Energy Democracy = Free Energy

Energy democracy is almost here

Energy democracy is a new term. We have seen the growth of local municipal energy generation projects. Roof top solar on your house is growing in popularity. Universities and schools are now effective sites for generating energy. All this means we are entering a new age.

Energy Democracy is the new age. For over 125 years we have been sold to, told to, and generally treated as ignorant energy buy-bots. Energy consumers are still treated this way by an industry that is scrambling to find ways to deal with renewable energy. Wind and solar PV are killing the existing model for energy generation. The old paradigm of centralized energy production is dying along with their gross profit margins. The oil and gas sector is suffering a similar fate.  More on that later. For now how is this change of energy generation and consumption effecting your bill?

Energy democracy means free energy?

Free energy may be coming to a house near you soon. How is this possible, you ask. Good question. With a simple answer.

If you have enough solar PV generation on your roof AND enough battery storage you can get free energy. Not totally free as you do need to pay for all the kit and installation, Or do you???

There are many offers in the marketplace for buying your energy at a discount from a supplier who fits solar to your roof. there are also other offers making the rounds in trials here in the UK for energy storage installed in your home. The cost can be offset by selling energy to the grid using a process called aggregation. This may pay for the storage. Now you have energy generation on your roof which cost you nothing, and saves you energy on your bill. Added to this is a battery system offered with an income potential to offset the cost of installation. Very close to free.

Energy democracy in action

One of many Community Windpower projects


The bigger picture of energy production is changing as well. The growth of local, community, and county owned generation projects is increasing energy owned locally.

No more are we tied to a corporate giant producing our energy with no regard to our environment. Owning the means of energy production will help US save our planet. It will also move us closer to free energy for all.


Eco-cities of the Future

How’s your city’s eco-status?

Eco-cities are urban areas which are sustainable and environmentally friendly. You don’t have to live in a hippy commune to minimise your impact on the planet. With a growing world population, modern cities are adapting to be more eco-friendly.

Since 2009, the number of people living in urban areas has exceeded the number in rural areas . This means that to improve the sustainability of our planet, we need to plan and develop our cities in a way which minimises energy use, waste and emissions.

If you want to find out the world’s current human population, check out this link to see how it fluctuates.

In order to combat the issues caused by a massive growth in population, many cities have aimed to improve their sustainability. Some even aim for the ‘Eco-city’ status.

What are Eco-cities?

Factors influencing sustainable life- from International Eco-city Framework and Standards

Factors influencing sustainable life- from International Eco-city Framework and Standards

According to the International Ecocity Framework and Standards, “An Ecocity is a human settlement modeled on the self-sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems.”

This means that it provides for the people living there, without consuming more resources than it replaces. It also reduces waste and it recycles when possible.



Some examples of exciting urban developments:

Curitaba- A functioning eco-city

Curitaba– A functioning eco-city



Curitiba in Brazil has become famous for its sustainable transport and low waste levels.



ReGen Villages:regen villages

ReGen villages in the Netherlands aim to tackle the lack of resources and growing human population by providing a more sustainable living environment. How? ReGen villages plan to provide homes running on renewable energy, sustainable water management, and waste-to-resource systems (Biofuels). The idea is to create a place where families can live happily and with a low environmental impact.

Masdar City:

Masdar City  in the United Arab Emirates is now an established community where people are living and working. The development is based around the idea of sustainability and encouraging business and education in the renewable sector to grow together. Masdar focuses on energy-efficient buildings and has become internationally known for its green technology.


Tianjin Eco-City is the result of a collaborative agreement between the governments of China and Singapore. It aims to achieve the “Three Harmonies”; social harmony, economic vibrancy and environmental sustainability.


Tianjin eco-city, from BBC news.








Has your city gone eco yet? Visit the crowdmap to see which cities have a sustainable future.

Amber Rudd is the Fossil Fuel Energy Secritary!

Amber Rudd is the Fossil Fuel Energy Secritary!

Amber Rudd gives a new twist to David Cameron’s administration, outright support of fossil fuels! Amber Rudd has been misrepresenting our best interests for some time! She has, on several occasions, not told the truth to the people and to Parliament. This is proof that we can not trust our current government. We should request an investigation, criminal charges against Amber Rudd, and the end of Cameron’s government.

Here is the complete article from The Ecologist:

Leaked letter: Rudd admits 25% green energy undershoot, misled Parliament

Oliver Tickell 9th November 2015

A letter from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd leaked to The Ecologist shows that she misled Parliament by promising the UK was ‘on course’ to deliver on its renewable energy targets – when in fact there is a delivery shortfall in 2020 of almost 25%. Her plan to fill the gap relies on more biofuels, buying in green power and ‘credits’ from abroad – everything but wind and solar.

Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Photo: Association for Decentralised Energy via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

A letter from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd leaked to The Ecologist shows that the UK is on track to miss its legally binding obligation to achieve strict EU targets on renewable energy by an estimated 50TWh (terawatt hours), or 3.5% of its 15% obligation – that is a shortfall of almost 25%.

