week ending 19 December 2008
Zero Carbon Cop-out
Under new proposals from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), developers would be allowed to hit the 2016 zero-carbon target by counting improvements made to the energy efficiency of existing homes around new schemes. Any renewable power generated by the development and sold on to other developments would also be taken into account, as would section 106 payments towards renewable energy infrastructure. Moreover, the government would also set a financial limit for housebuilders on the cost of making homes carbon neutral.
Building 18th Dec 2008 more >>
Business Green 18th Dec 2008 more >>
Biomass Business Park
OUTLINE plans to build East Lancashire’s first £6million “green” business park have finally been submitted. Environmental charity Prospects is behind the proposals which could see the construction of an industrial plant including four eco houses, a bio-mass heating plant, a timber yard and four 45ft-high wind turbines.
Blackburn Citizen 18th Dec 2008 more >>
Housing Association Energy Company
Impact Housing is working with Derwent and Solway and Westfield to form a partnership to help reduce the cost of fuel for tenants, including those in the 3,500 housing-association semis in south Workington. The company is in the early stages of preparation to form an energy company so it can buy household fuel at wholesale prices and act as supplier to its tenants at the rate it paid, cutting bills by an estimated 25 per cent if implemented. The associations are also making energy-efficiency improvements to their local homes, including improving insulation and replacing old boilers with cheaper-to-run models.
West Cumberland Times and Star 18th Dec 2008 more >>
Bridport wins Lottery
CHRISTMAS has come early for the residents of Netherbury, near Bridport, with a £250,000-boost from the Big Lottery Fund to revamp their village hall. It will pay for a complete refurbishment and extension of Netherbury Village Hall. A key aim of the renovations is to reduce the hall’s carbon footprint, with renewable energy sources being used where possible.
Dorset Echo 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Settle Hydro Ltd has raised the £100,000 it needs from the community to take its green hydro-electricity project forward. Monday was the deadline for buying £1 shares in blocks of 250. It will cost around £300,000 to install the 50KW hydro station and a modern version of the Archimedean screw, which will be powered by water from the River Ribble near Bridge End Weir in Settle.
Craven Herald 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Northern Tesco Turbine
Tesco has lodged proposals with the Highland Council’s planning department in Wick, for a new store which will include a free-standing vertically-driven 6kW wind turbine, and a CHP plant.
John O’Groat Journal 17th Dec 2008 more >>
ENGINEERS from across the UK learned about renewable energy technology when they came to Amersham and Wycombe College this month. The Centre offers training in the installation of rainwater harvesting and wind turbines to engineers and was considered ‘ahead of its time’ when opened two years ago.
Bucks Free Press 17th Dec 2008 more >>
A ROOFING company has become the first in the country to train its workers to install a new renewable energy product. So far six roofers at Ploughcroft Building Services have received training from solar energy company Solarcentury to fit the C21e solar electric roof slates.
Halifax Evening Courier 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Zero Carbon Consultation
Improved insulation and on site microgeneration are among the proposals made by a government consultation on achieving zero-carbon homes. The consultation launched today by housing minister Margaret Beckett maintains the government’s commitment to ensuring all new homes built from 2016 are carbon neutral.
DEA Direct 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Communities and Local Government Dept 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Builder and Engineer 17th Dec 2008 more >>
The government’s zero carbon homes initiative is in danger of being “devalued” say campaigners who have previously lauded the scheme as pioneering. They say the definition of zero carbon risks being diluted in the face of the worst economic conditions for housebuilding since the 1920s. However, launching a government consultation on the definition of zero carbon today the housing minister Margaret Beckett said despite the economic crisis she was “absolutely committed to our 2016 target”.
Guardian 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Government is now proposing to introduce a more flexible definition of zero carbon. Under the plans developers would have to cut carbon emissions on site by increasing energy efficiency or generating renewable energy. The required emission reduction would be set at an improvement of between 44 per cent and 100 per cent on 2006 building regulations – the exact level will be decided by the consultation.
Green Building 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said “allowable” measures to help builders achieve zero carbon status could include retrofitting nearby properties to balance out the expected emissions from new developments.
H&V News 17th Dec 2008 more >>
The government is to set a financial limit on the cost of making a home zero carbon beyond which housebuilders will not be expected to go.
Building 17th Dec 2008 more >>
The flood of Government consultations on zero carbon homes, energy efficiency, renewable heat and the Code for Sustainable Homes have cost the renewable and microgeneration industry at least £33million to respond to – according to new research set to be released in January. The figure was revealed by Micropower Council President Baroness Maddock at a reception held at the House of Commons and attended by Energy Minister Mike O’Brien.
