Green News

IPCC wants change but do you?

Posted on April 13th, 2014 in Green News by JP No Comments

The IPCC has finally released the news that we all expected, we are helping climate change along quite nicely and it’s about time we did something about it.  For many people this would not come as a surprise but they are still many who will not give in to the scientific evidence and still stand up and say it’s all ‘rubbish’ and the scientists are blowing hot air.. Yes puns intended!

A favourite is the ability of many people to cherry pick information to base their reasons on but it is normally quashed quite quick by many others.  You can expect that the people who deny climate change will never be convinced about climate change.

So what now?

The IPCC wants countries to start using more renewable energy which I’m sure that many people in the UK would be willing to, however, as always, money is the factor which stops everyone.  Solar panels are the obvious choice for many people but prices are still high and the feed in tariff has been dropping in price each year making the who FIT scheme a lot less appealing.

The cost of solar panels is dropping though and fast with the average price coming in at around £6,000 now meaning that you can get your money back in 6 to 7 years and with many money saving tips and idea’s you may even make it back quicker.  Perhaps with the IPCC producing the latest report wanting to push countries and governments in to using more renewable energy the UK may start investing in more technology, research and incentives to get the UK on track to reduce the CO2 emissions.

Durham Council to install solar panels

Posted on August 28th, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments
Durham City
Durham City

Durham Council are looking to make a large investment in Solar Panel this year bu spending £6 million on there solar scheme.

The Council are planning on installing the solar panels on 5 buildings they own in the Durham area.  They have already applied for planning permission which they should find out whether the bid is successful around September.

Like many local councils they are trying to reduce the the carbon emissions for the area and of course in the long term the solar panels will hopefully start giving the council a profit.

The £6 million loan will be paid back at a massive £466,000 a year but they are hoping (and I presume estimated) that with the feed in tariff they should make back £700,000 a year.  This means not only will the panels pay for themselves each month but it will also give the council a nice profit.

There is no doubt that a investment in the area of this much money and solar power will drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the Durham area.  Hopefully other councils will take advantage of the feed-in tariff before the government change the pricing and time structure to the current tariff.

NPower have increased prices

Posted on August 16th, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments

NPower have followed the pack and increased their gas and electric prices its been reported.  NPower are increasing their prices by 15.7% on gas and 7.2% on electric.

The owners of NPower are blaming the price increase on the fact they have to buy from the global wholesale market and the prices are in flux.

What is odd is NPower reported a increase in half year profits so why the increase for the customers?

Now that all the main companies have increase prices it means all most everyone will be paying a lot more each year towards their bills, so what can we do?

In truth there is very little we can all do other than finding ways to reduce our bills ourselves.  This will mean making sure houses have double glazing, insulation whether its in the roof or walls and doing other small things which I’ve been describing on this site.

Regardless on what we do it does mean we have to spend more in order to reduce bills in the long run which does seem unfair seeing as these companies are showing some very large profits.


More price rises on electric and gas

Posted on August 7th, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments

As it seems to be a growing trend amongst electric / gas companies it seems that just about all of them have put up the price of energy this year.

E.On is the latest company to raise their prices and it’s not really a little jump with gas going up 18% and electricity 11% in September.  E.On are just another company in a long list that keep putting up the price of Gas and Electricity.  Amongst the other companies are NPower, British Gas and Scottish power to name but a few.

All companies are, at the moment blaming the rise in wholesale energy prices.

What I find odd is most of the larger gas / electric companies are investing plenty of money in renewable energy, of course the money they are spending will need to be ‘recouped’ but surely if these companies are making all this extra electric via solar energy / wind power then how come our prices are rising at a alarming rate?

It is estimated that with all the price raises this year it will cost a UK household 10% of the income if not more.  There are a few websites claiming now to offer advice on how to cut down your bills but there is only one showing you real tests and experiments on how to save money.  Be sure to share, like and tell your friends about and hopefully we can all save a little money.

Aberdeen may get a new wind farm

Posted on August 6th, 2011 in Green News, Wind Power by JP No Comments

The Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group have applied to build a new generation wind farm off the cost of Aberdeen.  The new generation wind turbines will be there as a ‘tester’ but will provide some much needed jobs for the area.

However, there is always someone complaining but this time it’s Donald Trump.  Trump owns a golf club in the area and is complaining that having some wind turbines placed in the proposed location off the cost of Aberdeen will make his golf course have unattractive views to the paying customer.

Just about every time a company proposes a new location for a wind farm someone complains, the two most popular being how it will spoil the view and the noise.

Off shore wind farms were supposed to be the answer although it did have people complaining about it upsetting the natural balance in the ocean.

I’m actually starting to feel sorry for companies trying to build wind farms as it seems no matter where the proposed site is someone starts complaining.  Having wind farms around the UK coast lines is creating job and being green, renewable energy to the UK which is something we all should be doing and should care about but it seems that many are more interested in a nice view.

