Testing, testing ...
Renewable Devices Test Site at Boghall just outside of Edinburgh.
week ending 31 July 2009
Eco garden centre
Dobbies has been granted planning permission to open the environmentally friendly store at New Park, in Lang Stracht, Aberdeen. The 51,960 sq ft Garden World, which opens in spring next year, will have an almost entirely timber structure, developed “utilising the latest innovations in green technology”. These include the use of renewable energy systems such as micro-generation turbines, a biomass boiler, energy efficient light fittings and solar panels.
Retail Week 31st July 2009 more >>
Sarah Harrison, an environmental consultant, bought an unmodernised Victorian semi in 2000 in a conservation area in Camden, North London, intent on testing how such a home could be improved. In six months, she lined the walls with wool fibre, installed a wood-burning stove, state-of-the-art double-glazing, a rainwater-harvesting system and solar panels. Household carbon emissions have been cut by 70 per cent, and water consumption by 30 per cent.
Times 31st July 2009 more >>
Energy giant E.ON and construction firm Barratt Developments have unveiled their first “eco housing” project after teaming up last year. The two companies have developed sustainable homes for 550 residents in Dalston Square in East London, including retail units and a library. Heating needs will be met by a local ‘decentralised energy centre’, instead of gas. Comprising Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units and biomass boilers, along with back-up gas-fired boilers, the energy centre will supply heat in the form of hot water to residents who are subsequently billed monthly by remotely-read heat meters.
New Energy Focus 30th July 2009 more >>
St Andrews University
The University of St Andrews plans to build a wind farm on coastal farmland to meet its energy needs, saving millions of pounds annually and making it carbon-neutral. It is expected to also generate excess energy, which could be sold back to the National Grid to potentially generate millions of pounds in income.
Times Higher Education Supplement 30th July 2009 more >>
Telegraph 31st July 2009 more >>
Building work on Yorkshire’s first “eco-settlement” could begin within the next three months if Government funding is made available. Four urban districts around North and West Yorkshire will be converted into the eco-settlements under an agreement reached between local leaders and Government officials in return for an eco town not being forced upon the region. The focus there will be on providing “innovative approaches to low carbon development” including solar panels and wind turbines for new-build homes and retrofitting existing homes with energy-efficiency measures.
Yorkshire Post 30th July 2009 more >>
Universities that are not green enough could have their government funding withdrawn. The plan is the first to link funding to university carbon emissions and is part of a consultation document which sets out how to make the higher education sector more environmentally friendly. Institutions must have strategies to reduce their carbon emissions by more than a third by 2020 levels rose by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2006.
Times 30th July 2009 more >>
Universities in England should reduce their carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, it has been suggested. Launching a new consultation into the matter, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has called for a carbon reduction strategy that exceeds national targets for the sector.
Low Carbon Economy 30th July 2009 more >>
Higher education establishments are well placed to set the example for private and public sector organisations when it comes to curbing emissions, the government says
Business Green 31st July 2009 more >>
Cornwall signs up
Over 300 local councils have now signed the Nottingham Declaration, including the former Cornwall County Council and most of the former district councils. Now the new unitary authority Cornwall Council has signed and has agreed to lead action at the local level. This will involve developing plans with partners and local communities over the next two years to address the causes and impacts of climate change and reduce the climate change impacts of its own operations.
eGov Monitor 29th July 2009 more >>
The UK’s leading green energy awards calls for entries from Local Authorities. The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy are seeking entries from local authorities that have carried out effective programmes to improve energy efficiency, reduce demand or increase the supply of local renewable energy.
eGov Monitor 29th July 2009 more >>
The government’s much-vaunted aim of thousands of new “green jobs” is to receive a boost with a training centre in south Wales. British Gas is working with the Welsh Assembly to create a first dedicated environmental skills training centre in Tredegar, and provide more than 1,300 people a year with skills such as installing solar panels. Most of the money to start the centre will come from the European contingency fund. Rhodri Morgan, Wales’s first minister, said the centre would “become a UK-wide resource for industry and job creation”.
FT 29th July 2009 more >>
Centrica 29th July 2009 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 31st July 2009 more >>
Cornish Solar School
A PRIMARY school in St Austell will become one of the greenest in Cornwall when £20,000 solar panels are installed. St Mewan School is one of 80 selected to receive a grant from the Co-operative as part of a green energy scheme.
