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Showing posts from March, 2011

Low Carbon South West

Low Carbon South West is a very worthwhile organisation to join if you live in the South West and you're into renewable energy. To give you an idea here's some blurb from their website:

Low Carbon South West is a trade association and sector partnership between businesses, academia, investors, local authorities, regional and national agencies promoting the growth of the environmental technologies and services sector in the South West.

Our Mission & Objectives:Support and promote the development of environmental technologies and services in Bristol, Bath and South West EnglandEncourage the adoption of these technologies and services by commercial, industrial and institutional end-users seeking to reduce their carbon footprintPromote Bristol, Bath and South West England as a centre of excellence for sustainability to wider UK and international audiencesFacilitate effective networking, knowledge exchange and practical business collaborations between LCSW members and betw…

Environmental Guardian

Some really interesting stories in The Guardian recently, some of which I've already posted below. However, while my partner is engrossed in the television drama Silk I find myself with the perfect opportunity to hop onto her Macbook and examine the news.
First up, no real surprise to read that the Japanese may very well have lost the race to save the Fukushima nuclear plant. Apparently, the radioactive core in one of the reactors may have already melted down through the bottom of its containment vessel. A meltdown in other words. This information follows readings taken from outside Reactor 2 and analysed by a US nuclear expert. Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling water reactors when General Electric installed the units at Fukushima commented that "At least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seem to have sunk through the steel lower head of the pressure vessel around Reactor 2". The major concern i…

Real Climate

Real Climate is one of my favourite sites on the internet, and for one very good reason - it's a climate science site written by real climate scientists. It doesn't get involved in political arguments, but as a source of real, authentic scientific information, its invaluable. If therefore you sometimes feel confused about what the real issues are and what the science is really saying, this is one website you should visit.
http://www.realclimate.org/

Cameron's promises of a green economy ring hollow, unsurprisingly....

I knew I could trust David Cameron's rhetoric about a green economy about as far as I can throw a steam roller. Sure enough, The Guardian has revealed that the UK's level of investment in green technology has slipped to 13th place behind Brazil (6th), India (10th) and China (1st). Unsurprisingly, part of the problem seems to be the continuing rift between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Treasury. As if it was ever going to be any different. You would think, with rising oil prices, that the government would want to stand by its green promises, especially with the opportunities that a green economy would bring in terms of sustainable growth and jobs. Those jobs however are going elsewhere and the UK will be all the poorer for it.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/29/uk-global-green-investment-rankings

Glaxo Smithkline (GSK) releases 2010 corporate responsibility report

The pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smithkline has released its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2010 which you can access here:

http://www.gsk.com/responsibility/cr-report-2010/

In the past GSK has been targeted by animal rights activists who claim it is linked to the controversial animal testing labs at Huntingdon Research Centre, now known as Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). In 2005 activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) infiltrated the labs and filmed staff punching and kicking the animals in their care. The footage was subsequently screened on British television. The company has also faced criticism over its product Avandia which one website describes as a 'killer drug' (http://truthman30.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/gsk-devoid-of-ethics/). It has also generated controversy over its activities in Puerto Rico (http://www.pharmalot.com/2011/01/glaxo-whistleblower-the-worst-thing-i-ever-saw/)

Marine Current Turbines in line to construct a new tidal array for Wales

Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has submitted an application to install a 10MW array of tidal stream turbines off the coast of Anglesey in 2015. The array will consist of seven twin-rotor turbines stretched across an area of 0.56 sq km which the company estimates will generate enough power for 10,000 homes. The technology, known as 'Seagen' generates energy from tidal flow and operates a bit like an underwater windmill. It is a tried and tested form of renewable technology, the first such scheme having been installed off the coast of Northern Ireland in 2008. The Anglesey array will be the first such site in Wales and will cost approximately £70 million to develop. MCT's website states that local firms will be involved in its construction and operation as much as possible.

MCT is based in Bristol and was established in 2000. You can read more about the company's activities here:

http://www.marineturbines.com/

Renewable energy companies in Bristol - an overview

Bristol apparently has a burgeoning renewable energy and technology economy, one of the strongest growth areas in the city so I'm told. So I thought I would take a look at some of the companies in the city and what they're up to. I hope to make this an ongoing feature of the blog in future.

Imagination Solar was founded in 2001 by Jon Walker, a renewable energy consultant with 20 years experience. Its sister company is 1World Solar Ltd, which I have heard about before. In 2008 Imagination Solar began to distribute the Shower Save heat recovery system which can apparently recover some 60% of the heat that is lost down the plughole every time you take a shower. The mechanism uses a heat exchanger which picks up the waste heat. Its claimed that this system will save between 300kg and 1000kg of carbon dioxide emissions per year and its apparently very popular in Holland.
http://www.imaginationsolar.com/index.html

Southern Solar are specialists in solar thermal and solar electrical sy…