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.

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