Past 3 years are the hottest on record

The World Meteorogical Group (WMO) confirmed that 2015, 16 and 17 were the hottest years on record.

2016 was the hottest at 1.2 degrees celsius above pre industrial era while 2017 and 2015 were roughly the same at about 1.1 degrees celsius above pre industrial era. Part of the record high temperatures in 2017 can be explained by the El Nino phenomena, whereas 2017 only had slight effects from La Nina.

Increases in surface temperatures have the effects of rasing sea levels and causing stronger storms. These were made clear in 2017 with the breakoff of an Antarctic iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg as well as the Atlantic hurricanes which caused an estimated $270bn of damages, marking 2017 as the most expensive disaster year in US history.

14 Feb 2018

Bullimores install Electric vehicle charge points

Bullimores have recenly installed two new 7kW EV chargers in their car park, which complements their solar panels which the firm of chartered accountants installed several years ago. Effectively, the electricity generated from the panels will now also charge vehicles while they are parked, eliminating the need to stop at a petrol station.

“The move towards EVs appears inevitable so we see the installation of our two new 7 kW Charging points as just the natural next thing” said Partner, Terry Edwards. “These will be available for both our employees and clients to use. We hope that other businesses will follow suit by putting Dorking on the map as a forward thinking, environmentally aware place to live and do business”.

8 Feb 2018

Tesla test drive for quiz winner

Steve McDonald, co-founder of the Dorking Solar Group, and a young local car enthusiast about to experience a test ride in a Tesla Model S, offered as the prize for scorring high on an EV quiz taken on Dorking Gala Night in December. Tim Rault-Smith, Tesla owner said, “ I am very happy to support the work of this local community group, especially in their new business venture - installing Electric Vehicle charging points.

3 Feb 2018

Thank you to everyone that attended our last event

DSG would like to thank everyone that attended our last event at Burgundy and Black Tuesday 9th January.

To kick the new year off, we discussed some of our past and future projects which include solar pannel and EV charge point installations.

Energy consultant and group member Paul Street also shared some insights on energy generation trends.

Links to presentation videos are listed below:

- WWF video on sustainable cities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o86Ut6kAEMQ

- Electric vehicle video: https://justevs.com/blog/volts-for-oil-fully-charged/

- Reuters short report on 2017 being 2nd hottest year on record: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-temperatures/2017-was-second-hottest-year-on-record-after-sizzling-2016-report-idUSKBN1ET1JF

Thanks again to everyone that shared concerns and suggestions. We look forward to seeing you again at the next event.

Lastly, we are currently looking to add members to the group and intensify our efforts, so if you feel like you could contribute in any way possible, please do get in touch.

10 Jan 2018

Free event - launch of new venture in Dorking

Join us for an hour on Tuesday 9th January for the launch of our new Electric Vehicle Charging Point venture.

Date: Tues 9 Jan 2018

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Bergundy and Black bar, St Martins Walk, Dorking

The agenda is :

  • An introduction to community energy and our values
  • Cleaning up the grid
  • Urban Green video
  • Launch of our EV venture

Thank you for supporting us in helping the push away from dirty energy to cleaner options. This is so important to the future of our planet.

3 Jan 2018

Dorking Gala Night 7th Dec 6pm

Drop by our stall on Gala Night this Thursday.

  • Sustainable Energy for a better world
  • Solar Electricity generation
  • Energy Battery Storage
  • Reduce your impact on the planet
  • And very our latest initiative……………..Electric Vehicle Charging Points.

Also, win a ride in a fully electric Tesla model S – one of the coolest EVs on the market

This is a Tesla model S : https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/models?redirect=no

5 Dec 2017

Thank you for attending our last event on 3rd October

We would like to thank everyone who attended our last brainstorming event at Burgundy & Black last Tuesday, 3rd October 2017.

We would especially like to thank our workshop chairs:

  • Chris Crook who discussed recent fracking developments
  • MVDC Cllr Clayton Wellman who explained the workings of local government at the district & county levels
  • Renewables consultant Paul Street and activist Steve McDonald who reviewed the electric vehicle market

We hope that everyone found it enriching and constructive.

We encourage everyone to take action in reducing our community's footprint, one step at a time.

17 Oct 2017

Fracking developments - an update

We would like to thank Chris Crook who has highlighted important developments in the fracking industry. We hope you find this useful and will do your best to prevent fracking from at your doorstep.

