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Wood Chips

Luckily for bill payers, the mild winter meant that the National Grid managed to avoid having to use the UK’s most expensive power plant, despite one of the tightest supply margins in nearly a decade. Things came pretty close on 21 January though when temperatures at the time of peak demand were only just 3ºC, wind power generation was unusually low and at the same time the UK had 2GW of capacity offline in planned outages with another 5GW off the system due to breakdowns. Still, there's always next year.
 

Source: Utility Week – to read the complete article click here

Solar Eclipse

Missed the big event because of the clouds or stuck at work? Don't worry Wood Burning Stoves have come to the rescue...

Wood Chips

Shares are being offered to fund a wood chip fuelled district heating system which will supply houses on Alford's Springbok Estate in Surrey. The estate, which is located in one of the UK's most heavily wooded areas – but also well away from the gas grid, currently uses inefficient fossil-fuelled boilers which either need replacing or need expensive maintenance. Naturally wood power makes the obvious choice but it will also create a local market for woodchip and bring neglected woodland into sustainable management, which in turn will benefit biodiversity in the woods. It is hoped that this well-thought-out project will be replicated in other areas. The share offer will close when it's fully subscribed or on 31 March and you can get more information at...

Wood Burning Stoves Fanclub thumbnailIt looks more and more like our coal-burning days will be over for good as the EU sets out ambitious plans to end the community's fossil fuel-dominated energy mix by 2030 as outlined in its Energy Union Package. But why wait? You can do your bit now by heating your home with carbon-neutral wood in an uber-stylish, clean-burning, highly efficient, drop-dead gorgeous, bang on trend, every welcoming home should have one, wood burning stove. Plus you get free lifetime membership to the Wood Burning Stoves Fan Club. Check out the cool Tees here.

news page screenshotA potential disruption of gas supplies to Europe by the Russians is already having an impact on wholesale prices, according to Utility Week. Pre-payment for Russian gas transiting through a pipeline in the Ukraine to Europe has yet to be paid for by the Ukrainians and last time something like that happened (2005) Russia simply turned off the gas tap. With just two days supply left, European gas suppliers are getting twitchy. Prices for March delivery moved up by 4% in one morning last week. However, disruption on anything like 2005's scale is unlikely say the experts as there are now other pipeline links to Europe (and a lot of us now have wood burning stoves because we really value our energy independence).
 

Source: Utility Week – to read the complete article please...

bbc news page screenshot

Or in this case chainsaw, the next time you cut wood fuel logs. In addition, keep some fishing line, a sewing needle, a bottle of gin and a Crocodile Dundee DVD handy too. Consider the unfortunate Australian who cut himself while using a chainsaw at home, who then stitched the gaping wound with a large sewing needle and fishing line, first washing the wound with gin to prevent infection and also taking a few nips of it to anesthetise himself. Job done, he then decided to drive to the hospital because he couldn't get hold of his wife. Now that's what we call bonza, but stupid. Someone should have told him it's a lot less hassle (less blood for a start) to buy his pre-cut fully-seasoned logs from The Stove Yard. Pick yours up today – they cost a lot less than you think.

 

Source: BBC News...

bbc news website screenshot

That's according to Business Secretary Vince Cable who was commenting on the possibility that a huge power station in Fife, which is powered by coal, was facing closure. Scottish Power, which operates the Fife plant, has warned that the cost of connecting it to the national grid meant that it could close earlier than originally planned because its remote location put it at a competitive disadvantage.

To read the complete BBC News story please click here

Source: BBC News

Gareth cooks a pancake on a Graphite 8

Ever tried making pancakes on a stove? It certainly saves on the gas bills, but there are a few things you need to consider first. Safety being number one. Best try this when the stove is at the end of the fuel load, that way the lid will be very hot, but you'll also be able to get close to the stove – but not too close. Then make sure you use your thinnest pan (otherwise you'll be there until Ash Wednesday). Make sure your pan is also small enough for most of it to fit on the stove lid without the need to hold it in place.

Melt a lump of butter in the pan until it sizzles but doesn't blacken and when this has clarified and covered the base of the pan, quickly add the batter. Jiggle the pan until the batter covers the whole of the base. Now watch the batter until it turns slightly darker...

Woodfire Wales document image

Woodfuel Wales, the Welsh forest business partnership, has recently undertaken a secret shoppers survey which confirms something die-hard stovies have known all along – that a lot of the wood sold on garage forecourts and similar places is not fit to burn, if indeed you eventually get it to light. No doubt there are exceptions, but here's what they found: Up to 40 per cent of all the logs bought from convenience stores and garage forecourts were too wet to be efficiently burned straight away in a wood burning stove. This means that most of the energy produced by the fire is spent trying to dry out the logs rather than going towards heating your home. Most stove manufacturers recommend burning hardwood logs with a moisture content of less than 20% to avoid glass blackening and potential problems with the flue system...

