Monthly Archives: July 2014

Increased smartphone use to coincide with higher greenhouse gas emissions


If the technology industry continues to operate in the same manner it does today, the production of greenhouse gases will skyrocket, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The firm predicts that, while 6.4 megatonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) will be generated from charging mobile devices by the end of the year, this figure could rise to 13 megatonnes per year by 2019.

Read more: Technology must improve quickly or fossil fuel reliance will grow

Almost half of these emissions will reportedly come out of coal-powered Asian electricity grids catering to smartphone users.

The company believes that it’s time for tech firms to take the bull by the horns.

“There is low consumer awareness of renewable energy and sustainable habits,” reports Juniper Research. “It is down to vendors to take the lead in making energy companies provide more green electricity for both industry and consumers.”

It also thinks that green practices will encourage more of the same, claiming that, in cases where IT firms have insisted that their grids use renewable forms of energy, energy companies have responded by offering to expand renewable sources to other customers.

Juniper also identified phone design as an area that can be improved, since it can have a “large impact” on recyclability.

via Increased smartphone use to coincide with higher greenhouse gas emissions |


Microsoft Announce 175 Megawatt Wind Farm Deal


Software giants Microsoft have announced a new deal with an Illinois-based wind farm project to power it’s Chicago datacentre. The makers of Windows will purchase 175 megawatts of commercial wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project as part of a 20-year agreement announced this week. Microsoft who – along with Google – have set the trend for technology companies to push towards renewable energy power for their worldwide ocations, announced the deal on their blog, also revealing the 175Mw purchase to be the biggest in the company’s history and one of the biggest corporate wind purchases from a single facility.

The Pilot Hill Wind Project is owned and operated by EDF Renewable Energy, with whom Microsoft brokered a similar deal for one of their datacentres in Texas late last year.

via Microsoft Announce 175 Megawatt Wind Farm Deal.


City-Scale Solar Set to be Viable by 2018


Investment bank UBS has predicted that solar power could be powering entire cities by 2018 in it’s latest forecast for commercial renewable energy projects. The Swiss-based financial powerhouse has predicted that more and more homes and businesses could be putting power back into the grid by the end of the decade, thanks to the rise of ‘rooftop solar’. Whilst photovoltaic solar panels are a common piece of technology and well-established in the energy marketplace, UBS say that the increase in people retroactively fitting them to their property or place of work, combined with new buildings having them as standard, could mean large towns 1×1.trans City Scale Solar Set to be Viable by 2018

and cities will effectively run on solar at peak times.

via City-Scale Solar Set to be Viable by 2018.


Zero carbon and economic growth can go together, UN study says


Australia could slash its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and still experience average economic growth of 2.4% a year, according to a UN-backed study.The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways report, released by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, analysed the 15 countries that account for 70% of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, which includes Australia, the US, Britain and China.According to the report, compiled by academics from each of the countries, the 15 countries could make deep cuts to emissions while also tripling economic output.These cuts are needed, the report notes, if the world is to avoid the “catastrophic” impact of failing to keep to the internationally agreed limit of 2C global warming on pre-industrial levels. The study concedes the world is on track to overshoot this.The study notes that Australia has high per-capita emissions, with coal-fired power providing 69% of electricity generation, higher than most other industrialised countries.

via Zero carbon and economic growth can go together, UN study says | Environment |


High Court backs Drax in CfD row – Bio


The High Court has ruled that a planned biomass conversion at Drax power station is eligible for a Contract for Difference under DECC’s Final Investment Decision Enabling mechanism.The coal-to-bio rejig at the 600MW Yorkshire facility’s second unit was turned down in April while one on the third unit won backing. Drax Group, which had previously been told the scheme was eligible, kicked off a legal challenge immediately.

via High Court backs Drax in CfD row – Bio | ReNews – Renewable Energy News.


U.K. Plants Burn Gas Like 2011 on Price Plunge: Chart of the Day – Businessweek


Declining U.K. natural gas prices are prompting utilities to burn more of the fuel for power production as profit from coal-fed plants falls to the lowest in more than four years.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the amount of electricity generated from gas in the U.K. is the highest for this time of year since 2011, while that from coal has slumped. The price of month-ahead U.K. gas has dropped for seven consecutive months in the longest downward streak since 2009, making the fuel more competitive for power generation, broker data show.

