Archive for June, 2014


Lets Get Energized says:
Eco Living Fair in Dorchester

Category: Dorset Energized News, Energy Events in Dorset

Eco Living Fair

On the 26th of July DA21 are holding the first ever Eco Living Fair in Dorchester – Dorset Energized will be there promoting renewable energy:



Jacob Windsor says:
Ecotricity finish top of the Which? Customer survey again

Category: Green Electricity & Gas
Tags: , , ,

Ecotricity #1 in the customer survey rankings

We are thrilled that green energy suppliers Ecotricity has returned to number one in the rankings with the fewest customer complaints in the energy industry despite experiencing unprecedented growth in the first quarter of 2014.

Consumer champion Which? has released figures this June which show the Big Six energy companies received a total of 1.7 million customer complaints in the first quarter of 2014, the highest number received in one single quarter since records began in 2012.

You can view the  customer complaints league table for all energy companies, including the smaller independent suppliers that now receive more than half of all customer switches here.

The best performing Big Six energy company is Scottish Power with 13.57 complaints per 100 customers, while Ecotricity has just 1.93 complaints per 1000 customers.

Massive upheavals in the sector appear to be effecting customer service across the industry, with both Big Six energy companies and some independents struggling with customer service standards.

Many smaller energy companies, like Ecotricity, have experienced unprecedented growth over the past three to six months.

In our case, the number of customers we supply grew 26% in just the first three months of 2014 and shows no sign of slowing down. And in the past six months we’ve recruited and trained more than 100 new customer service staff – a 91% rise – to keep pace with the workload, to maintain staff-to-customer ratios and prepare for further growth, because excellent customer service is a core part of what we do.

This rate of growth can be expected to bring with it some problems in maintaining customer service levels and this looks to be occurring elsewhere within the industry.

These figures also show that complaints to the Big Six continue to grow despite their relative poor performance on customer service, because they have systemic problems with how they treat customers, while any issues with smaller suppliers should hopefully be a temporary problem.

Ecotricity’s customer numbers had grown by 26% in the three months between January and March this year and by over 40% from 71,000 to 100,000 in the six months to between October 2013 and March 2014.

Make the switch to green energy today

You too can switch to Ecotricity online at or call us on 08000 302 302 and quote ‘Dorset Energized’ plus you’ll receive a free £60 Naked Wines voucher to celebrate.


Conor MacGuire says:
The Green Deal for Home – Explained

Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Deals & Offers, Energy Efficiency, Green Deal, Green Electricity & Gas, Heat Pumps, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,

Green Deal Plan for Home: Here is the Start to Finish Process

It’s called the Green Deal – a project designed to help you make energy saving improvements at home and also to find the ideal way to make payments for the same. Home improvements for maximum energy conservation generally depend upon the structure of the house. However the main focus of the project should be including solid wall insulation, double glazing, boiler upgrades, and much many other things discussed below.

After many years of talking and planning about the Green Deal, the flagship energy saving scheme designed by the government is finally up and running. The aim of the project is to make every house warmer and much cheaper to run. To achieve this however, people are not required to shell large sums of money upfront. 

The Green Deal project typically comprises of the following stages:

1. Assessment

Assessment involves inspection of your home or office premises by a fully accredited Green Deal Advisors. The respective advisor will perform the following functions:

  • Survey the entire property and come up with EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) in order to ascertain the current energy rating and also to recognize the types of developments which the Green Deal can fund.
  • In case the EPC recognizes any suitable measure fit for attaining Green Deal finance, the Green Deal Assessor will commence a Green Deal Occupancy Assessment and recognize what improvements are going to be cost effective and look out for any scope of cash back or subsidies.
  • Explain in detail the entire payment process
  • Prepare a Green Deal advice report that will outline all your available options
  • Also assist you in selecting a Green Deal Provider
  • Supervise the home improvement installations and sign off as soon as the work is complete.

2. Installation

The Green Deal Advisor will fix up with the Green Deal Provider and appoint a suitable Green Deal Installer for you. The installer will then make the required home improvement jobs – you and the Green Deal Advisor agreed upon. You are required to constantly access the installer to ensure he fulfills all the standards laid down by the Green Deal.

3. Repayment

You are required to pay back the cost of your various home improvement jobs over a period of time by means of electricity bills. Here your electricity supplier is supposed to pass on your payments to the respective Green Deal Provider. It is to be noted that the amount you pay via your electricity bill is not going to be more than you save upon your heating bills. This way you are guaranteed to be in profit from the very first day.

You’ll be required to pay for your home improvement services, but the payment you make will never be considered as your conventional personal loan. Reason – the payment will be attached to your electricity meter and paid back in the form of electricity bill. In case you vacate the property, the charge will be picked up by the new occupant, who will also benefit from the energy-efficient property.

A regular interest will be charged on all payments, but the rate will be fixed. In addition, you will be shown a complete schedule of all the payments before you finally sign up the plan.

Improvements covered by the Green Deal include:

  • Insulation
  • Glazing
  • Heating and hot power
  • Microgeneration

The non-domestic centers would also cover mechanical ventilation, heat recovery measures and lighting.

Incentives to Begin the Green Deal Scheme

Recently, the government launched the Green Deal Cask Back Scheme in an attempt to encourage more homeowners to take up home improvements right in the early days of Green Deal.

According to the scheme, the most eligible candidates will receive cash back guarantee as soon as they get their measures installed. The highest rates will be allotted to the earliest applicants.

The ECO (Energy Company Obligation)

The ECO for the large six energy suppliers comprises of three parts, including:

1. Affordable Warm Obligation

This will provide heating and hot water saving measures, glazing, micro generation technology and insulation to vulnerable and low-income households. There are however complex eligibility criteria for this scheme.

