Category: Renewable Energy

A Reality Check on Renewables in the UK David MacKay

This TEDx event video with David MacKay, chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change – presents the options and impact for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the UK. He tends to argue a mixed economy of measures are needed.

David MacKay is a professor of Natural Philosophy in the Physics department at the University of Cambridge and chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. He received a degree in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from Trinity College and a PhD. in Computation and Neural Systems as a Fulbright Scholar at Caltech. In 1992, MacKay was made the Royal Society Smithson Research Fellow at Darwin College at University of Cambridge and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 2009. He has also taught at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town. In 2003, his bookInformation Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms was published and, in 2008, he self-published Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air. Both books are fully available for free online.

Altaeros Energies uses helium-filled inflatable to harness consistent winds

Altaeros Energies is capturing media attention with the blimp-like appearance of its prototype inflatable airborne turbine, but it is claimed that the innovation could also cut energy costs by up to 65 percent.

A helium-filled inflatable shell allows the airborne wind turbine (AWT) to ascend to heights of more than 1,000 feet, where winds are more consistent and more than five times stronger than those at the level of traditional tower-mounted turbines, says Altaeros Energies.

The company, which came out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has just put a 10m-wide prototype to the test. This climbed to more than 100m above ground, produced power at altitude, and landed in an automated cycle. It lifted the Southwest Skystream turbine to produce more than double the power at high altitude of a ground-based equivalent. The turbine is transported and deployed from a towable docking trailer and held steady by strong tethers. The lifting technology is adapted from aerostats, industrial cousins of the blimps that lift heavy communications and radar equipment.

Full article in Building4Change

Isle of Wight store becomes first UK supermarket to be powered by woodchip

Waitrose in partnership with energy services company, MITIE, has launched a new energy centre on the Isle of Wight. The supermarket in East Cowes is the first in the UK to obtain the vast majority of its heating, cooling and power from an independent energy source (sustainably sourced local woodchip).

Renewable and low carbon technologies installed in the store will reduce its carbon footprint by over 750 tonnes each year – equivalent to 1500 transatlantic flights. It will also generate £150,000 per annum for the local economy in the form of new jobs and through the purchase of the wood chip; around 175 tonnes will be delivered to the energy centre every month, sourced from Firestone Copse on the island. There will even be capacity in the future for the energy centre to heat local homes and community facilities.

Full article in Building4Change