Monthly Archives: August 2013

ANOTHER PLANET?

The Green Music Initiative and the Green Tec Awards in Germany have announced the winner of their Green Music Award 2013 which goes to  Rea Garvey.  Singer and songwriter Rea is  the frontman of Reamonn and coach of the TV show ” The Voice of Germany ” and has been involved for many years with the environment. He is a founding member of the “Clearwater Project” , the  organization that is raises awareness  of the dreadful pollution caused by oil drilling in Ecuador and helps to provide the affected population with clean water and helps to clean up the country. The Special Prize goes to representatives of the music and entertainment industry who are involved in environmental protection and who raise awareness with fans and the public. In 2008, the prize went to Clark Datchler ( frontman Johnny Hates Jazz ) and in 2012 to Morten Harket ( The A-ha frontman).

Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich has taken a 3% stake in Clean Air Power, after a £5 million fundraising by the AIM listed company which has developed dual fuel engines for the truck market.  The investment adds to Ambramovich’s growing portfolio green technology which includes plasma-to-gas group Alter NRG, rubbish-to-power group Waste2Rricity and Oxford Catalysts which produces synthetic oils.  Clean Air power has its European HQ in Leyland in Lancashire.

NASA SPS-AlphaA giant solar-powered satellite that could provide energy to a third of the world is being developed by US space agency NASA. In the shape of a tulip, the large-scale system, known as Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array (SPS-ALPHA), will include thousands of curved mirrors that would bounce light from the sun onto photovoltaic panels.  The sunlight would then be converted into microwaves, which are then transferred to Earth and used as a conventional power supply.

A pilot plant to be built in Australia will transform CO2 emissions, captured through carbon capture technology, into carbonate rock ‘bricks’ for use in the construction industry, researchers have claimed. The new method for storing carbon emissions generated from fossil fuels and other industrial processes will be trialled at the mineral carbonation research pilot plant to be built at the University of Newcastle.  Expected to be operational by 2017, the AUS $9m project’s ultimate goal is to deal with both carbon storage needs and to introduce new green building materials.

The UK Government has announced plans to take away subsidies currently available to biomass operators if they are unable to demonstrate that their fuel is from sustainable sources.  Coming into force in April 2015, the new criteria aims to ensure electricity generated from biomass produces over 70% greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuel alternatives, while safeguarding the sustainability of wood-fuel used to create energy.  Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, said: “The Coalition is committed to delivering clean, affordable and secure energy for consumers. This includes an important role for biomass power as part of the UK’s energy mix.

A wildfire in Stanislaus National Forest in the US has continued to expand , growing to 164 sq miles (424 sq km) by last Friday morning, California fire officials said, reaching the borders of the Yosemite National Park and forcing thousands of visitors and tourists to flee. The Governor of California has declared a state of emergency. More than 2,000 firefighters have been tackling the blaze, known as the Rim Fire. In Idaho a wildfire known as the Beast has forced hundreds of tourists to flee Sun Valley and the Forest |service said it was running out of money to fight the fires having spent nearly $967 million fighting 32,000 blazes this year.

But in China its all floods – a six metre hight tidal wave swept down the Qiantang River in Eastern China, injuring more than 30 people  who had gathered to watch the powerful tides.  Giant waves have been triggered by Typhoon Trami  which has caused gales and severe rainfall in the region.

windturbines_300The amount of unused electricity from wind farms has almost doubled over the last year as the UK’s National Grid could not cope with spikes in production and drops in demand – in all the National Grid asked that 215 gigawatt hours were NOT produced – paying £19 million for this. Thats enough electricity to power 50,000 homes  and the equivalent of three 30 MW wind farms standing unused.

