Energy efficiency and green renewable generation
We need urgently to reduce the waste of energy – heat, light, transmission loss – from energy use. In the home, in the office, and in public buildings. We also need to encourage people to reduce demand for, and to generate their own power where possible, or at least choose and promote renewable options.
Ideas on how we do this, and enthusiasts to take the agenda forwards are welcome.
We have set up a Transition Town Poole Carbon Club on an Oxford University website for monitoring energy use www.imeasure.org.uk
We are keen to work with partners to explore the potential for a Community Interest Company harvesting energy from the tides in Poole Harbour for the benefit of local people. We are constructing a bid to Energy Share to undertake a feasability study. Welcome any supporters -please click the link in the box to join.
www.deac.co.uk/ Dorset Energy Advice Centre, Shillito Road, Parkstone
http://www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk – govenment grants towards home generation schemes
http://www.sust-it.net/ comparing energy efficiency of appliances
http://www.greenelectricity.org/tariffs.php details some of the various green energy company options
There are Windfarm proposals for
- onshore windfarm at Masters Pit, East Stoke, near Wareham http://www.alaskawindfarm.co.uk/ Originally 6 turbines, proposal now scaled back to 4 turbines. Approved subject to conditions, then Purbeck councillors appear to have been knobbled. Await the appeal.
- a big windfarm some distance offshore along the Dorset coast – Eneco, a Dutch company has been awarded the West Wight zone 7 Offshore license http://corporateuk.eneco.nl/outlook_and_strategy/innovation/Pages/TheEnecoWindPark.aspx
For a list of other Renewable Energy initiatives in Dorset, see http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=387641
The Energy Savings Trust look keen to support local initiatives:
Green Communities Local Support
Energy Saving Trust’s network of advice centres are now working to provide advice and support to help people to work together to act on climate change. Advisors at the Swindon based Energy Saving Trust advice centre for Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset are leading the Green Communities local service for the region and are looking for community groups that are interested in energy efficiency and are motivated to get involved with an action plan to help reduce its carbon footprint. This free service is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
As experienced Energy Saving Trust Energy advisors we will work alongside your community helping you to understand your carbon footprint and develop a realistic action plan to reduce it. We will then work with your community to deliver an energy efficiency or renewable energy project.
Communities from anywhere in the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire or Dorset region can apply for support from this service. In order to be chosen for support your community will need to:
• Have a group of local people who are ready to lead the process
• Have some ideas about what your community can do to reduce its carbon footprint
• Be ready and willing to take action to reduce the carbon footprint and fuel bills of your community
There are a number of different reasons for individuals to be interested in tackling energy that could all be addressed by the TT Poole Energy Group:
* saving costs
* saving non-renewable energy sources
* switching to renewable energy sources
* preparing for life after Peak Oil
* responsible approach to the earth’s resources
* fascination with the new technologies
* becoming more aware and conscious of our own consumption
* exchanging ideas and best practice for our own consumption patterns
* adopting the same energy-saving measures at home and at work – is it possible?
* all of the above at a community level e.g.TT members, Parkstone residents, Poole or Dorset.
* creating energy self-sufficiency in a “region” (challenge the nimby culture – how much energy does Dorset import ?)
* understanding what Poole Council, Dorset Council etc. strategies and plans are for energy provision and reduction
* collaborating at “community level” on projects, initiatives, lobbying, activism
* engaging with advisory bodies to gain more insight e.g. DEAC (Dorset Energy Advice Centre)
* what role does energy play in economic development and political policy
* Copenhagen and beyond…
* relationship between energy consumption and Global Warming, Climate Change
* relationship between increasing GDP and energy consumption
* relationship between personal well-being and energy consumption
* relationship between “developed” countries’ and “developing” countries’ energy policies and consumptions
and some practical steps,
- comparing our own consumption – as enthusiasts we could benchmark with each other – we’ve now set up a carbon club on http://www.imeasure.org.uk/
- what green tarrifs and options are people on – what’s possible, what is best ?
- sharing the ideas of projects we have done (solar/wind/water) – don’t forget http://www.instructables.com/
- investigate Carbon/Energy champions idea – Tescos have Energy Champions
- thermal imaging – mentioned by Lindley –
- can we persuade BoP to publish ? (why any different to Google Earth ?)
- or borrow a thermal camera to take shots from the ground ?
- or go out on a snowy day and photograph
American sites, worth a look
Make your own wind turbine and other energy projects http://www.otherpower.com/
aimed at relocalisation of energy http://www.localenergy.org/index.html
Harriet advised on Dorset’s renewable energy capacity. A useful source of information is http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=387641 . It’s worth noting that at present Poole produces way more electricity through renewable energy than anywhere else in the county because of the White’s Pit Landfill site which uses landfill gas to generate electricity (6000 kW capacity).
The Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford have created a free on-line home energy monitoring website at http://www.imeasure.org.uk/ which we are using to help educate people about home energy use. imeasure is about helping householders track energy use over time (unlike traditional carbon calculators) where users can set up carbon clubs for their own communities. Your group could be your transition town for example and people could compare within the group or with other groups. Would you consider linking our website from your resources page, or including us in your next newsletter? In addition, use of the tool contributes directly to our research in energy and behaviour.
Please feel free to email for further information http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk