week ending 13 February 2009
Heat and Energy Strategy
New jobs, a reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and an increase in the value of the region’s renewable energy sector are just some of the potential benefits of the government’s ‘heat and energy saving strategy’, announced today, according to the south west’s sustainable energy agency.
Regen SW 13th Feb 2009 more >>
Great British Refurb
All homes in the UK will have near to zero carbon emissions in 40 years, the government pledged on Thursday, under a new draft heat and energy-saving strategy that will require a massive increase in home insulation. Ed Miliband, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said cavity wall and roof insulation would be provided to all properties by 2015, requiring 400,000 households a year to be fitted.
FT 13th Feb 2009 more >>
The “Great British Refurb” will fit every home in need of insulation in the roof or walls by 2015. By 2030 every home will be offered a “whole house” green refurbishment, including fitting renewable heat technologies like ground source heat pumps and solar panels. Environmentalists welcomed the package but criticised the delay that means most of the initiatives will not begin until 2012. The Local Government Association said consumers should not have to pay. Instead the organisation called on energy companies to fork out from massive annual profits.
Telegraph 13th Feb 2009 more >>
Plan for all UK homes to be near zero carbon emissions by 2050 Improvements to existing energy efficiency scheme also outlined British households will be able to receive expert, targeted help to reduce their fuel bills and access low-carbon heat and power in their homes, under an ambitious long-term Heat and Energy Saving strategy. The draft plan sets out the need to reduce household carbon emissions to almost zero, in order for the UK to achieve its ambitious target of an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050. By 2030, the aim is for whole-house improvements to be available to householders in every home, in every street.
DECC Press Release 12th Feb 2009 more >>
UP to £26 million is being made available in Wales to fund technology to turn waste into biogas – and could help provide considerable diversification opportunities for farmers. Welsh Assembly Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, announced the new funding today (Thursday, February 12) – with the bulk of the money going to local authorities to help them develop anaerobic digestion plants as an alternative to landfill.
Farmers’ Guardian 12th Feb 2009 more >>
A SUPERMARKET giant wants to use 30ft urban wind turbines to power lights and tills at its North Wales stores under a venture to save money and energy. Tesco is undertaking wind strength tests at its supermarket sites across the region to investigate where it is viable to place the six kilowatt turbines. An application has already been submitted for two 10 metre turbines at its store in Holyhead and this will go before planners in the coming weeks.
Daily Post 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Parishes in the Church in Wales are being urged to “think global – act local” in a new guide detailing how they can reduce their carbon footprint. The ‘Parish Green Guide – Caring for God’s Creation’ encourages churches to make good environmental practice a priority by recycling and re-using materials and re-thinking their entire energy needs. The guide includes a detailed check-list of practical steps they can take, like changing light bulbs and sharing lifts, to more complex changes like establishing natural burial areas, installing solar panels and wind turbines and setting up local food cooperatives. It also includes prayers and ideas for worship themed around sustaining God’s creation.
Christian Today 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Green New Deal
Lord Stern, the climate economist, yesterday urged governments to raise their spending on green energy in economic stimulus packages and to combat carbon dioxide emissions, saying the decision could save billions of dollars in coming years. A global investment of $400bn (279bn) must be spent by governments on “green” policies and investments, which would help to revive the global economy as well as laying foundations for solid future growth.
Scotsman 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Guardian 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Telegraph 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Solar panels should be fitted to all schools and hospitals as part of a new green deal, according Lord Smith, the Chairman of the Environment Agency.
Telegraph 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Who says two wrongs don’t make a right? On the one hand, you have the worst economic climate in living memory; on the other, you have an unprecedented environmental crisis. But what do you get when you mix the two together? “Green-collar” jobs. Politicians are currently tripping over themselves to talk up this form of modern-day alchemy. We can help to reduce both of the grave threats facing us, they say, by creating a vast army of green-collar workers who will set about doing the hard graft needed to decarbonise our economy.
Guardian 12th Feb 2009 more >>
Energy industry insiders have called on the Government to back up its promise to create a million “green” jobs in the next 20 years. Government departments have told Sky News 160,000 green jobs will come from the renewables industry, a further 100,000 from new nuclear and 10,000 from electric and hybrid cars, but the origin of the remaining 730,000 jobs remains unclear. Insulation company Mark Group runs an environmental training academy in Leicester. From fitting wind turbines and solar panels to installing insulation, the academy equips apprentices with the skills needed to run the new green energy sector. By the end of the year, a thousand people will have passed through their doors and current job losses mean there is no shortage of applicants. Over the last six months they have seen a huge increase in the number coming from the construction industry.
Sky News 11th Feb 2009 more >>
It boasts Britain’s biggest building-mounted turbine and a ground source heat pump. It is the B&Q of the future. The new 160,000 sq ft store at New Malden, Surrey, is the best the store group could do in terms of green technology. It uses harvested rainwater to feed the plants in the garden centre and to flush toilets. There is a photovoltaic system, solar thermal water heating panels and a sedum-planted green roof to absorb CO2. The store’s emissions will be half those of a standard B&Q store and are a big leap towards the group’s plans to develop a zero-emission store by 2012.
