How Green is your Desert?

Picture a desert: baking heat, nomads on camels, burning sun, endless sand ……surmounted by arrays of polished aluminium generating massive amounts of electricity….excuse me?

Desert

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Grand Designs for Low Carbon Buildings

Is the building you live or work in a stinking, carbon-emitting eyesore? You probably think not, but appearances can be deceptive. Many of the UK’s buildings waste enormous amounts of energy – it is estimated that nearly 30% of Britain’s carbon emissions come from buildings. New construction can be very eco-friendly, but unfortunately many of our buildings are very old and leak energy all over the place, wasting money and adding unnecessary carbon to the atmosphere

lower drive

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Interview with Russell Smith of Parity Projects

Russle Smith

Carbon News interviewed Russell Smith about his decision to take on a deliberately challenging retrofit of an existing, and very non-ecological 19th Century end-of-terrace house for his showcase development.

Russell trained as an engineer and he had spent many years working in the field as he realised that one of the major and unaddressed problems of making the UK more environmentally friendly, was that a huge amount of housing stock was old and inefficient, but could not be replaced because that of capital cost considerations. So renovation would be the only option available.

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Hold the Front Page, it’s Printed Solar Panels

TSolar Panels are, along with wind turbines, one of the two poster children for alternative energy. But like all technologies, they have disadvantages as well as advantages. The main one is that they are expensive and complicated to manufacture. Silicon, the basic material, is incredibly abundant and cheap. However making it into sheets is a very technology-intensive process, and in UK and similar latitudes, photovoltaic solar power generation is for specialised applications.

Printed panels

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Heat Reflecting Radiator Panel
£39.50

usual price £49.50

Did you know that up to 70% of the heat from your radiators is simply heating the wall behind?

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Top tips in the home

Save water by putting a plug in the washbasin, and have showers rather than baths. You can reduce the amount of water used by flushing the toilet by putting something into the cistern to use up space, like a small plastic bottle filled with water; don’t use a brick – it could damage your toilet’s workings. Some water companies give out free “hippos” – little devices to do the same thing.

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Heat by George Monbiot

George Monbiot’s book Heat tells us how we can save ourselves from the Faustian bargain we have with fossil fuels. If we don’t want to roast – literally – we need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 90%. That is what the latest scientific evidence shows. The government’s 60% target by 2050 will not be enough.
A 90% cut seems like too much. If we cannot manage to meet our current Kyoto targets, how can we possibly manage a much deeper cut?

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