It’s a gas, man
Hydrogen probably doesn’t occupy your thoughts greatly. But this is to be the basis for the coming, fast maturing new technology revolution. You can make hydrogen with electricity and water. When the hydrogen is recombined with oxygen it creates energy and …water.
It is remarkable how rapidly the technology is developing. Philip Mayer, Ted Dowdeswell and I attended an event on hydrogen and fuel cells recently and were impressed with how much has changed in a few years. What was a concept a few years ago is now a real set of products with a definite future. Hydrogen is already an important element in the gas mix that fuels our boilers and cookers. Soon it and other common gases such as ammonia will be become an important part of powering the nation. It is not unlikely that within 10 years there will be families in our village driving hydrogen fuel cell powered cars. ‘Petrol’ stations will have to be redefined perhaps as ‘energy’ stations.
Hydrogen can be extracted using renewable energy but at present we have to use gas to create any new energy needed to make hydrogen. The more local and national renewable energy generation we install, therefore, the better. Some of the very few hydrogen refuelling stations that presently exist have solar panels on the canopy roof so that electrolysis can happen on site; other options will use conventional generators or large gas canisters transported on lorries. There are already mobile refuelling vehicles that can park up to refuel the new cars.
Capping the hub
HEI put forward the idea of creating a low carbon hub or network for Warwickshire in March. Already we are two events further on in the process of stimulating new local low carbon and environmental activity with three more communities queuing up to be part of this. the next one will be in Henley-in-Arden, probably in October, with another planned in Kineton in spring next year and a third offer from Church Lawford. The last one at Napton happened just after the copy deadline so I wasn’t able to tell you that it was a great success. The organising group managed to sustain the energy in the room despite the fierce heat (global warming manifesting). We now have some clear themes, some momentum and excitement and a new low carbon group in Napton. It isn’t at all too late to be part of this initiative if you would like to be part of it. After the next one we will probably create a steering group and some structure to the network. All of this has been greatly helped by the support of Abigail Campbell of the RSA, who, as a result of this initiative, has started her own low carbon group in Braunston.
Now wouldn’t you call that a positive result?
Waiting is an unavoidable part of fund raising. Many weeks ago I submitted a bid to Naturesave Trust, a green insurance company trust fund, on behalf of Harbury Pre-School. The bid is for the installation of LED lighting. This is just one part of the efficiency improvements they hope to make to old part of their damp and crumbling quarters. We are still waiting to hear but it shouldn’t be long now. It’s a small contribution to their needs but should help to cut running costs a bit.
Meanwhile the LED lighting planned for the church has become subsumed into one of Philip Mayer’s eco mega-projects. We hope to work with Philip on the plans, which should, if successful, bring the church right up the rankings on Eco-Church, well beyond our current Bronze Award. It won’t be done by next month. You may have to wait for further news.