Posts Tagged "energy"

Pools of light and off-grid comfort
by AMY SUAREZ on DECEMBER 11, 2013 - 3 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, SPIRIT

ethnography of candlelightThis site is dedicated to showing how you can live off the grid in comfort and style without costing the earth. Lighting is fairly crucial part of that. Being able to snap on the light when you come home is just as important to off-gridders as to those who are grid-connected.

Light is expensive, energy-hungry, and vital to our happiness – especially at this time of year. And there is a large degree of unanimity amongst off-gridders about what makes good lighting and how to achieve it.

When you live off-grid, electric lighting is not something you can take for granted. The means for controlling natural and artificial light and thus achieving visual comfort are not as well-established in the Unplugged community. But the off-grid aesthetic is now spreading to the plugged-in community.

So how do off-gridders light their homes to maximise the gain and minimise the cost? (more…)

building solar panels and loving it ;’)
by FARIAN on JUNE 2, 2011 - 4 Comments in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

i’ve built 4 x 65 watt panels from scratch ;’).. i’m doing free energy experiments, but i also want to get a system sorted for people to get there low powered stuff / battery powered stuff off grid, i.e. not many people can get 100% off grid because of costs, so getting 50% of appliances 100% off grid is a bonus , isn’t it, LOL i’d thinking of land in Bulgaria.. its dirt cheap with run down houses etc… ideallly would love to be in a ‘freeman’ community…
reclaim land or something…. One Love ;’).

Sydney to move off-grid
by NICK ROSEN on MAY 10, 2010 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

Decentralised energy is highly efficient

The Australian city of Sydney is making the first moves to ending its reliance on centralized energy.

It is putting into place a network of tri-generation plants that will eliminate the need for council buildings to rely on coal-fired power generation and could, ultimately, take the entire city off grid.

Tri-generation plants generate electricity usually through a gas-fired turbine (although it can be biomass or other sources) and uses the excess heat for heating and airconditioning.

The gas fired plants produce both electricity and heat and can transform some of the heat into cooling energy as well. (more…)

Smart Grid doubts grow
by NICK ROSEN on MAY 9, 2010 - 4 Comments in ENERGY

If I had a brain...I might oppose the Smart Grid

Consumers increasingly believe that the so-called Smart Grid is a scam.

It appears to operate more in the interest of the power companies, at the expense of the consumer. And the Smart Grid has some nasty privacy implications.

As well as putting UP your power bill, the smart grid does not merely or mainly reduce energy use, so much as shift it to a different time. See the video (click “Keep reading” just below) for an example: (more…)

Big energy firms dominate UK Labour party
by KENWILLAND on APRIL 15, 2010 - 1 Comment in ENERGY
As half of Britain’s 26 million households receive their record quarterly gas and electricity bills this week, the government has ruled out an inquiry into the “discrepancy” between rising household energy bills and falling wholesale costs.
According to the price comparison site Energyhelpline, the average household dual fuel bill (gas and electricity) will be £532.70 for the last three months, up £57 on the record £475 for the same period last year.
Junior energy minister David Kidney conceded there had been “sustained price rises” for consumers since 2004 but he said a referral to the Competition Commission would “delay investment in the UK’s infrastructure.”
Government projections show one in four homes now in fuel poverty. Households forced to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills are considered to be fuel poor.
There were an estimated four million households in fuel poverty in the UK in 2007, the most recent year figures were available – double the number in 2004..
Though energy companies did cut bills a touch last year the reductions were not enough to offset the coldest winter for 31 years, which forced millions of consumers to turn up the thermostat on their heating.
People are now facing up to the chilling reality of a combination of the coldest winter in 31 years and high retail fuel costs.
The average dual fuel energy bill, on an annual basis, is £1,230, according to Ofgem, the industry regulator. This is 6 per cent cheaper than a year ago, when they hit a record of £1,303, but considerably higher than the £912 average of two years ago.
Campaigners have argued that over the 18 months, though bills have fallen by 6 per cent on average, wholesale energy prices – the price the suppliers have to pay for their supply – have fallen by 50 per cent and that consumers have not enjoyed nearly enough of this benefit.

