Thursday, August 06, 2009


For now, just links as I happen across, or get told about them:

NOTE - New info/links as stumbled across subsequently indicated by NEW


Indy - Letters - Real facts about the Severn Barrage - Actually a pithy breakdown, though subject to confirmation factually

Indy - Greener power to the people: the real energy alternative?

What still astounds, and depresses me is that even now, with all that we face and all that is in place and/or being proposed, from government to major media I still have no clear idea what the facts are to make objective choices.

From nuclear to wind to micro, I really have no idea what will work, what won't and, crucially, what the actual numbers are, from ROI to enviROI.

Sadly it all still seems shaped by agenda, lobby-pressure, targets and, often, the green-tinted view that if it is' eco' it must be good no matter what.

Guardian - - How power from the people could cut CO2 emissions - with government help

Guardian - Hutton tells power grid to clear barriers to wind

Guardian - A renewed effort on green energy

Times - Why going green will still cost the earth - My favourite headline! Not, however, reading the rest.

Times - Homes that produce their own energy

Without the Hot Air - Summary of an academic study linked in a blog I frequent. Pro or con, as always, read, and treat with one eyebrow cocked.

Times - How China’s thirst for oil can save the planet - some more alt eng at the end

Telegraph - Latest microgeneration technology for houses - some excellent links to the various options mentioned below

Times - Expert fears over green energy targets

A worthy share from a forum I frequent:

10 Steps in 10 Years to 100 Percent Renewable Power

original article here

BBC - Britain 'faces power cuts threat' - As stated, it is reporting a report from an interst group. Does anyone do 'objective' any more?

Guardian - Shell dumps wind, solar and hydro power in favour of biofuels - Rather significant, IMHO

Indy - Green energy targets will not be met without government aid - That's what money from whom, again? Nothing to do with some players more keen on dosh than targets (neither looking like serving my kids' futures in terms I fancy, mind) pulling out as the business models don't add up, I hope.

Microgeneration Certification Scheme - - -
renewable energy foundation -

Algae - - - -
Newsnight - All of a sudden... algae is everywhere
Gaurdian - UK announces world's largest algal biofuel project
Newsnight - I share a moment
What is it about entities that end in 'Trust' that seem to inspire anything but in those who are exposed to their vision?Sadly, we share a similar view of quangos, and especially those appointed by, funded via and hence beholden to those who created them.Vast empires of persons, pay, perks and pensions, whose first aim is to secure budgets and then blow them on comms exercises mainly aimed at self-justification and/or securing more funding than actually applying much to any..DOING, as such. I anticipate a major round of announcements in this regard soon, as part of looking like something might happen to make my kids' future better, but not really getting round to anything tangible. Doubtless ably shared in PR support by a quick trip to a snowy place in a helicopter by all the usual suspects and their crews from you know who to tell 'us' what awaits if 'we' don't sort ourselves out. Trust me.
Yours in hoping we share the right rocket when the world really catches cold... (see Hitchhikers Guide)
Indy - Oil giant Exxon sees the future – and it is green algae - Doesn't make it right of course, but in matters green, when you are trying to track the future, it is often worth following the money. And it is interesting where multi-billion oil companies are going into, and avoiding/getting out of. Oddly, there is often a slight disconnect with political directions. I wonder why?


Guardian - Woodchips with everything. It's the Atkins plan of the low-carbon world - I have seen this referred to a lot. Time to get up to speed. So view this as but one view I quote. The comments will help.

Gaurdian - James Lovelock on Biochar: let the Earth remove CO2 for us - As night follows day...

Biofuel - via blog - hey, it's good news, at least in one area... I hope!
Indy - Can biofuel help prevent global warming, or will it only make matters worse?
Bear in mind it's 'a' discussion from 'a' paper. In fact I'm thinking this deserves it's own category as it really isn't alt. energy and is definitely a hot topic.
Guardian - Burning biofuels may be worse than coal and oil, say experts - Glad I didn't (well, couldn't afford) the SAAB Biodiesel! I'd be keyed everywhere. Goes well with the one below, though:)
Guardian - UK biofuels really do help the planet - Letter from the NFU. That's of the UK. hence I am unsure if the headline is accurate.
Indy - Shell starts algae biodiesel research site in Hawaii
Times - Shell joins search for green fuel with plan to make diesel from algae


It 'may' be

But what still comes out the pipe when it's combusted?

ASA - SAAB - Interesting insight into the issues. Note the number of complainants. I will be interested if the latest Prius TVC gets though unscathed. Some fairly hefty claims in there, including one that seems to say it actively scrubs CO2 from the air. Bearing in mind 5-25% of a cars' carbon impact is at manufacture, which seems to be ignored in this ad, I look forward to the supporting evidence.

Telegraph - Airline industry could be flying on biofuels in five years - Another when one kinda needs to divorce the local smartness of the technology from the bigger picture of its' consequences. In amongst an already 'could'-heavy piece, I stumble here: '..depending on the availability of sufficient crops to produce it.' Might one add ' the expense of food supplies?'. Not sure "The feedstocks are very expensive but as we build the market, more people will grow energy crops." really addresses that dilemma.

Guardian - US car manufacturers plough a lonely furrow on biofuels - Haven't seen much on this topic lately. Perhaps this suggests why?


Junkk - Heard of making a pig's ear of things?

