week ending 17 December 2010
Electricity Market Reforms and Fuel Poverty
The Treasury’s figures show that the poorest will be hit hardest by the reforms. For example the 20% poorest households in the country will be forced to allocate between 0.04% and 0.3% extra of total spending to electricity in 2020 - a fraction of the impact on the 10% richest in the country, for whom the squeeze in spending resources will be between 0.01% and about 0.07%. And it probably won’t surprise you that the most hurt will be single pensioners, for whom the reduction in spending power will be up to 0.37%. Now these are obviously not massive sums - but for poor people, every little hurts, as they say.
BBC 17th Dec 2010 more >>
Matthew Spencer of the Green Alliance says first the good news. The Coalition’s favoured option offers the prospect of overcoming two very significant barriers to a low carbon energy system. The first is that it reduces the huge variability of prices that power generators receive for their green energy and therefore brings down the cost of capital. This will make financing new renewable schemes cheaper. The second is that it offers the real prospect of creating a market for energy efficiency, in which businesses can bid to save energy and sell ‘negawatts’ rather than megawatts of power. This is a system that has operated well in California, and should stop power companies building new plant that we don’t need.
Business Green 17th Dec 2010 more >>
Energy Efficiency Targets
MEPs have demanded that Europe improve its energy efficiency by 20 per cent over the next decade and place a renewed emphasis on greener buildings. In a resolution passed yesterday, the European Parliament resoundingly voted in favour of the target, which, according to recent Carbon Trust research, could help save UK businesses more than £1bn a year.
Business Green 16th Dec 2010 more >>
80% of farmers would like to move to microgeneration of solar power. According to a survey by Solarcentury, more than 80 per cent of UK farmers want to install solar panels on the roofs of their buildings by 2014. Research, carried out in conjunction with Forum for the Future, showed that interest in clean energy generation has risen substantially among farmers since the announcement of the government’s feed-in tariff. Almost 90 per cent are planning to make a move in the next two years, enabling them to take advantage of the scheme. The feed-in tariff allows anyone who owns a microgeneration system to sell back any energy they do not use to the National Grid.
Micro Generator 16th Dec 2010 more >>
Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland sees considerable opportunities in the renewable energy sector for farmers. “We have funding available for the right projects.”
Scotsman 16th Dec 2010 more >>
A VILLAGE of 2,000 people could soon become the first in Britain to get all its power from the sun’s rays – after a farmer submitted plans to install 20,000 solar panels on his land. Andrew Barr, 39, has applied to Maidstone Borough Council in Kent for -permission to turn one of his fields at nearby Lenham into a “solar panel hub”. He said: “We have -considered wind turbines and biomass boilers but solar power seems like the best option. There’ll still be enough room for my sheep”
Daily Mirror 16th Nov 2010 more >>
Scotland could phase out all conventional thermal power by 2030, maintain a secure electricity supply and generate revenue from renewable exports, according to new research by one of the world’s leading energy consultants, Garrad Hassan. “The Power of Scotland Secured”, published today (16 December) by Friends of the Earth with backing from RSPB and WWF, sets out how Scotland could guarantee security of supply, while decarbonising half its total energy needs by 2030.
FoE Press Release 16th Dec 2010 more >>
Report & Summary 16th Dec 2010 more >>
Responding to the UK Government’s proposals for reforming the electricity market, WWF highlighted the danger of diverting renewables investment into new nuclear power. “With our huge indigenous potential in wind, wave and tidal power Scotland would be mad to install French nuclear reactors and fuel them with Australian uranium. But that is exactly where these new government proposals could take us.
WWF Scotland News Release 16th Dec 2010 more >>
ALEX Salmond has outlined his vision for Scotland as a “hydro nation” that would see Scottish Water generate 5 per cent of the country’s electricity through wind farms, water turbines and gas produced by sewage plants. Launching his consultation paper Building a Hydro Nation yesterday, the First Minister said a publicly-owned Scottish Water could harness biogas from water treatment plants and build wind farms on the 70,000 acres the company owns. Having ruled out building nuclear power stations, Mr Salmond spoke of the crucial role that could be played by Scottish Water in providing green energy. He said the new borrowing powers recommended by the Calman Commission would help achieve his vision.
