Friday, January 27, 2012

New York gets Tidal Power

From Green Business
Start spreading the news, New York could see a tidal energy array deployed in the East River by the end of next year, after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) awarded its first pilot project license for a tidal energy project to developer Verdant Power Inc.
The company confirmed yesterday that it has been granted a 10 year license that will allow it to "demonstrate the commercial viability" of its tidal stream turbine technology.

The project, known as the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project, will boast 1,050-kilowatts of capacity provided by a series of tidal turbines deployed on the bed of the East River.
Trey Taylor, co-founder and president of Verdant Power, told news agency Bloomberg that the company will now aim to deploy five turbines at the site by the end of next year, with a further 30 generators scheduled to be installed by 2015.
Under the terms of the pilot license, the company will undertake an environmental analysis to measure the impact of the project on local habitats and wildlife. If the project proves to have minimal impact the company will then be able to apply for a longer commercial license, allowing it to sell power to local utilities.
FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff hailed the project as a leap forward for tidal energy technologies in the US.
"Issuing a pilot license for an innovative technology is a major step in the effort to help our country meet our renewable energy goals," he said in a statement. "FERC's pilot process is doing what it should: allow for exploration of new renewable technologies while protecting the environment."
The project could prove to be the first in a wave of new marine energy projects in the US. FERC said that it had already issued 100 preliminary permits allowing firms to study the feasibility of developing specific projects, while another nine organisations are in the pre-filing stages of developing license applications, and three have filed license applications that are currently being considered.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th Jan 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
 Our future is renewable energy. Whichever way you approach the problem of energy supplies for the coming years, the answer comes up the same. We have two difficulties to counteract – climate change and peak oil. If you are a climate change denier, the continuing increase in the price of ever decreasing supplies of cheap oil must be a cause for concern.

While there is a chance that there could be a new ‘golden age’ for gas, which countries hooked on energy supplied by coal see as an easy substitute, gas is a fossil fuel. It produces half the carbon dioxide that coal produces but its continued use spells disaster for the climate with a 3.5ºC temperature rise by 2035 when the maximum rise of 2ºC is all the climate will tolerate.

Renewable energy showed strong growth last year despite the global financial crisis. Developing countries such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, amongst others, invested a third more than previously, reaching £136 billion in 2010. Governments in the developed world need to put firm targets in place for renewable energy so that gas does not overcome development.

Renewable energy has many benefits other than just environmental. Job creation is the most important in the present situation with 3 million unemployed and many young people included in this figure. Security of energy supply is also vital.

A comprehensive mix of wind, wave, solar, hydropower, and biomass, with many technical innovations, will give us both these goals.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The SW gets Tidal & Wave energy

From Green Energy

Greg Barker to name region as the first of a series of parks designed to acclerate development of wave and tidal technology

A huge area running from Bristol to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will today be named as the UK's first designated zone for the development of marine energy.

Climate change minister Greg Baker will announce the South West Marine Energy Park (MEP) and launch a prospectus outlining how the public and private sectors will work together on the project during a visit to Bristol.

The prospectus says the South West MEP will make it a priority to secure additional incentives for business investment including, business rate reductions, higher levels of capital allowances, Regional Growth Fund and other enterprise grants, inward investment, and access to the Green Investment Bank.

It will also look to coordinate port and infrastructure development to support the industry's growth.
As well as national and local government, the Crown Estate, local enterprise partnership Regen SW, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, and marine energy testing site Wave Hub will all be involved in the marine park.

"This is a real milestone for the marine industry and for the South West region in securing its place in renewables history as the first official marine energy park," Barker said in a statement. "The UK is already a world leader in wave and tidal power, so we should capitalise on this leadership to make marine power a real contender in the future energy market."

