week ending 6 August 2010
ENERGY firm HomeSun has been inundated with thousands of inquiries about solar power systems as Britons consider generating some of their own electricity at home. The company is giving away its first 100,000 systems to anyone with a compatible, south-facing roof and launched its offer in the Daily Express yesterday.
Express 6th Aug 2010 more >>
Carbon Trust Cuts
The Carbon Trust has stopped providing free carbon-cutting advice services to larger firms with immediate effect, in a bid to save money and prepare itself for looming government funding cuts. The government-backed company today confirmed it is lowering the threshold for firms that qualify for its free advisory service from those that spend £3m a year on energy to those with energy bills of less than £500,000. Larger companies using the Carbon Trust’s advisory services will also no longer be able to make use of a co-funding deal that previously saw the organisation cover 30 per cent of the cost of advisory work.
Business Green 6th Aug 2010 more >>
Must do better
“Needs to try much, much harder” as jobs are lost, and entrepreneurs and investors spooked in the microgeneration industry. The Microgeneration industry today called upon David Cameron to intervene personally to fulfil his pledge to make this “the Greenest Government Ever” as squabbling between Government departments starts to cost jobs and cause investors to flee the UK Microgeneration sector.
Micro Power Council 6th Aug 2010 more >>
The Micropower Council has published a report analysing the progress so far of the “greenest government ever”, drawing attention to delays in renewable policy announcements.
New Energy Focus 6th Aug 2010 more >>
Business Green 6th Aug 2010 more >>
Companies that install low and zero carbon power sources such as small wind turbines and air source heat pumps are putting orders on hold after the government missed its own deadline for introducing new legislation that would allow households to add the devices without first seeking planning permission. The Micropower Council, an industry body representing the UK’s microgeneration firms, told Building magazine that the delay is “damaging confidence among customers, investors and businesses”.
Rated People 5th Aug 2010 more >>
Prince goes Solar
Plans to put solar panels on the roof of the Prince of Wales’ London home could encourage others to take up green technology, according to officials behind the proposal. Photovoltaic panels will cover a portion of Clarence House’s tiles if the scheme - Charles’ latest renewable energy initiative - is approved. Highgrove, the prince’s Gloucestershire home, already uses woodchip boilers and heat pumps which extract heat from the ground and air.
Peterborough Telegraph 6th Aug 2010 more >>
AOL 31st July 2010 more >>
Town halls could become mini power stations under plans to allow councils to sell “green electricity” to the national grid. The scheme is designed to give local authorities a financial incentive to invest in wind turbines, solar panels and other forms of renewable energy. The cash raised could be channelled back into frontline services or used to limit council tax increases. Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is preparing to overturn a 34-year-old ban on councils supplying electricity from small-scale green schemes into the grid.
Independent 6th Aug 2010 more >>
Connecting Industry 5th Aug 2010 more >>
Government calls in the big guns
After the easyCouncil and John Lewis local authority, comes the Marks & Spencer ministry. The high-street giant, along with Tesco, B&Q owners Kingfisher and HSBC, has been asked to advise national government on saving money. The companies have been given a special role in helping ministers meet their pledge to cut energy use across government by 10 per cent in their first year in office. The pledge was one of the very first promises of the new coalition and was announced against a backdrop of banners for the 10:10 climate change campaign, which is supported by the Guardian. The initiative is “inspired by 10:10”.
Business Green 5th Aug 2010 more >>
Two recent announcements highlight the success of the UK feed-in tariff according to consulting firm Ownergy and research consultancy iSupply. Ownergy announced that the UK figures on initial installations are out and show that the commercial sector was more active in renewable energy applications than the government had originally predicted. Of the 20.7 MW of total installed capacity that has been registered for the UK feed-In tariff scheme since it went live on April 1, 6.4 MW was installed by the commercial sector, well ahead of initial government predictions that forecasted the domestic sector accounting for a far higher majority of the installation capacity.
Renewable Energy World 5th Aug 2010 more >>
A turf cutting ceremony has been held today (August 4) to mark the start of the development of a 400-500kW anaerobic digester at Harper Adams University College’s Shropshire campus. The £3 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant being built at the campus, in Edgmond near Newport, has been in planning for two and a half years. It is being designed by Bedfordshire-based AD operator BiogenGreenfinch and built by local contractor Adonis Construction, while energy giant E.ON will act in an advisory and support role for the scheme.
New Energy Focus 4th Aug 2010 more >>
New Bradford Council Houses
Bradford’s first council housing scheme in 30 years will be a “major boost” for the district – according to the city council. The scheme is the first in the Bradford district and West Yorkshire to develop houses to level six of the code for sustainable homes – which specifies that the materials used for loft and wall insulation allow no carbon emissions. However, only 12 of the homes will meet this standard while 33 others will meet level four – which includes facilities to reduce the surface water run-off from the site. The level six properties will have a communal biomass boiler to reduce heating costs and renewable energy technology, such as photovoltaic panels that convert solar radiation into electricity. The level four homes will include solar powered heating.