2. Carbon Saving Obligation

CSO is a means to provide funding in order to insulate solid-walled premises including those with tough to treat cavity walls.

3. Carbon Saving Communities Obligation

This will provide glazing and insulation measures to all people comprising of bottom 15% of the most deprived areas in UK.


Lets Get Energized says:
West Dorset Pro Wind

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

West Dorset Pro Wind

At Dorset Energized we are keen to support the efforts of groups and organisations whose aims are similar to ours – promoting renewable energy, campaigning for a more environmentally friendly way of life. So we are happy to assist the new West Dorset Pro Wind Group. Below is the latest news from them:

West Dorset Pro Wind Group Update June 19th

The group formed in early June- its aims are to give balanced information about wind energy, provide some information about the 3 wind farm proposals and encouraged those who want to support a proposed wind farm development to write expressions of support during public consultation period. This update is to give some idea of what is on in very near future.

Contact Details: Facebook- West Dorset Pro Wind Group

Email: (Website-not ready)
Joining us: Email us and let us know if you want info only or want to help in group etc.


Saying yes to wind- what’s on

If you do support wind energy, this is your chance to have your say . Expressions of support in letters or online comments to planning departments during the public consultation period and to your local district councillors are the most effective way to support wind energy in Dorset. For the 3 wind farm proposals in West Dorset , this support will be key in counteracting the influence of the anti-wind groups, politicians and media.
West Dorset Wind Farm at Tolpuddle now in planning

Last date for letters/online comments of support 4th July
Email West Dorset Pro Wind if you want details of planning application and list of points you
might want to consider in your letter.

A pro-forma letter can be downloaded – Here: WD Pro-forma support letter

And further information can be downloaded – Here: West DorWD Pro-forma support letterset Planning application and bullet points for letters

Coming soon…

Blandford Hill Wind Farm goes to planning at end of June and Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm in September. Information on their websites. We will alert you about public consultation dates.

Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Information Workshops- Broadview Energy

For residents of the nearby villages or Dorchester who are for, against or not sure.
Monday 23rd June 5:30-6:45 Community Benefit and Ownership

Charlton Down Herrison Hall
Monday 7th July 5:30-6:45 Television Reception

Charlton Down, Herrison Hall
Friday 25th July 6pm-7:30 Planning Process

Charminster Village Hall


West Dorset Pro Wind Group Stalls in South Street, Dorchester

First Stall held Tuesday the 17th- very positive response from many people

Planned: Sat June 21st Tuesday 24th June 24th Tuesday 1st July

Times- 2-3 hours between 10-2pm, depends on availability of helpers. Reply asap by email if you can help ; a tel. number is helpful and give times when you are available. If none of these dates suit you but you could help later on, email us and we will get back to you. Some people who have already done the stall will be there.


Update – West Dorset Pro Wind launch their new website – further info: here

5Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Gillian and Ben thank you for coming forward with what I call balanced and sensible comment regarding our use of wind here in Dorset.
    My wish is to see informed debate between people on all sides who wish to see a cleaner environment, reduction in costs, sharing energy across communities and much lower costs because the locals actually own a part of the project.
    We have to be sensitive to landscape, I am passionate about that but in the right place and broadly away from high density building turbines offer very little threat.
    As an example I meet a farmer above Martintown and he wanted to put up 2 turbines in carefully chosen locations to minimise any real hurt to landscape.
    One turbine would have run his dairy and the other would have been for the people in Martinstown to be part of and share in the energy that it would provide.
    Win and win again for everyone but planning opposition stopped the project in its tracks.
    Who are the losers almost all of us and the winners a small minority.
    Come on Dorset lets step up to the plate ! "

    July 6, 2014 a 6:53 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Many large companies include elements that we should support and elements that we should object to. It is by engaging with them and encouraging the good things that we influence their behaviour far more than simply by attacking them at every turn. The 2020 targets are merely a way marker on the route to the far more demanding 2050 targets which are the ones that really matter as far as changing the course of the climate change juggernaut. Dorset’s politically manipulated ‘plan’ to meet the 2020 targets is deeply flawed for 2 main reasons. Firstly, it treats the 2020 targets as the end point and give the impression that once we reach them then that is it – job done. The point is that even if we reach the 2020 targets without using wind turbines (or any other particular technology) it merely means that we will have to build that technology between 2020 and 2050. As onshore wind turbines are currently the cheapest and cleanest form of sustainable energy generation it makes sense to build them first and give the other technologies like wave and tidal lagoon to mature lowering their costs and reducing their environmental impacts. Secondly the Dorset plan envisages taking advantage of “national policies” to provide fully half of the CO2 savings required meaning that Dorset expects to provide less than its share of savings through measures in our area. This is pathetic! Dorset has remarkable renewable energy resources available and has a low population density allowing it to site effective renewable energy infrastructure in areas well spaced from people’s homes. Only the oppose anything at any cost brigade are stopping it from happening. With all the advantages we have Dorset should be doing more than our share and helping out those areas with low resources and very little space. "
    July 6, 2014 a 12:15 pm

  • Mac Evans comments:
    "Alot of truly green groups are against fracking, so it’s seems strange to support the West dorset wind farm development, when the company West Coast energy has just been acquired by GDF Suez, look to their businesses…Gas etc. Wind energy should be put in the right places sensitively. Not so near to peoples homes, not where you will damage business. Dorset relies on it’s tourism. You might be interested to know that Dorset is due to meet its renewable target in 2020, without one turbine, so is nt it good instead of wasting rare earth minerals, pouring tons of concrete into the ground, etc etc. to put wind turbines in places where they do not meet the targets. "
    July 4, 2014 a 6:27 pm

