- More on the University of Liverpool’s Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, which we featured here, from the Liverpool Daily Post. Professor Tim Greenshaw from the Institute has kindly agreed to talk in the Summer session of our Sustainability Discussion series – stay tuned for dates.
- In other energy news this week, the Cavernwalks are moving to 100% renewable energy, and there is talk of a new windfarm in Ince-Blundell.
- There’s been lots in the news about shale gas exploration with worries about methane leaks – a far more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – and groundwater contamination – including ignitable drinking water in the U.S. But this has come closer to home with exploratory drilling going on near Blackpool.
- The Greens have criticised plans to build an underground energy cable through the middle of the Wirral, in favour of focusing on energy efficiency. Interesting for TL in terms of local solutions vs large infrastructure projects.
- With the devastating floods in Australia, home-owners here in the U.K may be thinking about flood insurance. However with the Coalition cutting funding for flood defence projects, insurance companies may refuse to cover homes in many places in the UK including Liverpool.
- On a more positive note – Travelwise are offering all adults in Merseyside free bicycle maintenance and skills courses – available until the end of March. Some members of TL have already attended the Basic Skills course and highly recommend it!
- We’re also all getting excited about smart energy meters – we have a couple doing the rounds so we can test out how they work. Wirral Council are currently giving them away for free for local residents – see here for more details.
- Finally for those interested in Local Food, Co-operatives UK are offering free courses in Manchester for those involved in a local group. Check out the rest of the website for lots more support and information.
Liverpool seems to be brimming with opportunities to debate, discuss and learn at the moment.
In addition to Scibar, Philosophy in Pubs and all the great events going on at the Quaker Meeting House, another new forum for sharing ideas is Ignite Liverpool. The basic idea is to "enlighten people but make it quick". Presenters are given five minutes to talk about a topic of their choice, and their slides are auto-advanced every 15 seconds to make sure they keep to time.
Pete North from Transition Liverpool recently took up the challenge and talked about why climate change matters for Liverpool.
The next Ignite Liverpool is on the 8th of February and you can book tickets here
Liverpool Sci-Bar asks a scientist or professional to give short informative presentations about their work one evening a month at the Ship & Mitre.
One of our transitioners, Colin Dyas, went along on the 18th to see Professor Tim Greenshaw from the University of Liverpool talk about how much energy the UK will need in the future and the contribution that renewable and non-renewable resources can make to supply that energy, without causing climate change.
Here's his report:
In brief it was about current and future UK energy needs, and how the future need might be met. All options were covered in detail with the exception of geo-thermal.
Tim is a physicist versed in nuclear power. He and others are doing cutting edge research on particle accelerators and reactors that are much more efficient in terms of "energy in-energy out" and less harmful in terms of residual waste. The waste from these machines are measured in tens rather than hundreds of thousands of years. But, the technology is new, time lines long, planning issues complex, and solutions are needed now, not tomorrow. So just like us, the Transition Towns movement, he too was stating that transition is needed now.
He suggested that there is a solution for electricity at least, and it's simple too. It involves "farms" of solar concentrators in hot desert countries. These can produce all the worlds electricity for a limited loss of land mass, which on the whole is uninhabited anyway. The energy can be distributed by high voltage DC cables that are highly efficient and the investments
can add to local and marginalised economies. There are issues of complex regimes and energy security, but no worse than our dependence on Russian or Saudi oil for example.
Apparently it was an interesting and informative night - highly recommended.
Liverpool University has announced a new research centre - The Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy - which is billed as the first interdisciplinary centre into energy research in the North West.
Hopefully the centre will be a great resource for transitioners.
See here for the Institute's latest events. Pete North will be presenting on the 10th of May.
via Home Heating Guide
January to April 2011
12/01/11 The truth about climate change part 2
David Attenborough explores the personal and technological changes we can make to avert catastrophe
9/2/11 Crash course by Chris Martenson
This DVD challenges the dominant discourse of our day which suggests that we can only have prosperity while we have growth and puts forward a new vision, one that he sees will be needed for the future.
9/3/11 What are Energy Descent Action Plans?
Students form the University of Liverpool talk about Energy Descent Action Plans.
13/4/11 Talk: Can we live on renewable energy?
This talk looks at the renewable energy available and compares this with our current use of energy. It is based largely on research done by David MacKay, Professor of Physics at Cambridge University
These meetings start with soup at 6.50 and are followed by a talk or DVD and discussion
They are held at
At the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane.
Light supper from 6.50, Meeting 7.15
News, events and opinions from the Transition Liverpool team.