Saturday, April 5, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 3rd Feb 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury

At last, our ‘greenest government ever’ is launching the ‘Renewable Heat Incentive’ (RHI) which will encourage the market in domestic renewable heat. Similar to the ‘Feed in Tariff’ (FiT) for solar powered electricity production, this aims to pay the consumer to generate heat for the home. Solar thermal systems are already in use which utilise the sun’s power to heat domestic water supplies.

There are various other systems already in place in much of Europe – here again we are way beyond our European colleagues in using this proven technology. Biomass boilers use wood based fuels e.g. compressed sawdust pellets, sometimes using the waste from saw mills and sometimes from sustainable forests where each felled tree is offset by the planting of another.

Ground source heat pumps are another option. Here, heat is absorbed from the ground by fluid filled pipes sunk into the earth and used to heat water in the home. Another technology is air source heat pumps which act rather as a fridge in reverse by extracting heat from the atmosphere and recycling it into the home. Both systems require a small amount of electrical energy to power the pumps but both use naturally occurring heat which is constantly renewed.

The rising cost of energy has been constantly in the news for the last few months and has provided the politicians with many opportunities for sound bite reactions but little has been done to provide long term solutions but RHI would reduce energy use and therefore cost.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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