The government has earmarked marine energy as having the potential to deliver between 150MW and 300MW of installed capacity by 2020, contributing £15bn to the economy by 2050 as well as creating thousands of jobs and providing a predictable source of low carbon electricity.
Over the last year it has brought in a series of measures to encourage the nascent industry, including invested £20m to scale up prototypes and upping the levels of support under the Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme from two tradable renewable obligation certificates (ROCs) per MWh to five ROCS per MWh.

Further parks are also envisaged in Scotland at the Pentland Firth and Orkney Islands.
Johnny Gowdy, programme director at Regen SW, said the region's marine business base, strong manufacturing sector, and world leading research and demonstration facilities meant it was uniquely placed to accelerate the development of the technology.

"The launch of the South West Marine Energy Park is a recognition of the great resources, research facilities and businesses we have in the region," he said. "It also puts the South West in a position to attract future investment, and to be at the forefront of the new global marine energy industry."

DWI Meeting 24th Jan 2012 - DWI goes European

Good start to the Green New Year in Deal with a great meeting led by Alan Grieve on 'a postcard from detmold'.

This was a climate protection conference for towns linked to Detmold (in Germany) which took place in Oct 2011.

Deal's representatives were Alan Grieve from DealWith IT and Cllr Eileen Rowbotham from the Town Council. Basically it was chance to share experiences in making their communities more sustainable with a diverse set of linked towns including Deal's Twin in France St Omer, Hasselt in Belgium, Zeitz in East Germany, Oraiokastro in Greece and Kaunas in Lithuania.

Alan presentation showed how local community and local government working together had introduced bio-mass plant in Detmold and electric transit system in Hasselt.

Sarah gave a intro on our plans for 2012 and this was the highlights: Plastic Bag meeting Feb, Energy Fair at the Town Hall in March, Beach Cleans, Schools Green Projects, Tree wardens, 2nd year of Garden Share, Guerrillia Gardening group, Canterbury Climate Fair, Energy Coop, Green Village at Smugglers Fest, perhaps some chickens, Autumn Local Food Fair ... and thats only what I could scribble down. Please get involved and don't be shy if you have an idea you have got to make Deal greener.

Many thanks for Alan & Sarah's work for tonights meeting.

We will try to Alan's report and presentation on the documents area and will add a link back on this posting

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Deal With It on BBC Inside-out on #Fracking

Just in case you missed the BBC SE 'Inside-out' programme on moves to exploit Shale and other unconventional gases in Kent and the rest of the country by the discredited 'Fracking' method it is now on Iplayer:

Well done our Rosie.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Permaculture in East Kent

Kent Permaculture Courses 2012
The Ultimate training for Transition!

There are lots of brilliant courses happening in Canterbury, Faversham and Deal by trained and experienced teachers.
Learn sustainable living skills, feel empowered to live more abundantly living more ecolologically.

For All courses look at the Permaculture association website.

Canterbury- Manor Barn. Centre for Peace and Personal Development
Introduction to Permaculture Weekend 12/13th May Manor Barn
Permaculture Design Course 12th May to 11th November
Part 1 Core theory, tools and applications. May 12th to 18th
Part 2 Permaculture in Action. Tour to Centre of Alternative Technology and other established projects
Part 3 Design weekends Sept 7/9th and Nov 9-11th
All other courses: /

Faversham- Rifleman Cottage
Permaculture Design Course 7-21st July

Deal - Rippledown Environmental Centre
Introduction to Permaculture Weekend 12-13th March
Introduction to Permaculture Weekend 18-20th May
Family Permaculture Design Course 4-19th August
Permaculture Design Course Sept 7-9th , Oct 12-14th, Nov9-11th, Dec7-9th
Jo Barker Dip Perm Des
Permaculture & Life Tracking
.....Love your Life, Love your Land..... / 01227 832569

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Coastal Oil & Gas to do a presentation to Sandwich Town Council on Monday 23

Fracking company, Coastal Oil & Gas is doing a presentation to Sandwich Town Council at the Guildhall on Monday 23rd Jan from 6pm. 

The Company got their proposal for a test bore at Woodnesborough through the inital planning at KCC in December 2011.

We are not sure whether this will be public or if members of the public will be able to address the council as it is not part of the main agenda for the meeting

If you are are around on monday please turn up around 5:45pm to see what is going on.. lets know if you can make it by emailing

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Government may let FiT levels run to March

From Green Business

Barker addresses uncertainty over solar feed-in tariffs with March cut-off date

I know that the uncertainty while we await the court's decision is difficult for the industry

19 Jan 2012

The government has today set out how it will respond to the imminent court decision on when proposed cuts to feed-in tariff incentives can come into effect.

Following calls from the industry for the government to clarify the level of incentive available for current installations, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker this afternoon tabled a Written Ministerial Statement in parliament detailing the government's plans.

"We continue to stand by our original proposal," he said, referring to the plan to halve solar incentives for installations completed after December 12 last year. "However, I know that the uncertainty while we await the court's decision is difficult for the industry."

He added that to tackle this uncertainty and limit risks to the scheme's budget in the event that the government's appeal proves unsuccessful and the court orders a return to the previous feed-in tariff level of 43p/kWh, the government will lay draft licence modifications before parliament that would allow tariffs to be cut from April 1 for all installations completed on or after March 3.

The licence modifications confirm that from March 3 installations with less than 4kW of capacity will see incentives halved to 21p/kWh, while large installations with between 50kW and 250kW of capacity will see feed-in tariff payments cut to 12.9p/kWh. Mid-sized installations with 4-10kW will see tariffs cut from 37.8p to 16.8p/kWh, while installations with 10-50kW capacity will face a cut in the level of support from 32.9p to 15.2p/kWh.

The statement also reiterates the government's intention to stixk with its original proposals if it wins its appeal, imposing cuts to incentives for all installations completed after December 12 last year.

"If the court finds in favour of the government's appeal, we intend to stand by all our consultation proposals, including an earlier (December) reference date, subject to the Parliamentary procedure and consideration of consultation responses," Barker said.

"It is very important that we reserve this as an option because these 43p payments will take a disproportionate share of the budget available for small-scale low-carbon technologies. We want instead to maximise the number of installations that are possible within the available budget rather than use available subsidy to pay a higher tariff to a smaller number of installations."

In addition the statement indicates that the government might not meet its stated goal of delivering its response to the consultation and its wider proposals to reform the feed-in tariff scheme before the end of the month, suggesting that the documents may not be published until next month.

"The consultation closed on 23 December 2011 and over 2,000 consultation responses were received which we have been analysing carefully," Barker said. "We are intending to announce the outcome of the consultation by 9 February 2012, in time for any resulting legislative changes to come into effect from 1 April 2012. Our aim is that this announcement will be accompanied by a set of reform proposals for the next phase of the comprehensive review of the FITs scheme, which will be the subject of a further consultation."

He added that the government's latest intervention "gives the industry as much certainty as is possible" given the on-going legal action.

He also reiterated that ministers remain committed to reducing solar incentives "as quickly as possible, to protect consumer bills and to avoid bust in the whole Feed-in Tariff budget".

Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins welcomed the move, predicting the statement will "sort out some of the uncertainty that's crippling a thriving UK industry".

However, he reiterated calls for the government to rethink its approach to solar feed-in tariffs and raise the spending cap for the scheme.

"Solar payments should be cut in line with falling costs, but by trying to rush through payment before the consultation closed ministers created a shambolic mess that threatens 30,000 jobs and the future of the industry," he said. "Ministers must urgently use the millions of pounds in tax that solar firms generate to safeguard this industry and the jobs and businesses it has created."

His comments were echoed by Seb Berry, head of public affairs at Solarcentury, who urged the government to reconsider the spending cap for the feed-in tariff scheme.

