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Archive for the ‘Climate change’ Category

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BT is planning to develop wind farms to generate up to 25 per cent of its existing UK electricity needs by 2016.

The project will cost up to £250m and will use third party funding and renewable energy partners to help the telecoms giant reduce its carbon emissions.

The wind farms could generate a total of 250MW of electricity, which would prevent the release of 500,000 tonnes of CO2 each year compared with coal generation. BT is aiming to have 50 wind turbines up and running by 2012, which would generate around 100MW of power.

The company said it has applied for planning permission for test masts at Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall, Wideford Hill Radio Station in Orkney and Scousburgh Radio Station in Shetland. It anticipates obtaining 25% of its power from the farms, which will be working by 2016. The company is also identifying high wind sites on or adjacent to land it owns.

John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform commented on BT’s plans and said it is a great example of how businesses can help us meet our target to significantly increase the quantity of energy we get from renewable sources.

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This relatively new technology is brought to you by Solucar. This company is owned by Abengoa who have been in the energy business since 1984 and have a global reach.

Two of these plants are now in operation, the PS10 & PS20. They have a combined possible output of 31MW, saving 54,000 tonnes CO2 p.a. and provide electricity for 18,000 homes.

The solar tower, at over 100m high, receives concentrated sun rays from the field of mirrors below, which in turn produces saturated steam at 250 degrees C. A conventional steam turbine generates the electricity.

To read of a visit to the plant by David Shukman, the BBC’s Science correspondent click here.

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This video, from http://www.finavera.com/ documents the deployment of the AquaBuOY 2.0 wave energy converter. It has been deployed off the coast of Newport, Oregon for testing.

The AquaBuOY is a floating buoy structure that converts the kinetic energy of the vertical motion of oncoming waves into clean electricity.

Finavera Renewables Inc. is a publicly listed company (Toronto Venture Exchange).

And here’s the sales piece showing you how this technology is supposed to come together.

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image: innocent pleasure and guilty desires are often intertwined.

Innocent, a drinks company that does a booming business selling fresh fruit smoothies in the UK, discovered interesting things trying to measure its carbon footprint.

The founders expected to find that transporting large volumes of bananas and other tropical fruit to Britain from places like Central America would account for most of their emissions. To their surprise, the dirtiest part of smoothie-making turned out to be the individual-size plastic bottles made from petroleum products.

Richard Reed, whose company’s logo features a stylized baby face with a halo, set about cajoling bottlers to use ever-greater quantities of recycled plastic. This spring, innocent’s head of sustainability, Jessica Sansom, came through with flying colors: A 100 percent recycled bottle that lowered emissions by 28 percent during the bottle-making process and by 8.5 percent for the overall finished product.

Reed, the co-founder of innocent, said he hoped that a recommended daily allowance for carbon, similar to what routinely appears on many food labels across the world, would one day be introduced.

Who is Innocent?

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The GreenFleet Capital Arrive ‘N’ Drive and Fuel Challenge proved that low and zero emission vehicles offer a greener, cheaper way for fleet vehicles to operate around London. The Guildhall Yard in London EC2 was host to the 2007 event, sponsored by Transport for London and GlobalLive, and featured an impressive display of cleaner transport options.

These included zero emission delivery vehicles from Modec, electric car charging posts from EDF Energy and Elektromotive, a hydrogen powered BMW and the Aixam Mega, which was featured on BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ as competing teams battled to sell coffee in Islington.

Other manufacturers on display included Vectrix, Toyota, Honda, Citroen and The Nice Car Company. Intelligent Energy displayed the ENVbike, the world first purpose built fuel cell motorcyle, while new vehicle rental company Green Motion displayed hybrid Lexus and Prius models. Green Motion will also be the first rental company to offer the VW Polo Bluemotion, which runs on Low Sulphur Diesel and is available from October.

The Capital Fuel Challenge was set off by Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron (Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership) with each of the participants navigating their way through London traffic to pick up objects from each of four checkpoints in the correct order. A range of competing fuel types included petrol, diesel, bio-ethanol, electric and hybrid petrol/electric. As soon as the vehicles returned, they were quickly transported to Millbrook Proving Ground, where they will be independently tested to determine the amount of CO2 that was produced by the journey. For electric vehicles, the calculation will take account of the amount of CO2 generated by their charging cycle.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists were also on hand to offer ten tips on how to drive ‘greener’. Examiner Lloyd Brown briefed all fuel challenge entrants before they set off.

And here are some of the winners ;

*Alternative Fuel Supplier of the Year: Rix Biodiesel
*Car Manufacturer of the Year: Citroen
*Industry Innovation Award: Elektromotive
*Dealership of the Year: Evans Halshaw
*Electric Vehicle of the Year: Modec
*Green Motoring Journalist of the Year: Richard Bremner, cleangreencars.co.uk
*Tfl Public Sector Fleet of the Year: London Borough of Islington
*Lifetime Achievement Award: Lord Oxburgh, D1 Oils

… well, fewer at any rate.

Westminster launches free electric vehicle charging points.

Westminster City Council has launched the UK’s only free on-street charging points for electric vehicles in a pioneering move aimed at boosting environmentally friendly travel.

The exciting pilot project, if successful, will lead to more charging points across the capital making it ever more practical and convenient to drive electric cars.

There are currently 48 free car charging points in 13 council-run Masterpark car parks across the City of Westminster. For the first time though the two new charging points (NB. pilot scheme) will be placed at on street parking bays in Wellington Street and Southampton Street in Covent Garden.

More here.

LINKS:

[1]. London Hydrogen Partnership
[2]. Vectrix Maxi Scooter
[3]. VW Polo Bluemotion for hire from Green Motion.

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Image: from Carbusters magazine. They provide useful background to car free development.

This new approach to modern urban living is supported in Government planning policy guidance and for the city of London, by the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and London Plan. Camden is one such central London borough that has this approach on its agenda. See here for more.

This is a planning policy for new housing schemes where the space traditionally reserved for car parking is instead used for more housing units or greener uses such as more play spaces and cycle parking. Residents of car free housing schemes are not eligible for on-street parking permits.

Up to the summer of 2004, Camden says they have granted planning permission for 2,523 car free housing units (in 287 residential schemes), saving approximately 5,046 car trips each day once they are all built.

Car free housing is also being introduced in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In London, a number of other councils are now also encouraging the development of car free housing.

An example of such a development in the city of Glasgow can be found here. The positive approach of such developments can lend them to widening their environmental remit into other areas such as energy. The Glasgow example utilizes geothermal energy from a coalmine and solar ventilation.

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