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Public support for renewables remains high

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A government public poll has revealed that despite the government supporting the fracking industry, Brits still prefer renewables, with over three-quarters supporting clean energy generation.

In the 12th survey of its kind questioning UK adults, some 76% support the use of renewables to generate electricity, fuel and heat in the UK, similar figures to previous polls. Levels of support for individual renewable energy sources also remain stable with 74% supporting offshore wind, 68% onshore wind, 74% for wave and tidal and 81% for solar. Support for biomass has also increased to 65%, compared to 60% in December 2013.

The figures compare to 24% of participants saying they support shale gas extraction, whilst 23% say they oppose the practice.

Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy at trade association RenewableUK, said, “It’s great to see public support for onshore wind is increasing, with more than two-thirds of people consistently saying they want Britain to make use of it, and that support for offshore wind and wave & tidal energy remains even higher.

“That’s why it’s so hard to understand why the Conservative party is turning its back on onshore wind, threatening to kill off the industry if it wins the next election. Independent polls show that David Cameron is totally wrong to claim that people are ‘fed up with’ onshore wind – they show that the reverse is actually true, and that being anti-wind is a net vote loser.”

In stark contrast to the public poll, the Conservative party has pledged to end subsidies for onshore wind turbines if they win the general election in may, arguing that there are now enough wind farms in place to meet renewable targets without subsides, whilst declaring support for the fledgling fracking industry.

Edge added, “We hope that as manifestos are being written the Conservatives will see how misguided it would be to oppose such a popular technology as onshore wind.”

The poll also revealed that concerns over steep rises in energy prices remain high, with 76% highlighting it as a worry, and 49% said they were concerned about power cuts becoming more frequent in the future.

Encouragingly three-quarters of those questions said they gave a lot or fair amount of though to saving energy in their home, a similar portion to that reported in September 2014 and December 2013.

Photo: Janie.hernandez55 via Flickr 

Further reading:

Poll: UK perception of fracking improves, but public prefers renewables

Steep decline in British public’s fracking support, poll shows

Poll says US public want action on climate change and more renewables

Government poll charts major support of renewable energy

Increase in support for renewable energy in government poll

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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