This stands in stark contrast to her public position. On 17th September she told the House of Commons: “When it became apparent that we were way in excess of [spending limits on renewables], but  were still meeting our renewables targets, it was right to limit the  amount of money we were spending.”

As Rudd warns, this impending failure to meet EU renewables targets puts the UK at a double risk – of legal action taken in the UK, which the government would probably lose; and of enormous fines imposed by the European Court of Justice:

“The absence of a credible plan to meet the target carries the risk of successful judicial review, and failing to meet the overall target in 2020 could lead to on-going fines imposed by the EU Court of Justice (which could take into account avoided costs) until the UK reaches the target level.”

But by misleading the House of Commons in her statement, she is now certain to have a more immediate problem on her hands – demands for her resignation and a full-blown Parliamentary investigation.

Her first test will come tomorrow before the Energy and Climate Change Committee tomorrow (Tuesday 10th November) when its members grill her on her department’s annual report and accounts.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Labour’s shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy said: “At the very same  time the energy secretary is telling her colleagues in private we’re not  on course to meet our legal target on clean energy, she is cutting wind  and solar schemes that could help us to meet it. It beggars belief.”

The grisly detail of Rudd’s smoke-and-mirrors

The letter, to Cabinet colleagues Philip Hammond (Foreign Secretary), Oliver Letwin (Cabinet Office), Greg Hands (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Patrick McLoughlin (Transport Secretary) begins by setting out the scale of what the UK has to achieve:

“The target sets a legally binding obligation on HMG to deliver 15% of the UK’s final energy consumption across electricity, heat and transport from renewable sources in 2020, with a binding sub-target for 10% of transport fuels to be from renewable sources in 2020.
“Beyond a flat rate of renewables for each member state, the effort share for meeting the EU-wide 20% target was based on GDP. As a result of this, and the fact that the UK started from a very low base of renewables deployment, our target requires amongst the most significant annual growth in renewables deployment (16% average annual growth from 2011 to 2020) of any member state.”

And although the UK’s current trajectory is on course for a massive miss of 32-66 TWh (terawatt hours) per year by 2020, with a central estimate of a 50TWh shortfall, the UK’s public position is that there is no problem meeting the target.

Yet her public statements all indicate that everything is on track. As noted above, on 17th September she told the House of Commons: “We had a commitment to limit the levy control framework to £7.6 billion  by 2020. When it became apparent that we were way in excess of that, but  were still meeting our renewables targets, it was right to limit the  amount of money we were spending. That is why we took action quickly to  do so.”

A consistent pattern of concealing the truth

Or as she told Parliament on 22nd June 2015 – ironically in her statement termination subsidies for onshore wind: “This Government is committed to meeting objectives on cutting carbon  emissions and to continue to make progress towards the UK’s 2020  renewable energy targets.

“The renewable electricity programme aims to deliver at least 30%  of the UK’s electricity demand from renewables by 2020. We are on course  to achieve this objective. Renewables already make up  almost 20% of  our electricity generation and there is a strong pipeline  to deliver  the rest.”

Note the subtle switch from ‘energy’ to ‘electricity’ in her second sentence. A DECC spokesman commented: “We do not comment on leaked documents. As the Secretary of  State has set out clearly in the House, renewables made up almost 20%  of our electricity generation in 2014 and there is a strong pipeline to  deliver our ambition of reaching 30% by 2020.  We continue to make progress to meet our overall renewable energy  target.”

However Rudd had also told Parliament a few days before on 18th June, again in the context of the early closure of support for onshore wind, that deployment was set to deliver on the 2020 renewable energy targets: “The Government are committed to meeting objectives on cutting carbon emissions and the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets …

“My Department’s analysis indicates that, after taking into account an  early closure, onshore wind deployment under the RO [Renewables Obligation] will be in the  region of 11.6 GW … this puts us above the middle of the range set out in the  EMR [Electricity Market Reform] delivery plan, our best estimate of what we would need to meet our  2020 targets. It is therefore appropriate to curtail further deployment  of onshore wind, balancing the interests of onshore wind developers with  those of the wider public.”

The message is clear, in statement after statement, she told Parliament that everything was going to plan towards meeting renewable energy targets. But she sets out the truth in her leaked letter. Until 2017 / 2018 the UK will be achieving its milestones, she writes, but after that

“The trajectory then increases substantially, and currently leads to a shortfall against the target in 2020 of around 50 TWh (with a range of 32 – 67TWh) or 3.5% points (with a range of 2.1 – 4.5% points) in our internal central forecasts (which are not public). Publically we are clear that the UK continues to make progress to meet the target.”


The cuts that are destroying a once booming British industry

Since its election to power in May 2015, the Conservative government has unleashed an astonishing series of attacks on the UK’s renewable energy sector which has included:

The government’s claim is that this has been motivated by the need to save money allocated under the ‘Levy Control Framework’ which allocates funds for renewable energy, however the depth and extent of the cuts betrays a strong ideological agenda to destroy the UK renewables industry.

