About Me

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Weston Super Mare, Somerset, United Kingdom
Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Robin Whitlock. I am a freelance journalist with a special interest in environmental issues and renewable energy. I have numerous published articles to my credit and write regularly for a number of renewable energy websites. I am also a writer for Renewable Energy Magazine and a sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus. I am currently based in Bristol, UK. Besides renewable energy and green issues I have a wide variety of other interests which includes World War 2, mythology and folklore, gardening, railways and lots more besides. You can also reach me on either of my two email addresses, which are: robinwhitlock66@hotmail.com and robinwhitlock1966@gmail.com Thanks!

Hire Me!!

Hire Me!! - Freelance Journalist specializing in environmental issues and renewable energy
Writer for Renewable Energy Magazine
Sub-editor for Renewable Energy Focus
Contributor to Holmes Digital Media websites (Solar Guide, Renewables Guide, Boiler Guide, Builder Guide)
Contributor to Cleversolar blog and Find Energy Savings
Published in numerous national magazines
See below for writing samples

Thursday, 28 June 2012

DECC predicts stability in solar market over the next three years

An announcement recently made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently predicted that the UK solar market will remain stable for at least the next three years, despite the commotion caused by the recent range of government cuts and the forthcoming subsidy cut from 21p per kWh to 16p, due to take effect from August.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

1970's boiler still going strong


Boilers usually last for about 15 years before they have to be replaced, but Marton Hayes WEC Firefly HDII boiler is still working perfectly after nearly 40 years of service.

Viessmann supports new RHI emissions restrictions


The boiler manufacturer Viessmann has responded positively to restraints on boiler emissions levels proposed by Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Solar PV boss urges sector to focus on the future


The chief of the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) has urged the industry to ‘pull out all the stops’ and ‘focus on the future’. The ‘dark days’ of the solar FiTS fiasco are over he says.

Evergreen aims to become market leader


The solar company Evergreen PV has expanded its business by moving into the commercial sector alongside its existing domestic services but it is also striving to become one of the most progressive solar PV companies in the country.

Work experience opportunities in construction drying up


Students and graduates trying to find opportunities for work experience in the construction sector are growing increasingly fearful that such opportunities may be drying up. Lack of work experience was cited as the main reason for unemployment in 27% of graduates according to TARGETjobs.

Scottish government plan for greener homes


In a bid to make the nation’s homes more energy efficient, the Scottish government intends to provide more than £2 billion towards improvements to ageing houses.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Energy fears prompt rise in renewable energy schemes

As the costs of conventional energy escalate, fears about maintaining supply grow, and the result is an increasing interest in renewable energy, particularly among farmers and businesses.

Plans for new wind turbine factory dropped


The wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has dropped plans for a factory in Sheerness which would have created around 2,000 jobs. This is the second time the company has abandoned plans for a plant in the UK, having closed its blade-making factory on the Isle of Wight in 2009.

Friday, 22 June 2012

British government diluted EU green energy plans according to leaked document


Further evidence of David Cameron’s hollow claim to be leader of ‘the greenest government ever’ emerged recently in the shape of a leaked letter revealing the government’s attempts to water down key EU environmental policies.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Offshore wind costs to be slashed by 30%


The cost of offshore wind power will be slashed substantially over the next seven years according to a recent report by the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, a government-backed wind industry group.

The benefits of having a combi boiler


A combi boiler is one of the most popular types of central heating boiler used in the UK today, so what is it about these boilers that makes them so good?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Vitodens 111-W - a new boiler for confined spaces

Viessman has added a new boiler to its existing range of 5.9 to 35 kW gas-fired condensing boilers. The Vitodens 111-W is designed for installation in homes where space is restricted as it can be wall mounted and erected in alcoves and other hard to reach areas. That’s pretty good where space is a precious commodity.

New measures to guard against cowboy builders


Communities Minister Andrew Stunell has announced measures to eradicate ‘cowboy builders’ in the run-up to the Green Deal. In future tradesmen who monitor their own work will have to meet international quality standards.

Energy Minister accused of arrogance over PV collapse


Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change has been accused of displaying ‘breathtaking arrogance and ignorance’ over remarks made on BBC’s You and Yours programme concerning the current situation with domestic solar PV.

New solar PV insurance package launched


Solar PV manufacturer LDK Solar has teamed up with Solarif to offer customers a full insurance package for their solar PV systems. 
The package includes an operational ‘All Risk Insurance’ policy, a warranty and inherent defect insurance effectively creating a comprehensive insurance package which encompasses all components of the system rather than just the system itself.

The new solar trade war

A new solar trade war is looming as America, and potentially Europe as well, levy anti-dumping tariffs against cheap Chinese imports.