Cornish Guardian 29th July 2009 more >>
A green project aimed at installing renewable energy technologies on Winchester farms has received £20,000 of funding. A team of experts will work with the National Farmers Union and Green Energy UK to encourage local farmers to make the most of their resources. This will include the trial of a ‘Farm Wind’ project to provide cheap electricity.
Hampshire Chronicle 28th July 2009 more >>
Making the invisible visible is a useful first step when you’re greening your home. To see where my house is wasting energy, the Dundee-based company IRT Surveys recently conducted a thermal imaging survey with our central heating on full power and all the windows shut.
Guardian 28th July 2009 more >>
Northern Ireland Failure
The failure to implement Renewables Obligations and feed-in tariffs in the same timescale as the UK will see the renewables industry in Northern Ireland collapse as companies move to England or Scotland, or even the Republic to take advantage of the growth in the industry. Above all, it is the homeowners and businesses of Northern Ireland who will lose out if feed-in tariffs and a Renewable Heat Incentive are not introduced in NI next year.
Belfast Telegraph 28th July 2009 more >>
Architects against climate change
MORE than 400 experts from 35 countries are meeting in Glasgow this week to help architecture deal with the effects of climate change. The four-day International Building Performance Simulation Association Conference is being held in the UK for the first time - at Strathclyde University.
Glasgow Evening Times 28th July 2009 more >>
Jonathan Dimbleby has been given permission to install a ‘monstrous’ 50ft wind turbine in his garden. Neighbours of the BBC presenter, 64, who is also vice-president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, wrote letters opposing the structure. But South Hams Council in Devon approved the plan ‘within three minutes’.
Daily Mail 28th July 2009 more >>
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a document which looks at the issues of construction and maintenance in both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal power (STP).
New Energy Focus 27th July 2009 more >>
Baxi Group UK and Ireland is one of the latest organisations to become an Energy Saving Trust Member. Baxi group joins existing members ScottishPower, E-on, British Gas, BP, EDF, npower, Scottish & Southern, Phoenix Gas, Firmus Energy, NIE Energy and National Grid. Members’ benefits range from briefings on major research projects, Government briefings, discounted rates for knowledge services to joint brand opportunities and many other tools to help Members deliver sustainable business processes and offer employees low carbon lifestyle activities.
24 Dash 27th July 2009 more >>
The campus at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) claims to be one of the most energy efficient in the country thanks to an installation of solar panels. Three of the university’s buildings have been equipped with 400 Sharp solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs, including the students union and library.
Environment Times 27th July 2009 more >>
Leeds Greenest School
CONSTRUCTION is underway on what is set to be the city’s greenest primary school. Existing buildings at Bankside Primary School, Leeds, are set to be demolished and replaced by a £9.1m building with renewable energy sources including a ground source heat pump and solar panels.
Yorkshire Evening Post 27th July 2009 more >>
Praise for Oxford
COMMUNITIES in Oxford have been praised by Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband for working to make the city “the green capital of Britain”. A number of projects designed to cut carbon emissions won praise as Mr Miliband visited Oxford today to meet people who are taking the lead in energy-efficient schemes.
This is Oxfordshire 27th July 2009 more >>
All the toilets and road signs on the biggest construction site in Europe are being powered by small scale solar panels and wind turbines.
Independent 27th July 2009 more >>
A PRIMARY school in Doncaster has become a leading light in renewable energy after switching on more than 20 solar panels – part funded by the Co-operative Group.
Doncaster Free Press 26th July 2009 more >>
Tony Juniper: Making our houses into power stations marks a big shift and will reduce our reliance on inefficient coal and gas stations. As the market grows, costs will fall. One cost-effective small-scale renewable energy technologies is solar hot-water heating. Some systems use evacuated solar tubes that gather heat even on cool, cloudy days.
Sunday Times 26th July 2009 more >>
A lot of people expect our house to be covered in solar panels and to sport a wind turbine. It’s not. Our approach at home is based on common sense, simple mathematics and where we can make a difference. If official incentives become clearer for example, a feed-in tariff to reward homeowners who have small-scale renewable power systems, which would transform the economics of such technologies then the Juniper family, along with everyone else, will be more likely to sign up. We might do it anyway though.
