Tag - distributed energy

July Update: What’s happened & what next on TNO Forum

 The New Optimists Forum July Update is now on-line.

The 70 or so people involved, over half of whom are regional scientists, have already made a remarkable difference — summed up in the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project Report (which contains all four of the previously published mini-reports).

What’s next?

The twin notions of Birmingham+2050 has proved hugely stimulating.

Continue reading “July Update: What’s happened & what next on TNO Forum”

TNO Forum latest update published

There’s been some great stuff happening over the last couple of months, all reported in the January Forum update.

The image here is a montage of stills created from the filming of the 1st December workshop at Birmingham Leadership Foundation.

This was a thrilling beginning to create “narrativium” to populate the scenarios. We’re now writing an Arts Council bid to continue this work.

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TNO Response to the Birmingham Development Plan 2031

We’ve responded today to the draft Birmingham Development Plan 2031 — the deadline is Monday (14th January), and published a copy of it here.

The final version of the Development Plan is a hugely influential document, setting out the strategic objectives for planning permissions in the city over the next 25 years. Sure, revised every five years, but nonetheless hugely influential.

If you make a submission to this draft Plan 2031, the City Council has to respond.

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Action is eloquence: How will Birmingham be powered in 2050?

The analysis of the July New Optimists Forum meeting about distributed energy is now in this report: Action is eloquence: How will Birmingham be powered in 2050?

It talks about small-scale bioenergy reactors across the city. About thee and me, ordinary citizens rather than big companies, owning them.

About us using electricity generated locally through a carbon-negative process. About systems right here supplying 40% or even 50% of our annual energy  requirement, currently some £2.6bn-worth, fuelled by sewage or waste that’d otherwise go to landfill.

A game-changer, if ever there was.

What do you think of it all?



Communities self-sufficient in waste + energy

On 12th July, the New Optimists Forum pondered and scribbled about the nuts’n’bolts of Birmingham communities harvesting what energy they need in their own backyard.

Take a look at the scribbles on this tablecloth. Click on the image, take a closer look at a bigger version.

A simple premise: instead of separating waste we chuck from the energy we consume, we put both waste and energy in the same place. Literally so.

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#tnofood Will we need to change the law to get local energy working well for Birmingham?

Catherine Burke is a partner and Head of Energy at Freeth Cartwright.  At the New Optimists Forum she shared some thoughts on the law – if it may need to change and what else might have to change to make local energy work well in Birmingham.

What should we should do now? Or stop doing?

Plan on a citywide scale.

Be more bold about locally produced energy.

Inform and educate the public in new technologies.

Involve people in energy systems.

Expose where energy comes from and the true costs of energy costs due to transmission loss.

Get public money.

Change planning laws.

Continue reading “What should we should do now? Or stop doing?”

#TNOfood: What a distributed energy supply system could mean for Birmingham

Tonight you can follow and join an intriguing conversation via #TNOfood and/or on this blog:

Imagine it’s 2050. Imagine 50% of Birmingham’s energy supplies generated inside the city — and by a carbon-negative process fuelled by the waste we all produce.

Imagine a local community , owning their own energy supply system. What impact would it have on family life?

And what would the word “ownership” mean? How would that affect individuals? Communities? Today’s vested interests in energy supply?

The feasibility and impact of such a system — more accurately, systems — is being talked about tonight at the New Optimists Forum at Aston Business School.

At the Business School will be (from the top, left to right): geographer Dr Stefan Bouzarovski, lawyer Catherine Burke, horticulturist Simon Coles, economist Dr Corrado Di Maria, Cofely Business Manager Ian Forsyth,   the engineers behind the technology, Professor Andreas Hornung and Dr Lynsey Melville, Sandy Taylor who’s Head of Climate Change at Birmingham City Council  and economist Professor Michael Waterson.

Making the evening run smoothly is yours truly, Kate Cooper. Nick Booth and Max Woolf from Podnosh are providing social media reporting along with cameraman Jon Turner.

If you want to know a tad more about the technologies being developed at Aston University by Andreas and his colleagues, take a look at this brief video:


#TNOfood: A third industrial revolution for Birmingham?

Cities run on energy, vast quantities of it. And the world is running out of environmentally-friendly ways of generating what they need.

We need nothing short of a third industrial revolution.

Imagine it’s 2050, and Birmingham has a substantial amount of its heat and power supplied by a lots of small power plants dotted around the city producing energy by a carbon-negative process fuelled by the waste produced by us all.

What impact would it have on individual lives, on our society as a whole?

Continue reading “#TNOfood: A third industrial revolution for Birmingham?”

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