The Merton Rule is the groundbreaking planning policy, pioneered by the London Borough of Merton, which requires the use of renewable energy on site to reduce annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the built environment. Hundreds of local authorities have followed Merton’s lead – this is impacting many new development projects throughout the UK. The photograph shows a new warehouse development in Merton with Solar PV panels on the roof.
In Scotland the finalized Scottish Planning Guidance (SPP6), published in March 2007, included an “expectation” that all future proposed developments above 500m2 should incorporate on-site zero and low carbon equipment contributing at least an extra 15% reduction in CO2 emissions beyond the 2007 building regulations.
However Scottish Councils are clearly nervous about implementing the policy and are awaiting further guidance. More support and endorsement from national government is essential to get things moving quickly. For more information see the presentations given at the January 18th 2008 seminar organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland.
week ending 21 March 2008
The German Reichstag is expected to become the greenest parliament building in the world, thanks to a decision to rely solely on renewable energy. From late summer the building is due to swap to green power sources such as water, wind and solar energy, replacing the conventional power that it has largely relied upon until now.
Guardian 21st March 2008
ANAEROBIC digesters can significantly reduce agricultural methane emissions, provide biogas for renewable energy, produce fertiliser and turn a profit. With that in mind it is time to embrace the technology, farmers were told this week. Leading experts gathered at an anaerobic digestion conference in London to discuss how the UK can progress the technology and introduce it to farmers across the country.
Farmers Guardian 21st March 2008
St Andrews Wind Farm
ST ANDREWS University has entered into informal discussions with village communities over the possibility of developing a wind farm on an East Neuk farm, four miles from the town. The dialogue is part of a comprehensive consultation with the public over the long-term aim of the university to be among the country’s first carbon neutral higher education institutions.
Dundee Courier 21st March 2008
A councillor has criticised the re-development set to transform Aldershot town centre, claiming it will not be environmentally friendly. According to Cllr Roberts energy efficiency, the overall carbon footprint and organisation of waste are all issues the developer has failed to take into consideration while drawing up the plans.
Aldershot News and Mail 20th March 2008
RENEWABLE energy power stations are being planned for two Cumbrian villages in a pilot scheme that hopes to eventually bring cheap, green energy to the county. Impact Housing Association wants to create a county-wide Energy Service Company to supply energy from sustainable power supplies. Feasibility work on the schemes in Eskdale Green and Thirlmere has begun. Many Thirlmere tenants and home-owners have said they are interested in developing a wood-fired district heating system.
Cumbrian Times and Star 20th March 2008
A MOVE to build a wind turbine near South Hinksey would damage "iconic views" of Oxford, the city council has been warned.
Oxford Herald 20th March 2008
Isle of Wight
A HIGH-profile conference with internationally renowned speakers is being held to help the Isle of Wight become an energy-self-sufficient Eco-Island.
Isle of Wight County Press 20th March 2008
Merton’s work on its nationally renowned Merton Rule guidance won the award for Sustainable Environment. The council was judged by the panel as being able to address environmental and sustainability issues sensitively, imaginatively and effectively. The Merton Rule is a ground breaking planning policy developed by the council. Implementing the rule means new developments are required to generate at least 10% of their energy needs from on-site renewable energy equipment to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions.
Merton LBC 20th March 2008
MORE Scottish Government cash is to be put into a scheme to provide grants for small-scale green energy devices. Householders will be able to claim grants of up to 4,000, and community groups up to 100,000, for devices such as solar panels or heat pumps. The Scottish Government has already set aside 13.5 million in each of the next three years and Mr Swinney explained how this would be spent. Some 2million a year would be available to businesses in loans, while 3.5 million in grants would go to householders and 5.25 million to community groups. Householders will have to show they are minimising energy demands by measures such as insulation, and local groups will have to show a community benefit.
Scotsman 20th March 2008
Scottish Government Press Release 19th March 2008
BBC 19th March 2008
More energy is used for heating and hot water in Scotland than transport and electricity generation combined, at 57% of total energy demand. The Scottish Government is discussing with the European Commission how to boost the renewable heat sector.
