Supercharger is brand new and charges very fast. It is located in a small shopping center next to a cafe that serves Mexican food, a grocery store, and a few other various shops. Third stop of the day was in Barstow, only 73 miles from Mojave, but I wanted to top off for the longer drive to Needles. Barstow was very busy on this Friday afternoon. All eight superchargers were full and I had to wait about 10 minutes for an open stall. Barstow is a huge freeway crossroads with lots of traffic from L.A. to Las Vegas. Apparently there were some big conventions in Vegas that weekend. There were several new P85D’s there and that was the first time I had seen one. The Barstow Supercharger has a solar platform over 4 of the charging stalls that also provides shade. I used 76 rated miles, 20.7 kWh at 284 W/m.

I left Barstow and set out to Needles, my last stop of the day. I arrived around 6:15 pm after starting the day at 7am. The last leg was 149 miles and I used 152 rated miles. I used 43 kWh at 288 W/mile. I arrived at Needles with 35% battery left. Needles has 4 superchargers at a Shell station and I was the only one charging there. It was right next to the Rio Del Sol Motel where I stayed that night. Total mileage that day was 515 miles. I made 3 charging stops that day which added about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I actually enjoyed having an hour off every couple hours so I could eat or stretch. I charged in Needles for about 45 minutes that evening. One other note, the first leg of the drive was cool under 50 degrees so I had the air conditioning off and just used the fan. The rest of the day had warmed up, mostly high 70’s to low 80’s and I used the air conditioner the whole way and still achieved the efficiencies as listed above. I was pretty happy that the EPA numbers for the car were pretty accurate and Evtripplanner was a great tool.

The next morning I was and on the road to Phoenix via the Quartzsite and Buckeye supercharger stops. The first leg to Quartzsite was straight south from Needles about 100 miles. I saw about 4 cars the entire way and desert landscape was beautiful. Arrived in Quartzsite at 8:30am after driving 105 miles. I used 110 rated miles, 32.1 kWh at 303 W/m and 45% battery left. There were 6 superchargers there and I was the only one charging. The last leg to the Buckeye Supercharger was 101 miles. I arrived at 11am, using 119 rate miles, 34 kWh, and 336 W/mile. The speed limit was 75 and I ran at 77 mph the whole way. I arrived with 42% battery left. It was 79 degrees. Each of the superchargers is located with restaurants or shopping near by, some better than others. I made one stop each day at a Rest Stop on the side of the road. California and Arizona have quite a few along the way.

From Buckeye I drove about 30 miles to the Phoenix Airport to pick up my wife and then off to the Westin Kierland Villas where we are spending this week. The total trip was 763 miles. I stopped at 6 superchargers along the way. I may not have needed to stop in Barstow, but I didn’t want to take a chance since this was my first voyage out in the Starship Teslaprise, yes, that is what I named my car. The Tesla ran perfectly the whole way. For the most part it was uneventful and I saw some beautiful scenery and learned a lot how the car really operates on the open road. Everyone should take a trip in a Tesla! On Saturday I will pick up my son in Flagstaff and be off to Utah. More to come.

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Oh, in Phoenix I had the Tesla washed and detailed to remove all the bug art! Blink Network has charging stations all around the area. They are only 25amps and charge at 15 mph at a cost of about $3 per hour!! No wonder they all show available. I talked with the Tesla Sales Center at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and they let me use their HPWC at 80amps. This bye the way, was the spot I took my first test drive last year before ordering the car.

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Stayed in Monument Valley last night and added 50 miles of charge at Gouldings Lodge RV Park via NEMA 14-50. Monument Valley was awesome and took tour this morning. In Moab now to see Arches and Canyonlands over next two days, then on to Bryce an Zion!

More to come….



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


06
FEB

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


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


Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

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

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

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

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

The future of driving is as bright as the sun

Mini E recharging in the UK

Mini E recharging in the UK


4Comments | Post your own comment

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

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

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

    February 7, 2015 a 11:16 am

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


21
JAN

Steve Bewers says:
There’s power in them ‘ills!


Category: Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


There’s power in them ‘ills!

The road from Blandford to Winterborne Stickland has many things to recommend it; rolling countryside, peaceful woodlands, 9.3 megawatts of electricity, open views over to Poole Harbour and The Solent, fresh air, and a feeling of escape from the bustling market town.

Woahhhh! Hold on! What was that about electricity?

