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Press Release:

Newly launched manufacturer Solar Steel are making significant headway in their backing Britain campaign.

As suppliers of renewable energy mounting systems based in Birmingham they have chosen a policy dedicated to the local and UK economy.

By sourcing their suppliers in the West Midlands and nationally they are 100% committed to supporting businesses and their workforce.The company have already began reaping the rewards with their UK policy by achieving dramatic first year sales way above their initial forecasts and expectations.

Managing Director and founder David McElroy said” There is evident sentiment among our customers the genuine need to reverse protocol and begin to help fellow businesses by sourcing products and services from one another wherever possible.

Companies are appreciative of our commitment to the UK from creating training opportunities for young people,introducing and sustaining Jobs,protecting the environment and delivering a genuine world class British range of products.”

Currently in negotiations with Land Rover Jaguar Solar Steel are looking to secure the supply of their PV mounting systems at the brand new facility in Wolverhampton further encouraging UK growth and backing Britain. For further information please contact Solar Steel on 0845 0046163 or

Climate Change – Ohhh Betty!

Eco Friendly 6 Comments »

Climate Change

Climate protesters tend to talk about what they don’t want (by definition). This is not constructive. We need to address climate change in a structured fashion and that needs governments and/or some form of organisation. Anarchy in this case won’t cut the mustard. Let me give a few concrete examples.

There is much talk of the on/off nature of wind and how difficult it is to store electrical power. However, if there was the large scale adotpion of electrical vehicles then these would act as power stores, particualrly given that a car spends most of its life er… stationary. This subject is currently the focus of much study in the power indsutry and the car industry. For it to be realised will need organisation. Are the anarchists going to provide this?

In the case of Co2 already in the atmosphere, a carbon negative process called bio-char already exists. There is growing interest. To roll it out to useful places (such as Africa – where it would make a real difference to poor people) needs organisation.

Concrete solutions to some current climate change issues.

They will not be realised without government support. The people in the climate camps have a role – but in my view it is a negative role. We need solutions and soon. These come from people, but can only be implemented on a large scale by governments and or companies (i.e. capitalism). In the case of bio-char I have some very large corporations interested – since the role of these orgs it to engineer and produce low cost systems – there is no alternative to them – no other organisation has the resources or scale to do it.

So yes, whilst corporatism has caused the problem it could also provide the solution.

Saving The Planet

Authors Thoughts, Eco Friendly No Comments »

Personally, I can’t see how cutting emissions, utilising renewable energy sources and stopping deforestation can be a bad thing for the planet, regardless whether or not climate change is man-made, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, Arctic ice is/is not melting or any other global warming argument.

There have been worries lately that the predicted changes have been too conservative and we’re all doomed quicker than previously thought, but on the other hand there is always the possibility of a super volcano erupting and covering the atmosphere with ash, thereby plunging us into another ice age quicker than you can say “Where’s my woolly hat?!”.

What I’m trying to say is that whilst I think that climate change is real and not some political plot to get more money out of us, you can never tell what is just around the corner to cause a major rethink.

Unfortunately, it is the world’s most vulnerable which are affected first and worst by climate change. Droughts, cyclones, floods. Life-threatening, overwhelming, and extreme. These natural disasters are now more frequent and more intense because of climate change. For poor families, the consequences are devastating. Homes, schools, crops, animals all wiped out – along with years of hard work.

The good news is that organisations such as Oxfam are putting their heads together to help people adapt to the changing seasons. Farmers are being supplied with seeds which will grow in dry conditions, irrigation systems are being installed and where flooding once swept away crops, farmers can now utilise floating vegetable gardens.

Renewable Energy Proposals for the River Severn

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Due to the popularity of the single article The Shelf posted on the Hydrogen Age at the beginning of the month, marking the launch of a new eco friendly section, we have brought you news on the latest green projects bidding to harness energy from the Severn estuary in South Wales.

Over the next 24 months ten rivals eco friendly schemes will be studied and narrowed down until one successful renewable energy scheme will be funded, harnessing the natural energy of the Severn.

Among the contenders for the project are six barrages, two lagoon proposals, a tidal fence and a tidal reef.

Environmentalist, bird charities, engineers and opposition politicians have all welcomed to array of projects that will be part of the multi million pound feasibility study, and will each state the proffered scheme.

Business Minister John Hutton spoke of the scheme – “Harnessing the power of the Severn Estuary could be an engineering project of breathtaking scale and we will look at the full range of technologies and locations.”

The ten proposals are as follows:

1. A giant outer barrage that will stretch from Minehead in Devon to Aberthaw in Glamorgen, with critics fearing the projects size could become impractical. That said the project is among the top energy providers and it is estimated it could produce 20 terawatt hours of power annually.