Friday, 15 June 2012

The dangers of trying to mend a boiler yourself


With rising energy costs and household budgets stretched, it may be tempting for some people to carry out repairs to central heating boilers themselves rather than call in an expert. The dangers of doing so were graphically displayed a few years when one man died trying to do just that.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Solar PV gaining rapid popularity among UK farmers


A research study conducted by the National Farmers Union (NFU) in partnership with NatWest Bank has found that 30 percent of farmers in England and Wales will have installed some form of renewable energy generation by the end of this summer.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Germany meets half its electricity demand from solar


Some people think that a German move away from nuclear is madness, but critics were proved wrong recently when the country managed to produce around 22 gigawatts during a cloudless period in May. That’s equivalent to about 20 nuclear power plants.

The ultimate eco-home, for a cool £2.5 million


An ambitious property developer with an environmental conscience has spent over £1 million converting his 1960’s home into the ultimate eco-house, stuffed with super green technology. As well as saving on domestic energy bills it has now been valued at £2.5 million.

How environmentally friendly is insulation material?

Most people should know by now that loft and cavity wall insulation can really help you to cut your carbon emissions, but just how environmentally friendly are the materials used in the process? The good news is that modern insulation is much more environmentally friendly than it used to be.

The Green Deal is floundering

A government impact assessment of the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme predicts that it will drastically fail to achieve its objective, with the number of lofts being insulated per year falling to 83% below the current rate.

Friday, 8 June 2012

DECC predicts stability in solar PV market over next three years

An announcement recently made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently predicted that the UK solar market will remain stable for at least the next three years, despite the commotion caused by the recent range of government cuts and the forthcoming subsidy cut from 21p per kWh to 16p, due to take effect from August.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Samsung partners with Sundog Energy to push into UK market


Samsung is the massive electronics giant from Korea that many people know about from their popular mobile phones. Now they intend to push deeply into the UK solar energy market and have teamed up with Cumbrian-based Sundog Energy in order to do so.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

New boiler and solar pack discount available from Viessmann


Viessman has launched a new discount scheme in which you can receive a Vitodens 242-F condensing boiler and Vitosol solar kit package with a discount of around £1,000. The offer is available until November this year.

DECC launches second round of social landlord heating scheme


The first round of the social landlord competition for payments under the government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme (RHPP) last year was successful according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Now they are launching the second round which the Department says will be bigger and better.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Germany meets half its electricity demand from solar


Some people think that a German move away from nuclear is madness, but critics were proved wrong recently when the country managed to produce around 22 gigawatts during a cloudless period in May. That’s equivalent to about 20 nuclear power plants.

Sharp Corporation develops world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency


The Japanese electrics corporation believes it has achieved an efficiency of 43.5% thanks to a concentrator triple-junction compound solar PV cell. The cells will be used in a lens-based concentrator system which focuses sunlight on the cells in order to generate electricity.

Hull City Council embarks on £3.5 million housing makeover


Empty houses are blighting communities in Hull and the local council is determined to do something about it. Now, thanks to government funding it will target some of the worst concentrations of empty homes in the city.

Innovative new insulation product launched by Scottish company


The heating and insulation company Direct Savings is predicting £10 million worth of income over 18 years after having introduced infranomic far infrared heating products to the UK

North Devon offshore wind farm scaled back in response to critics


A multi-billion pound offshore wind farm has had to be reduced in size after a landmark ruling in the High Court. The Atlantic Array project in the Bristol Channel was scheduled to provide energy for up to a million homes but now it has been subjected to a significant cut in the number of turbines following a dispute over a planned turbine project in Norfolk.  

Mitsubishi Electric will join Micropower Council at Parliamentary energy exhibition


The House of Commons will be the venue for a special renewable energy exhibition this month which is intended to demonstrate to the government the role that heat pumps can play in decarbonising UK housing. Mitsubishi Electric has seized the opportunity to announce its intention to join the Micropower Council.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Now is the time to get a new boiler


A central heating boiler is at the heart of every home in the UK but if it is inefficient or not working properly you will soon be starting to waste lots of money. Summer is the time when you will least need to use it, so now is the time to start thinking about replacing it if is faulty or inefficient.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Former Teeside caterer launches biomass boiler business


Billy Myers used to be a tree surgeon before he went into catering and with that experience behind he has now decided to set up in business providing fuel for biomass boilers. Demand has been so great he has now employed three apprentices.

Solar PV is the solution to rising energy bills


Leading free panel provider A Shade Greener has conducted research which shows that installing solar PV could help consumers deal with rising energy bills.