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The Power of Our Sun: Using Solar to Power the Whole World

If an alien civilisation were to study humanity, they’d be surprised and amused, likely even disappointed at our use of millions-of-years-old compressed dinosaurs to fuel our energy needs. They’d look up to our brilliant Sun and wonder why humans haven’t capitalised on this abundant and constantly available source of free, clean energy.

The truth, though, is that our species has recognised, in the past few decades, that using fossil fuels to produce electricity has a terrible cost to the environment, and to all living things. Being the dominant species on the planet, and enjoying the gifts of logic and empathy, we need to recognise the urgency of switching over to clean sources of energy. The renewed interest in renewable energy sources is promising, and especially the tendency to bank on solar energy as a source of clean, abundant power.

Solar power has distinct and long-term advantages. In the past decades the cost of Photovoltaic (PV) was prohibitively expensive; of late due to the uptake in solar energy generation, costs have gone down drastically, and the cost of generating each kWh has become much cheaper; cheaper even than producing coal. There are incidences where coal plants are using energy generated by solar to power the plants. The irony!

It boggles the mind that the energy from the Sun hitting just the Earth in a single hour could meet the power needs of the entire World’s economy for a whole year. There are companies like Symbio Energy that provide complete solutions that include solar but are not limited to it. Onsite integrated energy systems for personal and professional dwellings as provided by Symbio are a step to taking yourself off the coal-powered grid, and even selling your surplus clean energy to earn from such systems.

The solar power and renewables juggernaut is well underway, gathering incredible momentum, and despite the attacks on renewables by American President Donald Trump’s administration, it’s not going to be stopped or even delayed. But at the same time we have to improve our renewables technologies and accelerate the switch over to renewables from dirty fossil fuels, if we want to not rob our future generations of a clean world.

The Beacon putting Hemel Hempstead in the World spotlight

What will inward investment provide for Dacorum?

The world looks to them as Beacons of excellence. The companies behind these
buildings enhance their brand value. The Beacon stands above ALL of these buildings. The Beacon is the World’s Most Energy Sustainable Multiple Dwelling Building.
Emissions from burning carbon fuel KILL and cause climate change. The Beacon will therefore save lives and will be located in Hemel Hempstead.

What will that do to inward investment for Dacorum Borough Council?
Will the town and residents be proud to host a building that will show the World, that Britain is Great Again? The Beacon, a landmark building for Hemel Hempstead and Dacorum Borough Council.

Roads, parking and infrastructure

The rate of car ownership has grown steadily and in a linear fashion.

Despite successive policies over 40 years, the World has FAILED to uncouple the love affair humanity has with the car. The rate of car ownership has grown steadily and in a linear fashion. Local authorities have tried forcing developments with no parking on the basis that this will force people not to own cars. Instead people have simply parked on side roads and caused traffic to slow, which in turn has increased emissions, which kill and increase climate change.

It is therefore logical that where we have a limited supply of land ( i.e. on an island such as the UK), the best place to put cars is underground. Cars are better protected underground or in a garage. If they are off the side roads, traffic flows better.
With the exception of London, basement car parks are not developed. Why? The flawed assumption is that they cost too much. This is simply not true. Hence,
The Beacon has 313 car parking spaces underground. This is a greater capacity than the Watergarden Upper Deck Car park in the town center in a quarter of the space. People can own cars and park them underground and keep them off the street, or people can share the electric cars and bikes offered by The Beacon.

Infrastructure

It is a truism that investment follows demand. Local and National Government invest in schools, roads and health centers after capacity of existing services have been exceeded. Whilst it is hugely upsetting to see developments where there is seemingly no capacity in infrastructure, it is also true that without development, infrastructure will not grow. Funding for infrastructure development comes from developers. The latest tax on developers over and above corporation tax is the Community Infrastructure Levy which is a formula which calculates the contribution the developer has to makes to the Community Infrastructure.
Developers also provide contribution towards social housing. Without development, funding for infrastructure and social housing would be greatly diminished.
Add to this that local authorities revenue is raised from council tax and business rates and it follows that the quality of all residents lives are improved with sustainable ethical development. Notwithstanding the social and moral imperative that we need to house 26 million people within 84 years and provides places for these people to work, teach, play and be cared for.

“The Beacon is contributing £5m to Dacorum Borough Council in terms of social housing and Community Infrastructure Levy fees. “