week ending 4 June 2010
Scottish environment secretary, Richard Lochhead, has claimed that Scotland’s timber harvest is expected to “increase dramatically” over the next decade due to increasing demand for renewable heat. Speaking at the Low-Carbon Economy conference - organised by Forestry Commission Scotland and the Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor) on Wednesday (June 2) - Mr Lochhead said that the harvest should grow by almost 2 million tonnes over the next 10 years. According to the environment secretary, maturing forests, high demand, lower imports and the move towards a low-carbon economy have combined to create “the right conditions” for Scotland’s forest industries to maximise their economic potential.
New Energy Focus 4th June 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 3rd June 2010 more >>
Entire House heated with towel rail
A pioneering project that shows how a low-energy retrofit can make deep cuts in carbon emissions from social housing. A quiet residential street in Balham, south London, might seem a strange setting for a pioneering low-energy project. But the modest terraces lining this road are exactly the types of house that hold the key to the government reaching its 2050 target for slashing carbon emissions. The project in Balham will be following the same Passivhaus principles, which are proving increasingly popular for new-build projects in the UK but are rarely used for refurbishments.
Building 4th June 2010 more >>
Baxi has developed the Solarflo range of solar thermal domestic hot water systems which it claims can provide about 55% of the annual hot water needs of a typical home.
Building 4th June 2010 more >>
Cable’s Green Revolution
Vince Cable has pledged to back green enterprise, but has said he will end the practice of “picking winners” when it comes to individual companies. In his first speech since the Con-Lib Government took office, the Business Secretary said his department would make “strategic choices” about allocating funding to skills, research and technology in the green and wider economy, but would “rarely select individual companies for support”.
Greenwise Business 3rd June 2010 more >>
The boss of a Lancashire firm of green technology experts believes the UK needs “a decade of building” to be ready to deal with its growing mountain of waste. TEG Group chief executive Mick Fishwick said he expects the company to land further work to build facilities for its technology which turns organic waste into high-quality compost and power through anaerobic digestion (AD). It is set to complete a £6m takeover of Midlands-based rival Simpro Ltd, which would see it take over six new recycling sites where it would look to install its technology.
Lancashire Evening Post 3rd June 2010 more >>
FARMERS and landowners could earn rents of up to £12,000 a year for hosting a single wind turbine. Between £2,000 and £3,000 per hectare (2.47 acres) could also be achieved by those prepared to make their land available for one of the nation’s first solar parks, with the possibility of a royalty payment on top.
Plymouth Herald 3rd June 2010 more >>
Our latest update confirms micropower’s remarkable acceleration in taking over the global market long dominated by central thermal stations coal- or gas-fired, nuclear, and big hydro. This dramatic shift augurs well for the world’s clean and secure electricity future.
Rocky Mountain Institute June 2010 more >>
An estimated 7,300 megawatts (MW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power capacity was installed in 2009 20 percent more than was added in 2008. With this record addition, global installed PV capacity surpassed 21,000 megawatts, producing enough power to satisfy the annual electricity use of about 5.5 million households.
Worldwatch Institute 3rd June 2010 more >>
Efficient Terraced Houses
People are increasingly making attempts to ensure their homes are as energy efficient as possible, and it seems that people who live in terraced houses have the least work to do. Research by the Building Environments Analysis Unit at the University of Sheffield and energy company E.ON ranked the most popular types of property by their energy efficiency and ranked a number of the UK’s streets from A* to G.
Low Carbon Economy 2nd June 2010 more >>
The Co-operative Bank has revealed it will lend £200 million to the UK renewables sector in 2010 to help fund the development of renewable and low carbon technologies. The “ethical bank”, which committed to the finance boost last month (May 19), claims the move will help reinforce its position as a leading provider of renewable energy finance. Along with the funding, the bank has also announced it will expand its UK specialist renewables team and create a new Scottish-based team to help keep The Co-operative Bank at the forefront of renewable energy.
