Test run for Poole Harbour heat project

This article, by Gareth Simkins, was published on the Energy page of the Spring/Summer issue of Transition Free Press. This regular page focuses on sustainable energy for the future, including local initiatives such as Poole Tidal Energy Partnership. Other subjects covered in the past include, big biomass, community hydro and energy saving.

Wind turbines, micro-hydro schemes and solar panels are not the only way for community groups to generate their own energy. One scheme in Dorset has rather different plans – to produce heat and power from Poole Harbour.

The 36 square kilometre bay acts like a “massive solar heater,” says John Gillingham, a carpenter and one of the leaders of the Poole Tidal Energy Partnership (PTEP).

Poole HarbourAs the name suggests, PTEP’s original plan was to build the UK’s first ever community-owned tidal power project. The community interest company emerged three years ago, as a collaboration between Transition Town Poole, Bournemouth University and the borough of Poole.

But the tidal power proposal has proved too ambitious, at least at present. The harbour’s average depth is only 48 centimetres and there would be many competing interests to satisfy.

“It’s not viable to put a fairly large turbine there,” Gillingham explains, though harnessing the power of the bay’s tides is still on the cards.

For the moment, PTEP is undertaking a more modest project: extracting heat from a pond to warm a café and art gallery at Upton Country Park, just to the north of the harbour. This is intended to be a proof-of-concept scheme, a public demonstration of heat pump technology prior to the bigger plan – using the bay itself as a heat source for council buildings and local businesses.

The tea rooms in the park are notoriously poorly heated and have even had to be shut in the winter because of the cold. They’re a listed building, so demolition or major refurbishment is not an option. To solve this, PTEP is installing an underfloor heating system, connected to a heat pump, fed by water flowing through pipes in the pond.

Heat pumps are an old and established heat-exchange technology, most commonly used to keep fridges and freezers cold. However, they are increasingly being used, effectively in reverse, as heaters. Unlike normal electric heaters, they can produce far more heat energy than the electricity they consume.

If all goes to plan, the system, entirely funded by the council, should be operational next winter.

The scheme could increase public use of the park and will certainly cut electricity bills, probably by some £5,000 a year. It will also educate the public, and save 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide being tipped into the atmosphere – all of which will help the council meet its objective of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

Gillingham said the advantages are clear: “It will save quite a lot of money, cut carbon… and the public can see a working system.”

He admits heat pumps have a downside; although they are a low carbon source of heat, “we could be accused of using dirty energy” from the grid to power them. “It’s not all sweetness and light. Sometimes you have to walk before you can run – but we’re not disheartened.”

Gareth Simkins is an environmental journalist who edits the Energy page of Transition Free Press. He is also a member of Croydon Transition Town.

Subscribe to the digital edition of Transition Free Press here at Exact Editions or sign up to get the paper version through your door.

Photo: Poole Harbour from a plane, by Petr Kratochvil in the public domain.

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Getting It Out There! Deadline for Autumn Issue Bundle Orders 8th August

George Monbiot &TFP 640x480Don’t miss out! Bundles to go for the Autumn issue 2014 of Transition Free Press.

There is only one newspaper in print dedicated to reporting on all things happening on the ground in transition, and that’s the Transition Free Press. We’re bringing you the latest news and reviews from the culture that’s shifting the way it looks at and engages in the world.

Would you, your group or initiative like to sign up for a bundle of the 6th issue of this unique grassroots publication produced by experienced journalists and seasoned transitioners alike, who have taken up the challenge of ‘becoming the media’?

If so, we are now taking orders for the autumn 2014 issue.

From the Scilly Isles to the Shetlands, people and organisations from both within and beyond the transition movement have been signing up throughout the UK. There have even been orders from Canada and the US.

Image3020 detailPrepaid UK bundle prices, including P&P direct from the printer, start at £50 for 125 copies (40p per copy). 250 copies cost £85 (34p per copy). In order to keep fuel use and costs down, we keep a very limited supply of copies available after publication. And these are also more expensive.

Many people are sharing their bundles with transition and related groups in neighbouring towns. Apart from saving on costs, sharing bundles is a great way of connecting with people doing stuff on the ground in your region. Walthamstow, Cheltenham & Gloucester and Hythe are home to just three of the hubs for Transition Free Press.

To secure your bundle, whether big (250 copies and increments of 125) or small (125 copies), for distributing yourself, through your initiative or with other groups, contact Mark by 5pm on Friday 8th August at mark@transitionfreepress.org.uk

PLEASE NOTE: Our distribution page has the current list of all TFP distributors – plus drop-down post with some hints and tips on how to get those TFPs out there!

And for INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS please click here.