Herald 20th March 2008
Plans have been submitted for the National Trust to install a wind turbine on its Longshaw estate near Grindleford to generate power for an old lodge. At present, there is no mains supply to White Edge Lodge, a grade II listed building, which is used as self-catering accommodation but oil is burned for heating, electricity and cooking.
Matlock Mercury 20th March 2008
Wind turbines to generate up to 500 megawatts of electricity are to be installed on public sector land by a new venture backed by the government and HSBC, the bank. Partnership for Renewables, a company set up by the government-backed Carbon Trust, has been promised up to £120m in funding from HSBC to invest in renewable energy on land owned by local authorities, government agencies and other public bodies. It will focus initially on small wind power developments, generating about 5-10MW. Oxford city council and Reading University are already looking at providing sites.
FT 20th March 2008
Business Green 19th March 2008
WIND turbines could be springing up in gardens all over Moray following proposals to relax the planning laws governing installation of micro renewables.
Forres Gazette 19th March 2008
An ambitious plan for two tower blocks, which would have seen them re-clad in thermally-efficient glass and powered by wind turbines, is likely to be rejected in favour of demolition.
Glasgow Evening Times 19th March 2008
A ROTHERHAM college which installed its own wind turbines and solar panels has stepped up its green credentials. Thomas Rotherham College used funding from the town's annual beer festival to erect four turbines and two solar panels to help reduce its carbon footprint. Now the college will be able to monitor and control exactly how much energy it uses and the amount of energy its renewable equipment is producing.
Sheffield Star 19th March 2008
A turbine located at Eton Manor in the north of the Olympic Park, will play a key role in delivering renewable energy to the Olympic Park and be a visible symbol of London 2012’s commitment to deliver a truly sustainable Games.
Inside the Games 19th March 2008
London 2012 19th March 2008
Contract Journal 19th March 2008
Cooley Primary School in Sixmilecross now has solar photovoltaic panels on its south-facing roof, a 10kWp system that will be able to produce around 8,000 units of electricity each year. This will save the school around £800 a year in energy bills, and will allow pupils to see renewable energy at work up close. The scheme was funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and supported by Northern Ireland Electricity's (NIE) Smart programme.
Edie 19th March 2008
Forth Ports said it was exploring new green energy initiatives. The ports operator, which has submitted a planning application for four wind turbines at Tilbury, on the Thames estuary, is working with an unnamed partner to examine possible projects for generating energy from waste products and for building onshore and offshore wind farms.
Telegraph 19th March 2008
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that, if everyone in the UK switched to smart meters, British householders could save £1.2bn a year and the equivalent of 7.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Envirosolutions 19th March 2008
Community Energy Scheme
£3,750 was agreed by councillors for a community energy conservation project in Burscough. The proposal by Burscough Parish Council will loan smart energy meters to residents to help them conserve energy. It will also aim to increase response rates to the district council’s questionnaire on home energy use to inform future carbon cutting measures. The scheme is the first in West Lancashire to receive grant aid from Lancashire County Council’s Climate Change Fund. The fund is administered by the Lancashire Local committee which brings county and district councillors together to make decisions in the interest of the community.
Lancashire County Council 19th March 2008
Scottish Renewables Conference
Finance secretary John Swinney will speak at the conference, where he is expected to announce how the Government will increase support for microgeneration and community renewable energy initiatives.
Galloway Gazette 19th March 2008
Green energy firm Ecotricity has resubmitted plans to build three 120m high wind turbines at Hethel. It follows the Ministry of Defence's decision to withdraw its objection to the controversial development on the grounds that the turbines would pose a threat to national security. This was a key factor in the scheme being thrown out by south Norfolk Council in November last year. And the change of heart following a detailed reappraisal could open the way to more green power projects.
Eastern Daily Press 19th March 2008
Wymondhan and Attleborough Mercury 19th March 2008
Banbury Guardian 19th March 2008
SOUTHAMPTON'S skyline could be on the verge of a dramatic change as wind turbines could soon be generating power in the city. The council wants to start a consultation on building up to 20 medium sized turbines as part of its commitment to using more sustainable forms of energy.
This is Hampshire 19th March 2008
THE rejuvenation of a tired and rundown part of Woking is set to swing into action with the construction of a four-storey hotel. Renewable energy facilities will take pride of place on the roof.
Woking News and Mail 19th March 2008
The UK is the largest gas boiler market in Europe and there is considerable potential to accelerate the uptake of highly efficient condensing boilers and in the longer-term deploy micro combined heat and power (CHP) technology. The large manufacturing base currently focused on condensing boilers could be, and in some cases already is being, adapted to produce micro CHP units.
Newcastle Journal 19th March 2008
Hull heat pumps
Five kilometres (3.1 miles) of pipework have been laid outside the building on 21st Avenue for a ground source heat pump, an electrically-powered system that taps stored energy in the earth. Yet to go up are two 6kw wind turbines – a first for Hull schools – which will generate the energy to run the pumps.
Yorkshire Post 18th March 2008
Hull Tesco Turbine dropped
Plans to build a wind turbine in the car park of a Beverley supermarket have been withdrawn. East Riding Council officers disagreed and had recommended councillors turn down the plans when they came before the eastern area planning committee yesterday. Spokesman for the committee John Whyley said Tesco had decided to go back to the drawing board rather than see the plans refused.
Hull Daily Mail 18th March 2008
Students at Seaford Head Community College officially switched on their £20,000 solar panels. They were installed thanks to funding from The Co-operative Group, which sent one of its colourful climate change characters, Sunny Solar, to help launch the rooftop panels.
Eastbourne Herald 18th March 2008
Another Tesco Turbine
Tesco is also looking to install a 10-metre high wind turbine in its Congeleton store's car park. The renewable energy from the turbine would be fed directly into the store to reduce its use of conventionally-produced electricity.
This is Cheshire 18th March 2008
North-East Assembly “Merton” rule veto
The North East Assembly is preparing for a battle with the Government over who has the greenest ambition for the region. The outgoing North East Assembly is to write to the Government insisting on tight renewable energy targets as part of the long-running battle over an overarching planning blueprint, the Regional Spatial Strategy. The assembly had wanted to force any major new development to ensure at least 10% of energy was from renewable sources. But when the Department for Communities and Local Government sent back the latest version of the RSS last month the assembly discovered civil servants had drawn a line through the measures designed to tackle climate change.
Green Building 18th March 2008
Passionate pupils at a secondary school in Plymstock have called for two wind turbines to be built next to one of their classrooms.
Plymouth Herald 18th March 2008
The guidance requires local planning authorities rapidly to set targets for the achievement of renewable energy usage in all new developments. Much of the North-East is already covered by a blanket requirement seeking at least ten per cent provision of renewable energy on major schemes. As local authorities progress their Local Development Frameworks, this might increase.
Northern Echo 18th March 2008
CONSTRUCTION work to create one of the country's greenest schools has entered its second phase. The school will incorporate 21st century features such as woodchip burning boilers, solar and wind power, rain water recycling, recycled building materials and low energy usage.
Dorset Echo 18th March 2008
Northumberland County Council's own 'Northumberland Renewable Energy Group' was shortlisted in the ShiNE Awards – organised by the Association of North East Councils, recognising the achievements, performance and improvement of the region's 25 councils and four fire and rescue services since July 2005.
News Post Leader 18th March 2008
Energy Saving Boom
An Ilkeston firm which offers energy-saving audits for companies has reported that business is booming - thanks to a growing number of organisations wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
Derbyshire Evening Telegraph 18th March 2008
Low carbon budget
We run through the detail of Alistair Darling's speech last week and find plenty of activity being progressed in Whitehall to encourage and legislate low carbon buildings.
Building 17th March 2008
Manchester Turbine on Hold
A PLAN to power Manchester City's football stadium entirely by wind energy has been put on hold - and there are fears it may have to be scrapped altogether.
Manchester Evening News 17th March 2008
PLANS to build giant wind turbines at beauty spots in Oxford are expected to take a step forward today. Senior councillors are being asked to give the go-ahead to a serious study into whether giant wind turbines could be built on land close to a Golf Club and Park.
Oxford Herald 17th March 2008
East Anglian carbon initiative
Green community groups or individuals actively cutting their carbon emissions in East Anglia are being invited to compete for a share of £2.5m to progress their work. The competition is part of a three-year Cut your Carbon initiative launched today by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).