New Energy Focus 2nd June 2010 more >>
West Lothian AD
The UK arm of renewable energy development company, the Banks Group, has secured the planning consents to build a waste to energy facility using anaerobic digestion technology in West Lothian. The £70 million AD plant will form part of the Pond Green Energy Park development, which is being led by Hamilton-based Banks Developments, in partnership with Scottish recycling firm, Scotwaste. The Park is located south-west of Bathgate.
New Energy Focus 2nd June 2010 more >>
A Ghanaian village will get the chance to see its national heroes play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, despite being outside the national grid, through a scheme promoting the use of solar energy.
Science and Development Network 2nd June 2010 more >>
WORKERS at a Crewe-based company are being offered ‘eco incentives’ to help raise thousands of pounds to combat climate change. Staff at 20:20 mobile in Weston Road are being offered cut-price energy-saving products in a pioneering new scheme. The move will see cash donated to local environmental projects such as solar and wind power schemes every time employees take action to reduce their own carbon footprints.
Crewe Chronicle 2nd June 2010 more >>
A Cornish renewable energy firm has bought a Dorset-based building company as it eyes up future growth. Torpoint-based Microgeneration Limited has acquired H W Smith & Son (Contracting) Limited to provide a “one-stop shop” service providing from renewable energy advice through to installation. The business, which has a 60-strong team, has ambitious plans for growth as the take-up of renewable energy is expected to increase sevenfold by the end of the decade.
Plymouth Herald 2nd June 2010 more >>
A renewable energy company plans to build hydro electric power plants on the River Goyt near Stockport. H2oPE, a community interest company, is trying to raise £250,000 from a share offering to finance the project at the Otterspool and Stringer weirs near Marple. The company, which already runs the UK’s first community-owned hydro scheme in New Mills, has set up Stockport Hydro Ltd and says the two schemes will be the first of their kind in Greater Manchester.
Crains Manchester Business 2nd June 2010 more >>
Spool back to 1989. Sky dishes started going up, the Berlin Wall came down and Leicester got Britain’s first environmental show home: the Eco House. How time flies, eh? It only seems like yesterday since contractors were pimping the old property on Western Park into a triple-glazed, solar-powered, forest-friendly timbered, super-insulated vision of a sustainable future. It was tomorrow’s world today – an architectural greenprint that one day would be copied in streets and towns up and down the country. Twenty one years later, and you might expect that we would all have the keys to the door of our own eco-house. But we don’t. Far from it.
This is Leicestershire 2nd June 2010 more >>
Sales staff for Green Isle foods, are being offered the chance to take part in an innovative ‘eco-incentive’ scheme, offered by Northern Foods, to help raise thousands of pounds to combat climate change. The move will see cash donated to local environmental projects such as solar and wind power schemes, every time employees at the leading food manufacturing firm take action to reduce their own carbon footprints.
Salford Online 2nd June 2010 more >>
St Andrews University
ST ANDREWS University is buying the former Curtis Fine Papers mill. It is clear that the university has not yet identified concrete proposals, but its agenda includes spin-out companies from research projects, academic use, possible housing, and renewable energy work which will help make the university “carbon neutral.”
Dundee Courier 2nd June 2010 more >>
STV 1st June 2010 more >>
Boiler and Solar Markets
Prospects for the energy-efficient boiler and thermal solar panel industry over the coming months are looking positive, one expert has claimed. Evidence of the demand for low-carbon heating can be seen in the uptake of the Scottish boiler scrappage scheme, which allocated all 5,000 vouchers for energy-efficient boilers in two days when it launched last week.
Low Carbon Economy 1st June 2010 more >>
British homeowners can now cook and heat with gas made from eco-friendly ‘composted’ organic waste, in a UK first from pioneering green energy company Ecotricity. From May 2010, Ecotricity is the first energy company in the UK to include supplies of green gas, made using a composting-like process known as Anaerobic Digestion (AD), in its gas tariff. The green gas is put into the grid, where it mixes with the ordinary ‘brown’ gas supply and is used by customers for heating and cooking in exactly the same way.