As half of Britain’s 26 million receive their record quarterly gas and electricity bills this weekm, the government has ruled out an inquiry into the “discrepancy” between rising household energy bills and falling wholesale costs. According to the price comparison site Energyhelpline, the average household dual fuel bill (gas and electricity) will be £532.70 for the last three months, up £57 on the record £475 for the same period last year.
Junior energy minister David Kidney conceded there had been “sustained price rises” for consumers since 2004 but he said a referral to the Competition Commission would “delay investment in the UK’s infrastructure.”
Government projections show one in four homes now in fuel poverty. Households forced to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills are considered to be fuel poor.
There were an estimated four million households in fuel poverty in the UK in 2007, the most recent year figures were available – double the number in 2004..Though energy companies did cut bills a touch last year the reductions were not enough to offset the coldest winter for 31 years, which forced millions of consumers to turn up the thermostat on their heating. People are now facing up to the chilling reality of a combination of the coldest winter in 31 years and high retail fuel costs.
The average dual fuel energy bill, on an annual basis, is £1,230, according to Ofgem, the industry regulator. This is 6 per cent cheaper than a year ago, when they hit a record of £1,303, but considerably higher than the £912 average of two years ago.Campaigners have argued that over the 18 months, though bills have fallen by 6 per cent on average, wholesale energy prices – the price the suppliers have to pay for their supply – have fallen by 50 per cent and that consumers have not enjoyed nearly enough of this benefit.

A Commons motion tabled by Labour’s John Grogan (Selby) calling for an inquiry into the relationship between wholesale prices and retail prices offered by the “Big Six” energy suppliers – British Gas, E.ON,EDF Energy, npower, Scottish and Southern, and ScottishPower – has so far been signed by 135 MPs.


Community Power in the UK
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 27, 2010 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

Less of this, please

The UK government has issued a draft policy document empowering town halls to  bring in decentralised energy schemes.

A 12-week consultation exercise on revised planning policy statements (PPSs) covering climate change and the natural environment was launched last week.

Councils are urged to assess their area to secure decentralised energy opportunities to meet the needs of new development. ‘Local authorities should look for greater integration of waste management with the provision of decentralised energy, co-location of potential heat suppliers and users and district heating networks based on renewable energy from waste, surplus heat and biomass,’ says the draft. (more…)

Beware of 1BOG
by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 9, 2010 - 1 Comment in EVENTS

The company recently raised $5m, a step forward  in its aim to become a major corporate player in the solar panel  market.  But this tiny start up is making some inflated claims.

1BOG sounds to British ears like a good name for a toilet. (more…)

Bloom energy box enables off-grid living
by NICK ROSEN on FEBRUARY 24, 2010 - 8 Comments in ENERGY

Powell: Hypemaster-General

More details of the Bloom Box have been revealed at a carefully managed press conference in California.  The much-hyped off-grid source of cheap electricity  will not lead us all to disconnect from the grid tomorrow, but it is undoubtedly disruptive technology, and very exciting for the off-grid community.

The firm’s executives and backers do think that many people in future may choose to install the small box in their home and use it to generate electricity from such fuels as methane and ethanol or even solar, rather than buying it from expensive, wasteful centralised producers.  It is a game-changer.
Boom time for Bloom Box
by TECHSTAR on FEBRUARY 21, 2010 - 12 Comments in ENERGY, EVENTS

KR and his billionaire backer

A new but still unseen fuel cell technology that its creator claims can be an off-grid source of cheap energy, and clean power,  is about to get its formal debut

Bloom Energy’s much-hyped fuel cell, known as the Bloom Box, will take place at eBay’s headquarters in California tomorrow (24 Feb).  Bloom Box is already being trialed on the campuses of Google and eBay among others. FedEx, Wal-Mart and Staples are among a score of Fortune 100 companies that have signed up as Bloom Box clients to save million in electricity costs. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among those who endorse the technology, is on the Board of Directors of Bloom Energy, an eight-year old stealth start-up that raised more than $ 400 million from Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists who have installed Bloom Boxes in their own bug-out locations. (more…)

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