Following her re-election in May, Rudd promised: “I want to unleash a new solar  revolution – we have a million people  living under roofs with solar  panels and that number needs to  increase.” However in office she has done the precise reverse. This letter now shows the desperate position those cuts have put the UK into.

Rudd’s plan to meet target without new wind and solar

The first element in Rudd’s plan to meet the UK’s target is by “Maintaining and improving existing policy performance towards the target”, she writes. “This would require us:

  • “to maintain our commitment to achieving at least 30% of electricity generation from renewables;
  • “to meet the 10% sub-target for renewable fuels in transport;
  • “and to continue support for the deployment of new renewable heating installations after the current funding settlement ends in 2015/16.”

Spot the lack of mention of anything to do with new wind and solar power? Her plan is based entirely on other means of achieving the target – even though wind is by far the lowest cost form of renewable energy, and solar is likely to become cheaper by 2020 with continued support to the point where it competes directly against fossil fuel generation.

The renewable heat incentive alone, Rudd writes, could deliver 20TWh (with a range of 15 – 32TWh), leaving a ‘central shortfall’ of around 30TWh. However she adds that “These forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty as the market for renewable heat is at an early stage and as a result of market and technical performance factors relating to renewable electricity.”

The next element is “Additional UK renewables deployment”, she writes. “Officials across Whitehall are reviewing policy options open to us to address this c.30TWh shortfall through additional deployment of renewables in heat, electricity and transport.”

Current levels of ‘renewable fuels’ derived from crops are already set to be doubled between 2017 and 2020, adding around 2 pence per litre on pump prices, but Rudd suggests that a further increase would be possible.

“An additional 12.9TWh or 0.9% points could theoretically be delivered above the sub target, at an estimated cost of £850m/year (adding a further 2.1 pence per litre on pump prices).”

But she warns that the move would be counter-productive in climate terms: “Due to limited availability of sustainable feedstocks, supply beyond the sub target appears likely to increase carbon emissions by increasing deforestation through new demand for agricultural land.”

There’s also potential to increase additional bio-methane production produced from organic wastes and some specially grown crops, however two thirds of the 6TWh this could produce have already been counted:

“The highest potential for additional renewable heat is from bio-methane injection into the gas grid, which could deliver up to 6TWh (or 0.4% points) by 2020. However a significant proportion of this (up to 4TWh) is already included in the proposals for continuing support for renewable heat post 2015/16.”

The ‘third way’ – buy it in from Norway

Rudd’s third step is certain to cause huge anger in the UK’s renewable energy industry as it involves simply buying it in from abroad, specifically from Norway’s hydroelectric dams. But it comes with one big problem – the required electrical connection to Norway won’t be ready on time:

“Additional deployment of electricity focuses on importing renewable electricity from Norway via the planned interconnector. This could deliver a maximum of 10TWh, depending on market forces. However, my officials do not expect the interconnector to be in operation until late 2021 at the earliest, and therefore would not strictly help the UK to reach its 2020 target.”

But that’s not the only problem: if the renewable power is generated in Norway then how can it be made to count as British just be importing it?

“Should this change, we believe that an intergovernmental agreement would be necessary, under which the UK would be required to make payment(s) to the Norwegian government (on top of that which would be paid for the electricity supplied through normal market mechanisms).”

Which is all very well, but it will cost the Uk money that should be going into our own renewables programme., Moreover there’s no guarantee that the arrangement would be considered valid by the European Commission or by the European Court.

So why not just buy in ‘statistical credits’ from other countries?

Nonetheless Rudd goers on to consider further “Use of co-operation mechanisms” that would allow the UK to finance renewable energy projects in other EU states.

Which raises the question: when the UK has Europe’s richest wind power resource, why would we want to do that? In the process exporting the jobs, expertise and industrial investment to other countries?

“In the absence of other measures to increase renewable energy consumption in the UK, a strategy to meet the target (and to ensure that the target is met in the most cost-effective way) would need to involve the UK purchasing renewables deployment later in the decade from other EU Member States which have over-achieved their target.

“There are two ways to do this The first would see HMG directly support a specific renewables project in another EU or European Economic Area Member State or third country, with an agreed proportion of the renewable energy generated being transmitted to the EU where the project occurs in a third country.”

And another problem then strikes: “However, at this stage there are no projects we have identified with the potential to deploy in the right time frames.” Which leads Rudd to attempt to invent a whole new market mechanism in ‘statistical credits’ for renewable energy from other EU countries.

“The alternative is to reach an agreement with an EU or EEA Member  State, which is likely to over-achieve on its target, to buy  ‘statistical credits’ from it in 2020. The market for such transactions  does not yet exist, and there is a low likelihood that sufficient  credits will be available to meet the total UK shortfall of 50TWh.”

Just one small problem there: there is currently no such thing as a  ‘statistical credit’ that the Commission or the European Court would recognise. In addition, adds Rudd,

“We believe there is a medium – low likelihood that sufficient credits will be available to meet a shortfall of 30TWh. Costs are, however, also highly uncertain. Nevertheless, trading has the potential to make a cost effective contribution towards meeting the target alongside a package of domestic action.”

