A Weather event in the Atatacama

Two years ago I visited theAtacama Desertin the North of Chile. Some parts of it have never experienced rainfall in decades and other parts average just two inches of rainfall a year for many years. I went there fromSantiagoin the Chilean winter, in July. The weather inSantiagowas normal for that time – a bit like London in October. Continue reading

All the world wondered

Sebastian Pinera is visiting London today. Mr Pinera is the President of Chile. He became famous to most ordinary people in the world when they saw the Chilean mine rescue unfold, with President Pinera there to welcome the miners back to the surface after their long ordeal and by singing lustily and enthusiastically the Chilean National Anthem so that the watching hundreds of millions on the earth could see and hear him. Continue reading

Hope at Camp Hope in Chile

The story that has captured the news waves in the United Kingdom has been the rescue of los 33 – the Chilean miners who have been imprison underground for the past sixty three days and now are being hauled to safety while the whole world cheers. Continue reading

Genersys the smallest carbon footprint in Chile

Many people talk about carbon footprint but very few go to the trouble of measuring the emissions of their activities. In Chile the Chilean-British Chamber of Commerce has awarded Genersys Sud America as having the smallest carbon footprint for small and medium sized enterprises. It is a high and significant award for corporate environmental responsibility. I am very proud of Genersys Sud America, led by Alvaro Castro, for this achievement. It means that not only does Genersys reduce emissions by the sale and installation of our thermal solar panels, but it also conducts its business with the lowest possible emissions – two benefits for the price of one!

One day all businesses will be as emission efficient as Genersys Sud America.

http://www.britcham.cl/www/camarachilena.nsf/0e69124748a8525784256e91004c1d86/e592f3cd7be60b3784257775006c6302?OpenDocument

The Humboldt Current and Climate Change

One of the driest parts of our planet is the Northern coastal region of Chile and the adjacent land of Peru. Here you will find an almost windless desert where rain has not fallen for more than twenty years. Some parts have no recorded rainfall at all. Life is made possible by rivers that drive though fertile valleys from the Andes. Continue reading

Geoglyphs in Arica

I am writing this in Arica, at the Northern part of Chile. The weather is overcast, which is unusual and rain is predicted for the week end. If the rain comes it will be the first rain that has fallen here in twenty years. Continue reading

Rising energy bills and the scramble for energy

When I first started to write about the forthcoming energy crisis, many years ago, it was because it was something that I had studied and analysed; it was my reason for founding Genersys, a renewable energy company; in this case the analysis created the decision, rather than the decision to found Genersys creating my views about energy. For many years my views were ignored. People were just too complacent and comfortable with the existing arrangements and politicians and decision makers either lacked the imagination to understand what would come or were too busy starting wars, running the economy and doing all the other myriad things they do in office while also spending a great deal of time ensuring that they would stay in their jobs.

I have promoted renewables on the basis that the future cost of energy is significant and a very important factor in decision making about renewables. This has caused some disbelief, but now perhaps as respected bodies like Ofgem have now made their studies public, there will be an increased take up of renewables, particularly micro generation like solar heat.

The figures suggested now by Ofgem’s study “Project Discovery”, are these. On a worse case, domestic energy bills could rise (yes even after the existing rises) by 60% in the next seven years, with that figure being above inflation. The best scenarios suggest a rise of 14% above inflation in the next eleven years. These figures have to be considered in the light of the United Kingdom’s domestic energy bills having already risen by 120% in the past ten years.

Of course fortune telling is an occupation with low probabilities of success. My own view is that Ofgem have underestimated the rise, significantly.  Other nations have already identified the energy squeeze that will happen. China is buying oil fields and oil exploration companies. South Korea is investing heavily in renewable energy, so is Chile and I expect Japan to do likewise. The United States is developing a renewable policy which will lead to very significant take up throughout the country. Other smaller less industrialised countries are also spending on renewables.

The reason is this: energy prices are bound to rise significantly. An energy squeeze will be even more damaging than the credit squeeze has been. Every aspect of industrialised life depends on energy – we truly live in the Energy Age. The only way that you can guarantees supplies of a resource like energy, which we have traditionally sourced from finite resources, is through genuine renewables like solar heat, photovoltaics and wind energy. We will still need to have plenty of fossil fuel, but renewables will have to be a key part of every nation’s energy future, not an afterthought as a sop to environmentalists or as a way of reducing the impact of climate change.

Recent reports claim that oil has peaked; natural gas is controlled more and more by a handful of states that will wish to build their wealth upon it, rather as some states have done with oil. Coal is also probably close to its peak and Uranium is also finite. It is clear that the scramble for energy has already begun, and the United Kingdom has not even entered the race.