Yorkshire Post 4th Aug 2010 more >>
Building consumer confidence
There’s no doubt that the UK has massive potential for microgeneration. Initial research by the Department for Energy and Climate Change suggests that up to nine million units could be installed by 2030, including around four million PV installations, and 2.5 million each of ground source heat pumps and micro combined heat and power (mCHP) plants. But more research is needed to turn this potential into reality. We don’t yet know enough about how households use these technologies in practice, and how much money they can save. Answering these questions would build consumer confidence – and give this new market the best chance.
Green Futures 4th Aug 2010 more >>
WESSEX Water is spending £20m over five years to make its sewage treatment works serving Taunton greener. It is installing equipment at Ham, near Creech St Michael, to increase renewable energy produced there. Work started this week to put in two acid phase digesters to generate more power from waste flushed down toilets and drains. Wessex project manager Dave Jones said: “We’ve been generating biogas from the treatment process at the site for a number of years to produce renewable energy. “The new equipment will mean we can now do this more efficiently on a larger scale which will reduce our carbon footprint as well as future operating costs.”
Somerset County Gazette 4th Aug 2010 more >>
Small Business Efficiency
The Government watchdog the Committee on Climate Change concluded that not enough has been done to date to get small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more energy efficient.
Green Wise Business 3rd Aug 2010 more >>
Two of the UK’s leading renewable energy firms announced yesterday that they are to team up as part of a pioneering project that could serve to slash the carbon footprint of low-carbon technologies. In what is being hailed as a world first, wind energy provider Ecotricity confirmed it is working with Cardiff-based solar cell manufacturer G24 Innovations (G24i) to install a 120-metre tall wind turbine at the company’s Wentloog plant.
Business Green 3rd Aug 2010 more >>
Reinvestment Bradford, a social enterprise that is being set up to promote the sustainable regeneration of the city centre, is organising a survey of public attitudes towards Bradford’s shops and facilities. People would be asked if they wanted to see a ‘greener’ city centre, including seeing more food grown and sold locally and more renewable energy such as solar power.
Telegraph and Argus 3rd Aug 2010 more >>
With oil and gas prices continually rising, the heating of large residences and farms is becoming increasingly more expensive with people looking to alternatives to conventional heating. A biomass boiler may be one such alternative. Fuelled by woodchips, these boilers will efficiently heat a number of buildings on a farm or an estate and can be installed into existing buildings that are converted for their use. If a project meets certain eligibility criteria then grants may be available to help with the development costs.
ADF Online 3rd Aug 2010 more >>
Shepherd’s Bush Refurb
The work has begun on the extensive low carbon refurbishment of the Edward Woods Estate near Shepherd’s Bush in London. The project involves renovation of three 24 storey towers of this 1960’s social housing development rather than have them demolished and replaced. The £12.2 million refurbishment of the Edward Woods Estate is intended to extend the life of the towers through comprehensive repair works as well as undertaking a thorough thermal and visual upgrade. In addition, the scheme establishes a flagship for building-integrated renewable technologies within the Borough such as photovoltaic rainscreen system will be used on the tower blocks and will generate around 82,000 kWh of solar generated electricity annually as well as wind turbine.
ADF Online 2nd Aug 2010 more >>
Northern Ireland Biomass Fund
The first application phase of DARD’s Biomass Processing Challenge Fund is due to close on 19 August. Launched in June this year, the £3 million fund is designed to encourage the land based sector in Northern Ireland to invest in biomass-fuelled renewable energy generation technologies. The scheme offers capital grants worth up to 40% of project costs, to a maximum amount of 400,000, to support agricultural businesses investing in biomass boilers, combined heat and power systems, anaerobic digestion facilities or other biomass-fuelled technologies.
Green Grants Machine 2nd Aug 2010 more >>
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has welcomed the announcement by solar cell manufacturer Sharp Solar that it will invest around £29 million in increasing its production base in Wales to a capacity of 500MW.
New Energy Focus 2nd Aug 2010 more >>
Daniel Leaver, senior waste & resources manager at engineering and environmental consultancy Wardell Armstrong, discusses the benefits for smaller contractors of Scotland’s ‘largest ever’ anaerobic digestion plant being given the go-ahead. With the escalation of landfill tax, a growing emphasis on recycling and recovery, new government incentives to encourage renewable energy from waste, and innovative new technologies coming on stream, the opportunities for small and medium sized waste contractors have never been greater.
New Energy Focus 2nd Aug 2010 more >>
TRANSFORMING a dilapidated historic water mill in Sherborne into a generator of clean renewable energy is likely to take five years says the man behind the project. Sherborne Environment Forum chairman Kevin Waterfall announced in April he would like to see West Mill, which dates from the early 1700s and is grade two-listed, sympathetically converted into a micro-hydroelectricity plant.
This is Dorset 31st July 2010 more >>
Whitehall Energy Saving
Whitehall is pressing ahead in cutting its carbon emissions by a tenth in a year, with the unlikely eco-warriors of the Department for Work and Pensions in the lead. And these seem to be the first batch of ministers to have really understood that saving energy is even more important than increasing its supply: Andrew Warren, Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, says he has never been so optimistic. More is coming. An Energy Bill, to be published by December, will provide loans for households to insulate their homes, to be paid for from savings on their bills. The first proposals for a green tax to establish a floor price for carbon will be published in October, with more to follow. And some sort of Renewable Heat Incentive will almost certainly be launched.
Telegraph 30th July 2010 more >>