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Links for May 26th through May 27th

by Mel Starrs on June 1, 2010

in News

These are my links for May 26th through May 27th:

  • Some Transition Thoughts on the Energy Bits of the Queen’s Speech » Transition Culture – I'm not a particular fan of the Transition Towns movement (something too insular and regressive about it to sit comfortably with my world view, each to their own and all that), but Rob writes some excellent pieces. This article is well worth a read – he knows his energy policies well and makes some good points about funding, FiT's and CCS.
  • Blogs and Comments – Comments – Dan Box – The Government has found a backhanded way to subsidise nuclear power – The Ecologist – Why Huhne's compromise on nuclear could be a good thing (IMO) although Box is obviously not happy: "The way it works is this: European companies currently pay for each tonne of carbon they emit by buying permits, the price of which is determined by the market itself. A floor price will most likely drive this price up…, making pollution more expensive. It will also encourage investors to put money into non-polluting companies by making the market in which they operate more predictable.<br />
    …Driving up the cost of producing polluting energy from coal- or gas-fired power plants, doesn’t just favour renewables. It also makes the costs of nuclear production far more competitive, even without subsidy."
  • Guest blog: Goodbye HIPs, Hello EPCs | National Energy Services – "From today, if you intend to sell your house you no longer need to have a HIP in place, but you do need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). To comply with the new law, you need to have instructed a Domestic Energy Assessor to prepare one, and either to have paid for it, or given a clear undertaking to pay, before marketing.<br />
    If you are selling through an agent, he or she must be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned before starting to market your home. Both parties must make reasonable efforts to secure an EPC within 28 days, and all of the new duties carry fixed penalties where somebody fails to comply."
  • Footprint » Embodied carbon is the next hot topic – "Carbon profiling methodology is clearly explained and applied to a case study of Arup Associates’ Ropemaker Place, a 20-storey BREEAM Excellent office block in the City completed in May 2009. This research, commissioned by British Land’s Sarah Cary who was also on the panel, shows that embodies carbon makes up more than half of Ropemaker’s carbon emissions.<br />
    The next challenge is creating statutory incentives for reducing embodied carbon. Simon Cox of ProLogis described a recent project where planners were willing to reduce the renewables requirement in light of a sustainability strategy which had addressed embodied carbon. Guy Battle of dcarbon8 (and now Deloitte) remarked that the day will come Part L incorporates embodied carbon. Simon Sturgis noted that BREEAM awards less points for retaining a concrete frame than for putting bat boxes on a building."
  • Solar energy reduces electricity bills by a third – Modern Building Services – "The installation of solar photo-voltaic panels on affordable homes in Huddersfield has proved even more energy efficient than Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and supplier Photon Energy expected.<br />
    Not only have the residents benefited from the production of solar electricity on site, but they have also become more economical in their use of electricity.<br />
    The panels have been installed on 30 all-electric bungalows and flats for older people at Fernside Estate in the Almondbury area of Huddersfield."
  • The climate-change greenhouse in a datacentre – "When you're building a datacentre, the biggest problem you've got is often getting rid of the heat generated by so many computers running in such a small area. Some data centres just pump it out into the outside world. Others use the excess energy to heat local homes. But TelecityGroup's newest datacentre, Condorcet – which opened in Paris earlier in the year, uses its heat to conduct research into climate change.<br />
    The building's exterior is comprised of a massive arboretum – a greenhouse, which is maintained at the climatic conditions expected to be prevailing in France in 2050. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) operates a research centre there, growing plants from around the world to investigate which will be viable to grow when climate change's effects are starting to be felt in the country."