week ending 12 March 2010
RENEWABLE electricity supplier, Good Energy, is leading a national campaign to urge the Government to re-assess its reward scheme for early adopters of microgeneration. Under the government’s recently announced Clean Energy Cash-back scheme, householders who install microgeneration technology – such as solar PV wind-turbines or small hydro power – will receive a feed-in tariff payment of up to 41.3 pence per kilowatt hour.
Western Gazette 12th Mar 2010 more >>
MORE renewable energy plants and diverting waste from landfill could all help London follow in the carbon ‘footsteps’ of Copenhagen, Europe’s greenest city. An expert from the Danish capital has been giving tips to the London Assembly on how to check Boris Johnson’s proposed ‘climate change’ strategy.
East London Advertiser 12th Mar 2010 more >>
FARMERS considering the installation of wind turbines on their land were this week advised, other conditions permitting, to go for as big a development as they could afford. As the scale of generation increased, the benefits accruing from larger units rose disproportionately, Gavin Catto, of Green Cat Renewables, told an audience at a seminar in Perth organised by accountants Campbell Dallas.
Scotsman 12th Mar 2010 more >>
Feed-in Tariff Argument
The Guardian web pages are reverberating to the clash of arms between George Monbiot and UK supporters of feed-in tariffs for solar photovoltaic panels and other small-scale renewables. Monbiot claims solar power is an extremely expensive way of generating electricity in the UK and that the new scheme is another way of subsidising the wealthy middle class. The fans of feed-in tariffs note the success of similar schemes in other countries. They think that the cashback proposals will help create jobs in businesses that install and maintain low carbon energy sources. The UK scheme will help drive down the costs of renewable technologies and increase public support for wind and alternative sources of electricity.
Guardian 11th Mar 2010 more >>
Monbiot: Our tariff plan is near-identical to Germany’s – that’s the one that produced woeful amounts of energy, jobs and innovation.
Guardian 11th Mar 2010 more >>
Micro Grid goes Live
A consortium of Dutch companies has created a living smart grid demonstration community, including interconnected micro-CHP units, that goes live today. Consultancy KEMA has partnered with Dutch energy research centre ECN, software company Humiq and utility Essent to create the ‘PowerMatching City.’ Located in Hoogkerk, the Netherlands, the project is said to be the first microgrid in Europe to integrate a full-scale, operational ‘smart’ residential community energy system. The community includes 25 interconnected residential homes equipped with micro-CHP units, hybrid heat pumps, PV solar panels, smart appliances and electric vehicles, and additional community-based power produced by a wind farm and a gas turbine.
Powergen Worldwide 11th Mar 2010 more >>
Will FiT kill small wind?
UK small wind turbine manufacturers say they will lose out to foreign solar panel manufacturers in the race to cash in on the UK government’s new feed-in tariff scheme. They claim their products will be penalised because solar panel owners will receive higher government subsidies than wind turbine buyers. As the arrangement stands, a wind turbine would qualify for 26.7-34.5p per KWh in government subsidies, while solar panels would typically bring in 41p per KWh. Alex Murley, RenewableUK’s head of small systems, said: “Small wind is the only microgeneration technology which UK manufacturers dominate the market for. If we don’t get this right we could be shooting ourselves in the foot and killing off a burgeoning UK success story.”
Guardian 11th Mar 2010 more >>
UTV 10th Mar 2010 more >>
The Chairman of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has described Derbyshire Dales District Council’s £12-million leisure centre project as “an iconic development that will put Matlock on the map for all the right reasons”. The building incorporates significant renewable energy features to minimise the new building’s carbon footprint. These include solar panels, rainwater recovery and Combined Heating and Power (CHP).
East Midlands Development Agency 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Planning proposals aiming to increase the amount energy produced from renewable sources and help councils approve such applications quicker have been hailed as “the most dramatic and significant steps forward in spatial planning” after they were released for consultation.
New Energy Focus 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Triple boost for Councils
Housing and Planning Minister John Healey has announced a triple boost for councils tackling climate change by updating planning rules, granting nearly £10million to improve green skills and backing further progress by the ‘second wave’ of eco-towns. Three planning policies have been overhauled so that councils have the very latest targets and guidance to address climate change, putting them in the driving seat of change. Combined, the new policy statements (Climate Change, Natural Environment and Coastal Change) will give councils a ‘green planning rulebook’ so new sustainable developments are planned and built with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and with the future climate in mind.
Build 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 10th Mar 2010 more >>
The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and Friends of the Earth are enthusiastic over the announcement by the Housing Minister.
