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Altenergy in the UK
Jamais Cascio, 16 Dec 03

(Title with apologies to Mr. Lydon.)

Earth-Info-Net notes a couple of interesting resources regarding alternative energy in Great Britain.

Yes2Wind provides information about wind power in the UK. Assembled by the WWF, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace, Yes2Wind includes wind power-related news, a detailed FAQ, an occasionally-updated weblog, and a nifty Wind Farm Locator for those of you in Britain (or just visiting) who want to see wind power in person. Given that the UK claims to be the windiest nation in Europe, wind power is a clear winner in the realm of big system energy production.

For something a little bit closer to home, there's Microgen's home Stirling Engine. Microgen's CHP (Combined Heat+Power) co-generation units are designed to work in individual households, providing hot water, home heating, and electricity. Running on natural gas, the CHP units are supposed to cut 25% off an average energy bill, and produce far fewer emissions than standard home furnaces/water heaters (let alone traditional power plants). It's only available in Great Britain, though.

As you can see in the illustration for this post (from Microgen), a home CHP unit isn't exactly sexy on the outside, but cutting costs and emissions while using a modern variant of a 19th-century engine design (which just happens to be the most efficient engine possible) definitely has its own charm...

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Shame that Microgen's site is Flash only, I thought it looked quite promising. We have got
standards[1], you know.


Posted by: Alisdair on 17 Dec 03

True, that.

Posted by: Jamais Cascio on 17 Dec 03

i wonder if dean kamen's stirling engine still in the works!?

also, another nice UK site for alternative energy is :D

Posted by: smerkin on 17 Dec 03

I use Unit-E ( who are a 100% renewable electricity supplier in the UK. They are easy to deal with, and make me feel less guilty about running my systems 24hrs a day...

Posted by: Dave Ph on 18 Dec 03

Excellent -- thanks for the link, Dave!

Posted by: Jamais Cascio on 18 Dec 03

So what's the vision for the UK's future energy situation? (pay through the nose on solar, wind, hydro, current turbine, and wave energy while watching capitalism thrive on polluting the country and running out of energy causing a depression?)

Posted by: Edwin on 28 Dec 03



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