Currie High wind
week ending 25 July 2008
Wind blows away school bills
One of Britain’s most windswept schools has taken advantage of its position on an exposed Cornish headland to reduce its electricity bills by up to 90 per cent.
Times 25th July 2008 more >>
“Cow power” generated from livestock manure could provide up to 3% of North America’s electricity needs and lead to a significant cut in greenhouse gas emissions, scientists have claimed.
Channel 4 News 24th July 2008 more >>
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) to make renewable methane is now the UK government’s favoured technology for treating food and other organic waste. The most efficient use for renewable natural gas, such as biomethane is achieved by using the UK’s extensive gas network. It appears likely that, as a result of lobbying from National Grid, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and a few like-minded waste management professionals; biomethane injected into the gas network will receive financial reward to recognise its greater environmental benefit.
Recycling and Waste World 24th July 2008 more >>
Timber Frame Houses
The countdown to zero carbon has begun. Stewart Dalgarno, Chairman of the UK Timber Frame Association, explains why timber frame is the eco-builder’s solution to help tackle climate change.
Public Service 24th July 2008 more >>
ENVIRONMENTALLY aware Norfolk campsite Kelling Heath has invested £180,000 in renewable power to service facilities for touring caravans and motorhomes.
Out and about live 24th July 2008 more >>
Isle of Wight Grants
FARMERS, foresters, rural businesses and community groups on the Isle of Wight will soon be able to apply for a share of new cash grant from the government. The South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) has awarded ‘Leader’ funding to the Isle of Wight Local Action group, which can hand out grants of up to £50,000 to help support local communities and businesses. The cash can pay for a wide variety of activities including renewable energy projects.
Isle of Wight County Press 24th July 2008 more >>
Norfolk Solar Grants
Broadland District Council is launching a new initiative to help residents on low incomes to install solar water heating systems. The scheme will help residents cut their energy bills and will also contribute to the Council’s drive to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the district.
Broadland District Council 24th July 2008 more >>
Wind-powered car factory
In a surprising U turn South Norfolk District council approved Ecotricity’s application to build three wind turbines at Lotus’s car factory in Hethel. The Council had turned the same application down earlier in this year and looked sure to turn it down again and force an appeal – but, by just one vote, the application was approved. The turbines are to be sited inside the test track at Lotus’s factory (an industrial site), which sits in a part of the district that the Council themselves had said was suitable for up to 6 wind turbines. The original refusal didn’t make much sense given that and the outcome at appeal looked pretty certain.
Ecotricity 24th July 2008 more >>
Honda has sold over 45,000 of its Freewatt micro-CHP home heater/generators in Japan. The generator uses a very quiet, natural gas powered, internal combustion engine that has the usual 20% efficiency. The unit is installed in place of your furnace and runs only when heat is needed. When it is running, it puts out 1200 watts of electrical power to run your meter backwards. The 80% “wasted heat” works just fine as a furnace to heat your home!
Renewable Energy World 24th July 2008 more >>
Freewatt Press Release 3rd April 2007 more >>
The decision by the French and Italian governments to offer more attractive feed-in tariffs to companies that install solar technologies that are integrated into the roof of a building has led to booming demand for such systems, which is threatening to outstrip supply.
Business Green 23rd July 2008 more >>
Councils must have Renewable Targets
The government must impose clear renewable energy targets on local authorities if it is to free up the planning log jam afflicting many renewables projects and ensure the EU’s target of generating 15 per cent of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020 is met. That is the stark warning, from Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the sustainable energy agency for the south west of England, who this week argued that while the project approval rate in the region had improved, more needed to be done to speed up the planning process if EU targets are to be met.
Business Green 23rd July 2008 more >>
Peter Thom, the outgoing president of the Institute of Domestic Heating and Environmental Engineers has hit out at the Government for “fragmented thinking” on renewables. Mr Thom said concerns he raised two years such as rising fuel prices, lack of encouragement to replace old boilers, and the challenge to educate installers and householders about renewable energy and microgeneration remained very much on the agenda.
