week ending 22 October 2010
History of the World in 100 objects
Solar-powered lamp and charger that is already changing lives. Cost is crashing down.
BBC Radio 4 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
RHI – more information
The government has been urged to set out details of its plans for renewable energy incentive schemes in order to provide investor confidence. This has come as more trade bodies have joined in the celebration of Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that the government will fund an Renewable Heat Incentive and will not amend Feed-in Tariffs until 2013
New Energy Focus 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
The Spending Review has presented some great opportunities for the heating and plumbing industry, which is at the “front line of carbon saving”. Blane Judd, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), said the review offered opportunities to encourage consumers to invest in renewable energy sources.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
Huge Renovation Task
Few people have grasped how large the task of refurbishing the UK’s entire housing stock will be, the minister of state for energy and climate change has said. Greg Barker said that the task represents a “huge challenge” but should drive high levels of investment and create many green jobs. Mr Barker said that “basic” changes, such as the installation of loft and hard wall insulation, will have to be carried out, but there are many other interventions that can take place as well. Commenting on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Green Deal, he said that there is a “complex evaluation” that needs to take place to ensure that the UK gets the biggest return on its investment.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
A New Zealand firm is hoping to beat rivals to Britain’s lucrative boiler replacement market with its energy-efficient product and says an IPO in Europe could be on the cards as it ramps up production. Whisper Tech makes combined heat and power boilers -- energy-efficient heating systems that not only provide hot water and heating but also produce electricity as a by-product, which can contribute to household power needs or be sold back to the electricity supplier, payments known as feed-in tariffs (FITs).
Reuters 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
A STATE-of-the-art community hall costing £500,000 has been officially unveiled in Cutnall Green, near Droitwich. It will also benefit from renewable energy from solar panels and air to water converters.
Worcester News 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
Business groups lined up today to condemn a £1bn stealth tax on companies that have invested in a government scheme to drive down CO2 emissions. The CBI and manufacturers’ group the EEF both attacked the announcement, buried in the comprehensive spending review, that the Treasury would not pay back money to firms obliged to take part in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme.
Guardian 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
Telegraph 22nd Oct 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 21st Oct 2010 more >>
RHI Implementation Date Slips
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that it will miss the April 2011 implementation date for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and that it now expects it to begin in June.
New Energy Focus 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Where there’s muck there’s brass, they say, and many at Worton Farm, near Cassington, are now hoping the old adage is true. Certainly there is no shortage of muck there in the pungent form of all that food waste most of us in Oxfordshire are now being told to consign to special bins. No shortage of money, either, judging by the £9m invested in the county’s first anaerobic digester, officially opened by recycling minister Lord Henley yesterday.
Witney Gazette 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Windhager UK has supplied a biomass wood pellet boiler to an award-winning building in St. Werburgs, Bristol which has been named the best green housing scheme in the South West Green Energy Awards. The refurbished sixties office was transformed into a sustainable building consisting of 6 flats, 3 workspaces and a community room by the Quoin Common Hold and Ashley Vale Action Group (AVAG), a group of local residents who have formed the community group in order to take control of the re-development using environmentally based initiatives.
ADF Online 21st Oct 2010 more >>
FiT Job Losses
Energy firms today warned job losses would result from the £40 million cut to incentives to households with solar panels, wind turbines and other microgenerators announced in the spending review. The feed-in tariff scheme pays homeowners for energy they produce that is exported back into the grid. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change yesterday said budget cuts meant tariffs would have to be “refocused”, slashing £40 million from the payments.
London Evening Standard 21st Oct 2010 more >>
Biomass CHP for Sky
Sky has received planning permission to build a new studio complex in Osterley in West London. The buildings, which include eight studios and offices, will feature combined heat and power (CHP) biomass. The site will also include a wind turbine, natural air ventilation, and rainwater harvesting systems. The biomass CHP facility will provide around 20 per cent of the building’s total energy needs.
National Non-food Crops Centre 21st Oct 2010 more >>
The feed-in tariffs that pay owners of solar panels have survived the coalition’s spending review, but key changes have been made. How will they affect you?
