week ending 8 October 2010
Low Income households benefit from FiTs
A project attempting to prove that the benefits of feed-in tariffs are not restricted to wealthy households has saved more than 80 low-income families £120 each. Feed-in tariffs have been criticised by some environmentalists, most notably green campaigner George Monbiot and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, who feel that their benefits are accrued only by those who can afford the £12,000 typically required to install microgeneration technologies such as solar panels. But according to new figures a recent solar project in Brent, north London, saw residents of the Brentfield Estate cut their electricity bills by up to a third after panels producing 1,062kWh a year were installed last autumn by Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) and Solarcentury. The estate also expects to generate a pre-tax income of £64,000 a year through the feed-in tariff, with some of the money earmarked for reinvestment in energy-efficiency improvements.
Business Green 8th Oct 2010 more >>
The government must prioritise food waste for anaerobic digestion due to the benefit of energy generation, a renewables trade body has claimed. In response to the coalition’s Waste Review, which closed yesterday (October 7), the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has called for food waste to go to AD over composting and incineration. And, it has stressed the need for a massive increase in household food waste collection and is advocating separate collections, where households have a bin reserved for food waste, so that the “valuable” resource can be more easily used for AD.
New Energy Focus 8th Oct 2010 more >>
The reports in the Guardian this morning revealing that the £60m offshore wind port upgrade programme is earmarked for the chop will send shockwaves through the industry, threatening to torpedo the confidence that had been building across the offshore wind sector. Add in the suggestion that funding for clean coal and nuclear will be protected while the feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive will be scaled back and it would be understandable if those working within the renewable energy industry this morning chose to phone in sick and curl up under the duvet. What is most concerning about the story, which looks to be based on anonymous briefings with some pretty senior Whitehall insiders, is that the picture it paints is tragically reminiscent of the energy landscape the renewables sector has spent decades fighting. In essence, it is an eighties redux.
Business Green 8th Oct 2010 more >>
Dave Sowden: The UK Government has come under immense pressure in the past few days not to tinker with Feed-in-tariffs (FITs) as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. A letter to the Treasury from 64 chief executives slammed the message home last week that even minor changes to the FIT would seriously undermine long-term investor confidence. Ministers have been getting progressively more polished at “the message” on FITs (and RHI for that matter) – the hint-dropping seeking to calm unsettled nerves that it’ll all be nice and certain on the 20th October and beyond.
But will it? I’m not so sure. In fact I doubt it. In fact I believe the ONLY way confidence is going to get repaired is by the 20th October confirming no change to the Feed-in-tariff ahead of 1 April 2013. Any alternative risks throwing the market into months and months of uncertainty, with the obvious consequences of investments being pulled, deals falling apart, jobs being shed and investor confidence taking a massive blow.
Business Green 8th Oct 2010 more >>
FiT & RHI likely to be scaled back
The solar feed-in tariff and the renewable heat incentive, subsidising biomass plants and CHP boilers, are likely to be scaled back.
Guardian 8th Oct 2010 more >>
SMEs delay green policies
The continuing effects of the recession mean British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not investing in green improvements, new research suggests. Lloyds TSB Commercial polled more than 500 small businesses in the UK, finding that around 30 percent had stalled the implementation of energy-efficient improvements because of the economic downturn.
Low Carbon Economy 8th Oct 2010 more >>
Business Green 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Smashing the glass ceiling?
Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has pledged to “smash the glass ceiling” stopping the growth of decentralised energy. Speaking at the Climate Clinic event at the Conservative Party conference earlier this week (October 5), the minister said he wanted to help “change the rules” with regards to companies, communities and households becoming involved in the energy market. He said: “We want to see decentralised energy competing alongside other sources, as a significant part of the energy mix. We have to smash the glass ceiling for decentralised energy that was put in place by the previous government.”
New Energy Focus 7th Oct 2010 more >>
The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has issued a cautious welcome to the government’s strongest commitment to date on the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). At the Conservative Party conference in Monday, cabinet office minister Oliver Letwin gave a strong indication that the RHI will be carried through.
