Archive for energy

Burning Trees to Produce Electric “Worse Than Coal”

In a plan to cut carbon emissions power stations around the UK are being encouraged to burn wood in order to cut carbon omissions.  The UK Government argue that burning “biomass” is a carbon neutral process and will offer subsidies to stations which start using wood to produce power instead of coal.

One of the country’s largest coal fired stations, Drax, is aiming to replace half of its coal energy output and replace with biomass.  Eggborough, in North Yorkshire, plans to replace all its coal with wood burning energy production.

The amount of biomass that has been burned for electricity production has doubled in capacity in the last 12 months to approximately 3 million tons and it is thought that this will increase to near enough ten times that amount by 2017.  This means that most of the wood that will be burned for energy in this country will be imported from abroad; already half of current biomass stocks are imported.

However a report from the RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace declares that the amount of carbon that is produced when burning wood is higher than that of coal per unit of electricity.  The reason for this is due to the fact that newly cut wood is wet and bulky which means that carbon has already produced through transportation to the power stations as they source wood from as far away as New Zealand as well as having to dry the wood out.

Also as wood, in weight, is half water so the amount of wood required is far more than you would need to produce the same amount of energy with coal.  Even when the trees are replanted the amount of time it would take to offset the amount of carbon already produced is too great to make a difference.

More information can be found on the RSPB website.

So what do you think about biomass energy production?  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment

Energy saving tips…

Ok so this may be a little early but it’s definitely best  to make these changes before the real cold kicks in. The plan is, the more money we can save by being energy efficient the more partying we’ll be able to do when the festive holidays kick in.

So in light of this idea we have created a great little guide for you that will help you save money in all the right places.

The most important thing to remember throughout the cold period is to keep warm!

So……

–          Layer up

Rather than crank up the central heating try putting on an extra layer of clothes. In fat you are actually better with lots of thinner layers as opposed to one big thick layer. Depending on how far you want to take the money saving you could also try keeping blankets out for snuggling into when you’re sitting watching TV.

–          Hot water bottles

These are as old as time and yet they’re still a great investment. The trick is to make sure you use them right. Personally I like to put it in my bed about 15 minutes before I go, and it makes things lovely and warm.

–          Timers for everything

Timers are a great way to save money as they allow you set things to only come on at certain times. So for instance rather than leave the heating on all day just so it’s warm for you coming home, you would set your timer to turn the heating on an hour before you get home and an hour before you get up in the morning.

–          The Thermostat

A well known fact is that you can save as much as 10 percent on your heating bills by turning the thermostat down by as much as 1°C. Overall though you want to keep the thermostat between 18°C and 21°C.

Leave a Comment

The History of Energy

This is a great infographic I found from the Discovery Channel on the history of energy and it’s use throughout Europe. You can click the image to head to the original source of the infogrpahic

The History of Energy

Leave a Comment

Renewable energy – The missing link

This is a great video from those clever people at Ted.com, the speaker is David Sadoway who has been looking into what type of battery can be used to store renewable energy so that we can still make use of it even when the suns not out and the winds not blowing.

The video is a great insight into the potential future of renewable energy and is a great argument boost towards the realisation of renewable energy as a sustainable source of power for the future.

Possibly the most inspiring part of the talk is David’s willingness to think about these problems from a different perspective his philosophy is “We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap.”

 

Leave a Comment

Denmark offer renewable energy insight for other nations

Denmark has long been one of Europe’s leading renewable energy adopters and they have managed to maintain a steady pace with regards to increasing the amount of energy they produce from renewable sources.
Now the Danes are offering their renewable energy model for other nations to copy and help generate their own renewable energy supply. At the moment around 28% of Danish energy comes from renewables but they are aiming high and want to see 50% by 2020 and as much as 100% by 2050.

Leave a Comment

Is the UK puffed out with renewable energy?

The guardian has started a three part piece on the future of renewable energy, or more accurately wind farms in the UK. This appears to have stemmed from the growing concerns regarding the cost and sight of the turbines up and down the country.

A recent report from the ENSG (Electricity Networks Strategy Group), who are seen as being the most current view from inside government, Ofgem and other key industry investors have estimated that 28.3GW of wind power (offshore and onshore combined) could have been built by 2020. This has now fallen by 4GW in only two years, and another 1GW is already scheduled to be removed from the current forecast.

This paints a worrying picture for what was a booming industry one of the largest issues aside from complaints about the aesthetics is that the cost to link the new energy sources up to the current energy distribution network has almost doubled in price up from £4.7bn to £8.8bn.

The cost is mainly to create two new underwater pipelines connecting renewable energy from the Scottish Islands to England and North Wales.

Personally I think it will be interesting to see how the previously well catered for pro-renewable groups react to these latest cuts. Part of the problem for most Britons is that they need their gas and electricity to be cheap but at the moment the renewable subsidies only seem to be adding to the bills. Whilst it is for the right reasons a lot of people in Britain can’t afford to support it just now and when nuclear is knocking on the door as a cheap and reliable alternative it only makes things harder.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts or insight?

Comments (2)

Save energy at home….How to make savings this winter.

Given the recent energy price hikes and the concerns that this years winter may be as cold and harsh as last year it seems like everyone is concerned about the potential costs of keeping their homes warm this winter.

Now the last thing we want is for people to be worrying/freezin throughout the ‘season to be jolly’ so when we came across this great segment from the National Wildlife Federation on ‘How to save energy in your home’ we felt it was well worth sharing.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »