Thursday, November 27, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th November 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: The majority of people living in a developed society such as ours do not give much thought to how their electricity is supplied. There is only cause for concern when, for whatever reason, that supply is interrupted.

As we saw last winter, severe weather conditions can disrupt even our green and pleasant land and climate change will no doubt bring more disruption over the coming years. And it is not just ‘bad’ weather that can cause concern. During the summer of 2003, there was a European heat wave in which 70,000 people died from heart and breathing difficulties because they could not keep their homes cool. By 2030, these temperatures could be quite common and by 2060 could be considered a ‘cool’ summer.

With all of our systems – technical, political, financial and social – interconnected because of their dependence on computer systems we need to make these systems, and their power sources, secure so that transport, water, healthcare and communications, for example, remain in place.

If we want to ‘future proof’ our energy supply systems, we need to re-think how electricity is produced and delivered. The obvious way forward is to de-centralise production in favour of local, smaller, renewable energy generation where interruption to supplies would be minimised. The simplest and the most cost effective way to generate electricity locally is by solar photovoltaic systems, either on domestic or commercial roofs. There are now many Community Energy Companies where local people can help to finance, and then benefit from, locally produced energy

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