Saturday, 12 April 2014

Goldman Sachs Declares Solar Energy Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels.

Over a dozen regional markets around the globe have reached the point where PV solar panels can match or undercut local electricity prices without government subsidy. With big decreases in battery storage costs (mainly because of improved electric car technologies), home energy storage is now cheap enough to be a viable for households to traditional grids. Goldman Sachs said that the renewable energy sector is one of the most compelling and attractive markets. Now they’ve gone a step further. According to the firm’s recent report, not only is solar power a good investment, it’s also going to to make fossil fuels obsolete. This is just one more example of how the financial sector is fueling the renewable energy revolution. “…our Clean Energy team believes the number of households hitting grid parity will continue to grow as the cost of the systems comes down…SolarCity has seen a 40% decline in the per watt cost of PV panels since the second quarter of 2013 driven by improved scale which is expected to continue,” state clean tech analysts Brian Lee and Thomas Daniels. “This has been true for Tesla’s battery costs as well, which have declined from of $500/KWh in 2008 to $250/KWh for the Model S to potentially $125/KWh at the gigafactory. As a result we should note that the quantitative grid parity and return calculations we show above are arrived at without any Federal or state credits.” Having an electric car parked in the garage being powered-up by solar is already a reality in South Australia. Over 20% of all households in South Australia have solar PV on their roof with even a greater number having Solar hot water systems as well. The hostility to renewable energy of the newly elected state government has not stopped this trend as subsidies are no longer needed (as per Goldman Sachs).

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Teignbridge Budget

Teignbridge District Council voted on the budget on Friday. It includes some very unpopular money saving measures which we believe could be avoided. The Liberal Democrat group put forward an alternative budget with the support of all the Independent group. We proposed to use a £300,000 windfall (not in the budget) to funding public toilets so they could stay open, housing services, road sweeping and free holiday parking on Saturdays to help traders. Sadly our alternative budget was rejected 19 to 21, so the cuts will go ahead. A number of Conservative councillors were conspicuous by their absence.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Tories Silence Young Protesters

Dozens of teenagers from around the Devon, including a member of the youth parliament, attended County Hall this afternoon but were not allowed to speak by Conservatives councillors. Can you blame young people for being cynical about politics, when they get treated in this way. The council is currently consulting on plans to close 34 of its youth centre and this afternoon approved budgets reductions of almost £1m for youth services in the county. Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Alan Connett,said: “It is not a budget about Devon, it is a budget about being Conservative. Conservatives don’t like local government or public service and they are using the reduction in public expenditure as a ruse to do what they want to do.” He presented an alternative budget proposal and suggested that the county should investigate the possibility of selling County Hall in Exeter and sharing office facilities with Exeter City Council.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Community Clear-up Day

A great bunch of people gave up their Sunday to clear up the seafront at Teignmouth. On a sunny Sunday dozens of people volunteered to help with a community clear-up of Teignmouth promenade, after the recent storms were battered the town with heavy rain and gusts of up to 80mph. People of all ages brandished shovels and brooms to clear the seafront of debris and sand, with an estimated five tons of sand, shingle and stones cleared off the promenade and returned to the beach. Bricks and masonry from the damaged flowerbeds were piled up for removal by the council's contractors. Some people joined in spontaneously having not realised the event was happening. Local traders proved free refreshments to the volunteers, and promoted the event. Volunteers keen to clear the whole seafront kept going for five hours, three more than the planned two hours.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Storms BatterTeignmouth

Storms have battered Teignmouth, but the flood defences have held.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Credit Union Re-Launched

One million people will take out pay-day loans, with sky-high interest. There is an alternative - Credit Unions offer low cost affordable loans. Information about the Devon credit union - Plough and Share is available at the TAAG Centre until Friday 24th January. Plough and Share service points will be open on Saturdays at 10-12.30pm in Teignmouth Library and on Wednesdays from 5-7pm at the Meadow Centre from 29th January 2014.

New Boiler

People with an income below £15,900, and receive certain benefits may qualify for a new boiler under the Energy Consumption Obligation (ECO) scheme. ECO is part of the Green Deal; the scheme places an obligation on all of the main energy providers in the UK to help reduce energy consumption and energy poverty in the United Kingdom. The scheme will close in March 2015.