New Energy Focus 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis has announced his dairy cows will benefit from a £500,000 loan from Triodos Bank to install the UK’s largest privately owned solar array on the roof of a barn at his Worthy Farm - with the recent feed-in tarrif providing an added incentive. However, the Micropower Council are now concerned that the tariffs will suffer from cuts in the forthcoming Government Spending Review.
Environment Times 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Energy use and carbon emissions have been slashed by Heinz at factories producing Heinz Beanz, Soups, Pasta as well as many other varieties, Heinz and the Carbon Trust have announced. Heinz is also exploring opportunities to produce power from waste and use more renewable energy in a bid to cut the Company’s global carbon emissions by 20% on 2005 levels by 2015.
Carbon Trust 7th Oct 2010 more >>
The ability of the new feed-in tariff incentive to reshape the UK’s energy market is only just beginning to become apparent, according to the boss of one of the UK’s leading green energy firms. Speaking to BusinessGreen.com, Juliet Davenport, chief executive at Good Energy, predicted that the incentive will not just promote the adoption of solar panels and other renewable energy systems, it will also force energy suppliers to restructure their entire business models.
Business Green 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Wind powered solar plant
From solar panels creating e-waste to toxic by-products created by the solar industry, it’s clear that even though power generated from the sun beats coal any day of the week, there’s no such thing as consequence-free energy. And then of course there is the age-old debate about the embodied energy of solar panels. Now one UK company is hoping to lessen these concerns, creating the world’s first wind-powered solar panel factory. I’m kind of amazed nobody has done it before. According to a press release from green-energy pioneers Ecotricity, the G24i wind-powered solar factory in Wales will be “first in world to make ‘Green from Green’ solar panels using wind energy.” G24i is making light-weight, flexible solar panels that are being built into bags and cases to recharge laptops, smartphones and other gadgets. By the end of the year, the manufacture of these panels will be powered by a 120 metre tall windmill that, the company says, will generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes.
Treehugger 7th Oct 2010 more >>
FIT Clarity required
A Yorkshire renewable technology firm has called on the Government to clarify the future of the industry in this region. Stuart Duncan of Duncan Plumbing, Heating & Electrics, based at Tockwith, near York, said businesses were being hindered by the uncertainty over financial incentives, which are seen as critical to ensuring the mass adoption of technologies such as solar PV. The introduction of feed-in-tariffs in April, part of the Clean Energy Cash Back scheme, has helped generate jobs by making payments to ordinary energy users for the renewable electricity they generate
Yorkshire Post 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Plumb Centre welcomes green agenda
Plumb Center has welcomed the green agenda set out by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who promises a Green Deal to cut carbon emissions and create 250,000 new green jobs. Mr Huhne outlined a “once-and-for-all refit that will make every home in Britain ready for a low-carbon future.” It was, he said, “the most ambitious energy-saving plan ever put forward” and its implementation would begin before the end of the year. He also emphasised the importance of renewable technologies going forward saying, “there is huge potential too for other renewables: energy from waste, wave, tidal power, and solar.”
Plumbing Park 7th Oct 2010 more >>
A power plant supplying renewable heat and energy is being proposed to be built on the outskirts of Dorchester. The 1.4 megawatt power anaerobic digester at Rainbarrow Farm, near Dorchester, would use raw materials such as silage, manure and slurry to create biogas for electricity generation. It would supply residents and businesses in Poundbury with heat and power.
This is Dorset 7th Oct 2010 more >>
WITH many incentives being introduced to encourage homeowners and businesses to switch to renewable energy sources, owners can sometimes become confused by the number of options available. Earth Elements, a new company based in Barnstaple, has been established by electrician Chris Lenehan and business partner Peter Collingwood to explain available options clearly as well as to design and install high quality renewable energy products.
This is North Devon 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Edinburgh schemes knocked back
TWO bids by Edinburgh residents to go green have been thrown out by city planners.
