Solar, so low, so soon?
Scotland’s largest array of building integrated photovoltaic tiles on the William Rankine Building at Edinburgh University’s Kings Buildings. Solar energy will fall in price to match the cost of conventional fossil fuel electricity far sooner than previously expected, the UK’s largest solar company has claimed in a new report. Solarcentury said British homeowners will see solar achieve “grid parity” – the point where solar electricity rivals or becomes cheaper than conventional nonrenewable electricity – by 2013. Most predictions suggest that technological innovation will not bring the price down far enough until 2020 or later.
Guardian 12th May 2009 more >>
week ending 29 May 2009
United Utilities (UU), the UK’s largest listed water company supplying seven million people in the North West of England, is planning to sell surplus gas to the National Grid. United is a big user of energy, mainly for pumping, and consumes about 0.3 per cent of the country’s electricity. To help to cut carbon emissions and fuel costs, UU is stepping up investment in combined heat and power (CHP) engines. They use the methane gas by-product of wastewater treatment to generate electricity to power sewage works and are looking at putting gas back into the National Grid from processing plants.
Times 29th May 2009 more >>
HEREFORDSHIRE school has secured a £70,000 grant to install a wind turbine. The money, donated by the Community Sustainable Energy and Low Carbon Buildings programmes, will mean that Canon Pyon Primary School will save on energy costs and enhance pupils’ education.
Hereford Times 28th May 2009 more >>
Glass and plastics manufacturer Romag Holdings has agreed a deal with British Gas to develop a solar powered charging point for electric cars, it was announced today. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the testing, marketing, distribution and installation of British Gas branded solar power canopies and other related products.
New Energy Focus 28th May 2009 more >>
Another Tesco Turbine bites the dust
TESCO has seen its environmentally friendly plans for a wind turbine at its Amersham store thrown out by councillors.
Buckinghamshire Examiner 28th May 2009 more >>
Local councils in London, Glasgow and Manchester are considering rolling out the UK’s first biogas network, raising the prospect of homes and offices being heated and powered by manure. According to Peter Kindt, director at Alfagy Ltd, a distributor of combined heat and power (CHP) systems, a number of councils are in talks with the company about emulating a flagship project in Germany that will create the world’s first urban biogas network.
Business Green 28th May 2009 more >>
The future of power is being pioneered in the German city of L nen where they are building a dedicated biogas network. Powered by agricultural waste, including cow dung and horse manure, 90,000 residents will benefit from this low cost alternative to oil, coal and Russian gas. L nen is the first City in the world to build and manage a biogas network. This sustainable technology allows local production of local power, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, fuel imports and international pressures.
Alfagy.com 28th May 2009 more >>
AIRDRIE firm Albert Bartlett has been granted permission to install a wind turbine at their Stirling Road factory which would supply their entire energy requirements. However, the decision has to be referred for final approval to the Scottish Ministers, because objections were received from Glasgow Airport and National Air Traffic Services about potential radar interference.
Aidrie and Coatbridge Advertiser 27th May 2009 more >>
North West Cash
Firms in the North West have been told they can apply for grants of up to £500,000 to invest in low carbon technology or energy efficient drives. The North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has made a £2m total pot available and will hand out anything from £100k-500k to successful applicants. The initiative is part of a wider £30m Climate Change Action Plan announced by the organisation earlier this month.
The Manufacturer 27th May 2009 more >>
Council Turbine Plan
BRECKLAND Council has come up with a plan to spend up to £210,000 on a wind turbine so it can power its offices with green electricity. The council had already agreed to spend £10,000 last year on a survey of its buildings to see where it could be greener. Now consultant RD Energy Solutions has suggested the best option is to build a turbine between nine and 15m high at their head office, Elizabeth House, on the edge of Dereham.
Dereham Times 27th May 2009 more >>
Fuel cell micro-CHP
Ceres Power, the company behind the fuel cell technology to be used for British Gas’ micro CHP unit, has successfully completed testing and is in the final development stage before production begins.
Construction and Engineering Technology News 27th May 2009 more >>
This will allow the company access for a further £2m in development funds.
New Energy Focus 27th May 2009 more >>
An electrician’s bid to help the environment backfired after he was ordered to turn off his wind turbine because it was too loud. Stephen Munday put up the 40ft device behind his home, 300ft from any other houses. But neighbours complained that the constant high-pitched whirring of the blades was driving them to distraction.
Daily Mirror 27th May 2009 more >>
Daily Mail 27th May 2009 more >>
The most cost-effective and efficient place to begin eco renovating an old house is with the insulation. Conserving heat once you’ve generated it is key to energy efficiency at home. The eco features she has installed are subtle yet effective. There’s a 93% carbon-neutral wood pellet-fired boiler system that supplies radiator heat, year-round hot water and underfloor heating. She has also added secondary glazing, energy-efficient lighting and a rainwater harvesting system that uses recycled water to flush the loos and water the garden.
Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>
China is to throw its economic might behind a national solar plan that could result in it becoming one of the world’s biggest harvesters of the sun’s energy. By 2020, the government is committed to raising the share of -renewable energy -(excluding hydroelectric power) in the energy mix to 6%, from the current 1.5%.
Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>
Environmentalists are already describing the solar stimulus plan as a milestone for renewables
Guardian 27th May 2009 more >>
Solar is the way
Europe should scrap its support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy, one of the world’s most distinguished scientists said yesterday. Professor Jack Steinberger, a Nobel prize-winning director of the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, said that wind represented an illusory technology a cul-de-sac that would prove uneconomic and a waste of resources in the battle against climate change.