A Greenpeace icebreaker that entered Russia’s Arctic without permission to protest offshore energy exploration is leaving after being threatened with gunfire by that country’s coast guard. “It was repeated several times in open conversation that they were threatening that if we didn’t leave the Northern Sea Route that they would fire on our ship,” Christy Ferguson, a Canadian crew member on the Arctic Sunrise steaming back to Norwegian waters, said. And Greenpeace activists protesting against Arctic oil drilling infiltrated the Formula One race in Belgium on Sunday: Two paragliders from the environmental group  flew over the circuit at Spa-Francorchamps, displaying a banner criticizing the operations of Belgian Grand Prix sponsor Shell. A second group of men managed to climb the main grandstand overlooking the starting grid and hung down a banner emblazoned “Arctic oil? Shell no!” Greenpeace posted a series of messages Sunday asking followers to demand that Shell backs down in its plans to drill in the Arctic, which it says will increase melting of the ice sheet and destabilize the global climate.

A new generation of solar powered vehicles  is making extraordinary journeys around the world and pushing the boundaries of technical knowledge – a really interesting article on this on the Guardian website – Journeys across sky, sea and and …. via the sun including the solar powered Solar Impulse plane, the World circumnavigating 31-metre, space-age motorboat –  the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, and Resolution, the solar-powered car developed by Cambridge University Eco Racing, which is due to compete with 20 other vehicles in a 3,000 km race across the Australian outback in October.

Via a Tweet from Matthew Rimmer @DrRimmer comes a great idea: why not name hurricanes and cyclones after notable climate change deniers!

AIM is has announced the return of the Labelled With Love Festival – a 4-day run of gigs curated by independent labels, taking place from 24-27th September at London’s 229 venue. Supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts programme, and with media partner XFM, the gigs promise to showcase a selection of the talent that makes the UK’s independent sector the strongest in the World. Promoted by indie stalwarts Club Fandango, the festival will see established independent acts including Frankie and the Heartstrings share bills with up and coming independent talent including Fists, Menace Beach and These Monsters.

Construction has begun on a new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Suffolk that will save up to 21,000 tonnes of carbon and produce enough energy to power 7,000 local homes. The Ellough project, in Beccles, Suffolk, will deliver the equivalent of 12MWh of energy to the natural gas grid. The feedstock will come from locally-produced energy crops, producing both energy and a high quality natural fertiliser as a by-product, which will be used by local farmers in place of chemical fertilisers.

The European Commission has clarified when the EU’s ban on ozone-depleting substances (ODS) applies to intermodal containers used in international transport. Conflicting with the EU’s ODS ban is the international trade conventions requirement that the free movement of containers is not restricted. However, the EU’s 2009 Ozone Regulation prohibits the import or export of equipment relying on ODS’.

Hot on the heels of research from BusinessWaste.co.uk that found that restaurants, bars and night clubs are the “worst in the industrial and service sectors” for recycling their waste, More than 300 restaurants and hotels across Manchester have signed up to a local food waste scheme, in a bid to make Manchester’s hospitality sector the greenest in the UK. Attracting some of the biggest names from the sector, restaurants such as San Carlo, Rosso and The Mark Addy, have signed up to the food waste collection service, provided by the Green Chef. As the ninth largest city in the UK, Manchester plays a significant part in the generation of seven million tonnes of food waste per annum in the UK.

Cumbrian Waste Management has started work on a new £1m materials recovery facility (MRF), which will allow waste materials generated in the county to be recycled locally. The new MRF at Hespin Wood near Carlisle will also divert 40,000 tonnes of waste material from landfill and will initially employ 12 staff. Part of an integrated waste management solution on the Hespin Wood site, the new MRF will largely recycle commercial waste collected by Trotters, a skip hire company that is part of Cumbria Waste Group.

Shambala fans help us plant 210 more trees!

Electric_Hotel_LogoOur friends at the Electric Hotel have told us that they re-charged 1,064 mobile phones at Shambala – allowing us to plant 210 more trees in Festival Wood. This is amazing – so a big big thank you to Seb and the team at Electric Hotel – and all the fans at Shambala who used sustainable energy to recharge their mobile phones. Our environmental assessor at Shambala, Ben, will be bringing back this kind donation, and we will get this straight off to Trees for Life. And Seb has promised to come back to Scotland in October and plant some trees in Dundreggan with us.

Thank you Electric Hotel and thank you Shambala

Amie, Ben, Claire, Helen and Luke and all the team at A Greener Festival.

EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY

EOD2013August 20 is Earth Overshoot Day 2013, marking the date when humanity exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks – fish stocks, forests – and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/gfn/page/earth_overshoot_day/

ANOTHER PLANET?

We CAN turn off your gas ...

We CAN turn off your gas …

Fancy having your gas or electricity turned off by someone somewhere you don’t know? Sounds far fetched? Well Russian premier Vladimir Putin has done it to the Ukraine – and now smart meters mean that its quite possible energy companies (and do you know who owns your energy company – or who will in five years time?) will be able to  do the same – despite what the UK Government says: John Naughton explains in the Observer in his article Why smart meters might not be so clever after all asking the question “Smart meters will be widespread in the UK by the end of the decade, but has the government thought through the security ramifications?”.

Investment fund Greencoat UK Wind has announced that it has invested the entire £260 million it raised in March into six already up and running UK windfarms.

Whilst Cuadrilla are facing the brunt of protesters anger over fracking, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that Centrica have picked up a 25% stake in Cuadrilla’s licence to explore the shale gas field in Lancashire – back in April 2011, a tremor measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale was felt in the Lancashire seaside resort, followed by an event in May that measured 1.5 on the scale and Cuadrilla was forced to admit that “It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events”. But what’s this – Sir Bernard Ingham calling protesters ‘zealots’ and  ‘blinkered totalitarians’ ? Margaret Thatchers’ former press press secretary made the curmudgeonly comments in an article in the Yorkshire Post saying of anti-fracking protesters “It seems they want us all to live in their yurts, teepees and wigwams in a sort of glorious save-the-planet pre-industrial squalour, regardless of our manifest objections. If that is not totalitarianism, I don’t know what is”. So Bernard, you do not. The protests are about fracking – and people are objecting to the percieved dangers to both the environments, the water supply and quite frankly their own and their children’s safety. Errrm, thats it. It’s also about getting the UK to look at developing more sustainable energy supplies that do NOT rely on fossil fuels – preserving our energy security, building our economy and applying a touch of common sense. And for balance – the frack off site is here.

Due to the increasing use of mobile data the digital economy is now approaching a tenth of the world’s electricity use, according to a new report. Carried out by technology investment and advisory firm, Digital Power Group, the report highlights how cloud computing services and the substantial data usage of a typical smartphone user is behind this significant energy consumption.  According to the report, the world’s Information Communications Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electricity generated in Japan and Germany combined and as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985. Google has estimated its carbon footprint per user, and says it is equivalent, on a monthly basis, to driving a car for one mile.

25150A record year for entries has made for an incredibly strong shortlist for this year’s Sustainability Leaders Awards – find out who made the cut here  The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and dinner on November 21st across the 15 categories, including the IEMA Graduate of the Year Award. With the exception of the Sustainability Leader: Consultancy award, all of the categories below are judged a  prestigious panel, chaired by Environment Agency chairman Lord Chris Smith

WRAP has underlined its long-term commitment to the circular economy, labelling it “exciting territory” that needs further support if it is to be mainstreamed. The programme’s chairman Peter Stone said that his organisation intends to build on its track record as a respected facilitator in this space, working with business on collaboration and helping to research and develop practical solutions that could push forward circularity.

TUI Travel has achieved its carbon reduction target of 6% two years ahead of schedule, helping save the company £16m in 2012. The reduction was due to operational efficiencies, fuel conservation activities, capacity amendments and airline enhancements, according to the group’s latest Sustainable Holidays report.

