New Plumb Line
Blackhall Plumbing, an Edinburgh-based plumbers established in 1913, has expanded
its range of products on offer to include solar water heating, by the Worcester
Bosch Group and wood pellet boilers by Gerkros.
Its open day, advertised in the picture above, generated more than twenty serious customers, pretty good going for the middle of a credit crunch, and the company plans to hold more open days next year. Of course with more financial incentives, as discussed by Sarah Boyack MSP last week in the Scotsman companies like Blackhall Plumbing would expand much more quickly.
week ending 12 December 2008
The director-general of the energy group at the Department of Energy and Climate Change has insisted that heat is now a key priority for policy, but admitted the issue may not have been properly focussed on in the past. William Rickett told those attending a forum on the UK’s Renewable Energy Strategy organised by the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum that decarbonising heat supply was now one of the two central issues for his department alongside reducing emissions from transport.
H&V News 12th Dec 2008 more >>
Private equity investors are increasingly eyeing up green building and renewable specialists as providing opportunities for growth despite the global credit crunch.
H&V News 12th Dec 2008 more >>
Zero carbon homes
Chris Goodall is wrong to claim that there are “two problems” with the government’s plan for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016. The first problem, according to Goodall, is that “only about 1% of the housing stock is newly built each year [and] tighter building regulations have no effect on the remaining 99%”. However, this doesn’t mean that we should reduce the targets for new homes, as Goodall argues, but rather that we also need a meaningful policy to reduce emissions from existing homes. Secondly, Goodall claims that “making a building zero carbon is extremely expensive”, saying “the few prototype UK homes that have recently reached this standard have cost twice as much as conventional houses”. It is a mistake to assume, as Goodall does, that the cost of these prototypes will be representative of the cost of zero-carbon homes in 2016.
Guardian 12th Dec 2008 more >>
After a few false starts, owing to the financial viability of the technology compared with standard boilers, the first crop of micro CHP units will be available on these shores for home use next year. Boiler maker Baxi has signed a deal with British Gas to distribute a micro CHP boiler, the Ecogen, which should be available from June 2009. Hot on their heels, CHP specialist WhisperGen has set up a joint venture with Spanish firm Mondragon Corporation and Meridian Energy with production due to start this January.
Building 12th Dec 2008 more >>
THOUSANDS of people across the UK now get their energy from natural sources like the sun, wind, trees – even from underground and from the air. With a range of renewable energy technologies available – and grants towards their cost - the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has invited residents to a technology showcase at Sale Waterside on December 18.
Sale Mesenger 11th Dec 2008 more >>
OVER half of a New Mills supermarket’s electricity needs look set to be provided by hydro power. The Co-operative store takes all the power that can be produced by the Torrs Hydro scheme on the River Goyt.
Buxton Advertiser 11th Dec 2008 more >>
DAIRY farmer Stuart Taylor turned to solar energy when looking to cut electricity costs in his milking parlour. A £4,000 photovoltaic array was installed 18 months ago to heat the water needed to sterilise parlour equipment at Argoed Farm, New Brighton, Mold.
Daily Post 11th Dec 2008 more >>
Devon Community Hall
WOOLSERY Community Hall has been rewarded for its carbon reduction. The hall was the winner of the 2008 Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) Carbon Reduction trophy.The hall has had solar panels installed, a wind turbine, introduced a waste separation and recycling system, and has a policy of sourcing food locally wherever possible.
North Devon Journal 11th Dec 2008 more >>
A £28,000 WIND turbine will make helping the environment a breeze for pupils at a Cornish Primary School. Installation of the 5kW wind turbine at Goonhavern Primary has been made possible with a £10,000 grant from The Co-operative’s Green Energy for Schools scheme plus £14,000 match-funding from the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP).
This is Cornwall 10th Dec 2008 more >>
A massive housing development is planned for a deprived part of Walthamstow with a combined heat and power plant, green roofs, grey water recycling, solar hot water panels and renewable energy.
This is Local London 10th Dec 2008 more >>
Q-Cells, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar cells, cut its 2008 earnings forecasts yesterday, giving warning that a global recession was sapping demand for renewable energy.
Times 10th Dec 2008 more >>
SHAPINSAY Community School on Orkney has become one of only 60 across the UK to be selected for the Green Energy for Schools programme. The national project, run by the Co-operative Group, aims to reduce the carbon emissions of British schools and promote awareness of renewable energy. The scheme will see the school fitted with solar panels worth £20,000, paid for by the Co-operative.
Scotsman 10th Dec 2008 more >>
Orcadian 12th Dec 2008 more >>
Climate Change and Councils
Birmingham wants to be at the forefront of fighting the climate challenge.
