Archive for February, 2013


Paul McIntosh says:
FREE fuel poverty & energy awareness training in Blandford on 4th March 2013

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

Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC) and North Dorset District Council (NDDC) are working together to deliver a FREE half day session on Fuel Poverty next Monday 4th March 2013, 9:30am – 12:30pm in their Council Chamber at NDDC, Nordon, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum, DT11 7LL .

With the advent of the Green Deal and rising energy prices not likely to get cheaper, this training will give attendees an excellent introduction to the definition of the term, the causes, and what can be done to mitigate it.

The training is opened to all individuals who volunteer or work for organisations and community groups who have an interest in this field.

The training covers the following topics and provides a resource pack including a fuel poverty checklist:

  • What is meant by fuel poverty
  • How it can come about
  • How to spot it
  • What help is available

If people are unable to attend this session, other training sessions are being held across Dorset:

  • Dorchester, Tuesday 5th March, 9:30 – 12:30
  • Bridport, Wednesday 6th March, 14:00 – 16:45
  • Weymouth, Monday 11th March, 14:00 – 16:45
  • Christchurch, Tuesday 12th March, 14:00 – 16:45
  • Wimborne, Wednesday 13th March, 14:00 – 16:45
  • Swanage, Tuesday 19th March, 9:30 – 12:30
  • Bournemouth / Poole TBC

Download the Fuel Poverty Training Poster >>

To make a booking or for more details about the training, please contact Becky at DEAC on 01202 209417 or email


Vince Adams says:
Spinning Blue Cones Could Be The Solar Panels Of The Future!

Category: Solar Energy

A company called V3Solar has announced a brand new solar panel design called the CoolSpin – that it says will make power 34% cheaper than the cheapest existing solar panels.  The lenses used in this solar panel design were invented in 1790 for use on lighthouse and concentrate sunlight, and the assembly rotates to follow the sun. Another interesting prospect among many – we’ll see if it pans out!

Check out more information here:

For more accessible solar panels of today (!) check out our section on Solar Energy here:


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Another Auto Giant Alliance to Market Fuel Cell Cars

Category: Electric Transport

After an apparent loss of interest by the car industry in Fuel Cell powered vehicles, there has suddenly been a flurry of announcements by a number of manufacturers. Of course as anyone who has taken an interest in alternative (and renewable) fuelled vehicles over the last few years would know, the enthusiasm for (& investment in) hydrogen powered cars by the major vehicle manufacturers waxes and wanes. However it is interesting that hydrogen has reappeared as a possible future fuel for vehicles and that many of the world`s largest car makers are forming partnerships to co-develop the necessary technologies.

(See the news item here:,0,6861638.story)

The interesting thing about Fuel Cell powered vehicles is that they are ultimately electric vehicles, the Fuel Cell operating to provide the electricity, which can either be used immediately or stored for use in higher demand situations (such as hills) via batteries or even capacitors. Being electric vehicles most of the technology exists already, the challenge thus being to develop fuel cells that are affordable and to provide the refuelling network. The advantage of electric vehicles as currently available being of course that they can be refuelled (recharged) using an ordinary electrical plug and socket (although quicker recharging is generally regarded as desirable and is increasingly available at charging “stations”). So we’ll see – after all however good a vehicle is, it is of no use unless the fuel for it is available and at affordable prices – which is of course the reason why these alternatives are being sought by companies worldwide, petrol supplies being expected at some point in the (possibly) not too near future to diminish and thus increase considerably in price.

Of course it is not only the large car manufacturers who are seeking to develop fuel cell vehicles – a British Company called Riversimple ( has been working on their own vehicle for a number of years and if things go according to plan they’ll have a vehicle on the market sometime in 2015, so maybe we’ll see one of them being tested on Top Gear before anything from the big companies becomes available?

But cars aren’t the only vehicles which can be powered by fuel cells, electric bicycles can potentially be powered by them as well one fuel cell bicycle has been around in prototype form for sometime ( while others it seems are currently in development such as the Pedego bicycle as mentioned in this interesting article (

So we shall see – fuel cells have been around for a number of years, and the early promise from the beginning of this 21st century when we were being told that fuel cells would be with us soon, in affordable form and powering everything from laptops to cars, has been followed by either silence or reports of the high cost and impracticality of this technology. Time will tell I guess. But all the same the transport industry has been testing fuel cells in larger scale applications such as for trains ( and freight carrying ships – and here the costs are more likely to be outweighed by the advantages and the economies of scale, so the technology is beginning to find practical transport applications and perhaps is the coming thing?

Meanwhile the search is still on for the “holy grail” of the electric appliance and vehicle industry, a light, yet very high capacity battery that is also affordable. A recent breakthrough as reported here:, perhaps makes that goal a step nearer – again we shall see.