Guardian 20th Oct 2010 more >>
THE Government has committed £860 million to ensure farmers and other operators will be paid premium prices for every unit of renewable heat they produce.
Farmers Guardian 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The renewables industry has expressed gratitude for the government’s decision to progress with a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), describing the announcement in today’s (October 20) Spending Review as a “huge relief” for the sector.
New Energy Focus 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 21st Oct 2010 more >>
A green business revolution has started in the North East. Opus Green Limited has set-up in Tedco’s Quadrus Centre. The new company will offer advice, design and installation of renewable energy solutions. Opus Green Limited is a specialist renewable energy installation company which focuses on the design and installation of solar PV (photovoltaic), solar thermal and air source heat pump systems in domestic and commercial premises.
Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Smart Grid Experiment
Homes and businesses in the north-east and Yorkshire are to benefit from the largest smart grid project ever to take place in the UK. Some 14,000 homes are due to take part in the £54 million project, which will aim to assess the impact of electric cars, solar panels and other low carbon technologies on the electricity grid. All homes taking part in the study will install smart meters, while 1,500 will use air or ground source heat pumps, 800 will install solar PV panels and 150 will drive electric cars.
Low Carbon Economy 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The invention of a small hydro system could enable electricity generation from thousands of sites.
First Science 20th Oct 2010 more >>
“We welcome the Government’s decision to go ahead with a Renewable Heat Incentive. We share Government’s excitement about the scope for renewable heat and look forward to early clarity on the details of funding and support levels. Along with the confirmation that current Feed-in Tariff levels will be maintained in the near-term, this should help accelerate the take up of small-scale low carbon and renewable technologies in homes, businesses and communities, and help keep Britain on track in meeting its decarbonisation commitments.
Centrica 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Daventry
Daventry District Council has joined seven other local authorities in the East Midlands in signing up to a Carbon Trust programme in a bid to save on its energy bills. The Carbon Trust for East Midlands will provide specialist support from an expert to help the Council set energy and carbon saving targets. The Council has now started to develop its own Carbon Management Plan to reduce emissions from its buildings and transport over a five-year period. A number of steps have already been taken to help reduce its emissions, including the upgrade of IT systems, fitting light sensors and low wattage LED bulbs, along with making efficiencies to its refuse and recycling round collections.
Daventry District Council 20th Oct 2010 more >>
RHI & FiT
Despite fears over its future the feed-in tariff which pays people for small scale green electricity generation is set to remain as it is until an already planned review in two years’ time. The proposed renewable heat incentive will also go ahead, although plans to pay for the scheme, which aims to boost green heating technology, through a levy on bills have been ditched as being “overly complex”. Instead some £860 million of funding aims to drive a ten-fold increase in renewable heat over the next decade. The Renewable Energy Association’s chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said the announcement on renewable heat was a “big breakthrough” that would put green technologies at the heart of UK energy policy. “Companies throughout the UK are poised to deliver on renewable heat, creating tens of thousands of green jobs over the coming decade.
Independent 20th Oct 2010 more >>
24Dash 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Hidden FiT details
On the face of it, the news on so-called feed-in tariffs (a green subsidy for small-scale renewable power such as solar panels on houses) is good. Rumours of an immediate cut in the rate paid for subsidised green electricity turned out to be unfounded. However, there is more going on here. The Treasury has imposed a “cap” on the funding available and although it is not quite clear what this will mean, if you are planning on installing one of these things you should get a move on. If there is a rush of installations next year then the government may decide to pull the funding earlier than the current plan of 2013, leaving some future investors high and dry.
Guardian 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The feed-in tariff scheme and current rate paid to owners of solar panels remains the same. But there are two new elements here. Firstly, in the 2012 review, changes will be made to the tariff that cut it by £40m, or 10%, in 2014 and 2015. Those changes won’t be announced until 2012, but could take the form of both a ‘trigger point’ where rates paid fall automatically if a certain number of solar panels and other forms of ‘microgeneration’ are installed, and a potential cut in rates paid to one or more of the four technologies covered by the scheme. Second, the government is now saying it reserves the right to bring forward that 2012 review if there’s a rush of people and companies installing microgeneration between now and then.
