week ending 28 November 2008
Zero Carbon Failure
A £15 million project to build hundreds of new zero-carbon homes has fallen flat after only 15 qualified in the first year. Gordon Brown’s scheme, which he championed in his last Pre-Budget Report as Chancellor, has failed because the Government’s specification for a zero-carbon home is not practical, the building industry says. In November 2006 Mr Brown said he would waive stamp duty for new zero-carbon houses, giving buyers savings of about £15,000. This was extended to flats and maisonettes in last year’s Budget.
Times 28th Nov 2008 more >>
PRASEG Wind Forum Launch: Small scale wind: supporting a world leading UK industry, 10th December, 9am, Committee Room 7 House of Commons.
Praseg 27th Nov 2008 more >>
In the next 12 years there will have to be a tenfold increase in renewable energy production if the government is to fulfil its promises. This provides a massive opportunity for farmers. On-farm energy production can stabilise energy costs, provide a diversification income and is a way to demonstrate that farmers are working to reduce their carbon footprint.
Farmers Weekly 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Ceres Power launch 2011
Ceres Power has announced it remains on course to launch its fuel cell based micro-Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) product onto the mass market by 2011. The company confirmed this week it has successfully designed and built a 1kW micro-CHP product based on fuel cell technology under the ‘Alpha’ phase of a development programme agreed with British Gas.
H&V News 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Disenco goes to America
Disenco Energy plc, a UK-based provider of highly-efficient micro-combined heat and power (m-CHP) appliances, today announces that it has entered into an agreement with a Canadian investment group called the Hunter Group covering the manufacture and commercialization of its energy-saving appliances in North American markets.
Newswire 27th Nov 2008 more >>
A Reading engineering firm has been named the most promising new small business in the UK. Photon Energy Ltd, which designs and installs small-scale renewable energy systems, picked up the prestigious title at the British Small Business Champions 2008 (BSBC), organised by the Federation of Small Businesses.
Wokingham Times 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Feed-in Tariffs are Go
Domestic energy assessors will be able to tell consumers that any microgeneration devices they install will in future earn them payments per unit of electricity above the market rate. This is as a result of an amendment to the Energy Bill which called for the introduction of feed-in tariffs for small scheme renewable generation installations such as wind turbines and photovoltaic solar panels.
DEA Direct 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Western Morning News 26th Nov 2008 more >>
First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin panels, claims that its products will generate electricity in sunny countries as cheaply as large power stations by 2012.
Guardian 27th Nov 2008 more >>
The housing minister this morning launched a prospectus designed to help create the country’s first eco-region in the Thames Gateway. The document, launched by Margaret Beckett at the Thames Gateway Forum this morning, sets out the government’s vision for turning the Gateway into an exemplar of low-carbon development.
Building 26th Nov 2008 more >>
SWANSEA Council is taking steps to help householders reduce their utility bills while cutting their carbon footprint at the same time.
Swansea Council 26th Nov 2008 more >>
The good news is that the government has finally introduced a power in the bill to create feed-in tariffs. Yet collective blood pressure is still high, as the concession is too vague to offer certainty that they will be set up within the next two years, or introduced in a workable form. The power is deliberately broad to give officials space to work out the details later.
Guardian 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) could help combat investment uncertainty caused by the Citiworks case earlier this year – according to a legal adviser to leading property developers. The original case followed a challenge by energy company Citiworks to monopoly supply arrangements at Leipzig airport based on a private wire system. The European Court of Justice ruled against the German law which allowed, in some cases, monopolies for onsite energy providers. It said the prevention of third-party access breached European law. Since then the UK Government has been reviewing its policy on decentralised energy schemes and is still to release updated guidance.
H&V News 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Moves towards sustainable energy in the UK are being hampered by old ways of thinking according to a major new report published today by Foresight, the Government’s futures think tank. The study ‘Powering Our Lives: Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment’ looks at how the country’s buildings and spaces will need to evolve to help cut carbon emissions. Its proposals include: Decentralised energy which can mean a solar hot water panel on a house, a combined heat and power system for a block of flats, or a larger power plant in a city centre or a rural area. The report calls for the provision of more varied, decentralised energy options to expand the use of renewable energy.
