Earth Notes: On Other Useful SitesUpdated 2021-07-01 06:24 GMT.
Please keep your voice down as you browse the stacks...
From time to time this page will be reviewed for expired or redirected links. Some clean-up will be done, such as linking to externally archived copies of missing originals where available. The aim is not to 'lose' history if reasonably possible.
OpenTRV LinksAs of 2017-04-17:
- Open-Source Thermostatic Radiator Valve (OpenTRV)
- OpenTRV Archive
- GitHub home, SourceForge project (deprecated) and wiki, JIRA, Twitter @OpenTRV, YouTube, mail dev, interest and announcements archives; official home URL/alias now OpenTRV.uk, CI server
- IRC #opentrv on irc.z.je
- IoT Launchpad Deployment
- IoT Launchpad Research Notes and related documents
- Archival information from this page and elsewhere
- A Note On Smart Heating For Small Buildings in the UK
Blogs, Fora and News Sources
- EnvironmentCounts.org (EC)
- Energy Thoughts and Surprises
- Bloomberg New Energy Finance
- Energy Numbers: "Thinking about energy"
- Alternative Energy: Top 50 Blogs For Investors To Visit
- Renewable Energy World
- Without Hot Air
- Green Building Forum
- Brave New Climate
- Skeptical Science: getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
- Forum For The Future
- European Tribune
- Analog Life
- RowdyKittens - social change through simple living
- "Mean Joe Green's" environmental cartoons
2018-12-18 Katharine Hayhoe: The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it, 2015-06-03 Olympic Cyclist Vs. Toaster: Can He Power It?, 2014-08-22 OpenTRV Wuthering Bytes 2015 talk, 2014-08-22 OpenTRV Wuthering Bytes 2014 talk, 2014-06-03 OpenTRV Green Challenge "elevator pitch" video, 2013-12-30 Cleanweb Mark Hill talking about OpenTRV; how we aim to halve your energy bill, 2013-05-13 The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC, 2012-12-08 Adam Hart-Davis talks about small-scale solutions to climate change, 2012-12-04 Dinner Parties, Guest Bedrooms, and Multiple Offices in a 420 Square Foot Apartment, 2012-10-29 Close The Door, 2012-10-16 From U-values to conjugal bliss in under 3 minutes, 2012-09-09 Geophysical Limits to Global Wind Power "at the level of present global primary power demand (~18TW), uniformly distributed wind turbines are unlikely to substantially affect the Earth's climate", 2011-12-28 How does carbon offsetting work? (Adam Hart-Davis), 2011-09-26 A day in the life... dovetailing energy and water and time and money saving, 2011-09-06 Visualizing a plenitude economy, 2011-03-20 Wind doing good in a small US community (Siemens), 2011-03-19 Living in a Zero-Waste Home, OLD Isaac Asimov on the greenhouse effect in 1989, time history of CO2, the Energy Saving Trust YouTube channel which is witty and watchable, December 2009 Human Power Shower - Bang Goes The Theory - BBC One, the excellent and light-hearted YouTube video on global warming "How It All Ends", the "We can fix it Together" call to action, and Adam Hart-Davis talking about the Masai.
- The Oil Drum (Drumbeat)
- NYTimes Green Blog
- Solar John
- Green Thoughts
- Energy Zarr, and older non-TI-hosted site
- Solar Power - A Bodger's Guide
- BBC Green Room
UK Green Deal and "ECO" Programmes in the UKIn association with the Green Deal (GD) from 2013 will be the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) programme (replacing CERT, CESP et al).
- DECC Green Deal main page.
- Ofgem: Overview of previous schemes: ECO1, ECO2 and ECO2t.
- 2013-05-01: Ofgem: The final report of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) 2008-2012
- 2012-11-20: Green Deal ORB: find an assessor.
- 2012-10-18: Green Deal: Gov.UK overview and (defunct, http://www.greendealcashback.co.uk) the Green Deal Cash Back Website (£100 for loft insulation including top-up to £650 for solid-wall insulation for example).
- 2012-06-11: The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation consultation including the Government response.
- 2011-05: Extra help where it is needed: a new Energy Company Obligation.
News items are generally archived here from the home page.
- 2021-04-26: Nationwide launches energy efficiency cashback incentive:
Nationwide's 'Green Reward' is available on any property with a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of at least 86+, which is equivalent to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or a high B. ... Those purchasing a home with an SAP rating of 92 or above (EPC-A rated) will benefit from £500, while those buying somewhere rated at SAP 86 to 91 (high EPC-B rating) will receive £250.
- 2021-04-09: Leading housing associations join forces to tackle low-carbon agenda:
The social housing sector is facing costs of between £13,000 to £25,000 to bring an energy-inefficient home up to an EPC rating of C, not including the investment required to develop new skills and technologies.
- 2021-04-07: Britain's electricity system 'greenest ever' over Easter:
Great Britain's electricity system was the greenest it had ever been at lunchtime on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, its operator has said. Sunny and windy weather, coupled with low demand for power, led to a surge in renewable sources of energy, National Grid Electricity System Operator said. It meant zero-carbon power sources made up almost 80% of Britain's power.
- 2021-03-18: Analysis: UK is now halfway to meeting its 'net-zero emissions' target:
The UK's greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were 51% below 1990 levels, according to new Carbon Brief analysis. This means the UK is now halfway to meeting its target of “net-zero” emissions by 2050. Most of the fall has been from 3 areas, ~40% from coal-free electricity, ~40% from cleaner industry, ~10% from smaller/cleaner fossil fuel supply.
- 2021-03-01: EU's new energy labels aim to cut consumer confusion:
They will now use a simpler A to G scale, with the former four extra A+ categories disappearing altogether.
- 2021-02-12: US EIA: Utility-scale batteries and pumped storage return about 80% of the electricity they store.
- 2021-02-02: UK: The Data Communications Company (DCC) has confirmed that the 10 millionth smart meter has been connected to its national secure network. The milestone was achieved with the installation of an electricity smart meter at 10:47am on 1 February 2021 by E.ON Energy at a location in Doddington, Cambridgeshire.
- 2021-01-29: “World first”: South Australia achieves 100pct solar, and lowest prices in Australia.
