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Archive for the ‘UK’ Category

This blog is now moving over to the Environment Solutions website where we hope to build a more comprehensive information portal for solutions on the environment.

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OK, the concept of timeshare has been around for some time but now we are seeing an interesting expansion of this idea into many other assets. Cars, boats, cottages, even planes are coming into the frame.

You save money on the original purchase and maintenance costs and buy into something you may not have been able to afford before. How many times have you noticed your neighbour buy a brand new car only to leave outside their house untouched except for the weekly shopping trip.

Sharing can be tricky but there are websites out there designed to guide you through this process and they of course have plenty of people putting forward proposals to share something that they own.

Try; yours2share and Fractional Ownership.

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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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More video is available from Ocean Power Delivery Limited of their Pelamis Wave Power system.

The Pelamis is a semi-submerged, articulated structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure oil through hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity. Power from all the joints is fed down a single umbilical cable to a junction on the sea bed. Several devices can be connected together and linked to shore through a single seabed cable. More here.

OPD Ltd is an Edinburgh based company set up in January 1998 to develop the Pelamis WEC concept. In March 2002, OPD Ltd. secured £6m (EUR 9.8m) funding from an international consortium of venture capital companies led by Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Norway’s largest industrial company and including 3i, Europe’s leading venture capital company and Zurich-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM). Each organisation provided an equal level of funding to produce the largest investment of its kind in a wave power company. More on the company here.

The western seaboard of Europe offers an enormous number of potential sites. The most promising sites are off the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Norway. There is sufficient energy breaking on the UK shoreline to power the country three times over. However, it is not practical to recover all of this energy. The economically recoverable resource for the UK alone has been estimated to be 87TWh per year, or ~25% of current UK demand. More on the resource here.

The first UK ‘wave hub’ is to be build of Cornwall at a cost of £28m. It already has planning permission and the necessary funding. The announcement.
*Wave Hub could generate enough electricity for 7,500 homes, directly saving 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years.
*Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and £560 million in the UK economy over 25 years.

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5000

Keeping it real. 🙂

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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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