Green Builder 10th Mar 2010 more >>
A new Saisbury’s is ready to open in Stroud. The 20,000sqft supermarket is one of the country’s greenest – using renewable energy, a biomass boiler and a rainwater collection system.
This is Gloucestershire 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Peabody has been selected to test innovative low carbon building technology to help make homes more energy efficient. The Technology Strategy Board’s Retrofit for the Future programme is investing £17 million in more than 80 projects across the UK which will retrofit new technologies in social housing homes. The results of the projects will be shared to help show how the UK’s current housing stock could be made more energy efficient – vital to meeting the government’s CO2 reduction target of 80% by 2050.
24Dash 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Coolpower Products Ltd. has launched a technology solution for the UK market, that will provide a smart energy management device for both domestic and commercial buildings, that more effectively manages the energy output of grid-connected micro-generators (e.g. solar panels, micro wind and hydro turbines). The new Energy and Micro-generator Manager, called ‘EMMA’ is unveiled at the Ecobuild show in London.
Plumbing Park 10th Mar 2010 more >>
First Council House for 20 years
BUILDING work has started on the first council houses to be built in Sheffield for 20 years. They will make more use of renewable energy, be well-insulated, and will use less water and energy, keeping fuel bills low for the tenants. They will set a benchmark for future house building in Sheffield.
Yorkshire Post 10th March 2010 more >>
PLANS to build thousands of new ‘eco-homes’ on brownfield sites across Yorkshire have moved a step closer after the Government approved more than £1m in funding. Work on sites in Leeds Aire Valley, north-west York, the Bradford-Shipley canal corridor and North Kirklees and South Dewsbury were formally given Government approval yesterday, with up to 28,000 new sustainable homes being planned across the four sites. Local authorities say all the homes will be built “to meet the highest standards of sustainability”, and are expected to have solar panels and wind turbines as well as high-quality public transport and cycling links.
Yorkshire Post 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Micro-CHP Company for sale
The assets of Disenco Ltd, including patented CHP technology, are up for sale following the appointment of administrators. Disenco has developed a micro-CHP appliance, which is intended as a viable alternative to conventional boilers for domestic and small business premises. The technology generates mechanical, electrical and thermal energy simultaneously, allowing it to recover much of the energy normally lost through separate power generation.
Green Build News 10th Mar 2010 more >>
What does FiT mean to you?
Paul Hutchens, Managing Director of Eco2Solar Ltd, explains it to us: “Put simply, the Feed in Tariff is a system designed as an incentive for home owners and building managers to move away from conventional fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Birmingham Post 10th Mar 2010 more >>
How many micogen installations?
How many people are actually going to be able to install renewable energy-generating technology in their homes? That is the burning question which goes unanswered in the government’s strategy document called “Warm Homes, Greener Homes”, which outlines how it plans to cut carbon emissions from homes by 29% by 2020. The plan includes helping as many households as possible install loft and cavity wall insulation within the next five years, and fitting seven million homes with solid wall insulation or renewable energy-generating technology such as solar panels or wind turbines by 2020.
BBC 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Clean energy Cashback
From next month, the Government will pay for home-grown electricity – so installing solar panels won’t just ease your eco-guilt, but make real financial sense.
Independent 10th Mar 2010 more >>
North East Hydro
HYDROPOWER stations could be built across North Lincolnshire after seven potential locations were identified in an Environment Agency report. Of the sites in North Lincolnshire, two could generate up to 100KW, two a maximum of 20KW each and three more up to 10KW.
Scunthorpe Telegraph 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Northern Irish Microgen Grants
NORTHERN Ireland Electricity (NIE) has launched a new grant scheme to support Magherafelt homeowners who would like to install a renewable energy technology. The NIE SMART programme is offering a funding incentive to people across Mid-Ulster who would like to install either solar photovoltaic panels (PV) or a wind turbine.
Northern Constitution 10th Mar 2010 more >>
Solar Powered Marlow
ONE hundred homes across Marlow will be powered by the sun if a green organisation’s drive is successful. Transition Town Marlow wants a ton of households to sign up to its solar panel scheme. The organisation has teamed up with renewable electricity supplier Good energy in an ambitious project designed to make Marlow a ‘low-carbon community’ and more energy self-sufficient. About 70 households have entered into the scheme so far.
This is Local London 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Prospectors rushing into the solar market to take advantage of short-term profits could damage the long-term sustainability of the UK solar power industry, according to an energy consultant at metal and manufacturing company Luvata.