Plans to fit solar panels to the roof of a 200-year-old house in Portobello were refused on the grounds that they would “detrimentally alter the seaside character of the area” by introducing a “large alien element”. A bid for a 15-metre-high wind turbine in Balerno has also been rejected.
Evening News 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Fears that the government will reduce future feed-in-tariffs (FITs) have prompted concerned firms to threaten legal action to reclaim investment costs.
New Civil Engineer 7th Oct 2010 more >>
POWER companies are looking to survey south-facing farmland in Wales and the Borders for potential solar parks. Shaun Jones, a chartered surveyor with Halls, revealed he has been approached by farmers and landowners wanting to host solar panels on their land. Generous government incentives, introduced in April this year, are driving interest in the use of photovoltaic panels that operate on daylight as opposed to sunshine
Daily Post 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Essex County Council is being asked to start generating its own ‘green’ energy. The call comes from the Liberal Democrats in a motion to the Full Council meeting on 12 October.
Chelmsford Lib Dems 7th Oct 2010 more >>
A PIONEERING new company which aims to cut costs and carbon emissions in Staffordshire has been officially launched. Staffordshire Wood Fuel, which is a trading arm of Staffordshire County Council, will supply high quality, stable and sustainable renewable energy. The business will provide public and private sectors with woodchip sourced as a by-product from the county council’s own countryside management operations, and private sustainably managed woodlands in Staffordshire.
The Sentinel 6th Oct 2010 more >>
A conference will take place next week to help companies from Northern Ireland gain a foothold in the fast- growing bioenergy sector. The event at South West College in Omagh on Tuesday will identify opportunities for organisations to capitalise on biogas and biomass technologies and help build a platform for growth.
Belfast Telegraph 6th Oct 2010 more >>
A one-day conference takes place at the Holland House Hotel on October 26, with spaces for 250 delegates. Speakers include Assembly Government ministers Jane Davidson and Jane Hutt, as well as some of the biggest names in the construction industry and top academics and researchers. Places for the day, which is a not-for-profit event, are £95, or £75 for a limited number of students. One presentation, by BRE Wales, will be on the showcase project in Ebbw Vale, where zero carbon homes are now a reality. Another speaker will examine the new materials, building techniques and designs that will literally shape our future.
Wales Online 6th Oct 2010 more >>
The Stadium Way store includes a ground source heat exchange using renewable energy and sunpipes to maximise use of natural light and daylight dimming for electric lights to reduce its carbon output meaning the store is environmentally friendly.
Dartford Times 6th Oct 2010 more >>
Scottish Energy Efficiency Plan
Scotland’s first national target to improve energy efficiency was unveiled today. Local councils are also to be given £10 million in grants to offer free insulation measures and provide energy saving advice to up to 100,000 households. Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan includes a headline target to reduce total energy consumption by 12 per cent by 2020.
Scottish Government 6th Oct 2010 more >>
YouTube 6th Oct 2010 more >>
An energy-efficiency plan launched by the Scottish Government has been branded unambitious and shamefully delayed. Opposition parties were united in their criticism of the 10 million grants announced yesterday by First Minister Alex Salmond to councils to offer free insulation and provide energy savings advice to 100,000 households. Mr Salmond said it would help thousands of families to cut their fuel bills by an average of 50 a year. He said the plan, which includes a target of reducing total energy consumption by 12% by 2020, reaffirmed the Governments ambitious energy efficiency and microgeneration agenda. But the scheme was attacked by opposition MSPs. Labour energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald said it was too little, too late.
Herald 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Business Green 6th Oct 2010 more >>
Association for the Conservation of Energy (Ace) spokesman Chas Booth said it was important that “a step-change in funding for energy efficiency was delivered in this Autumn’s Scottish budget.” “If Alex Salmond is serious about tackling wasted energy, he must offer more than a recycled announcement of money agreed in last year’s budget negotiations,” he said.