  • Ben Tyler comments:
    "Here in hilly dorset we have the perfect geography that creates wind through our valleys and villages. It is mad to think that someone would rather have a fracking site next door to them rather than a majestic turbine. The noise issue is blown out of proportion and those who think they are an eye sore needs to be shown a fracking site. My only suggestion is that we move away from the inefficient, overly large pylon design and look at new technologies that are emerging all the time that are more efficient and use a smaller footprint. Look at the websites I have included here , I can see a future where cars are all electric and personal and local wind generation charges them at home and takes the strain off the grid. Fossils are way past their sell be date as fuel! "
    July 4, 2014 a 10:27 am

  • Gillian Miles comments:
    "Its free its here to stay use it now,let the wind BLOW,and use it. "
    June 22, 2014 a 5:46 pm


Paul McIntosh says:
Springhead Trust holds Opportunities in Community Energy Event

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Energy Stories

Over 30 representatives of Town and Parish Councils, Neighbourhood planning groups and other interested individuals attended a seminar to learn more about the potential benefits of renewable energy to their communities. The free half-day seminar received presentations from Dorset County Council, Good Energy, RegenSW and local company Community Heat and Power.

GV_Three Hu_GE_One PW_HH_Two

Renewable technologies can benefit community buildings or schools by providing an income through incentive schemes and cheaper energy. Also, by raising finance locally investors can contribute to the development of their assets whilst getting a good return on their money.

Paul McIntosh, Sustainability Officer for North Dorset District Council who organised the event said

“We had a packed room at the Springhead Trust today which shows the amount of interest there is impartial information in this developing area. The District Council is keen to support projects which are community led and where the benefits, social, environmental and economic are retained locally”

“I would like to thank both those who attended and those who presented for what was a very energising day. We choose the Springhead Trust as a venue due to their commitment to Sustainability and a planned project to install ground mounted PV and Micro Hydro renewable energy systems – the finance they hope to raise from the local community”

Delegates learnt about how communities can also negotiate with developers to maximise benefits for the community.

For more information and presentations from the day please contact Paul McIntosh, Sustainability Officer at North Dorset District Council on 01258 484019.

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Julian Brooks comments:
    "This was a great event and very encouraging to have had a full house. What would be really useful though is some feedback from the attendeees 3 months on as to how they are getting on with their communities and discussions around energy, have any gone as far as starting a project group? "
    September 29, 2014 a 8:56 am


Guest Energizer says:
Samsoe – An Energy Island

Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , ,

Samsoe – An Energy Island

INTRO: Here is an article by Arthur Blue, a new contributor to our Blog, about an island in Denmark. Arthur is based in Argyll, but the article is highly relevant to Dorset which is also of course rural, with remote areas, and the potential to produce much of its own energy.

So to the article:

An Energy Island

I was in Denmark recently, enjoying herring on rye bread, blethering with old friends, and brushing up my rusty Danish.

Economists of the Anglo-American persuasion are convinced that the Danish economy is far too heavily loaded with taxes and welfare systems to take off and fly, but fly it does and the evidence is in front of your eyes in Copenhagen, where the amount of new investment, both public and private, is impressive, as are the famous open sandwiches.

Yes … a decent one costs about Dkr 100 ( £12.50 ) , but it’s enough for a good meal on its own. But to avoid both cultural and culinary overload we decided to have a long weekend on the island of Samsoe, famous for its early potatoes … in late May these were selling for very high prices in the capital … and for being self-sufficient in electrical power and domestic heating. It’s an island slightly larger than Bute, with around 4,00 permanent inhabitants, with large numbers of visitors during the season, mostly staying in summer houses well hidden amongst the trees.

The background to this is that in the latter half of the last century Samsoe, together with other small islands and remoter areas, was falling behind in development, what with high transport costs, falling population, difficulties for small concerns trying to compete in the larger market, and loss of young people, once they had qualified, to the mainland. It’s all very familiar. Denmark has the usual assistance programmes, but the trends continued. However in 1997 the Ministry of Energy announced a competition …. which local area or island could present the most realistic plan for a transition to 100% self-sufficiency in renewable energy. Small easily-defined communities were chosen since the social effects could thus be more readily monitored. Four islands and a peninsula entered the competition, and Samsoe won, with the objective being to highlight renewable energy and study how high a percentage could be achieved using available technology and ( almost ) without extraordinary grants.

Bearing in mind that most of Samsoe’s electricity comes from wind, the first thing to strike me was that the views are not dominated by turbines, for though you can usually see one or two in the distance if you look really hard, you do have to look for them. There is a large offshore array which exports power to the mainland and which offsets the island’s CO2 emissions from vehicle fuel, this isn’t particularly visible from inland, though the ferry passes close by, and in any case no-one complains about it since it also provides an income for the local energy company. As with other things who owns them affects the way you see them.

Local electrical demand is mostly covered by 11 1-MW ( medium-sized ) turbines across 3 clusters, plus a number of small privately-owned units, and there is an interconnector with Jutland through which power can go both ways, if required.

Demand management … smoothing the peaks …. has been the subject of much thought and consultation, and it’s considered that there is still a great deal to be won in that direction, both on Samsoe and elsewhere. Domestic heating on the island, like many places in Denmark, is based on district heating plants, since its only with industrial-type technology that you can achieve satisfactory combustion when burning waste or biomass. Planners can require the use of district heating for new buildings in urban areas, but in the case of older existing buildings the owners have to be persuaded to convert and there are various grants for this, including special arrangements for pensioners. District heating is not suitable for isolated houses either, and on Samsoe these have their own heating. Around 50% of the isolated year-round houses on the island have now converted to some form of RE, using straw or biomass and solar water panels. On the summer-house front RE is low, though a number have installed air-to-air heat pumps A programme of thorough insulation was of course carried out as an essential first step in all this, for which there was a very good take-up. One old lady in Nordby could only afford to replace her windows one at a time, but she managed it, over about ten years.

