week ending 11 December 2009
The government must take the potential for solar energy seriously and back the “proven” technology if it wants to meet carbon reduction targets, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has claimed. The trade association has joined global construction products company Kingspan and solar PV manufacturers Romag in calling for the government to recognise the “vital opportunity” for solar photovoltaics. Kingspan believes Building Integrated Photovoltaic systems (BIPVs) in non-domestic buildings could create 5,865GHh each year by 2025. In contrast under the government’s currently proposed Feed-in-Tariff suggests just 600GWh by 2020 - roughly one tenth of the potential Kingspan has identified.
New Energy Focus 11th Dec 2009 more >>
Small Wind Potential
Two years of windspeed data is set to be released to the small wind community to help improve the international standards and related testing. The data was collected over a two-year study conducted by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), a non-profit organisation jointly funded by the British Government and the private sector, to monitor the in-situ performance of 57 domestic wind turbines. The study concluded this summer and found that there was a potential to generate up to 3,500GWh electricity per year from domestic small-scale wind turbines in the UK.
New Energy Focus 11th Dec 2009 more >>
Baxi welcomes scrappage scheme
Baxi Group has supported the call for a boiler scrappage scheme since Mick Williams, a plumber’s merchant from Hampshire, started a petition to kick-start the campaign. It is hoped that by offering a £400 incentive to scrap old SEDBUK Band G-rated boilers, over 125,000 households will benefit from newer, more efficient models.
24 Dash 11th Dec 2009 more >>
TOTNES could be in line for a £500,000 Christmas gift to help the town go even greener and give the town’s troubled Civic Hall a new lease of life at the same time. The town has just been shortlisted in a Government challenge to find the most innovative and effective ways of channelling renewable energy in a community. And part of the bid includes looking at how to ‘retrofit’ the 50-year-old Totnes Civic Hall with insulation in an effort to slash the building’s carbon footprint and cut the thousands of pounds a year it costs to heat and light the complex.
Devon Herald Express 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Micro Power Progress
Vijay Vaitheeswaran discusses the shift from an oil-based energy industry towards “smart micropower”, a new paradigm involving a smart grid that integrates both decentralized and centralized power plants in a robust fashion. He explains that the coming decentralization of the energy will inexorably lead to a democratization of infrastuctures, away from monopolistic controls.
Re-public 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Low Carbon Manchester
Greater Manchester has been designated the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) for the Built Environment. It will involve a five-year “retrofit” programme, - one of the largest initiatives of this type in the world - improving the insulation of thousands of homes and offices in Greater Manchester. Small-scale renewable energy technologies will also be installed and “smart meters”. A ‘low carbon laboratory’ will also be established. One of the most innovative areas of work will be the development of new finance initiatives such as mortgage products linked to carbon savings.
Salford Online 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Problems in Shetland
Raising the issue of possible concerns with small scale renewable energy devices and systems, the necessary after sales service and back up has confirmed to me that there is a significant problem here in Shetland. A lot of folk have registered their support with me for a new user group or forum dedicated to this growing green, carbon reducing technology.
Shetland News 10th Dec 2009 more >>
From April, people with a home wind turbine or solar panels, who send power back to the National Grid, will receive an average tax-free payment of £900 a year. Christine and Roger Griffiths run Aeolus Power from their Pilning farmhouse in South Gloucestershire. Christine, 50, started the firm after receiving a £2,200 electricity bill for her grade II-listed farmhouse. After mentoring from a Lowestoft firm, part of the process required before Aeolus began its own installations, the company now supplies equipment to installers across the South West, as well as putting in its own equipment for clients.
This is Somerset 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Solar photovoltaic panels are yet to take off in Wales, unlike other parts of Europe, despite the assembly government policy of backing wind and solar as preferred energy micro-generation.
But Prof Stuart Irvine, director of the solar energy research project at Technium OpTIC in St Asaph, Denbighshire, predicts a change and a different type of solar panel. Ironically most solar panels manufactured in Wales are exported to mainland Europe, especially Germany. With more generous grants for householders to invest in lowering their energy bills there, solar panels are more common than here.