Dept for Innovation, Universities and Skills 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Green Building 27th Nov 2008 more >>
Boris Johnson, the London mayor, is examining ways of installing insulation in millions of Londoners’ homes at no upfront cost. The scheme his advisers are looking at is based on that run by the borough of Kirklees in Yorkshire which aims to make tackling climate change extremely easy – to the extent that people come round and empty your attic so that the insulation can be installed. Kirklees has also installed renewable energy, such as solar panels, solar roofs and ground source heat pumps for its council tax payers at no upfront cost. The scheme is paid for by an interest free loan on people’s homes, paid back when they sell them.
Telegraph 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Combined Heat and Power plants will deliver 25 per cent of London’s energy locally by 2025, Boris Johnson said in his flagship speech on the environment today.
Business Green 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Ed Miliband has used his first speech as climate change and energy secretary to call on prisons, schools and hospitals to generate more renewable energy. Speaking to the Environment Agency yesterday, Miliband said the public sector, which accounts for 10% of land in the UK, should be contributing more than the 1% of renewable energy it now generates.
Guardian 26th Nov 2008 more >>
H&V News 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Crunch Energy Boom
Incentives for companies to install renewable energy systems are also driving business for Mitie, which has partnerships with micro-wind turbine manufacturers Quiet Revolution and Proven Energy. Customers looking to harness the environmental and financial benefits of wind power include celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, for whom Mitie has installed a Proven turbine at River Cottage near Bridport in Dorset.
Western Daily Press 26th Nov 2008 more >>
Beccles Tesco Turbine
A mini wind turbine could be built at Tesco in Beccles, which bosses say would promote green energy to shoppers and cut energy costs. The company wants to build a 10.6m high wind turbine near the entrance of the main area of the car park.
East Anglian Daily Press 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Beccles & Bungay Journal 26th Nov 2008 more >>
A PIONEERING scheme to tackle fuel poverty and give people the chance to cut their heating bills has been launched. Eastbourne Borough Council, along with its local authority counterparts in Rother, Hastings and Wealden, will be providing grants for home insulation and renewable energy.
Eastbourne Herald 25th Nov 2008 more >>
More Micro-CHP field trials
Disenco is about to begin field trials of its micro-CHP boiler.
Engineer 25th Nov 2008 more >>
The government should be doing more; there is a huge quantity of housing stock which if climate change is going to be taken seriously has to be adapted. I welcome the money put aside for insulation but I’d like to see more done about micro-generation.
Telegraph 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Alistair Darling announced an extra £100m to help tens of thousands of families insulate their homes and brought forward another £50m, which together will help 60,000 households cut their fuel bills.
Lowestoft Advertiser 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Beyond the increased spending on home insulation and rail and extension to the RO, calls for a Green New Deal appear to have been largely rejected by a UK Treasury already facing criticism over the government’s soaring borrowing levels.
Enviro Solutions 26th Nov 2008 more >>
ASDA may have to shelve a plan to go green after locals objected to the supermarket giant’s proposal to build a 60ft wind turbine in the car park of a Scottish store.
Daily Express 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Halifax Primary School
The school has a wind turbine, eight organic allotments, a full recycling programme and plans for solar panels on its roof.
Halifax Courier 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Plymouth School Turbines
A SCHOOL has won its battle to build two controversial wind turbines. Coombe Dean School in Plymstock was refused permission for the turbines at a Plymouth City Council planning committee meeting in July. The school immediately launched an appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Headteacher Pattrick Frean said: “We have ordered two turbines and hope to install them during the February half term.”
Plymouth Herald 25th Nov 2008 more >>
Hockerton Housing Project
Since moving in 1998, our earth-sheltered home has used less than £10 on space heating, whilst never going below 18degrees C. Overall we only use 10% of the energy we used in our previous cottage, and most of that we meet with wind and solar power .a huge testimony to the insight of designers!
