Posts Tagged energy

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

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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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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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>> Everything’s Going Green – slowly but surely >>

In terms of renewables, it looks like the UK is surely moving in the right direction. While government policy on renewables hasn’t (so far, at least) been exactly what you’d call ‘radical’, there have been some encouraging signs that the main parties are united in their commitment to getting the country where it needs to be, or to the starting line, at least. The UK electorate (as if anyone needs reminding) even returned a Green member of parliament for one of its constituencies way back last month (how long ago the general election seems now…!)

And while much good work has been done, there are always reminders around us that there is still the majority of the progress yet to be made. So it was with mixed emotions that I read the latest findings by Cambridge Econometrics, who have forecast that renewables will account for seven percent of elecricity sales to final users by the end of 2010.  While this is a move in the right direction, it actually falls pretty far short of the ten percent target. Assuming that certain economic conditions are as expected, the figure is predicted to rise to 11 percent by 2015 – but since the 2015 target is fifteen percent, we will still be wide of the target.

There is always a good news/ bad news element to this type of forecast, and this one’s no exception. The good news? Carbon emissions are predicted to continue fallling. The bad news? They’re going to fall only by a fraction of a single percent, and even only then because of changes to coal-fired power station equipment. The obverse of the good news v. bad news scenario is the bad news v. good news one – and so it has been predicted that the knock-on effects from the economic downturn of 2008 will provide a significant drop in CO2 emissions, rendering the figure lower than initial projections. And the UK will as a result be likely to meet its Kyoto target without much difficulty.

UK Green Energy policy - going in the right direction.

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Tendering for Energy in the UK

UK Tender Negotiating Issues

Energy Tendering Process

Energy Tendering Process

Over the last couple of years the dramatic inflation of wholesale UK energy prices is making businesses re-evaluate their latest procurement arrangements. With the uncertainty in the global market and economy the energy companies are taking a step into the unknown in regards to gauging future gas and electricity tendering energy procurement contracts.

The market:

It has been widely reported that more than halve of all energy companies are paying over the odds for their utilities due to many reasons, One of the major scenarios of this is because there is no certainty about costs, contracts and price formatting from major suppliers. Another reason as to why various businesses are paying over the odds is due to the confusion of supply contracts being terminated. This results in companies having to pay excessive charges.

Once again companies will have to rely on the government to clarify what’s what when it comes to negotiating energy supplies into the UK from foreign countries.

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Ecotricity Award


Europe’s largest ever green electricity business “Ecotricity” has won a well deserved environmental achievement award.  The company set up in 1996 in Gloucestershire founded the green electricity market. Firstly set up to provide market places with environmental friendly electricity by Dale Vince.

Later on in 2009 Ecotricity will be rolled out to domestic customers who can join in on the environmentally friendly energy with some such company’s such as Thames Water, The Millennium Dome and The co-Operative bank.

In the last four years Ecotricity has went from a turnover of around £13000 to £50,000,000, most people are led to believe that many green electricity products and services are more costly and in many cases they are, but here at Ecotricity we succeed in challenging this issue.

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Five Green Energy Stories of 2009 – so far

We can’t quite believe it but it is actually mid-April. Therefore, with one-quarter of the year gone we thought that it would be interesting to compile our top 5 green energy related stories of 2009 so far. It has definitely been an eventful start to the year, the majority of energy news is understanably resonating from the new US administration and the continuing global economic situation. These combined events have seen some of the biggest institutions in the world begin to adapt their policies and practice in order to fall in line with the green revolution. Anyway, here are five of our top green stories of Q1 2009.

  • The Pentagon turns green! – Not exactly renowned for making either cost or energy efficiciency savings, the news that the US Defence HQ was installing 4,200 LED lights in Wedge 5 of the labyrinthyne building is a strong indication of the level of green agenda penetration. The new lights use 22 percent less power than the fluorescent bulbs replace, which will pay back their extra expense in 4 years.
Green Pentagon

Green Pentagon

  • Oil giant Shell drops green investments – You know that an economy is in trouble when giants such as Shell stop investing in anything – sadly, in this case it is their green energy initiatives which have bourne the brunt of cost-saving.


President Obama - early green initiatives

President Obama - early green initiatives

  • China orders Governments to focus on Green Energy – The importance of China grabbing the green initiative shouldn’t be underestimated. The country which houses 20% of the world’s population can have a huge impact on the environment of planet earth.
China - going green

China - going green

  • We have saved the Ozone Layer – is this right!? – For years the central message of the CO2 emission reductiuon policies has been to ‘save the Ozone Layer’ – well, according to the latest research we have actually managed to do it. Is this right, it all seems a bit improbable.

Thats our five top green stories of 2009 so far – what would be your choices?

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Alternative Energy Investments

alternative energyWith the alternative energy industry now reaching an annual turnover over of $9.2 billion pounds it is pretty easy to understand why the modern day investers are filling up their portfolios with energy stock investments. The long term growth of these investments is pretty good looking as we sail in to the 21 century.
It is true to say that if you where to invest in a new start-up green electricity company you could be investing in the Apple Mac or Google of our generation in terms of return in investment, people are getting fed up with rising fuel costs and by investing in these new alternative energy sources you would be acting as a market maker for the people who want to be receiving more green electricity and paying less on their energy bills.

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Debunking Green Power Myths

Ten Technologies to Save the Planet‘ author Chris Goodall posted an excellent article in his Guardian Blog last week. Titled ‘The 10 big energy myths‘, Goodall tackles each ‘myth’ with his usual degree of insight and provides compelling reasons to debunk each. The ten myths that he focussed on are:

  1. Solar power is too expensive to be of much use
  2. Wind power is too unreliable
  3. Marine energy is a dead-end
  4. Nuclear power is cheaper than other low-carbon sources of electricity
  5. Electric cars are slow and ugly
  6. Biofuels are always destructive to the environment
  7. Climate change means we need more organic agriculture
  8. Zero carbon homes are the best way of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
  9. The most efficient power stations are big
  10. All proposed solutions to climate change need to be hi-tech

The article is a very refreshing read. It is great to have someone as eloquent as Goodall fighting for the green energy cause. Enjoy.

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UK Government creates new Energy and Climate Change Department

A desperate bid to win green votes or a pioneering move to tackle climate change?

In the latest Cabinet Reshuffle Gordon Brown has created a new Energy and Climate Change Department, to be headed up by Ed Milliband. This has to be seen as a positive move, as the previous line of climate change responsilbility was always rather conveniently blurred between DEFRA and BEER. Now there can be no doubt as to where blame will be apportioned if the green energy message doesn’t begin to make a significant impression. At the very least we can look forward to a slew of new energy initiatives and announcements over the coming weeks. We will be watching with interest.

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