Monday, 30 November 2009

Solar panel costs 'set to fall'

The cost of installing and owning solar panels will fall even faster than expected according to new research.

Their tests show that 90% of existing solar panels last for 30 years, instead of the predicted 20 years.

According to the independent EU Energy Institute, this brings down the lifetime cost.

The institute says the panels are such a good long-term investment that banks should offer mortgages on them like they do on homes.

At a conference, the institute forecast that solar panels would be cost-competitive with energy from the grid for half the homes in Europe by 2020 - without a subsidy.
Incentive programmes for solar panels in Germany, Italy and Spain have created manufacturing volume that's bringing down costs. Solar panel prices dropped 30% last year alone due to an increase in output and a drop in orders because of the recession.
full article

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Home Dislays For Smart Meters

British energy suppliers announced on November 23 that they are committed to offering every household an in-home energy display device. Homeowners will be offered the option of having the display device installed along with a smart meter so they can see how much energy they are using and how much it costs.

“Smart meters will help customers to save money by providing accurate information on how much energy is being used at any given time,” said Garry Felgate, chief executive of the Energy Retail Association (ERA) – the industry trade body.
“With this new commitment on display devices, customers will also benefit by being able to choose how they view this information so that it suits their personal preferences and needs,” Felgate continued.

The commitment from energy suppliers to provide in-home displays comes before a widely anticipated announcement from the government on smart metering that is expected to come any day now. The energy industry is depending on the government to provide a legislative framework that will allow for a nationwide smart meter rollout.

British Gas, one of the Big Six energy suppliers, announced last week that it will offer customers a free energy display in the home, along with an online energy management service, as part of its new EnergySmart program.

EnergySmart is the first program offered by a British energy company that does away with an estimated quarterly bill in favor of an accurate bill as determined by a smart meter. Customers that enroll in EnergySmart get the in-home energy display for free.

full article

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

leaf log

Leaf Log, manufactured in the UK from naturally fallen tree leaves has already contributed to reducing dependency on fossil fuels and reducing carbon dioxide and methane being released into the atmosphere since its inception 2 years ago. Making use of the one millions tonnes of leaves falling from UK trees every year enables Leaf Log to become a realistic, sustainable and renewable energy source for households and industry across the globe.

With a burn time of up to 3 hours, Leaf Logcan be used in stoves, chimineas, multi-fuel burners and open fires - in fact anywhere one would usually use coal or wood (except BBQ cooking) . Stored indoors (dry), you can simply return home after a long day, place a Leaf Log in the grate, light the bag (wrapper) and settle down in front of a cosy fire in a matter of seconds. No firelighters, kindling or hassle involved.

Typically, each broad based British tree sheds up to 50,000 leaves each autumn which are dumped in landfill – with a small percentage redirected for composting Significantly, these leaves release methane (23 times more hazardous than CO2) into the atmosphere when decomposing.

In contrast, when leaves are burnt they only give off the carbon they absorbed during the summer months on the tree - they add nothing extra to the environment making them carbon neutral.

In order to reduce our own carbon emissions as a manufacturing plant, Leaf Log is used to heat our offices and research is taking place in order to utilise the product to produce itself ie converting the energy into electricity.

BioFuels International Limited is a local business working with local authorities, residents and private/community organisations to reduce leaf litter from our streets by turning it into energy which can be burnt in the home and industry.

full article