Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Support your local library 5 Feb

No comments: / House & Home - Enlightened energy

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Hmmm...we have a south facing roof that might be should we invest in solar photovoltaic panels or look into 'rent a roof' schemes? Interesting piece on this issue in the Financial Times.

“If you’ve got a bit of spare cash, it’s better to invest it in solar photovoltaic than putting your money in a building society,” says Charles Couzens, executive director of Ecos Trust, a Somerset-based charity that provides advice on sustainable building. He points out that you can get a healthy financial return of between 6 and 9 per cent, tax free.

The sea change for photovoltaic (PV) panels and other green electricity sources has come about through the introduction of feed-in tariffs in Britain in April 2010. This means that anyone installing small-scale electricity generation in homes, schools, hospitals or businesses can claim a substantial tariff – 41.3p a unit – for what they produce. And they get a further 3p a unit for any surplus electricity exported to the grid – as well as saving the cost of buying electricity in... Germany, a national system of feed-in tariffs has turned a mostly cloudy country into a world leader in domestic solar panels. More than 250,000 people are employed in the industry and Germany is exporting components around the world...

...But what about people on lower incomes or those with young families who are unlikely to have enough money to spare? There is an alternative – a number of companies in the UK, and in other countries too, are offering consumers the chance to have solar panels installed and benefit from the energy they produce without having to pay a penny for them. Under most of these “rent-a-roof” schemes, the householder makes savings on their electricity bills, but gets nothing of the feed-in tariffs – these accrue solely to the panel owner... / House & Home - Enlightened energy

70 months and counting ... | Andrew Simms | Comment is free |

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Capital One's advert for its World Mastercard is quite emphatic: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, there's no limit." That kind of certainty normally comes wrapped in fundamentalist religion. It could be the magical thinking of an economic system drifted dangerously far from its real world roots, or just the "bring it on" machismo of banks desperate to forget the consequences of reckless lending.
Either way, it neatly illustrates Ban Ki-moon's suspicion that the world's economic model is an ecological
"global suicide pact". Whichever data set you refer to, his concern is well grounded. Last year was either the equal warmest year on record, or second warmest...

...This month – number 70 in this countdown for action on climate change – saw BP publish its latest, industry standard projections of future fossil fuel demand and production. They predict that global carbon emissions will keep rising until at least 2030, in spite of the fact that to prevent dangerous climate change they should already be reducing. Presented in numbing pages of graphs and tables, this is the "global suicide pact" written invisibly into the world's economic model referred to by Ban Ki-moon. And it will remain so, until we can break the spell of magical thinking which allows us to believe that, economically and environmentally, there are no limits...

70 months and counting ... Andrew Simms Comment is free