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“Missed opportunity” as offshore wind farm is denied planning approval

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“Missed opportunity” as offshore wind farm is denied planning approval. RenewableUK has expressed disappointment that the Energy Minister Lord Bourne has refused planning approval for Navitus Bay offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.

The 970 megawatt (MW) project was due to be built in the English Channel 13.4 miles off the coast from Bournemouth and 10.9 miles from the western tip of the Isle of Wight. It would have powered 700,000 homes a year.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “It’s deeply disappointing that Navitus Bay has been refused consent. This is a missed opportunity as it means we’re failing to capitalise on the UK’s superb offshore wind resource and the economic benefits it brings. Years of hard work and significant investment went into developing this project which could have added £1.6 billion to the economy of the region and created up to 1,700 jobs – it’s most unfortunate that that has now been lost.

“The offshore wind industry is still determined to deliver the substantial pipeline of projects in UK waters which includes more than 5 gigawatts of operational capacity and over 13GW with planning permission. We’re making good progress in driving down costs while the prices of imported conventional fuels remain volatile. We’re also bringing real economic benefits with 13,000 jobs and inward investment of over £1billion last year”.

Friends of the Earth south west Campaigner Mike Birkin said: “It’s astonishing that a major clean energy scheme has been rejected on the grounds that it may harm the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.  The Jurassic Coast is not designated for its scenic value, and it is hard to see how the sight of wind turbines on the horizon on a clear day could be considered damaging to it.

“The real threats to Dorset’s fragile coast come from climate change – and potentially oil and gas exploitation. Navitus Bay, which could have been the largest clean energy project in the south of England, would have played a key role in helping to counter this.

“Yet again the UK is turning its back on a major clean energy project that would have created hundreds of jobs, boosted the local economy and helped the nation to tackle climate change.”

Andy Taylor, Vice President Energy at Schneider Electric comments: “The curtailment of an infrastructure project at such a late stage is disappointing. The investment of time and resource in pre-planning and design work will have been significant, as the rights to develop this Round 3 wind farm were awarded in 2010. This curtailment could act as a hammer blow to future infrastructure projects, by sending very mixed messages to investors.

“New sources of renewable energy production must be encouraged to ensure we avoid a future energy crunch. The margin of available capacity at the National Grid sat at 6.1% in 2014 and this is set to reduce even further, raising concerns over blackouts and possible rationing in winter months. Just 9.5% of the UK’s electricity was generated by on and offshore wind in 2014. Yet, much more green energy production is possible.

“’Navitus Bay would have created a sea load of renewable energy for the south coast. All indications put the predicted figure for generated electricity at 3.0 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. That is enough to power 700,000 UK households. And, would have ensured that approximately 1,290,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide were offset.

“In proposed projects like Navitus Bay we are seeing the cost of wind production come down, which is great for the economy. New innovations in technology are now able to reduce the Levelised Cost of Wind Energy from approximately £140 per MWh, down to £100. It would be great to see a project like Navitus Bay get off the drawing board.”

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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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.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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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!

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