- 2021-01-04: No coal in the nation’s stocking: Britain sees first coal-free Christmas Day for electricity generation
... since the Industrial Revolution.
- 2020-12-09: UK's Climate Change Committee (CCC) publishes 6th carbon budget including advice to ban gas boiler sales by 2033.
- 2020-11-18: UK government: The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution.
- 2020-11-18: Study identifies reasons for soaring nuclear plant cost overruns in the US:
... contrary to expectations, building subsequent plants based on an existing design actually costs more, not less, than building the initial plant.
- 2020-08-27: Electricity generated from wind and solar is 30--50% cheaper than previously thought, according to newly published UK government figures:
... electricity from onshore wind or solar could be supplied in 2025 at half the cost of gas-fired power ...
- 2020-08-07: UK Government announces plans to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030:
Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced the move, which aims to the help the UK increase offshore wind power from 10GW to 40GW by 2030.
- 2020-07-27: France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars:
All heated or air-conditioned buildings open to the public will also have to keep their doors closed to avoid wasting energy.
- 2020-06-02: May becomes 'the greenest month ever' in the UK: ...
the first full calendar month of electricity generation without coal since the industrial revolution...
an average 28% of electricity generation was from renewable sources during May, with wind energy accounting for 15.8%, solar power 11.4%, biomass 8.7% and gas 30%.
- 2020-04-21: UK smashes solar generation record:
Solar use in the UK broke an all-time peak generation record on Monday (20 April), accounting for almost 30% of UK electricity demand, with the UK also operating for more than 11 consecutive days without coal. At 12:30 on Monday, solar generation reached a peak of 9.68GW.
- 2020-03-27: Average home is more spacious now than ever — here’s why that’s a problem for the environment:
Worldwide, three-quarters of energy use in buildings is for homes, and nearly 70% is for heating. The energy efficiency of buildings is improving globally by 1.3% annually, but their floor area is increasing at a faster rate (roughly 3% per year).
- 2020-02-27: Quantifying the impact of policy on the investment case for residential electricity storage in the UK via The introduction of ToU tariffs is likely the single most effective policy measure to improve the business case for #residential #batteries in the UK!.
- 2020-01-01: Could you live the 1.5° lifestyle?:
We are going to try and live the 2.5 Tonne Diet.The hotspots (~75%) are
nutrition, housing, and mobility.
- 2019-12-16: U.K. Solar Can Live Without Subsidy or Long-Term PPA.
- 2019-11-15: This is how the average family wastes tons of carbon every year (
... one return transatlantic flight emits the same amount of carbon as 13 years of that family's electricity ...): 16t general consumerism, 12t meat-based diet (veggie would be 6t, vegan 4t), 10t family flight to Miami, 4.6t two cars driven at UK average mileage of 14,800 km/year, 2.25t gas central heating, 0.75t electricity, 0.2t water. (Total 45.8t. Note that the article uses "tons" not "tonnes" throughout.)
- 2019-09-20: 'A British success story': Clean energy auction promises offshore wind at 'zero subsidy'.
- 2019-07-05: Solar cell efficiency could get a dramatic boost, MIT team finds: busting Shockley–Queisser,
pushing beyond the 29% theoretical efficiency limit of current cells, to as high as 35%.
- 2019-07-01: Solar electricity nowcasting.
- 2019-05-21: Pathways to Low Carbon Heating: Dynamic Modelling of Five UK Homes:
Improved control of heating in individual rooms can improve comfort, energy efficiency ... Electric heat pumps can provide good comfort in existing gas heated homes ... Improved data and simulation of domestic energy systems can help deliver low carbon heating solutions that deliver consumers the comfort they want and value.
- 2019-05-02: In-depth: The UK should reach ‘net-zero’ climate goal by 2050, says CCC
... while 38% of the shifts required will be wholly based on the uptake of low-carbon technologies or fuels, the rest will require at least some level of change in the way society or people operate,UK climate report: What your life could be like in a low-carbon future and on the BBC, all based on the Committee on Climate Change report.
- 2019-03-19: Climate change: Water shortages in England 'within 25 years':
Within 25 years England will not have enough water to meet demand, the head of the Environment Agency is warning. The impact of climate change, combined with population growth, means the country is facing an 'existential threat'...
- 2019-02-21: UK homes ‘shockingly unprepared’ for climate change, says CCC:
The UK’s homes are 'not going to be fit for us to live in' and 'are big part of causing the problem of climate change,' she says. The government must pay for home energy efficiency retrofits, the CCC says. It should also ban new homes from connecting to the gas grid beyond 2025.
- 2019-01-23: Radbot is a robot for rads that could reduce heating costs by 30 percent.
- 2019-01-15: Reporter explains local effects of climate change through advice column based on SPIKES — A Six-Step Protocol for Delivering Bad News (though medical).
- 2018-12-17: Broken Power Industry Needs Big Changes, Berger Says: Q&A: "There’s 5,000 utilities in the United States. No other country on Earth has anything close to that. It's crazy. There's about 4,992 too many CEOs out there. That alone should save some money to put back into safety."
- 2018-12-02: Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help: "The single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet is to modify your diet to include less meat - according to recent studies."
- 2018-10-15: Bank of England calls on banks and insurers to step up climate risk oversight: "Prudential Regulation Authority recommends that boards task a senior executive with managing climate risks" and UBS said "... BlackRock finds that a $1m investment in the bonds that form the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Green Bond index represents over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided, in addition to over 88 million litres of water saved, and other positive contributions."
- 2018-10-08: Final call to save the world from 'climate catastrophe': IPCC SR15 report urges people to "buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter and more locally sourced seasonal food - and throw less of it away * drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances * take trains and buses instead of planes * use videoconferencing instead of business travel * use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer * insulate homes * demand low carbon in every consumer product."
- 2018-09-17: UK's installed wind power capacity hits 20 GW. (From possibly-out-of-date Elexon figures it seems like 12GW is metered, so ~40% still unmetered by Elexon / National Grid eg because connected to low- or medium- voltage networks.)
