Archive for June, 2013


Lets Get Energized says:
10 Facts About Solar Panels

Category: Solar Energy

Solar panels are being implemented in more and more buildings and houses, and the benefits for the environment are quite clear. However, much like other green efforts around the world, solar panels are still well short of being thought of as the normal, or the standard, and the simple fact is that many people don’t fully understand their benefits. So with that in mind, here are 10 fun facts and benefits about solar panels.

1. Japan Leads The Way
According to Solar Tek, a US based solar panel site, half of all the world’s solar panels are used by Japan, and all in residential buildings.

2. Potential Is Exceptional
Some have noted that desert land stores vast potential for solar panel use. In the American southwest dry regions and deserts, for example, a 10,000 square mile solar panel arrangement could power the entirety of the country.

3. Gas Reduction Is Monumental
If you pit solar energy against coal energy, the reduction of carbon emissions is astounding. A single kilowatt of generated solar energy replaces up to 300 pounds of carbon dioxide that would emit from the coal needed to create the same energy.

4. Da Vinci Did It First
Okay, Da Vinci didn’t make solar panels, but in the 1400s, he did suggest using solar power to heat water for use in industrial mechanisms.

5. The Sun Gives Us More Than We Needs
According to, in a single hour the Earth receives more energy from the sun than it typically consumes in an entire year. We can’t harness all of it, but we simply don’t need to.

6. Solar Panels Differ
There are different types of solar panels. PV panels are the basic ones most of us imagine, and directly convert sunlight into usable energy. Solar Thermal panels absorb heat and then use that heat to warm water to be used when warm water is needed in domestic environments.

7. Germany Leads As Well
Along with Japan, Germany is well ahead of most of the western world in solar energy use and panel installation.

8. Solar Panels Are Affordable
A 2012 article noted that though many see solar panels as very expensive energy options, prices are dropping dramatically. The simple fact is, as they become more commonplace, solar panels will likely become more affordable. There are also lots of other solar powered gadgets and gizmos available now at popular stores like

9. Solar Energy Can Catch Up Quickly
We’ve already covered how much energy the sun provides in an hour. What’s even more fascinating is that 30 days’ worth of this energy would exceed the energy we’ve gotten from fossil fuels in all of human history.

10. Solar Panels Are Low Maintenance
Solar panels require no maintenance and only very rare repairs.

You can read more about Solar Energy here:

A useful Solar Calculator can be found here

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Stuart Houghton comments:
    "I am a bit confused about point 10. “no additional hardware” PV Solar panels have to be connected to an inverter. ” They operate wirelessly ” this is not true, the panels are connected by special cables to the inverter. "
    June 24, 2013 a 7:21 pm


Paul McIntosh says:
Dorset FlexiCars expanding into Weymouth and Blandford Forum

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Living

There is a shift in thinking regarding car use. A growing number of people are no longer aspiring to own a car due to rising costs and environmental issues, such as climate change and congestion. These people are turning to other forms of transport which are cheaper and kinder to the environment, often using multiple modes of transport to replace the car. Other people are selling their second car, which sits on the driveway most of the time, costing its owner’s a small fortune in depreciation.

Car clubs are a relatively new solution to this problem and are rapidly expanding throughout the country…

Dorset Flexicars offers its members access to nearly new, fully insured and well maintained vehicles to hire by the hour. This allows members to use other forms of transport like walking, cycling and public transport, and then on the occasions when they really need to use a car, they have one available to them. The club also has a number of business users who use the vehicles.

Company Secretary, Pete West, said “My wife and I live in Dorchester and used to own 2 cars, just in case both of us needed to use a vehicle at the same time. Since joining Dorset Flexicars we have sold one car, saving approximately £1000 per year in devaluation, tax, MOT and insurance (and saving the hassle of car ownership). Now we can book a car on–line if we both need to use a car at the same time. The Car Club is ideal for anyone who just needs to use a car now and again.”

Dorset Flexicars C.I.C. is a Community Interest Company which exists for the benefit of the community and is “not for profit”, which guarantees members great value for money.