Image: George Monbiot with TFP Summer issue at the Ways With Words Festival, Dartington,  July 2014 by Rob Hopkins

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Putting people back into finance

Fran Boait  of Positive Money

Can we fix the money system? This is the question that the Positive Money campaign believes it can begin to answer. In the Spring/Summer issue of Transition Free Press, Amy Hall looks at their increasing popularity,  as well as other perspectives on making money more people friendly.

Tapping into the deep discontent about the financial system, which erupted on to the streets in movements like Occupy and UK Uncut, the Positive Money campaign has put forward radical proposals for monetary reform. Director Ben Dyson says these changes would “democratise money and banking so that it works for society and not against it.”

The creation of money is their biggest focus: they want the state to have more power and the private banks, who currently create 97% of the money supply in the form of loans, to have less. Building on work by economists like Irving Fisher in the 1930s, Positive Money argues that full reserve banking where banks aren’t able to lend more money than they actually have, would help to stabilise the economy.

“Since almost all of our money is ‘on loan’ from banks, someone must pay interest on nearly every pound in the UK,” says Dyson. “This interest redistributes money from the bottom 90% of the population to the top 10%. The money which banks create also pushes up house prices, and inflates bubbles in financial markets – making the very rich even richer.”

Other more conventional voices, such as the former Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King and Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , have also started to ask questions about how money works. In February, the former chair of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Adair Turner, said: “Over several decades prior to 2008, private credit grew faster than GDP in most advanced economies and… that was a major cause of the crisis.”

In March 204, Positive Money claimed a victory when the Bank of England released two papers which said that modern money was indeed created by private banks creating debt, “It’s a massive step forward,” says Dyson. “We no longer have to debate how the system works and can move on to talking about how we can change it.”

But there are some within progressive politics who are not convinced by Positive Money’s ideas. Tim Jones of the Jubilee Debt Foundation thinks full reserve banking would make the financial system inflexible. “It could be really problematic in reducing the ability of people and governments to invest in infrastructure and things for the future,” he argues.

Jones thinks that Positive Money’s idea of a ‘Money Creation Committee’ to oversee how money is created is too technocratic. “We don’t need more bureaucrats taking economic decisions away from people,” he says.

Daniel Webb is part of the team at Goodmoney, a new social enterprise aiming to help business to exchange goods and services in the Brighton area. He wants to see more bottom-up reforms, “At the moment, local economies are overly dependent on bank credit,” he says. “Starting with business-to-business transactions, Goodmoney want to match up buyers and sellers to process transactions within a system of local credit.”

What’s clear is that the current system isn’t working and there is a buzz of ideas for improving it. From Positive Money to Goodmoney, from ‘moneyless’ experiments to the local currencies of Lewes, Brixton and Bristol; from credit unions to time banks: these are interesting times. Can money be remade into something more socially useful?

Subscribe to the digital edition of Transition Free Press here at Exact Editions or sign up to get the paper version through your door.

Photo: Fran Boait of Positive Money speaks at the 2014 supporter conference. Still from a Positive Money video.

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Digital subscriptions now launched!

DTTFP May 5 2014We are delighted to announce that digital subscriptions are now available to Transition Free Press readers. Subscribers will have access to all our stories in the full digital library, published by Exact Editions. That’s all six issues, TFP1-5 (plus our original preview) on line for either three months (£2.49), or for a full year (£7.99). Just sign up here:

http://www.exacteditions.com/tfp

Read our app on your tablet or smart phone, on the move, anywhere you go. It’s a particularly nifty for those who live outside the UK, or beyond the reach of one of our distribution hubs.

Already signed up? If  you know of anyone who would like to subscribe: friends, colleagues, folks at universities or libraries, do pass on  the good news!

Regular paper subscriptions are available here.

P1000559Competition for two free tickets to WOMAD

We’ve got a sizzling offer for the summer. One of our TFP5 partners, Ecotricity, is offering two free tickets to the world music festival, WOMAD in July.

So why not go in for our amazing back page competion? In each issue we’ve so far featured one of the TFP crew (pictured here after our summer meet up on Hampstead Heath), reading the paper in one of our distribution locations. We’ve had Trucie in Bristol, Charlotte on Southwold seafront, Mark on Southwark Bridge. Where do you hang out and read your TFP?

Most snappily shot photo will win you two tickets to this long-playing weekend 24th-27th July. All we ask is that you distribute a bundle of free TFPs at some point during the weekend. TFP T-shirts can be supplied!

Deadline for the competion is 27th June 2014, Please send your entries to TFP editor, Charlotte Du Cann charlotte@transitionfreepress.org.uk. The winning shot will be featured on the back page of our autumn issue (TFP6) coming out 1st September. Please send your photos as hi-resolution jpegs.

And dear readers of TFP5 don’t forget Ecotricity’s great offer in this issue on p.7. If you switch over your electricity supply to them, you get a year’s free subscription to the paper and we get £30. Thanks to all those who already have!

