26th April 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has said energy should be sustainable from the point of view of both its environmental and economic cost. This will prove difficult, as the environmental cost of fossil fuel is seldom included in the price a consumer pays when they turn up the heating. The renewable energy industry has found itself at the wrong end of a steeply sloped playing field.
Unfortunately, in the absence of a carbon tax, the odds will remain stacked against the renewable energy sector. The rooftop solar industry survives only because of the indulgence of a government with its finger hovering over the off switch - not a good place to be if you like sustainable business models.
For the last two years we have been working on technology, and a business model, that aim to make renewable energy financially sustainable. The technology is a passive solar energy system that harvests heat from glass buildings. The business model is based on a marginal increase in the cost of conservatories, greenhouses or other glass structures sold by domestic, commercial and public sector construction companies.
The low tech solution is easily deployed and provides a simple and cost effective way to improve the thermal efficiency of a building while at the same time generating heat energy. Technology that does not cost the earth can sometimes reduce the amount of the earth we need to keep digging up.
Stay cosy and maintain a clear view.