The club is now expanding into Weymouth and Blandford Forum after securing grant funding. This has paid for four new cars, which will offer the people of these Towns the opportunity to try out this scheme.

If you want to know more, or wish to become a member; visit, email or call 08456 211 611.


Theresa McManus says:
Alaska Wind Farm in Dorset – Challenge thrown out

Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power

A legal challenge against a four-turbine wind farm near Wareham, on the edge of a Dorset area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), was rejected by a High Court judge last week, following a nine-day public inquiry, as reported by Michael Donnelly in Planning Resource (

According to Donnelly, as well as rejecting all complaints and upholding the planning permission, the judge also noted that the government’s National Planning Policy Framework generally favours renewable energy developments and requires local authorities to promote energy generation from renewable and low carbon sources.

Excellent news for Dorset as we desperately need more on-shore wind turbines to help people realise that they aren’t as bad as the scaremongerers amongst us would like you to believe. It is also good news for all the people involved in investing in, and setting up and running wind turbines, so that provided a planning application ticks all the right boxes, it will be approved, even if it has to go to appeal. And lastly it is good news for everyone, as much much more of the energy we use needs to come from sustainable renewables rather than fossil fuels in order to protect our futures.

For the full article go to:

For more information on  Wind Power check out our page here:


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Paravelo: The world’s first flying bicycle

Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video

Another great idea this Green Transport Week 2013?! Not sure it’s quite my thing or within the reach of my bank balance, but the inventors have been busy and a new form of combined transport has appeared on the horizon, or rather, above it!

The Paravelo launched on Kickstarter promises to give you affordable flying on (believe it or not) a bicycle. It sure looks interesting and seems quite a practical proposition if you have a head for heights. Perhaps one day we’ll see these in the air above Dorset – perhaps visitors bringing tourist pounds to the county on their ‘Flamping’ (flying and camping – the Paravelo incorporates a tent as well) holidays.

So, the Paravelo, as versatile as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – and cheaper to run!

Check out the video below:

For full details visit the following links: and


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Green Transport Week: A Smart New Electric Bike

Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video

This week is Green Transport Week 2013 (14th -23rd June) and so far it’s got to be said that Electric Bicycles are only a very small part of the bicycle market – only 25,000 were sold in the UK last year, which represents just 1% of all bicycles sold. But conceivably a new entry into the eBike market might begin to change the picture. Smart, the subsidiary of Mercedes and famed for their small cars, have just brought out an Electric Bicycle of their own – the Smart Electric Bike.

The new Smart Electric Bike is clearly aimed at those looking to find a new way to manage the practical task of commuting and of course doing so in style. Thus the Smart Electric Bike not only looks slick, but also seeks to deliver the rider to work effortlessly and indeed cleanly, being equipped with an oil free belt drive, instead of the usual oily chain. It uses the well established BionX motor which is well known for it’s silent and powerful operation – plus it can return some charge to the battery using regenerative braking. Range on a fully charged battery is claimed to be 70 miles which of course depends on terrain and the amount of pedalling effort the rider puts in, but with the comparatively large 423kwh battery 30+ miles without needing to recharge is clearly a possibility – and being a bike that just needs a plug point, recharging at work or home is easy, and indeed cheap.

Of course this is not the cheapest eBike on the market (although a very attractive Hire Purchase arrangement is available @ £59 pcm for 36 months) – but it is clearly the result of a very considered design process and carrying as it does the Smart (and thus Mercedes) name it might get more people into the joys (and practical advantages) of electric cycling.

