week ending 20 June 2008
Presentations on low carbon buildings and microgeneration made at the Aberdeen All-Energy Conference on 21st May 2008 are now available.
All-Energy08 more >>
A NEW wind turbine has been built next to Maryport’s new Wave centre. The 65ft turbine, with vertical blades, is the only one of its kind in Cumbria.
Cumbrian Times and Star 20th June 2008 more >>
Popular Heat Pumps
People, understandably, want to know they are getting predictable, reliable energy before making the investment, which is why one of the most popular microrenewables for Scottish consumers is the ground source heat pump (GHSP). The Energy Saving Trust Scotland (EST) reports that they are the second most favoured form of microrenewable available, after solar hot water heating.
Herald 20th June 2008 more >>
Soaring energy prices could leave more than six million households struggling to pay their fuel bills by Christmas - the so-called fuel poverty trap - leaving in tatters government promises to eradicate the problem for the vulnerable by 2010.
Times 20th June 2008 more >>
Sustainable Construction Merchant
Wolseley, the leading distributor of construction materials, has opened a national showcase for sustainable building products and construction methods, which aims to accelerate the UK’s move to sustainable construction. The Center showcases a wide range of different types of product, many in their working environment, to provide visitors with hard data on the quantifiable benefits of the latest materials and construction methods. Renewable energy generators, such as solar panels, have been installed with a display showing the amount of power they are generating. The building itself features 170 types of products, including: photovoltaics; micro wind; sedum roof; e-glazing; natural lighting; natural insulation; green floor coverings; mini Combined Heat and Power (CHP); rainwater harvesting; biomass; ground source heat pump; engineered timber; low energy lighting; water saving devices; solar thermal; and sustainable drainage.
What’s New In Building 19th June 2008 more >>
Greenpeace CHP Report
Industries across the UK could generate as much electricity as 10 nuclear power stations and halve gas imports by installing or extending plants that generate energy while using the waste heat to warm local buildings. A report by P yry Energy Consulting, commissioned by Greenpeace, analysing the UK’s potential for combined heat and power units – which capture the heat from the electricity generation process and recycle it – found nine sites where CHP could be applied or extended.
FT 19th June 2008 more >>
The energy produced by power plants that provide both heat and electricity could be almost tripled in the UK, according to an analysis of nine industrial sites. So-called combined heat and power (CHP) plants are far more efficient than conventional power stations because they harness heat that is normally wasted, by piping it to industrial or domestic users. The report was written by P yry Energy Consulting for Greenpeace, and the additional CHP energy generation it suggests is feasible on the nine sites is equivalent to the energy needs of more than two-thirds of UK homes and half the nation’s natural gas imports. Currently 5.5GW of electricity is produced by CHP plants, but the new report suggests there could be up to 16GW more, the equivalent of 8 nuclear power stations.
Guardian website 19th June 2008 more >>
Securing Power: Poyry report for Greenpeace: Summary. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/climate/industrialCHP_summary.pdf
A NORTH Norfolk bookshop is in line to win a national retail award for its environmental work. One of the bookshop’s most important features is its 6kW wind turbine, which has been supplying the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre with green power for over nine years.
The Advertiser 19th June 2008 more >>
An innovative web-based system aimed at monitoring the real-time performance of renewable systems has been unveiled in Merton and could eventually be rolled out across the whole capital. The system was unveiled at a special conference called The Merton Rule: Building a Zero Carbon Future. Adrian Hewitt, former principal environment officer at Merton and now associate partner at consultancy Metropolis Green, has been working on the project, which aims to link energy monitoring with geographical information systems.
H&V News 19th June 2008 more >>
Reducing dairy farm energy consumption and small scale on-farm energy production are the hot topics for discussion at two open events in Cornwall this month.
South West Farmer 19th June 2008 more >>
Residents in Nailsea will get the chance to have a close-up view of what the town’s new £30 million school will look like. The school will partly run on renewable energy and have a woodchip biomass boiler and solar panels to heat the water.
Bristol Evening Post 19th June 2008 more >>
Under pressure from the housebuilders’ lobby, the planned zero-carbon standards are being relaxed. It seems that the Government is no longer attempting to introduce best practice. But the biggest failing is that in areas where there is no existing energy or water infrastructure, the Government and developers insist on bringing in mains power from the national grid, and that water and sewage disposal should also be provided in the normal way.
Times 19th June 2008 more >>
Build your own.
Self-build gives you the perfect opportunity to show off your green credentials, and it is cheaper to implement many eco-friendly schemes from scratch rather than adding them to an existing property. Favourite measures include installing solar panels, heat pumps, underfloor heating, biomass boilers and wind turbines.
Guardian 19th June 2008 more >>
Business Rates Rebates
Firms that “green” their premises with energy-saving improvements should be offered a rebate or reduced bill, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says. He says he could see the “green” business rate working in the same way as some councils give rebates to families who insulate their homes.