- 2018-09-10: Would a bigger house make you happier?: "As a nation, we do not seem to be getting any happier with our housing, even though living space and housing conditions have improved for many people."
- 2018-04-22: How Deep Is Your Carbon Footprint?: "The reference point of 17.6t is the average lifestyle consumption emissions among the top 10% of climate poluters globally ... and responsible for 49% of climate pollution."
- 2018-04-19: Microlink Devices hits 37.75% efficiency for triple junction cell (unconcentrated, about double typical solar PV performance).
- 2018-03-13: How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery: "There are lots of caveats about this, including whether people would be willing to put up with a temperature shift of 3°C ..."
- 2018-02-23: Are you evil or very evil?: A per-person "... 'shameful' budget [could be] 4 tonnes per year and reducing to zero over the 50 years, giving 100 tonnes in total."
- 2018-02-07: New Carbon Tracer app reveals real-time electricity generation mix and carbon emissions at a local level for the first time; see also the Web version.
- 2017-12-13: Analysis: Why scientists think 100% of global warming is due to humans, or even more than 100% (video).
- 2017-12-08: Solar, wind and nuclear have ‘amazingly low’ carbon footprints, study finds: "The study finds each kilowatt hour of electricity generated over the lifetime of a nuclear plant has an emissions footprint of 4 grammes of CO2 equivalent (gCO2e/kWh). The footprint of solar comes in at 6gCO2e/kWh and wind is also 4gCO2e/kWh. In contrast, coal CCS (109g), gas CCS (78g), hydro (97g) and bioenergy (98g) have relatively high emissions, compared to a global average target for a 2C world of 15gCO2e/kWh in 2050. ... The best solar technology in the sunniest location has a footprint of 3gCO2/kWh, some seven times lower than the worst solar technology in the worst location (21gCO2/kWh). Even at this top end, however, solar’s footprint is very low compared to other sources."
- 2017-10-02: Poorly insulated homes may cost £1bn extra in energy bills.
- 2017-10-02: Carbon Intensity dropped to an all time record low of 73 gCO2/kWh overnight carbonintensity.org.uk.
- 2017-09-25: On-grid or off-grid? Which is greener? (Hint: it's not off-grid rugged individualism!)
- 2017-09-22: How to Run the Economy on the Weather: "variable renewable energy sources were critical to European society for some 500 years before fossil fuels took over..."
- 2017-08-07: Trial to phase in hydrogen as fuel to begin in north-west: "[Cadent] ... will focus on industrial users in sectors such as chemicals and oil refining, because using 100% hydrogen requires new boilers to be installed. But some of the hydrogen will also be blended with methane and piped to millions of homes in Liverpool and Manchester. Cadent believes mixing in hydrogen to account for about a fifth of supplies could be done without harming domestic boilers and cooking equipment, such as hobs."
- 2017-07-12: The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions: "... four widely applicable high-impact (i.e. low emissions) actions with the potential to contribute to systemic change and substantially reduce annual personal emissions: having one fewer child (an average for developed countries of 58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emission reductions per year), living car-free (2.4 tCO2e saved per year), avoiding airplane travel (1.6 tCO2e saved per roundtrip transatlantic flight) and eating a plant-based diet (0.8 tCO2e saved per year). These actions have much greater potential to reduce emissions than commonly promoted strategies like comprehensive recycling (four times less effective than a plant-based diet) or changing household lightbulbs (eight times less)."
- 2017-07-11: It’s okay to talk about how scary climate change is. Really: “Things stay roughly as they are” is just as improbable as the worst-case scenario he lays out, yet I’d venture to guess it is believed (or more importantly, envisioned) by vastly more people.
- 2017-06-29: A Stark Comparison of Parking Vs. Bike-Share Spaces: In New York City "Citi Bike is about a 42-times more productive use of space than car parking."
- 2017-06-27: New research finds potential for greater retrofit energy savings in homes: New research reveals the actual heat loss from suspended timber ground floors might be nearly twice that of previous estimates.
- 2017-06-21: Living with climate change: You can make a difference. "Globally, the three main contributors to greenhouse gas footprints are cars, coal and cows."
- 2017-06-13: High-Rise Buildings: Energy and Density "Are high-rise buildings more energy-intensive – all other things being equal – than low-rise buildings? Is it possible to provide the same floor area on the same site as high-rise buildings, but on a much-reduced number of storeys?" In both cases, yes.
- 2017-06-11: This is how Big Oil will die: "A decade from now, many investors in oil may be wiped out. Oil will still be in widespread use, even under this scenario — applications such as road tarring are not as amenable to disruption by software. But much of today’s oil drilling, transport, and refining infrastructure will be redundant..."
- 2017-05-29: India Faces Fatal Rise in Heat Waves: Already, a relatively minor temperature increase has had disastrous health consequences in the country.
- 2017-05-29: Leading economists, including Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern say taxes of $100 per metric ton could be needed by 2030.
- 2017-04-22: Britain went a full day [Friday] without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the National Grid says.
- 2017-03-25: @NGControlRoom: Transmission system demand today was for the first time ever lower in the afternoon than it was overnight due to large amounts of #solar.
- 2017-01-30: Too Good a Problem: ... from a conservative point of view, climate change looks like too good a problem for liberals. Everything liberals want, or that conservatives think liberals want—more regulation, more control of the economy, more redistribution of wealth, skepticism or hostility towards capitalism and of America's status as an affluent superpower—are suggested or required by the reality of climate change. The conservative sees liberals rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a problem that needs such solutions, and he thinks, "No, such a perfect problem couldn’t 'just happen' to arise—it must be invented or massively overstated."
- 2016-12-16: Climate skepticism decreases if the message is past-oriented.
- 2016-12-08: When it comes to insulation, can you have too much of a good thing? foam off-gassing of green-house gases vs energy saved; XPS doesn't look good.
- 2016-10-04: The UK could treble the amount of solar power on the system without pushing up costs... "The analysis by Aurora Energy Research also finds that it would be relatively cheap to more than treble the amount of solar on the system from 11GW today to 40GW (gigawatts) by 2030, which would provide 10% of the UK's power."
- 2016-09-13: XKCD: Earth Temperature Timeline.
