week ending 7 January 2011
The introduction of the government’s feed-in tariff incentive scheme led to record numbers of small-scale renewable energy installations last year, according to new figures released by Ofgem this week. The latest data confirms that 57MW of new capacity was installed between April and December last year, representing a sizeable increase on the 44MW installed from April to September and further demonstrating the continued success of the incentive scheme.
Business Green 7th Jan 2011 more >>
Almost two thirds of UK companies are not improving the energy efficiency of their equipment because of financial pressure, threatening the UK’s economic competitiveness. That is the conclusion of a survey published last month by the financial services division of Siemens (SFS), which found that while 44 per cent of UK companies said their equipment was already efficient, 65 per cent were delaying further investment on cost grounds.
Business Green 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Cornwall Solar Go-ahead
Cornwall Council has approved plans for a giant solar farm near Lostwithiel, which is capable of producing up to 5MW of power per year. Energy from the farm , which is being developed by Cornwall Power and Lanhydrock Estate Company, will be used to drive the nearby South West Water (SWW) treatment plant. Planning permission for the £12 million project was granted by Cornwall Council this week and construction is expected to begin in the spring. The plant should be online by autumn, subject to an agreement with SWW.
Low Carbon Economy 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Lighting pioneer Dr Geoff Williams is leading a consortium of university and business experts in the bid to explore the potential of energy-efficient printable electric lighting.
Newcastle Journal 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Somerset falling behind
Households in Somerset are falling way behind other counties across the South West when it comes to embracing the use of solar power renewable energy. According to energy efficiency specialist Enact Energy, which runs renewable energy projects across the UK, only nine per cent of Solar PV enquiries from the South West originate from Somerset households – leaving it lagging behind its neighbours, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
South West Business 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Colchester Solar Plan
SOLAR panels could soon be soaking up rays on the roofs of council homes and offices across Colchester. Colchester Council is inviting firms from right across Europe to tender to supply photovoltaic panels for about 2,000 council homes and offices in the borough.
Essex County Standard 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Evening Gazette 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Hebden Bridge Project
HEBDEN Bridge has been chosen for an innovative energy efficiency project. Residents in two small areas in and around the Pennine town are being encouraged to take part in the pilot scheme. Those who decide to join will receive a comprehensive energy survey and advice on how to save energy costs and cut down on carbon
Yorkshire Post 6th Jan 2011 more >>
Small Wind & FiTs
The government’s feed-in tariff incentive scheme for small-scale renewable energy installations entered a new phase over the weekend with the launch of an official list of six wind turbines eligible for the incentives. To receive payments through the feed-in tariff schemes, wind turbines smaller than 50kW have to gain approval from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) as well as be fitted by an MCS-accredited installer. However, due to the lengthy testing process required to ensure turbines perform as advertised, only a handful of turbines had achieved MCS accreditation when the feed-in tariff was launched in April last year. As a result, the company operating the MCS produced a transition list of turbines that met a number of criteria and were seeking full certification, which were still allowed to qualify for the feed-in tariff. However, the transition list was abolished on 1 January this year, despite the fact that only six models – manufactured, respectively, by UK firms Evance Wind and Proven Energy, US company Southwest Windpower and Denmark’s Gaia-Wind – have obtained full MCS accreditation and are now eligible for the feed-in tariff.
Business Green 6th Jan 2011 more >>
A wind turbine installed in Hockerton a year ago produced enough energy to make the village electricity carbon neutral by November. The turbine was bought by villagers with the aim of producing enough energy to cover the village’s needs. By November the turbine had produced 221,220kWh, saving the emission of 125 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A director of Sustainable Hockerton, Mr Simon Tilley, said he hoped the turbine would start to make money this year through payments for electricity fed into the National Grid.