BBC 10th Dec 2009 more >>
£160m investment in low-carbon and renewable projects; Boiler scrappage scheme for 125,000 households in England; Electric cars to be exempt from company car tax for five years; Tax rebate for installation of wind turbines and solar panels
Herald 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Alistair Darling’s Pre-Budget Report at least sounded environmentally friendly, with an additional £200 million for energy efficiency promised from April. The Chancellor said he will help “up to 125,000 homes” replace inefficient boilers, and he guaranteed more cash for wind turbine and solar panel users (at least for those plugged into the national grid). He will also try to boost the number of electric cars and vans by exempting the former from company car tax for 5 years, and allowing a “one hundred per cent first year capital allowance” for the latter.
Telegraph 10th Dec 2009 more >>
More than 100,000 ageing boilers could be scrapped and exchanged for newer, more energy-efficient models, under a £50 million plan. The scheme, similar to the car scrappage programme introduced last April, will offer grants of up to £400 for 125,000 households with old, inefficient boilers. By replacing them with a new, more efficient condensing boiler and better controls, households could cut their bills by up to a quarter, according to the Energy Saving Trust. In a family home that could amount to a saving of £235 a year.
Times 10th Dec 2009 more >>
BBC 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Independent 10th Dec 2009 more >>
Ed Matthew, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said: “The PBR was a golden opportunity for the chancellor to demonstrate genuine global leadership in developing a low-carbon future, but he has chosen to be timid when he needed to be bold. The economy doesn’t need green tinkering, it needs a complete low-carbon overhaul.”
Guardian 10th Dec 2009 more >>
John Sauven, Greenpeace’s executive director, said: “Alistair Darling peppered his speech with references to a low-carbon economy, but failed to announce the scale of change that would actually give us one. A bold chancellor would have scrapped Trident, saved 100bn and used the cash to create a green investment bank. This would help British companies invest in clean technology, and bring thousands of jobs.”
Scotsman 10th Dec 2009 more >>
The great and the good of the green business community offer their take on the contents of Darling’s red box. For example Juliet Davenport welcomes the introduction of tax breaks for domestic micro-generation and is glad the government can see the benefits of rewarding green homeowners something Good Energy started over five years ago. Creating a nation of green energy entrepreneurs will play a key role in achieving our national emissions reduction targets. We also welcome the support for company electric vehicles but would like the government to ensure that the electricity used to power these will be zero carbon from 100 per cent renewable sources.
Business Green 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Rapid 9th Dec 2009 more >>
A GREEN tax giveaway to encourage people to install wind turbines on their homes and abandon petrol-fuelled cars will be announced by Alistair Darling today. Homeowners who sell power generated through DIY systems like solar panels will be exempt from tax.
Western Morning News 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Yorkshire Post 9th Dec 2009 more >>
The National Housing Federation said the Chancellor had missed a key opportunity to slash the UK’s carbon emissions and reduce energy bills by failing to back a major programme of ‘greening’ more than 250,000 social homes in the Pre-Budget Report (PBR).
24 Dash 9th Dec 2009 more >>
PLANS to build a wind turbine which could raise up to £150,000 a year for local projects got unanimous backing of councillors yesterday. The National Air Traffic Service (NATS) originally objected to the Udny Community Wind Turbine Company proposal, warning the 262ft mast could interfere with radar. It removed its opposition a day before Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine area committee was due to discuss the proposal.
Press and Journal 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Using solar power to supply energy to shops and offices could cut carbon emissions by 6.4 million tonnes a year and reduce energy bills for property companies, new research has shown. The installation of photovoltaics integrated into the glass of window panes and laminated on to roofs could be used on 20 per cent of new commercial buildings and 10 per cent of existing buildings before 2025 to achieve a carbon saving of 5,865 gigawatt hours of electricity a year. The Government has forecast that greater use of this form of solar power could save 600 gigawatt hours a year.
Times 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Ground source heat pumps (GSHP), a technology which pumps liquid through underground coils to absorb heat, could supply a third of Britain’s renewable heat target by 2020, the Environment Agency said on Wednesday.