BBC 6th Oct 2010 more >>
Scotland’s first national target to improve energy efficiency was revealed yesterday amid fears it could end up dead in the water. The action plan, first mooted in 2004, includes a headline target to reduce energy consumption by 12% by 2020. Environmentalists expressed fears over the lack of financial support. Chas Booth, of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: “While this long-overdue action plan is welcome, it will fast become an ‘inaction plan’ unless a change in funding for energy efficiency is delivered in this autumn’s Scottish budget.”
Aberdeen Press & Journal 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Tesco, B&Q and M&S among companies that could sell loft insulation and home energy improvements as part of the coalition’s flagship energy efficiency programme.
Guardian 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 7th Oct 2010 more >>
Renewable Planning Fund
Speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh last month, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, has announced a report outlining the case for a pre-planning stage loan fund to support communities and rural enterprises looking to construct local energy projects.
Green Grants Machine 6th Oct 2010 more >>
Charities can take advantage of a renewable energy scheme which offers good value for money, says John Hildebrand of Rensburg Sheppards. The government’s new feed-in tariffs for electricity that is produced by renewable energy offer a way of helping the environment while generating a high real return.
Third Sector 5th Oct 2010 more >>
On £3.7m bill to DECC: Grace Bennett, policy manager at the Micropower Council a trade body for companies specialising in small-scale renewable energy, said: “This type of expenditure seems absurd at a time when policies crucial to our transition to a genuine low-carbon economy such as the renewable heat incentive and the feed-in tariff are at risk.”
Guardian 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Next time you flush the toilet, you could be doing your bit for green energy. After being stored for 18 days, human waste will from today be returning to homes in the form of renewable gas. Centrica is opening a plant at Didcot sewage works which will be the first in the UK to produce renewable gas for households to use. National Grid believes that at least 15% of all gas consumed could be made from sewage slurry, old sandwiches and other food thrown away by supermarkets, as well as organic waste created by businesses such as breweries. However, there are fears in the industry that the government’s spending cuts could make it more difficult for companies to come up with the £10bn needed to develop the new plants and pipelines.
Guardian 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Independent 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Times 5th Oct 2010 more >>
BBC 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Express 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Centrica Press Release 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Green Wise Business 5th Oct 2010 more >>
24 Dash 5th Oct 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Telegraph 6th Oct 2010 more >>
Investment in low carbon industries could be “profoundly damaged” if the government reduces the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) scheme, industry experts have warned.
Low Carbon Economy 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Business Green 5th Oct 2010 more >>
FiT – first 6 months
Provider of renewable energy systems, Ownergy, has published a report on the first six months of Feed-In Tariffs uptake in the UK since the scheme went live on April 1st. The report shows that the market is developing in line with initial forecasts. It also provides evidence that government fears about Feed-In Tariff eligible installations being out of control are unfounded.
Connecting Industry 4th Oct 2010 more >>
Farmers’ Weekly 4th Oct 2010 more >>
The common misconception that air source heat pumps are only suitable when used in conjunction with underfloor heating (UFH) systems in new build properties is simply no longer true. Today’s new generation of high temperature systems can be used as a direct replacement for an old, inefficient gas boiler, allowing existing heat emitters, such as radiators, UFH or fan convectors, to be retained.
Heating and Plumbing Monthly 4th Oct 2010 more >>
British Gas is asking Daily Mail readers to nominate a school they think deserves to win free solar panels.
Daily Mail 4th Oct 2010 more >>
Winchester Solar Revolution
Adding solar panels to Winchester district’s council houses could save over 2000 tonnes of CO2 a year and save some tenants around £100 off their energy bills. Winchester City Council is pushing forward with this significant project which will raise the profile of renewable energy in the District, attract a multi-million pound investment and possibly create new ‘green jobs’.
Winchester City Council 4th Oct 2010 more >>
24 Dash 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Birmingham Solar Revolution
Plans to fit power generating solar panels to council-owned properties in Birmingham will be pushed forward this week after the council agreed a “green new deal” scheme covering 10,000 homes. In the biggest proposal for retrofitting houses through an energy efficiency upgrade yet seen in the UK, the council agreed a £100m proposal last week designed to create jobs and meet the city’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions.