There are 5 village-based district heating systems on the island, mostly fuelled by biomass ( waste straw and wood chips ). One of the plants has a substantial input from solar water panels, and since the heat is transmitted by water surplus electrical power can easily go into the systems if necessary. Another plant also takes waste heat from a jam factory, and a proposal to use waste heat from the ferry, which could have supplied about 30% of demand at the port, fell through not because it was technically difficult … it wasn’t … but because the ferry service being tendered out there is no guarantee that a future operator would be interested in co-operating. To get everything going it was decided by NRGi ( the island energy company ) that a very low registration fee of Dkr 80 ( £10 ) would be charged for those who signed up before the plants were built. This model is an exception to normal practice since in Denmark those who wish to join an existing district heating scheme can find themselves paying around Dkr 36.000 ( £ 4,000 ). A consequence of the cheap registration is of course slightly higher heating prices, since the payments also have to cover repayment of the initial investment, however if you’re starting from scratch a high take-up significantly reduces distribution costs. In addition some of the larger farmers make their own tractor fuel from rape, the oilseed cake being a useful cattle feed, and the straw going into their heating plant, these, like most Samsinger, are highly practical people, who wear overalls rather than rainbow-coloured jumpers, and who think that it makes economic as well as environmental sense to go renewable. However plans to go further and use more local oil cake to replace imported fodder, and sell the oil, have faltered on account of the government’s fuel taxation policy And an Energy Academy has been set up on the island, using the expertise acquired with the local project. The Academy is the headquarters of Samsoe’s energy and development organisations, with 11 full-time jobs in energy education and world-wide consultancy, one of their current projects being on Mull.

The above is where Samsoe has got to after about fifteen years, but it wasn’t all easy. Mikael Larsen, who heads the Energy Academy, says that the technology is the easy bit, and the bigger the easier, since all you have to do is sell a feasible scheme to one or other of the big players who then bring everything in ( and take most of the profits out again, though a small local share can still be very useful ) And big schemes are usually very high-tech, and well beyond local capabilities. Thus with the Samsoe offshore array. The local projects, on the other hand, are much more low-tech, can use local firms for more of the work, and have a much better social pay-off. The hardest part of the project is not the design and building, or the financing, but persuading people that it is indeed feasible, and obtaining workable consensus on it. There are always those who for various reasons don’t wish to be involved, or are too old or too crabbed to be bothered. Many of the holiday visitors, though they contribute very usefully to the island economy, aren’t particularly interested in going over to electric cars, and the summer houses, being spread out, don’t lend themselves to district heating. So the political side … though not party-political … was by far the biggest challenge. It always is. An ocean of coffee and a mountain of cake was needed to get the plan rolling, and doubtless a fair quantity of the golden brew which comes in green bottles.

So did anything go wrong during all this ? Yes indeed. The ferry heat project fell through, as did another which proposed to use waste heat from the island slaughterhouse, when the latter closed a few years into the project. A methane project is still on the back burner.

And the three electric cars which were given to the district nurses were an absolute disaster owing to unexpected call-outs, unpredictable driving patterns, and the nurses forgetting to recharge the things after a busy day. But the electric car used by the Energy Academy apparently can get to Copenhagen, over 100 miles away, quite easily given a quick top-up at some intermediate coffee stop. In several years use that vehicle has had only one failure … a broken wire. But you learn from the failures, sometimes more than from the successes. So the project rolls on, with one aim being to fuel the ferry with locally-produced biogas ( a ferry has room for quite a big tank ), and possibly the production of hydrogen for vehicular use, as vehicle fuel is now the largest energy import to the island. Local electric car use could also be greatly expanded. It’s all well worth a closer look. You can have a very good cycling holiday on Samsoe, too, while you’re looking.

( Further information is available on the web, in English, at also, since Samsoe is by no means the only island to have gone down the renewable road, at which is one of the EU’s development arms. )


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Electric Assist Tricycles

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

Electric Assist Tricycles

I recently wrote a piece for this Blog (Ebike Fun in the Sun) in which I mentioned people enjoying riding Electric Bicycles for the first time. And how my own bicycle, which is fitted with a Mojo Crank Motor, proved popular with one electric bicycle first timer.

Well yesterday we were contacted, via the Comments section of the Blog, by John Thraves who also has a Mojo equipped bicycle. But John has his motor fitted to an ICE Trike. John it turns out is an amputee and is keen to spread the word about how Electric bicycles can assist those with such a disability to get back out on the road – an excellent project indeed, so we thought it would be great to post some of John`s photo`s and his introductory words.

John has sent us some photo`s of his Trikes – like many of us cyclists he has more than one bike (they just seem to accumulate :-)

So below are the words from John and then the photo`s of his rather excellent Trikes:

3 Great Trike`s

These trikes have helped to give me my independence, confidence since I lost the lower half of my right leg nearly 4 years ago. I was a keen cyclist before then but I found that I could not ride two wheels anymore due to the balance problem. However it is worth noting that the electric assist on all of them provides me with the ability and enjoyment of managing around 30 miles in one ride with no pain or discomfort and as I have said I would like to link other amputees to the benefits of this facility.

If you require further information or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me (which you can do via the Comments Box at the foot of the page – Ed)

The Scorpion is the next on the list for conversion to the MOJO and I am thinking of selling the Adventure.

