More Than 100 UK Cities Powered by Renewable EnergyThursday 15th March 2018
While we are staunch champions of solar energy, we like to see the other (renewable) guys do well too. With that in mind, we’d like to share this massive bit of news that should go a long way in pushing the renewable energy movement forward.
New data published by the non-profit environmental research body CDP has shown that more than 100 cities across the world are now predominantly powered by renewable energy.
This marks a significant shift away from traditional fossil fuels, and the number of cities using renewables has doubled since 2015. Three years ago, CDP found that only 42 of the 570 cities currently in their books were using clean energy. Today, that number now stands at 101.
Of course there is still work to be done, but this should be recognised for what it is: a near-seismic shift in the right direction.
The Future of Renewable Energy
According to Nicole Bartlett, CDP’s director of climate change, this can be attributed to both the number of cities added to CDP’s system and a global recognition of the potential that renewables hold.
In a statement to press, Bartlett said: “This is a comprehensive picture of what cities are doing with regards to renewable energy.
“Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition. Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy, but, most importantly – they can.”
The cities featured in CDP’s report are diverse, demonstrating just how broad the scale is. Solar energy is now accessible for all, whether you’re a homeowner or a business of all shapes and sizes.
From Nairobi and Oslo to Auckland and Reykjavik, many major cities are making the switch. Reykjavik is a particular advocate; the Icelandic capital sources all of its electricity from hydropower and geothermal sources, and is even working to make all cars and public transport fossil-free by 2040.
There is progression closer to home, too. More than 14 UK towns have signed up to the UK100 government-supported target of 100% clean energy by 2050. Among numerous other local councils, the UK100’s newest recruits include Liverpool City Region, Bristol, Bury, and Peterborough.
Be Part of the Solar Movement
With this kind of progress, we can visualise a healthier, greener future for the UK. This is a future that solar energy is at the forefront of, so if you want to get involved then don’t hesitate a moment longer.
Give us a call on 0800 112 3110 or alternatively fill in an enquiry form.
Government Solar-Income Incentives ExplainedTuesday 6th February 2018
As we push on towards a low-carbon future for the UK, it’s reassuring to know that our government is fully behind it. In fact, they recently-introduced the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, allowing homeowners to receive a steady income for self-generated electricity.
That’s right: if you generate your own electricity, your energy supplier will pay you. This is called a feed-in tariff, and it’s proving a popular incentive for most homeowners who have installed solar panels onto their properties. It also applies for wind turbines and other renewable technology.
The scheme was introduced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and is overseen by Ofgem.
In this blog, we’ll advise on how you can take advantage of the FiT scheme and potentially earn back the cost of your system (and then some).
The initiative works on a tariff basis, meaning that you’ll receive a set amount for each unit of electricity you generate (measured in kWh).
If your application is accepted, your amount will vary depending on the following:
• The size of your system
• The technology you install
• When your system was installed
• How energy-efficient your home is
There are three main benefits to be had from the initiative. These are as follows…
First, there’s the generation tariff, which is the most straightforward. The generation tariff literally means that you’ll receive payments for the electricity you generate. Once your application is accepted and your system is registered, your tariff levels are guaranteed for however long the tariff lasts (usually up to 20 years).
You’ll also benefit from the export tariff. This refers to the energy that you don’t use which as a result you have left over. Your energy supplier will pay you for this, so that nothing goes to waste.
Finally, there’s the overall savings on your energy bills. You’re sure to save money on your electricity bills because you won’t be paying your supplier.
Recouping Your Investment
Yes, you have to pay for your solar system, but with this kind of government funding, you’re almost guaranteed to recoup the investment. In fact, over a 20-year tariff, you could typically receive around £18k, depending on the rate of inflation and changes in electricity prices.
Get in Touch
Our solar energy systems are an investment for the future; they generate renewable energy and pay you back in the process. They are virtually maintenance-free and come with a lifetime product-and-performance warranty.
If you want to learn more about how you can benefit from the government solar-income incentives and the FiT scheme, fill out an enquiry form or give us a call on 0800 112 3110.
5 Astonishing Facts About Your Carbon FootprintThursday 11th January 2018
Many of us have been concerned about saving energy for many years, and understandably so. Whether it’s gas, electricity, or petrol that fuels our cars, it’s expensive and it’s taking its toll on our planet.
In recent years, we’ve been hearing more and more about the idea of carbon footprint, which is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community. Here we’ve listed five facts about your carbon footprint that may surprise you.
1. European Countries Are Among the World’s Highest Carbon Emitters
The world can emit more than 2.4 million pounds of CO2 per second, and European countries are among some of the highest emitters in the world.
For a collection of small countries, Europe sure does pack a punch when it comes to carbon emissions. According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Europe is home to some of the world’s largest carbon-emitters – in 2015, Germany had the 7th highest emissions. The UK came 17th on the chart, closely followed by Italy in 19th, France in 20th, and Poland in 21st.