Next step – try to win over other EU states

Which makes it all the more important to get other EU states on side. Not that the time is propitious – just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to win concessions from them on a host of other issues.

“In tandem with this emerging strategy, officials will seek to build a consensus with other EU Member States which we believe to be in a similar position to the UK, in particular in relation to their renewables target but also to other 2020 targets for greenhouse gas emissions or energy efficiency. This may allow us to negotiate some flexibility in meeting the target.”

The other EU countries Rudd refers to include Germany, France, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland who are also “currently off track to meet the target to varying degrees.”

However Rudd clearly has little confidence that these negotiations will be fruitful: “entrenched positions in Brussels and the need to defend broader HMG policy objectives mean that we cannot rely on this to deliver anything to significantly improve UK progress against the target.”

Nor is there ‘strength in numbers’ with other EU target-missers: “Whilst it may be tempting from a UK perspective to take comfort from  this list, it should be noted that Germany in particular sees the target  as a cornerstone of the EU’s climate agenda and has a strong domestic  policy framework in place which may well allow it to make up any  shortfall.

“In addition, the failure of other Member States to meet their  target would not provide the UK with a formal defence in legal  proceedings.”

Transport Minister warns – biofuels costly, unsustainable

In another problem for Amber Rudd’s plan Andrew Jones, minister at the Transport Department in charge of environment and innovation, wrote to Amber  Rudd in a second leaked letter, warning against further increases in biofuel use in transport on cost, food security and ecological grounds:

“I concur with you, however, that meeting the 10% sub-target for renewable energy in 2020 is  challenging. It requires a doubling of current biofuel inclusion rates  right up to the limits allowed for by fuel standards in regular petrol  and diesel in just a few years, and it will also require great care to  secure sustainable sources of biomass supply and avoid consumer  opposition …

“I should highlight that I do not consider it appropriate to go  beyond the transport sub target. As you point out, we understand that  demand at such levels appears likely to cause deforestation through new  demand for agricultural land, and it could also increase food as well as  fuel prices.

“This is why the UK Government argued strongly for the  introduction of recently adopted measures to limit food based biofuels  at EU level. As a consequence, environmental and social NGOs would be  expected to campaign strongly against it.

“I believe such campaigning would be likely to win public support,  not least given the estimated total increase of around 3 pence per  litre on fuel costs that could result.”

Between a rock and a hard place

This all leaves Amber Rudd in an increasingly untenable position. First, she has effectively admitted to having deceived Parliament. That’s something she will surely struggle to justify to the Energy and Climate Change Committee tomorrow.

Second, she has revealed the disastrous outcome of her policy to destroy the UK’s renewable energy industry. The fact that the UK is seriously considering buying in actual power and non-existent ‘statistical credits’ for renewable energy from other European countries also speaks volumes for her policy failure.

As for the idea of supporting renewable energy projects abroad instead of here in the UK, it’s not hard to imagine how that will go down with the UK’s renewable industry. The solar industry alone is set to lose 27,000 jobs as a result of cuts to solar power subsidies.

And her idea to increase the volume of biofuels in petrol and diesel has rightly been shot out of the water by transport minister Andrew Jones.

There is of course one eminently sensible and achievable solution – to restore sustainable levels of support for wind and solar energy and roll it out in bulk for 2020 at ever diminishing cost.

Rudd, clearly, has lost all credibity at this stage, both politically and with the renewable energy industry that ultimately has to deliver the UK’s targets. The obvious choice for Cameron is to bring back Greg Barker, who as an MP was a respected energy minister from 2010 to 2014, and remains honorary president of the British Photovoltaic Association. He now sits in the House of Lords.

Loss of face before Paris climate talks

​Greenpeace Head of Energy, Daisy Sands commented: “This letter shows us the dark side of the government’s incoherent  energy policy in full technicolour. For the first time, we learn that  the government is expecting to miss the EU’s legally binding renewables  target. This is hugely shocking.

“More deplorably, it is wilfully  hiding this from public scrutiny. The government is planning on cutting  support for the solar and wind subsidies in the name of affordability.  But perversely, we see that the government  believes investing in  renewable energy projects involving buying power from abroad is more  desirable than supporting home grown renewable energy industries.

“Even  more worryingly, it seems the government is seeking to haggle with the  EU to revise down our legal commitments. This policy makes no  environmental or economic sense as the UK is losing jobs and affordable  clean, renewable energy sources.

“The government’s claim to leadership in  the Paris climate negotiations requires us to have targets, but we must  meet them too.”

Green MEP Molly Scott Cato told the Guardian that Rudd had “serious questions  to answer about why she has reported something to parliament which  appears inconsistent with what she has been telling other ministers.

“The UK’s energy policy is bound by European law which Rudd appears  to be flouting. I have already raised with the European Commission my concerns about the fact that the government’s changes to  energy policy make it unlikely we will meet our renewables target.