H&V News 23rd July 2008 more >>
Energy saving should be subject to binding targets, and individual targets should be set for renewably produced heat, transport and electrical energy by 2020, according to a joint manifesto published by a range of industry bodies recently. The coalition, put together by the Renewable Energy Association and the RSA energy, launched the manifesto, signed by over 20 non-government organisations and professional bodies, which demands urgent changes in government policy in order that the UK’s targets are not missed. 2010, it says, will be too late to begin tackling the target.
Green Builder 23rd July 2008 more >>
A LONDONDERRY cafe owner has urged other businesses in the city to go green after making the switch to renewable energy. Cafe Zest, housed in the award winning eco friendly Fountain House on the Waterside’s Spencer Road, now utilises renewable power supplied by Eirtiricity, a company that use wind and hydro power to generate electricity.
Londonderry Sentinel 23rd July 2008 more >>
Whitehall Missing Targets
This week’s environmental audit select committee report on the sustainability of government operations does not make for happy reading. Departments are criticised for making slow progress on reducing energy use and improving renewable power generation, and there are suggestions of a certain slyness in their handling of figures. The government has a target of reducing its departments’ and agencies’ emissions by 12.5 per cent over ten years, but after eight years it has only managed a 4 per cent cut; meanwhile, the stated aim of making Whitehall zero carbon by 2012 is now clearly out of reach.
Whitehall & Westminster World 22nd July 2008 more >>
Zero Carbon will cost
Achieving Code level six will add £47,000 to the budget for a new house, new figures released by the government yesterday claim. The high price tag would take a single, Part L 2006 compliant detached house in a high flood risk area (the so-called “worst-case scenario”) up to zero-carbon level. The new analysis also estimates cost for several different dwelling types in a variety of development scenarios, from “best case” to “worst case”. For instance, the cheapest option, bringing a flat in an urban regeneration zone with low flood risk and low environmental value up to level six, would cost £19,000.
Building 22nd July 2008 more >>
The team behind the trial of a new urban wind turbine in Elephant & Castle, south London, has revealed initial results for the unit’s performance which were “less than anticipated”.
Building 22nd July 2008 more >>
But Southwark council is still considering a large scale wind turbine installation at Elephant and Castle. The news comes despite tests showing that a 6kW Proven model on nearby Ashended House produced less than half of its predicted energy output during a six-month trial.
Building 24th July 2008 more >>
CARDIFF headquartered solar energy venture G24 Innovations (G24i) has secured another multi-million pound investment round as it focuses on commercialising its technology. The company has confirmed it has raised a further $30 million through an investment by the renewable and alternative energy fund, 4RAE.
Wales Online 22nd July 2008 more >>
“Smart” homes that will be virtually self-sufficient in energy are to be made commercially available in Barcelona and Paris next year. As well as tried and tested technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels, the homes will use energy management systems that can, for example, use sensors to work out where people are in a house and adjust heating and lighting accordingly. The project will be coordinated by the Smart Energy Home consortium, a collaboration of university researchers, chemical companies and construction companies. The group also has plans to build smart homes in Warsaw and Berlin, and a UK project is being discussed.
Guardian 22nd July 2008 more >>
Contract Journal 22nd July 2008 more >>
New Community accommodation and other improvements are desperately needed at Lee Abbey in the Valley of Rocks, Lynton, and the Christian community who reside there have launched its Towards Tomorrow appeal to make their vision for the site a reality. As part of this build we are investigating the use of renewable energy sources which will include a hydro-electric scheme involving our stream, solar energy and the use of a wood chip boiler to name but a few.