Ahhh yes, enough electricity for 2,700 typical households being made quietly in a field at Canada Farm. There wasn’t much fuss about that, I saw the signs saying BSR (British Solar Renewables) but didn’t take much notice. It wasn’t until someone cut the hedges that I realised it was there at all!

solar-farm-s

Solar Farm – What Solar Farm?

That’s the thing really, there is a new solar farm of 35,600, 260 watt panels in this picture, somewhere. There are about 10,500 people in Blandford, which means the whole town could be supplied from this one field, and you wouldn’t even know it was there.

I heard that there are still people out there who raise objections to this sort of thing! Are these the same people who switch lights on, cook, re-charge their electric cars and watch the telly?

There is another solar farm being built near Blandford, that would make the area a net exporter of electricity, more on that later.
I’m off to absorb the peace and quiet of the Dorset countryside.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Great pic showing how little solar farms positioned in the right places can be so unobtrusive, thanks Steve for your first pic !! "
    January 21, 2015 a 6:11 pm


19
JAN

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how


Category: Dorset Energized News, Green Electricity & Gas, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how

The most recent statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that North Dorset consumes 290.8 GWh/yr

The last census shows 30,397 households, only 11% of those being flats. Quite a few of these dwellings already have PV installed on their roofs but that number is likely to increase substantially when PV becomes so cheap that it will make better financial sense to install it than pay for all your electricity from the grid. This grid parity (without subsidy) is expected to come about as early as 2020. More than half of houses have close to south facing roof space and it’s reasonable to assume that 60% or so could accommodate a 4 kW array. These would generate around 65 GWh/yr

There are 3,800 businesses in North Dorset including farms. Not all will have their own roof space but all those steel sheds on industrial estates and agricultural barns have low pitched roofs that are viable for PV whatever their orientation. A quick look at Google Earth shows at least 50 big enough to take around 50 kW in the towns and farm barns would probably double that. So I estimate these could generate 5 GWh/yr.

There are already quite a few large and small ground mounted solar farms installed and enough space to generate the equivalent of the districts needs without impacting food production. A reasonably large solar farm is 10 MW generating 10 GWh/yr so 29 of those would equate to the district’s annual consumption.

There are at least 6 small 20 kW wind turbines (up to 20 m mast and 7 m blades) in North Dorset tucked away virtually un-noticed. The landscape could easily accommodate 50 small turbines without travellers and walkers constantly coming across them. They could generate 0.35 GWh/yr.

The River Stour and its tributaries already has 4 hydro turbines installed at mills and weirs with another 5 to be installed soon and potential for at least 6. They range from 3.7 to 89 kW and in total could generate 1.75 GWh/yr.

Now the elephant in the room, which is big wind power They may be very much out of favour with a vocal minority punching well above their weight but the fact is that a 2.3MW on-shore wind turbine is the cheapest source of renewable electricity. It would require 60 of these to generate the equivalent of all the district’s electricity and that could not be accommodated easily. I would say a maximum of 20 could be found a home and 10 would be more realistic and they could generate 48.5 GWh/yr

So North Dorset could generate equivalent to all its electrical need with;

65 GWh/yr from domestic roof tops

5 GWh/yr from commercial and agricultural roof tops

0.35 GWh/yr from small wind turbines

1.75 GWh/yr from hydropower

That leaves 218.7 GWh/yr to be found from a combination of large solar farms and wind turbines. Personally, I would like to see 10 large wind turbines, some of those to be clearly viewed from my back garden. That would mean 17 x 10 MW solar farms to take up the slack.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Keith gives a cogent and totally understandable summary of how North Dorset with just a number of small steps could create 100% of its energy needs renewably.
    Think what if every district, County did a similar exercise how simple going renewable could be and how we could see the end of coal, gas and nuclear power for ever.
    This is now not in the realms of fairy stories its hard economic sense and will support reductions in climate change temps and give us better air quality all at the sametime. "

    January 19, 2015 a 6:42 pm


17
DEC

Erik Blakeley says:
Renewable Energy Salesmen?


Category: Climate Change, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,


Renewable Energy Salesmen?

I used to think that the climate change deniers paid for by big fossil firms and anti-renewable  NIMBYs were the worst threats to progress in the fight to cut emissions of GHGs and slow Climate Change but I have recently come across possibly a more sinister and depressing opponent – the Renewable Energy snake oil salesman! These people, either through genuine but misguided enthusiasm or through a malicious wish to fool people into investing in schemes that are about as likely to bear fruit as chocolate teapot manufacture, come up with a way off piste suggestion for a grandiose scheme to solve all of our energy and climate change worries. Now don’t get me wrong I am all in favour of “out of the box” or “blues sky” thinking, but they go straight from some vaguely worked out concept diagram to claims that all further investment in wind or PV or any other low carbon technology are now redundant and pointless. They are one step further into lunacy than the magic bullet salesmen who think that one of the current technologies, be it wind or PV or nuclear, is a one size fits all answer to all our problems.

