Money to burn

It might be worth investing in a solar powered car if, as one analyst predicts, oil prices are set to soar to over $100 a barrel by Christmas.

But [Texan oil analyst Matt] Simmons believes surging demand will keep prices bubbling well above $50. ‘We could be at $100 by this winter. We have the biggest risk we have ever had of demand exceeding supply. We are now just about to face up to the biggest crisis we have ever had,’ he said.

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“Middle Of the Road and Off the Grid.” You could call them Moogs, Wired coins the term “hygrid”. Ordinary households across the US are aiming for energy independence with solar power, wind turbines and wood burning stoves. They’re still connected to the power lines, because sometimes they can’t produce quite enough power and sometimes they have a surplus to sell back, but their bills have plummeted.

This is energy policy I want to see my government backing. One or two Smith or Patel families in each neighbourhood slashing their energy bills by over a half would do more to speed uptake of energy saving and micro generation than any amount of woolly promises Tony could make. Once again- don’t waste money trying to sell nuclear power- fund a few power stations in Acacia Avenue and see the benefits roll in.

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Electric Dream Machine

The perfect solution for medium length commutes (between 10 and 20 miles as far as I’m concerned)- an electric scooter with added solar panels so it can recharge during the day. The owner reckons the solar cells generate enough charge over the 9 hours he’s in the office to half top up the batteries.

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If you happen to be on Fulton Street

No website for this, so, from the press release

In an effort to promote environmental consciousness among NYC businesses, Habana Outpost is pioneering the use of solar panels as a primary energy source, and green products whenever possible (everything from eco-friendly detergents to environmental wood alternative wood benches).

(PRWEB) April 21, 2005 — Cafe Habana is opening an outpost and new location on saturday, May 21, 2005 and run to Halloween from 12-8pm. Located at 755-757 Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the Outpost will include indoor and outdoor spaces.

The launch of Habana Outpost: Brooklyn, a new venture by entrepreneur/restauranteur, Sean Meenan (owner of Nolita’s Cafe Habana), the Outpost’s patented and famous grilled corn and other Cuban favorites, will be served to you from the Habana food truck. You have your choice to eat inside, or on the spacious patio. In an effort to promote environmental consciousness among NYC businesses, Habana Outpost is pioneering the use of solar panels as a primary energy source, and green products whenever possible. Everything from eco-friendly detergents to environmental wood alternative wood benches.

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One knock on effect of the dot-com bust was an oversupply of polycrystalline silicon. The low prices gave a boost to the photovoltaic industry and increased margins and profits even as unit prices came down. Now, however, the price is on the way up again. The industry has two factors protecting it, the fact that a great deal of solar power installation is legislated for or subsidised and the increase in efficiency and systems that use no silicon at all.

Because of all the reselling, reprocessing, and recycling in the silicon industry, silicon producers don’t keep track of what happens to the silicon once they sell it, he said. “No one on the planet understands what is happening with the silicon supply,” [Rogol] said.

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Solar Campus

A new building on Napier University’s Merchiston Campus is to have solar panels installed on one wall that will power 80 of the building’s 500 PCs and sell electricity to the grid on the days the building is empty.The University is also going to be using the array to research the efficiency and effectiveness of the panels.

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Primary Power

This is the sort of thing I hope Tony means when he goes on about “sustainable public procurement“. Seaton primary school in Devon has installed solar and wind power generators, which not only cover the shool’s own energy needs but can also feed power back to the grid.

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Grand Designs

The Channel 4 wesite has a page listing the companies involved in builds on Grand Designs. This one is particularly useful, being about the underground house built in Cumbria.

A specific link, for later reference as the site is currently under construction, Sundog Energy– providers of solar panels based in Penrith.

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