PUBLISHED: 16:02 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 18 April 2018 Cable route for proposed Norfolk Vanguard project. Picture: Vattenfall Archant Rural north Norfolk has some of the slowest broadband speeds in the UK, but that could be about to change. One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Pic: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing Better Broadband for East Ruston (BB4ER) is in talks with Vattenfall, developer of the Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farms, about improving broadband speeds. This could be secured by running broadband services along the same route of onshore infrastructure needed to connect the wind farms to the National Grid. Steffan Aquarone, deputy Liberal Democrat group leader, Norfolk County Council, said it could lead to better broadband across the district. Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm, said: “We were pleased to be approached last year by BB4ER to discuss broadband … [Read more...] about New scheme could finally see internet connections in our region move into the fast lane
The national grid
Darmstadt Technical University's project, Cubity, is student accommodation with a difference. It only costs €250 a month to rent and produces more energy than it uses, making it very eco-friendly. But this saving comes with one significant downside: the rooms are only 7.2 square metres in size, almost two square metres smaller than the legal minimum for a child's bedroom in Germany. Built in Frankfurt's Niederrad district in the south-west, the Cubity building is a 16m-by-16m cube with an outer wall of glass, inside of which are individual cubes for each of the 12 inhabitants. Each personal cube is 7.2 square metres and has a bed, a desk and an ensuite bathroom. In the cramped rooms, everything possible is done to save space. Drawers and wardrobes are hidden in the beds and the desk slides back into the wall. The university is trying to prove with this project, which is sponsored by prefab house company Holding AG, that one can build homes in a space saving and … [Read more...] about Could Frankfurt’s compact ‘cube’ housing be the student digs of the future?
A row of wind turbines towers on the edge of the picturesque Bavarian village of Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, where rolling meadows meet pine forests and Alpine peaks line the horizon. "I love them," says Thomas Pfluger, a local resident, gazing at the windmills jutting out above the tree-tops. "To look at them, it makes me proud." Pfluger's home village, with its old Catholic church and traditional beer garden, may be rural Bavaria at its most idyllic, but it's also at the cutting edge of Germany's green energy revolution. Known as the "Renewables Village," it uses mainly wind, solar and biomass to meet all its electricity needs, and sells the rest back into the national grid at a profit. Like many other communities in Germany, Wildpoldsried took advantage of generous subsidies and price guarantees that were rolled out in recent years to boost alternative energy. To ensure local acceptance, Wildpoldsried relied on a simple idea: to involve the entire village and spread the … [Read more...] about The Bavarian village forging a clean energy revolution
The UK National Grid is looking to install an entire fleet of superfast electric car charging points along Britain's motorways that would get their power from the country's electricity network.The idea behind the new superfast chargers is to alleviate the concerns of many consumers, who don't think electric cars currently have enough range to be able to complete several journeys. The National Grid has said it has identified 50 potential sites for chargers, that would see 90 per cent of electric car owners being within 50 miles of a charger no matter which direction they travel in.The chargers themselves will benefit from 350 kilowatts of power, which means cars can be charged within 5 to 12 minutes, far quicker than the 20 to 40 minutes it currently takes to fully recharge the battery.The charging network will of course put a strain on the Grid; if 100 chargers were installed at each of the 50 sites, it would equate to 35 megawatts of power, which is enough to power 14,000 homes.Graeme … [Read more...] about National Grid vehicle charging plans could see us all getting electric cars
Ikea is now offering solar panels and home batteries to its customers in the UK. The Scandinavian furniture chain is partnering with solar firm Solarcentury for the venture, with prices for solar battery storage starting at £3,000 (about $3,970 USD). The home batteries are designed to work with existing solar panels, or as part of a new combined home solar panel / battery storage system that Ikea is selling. Ikea says an average UK home with solar panels will typically consume around 40 percent of the solar electricity it generates. The remaining 60 percent of unused solar electricity is sold back to the National Grid, though at a loss compared to its value. The batteries will allow users to store electricity generated by the sun from their solar panels, and use it when they want. Ikea says that by using storage, an average home can double its solar electricity usage to 80 percent, while electricity bills can be cut by up to 70 percent. “We’re committed to helping … [Read more...] about Ikea now sells solar panels and batteries in the UK