week ending 21 May 2010
THE UK is committed to ensuring that all new homes meet an ambitious zero-carbon standard by 2016. And with only a smattering of them in the country to date, there’s a long way to go. Indeed, Barry Morgan, of Morgan Restoration, an ardent eco-developer who has just installed solar panels on The Boatyard development overlooking the River Medway in Maidstone, says: “We are nowhere near being at zero carbon by 2016 – the process has been clouded by consultants and irrelevancies and ways of wiggling round the system by scoring points with meaningless measures. We’re far behind Europe.” Morgan doesn’t reckon he’ll get his money back for the solar panels, but he says: “I just had to do it. I believe solar is the most efficient energy we’ve come up with.”
City AM 21st May 2010 more >>
The Forestry Commission Scotland has published a survey revealing that around three quarters of small to medium scale woodfuel producers in England, Scotland and Wales surveyed feel that a focused trade association would benefit the sector.
New Energy Focus 20th May 2010 more >>
A YORKSHIRE company, which is helping thousands of people to escape from poverty, plans to hire more staff as it moves to a larger home. ENER-G Switch2 is working to ensure that some of Britain’s poorest people don’t face crippling energy bills. ENER-G Switch2 designs, installs and maintains “green” communal energy schemes. These schemes give homeowners the chance to benefit from centrally generated heating, hot water and electricity. The renewable energy sources could include biomass boilers – using wood chips – solar heating and sometimes waste heat from nearby industry.
Yorkshire Post 20th May 2010 more >>
A YORK specialist in environmentally friendly technology is making long-term plans after expanding into a new market. Solarwall hopes its new showroom for renewable energy technologies will secure the company’s future. The £6 million turnover business has been providing cavity wall and loft insulation from York for the past 30 years and employs about 80 people. The renewables business will ensure those 80 people would still have a job in six years’ time.
York Press 20th May 2010 more >>
Plans for the turbine at the £8million Hinguar Primary School in Gunners Park, Shoebury, have been submitted by Southend Council’s schools department.
Southend Echo 20th May 2010 more >>
County councillors are expected to grant planning consent for an anaerobic digester between Lowther Farm and Kirkbride Airfield Industrial Estate. Anaerobic digesters process farm slurry and manure, grass silage and other forage crops to create methane gas, which is fed into an engine to produce electricity and heat. A co-operative of farmers and Workington-based Community Renewable Energy North West (CoRE) are behind the scheme.
Carlisle News and Star 20th May 2010 more >>
Liverpool City Council, in partnership with North West climate change fund Foundation, has launched a Liverpool Community Renewable Power Fund to deliver measurable carbon savings. Grants of up to £50,000 are available to charities, community groups and schools based in the city for microgeneration schemes such as wind and solar projects and heat pumps that need some funding to make a start.
Place North West 20th May 2010 more >>
Old Trafford Seminar
Specialist consultancy Envirolink Northwest will be holding a seminar on the microgeneration certification scheme next month. In partnership with Energy Saving Trust, the Envirolink Northwest seminar is being held at Old Trafford stadium, home of Premier League runners-up Manchester United FC, as part of the Envirenergy North West 2010 event on 24 June. Envirolink Northwest said the seminar will inform installers and manufacturers of microgeneration technologies in the North West about the MCS certification scheme.
Place North West 20th May 2010 more >>
Schoolchildren, farmers, sports clubs and community groups are among those who will benefit from the energy fair starting in Galashiels tomorrow. Several community groups will describe the successes and challenges of their energy projects including Lauderdale Powerdown, Berwickshire Housing Association on using renewable energy in affordable housing, Selkirk wind farm, and Carlops Parish Church on Scotland’s eco-congregation. There will be information on transition towns, eco-house design, underfloor and solar heating and heat pumps, solar energy panels, boilers, biomass heating, composting, turbines and buildings insulation. Forestry Commission Scotland will give information about woodfuel resources and grants, and experts will talk about getting Lottery and community support funds, among others. Energy Savings Trust and Scottish Power staff will talk about selling energy.
Southern Reporter 20th May 2010 more >>
The Renewable Energy Association welcomed the appointment of new Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, but claimed that more clarity was needed on a range of issues, including the future of the Renewables Obligation for large-scale power and implementation plans for next April’s launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. They are also seeking clarity over funding for bioenergy power projects, a strategy for biofuels, introducing biomass sustainability standards, and the future of the planning system.
Green Machine 20th May 2010 more >>
P yry Forest Industry Consulting, part of the P yry Group, shares its conclusions from its recent study ‘Wood Pellets - The Bioenergy Feedstock Solution? Global market, players and trade to 2015.
New Energy Focus 19th May 2010 more >>
Solar energy has received a boost today with news of a £47m expansion by a company specialising in the renewable energy sector. The phased expansion, by Kingspan Renewables Ltd, aims to create 163 new jobs over the next five years. It was announced this week by NI Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster who said that Kingspan Renewables designs and produces a range of high-tech products, including solar vacuum tubes, for the global market.