Ecologist - NEW - Biogas: is your council about to waste your waste? - Why, in the name of all that is backstreet brown enveloped, are our councils cutting daft deals that are tied down for 25 years!!!?


Times - Wind puts sun in the shade for investors - Actually it's about a few things, but I simply noted this at the end: '..the company should benefit from a move by certain utilities towards the burning of biomass, such as wood, as they strive to reduce carbon emissions.
UK company Drax, for example, recently announced plans to build a facility in a power plant in the north of England, reportedly capable of handling around 1.5m tons of biomass per year. Webber said it was likely that it would import wood from North America for fuel.'

CHP - Combined Heat & Power (involves combos of various others, especially the two above)

EPA - Catalog of CHP Technologies - US-based, but v. useful! Why do I get the feeling that, for all the froth and bother from the EU, an awful lot of US-based stuff is just getting on with it... and getting streets ahead.

Energy from Waste

Telegraph - Why are we not using waste as fuel to generate heat and power? -
Telegraph - Waste produces waste - I should have known (well, remembered) this, but was stuck by this in the author's letter: '...burning does not decrease the mass of waste; it actually increases it. The illusion of disposal is maintained because a large proportion is “aerosolled” into the air as highly reactive and toxic gases and dust. The remaining ash goes to landfill'
This reply in rebuttal to his letter/claim is also worth noting. Complex, eh?

Feed in Tariff

Newsnight - Actually in the post threads. I join to ponder whether being FiT for purpose might lead to a good enviROI.


Telegraph - Nuclear fusion energy project could lead to limitless clean electricity


Guardian - Geo-engineers, too, have a vital role in saving the planet
The Register - 'Sunshade' global-cooling plan would ruin solar power
BBC - Setback for climate technical fix - See comment from Dave

GRID - NEW Sub-category - without the means of distribution being sorted, all else is academic

Indy - NEW - The undersea secret that's bringing more power to the people - the claim is that it is boring. I find it anything but.

Heat Pumps

Indy - The latest craze in hi-tech heating sounds great – but the figures simply don't add up - Another possible enviROI poor option? Or......

ADDENDUM - Note feedback in comments section!


Times - Britain's rivers called on to provide renewable energy

Laser Fusion

Indy - Lasers point way to clean energy

Liquified Natural Gas

ASA - Insights via, of all things, a ruling on an Exxon ad. Guardian


Marketing Week - BG to launch range of home energy generation products - It is to be hoped that the ROI and enviROIs of these will be properly spelled out and understood before rushing in.

Indy - Donnachadh McCarthy: The Home Ecologist - An odd situation, at best

BERR - Quality mark gives consumers confidence in going green - If they say so. Actually, I have been asking for such a thing for ages. Hope this will prove valuable.

Ocean Thermal

New Scientist - Plumbing the oceans could bring limitless clean energy - Interesting, with that 'could', but I still caution that there is no such thing as a free lunch


gizmag - World's first commercial scale tidal energy generator nears completion -
Wave Energy Today - if you need to know about the subject 'in depth' (sorry) - Issues raised surrounding the Severn Barrage



BBC - Cash cuts see green grants halved
- an action says a lot more than most green spin.

Smart Planet - Top five UK renewable electricity technologies - via a tip kindly provided by Ian of Wave Energy News

Telegraph - UK lags behind on eco energy

Times - Going green: how much does it cost and is it worthwhile? - Not very extensive, but a little more to the gristmill




BBC - Wind turbines

BBC - Wind turbine expansion plans due - has a sidebar video on arguments pro-con

Times - Giant offshore wind farms to supply half of UK power - 'to infinity... and beyond!'

BERR - Link to windspeed calculations, and other info

Times - Country out-performs towns in household wind turbine trials - Courtesy of Dave from Solarventi. Actually I am sure I had something on this recently. Now, where the heck would it be posted? Wind category, probably.

Junkk - Bogey Men

BBC - RSPB calls for more UK wind farms - Well, at least shredded seagulls are off the menu. I always thought this was a silly objection.

Daily Mail - Brussels demands thousands more wind turbines across the UK - targets vs. enviROI. Can't quite get my head around the EU setting rules for countries with different systems and climate.

ASA - You want to see how complex this can be? Check out this!

POOH CORNER - Golden shower

Just, don't tell Seinfeld.

It’s official. Peeing in the shower is a good thing.

Of course, come a certain age try stopping.

I think I may need to add a Prof's Poser here... can we add yellow waters to our grey waters? I think they end up in the same waste water system.

BAN - Rise of the quangos

A wee while ago my door knocked and a young lady stood there with a leaflet.

'Did I know about the energy savings grants?,' she asked. I had to say I knew of some, but not this one.

And hence I was seduced into a process, culminating in a visit from a surveyor, which resulted in... zippy. Because the house was old, and complex...and.. and, I did not qualify.

Despite this, I was still fairly onside, as it seemed a commitment of funds in areas I can endorse, namely proactive doing.

But now, thanks to a twitter link, I am looking at this (read the comments for a reality check the Brain-strains behind this one will never have):

Ban sales of poorly insulated homes, says Energy Saving Trust

And hence I am thinking not so much of a bonfire of the quangos, as promised, but a Hydra of them. Limitless numbers of offices, people, boards, pay, pensions, perks, comms budgets consuming bazillions all just stopping things. What a lovely metaphor for the age.

And hence I propose the next, and ultimate of them all: BAN - Ban All Now!