Posts from — August 2005

Utilities crushed solar power
by SUPERJOE on AUGUST 30, 2005 - 1 Comment in ENERGY
old
They don’t make ‘em like that any more

The solar water heater industries were driven out of business services in the 1940s, and now look at the mess we’re in. Eco-building consultant Laren Corrie explains.

In 1930s Florida, Solar energy totally dominated the water heating system (the same was true in southern California). Two thirds of water heaters sold in Florida in the 1930s were Solar water heaters, up on the residential roofs. When WWII began, copper, glass, and able bodies were in high demand to serve the national cause. Just as the motorcar industry in Detroit shut down, and we never saw any cars for a couple of auto years (1943-44 ?) the very successful Solar energy industry in Florida, also shut down for the war years. For rest of story, click on more below.
Solar Power: The Evolution of Sustainable ArchitectureSolar Power: The Evolution of Sustainable Architecture - buy it from Amazon US (more…)

Green Dream II
by NICK ROSEN on AUGUST 29, 2005 - 0 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE

This is the second in a series of articles by architect Alex Shirley Smith about his planned collaboration with Off-Grid to produce a low impact woodland development containing tree houses, a tree restaurant, pod lodgings, and a meeting area, all connected by mid-air walkways. The diagram is on the next page — click “more” to see it.

We are looking for partners, financiers and landowers who want to collaborate with us in the UK and the US to build long-lasting, sustainable off-grid dwellings and leisure areas. We are in advanced planning stages of this first project in Thetford Forest, Suffolk, UK.

Tree Houses You Can Actually Build (A Weekend Project Book)Tree Houses You Can Actually Build – buy it from Amazon UK (more…)

Wind Weekend
by LINDAM on AUGUST 26, 2005 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY
windy
Wind Rush weekend

The first simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms takes place this weekend across the UK.

Its part of the Embrace the Revolution Campaign, set up last year to tackle the myths put about by opponents of wind energy, and give a voice to people who support wind energy, three-quarters of the UK population.

This August Bank Holiday (27-29 August), families across the UK will be able to visit a working wind farm and touch a turbine as part of the first ever, simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms and for FREE (except the curmudgeons at The Centre for Alternative Energy in Wales, who are attempting to charge). (more…)

Elton John joins Geothermal crowd
by NICK ROSEN on AUGUST 21, 2005 - 0 Comments in ENERGY
Elton John
Elton leads geothermal trend

Singer Elton John has joined the Queen and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen in planning to create an underground network on his property to extract heat from the earth’s natural warmth.

He is following a new fashion among the super-rich for drilling boreholes at their properties as the latest “green” status symbol.

Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur, George Davies, the high street fashion guru, Paul Lister, son of the founder of the MFI furniture empire and owner of a vast Highlands nature reserve we have written about before, and the Queen are all planning to switch to Geothermal energy.

The Buckingham Palace system will provide secure, free and inexhaustible energy from beneath the surface of the four-acre lake at the heart of the walled gardens. The network will pump heating to the state rooms, the formal area of the palace used by the monarch to host official banquets and investitures.

Palace insiders said that a meeting next month between an installation firm and officials from the royal household was expected to approve the plans. It will cost approximately 50,000 to install the outdoor equipment. To see rest of story click “more.”
21st Century Complete Guide to Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Electricity, Potential, Drilling, Photo Gallery, Geopowering the West, Department ... National Renewable Energy Lab NREL (CD-ROM)21st Century Complete Guide to Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Electricity, Potential, Drilling, Photo Gallery, Geopowering the West, Department … National Renewable Energy Lab NREL (CD-ROM) buy it from Amazon (more…)

Green Man Festival
by NICK ROSEN on AUGUST 19, 2005 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, OFF-GRID 101
Bonnie Prince Billie
Bonnie Prince Billie strings up in a taxi

The Off-Grid team are going off-grid for a while…. to the Green Man Festival in Hay on Wye, and then for a bit of wild camping. So you won’t see many updates in the next few days.

We can’t invite you to join us as at Green Man as it is sold out, but maybe see you there next year? We’re particularly looking forward to Bonnie Prince Billie, aka Will Oldham, and his sad-eyed, poetic ballads.

Come back soon, though, and in case you feel like going to a festival yourselves, here is a list of what else is happening this weekend around the UK – click on “more” for the full list.

I See a DarknessBonnie Prince Billie CD – I See a Darkness – buy it from Amazon US

I See a Darkness CD - UK edition from Amazon (more…)

Solar powered Prius
by SALLY BUCHAN on AUGUST 17, 2005 - 1 Comment in ENERGY, MOBILE
Solar powered Prius
Solar powered Prius

A presentation at the Green Car Congress details how a Canadian engineer named Steve Lapp has created his own version of a prototype Photovoltaic Prius. The car is a 2001 Toyota Prius modified with roof-top solar panels and an additional battery storage system to supplement the charge in the original equipment NiMH batteries. The car transport is still a rough prototype a demonstration of concept but even with the limitations of the systems, he says he has achieved an initial 10 percent fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US).

Steve Lapp’s PV Prius is still a rough prototype a demonstration of concept but even with the limitations of the systems, he has achieved an initial 10% fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US). Click below for more on this story.

IRS Certifies Toyota Prius. : An article from: Battery & EV Technology – Buy it on Amazon (more…)

New signing at Man City FC – Ecotricity
by SALLY BUCHAN on AUGUST 16, 2005 - 0 Comments in ENERGY
Dale Vince OBE
Dale Vince – Ecotricity pioneer

Manchester City Football Club is set to get one of the UK’s largest land-based wind turbines provided by independent green power company Ecotricity, in a bid to curb its carbon emissions and become genuinely green in its energy supply.

The turbine has been designed by globally celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster.

We\'re Not Really Here: Manchester City\'s Final Season at Maine RoadWe’re Not Really Here: Manchester City’s Final Season at Maine Road – buy it from Amazon UK
The turbine will also be used to supply energy to the homes of people in East Manchester. (more…)

Downshifting lovers of Oz
by NICK ROSEN on AUGUST 15, 2005 - 0 Comments in SPIRIT
Jo-Anne Baker sex counsellor
Baker-downshift=more sex

On Australia’s highways and byways, under the stars, enjoying the wide open spaces, romance is blossoming all over again, writes sex and relationship counsellor JO-ANNE BAKER.

I recently attended a downshifting conference, organised by Dr Clive Hamilton, executive director of The Australian Institute for a Just Sustainable, Peaceful Future ( www.downshifting.net.au ). His research in this area found that 92 per cent of people were happy with their downshifting decision.

This had a flow-on effect to their primary relationship. As people felt more balanced in their life overall, their intimate relationships blossomed. At the conference I met Jessica, a financier, who made a sea change five years ago when she and her husband moved from the inner city of Sydney to the Gold Coast hinterland. (more…)

Yee-hah: Wyoming Wind Festival
by SALLY BUCHAN on AUGUST 15, 2005 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, OFF-GRID 101

Renewable energy conference set

Roping the Wind returns to Douglas, Wyoming. After last year’s success this is another opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

This year’s program will emphasize installed projects, covering everything from large-scale commercial wind farms to off-grid wind and solar energy installations. There will also be presentations on geothermal and biomass applications.

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12. For more information, visit the Web site www.ropingthewind.org

It has no relationship to the book of the same name – but we thought we’d offer it here anyways.

Roping the Wind“Roping the Wind” – a History of Cowboys and the Land – buy it from Amazon


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