North Devon Gazette 21st July 2008 more >>
Devon County Council’s pioneering Renewable Energy for Devon (RE4D) scheme has been praised in the 2008 Annual Survey of Renewable Energy in the South West published this week. The report by Regen South West states: “The increase in micro renewable installations is particularly noticeable in Devon and Cornwall, where local agencies Renewable Energy for Devon and Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership (CSEP) have run support programmes that appear to be making a real impact.”
Devon County Council 21st July 2008 more >>
Exmouth Journal 22nd July 2008 more >>
BT’s Ipswich Plans
AMBITIOUS proposals to transform BT’s Martlesham Heath site with more than 1,000 new homes today look set to be agreed by community leaders. It would include a renewable energy plant.
Suffolk Evening Star 21st July 2008 more >>
Nottingham Energy Partnership
The Nottingham Energy Partnership is in the latter stages of the £1m Big Green Challenge - a competition in which community groups to compete to cut carbon emissions. The Nottingham partnership has designed a 0%-interest finance scheme called Meadows Ozone Green Loans, which can be used for energy-efficiency improvements. It is also working on other projects, including a local energy company selling green electricity from a 330kW wind turbine. Ten finalists will be announced in September 2008.
Nottingham Evening Post 21st July 2008 more >>
Wear Valley Solar
Dale and Valley Homes have begun a programme of works to selected properties to install solar panels into properties in Rookhope, Billy Row and Witton-le-Wear. The programme is proving very successful and the Arms Length Management Organisation, in charge of the council’s 4,297 council houses, are hoping more tenants will sign up to the scheme.
Wear Valley District Council 21st July 2008 more >>
Tesco will use straw to meet the electricity and heating needs of its Goole Distribution Centre. Tesco has been given the go ahead to build Britain’s first ever straw-powered Combined Heat and Power plant, which will generate 5MW of electrical power – enough energy to run eight Tesco Superstores. All excess electricity will be sold back to the grid.
Green Building 21st July 2008 more >>
Andrew Cooper, head of on-site renewables at the Renewable Energy Association, said more people would turn to renewable energy as an independent report warned that gas prices could rise by 70%. But he said the Government needed to help prepare the industry.
Scotland on Sunday 20th July 2008 more >>
View from Newcastle
Some countries are developing localised renewable energy power and heating schemes for communities, but the norm in the UK is still individual gas or oil-fired central heating systems. Alternative technologies are becoming increasingly viable with ground source or air source heat pumps, solar water heating panels, photovoltaic electricity panels (the high capital cost probably makes these unviable for private homes, although news from the US promises designs that are 10 times as efficient), micro wind turbines and even micro combined heat and power systems.
Newcastle Journal 19th July 2008 more >>
South East Grants
A £27m grant is being distributed among rural businesses in the South East by the region’s development agency. Farmers, foresters, growers and other rural enterprises will receive funds handed out by local action groups. Cash can be used to promote projects such as local produce, renewable energy and tourism, said the South East England Development Agency (Seeda).
BBC 19th July 2008 more >>
Highland Wind Co-op
An offer to own shares in a 16-turbine wind farm at Glenmoriston in the Highlands has raised £324,250 in the past three weeks. The Great Glen Energy Co-op was opened to people living in an area stretching from Fort William to Inverness.
BBC 18th July 2008 more >>
Biomass CHP for Fife
A £100m biomass heat and electricity power station is to be built at a paper-making factory in Fife. The new facility - at Tullis Russell in Markinch - will replace the company’s existing coal-fired system and will significantly reduce carbon emissions.
BBC 18th July 2008 more >>
Dundee Courier 19th July 2008 more >>
Halifax Council Offices
Revised plans for the development of hotel and council offices has been given permission provided it includes renewable energy.
Yorkshire Post 18th July 2008 more >>
A HOTEL that was blowing a fuse has solved its power problems with renewable energy. Battlesteads Country Inn and Restaurant at Wark on Tyne, near Hexham, has installed a woodchip boiler after difficulties with its electricity supply.
Newcastle Journal 18th July 2008 more >>