Wind Turbines Good or Bad

Posted on August 1st, 2011 in Green News, Wind Power by JP No Comments

Every other day you read in the news that new ‘wind farms’ are appearing around the UK whether it is on land or out at sea.  There also always seems to be a debate on if this is a good or bad thing.

Many residents around the UK have been opposed to either planed wind farms or wind farms that are already in operation and producing electric.  The problem that always seems to be one of two responses, they are noisy or they spoil the area.

wind turbines

A Typical Wind Farm

The image to the left is a typical wind farm in the UK.  You don’t have to drive far before you see something like this image in your local area.  We have a wind farm less than a mile away from our current house and we have never heard these turbines and nor does it spoil the landscape.
The UK has been adding plenty of offshore wind farms though which does seem to be the more preferred option to wind farms on land.
This year alone has seen a massive 108 offshore wind farms built in the surrounding sea with around 101 being built by the UK.  This is a big step in the right direction to help the UK reduce the overall c02 levels.
With each new wind farm built at sea there is always the question asked on whether it will destroy the wild live in the ocean.  There has been a number of studies and the simple answer is “no it wont”.
There is, of course plenty of disturbance when the wind farms are being built, however only a very short time needs to pass before there is an abundance of wildlife living around the bottom of the wind turbine.  This wildlife is using the wind turbine as a home / shelter and includes many crabs and fish.
The second advantage after built is the restriction of fishing around the farms.  It’s just not possible for trawlers to get close to the turbines and many of the farms also have a restriction on how close smaller boats and recreational anglers can get which in turn gives a ‘safe haven’ to many forms of sea life.

Solar panels could get better

Posted on August 1st, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments

As we all know Solar panels are being common around the UK whether it is on homes or in the garden.  The current panels do quite a good job at creating electricity but there is hope for improvement.

The clever people are trying out a new structure to the solar panels that forces photons to bounce while going through the panel rather than just ‘going through’.

This bouncing effect means that when light hits the new designs it’s bouncing from one layer to another, each time the light hits a layer it’s producing a small charge of electricity rather than the current process where the light simply hits the layer once, produces a charge and passes through.

This new design could mean that solar panels could be 26% more efficient than solar panels on the market today.

If the new design can be perfected then it would mean that a current 80w solar panel would infact be called a 100w solar panel.  I’m not sure if this would mean a price cut in the cost of solar panels but the material they have been testing the structured layered is less expensive that the current silicon solar cells.

Electric charge points on our motorways

Posted on July 27th, 2011 in Green Cars, Green News by JP No Comments

The company Ecotricity is going to be installing electric power points at Welcome Break services on the main motorways between London and Edinburgh.  It will be a bit of a welcome addition for electric car owners as with still having a fairly hopeless rang the electric car was never one for people who need to drive long distances.

The electric car has come a long way since it was first created but really still has a long way to go before the UK will / can adopt the idea as a real solution to petrol / diesel cars.

We are still faced with some big limitations, one being the useless range a electric car has and two the time it takes to fully charge the battery.

As time goes on though the range is starting to get a bit longer with some cars showing a 100+ mile range and the charging time is starting to reduce but until they get to more realistic figures I can’t see the electric car taking off as it should!

I guess the other biggest factor with electric cars is the price… basically they are very expensive with many costing £16,000 (ish) for the basic model which can then rise to … well far to much more!

I would like to have a electric car but with many of my car journeys being 165 miles (from my house to where my holiday caravan is located) having a electric car is just not feasibly.. more so as I also have a 2 year old son and I refuse to wait a couple of hours for the car to charge, he would drive me insane!!

Carbon emissions are up

Posted on June 1st, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments

The International Energy Agency have reported that the global carbon emissions are up and at the highest level ever.

With all the news over the past couple of years about reducing the emissions it makes you wonder if anyone actually cares. China and India are reported to have increased the most emissions which many other countries helping to make this the highest level ever.

There is a lot of money being ‘pumped’ in to greener energy but if the world as a while do not all join the fight to reduce the emissions it’s not going to happen and these figures are basically proof of this. We can all still do out part in helping with emissions but if the largest countries around the would don’t help then it’s going to be a loosing battle.

UK want to cut carbon emissions by half

Posted on May 18th, 2011 in Green News by JP No Comments

It’s been announced that the UK energy secretary want the UK to cut the carbon emissions in half by 2027. At the moment the UK does produce around 603 million tons of carbon emission, this sounds like a lot, which it is but that’s a decrease from 783 million tons since 1990.

To manage this is not going to be easy. The largest source of ‘free’ electric power is of course wind farms. The size of the wind turbines and the number of them allows them to produce ‘a lot’ of electricity.

But what else can they do?

Solar power is of course the other obvious choice. If half the houses in the UK had a couple of solar power panels on their roofs how much electricity would this produce.. my guess would be a lot. As the panels don’t need direct sunlight and just day light getting solar panels on more houses / buildings can only help the UK reduce the carbon emissions.

There is talk of further pushing the electric cars but I would guess that unless you live in a larger city such as London having a electric car is just not feasible due to the limits on how far the cars go.

So what else can the UK do to help cut these emissions… well I’m sure time will tell!