Friday, February 26, 2010
What does renewable energy mean to you? Many people think only of power from the wind, either on or offshore, when renewable energy is mentioned. Wind turbines have a huge place in the mix of energy forms for the future and they can also cause great controversy if there are plans to site them in sensitive areas where communities or wild life will be affected.
There are several other forms of renewable energy, some of which can be installed in homes and can benefit the population directly. These include solar water heating and photovoltaic panels, the latter generating electricity directly from light.
At the beginning of February the Government introduced new feed-in tariffs for domestic renewable energy, which means that anyone installing photovoltaic panels, a hydro-electric scheme or their own wind turbine, will be paid for the electricity they produce. Sounds too good to be true? Not at all – and this is only bringing us into line with other European countries, e.g. Germany, where feed-in tariffs have been operating for ten years.
In actual fact, the benefits are threefold: the householder will be paid 41p per unit of electricity generated; they will not have to buy electricity from their provider and should they have any electricity unused, they can sell that back to the National Grid at 3p per unit. There is, of course, an initial outlay but at present there is also a Government Grant of £2,500, which can help with this.
This represents an excellent investment of 8-10% on money put into the scheme that you choose. It also represents a certain amount of independence from the energy companies that rule our lives at present and as fossil fuels become rarer will have increasing difficulty giving us a continuous supply.
If you are lucky enough to be able to fit both solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, you will have a supply of hot water and generate electricity, too. You will have made a very good investment and reduced your carbon footprint into the bargain. Worth thinking about?
For more information go to the Energy Saving Trust at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We have two speakers Michael Walter of Blean Woods National Nature Reserve and Geoff Meaden Canterbury Christchurch University. All Welcome.
Michael Water has been the RSPB site manger of Blean Woods reserve since 1982. The Blean woods National Nature Reserve is a partnership reserve, owned by RSPB, Natural England, Woodland Trust, Canterbury City Council, Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council, with day-to-day management entrusted to RSPB.
Dr Geoff Meaden has just retired as Principal lecturer in Geography from Canterbury Christ Church University and also does research on fisheries for the UN. Geoff is also the PPC for the Green Party in Canterbury & Whistable.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
The highlights in the past year have been:
- The very popular ‘Celebrate Your Deal’ event headlining local produce & green issues
- The packed meetings with Caroline Lucas, MEP and Michael Meacher MP
- Film showings of the ‘Age of Stupid’ at the Pines Calyx
- The groups involvement in the district council’s Local Development Strategy
- Working with the Energy Saving Trust to get local home energy audits.
The meeting agreed the following priorities for the Group in 2010:
- To become a supporter of Fair Trade
- To work towards Deal gaining ‘transition town’ status
- To support and extend the campaigns on transport and especially local train provision
- Establishing more local links with villages and other local organisations
- Re-run the ‘Celebrate Your Deal’ in October
- Organise meetings on Home energy in March and the impact of Climate change on wildlife (with the RSPB) in April.
· Rosemary Rechter (Co-ordinator), Victoria Nicholls (Secretary), Helen Reeve (Treasurer)
· Becky Lythgoe, Sue Delling, Sarah Gleave & Steve Wakeford (Publicity)
Earth Hour 2010 will continue to be a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future.
Pledge your support here and turn off your lights for one hour, Earth Hour, 8.30pm, Saturday 27th March 2010.
It’s Showtime! Show what can be done.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Jack a retired engineer has already installed a cheap £80 solution for transferring the heat from his conservatory into his house which has slashed his heating bills. He thinks he can do the same for his hot water bill; he is working on prototype for cheap and easily maintained wall-mounted Solar water heating system which would only cost about £500 but could half his hot water bills... interested, well meet jack on the 20th or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come along and find out how you can have cheaper and greener energy in your home!
This meeting will aim to provide a fund of information to anyone interested in domestic renewable energy, especially those currently considering what they themselves would like to install.
You will find out what the options are, how much they are likely to cost, what you will save, and also how you can do it all yourself and save even more money!
Steve Plater, a PhD student at the Energy & Environment Research Unit of the Open University, specialises in the production of solar electricity and will explain all the options available for domestic use.
Jack Domane, a retired design engineer, will explain to those with the necessary skills how they can make their own solar panels at much less cost.