Connect with us


Onshore wind development is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss

Ed Gill, head of external affairs at 100% renewable electricity supplier Good Energy explains why the UK should do its utmost to capitalise on its natural resources.

The debate over onshore wind has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks, sparked by a cohort of 106 MPs who wrote a letter arguing that the government should be reducing subsidies to wind farms. Prime Minister David Cameron responded with a strong defence of the government’s plans for wind.



Ed Gill, head of external affairs at 100% renewable electricity supplier Good Energy explains why the UK should do its utmost to capitalise on its natural resources.

The debate over onshore wind has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks, sparked by a cohort of 106 MPs who wrote a letter arguing that the government should be reducing subsidies to wind farms. Prime Minister David Cameron responded with a strong defence of the government’s plans for wind.

It’s a hot topic in the media, with the Guardian running a major new series on wind power, Donald Trump vowing to derail Scottish plans for wind farms single-handedly, and the Telegraph reporting on another letter from a group of public figures voicing their support of the 106 MPs.

In any discussion of those views, it is worth considering the wider context of our energy market. The global economy is built on the assumption of fossil fuels being cheap and plentiful, with little regard for their environmental impact. In the UK, for example, our energy market was designed in the early 1990s – at a time when North Sea oil and gas supplies were abundant. That is no longer the case, so we now need to look at other, more sustainable resources. Renewable energy can help solve those issues. Using the resources we have here in the UK means that we can meet our needs in this area in a way that is secure, stable and sustainable, and we have a huge amount of potential in that respect.

We have approximately 40% of Europe’s total wind resources and as an island we are perfectly placed to lead the world in marine generation technology. Solar power has an important role to play and hydro power is already a popular and important energy source, particularly at a community level. All of these and other technologies have an important part to play in weaning our economy off increasingly unstable international fossil fuel supplies.

This presents a huge opportunity for us as a country. The simple fact is that we need to invest more in our energy infrastructure in the UK because we haven’t done for so long. In renewables, we have the chance to ensure that the money we spend on our energy stays here in the UK, rather than disappearing abroad to the world’s oil and gas exporting nations.

Moreover, if we continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach that focuses on non-renewables then we’re also leaving our economy exposed to the rising costs of fossil fuels, whilst contributing to climate change. Today, some 60% of the energy we use is imported. We’re already seeing the impact of this at a macro-economic level – over the autumn, rising energy bills were the single biggest factor in pushing up inflation. The more ‘insulated’ we are from global fuel prices, the more secure and reliable the energy market is as an essential pre-condition for a successful economy.

To deliver that, we need to capitalise on the UK’s wind resources. Because we are a European leader in this respect, our wind farms perform better than their counterparts in Germany and Denmark. Whilst many critics of wind cite its intermittency and cost as a reason not to invest, the reality is that over the years, the energy industry has pioneered onshore wind power as a reliable, efficient and cost-effective energy source.

But there is a need to ensure that investment in wind power is matched with effective engagement with local communities. With the right planning, wind farm developments can benefit the surrounding community. Through projects like our proposed wind farm at Holm and Hollymill near Inverness, for example, Good Energy is ensuring that those living close to our wind farms benefit from the project by planning for a community bond, local electricity tariff and community fund to provide financial support to local projects. At Delabole, our first wind farm in Cornwall, we contribute over £9,000 per year to small-scale projects that benefit locals, with a committee of local representatives deciding how the money is spent.

The UK has been slow to invest in renewables, but the general feeling is that the ball has started rolling. Wind is attracting a lot of attention at the moment, often for the wrong reasons, but with the huge amount of resource we have in the UK, we simply can’t ignore it. In fairness, there is a lot more public support for wind power than is often given credit for. A recent YouGov poll found that the majority of people in the UK want to see more investment in wind farms.

We believe that renewable development projects, combined with smaller scale and home generation, have the potential to help the UK become self-sufficient in its energy needs. It’s about putting power in the hands of people and bringing energy generation into the communities that use it.

Read more about Good Energy’s development projects here, or for more general advice about investing in renewable energy, fill in Blue & Green Tomorrow’s online form.

Related links:

Anti-Wind Watch: New complaints to rebuff

Questions of efficiency

Onshore wind still has role in UK fuel mix, says Cameron


What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?




shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

Continue Reading


Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy



Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

Continue Reading