The cost to motorists of adding biofuels to petrol will be as much as £224m more each year than Government estimates, according to new research. Carried out by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the research shows that the Government has underestimated the additional costs of biofuels due to inadequate price projection models used by various departments to calculate costs.

2012-bannerCarlsberg has become the first brewer invest in national aluminium packaging recycling campaign ‘Every Can Counts’ which encourages on-the-go recycling at outdoor events across the UK.  The campaign is led by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) and Carlsberg UK will become one of the programme’s main funding partners, as well as a member.  Already this summer Carlsberg UK staff have been supporting recycling promotions under the ‘Every Can Counts’ brand at Latitude Festival and at the Leeds Festival this weekend.

The family-run Broughgammon Farm in Ballycastle has become the second farm to receive the Irish Consumer Council’s ‘Water Champion’s’ Award for reducing usage and saving money through the implementation of efficiency measures. As well as developing an energy efficient home, the family has installed a rainwater harvesting system which provides non-drinking water to the house. A separate system provides water for the 300 goats and for the onsite processing of local seaweed.  The farm’s butchery also profits from water efficiency measures such as low flow taps and the installation of a new waste water treatment plant ensures that naturally cleansed water is returned to the environment.

Unilever is turning to crowdsourcing in its bid to help develop the world’s first commercially viable shower of the future that can operate with a sustainable level of water use. Got a good idea? Have a look here!

Former Labour Chancellor Alistair darling has said that the cost of building the new HS2 hig speed rail line in the UK would swallow up funds and prevent other expenditure on transport infrastructure. The costs of HS2 look set to rocket and Darling, who initially approved the scheme, said futrure governments would be short of money for other projects including links to the planned ‘Boris Island’ airport in the Thames Estuary. The Government has said that the cost of HS2, whose first phase will see high-speed trains running from London to Birmingham around 2026, is around £50 billion including rolling stock. But an Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) report earlier this week estimated the eventual cost at £80 billion and it has been reported that the Treasury is working on a figure of £73 billion.

And finally, the The Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, was careless about monitoring tanks storing radioactive water. The  accusation was made by Japan’s nuclear regulator after 300 tonnes of radioactive water  leaked into the sea. The plant was damaged in Japan’s 2011 earthquake.

Stones to host their own Rio fest?

The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury

The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury

Hot on the heels of the Rolling Stone’s triumphant Glastonbury Festival appearance and the band’s two Hyde Park shows, it seems frontman Mick Jagger is planning to set up his own music event in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, with the Sun newspaper reporting that ”Mick has put some feelers out in Brazil to put on a big show” adding ”The plans are ambitious but if he pulls it off it will be huge. The whole vibe of the event is very much ‘flower power’ and the same hippy values that Glastonbury prides himself on” adding ”The publicity drive will begin in the next six months or so but there’s no doubt there will be big names on the bill.” The event – which is tentatively set for November 2014 – is said to be in line to replace the annual Rock In Rio festival held each September.

hyde park stonesTo prepare for their Glastonbury gig, The Stones reviewed four years of Glastonbury festival footage to research performing gigs of that status. About the gig, Mick Jagger had said, “Festivals are great to be at but not always the easiest to play. You’ve got to really work at that bit, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re really looking forward to it and I’m thinking about the set list for that day and how we’re going to deal with it.” The Stone’s AEG promoted Hyde Park events on the  6th and 13th July were mini festival sites with support acts including The Vaccines, The Horrors, The Temper Trap, Jake Bugg, Gary Clark Jr, Tom Odell, King Charles, Palma Violets, Tribes, The Boxer Rebellion, Public Service Broadcasting  and many more acts across four stages, all as part of the British Summer Time series of events in the Royal Park.

The Rolling Stones wouldn’t be the first acts the first act to host a music festival: eFestivals point out that Fairport Convention have been doing it with Cropredy for years, the Levellers put on their hugely successful Beautiful Days festival, Mumford & Sons host their Gentlemen Of The Road events, and John Robb’s punk outfit Goldblade have their very own Bladefest at the end of the month.