4NI 19th May 2010 more >>
Belfast Telegraph 20th May 2010 more >>
Farmers and land owners could earn rents in the region of up to £12,000 a year for hosting a single wind turbine, according to James Humphreys, Director of the Rural Division, at Stratton & Holborow.
South West Farmer 19th May 2010 more >>
THE Co-operative Bank is setting up a dedicated Scotland team as it prepares to lend up to 200 million this year to back renewables projects north of the Border. The company said the decision to establish a separate team reflected the strong demand it was seeing for funding for smaller-scale renewables projects. A team of five will be split between the bank’s Edinburgh and Glasgow corporate business centres and headed by Chris Rodgers, senior manager for its renewable energy team. The Co-operative Bank has been one of the most active lenders to the renewables sector in recent years. In 2007, it ring-fenced 400m specifically to fund renewable energy and carbon-reduction projects.
Scotsman 19th May 2010 more >>
Business Desk 19th May 2010 more >>
Crain’s Manchester Business 19th May 2010 more >>
Lancashire Evening Post 20th May 2010 more >>
WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) supported £3m ‘green’ enterprise that will generate enough renewable energy to power 1,300 local homes and businesses, and produce a nutrient-rich biofertiliser, has been launched on a Staffordshire farm. The Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant at Lower Reule, which has been supported by a £750,000 grant from WRAP, has provided an ideal new venture for Ian Critchey, Director of Lower Reule Farm.
Farm Business 19th May 2010 more >>
Suddenly, the rewards for generating electricity from low carbon sources are within the reach of far more people than ever before. The financial incentives to encourage the generation of renewable energy, both for use and for export back to the grid, are starting to look very attractive. There’s a viable range of small scale domestic options such as solar PV and small wind turbines, as well as larger technologies which will be more attractive to industrial and other users. Commercial developers and utility companies are starting to take an active interest. Community projects that previously might have struggled to raise capital should now find it easier to get funding from the banks because of the higher returns available. The profitability of on farm or private estate projects will also be vastly improved.
Engineer Live 19th May 2010 more >>
As one of the largest public sector organisations in the UK, the NHS contributes a significant amount to the country’s carbon footprint. The NHS in Wales has now announced that it is undertaking a “major exercise” to reduce its impact on the environment, and it is hoped subsequently its costs.
Health Minister Edwina Hart announced far ranging measures to bring the existing services and infrastructure up to scratch and create a more sustainable plan for new projects. Biomass heating systems will be installed to meet higher environmental standards and new combined heat and power systems will be fitted in two existing major hospitals, including the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
Low Carbon Economy 19th May 2010 more >>
Almost half of British companies are considering installing some form of renewable energy, according to a new survey of over 520 board level executives that reveals growing corporate interest in the renewable energy sector following the launch last month of new feed-in tariff incentives. The survey, which was commissioned by the InvestinCornwall development agency, found that 48 per cent of respondents either already use renewable energy through onsite generation or green energy tariffs or are considering using renewable energy.
Business Green 18th May 2010 more >>
Zero Carbon Centre
Advanced plans for a new regional educational centre to spearhead the development of renewable technologies were unveiled at a special public consultation in Devon last week. The Environment and Renewable Energy Technologies Hub – Earth for short – is the proposed new facility at Bicton College, which will be the first and only centre of its kind in the South West. Discussions are at advanced stages with East Devon Council for a series of redundant farm buildings at Bicton College’s Home Farm complex, to be refurbished and renovated to provide a zero-carbon dedicated training facility that does not rely on the National Grid for heat or power.
Western Morning News 18th May 2010 more >>
Exmouth Herald 19th May 2010 more >>
Organisations, businesses and individuals wanting to develop small-scale schemes to generate electricity through water power are being given a boost by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA). It has launched the Small-Scale Hydro Power Feasibility Fund to help pay for feasibility studies to explore the potential of hydro projects at promising sites in the Dales.
Westmorland Gazette 18th May 2010 more >>
Mitsubishi Electric launched Monday a “smart grid” pilot project that aims to boost the stability of electricity supplied from weather-dependent sources such as solar and wind power. The Japanese giant said it would invest seven billion yen (76 million dollars) by March 2012 in facilities in its domestic production centres to test how to maintain stable power from fluctuating renewable energies.
Independent 18th May 2010 more >>
A green home improvement scheme will benefit people in at least 21 communities in Wales with £30million in funding in its first year, Environment Minister Jane Davidson announced today. The arbed scheme, which means “save” in Welsh, will upgrade the energy efficiency of existing housing stock in some of the most deprived parts of the country and also provide a boost to jobs, skills and regeneration. The £30million funding is for projects that have been successful in the first round of the scheme.
Welsh Assembly Government 17th May 2010 more >>
Edie 17th May 2010 more >>
eGov Monitor 18th May 2010 more >>
Green Grants Machine 20th May 2010 more >>
A £40 million network of “sun farm” solar power stations could be rolled out across parts of the Westcountry. Backers of the plans say the facilities would treble the amount of energy generated from the sun in the UK. Ten sites are planned for locations across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with the first being built on a 15-acre site between St Kew and St Mabyn in North Cornwall. It is hoped, subject to planning permission, that it will start generating power in April 2011.