Guardian 20th Oct 2010 more >>
RHI Survives Cuts
The Renewable Heat Incentive, received funding today, even as Chancellor George Osborne announced £81 billion in public spending cuts. Osborne announced funding for the RHI, which will encourage home energy efficiency with no upfront cost to homeowners, but this also means a phasing out of the Warm Front programme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that the RHI will receive £860 million in funding and begin in June 2011. The Renewable Energy Association (REA), which has been lobbying for the incentive, said details on the subsidy are still needed, but cited this as a big step for the UK.
Green Wise Business 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Independent 21st Oct 2010 more >>
RHI going ahead, but 20% smaller than the previous government envisaged. Home energy efficiency and fuel poverty: Complicated developments here. Warm Front, which target the poorest homes, will be axed and the Green Deal comes in, giving loans for home upgrades. The spending review also mentions getting energy companies to spend more to help the fuel poor. Tim Webb is getting his head around all this now.
Guardian 21st Oct 2010 more >>
As part of the comprehensive spending review, the Government today announced its commitment to the Renewable Heat Incentive with £860 million of funding in anticipation of a 10-fold growth rate in the sector.
REA Press Release 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Four of the biggest names in the roofing and renewable energy arena are showing their roofing solutions for the future at the important 58th Congress of the International Federation for the Roofing Trade (IFD). This premier event and exhibition, including the 23rd World Championship for Young Roofers, is being held in the King’s Hall, Belfast, from 17 – 20 November 2010. The companies whose ‘Roofs of the Future’ will be displayed are IKO, Kingspan and Solar Century.
ADF Online 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Speakers at a national green power conference backed microgeneration as the best weapon against the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels for heat. Energy experts who attended the second Green Power Forum (GPF) in Liverpool agreed that heat production was the ‘sleeping giant’ in the battle for climate change action. GPF chairman Mark McManus said: “The UK generates just 0.6 per cent of its heat from renewable sources at present, with the Government aiming to increase this to a 14 per cent level by 2020 to meet European renewable energy targets.
Click Green 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The government has committed to reviewing the renewable energy Feed in Tariff (FIT) rates in the spending review report published today. A reduction in FIT rates in the future could threaten small scale householder renewable projects. The government report says “the efficiency of Feed-in- Tariffs will be improved at the next formal review, rebalancing them in favour of the more cost effective carbon abatement technologies. This will save £40 million in 2014-15. Support for lower value innovation and technology projects will also be reduced, saving £70 million a year on average over the Spending Review period.” Which carbon abatement technologies will be favoured has not been specified Given that the electricity customer pays for the Feed in Tariff and not the government – it is not clear why this proposal has been put forward unless it is designed to grab a headline.
Energy Collective 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Friends of the Earth says micro-generation businesses would have strong case for legal action if incentives are cut at short notice
Business Green 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Hundreds of training places have been announced as part of a drive to support a “greener” economy. The 650 places will be funded to help employers re-train and improve skills in low carbon technologies. The training will be delivered through Skills Development Scotland. The Government, with the support of European Social Fund money, has invested £585,000 for the places. The fund will be open to private sector, voluntary and community non-profit organisations employing fewer than 250 staff who work in the fields of renewable energy, carbon reduction or energy efficiency.
The Herald 20th Oct 2010 more >>
The Conservative-led council of Kirklees took a bit of convincing when Green Party councillor Andrew Cooper first suggested offering a free mass-insulation programme to all households in the area. But three years later the scheme has proven so successful and popular that all political parties have tried to take credit for the scheme, and other councils have been inspired to follow suit. Alexis Rowell’s book Communities, Councils & A Low-Carbon Future: What we can do if governments won’t is out now, published by Transition Books.
Ecologist 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Councillors in Reading are being urged to look at installing solar panels on council buildings and schools. Labour councillors on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat run council are behind the proposals. They say it is time the council took advantage of a new scheme, where you can be paid for generating your own electricity.
