Archive for Green Energy

Zero Carbon Homes with SSE

Check out this time lapse video of SSE’s project of zero carbon homes they have built in the South of England.  Staff were afforded the opportunity to live in these homes at a lower cost than regular living arrangements for a year and could live within a completely zero-carbon free home.

What do you think about these types of homes?  Do you see them becoming more popular than homes as they are now?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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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.

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Isle of Wight to be the future of renewable energy…

The UK’s largest ever renewable energy project got underway last week with the creation of the Ecoisland consortium. The consortium is made up of leading green energy company ITM Power and a number of international powerhouses including: Toshiba, SSE, Southern Water, Cable & Wireless Worldwide and IBM.

The group intend to use ‘smart technology’ to create a renewable energy system on the Isle of Wight, the idea is to show how energy systems will be in the future.

ITM Power are supplying hydrogen production and refuelling equipment that will be connected to renewable energy systems: wind, solar, tidal and geothermal. The technology will be used to refuel hydrogen adapted vehicles.

David Green the Ecoisland founder has said “The collection of technologies that we are bringing together on Ecoisland will provide the total energy solution for tomorrow’s world.”

I think it is another great project for the UK and shows that we are still at the forefront of the renewable energy race.

Do you have any thoughts? Could this kind of money and resources be better spent in the current climate?

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renewable energy

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Energy companies on Twitter

Now that internet technology everywhere because of smartphones, it means that the way we interact with the people in our lives in a much more sophisticated way than we used to – prior to smartphones,  texts replaced phone calls in a lot of instances – why call to say you’ll be late when you can text, for instance – and now there are newer platforms for human interaction such as Twitter – I even had a colleague once post on Twitter that his train was delayed so he’d be in the office later than usual – it’s an instant and (reasonably) reliable form of communication.

Lately a lot of companies have started using Twitter to interact with customers – some of the time it’s used by firms as purely a promotional device, whereas others use it for more customer care/ customer services type of communications. I’ve even used Twitter myself once – to ask the cable TV company something about the T&Cs on their contracts – got an answer immediately and all was good.

Lately I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of energy companies on Twitter, not just in the UK but around the world. As a Twitter user I think this is useful because due to the way Twitter works, all I’ll recieve in my news feed is what the info the compnay is putting out there for everybody – but at the same time they can communicate with people individually e.g. if there’s an issue with a meter reading or whatever. So, Mrs X of Swansea can contact the company and they can answer her, but the only thing my Twitter will show is that there’s a promotion happening or some energy news.

Twitter – do you think it’s going to play a part in green energy?

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Nuclear energy after Fukushima

As the world’s eyes focus on Japan for developments in the Fukishima story, many media outlets in the west are beginning to discuss nuclear power in slightly more questioning terms than previously.

Nuclear was, at the time of its beginning as a UK fuel source, seen as the future in entirety: a fuel source that would soon be ‘too cheap to meter’. Then of course various nuclear accidents happened: Windscale (which led to the Sellafield re-branding), Three Mile Island, Chernobyl.

At the time of writing, the Fukushima Daiichi incidents have actually had an effect on the stock market. What this means for the nuclear industry is too early to say, but my guess would be that in future any new generation of power stations would have to be more or less meltproof – for two reasons: the first reason is that the ecology simply cannot be subjected to another catastrophe of this kind. The second is that investors will likely see less value in nuclear after Fukushima.

But energy industries are changing massively – and with the Chinese economy growing exponentially, energy will still have to come from somewhere. There’s been talk of making electricity using thorium (abundant, cheaper, safer) so who know where we will be even in ten years’ time.

For the moment though, nuclear can’t just be wound down, decommissioned, forgotten about. Strong opinions are held, and there will be heated debate and loud controversy. Renewables might previously have been seen as some kind of an ‘alternative lifestyle’ (beard and sandals) option. Not no more…











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Renewable electricity island

While we’ll all benefit from renewables in the long term, there are likely going to be communities who could benefit just a wee bit more – and proposals for a marine energy facility on the Isle of Wight could mean that they are just one such place.

A report in Business Green online states that the island could be entirely powered by its own renewable marine energy, and become a major producer.

One area of the UK I’m expecting big things from in this area is Shetland – gotta be wind aplenty needing harvested.

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Green power news.

First, a story about China’s Vice Premier, Scotland and clean energy. In a £6.4million deal, Scottish expertise will be used in manufacturing equipment for power generation in China.

The green energy scene hasn’t all been good news this week, however, with the report that wind turbine manufacturer Skykon has gone into administration.

But on a (very) positive note, it looks like the EU may exceed renewables targets by 2020. And that’s only nine years away.

And of course by 2020 there’s a good chance that the electric car will have begun to supercede its combustion engine relation, so it’s good news for everyone that the EU is on course to exceed targets.

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Snow and power use

With all the heavy snow going on right now and over the past week or so, it makes you wonder what the effect is on energy use patterns.

If you work from home, for instance, is it easier on the environment than if you go into an office? Because if you do work from home the office will still be heated to the same level, so no savings there. There would of course be savings on travel fuel, but again, if you stay home they still run the train using the same amount of electricity (or diesel).

A bit of telecommuting is probably a good idea now and then, a chance to get your work done without the stress of the rush hour and all that. But having the majority of workers going to the office every day might actually be the more greenomical option.

But if this snow doesn’t stop, it could make telecommuters of us all.

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Sunshine on Brum

With Ian Marchant, head of Scottish energy supplier SSE welcoming the new upped target for renewables (80% by 2020) for Scotland, it’s been a time of good news for the renewables sector.

This week I doubt there’ll be anything to top that but already there are good news stories appearing, not least the one in the Guardian reporting that 10,000 local authority houses will be fitted with solar panels. The scheme, costing £100million, is a might commitment to renewables from Birmingham. Let’s hope the sun shines for them.

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Green Jedi

Great post over at Enviralment entitled “5 Lessons On Going Green From Jedi Master Yoda” – which, as you’ve probbaly guessed, is a few Yoda axioms applied to green living. Great stuff – have a read.

“A powerfull ally it is, its energy surrounds us, binds

us, luminous being we are, not this crude matter”

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