This is Cornwall 17th May 2010 more >>
Guardian 19th May 2010 more >>
The National Trust recently unveiled ambitious plans to reduce its use of fossil fuels across its 660 properties in the UK by 50% over the next 10 years - an initiative aimed at boosting its green credentials and reducing its carbon footprint while protecting and retaining the original character of these inspirational properties for future generations to enjoy.
Plumbing Park 17th May 2010 more >>
Wedmore First School officially opened its new environmentally-friendly addition at a special ceremony last month. The newly-installed roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system will generate approximately 10,500 kwh of clean energy each year. This will significantly reduce the school’s electricity bills as well as generate income by exporting surplus power to the national grid.
Weston Mercury 16th May 2010 more >>
Scottish and Southern Energy is to move into renewable waste treatment by building a £13.5 million biogas plant in North Ayrshire – the first in a planned series of plants that will see an investment of around £100m around the country. The Ayshire plant, which is receiving £2.2m in funding from the Scottish Government, will be built on a former landfill site at Barkip, several miles northeast of Dalry. Scheduled to open next summer, it will run on a process called anaerobic digestion (AD), using bacterial cultures to digest 75,000 tonnes of waste each year to produce methane gas.
Sunday Herald 16th May 2010 more >>
BBC 18th May 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 19th May 2010 more >>
Pavegen system is about to shift our perceptions of renewable energy. When you or I step on one of these paving stones, 5% of the energy we create is used to light up its central LED light, and the rest is stored in a battery (for up to three days) and can be used for any low-power application.
Observer 16th May 2010 more >>
Fitting a turbine to your roof might seem a tempting green investment, but could it turn out to be a white elephant? We explore the alternatives. There are other, more cost-effective ways of generating energy in the home. Photovoltaic panels are probably the most attractive. These are powered by daylight not just direct sunlight and work even in Britain’s overcast climate
Sunday Times 16th May 2010 more >>
A Westcountry firm whose machines turn food waste into a valuable source of renewable energy has won a major industry award. BioNova, from Okehampton, Devon, was voted into first place in the Energy Management category of the prestigious 2010 Food Processing Awards by the magazine’s readers. The machines turn food waste into an energy-rich material for use in a biomass boiler effectively giving customers free on-site hot water and heating.
Plymouth Herald 15th May 2010 more >>
SOLAR panel farms to harness more power from the sun could be set up in Gloucestershire. Dale Vince, boss of wind energy firm Ecotricity, is looking at installing sites of solar panels in areas such as the Cotswolds.
This is Gloucestershire 15th May 2010 more >>
Dales Community Centre
A FORMER dales school will soon reopen as a community centre for people living in one of the most isolated parts of County Durham. It will be developed with eco-friendly features, thanks to a grant of more than £150,000. Walls will be insulated with fleeces and a small wind turbine will help power a ground source heat pump.
Darlington & Stockton Times 14th May 2010 more >>
European funding is helping to kickstart a new co-operative that aims to produce its own electricity and tackle fuel poverty. The Horizon Energy Co-operative plans to work in partnership with social housing providers across North-West England to establish a microgrid capable of producing electricity and using its surpluses to help those tenants most at risk of fuel poverty. The co-operative is the brainchild of Andrew Melchior, Managing Director of energy consultancy the EIF Partnership. As well as social housing providers, the Partnership is also consulting with a wide range of potential partners, including a renewable energy research unit at the University of Southampton.
Co-operative News 14th May 2010 more >>
The Micropower Council will be organising a Post-election Briefing for the microgeneration industry from 2:00-5:00pm on Wednesday 26th May in Central London (venue to be confirmed). The briefing session will draw on the insights of a range of speakers as we assess the outlook for the microgeneration sector under the new Parliament.
Micro Power Council May 2010 more >>
A number of microgeneration technologies feature in a new state-of-the-art training centre in Wales, aimed at providing people with the skills needed to work in the renewable energy sector. British Gas has opened the facility in Tredegar, with 1,300 energy-efficient installers and assessors hoping to gain qualifications each year.
Rapid 14th May 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 18th May 2010 more >>
Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP has won the Green Innovation Award as part of Sustainability Now. A virtual event, Sustainability Now provided keynotes, information, discussions and an exhibition around sustainability in the built environment and was attended by a record number of delegates. Professionals from architecture, engineering, quantity surveying, project management and construction all attended without the need to leave their offices, making it a very cost effective and low carbon event.
24 Dash 14th May 2010 more >>
Plumbing Park 17th May 2010 more >>
Builders Merchant Journal 18th May 2010 more >>
Rated People 18th May 2010 more >>
Microgeneration Certification Scheme
Working closely with Suffolk Trading Standards the Regional Microgen Co-ordinator Paul Bourgeois, set up a seminar to help non-MCS certificated installation companies understand how to apply to become MCS approved and be aware of the new Consumer Protection Regulations which have replaced the Trade Descriptions Act.
Energy Saving Trust May 2010 more >>