I can’t help but being reminded of the much missed Tomorrows World TV program when looking at these new technologies. So many of the wonderful inventions we saw being demonstrated never seemed to appear in the shops (or anywhere) and perhaps never will. Time, as I said, will tell – and of course it is pretty obvious that petrol will one day (and perhaps in the not too distant future) be too difficult to get and too expensive anyway for it to be regarded as the everyday thing that it currently is.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
New ‘Frack Free Dorset’ Action Group

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking

Our contacts at West Dorset Friends of the Earth have told us about a new community group called Frack Free Dorset which has been set-up to protect the Dorset environment from Fracking.

Hydraulic fracture methods (“fracking”) are associated with a range of environmental impacts, some of which are not fully characterised or understood. The process consumes huge amounts of water (estimated at anywhere between 9,000 and 29,000 cubic metres of water for a single well).

A range of hazardous chemicals are added to fracturing fluids (at least 260 chemical additives are known to be used), some of which are toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic. These chemicals can contaminate groundwater if well bores fail, and are part of waste fluid streams returned to the surface, which can also pick up contaminants such as heavy metals, volatile hydrocarbons and naturally occurring radioactive elements from the shale itself. Well-drilling operations can also cause severe landscape degradation and noise pollution simply as a result of normal operations.

On top of all this, it appears that the greenhouse gas “footprint” of shale gas may be significantly greater than for conventional gas and has even be claimed by some to be worse than coal. Until the impacts are fully investigated, understood, addressed and regulated we call for significant more effort to be put into understanding the full impacts of fracking.

There is a meeting about Fracking on Wednesday 20th March 2013 7pm – 9pm at the Dorford Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RR.

Check out the Frack Free Dorset Facebook page for more information and look out for more info here soon:

Vince Adams has also started a petition to  ‘Keep the UK Frack Free’:

Please sign and share the online petition

See our previous posts about Fracking from our Dorset Energized blog too here:

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • James Wallace comments:
    "I have a clean energy system that would mean we do not need Fracking. I need your help to get my system adopted. You now have contacts with people like Vivien Westwood and others that can help me thus helping us beat Fracking and the lower the cost of energy. Regards
    James Wallace
    44 7977387905 "

    August 17, 2013 a 11:50 pm


Lets Get Energized says:
West Coast Energy Submits Plans for 9 Wind Turbines in West Dorset

Category: Climate Change, Wind Power

West Coast Energy told us that last week their plans for nine wind turbines for the West Dorset Wind Farm have been formally submitted. The site is located on farmland south west of Milborne St Andrew, north of Tolpuddle and north east of Puddletown.

While the application is being considered there will be much debate on the efficiency of wind turbines. You may be interested to know that when considering the best location for maximising the efficiency of a wind turbine, what matters is how many kWh is generated and used in the course of a year. Recent data from the Department of Energy & Climate Change shows that electricity generated from wind directly saves CO2 because gas fired turbines can be turned down very easily.

How much energy a wind farm can produce will always depend on wind speed but if you take a worst-case scenario you will get at least five million kWh from a single large wind turbine. The average household electricity use in Dorset is around 5,000 kWh per year, so each wind turbine should power at least 1,000 houses, meaning West Dorset Wind Farm’s nine wind turbines could potentially power 9,000 Dorset homes.

We aim to provide information on all forms and aspects of renewable energy and feel each wind farm application should be carefully considered and that of course everyone has the right to object if they feel there are sufficient grounds.

If you would like to see what is being proposed, you can find out more from West Coastal Energy’s press release and from their website

If you would like to find out more about one of our nearest large wind turbine, why not take a look at Ecotricty’s Wind Park at Shooters Bottom in Somerset:

For more information and frequently asked questions see our web section on Wind Power here:


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
North Dorset Renewable Energy Exhibition – A Great Success

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy

On Saturday the 16th of February 2013 I went with a friend to the Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum and I’m glad I went!

I went of course with a set of expectations and to a certain extent these were confirmed; there were various exhibitors passing on useful information about Renewable Energy and how it can be applied to ones own life and there were also exhibitors showing of the latest technologies in energy saving, such as LED lighting. Being fairly involved in all this myself I tend to think I am fairly well informed, but after attending this Expo I am definitely now better informed – there is always more to learn, especially as this is an ever developing field, and that sure adds to the fun of it.

But as I said I went with a set of expectations – and one thing I was not expecting was the “conversation” as one person described it, going on at the Forum part of the Exhibition. And this was interesting – seeing various people with expertise in Renewable Energy stand up and give a short presentation on a particular aspects of the Renewable Energy “thing” and then open up the floor for a questions and answers & general discussion. This proved to be very interesting, various points being raised, ideas being proposed – people feeling involved. Should there be another of these Exhibitions I fervently hope that it will include that Forum part.

Going by the numbers of people coming into the room – some staying to hear the speakers, some just browsing the stands of the exhibitors, some deep in discussion amongst themselves, I would say the event was a great success. The exhibitors will no doubt have their own criteria but it would seem likely to me that if another such event was run, then those who were there on Saturday would seek to return and quite possibly there will be others also seeking to exhibit.

