Posts Tagged ‘renewable technology’


Theresa McManus says:
Electric cars not green if coal used to generate energy

Category: Electric Transport
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The BBC reported last week that a study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology study found that greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal is used to produce the electricity.

For me this is not really news – anything we do using electricity is bad news if that electricity was generated using fossil fuels. I think this just emphasises the need for a rapid transition away from fossils fuels in electricity production. Maybe as local authorities and others start rolling out electric vehicle charging points, renewable generation can be co-located ?

One key message which is currently underplayed is that to achieve this switch away from fossil fuels in anything like an appropriate timeframe, not only do we need to increase investment in renewables but we also need to focus on reducing our energy demand.

See for details of the article.

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Ian Howard comments:
    "The benefit of electric cars is that it will reduce pollution in towns and cities. However if the electricity to recharge them is the increased use of coal fired power stations then all we are doing is moving the problem. Which then leads me to ask the question how green are they? "
    October 8, 2012 a 2:01 pm

  • Nathan Shaw comments:
    "As David Mackay states in his book ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’: Using grid electricity for electric cars produces emissions equivalent to fossil fuel cars. So, why not change? Its no worse for the environment and the greater strain on our grid will be a catalyst for investment in renewable energy. Then, renewables will be seen as ‘heroes’ for saving the car and the world will quickly embrace them – or maybe im getting carried away! "
    October 8, 2012 a 11:15 am


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Buildings & electric cars to be charged by moonlight

Category: Electric Transport, Solar Energy
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One complaint about solar power sometimes raised, is how unattractive solar energy installations appear. They so often, some say, do little to enhance the appearance of buildings or indeed the landscape.

Well from Germany comes a new design by architect André Broessel for a beautifully-striking spherical glass solar energy generator that could revolutionise the appearance of electric vehicle recharging posts! It’s for producing either solar electric power, or hot water from solar heat and looks very different from what we are used to. It utilises the focusing power of a sphere – in the same manner a drop of water can focus the sun’s light – to produce useful energy. It is claimed by the inventor to be up to 35% more efficient than existing designs and could conceivably (it is claimed) produce electricity from the light of the moon as well as the sun.

An extraordinary possibility and one offering the chance of making solar power more viable and cost effective – and to my eyes at least larger versions might well enhance the landscape or a cityscape, while a smaller installation could bring something interesting to a garden or roof.

The new design is in its early stages as yet, so currently no pricing is available to compare with standard types of solar power installations, but it just goes to show that there is much more to come in the developing world of alternative energy technology.

Check out more information on the spherical glass solar energy generator: 

Check out Rawlemon’s B.torics system which is also being developed, to offer fully integrated building solutions with efficient solar energy generation (as pictured above):


Vince Adams says:
Dorset Energized at the Sturminster Newton Show Saturday 23rd June

Category: Energy Events in Dorset
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Come and say hi to the Dorset Energized team at the Sturminster Newton Show, where we’ll have our Nissan LEAF, solar panels, heat pumps, and will be running a questionnaire to assess the local feelings and requirements of Renewable Energy.

Sturminster Newton Show
Saturday 23rd June 2012, 10am – 6pm
Sturminster Newton Recreation Ground, Ricketts Lane 

This is a great family day out with vintage cars and vehicles.
Displays by Stur Steppers Sturminster Newton Majorettes, Zumba, Dog Agility, High School Samba Band and many more. Craft stalls, Refreshments and Beer…
There’s also a tent and plenty to entertain the children!

Entrance: £2 adults; 50p children

We hope to see you there!


Beverley Satchell says:
Nissan LEAF coming to Gillingham & Shaftesbury Showground 17th June

Category: Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset
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FJ Chalke have had a great couple of trips over the last couple of weeks showcasing the 100% electric Nissan LEAF.

Shane and I had a very successful trip to Jersey and are planning another trip there at the end of the month because we have had so much interest in the Nissal LEAF and test drives booked. We have been working closely with Jersey Electricity, and we shared our pitch with them as they themselves have a Nissan LEAF that we supplied to them! They have had so much response since we left the island it has been unbelievable.

We also had a great time at the Bath & West Show and met up with Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis who signed another 6 month lease with us on his Nissan LEAF!

Don’t miss us at our next event right here in Dorset…

Sunday 17th June 2012 (12pm – 9pm)
Rotary Club of Gillingham, Gillingham & Shaftesbury Showground
The 1st Annual Showground Shindig Father’s Day Music & Ale Festival

Main Stage Programme:

12.00 Bell Street Jazz
1.05 Dave Harrington’s Bullet Band
2.10 Mustang Sally
3.10 Tom Clements
4.15 The Vibe
5.20 StopGoSixty
6.40 Average Wage Band
8.00 Moveable Feast

Pre Show Tickets are available up to 15th June at cheaper prices than on the day!
Adults: £12
6-17 years old: £6

On the day/gate the price will be
Adults: £14
6-17 years old: £7

Children under 6 years old will be free.

Its going to be a great day and we’d love to see you at our stand to answer all your questions about the Nissan LEAF.

For more information visit

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Beverley Satchell comments:
    "The ‘Fathers day Shindig’ at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury showground was a great success. We provided demos in the Nissan LEAF so people got to experience first hand how fun it is to drive. It gave people that shock factor and that was what the demos were all about! People were left amazed. Even if these people were not serious Nissan LEAF buyers, their experience has left them with stories they can pass on to friends and family, and we hope this will stir interest in future test drivers. "
    June 27, 2012 a 9:29 am


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Is this your brain?! The psychological barriers to engaging with energy use

Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , , ,

Image from the Green Alliance Report



The Green Alliance recently announced a new report Neither sermons nor silence: the case for national communications on energy which shows why the government’s current plan to rely on multiple, dispersed communications for energy schemes are unlikely to secure the take up and interest needed, putting the policies at risk of failure.