Sunday Times 26th July 2009 more >>
Charles Clover: However many eco-towns with zero or near-zero emissions are built, two-thirds of Britain’s current buildings will still be standing in 2050 and at the present rate they’ll be leaking heat. How is that nice Mr Miliband going to get us all into conditions of Scandinavian snugness by the mid-century? After hours of reading the government’s documents, I have realised the flaw in this important but rather bureaucratic plan is that the means to persuade me to lag my loft, retro-fit our house and turn it into a mini power station are still missing. People in councils trying to stitch together funding for big energy efficiency schemes say it’s like swimming against the tide. Where energy conservation schemes have been a success - such as the one devised by the Tory-run Kirklees – the evidence is that they work only if they are very, very simple and there is pressure for everyone to get involved. You are told they are doing the whole street this week and there will be people to move the stuff in your loft, but it’s a one-off offer – blink and you’ll miss it.
Sunday Times 26th July 2009 more >>
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has become a shareholder in a West Oxford green power scheme he has described as inspirational. Mr Brown was presented with his stake by delegates from Low Carbon West Oxford during a meeting at Downing Street. He was told more about the group’s ambitious plans to tap into the River Thames to power homes.
This is Oxfordshire 25th July 2009 more >>
Boys in blue go green
Wembley police station has become the first building to get an eco-makeover from the Mayor of London’s scheme to make public buildings greener and save taxpayers’ money on fuel bills. The police station is the first of 42 buildings in the Greater London Authority Group set to get an energy efficiency upgrade to in the coming months which offers guaranteed levels of energy savings – and therefore also financial saving – over a period of years.
Mayor of London 24th July 2009 more >>
One Wales: One Planet
Wales has launched an ambitious sustainable development strategy to be “self-sustaining in renewable energy” by 2025, and to produce zero waste by 2050. The far-reaching targets in One Wales: One Planet place the nation streets ahead of England and Scotland, and make it one of only three countries globally with a legal obligation to develop sustainably. The plan includes insulating and installing microgen in 40,000 new social housing homes by 2025.
World Changing 24th July 2009 more >>
Carbon neutral in Harrogate
Harrogate will be home to one of the greenest buildings in the UK when a carbon neutral learning centre and library is built. The centre, to be built at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Harlow Carr Garden, will provide horticultural and environmental education to around 10,000 children a year. Set to open in early 2010, the building will minimise its carbon footprint by using renewable energy resources, solar panels, a grey water system and recycled materials. It will be made using sustainable timber, clay blocks and a sedum roof among other materials.
New Civil Engineer 24th July 2009 more >>
Yorkshire Evening Post 27th July 2009 more >>
A SOCIAL enterprise eco company’s campaign to embed renewable energy projects in Tees Valley communities is gathering pace with a double funding win. Wilton-based Renew is helping to finance three waste to energy plants for Community Renewable Energy (CoRE) - in return for plant prototype plans that will be rolled out across the North-east. The move could create a hub for the green technology - called anaerobic digestion (AD) - on Teesside.
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette 24th July 2009 more >>
FLATS in Newcastle’s West End will be powered by an eco-friendly boiler. A scheme for a biomass wood-burning heating system for Riverside Dene, formerly known as Cruddas Park, has won £1.7m from the Government. The district heating system will share £11.85m with six other projects in the UK.
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 24th July 2009 more >>
British Gas Money
Watford MP Claire Ward has championed a new energy fund to give away up to £2 million to the country’s “greenest” communities. The British Gas initiative is part of its nationwide Green Streets campaign to encourage innovative energy projects.
This is local London 24th July 2009 more >>
Heat Pump Welcome
The government’s new Renewable Energy Strategy, which offers valuable support to heat pumps, has been given the thumbs up by BEAMA. (British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association) The Renewable Energy Strategy identifies that by 2020 heat pumps can play a key role in increasing the renewable heat share from 1% to 12%.
Heating and Plumbing Monthly 23rd July 2009 more >>
ALMO Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has been successful in its application to the Energy Saving Trust/Low Carbons Building Programme for six grants worth £200k. The grants have allowed the company to install solar thermal panels to five sheltered schemes in the borough which now means that over one third of the company’s sheltered accommodation will have its energy sourced from the sun.
Ethos PR 21st July 2009 more >>