week ending 20 November 2009
Most of us are used to handing our money over to energy suppliers, but under a new scheme one energy company is now paying its customers. The HotROCs scheme from Good Energy rewards customers who generate their own heat from solar water heating panels instead of from the company’s gas or electricity supply. For every unit of heat (measured in kilowatt hours or kWh) households generate from their solar panels, they will receive 4.5p.
Which 20th Nov 2009 more >>
TUTBURY could be the home of a high-tech, community- owned hydro-electric plant as early as 2011, project bosses say. Tutbury Hydro Electric Project (THEP) has undertaken a feasibility study and enlisted the help of H2OPE, a company managing hydro-electric projects on behalf of community groups. It has now emerged the plant, which will supply power to an adjacent substation for 40 years, will cost between £250,000 and £300,000. The Co-op, store has expressed a “strong interest” in buying electricity from the plant.
Burton Mail 20th Nov 2009 more >>
Micro Power Council Manifesto
A set of proposals which will feed into a government review of microgeneration policy was launched by the Micropower Council last night (November 18). The Micropower Manifesto, unveiled at an event attended by Energy Minister Lord Hunt, proposes four key objectives as a framework for a future micropower strategy required of government within the 12 months by Peter Ainsworth’s Green Energy Act, which received Royal Assent last week. These are: Cohesive financial support for microgeneration installation; Comprehensive retro-fitting of microgeneration technologies into existing building stock; Clear information for consumers on the options and help available; Credible career options throughout the industry.
New Energy Focus 19th Nov 2009 more >>
Joan Walley MP wants this former industrial hub to become a centre for green technologies and one of Britain’s green urban pioneers, and is devoting much of her own considerable drive and ingenuity to making it happen. “We have to find ways,” she says, stepping determinedly off the train at Stoke station, “of joining up science, policy, politics and people’s lives. A lot of that has to be done locally.”
Guardian 19th Nov 2009 more >>
UK energy policy needs to shift away from the ‘Big 6’ utilities towards independent electricity generators, who can address problems of size, speed, cost and diversity, as well as helping to plug the forthcoming energy gap, says Jo Butlin of SmartestEnergy, the UK’s leading purchasers and suppliers of “Green Energy.”
New Energy Focus 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Waste Wood CHP
Plans have been unveiled for a 25MW biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Kent capable of burning up to 150,000 tonnes of locally sourced wood waste a year. The biomass plant is set to use regionally sourced, low grade non-recyclable waste wood from construction and demolition, industrial uses and civic amenity sites. The partnership estimated that Kent alone could generate over 100,000 tonnes of waste wood each year.
Lets Recycle 18th Nov 2009 more >>
New Energy Focus 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Chester’s Eco Community
A VISION is being developed to transform a Chester housing estate into a model eco-friendly community. The blueprint for Blacon is only a concept at this stage although elements of the dream are already happening such as improving open spaces, green transport and investing in energy efficiency measures. Those behind the scheme would like Blacon to serve as a model that other communities can follow.
Chester Chronicle 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Welsh Energy Performance
Environment Minister Jane Davidson and Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, announced last Thursday, that the first phase of Arbed, the Assembly Government’s Strategic Energy Performance Investment programme, is to be rolled out across Strategic Regeneration Areas in Wales. It will invest in the energy performance of Welsh homes through social housing providers with the most appropriate and most cost-effective measures provided to vulnerable households. Thousands of homes in some of the most deprived areas of Anglesey are set to benefit from a major investment by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Holyhead & Anglesey Mail 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Cutting planning red tape to deliver low carbon homes is welcome news but it needs to be part of an overall policy delivery package to help householders retrofit their homes. That’s the warning just issued by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the announcement by Housing Minister, John Healey MP to overhaul the planning system in a move towards a low carbon future.
Build.co.uk 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Homeowners, developers and businesses could be able to install their own on-site wind turbines and air source heat pumps without the expense and red tape of planning permission, under government proposals announced yesterday.
New Energy Focus 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Wind turbines standing as high as 15 metres (50ft) will be allowed on farmland and industrial estates without planning permission, under proposals to boost renewable energy. The turbines will be approved across large areas of the countryside, provided they meet noise and impact restrictions. John Healey, the housing minister, also announced plans to fast-track applications for solar panels on stadiums, schools, railway stations and offices, as part of proposals to achieve national commitments on climate change.