Scotsman 16th Nov 2010 more >>
York Eco village
York residents are being asked for their views to help shape plans for a new ‘eco’ development in the city. On the Former British Sugar Site. The council is seeking public funding to improve the development’s sustainability credentials through, for example, more energy-efficient buildings, on-site renewable energy generation or provision of improved access to open space.
City of York 15th Dec 2019 more >>
Verdo Renewables has been appointed preferred supplier of wood pellets for the biomass boiler plant at Girvan Community Hospital, one of Scotland’s most eco-friendly public buildings. Verdo Renewables’ first delivery of 28 tonnes of wood pellets for the 700kW biomass boiler was delivered last week from Verdo’s manufacturing plant in Grangemouth. It is estimated that the boiler at Girvan Community Hospital will require around 1,000 tonnes of wood pellets per year. Verdo Renewables opened its brand new £10 million renewable fuels production plant in Grangemouth at the end of 2009 and earlier this year opened a similar facility in Andover, Hampshire.
ADF Online 15th Dec 2010 more >>
Nelson goes for micro-CHP
ECO-friendly homes created out of the shells of 13 derelict houses in a rundown Victorian terrace in Nelson. The homes include eco-friendly features including a micro-CHP (Combined Heat and Power) boiler system to save on bills. Sun pipes have also been installed to bring natural light to the cloak room and landing. And recycled materials, including blue Welsh roof slates and stone from former kitchen extensions have been used in the build.
This is Lancashire 15th Nov 2010 more >>
PROPOSALS for a solar park – which would cover two fields in the heart of Kingsley – are about to be submitted to East Hampshire District Council planners. Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) a public consultation on the scheme was held at the Kingsley Centre to gauge the views of villagers. The plan has been put forward by Low Carbon Solar UK, (LCS) of Cirencester, which wants to install solar panels on two fields
Petersfield Post 15th Dec 2010 more >>
Reading goes for heat pumps
Reading Borough Council is the only local authority in Britain to benefit from £100,000 worth of funding to develop an approach which will enable more innovative low carbon heating systems to be installed across Europe and save council tax payers money in future years, it has been announced. ‘Geo.Power is a European funded programme which enables partners to work together on the introduction of ‘ground source’ heat pumps. This innovative low carbon method of heating buildings uses the constant heat which exists below the ground by capturing it, compressing it and distributing it to warm buildings. In Summer the process can be reversed, taking heat from the building and putting it in the ground. Considerable carbon, energy and financial savings can be made as a result.
Reading Borough Council 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Waverley goes Solar
Hundreds of Waverley’s housing tenants could soon be enjoying hugely reduced electricity bills as the council installs solar panels to the roofs of some of its homes. A meeting of Waverley Borough Council on Tuesday (December 14) agreed the scheme and also gave the go ahead for a search to begin for a suitable company to carry out the work.
Waverley Borough Council 14th Dec 2010 more >>
New wind turbines at Goonhilly in West Cornwall could soon be joined by acres of solar panels to help harvest the abundance of natural energy on the peninsula. Billed as Cornwall’s first sustainable energy park, plans have been presented for the installation of a solar park with a capacity of between 3 and 5MW of electricity and occupying an area of 10 to 26 hectares (up to 64 acres) near the six new wind turbines.
This is Cornwall 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Efficiency Returns Underestimated
Finance directors are dramatically underestimating the return on investment (ROI) from energy efficiency projects, according to Carbon Trust Advisory research. The average ROI from such a project is 48 percent, which is four times the minimum most finance directors require, according to the organisation’s The Business of Energy Efficiency report. However, finance directors believe the average ROI from energy efficiency initiatives to be just 20 percent – less than half the actual figure.
Low Carbon Economy 14th Dec 2010 more >>
German module manufacturer, Centrosolar, has now received Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation for its thin-film solar modules. This qualification follows the company’s receipt of MCS recognition for its entire crystalline solar module range in October this year. MCS certification, which was awarded to Centrosolar’s thin-film modules by the British Board of Agr ment (BBA) in November, serves as a seal of quality and is a prerequisite in order to sell photovoltaic systems in the UK under the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme.
