week ending 22 June 2007
Communities and Local Government Minister Angela Smith today visited Hockney Green, Testway Housing's innovative environmentally sustainable housing development in Andover. The development is not only green, but also affordable. Of the seventeen homes on site, thirteen are for social rent and four for shared ownership. During her visit, Angela Smith was shown internal and external eco-features of the development, from eco-paint and recycled furniture to roof-top solar panels and wind cowls.
Communities and Local Government Department Press Release
21st June 2007
Plans to build eco homes on the site of the former Abbey Park Road bus depot have been put on hold. Five "solar urban blocks" were due to be built on the £10 million riverside development. However, the development may now be delayed after designers Zedfactory, which calls the buildings Zed blocks, said they have been told they may not now be involved. Developers Metropolitan Housing Trust had pledged earlier this year to build a large number of the green homes.
Leicester Mercury 21st June 2007
The DfES award for sustainable schools went to Cassop Primary School in County Durham and the DfES award for governor of the year went to Jackie Murray, of Blue Coat CE Junior School in Durham. Cassop Primary is a net exporter to the national grid and its wind turbine dominates the skyline, a powerful symbol of the school's commitment to environmental sustainability.
Evening Chronicle 21st June 2007
Ribble Swimming Pool
A SWIMMING pool is set to be powered by alternative energy after proposals for a wind turbine were given the go ahead. The proposed turbine will be installed at Edisford Swimming Pool, Edisford Road, Clitheroe, after Ribble Valley Council's planning committee voted in favour of the scheme.
Telegraph 21st June 2007
The sky's the limit for a Midland designer and installer of geothermal heating and cooling systems after the firm won this year's Birmingham Post Business award. Geothermal International is about to start work on Europe's biggest geothermal system - a 5.5 megawatt project which will provide all the heating and warm water for the new Mansfield Hospital.
Birmingham Post 21st
DOVER District Council has ordered a wind turbine for its offices at Whitfield. The 20-watt turbine is expected to provide much of the power needed for the offices, saving the authority up to £4,000 a year.
Kent Messenger 21st June 2007
Osborne Middle School now becomes the first in the country
to try to fulfil three criteria to gain Climate Champion School status. Awareness
and knowledge about climate change will become part of the curriculum and fundraising
will get under way to pay for a sustainable energy installation at the school
and at a school in the developing world. Osborne hopes to buy a photovoltaic
unit, which turns light into electricity, to be followed by a small wind turbine.
Isle of Wight County Press 21st June 2007
School pupils, businesses, councillors, landowners and developers all attended the first-ever Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Renewable Energy Conference, which highlighted local efforts to move the county away from its dependency on fossil fuels such as oil and gas. And some of the alternatives currently being explored - such as wood fuel, waste and wind turbines - came under the spotlight in a series of interactive workshops. More than 100 people attended the conference at Kingston Maurward, near Dorchester, which was organised by the Dorset Energy Group. This includes representatives from each of the nine local authorities in Dorset, as well as a wide range of community, business and other public sector stakeholders.
Dorset for you 21st June 2007
Seaweed – Biomass
The abundant forests of kelp around our shores may well help solve the energy crisis and create a whole new industry in its wake. There is nothing new about exploiting kelp's biochemical properties. For centuries, it has been used as a fertiliser by the people of the Highlands and Islands wrestling with miserly soil but, with growing concern about finite resources and the search for renewable sources of energy, the Scottish Association of Marine Sciences (Sams) is turning its attention to the humble seaweed.
Herald 21st June 2007
The average British household has three low-energy lightbulbs and 22 incandescent bulbs. The energy saved by changing all the bulbs would be enough to render two nuclear power stations redundant, according to MEA. (Marches Energy Agency - Shrewsbury) Unfortunately, the Government has not done enough to communicate this message.