2. Your Water Has a High Carbon Footprint
Water conservation is one of the keys to reducing our CO2 output and saving our planet from global warming. While you may think that your water comes au naturel from your local lakes, rivers, and waterways, and that they are without consequences, it couldn’t further from the truth!
Just like generating electricity for your kettle or driving a car, the efforts to maintain and purify your water take up energy too. In the UK, we require 4,645 litres of water per person every day, resulting in 3.68 million tonnes of CO2 per year from the supply and treatment of our water.
3. Paper Production Contributes to Carbon Emissions
Similar to your tap water, the more paper you use, the more you are contributing to carbon emissions, or worse yet, deforestation – which is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the world’s cars, trucks, planes, and ships put together.
How does it work? The reason that logging is so bad for the climate is because trees release the carbon they are storing into the atmosphere when they’re felled. The carbon then mingles with greenhouse gases from other sources, thus contributing to global warming accordingly.
4. Food Production Accounts for 83% of Carbon Emissions Each Year
According to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology, businesses that produce food contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, including the methane released by their livestock like sheep, cattle, and goats. In addition, transporting food accounts for 11% of carbon emissions.
That’s not all: an estimated one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world (approximately 1.3 billion tonnes) is either lost or wasted each year. This food wastage represents not only a devastating misuse of natural resources, but also a carbon footprint bigger than all countries except for China and the USA. Speaking of waste…
5. Rubbish Can Add to Your Carbon Footprint Too
Landfills are incredible sources of greenhouse gases and pollution. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency claims that for every pound of rubbish you throw away, you’ll create one pound of greenhouse gases. This is because as rubbish decays, it releases carbon dioxide and methane – which is another type of greenhouse gas even more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere – creating landfill gas, which is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic materials in landfills.
Want to Know How You Can Help?
We hope we’ve given you an insightful snapshot of how our collective carbon footprint can have an impact on our planet. If you’d like a little more information about carbon emissions or some tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint, get in touch – our team is always ready to help!
What Impact Will Global Warming Have on the Planet by 2050?Sunday 7th January 2018
According to a new study published by the journal Nature Climate Change, if the goals of the Paris climate change accord are not met, more than 25% of the Earth will experience the effects of ‘aridification’ – or drying of the planet – by the year 2050.
Understanding the Change in Our Environment
The study claims that if the Earth’s average yearly temperature rises by 2°C (3.6°F) over the next 32 years, the areas of the world experiencing serious drought will increase and our planet will start to become a desert.
“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20-30 percent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2°C,” said Manoj Joshi, the lead researcher of the study. “But two-thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5°C (34.7°F).”
Getting to the Root of the Problem
The study goes on to address the possibility to decrease the likelihood of aridification by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The world has already warmed by 1°C (1.8°F),” said Su-Jong Jeong, a participant in the study from China’s Southern University of Science and Technology. “But by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in order to keep global warming under 1.5°C or 2°C could reduce the likelihood of significant aridification emerging in many parts of the world.”
Doing Your Part to Stop Aridification
The executive director of Greenpeace International, Jennifer Morgan, said that climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods, and drought would rapidly worsen unless ministers committed to keep fossil fuels in the ground. “Paris was just the starting point,” she said.
If you wish to help combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuel, you can do so by installing solar panels on your homes – get in touch for a quote.
UK Trains to Be Solar-Powered in 10 YearsFriday 22nd December 2017
Solar panels could soon fuel a significant amount of the energy needs for future electric trains in the UK, according to a new report from Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab and green energy charity 10:10.
Network Rail is the single largest electricity consumer in the UK, with internal decarbonisation targets and a strong incentive to reduce operational energy costs. Along with Transport for London (TfL), these organisations’ combined spendings on traction power for their trains amount to around £500m.
At the moment, there are more than 5,500km (3,417 miles) of electrified tracks in the UK, with a major electrification programme constructing or converting hundreds more over the next few decades. Early indications point to the possibility of connecting about one-third of this network that uses the direct current (DC) traction power system, thus allowing access to new renewables to thousands of potential new sites.
First Solar-Powered Trains to Pull Up at South London
The study has identified a section of the commuter rail network south of London where 200 small solar farms could be installed. If just half of these were implemented, it could provide around 15% of the total power necessary for DC-powered trains in the region. In fact, some train commuters in south London could see their trains run on solar energy as soon as 2020.
Good news for commuters outside south London: the report has also found that 50 potential overground solar sites could fuel 6% of the energy needed to power the London Underground. In addition, around 22 sites that could generate 20% of Merseyrail’s electricity have been identified.
Jump on the “Renewable Energy” Train
In a bid to save the planet and money, eco-friendly citizens across the nation have made the switch to renewable energy. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact us today for a quote.
“Birth of a New Era”: Solar Power Leads the Way for Renewable EnergyWednesday 29th November 2017
According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of new power added to the world’s grids in 2016. Of all renewable sources, the group found solar technology led the way and even surpassed the net growth of coal, formerly the world’s largest source of new power.
The findings are exemplary of solar’s mammoth growth, as both domestic and commercial spaces are now converting to solar energy in a bid to go green and save themselves money in the long-run.
Government policies, as well as the continued fall in cost, contributed to solar’s popularity.
Solar Power Set to Dominate the Market
Further predictions from the IEA show that solar energy will continue to dominate the renewable market – to such a degree that, in five year’s time, the global capacity will be greater than the current combined power capacity of India and Japan.
Executive Director of the IEA, Dr. Fatih Birol, said:
“What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics (PV). We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology up to 2022.”
Renewable energy remains at the forefront of our efforts to be greener, and as long as information is made more available to homeowners and businesses, the interest around solar energy will remain.
Interested in getting involved with renewable energy?
Visit our blog for more information around solar energy, and how our panels can help you do your bit for the planet (and save you money).
You can also contact us for a quote – it takes as little as 30 seconds to get an idea of premium, and five minutes to arrange an installation.
How to Be Environmentally Friendly in WinterThursday 23rd November 2017
Winter: the season for roaring fires, wooly jumpers and hot beverages. You’ll often be tempted to turn your thermostat up as far as it will go, or let your car heat up while you finish getting ready. Although these will help you feel a bit more comfortable in the short term, they’re not the greenest solutions to combatting the winter months. In fact, they’re a significant sap on energy usage, bad for the environment and can be expensive, too.
There are plenty of ways you can stay warm and look after the planet at the same time. With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few pointers on how you can be environmentally friendly in winter.
Seal all the draughts in your home
Go on the hunt for draughts. You’ll find that heat often escapes under doorways and windows, but it can also occur in places you’d never think of. Whereas you can keep the heat in with a draught-excluder or even an old blanket placed in front of a door, other sources of heat loss require a little extra thinking.
Apply a little sealant or rope caulk around electrical outlets. They can let small amounts of cold into your home – small, but every little helps when the weather is bitterly cold!
Soft furnishings are your friend
To avoid relying too much on your central heating, surround yourself with as many soft furnishings as possible. A rug under your feet is far more agreeable than a cold wooden floor!
Bare floors easily let the cold in, so a thick rug is an excellent way to insulate your home. From a hand-knitted scarf to a brand new carpet, soft furnishings are a relatively inexpensive way to keep warm. They don’t harm the environment, either.
Use your oven more
See that cake recipe you’ve been meaning to try? Winter is the perfect season to do it, especially if you live in a small- to medium-sized apartment. Using the oven will warm up the rest of your home, so if you know you’re in for a particularly cold night, cook something that takes a while.
Think about the kinds of meals you want to eat in winter. Slow-baked casseroles, indulgent pies or a big lasagne will heat your home and fill you with tasty, comforting food.
Fibreglass and foam are commonly used for insulating homes, but there are materials that are far better for the environment – such as wool, cork, and old denim.
Insulation made from foam and fibreglass contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which is not only an intimidatingly long word but is also very damaging to the ozone layer. HCFCs contribute to what’s called the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.
Work up a sweat
It might be the last thing you want to do, especially when it’s cold, but a little exercise can go a long way. Not only will it make you feel better, but you’ll instantly feel warmer as the blood gets pumping.
Whether it’s a few rounds of star jumps in front of the TV, or an actual venture outside for a run, you’ll soon be warm and will stay warm for a couple of hours after.
Don’t go overboard with your kettle
We all love a hot beverage in winter, and there’s nothing quite like clasping your hands around a cup of tea when it’s cold out, but keep an eye on how much water you put in the kettle before boiling.
What many of us do is overestimate how much water we need, then end up boiling too much. Boiling a kettle uses more energy than you might think – almost enough to light a whole household.
You can even buy energy-efficient kettles to reduce usage. The best tip is to pour however much water you need into your mug, then pour it into the kettle. Simple!
Leaving the tap running
Try not to leave the tap running, whether you’re brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, as it wastes quite a bit of water. Soak dishes before washing them – it may seem an insignificant measure, but in the grand scheme of things it will be the small things you do that make a difference.
Have you thought about solar energy?
We’re all responsible for the environment, and the things we do or do not do will contribute to its health. The above tips are all handy, easily achievable solutions to greener living. A solution that’s just as handy – surprisingly easy, in fact – is solar panel technology.
More than 80% of the British public support solar power, so much so that it’s become the most popular source of energy. It’s environmentally-friendly, affordable and, with us, can be installed on your property between just seven to ten days.
Whether you’d like a quote or just a little more information, please get in touch – we’d be happy to talk through your options