Times 27th May 2009 more >>
RESIDENTS could be given grants to install solar panels following a council’s windfall of £147,000. The council have announced a range of extra spending plans, including providing household grants of £1,500 for renewable energy projects, such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps, where heat is extracted from the ground. The scheme would cost around £15,000 to implement and would be available to council tax band properties A to F. A separate £10,000 pot would be available to those over 60 or on income-related benefits for free loft and cavity wall insulation for council tax bands A to D.
Lancashire Telegraph 26th May 2009 more >>
The Welsh Assembly government has announced plans for Wales to become one of the most energy and resource-efficient countries in the world by 2020. First minister Rhodri Morgan revealed the legally binding policy, which will see Wales reduce its dependency on carbon-based energy sources by between 80 percent and 90 percent over the next 2 decades. What’s more, the proposals also set out a path towards becoming a zero waste nation and recycling 70 percent of all municipal waste by 2025. Mr Morgan explained that the assembly will use the full extent of its devolved powers in order to deliver on its sustainability promises.
Low Carbon Economy 26th May 2009 more >>
Baxi Group is looking forward to unveiling exciting new high efficiency products on its stand at this year’s CIH exhibition. The award winning Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP unit will be on display, showing residents and RSLs how they will be able to generate electricity for use in the home while providing heat and hot water.
24Dash 26th May 2009 more >>
Marden Primary School has installed a wind turbine and solar electricity panels which not only power a proportion of the school but, during the holidays, allows electricity to be exported back into the National Grid. Whitecross High School is an example of how school buildings can be a national flagship for renewable energy use. The school has a sedum roof and the heating in the building is managed so it only comes on when needed.
Herefordshire Council 26th May 2009 more >>
Zero Carbon Log Cabin
Rural Log Cabins helped Mary and David to design a purpose-built, eco-friendly home and advised on all the many technologies that are available now to help them reduce their carbon footprint to zero. The log cabin is made of timber from sustainable wood sources and will run entirely on renewable energy with no connection to national grid electricity.
ADF 26th May 2009 more >>
New technologies are growing so fast they are beginning to threaten the old. Some defenders of conventional energy have started to argue against renewables. Both the European Union and the US added more capacity from renewables than from fossil-fuel and nuclear sources. Global solar PV production rose 85 per cent to 7.9 gigawatts. Such growth is possible, continuing even in recession, because some 73 countries have set renewable power generation targets, and at least 64 of them are attempting to hit the targets. Those reluctant to abandon the nuclear and fossil-fuel status-quo have been reacting to all this with a fresh candour.
FT 26th May 2009 more >>
A number of companies are using technology to produce their own renewable energy. Heat King, a division of TEV, based in Brighouse, manufactures and supplies air source and ground source heat pumps for residential and small commercial properties, providing energy efficient space and domestic hot water heating.
Halifax Evening Courier 25th May 2009 more >>
There is wide variability in the attractiveness of individual microgeneration technologies and subsidy support schemes. Solar photovoltaic shows very low levels of uptake in the absence of strong capital or energy-based support subsidies. Solar thermal accounts for the majority of all microgeneration kits now installed in Europe, but micro-CHP is a new challenger. In a supportive policy environment, heat pumps are poised to grow rapidly and deliver meaningful energy and CO2 savings. The wide-scale uptake of micro-biomass is unlikely and could only ever be driven by subsidy policy or very high retail power prices. Without a generous ‘deemed’ feed-in tariff, micro-wind can actually be detrimental to the environment. Gas-fired micro-CHP is the most acceptable alternative to conventional heating systems, especially for mains gas users.
Bharat Research 25th May 2009 more >>
Hartlepool Shopping Centre
SHOPPING centre chiefs are considering new green projects. Green-thinking bosses at the Middleton Grange centre, in Hartlepool are looking at erecting solar panels as part of their commitment to a greener future.
Peterlee Mail 23rd May 2009 more >>
Wick Hydro Power
MEMBERS of the Watten village hall committee are planning to embrace the power of renewable energy and replace their building’s outdated heating system. Using the nearby Wick River, the committee is looking to install a micro-hydro resource – a system that can provide enough electricity for 15 average UK homes.
John O Groat Journal 22nd May 2009 more >>
CHESTER’s largest housing estate could be on course to set the standard for greener communities up and down the country. That was the verdict from the Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, who was in Blacon to hear how the community is working hard to save energy and sustain the environment. Impressed by the estate’s commitment to a greener future, Mr Miliband said he would support a bid to make the Sustainable Blacon Project a government blueprint for communities nationwide.
Chester Standard 22nd May 2009 more >>
The Oireachtas Sub Committee on Job Creation through use of Renewable Energy Resources has invited proposals from County Councils on the feasibility of locating renewable energy projects in their local authority areas. The renewable energy projects will follow the example of the town of Gussing in Austria, where a renewable energy project has transformed the local economy.
Enviro Solutions 20th May 2009 more >>
Solar energy will fall in price to match the cost of conventional fossil fuel electricity far sooner than previously expected, the UK’s largest solar company has claimed in a new report.
Enviro Solutions 18th May 2009 more >>
Cuba’s Energy Revolution
A new revolution is sweeping the island of Cuba, which is making massive progress on energy efficiency and renewable generation. Indeed, such is the success of the two-year old programme on this small island of 11 million people, that many other countries could learn from its efforts to be energy independent and curb climate change.
Renewable Energy World 9th April 2009 more >>