“The  evidence in this letter shows the secretary of state is aware of this  serious situation and I will now be following this up with further  questions as a matter of urgency.”

My thanks to The Ecologist for outing this important information.

Fuel for the future today – Carbon neutral and made from air and water.

Fuel for the future, todayCarbon neutral from air and water.

Fuels of the future will be made using renewable energy water and CO2 captured from the air. This new form of carbon neutral fuel will be used to drive IC engines and run steam generation plants. Soon all those diesel truck polluting our atmosphere will be using this fuel for the future.   From Audi who invented this amazing fuel:

After a commissioning phase of just four months, [Audi’s] research facility in Dresden started producing its first batches of high‑quality diesel fuel a few days ago. To demonstrate its suitability for everyday use, Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka put the first five liters into her official car, an Audi A8 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro*, this Tuesday. “This synthetic diesel, made using CO2, is a huge success for our sustainability research. If we can make widespread use of CO2 as a raw material, we will make a crucial contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of resources, and put the fundamentals of the “green economy” in place,” declared Wanka. – Excerpt ends.


Fuel for the future today

Johanna Wanka, and Reiner Mangold in front of the carbon neutral car(Audi Photo)


 Fuel for the future is made from the sun and will drive your car clean.

This concept moves us in a better direction than fracking. By using renewable energy sources to make carbon-neutral fuel, we are not destroying the environment. Fracking destroys the environment in many ways. By capturing CO2 in our atmosphere and turning it into fuel we will be much closer to saving our planet. This is very similar to using biomass to heat your home. The carbon being released by burning wood was captured from our atmosphere as the bio-life grew.

Fuel for the future today

Audi makes clean diesel from air and water.(Audi Photo)

Fuels for the future will change the planet.

We can make fuel out of the carbon in our atmosphere. Capturing then using carbon to make clean diesel fuel removes oil and gas from the equation. Renewable energy from the sun the wind is produced in surplus. This energy needs to be stored to make all renewable energy viable. Making diesel fuel that is clean and clear of dirty oil by-products will clean up our environment. It will store energy for later use. We no have the ability to make clean fuels with out using any oil or gas. This means we can finally stop burning fossil fuels.

Arizona is the definition of Insanity

Arizona is the definition of insanity

Arizona shares a rare and enviable place in the USA list of  ‘states with highest insolation.’   Arizona is also a state with few water resources. These two facts combined make Arizona the perfect candidate state for solar PV energy generation. Arizona is also the perfect place for concentrated solar energy production. This idea as described in DeserTec’s outline will help the world to move away from oil and nuclear power.

So why has Arizona passing laws that discourage solar PV on houses?

Why has Arizona just passed a law that calls nuclear energy renewable?

The full article from Clean Technica is here. Re-posted below:

February 6th, 2015 by

Who would ever consider nuclear power to be a “renewable” means of power generation?

Well, the Arizona Senate Committee on Water and Energy, for one — there might be someone else, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other person or entity….

Arizona is the definition of insanity

Not a solar panel in sight!

The aforementioned bill that the Senate Committee on Water and Energy just passed (narrowly) is SB 1134 — a bill classifying “nuclear energy from sources fueled by uranium fuel rods that include 80% or more of recycled nuclear fuel, and natural thorium reactor resources under development” as renewable energy sources.

The approval is especially funny considering the fact that Arizona is fast approaching some serious water-sourcing issues, and nuclear power plants require huge quantities of water in order to function.

Someplace like coastal Texas or California, you could kind of understand (despite the other issues with nuclear — such as very long-lived, hard to clean up pollution), but Arizona? Right in the middle of a desert, and almost completely reliant on just a few small river systems and fossil groundwater laid down during the last ice age? Hmm…

Regardless of the water issues, though, how does one go about classifying nuclear power as a renewable energy source anyway?

This difficulty in conceptualizing nuclear power as a renewable power source was actually shared by many of the senators on the committee, though — which is why the bill passed by only one vote. One vote — that right there sums up one of the primary issues with democracy (to my eyes). All that it takes is a one-vote disparity to discount the opinions of the losing half of a near 50–50 split…

As far as the senators’ comments, here you go (Phoenix New Times):
Senator Lynne Pancrazi said she considers nuclear an “alternative energy,” but “can’t agree that nuclear is renewable;” Senator David Bradley said he “(appreciates) the fact that technology is allowing us to use rods a few times, but that doesn’t make it a renewable;” and Senator Sylvia Allen said they could argue back and forth about the definitions of renewable and recyclable, but that it isn’t the point of the bill.”

The senator behind the bill, Senator Steve Smith, didn’t really address these issues, having merely stated (while referencing “recycling” fuel rods): “Basically we just want to burn that energy twice.”

“Burn the energy twice” doesn’t sound to me like someone talking about a renewable energy resource. Perhaps that’s just me, though.

While the bill was passed by the committee, it still has to make its way through: the rules committee, the Senate, and the House of Representatives — which a similar bill last year was unable to do.