The bikes are pictured below: The top one is of the ICE SPRINT with the MOJO motor, the second one is the HPV Scorpion, my first trike, and considered to be the Rolls Royce of the trike world. The third and fourth are of the ICE Adventure, my general workhorse and both the Scorpion and the Adventure are both powered by BIONX, which I do consider to be the best of the hub motors around. (Editors Note: Hub motors are, as the name implies, mounted in the center of a wheel, which can either be front or rear. Crank Motors (or Mid Motors) such as the Mojo are mounted by the front chainring/crank and drive the bike via the chain and can use the rear gears)

ICE Sprint with Mojo

ICE Sprint with Mojo


Scorpion with BionX Motor

Scorpion with BionX Motor


ICE Adventure with Bionx

ICE Adventure with Bionx


ICE Adventure

John with ICE Adventure


Lets Get Energized says:
Tesla launch in London

Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Tesla launch in London

On Saturday the 7th of June the Tesla S Electric Car was launched in London by Elon Musk, CEO of the Tesla Group.

For the event a Solar Canopy was installed – Malcolm Newberry of Charge Point Services who organised the Canopy`s construction told us: “it`s a very European structure, designed in Denmark, Solar Panels from Germany,  built in Bedford, shown in London. Paid for by an American Company for a specific event.”  The structure has been taken down until planning for a permanent structure is given.

The design for the Canopy was done by Bluetop of Denmark , and looked like this:

Solar Canopy

Solar Canopy Design


Solar Canopy

Solar Canopy Design


Solar Canopy

Solar Canopy Design


We have some photo`s of the event showing how the Canopy looked on the day – Ole Gregersen of who was at the event and sent us the photo`s passed on to us that: “On the way out I was told by the super-charge-guy from US, that the marketing-people had responded that Elon really liked the canopy…”

Elon Musk handing the keys

Elon Musk handing the keys

Red Fully Charged

Red Tesla S under the Solar Canopy

White Model S under the Solar Canopy

White Model S under the Solar Canopy

Tesla S launched in London

Tesla S launched in London

The Tesla S comes with a big price tag – but for the money it packs a lot of performance & 300 miles range on a single charge. And it certainly draws the crowds!


Vince Adams says:
Cycling to boost Dorset economy

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

Cycling to boost Dorset economy

I was walking through the Overcombe beach carpark when I saw this huge rusty container close to where another new cycle path is about to open, being renovated initially with paint to protect rusty patches.


Container for bicycle Store

Container for bicycle Store

I wondered what it was and met Jacqui who told me that it was all part of a new project combining a number of Dorset small business. The aim is to create holiday experiences for visitors who want to get out and see the area when on holiday near and around the Weymouth/Jurrassic coastal area.

The container will be the hub for bike rental and when finished fit snugly into the surrounding Lodmoor landscape. There will be kayak rental and tour Company and one or two other Companies involved when the scheme opens later this month.

Container interior

Container interior

Its a hell of an idea, tourism is down in the County and Jacqui believes that visitors will really respond to something different. The cycle path network will be second to none and there are a number of other ideas that could be included like electric bikes to help with the hills and even small electric cars with zero carbon emissions could be included.
Dorset Energized wishes them well and Jacqui has promised to let us know much more about the project as it swings into action, By the way the view across Lodmoor from the container is amazing as is the wildflower path leading from the carpark to the swings.​

Wild Flower Meadow - Lodmoor

Wild Flower Meadow – Lodmoor


Erik Blakeley says:
The Nocebo Effect & Wind Turbines

Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , ,

The Nocebo Effect & Wind Turbines

I’ve been trying to track down the Australian stuff re wind turbine syndrome and the nocebo effect and found this quote

The 2009 American Wind Energy Association and Canadian Wind Energy Association study investigated the nocebo affect concluding that: “the large volume of media coverage devoted to alleged adverse health effects of wind turbines understandably creates an anticipatory fear in some that they will experience adverse effects from wind turbines. Every person is suggestible to some degree. The resulting stress, fear, and hyper‐vigilance may exacerbate or even create problems which would not otherwise exist. In this way, anti‐wind farm activists may be creating with their publicity some of the problems that they describe.”

I enclose the paper I found with further refs:

Wind Turbine Sound Fact Sheet – wind_turbine_sound_FactSheet

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Further to the above I have now found coverage of the Australian study I was thinking of that showed much better links between “wind turbine syndrome” and the activities of anti groups than with wind turbines themselves. As well as this further indication of the dangers of the nocebo effect and the irresponsibility of anti-wind farm scaremongering I think it is worth taking notice of the story of the gentleman given at the end who was suffering badly. His house was within 3.5km of 17 turbines that were part of a 160 turbine scheme. Now I would suggest that his symptoms were still the result of the nocebo effect but this does not mean that he was not suffering. Furthermore it is not reasonable to expect people to be happy about that sort of concentration of turbines near their homes and it is terrible that his plight is made worse by the activities of those pretending to be his friends in the anti-camp. It is only by accepting small wind farms of less than 10 turbines in lots of places so that everyone has a few close to them if they are lucky enough to live in a rural area with a good wind resource that we can ensure that people are not subjected to these mega farms except in places like the wildest parts of Scotland where there are no communities to be bothered by them. It is the actions of the antis, once more, in hijacking the planning process, that make it uneconomic to apply for just a few turbines so increasing the likelihood that turbines will be built instead by the score in mega farms. Here’s the link to the article reporting the research "
    July 8, 2014 a 10:39 am


Vince Adams says:
Investment opportunity at Slyers Lane

Category: Community Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , , ,

Community Investment opportunity at Slyers Lane

Slyers Lane proposed Wind Turbine project and Broadview Energy are offering local residents within the area, great opportunities to invest in the Wind Turbine project. This new form of Community engagement is a wonderful chance for people to invest in their home area with long- term advantages over leaving money in bank savings accounts.

Equally the project will realise a community fund for spending on local projects that should be agreed by the people for the people.

I stress this point because whilst you argue yes or no to the project the real opportunity for you to have a real say in what’s going to happen passes you by. Councils, “do good`s” and the like will take over how the community funding is spent. This doesn’t mean it will all be wrong but my point is be a part of the process, engage now with the issues and decide for yourselves what is the right decision to be made.