"The Government is taking an important step today to restore some certainty to the PV market in the short-term, but it is no more than that," he said. "The elephant in the room for all FIT technologies, not just PV, remains the Government's decision to impose an unrealistic cap on the FIT scheme in 2010. Until that fundamental issue is addressed by the "greenest Government ever" what we have today is no more than a temporary albeit welcome step forwards."

CAB Big Energy Week

Lots of advice of how to make the most of home heating and lighting and reduce your energy bills

Join the Great HedgeHog Survey !

HodgeHog Hibernation Survey

A study was conducted 40 years ago which suggested a link between climate and when hedgehogs come out of hibernation.We are now repeating the study to see if climate change has affected hedgehog hibernation patterns.

We therefore need your help to collect hedgehog records from 1st February until 31st August 2012. 

Simply tell us every time you see a hedgehog, noting its location and whether it is alive or dead. Please don't forget to stay on the look out until the end of August when all hedgehogs should be awake.
To enter sightings you will need a username and password.

Once you have signed up you can record a sighting at any time by clicking on "ENTER YOUR RECORD".

Full details at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th Jan 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It was a very sad day indeed when we learned that Dover District Council had passed the planning application for two housing developments at Sholden. It is difficult to understand why the plans were passed when Deal Town Council had turned them down and there had been so many objections over so many years.

The whole concept of building on Grade 1 agricultural land is a complete anathema. Our country is going to need all its agricultural land to feed our population over the coming years and the short-sightedness of this decision is breathtaking.

We could ask the question of just who is going to buy and live in these houses? There are already over 1,000 houses for sale in and around Deal. Where are these people going to work? When the reduction in the Pfizer workforce is complete, there will be far fewer jobs in the area and even more empty houses.

Despite traffic surveys, we all know that Deal roads are clogged with traffic during the morning and evening busy periods but avowal from frequent users of the roads around Sholden of traffic queues counted for nothing.

There are more than 2,000 empty houses in the Dover District Council area. What a scandal this is! Why is the council not concentrating on getting empty homes back into use and re-using brown field sites for new homes? Why are the unfinished houses opposite Walmer station not an indication to the council of what can happen in the present economic climate?

Boris Island back on the agenda in Kent?

Government to consult on Thames Estuary airport

18 January 2012

Commenting on reports that the Government is to hold a formal consultation on controversial plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary, Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

"A new airport in the Thames estuary would have a devastating impact on local communities and the environment - and all for pie-in-the sky economics that simply don't add up.

"London doesn't need another hub airport - the capital already has more flights to the world's main business destinations than our European neighbours.

"David Cameron's pledge to lead the greenest Government ever will ring hollow if he gives the green light to a huge expansion in air travel."

Notes to editors:
1. A Friends of the Earth briefing, Heathrow Expansion - Its True Costs, exposes many of the misleading arguments about the financial benefits of aviation growth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dungeness under threat from shingle quarry

Support the Love Dungeness campaign
"Dungeness – an area of outstanding natural beauty – is at risk. An application has been submitted to Kent County Council seeking consent to excavate shingle from this precious corner of the coast for use in flood defenses in neighbouring counties.

A quarry at Dungeness:
  • Will have a significant and adverse effect on the environment
  • Will contravene government policy and regulations
  • Will not result in better coastal defenses
  • Will present a significant health and safety hazard
  • Will have a devastating effect on the local community
Read more about the issues or add your voice to our campaign
Excavating shingle from Dungeness would damage this internationally important and environmentally diverse habitat for generations to come. Whether you love Dungeness as a resident or a visitor, you will see this breathtakingly wild stretch of coast change beyond recognition when the lorries, dump trucks and diggers roll in – and the proposed flood defenses will not deliver high-value and reliable flood protection to residents in return.
There are other options.

Please help us!

If you love Dungeness as much as we do then please add your voice to our campaign. Together we will get residents the flood protection they need without devastating the 'ness."