- 2016-09-01: Chris Huhne: I’ve changed my mind on renewables targets including nuke not being panacea, and coping with cold dark days in UK mid-winter.
- 2016-08-08: UK power demand hits long-term low: "Total power demand in the UK's high-voltage transmission system fell to at least an 11-year low yesterday morning, as strong output from embedded wind generation facilities and warm summer weather conditions weighed on system demand. Demand on the transmission network dropped to a long-term low of 18.7GW at 06:00-06:30 BST (05:00-05:30 GMT), the lowest level in transmission system operator National Grid's data, which go back to 1 April 2005. Embedded wind farms produced 1.68GW of power during this half-hourly period, compared with a daily average of 1.03GW in 2016 so far..."
- 2016-07-27: "... very few people are paying much attention to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), with only 37 per cent across the UK saying they look for it when buying a property.''
- 2016-07-20: The Green Deal failed because Marketing  focused on the financial benefits of installing energy-efficiency measures, rather than emphasising the comfort of having a well-insulated, energy-efficient home Public Accounts Committee said.
- 2016-05-11: ARUP: residential energy efficiency" "The UK has about 28 million homes, of which almost 18 million are owner-occupied. About 30% of all the energy consumed in the UK is consumed in homes – consumption that is responsible for around 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions." ... "Halving the energy consumed in all homes is a major challenge, but it will bring tremendous economic, social and environmental opportunities." ... "Innovate UK’s Retro t for the Future project show that reductions in residential CO2 emissions of as much as 80% are achievable..."
- 2016-05-10: Britain gets no power from coal for 'first time on record' "Britain generated no electricity from coal on Tuesday morning [midnight to 4am] for what is believed to be the first time since the 19th century , in a major milestone in the decline of the polluting power source."
- 2016-04-20: Stop Wasting Food to Slow Global Warming: It might also help to eat less or even no meat. "Cutting down on milk and meat protein are top ways to lower an individual’s carbon footprint..."
- 2016-04-18: Round-trip self-consumption efficiencies can be 50--80%, especially poor at low night drain: "At partial load, there can be a difference between systems of up to 40 percent."
- 2016-04-14: Major London housing development to be zero carbon from October 2016: "The estimated cost impact of moving to zero carbon homes in 2016 represents circa an additional 1-1.4% of base build cost….the move to zero carbon homes in 2016, do[es] not represent a significant determinant in the viability and the deliverability of housing development in London."
- 2016-04-13: UK solar generation tops coal for the first time: "On Saturday 9 April, solar generated 29 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, 4% of the total used that day and more than the 21GWh output from coal (3% of demand). This pattern was repeated on Sunday, with solar (6%) outpacing coal (3%). The milestone is largely symbolic. Solar output had already started regularly topping coal during the middle of the day. And it has yet to overtake coal across a full week, month or year."
- 2016-04-03: David MacKay final interview: nukes and CCS are good for a zero-carbon solution that works in the winter “Then if you ask what is the optimal amount of wind and solar to add in then the answer is going to be almost zero,” he said. “I love wind turbines – they are the cathedrals of the modern age – but they are a waste of money if you have a low carbon solution that gets you through the winter … because when the wind blows you are going to have to either turn them down or something else down that you have already paid for like nuclear or CCS.”
- Here's how you can reduce your carbon footprint by 1 tonne per year; just four steps for the average Brit.
- Amongst other things the sust-it site ranks electrical goods such as TVs and fridges by energy consumption in sensible ways, which is a very valuable service.
- The Energy Saving Trust, a member of the European Energy Network.
- There are various smart power-strips available to make it easy to turn off things properly and avoid bending down too often, or delving behind the sofa, such as from oneclick.
- The fantastic Freegle (was FreeCycle) for giving useful things a good home, as an alternative to charity shops or landfill.
- Free DIY repair manuals from iFixit.
- Retail cost breakdown for one UK electricity supplier (Scottish Hydro, now SSE) circa 2012: 50% wholesale energy, 24% distribution, 10% government schemes, 6% customer service, VAT 5%, profit 5% (2012-08).
- Without Hot Air (free) book by David MacKay; real crunchy numbers and a TreeHugger summary and 2012 video at TEDx.
- IRENA Global Atlas of renewable energy.
- The Zerocarbonista blog by Dale Vince of Ecotricity, the very good and sometimes tongue-in-cheek TreeHugger.com blog/news site, the ForceField DIY alternative power generation board, BusinessGreen, the RealClimate Data Sources page, Renewable Energy World, the Cleantech Blog, Blewbury Energy Initiative, Energy Central, Home Power magazine.
- 2016-02: Analysis of data from heat pumps installed via the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
- 2016-02-16: Europe’s struggle to switch on low-carbon heating. "Heating and cooling is the unglamorous consumer of half of the EU’s energy, with 75% of this generated from fossil fuels."
- 2016-01-13: Hybrid wind-solar parks take off in the UK.
- 2015-12-30: Should we solar panel the Sahara desert? and SlashDot discussion.
- 2015-12-28: Results from a Study of High-Energy-Using Homes in Minnesota.
- 2015-12-22: UK power sector slashes emissions by almost a quarter in just two years: the carbon intensity for all fuels in the UK's power mix, including nuclear and renewables, stood at 394CO2/kWh in 2014, a reduction from 482 CO2/kWh in 2012.
- 2015-12-14: Does your home's energy efficiency influence its price and salability?
- 2015-12-02: The climate change argument may never be won, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored.
- 2015-11-22: Producing protein from chickens needs 3 times as much land as protein from soybeans. Pork, 9 times. Beef, 32 times.
- 2015-10-15: National Grid (GB) Winter Outlook Report: "Our analysis suggests that electricity margins will continue to be tight but manageable throughout the winter period." and "Current embedded wind generation capacity is 4.0 GW and embedded solar generation capacity is 7.8 GW. We have assumed a 90 MW increase per month in solar generation in our forecasts." See also CarbonBrief Q&A.
- 2015-10-13: The Lights Are Staying On: "The think-tank Sustainability First estimates that there is potential for up to 18,000MW of demand response available at the winter peak.".
- 2015-10-09: Reassessing Passive Solar Design Principles: Which design principles from the 1970s are worth retaining, and which should be discarded?