The report looks at lessons from other high profile campaigns like the recent digital switchover and Change4Life. They clearly show the importance of a government-backed, national level brand and communications strategy to support policy delivery. Public take up of government energy schemes has been relatively low up until now, even when measures are heavily subsidised or even free. Overcoming this requires communications to build a strong brand which will enable trusted messengers to communicate and have the power to change social norms. As we head into the roll-out of a number of new schemes, they set out a clear case for getting the communications right if they are to be a success.

To put it simply – members of the public like you and me just aren’t investing in renewable energy or in becoming more energy efficient, even though we know that it is critical to sustain our planet, but we just don’t want to accept that we have a part to play, or believe that our individual or household actions can actually make a difference, or we think we simply can’t afford it. ( ‘Salience’ in the diagram apparently means ‘Importance/Priority’ but I had to look that up!).

I couldn’t help but be drawn straight to the diagram above from the report (cutting out all the blurb!) and I thought I should share it with you so you can see if you identify with it, and to hear your thoughts on how Dorset Energized can help you overcome some of these perceived ‘barriers’ to engaging with energy.

Check out the Green Alliance Blog for more details on and more importantly please let us know your comments and ideas on how we can help get Dorset Energized!

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "The case for Nuclear is far from understood and yet it is being thrust fast forward under the radar by our politicians.
    The latest facts to emerge are that we will have to subsidise the French Energy Companies to build our new plants at very high costs to the consumer long-term.
    The Germans have pulled out and renewable energy will suffer from lack of investment.
    So the real debate is do we really want Nuclear,costly in both money and environmental terms or like the Germans,Danes and many others focus real effort,investment and attention on renewable.
    What do the majority of people want now and for the future generations who come after us ? I leave you to judge and make up your own minds. "

    June 11, 2012 a 9:47 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "This is an amazing report and so true of us all.
    How can we publicise the report so that we all read, admit its true and then do something about it. What I hope is that Dorsetenergized can help you to do something about it with simple steps forward. Just by reading this blog, subscribing to the campaign you become better informed for the moment when you can speak up for RE, get involved personally etc "

    June 11, 2012 a 9:37 am


Lets Get Energized says:
Blandford Forum Parish Centre Incorporates Renewable Energy Systems

Category: Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps
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The Blandford Forum Parochial Church was redesigned as a Community Centre to have a low environmental/carbon footprint. It incorporates renewable energy systems (ground source heat pump and solar collectors), environmentally friendly building materials and low energy/water consumption features. Intention is to showcase best practice to encourage others to incorporate these features into new build/refurbishments projects.

Nature of Project
The much loved, much used Victorian pre-fabricated Church Hall which served the community of Blandford for over 100 years became disused, dilapidated and beyond economic repair. The Hall Steering Group (HSG) gained planning permission to replace the existing structure with a new, purpose built, environmentally friendly facility which would be available 7 days a week throughout the year for the community to use. No such facility existed in Blandford.

The Blandford Forum Parochial Church Council (BFPCC) and HSG were very keen to ensure that the new building should have as low an environmental/carbon footprint as possible. The building was specifically designed to reduce its environmental impact in terms of its construction and operation and will demonstrate to the local and wider community what can be achieved in terms of sustainable construction.

The building is constructed using structured insulated panels, triple glazed widows and double glazed doors with low emissivity glass. This makes the building very thermally efficient thus making it ideal to heat with low grade heat from the ground which is heated by the sun. Space and water heating requirements are provided by a ground source heat pump and solar hot water collectors. The building also has energy efficient lighting, waterless urinals and no-touch, low water consumption taps and toilet flushing. The exterior timber cladding, windows and doors were sourced from FSC certified forests whilst environmentally friendly Bamboo and Altro were specified for the flooring. We also used local tradesman and specialists on the project, John Turnbull Architect, Jack Wiles Quantity Surveyor, RB Snook Building Contractors, Microgeneration – ground source heat pump, Rayotech Solar Shading, Build It Green – wall panels, Bullivents – beam and block floor, Fusion Electrics.

There were no known examples of green church/community halls in the local area. Our intention was to promote the project widely as a case study to encourage the further take up of best environmental practice by others involved in the construction and renovation of community buildings/church halls, churches, church maintained schools and other community and church associated buildings throughout the country. We also hope to encourage those using these buildings to take action to improve their environment and to consider incorporating these features into their own homes and businesses.

Members of the HSG researched what had been done elsewhere to make buildings more environmentally friendly/sustainable. A checklist was produced which the group worked through to see what could be incorporated into the new building within the constraints of the budget and with the site itself. For example, rainwater harvesting was ruled out because of extensive tree roots from listed trees; the shade from these trees also ruled out the use of photovoltaic panels.

Some of the “green technology” was unfamiliar to the group e.g. the ground source heat pump. However, they showed great faith and, despite a few technical glitches with commissioning, are pleased with the results. We think it is fair to say that by stipulating a list of “green requirements” for the building, all those involved with the building e.g. architect, quantity surveyor, builders, tradesmen have all gained from the experience of seeing them being successfully incorporated into this sort of building project.

Community Involvement
They consulted widely with the community and existing/potential user groups to ensure that the building was designed to meet their current and future needs. They received many expressions of interest from numerous children and youth groups, community groups such as The University of the Third Age, The Civic Society, Playgroups, and public bodies such the Environmental Agency and the Town and District Councils. Indeed Local businesses and community groups were particularly interested in holding their meetings and training events in such an environmentally friendly venue which would in turn help them to cut their own carbon footprint.

For more information visit

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21:

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