The RHI Consultation – General Principles

I have participated in a number of government consultations over the past ten years. Usually the government have predetermined policy in detail and then issue a consultation document as a matter of form, rather than substance. The key decisions are usually pre-determined. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s consultation on the Renewable Heat Incentive for Domestic property is refreshing in that this does appear to genuinely seek views and I think that the views given may well be able to influence policy for the RHI. I therefore spent a considerable amount of time directing my mind to the consultation questions and my answers, and I set out my complete position here, so that if anyone is thinking of helping mould this important part of environmental policy they can have my views and perhaps support my views. Continue reading

Warmth in a Changing Climate: more thinking required

I have always wondered why a think tank is so named. Is it supposed to be like a military tank, that trundles through battlefields and cities firing shells or a fish tank in which in a special environment sheltered for the protection of the thinkers the thinkers can operate. Perhaps it is a water tank, with thinkers encapsulated inside, shielded, but that cannot be it. Continue reading

The Renewable Heat Incentive Premium Payment Scheme

On Monday 1st August a new UK government incentive is available for up to 25,000 homes for householders who opt to install a renewable heating system. A householder can get a grant of as much as £1,250 towards the installation costs of solar heating panels, air and ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers. Those who are not on the gas grid network will get precedence as they will almost inevitably be heating their homes and their water using electricity or heating oil, instead of natural gas, which is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly of all the fossil fuels. Continue reading

Heat Pumps – their pros and cons

The Energy Savings Trust has been testing heat pump performance in 83 homes for the past year. It seems that the EST has reached the conclusion that like the parson’s egg a heat pump is good in parts. Many of the heat pumps made no difference to energy cost or carbon dioxide emission reductions, some made energy more expensive and others produced real savings. Why then, should anyone install a heat pump when it seems such a hit and miss affair? Continue reading

Heat Pumps that pump out carbon dioxide

As a “green” renewable energy device, heat pumps are the technology which has a large question mark against them. In order to understand why there is such a large question mark you have to understand the basics of how heat pumps work. I shall keep my explanation simple to the point of being unscientific. Continue reading

Professor’s MacKay’s nuclear vision

It is difficult for a nation to plan its energy requirements for the future and that difficulty is made harder when that nation cannot decide upon a settled energy policy. In the United Kingdom there are so many conflicting policy proposals that I despair of the United Kingdom ever establishing an energy policy which secures energy and keeps emissions from energy to a minimum. Continue reading

Using clean renewables, dirty renewables or partly renewable technologies for renewable heat

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change seem to need consultants to provide fundamental advice. That is fair enough, providing that they use consultants with genuine expertise. Unfortunately the past few years has seen the growth of many firms consulting in renewable energy that do not seem to have the expertise that they need. Continue reading