Dorset Energized can help you with detailed questions and answers about Wind Energy, totally free from any vested interest. If there are any other points that nag away at your mind then raise them under comments and let’s see if we can get a factual response from people with experience who know what they are talking about.

Listen to all the arguments, ignore signs saying one thing or the other, it’s the future for us, our kids and their children that we are talking about right now.

12Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton_Green comments:
    "Thanks Michael for continuing with what is probably one of the most important debates of our time.
    Use of the word misery indicates a pampered existence to date. Loss of a loved one or a job causes misery not the imposition of a changed view of a landscape. You are forgetting that 1000 MW power stations are either nuclear – taking 15 years to be very expensively built by the French or the Chinese – or they are fueled by fossil fuels that are fast running out and becoming more expensive. 11% of the electricity can be lost down the grid from a large distant power station to remote Dorset.
    The point of wind turbines is that they use the natural resource we have in Dorset delivering low and stable cost electricity efficiently to adjacent consumers with no ongoing fuel costs.
    When I moved to North Dorset from Bournemouth 25 years ago, my new neighbours made it clear any opinion I might have regarding expansion of an agricultural contractor to the back of our property would be disregarded. Fair enough because local jobs related to the main activity in the area were needed. There probably are people who don’t think 16 years is long enough a residency to have a valid opinion on major local infrastructural change unless you have had a significant role in the local economy.
    At a recent event where wind turbines were debated two speakers mentioned desecration of Hardy’s Dorset. On the off chance that they read this I’d like to say that anyone who want to live in Hardy’s Dorset should stop driving their car, stop using electricity and revert to horse and cart and smelly polluting coal fires. Then they should try convincing the rest of Dorset to do the same. Obviously people would think they are mad. It also seems mad not to embrace modern methods of electricity generation. "

    July 11, 2014 a 11:42 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Obviously much of the disagreement in the last couple of posts comes down to personal opinion. However, there are several very important issues I would point to. Firstly Mr Byrne doesn’t say overtly which sort of large centralized generation he favours (he does imply gas and nuclear at one point). Coal is the dirtiest around and would be very expensive to add CCS to. It would also require either the reopening of uneconomic coal mines in this country or the import of large amounts of foreign coal which is wasteful and although cheap at the moment, the price is depressed by relatively short term effects associated with the Americans dumping coal to support their mines after the sudden switch to fracking gas.
    Nuclear (our government’s favourite)still hasn’t answered the questions regarding fail safe (which Chernobyl and Fukushima have proved it is not), waste storage/disposal and decommissioning. If we factor these back in to the costings rather than hiding them through government subsidies such at the £120Bn earmarked to decommissioning through the NDA, nuclear becomes one of the most expensive options not a cheap one as sometimes claimed. What’s more, were we to suffer a Chernobyl type accident in our small country we could see a significant fraction of it rendered uninhabitable including a big chunk of the SW if it was Hinkley Point. Proponents ask rhetorically “What are the chances of a Chernobyl happening here?” hoping that we will assume the answer “very little” but if you actually think about the answer then you realize that “quite high really” is closer to the mark because there are not that many nuclear power stations in the world and therefore 2 major accidents and half a dozen or so near misses is, in truth, a statistically significant worry. Large scale combined cycle gas turbine generation is a risky approach because the international price of gas is so volatile. Europe currently has a large number of CCGT gas plants in mothballs because gas prices are high and coal prices are low and the volatility makes business planning over the lifetime of a centralized generation plant risky. This in turn means that banks will probably ask high interest rates for loan capital pushing up costs or necessitating government subsidy. This covers the problems with the centralized plant itself but, unlike wind all these technologies require sourcing and supply of fuel and disposal of residues which are often not so centralized. Dorset is a prime fracking area so CCGT generation plant will increase the likelihood of many villages in Dorset having to cope with dispersed drill rigs and well heads. Sellafield is literally overflowing with the waste from just the nuclear plant we have. New facilities will need to be built and Dorset, with its chalk geology low population density, access to sea transport and history of involvement with the nuclear industry (Winfrith)could well be a prime candidate for nuclear waste processing and storage.
    As I said at the start much of what Mr Byrne says is purely a question of personal opinion but I would suggest that his use of words like “misery” and “contraptions from Hell” is so over the top as to undermine respect for his opinion and not backed up by the vast majority of people’s experiences living in places like Cornwall where they are doing their bit towards renewable energy capacity building and still have a wonderful place to live in without inflicting all the downsides on someone else. The small minority who are having difficulty might be argued to have more reason to blame the misinformation of the anti campaigns than wind turbines or any other renewable energy technology as discussed in another posting on this site. Finally, the elephant in the room always remains climate change. Although other technologies may develop and overtake onshore wind, this technology is at present the cleanest, safest, cheapest form of genuinely low carbon electricity generation. the two downsides are visual impact and, as Mr Byrne points out, the fact that we need lots of them. Not impossibly large numbers as far as the technology and economics are concerned but enough to mean that most people who have a location suited to them will have to share their good fortune with a small number of turbines in farms like Slyers Lane or Blandford Hill. I do not accept (my personal opinion)that this is such a terrible imposition. I would much rather have that than a nuclear facility or a gas facility near me (and there would need to be many of them if you include the ancillary sites discussed above). Although Mr Bryne states otherwise I doubt he would find many who share his opinion amongst those whose community is earmarked for fracking or nuclear expansion and frankly I suspect that he would change his mind if his area was nominated for one of these alternatives and its no good hiding behind the “inappropriate location” cop out – there will be people who argue that any location is inappropriate and frankly sites next to Dorchester or alongside major roads like the A352/A37/A35 don’t really have such a strong case for special dispensation as rural idylls even though they are very nice now and more importantly would still be very nice with a small number of turbines added. The other point about this is that one of the many advantages of wind turbines is that decommissioning is so easy compared especially with cleaning up after coal or nuclear and so, if better technology does come through in the next 20 years (lifetime of a turbine),then they can be removed and the land returned to a state indistinguishable from what it was before the turbines were built. He talks about our misery if turbines are not built. I feel frustration that progress is not being made but no misery. However there is already misery for many (such as those whose houses have been flood damaged for months and are now almost unsalable in Somerset or the families who have actually had people killed by extreme weather conditions) and similar misery around the corner for millions if runaway climate change kicks in and once more I come back to the opinion (albeit now backed up by more and more respected analyses) that onshore wind is the cheapest and cleanest form of low carbon electricity and an indispensable cornerstone of a mixed technology sustainable economy for the 21st Century. "

    July 11, 2014 a 10:43 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Keith, thank you for your answer but in terms of an industrial activity 12 to 18 MW is extremely small compared to a 1000MW gas or nuclear power station. On these figures you would need to have between 333 and 500 turbines or between 55 and 83 “small” windfarms to produce 1000MW which is plain daft. It must surely be better to have just one power station sited in a suitable location than that many turbines which by their very nature must be in prominent positions and upsetting and dividing that many communities?
    No, it’s not hard at all for me to understand that some people like to see these turbines; I spoken to some. Equally, you must accept that some of us think they are contraptions from hell. The point I was making in my last post is that some people will suffer misery if these things are built and it’s simply not worth it for the small output. I’m sure that the misery endured by some of the population if they are built will far exceed the misery of like minded people like you if they are not. I have no objections to living near a conventional gas or nuclear power station if it was to be appropriately sited. But I would object to one on the Slyers Lane site for the same reasons I object to the turbines; that it is not a suitable place for an industrial building.
    I have lived in Dorset for 16 years. Is that enough and how is that relevant anyway? I still care for where I live even if you don’t. "

    July 10, 2014 a 4:52 pm

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "An individual’s opinion of having to look at a turbine is subjective. It may be hard for Michael to understand but some of us in the “local population” would actually like to see turbines, even from our garden or bedroom window. We don’t consider it “desecration” or consider the landscape must remain the same. The landscape always changes over time. In Dorset it is entirely man made. Generations of farmers have been guardians of the landscape and farmers still are. I’ve noticed that objectors are usually relitavely recent residents of Dorset without a genuine connection to the land other than viewing it with picture post card eyes.
    All electricity generation is intermittent, even nuclear. What matters is how much is generated in the course of a year. 18 MW of wind turbine with 25% capacity factor amounts to around 40,000 MWh/yr which is equivalent to around 8200 West Dorset households (DECC 2011 data)Considering Dorchester has 8996 households you cannot descibe the generation from Slyers lane as “small amounts” How would you feel about a proposal to site a 1000 MW gas or nuclear power station at the Slyers lane site or anywhere else around Dorchester? How do you think anyone living near one feels. We all use electricity. We shouldn’r expect others to shoulder all the burden of the electricity into our homes that we now see as a right. "

    July 10, 2014 a 2:37 pm

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "I would like a response to this personal opinion please. I believe that however well intentioned, the misery inflicted on a large proportion of the local population by the siting of these huge turbines and the desecration of our precious countryside cannot be justified by the small amounts of intermittent electricity that they produce. The Slyers Lane proposal is for 6 turbines producing at best 12 to 18 MW in total. This compared with a conventional power station producing 1000 MW plus.
    Thanks "

    July 9, 2014 a 5:04 pm

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I would like to thank Mr Byme for his comments that have encouraged a debate on these pages and would urge others of like mind to also make their comments on this site. As a supporter of large wind turbines, I believe we need to answer in detail the concerns their detractors have. "
    July 9, 2014 a 10:19 am

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Well I do regard a relevant post graduate qualification from a well recognized UK university as giving some authority to my comments. Does Mr Byrne now propose to undermine our world renowned higher education system that brings in millions of pounds of foreign student fees and research funding as well as our emerging renewables industry? I notice in all these criticisms he doesn’t favour us with any outline of his reason to claim to be the font of all knowledge on the matter. Perhaps he would like to read the Regen SW progress report that includes the statement: “This year onshore wind has installed 23 MW and we predict with approved schemes and known sites this level of deployment could be maintained to 2020. However, the Conservative Party proposals to stop onshore wind put this at risk – and, by stopping the cheapest technology, would inevitably increase the cost of energy.” The main message is that overall the SW is doing well in comparison with other regions but failing to stay on course for the 2020 targets. Dorset is failing to do its share and the major reason for that is that it is not installing any of the cheapest form of renewable energy ie onshore wind. Thus the report contradicts at least 1 of Mr Byrne’s unsupported assertions – ie that onshore wind puts unnecessary burdens on tax payers and consumers. "
    July 9, 2014 a 10:05 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Great. 2 years experience and an expert then. "
    July 8, 2014 a 7:53 pm

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "On shore wind is one of the least subsidized forms of electricity generation on offer at the moment. The strike price, length of contracts and government funded promises on decommissioning and waste disposal mean that Hinkley Point C is much more expensive than onshore wind. We are still paying out billions for the environmental and human costs of coal mining and that’s even before we try to factor in any externalized costs to the wider environment. We have repeatedly spent huge amounts on military operations in areas affected by oil politics. None of this really matters however because climate change means that business as usual is not an option whatever the cost. We have to do something different and all the new and alternative technologies need some form of subsidy to get them off the ground. Currently onshore wind is the cheapest of them that can generate significant output and so, if you are really bothered about the poor taxpayer and the consumer in fuel poverty, you should be a strong supporter of onshore wind! By the way my claim to know what I am talking about is the fact that I have spent the last two years doing an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Engineering in which I have thus far achieved good to excellent results in every module assessment. "
    July 7, 2014 a 2:36 pm

