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London-based community scheme Teddington & Ham Hydro is offering a chance to invest in London’s first-of-its-kind hydropower project



As the world prepares for the Climate Summit in Paris, a plucky volunteer-led company is attempting to join the world’s best scientists in defeating global climate change. Recent government attacks on the community energy sector, in particular the recent extraordinary government decision to remove tax relief from investment in community energy schemes on 30 November, means that the Teddington & Ham Hydro team is racing against time to raise as much capital as possible by the end of the month.

The team is offering shares in the scheme at a decent rate of return – and, of course, the social and environmental benefits involved – but investors must buy their shares by 26 November.

Along with 25 other projects nationally, the T&HH team are in a dash to beat this deadline. The Great Energy Dash, as it’s been dubbed, is collectively trying to raise over £10mn in a little over a week. However in one day alone, nearly £1mn was raised, so there is demand for these great projects!

Given the urgency of the global climate situation, you would think that a multinational energy company would be especially interested in this as the world turns towards cleaner, renewable, green energy production.

However, this is not the case for Teddington & Ham Hydro. As the rest of the world is turning its focus onto renewable sources of energy the UK appears stubbornly stagnant when it comes to green energy production. Teddington & Ham Hydro, run by local volunteers and supported by local residents, is battling against the 100% Shell-owned Lensbury Club, a private members club, to construct a medium-sized hydro power scheme. The club has consistently ignored the hydro scheme’s potential benefits – for instance, by purchasing the electricity produced, the club could decarbonize its operations.

It is now seeking to overturn the democratically achieved planning approval with a cynical judicial review application design to stall the process. In a speech given in the House of Commons in 2012, David Cameron said he wanted to cut the number of judicial reviews, claiming they were hampering economic growth and that many applications were “completely pointless”. Indeed they are rarely successful, with only 3% of judicial reviews achieving their goals in 2010 – they are often nothing more than a stalling tactic, albeit an expensive one.

Stephen Jarvis, Managing Director, Teddington & Ham Hydro said: “Many local communities throughout the UK have grasped the opportunity to be more resilient and autonomous by developing community renewable energy. As well as the benefits of cheaper, greener energy controlled by the local community, these schemes have shown to also to encourage greater community cohesion through engagement in a common goal as well as kick-starting a wider discussion on saving energy through energy efficiency.  We can now grasp at the benefits of our own community renewable scheme in the form of Teddington & Ham Hydro, a hydropower project at Teddington Weir.”

Zac Goldsmith, MP said: “Teddington & Ham Hydro is a hugely exciting local project, but it is also important nationally. Small-scale, decentralised clean energy is without a doubt a big part of the future, and I believe that, once completed, the project will be among the largest community-run river hydro scheme in Europe, generating enough power for over 500 homes and saving around 1000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. In addition to promoting community cohesion, the Teddington & Ham Hydro team have created a pioneering scheme which will generate local employment and provide environmental benefits and community gain. I’m proud that my community is at the cutting edge.”

Jean Loveland, deputy Mayor of Richmond Council said: “It is time to look at things in a different way and prepare us for the exciting future whilst being respectful of our history.   We need to nurture our young residents and get them involved – our present and what we treasure is perhaps not what our children will.  We need to find a way of embracing new technologies, caring for our environment but ensuring we leave a heritage for our children.”

Regarding community energy, Boris Johnson said: “the proposals [to remove EIS tax reliefs for community energy] may endanger the expansion of the sector given the investment required for the upfront capital costs” and “there is a danger of unintended consequences”

Find out more here.

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7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption



Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions |

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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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis




Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey 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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