Take part!

We would be grateful if you expressed your opinion by completing a small survey!

http://www.jotform.com/form/3342033876

To improve your knowledges about renewable energy play the game!

To play the game folow this link – http://honoloko.eea.europa.eu/Honoloko.html

Live green – how can you support renewables if you hurt the environment within your daily life? Tips on living green may seem like small stupid things, but that really help if you make your family, friends and neighbours do the same 🙂 Here’s a few very basic things that you can do, but you have plenty of good ideas in Greenpeace‘s website. So:
– follow the 3 r’s rule: reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce on stuff that you buy that have a lot of packages inside packages, and even more packages. Or that you buy for no reason at all. If you have old notebooks at home with pages, why buy new ones? That leads us to reuse – if you don’t want to show up in school with old notebooks, transform them. You can paint them, cover them in images, be creative and no one will have a notebook like yours ,) Last but not least, recycle. And if your town doesn’t provide with ways to recycle, start your own campaign!
– buy locally, you’ll be helping local bussiness and also the products you buy will not have travelled miles by polluting ways. Also, buy produts within their season, like oranges in…hum… orange season ,D
– also, if you or your parents will buy a new electronical device, make sure it is environmental friendly, especially when it cames to energy. As you may know, some products have a better usage of energy than others
– and this is a very, very basic one for students: when you write, use both sides of the paper and buy recycled notebooks (but only if you don’t have any at home, ok? ,)
– and do we have to mention turning the power off on electronical stuff you’re not using?

Support the Renewables – You can offer moral support but if you have the chance try to implement renewables in you life: if you’re starting a home, why not put some solar panels in it? Or maybe your parents have been discussing that possibility too. For more information have in look in the page “Be a change agent!” in our blog. But here are a few useful links to companies which provide renewables in Latvia and Portugal: Martifer, EDP Renovaveis, Galp Energia-Nom, Redes Energeticas Nacionais, Sonae SGPS, Latvenergo, Latgran etc.

About moral support – sign petitions, it doesn’t cost you a thing;
– go into the fabulous world of social netwoks and leave some messages to the “big guys” about renewables, but don’t forget to be polite! Open the web sites of renewable energy stakeholders:

1) in Latvia – Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Nature Protection Agency, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Biogas Association of Latvia, Zalas majas, Providus

2) in Portugal – Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development, Ministry of Economy and Innovations, Green Party “Os Verdes”, Association of Renewable Energy, “Vulcano”, EDP

 

Participate in the drawing contest!

You have the unique opportunity to participate in the Drawing Contest organized by us, Energy Dealer’s Team!

What you have to do? You need to draw a picture where you portray at least one type of renewable energy (of course, you can include all renewable energy types). To get more information about renewable energy types, go to the following section of our blog.

The competition is open to all children up to and including 16 years of age. The possibilities are endless as you let your imagination go and just enjoy what you create!!!

You can send your work by mail to the address: Terbatas Street 10, Valmiera, LV-4201, Latvia. If you prefer to send your drawing through e-mail, please, scan your work first of all and then send it to: viaenergetiki@gmail.com

We will look through all the drawings. The best will be published on the blog. You will receive also a prize. What kind of prize? Let it be a surprise!:)

For the inspiration!

Here are some examples of Drawings Competition organized by us, via energetiki in the library of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, children corner.

Share your stories!

As home and property owners, there are several ways you can integrate renewable energy into your everyday lives (For more information go to this section of our blog).

But if you are one of those people who already use renewable energy at your home, please share your stories with us!

Send them to viaenergetiki@gmail.com. Don’t forget to write your name and the place of location! Maybe exactly your story will encourage other people to follow your practice! Because only together we can change things: sharing the positive experiences, telling what were the challenges of using renewable energy at home, what were the expectations and are you satisfied in general with your decision – to use renewable energy at home!

Please add the photo of your practice!

But if you don’t believe people can use renewables at their home, read some stories below!