One last comment from the bill’s backer, Senator Smith, before ending this article: when asked about the differences between nuclear and renewables, he stated that when it comes to nuclear material, “we have so much that can be reused that it’s almost renewable.”

What? Do the bill’s supporters/backers really not have a better argument than that?

Image Credit: Public Domain

Scotland’s Biggest Power Source Is Renewables!

Scotland’s biggest power source is renewables

Scotland's bigest energy source is renewables



Scotland’s renewable energy generators have moved into 1st place. Scotland produced more energy from renewables than any other source including nuclear power. This is another milestone on the road to 100% sustainable renewable energy generation in Scotland. It will be how we in England will respond to this obvious challenge.

BBC article:

Renewable power has overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity in Scotland, the latest figures have suggested.

Wind and hydro power produced 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in the first six months of this year, UK government statistics showed.

Meanwhile, National Grid figures showed nuclear power stations generated 7.8TWh over the same period.

Environmental campaigners said it was a “significant landmark”.

National Grid said 5.6TWh of electricity came from coal-fired power stations in the first half of this year, with a further 1.4TWh from gas-fired stations.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the figures showed that the country was continuing to make “good progress” towards its target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources.

‘Vast potential’

He added: “The fact that energy from renewables has exceeded that from nuclear in the first half of 2014 highlights the vast potential of renewable generation to provide a safe, secure and cost-effective means of electricity generation for this country, together with appropriate levels of thermal generation.

“It is vital that appropriate support for renewables in Scotland is maintained following the introduction of electricity market reform in the UK.”

Niall Stuart, chief executive of the industry body Scottish Renewables, said there was still “plenty of potential” for more to come from renewable power, with offshore wind and marine energy still in the early stages of development.

Mr Stuart added: “This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change.

“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.”

He added: “The renewables industry has come a long way in a short space of time but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.

“Offshore wind and marine energy are still in the early stages of development but could make a big contribution to our future energy needs if they get the right support from government. That support includes the delivery of grid connections to the islands, home to the UK’s very best wind, wave and tidal sites.”

Sense of perspective

Lang Banks, director of the environmental group WWF Scotland, said: “Last month, while nuclear reactors were forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s renewables were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country.

“Wind turbines in Scotland alone generated enough electricity to supply three millions homes in the UK – equivalent to 126% of the electricity needs of every home north of the border.”

But Paul Younger, professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow, said it was important to keep a sense of perspective.

He added: “It’s true that we’ve seen an increase in both the installed capacity and output of wind generation over the last year or so, but the 2013 closure of the coal-fired power station at Cockenzie and the downgrading of the gas-fired power station at Peterhead have had a much more dramatic effect on the percentage balance of generation sources.

“What we are seeing is a loss of capability in Scotland to generate on demand. Basically, nuclear generates steadily, 24/7 and we can increase generation from coal and gas as and when we need it. We desperately need not to lose sight of that.

“Otherwise, we will be relying on importing power from England, or else facing blackouts. That would bring a backlash against renewables which I do not want to see.”



Scottish Power 50% Renewable

Scottish Power 50% Renewable

Scottish power 50% renewable! 50% of all Scottish electricity is produced from renewable energy now. Here is a BBC article about this amazing new development.

The full article re-posted:

25 September 2014 Last updated at 12:41

Wind turbines Wind farms in Scotland saw a 20% rise in output last year

Related Stories

Almost half of the power generated in Scotland now comes from renewable sources, according to official figures.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said renewables achieved 46.4% of gross electricity consumption in 2013 – up from 39.9% in 2012.

It also found the amount of power generated from renewable sources in Scotland in the first half of this year was 30% up on a year ago.

The period saw wind output rise by 20%, while hydro generation climbed by 50%.

Renewable heat generation accounted for 3% of Scotland’s non-electrical heat demand – up from 2.7% in 2011.

The figures were welcomed by environmental group WWF Scotland.

However, industry group Scottish Renewables warned that Scotland’s 2020 renewable heat target remained “worryingly out of reach”, despite progress in the sector.

Energy efficiencyThe Scottish government said Scotland was on track to meet its interim target of achieving 50% of its electricity demand from green power by 2015.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing claimed renewable generation continued “to go from strength to strength” in Scotland.

He said: “Scottish renewable electricity made up 32% of the UK’s renewable energy generation in 2013 and we continue to be a net exporter of electricity.

“Energy efficiency sits at the top of our energy hierarchy and the progress being made is welcome.”

Mr Ewing added: “We are committed to making Scotland a leading low carbon investment destination, delivering growth from the growing low carbon sector and ensuring communities across Scotland can benefit from the opportunities that the transition to a low carbon economy brings.”

‘Record year’WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Coming off the back of recent calls by the UN for more action on climate change, it’s fantastic to hear that Scotland is continuing to generate record amounts of clean, renewable electricity.

“Even more encouraging is the fact that this looks like being yet another record year for renewables in Scotland.