- 2015-09-24: Renewable energy outstrips coal for first time in UK electricity mix.
- 2015-09-11: Steve Holliday, CEO National Grid: “The idea of large power stations for baseload is outdated”.
- 2015-04-30: Rush propels UK to more than 7.5GW of solar capacity.
- 2015-04-13: "These are big numbers, but research by Gregory Kats, president of clean energy consultant and venture capital firm Capital-E, found a 3.3% increase in occupant productivity after energy efficiency improvements that also boost indoor air quality; 5.5% from efficiency that improves temperature control; and 3.2% from the installation of high-performance lighting systems. Given that worker salaries cost roughly 100 times the energy bill, this makes efficiency worthwhile even if you don’t care about saving on your utility bill or the impact on the climate."
- 2015-03-20: European power grids keep lights on through solar eclipse "The initial 15 GW drop in Germany was less than operators had feared." "Europe saw a decrease in solar power of a total 17 GW and an increase afterwards by 25 GW ..."
- 2015-02-25: European grids prepare for solar eclipse on March 20 "Under a clear morning sky on 20 March 2015, some 35,000 megawatts of solar energy, which is the equivalent of nearly 80 medium size conventional generation units, will gradually fade from Europe's electrical system before being gradually re-injected: all in the space of two hours," ENTSO-E said.
- 2014-12-31: UK Met Office News Blog: 2014  will be the warmest year in our UK record dating back to 1910, knocking 2006 from its top spot.
- 2014-12-05: Is waste a source of renewable energy?:
Burning food requires considerable energy to enable combustion to take place, and the net energy gain is low. Estimates vary between 3-5GJ/tonne, compared with around 10GJ/tonne for mixed municipal waste over all, and over 25GJ/tonne for plastics. Food waste, the principal biogenic and therefore “renewable” component of residual waste is hard to burn and produces little energy.
- 2014-11-25: UK Power Reserve submits 1.8 GW of new build distributed generation.
- 2014-10-31: ... the UK data centre industry is among the country's largest energy consumers, requiring around 3GW ...
- 2014-10-27: Population controls 'will not solve environment issues'
- 2014-10-10: Ikea kitchens help sell insulation to Dutch – and UK could be next: "Dutch consortia Energiesprong could give zero carbon retrofits to social homes across England, using innovative wrap-around insulated panels, if EU funding is approved."
- 2014-10-06: [GB] Wind power exceeds nuclear output (for a few minutes).
- 2014-09-23: Carbon map – which countries are responsible for climate change?
- 2014-08-17: New record high: 22% of UK electricity from wind.
- 2014-08-04: Energy cost 'biggest household fear' in Europe; "... the biggest priority in the home is improving energy efficiency. Almost a third (31%) said they intended to introduce measures to cut their energy bills. That compares with just 4% ... in 2012."
- 2014-07-31: DUKES 2014; Digest of United Kingdom energy statistics.
- 2014-07-03: Estimates of embedded generation (solar + wind) topping 3GW from National Grid raw data.
- 2014-06-21: Sunny weather boosts solar panel generation, providing estimated 7.8% of UK electricity in daylight hours of solstice.
- 2014-05-10: The top ten global warming 'skeptic' arguments answered.
- 2014-03-05: The rechargeable revolution: A better battery; from Li-S to molten salt...
- 2014-02-28: Climate Change Evidence & Causes: an overview from the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences.
- 2014-01-18: How smartphones [and zoning] can cut heating bills by a quarter. "Eight million people in the UK do not yet have a thermostat, for example, which can save £65 a year alone."
- 2014-01-10: The myth of renewable energy 'intermittency' and how "wind [...] can be seen as more predictable than nuclear and coal".
- 2013-12-27: 14 shockingly simple ways to cut your energy bill.
- 2013-11-18: Enormous solar power stations deliver about 8.7W/m^2.
- 2013-08-26: Back to Basics: Direct Hydropower in conjunction with hydroelectricity. Note also in comment "The power formula is a litre of water falling one metre per second is 9.8 watts maximum. A cubic metre (1000L) of water falling one metre is 9.8 kw falling two metres is 19.6 kw and so on. A practical kinetic to electrical efficiency is about 70%. That needs a generous diameter penstock (ie not restrictive) with a head (vertical drop) of at least 10 metres connecting to an efficient generator."
- 2013-07-12: Domestic RHI tariffs announced: per kWh 7.3p for ASHP, 12.2p biomass, 18.8p GSHP, 19.2p+ for solar thermal.
- 2013-06-07: Look carefully and you can see solar PV output denting UK electricity demand: claims an extra dip (2GW/5%) in GB demand is visible near noon for 2013 vs 2012.
- 2013-05-15: Transmission operators sign UK-Norway power link agreement for 1.4GW NSN link.
- 2013-04-01: Renewables will triumph and natural gas will help.
- The German government will apparently start subsidising solar power storage from April onwards.
- 2013-01-13: Why Malthus Got His Forecast Wrong.
- Clarification on planning rules for solid wall insulation paves way for Green Deal launch: confirms solid wall insulation - which is commonly fitted to the exterior of a building, potentially changing the look of a property - is classified as a "permitted development."
- European Power: 2012 in Review: Coal-fired power dominates UK generation mix.
- I may have coined the unofficial nickname OfShaG for the new UK shale-gas regulator's office!
- DECC: Energy Bill.
- In the EU27, almost half of renewable energy comes from wood & wood waste.
- Ed Davey: my long battle for a 'grand energy bargain': Energy secretary admits lack of decarbonisation target is a blow, but insists deal will not hit Treasury - or household bills.
- Green Deal ORB: find an assessor.
- 2012-11-05: New move to make EPCs appear in all advertising: "From January 2013 all sales or lettings advertisements in the commercial media should show the EPC rating of the property being advertised. There is no requirement for the full certificate to be displayed but the A-G rating needs to be clearly shown."
- 2012-10-29: London Array powers up first offshore wind turbines.
- 2012-10-18: Green Deal: Gov.UK overview and (defunct, http://www.greendealcashback.co.uk) the Green Deal Cash Back Website (£100 for loft insulation including top-up to £650 for solid-wall insulation for example).