Public Technology 9th Dec 2008 more >>
Industrial Estate Turbines
UP TO three new wind turbines may be built for Gwent businesses at two industrial estates under council plans. Caerphilly County Borough Council is looking into generating renewable energy for firms at Pen y Fan Industrial Estate and Oakdale Business Park. The plan would see two or three turbines, capable of generating 2MW of power, built at Oakdale Business Park.
Campaign 9th Dec 2008 more >>
THE Government wants every school to be a sustainable school by 2020. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) launched their Sustainable Schools Framework in 2006, setting out challenging long-term aspirations for schools about sustainable development issues and sustainable practices in every-day school life. To help schools work out a framework for becoming greener the Eco-Schools initiative was launched (www.ecoschools.org.uk) setting out guidelines and targets and helping to network similar schools working towards the same goals.
West Briton 9th Dec 2008 more >>
HELPING the environment will be a breeze for pupils at Elm CofE Primary School in Wisbech when a £28,000 wind turbine is installed with funding from The Co-operative. Installation of the 5kW wind turbine has been made possible with a £10,000 grant from The Co-operative’s Green Energy for Schools scheme with £14,000 match-funding from the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP).
Wisbech Standard 9th Dec 2008 more >>
Peak District Action Plan
A NEW action plan to tackle climate change by co-ordinating efforts across the Peak District National Park is set to be launched early next year. The Peak District National Park Authority has unanimously approved a draft action plan which will now be sent to local councils, environmental and community organisations.
Yorkshire Post 9th Dec 2008 more >>
Aston University’s new Student Village will see the regeneration of the university’s student accommodation designed to be environmentally sustainable, with the residential blocks using the latest energy-efficient materials and systems. They will also benefit from green roofs, wind turbines and rainwater recycling.
Birmingham Post 9th Dec 2008 more >>
And erm a Tesco Turbine (again)
Tesco aims to cut its carbon footprint by installing a 10m high wind turbine at a Sutton Coldfield store. City planners are yet to decide if permission will be granted to build the turbine at the New Oscott store in Princess Alice Retail Park. But environmentalists have warned unless Tesco takes radical steps to cut CO2 emissions in other ways this will amount to tokenism.
Birmingham Post 9th Dec 2008 more >>
A PLAN by supermarket giant Tesco to build a wind turbine outside a Derbyshire store will be considered next week.
Derby Evening Telegraph 9th Dec 2008 more >>
Germany is sharing its renewable energy and energy efficiency expertise with developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. The German Renewables Academy said this week that it has invited engineers and key players from 14 countries to learn the lessons gleaned from its own booming green energy industry.
Business Green 8th Dec 2008 more >>
Haringey Listed Buildings
Haringey Council believes it has become the first local planning authority in the country to publish a specific guide on how to install renewable energy measures in conservation areas and listed buildings.
Haringey Council 8th Dec 2008 more >>
Two National Trust sites from either ends of the country have been able to cut back their carbon use by installing new energy saving technology. The project is being done with help from the National Trust’s Green Energy Fund in partnership with npower. Buildings within the Borrowdale valley, an area of spectacular Lake District landscape acquired by the National Trust throughout the 20th Century, are now sitting firmly in the 21st century following the installation of a state of the art heating system. Meanwhile, two 19th century houses located on the Isle of Wight have installed in small scale renewable energy generation, reducing their carbon footprint on the island.
Westmorland Gazette 8th Dec 2008 more >>
BIDEFORD College has been given £21,150 to kick-start its eco-friendly new school in a bid to become carbon neutral in the next two years. The college, which received the grant from ScottishPower’s Green Energy Trust, is dedicated to lowering its energy consumption as part of its £45 million transformation.
North Devon Gazette 8th Dec 2008 more >>
North Devon Journal 11th Dec 2008 more >>
STUDENTS at Bethany School had their first taste of the new £2m science centre on Monday. The state-of-the-art building, has been designed to be energy efficient, with low energy lights, solar panels, light tubes and a wind turbine.
This is Kent 7th Dec 2008 more >>
ICE CREAM mogul Maitland Mackie is to appoint a chief executive and board early next year for his new venture, a renewable power company, to develop his dream of generating billions of pounds for the rural economy. Mackie, chairman of family business Mackie’s of Scotland, said he is on the way to raising £10m from small investors willing to put between £1,000 and £20,000 into the company, Rural Sector Wingen.
Scotland on Sunday 7th Dec 2008 more >>
Small Business Loans for Scotland
Small businesses will be eligible for interest-free loans of up to £100,000 for energy-efficiency measures that will help cut fuel bills, the Scottish government will announce tomorrow. Jim Mather, the Enterprise Minister, will introduce the initiative in a bid to boost the economy. Private landlords, agriculture and transport businesses will all be able to join manufacturing and catering firms in applying for the loans for energy-saving measures or the installation of small-scale renewables schemes, such as solar panels or ground-source heating.
Observer 7th Dec 2008 more >>
SOUTH Bucks college is leading the way in the move away from fossil fuels with courses to help engineers work with renewable energy sources.
