News

Free Tour of Derbyshire Eco Centre

29th June, 2pm-4:30pm

18th June, 10am-4pm

Wirksworth

FREE but pre-book on 01629 824765

Derbyshire Eco Centre, a new eco building which will host adult education, is due to open
this summer and they are organising some free tours of the building before it
completed. The full-day course will also include a chance to try your hand at
straw bale building.

How to Build Your Own Wind Turbine

No 1. Nottingham Science Park, Jesse Boot Avenue, Off University Boulevard, Nottingham,

FREE with a light buffet, but pre-book on 0115 934 9582

Part of ‘The Climate Change seminars' series this event includes guest speakers from the village of Hockerton who have developed the first community-owned renewable in Nottinghamshire: a 31.5m high wind turbine. The event is intended to provide inspiration and practical aid to anybody who is thinking of installing their own domestic or community renewable energy scheme. The organisers are also hoping that the Department of Energy and Climate Change will be making some contribution to the event.

Please register by contacting Vanessa Corns on vc@nde.org.uk or 0115 934 9582 no later than 12pm on Thursday 27th May 2010.

Guide to Micro Hydro Published

A new guide exploring the potential for micro hydro power in the Peak District
National Park has been published by Friends of the Peak District. Peak Power explains how the
organisation spent three years surveying an analysing 150 river sites in the
park and found that 80 could be developed as source of local hydro power.

Download the guide here: http://www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk/Campaigns/Climate_change/Small_scale_hydro_power/ or request a hard copy by calling 0114 266 5822.

Corus steelworks cuts carbon emissions

Corus unveiled a £60m energy saving project at its Port Talbot site in South Wales on Wednesday which has cut its carbon emissions by 240,000 tonnes per year.

The company, which has been owned by India's Tata Steel since 2007, produces 5 million tonnes of steel a year at Port Talbot and employs 3,500 people.

The investment was made at the site's basic oxygen steel-making process which converts molten iron into steel. Corus has fitted new gas recovery equipment which catches and stores carbon monoxide gas for use as a fuel elsewhere on site. Previously the gas was flared, wasting energy and releasing carbon dioxide.

The recovered gas is used in the power plant to generate 10% of the site's electricity needs. This allows higher-energy gas from the coke ovens to be used more effectively in the steel strip mill, reducing natural gas consumption at the mill by 60%.

The energy saving means the investment will pay back in just two years.

Gas recovery will reduce Port Talbot's annual carbon emissions by 3% and Tata Steel Europe's emissions by 1%. It will also reduce the site's emissions of particulate matter by 40 tonnes per year, improving air quality.

Paul Brooks, Corus's group environment manager, said although gas recovery is widely used on newer steelworks, retrofitting it to an existing plant was a unique and challenging undertaking that involved re-engineering the site's energy system, a task that had previously been considered too difficult and too expensive.

Tata Steel Europe's chief executive Kirby Adams said the project was the biggest investment in the UK Steel industry since Tata acquired Corus and part of the company's commitment to steelmaking in Wales.

Further information

Coalition agreement heralds shake-up in environmental policy

The new Lib Dem-Conservative government has agreed to make radical changes to policy on air transport and energy generation. But it will support a new generation of nuclear power stations, provided they require no public subsidy.

Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, formerly home affairs spokesman, has taken control at the department of energy and climate change (DECC). He had opposed a new generation of nuclear power stations. Today he told the BBC the coalition had agreed the Lib Dems would abstain when parliament voted on the new National Policy Statement on nuclear power.

Caroline Spelman, a Tory, has been appointed Secretary of State for the Environment. She has many years' experience holding jobs connected with agriculture and is director of a food and biotechnology consultancy.

Ex-Conservative party chairman Eric Pickles will lead the communities department (DCLG), which he has shadowed, while Philip Hammond is transport secretary.

Few junior ministers have yet been announced.

A full document on the agreement between the two parties will be published in due course. But a brief summary of policy includes:

  • A third runway at London's Heathrow airport has been scrapped. Any expansion at Gatwick and Stansted will also be refused. A per-flight, rather than per-passenger, duty will be introduced on airlines.
  • Plans for a high-speed rail network have been brought forward.
  • Import and possession of illegally-logged timber will be criminalised.
  • A cap on carbon emissions from new power stations will be set, forcing coal-fired plant to fit sufficient carbon capture and storage to meet the standard. This would be permitted under draft EU legislation on industrial emissions (ENDS Report Bulletin 6 May 2010).
  • A floor price for carbon emissions trading allowances is promised, alongside an undertaking to seek full auctioning across the EU.

A "huge increase" in anaerobic digestion is promised, plus a boost to renewable generation and the roll-out of a smart grid and smart metering. A vague pledge of the "full establishment" of feed-in tariffs is part of the agreement.

Further information

·         10 Downing Street press conference

·         Cabinet posts

·         Coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats

·         Friends of the Earth press release