BBC 19th June 2008 more >>
“Our system costs half as much as quota systems such as you have in the UK and Italy and is much more effective,” said the German deputy environment minister, Matthias Machnig, during a visit to London today. “I have the figures.” The German FIT had added no more than 5% to energy bills and cost about 4.4bn in 2006, he said. It also saved 140m tonnes of carbon last year, he added. UK trade minister Digby Jones recently dismissed the FIT as “too expensive and too bureaucratic”. But, said Machnig: “The cost is equivalent to less than 2 a month for the average family. This is not all that much.”
Guardian 19th June 2008 more >>
A GROUND-BREAKING wind turbine planned for a Finsbury tower block has been delayed because of an error by the manufacturers. The 30ft high turbine was due to be erected on the roof of Kestrel House, off City Road, last month. But here is still no sign of it, because Islington Council’s flagship eco-structure did not fit.
Islington Gazette 18th June 2008 more >>
Britain is struggling to meet its own ‘woefully inadequate’ targets for producing renewable energy, say MPs. We are ‘highly unlikely’ to be able to get ten per cent of our electricity from green sources by 2010. And this ‘lack of urgency’ means that there is little chance of attaining the EU goal of meeting all energy needs – including for transport and heating – from renewable sources by 2020. However, complex funding arrangements, skill shortages and lengthy waits for planning consent hampered green technology, said the Innovation, Univer-sities, Science and Skills committee.
Metro 18th June 2008 more >>
BBC 19th June 2008 more >>
Ministers should start by amending the Energy Bill to guarantee a premium payment to homes, businesses and communities that generate green energy. Small-scale renewable energy systems could supply up to 40 per cent of UK electricity - but financial help is needed to make this happen.
FoE Press Release 19th June 2008 more >>
Renewables Advisory Board
The Renewables Advisory Board has reported that the UK could generate 14% of its total energy from renewables by 2020 if a set of identified radical policy changes are put into effect quickly. These would include a 30% increase in energy production from renewables in the built environment sector. This would need to be retrofitted to existing stock, and would probably require installation of district-wide heat networks.
A2Media 18th June 2008 more >>
Business Green 18th June 2008 more >>
2020 Vision: How the UK can meet its target of 15% renewable energy. Renewable Advisory Board, June 2008. http://www.renewables-advisory-board.org.uk/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=136
Zero Carbon Schools Taskforce
Schools minister Ed Balls has launched a working group to examine how to make sure schools in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme produce no carbon emissions. “Current technology makes zero carbon schools expensive and challenging to install,” he said, “but the fact is that we have a clear moral responsibility to future generations to make it happen.”
Public Private Finance 18th June 2008 more >>
BRAUNTON School has joined the solar revolution after switching on £20,000 worth of rooftop panels thanks to a grant from the Co-operative Group. The 24 photovoltaic panels should generate around 3,300 kilowatt hours of electricity each year - enough to power a school computer for 33,000 hours or to make 180,000 cups of tea for thirsty teachers - saving some two tonnes of carbon dioxide.
North Devon Gazette 18th June 2008 more >>
A Keith Primary School has installed a wind turbine and solar panel.
Press & Journal 18th June 2008 more >>
Bristol does a Merton
Tough new eco-housing standards are set to be imposed on developers in Bristol. From next year they could have to provide at least 20 per cent renewable energy facilities in all new housing developments - however small. And building firms have warned it could mean fewer houses are built - at a time when the Government is raising house-building targets - because of higher construction costs.
Bristol Evening Post 18th June 2008 more >>
A showcase for Scotland’s “homes of the future”, harnessing nature and fit for the effects of climate change, will be created within one of Europe’s largest regeneration sites. Following a successful pilot south of the border, which included a house built by Channel 4’s Grand Designs team, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) will establish a Scottish innovation park on the site of the former Ravenscraig Steelworks in North Lanarkshire. Houses built on the five-acre site would be expected to develop technologies such as wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery systems, and recycled waste timber.
Herald 17th June 2008 more >>
Wishaw Press 18th June 2008 more >>
Eco-towns are expected to be carbon-neutral, but the Government has bowed to developers’ concerns that the highest criteria (Level 6) for zero-carbon homes could add £30,000 to building costs. Caroline Flint, the Housing Minister, told The Times yesterday that, until 2016, the new homes could be built at the much lower Level 3, provided that this was balanced by other energy reducing measures. “We are in negotiations with developers and hope many of them will go further,” she said.
Times 17th June 2008 more >>
Second Wave for Solar
Evolve Energy founder Gary Parke predicts there’ll be a “second wave” of solar energy technology in the next couple of years that will be more economical.
Real Business 17th June 2008 more >>
PLANNERS have given the green light for a ‘green’ energy generator at Beckton. Renewable energy company Blue-NG will use a new form of combined heat and power plant fuelled by vegetable oil.
Newham Recorder 17th June 2008 more >>
A Free workshop will show people how to create their own electricity at home. Topics covered will include solar electricity, solar hot water, wind turbines, home-built and off-grid systems.
Nottingham Evening Post 17th June 2008 more >>
Notts Renewable Centre
Notts business is to receive £140,000 to help build a Centre of Renewable Energy. Strawsons Energy, a subsidiary of family-run businesses G. D. Strawson, has been awarded the cash by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA). The cash will contribute to the £826k cost of the centre in East Drayton, near Retford.
Nottingham Evening Post 17th June 2008 more >>
Norfolk School Turbine
PLANS for a wind turbine at Fakenham High School looks set to get the go-ahead from planners on Thursday. The school wants to erect the 15-metre high turbine to the south of its buildings in Field Lane to help educate students on the environment.
Lynn News 17th June 2008 more >>
Co-op Hydro Cash
THE Co-Operative Group has pledged to invest around £100,000 in community-led renewable energy projects in the north west this year. On the back of the group’s £45,000 investment in Torrs Hydro, in New Mills in Derbyshire, the Co-Operative now intends to invest a further £50,000 in a similar scheme. The group is awarding the money to Water Power Enterprises (H2OPE) - a Todmorden-based hydropower developer - for a state-of-the-art scheme on the River Goyt, which runs between Derbyshire and Cheshire.
Manchester Evening News 17th June 2008 more >>
Homeowners could be told how much gas and electricity their neighbours use, under green plans unveiled by David Cameron today. The Tory leader said information could be included on bills showing families the average consumption of homes of similar size and age. He said he would not be diverted from his environmental agenda by the economic downturn, insisting that record oil prices showed Britain ‘can’t afford not to go green’. Mr Cameron said: ‘Research in America shows that if we find out our neighbours, or households similar to ours, are using half as much energy as we are, then we’re much more likely to bring our own consumption down in line.’
Daily Mail 17th June 2008 more >>
It has a wind turbine, generates its own electricity and is working on producing a rainwater harvesting system. But it’s not a conservation centre. It’s a primary and junior school.
Guardian 17th June 2008 more >>
Eco-Warriors of York
YOUNG eco-warriors at two York schools have secured £20,000 in cash after scooping a national climate change award. One Primary School beat 28 other schools from Norwich, York and Perth by reducing their school’s carbon footprint by an impressive 26 per cent and have won £10,000, provided by Norwich Union, to pay for a renewable energy installation. A Junior School scooped another £10,000 by gathering nearly 1,000 pledges from their friends and family, committing to take action to reduce their personal impact on the environment.
York Press 16th June 2008 more >>
Islanders on Tiree are a step closer to harnessing renewable energy after the Community Development Trust was awarded lottery money for a wind turbine.
Press & Journal 16th June 2008 more >>
Soaring oil prices have led to such a boom for solar power that the industry could operate without subsidies in just a few years, according to industry leaders. At the solar industry trade fair in Munich over the weekend, there was growing confidence that the holy grail known as “grid parity” - whereby electricity from the sun can be produced as cheaply as it can be bought from the grid - is now just a few years away. Solar photovoltaics (PV), which convert sunlight into electrical power, have long been dismissed as too expensive to make a meaningful contribution to the battle against climate change. But costs are falling as PV production booms, and with electricity prices rising rapidly in line with soaring oil and gas prices, demand for solar panels is increasing sharply.
Guardian 16th June 2008 more >>
CLINTON Devon Estates is celebrating receiving a third award for its environmentally-friendly new headquarters at Bicton. The new office has a host of environmentally friendly features, including a woodchip boiler - uncommon in a commercial setting - which provides renewable energy to efficiently heat the building in a sustainable fashion by using timber from local woodlands. A wind turbine, to produce all the office’s electricity needs, is being trialled in the parkland prior to a planned installation later in the year. Air conditioning has been replaced with a passive cooling system and designers have ensured minimal use of artificial lights by making the most of natural daylight.
Exmouth Journal 16th June 2008 more >>
Next year the college is planning to introduce more savings, including installing renewable energy sources, and will be seeking advice and funding to support its programme of measures.
Exeter Express & Echo 14th June 2008 more >>
A couple of miles out into the countryside from Huddersfield is Highburton and here the villagers are the first in the UK to take advantage of new legislation which has resulted in the installation of solar panels on Burton Village Hall, originally a Victorian school. Funding has come from the Kirkburton Parish Council which has voted for an annual budget of £10,000 to fund the installation of renewable technology and energy conservation measures in community buildings.
Yorkshire Post 13th June 2008 more >>