Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th January 2015

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UTILITY WEEK | 30Th JanUarY - 5Th FEbrUarY 2015 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; News editor: Jillian ambrose, t: 01342 332061, e: jillian.ambrose@fav-house.com; Associate news editor: Mathew beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Insights editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: jane.gray@fav-house.com; Research analyst: Vidhu Dutt, t: 01342 332026, e: vidhu.dutt@fav-house.com; Reporter: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332083; e: lois.vallely@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, t: 01342 332077, e: sarah.wood@fav-house.com; Publisher: amanda barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 020 8955 7045. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: buxton Press, Palace road, buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6aE. Published by: Faversham house Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex rh19 1UZ Prime location? The citizens of Anfield are up in arms about proposals by Liver- pool FC and Athletic Grounds Ltd to build an electricity substation on a site earmarked for a techni- cal college. The footie club was granted permission in September to enlarge the ground, but the development needs more juice, hence the plan for a substation. Refreshingly, it isn't spurious claims about the harmful effects of EMFs that has got people worked up. The more prosaic truth is that local businesses were looking forward to the arrival of the two-storey college, with its 600 students and their associated spending power. According to The Liverpool Echo, they feel short-changed. A city council spokesman was at pains to stress that the substation will occupy only a small part of the site. "We will continue to work with our part- ners and with the local commu- nity to explore and bring forward alternative plans," he said. This may be true, but any new occupant will have to be pre- pared to live cheek by jowl with a substation, which will limit the list of takers, even if they weren't put off in the first place by living next door to a football stadium. Meetings to decide the fate of the substation are being held as Utility Week goes to press. A step too far It will come too late to help the folk of Anfield, but the BBC Disconnector last week reported that Ger- man researchers have built a prototype generating device that fits in the heel of a shoe and har- vests electricity from the act of walking. Two devices are incor- porated: a "shock harvester" that generates power when the heel strikes the ground and a "swing harvester" that produces power when the foot is swinging. This might be ingenious, but you would need an awful lot of peo- ple trudging around to power, say, an arc light in a stadium. But this is not the applica- tion the researchers have their eye on. They're looking for a way to power the "wearable technology" that Silicon Valley's wunderkinds are betting will be ubiquitous tomorrow. According to Klevis Ylli from HSG-IMIT, a research centre in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, they have already put together a generator, wireless transmitter and sensor for the purposes of developing "indoor navigation". The sensor can measure the acceleration of the foot, whether you're turning right or le, and the magnetic field. In other words, an indoor satnav. Disconnector is alarmed about what such advances mean for the evolutionary develop- ment of mankind. With the advent of the mobile phone, we no longer had to remember phone numbers, so we lost the ability to do so. The satnav has robbed many of us of any sense of direction, while Google makes it so easy to look up information that our brains are losing the ability to retain simple facts. The indoor satnav raises the frightening prospect of our memories becoming so redun- dant that without a smart- phone we could find ourselves getting lost in our own homes. Germ of an idea An even more impractical way of generating electricity is via glowing bacteria extracted from an octopus. Disconnec- tor is at a loss to explain why anyone would extract bacteria to create an organic table lamp, but Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen has succeeded. The Ambio lamp uses the biolumi- nescent bugs to create a so blue glow that is "more pleas- ing than any electric lamp". "The phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent micro-organisms in seawater that emit light when provided with oxygen every time a wave turns," said van Dongen. This need for a wave identifies one of the two major drawbacks with the lamp: it needs constant motion to make the bacteria glow. To solve this, van Dongen created a pendu- lum-like lamp which needs to be rocked by hand and then glows for several minutes. The second problem is that the bacteria die aer a few days. Van Dongen admits that as drawbacks go, this is a biggie, and students at the TU Del centre, who provided the bacteria, are working to prolong its lifespan. 3,580 average circulation Jan–Dec 2014 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Paul Lewis @paullewismoney Energy supplier SSE is cutting gas prices (only) by average 4.1% on 30 April - well after the end of winter! Commons EAC @CommonsEAC Shale #fracking shld be put on hold bc it is incompatible w/UK climate change targets & cld pose signif localised env risks to public health. Patrick Harvie @patrickharvie Sudden anti-fracking stance of many Scottish politicians is more strategy than principle. So what? It still tells the industry to frack off. Caroline Lucas @CarolineLucas Minister says Bill has enough time for consideration – really? 1.5 hours to discuss #fracking moratorium & trespass? Madness #binthebill Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew Watching 'Local Hero'. If charm were an energy source it could power Scotland for 100 years. What a film. David Powell @powellds If it's "essential" for the UK to "maximise" oil & gas production, then implies it's "essential" for whole world. Surely. SURELY. Sanjay Jha @JhaSanjay We will await the fine print, but it looks like the civil nuclear commercial deal is a sell-out to US manufacturers, dilutes the Act itself. Sincerely Tumblr @SincerelyTumblr My GPA is finally higher than the gas prices – what a time to be alive. Tom Greatrex @tomgreatrexmp Govt want to cherry pick Lab's 13 necessary conditions for shale gas – it's all or nothing. An absolute shambles from the govt. Craig Bennett @CraigBennett3 "You cannot be in favour of tackling climate change and in favour of shale gas in Britain," says #JohnAshton, former UK climate diplomat. Top Tweets

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