Connect with us

Energy

Ashden Awards finalists: London Borough of Islington (SHINE)

Published

on

On June 11 the success of the renewable energy industry will be celebrated at the Ashden Awards. We asked this year’s finalists to tell us about them, their achievements and the changes they would like to see. Here we take a look at London Borough of Islington (SHINE).

Tell us who you are?

SHINE, the Seasonal Health Interventions Network, was set up in 2010 to help people in Islington suffering from the impacts of fuel poverty.

What does your company or organisation do?

SHINE is a single point of access for a wide range of services to tackle cold homes and the other causes of seasonal deaths and hospital admissions. Almost 90 organisations working in Islington refer residents in need of urgent help to SHINE and nearly 9,000 had been helped by SHINE in the five years to May this year. Alongside energy efficiency improvements the service also delivers a wide range of seasonal health interventions such as fire safety checks, falls prevention, benefit checks and befriending services.

Give us some bullets on achievements, lives affected, emissions reduced, etc.

– Almost 9,000 referrals have been made to the service since it was set up less than five years ago.

– Around 40,000 interventions have been made to help people suffering from cold homes and high energy bills, responsible for an estimated 2,700 deaths in London every year.

– Energy  efficiency interventions save vulnerable SHINE clients over £700,000 each year and reduces carbon emissions by over 3,200 tonnes per year.

What would winning an Ashden Award mean to you?

SHINE was trailblazing when it was first launched in December 2010 as it was the first service of its kind. We share the vision of Ashden to make the world a more environmentally sustainable place by reducing mankind’s carbon footprint while helping out the most deprived people who cannot afford to heat their homes because energy costs have become so high in recent years. An Ashden Award  would be a very prestigious addition to our trophy cabinet and very welcome acknowledgement of the Islington Council staff and our partner organisations who have worked so hard to make it the success that it has become.

If you were in charge globally for one day, what one sustainable change would you make?

I would ensure access to clean energy and safe and healthy homes for all. Across the world energy poverty blights millions of lives. This can be through winter deaths in Europe or the death and disablement caused by unsafe and dirty stoves in the developing world. Energy drives much of global civilisation and the world economy and universal access to clean, affordable forms should be a right and not a luxury.  We need to protect our most vulnerable people in the developed world by insulating their homes whilst opening up renewable energy to the developing world. A global carbon tax where revenues are recycled back into efficiency and low carbon generation would be a central part of my strategy.

Photo: nicksarebi via Flickr

We’re live on Crowdcube. To own a share in our tomorrow, click here.

#investaware

Further reading:

UK finalists of 2015 Ashden Awards announced

2015 International Ashden Awards shortlist unveiled

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

Published

on

Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

Continue Reading

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

Published

on

By

Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending