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Links for September 29th through October 5th

by Mel Starrs on October 6, 2010

in News

These are my links for September 29th through October 5th:

  • ISA Benchmarking Results October 2010 – 4 page pdf “This report provides a demonstration of the first benchmarking results on a sample of assets of the current ISA Members. Benchmark KPI scores are brought up from the database, enabling members to track their own performance against the aggregated performance of ISA, on the basis of asset type and country. Given the relatively small data pool at this early stage of the ISA initiative, results are for demonstration purposes only. Whilst data has been cleansed of improbable values, it is important to note that only a small proportion has been independently audited and few controls currently exist to ensure the quality of collected data. These will be agreed by ISA members during the next year’s reporting period.”
  • RIBA launches Sustainability Hub – “That’s the good news – today’s energy infrastructure probably isn’t enough, by itself, to topple us into wholly unmanageable climate change. The bad news is that this figure assumes that we build no fossil fuel power stations in the future and that all our new vehicles and homes are zero-carbon. That’s not going to happen and the scale of the challenge is grimly indicated by the current rate of growth in low-carbon electricity. Of the 1,300 gigawatts of new power station capacity built since 2000, 31% uses coal, 34% gas and 4% oil. This leaves 2% nuclear and 17% renewables. And even this number substantially overestimates the share of future electricity production coming from renewables since both wind and solar power plants only produce a fraction of their maximum output”
  • The scale of the low-carbon task is immense | Chris Goodall | Environment | guardian.co.uk – “That’s the good news – today’s energy infrastructure probably isn’t enough, by itself, to topple us into wholly unmanageable climate change. The bad news is that this figure assumes that we build no fossil fuel power stations in the future and that all our new vehicles and homes are zero-carbon. That’s not going to happen and the scale of the challenge is grimly indicated by the current rate of growth in low-carbon electricity. Of the 1,300 gigawatts of new power station capacity built since 2000, 31% uses coal, 34% gas and 4% oil. This leaves 2% nuclear and 17% renewables. And even this number substantially overestimates the share of future electricity production coming from renewables since both wind and solar power plants only produce a fraction of their maximum output”
  • HPM Industry News: Heat pumps’ HFC emissions add 20% to their carbon footprint – “For UK air source heat pumps, emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) add another 20% to the carbon footprint created by power generation, says a new report from Atlantic Consulting.”
  • Strong Meat – Monbiot again (was slow to pick this one up, but again reinforces my belief that sustainability cannot be reduced to black and white): “The meat-producing system Simon Fairlie advocates differs sharply from the one now practised in the rich world: low energy, low waste, just, diverse, small-scale. But if we were to adopt it, we could eat meat, milk and eggs (albeit much less) with a clean conscience. By keeping out of the debate over how livestock should be kept, those of us who have advocated veganism have allowed the champions of cruel, destructive, famine-inducing meat farming to prevail. It’s time we got stuck in. “
  • Jared Diamond Lessons from the Edge [Huffington Post] – “One investor praised his book and said it prompted him to question our society’s orientation towards constant economic growth requiring more and more resource inputs. Diamond said the remark was dead-on: “It’s inevitable that consumption rates in in the developed world will have to decline,” he said, noting that Americans have the farthest to go here. “
  • Are Net Zero Energy Buildings the Answer? – Some interesting insights into LEED, although perhaps naive views on the potential of net zero buildings (need to address demand side before this can really be a reality). The benefits of having a common language to talk about green buildings is addressed, on which I agree.
  • Government delays EPC software by six months | Online News | Building – Except of course you need to know EPC in order to estimate credit ENE1 under BREEAM *sigh*: “An EPC is required when a building is completed, let or sold and the Communities department says that because new buildings conforming to Part L 2010 will not be completed until some appreciable time after October 2010, very few people will be affected.”
  • FT.com / UK / Politics & policy – Solar power subsidy under review – If FiT’s go, there’s no hope of RHI: “The Department of Energy and Climate Change confirmed that the Treasury was examining FITs as part of the comprehensive spending review, even though the subsidies’ cost comes not from taxpayers but consumer energy bills.”
  • National Statistics Online – Businesses – The professional, scientific and technical sector accounts for the largest number of businesses with 15.4 per cent of all enterprises registered. This is followed by construction with 13.1 per cent of all enterprises registered and retail with 9.0 per cent.The distribution of enterprises by employment size band shows that 88.6 per cent had an employment of less than 10, and 98.0 per cent had less than 50 employment. Large enterprises, those with 250 or greater employment, accounted for only 0.4 per cent.