Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Monday, 1 February 2010

Talking Energy & Recycled Oil

TTT held a very interesting and well attended talk on Thursday with Solar Century's Jeremy Leggett and Rex Cassidy the Facilities Director at Springfields Hospital responsible for all St Georges Trust buildings. Some video excerpts will follow on our youtube channel.  

Jeremy reminded us that how human brains work is key and that we tend "to be blind to depletion of resources, expecting steady growth in supply to meet ever increasing demand."  Scary, but we obviously derive some comfort from being in a state of denial!  Meanwhile the UK government apparently has an equally scary attitude to the coming oil crunch telling Jeremy that "it would be risky to do a risk assessment" of the situation!  And the government's 2009 Wicks Report tells us "there's no crisis", assuming oil companies will just find more and more prehistoric fossilised algae and zoo plankton from 100s of millions of years ago (yes that's what oil is according to wikipedia anyway).  Thankfully Jeremy said solutions abound in renewable energy, the clean tech revolution and localised resilience, mobilising just as people did in the straightened times of 1930s and 40s.  A very Transition response we think.  Loads more info on Jeremy's site HERE.

Rex meanwhile explained the energy challenges of looking after 90 buildings used by 3,000 staff in the Tooting area.  Indeed it was the hospital staff who provided key impetus behind drafting the Trust's Carbon Management Plan, to which Rex introduced us.  There was time for questions and it was sobering to discover that the UK sits a paltry 25th out of the 27 EU countries in terms of renewable energy development with 1.3%.  The hospital redevelopment plans meanwhile do hope to include renewable energy generation.


Also last week we made an inspiring and enlightening visit to Uptown Oil near Waterloo who produce 100% recycled biodiesel from used vegetable oil. Wouldn't it be great if the Trashcatchers Carnival floats could be powered by used cooking oil from Tooting's myriad restaurants? We are looking into the possibility.  Uptown Oil told us they are constantly looking for more good supplies of used oil.  A significant number of London's taxis are already running on cleaner renewable biodiesel as was evidenced by the steady stream of them pulling up while we there.    DT

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