East Anglian Daily Press 17th March 2008
A Lib Dem motion on fuel poverty, calling
on the government to consider introducing a local tax rebate as an incentive
for householders to invest in energy efficiency and changes to planning rules
to make it easier to install small scale renewable energy devices, was backed
BBC 16th March 2008
In the UK, energy suppliers have stepped-up their efforts to offer fair prices to customers wanting to sell electricity generated from household microgeneration units, according to a report by the power regulator Ofgem to the UK Government. A variety of units such as roof-top wind turbines or solar panels can be used to generate electricity in the home. The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act, which became law in 2006, requires suppliers to set up arrangements to buy back any surplus electricity that customers would want to sell.
EnviroSolutions 16th March 2008
THE Good Energy Group, based in Wiltshire, offers proof that helping consumers and firms to reduce their energy consumption and generate renewable energy offers significant growth opportunities. The firm provides electricity generated by renewable means to homes and businesses, helps customers to install their own renewable power generation facilities and fits energy-saving equipment. Last year, sales reached £13m, serving 1,600 businesses and 24,000 domestic customers.
Sunday Times 16th March 2008
M&S hunt for turbine sites
Not content with asking suppliers to help share the pain of keeping down costs to customers, Marks & Spencer is looking for farmers to put wind turbines on their land to help the group meet its target of being carbon-neutral by 2012.
This is money 16th March 2008
Farmers Guardian 17th March 2008
The Ground Source Heat Pump Association and Mining Communications Ltd, publishers of GeoDrilling International, are organising a major Conference and Exhibition, Geothermal Live!, as part of the GeoDrilling event being held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on 30th April and 1st May. The event will be an excellent opportunity for architects, building service specifiers, developers, energy managers, local authorities, designers, drillers and industry members to share best practice and experience and hear from some major players about the regulations and initiatives that impact on the ground source heat pump industry. Speakers include major organisations such as Defra, the Environment Agency, Micropower Council, Arup, E.ON, the Institute of Domestic Heating and Environmental Engineers plus many more.
Farming UK 14th March 2008
PORRIDGE makers Scott's are going green by turning leftover oats into energy.
Daily Record 14th March 2008
GROUNDBREAKING plans for a giant wind turbine at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been submitted to West Norfolk Council.
Lynn News 14th March 2008
St Colmcille's Primary School in Claudy will be ordering its energy sunny side up from now on! The environmentally aware school is celebrating the completion of its latest energy project, having installed solar photovoltaic panels (PV) on the south facing roof at the back of the school. The 10kWp system, which was funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) through the Northern Ireland Programme for Building Sustainable Prosperity (BSP), Northern Ireland Electricity’s Smart programme and the Southern Education and Library Board, will produce around 8000 units of electricity each year, a saving of up to £800 on the school’s energy bills.
Derry Journal 14th March 2008
Zero carbon exhibition
WITH the government's code for Sustainable Housing aiming for all new houses built from 2016 onwards to be carbon neutral, house builders and designers have less than eight years to grapple with the technologies that will make this possible. One of the best places to find out what new green building products and services are available and how they can be cost-effectively integrated into building projects will be The Eco Homes Show, part of The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the NEC from April 10-13.
North Tyneside News Guardian 14th March 2008
The alternative and renewable energy sector has been given a boost by a new government initiative that makes it easier for homeowners to install microgeneration equipment.
England’s Northwest 14th March 2008
Yes2Wind 14th March 2008
Green Consumer Guide 14th March 2008
eGov Monitor 14th March 2008
Green Builder 14th March 2008
Low carbon Southwest
Five large housing schemes are set to be among the ‘greenest' developments in South West England, after winning the region's first low-carbon housing competition. The ambitious developments - in Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Cheltenham, and Swindon - were selected from 15 entries from across the region and will get up to 20 days of dedicated and specialist support from Regen SW, the south west's renewable energy agency, to help make the most of their CO2 saving potential.
Regen SW 14th March 2008
SOLAR POWER could be used to heat the Aquatics Centre at the 2012 Olympics.
Inside the Games 14th March 2008