New Energy Focus 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Following the announcement in early February of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive the Solar Trade Association (STA) has claimed that solar thermal energy systems will be disadvantaged compared with other renewable heat solutions. The RHI consultation document outlines that the reimbursement of capital costs for solar thermal heat solutions will be only 6% compared with 12% for other heat technologies. The STA believes this “disconnect” will mean that homeowners will be unable to make decisions about renewable energy technology based on effectiveness and appropriateness, but rather that cost will play an unfair role in deciding what is best for individuals
New Energy Focus 9th Mar 2010 more >>
OUTDATED street lights are due to be replaced and solar-powered road signs introduced as part of moves to slash carbon emissions in York by more than 1,000 tonnes.
Yorkshire Post 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Jeremy Leggett make nine points in my response to George Monbiot’s latest round the disagreement about the importance of solar photovoltaics (PV) and the UK government’s upcoming feed-in tariffs.
Guardian 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Gordon Miller, founder of Whatgreenhome.com - an environmentally-friendly housing website - has argued that Britain s current housing stock needs to be retrofitted if the country is going to meet CO2 targets. Government plans include pay as you save green loans to help homes avoid the initial cost of microgeneration upgrades and eco show home to help educate property owners on how they can be more environmentally-friendly. “Clearly retrofitting and bringing the existing homes up to speed is absolutely critical if we are going to meet our own emissions targets and reduce CO2 emissions.”
Rapid 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Small Wind in America
Small wind regional test centres to test small wind turbines will be set up by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program and four partners. The four award recipient partners are Intertek Testing Services NA Inc in New York, Kansas State University, The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, and Windward Engineering LLC in Utah.
Renewable Energy Focus 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Steven Harris from the Energy Saving Trust describes what he believes is the first step towards the nationwide take-up of domestic energy generation.
The Engineer 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Co-operative models are increasingly seen as relevant to all sectors but there is particular growth potential in Scotland’s food and drink, tourism, forestry, renewable energy and creative industries.
Herald 8th Mar 2010 more >>
The man who oversaw the sale of British Energy to France’s EDF has launched a new venture to build small wind farms near to heavy industrial users of electricity.
Telegraph 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Thousands of small-scale hydroelectric schemes could power homes without damaging wildlife in rivers around the country, according to an Environment Agency study. The agency mapped the energy hotspots of English and Welsh rivers and identified almost 26,000 locations where turbines could be installed to generate electricity from the water. That number of small-scale schemes could power 850,000 homes and produce 1.5% of the UK’s electricity needs.
New Civil Engineer 8th Mar 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 9th Mar 2010 more >>
Local Authorities to sell electricity
Councils across the UK could be allowed to sell electricity generated from renewable sources under new proposals published for consultation last week (March 2) by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
New Energy Focus 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Red tape is strangling a scheme designed to encourage millions of families to generate their own green electricity with home-mounted solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps, according to the UK’s biggest manufacturer of central heating equipment. Worcester Bosch says that the scheme, which seeks to kick-start a boom in so-called microgeneration, is being hobbled by a chronic shortage of certified engineers who must fit the equipment for consumers to qualify for the payments.
Times 8th March 2010 more >>
Building 8th Mar 2010 more >>
Randstad 10th Mar 2010 more >>
SILICON wafer recycling venture Pure Wafer has developed a new manufacturing process which converts scrap material it produces into solar cells.
Western Mail 6th Mar 2010 more >>
An insurance expert has claimed that the benefits of the governments Warm Homes, Greener Homes initiative would only be felt by energy inefficient homes and that homes which are already relatively green would make less savings. Gareth Kloet, head of utilities at Confused.com, said that the benefits of the scheme launched earlier this week by secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Miliband, would be conditional. He said: “If you already have a reasonably energy efficient home, youll make less savings than if you have a very inefficient home. “The success of these schemes therefore will depend almost entirely on the body administering them to make good decisions about targeting resources effectively.”
Rapid 5th Mar 2010 more >>
FiT for purpose
Dave Elliot The debate on the UK’s new Feed-In Tariff (FiT) has been quite lively, with the George Monbiot its economically regressive, and Jeremy Leggett saying it is not “regressive” at all’. The extra cost is certainly small, since the expected size of the FiT scheme is small, only maybe leading to 2% of UK electricity by 2020, so maybe this is not a major issue. But it is good to see that the government has now announced a ‘green energy loan’ scheme (part of its new ‘Warm Homes, Green Homes’ strategy) under which energy supply companies and others (e.g. the Co-op) may offer consumers zero or low interest loans for installing new energy systems, to be paid back out of the resultant energy savings.
Environmental Research Web 6th Mar 2010 more >>
An independent survey conducted by the UK Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes which looked at the carbon impact of different domestic heating and hot water systems in both houses and flats concluded that community heating and CHP, fuelled wholly or mainly by biomass performed best, all other things being equal.
Low Carbon Kid 28th Feb 2010 more >>