“This is good news for all those concerned with cutting carbon emissions, creating jobs and keeping the lights on.

“However, if we’re to meet our aim of generating 100% of our electricity needs from renewables by 2020 then we’ll need to see continued government support in both Holyrood and Westminster.

“This is especially the case for offshore wind power, where we need to see a major roll-out of sites in Scottish waters in the next few years.”

‘Left behind’Scottish Renewables said the figures showed that 3% of the country’s warmth came from biomass, solar thermal panels, energy from waste and heat pumps in 2012.

But it claimed that, with a target of 11% by 2020, the sector had been “left behind”.

solar panels on roof of house Solar PV panels contributed to a small rise in renewable heat figures

Scottish Renewables policy manager Stephanie Clark said: “While Scotland has made great strides towards its 100% 2020 renewable electricity target, our objective of generating 11% of heat from renewables remains worryingly out of reach.

“Renewable heat has been left behind.

“Half the energy we use goes on creating warmth, but a sector which has such an important role to play in combating climate change and reducing fuel poverty is not even considered important enough to be included as one of the Scottish government’s national indicators of progress.

“Currently we just do not see the capacity coming forward which will allow us to hit the 2020 target and capitalise on the reductions in fuel poverty and carbon emissions which achieving it would bring.”


Hydrogen Powered Factory Equipment

Hydrogen powered

Hydrogen powered vehicles have been around awhile. The challenge for driving cars powered by hydrogen is storage. Storage and availability of refueling stations. How do you store enough hydrogen to drive a car 350 miles? Where can you refuel your hydrogen powered car?

I blogged about a new car by Honda that can do these long range drives.

Now Honda has also started using hydrogen to power short range equipment too. In their own factory!

Hydrogen Powered material handling equipment

Briggs Equipment installed a hydrogen powered truck system at Honda’s Swindon manufacturing facility. The fork truck built by Yale has been converted to rely entirely on renewable energy sources. The new system  generates hydrogen from solar power via electrolysis.  Now all the energy to drive the fork truck is clean and renewable with zero emissions.

The Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association has a nice article about this.

Hydrogen powered Fork Truck!


Hydrogen powered

All Green! All Clean!

The World Industrial Reporter also has a nice article about the new hydrogen powered fork truck at Honda’s Swindon factory.

The photo above comes from this article. Here is a bit of that article:

Richard Close, Briggs Equipment CEO explained how the consortium has worked hard with Honda to produce commercial volumes of truly ‘green’ hydrogen to power the converted Yale trucks in operation at the Swindon plant.

“These hybrid trucks are the first to use lithium battery technology with a hydrogen fuel cell to replace standard lead-acid batteries, resulting in materials handling equipment that produces zero emissions at the point of use,” he said. “The project has proved what can be achieved. The challenge is now to extend this as widely as possible.”

There you are folks. No drilling. No fracking. No mess. Clean green renewable energy today. That is what we need across the planet to save our climate and us. To quote Oliver Twist “Can I have some more please?”

‘Fracking unsafe in Kent’ says EU Commission adviser

Fracking unsafe


Fracking is unsafe. This is a well known fact. There are many reports and studies that prove this.

There was a meeting in Canterbury on the 19th of November 2014. This meeting was attended by many local citizens. The panel of speakers were from both sides of the fracking issue.

One panel member was Mr Michael Hill. Mr Hill is an expert adviser to the EU Commission on Shale Gas. Mr Hill said quit clearly that “Fracking in Kent is unsafe.”

Here is the article from the Canterbury Times:

fracking is unsafe

From left to right: Nick Riley, David Smythe and Michael Hill


Fracking is unsafe

The whole article here:

“Fracking in Kent is unsafe,” said Michael Hill, an Expert Adviser to the EU Commission on Shale Gas, to hundreds at a heated fracking debate last night.

Mr Hill, who was part of the Royal Society team that made 10 recommendations on fracking in 2012, was one of a 7-member panel at the debate which was organised by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Sociology department as part of their new Engaging Sociology series.

According to Mr Hill, the proximity of the drilling sites to water basins means shale fracking, which is designed to extract gas and oil from shale rock, in Kent is likely to be unsafe.

“A 30% rise in birth defects and 38% rise in cancer mortality has been documented in areas where fracking took place,” he said, pointing out that it’s usually possible to extract only around 4% of the gas in the ground.

“So the question that needs to be asked is: how many birth defects should we have to carry out the drilling? If you say none then you’ve just banned fracking.”

“We do not have the same level of regulation that exists in the US in the UK,” he added. “We have not learned from the mistakes they had in the US.”

One of the pro-fracking participants, Director of Carboniferous Limited Nick Riley, blamed the media for what he called “scaremongering”.

“You need to go on the Environment Agency’s website and look at the facts,” he said.

Fracking Unsafe

Ian Driver leaves the meeting for good reason.

The debate saw Ian Driver, Green Party Councillor at Thanet District Council and a prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, walk off of the podium after accusing the Dean of the Sociology Faculty and the event’s chairwoman, Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser, of poor chairmanship.

