In an intense energy hungry 21st century we should endeavour to undertake more productive energy management/energy efficiency practice, zero energy use (through insulation, smart meters, low energy use innovation, reuse of resources, turning off appliances that will not be used for weeks on end etc.) and focus on reducing transmission losses through super conductivity and producing more localised energy programmes.
Renewable Energies are fully established now – many of us do not register them as such as we do not have PV’s on our rooves, nearby micro-Hydro schemes or a local wind farm all functioning nearby. Yet with innovation and market maturity the potential for expanding renewable energy has never been better.
The main ethos of procuring all our energy requirements from renewable sources – is to become a zero carbon economy and society. To reduce Global Warming – there are several fronts which can be undertaken for humanity to work appropriately in synchronization with nature and the earth.
- No resource use (see diagram below on Waste/Water/ Energy Hierachies) LINK?????????
- Renewable Energy to produce our Heat and Electricity needs
- Increase our Carbon Absorbtion rates – this can be done through many different formats:
- Planting millions of new indigenous trees to the relevant locality of each country of the world.
- CCS: Carbon Capture Storage – an emerging yet contentious technologies which deals with pumping Carbon into deep underground areas to capture and store it. Will Fracking compromise Carbon Storage Sites if they are operating nearby?
- Use less energy from conventional 20th century sources of power stations that use technologies such as coal fired, gas fired and nuclear power.
- Move to a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050. This is realistic yet can only be achieved by Government policy, being pulled to growth in industrial innovation and society demands.
- Support small scale Community Renewables, large scale Indistrial Renewables and engaging in appropriate matching national and international energy loads.
- Greater housekeeping – human’s actually making a conscious decision to save energy and not rely upon innovation and technology to do it for us. Our complacency has cost us dearly in recent decades. Striking a good balance of human responsibility and innovation/technology is the answer.
It is one thing to establish renewable energy by large scale yet Davius strongly encourages the public, industry and the local governments to support Community Owned/Responsible Renewable Energy Schemes: CORES programmes.
CORES: Community Owned (or the Community are responsible for) Renewable Energy Schemes are one strong positive format forward for social inclusion, economic local stability and environmentally benign activity. An atypical example would be the community are given the opportunity to invest money in establishing a renewbale energy programme (such as micro-Hydro and/or several wind turbines) which will encourage more acceptance of these renewable technologies.
Once commissioned the renewable energy platform will obviously generate energy, the premiums paid for the green electricty sold (by way of FiT’s [Feed in Tariff’s] and ROC [Renewable Obligation Certificates]) to the national grid will be used to primarily to pay off any loans used to fund the renewable energy technology installation/commissioning.
Secondly (and more importantly) the funds raised from sales will be injected directly into the locality where the renewable energy technologies were built. Such platforms of ‘sourced locally – use locally’ will encourage communities to gain and feel part of the local energy infrastructures.
Repaying banks for such schemes would take approximately 8 years – yet the life of these innovations will be a minimum of 25-100 years which indicates a lot more funds will be channelled into the local community once the loans are repaid, with increasing sales of the green electricity.
Farmers could make significant gains from mixing up their outputs and using land to graze cattle as well as establish wind farms, micro hydro schemes or anaerobic digestion facilities (what about solar farms?) which would improve and diversify the national agricultural portfolio.
If Sustainability enthuses local regeneration then the triad model of Sustainability will require:
- Locally skilled People – to maintain and monitor the renewable energy system.
- Local Environmental Resources – to build and maintain, yet additionally the electricity sales will lead to urban/rural environmental regeneration.
- Local Money – local investment will encourage more responsibility and ownership and people will feel genuinely more interconnected with the renewable energy technology and its end result of the various social improvements, economic regeneration encouraged from the funds gained by the renewable innovation.
What can local money do to improve your area? The funds from the sales of the wind/hydro/solar generated electricity will go into running:
- Free creche’s for young families, single parents who want to go out to work (yet conventional creche prices are too prohibitive).
- Re-opening or maintain existing Post Offices (which have suffered a lot of national closures) that are a central part to communities.
- Put funding behind local health centres.
- Supporting local schools, colleges and adult education outreach programmes.
- Ask the communities what they want and fund establishing new social/economic projects.
Here are some examples of existing or in-situ progressive Community Owned Renewable Energy Schemes:
Awel Aman Tawe: based in Swansea – www.awelamantawe.co.uk
Arts Factory: Community Wind Farm – based in Ferndale, Rhondda Valleys – www.artsfactory.co.uk
Cardiff Energy Co-Operative – Community Solar and PV – based in Cardiff –
Egni: Community Solar PV – based in Swansea – www.egni.coop
Torrs Hydro: Community Hydro – based in New Mills, Derbyshire – www.torrshydro.org
West Mill: Community Wind Farm – based in Cumbria – http://www.westmill.coop
Solar Co-Op: Community Solar – based in Maidenhead – http://www.thesolar.coop
DOORES: Domestic/Office Owned Renewable Energy Schemes:
It is one thing to
Roof Wind Turbines:
Although feasibility studies in the mid and late 2000’s showed that ‘roof turbines’ contributed very little in urban areas – yet were successful in rural areas or large open spaces with plenty of wind shear,
Some people believe living off grid to be idealistic or unrealistic
When a domestic home or office has a relationship with the local energy manager / national grid where one
Homes can become power houses and can produce much needed energy for industry during the day when the majority of homes use less energy when individuals and families are at work and school,
this is not about becoming entirely energy independent, yet having established a strong symbiosis (instead of energy parasitic)
By 2020 a PV 4kw system may sell for approximately £2000 which would be sufficient to fuel ones home, recharge the electric car/bike and Import/export required/excess amounts of electricty
Only Industry can provide hundreds of millions of currency to fund and operate large scales renewables such as large wind farms, off shore wind farms, dams, wave power, marine power and solar farms to provide the Terabytes of necessary cleanly generated electricity.
Large scale renewables will make a significant contribution to the international community. As a powerful viable solution for energy security – to our global energy crisis of prohibitive expensive electricity, long distance transmission losses and costs, intermitted electricity and large scale power cuts as suffered recently by countries recently like Brazil, India, Paraguay and USA (amongst other countries).