Bucks Free Press 6th Dec 2008 more >>
ROOF-mounted wind turbines in typical areas of Manchester generate barely enough electricity to boil a kettle once a week. A study found that in almost all circumstances, the turbines would cause more damage to the environment to build and install than they would ever pay back in ‘green’ power. The research by charity the BRE Trust will be an embarrassment to political supporters of so-called ‘micro-turbines’.
Manchester Evening News 6th Dec 2008 more >>
An energy efficient office development on a Falmouth Business Park has introduced microgeneration energy features into the units and the general quality of the build has been borne out by the high EPC rating. The ability of the ground source heat pumps to generate 43% renewable energy will be an important consideration for potential occupiers who are looking to keep tabs on heating costs.
Falmouth Packet 5th Dec 2008 more >>
Good Energy goes Gas
People across the country have installed solar thermal panels on their roofs to produce their own energy. Until now none of these small scale generators have been paid by the government or energy suppliers for their power. Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier, is launching Good Energy HotROCs, the UK’s first renewable heat incentive that pays domestic solar generators money for the heat energy they produce. As part of this scheme, Good Energy has launched a trial gas product - offered only as a dual fuel tariff to customers. Good Energy Gas charges a small premium which helps to fund the reward paid to customers on the HotROCs scheme.
24 Dash 5th Dec 2008 more >>
Mini combined heat and power (CHP) units are playing a key role in the innovative strategy of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to dramatically cut its carbon emissions. LFB is upgrading its stations with a combination of low carbon technologies. 18 London fire stations have already installed Dachs mini-CHP SE kits – consisting of a CHP unit, a condenser and a buffer vessel – to work alongside wind turbines, solar thermal systems and photovoltaic (PV) rigs in a bid to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of these energy intensive facilities. More stations are in the process of installing the mini-CHP systems, which are manufactured in Germany by SenerTec GmbH, a Baxi Group company.
24Dash 5th Dec 2008 more >>
Aberdeen Energy Saving
Aberdeenshire Council has unveiled guidance to promote energy-saving measures and renewable technologies in new housing developments. The new planning guidance, approved yesterday, requires the majority of new developments to cut their predicted carbon dioxide emissions by 15% from current building regulations as of January 1, 2009. It intends to ask developers to provide a 100% cut by 2016
Press & Journal 5th Dec 2008 more >>
Co-op goes hydro
The first community-owned micro-hydropower project is to provide half the electricity required by a Derbyshire Co-operative Group (Co-op) food store. According to the Co-op, its New Mills 7,340 sq ft store will also be the first retail outlet to be powered by micro-hydropower.
Low Carbon Economy 4th Dec 208 more >>
DEA Direct 4th Dec 2008 more >>
Low Carbon Zone
THOUSANDS of microgeneration units will be installed to create what is being hailed as Europe’s first “low-carbon zone” in one of the most deprived parts of Wales, it was announced yesterday. The move is intended to help tackle poverty in the Heads of the Valleys area by making homes more efficient and cutting fuel bills. The 15-year programme will lead to the EU’s largest concentration of so-called microgeneration, such as domestic solar panels. Ministers said it would also create jobs in a regional green energy industry. About 40,000 microgeneration units will be fitted and 65,000 homes assessed for their energy efficiency.
Daily Post 4th Dec 2008 more >>
Green Building 10th Dec 2008 more >>
Barriers to Community Heating
Low carbon community heating and energy schemes need more support to overcome the barriers they face, including the lack of specialist knowledge within planning departments, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has claimed. In its report Power in Numbers: the benefits and potential of distributed energy generation at the small community level, the EST said the Government’s feed-in tariff and renewable heat incentive would help, but many other factors still needed to be addressed.
H&V News 4th Dec 2008 more >>
ScottishPower has launched a new interactive website that has been designed to offer a complete guide to energy efficiency in the home and provide helpful tips and advice for people who want to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Scottish Power 4th Dec 2008 more >>
Ullapool company Invisible Heating Systems (IHS) today announced that it has acquired substantial investment from Irish-based Corporate Finance and Private Equity firm Beltrae Partners. IHS is recognised as an industry leader in the design of technical, sustainable energy solutions to the domestic and commercial sectors. This investment is key to the company’s strategy to significantly expand its market share throughout the UK and Ireland.
Invisible Heating 1st Dec 2008 more >>
The European Commission has adopted a proposal which will, for the first time, enable all Member States and regions in the European Union to invest in energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures in housing, with the support of European Cohesion Policy funding.
Enviro Solutions 3rd Dec 2008 more >>
As part of a wide-ranging drive to reduce Aberdeen’s carbon footprint, the council has taken up the idea of decentralised energy. This means generating power close to where it is needed and using the heat produced in the process for heating and hot water rather than letting it go to waste.
Guardian Dec 2008 more >>