Hottest April on record globally

Global temperature records show that April was the hottest on record – this follows March breaking the same record. Furthermore, it is the seventh month in a row to break global temperature records, this all but guarantees that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.

April’s temperature smashed the previous record by 0.24°C and was 0.87°C above the average baseline. Scientists are now becoming worried that it may be impossible to meet the 1.5°C temperature cap agreed at the Paris summit with doubt even being raised on a 2°C cap. This worrying trend of smashing temperature records shows the need for immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions.

Feasibility assessment of a large water-source heat pump for Nottinghamshire County Council

Carbon Zero Consulting completed the Stage 1 feasibility and options assessment for a potential renewable heating system to replace gas boilers at Nottingham County Hall on the river Trent.

An assessment of river flow and temperature confirms the Trent is certainly capable of providing sufficient water for an open-loop water source heat pump (WSHP) to replace the majority of heat currently provided by gas boilers.

Our detailed report on the viability of this system covered initial aspects of the existing heating and heat distribution system, water intake and discharge works in the river and regulatory issues.

Our findings were presented and well received by Councillors and the engineering team. We have now been asked to make proposals for the 2 Stage feasibility assessment.

UK Turns To Diesel For Power

At the same time as destroying the UK renewable power industry and removing many energy saving initiatives, the UK is turning to diesel to meet an impending power supply crunch. You really couldn’t make it up if you tried. This Tory government is surely the most short-sighted and bone-headed ever. They have entirely lost the plot!

The UK is set to grant subsidies worth hundreds of millions to highly polluting diesel electricity generators (reports the Financial Times). The support, through the government’s capacity market auction, is designed to ensure the lights stay on. Yet in meeting this aim up to 1.5 gigawatts of polluting small diesel could receive up to £436m in grants. The plant would be only slightly less CO2-intensive than coal and emit several million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Carbon Zero sponsor prestigious International drinks award

Drinks Business 2015Carbon Zero Consulting is delighted to announce that it is sponsoring The Renewable Energy Implementation Award, a newly created category at The Drinks Business Green Awards 2015 taking place on 21st April at The Ivy in London. Furthermore, John Findlay MSc CEng, Managing Director of Carbon Zero Consulting, has agreed to form part of the independent panel of sustainability and drinks industry experts responsible for judging the prestigious awards.

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2015 is the world’s largest programme to raise awareness of green issues in the drinks trade and recognise and reward those who are leading the way in sustainability and environmental performance. This year, The Drinks Business Green Awards encourage companies to decrease their impact on the environment.

More specifically, The Renewable Energy Implementation Award, sponsored by Carbon Zero Consulting, will be looking for examples demonstrating a strong reduction in carbon emissions and use of fossil fuels and instead, adoption of renewable technologies to provide alternative sources of heat, power and cooling.

John Findlay, Managing Director, Carbon Zero Consulting says, “We’re thrilled to be involved with this year’s Drinks Business Green Awards and delighted to have our own category. With the evidence for climate change and its potentially devastating consequences continuing to build, there is a growing need to bring renewable technologies, such as Ground Source Heating and Cooling to the table and to recognise companies in the drinks industry that are already addressing these issues.

Mr Findlay continues, “We will be looking for a company able to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the implementation of viable alternative sources of power, heat and cooling. In short, the panel is looking for innovative implementation, potentially using combinations of technologies to reduce or completely remove the need for fossil fuel derived energy.”

As a Chartered Engineer, with more than 32 years of professional experience working with blue chip companies from oil exploration to manufacturing and food and drink companies, John has played a major role in the development of Ground Source Heating and Cooling (GSHC) technology with close involvement in many of the UK’s larger public and private sector schemes. With an exemplary track record, Mr Findlay is well respected in the sector and can often to be found presenting at technical seminars and conferences. He is also engaged with the development of new standards for GSHC systems as well as having been appointed as a technical advisor to OFGEM. Outside of daily business, John is an active council member of the GSHPA where he offers advice and guidance to members.  Whilst having a wealth of experience and offering his knowledge in an advisory capacity on various committees, John owns and manages a successful consultancy, Carbon Zero Consulting.