Times 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Telegraph 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Daily Mail 18th Nov 2009 more >>
Guardian 18th Nov 2009 more >>
CLG Press Release 17th Nov 2009 more >>
The microgeneration industry today welcomed new government proposals to slash planning red tape and make it easier for homeowners, developers and businesses to install their own microgeneration equipment, including on-site wind turbines and air source heat pumps. Other microgeneration technologies have been free from such barriers since April 2008 but further work was needed to include micro wind turbines and air source heat pumps within domestic Permitted Development legislation.
24 Dash 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Business Green 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Building 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Green Building Press 17th Nov 2009 more >>
How can the area reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and support a low carbon future? That is the question being asked by Bath & North East Somerset Council at a series of special community events held in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Bath and North East Somerset needs to generate a significant proportion of its energy from renewable sources. We want to know how you would like to see this achieved: hydro-power, wind turbines, solar panels, biomass or heat pumps? What technologies should be developed, and where? And how can we make the area’s heritage buildings more energy smart?”
Bath & NE Somerset Council 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Herefordshire Council is extending its Special Energy Efficiency Scheme to contribute towards keeping the counties’ households warmer this winter. Grants of up to £500 per household are available.
Herefordshire Council 17th Nov 2009 more >>
DEVON is proving it’s at the forefront when it comes to promoting greener ways of living. A scheme run by the county council called Renewable Energy for Devon (RE4D) has won a prize in a South West green energy awards ceremony. The council has been recognised as the ‘most pro-active local authority’ due to the work of RE4D, in addition to other activities to reduce carbon emissions.
Exeter Express & Echo 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Grizebeck Community Hall will have a wind turbine, solar panels to power the television and equipment to take natural heat from the ground and turn it into energy.
NW Evening Mail 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Zebec Biogas and The William Tracey Group have been given planning consent for a £21m Anaerobic Digestion facility at Barkip in North Ayrshire. The new 75,000 tonne per annum capacity plant will be operational for early in 2011.
Builder and Engineer 16th Nov 2009 more >>
Aspen Air Conditioning has launched Aspen Heat Pumps, a specialist division of the business dedicated to the design, installation and maintenance of air source heat pumps.
Heating and Plumbing Monthly 16th Nov 2009 more >>
New independent research claims ambitious plans by the UK Government to generate 15 per cent of the UK’s renewable energy from biomass by 2020 will not come to fruition unless supply chain challenges are resolved.
Green Wise 16th Nov 2009 more >>
The Engineer 16th Nov 2009 more >>
New Energy Focus 16th Nov 2009 more >>
West Midlands AD
A plant which can convert 80,000 tonnes of household waste to energy every year has received the go-ahead to be built in Cannock. Biffa was given planning permission by Staffordshire County Council for the construction of an anaerobic digestion plant at the company’s Poplars waste management facility. The plant will treat food and vegetable waste from West Midland households and businesses including supermarkets, restaurants and food manufacturers that is currently sent to landfill.
Birmingham Post 16th Nov 2009 more >>
New Energy Focus 17th Nov 2009 more >>
Small Wind – Big Deal
When it comes to energy, General Electric is all about big: big coal plants, big nuclear plants, big wind towers. So why would the $183-billion a year industrial conglomerate bother to invest a small amount of money -- just a few million dollars – in a small company that makes wind turbines so small they can be erected in your backyard? Perhaps because, under the right circumstances, homeowners can make their own wind-generated, low-carbon, electricity for less than it costs to buy power from their local utility. This could turn small wind into a big deal.
Reuters 16th Nov 2009 more >>
Blythswood Square is one of Scotland’s most environmentally-friendly hotels through the incorporation of renewable energy technologies to achieve reduced carbon emissions.
Salford Online 15th Nov 2009 more >>
Movers and Shakers
As well as jobs in renewable energy, from installers of photovoltaic panels (or maybe you know them as solar panels) and wind turbines to scientists developing biofuel from algae (a technology in which the UK leads the world), there are green jobs in facilities management – has everyone switched off the lights for the night? – and the waste industry. In 20 years, chemical engineers currently employed to get oil out of the ground will be paid by governments to clean up after the oil companies. In the next 50 years, some believe many green jobs will be in climate-change mitigation, such as flood defences and carbon sequestration.