- 2012-10-17: Cornwall and Scotland hold UK's wave power potential: rows of wave 'farms' up to 1,000km long facing the Atlantic could generate around 11% of the UK's current power generation. While the theoretical resource is as high as 18GW, around 10GW of capacity is more realistic. "It was surprising that the best sites were so far offshore — our analysis indicates that it is worth going so far offshore to harness the more energetic waves."
- 2012-10-12: DECC: Green Deal Quick Guides.
- 2012-10-08: The sickening truth about wind farm syndrome.
- 2012-10-05: Water may top the case for renewables (and note that nukes are thirstiest non-renewable generation technology).
- 2012-10-02: Solar-generated electricity in the UK increases by 840 percent in one year to 0.5TWh (with 1.38GWp installed capacity) in the second quarter of 2012 from 0.05TWh 2Q2011.
- 2012-10-02: Why the RHI probably won't encourage domestic solar thermal installations.
- 2012-09-26: Drax spending $1bn to convert 50% (2GW) to biomass burning.
- 2012-09-24: What is energy efficiency doing to power demand?: in US, "more than half of utilities estimate that energy efficiency has reduced their load growth by up to 1% per annum, with nearly an additional quarter estimating a reduction of up to 0.5%, and "(Conservation is another matter, Macquarie notes. Efficiency measures are things that get built into systems; conservation is behavior, and utilities see conservation behavior being strongly driven by the economy, and thus only temporary.)" and "... decreasing correlation between power demand and GDP."
- 2012-09-24: Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, says that CfD pricing should target something nearer onshore wind or gas (and nuclear generators should focus on cost control) not the figures touted in the press: "... we should have as our anchor price £75/MWh and, as a country, we should walk away at anything over £90/MWh, if not less," the difference being £70 per household per year.
- 2012-09-24: Heating controls often aren't used effectively: "Research indicates that households can save an average £59 per year on heating bills just by installing a room thermostat. By upgrading every home to have a room thermostat and a full set of thermostatic radiator valves the Government estimates that it would reduce carbon emissions from domestic heating by 8 per cent (about the same as estimated savings from loft insulation)."
- 2012-09-20: GE Lands $63 Million in New [Durathon] Battery Orders and the UK's Atraverda finalized a supply agreement with ZENNRG to supply batteries for a smart grid, distributed energy storage application.
- 2012-09-20: Review: Home Energy Handbook: A guide to saving and generating energy in your home and community.
- 2012-09-07: Seeming £5/week limit on people's willingness to pay for Green Deal works "Is it ethical for tenants to pay for green deal energy-efficiency improvements to landlords' homes?"
- 2012-09-03: Is domestic voltage optimisation all it's cracked up to be?: just say no kids.
- 2012-08-31: New Met Office data shows the United Kingdom is warming in line with global trends: "Readings show the UK's annual mean temperature calculated over a thirty year time period has risen 0.52 degrees Celsius over the past two decades."
- 2012-08-08: The Rebound Effect: Large or Small? "We find that there are both direct and indirect rebound effects, but these tend to be modest. Direct rebound effects are generally 10% or less. Indirect rebound effects are less well understood but the best available estimate is somewhere around 11%. These two types of rebound can be combined to estimate total rebound at about 20%. We examined claims of "backfire" (100% rebound) and they do not stand up to scrutiny. "
- 2012-07-20: How the science of behaviour change can help with sustainability.
- 2012-07-13: Does the Green Deal offer value for money? (SuperHomes)
- 2012-07-11: "No matter the drilling method, natural gas is a much-needed tool to battle global warming." (US EPA data supports leakage rates closer to 1.5 percent [than 8% claimed elsewhere] for both conventional and hydrofractured wells.)
- 2012-06-25: It is less carbon intensive to refurbish even existing "hard to treat" homes than to demolish them and build new homes.
- 2012-06-19: Croydon pilot concluded that people used around five per cent less energy per month after receiving extra information with their bills comparing their energy usage to their neighbours'. Consumption fell further when personalised advice was included in the bills.
- DECC definition of a hard to treat cavity wall.
- 2012-06-18: Global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers: developing-world education and reducing car use everywhere may be the planet's saving?
- 2012-06-15: What's In it for Me?: Using the benefits of energy efficiency to overcome the barriers. (Segment your target audience and don't mix/dilute the message.)
- 2012-06-06: Microhydro energy: reinventing the wheel.
- 2012-06-01: California: New roofs must be solar ready from 2014.
- 2012-05-19: Wind power 100 times cleaner than coal, Colorado NREL researchers say (and PV ~25x less CO2e/kWh than coal so maybe ~12x less than gas).
- 2012-04-03: Flexible working trial reveals big benefit for the environment: O2 sent all but 125 of 3000 HQ staff to work from home 8th February: 88% of staff said that they were at least as productive as on a normal day at the office, with 36% claiming to have been more productive.
- EU GHG emissions map.
- 2012-04-02: Domestic energy use map of Britain down to very small areas giving consumption averages for ~6000 people. Area E02000602 in Kingston upon Thames: average consumption of gas, per meter, kilo-watt hours: 13,143kWh, average consumption of electricity, per meter, kWh: 4,106kWh (cf ~6,000 and ~1,000 respectively for us, 14,898kWh and 4,709kWh for Britain). See backing data.
- 2012-04-02: New energy saving advice line launches: energy efficiency advisors will be on hand to take calls from the public on 0300 123 1234.
- 2012-03-25: The solar envelope: how to heat and cool cities without fossil fuels.
- 2012-03-19: Over 60% renewable electricity country list.
- 2012-02-16: Western HVDC Link to be fully operational by 2016: 420km, 2.2GW, 600kV from Hunterston, North Ayrshire in Scotland to Connah's Quay in Flintshire, north Wales.
- 2012-02-09: DECC: Improvements to the Feed-in Tariffs scheme.
- 2012-02-08: Do the Math: The Alternative Energy Matrix; look where solar PV is on the grid!
- 2012-02-08: Energy Realities. From New Scientist, The Economist and others.
- 2012-02-08: DECC launches the EEDO ie Energy Efficiency Deployment Office.
