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kt tunstall
Tunstall – she’s for real
Some green celebrities are complete frauds – for example Sting and Chris Martin who jet around the world, and live lavish home lifestyles while pretending they are “green.”

Others, like KT Tunstall, are putting us all to shame.

“As some of you may know, I’m a country bumpkin these days,” she told fans las tmonth after buying a $2m second home in Berkshire, wich she is turning off-grid ready. “And the extra exciting bit is that I’m currently building a solar-powered studio. Hope to record number 3 in it. (Better get it done soon then, or there won’t be any sun. Ho Ho.)” she said on her blog – KT Tunstall, http://www.kttunstall.com/diary/

The Scottish pop princess takes her green issues very seriously. Not only does she insist that her tour buses run on bio-fuels, she also uses an ethical clothing company to make all her merchandise and has her own 6,000-acre forest in the Borders.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Drastic Fantastic star also spent £170,000 transforming her London flat into an eco-home, complete with solar panels. Her flat in London’s Willesden, a green haven complete with sheep wool insulation, solar panels and recycled fibreboard.

‘I have a pretty environmentally unfriendly job,” she said. “The CD production, the travelling, thousands of gig-goers getting to venues, it all takes its toll, so it feels like I should do my best to try and turn the tables.”

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11 Responses to “KT Tunstall’s eco homes”

  1. Eco Engineer

    Its quite hard not knowing how much solar has been installed, but knowing how much juice recording equipment uses and the fact that the company which installed the PV systems has no experience in designing or installing off grid PV systems I think there is some confusion as to what has been installed. To run a recording studio off grid all the year round would require a massive array and a minimum of 10-15,000 Amp hours of deep cycle batteries as well as some of the most sophisticated inverters on the market and some very expensive voltage/charge management systems.

    The installation company estimates the annual output from her array to be around 5000kWh per annum which would suggest that the array is somewhere in the region of 15kWp if it were a pollychristaline module or 12 or so kWp for hybrid multilayered PVs. To get an Idea of costs 10-15kWp cost £50-75,000. It is unlikely anyone would install an array of this size as it would not qualify for the enhanced payout of “feed in tariffs” as they are limited to smaller arrays. The installation company’s website suggests that the PV array is in fact grid connected as it suggests that excess energy is sold to the grid.

    I think that the confusion here lies in the fact that Ms Tunstalls PV array is in actual fact a grid connected array (not off grid) which sells energy to the grid. The way the system works is simple there are 2 meter, 1 for the PVs and one for consumption. At the end of each year she either breaks even, is in credit, or has used more than she produces. What she is probably not aware of is the fact that when the power from the grid goes off the PV array she has installed will not supply the sockets in her house or studio. This is because the synchronos inverters which are installed to sell power back to the grid are designed to shut down when they do not detect power from the grid. This is to protect repair workers who may be repairing power lines.

    Reply
  2. Ray Richards

    I’m a grumpy old git too Bob – But I haven’t given up yet and I genuinely think that as your namesake said ‘the times, they are a changin’ – the innovators and the evangelists (maybe you’re one of them?) have got the ball rolling and the rest of us are starting to follow and quickly

    When you change your name to ‘slightly less pissed aff bob’ I’ll know we’re on a roll

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  3. pissed aff bob

    Ray,
    Thats a fair comment , and your right, pragmatism is the key.
    I take it back. KT is probably better than most of the jet set lot by far.
    I just sometimes get so annoyed at the hypocrisy spouted.
    I’m a bit of a cynical grumpy old git, truth be told, and if I’m honest, I believe the damage is more or less done and what happens from now on makes little difference anyway.

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  4. Ray Richards

    This is the nub of it really isn’t is – should we all be looking to burn CO2 at the ‘normal folk’ rate or should we be looking to burn at the ‘better than our contemporaries’ rate?

    For the average American, the average international businessman, the average rock star to get to the ‘normal folk’ rate is just too much to expect – the reality is that it won’t happen. But if every rock star burns less and less than the average, the average keeps reducing and eventually we might reach the point where we have made some significant progress.

    The key is pragmatism, surely?

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  5. pissed aff bob

    to drpeaunoir
    You just don’t get it do you? i thought I’d made it clear enough,,,ok here goes again.
    A celeb (take ur pick, there’s loads of them!)burns up an extrodinary amount of co2 compared to us normal folk and while doing so tries to lecture all of us to live a lifestyle which lessens our co2 emissions!
    Don’t you see a little bit of a problem here???
    Personally, I don’t have a huge issue with bands touring and all the paraphenalia that goes with it. Just don’t lecture me about my carbon footprint when your’s is far worse.
    Remember these are people who will happily fly halfway around the world, do a couple of interviews, and fly back again,,, on a weekly basis! It’s all hypocritical bullshit, and if I sound bitter it’s because I am. I don’t buy this “follow the celeb” trend either! I don’t think they make anything like the difference I’m sure their egos would like you to think they do.
    This aint a rant against Tunstall (most are far worse than her) just a wish that all of them would go about their carbon burning lifestyle with a bit of dignity and perhaps humilty and just “shut the f*%k up”!

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  6. Ray Richards

    Bob – i know where you’re coming from but if we all do better than the current average e.g. for a rock star – then things will improve. Plus, like it or not, the way rock stars and indeed any celebrity acts does have an influence on people.

    I have a problem with ‘green washing’ i.e. brands (including celebrities) shouting very loudly about the little bit of good they do – but better they do a little bit of good than none at all. One day people and companies will do the right thing because they feel it’s the right thing to do not because they think it makes them look good – hope it’s not too late

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  7. drapeaunoir

    Bizarre comments from bob.

    Not clear how anyone is supposed to put on a major tour without multiple trucks, lighting rigs, etc. Touring is part of the music industry – people all over the world go to gigs, hence the need for artists to travel by air & send trucks full of equipment.

    A lot of people (like me) still buy physical CDs rather than downloads, for reasons of permanence. Any effort at all to try to make amends for this is commendable.

    And as WilliamN points out, any celeb adopting a greener lifestyle may, in turn, influence their fan-base to think more on their comsumption.

    So c’mon Bob. Stop the bitterness & the throwing of stones. Tell us what YOU have done.

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  8. pissed aff bob

    To ray
    I’m suggesting she (like many other celebs) should stop shouting their mouths off about green issues when they burn enough carbon in a few weeks (multiple flights, trucks, lighting rigs etc and rest!) that would last most folk a lifetime.
    So, she’s gone a bit off grid,,,great, and good on her, but don’t even try and pretend that this is somehow detracting from the amount of damage these sorts do compared to normal folk.

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  9. WilliamN

    Guess they have to make money all along though you gotta give them some credit since they are using their influence to spread the word. It’s kinda working since now a days more and more are building solar panels on their own.

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  10. ray richards

    I’m confused – are you suggesting she shouldn’t bother?

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  11. pissed aff bob

    Don’t make me laugh! Aren’t you just sick of these celebs trying to shove their green credentials down our throats. When I see them on stage or wherever trying to tell everyone how to be green I am gobsmacked at their audacity. It is literally breathtaking. If Tunstall is so green why doesn’t she stop touring (bio diesel,,,,ho ho ho!) stop making cd’s and sell her music online. pahh egomaniacs the lot of them

    Reply

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