Green Building 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced the allocation of an additional £100 million fund for home insulation in today’s pre budget report. This will create thousands of jobs in the construction industry by insulating houses in the social and private sectors.
Green Building 24th Nov 2008 more >>
The chancellor Alistair Darling has today resisted calls from some of his cabinet colleagues to launch a “green new deal” as part of his Pre-Budget Report to help stimulate the economy, but has pledged to bolster spending on energy efficiency and the rail network, while extending incentives for renewable energy projects.
Business Green 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Renewable Street Lighting
GREEN-LOVING Dartington Hall is planning to light up the medieval estate using the wind and the sun. Dartington Hall Trust bosses are aiming to become the first in the UK to combine a system of wind and solar power to run the street lighting on the 1,200 acre estate. The estate already has three new wind and sun powered LED street lamps waiting to be assembled so it can launch the energy saving experiment.
Plymouth Herald 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Tunbridge Wells Refusal
AN APPEAL for a new junior girls’ boarding house and medical centre at Benenden School was dismissed by the planning inspectorate. The plans were refused by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in October last year for not including energy-efficient measures or resources for the on-site production of energy. The appeal was refused for the same reasons.
This is Kent 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Tesco, Baxi and the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum were the winners on a night that celebrated the combined heat and power industry this week. The Combined Heat and Power Association held its annual awards night for the sector at the V&A, which shares a trigeneration CHP system with the Natural History Museum (NHM) across the road.
Low Carbon Economy 24th Nov 2008 more >>
A “feed-in tariff” will be introduced to ensure any household generating power through renewable power sources like wind, solar or biomass will be paid for the energy they produce, as part of measures to tackle climate change. The Energy Saving Trust, the independent body in charge of improving energy efficiency in the UK, predicted that the introduction of the tariffs could persuade 8.6 million people - around a quarter of households - to invest in combined heat and power, wind turbines or other low carbon technologies. Most of the “micro-generation” will be done through installing combined heat and power (CHP) boilers that heat the home by generating electricity from fuel or gas.
Telegraph 24th Nov 2008 more >>
DEA Direct 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Though solar panels definitely hog the renewable energy stage when it comes to home installations, a number of new, innovative wind turbines have entered the market in the past couple of months. Not all of these are intended to be mounted on your roof, some you’ll need a bit of a yard (and a dearth of neighbors) to install and they vary in price from affordable to “when am I going to actually pay this off?”, but they all go to show that there’s more than one way to harness the wind to generate electricity.
Tree Hugger 24th Nov 2008 more >>
Insulation Jobs Plan
A plan to create more than 10,000 jobs in the construction industry by insulating homes in the private and public sectors will be announced by Alistair Darling in today’s pre-budget report.
Guardian 24th Nov 2008 more >>
The government must beat the economic downturn by investing in green industries and low-carbon living, environmental groups urged ahead of the pre-Budget report. Friends of the Earth wants measures introduced which it said would simultaneously boost the flagging economy, provide jobs and tackle climate change. These include a street-by-street home insulation programme, a five-fold increase in investment in developing and deploying renewable energy technology, shifting business tax towards energy waste and increasing tax on gas-guzzling cars and transport fuel.
Herald 24th Nov 2008 more >>
The man who compared fear of global warming to a “Stone Age religion”, and poured scorn on renewable energy - Boris Johnson - has decided that he wants to make the capital “the world’s leading city in delivering carbon reductions and capturing the benefits of the new energy economy”. He will stress that the financial crisis provides a crucial opportunity for developing environmentally friendly businesses, and a “green new deal”. Householders will be able to save money by conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprints. Mr Johnson will promise “substantially increased investment” in small-scale exploitation of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy in homes and communities, and “minimum-hassle, minimum-cost energy efficiency programmes” to insulate homes, offices and other buildings.
Independent on Sunday 23rd Nov 2008 more >>
Flat Pack Solar
Ikea executives have suggested that the company’s skills in designing low-cost products, along with its economies of scale, could halve the cost of solar electricity from its current rate of around 2 (£1.70) per kilowatt hour of generating power to about 1/kWh.
