Inaugural Roadshow open to all launches in Rutland

Ground Source Heat Pump Association

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) has chosen the County of Rutland to launch its inaugural event on Wednesday 10th May at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham to kick off its roadshow designed to educate, promote and raise awareness of Ground Source Heat Pumps. This event, which is chaired by John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd and Chairman of the GSHPA will be the first in a series of regional roadshows to encourage the uptake of Ground Source Heat Pumps and to provide a networking forum for all existing installers.

The event, which takes place from 2pm at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham (LE15 9HT) is free and open to all local installers, plumbers, heating engineers, architects, building developers and building related contractors, or indeed anyone interested in renewable energy, wishing to gain valuable information from a group of experts in their field. To secure a place, please register your attendance by emailing jen.billings@gshp.org.uk. There will be an opportunity to ask technical questions to the impressive line-up of speakers, who will be taking part in a Q & A panel discussion. The speakers include;

• John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, a Chartered Engineer with over 35 years of international engineering project management and geosciences experience. He has worked with blue chip companies around the world to deliver all aspects of installation from design to end user. As well as Chairman of the GSHPA, John is also a technical advisor to OFGEM and provided input to the Environment Agency Good Practice Guidelines, the BGS open loop screening tool and the CIBSE code of practice for WSHPs.

• Chris Davidson, who is only one of a few certified GeoExchange Designers operating in the UK and has overseen over 200MW of system installations from individual houses to multi-award winning projects such as One New Change in London. Chris recently founded GeniusEnergyLab, which brings a fresh approach to low carbon system design and consultation to the UK. He also Chairs the Policy Development Team at the GHSPA.

• Kevin Cox, Contracts Manager of J. Tomlinson Ltd who has considerable experience in installing GSHPs in a number of Housing Association developments.

• Alex Driver, Managing Director of Orangehouse Renewables, Stamford are local renewable energy installation specialists.

The event would be of interest to a Local Authority or nearby Housing Associations needing to explore all the options in providing heating and potentially cooling in developments, where the GSHPA can offer independent advice and guidance on the most suitable course of action.

The location of the event itself, The Rural Business Community in Seaton, is heated by a Ground Source Heat Pump so there will be an opportunity to see this in action.

The GSHPA would be delighted to welcome you should you wish to find out more information about anything Ground Source Heat related. All you need to do is register your attendance by emailing Jen Billings at jen.billings@gshp.org.uk or phone 07576 550877.

Ends

For Further Media Information, please contact:
Charlotte Hassenstein – Charlotte@carbonzeroco.com or 07770 444 051
Notes to Editors:
GSHPA has over 100 members and our principal aim is to encourage the growth and development of the ground source heat pump industry in the United Kingdom by:
 Promoting the efficient and sustainable use of ground source heat pumps
 Raising awareness of the benefits of ground source heat pumps
 Developing ground source installation Standards
 Encouraging high standards of training for the industry
 Providing a forum for information interchange
 Liaising with related organisations to benefit the ground source industry
 Lobbying for Ground Source Energy industry in matters of local, national and international interest to members

For further information visit our website at www.gshp.org.uk or email info@gshp.org.uk

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.

UK Power Generation Grid Carbon Intensity

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The UK is committed to phasing out power generation by coal (and much later gas) and to increase the contribution from nuclear power and renewable technologies (wind, solar, hydroelectric and tidal). The goal is for power generation to become ‘zero carbon’ by 2050 when all power will be generated by renewable and nuclear means.

Since 2nd June 2015 we have recorded (once per day) renewable power production and the ‘carbon intensity’ of the UK National Grid. The graph shows the percentage of total power generation being met by renewable energy (wind plus hydroelectric) and the resulting carbon intensity of energy produced.

It can quickly be seen how renewable energy generation impacts directly and significantly on the Nation’s Grid carbon intensity.

UK Grid Carbon Intensity

We do not include contribution from nuclear power in the ‘Percentage Renewables’, but nuclear power is also a zero-carbon power generator. Currently, nuclear power provides about 20% of total power produced.