Rolling Stones at Glastonbury by Nick Cordes

Waveform cancelled

waveformWaveform has been cancelled. A statement from the organisers of Waveform says:

” It is with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that Waveform is postponed this year. The main reasons are the increased regulations for obtaining a licence, which have been incredibly prohibitive this year. The cost of ticking all the council boxes is just too restrictive for us to run an event such as Waveform, and despite employing our best tactics we are unable to comply and still maintain any sensible budget. We also believe that it would be very likely that first day licensing check issues would lead to a problem in opening up to the public at all.

In addition, we are feeling more and more uncomfortable with all the personal infringements required, from searching, to justification on all levels in order to gather a few thousand like-minded people in a field.

For those who purchased tickets directly from Waveform, right now we can only guarantee a percentage of your money back, but please bear with us as we are working on several options to help you.

The organisers have lost a substantial amount of money, and we felt it was important to communicate the postponement as soon as possible, while we work on alternatives for all ticket buyers. A sad day for all involved.

Please email info@waveformfestival.com for further information on all options.”
Read more at http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/waveform/2013#jziopDTEvRdqLmXO.99

The Electric Hotel – at Shambala – and planting trees!

DSC_0457

Our friends at THE ELECTRIC HOTEL are very pleased to announce that from every charging procedure they complete at the SHAMBALA FESTIVAL 2013 this weekend one pound – yes – one pound will straight to the FESTIVAL WOOD, if visitors decide to have their device charged rather than generating their own electricity. Brilliant! The Electric Hotel charges mobile phones with electricity from the sun, wind, water –  and human muscle – fusing technology, ideas and design from over a century of electric history.

The FESTIVAL WOOD is wild forest regeneration initiative from A Greener Festival. It is not an offset scheme. The Festival Woods is an opportunity for the festival community to give something back to the great outdoors that we love to enjoy. A festival legacy that will grow and grow. A Greener Festival chose to team with Trees for Life to create the Festival Wood, due to their proven and outstanding commitment to restoring, protecting and nurturing the wild forests in the Scottish Highlands.

“Trees for Life‘s vision is to restore a wild forest, which is there for its own sake, as a home for wildlife and to fulfil the ecological functions necessary for the wellbeing of the land itself.” Trees are planted in natural distribution patterns at sites that offer maximum benefits for biodiversity. Trees for Life’s focus is on native species grown from locally collected seed, including Scots pine, willow, rowan, birch, hazel, alder, holly, aspen and bird cherry. The Festival Woods are beginning in Dundreggan, an area of 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness.

Electric_Hotel_LogoElectric Hotel’s generosity is amazing – and we invite festivals, festival-goers, artists, suppliers and the whole festival community to get involved and donate trees, at £5 each, to this lasting positive restoration. We hope to one day see the Festival Woods flourish to become a diverse Festival Forest, rich with biodiversity and protected wilderness.

The Electric Hotel has been on tour – dates here:.

SHAMBALASHAMBALA FESTIVAL 2013
23/08/2013 – 25/08/2013

WACKEN OPEN AIR 2013
01/08/2013 – 03/08/2013

TEH_Turbine_9327GREENVILLE FESTIVAL 2013
26/07/2013 – 28/07/2013

HESSENTAG 2013
14/06/2013 – 23/06/2013

LANGE NACHT DER WISSENSCHAFTEN 2013 AUF DEM EUREF-CAMPUS
08/06/2013

BLOOOM 2012
01/11/2012 – 04/11/2012

DESIGNERS OPEN 2012
25/10/2012 – 28/10/2012

100% ERNEUERBARE ENERGIE REGIONEN
25/09/2012 – 27/09/2012

ILA BERLIN AIR SHOW
11/09/2012 – 16/09/2012

More at http://www.the-electric-hotel.com – charging ahead.