Guardian 11th Feb 2009 more >>
Carbon Footprint Competition
SCHOOLS in York and North Yorkshire have been set a challenge to cut their carbon footprint in return for a £10,000 cash reward. This week marks the start of Norwich Union’s Climate Change Champions programme, in which seven schools from York and North Yorkshire will go head-to-head in a bid to reduce their schools’ carbon footprint.
York Press 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Aberdeenshire Micro Power Advice
Aberdeenshire environmental forum to offer information on hi-tech energy solutions
Aberdeen Press and Journal 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Electricity will be provided to remote mountain schools in Argentina, thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Kineton charity. Compassion Direct UK, based in Walton Fields, has raised around £4,000 to set up four wind turbines in Puna, on the borders of Argentina and Bolivia, where currently schools have no access to any form of energy for lighting and heating.
Leamington Spa Courier 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Oldham aims to cut C02 emissions by 12 per cent between 2005 and 2011 and was one of the first local authorities in the country, and the first in Greater Manchester, to have a renewable energy policy. The policy means that all new, major developments must get at least 10 per cent of their energy from renewable resources such as wind turbines. So far 100 schemes have been affected, both residential and commercial.
Oldham Chronicle 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Monbiot Attacks Again
Well, it’s about time. On Friday, the DIY chain B&Q announced that it was withdrawing its micro-wind turbines from sale. I’ve been campaigning against these windmills since the chain first stocked them in October 2006. This might seem like an odd thing for an environmentalist to do, but as I’ve pointed out B&Q greatly exaggerated what these turbines could deliver. I feared both that they would give renewable electricity a bad name and that they would be used by the company to create an excessively rosy impression of its green credentials.
Guardian 10th February 2009 more >>
Scottish Permitted Development
Domestic solar panels will no longer need planning permission, the Scottish Government said yesterday as it announced several types of home-grown electricity generation which will be exempt from the usual red tape. Ground-source and water-source heat pumps will also get the green light, as will flues for biomass systems, which use organic materials. But ministers have yet to decide whether to exempt wind turbines and air-source heat pumps. Jason Ormiston, of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are disappointed that after more than two years of work the Scottish Government does not have the confidence to extend permitted development to micro-wind and air-source heat pumps, especially as air-source heat pumps are expected to play such an important role in tackling fuel poverty in many Scottish households.”
Herald 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Scotsman 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Press and Journal 10th Feb 2009 more >>
Glasgow Evening Times 10th Feb 2009 more >>
A renewable energy technology firm in Ireland has claimed that it has designed the most efficient solar panel in the world to date. Mayo-based company Surface Power has announced plans to launch the new renewable energy product, which has been tested by Independent Certification and compared to over 50 other collectors holding the Solar Keymark.
Edie 9th Feb 2009 more >>
East Midlands Community Wind
Two operational wind turbines have been purchased by a UK group to form the first community-owned wind farm in the UK’s East Midlands. The purchase follows a successful share offer which raised more than £2.6 million [US $3.88 million] from the 1100 members of Fens Co-op to buy the project from the developer, Fenland Windfarms Ltd.
Renewable Energy News 9th Feb 2009 more >>
Scottish Permitted Development
Householders will be able to install their own energy generating equipment, including solar panels, without planning permission following a Scottish Government consultation on planning reforms aimed at increasing renewable energy generation and cutting emissions. Speaking ahead of this evening’s Friends of the Earth Scotland lecture, Building a Low Carbon Economy - a UK and International Perspective, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “These new measures will slash red tape and help householders cut their energy bills. They will also help reduce emissions at a time when we all need to play our part in tackling climate change. It emerged from the consultation that further work was needed to explore the feasibility of introducing permitted development rights for air source heat pumps and wind turbines. Ministers have therefore decided to commission an independent study to examine the issues in further detail, with recommendations expected before the end of this year.
Scottish Government 9th Feb 2009 more >>
Holyrood Magazine 9th Feb 2009 more >>
A2Media Group 9th Feb 2009 more >>
More than one in four homes in the UK will be offered a complete eco-makeover under ambitious plans expected to be announced this week to slash fuel bills and cut global warming pollution. The campaign is thought to involve giving 7m houses and flats a complete refit to improve insulation, and will be compared to the 10-year programme that converted British homes to gas central heating in the 1960s and 1970s. Householders could also be encouraged to install small-scale renewable and low-carbon heating systems such as solar panels and wood-burning boilers.
Guardian 9th Feb 2009 more >>
Building 9th Feb 2009 more >>
The next major development in the cogeneration market will be the commercialisation of micro-cogeneration systems (app. 20 kWe and smaller). This small-scale cogeneration trend is largely due to the emergence of very small gas engines, stirling engines and fuel cells. Their target markets will include individual houses, small groups of houses, small hotels and retail establishments. The potential for this technology is vast. Some important questions need to be resolved if this technology is to reach the market and fulfil its potential.
Cogen Europe 7th Feb 2009 more >>
B&Q and micro-wind
B&Q, the retail chain, has stopped selling its rooftop wind turbines after a study showed that they performed badly in built-up areas. Its decision is another blow for the turbines, which have been a frequent cause of disputes among neighbours, environmentalists and politicians.
FT 7th Feb 2009 more >>
Guardian 6th Feb 2009 more >>