Renewable News Paper
Next week the UK government will publish a "long awaited" renewable energy strategy.According to the Guardian
, it will say Britain needs to make a £100bn dash to build up its clean power supply if it is to reach its EU-imposed target of producing 15% of the country's energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The UK could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20% and reduce its dependency on oil by 7% within 12 years if it conducts the massive overhaul of energy production and consumption outlined in the strategy document.
The proposals include:
· New powers to force people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes when they renovate them.
· Forcing people to replace inefficient appliances (such as oil-fired boilers).
· A 30-fold increase in offshore wind power generation.
· New loans, grants and incentives for businesses and households.
Although belatedly welcome, as George Monbiot says
, these proposals are not without problems and possibly do not go far enough.Studies by people as diverse as the German government and the Centre for Alternative Technology have shown how, by diversifying the sources of green energy, by managing demand and using some cunning methods of storage, renewables could supply 80% or even 100% of our electricity without any loss in the continuity of power supplies.
Certainly it is vital that homes (and other buildings) minimise energy usage, but until such an ideal situation is reached, there will still be a dependence on ever-diminishing fossil fuels. Our recent power cut was, I discovered, because a major station in Central Java had insufficient coal supplies - and still does.
Suitably adapted, the UK energy strategy offers hope that much can be done in Indonesia. Three photographs in the Jakarta Post this week, none of which I can find online, sum up some of the efforts being made to conserve fuel. (The power cut wasn't illustrated.)
In today's edition SBY is seen heading up a parade of cyclists around the Presidential Palace and the National Monument "to draw attention to a healthier lifestyle and less air pollution" and "to save fuel". He was accompanied by several cabinet members, his wife and the Bike To Work
group. There was no mention of Fuzzy Bodoh, Jakarta's Governor, or any of the seat warmers from City Hall responsible for maintaining, although they don't, the city's roads.
And there's no word forthcoming about the provision of bike lanes. Fuzzy made his excuses
seven months ago so I wonder what he told SBY this time.
Meanwhile, Jakarta's traffic cops have taken to parking their motorbikes and donning inline skates
to enable them to wend their way through Jakarta's traffic jams.
Earlier in the week, there was a photo of a footbridge, not one connected to the busway, over one of Jakarta's main roads. The bridge design incorporates a concrete ramp running up the centre, which I find is smoother and more energy efficient than the steps on either side. Pictured was a motorcyclist heading up and across to the other side of the highway.
The caption stated that he was using a ramp designed for wheelchair users.
Jakartans: have you ever seen a wheelchair user, let alone one trying to navigate the sidewalk to get to the bridge, then attempting to use the ramp?