Looking at the bigger picture of alternative energy
ALTHOUGH there have been falls this year in global oil prices, there is still much discussion about the sustainability of our energy sources, this country’s capacity to generate electricity and how much energy we are importing as a nation.
Recently I have been talking to two local companies who are investigating alternatives to traditional energy sources.
It has been interesting to listen to their perspectives, particularly since one of the bills to be debated in Parliament this session is one on energy security and to establish an Oil and Gas Authority.
When I visited Bio Global’s energy crop plantation at Asheridge, near Chesham, I was very interested to hear all that they are doing to develop alternative and sustainable energy sources from plantbased materials.
When we think about the Chilterns in the past, the furniture industry of course was using sustainable materials which were grown locally, and the Chiltern woodlands would also have produced firewood to heat people’s homes, in the form of log fires! Transform that with 21st century technology and there are biomass boilers using woodchip pellets which can heat the modern home or business premises.
What I particularly liked about what Bio Global industries are doing is the fact that their crops will be attractive to insects, because anything that can be done to help support biodiversity is very important.
Recently I have also asked the House of Commons to consider the work of Zero-m, a company based in my constituency which is working on developing aqua methanol.
This is a new diesel substitute which could play a potentially vital role in reducing diesel exhaust pollution. Good air quality is vital for all of us in terms of health.
To make the change from conventional diesel to the new substitute, the tax regime needs to be revisited. Changes were proposed in the Budget in March, but the Opposition dug in their toes at the last minute and would not give their support. Now we have a fresh Budget taking place on July 8, I hope this might happen.