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Vince, thanks for your explanation but at the end of the day you are not qualified nor authorised to give investment advice however well intentioned it may be and I would urge caution for any would be investor especially when these industrial monstrosities would not exist were it not for taxpayer funded subsidies. In other words taking from often poor taxpayers in heating poverty to further the wealth of people who can afford investments. Surely its bad enough to feed the greed of the landowners and developers without trying to spread the greed to others. "
    July 6, 2014 a 6:33 pm

  • vince Adams comments:
    "I read a comment from Michael Byrne asking what my qualifications were for me to be able to comment on the investment opportunities that can happen with the Slyer’s Lane Wind Turbine project.
    First I do not profess to be a financial expert but have had 40 years creating and running a highly successful Company.
    Second this gives me a background where I can see an opportunity to both benefit and do good and I think more people should begin to explore the facts.
    Three I have become Chairman of an Industrial Provident Society in the Blackmore Vale where we hope to benefit local people and create solar, hydro and even Wind Turbine projects for local communities and the environment. This has done a great deal to increase my knowledge and opened my eyes to how we can tackle some of the problems of the environment, energy costs for us all, pollution and drive forward new technology for the benefit of all.
    Finally I am only doing my best to point out the opportunities and it inherent for anyone wishing to go further to carefully understand the offer and make their own final decisions.
    I really hope that my points help Michael to understand my position and we want people with all the professional expertise and disciplines to join us and improve everything we do. "

    June 21, 2014 a 8:26 am

  • Michael Byrne comments:
    "Is Vince Adams authorised by the Financial Services Authority to comment on the “long term advantages over leaving money in bank accounts”? "
    June 18, 2014 a 8:52 am


Lets Get Energized says:
Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm – News

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,

Broadview Energy’s proposed Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm – News

During the coming weeks Broadview are organising meetings in and around Charminster to help all local people understand the issues and opportunities associated with the proposed project.

23rd June at 5.30pm at Herrison Hall, Charlton Down discussing the plans for community benefits and finding residents who are interested in owning a stake in the Wind Farm.

7th July again at Herrison Hall to discuss the matter of TV reception and signals with independent experts talking through what steps they are taking to insure that this will not effect local residents.

25th July at Herrison Hall discussing the planning process and how everyone in the area can get involved.

The meetings offer a wonderful opportunity for discussion and gaining a real understanding of the issues and advantages for the wider community.

Time for all to replace myth with facts and taking power of our future.


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike fun in the sun

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

Ebike fun in the sun

Well I attended the Hazelbury Bryan cycling day organised by Keith Wheaton-Green`s son Myles and friends, Jeremy & Luke – as publicised here previously (see blog post just below)

I went along to assist and take part – cycling from my home in Milton Abbas on my Mojo (aka Bafang/8Fun) Mid-drive motor equipped mountain bike. The ride over was accomplished in good time – the electric motor taking most of the strain out of the steep hills on the way.

On arrival at Hazelbury Bryan I accompanied Keith as he brought down the ebike (loaned for the event by the Dorset Ebike Centre) to the Antelope Inn which was the centre of operations – and a very welcoming place it proved to be.

The event started slowly, but there was a lot of interest and discussion about ebikes – even my own was attracting some interest. Gradually the day began to take shape – a few people turning up to take a turn or two around the circuit on their bicycles. And I and Keith and some of those doing the cycle to Spain also began to do some circuits – Keith was using the time to put in some practice miles as were Jeremy & Luke.

After doing a few circuits I asked Luke`s father, a keen motorcyclist, if he`d like to try out my electric mountain bike (I`d been describing how it was converted to electric and he had become interested). Well he took up the offer and came back from the ride with the “ebike smile” – they have that effect. As the day progressed every now and then I`d notice my bike wasn`t there – and it was out being ridden by the new “convert” It had made.

Sometime after 3.00pm the band “Not Made in China” began to play – the Antelope`s landlord had kindly allowed them to set-up on the decking in the pub garden. And a rather good sound they made (using the amps & p.a. equipment provided by the band #Hashtag who played some good tunes after them).

After their set several of the “Not Made in China`s” took an interest in the Batribike (electric bike) that the Dorset Ebike Centre had lent. Initially a bit sceptical – as people so often are – one then another took the Batribike out for a circuit. Once the ground began to rise and the motor was engaged – light dawned and the point of the electric was realised & fun was had.

Batribike - Diamond

Batribike – Diamond

That`s the way it is with ebikes – once tried, most people realise why we ride electrified. Not everyone of course – but you have to try one (or two, or . . . . ) to really know.

The upshot is one of “Not Made in China” quite possibly asking me to fit an ebike kit to his bike and another quite seriously thinking of buying a ready made one – and maybe more to follow (though not necessarily from the band).

So from an Ebike point of view the day went well – but also the two supported charities Help for Heroes, & Canine Partners (who were well represented on the day) hopefully managed to raise much need funds during the event and hopefully more donations will follow (via the event website) when the cycle to Spain gets underway on the 8th June.

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • John Thraves comments:
    "Please contact, I have an ICE Sprint with a Mojo fitted by Tony Castles, photos available, plus two other trikes with Bionx fittings, I live in Wareham and am an amputee. John Thraves. "
    June 11, 2014 a 3:03 pm

Lets Get Energized with Renewable Energy!

Lets Get Energized is your online guide to renewable energy and sustainable living with the latest news, views and tips plus exclusive special offers to help you save energy and money, beat rising energy prices, combat climate change and be more self sufficient – right now, and for your future...




*This competition is now closed but you can still enter for the chance to win future competitions!

No Thanks - Hide This Pop-up