Solar Portal 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Solar Novus Today 14th Dec 2010 more >>
China-based solar photovoltaic cell and modules manufacturer, Solarfun Power Holdings, is the latest global industry leader to receive Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation. The certification, which is necessary in order to gain eligibility for UK feed-in tariff (FiT) payments, has been awarded for the company’s SF160 monocrystalline and SF190 and SF220 polycrystalline modules.
Solar Portal 14th Dec 2010 more >>
Eco Play House
AIR heating and solar lighting are features of a new eco-friendly playhouse for children. The EcoPlay Lodge from Dunster House in Bedford will be a boon for parents who are concerned about rising energy bills and climate change. A three metre tall garden playhouse, the EcoPlay Lodge aims to introduce children to renewable energy and create awareness of how they can take part in helping to prevent climate change.
Bedford Today 14th Dec 2010 more >>
A Dragons’ Den contestant who hails from south Shropshire claims councils could save thousands of pounds in street lighting costs without having to switch them off at night. Vernon Kerswell, 22, an inventor and former Church Stretton School student, says photovoltaic cells and wind turbines could be placed on top of street lamps to power lights at a fraction of the existing cost. He has been inspired after seeing similar lamps spring up across cities in China, where he has been promoting his gadgets and toys. Mr Kerswell, whose family live at Picklescott, near Church Stretton, said he was keen to speak to Shropshire Council about the idea.
Shropshire Star 13th Dec 2010 more >>
ENERGY consultant Anthony Douglas has set up a new business supplying and installing solar panels. Newcastle-based Monument Renewable Technologies believes demand from both companies and consumers will increase on the back of rising fuel bills. Mr Douglas says the recently-introduced feed-in tariffs, which pay firms and householders for the excess energy they produce, is also creating interest.
Staffordshire Business 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Green Muswell Hill
A zero-carbon energy saving classroom, which will give residents expert tips on green living, has been unveiled. The state-of-the-art LivingARK boasts groundbreaking energy efficiency measures which demonstrate how we can reduce carbon emissions and make the most of Mother Nature. It will be used as a classroom with a difference in the playground of Muswell Hill Primary School, and will also be available to community groups and other schools. Every component of the LivingARK has been carefully selected to minimise CO2 and maximise sustainability.
Haringey Council 13th Dec 2010 more >>
Four CHP and district energy projects and their developers, together with one influential individual, have won the five categories in the fourth UK CHP Association annual awards. The awards were presented to the winners at the CHPA Awards dinner in the City of London. The winner of the Innovation Award was Scottish and Southern Energy, for its district heating scheme installed to serve the Greenwatt Way zero carbon housing development comprising 10 homes in Slough. Heat for the district heating scheme is provided from an integrated system of air and ground source heat pumps, a biomass boiler and roof-top solar thermal collectors. The Community and Residential Sector Award went to ENER-G and ESP Projects, for the installation of a 10 kWe Yanmar micro-CHP unit at a sheltered housing scheme in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Penn Energy 13th Dec 2010 more >>
As moves to build a solar energy park on the Lizard gather pace, fears have been raised that the plug could be pulled on plans for large-scale projects in Cornwall.
Falmouth Packet 10th Dec 2010 more >>
ACCRINGTON now gives a good first impression to visitors arriving by rail after the town’s new train station opened. The modern-looking, eco-friendly facility replaces its dilapidated predecessor. And it is next to the new Tesco super-store, which opened late last month, bringing new life to that part of the town centre. Power is provided by wind turbines and solar panels while rainwater is used for the sinks and toilets.
Lancashire Telegraph 10th Dec 2010 more >>
South Yorkshire Heat Pumps
South Yorkshire Housing Association, based in Sheffield, chose ground source heat pumps from Danfoss Heat Pumps for the new Munsdale “eco development” of 10 semi-detached houses in Greasbrough, Rotherham. The Yorkshire housing association invested in renewable energy from Danfoss Heat Pumps to help its residents avoid fuel poverty on an eco-friendly development of two-bedroom homes. The £1.1m development was designed to achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, which means it will benefit from a lower carbon footprint and provide reduced energy bills to residents. After researching different environmently-friendly heating options SYHA’s development staff specified the heat pumps, along with other eco-friendly features including photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, whole house heat recovery ventilation, triple glazing and structural insulated timber panels.
Plumbing Park 10th Dec 2010 more >>