Continued reduction of grid carbon intensity will reduce the UK’s impact on the global rise of CO2 and average temperature. The benefit of lower grid carbon is further enhanced when used to heat our homes and businesses via electrically powered heat pump technologies, such as Ground Source Heating.

Currently, the Carbon Trust states that in all calculations of CO2 emissions from heat pumps, a grid intensity of over 500gCO2/kWh is to be used. However, our findings clearly show the average value is closer to 375gCO2/kWh.

We will continue to plot this data to show the beneficial impact of renewable power implementation.

Recruiting for an Engineer with Earth Science expertise

Position availableCarbon Zero Consulting Ltd, a specialist Renewable Energy and Water management consultancy, is looking to recruit an engineer with Earth Science expertise with about 3 years’ experience. Carbon Zero Consulting is a small business; well-known and respected within the renewable and water sectors. If you believe that rapid uptake of renewable technologies is not a choice but a necessity, then we would like to hear your views! You are likely to have a second degree and may have been working in areas of geology, engineering or hydrogeology. You must enjoy hands-on field work (sometimes remote – and often in the pouring rain!) in addition to desk-based report writing, computation and design modelling. You will also be the type of person who wants to grow the business by pursuing new ideas, managing your own projects and building relationships with clients: old and new.

At an early stage in your career, we will provide you with full support but you will need a high level of independence and the ability to solve problems alone while being an important part of a small team. You will be involved in all aspects of running and growing a small business so you must have ability to clearly communicate with clients through well-written reports and emails – and be very comfortable with IT and social media.

At our Rutland office, we provide a very friendly, casual and flexible approach to working life, although a very high standard of work and professionalism is expected at all times . You will learn new technical and business skills within a sector that we believe is due for massive growth over the coming decades. Carbon Zero Consulting will be very much a part of that growth.

We will provide a competitive salary including a share in company profits and a contributory private pension. The nature of the work means you will be prepared to work away from home on occasion. You will need your own car (we will pay mileage allowance) and a full UK driving licence.

Please contact John Findlay for a chat or send your CV to john@carbonzeroco.com

Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, www.carbonzeroco.com, 0797 6263441.

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!”

Demonstrating one of a few soil thermal probes in the UK!

Soil thermal probe @ Carbon Zero ConsultingJohn demonstrating our Hukseflux soil thermal conductivity probe at the Ground Source Heat Pump Association Technical Seminar at De Montfort University; one of only a handful of these instruments in the UK .

Boreholes on the BBC News?!

CLbhole-BoreholeBoreholes and groundwater have made the 10 o’clock news! Is that a first? The BGS was on prime time TV explaining how groundwater levels are, in the south, approaching all-time highs.

The seemingly endless run of gales and storms since December has resulted in records being broken for rainfall, river flow – and now groundwater level.

But – wasn’t it only recently that groundwater levels were heading for a record low? It was February 2012 when we were busy drilling emergency abstraction boreholes for fisheries and farmers to save them from drought!

There seems to be little doubt to us at Carbon Zero Consulting that deniers of Climate Change are rapidly running out of arguments to say that its just a bit of bad weather and that ‘its all happened before’

Time to remove your heads from under that pile of sand guys – the impacts of Climate Change are just starting to bite …..

To Frac or not to Frac?

As a Renewable Energy consultancy, we should probably be firmly opposed to Shale gas exploration in the UK.

At Carbon Zero Consulting, we believe that for the next 30 – 40 years, while renewable and nuclear power technology capacity is expanded, there will be a major gap in readily available power generation capacity as old, dirty coal power generation is phased out.

Gas is the best option to provide instant cover for renewable energy generation during those times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine!

It is surely a better option for the UK to develop its own shale gas resources rather than shipping-in gas from Qatar, Russia or from USA shale gas?

Shale gas exploration should only proceed IF there is a thorough program of environmental baseline assessment and real-time monitoring of groundwater quality during exploration and production of shale gas.

Carbon Zero Consulting has a strong background in groundwater monitoring issues (as well as experience of the oil and gas sector). We aim to provide expertise in monitoring groundwater and shale gas activity in addition to water supply and treatment – provided the government has not entirely disbanded relevant sections of the Environment Agency and other means of regulation in the meantime!!