Why are they so bad? Well at some point they are going to try to persuade people who are concerned about the problems of Climate Change and Energy Security to invest money in these schemes, money that could be invested in home insulation, roof top PV or community wind or hydro projects for example. At least the NIMBYs and climate change deniers are only trying to persuade people to ignore the science and the need for action. The snake oil salesmen nobble the people who have been persuaded to care. They cannot do what is sensible which is to propose an idea for development and try to get universities or industry to make small scale investments to produce trial prototypes or even just to put their ideas out for peer review because they know full well that they will be rejected as deeply flawed or just physically or economically impossible. Instead they launch some small development company and produce a flash looking sales video on U-tube purporting to be a “lecture” on the merits of their scheme and then try to get money out of small investors or crowdfunding. These people are only one step removed from the guy who sold empty plastic boxes with car radio aerials glued to the outside as bomb detectors.

The other really bad thing that they do is to give ammunition to those who oppose wind turbines or PV farms because they suggest that we don’t need to deploy the current crop of well-developed technologies because there is some magic wand solution just around the corner if only the mainstream scientific and industrial cartel will stop suppressing these wonderful inventions. When challenged the snake oil salesman will readily claim to be the victim of conspiracies and prejudice – they can be quite paranoid.

New technologies will come along and in 50 to 100 years we will almost certainly be deploying a markedly different mix of low carbon technologies than we are today but for now we need to deploy as much as possible of the good range of well-developed kit as we possibly can. Universities and big business can pursue the blue sky stuff and take the financial risk. If you have a few hundred or even a few thousand to invest put it into something established and don’t be taken in by the snake oil salesmen!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "I was talking to a friend this week and he said that quietly Countries all over the World were making amazing progress turning from old energy solutions towards Renewables whereas the UK appeared to be dragging its feet.
    This headline caught my eye and I wondered, is that the reason why ? Does UK big business have far to much influence ? “Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency” How do we ensure that the UK is not left behind ? "

    December 17, 2014 a 6:07 pm


29
OCT

Erik Blakeley says:
A word on Intermittency


Category: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


A word on Intermittency

Those opposed to renewable`s talk about the energy grid as if it would gallop along smoothly using nuclear and fossil fuels all operating at 100% capacity factor with no need for excess capacity or spinning reserves if it weren’t for those pesky wind mills! Now intermittency and the inability to turn up wind power and some other renewable`s (hydro and biomass for example are what we call dispatchable) is an issue but it isn’t anywhere like the issue that the antis make out. Recently Wind set new generation records and so I went on to the gridwatch site and managed to download a week’s worth of figures for wind and some of the important fossil fuels. Here they are:

griddatagrph

So what does this tell us?

  • During the week covered wind did indeed set new records providing more than 5GW pretty much continuously through Saturday and Sunday.
  • There is a marked difference between the wind output during Wed-Friday and that over the weekend and into Monday but the variation within those extended periods is relatively minor and the ramp between them is not especially steep.
  • The Demand curve shows massive changes with huge ramp rates.
  • CCGT is dealing with the changes in demand by changing its output very rapidly and coal is also being made to contribute some balancing changes.
  • OCGT is hardly used at all only coming into use briefly during the Thursday am peak (Just below 500 on the X axis).

What does this mean?

  • Wind is not adding to the problems of peaking and balancing in a significant way. This is dominated by the behaviour of the demand curve.
  • Assuming reasonably accurate 24 hour weather forecasting the output of wind should be predictable to a good level of accuracy sufficiently far in advance to schedule fossil fuel plants to be off-line and therefore genuinely reduce CO2 output. As the size of the wind fleet grows the variation in wind output decreases as the averaging effect of a numerically large fleet spread across the country kicks in – wind never just instantaneously disappears. Minor variations in wind output will be easily accommodated in the balancing flexibility of CCGT already needed to account for variation in demand.
  • Wasteful OCGT is not being used in large quantities undermining wind carbon savings.
  • The curves for CCGT and coal have been effectively lowered by the presence of wind without increasing the ramp rates that they have to follow. This means that a genuine saving in CO2 emissions is the result.


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