Ecotricity 1st June 2010 more >>
Business Green 1st June 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 3rd June 2010 more >>
A green energy company will be the exclusive agent for a biomass boiler manufacturer in a deal worth £3m. The deal will see Rural Generation install KWB Biomass Heating Systems in Ulster and Connacht. Rural Generation said its renewable energy systems helped clients “significantly reduce” their heating bills and carbon emissions.
Belfast Telegraph 1st June 2010 more >>
A Dimplex ground source heat pump is being used to supply domestic hot water to the first supermarket built to PassivHaus standards in the UK and Ireland, a Tesco store in Tramore, County Waterford.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 1st June 2010 more >>
Grocery Trader 4th June 2010 more >>
Wiltshire sees sun
Renewable energy companies like family-run Rain Wind and Sun, which is based in Purton, have seen enquiries go through the roof. “Since the Feed-In tariff scheme has been announced enquiries about PV installations have trebled,” said the company’s general manager Tracey Butler.
This is Wiltshire 1st June 2010 more >>
FiT in Staffordshire
BUSINESSES across Staffordshire and Cheshire could receive a welcome cash boost if they take advantage of new energy production incentives. From April, firms which install renewable or low-carbon energy-making equipment – such as solar panels or wind turbines – have been able to receive a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system.
Staffordshire Business 31st May 2010 more >>
LABOUR MSP Malcolm Chisholm is demanding answers from the Scottish Government over controversial plans for a biomass plant in Leith. Forth Energy is expected to submit plans for the giant £360 million renewable energy facility within the next few weeks. But Mr Chisholm, MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith, said because it is an application under the Electricity Act rather than a planning proposal, the decision on whether the plant should go ahead will be made by Scottish Government ministers rather than the city council. Mr Chisholm said: “I have been consulting constituents since March and there is overwhelming opposition to this proposal. It’s the wrong place and the wrong scale
Evening News 31st May 2010 more >>
The need to integrate more distributed generation is clear. Here, Frits Bliek discusses the background to Europe’s first ‘living’ smart grid demonstration project, in which homes in The Netherlands use various microgeneration technologies within an intelligently-controlled smart grid environment.
Power Gen Worldwide 31st May 2010 more >>
Tony Juniper: David Cameron and Nick Clegg talked tough on the environment while in opposition, but government is a different matter, especially during an economic crisis. So what are the signs, especially for those of us hoping to adopt greener lives? Last week’s Queen’s speech was the best opportunity so far for the coalition to set out its green ambitions. The new energy bill is likely to maintain a number of policies promoted by the previous government, including a loan scheme to help householders and businesses make buildings more energy-efficient. The idea, rebranded as a “green deal”, is to tie long-term loans to properties, rather than people. There are uncertainties, however, over who will be eligible to join the scheme, how big the loans will be, what proportion of our national targets will be met through them and how they will be promoted.
Sunday Times 30th May 2010 more >>
Power plants fuelled by organic matter such as food waste, wood chips and sewage could be given higher priority than wind farms as the new government tries to transform the electricity sector. The Lib-Con coalition’s energy policy announcement placed emphasis on technologies such as anaerobic digestion, which captures gas from decomposing food and human waste, and other biomass generation methods. Conspicuously absent was any specific mention of onshore wind farms, which are often sited in the rural constituencies that are traditional Conservative strongholds.
Sunday Times 30th May 2010 more >>
Plans by communities and landowners to build small wind farms could soon be driven by a government loan fund that would pay for planning applications. Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead is understood to have tasked civil servants with developing proposals that would enable communities and other small developers to make planning applications to their councils without having to risk hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.
Sunday Herald 30th May 2010 more >>
New book describes the environmental, economic and social potential for micro CHP, the contending technologies and their relative merits and provides an insight into the key issues influencing the success or otherwise of the technology. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in micro CHP, whether you are an investor, policy maker, student, researcher, consultant or simply a householder considering the installation of micro CHP in your home.