21st June 2007
Mark Siddall of Dewjo’c Architects, which specialises in sustainable building design, comments on the reality of building Gordon Brown’s ‘Eco towns’: “Last month PM-in-waiting Gordon Brown announced plans for ‘Eco towns’ with 100,000 new carbon neutral (or zero carbon) homes. His pledge follows the announcement at the end of 2006 by secretary of state for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Ruth Kelly to make all new homes ‘carbon zero’ by 2016 by introducing the ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’. “While the government is to be commended for its commitment to lowering carbon emissions and reducing their impact on the environment – houses account for 30% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions – upon closer investigation, it could be suggested that the idea of building “zero carbon” homes by 2016 in the UK is, in fact, unrealistic.
Environment Times 21st June 2007
The Federation of Master Builders is launching a search for the UK's greenest builder - one who knows their insulation from their underfloor heating and their solar panels from their wind turbines.
FMB 20th June 2007
A quarter of further education colleges have solar panels or are in the process of installing them, a survey examining eco-awareness suggests. The Green Colleges survey shows that many buildings have been refurbished to incorporate features that are environmentally friendly. A fifth of those surveyed are using biomass boilers and 70% have carried out an energy audit. The survey was carried out on behalf of the Association of Colleges.
BBC 20th June 2007
Royal Mile Heat Pump
A £3m renewable energy system, which will be one of the largest of its type in the UK, is to be built into a controversial Edinburgh Old Town development. The Caltongate scheme has been awarded a grant of over £789,000 by the Department of Trade and Industry for a special heating and cooling system. The developers hope this will reduce its carbon footprint by at least 30%. Installation is to be completed by December 2008 if planning applications for the £300m development are accepted. The system works by tapping into the natural temperature deep underground, which is between 11C and 13C, to provide heat in the winter and cooling during the summer. A total of 90 pipes will be inserted 200 metres into rocks below the site, where they will extract heat which will be circulated around the buildings. During summer, the system can be reversed to cool the buildings by pumping heat into the ground.
BBC 20th June 2007
Heat pumps are often thought of in terms of domestic installations, but there is a wide range of higher output options suitable for a variety of commercial applications. Dimplex, for example, offers a new range of ground source heat pumps with outputs up to 130kW, sufficient to heat large commercial, leisure or educational establishments.
Building Services and Environmental Engineer 20th June 2007
PEOPLE planning to make their homes more energy self-sufficient are being urged to apply to a national funding scheme which is now open for bids. A total of £11.9 million is being made available by the Government through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) which can be used to support solar, wind and water powered systems, or for wood pellets or wood-fuelled boiler systems. This includes mini wind turbines, solar PV panels and solar water heating systems.
Daily Press 20th June 2007
Scotland’s national centre of excellence in sustainable energy technology, development and commercialisation has been boosted by Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire. The local enterprise company has announced funding of £1.1 million to scale up the activities of the Energy Technology Centre (ETC) in East Kilbride. Established in 2006 in response to growing demand for efficient, renewable and sustainable energy sources, the ETC is the first facility of its kind in Scotland. It offers a national service to support pioneering businesses and assist them to turn sustainable energy technology into commercial success. The ETC provides a combination of specialist facilities, equipment, suppliers and expertise under one roof and provides an entry point into Scotland’s wider network of sustainable energy R&D capability. It aims to showcase new technologies and transform research breakthroughs into marketable products. The centre focuses on the growing market for more sustainable technology solutions to energy generation and use, which covers renewable energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency applications.
Scottish Enterprise 20th June 2007
A row has erupted between Britain’s £700 billion commercial property industry and Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, over how the capital’s office buildings can be made more environmentally friendly. Mr Livingstone wants the industry to ensure that 20 per cent of the energy used to run new buildings in the capital comes from renewable sources from 2008 – double the current 10 per cent guideline. However the British Council of Offices (BCO), the property industry’s trade body, claims the proposals are doomed to failure as the 10 per cent target is regularly being missed.