Full details at

Sunday, January 15, 2012

DWI meeting 24th Jan

DDC Public Consultation of Future of Deal

Dover District Council Public Consultation on the future of Deal

Residents and organisations who would like to have their say on the future plan for Middle and North Deal are invited to a workshop at The Golf Road Centre on Wednesday 25 January 2012 at 6pm.
The purpose of this event is to gather valuable input from local people through table based discussions. The Council and its consultants would like to use the event to understand your views in order to inform the final recommendations of this stage of the study.

Please note that due to the capacity of the venue attendance is limited, so please ensure you RSVP to book your place before Tuesday 24 January 2012 by email to: or telephone (01304) 872477.

Tea and light refreshments will be provided.

This could be your last chance to have a say on the future development of Deal!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unsustainable Fishing raid in Deal today

There was a great view of seven trawlers parading in front of the pier today in Deal.

It reminded us what a thriving local fishery looks like and what we used to have here in Deal. Unfortunately, in this case its appears that the spectacle is only only skin deep.

This was not not an 'Hugh's Fish Fight' example of a local fishing fleet responding to a local seasonal abundance but a commercial fleet from Kings Lyn literally hovering the mussel beds systematically in the Channel for foreign export.

According to local fishermen on Deal beach this fleet have been doing this for the past two months in the Channel.

We need a sustainable fishery here in East Kent and it is available - You can buy locally fished Sprats this weekend straight off Deal Beach and in our two fishmongers you will find fish caught around the Kent Coast.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Discounts for Deal & Dover Cyclists

Last night at a well-attended Dover Cycle Forum meeting, we looked at a new discount scheme being set up by SPOKES the East Kent cycling campaign.

They are asking bike shops and others who currently distribute their Newsletter to offer discounts to SPOKES membership card holders, which will be promoted to all SPOKES members, on their website, and also by a sticker in the shop's window.

Attached is a list of all those on the list in Dover District.

Please let me know asap if there should be any changes, or if you can suggest any one else to be approached?

I'll pass them on to SPOKES, who want to get their final list together by the ned of January,

best wishes,


Ian Killbery
Chair, Dover District Cycle Forum
representing everyone interested in cycling in Dover District
affiliated to SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign

Locks of Sandwich
28, King Street
CT13 9BT
01394 617161

Curwens Cycles
194 High Street
CT14 6BL
01304 365823

15 Bench Street
CT16 1JW
01304 207582

Unit 2, Granville Street
CT16 2LG
01304 212515

Fowlmead Country Park
Att. Mark Kilmurray
Sandwich Road
CT14 0BF

Edmund Guest House
26 Gilford Road
CT14 7DJ

Gardeners Rest
Queensdown Road
CT14 8EF

V's Emporium
30 Mill Hill
CT14 9EW

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DWI Meeting Jan 24th - Start of Green New Year

Starting a green new year !

An evening of Feedback, Feedforward and Discussion with Deal With It

Tuesday 24th January 7.30p.m. – 9ish

Dealability, 43 Victoria Road, Deal CT14 7AY.

We will have feedback from Alan Gleave about a climate protection conference in Detmold, Germany (Demold is in the same European Twinning group as St Omer & Deal);

an open discussion on the opportunities of the Deal With It partnership with Deal Town Council and a look at how other low carbon communities are building their resilience to cope future challenges.

Refreshments available, all welcome.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rough Guide to Community Energy

The Rough Guide to Community Energy
free book by timprobert

Rough Guides has published a new book titled The Rough Guide to Community Energy.

With financial backing from retailer Marks & Spencer and distribution by energy efficiency pressure group 10:10, the new book is being distributed for free to encourage Britons to launch carbon-cutting and renewable-energy projects in their local communities.

The Rough Guide to Community Energy covers is a 'how-to' guide for community energy projects, covering eveything from setting up a group to picking a renewable technology, as well as providing advice on finances and governance. The book features many case studies of community energy projects, including wind, solar PV, solar thermal, heat pumps, biomass, hydro, CHP and energy efficiency.