Stove fitted in a volvo

Fit a Defra stove then. From 1 October it will be illegal for drivers and passengers to smoke in cars where there are children (anyone under 18) in their car. Somehow we think that this will be lost on the complete nutter who fitted a fully functioning (but very smoky) wood burning stove inside his Volvo estate. I mean, it's not even a tiny Hobbit SE stove...

Click here to see a video

Edie Newsroom Screenshot

A timely reminder from Edie newsroom provides the layman (and that includes us) with an explanation of Domestic RHI, the long term financial incentives programme for people with a new renewable heat appliance. Unfortunately your regular wood burner is not included, despite lobbying by the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA). Apparently that's because everyone knows just how good they are at saving you money (and carbon) and increasing numbers of people are buying them anyway – and without the need for golden carrots. So if you're planning a new-build then the humble wood burning stove should definitely make a great cost-effective tried and tested component of your energy mix. I mean, when did you ever hear of anyone cosying up to a ground source heat pump on a bleak Winter's evening? You might like to know that the SIA has...

Eaem Municipal energy plans storyBristol, European Green Capital 2015, is working towards establishing the UK’s first municipal energy company (a vote took place on 3rd Feb). To be known as Bristol Energy it could launch as soon as this Summer. Bristol is widely recognised as a pioneer in energy and sustainability (we think it's almost Scandinavian in its approach to all things green) and its new energy company is being created to go about things differently to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the people of Bristol.

Bristol Energy will guarantee competitive, fair and simple energy tariffs with any profits will be reinvested into the city's communities. We like the sound of that, British Gas.

 

Source: Energy and Environment Management (eaem.co.uk)

Edie Newsroom ImageAll thanks to improvements in our energy efficiency – of which, we must say the lowly wood burner has certainly played its part. A new report by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has concluded that energy efficiency measures taken in the UK over the last 30 years has helped the country avoid building 14 new power stations. The fact that experts say we may be short of one or two if the weather turns nasty, is neither here nor there. 462 million tonnes of CO2 emissions have also been eliminated every year. You can read the complete 'Invisible Energy' report at the edie newsroom website by clicking here.

 

Source: edie newsroom

 

Edie Newsroom ImageAn aeroplane powered purely by the sun is poised to make the first ever 35,000km round-the-world flight. Although it's not the world's first solar aircraft it will be the first one which will be able to travel for such long distances and stay in the air for up to five days continuously as it crosses the oceans and continents without using any other means. The co-founders of the company, who will also be piloting the plane into the history books, say that the flight will demonstrate once and for all that today's clean technology and renewable energy can achieve what was once thought impossible. And if you're wondering, lithium batteries, which are charged during daylight hours, will enable the plane to continue to fly at night. Danish advanced stove-maker,...

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I want to live in Denmark

Denmark has recently taken to calling itself 'The Green State' somewhat stealing a march on the 'Emerald Isle'. However, they're talking about an altogether different kind of green, but one which is still very much tied up with the notion of living in 'a green and pleasant land'. As far as city-wide sustainability claims go, there aren't many better examples than Denmark's capital city Copenhagen, which is on target to be carbon neutral by 2025. This is also where the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been recently meeting to edit what's been termed as the most important document on climate change. As Kermit would say 'it's not easy being green'  but we say 'what do frogs know?' Take a look at what the Danes have achieved and ask yourself if we in the UK couldn't try just that little bit harder – click here...

Thanks to DECC for helping clear up some common 'energy saving' myths to help us all save money on our bills:

1.  Computer screensavers save energy.

They don't. A screensaver is just another piece of software that consumes energy. The alternative way to save energy is to simply switch off your monitor or your whole computer.

2.  Phone chargers, laptops and televisions don't use electricity when not in use.

Sorry, another dud. Even when on standby or idle mode gadgets and appliances (and let's face it we all have a lot of them) will all use precious energy. DECC have estimated that this works out at about £86 a year for the average household, so really the only alternative has to be to switch them all off.

3.  White goods (that's basically all your kitchen appliances) use what they use and there's not a lot that we can do about it.

Well, actually there is. We've all...

Possible power cuts this winter.

Whatever way you look at th...

Big Energy Savings

Big Energy Saving Week logoThis week is the annual Big Energy Savings Week (20th – 24th October) which is timed to coincide with when we all start to crank up the heat in our homes. This year the Week is a team effort between DECC (the Department of Energy and Climate Change), the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and Age UK, so you can be sure that the quality of the energy-saving information is not only going to be first class  but also practical and worthwhile. There are loads of simple money-saving ideas as well as information on various Government schemes which offer financial help including the Warm Home Discount and the Winter Fuel Payment. Citizens Advice is a good starting point, plus the Government's own web page Keep Warm This Winter. So make sure you get what you...

New collection of stoves now in stock including the Stovax Stockton 3 and the Charnwood C - seven.