Times 19th June
Where there’s super-insulation, there’s brass
Three examples of innovative housing design created by the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder will go head-to-head with the very best new housing, in the prestigious national Housing Design Awards.A development of eco-friendly homes in Coppice, Oldham together with two approved developments to be built at Wardleworth and Hamer in Rochdale have been shortlisted for the awards. The 18 new ‘super insulated’ family homes on Selwyn Street in Coppice, developed by Great Places Housing Group, feature solar panels on their ‘saw tooth’ roofs, wind turbines to generate renewable energy and large windows to maximise light. They were built using timber windows, and other ‘A’ Rated environmentally friendly materials. The homes were the first to be completed under the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal (HMR) Pathfinder - a programme seeking to transform the housing markets in Oldham and Rochdale.
24Dash 19th June 2007
Ben Storan, an Industrial Design Engineering student from the Royal College of Art (RCA), has been working for the past year in conjunction with Imperial College to design an affordable personal wind turbine suited to the urban environment. The result is a unique design which uses vertical, rather than traditional horizontal, rotation. This feature gives a slower rotational speed, which allows the turbine to capture more energy from turbulent air flow, common to urban environments.
19th June 2007
Google aims to voluntarily cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of the year, the Web search leader said on Tuesday . Google is one of a number of companies, including News Corp., and Yahoo that are attempting to cut emissions of gases scientists link to global warming. To make the cuts, Google is investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy like solar, and will purchase carbon offsets for emissions it cannot reduce directly, the company said.
Tiscali 19th June 2007
Campaigners from more than a dozen charities and pressure groups are lobbying MSPs to demand an inquiry into the worsening problem of fuel poverty. They say that latest figures showed that in 2004-5 there were 419,000 Scottish households in fuel poverty, up from 350,000 the previous year and 293,000 the year before that. No types of household are immune - but pensioners, single adults and lone parents are worst affected, forcing people to choose between heating their homes or paying for other essentials.
19th June 2007
Increasingly the large-scale, centrally-planned model looks inefficient and out of date. Climate change has become a mainstream political issue, and energy customers are aware of the need to cut energy use and switch to cleaner forms of electricity generation to limit carbon emissions. This has led to arguments that large power stations burning fossil fuels should give way to smaller, renewable energy units sited closer to where the power is used. Energy is lost when electricity is transmitted over long distances, and traditional power stations - whether coal or gas - only capture part of the calorific value of their fuel. The waste heat is usually sent up a chimney and into the atmosphere. More than 60 per cent of the total energy in coal or gas can be lost at the power station, and 3 to 4 per cent is wasted during transmission. The alternative is forms of "distributed energy", from microgeneration, such as solar panels and wind turbines for individual houses, to medium-sized combined heat and power (CHP) plants that supply factories, hospitals or housing estates. The UK government has set up a task force to look at removing barriers to investment in CHP, and is encouraging renewable CHP projects such as those that burn biomass - wood chips for instance. New rules governing property developments in the UK mean that developers need to obtain at least 10 per cent of their energy from renewable sources in order to secure planning permission. Mr Tait says CHP plants would be better suited to developments in urban areas than wind turbines, which might not get enough wind to work properly. Large power plants are likely to continue to play an important role in countries' energy mix, but, in 20 years' time, the present model may look very dated.
FT 19th June
The Climate Group, a not-for-profit group that helps to "advance business and government leadership on climate change", lists dozens of examples of companies that have saved millions by cutting their greenhouse gas output. For instance, Johnson & Johnson saves $30m a year through its energy efficiency measures. It boasts the second biggest installation of photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight to electricity, in the US outside the utility sector. This is a big factor in allowing the company to generate 18 per cent of its global electricity needs itself from renewables.
FT 19th June 2007
PLANS to demolish a car showroom and create ten eco-friendly cottages are set to be approved, despite encroaching onto the green belt. The proposals would see the car showroom, garage and public toilet on Colinton Road demolished to make way for the cottages. The Eco-Logical Developments design would see renewable energy, such as geothermal ground source heat pumps, used in the houses, and material from the demolition reused. The council's planning committee has been recommended to approve the plan, despite the houses encroaching on greenbelt land. As it is mainly gardens which encroach, it has been deemed an acceptable development.