Independent 15th Nov 2009 more >>
Boiler manufacturer Baxi has been shortlisted for an industry award for its Ecogen micro-CHP (combined heat and power) device. The appliance is in the running for the Next Big Thing prize at the iawards, which recognises innovation in UK businesses.
BHL 15th Nov 2009 more >>
Plumbing Park 13th Nov 2009 more >>
In 2008/09 alone, Severn Trent Water generated 17.5 per cent of total electricity consumption from renewable sources. And aims to produce 30 per cent our electricity demand from renewable sources by 2013, by employing a number of initiatives including combined heat and power, energy crops, wind power and hydroelectricity.
Burton Mail 14th Nov 2009 more >>
“Solar is cheaper than coal today,” asserts Jigar Shah, the founder of Sun Edison who now heads the Carbon War Room, a new nonprofit group. This is a provocative statement, given that as my colleague Matthew L. Wald reported this year studies by the Electric Power Research Institute and elsewhere show that solar thermal technologies are far more expensive than coal, and photovoltaic rooftop solar panels, in turn, generally produce more expensive electricity than solar thermal. Mr. Shah’s argument in fact relies on combining solar with several other technologies: smart grid, energy efficiency and energy storage. Together, he argues, those four technologies can substitute for a large, base-load coal plant that provides power around the clock at a lower cost. “All of the four technologies can be employed in small bits and chunks, it can be done on a scalable basis to meet exactly the need but not more than we need,” Mr. Shah said.
New York Times 13th Nov 2009 more >>
Professor David Mackay, the newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has reiterated his support for heat pump technology in comments he made recently. “Setting fire to chemicals like gas should be made a thermodynamic crime,” he said. “If people want heat they should be forced to get it from heat pumps. That would be a sensible piece of legislation.”
Plumbing Park 13th Nov 2009 more >>
Sustainable Brampton say a 30-acre field on the edge of the town could become the home of the project which could produce enough energy to power the town and more by 2020. Wind energy, hydro energy and solar power have all been explored as part of the group’s Draft Energy Plan.
Cumberland News 13th Nov 2009 more >>
Energy company E.ON has given a £15,000 grant under its SOURCE community initiative to Langley Primary School towards the cost of installing a wind turbine.
Solihull News 13th Nov 2009 more >>
A RENEWABLE energy firm has been shortlisted for a top business award. Devon Green Energy has made it into the final three of the most innovative company category of the South Devon Excellence Awards. As people’s interest in green energy grows and the desire for more efficient heating spreads, so the heating industry becomes more innovative with not only solar power but ground and air source heat pumps and wind turbines.
Herald Express 13th Nov 2009 more >>
NINE wind turbines could soon be producing electricity from the roof of the University of Derby. A planning application has been submitted to Derby City Council for permission to build the 2.5 metre structures on the south tower of the Kedleston Road campus.
Derby Telegraph 13th Nov 2009 more >>
ESKDALEMUIR residents working to convert a former school into a community centre have been given a triple boost after securing more than £80,000 this week and the chance of another £400,000. Eskdalemuir is among 28 villages in the UK which have taken a step forward towards securing £400,000 for an eco enterprise to revive the community and have it all documented on a major prime time series on the BBC, called Village SOS. Eskdalemuir Community Energy Supply plans to harness the forestry resources in the area to create an enterprise which will provide cash for the hub. Work on the community hub is underway to make it energy efficient and a low-carbon building.
Dumfries and Galloway Standard 13th Nov 2009 more >>
German poultry producers have for some years enjoyed government subsidies helping them invest in solar panels and wind turbines. This has resulted in the German landscape becoming increasingly dotted with mirrored roofs, as the poultry sector becomes a significant generator of green energy. Back in the UK, the lack of a similar scheme has been a major obstacle for producers wishing to use their roof space. But as Damian Baker of RenEnergy, Norwich, points out, this is set to change next April with the launch of the new Feed In Tariffs (FITS).
Farmers Weekly 8th Nov 2009 more >>
A revolutionary wind turbine for the domestic market, which could provide 750 jobs, is likely to be manufactured in Scotland rather than abroad, after a last-minute change of attitude by Scottish Enterprise. The move follows a report on Monday in The Times that Renewable Devices of Midlothian, a wind energy design company which has succeeded in manufacturing a noiseless and energy-efficient domestic turbine, had failed to win backing from the Scottish government agency, whose remit is to support new enterprise and create jobs.
Times 4th Nov 2009 more >>