Independent 23rd Nov 2008 more >>
Environment Agency Power House
The Environment Agency will this week announce plans to produce enough green energy on its sites to power a city the size of York. The plans include building up to 80 wind turbines on its own land and small-scale hydropower projects.
Skegness Standard 23rd Nov 2008 more >>
A LONG-established plumbing and heating company is leading the revolution towards renewable energy. And given imminent rises in the price of both gas and electricity prices C Parkinson (Bury) Ltd’s decision to diversify into alternative sources of power is as shrewd as it is timely.
Bury Times 22nd Nov 2008 more >>
Scottish Fuel Poverty Package
Ms Sturgeon was also in action as the secretary for “wellbeing”. On Wednesday she made a statement to parliament on fuel poverty. She announced that the free central heating and insulation programmes are being replaced in April next year by a new scheme, an energy efficiency package. Everyone will be eligible for free advice on insulation, heating bills and benefits. Free central heating systems will continue to be offered to all those over 60. And householders in rural areas will be eligible for solid wall insulation and renewable energy systems. Funding will go up 20% to £56m a year.
BBC 21st Nov 2008 more >>
Low Carbon for Low Income
Current policies to make low-carbon and more energy efficient homes risk leaving low income households out in the cold. That was the warning from Dr Brenda Boardman, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute. Speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on Wednesday, Dr Boardman said that people who were in fuel poverty were not being given enough help to radically reduce their bills. Meanwhile Government grants for low-carbon improvements such as microgeneration were being dished out to people who had already been able to pay to make their homes more energy efficient, she said. “What I want to try to do is to make sure that low income households get low carbon homes,” Dr Boardman said.
Edie 21st Nov 2008 more >>
North Devon Award
THIS year’s Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) Awards in Exeter saw Woolsery Sports and Community Hall take home the ‘Carbon Reduction’ trophy. A major renewable energy programme has seen the installation of solar panels, a wind turbine and ground-source heat pumps.
North Devon Gazette 21st Nov 2008 more >>
A quiet revolution might have taken place as the government introduces a feed-in tariff.
Alan Simpson MP’s Blog 20th Nov 2008 more >>
For its work in developing the micro-CHP unit Baxi Ecogen, as a direct replacement for a wall hung gas boiler, Baxi won the Innovation category at the CHPA awards, held on November 19.
Heating and Ventilating News 20th Nov 2008 more >>
H&V News 21st Nov 2008 more >>
Low Carbon Homes 22nd Nov 2008 more >>
Last week saw Baxi sign a preferred supplier agreement with British Gas to distribute the Baxi Ecogen micro-combined heat and power unit. Mr Coffey said: “Our biggest priority is the development of low carbon technology, whether it is solar, biomass, heat pumps or microCHP. That is going to continue to grow, regardless of market conditions.”
H&V News 20th Nov 2008 more >>
American Honda Motor Company, Inc. introduced its all-new Micro-sized Combined Heat and Power (MCHP) Deluxe cogeneration unit today at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Honda MCHP, introduced in Japan in 2003 and in the US in 2007, is a heat transfer and power generation device that provides home heating or water heating as well as electrical power for a variety of home applications.
Honda Press Release 20th Nov 2008 more >>
Appliance Design 21st Nov 2008 more >>
Alternative Energy 21st Nov 2008 more >>
Green Car Congress 27th Nov 2008 more >>
THE University of York is putting renewable energy at the heart of its £500 million new campus after talks with council chiefs. University chiefs say they will be using biomass for heating to meet their commitment to provide at least ten per cent of its new campus expansion’s energy needs through renewable sources.
York Press 21st Nov 2008 more >>
A ten-metre high wind turbine is to be built at Tesco’s Penicuik store, despite reservations from nearby residents. At a recent meeting of Midlothian Council’s planning committee, members agreed to the application which would see the grey steel turbine erected in the supermarket’s car park.
Midlothian Advertiser 20th Nov 2008 more >>