On a closing note I ought to mention my friends impressions – she is someone not necessarily taken up by the Renewable Energy cause, but like many people she takes an interest in what is happening with our energy supplies and so forth. She like me found the Forum part interesting, but did feel that the discussion about the proposed Community Renewable Energy scheme in Sturminster Newton might have been more fully explained, and I could see her point. So perhaps a Forum event in the future might include the opportunity to talk more in depth with the people presenting or perhaps some information sheets to accompany the talks (though to save on paper these could perhaps be printed on demand at the venue).

Anyway all I can add is that I’m glad I went and many thanks to the people who were there, exhibitors and visitors – all were involved and included in making it the success it was (and the sun shone!).


Lets Get Energized says:
This Weekend’s Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition & Forum – 16th February 2013

Category: Biomass Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Green Deal

We just want to remind you of the Renewable Energy Exhibition THIS weekend, which has been planned to show off the latest technology from established local sources who will be on hand to advise and enthuse local people with the opportunities that exist for installing the right kind of equipment for your needs to save money, stay warmer, and help our countries’ CO2 emission targets for future generation

Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition & Forum
Date: 16th February 2013
Timing: 9.30am – 1.30pm
Venue: Bow Room at the Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Dorset

FREE Admission!

Exhibitors include:

  • Ace Energy Solar
  • Bioheat Gillingham Wood Burning Energy
  • Carelec LED lighting and Edmundsons the Electrical Wholesalers
  • DEAC with SAIL (Safe and Independent Living) Bus
  • Dorset Energized
  • Energize Stur Valley Local Energy Group
  • FJ Chalke with the Nissan LEAF 100% Electric Car
  • Green Deal
  • NDDC Planning Representative from the local planning committee
  • Tim Purbrick Specialist in major solar farm projects

As proud supporters of Dorset Energized, FJ Chalke Wincanton will be on hand to give people the opportunity to test drive and have a chat about the 100% Electric Nissan LEAF – so if you would like a FREE test drive please remember to bring your driving licence!

Dorset Energized partners DEAC (Dorset Energy Advice Centre) will be demonstrating how to help people out of fuel poverty. They are also excited to be attending with the SAIL (Safe and Independent Living) Bus which offers lots of information about saving energy and space, where you can sit down and chat about energy efficiency and renewable energy concerns, or about changes in funding and the new opportunities with the Green Deal and ECO.

The Forum area is planning to stimulate discussion about the North Dorset District energy needs and how we can develop renewables to meet them. We believe that visitors will be mainly interested in how the Council plans to encourage renewable energy generation and the type of equipment and plant that they are likely to install.

Presentations by guest speakers will focus on wood heat, solar thermal and how the RHI may change later this year. Concerns about cost, the size of equipment and specific fuel requirements will be addressed during the Forum.

Admission is FREE and the Exchange has an excellent Cafe where refreshments will be available throughout the morning.

So come along, browse the stands and join the Forum for items that particularly interest you.

Please also ‘like’ and share this post to invite others to get… Dorset Energized!

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bioheat Gillingham comments:
    "We wish to say a big thank-you to Dorset Energize for organizing such an informative and interesting exhibition today.
    The forum provided some stimulating discussions and the guest speakers gave us a great insight into their fields of expertise. It was good to meet so many people with a passion for renewable energy.
    We look forward to the next event. "

    February 16, 2013 a 7:33 pm


Lets Get Energized says:
8 out of 10 Brits Prefer Renewable Energy

Category: Renewable Energy

According to Sustainable Green – a survey has suggested that 79 per cent of our UK public support renewable energy.

Almost four out of five people support the UK using renewable energy to generate electricity, fuel and heat, according to a major survey published by the government last week.

Of the 2,107 people polled in December 2012 and January 2013, just four per cent were opposed to using renewable energy, a number that has remained consistent across the previous three attitudes surveys conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

For the full article visit:

If you support renewable energy then check out our website for all the renewable energy options available here in Dorset:


Vince Adams says:
Great Stuff for Dorset – The Future of British Solar Renewables Video

Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Solar Energy

This video will hopefully give you immense hope for the future – Jobs, Technology, Clean Energy – and all here in Dorset! ENJOY…

Rampisham Down, The Future – British Solar Renewables


Paul McIntosh says:
Let’s Go Green! Fun Youth Evening at Charlton Down on 5th February 2013

Category: Energy Events in Dorset

Let’s Go Green!
Tuesday 5th February 2013, 6.30pm – 8pm
Charlton Down Village Hall near Dorchester, Dorset

Dorset green community groups supported by Dorset Agenda 21 are putting on a FREE fun evening next Tuesday for young people, including:

  • A working solar powered disco
  • An electric generating bicycle that lights up if you peddle
  • Recycling activities and making things from scrap
  • A live duck is being provided by Transition Town Dorchester
  • Plus all sorts of other fun activities!

All kids welcome and the more the merrier – please feel free to invite others.

For more information please contact me: or ring 07572 169861.

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