Here’s a trick question for a quiz: which uses the most electricity every year? An electric oven, hob, microwave or kettle?
The answer? The humble kettle, which eats up about 6% of all the electricity supplied to British homes.
An oven may use more power when it is on, but constantly filling a kettle – usually boiling far more water than we need – uses enough power annually that equals half the output of one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, the London Array, off the Kent coast.
via Energy bills: are your cuppas costing more than you thought? | Money | The Guardian
Unlike other energy saving methods, this requires no initial outlay – just that you pay a little attention (experiment, once even) and only use the amount of water you need.
It will shave nearly £2bn off the energy bills for Britain’s 25m homes. It requires just a small investment, that will be repaid within three to four months – and give you a payback lasting more than 20 years. It will stop as much as 8m tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere and the energy saved at peak time equates to the output of three power stations the size of Hinkley Point C.
And all you have to do is change a light bulb.
via Lightbulb moment: ‘I pay just £14 a year – and you can too’ | Money | The Guardian
I read a similar article to this and wondered if I should change a lamp in my Anglepoise as it is on the longest and to my surprise it was already an LED bulb – I forgot I changed it, it had been so long ago. Light-wise they are indistinguishable from old bulbs now.
Without investment in storage technology, the Hitachi announcement could prove a blow for efforts to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. But experts are hopeful that it could scare the distracted government into putting its foot on the gas, and backing research and investment in alternative sources of carbon-free electricity. “It could result in more fossil fuel emissions,” says Goodall. “Or, it could put pressure on the government to go back to wind, and combine that with energy storage.”
via Hitachi Anglesey: Only renewables can fix the UK’s nuclear energy crisis | WIRED UK
The most important activity that contributes to particulate pollution is the burning of fuels such as wood and coal in open fires and domestic stoves.
Farming is also a major problem, as emissions of ammonia have increased in recent years. This gas reacts in the atmosphere with other chemicals to produce particulate matter that can be carried on the wind to major population centres.
To deal with domestic burning, the government will ban the sale of the most polluting fuels and ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.
They are also consulting on phasing out the sale of traditional house coal and on limiting the sale of wet wood, the type found on garage forecourts. The government’s plan for these fuels is expected within months.
via Wood burners and open fires face restrictions in new clean air plan – BBC News
Good. The smell of coal fires was a distant memory for me. Its shocking that in the 21st century, increasingly you can smell smoke hanging in the air from peoples fires.
The researchers have used these facts and numbers to paint a picture of the world with a dangerous fever, caused by humans. We used to think if we could keep warming below two degrees this century, then the changes we would experience would be manageable.
Not any more. This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet’s liveability. And the 1.5C temperature “guard rail” could be exceeded in just 12 years, in 2030.
We can stay below it – but it will require urgent, large-scale changes from governments and individuals and we will have to invest a massive pile of cash every year, about 2.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all goods and services produced, for two decades.
Even then, we will still need machines, trees and plants to capture carbon from the air that we can then store deep underground – forever.
via Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’ – BBC News
More energy storage providers – such as Ovo Energy, Powervault and Moixa are entering the market – particularly as electric vehicles (EVs) promise to become a useful addition to the domestic energy mix. BMW i3 batteries are already being used to store windfarm energy in Wales, so it makes sense to integrate such car battery tech into homes.
via How your home could generate, store and sell energy – BBC News
Major high street retailers have joined forces to encourage people to recycle their used household batteries as a new poll revealed that more than half of respondents admitted they throw them in the bin.
Asda, B&Q, Currys PC World, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons are all backing the drive to make it easier for consumers to recycle dead batteries and avoid millions ending up in landfill every year and wreaking environmental havoc.
via Campaign urges people to recycle dead batteries | Environment | The Guardian
The new software combines National Grid’s deep knowledge of the GB energy system and weather data provided by the Met Office to forecast the carbon intensity of GB electricity over the next 48 hours, and the resulting carbon emissions.
The goal of this API service is to allow developers the chance to produce applications which can be used by electricity consumers, with the potential to influence behaviour in their electricity usage along with making consumers more aware of their Carbon footprint.
New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce.
Ministers will also unveil a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of a £3bn package of spending on air quality.
via New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK – BBC News
Cambridgeshire County Council has been granted planning permission to build a smart energy grid at the guided bus park and ride in St Ives.
Solar panels will be installed on canopies above parking spaces to generate electricity, which in turn will be used to power LED lighting and charge electric vehicles. Additional energy will be stored and sold.
The pilot project, which is an amalgamation of innovative and novel technologies, will be three times larger than the largest solar carport in the country if built and, if successful, will be rolled out to other sites around the county.
via Solar park and ride ‘carport’ planned for St Ives would be country’s largest – South Cambridgeshire – Cambridge Independent