Read how one man in Michigan uses renewable energy at his home

Dr. Conrad Heins built the home above in northwest Michigan. Notice the windows facing south that help heat the home. His fossil fuel propane bills are less than $100 per year. This compares to an average of $577 per year for homes in our climate.3

Dr. Heins also uses solar energy to heat most of his hot water for dishes and showers, and he uses photovoltaic panels to produce some of his electricity from the sun.

Solar electric (photovoltaic) panels are more expensive than solar hot water or air heating panels. For many applications, including remote buildings, boats, and highway and train signals, they can be very cost effective.

Dr. Hein’s passive solar home:

* Is well insulated and has a lot of south facing glass to capture solar heat during the heating season

* Uses photovoltaics to produce some of his electricity from the sun

* Uses solar collectors to provide hot water – a cost effective system

Read another story about Life with a wind turbine 1300 feet away — the Wirtz family

Ann and Jason Wirtz bought their home on June 1st, 1996. It’s a pretty Wisconsin farmhouse near the Town of Oakfield in Dodge County. It’s the kind of place that had people stopping by to ask if the family would consider selling it.

“They’d just pull into our driveway,” says Ann. “There were people who said if we ever decided to sell it, we should call them.”

Although turn-of-the-century house needed a lot of work when they bought it, they didn’t mind. The Wirtz family planned to stay. Ann and Jason both grew up in the area and wanted to raise their children there.

“I thought we were going to live here for the rest of our lives.” says Ann, a mother of four. “I thought one of our kids was going to live here after us.”

This was before 86 industrial wind turbines went up around their home as part of the Forward Energy wind project which began operation in March of 2008. The closest turbine is to the Wirtz home is less than 1300 feet from their door.

“Last night it was whining,” said Ann. “It wasn’t just the whoosh whoosh whoosh or the roaring. It was a high pitched whine. And I don’t just hear them, I can feel them.” She describes feeling like a beat in her head. A pulse that matches the turbine’s rhythm.

“Last night was really bad,” she said.

She says she knows which nights are going to be loud by which way the turbine blades are facing, and her family dreads the nights when the wind is out of the west. “That’s when they are the loudest.”

Jason said he found out there was a wind farm planned for his area from a neighbor he ran into at the post office. “He asked me if I knew anything about the turbines coming in. I didn’t.” Jason came home and mentioned it to Ann.

“When I first heard about it I wasn’t that alarmed.” says Ann, “People were saying how bad they could be, but I just didn’t believe them at first.”

She assumed the turbines would be sited much further away from her home, unaware of the controversy over the setbacks approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin which allows turbines to be sited close as 1000 feet to the homes of people like the Wirtzes.

“All those orange flags they put in were way back there. I was thinking it wouldn’t be too bad. And then when that access road started coming in so close I said, ‘what the heck is going on?’”

Meanwhile, Jason had been attending town meetings and learning more about the project. The more he learned, the more worried he became. Five months before the turbines went up, the Wirtz family decided to sell their house.

They called people who had let them know they’d be interested in buying it. “When they found out about the turbines,” said Ann, “They weren’t interested anymore.”

Wirtz family prepared the house to put on the market. In November of 2007, the home, sitting on eight acres, was appraised for $320,000. But this once sought-after property could find no buyers. “As soon as people found out about the wind farm coming in,” says Ann. “That was it. And once they started building the roads to the turbines, forget it. They’d ask what that road was for, we’d tell them and we’d never hear from them again.”

After the turbines went up, interested buyers stopped showing up altogether.

“We tried to find another realtor,” said Ann, “They’d ask ‘is it near the wind turbines?’ and when they found out it was, they wouldn’t even bother to come out to the house to look at it. One realtor told me it wasn’t worth her marketing dollars to even list it because if it was in the wind farm she knew she couldn’t sell it. I mean have you ever heard of a real estate agent turning down a chance to sell a house?”

Another realtor said they would have to price it well under $200,000 to get anyone to even look at it. “At that price we were going to be $50,000 worse than when we started,” said Ann. “And that didn’t include the 12 years of work we put into the place.”