As well as being popular for the amount of energy the project is expected to produce, the project is favoured by conservationists as it would be better than other for bird life as well as protect Somerset from flooding such as that seen across the county in 2007. It is however expected to be an expensive project and could prove difficult to build in such deep waters.

2. The Cardiff Weston Barrage would stretch from Lavernock Point in Sully to Brean Down in Somerset and could cost an estimated £15 billion to build. The project could produce a fifth of Britain’s electricity generating 17 terawatt hours a year and is thus far the best studied option based on proven technology.

The project however is unlikely to gain the support of environmentalists as it is expected to damage rare bird breeding mudflats in the Severn estuary and disrupt shipping in the Bristol Channel.

3. The Cardiff Weston Barrage II would stretch from Lavernock Point in Sully to Hinkley in Somerset costing more than the 15 billion predicted for the first Cardiff Weston Barrage. Avoiding breeding grounds this option may be preferred; however it is based on unproven technology but includes more turbines which would produce more power.

4. The Inner shoots Barrage would be located near the second Severn crossing costing 10% of the Cardiff Weston Barrage at £1.5 billion. It would provide 2.5 terawatt hours of electricity annually, a seventh of the second barrage.

At a cheaper cost to both investors and the environment it may be a popular option, however the energy produced isn’t as clean as that in other proposals.

5. The Beachley Barrage will stretch from Beachley to Aust near the first Severn Bridge and is similar to the inner barrage.

6. The Tidal Fence will stretch from Lavernock Point in Sully to Brean Down in Somerset and cost £3.5 billion, producing 1.3 GW of electricity, 1% of Britain’s needs.

There are questions about the unproven tidal stream power, and critics say it is not ideally suited to the Severn estuary.

7. The Fleming lagoon would be constructed between three sites two up against the Welsh coast, one against the English coast. With an unclear price an estimated 6.5 terawatt hours of electricity would be produced but the scheme is backed by Friends of the Earth who say the scheme is less environmentally destructive.

The drawback to this scheme seems to be the fact it is founded upon as yet unproven technology.

8. Tidal lagoons if chosen could be situated in several places in the Estuary or Swansea Bay, with the cost believed to be comparable to offshore wind power. This option is potentially cheaper and would cause less damage to bird habitats than other schemes.

9. There is a Tidal reef proposal but as yet the details of the scheme are very vague, but it would be based on tidal stream technology that would cause less damage to bird habitats. This scheme doesn’t however take advantage of the massive tidal range of the Severn Estuary.

10. The Severn Lake Scheme would stretch from Lavernock Point in Sully to Brean Down in Somerset at a cost of £650 million. Cheaper that other scheme the Severn Lake Scheme is estimates to generate up to 20% of the UK’s power, but there are doubts about the efficiency of the scheme.

The Hydrogen Age?

Eco Friendly, Technology 3 Comments »

To date the biggest problem surrounding the development of hydrogen cars is the lack of hydrogen refuelling stations, making it impossible for willing adopters of the technology to make a seamless transition from petrol to hydrogen powered cars.

With only three hydrogen refuelling stations in Britain, the cost of equipping the country with an adequate hydrogen refuelling infrastructure would be billions of pounds.

Traditionally hydrogen has also been ineffective to produce, as well as expensive to transport and produce meaning sceptics have frequently doubted the fuels commercial potential.

ITM Power has attempted to bridge this gap with the development of what it calls the ‘Green Box’, a device the size of a fridge which can installed in a home garage and produce an independent supply of hydrogen.

Where by conventional hydrogen generating machines use expensive materials like platinum to turn water into hydrogen, making the idea of such a device impossible, the ‘Green Box’ has replaced this with a plastic membrane that does the same job at a fraction of the price.

The system works via an electrolyser which produces the gas from water and electricity. An internal combustion generator converts the gas back into electricity to provide power for the home.

It is thought that the device will be able to produce enough hydrogen overnight to provide fuel for 25 miles, and with higher pressure refuelling units in more public places enough hydrogen could be produce for journeys of up to 100 miles.

Although these higher pressure public units are expected to cost up to £20,000, the smaller home unit could cost as little as £2,000, making hydrogen powered car an economically viable option for most.

“Given the pressing need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, especially oil, and to cut CO2 emissions, the future for hydrogen as an alternative means of storing and utilising energy cost-effectively has never been brighter,” – Jim Heathcote, chief executive of ITM.

For existing petrol cars this new hydrogen powered system is also an option, with the addition of three pieces of technology costing around £3,000. These include a hydrogen tank at a cost of around £3000, four hydrogen injectors at £100 each, and a chip to allow the conversion.

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