Edinburgh Evening News 18th June 2007
Camden residents are set to see the benefits of investing in energy saving measures thanks to a new £250,000 council fund. The new ‘revolving energy’ fund will be used by the council to invest in projects to test environmentally friendly initiatives and reduce the amount of energy council buildings use. By reducing the energy council buildings use, the scheme aims to reduce CO2 emissions, help protect the environment and save money. The savings would then be re-invested in more energy saving projects. The project ultimately aims to show businesses and residents how to make changes that help save the environment and money too.
Camden Press Release
18th June 2007
Philip Pullman, world-renowned author of ‘His Dark Materials’ children’s trilogy, has pledged his support to a new environmental initiative at his local primary school on the outskirts of Oxford. The Norwich born former schoolteacher, whose work is inspired by his adopted home of Oxford, officially launched ‘Cumnor Goes Green,’ Cumnor Primary School’s drive towards becoming carbon neutral, at the annual school fete. The School sits on an exposed ridge, so ultimately our aim is to purchase wind turbines and solar panels which we hope will have a wider community impact by us leading the way to becoming carbon neutral. We also hope to build a new foundation stage unit using tried and tested, albeit unusual sustainable building materials, including straw bale insulation.
24Dash 18th June 2007
Dominion Housing Group is developing a scheme with far higher levels of affordable housing than would normally be achieved through the planning process in west London. The landmark scheme will also make use of solar panel technology, providing the buildings with a renewable energy supply.
24Dash 18th June 2007
Microgeneration, the production of energy on the smallest of scales, is designed to enable individuals or communities to generate their own heat and electricity, emitting low amounts of carbon dioxide. Rooftop solar panels have been the main, and in some areas the only, source of micropower, but they are being joined by a wide range of technologies. According to the Micropower Council, an industry body promoting small-scale energy generation, a large power station wastes a third or more of its fuel heating the atmosphere, while a further 10% is wasted in transmission and distribution. “That means less than half of the fuel is used productively by the consumer,” it says. “By comparison, microgeneration technologies use more than 90% of the fuel productively.”
Times 17th June 2007
An innovative green scheme to build more than a dozen eco-friendly homes on the site of a derelict city pub has been given the go-ahead. The site will soon be transformed from an eyesore into a green house haven after Norwich City Council's planning committee approved a revised application by Urban Regeneration (East Anglia) Ltd for 13 affordable homes which will feature some of the greenest innovations available. All the homes will have an independent solar hot water heating system and use solar panels to power night lights in communal areas. Each home will also be connected to an electricity supply that is sourced through a renewable energy tariff and rainwater will be collected off all roofs.
Norwich Evening News 16th june 2007
Pupils at a Tyneside school are looking forward to a brighter, greener future. Teachers and children at Swalwell Primary in Gateshead made a bid to the Co-op and the Department of Trade & Industry to win £25,000 worth of solar panels to power their school. And any excess electricity they produce can be sold back to the National Grid to raise cash for the school. Swalwell Primary is one of only five schools in the North - and believed to be the only one on Tyneside - to win the panels.
Newcastle Evening Chronicle
16th June 2007
For the housing sector, both the Code for Sustainable Homes and the draft climate change consultation paper Building a Greener Future: Towards Zero Carbon Development now form the basis for the Government’s zero-carbon plans. New build developments will undoubtedly have a significant role to play in reducing domestic emissions. Several legislative drivers are already in place to encourage this including revised building regulations where buildings have to meet increased energy standards. The Code for Sustainable Homes, while still voluntary for commercial house builders, means that any new home can be rated against standards. As well as being a national standard, it will act as a mark of quality allowing homebuyers to identify which new properties have been developed to higher standards. In addition to this code, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will assist the process when they become compulsory through inclusion in the controversial Hips.
Western Mail 16th June 2007
Cardiff Council has joined forces with the Carbon Trust and made an ambitious commitment to reduce by 60% the authority's carbon emissions from non domestic buildings and waste by 2018.
24Dash 15th June 2007