Blurb 30th May 2010 more >>
Wind Farming in Somerset
A Farmborough farmer is turning to the latest in wind turbine technology to provide the energy to run his farm as well as supply the national grid. Alan Cox wants to install two wind turbines at Ridings Farm in Farmborough which he hopes will provide enough energy to run his 45 acre farming enterprise. He has applied to Bath and North East Somerset Council for permission to install two turbines on his land which will be 18 metres high with 15ft blades giving an output of 11 kilowatts.
Somerset Guardian 29th May 2010 more >>
A HYDRO-ELECTRIC system which was installed more than a century ago to help keep the lights on in an ancient North East castle has been brought back to life to produce modern day green energy. When it was first switched on in 1889, the water-powered system provided enough electricity to light 100 lamps in Alnwick Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Northumberland. It was abandoned when the castle was connected to mains electricity in 1948, but has now been restored, upgraded and returned to working order at a cost of £120,000.
Newcastle Journal 29th May 2010 more >>
Sustainable Building still not mainstream
Sustainable building practices are not yet mainstream, leading to a delay in manufacturers placing products on the market, one expert has suggested. Vince Lunn, operations director at specialist construction product firm SIG, said that there is still not large scale use of more environmentally-friendly products, such as phase change materials. These products effectively prevent the number of incidences when a room heats and cools quickly by absorbing and releasing latent heat.
Low Carbon Economy 28th June 2010 more >>
Renewable Heat Funding
Availability of funding will be a key factor in the growth of the market for renewable heat technologies, an expert has claimed. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) plans for a renewable heat incentive to come into force in April 2011, which will cover technologies such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal devices. Stewart Purchase, director of housing division at Geothermal International, identified that the social housing market has been a growth area for ground source heat pumps, but there are concerns about funding availability.
Low Carbon Economy 28th May 2010 more >>
CORNWALL Council has taken a lead in going Green by installing solar panels on the roof of its headquarters. The 130 photo-voltaic panels will convert the above average levels of Cornish light into electricity to power lights and computers in the council building.
Plymouth Herald 28th May 2010 more >>
A green fair in Redditch will offer everything from ethical clothing and eco-friendly cleaning products, to organic food, and advice of renewable energy suppliers.
Redditch Advertiser 28th May 2010 more >>
We were encouraged to make this investment because of the availability of a government grant of almost 50 per cent of the capital cost and the promise of ‘feed-in tariffs’ – a payment made to small-scale electricity generators like ourselves through electricity companies, who buy the surplus electricity produced. We installed our panels in March, only to be told in April that the government had changed the scheme and would no longer allow feed-in tariffs to be paid to organisations that had received grants. This in effect made our scheme uneconomic – but there was nothing that we could do about it, as the investment had already been made.
West Somerset Free Press 28th May 2010 more >>
Farm Energy Revolution
A QUIET revolution is starting. Britain has signalled for the first time, in April, its serious intent to generate more electricity from renewable sources. By guaranteeing attractively priced payments for 20 TO 25 years, called the Feed-In Tariff, the UK Government intends to stimulate electricity generation at all scales by encouraging investment. Farmers, particularly those in the South West, are ideally placed to reap the benefits. Maps of solar radiation, and wind speed highlight the obvious potential.
This is Dorset 28th May 2010 more >>
The Cornwall Rural Community Council (CRCC), with SITA UK, has launched a sustainable village of the year competition. This event is open to villages across the county with a population of 5,000 or fewer. Communities that are actively pursuing a more environmentally-friendly, resilient and sustainable way of life are encouraged to enter. Prizes from £200 to £1,000 will be awarded to go towards sustainability projects within the winning villages.
This is Cornwall 27th May 2010 more >>
Dave Sowden’s Presentation at the Aberdeen Conference on the new political landscape for microgeneration
All Energy 19th May 2010 more >>
Delta’s Decentralised Energy Outlook May 2010 more >>