Since 2010, coal has been more profitable than gas for electricity production, prompting U.K. utilities to shutter enough gas-fired generation in the past two years to power more than 4 million homes, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Cheaper gas and a rising carbon tax that will boost penalties for burning coal means companies may reconsider shutting some plants, according to Energy Aspects Ltd.

via U.K. Plants Burn Gas Like 2011 on Price Plunge: Chart of the Day – Businessweek.


UK GAS-Prices rise on reduced domestic gas production


featured_image_126Wholesale natural gas prices in Britain rose on Monday morning due to undersupply caused by a drop in the amount of gas received by Total’s St Fergus gas terminal from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Prices for delivery on Tuesday were up 2.10 pence at 36.50 pence per therm by 1047 GMT, or 6 percent higher than the previous settlement.

Prices for immediate delivery were 0.90 pence higher at 36.70 pence per therm.

Britain’s system was undersupplied by around 20 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas on Monday, according to National Grid data. Demand was forecast at 178 mcm, while supply was seen at 158 mcm.

The undersupply was mainly due to a decrease in gas received from the UK Continental Shelf by Total E&P UK’s St Fergus gas terminal, on the northeast coast of Scotland.

via UK GAS-Prices rise on reduced domestic gas production | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters.


Smappee claims its energy monitor pays for itself in a year with power savings


Smart homes mean gadgets that communicate, but at what cost? More power drain is coming as the home gets smarter and Smappee is here to let you know what’s draining power and where.Smappee claims it’ll be able to cut £2.8 billion from UK energy bills. At a time when an energy crisis looms this will be a welcome piece of kit.Clamp Smappee onto the main power cable in your home and it’ll tell you every single device draining juice and even let you shut them off using the app. It also learns about your energy usage meaning it should, theoretically, work automatically eventually.Smappee also allows for grouping, so you could control an entire room with a single icon tap. And if you’ve got solar panels Smappee tracks them too so you can see how much juice is eco-friendly.Smappee says the energy monitor, priced at £169, will pay for itself in just over a year by reducing the bill of a four person UK house by 12 per cent. The Smappee energy monitor is available now in the UK.

via Smappee claims its energy monitor pays for itself in a year with power savings – Pocket-lint.


UK independent renewable energy investment blustering up to £300 million


The year 2014 has witnessed a 40% increase in the amount being invested into renewable energy in the UK, pushing the total figure being pumped into independent commercial scale projects up to £300 million.

This growth was revealed by Smartest Energy – Great Britain’s leading purchaser of energy generated by the independent sector – as part of the Energy Entrepreneurs Report. The report illustrates a total production of 50kw of energy from 2,930 projects powered by companies outside of the major energy firms (the Big Six).

During 2013, there were an additional 843 independent renewable energy projects implemented across the UK, at an average cost of £353,000. The 40% increase in the spend also resulted in a similar growth in terms of capacity. Although it is onshore wind farms where the greatest capacity is held, it was in the independent solar sector where the most impressive growth of 150% was recorded. This comes at a time when controversial government plans seek to reduce their support to large scale solar farms.

via UK independent renewable energy investment blustering up to £300 million – Climate Action Programme.


Onsite renewable generation by business rockets by more than 25 per cent


The number of businesses cutting ties with the ‘Big Six’ and generating their own power has seen a dramatic rise in the past year, fresh figures revealed this week show.
Onsite generation of power through renewable sources, including solar PV and anaerobic digestion, has rocketed up by more than 25 per cent, with the manufacturing sector leading the way with 38 new schemes commissioned since last year, according to the latest comprehensive study into the sector industry.

According to the 2014 Energy Entrepreneurs Report, which first published last year,investment in the UK independent renewable energy generation rocketed to almost £300 million in the past year, with the number of projects soaring by 40 per cent and solar seeing the biggest surge in capacity (150 per cent). As much as £997 million worth of energy is now being produced by independent renewable energy projects – enough to power 4.67 million households – the report claims.

via renewable energy news – Onsite renewable generation by business rockets by more than 25 per cent.