The book can be downloaded here: The Rough Guide to Community Energy (2.74 MB PDF; right click and select 'Save target as...' to download)

Printed copies are also available for the price of two first-class stamps and an A5 envelope. To receive a printed copy, simply send a self-addressed A5 envelope with two first-class stamps to the following address:

Community Energy book


8A Delancey Passage

Camden Town

London NW1 7NN

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guerrilla Gardening in Deal

Fancy a bit of Guerrilla Gardening in Deal - Alan & Steve are doing a bit on Sat 21st Jan.

Its a great way to turn those unloved parts of the town into a freedom zone bursting with subversive flowers & veg.

If you are interested please email

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Flood defenses for Deal to go to planning in Feb

Example earlier design
The Environment Agency announced before xmas its progress in the investment to protect Deal from sea flooding

Now that the project is starting the detailed design phase, it is working with the landowner, Kent Highway Services, and Dover District Council to finalise the design.

The EA will present the final design to the original working group shortly to ensure it is usable and functional in a public space. It is expect to submit its planning application to Dover District Council in February 2012.

The £10-million flood defence scheme at Deal will reduce the risk of coastal flooding to 626 homes and 44 commercial properties in Deal. The scheme will also protect other key assets including the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site, the Sandwich Bay Special Area of Conservation, the railway line between Ramsgate and Dover, and Scheduled Monuments and listed buildings in North Deal.

The EA proposals include:
  • construction of a new 650m wave wall along the promenade between the Royal Hotel and Deal Castle. We expect the height of the wall to range from 0.4m to 0.9m - the exact heights will be confirmed during the detailed design phase.
  • 250m of improved rock protection along the existing embankment, to strengthen the beach just north of Sandown Castle.
  • increasing the volume of shingle on the beach from the northern part of the extended rock revetment to Deal Castle. The shingle will be delivered to the beach by a barge just off the coast. In the future the beach profile will be maintained by recycling the shingle (periodic re-shaping of the beach using bulldozers, diggers and trucks as required following storm events).
Map of proposed changes can be found here

The EA has a special page for this project here

Friday, January 6, 2012

Energy coops report

Co-operative Renewable Energy in the UK
Co-operatively-owned energy generation is a vibrant and growing sector in the UK. The first co-operatively-owned wind turbines, Baywind in Cumbria, started turning in 1997. Since then, over 7,000 individual investors have ploughed over £16 million into community-owned renewable energy.

This report summarises insights gained from visits to five co-operatively owned energy projects during the summer of 2011.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

'Deal Times'

Deal With It is featured in the first issue of Deal's bi-monthly community magazine 'The Deal Times'  which is launched this month.

The magazine is distributed freely in the town and full of local information.

In the first issue there is even a feature by DWI's secretary Vicki.

We wish Caroline every success with her venture

Victoria's Green Matters - 5th January 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It was good to read in the Mercury that we are now recycling more rubbish since the introduction of the new bins. Figures for October 2011 showed a recycling rate of 45% as compared with 36% for the same month in 2010 and this was before all households had received their bins.

There has been much criticism of the scheme, made obvious by the letters page in the Mercury, but as people have had time to get used to the new ideas, it seems as if the system has been accepted and is working well.

We still have a long way to go to do as well as the Japanese who recycle as much as 77% of their plastic waste. This rate has been encouraged by the government passing several laws to address the problems of waste disposal in a country that is running out of space for landfill, as is the UK. Japan has been separating out its plastic waste since 1997 and recycling it or burning it to convert it to useful chemicals or to generate energy.

It is thought that there is 265 million tonnes of plastic produced in the world each year and two thirds of this huge amount is used in packaging. As we know, much of this packaging is totally unnecessary and while we can now recycle so much more of our waste, we must still try to avoid over-packaged goods in the first place.