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Please scroll down for lots of useful information. There are links to industry and environmental journals, relevant dates in the environmental and renewable energy calendar, current debates, a solar PV Feed-in Tariff calculator, green products websites, campaign groups and more. Some of this might be a bit outdated given time considerations and the fact that I don't get paid for doing this, but I do try and keep it as fresh and new as I can so it's still worth checking out.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

UK clean energy industry responds to comments by the late Sir David Mackay on wind and solar

Prior to his death on 14th April, the celebrated British energy expert Professor Sir David Mackay commented that renewable energy technologies like solar and wind could not meet UK energy needs. However, the industry has now issued a cautious and sensitive response.

Minesto orders modified bottom joint system for Deep Green

Wave and tidal energy company Minesto has ordered a modified version of Subsea Riser Products (SRP) Rocksteady for the Deep Green tidal energy power plant

George Ferguson and fracking? I think not...

Bristol local politics can often get incredibly tiresome and vicious, no more so perhaps than the last few days in the run-up to the Mayoral election. There's been an assertion that Ferguson was somehow trying to cover up an attempt by Bristol Port Company (BPC), which runs Avonmouth, to apply for a Petroleum Exploitation Development Licence (PEDL) for potential fracking. Actually, BPC did apply for a PEDL but then agreed with Bristol City Council to withdraw it. This is quite clearly shown in available documents. However, there is also a question of whether or not the Mayor mentioned this fact to the BCC cabinet. And so its all blown up now into the usual round of sniping.

The important fact is really, now, that BPC can't legally get involved in fracking at Avonmouth. This isn't unduly surprising because Ferguson has been dead set against fracking right from the start of his term of office, and has said so quite clearly and openly. Whether third parties can or not is another issue, not helped by UK government moves to stop local authorities from resisting fracking in their own areas.

At the end of the day, any attempt to frack anywhere near Bristol will be ferociously resisted, given that the area has one of the hottest communities of young activists, as well as plenty of clean energy company's, in the country.

All the rest is politics as they say....

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

No way will cyclists accept forced compulsory insurance

George Ferguson, current Bristol Mayor, seems to be swinging towards the anti-cycling camp. Compulsory insurance for cyclists? No damn way!!! For a start it will price new cyclists off the road, secondly, all the evidence shows that its motorists, not cyclists, who are primarily responsible for cyclist-motorist accidents. Third, cyclists don't damage the road surface, heavy transport does. Fourth, cyclists don't help to devastate the planet, fossil-fuel spewing heavy traffic does. I am sure I could think of a few more reasons, given a bit more time.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Scurrilous Propaganda

The American Right is one of the nastiest, and arguably stupidest, communities in the political world. Here is one example.

On 26th April, the Facebook Page 'Conservative Country' tried to smear the electric vehicle (EV) industry by examining how the sector obtains its supplies of lithium for lithium ion batteries.

I guess they figured noone would bother to check the image for accuracy. But I did.

The image you can see in the lower half of the picture is actually not a lithium mine at all. It is in fact the open cast mine at Escondida in Chile, which mines copper, not lithium. You can see the picture of this mine at the 911 Metalurgist site here where it is featured as mine No 14 on the sites list.

That said, lithium-ion batteries do use small amounts of copper and other metals in addition to lithium, but lithium itself is MOSTLY (there is a reason for the caps here), found beneath briny salt ponds such as this:

Once the water is removed, the lithium may be extracted like so

I decided to check via Google images whether there is any open cast lithium mines in the world, and at first I thought I had found one. A mine at Soquimich, operated by SQM. However, I confess I failed to notice that actually many of the resulting images are incorrectly labelled, and so for that reason there are a number of pictures that are labelled as representing Soquimich which actually show the Russian diamond mine at Mirny (below)

In reality, the vast majority, if not all, lithium mines, consist of brine fields, as this blog from Amusing Planet makes clear.

So in essence, although there is an environmental issue, it is not actually as bad as the Conservative Country Facebook Page is trying to portray. The main issue is about supply, not environmental destruction. Fortunately, lithium is very recyclable and so future supplies may come from redundant electrical devices and scrapped EV batteries. There is indeed a problem with lithium, but Conservative Country is only going to make itself look completely stupid if it tries to suggest that lithium mines are open cast, when in fact they are not.

Energy & Environment Dates 2012

Solar PV Feed-in Tariff Calculator


This calculator is provided by Solar Guide, an online resource of professional solar PV and solar thermal installation companies.

Just one percent of land is all that is needed for solar to meet UK electricity demand

The Renewable Energy Centre

TheRenewableEnergyCentre - saving money, saving energy and saving the planet.

Camden County (USA) wastewater solar project

Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project

AREVA Solar Salt Storage

EMEC wave test site Orkney

New Vestas low wind turbine

Los Alamos smart grid demonstration project

Renewable energy in Germany