H&V News 17th Dec 2008 more >>
Communications companies are poised to enter the energy sector under government proposals for the £6bn roll out of “smart” electricity meters to all households by 2020. Under the scheme expected to be put to the energy industry for consultation in January, IT groups will be invited to bid for a national contract to run the networking and data-processing associated with energy meters that monitor electricity use in real time and provide an always-on, two-way link between the household and the supplier. Only smart meters can track energy produced as well as energy consumed, so they are vital to plans for expanded use of microgeneration – where rooftop solar panels, for example, not only provide power to the building but feed the excess into the grid.
Independent 16th Dec 2008 more >>
Business Green 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Sunday Times 14th Dec 2008 more >>
Microgeneration will help planned affordable housing have lower energy bills. The scheme planned for Hartford will see 20 houses and nine flats built to high environmental standards. Approved by the Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC), the project is awaiting government approval. However, considering the government has provided £1.3 million towards the project, it is expected to approve the development.
DEA Direct 15th Dec 2008 more >>
A new standard for green buildings in the UK was set recently, after a building in Yorkshire installed a recycled wind turbine to help it generate the electricity it needs to produce hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles. The £8.7m Environmental Energy Technology Centre (EETC) in Rotherham, which promises to combine the concepts of recycling, renewable energy and low carbon vehicles at one site, will be the first building in the UK to generate its own hydrogen when production begins next month.
Green Building 15th Dec 2008 more >>
THE battle against climate change has been given a boost in the Peak District with grants for environmental projects. The Peak District Sustainable Development Fund has awarded £32,500 towards a new ‘renewable energy’ village hall in Over Haddon.
Sheffield Star 15th Dec 2008 more >>
County council cash to help progress the co-housing part of the huge development scheme which involves building 30 to 35 homes alongside a ‘common house’ which would be used for communal activities and events including shared meals. Other co-housing features involved in the project include a community garden, a car share pool and shared laundry facilities in a complex powered by renewable energy and built to the highest environmental standard design.
Devon Herald Express 15th Dec 2008 more >>
This week’s Tesco Turbine
TESCO has applied for permission to put up a large wind turbine at its 24-hour store in Long Eaton. Officials at Erewash Borough Council have recommended that permission be refused as it could become an eyesore. Councillors are due to decide December 17.
Nottingham Evening Post 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Health officials are seeking planning permission to site six wind turbines on the roof of a hospital in Greenock. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) believes the electricity-generating scheme at Inverclyde Royal Hospital will help reduce its carbon footprint. The authority is also considering a raft of other measures aimed at cutting energy bills.
BBC 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Herald 16th Dec 2008 more >>
Glasgow Evening Times 16th Dec 2008 more >>
Sustainable energy specialist Energetix Group has announced a collaboration deal with E.ON to manufacture electricity generating boilers for the European market.
Reuters 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 15th Dec 2008 more >>
H&V News 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Engineer 15th Dec 2008 more >>
Penny-pinching and red tape are suffocating government plans for a rapid increase in the amount of renewable energy used in Britain. The plans – a cornerstone of ministers’ strategy to combat climate change – set out to multiply the proportion of the country’s energy provided by renewables by an ambitious five times in just 12 years. But they have yet to make headway because of official foot-dragging. Civil service obstruction is holding up the deployment of rooftop wind turbines, despite a personal assurance from the Prime Minister that the problem had been solved. And grants for solar power have been cut back. Peter Ainsworth, the shadow Environment Secretary, is planning to announce this week that he will introduce a Private Member’s Bill to clear these obstructions, after coming high in the annual ballot for such Bills last week.
Independent on Sunday 14th Dec 2008 more >>
Scottish Action Plan Delay
One of the Scottish government’s crucial plans for cutting the pollution that is causing climate chaos has been delayed for another year, sparking outrage from environmentalists and opposition MSPs. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the launch of the much-vaunted energy efficiency action plan has been postponed until late in 2009. The Scottish Nationalist government had previously promised to publish it in 2008. But now the plan to boost home insulation, install smart meters and kick-start small-scale renewable and heat technologies has been kicked into touch. This is the fourth time since the plan was originally proposed four years ago that it has been delayed.
Sunday Herald, 14 December 2008 more >>
Aberdeen Press and Journal 16th Dec 2008 more >>
A Thames Water sewage treatment works (STW) is to be the first to install a wind turbine. Plans for the 2.5 megawatt (MW) turbine at the Crossness STW have received approval.
DEA Direct 11th Dec 2008 more >>
Heads of Valleys
Domestic Energy Assessors are to help a development in Wales become Europe’s first low carbon zone. Over 65,000 homes will have their energy efficiency assessed as part of a project known as HoV Low Carbon, based in the Heads of Valleys area of south Wales that will tackle child poverty and fuel poverty by boosting energy efficiency.
DEA Direct 11th Dec 2008 more >>
Green Building 10th Dec 2008 more >>