- 2012-01-31: US report finds that building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction.
- 2012-01-18: Elexon currently 'sees' (ie meters input to the GB national grid from) 4GW of 6GW installed capacity (assumed GB wind capacity rather than UK).
- 2011-12-15: Low-carbon technology 'will not mean big bill rises' (BBC/CCC).
- 2011-12-12: Fun rebuttal of "hide the decline" hype.
- 2011-10-31: BBC Energy Futures section.
- 2011-10-14: Here comes the sun: a field trial of solar water heating systems: EST study finds "well-installed and properly used systems provided around 60 per cent of a household's hot water. The trial also found examples where systems were not properly configured or used, and where the contribution from solar was as low as 9 per cent. The median across all systems was 39 per cent" and "there was little difference between the total solar energy yield of those installations that used flat-plate solar collectors and those that used evacuated-tube solar collectors."
- 2011-10-03: Got Storage? How hard can it be?
- 2011-09-12: The AEA Microgeneration Index: reports total UK microgeneration at 160.96MWe (PV ~75%/120MWe) as of 2011-06-30, with Kingston-upon-Thames borough at 0.121MWe (0.08% of the UK total) of which about 4% is on my roof!
- 2011-09-07: It's cooler in the cloud: using the cloud can mean a smaller carbon footprint...
- 2011-09-07: Cure for Wind Farm Noise Policy Gridlock: Back Off, But Allow Easements.
- The new setsuden culture in Japan: energy saving in the wake of Fukushima.
- 2011-07-12: DECC UK Renewable Energy Roadmap.
- 2011-07-12: DECC Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper 2011.
- 2011-06-10: Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says.
- 2011-06-06: Is Burning Wood For Heat Really Green? To which the answer is almost certainly "no" in urban areas on the basis of particulate emissions, regardless of the CO2 story.
- 2011-05-26: GE unveils power plant optimized for renewable energy at over 61% efficiency and a ramp rate of 50MW per minute, this 500MW gas plant is can help support use of intermittent sources elsewhere on the same grid.
- 2011-04-13: Reducing wind generation balancing costs: "The turbine is set on a target power and will vary the pitch of the blades and the strength of the magnetic field to reach that target".
- 2011-03-25: Solar PV and manure biogas each ~2% (12TWh+) of German electricity in 2010! And 7.4GW of new PV installed...
- 2011-03-13: Deaths per TWh by Energy Source ranging from coal (161 for 50% of world's electricity, though 15 in US) through natural gas (4 for 21% of world energy), rooftop solar (0.44 for less than 0.1% of world energy) and wind (0.15 for under 1% of world energy) down to nuclear (0.04 for 5.9% of world energy).
- 2011-03-11: RHI announcement.
- 2011-03-07: Carbon emissions from every public building in England and Wales: badger your local school/council/etc to stop wasting energy and money! (Our daughter's school is band E, urgh.)
- 2011-02-05: Europe's Energy.
- 2011-02-01: The Guardian: an atlas of the world in CO2 emissions.
- Particulate (PM) emissions in g/GJ for various fuels (see tables 2.4 and 2.5) circa natural gas 1g/Gj, gas oil 5, pellet boiler 30, wood chip 60-80, log boiler 105 and coal 120.
- A (slightly US-centric) Guide to Green Mortgages / Energy Efficient Mortgages pointed out by Barbara T (thanks).
- 2010-12-20: Carbon Compliance recommendations released: 10kgCO2e/m^2/y for detached houses to 14kgCO2e/m^2/y for low rise apartment blocks...
- 2010-12-18: EcoBonds from Ecotricity oversubscribed.
- 2010-12-07: Close The Door asks shops not to keep their doors open wasting energy.
- 2010-10-20: FiTs left intact in Spending Review: Feed-In Tariffs will be refocused on the most cost-effective technologies saving £4 million in 2014-15. The changes will be implemented at the first scheduled review of tariffs unless higher than expected deployment requires an early review.
- 2011-03-11: RHI announcement.
- 2010-10-16: LA eco-living: what works and what doesn't, from clothes line to composting toilet.
- 2010-08-09: Energy Secretary overturns law banning councils from selling renewable electricity.
- 2010-07-27: UK's DECC shares its 2050 calculator tool.
- July 2010 zerocarbonbritain2030 "provides political and economic solutions to the urgent challenges raised by the climate science, outlining how we can transform the UK into an efficient, clean, prosperous zero-carbon society."
- 2010-02-13: Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles according to the Guardian. (My view is that having at most two children per couple in the UK, ie slightly below replacement rate, allows for a gentle graceful decline in population, without forcing a future rapidly-shrinking working-age population to support a relatively-huge geriatric overhang.)
- December 2009: BBC list of key sceptics' points and their rebuttals in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, and New Scientist's 50 reasons why global warming isn't natural.
- December 2009: Britain's green rich list.
- December 2009: UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Smart Grid report.
- NewScientist climate change articles, and how how psychology can help the planet stay cool.
Air-Quality LinksEspecially with reference to biomass use in urban areas:
- 2013-07-21: Why is killer diesel still poisoning our air?.
- 2013-06-28: Microsensors help map crowdsourced pollution data.
- 2013-06-24: North Circular air pollution worst in London, emissions figures show.
- 2013-06-12: Danger Maps Backed by Alibaba Pinpoint Chinese Pollution.
- London Air at KCL.
- DEFRA latest measurements eg for London.
- EU Air Quality Standards PMs, NO2, etc.
- WHO Health guidelines.
- Clean Air In London.
- Air Quality Monitoring at Mapping For Change.
- Open Air Quality Platform at Change London.
- [C/o WayBack Machine] AQE1 dashboard and raw data at Xively.
- Smart Citizen Kit.
Old 'Saving Energy' News From Yesteryear
- 2012-11-05: Initial findings of Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Retrofit projects: eg, it is difficult to get thermal bridging, insulation and air-tightness 100% right, but 80%+ CO2 reductions are possible.