Guardian 4th Oct 2010 more >>
24 Dash 5th Oct 2010 more >>
The government has revealed that the AD Action Plan, due to be published in draft form next month, will address planning obstacles and financing for anaerobic digestion plants in the UK.
New Energy Focus 4th Oct 2010 more >>
Speculation that green energy incentives may be slashed is understandably raising alarm within the renewables industry. It follows a recent report in the Financial Times that said the Government was considering cutting the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) ahead of a planned review of the scheme in 2013. The Renewable Energy Association says cutting FiT rates now “will seriously affect investor confidence”, while one investor told GreenWise it will not go ahead with a planned solar plant in Cornwall – the first such farm to get the greenlight in the UK – if the FiTs are cut. The Government has got some difficult decisions to make about where to cut the public deficit in the upcoming Spending Review, but slashing renewables subsidies seems shortsighted and illogical to say the least. For one, by scaring off investors in such schemes as the FiTs and upcoming Renewable Heat Incentive, it will miss its carbon reduction targets. Secondly, the Exchequer is not paying for this subsidy – the public and businesess are, through the energy companies that are putting up their bills.
Green Wise Business 3rd Oct 2010 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 5th Oct 2010 more >>
Some of the leading names in the UK’s renewable energy industry have sent out a warning the Government that a premature cut to feed-in tariff subsidies could damage the sector to a point of no return.
Solar Power Portal 4th Oct 2010 more >>
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 4th Oct 2010 more >>
Green Building School
This is where the workforce of the future will learn its green building trade. The £2.6 million centre will be in a Cambridge education and enterprise park, known as The Hive, where technicians, designers, engineers, builders, plumbers and electricians will be taught the skills needed for building low carbon homes and methods of installing renewable energy systems. It is designed to support businesses looking to adapt to a low carbon economy.
Cambridge First 3rd Oct 2010 more >>
The DECC figures confirmed a big uptake in renewable energy following the introduction of the Feed in Tariff scheme, designed to boost the market for small-scale renewable and low carbon electricity generation technologies. Properties are paid (by electricity supply companies) a tariff for generating electricity from small low carbon installations. They are also paid a further tariff for exporting (or ‘feeding-in’) electricity to the national grid. At the end of the quarter, 15.2 MW of capacity, across 2,771 installations, had been included under the FiT scheme. Over 2,700 (98 per cent) of all installations were solar photovoltaics, with the majority of these being retrofitted sub-4 kW arrays (mainly on domestic premises). However, given the smaller size of these installations, this translates to 44 per cent of total capacity, at 6.7 MW. Hydro had four installations covered by FiT by the end of the quarter. These were larger-sized non-domestic schemes however, and represented 3.3 MW of capacity, 22 per cent of the total. Of overall capacity, Wind turbines represented 35 per cent, or 5.3 MW, from 63 installations. At the end of quarter two, no anaerobic digestion or micro CHP schemes had joined the FiT scheme.
Click Green 1st Oct 2010 more >>
An exhibition outlining how to harness the sun’s energy in Cornwall to create power will be held in the county on Monday. SunPower Corp and SunRay Renewable Energy, will showcase renewable solar power opportunities at a Community Solar Day at Kingsley Village in Fraddon. The open day will be held from 11am-5pm. An evening seminar event is also taking place from 6-8pm and will include talks by a host of experts.
This is Cornwall 1st Oct 2010 more >>
A renewable energy company is planning to spend £60m on the construction of five large solar energy sites in Shropshire. Wind and Solar Systems said they could be laid out on farmers’ fields. The company plans to submit more details to Shropshire Council next month and the council confirmed the project was in the pipeline.
BBC 1st Oct 2010 more >>
Reducing green subsidies for small-scale renewables such as solar panels as part of forthcoming spending cuts could cause investors to “flee” the sector, the Government was warned today.
London Evening Standard 1st Oct 2010 more >>