  • Big news of the day/year was that Scotland, after having a moratorium, now intends to ban Fracking. The term Fracking has been implied to cover unconventional oil and gas extraction. Unconventional refers to the type of rock formation from with the gas/oil is extracted and this is typically the Kimmeridge Clay layers. Therefore this bans appears to cover Fracking, acidisation and other methods used to extract oil/gas from the shale.
  • Locally we have a number of oil and gas wells. Some have been operating on conventional rock formations for many years. The 'nodding donkeys' which use to pump this oil to the surface would have been seen at Brockham (until last year) and Bletchingley and Palmers Wood near Reigate. Now more modern electric pumps are used
  • The newer wells are those at Horse Hill (near Horley), Leith Hill and Brockham.
  • Leith Hill has not been drilled. UKOG are waiting for the traffic management plan to be approved before they can start exploration work. This would involve 100's of HGV movements along Coldharbour Lane and it is not too late to express your opinions to SCC. There is a Protection Camp just by the site which monitors the movements and work being carried out there. Any help or support you can give the people there would be gratefully received.
  • Horse Hill - Horse Hill Developments has just had an application approved to allow further exploration and flow testing which is likely to start in December. This has been described by the oil industry as a fracking site.
  • Brockham recently put up new buildings on their site and drilled a side track well without planning permission. The buildings were recently granted retrospective approval by SCC but the side track well is still under dispute. They have also just requested permission to generate electricity from the site. This is the site were 9 local people were arrested and charged with obstruction for trying to raise awareness to SCC, Surrey Police and the local public about Angus Energy's non permitted work and working overnight. Seems there is one rule for companies and another for locals.
If you want to help please check out the local groups websites "A Voice for Leith Hill", & "Brockham Oil Watch", and facebook pages "Leith Hill Protect Camp".
There is also a petition you can sign which we will be delivering to MVDC soon. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fossil-fuel-free-mole-valley
"We, the petitioners request that Mole Valley District Council include the following policy in our local plan : "Companies submitting applications for either conventional or unconventional oil/gas exploration will need to demonstrate how the operations will have no net detrimental impact on Climate Change"
17 Oct 2017

Local government in a nutshell - how it works

We would like to thank MVDC Councillor Clayton Wellman who has highlighted key points regarding local government. Hopefully, people will find this useful and get more involved locally.

  • MVDC operates under an Executive system where the party with the most seats forms an Administration and from its members nominates Executives to manage the key portfolio areas (in a Cabinet form). It is possible to run a Council on a Committee system and there are arguments for and against either system.
  • Highways and pavements are SCC responsibility, not MVDC.
  • Waste - Essentially MVDC manages householders' bins. SCC handles the public waste disposal sites such as CRCs (tips) and it also handles permissions for industrial waste processing sites, which leads into:
  • Planning - SCC handles applications for waste and minerals. Whereas MVDC handles applications for residential and commercial property. When debating and making decisions on planning applications there is a need for a policy basis. If one is to enforce a refusal or to enforce a condition on a development it must be rooted in policy. Therefore, a robust and contemporary set of policies held by MVDC is essential.
  • One way for policy to be established is the bringing forward of motions by Councillors. If approved by the Council, these can then form the basis for policy. For example, we are bringing forward a motion to promote and install EV charge points as well as make a requirement for new developments above a certain size to require an installation. If passed this would then work its way into Council policy.
  • In some places the two-tier local government system has been collapsed into one unitary system. This has many advantages in terms of savings and clarity of responsibilities & public contacts. However, it can also be said to marginalise the interests of those in low population density areas or with particular locales and needs. At present MVDC is embarking on plans for a number of Joint Working Groups with SCC and other neighbouring Districts. This is in effect a kind of compromise in which sharing helps create efficiency where possible & reduces overlap etc, whilst still keeping distinction.
  • There was mention of an app for people to get more involved in some local decisions. This is something I advocate and have raised with colleagues on numerous occasions. I think it is really important to try to get people involved and have a sense that they can have an impact on their communities and localities and that their views really matter. If developed, an appropriate app could really help with this, as well as being a good communication device to keep members of the public informed on all kinds of matters.
17 Oct 2017

Electric vehicle market - driving things forward

Thank you Steve McDonald and Paul Street for having highlighted key developments in the UK Electric Vehicle market:

Why Electric Vehicles?

  • Improvement of air quality and supports the urgent need to move away from fossil fuels
  • Savings on petrol costs
  • Subsidy up to £4,500 for car purchase. Zero road tax. Zero London congestion charge
  • Vehicle makes virtually no noise
  • Much simpler build, far less parts therefore easier and cheaper to maintain
  • Stable driving as the battery weight is spread evenly along the bottom of the vehicle
  • More space in the car since there is no engine, only a flat battery along the bottom
  • Fast acceleration
  • Energy conversion rate using the internal combustion engine only 40%
  • Conversion of electricity into forward motion energy in an EV well above 90%
  • Efficient regenerative braking - motor put into reverse generating electricity put into the battery
  • £6 billion of EV investment made in last 2 years
  • In 2013, 3,500 EVs on UK roads. In 2017, 107,000 EVs. One million predicted by 2020
  • Choice of 55 EVs in 2017. Up from a choice of 9 in 2011
  • An EV to suit every budget, from Renault Twizy at around £7,000 to Tesla model S - top range up to £100,000
  • Dyson is investing £2 billion into developing a EV, expected to launch in 2020
  • From 2019, all new Volvo cars will have electric or hybrid engines
  • Audi is working to develop solar cells that can be integrated into the panoramic glass roofs
17 Oct 2017