Monthly Archives: December 2011


Thinking of using your community or parish land to earn money through renewable energy?

The Department of Energy and Climate Change have launched a Local Energy Assessment Fund to help parish councils and other not-for-profit groups to assess the potential for renewable energy generation and other community energy initiatives.

There is around £50,000 available for each community energy projects (

Does your area have land that could host wind energy or hydro energy projects?

Act quickly

The Local Energy Assessment Fund is not open for long – Phase 1 bids had to be submitted by 12:00 22nd December 2011 and phase 2 are due at 12:00 on 20th January 2012. Work will need to be completed by 31 March 2012.

If you are keen to apply but not sure how to:

  • For general advice the charity Centre for Sustainable Energy has excellent resources (;
  • If your application concerns wind or hydro energy projects anywhere in the UK we can support you in writing your application – email or call 0121 449 4443.

Wind energy and smart grids: both just part of the answer to global warming

Billed as a critique of wind energy, last night’s IET lecture at Austin Court in Birmingham was in fact more wide-ranging, explaining greenhouse gas reduction targets and giving a balanced account of various ways they can be met in the UK, in Europe and globally. The speaker John Loughhead, Executive Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, told a very clear story and provided a great deal of useful graphical information to support his presentation. Slides now available here, courtesy of the IET.

He gave a particularly illuminating account of progress to date on smart grids, and was not afraid to suggest that the project is to some extent being driven by suppliers of the sophisticated equipment that would be needed in order for it to go ahead. In support of this view he pointed out that there is a great deal of work being done on the end state but that there is in his view not enough thought being given to the transition.

The gathering being one of electrical rather than social engineers, it was perhaps inevitable that there would me more focus on supply-side technologies and demand management rather than on the non-technological question of how as a population we can make a transistion towards simply using less energy. It was hard not to be left feeling that, even if all the technology works as predicted, we need somehow to find a way to start making our economy less energy-intensive.