Heat Pumps and carbon emissions

Heat pumps are a terribly important technology, but we run the risk of being indiscriminate in their use. Not every heat application is environmentally suitable to operate with a heat pump. We have to choose the best horse for each course when it comes to microgeneration and renewable energy.

A heat pump works by exploiting ground or air temperature differentials to make the use of electricity more efficient, when electricity is turned to heat. This can be very effective in saving carbon emissions in homes that are off the gas grid network.  Typically heat pumps can make the electricity twice or three times more efficient. Continue reading

A very short guide to home renewable energy


Are you thinking of installing some kind of renewable energy for your home? If so, I offer this guide. 

These are the main ways of generating energy from renewable sources. All of them have their pluses and minuses. None of these forms of energy supply 100% of the energy that you need at all times, and they do need back up. All forms suffer from some kind of intermittency. That should not stop you considering one of these which will give you clean energy some of the time. Continue reading

Biomass in Lambeth – It ain’t necessarily green

I was at a short meeting organised by a leading firm of estate agents last week. I discussed the issue of renewables with some of the professionals concerned in developing new blocks of flats throughout the south east of England. I asked them what their developer clients were doing about renewables. Continue reading

Energy in the pipeline

Malcolm Wicks is the Energy Minister. This month he is turning a valve in South Wales which completes the final stage of a pipeline which has been built stretching 196 miles from Milford Haven to Gloucestershire. The pipeline will carry gas from Milford Haven but as there is no natural gas there it will use liquefied natural gas fuel which will be landed in giant tankers at the port and then converted into gas and sent along the pipeline. It has taken three years to build the pipeline and cost over £1 billion, but as we do need energy we now have a pipeline that will be able to carry one fifth of our gas needs. Continue reading