But the Wirtzes were increasingly anxious to get away from the turbines. While Jason, who works nights, wasn’t having much trouble with the turbine noise, it was keeping Ann and her children from sleeping well at night. They were tired all the time. They were also getting frequent headaches.

And there was trouble with their animals as well. The Wirtz family raise alpaca and have a breeding herd. Ann says the alpaca became jumpy the first day the turbines went on line. “Normally they are so calm. But the day the towers started up, they seemed to panic. They were on their back legs right away.”

Ann says the herd had always been docile and healthy, with no breeding problems. Since the wind farm started up, their temperament has changed and none of the females have been able to carry a pregnancy to full term. “They’re nervous all the time now. And I can’t prove anything but I do know my animals. And I really felt something was wrong. All the years we’ve had them we’ve never had a problem.”

At night the herd shelters in the large metal shed behind the Wirtz home. When the turbines are loud, Ann says the sound echoes inside the shed and the metal vibrates and hums. “The noise in here gets just unbelievable. When the tin starts to vibrate in here, they can’t stand it. I have to find them a better home. This is torture for them.”

The same turbine noise has driven Ann out of her own bedroom “I can’t stand to be in that room anymore. I don’t sleep at all. My sleep has been terrible.” Instead she sleeps on the couch where a fan on their pellet stove helps counter the turbine noise. “My number one complaint is how tired I am all the time,” says Ann, “I never had that before, ever.”

Says Jason, “We don’t have air conditioning, we didn’t want it and we didn’t need it. In the summer we just opened the windows and let cross breezes cool the house. But the first summer with the turbine noise we had to shut the windows and turn on the fan. We couldn’t stand it.”

After one of the children was recently diagnosed with a severe stress-related illness, the Wirtzes decided they’d had enough. They decided the health of their family was more important than keeping their home, and they are abandoning it.

“Now, after all the trouble we’ve had living here” said Ann, “ If a family showed up and wanted to buy the place and they had kids, I don’t think I could sell it to them. Knowing what I know about living here, I just don’t think I could put another family through this.”

They are now looking for a place in a nearby village. “We were born and raised in the country but we’re thinking of moving to Oakfield because they aren’t going to plop a 400 foot turbine in the middle of the village, says Jason. “And I know I’m going to have to drive by this place every day on my way to work. It’s going to make me sick to see it, but I can’t stay here anymore.”

Ann adds, “I say we move near whoever it is that decides on the setbacks because you know they’ll never have a turbine by their place”

Jason and Ann sit at the dining room table and point out the elaborate woodwork they’d stripped and re-finished by hand. Jason holds a picture of the farmhouse house from happier days. They’d met with the people at the bank earlier that day and to them know they were giving up their home.

Jason says, “At least we’re young enough to start over. My mom, she doesn’t have much money and now she has turbines around her house. She said, ‘This house was my retirement,’ Her and my dad put everything into that house. Now I don’t know what she’s going to do.” Jason says, “The quality of life we had here is just gone.”

“I grew up here, and I loved it here,” Says Jason, “But I don’t any more.”

Sign the petition


The text of petition

Latvia and Portugal have quite similar characteristic of energy field.  Namely, both countries are highly dependent on external supply of energy – Portugal energy dependence on import increased from 85% in 2005 and  86% in 2006, and in Latvia this number increased from 58.2% to 63.4% in  2009, which was the biggest increase across the European Union. At the  same time both countries have presented the highest share of renewable  energy in total consumption – Latvia 29.9% and Portugal 23.2% referring  to data of 2008, Eurostat. That means there is a good background for  further development of renewable energy.

We, the undersigned, do hereby express our support for the expedient passage of a renewable energy policy in Latvia and Portugal. Such a policy would create significant economic and social opportunities for the above mentioned countries by decreasing the dependance on external supply of energy, stimulating the economy and leading to cleaner environment from the reduction of air pollutants.

There is no time to lose…the time for action is NOW! We urge Latvian and Portuguese Legislature to pass renewables’ policy immediately.

Open the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/viaenergetiki/

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