Monthly Archives:August 2005

Green Dream II

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This is the second in a series of articles by architect Alex Shirley Smith about his planned collaboration with Off-Grid to produce a low impact woodland development containing tree houses, a tree restaurant, pod lodgings, and a meeting area, all connected by mid-air walkways. The diagram is on the next page — click “more” to see it.

We are looking for partners, financiers and landowers who want to collaborate with us in the UK and the US to build long-lasting, sustainable off-grid dwellings and leisure areas. We are in advanced planning stages of this first project in Thetford Forest, Suffolk, UK.

Tree Houses You Can Actually Build (A Weekend Project Book)Tree Houses You Can Actually Build – buy it from Amazon UK

Wind Weekend

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The first simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms takes place this weekend across the UK.

Its part of the Embrace the Revolution Campaign, set up last year to tackle the myths put about by opponents of wind energy, and give a voice to people who support wind energy, three-quarters of the UK population.

This August Bank Holiday (27-29 August), families across the UK will be able to visit a working wind farm and touch a turbine as part of the first ever, simultaneous nationwide opening of wind farms – and for FREE (except the curmudgeons at The Centre for Alternative Energy in Wales, who are attempting to charge).

Elton John joins Geothermal crowd

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Singer Elton John has joined the Queen and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen in planning to create an underground network on his property to extract heat from the earth’s natural warmth.

He is following a new fashion among the super-rich for drilling boreholes at their properties as the latest “green” status symbol.

Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur, George Davies, the high street fashion guru, Paul Lister, son of the founder of the MFI furniture empire and owner of a vast Highlands nature reserve we have written about before, and the Queen are all planning to switch to Geothermal energy.

The Buckingham Palace system will provide secure, free and inexhaustible energy from beneath the surface of the four-acre lake at the heart of the walled gardens. The network will pump heating to the state rooms, the formal area of the palace used by the monarch to host official banquets and investitures.

Palace insiders said that a meeting next month between an installation firm and officials from the royal household was expected to approve the plans. It will cost approximately £50,000 to install the outdoor equipment. To see rest of story click “more.”
21st Century Complete Guide to Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Electricity, Potential, Drilling, Photo Gallery, Geopowering the West, Department ... National Renewable Energy Lab NREL (CD-ROM)21st Century Complete Guide to Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Electricity, Potential, Drilling, Photo Gallery, Geopowering the West, Department … National Renewable Energy Lab NREL (CD-ROM) buy it from Amazon

Green Man Festival

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The Off-Grid team are going off-grid for a while…. to the Green Man Festival in Hay on Wye, and then for a bit of wild camping. So you won’t see many updates in the next few days.

We can’t invite you to join us as at Green Man as it is sold out, but maybe see you there next year? We’re particularly looking forward to Bonnie Prince Billie, aka Will Oldham, and his sad-eyed, poetic ballads.

Come back soon, though, and in case you feel like going to a festival yourselves, here is a list of what else is happening this weekend around the UK – click on “more” for the full list.

I See a DarknessBonnie Prince Billie CD – I See a Darkness – buy it from Amazon US

I See a Darkness CD – UK edition from Amazon

Solar powered Prius

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A presentation at the Green Car Congress details how a Canadian engineer named Steve Lapp has created his own version of a prototype Photovoltaic Prius. The car is a 2001 Toyota Prius modified with roof-top solar panels and an additional battery system to supplement the charge in the original equipment NiMH batteries. The car is still a rough prototype — a demonstration of concept — but even with the limitations of the systems, he says he has achieved an initial 10 percent fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US).

Steve Lapp’s PV Prius is still a rough prototype—a demonstration of concept—but even with the limitations of the systems, he has achieved an initial 10% fuel efficiency improvement from 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US) to 4.0 l/100km (59 mpg US). Click below for more on this story.

IRS Certifies Toyota Prius. : An article from: Battery & EV Technology – Buy it on Amazon

New signing at Man City FC – Ecotricity

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Manchester City Football Club is set to get one of the UK’s largest land-based wind turbines provided by independent green power company Ecotricity, in a bid to curb its carbon emissions and become genuinely green in its energy supply.

The turbine has been designed by globally celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster.

We're Not Really Here: Manchester City's Final Season at Maine RoadWe’re Not Really Here: Manchester City’s Final Season at Maine Road – buy it from Amazon UK
The turbine will also be used to supply energy to the homes of people in East Manchester.

Downshifting lovers of Oz

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On Australia’s highways and byways, under the stars, enjoying the wide open spaces, romance is blossoming all over again, writes sex and relationship counsellor JO-ANNE BAKER.

I recently attended a downshifting conference, organised by Dr Clive Hamilton, executive director of The Australian Institute for a Just Sustainable, Peaceful Future ( ). His research in this area found that 92 per cent of people were happy with their downshifting decision.

This had a flow-on effect to their primary relationship. As people felt more balanced in their life overall, their intimate relationships blossomed. At the conference I met Jessica, a financier, who made a sea change five years ago when she and her husband moved from the inner city of Sydney to the Gold Coast hinterland.

Yee-hah: Wyoming Wind Festival

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Renewable energy conference set

Roping the Wind returns to Douglas, Wyoming. After last year’s success this is another opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

This year’s program will emphasize installed projects, covering everything from large-scale commercial wind farms to off-grid wind and solar energy installations. There will also be presentations on geothermal and biomass applications.

The conference is scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12. For more information, visit the Web site

It has no relationship to the book of the same name – but we thought we’d offer it here anyways.

Roping the Wind“Roping the Wind” – a History of Cowboys and the Land – buy it from Amazon

Raising Arizona Renewables

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US heat map
Baby, its hot down here

The State of Arizona has set up subsidies for household solar and wind installations as part of a big package announced this week.(12th August 2005)

“We should be to solar as Texas is to oil,” said Arizona Energy Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes as he argued for development of Arizona’s solar resources.

Shop for Solar Energy products at!