BBC 19th Oct 2010 more >>
THE UK’s largest independent green energy company, Ecotricity, yesterday launched EcoBonds for savers in a bid to raise up to £10 million. Stroud-based Ecotricity says the money will be invested in expanding its operations in the UK building new windmills, sunmills and renewable gas sources. The fixed rate EcoBonds, a new venture for Ecotricity, will have an initial four-year term, paying an attractive annual rate of interest of 7% and 7.5% for Ecotricity customers.
South West Business 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Ecotricity 19th Oct 2010 more >>
The Engineer 20th Oct 2010 more >>
This is Gloucestershire 18th Oct 2010 more >>
SWANSEA University is celebrating after a record week for funding. The city institution has led the way in securing a combined total of £46 million of investment for ground-breaking research over the past nine days. A project to grow Wales’s manufacturing industry and the creation of a centre to develop revolutionary renewable energy products hit the headlines last week.
This is South Wales 18th Oct 2010 more >>
COUNCILLORS have been urged to make the most of green energy. The Government has changed the rules about renewable energy, allowing councils to sell to the National Grid.
Huddersfield Examiner 18th Oct 2010 more >>
Taking place at the South West College, the ‘Hydro-System Setup’ seminar will provide practical advice to help organisations and individuals harness the power of water, through hydro technology to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions.
4NI 19th October 2010 more >>
Jim and Sue Hick’s Georgian home in the green West Allen Valley in Northumberland is blessed with fine views, a spring-fed water supply and plenty of wind. To utilise this natural resource, three years ago Jim and Sue built a nine-metre wind turbine, which has cut their monthly electricity bill from £80 to £15. Every six months they also receive a £600-plus cheque from their electricity company for the excess power they sell to the grid.
Telegraph 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle joined green campaigners and a solar-powered hot air balloon outside Parliament to show his support for renewable power for businesses and homes. Mr Hoyle is calling on the Government to honour its promise to bring in a Renewable Heat Incentive that would encourage people to switch to planet-friendly heating.
Lancashire Telegraph 19th Oct 2010 more >>
West Cornwall residents will be able to pick up some top tips on how they can save money by reducing their energy use during an event held this week. Community Energy Plus’s Rob Pickering will be hosting the information event, being held at Coverack Community Primary School on Thursday as part of the two-year project to encourage rural communities in West Cornwall to become more energy-efficient and harness the opportunities presented by renewable energy technology.
Cornish Guardian 19th Oct 2010 more >>
Hermann Scheer, who has died unexpectedly aged 66 after suffering from chest pains, was a tireless campaigner for the promotion of renewable energies, in particular solar power, a cause he championed long before it was fashionable to do so, even in a country with such long-established environmental consciousness as his native Germany. He is credited with boosting the status of alternative energy, both at home and abroad, thanks to his visionary zeal.
Guardian 18th Oct 2010 more >>
Small Wind for Farmers
Farmers and landowners are being invited to attend a small wind exhibition and free seminars that will explain the opportunities presented by small wind generation. Called RenewableUK 2010 it takes place at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, on 4 November. Newly introduced energy tariffs have lead to a surge of interest in small wind power systems from farmers and landowners. However, RenewableUK, which organises the event, believes that many farmers and landowners remain unaware or unsure of the extent of the opportunities now available.
Farmers Weekly 18th Oct 2010 more >>
Ownergy, the full service provider of renewable energy systems, today 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 powerful evidence that Government fears about Feed-In Tariff eligible installations being out of control are unfounded.
ADF Online 18th Oct 2010 more >>
Refurbish One House a Minute
Transformation of the fabric efficiency of buildings across Europe is necessary to radically reduce energy use and carbon emissions, a conference organised by the University of East Anglia (UEA) will hear this week. If action is not taken, rising fuel costs could bring large numbers of families into fuel poverty with more and more vulnerable people unable to afford to keep warm in winter. The scale of the task is huge. The low-carbon refurbishment of over 20 million existing homes by 2050 in the UK may cost £500 billion at the rate of £250 million each week - with one house needing to be refurbished every single minute.