P1000550 enh copyImages: David Thorne, Chair of Transition Town Tooting selling TFP5 at their May Day revels: some of the TFP crew after summer meet up on Hampstead Heath – (back row)  Alexis; (front row) Charlotte, Mark, Michaela ,Amy and Snowy the newshound (photo: Sarah Nicholl).

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We’ve arrived! New Spring/Summer edition of Transition Free Press now published

TFP_2014-05_Cover_rgb-1Merry May Day everyone! Our first edition of the year is here at last! Thanks to all our contributors and a great core team we have taken our pilot blueprint  and given it a new twist for 2014.

Thanks also to over 80 distributors our colourful grassroots edition No 5 is now making its ways into shops, cafes, and community events across the UK from the Scilly Isles to the Shetlands (and even further abroad to Washington state). We bring you the latest news and reviews from the culture that’s shifting the way it looks at and engages in the world. All the elemental and essential stories that other papers don’t quite reach: on Earth, on the airwaves and in the swim.

W is for Water

13845808243_823628aac4_zThis issue we’re focusing on three big W’s: Waste (a Transition cafe that turns a town’s throw away food into delicious meals, an interview with Ugo Vallauri of the Restart Project, an update on The Rubbish Diet and  a new enterprise that makes bars from discarded fruit); Walking  (together in Deep Time, following the tracks of Patrick Leigh Fermor in search of hidden Europe and pollinating new ideas across the UK), and most of all Water, where we assess the impacts of last winter’s storms on the nation’s mindset. How the deluge not only has brought the reality of climate change nearer home, but also a deeper appreciation of the stuff of life around us, that includes surfing, lidos and foraging by the sea.

So do dip your toe or just jump into our new edition. Among our news and features pages you’ll find stories about rekindling democracy, alternative finance, community energy projects, open source tech,  neighbourhood reskilling, CSAs, sustainable time, mindfulness, Transition teas and more!

Transition Free Press is designed as a  paper you can hold in your hands. But if you don’t live near one of our distribution hubs, or are not one of our subscribers,  you can still read us on-line. Here’s the link:

http://issuu.com/transitionfreepress/docs/tfp_2014-05_issuu_a01

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Are you signed up for our latest edition? Subscribe now! Deadline April 21st

P2100023 MW & TFP LondonWe are now full steam ahead for our new Spring/Summer issue. So this is a final call for subscriptions to Transition Free Press for the next year. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all our great stories!

If you would like to receive a copy of our verdant and enterprising May issue through your door, do follow the link to the subscriptions page on our website.

If you have already signed up or renewed your TFP subscription for 2014, thank you so much! We really do value your continued support as we set up a new emergent media for a culture in Transition. It was the generosity of individual backers in our original crowd-funding campaign that helped us kick-start the newspaper’s 2013 pilot.

First-time subscriber to TFP? A £15 subscription will deliver a copy of TFP to you (your household or group) for four issues starting this May, and help us manage some of our core costs. You can also become a patron subscriber for £50 per year.

484997_460945680613821_965150950_aOur deadline for new and renewed subscriptions starting with our fifth edition is Monday 21st April 2014.

For further details visit our subscriptions page or contact Mike Grenville, our subscriptions manager (mike@transitionfreepress.org.uk). Thanks all!

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Get Transition Free Press circulating in your area! Order deadline 11th April

image3489-low-res enh Don’t miss out! Bundles to go for the Spring/Summer issue 2014

There is only one newspaper in print dedicated to reporting on all things happening on the ground in transition, and that’s the Transition Free Press.

Would you, your group or initiative like to sign up for a bundle of this unique grassroots publication produced by experienced journalists and seasoned transitioners alike, who have taken up the challenge of ‘becoming the media’?

If so, we’re still taking orders for the spring/summer issue 2014.

People and organisations from both within and beyond the transition movement have been signing up throughout the UK – from the Scilly Isles to the Shetlands. There have even been orders from Canada and the US.

Image3020 detailPrepaid UK bundle prices, including P&P direct from the printer, start at £50 for 125 copies (40p per copy). 250 copies cost £85 (34p per copy). In order to keep fuel use and costs down, we keep a very limited supply of copies available after publication. And these are also more expensive.

Many people are sharing their bundles with transition and related groups in neighbouring towns. Apart from saving on costs, sharing bundles is a great way of connecting with transition in your region. Walthamstow, Cheltenham, Glasgow and Hythe are home to just four of the hubs for Transition Free Press.

To secure your bundle, whether big (250 copies and increments of 125) or small (125 copies), for distributing yourself, through your initiative or with other groups, contact Mark by 5pm on Friday 11th April at mark@transitionfreepress.org.uk

PLEASE NOTE: Our distribution page has the current list of all TFP distributors – plus drop-down post with some hints and tips on how to get those TFPs out there!

And for INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS please click here.

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