Dead heat – or how we could become grateful to the dear departed for powering our TV sets

July 30, 2012

When the lights go out for you, they can be kept on for others.

Dunno much about our electricity-generating needs at the moment – it’s something that’s not much bothered Alf, although the Grumbles are wincing somewhat at the size of their power bills this winter.

But Phil Heatley, our splendid Energy and Resources Minister, last month was banging on (here) about energy challenges over the next three years.

He said

…with renewables making up 77% of our total electricity generation in 2011, and given our target of reaching 90% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025, we must maintain the shift in balance between developing the non-renewables and the renewables sectors.

It’s this bit of his speech that is of interest, because the good people of Durham, in England, are showing us some new generating possibilities.

The blog post which alerted Alf to the possibilities can be found here but it simply steers readers to a report here.

In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.

A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.

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Slow down with that electricity shake-up, Gerry – the hacks at The Press need time to catch up

December 28, 2009

A scribbler by name of Paul Gorman seems to be a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to electricity matters.

He is gushing to his Press readers today about the Government’s review of the electricity sector jeopardising the green reputation of one of its biggest money-spinners.

Giant state-owned South Island generator and retailer Meridian Energy’s multimillion-dollar carbon-neutral generating status will be threatened if the recommendations of a review – requested by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee – are adopted.

Brownlee’s review proposes stripping two key power stations from Meridian’s Waitaki River hydro scheme and giving them to North Island state-owned enterprise Genesis Energy.

Meridian would then be given the Government’s emergency diesel-powered generator at Whirinaki in Hawke’s Bay.

Meridian’s generation is hydro or wind-powered, although it sells thermally generated electricity when lakes are low.

The threat to Meridian’s green reputation was obvious – of course – to anyone who was paying attention about a fortnight ago.

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A big neigh to wind farm plans

April 3, 2009

Those of us who are wary of windfarms can delight in the news that Contact Energy’s plan to build the biggest wind turbines in New Zealand have suffered a setback.

Electricity commissioners have turned down the company’s application to erect 65 of the turbines near Dannevirke, up the road from here in Eketahuna.

Among other things, the turbines would have scared the horses. Or so the objectors said.
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