24 Dash 18th Oct 2010 more >>
A number of economic initiatives are listed for the electorate to rate, including the creation of new Green Skills Academies to train workers for the blossoming renewable energy sector and green economy.
Express 17th Oct 2010 more >>
Heat Pumps on the Thames
Montague Place is a dynamic collection of studio/1 bed and 2 bed apartments in Kingston Upon Thames. Each apartment has been equipped with solar panels in an attempt to meet renewable energy targets. However, due to the number of apartments, 55 in total, the foot-print area on the roof was too small for the quantity of panels required to satisfy the Merton Rule. The developers specified Space Air to supply the Daikin Altherma inverter split type heat pump systems for 8 of the 55 apartments in order to exceed the targets.
ADF Online 17th Oct 2010 more >>
A COMPETITION is offering schools in Notts the chance to win up to £40,000 of solar panels to install on their buildings. British Gas wants to help about 750 schools access renewable energy. It is part of the power company’s £15 million “mySolar School” competition. The schools receiving solar panels will also receive a British Gas smart meter so pupils can monitor the difference that the panels are making to energy use in school.
Nottingham Post 16th Oct 2010 more >>
Heat Pumps & Solar
Myson, one of the first names in heating technology, has been chosen to provide the warmth for a new extension at a top County Durham care centre. Myson Floortec underfloor heating was installed throughout the ground floor of the extension, with Myson Premier radiators on the first floor. All of the heating products are being powered by renewable energy, harnessing the natural resources of both the sun and the ground. Three solar panels are complemented by a ground source heat pump, connected to six 70-metre bore holes in the grounds of the property. The heat sources feed a thermal store, which distributes the heat and domestic hot water for the development.
ADF Online 15th Oct 2010 more >>
Will electric cars one day become part of a network of rechargeable batteries that can help smooth out the intermittent nature of wind and solar power?
Guardian 15th Oct 2010 more >>
MP Zac Goldsmith joined green campaigners outside the houses of Parliament on Tuesday to help encourage businesses and homes to make a switch to green energy as their primary source of heating.
Local London 15th Oct 2010 more >>
Somerset County Council has given the go ahead to the country’s first owner-occupier solar photovoltaic (PV) power station. Husband and wife team Nicholas and Lynne Gould are behind the 450 kilowatt (kW) solar scheme, which will be located on their private land in the village of Long Sutton in South Somerset. The micro generation power station is the first of its kind in Somerset and the second to get the greenlight in the UK.
Greenwise Business 15th Oct 2010 more >>
Plymouth Herald 20th Oct 2010 more >>
Cornwall Council has taken the first steps towards creating a solar energy farm in the county. It has approved a business case for the £14m project whereby panels would be put up near Newquay Airport. Cabinet members were told that it would pay for itself in 10 years and for 15 years would bring an annual income of between £1.5m and £1.9m.
BBC 15th Oct 2010 more >>
Guardian 20th Oct 2010 more >>
This is Cornwall 20th Oct 2010 more >>
City University London has taken an equity stake in clean-tech start-up, Totempower Energy Systems, to help commercialise its wind turbines for the micro-generation market. The company plans to enter the market in 2012 and is hoping to secure funding to develop its two wind turbine models – a 2,000kWh pa version for households and a 15,000kWh pa version for commercial use.
The Engineer 15th Oct 2010 more >>
Derelict No More
A house in Mansfield that has stood empty for 13 years is to receive a thorough makeover under a pilot scheme to reclaim empty homes for the community. A total of 10 properties across the two districts are being acquired and refurbished to a high standard, including a range of energy features, such as photo voltaic cells. The scheme will create jobs and training for three local people who will be introduced to a range of construction skills, including those associated with the installation of renewable energy features.
24 Dash 15th Oct 2010 more >>
A guide highlighting the opportunities and challenges of using digestate from AD plants as fertiliser has been published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
New Energy Focus 15th Oct 2010 more >>