- 2012-10-18: University of Surrey Study Efficient Household Appliances: "The study found that in all cases appliance replacement yielded savings. By replacing a 5-10 year old fridge freezer with a fairly standard up-to-date (A or A+) model yielded savings between 40% and 60%. There were significant additional savings when consumers were asked to adjust their behaviour. When consumers switched to a lower temperature wash on washing machines it typically yielded energy savings of between 35% and 59%."
- 2012-05-12: YouGen's updated energy efficiency guide.
- 2012-04-02: New energy saving advice line launches: energy efficiency advisors will be on hand to take calls from the public on 0300 123 1234.
- 2011-04-29: 2,400 MW surge as television coverage passes back to studios as Kate and William reach Buckingham Palace. "This impact in demand was broadly in line with National Grid's forecast, although the final surge was larger than expected, reflecting the huge interest in the event. The 2,400 MW surge compares to the 1,800 MW surge seen during Charles and Diana's wedding, and the 750 MW surge seen during Edward and Sophie's ceremony."
- 2010-12-20: Carbon Compliance recommendations released: 10kgCO2e/m^2/y for detached houses to 14kgCO2e/m^2/y for low rise apartment blocks...
- 2007-09-23: the BBC reports that investors urge action on climate change, including analysis from Lehman Brothers economist John Llewellyn showing that cutting waste should come early in the process or reducing environmental impact.
- The Automomous House page claims that UK average household electricity consumption is 3MWh/year (presumably as of ~1994) from Boardman B et al (1995) "Executive summary" DECADE second year report Energy and Environment Programme, Environmental Change Unit, University of Oxford p2 (I see 4MWh+/year suggested elsewhere, eg BWEA ~4.7MWh/y, for circa 2006).
- Each geographical/supply area and season will have its own characteristic load curve demand peaks and troughs, for example in Mumbai/Bombay the two peaks seem to be 0900--1200 and 1800--2200 (local time), with heavy load management demand curbing being brought in in May 2005 to reduce wastage 1700--2300.
- Total UK electricity consumption is just short of 400TWh/year as of 2006/2007 (382.5TWh in 2006), eg Energy White Paper 2007: "5.1.8 The UK currently has around 76GW (gigawatts) of electricity generation capacity to meet annual consumption of about 350TWh (terawatt hours) and winter peak demand of about 63GW."
- Also see UK Energy in Brief: 2007.
- Alan Smart, energy operations manager for National Grid, is quoted 2007-09-06 by the BBC
Typical evening demand this week across England, Scotland and Wales will be in the regions of 41,000 MW.If the Grid's analysts' predictions are more than 300MW out, the incident might be investigated, says the BBC. The piece also discusses big "pick-ups" from various TV events, such as 20020621 England v Brazil World Cup 2570MW, which is a lot of sulky cups of tea!
- See the BWEA's UK Wind Energy Database (UKWED), as of October 2007 showing ~2.2GW of operational wind generation in the UK, ie maybe 5% of peak demand.
- As of November 2007 the BBC reports that "83% of respondents throughout the world agree that individuals will definitely or probably have to make lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of climate-changing gases they produce."
- One idea behind a global electricity grid or 'hypergrid' is to flatten out local peaks and troughs and have power 'follow the sun'. Many countries are already interconnected, and this global grid has the advantage of allowing injection of more RE/intermittent sources, eg solar PV in England could be powering the night lights of the far east of Russia 12 or 13 timezones away. A large interconnected grid eliminates at least some of the need to store lots of power from intermittent RE sources. Such a grid can be built regionally first, such as this European Supergrid.
- See maps of regional and national power grids and interconnections around the world.
- Power plants' CO2 levels revealed on the BBC News site, November 2007. "The UK's 192 million tonnes make it the ninth highest emitter, with per capita CO2 emissions of 3.2 tonnes." See the [archive] CARMA: Carbon Monitoring for Action site containing information on the carbon emissions of over 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies worldwide.
- It is considered good practice for electricity generation systems to have ~15% margin of supply over (peak) demand: at the start of 2008 Eskom of South Africa had as little as ~8% resulting in repeated load-shedding and blackouts.
- As of May 2007 the UK's significant generation plant stock included, by fuel: 68 gas, 18 coal, 10 nuclear. In 2007Q3, of the 13Mt of coal burnt for electricity generation ~10Mt was imported. Source BERR.
- The UK's National Grid published real-time stats on power usage and frequency with the graphs showing a very distinct daily and weekly cycle with a somewhat counter-intuitive daily shape with peak demand ~8pm and minimum ~4am. See strange Christmas 8-day graph up to mid-day 20071227 (and 2009) with each day looking more like a weekend than a normal day, and with a strangely reversed morning-vs-evening peak pattern on Christmas Day (Tuesday 25th), possibly from people coming down early to open presents and put on the Christmas tree lights? Also see the little extra surge around midnight on 20071231 (and 20091231 and 20101231) presumably for New Year's Eve events! See also some sample August 8-day and 1-day National Grid demand curves, and some analysis of typical GB seasonal demand/load curves. Also see Christmas workers: National Grid.
- "DUKES": Digest of UK Energy Statistics (and the 2008 PDF from which some headline figures are that renewables generate a little under 5% of UK electricity at ~20GWh/y up a little under 9% from the year before with onshore wind the biggest increase, overtaking hydro for the first time).
- The 2000MU-UK meter from Maplin.
- Check your electrical power consumption with tools such as the Kill-a-Watt meter.
- I am able to deploy my X-10 devices and Linux server to remotely disconnect unused items from the mains and/or run large loads off-peak and/or do some realistic burglar deterrence, providing that the X-10 controllers use much less power than the appliances that I am considering controlling (typically <2W for each X-10 controller).
- Something "grid-interactive" like SMA's Sunny Backup or Sunny Island systems can provide the benefits of on-grid (for safe export of excess) and off-grid (the lights, fridge, etc stay on if the grid goes down) PV systems. In particular, a heating system such as a gas combi and/or heat-pump could keep running whereas normally they'd stop in the absence of grid power, keeping the house warm.
- Try iMeasure or just in general Read Your Meter regularly to really understand your consumption: you can only manage what you measure.
- The French grid (RTE) publishes demand curves too.
- The Spanish grid (REE) publishes real-time demand curves too.
- The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) shows a load graph.