Carbon Zero Consulting was founded in 2007 by John and is an independent and specialist renewable energy and water management consultancy offering high quality professional services to a variety of businesses and industry sectors nationwide. The company’s new website, www.carbonzeroco.com, provides a valuable source of information relating to renewable energy solutions including ground source heating and cooling technologies for which Carbon Zero Consulting is a leading provider throughout the UK.

Please call on 0844 855 0115 or johnfindlay@carbonzeroco.com for a comprehensive discussion on how we may be able to meet your needs.

 

Is the future of Renewable Energy Investment in danger?

The recent major fall in the price of oil, and to a lesser extent gas, has made headlines suggesting that this might spell the end of the need for renewables. However, it was only one year ago that ‘experts’ predicted oil at $200 per barrel. Nobody forecast today’s sub- $50 barrel. It would seem that Saudi has sufficient funds and a stable political landscape that will aim to continue to produce oil at the $50 level in order to put pressure on other producers.

John Findlay, Managing Director of Carbon Zero Consulting, believes this will also greatly impact on the enthusiasm for investment in domestic shale gas.  Mr Findlay says, “This all amply demonstrates the volatility of the fossil fuel market. Although many businesses will welcome a temporary reduction in fuel costs, Carbon Zero Consulting would not recommend building a long term strategy around an endless supply of cheap fossil fuel!

John Findlay continues, “Although heat pumps need electricity to operate, the price of electricity does not suffer from the same degree of volatility as the fossil fuel market. The power generators can use a range of sources, including renewables to hedge their costs. Heat pump technologies maximise the delivery of heat (and cool) for a given amount of input electrical power.”

Although flying in the face of government policy to pursue a massive increase in the electrification of the nation’s heating; installation of biomass technologies has far outstripped heat pump numbers.  The number of projects considering Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) technology is now starting to rise due in part to degression of biomass tariffs, the advent of the domestic RHI and upward correction of the non-domestic RHI (although there remain some anomalies in the provision of RHI for heat pumps compared to biomass).

John Findlay of Carbon Zero Consulting is of the opinion that, “A well-designed low temperature GSHP scheme provides the most efficient means to obtain renewable heating – and cooling. Add to this the benefits of no requirement for fuel delivery or storage, no flue or on-site emissions and the ability to combine with solar technologies; the benefits and returns from GSHP installations look very inviting.”

As we have seen, the price of oil can change radically in a matter of weeks. A Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) is designed to operate for 20 years or more. The major ‘fuel’ source for a GSHP is, of course, the ground. A well-constructed borehole or trenched ground array would still operate in 100 years.

John goes on to question, “What other technology could claim this? In fact, the UK’s first ‘modern’ closed loop borehole GSHP installation has recently turned 20 years of age with heat pump and borehole still going strong. Some systems in Sweden are much older than this. Power stations producing low-carbon electricity to drive heat pumps in every home and business is how we should see the future in the UK – not hopeful gambling on the price of oil!”

Don’t gamble on the price of oil!

Don't gamble on the price of oil.

Don’t gamble on the price of oil.

Recent major falls in the price of oil, and to a lesser extent gas, has made headlines suggesting that this might spell the end of the need for renewables. However, it was only one year ago that ‘experts’ predicted oil at $200 per barrel. Nobody forecast today’s $60 barrel. This amply demonstrates the volatility of the fossil fuel market. Although many businesses will welcome a temporary reduction in fuel costs, Carbon Zero Consulting would not recommend building your long term strategy around an endless supply of cheap fossil fuel!

The number of projects considering Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) technology is on the rise. There is no doubt that a well-designed GSHP scheme provides the most efficient means to obtain renewable heating and cooling. With RHI payments for Biomass (of 199kW and less) reducing again in January; the returns from GSHP installations looks very inviting. Heat pump technologies maximise the delivery of heat (and cool) for a given amount of input power. Power stations producing low-carbon electricity to drive heat pumps in every home and business is how we should see the future in the UK – not hopeful gambling on the price of oil!