“I’ve never seen such poor chairmanship,” he said. “You did not let us answer one question.”

Professor Haddock-Fraser explained that the questions were technical and asked Mr Driver to return to the stage but he refused.

Another important pro-fracking participant was Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams, chairman of Coastal Oil and Gas which holds fracking licenses for east Kent, who was booed by the crowd after explaining why it is important to go through with the plans.

“In South Wales we see libraries closing, schools are struggling, many people out of work, something has to be done,” he said.

He added: “Fracking has been done, is done and will be done in the UK.”

Other panel members include: Distinguished Fellow at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Paul Stevens, Former Vice Chair of East Kent Against Fracking and campaigner, Julie Wassmer, and Emeritus Professor of Geophysics University of Glasgow, David Smythe.

The event was part of Christ Church University’s Engaging Sociology series which promotes debates on key issues that have an impact on society.

Article Ends…

Two points here that show the biased nature of the Fracking debate.

The first point involves the refusal of the chairwoman to allow audience questions to be answered by the panel.

From the above article again:

The debate saw Ian Driver, Green Party Councillor at Thanet District Council and a prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, walk off of the podium after accusing the Dean of the Sociology Faculty and the event’s chairwoman, Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser, of poor chairmanship.

“I’ve never seen such poor chairmanship,” he said. “You did not let us answer one question.”

Professor Haddock-Fraser explained that the questions were technical and asked Mr Driver to return to the stage but he refused.

End of excerpt..

So because the audience is educated enough to ask a technical question about  fracking, the panel should not be allowed to answer? That makes no sense at all.

The audience are deeply concerned and against fracking due to the environmental damage caused. This usually is labeled by the media and pro-fracking pundits as emotional tree hugger syndrome or similar.

In fact the anti-fracking public are well educated and from a very diverse set of fields. Homeowners, engineers, laborers, and others come together to oppose fracking. We all oppose fracking for the same reasons.

Fracking damages the environment. Fracking pollutes ground water tables forever. Fracking is a method to extract more fossil fuels from the ground.

We must stop using fossil fuels or our planet’s climate will be rendered unfit for humans. We can not live on a planet where temperatures are spiraling out of control.

The second point concerns the ridiculous comments made by the oil and gas representative on the panel, Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams.

Fracking unsafe

Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams, left, has some very stupid things to say.

Excerpt from the article:

Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams, chairman of Coastal Oil and Gas which holds fracking licenses for east Kent, who was booed by the crowd after explaining why it is important to go through with the plans.

“In South Wales we see libraries closing, schools are struggling, many people out of work, something has to be done,” he said.


Wait just a minute Gerwyn. You think that if you can frack wherever you want without restriction you can help keep libraries open? Fund struggling schools? or increase employment? You are wrong.

The money promised is nothing short of a bribe to local cash strapped councils to look the other way. ‘Don’t worry about the environmental disaster, here is some cash.’

Gerwyn added: “Fracking has been done, is done and will be done in the UK.”

You do not have the right to tell the UK public what will happen in their own local communities. We have the right to deny you access to drill. We will exercise this right. You will not frack here.

FYI:  France has BANNED FRACKING FOREVER! They are not the only country to do this. The UK WILL do the same.

Future or Mirai

Future or Mirai

Future or Mirai is today! the past is yesterday. Now that we have that part explained, what does it all mean?

This is an exciting time for humans and our global climate. For over a year now I have been blogging about the desperate need to reduce carbon output. We are a world dependent on dirty and damaging fossil fuels and disastrous nuclear energy. Energy giants of the world are a monopoly that seek to continue the use of oil and gas. There is another way, and there has been for over 100years.


Many previous blogs on this site have covered the production, storage, and use of Hydrogen. Hydrogen is the new energy medium. You can generate it from many sources including water. Hydrogen is stored in portable cylinders, underground chambers, and national gas grids. Hydrogen is used to turn carbon dioxide into methane. Hydrogen is transported via pipelines, trucks, or ships. Hydrogen when burned or consumed in a fuel cell has only one byproduct, Water!

Save the Planet

NASA photo of the earth from Apollo 8

Please help save our home

Hydrogen will save the planet from the ultimate destruction of global climate change. Does your country have renewable energy like solar or wind? Great! Use hydrogen as a storage medium to save the excess production of electricity. Here in the UK our national grid is paying wind farm operators to NOT produce energy. Solar energy is only available during the day so storage is a must for use during the night.

Now Toyota has unveiled their new Miria. This will be the first production fuel cell vehicle in the world. And it is a game changer. Oil and gas oligarchies be ware! your time is over! Free energy form the sun and wind will now be used to generate hydrogen for use in cars. Now we do not need oil or gas. To the  investment bankers reading this; the time is now for divesting from oil and gas companies. Divest while you still can.

For the rest of us the time to celebrate is now, well now in the USA and mid 2015 in Europe.

Look for Mirai in the US soon. I’m going to buy a fleet and make them taxis