Have a look at the Smart Electric Bike here for more info:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
UK to help end global hunger at the GT Summit 2013

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food

This weekend 17th to 18th June 2013, the UK will host the GT summit in Northern Ireland, where the world’s most powerful leaders will meet, so last Saturday 8th June, 45,000 IF campaigners packed Hyde Park in London to make a massive noise in demanding that G8 leaders take action to end global hunger. This Saturday 15th June will see the BIG IF in Belfast too…

A few weeks ago I posted about the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign with their fantastic video showing how climate change causes hunger and how the money that the UK and other G8 governments pledged as aid to help poor communities cope with climate change, can help mums and dads put food on the table for their children – you can view my post and watch the video again here:

It’s hard to face facts that nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night and two million children die from malnutrition every year. Hunger is still the great scandal of our age. All around the world, even in the UK, people are struggling to feed their families. The G8 is our best opportunity to tackle hunger and make our UK and world leaders keep their promise.An important part of the G8 Agenda under Transparency includes:

  • Support measures to ensure responsible use of land, fisheries and forests in the interests of national food security
  • Encourage sustainable investment and management of land resources and increased global transparency of resource-extraction

I was one of the 5,000 people who also signed postcards by IF allies RAW (brought to you by Compassion in World Farming) to reserve our ‘virtual place’ at the G8, calling for the UK, as G8 host, to lead us away from ‘grain-hungry’ factory farming and support smaller-scale farmers in developing countries.

There’s loads more on the connections between factory farming, hunger and climate change on the RAW website

Check out the RAW infographic below too on why factory farming is bad for people, animals and the planet, and maybe consider taking one simple action yourself, TODAY, to help end world hunger : by eating less meat (and make sure its free range of course)! There’s loads more ideas on simple Food Lifestyle Changes on the IF website too at:

Remember that every small step today we take as individuals and families, towards a more sustainable life even simply through our food and energy use choices, can make a huge difference to our fellow human beings and even the whole planet!


Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset Energized at Bournemouth Renewable Energy Marketplace 18th June 2013

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Marketplace Event
Tuesday 18th June 2013, 10am – 4pm
BIC, Bournemouth, Dorset

Dorset Energized are delighted to be having a stand at the upcoming Renewable Energy Marketplace event in Bournemouth.

Renewable Energy Marketplace is the south of England’s biggest energy event covering renewables, efficiency measures and generation. It brings together people with a variety of energy solutions and products at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Come and discover the future of energy generation and efficiency.


  • Meet over 100 installers and suppliers showcasing the latest products and services
  • Hear from industry experts on important energy initiatives and policy including Green Deal, RHI and FIT
  • Find out the best ways to reduce energy costs
  • See live demonstrations of installations and technologies
  • Learn about ways to refurb your buildings and make them more efficient
  • Find out more about saving and earning money from renewable heat

For more information and to book visit:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Energy we can all afford – Public meeting in Bridport 14th June 2013

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

Public Energy Meeting with Oliver Letwin MP & Friends of the Earth’s Chief Executive Andy Atkins

Friday 14th June 2013, 7pm – 8.30pm
Bridport Town Hall, Bridport, West Dorset  (DT6 3HA)

My local West Dorset Friends of the Earth have told me about this important rescheduled public meeting here in Dorset…

This winter millions of people have struggled to pay their energy bills. Cold homes are damaging the health of our most vulnerable citizens, including children and the elderly. Yet energy prices continue to go up – mostly due to the rising price of gas.

We need new ways to use, produce and above all save energy – and this means we need a change in the law. Now is the time to discuss this, as Parliament is debating these critical issues.

Join Oliver Letwin MP and Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton to debate these crucial issues here in Dorset.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Celebrating World Environment Day

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living

We’re celebrating World Environment Day!

There are so many simple steps we can all take today here in Dorset and the UK to live a more sustainable life to help ourselves and our planet – from eating less meat, reducing our waste and using less energy to switching to renewable energy suppliers.

Dorset Energized is here to help guide you on the greener road to sustainable and renewable energy, so check out our web pages below for lots more tips, info and links to local suppliers:

  • Switching Energy Suppliers – switch to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity and they’ll give Dorset Energized users £50 off your first bill
  • Energy Efficiency – top tips from switching off your appliances and insulating your home to how to reduce your water usage and waste
  • Sustainable Living – from eco friendly travel to looking for organic local seasonal food
  • Renewable Energy Options – from biomass heating to electric cars and solar power

I have stumbled across a couple of interesting articles for World Environment Day here too:

Trashed: No Place for Waste by Good Energy –

A Diet Fit for World Environment Day? by RAW –

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