Reuters 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Which 9th Dec 2009 more >>
New Energy Focus 9th Dec 2009 more >>
Cities can take the lead.
“Leaders of cities and towns around the world who support and promote local renewable energy projects can blaze the trail towards greenhouse gas mitigation, energy security, sustainable development and social benefits for their citizens,“ said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) today in Paris. Launching the Agency’s new publication Cities, Towns and Renewable Energy – Yes In My Front Yard, he stressed that the report identifies a range of successful policies already used by leading municipalities to increase renewable energy deployment in cities and towns, usually together with the encouragement of energy efficient measures.
Commodities Now 8th Dec 2009 more >>
but not Edinburgh
CITY leaders have blocked proposals to insist that medium-sized developments in the Capital install renewable energy systems. Councillor Steve Burgess, environment spokesman for the Green group on the city council, had called for the council’s planning standards to be brought into line with the Scottish Government’s approach. The move was opposed by planning leader Jim Lowrie, meaning that only developments over 1,000 square metres have to install renewable energy sources.
Edinburgh Evening News 8th Dec 2009 more >>
HOMES in Sunderland are to get green makeovers as part of a £4m national scheme to tackle climate change by slashing carbon emissions. The Gentoo housing group was chosen to manage one of three pilot projects for the Government’s Home Energy Pay As You Save scheme. The initiative aims to give households the chance to get energy efficiency measures and renewable energy features, like solar panels, with no up front cost. Families can then repay the cash using money saved on their energy bills.
Newcastle Journal 8th Dec 2009 more >>
A £1.5m grant has been secured by Nottingham City Council to expand the district heating system into the Southside regeneration zone. Council-owned company EnviroEnergy runs the heat station in London Road, which uses Eastcroft incinerator to provide heating and electricity to thousands of local customers. The new cash from the Homes and Communities Agency’s low carbon fund will enable a new main to be installed – to provide a renewable energy source for new private developments.
Nottingham Evening Post 8th Dec 2009 more >>
Save the planet and money?
Like many people, I have half-heartedly toyed with the idea of solar panels on the roof, harnessing wind power from my garden or even installing ground source heat pumps.
However, the simple fact of the matter is that no matter how much the experts claim I will save over the course of 20 or more years, the initial cost involved in any of these emission-reducing measures is prohibitive.
Yorkshire Post 8th Dec 2009 more >>
Cumbrian Farm Generation
Six renewable energy plants could be built on farms between Silloth and Wigton at a cost of £15 million. Farmgen, the company behind the ambitious plans, has already submitted its first planning application for an anaerobic digester (AD) at Dryholme Farm, near Silloth. It says five farmers have said they want plants on their land following a consultation meeting this month. Each digester would be fed with slurry, silage and other crops from around 1,000 acres of land.
Cumberland News 8th Dec 2009 more >>
Tax rebates for people who “go green” by installing solar panels or wind turbines on their homes or swapping their company car for an electric vehicle will be announced by Alistair Darling tomorrow.
Independent 8th Dec 2009 more >>
The Third Industrial Revolution
Jeremy Rifkin, a US academic and climate change guru is advising, Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s post-fascist mayor, and the governments of Spain and Greece and acts as an informal consultant for Germany’s Angela Merkel. He bases his vision on what he calls the “third industrial revolution” – of a carbon- and nuclear-free future – on a programme of “distributive energy”. Distributive energy boils down to individual buildings and local cooperatives becoming energy positive, harnessing wind, sun and thermal energy to run themselves and sell surplus power to others via a “smart grid” system.
FT 8th Dec 2009 more >>
Third Industrial Revolution more >>
Zero Carbon Europe
Today, at the Energy Council the Swedish Presidency was congratulated for the agreement reached on the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Any new European building will have to be “nearly zero energy” by 2020, meaning that a very large share of energy consumption will be provided by renewable energy. Solar photovoltaic technologies are amongst the best suited to be integrated in buildings. However no target has been set for existing buildings which currently represent about 99% of the building stock.
