Sunday, April 30, 2006

A shining example



Good news from the world of solar photovoltaics. General Electric is to invest $75 million in what will be the world's biggest solar energy plant in Portugal. There will be 52,000 solar panels with a capacity of 11 megawatts, to be based on a farm in Serpa. A company called Powerlight will install the panels, http://www.powerlight.com/company/press-releases/index.shtml . This company already runs significant installations in Bavaria and the Vegas area. It has been made possible by legislation forcing utilities to pay 31 euros cents a kilowatt hour for solar energy. The Portuguese government is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its reliance on fossil fuels.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Solar-powered gas platform makes North Sea debut

Royal Dutch Shell has started pumping gas from its new "Cutter" gas platform. The new platform, powered solely by two wind turbines and two solar panels, measures just eight metres square, half the size (and half the cost) of conventional installations.

Tom Botts, Shell's European VP for exploration and production, says it shows the company's commitment to environmentally sustainable design.

An alternative view is that it demonstrates Shell's desperation to keep pumping gas from rapidly declining fields. The smaller, more flexible platform design is key to Shell's ability to exploit increasingly marginal fields.

http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article358600.ece

Monday, April 17, 2006


All for a stag

For all those 1000s of devoted fans of our e-blog you will be fascinated to learn that our group is about to tear itself away from its PCs to get real and dirty. For a day we will migrate to the woods of Chislehurst in south London to carry out conservation work for Britain's fiercest species..........the Stag beetle. More courageous than a humvee, stronger than a sumo wrestler the stag beetle is The UKs last line of defence against enemy invasion. A worthy cause I'm sure you will agree. We will keep you informed as always.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Society needs to change; not just the individual.

There is a skip at my workplace full of very useful wood. Our site does not really have the space to store the wood hence the need for the skip. I have assumed anyway that the wood would be passed on for recycling. It appears this is largely not the case. And this with all the problems we have with virgin forest being cut down all over the world. In the UK there is an organisation looking into this; http://www.globaltrees.org/proj.asp?id=4 . They have a report out about the recycling of waste wood. What it shows is that an individual may want to recycle some wood but, that at the moment they will have a very hard time doing this because recycling operations are few and those that exist are too centralised. Often an individual can't do something until society catches up, until the systems are in place.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Carbon emissions rise again
The Government claims to be committed to fighting global warming and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the latest figures show a rise in CO2 emissions in 2005 of 0.25%. Not a big rise but this Government is committed to cutting them and lecturing the world on the need to do so. Scientists overwhelmingly agree on the need to drastically cut emissions and to allow them to rise is grossly irresponsible. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4861800.stm.
How can we prevent a huge rise in the world's temperature with catastrophic results while we do so little to prevent it?