European Photovoltaic Industry Association 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Heat Pump Hotel
Dimplex air source heat pumps have been installed in a new hotel to help meet Building Regulations and Merton Rule criteria. The new £2.6 million Travelodge with 53 bedrooms is the first hotel in the Wiltshire town of Devizes for 200 years and now has three Dimplex LA 28 AS air source heat pumps to pre-heat domestic hot water, in a project that won Non-Domestic Installation of the Year in the Dimplex 2009 Heat Pump Awards for accredited installer Micro-Generation Systems.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Thames Water said it was flushed with success after saving £15m last year in electricity bills by generating renewable power from the poo produced by 13.6 million customers. The company said it met 14 per cent of its power needs from either burning sewage sludge or methane derived from it in 2008/9.
Metro 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Cornish farmer Robert Herford is the first UK farmer to install a Coemi Skywing turbine and is set to hold an open day on Friday, December 11. The Skywing is the very latest in wind turbine design and despite their compact size and ultra-quiet operation compare favourably with giant turbines, thanks to computer-controlled technology.
Smallholder 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Great British Refurb
Energy secretary Ed Miliband is launching the great British Refurb, an experiment in financing domestic energy saving technology, while the energy bill has its second reading in the Commons. The innovative scheme being piloted in some homes in Birmingham, Sunderland, Sutton and Stroud. Homeowners will be able to invest in energy efficient microgeneration technologies with no upfront cost. The repayments would then be spread over a long enough period that they constitute a lower figure than the energy bill savings families are expected to make.
Politics.co.uk 7th Dec 2009 more >>
As talks begin in Denmark, Mr Miliband also announced the start of the Pay As You Save scheme in the UK - aimed at helping householders to install microgeneration capacity - while the government’s Energy Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons today. The Energy Bill was introduced into Parliament on November 19 2009 and outlines new powers and clearer legislation to provide support for energy consumers, a financial incentive for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and new responsibilities for Ofgem
New Energy Focus 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Building 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Greenbang 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Money High Street 7th Dec 2009 more >>
Energy Efficiency News 8th Dec 2009 more >>
SAINSBURY’S is to sell solar panels to help make energy-efficient technology more mainstream. The supermarket is trialling green showrooms in three of its stores in partnership with energy provider EDF to sell green technology. They will offer solar panels and pumps that use energy from the air to heat water.
Sunday Express 6th Dec 2009 more >>
Residents who allow wind farms to be built in their area would be given ownership of individual turbines and the profits from them under Conservative energy plans.
Telegraph 5th Dec 2009 more >>
Westray Development Trust won Best Community Initiative at last night’s Scottish Renewables Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh. The charitable company has helped address socio-economic factors in Orkney by investing in renewable energies such as wind turbines. Any adult in the community can join WDT who now wholly own two subsidiary trading companies - Westray Renewable Energy Ltd and Orkney Biofuels Ltd.
Orcadian 5th Dec 2009 more >>
KERBSIDE food waste collections in Waverley came a step closer on Tuesday night, after members of the borough council’s executive agreed provisional plans to introduce the service. Anaerobic digestion is a process whereby organic matter, such as raw and cooked food and vegetable peelings is broken down in a controlled environment, using bacteria already present in the material. The system produces methane gas, which can be harnessed to make renewable energy, and the left over matter can be used as fertiliser.
Get Surrey 4th Dec 2009 more >>
Last year an REA and Friends of the Earth led coalition won a new law to introduce a scheme to boost renewable energy owned and generated by communities, businesses and households. The clean energy cash back scheme, which is very similar to a ‘feed-in tariff’, means you will get paid for producing energy from renewable sources. But Government proposals show an alarming lack of ambition aiming for just 2% of the UK’s electricity comes from small scale renewables by 2020.The Government’s own research shows three times this amount could be produced if the scheme was more ambitious. Help us fight for high tariff levels.
REA 3rd Dec 2009 more >>
Combined heat and power (CHP) manufacturer, Baxi-SenerTec UK, is the winner of this year’s Combined Heat and Power Association Public Sector Award.
Heating and Plumbing Monthly 2nd Dec 2009 more >>