Newark Advertiser 5th Jan 2011 more >>
In Europe, generous subsidies are being withdrawn, causing problems for installers. But at the same time, the economics of the panels have changed completely thanks to scale. “The cost has halved in the last 18 months,” says Andrew Lee, head of sales at Sharp Solar UK. The company is the largest UK manufacturer and plans to create new jobs this year. Most panels, of course, are made in China, which is now the leading producer of solar photovoltaic cells. Thanks to large new factories in china, “grid costs are now equivalent to nuclear in the US” - and falling, according to Anthony Froggatt, an energy expert at think tank Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
BBC 5th Jan 2011 more >>
Zero Carbon Definition
The Zero Carbon Hub Task Group has delivered recommendations to government for the carbon compliance levels of new homes from 2016, which will have a strong influence on product development plans for manufacturers and house builders over the next few years. Commenting on the recommendation, John Tebbit, industry affairs director at the Construction Products Association, said: “Although it has been very challenging to achieve consensus from across all parties involved in zero carbon homes, we always believed that the Task Group would come up with realistic but stretching targets that will drive both quality and quantity of new homes. I am therefore delighted that these recommendations set a basis for the minister to come to the right decision and I’m sure that our industry will rise to the challenge he sets.”
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 4th Jan 2011 more >>
Naturesave has added a new cover to its household insurance policy; enabling householders to insure their wind turbines or solar panels as part of their standard household insurance, without having to seek separate cover.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 4th Jan 2011 more >>
Plans for a third solar energy farm in Cambridgeshire have been put forward. Just months after schemes to build solar electricity farms in Wilburton and Bourn were announced, fresh proposals to build one in Chittering, between Ely and Waterbeach, have been unveiled. Cambridgeshire-based firm Abbey Renewables, the company behind the proposed solar farm for Wilburton, wants to build the 17-hectare farm on land east of the village at Radical Farm.
Cambridge News 4th Jan 2011 more >>
Property maintenance and multi-utility metering services provider PH Jones claims to be one of the first businesses to become accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to carry out solar photovoltaic installations.
Heating & Ventilating.Net 4th Jan 2010 more >>
One of the UK’s leading renewable energy providers, Enact Energy, has welcomed the decision by the Government not to cut spending plans for renewable power as part of its Comprehensive Spending Review. The decision by Government to retain Feed-In-Tariffs (FiT’s), which were launched in April this year, will, says Enact CEO Adrian Wright enable many thousands of homes and businesses across the country to benefit from the latest Solar PV systems, by reducing their electricity usage and earning hundreds of pounds every year under the scheme.
ADF Online 4th Jan 2011 more >>
Just before Christmas, the UK Coalition Government launched a formal consultation on its microgeneration strategy. The move follows an announcement in the summer of the Government’s intention to consult with industry on its strategy. Together with the Green Deal initiative to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s housing and plans to roll out smart meters, microgeneration could help reduce fuel bills and make more households energy self sufficient says the Government.
Energy Efficiency News 4th Jan 2011 more >>
Tiny Solar Transforms Lives
Tiny solar power systems that cost as little as $12 are transforming the lives of the rural poor from Kenya to Mongolia to Peru. The Firefly system from Barefoot Power (www.barefootpower.com), for example, provides a small solar panel and an LED desk lamp with an adapter to charge a cellphone. The impact this system can have on a poor family is remarkable. A recent piece in the New York Times relates the story of Sara Ruto, who lives in a hut in rural Kenya, far from the country’s electrical grid. She used to spend 30 hours and $20 a month to travel to the nearest town with electricity to charge her cellphone. And charging the phone sometimes took days due to high demand for the service.
Star Phoenix 4th Jan 2010 more >>
FUNDING for green energy projects including generating hydro-power at Ebley Mill and installing solar panels at sheltered housing schemes will be discussed at a special meeting of Stroud District Council’s cabinet on Thursday, January 6.
Stroud News & Journal 3rd Jan 2011 more >>
One of the first sites in Sheffield to use water power could soon be generating its own electricity. Sheffield Renewables, the community enterprise that develops and operates renewable energy schemes wants to install a modern water wheel as part of a hydropower scheme at Kelham Island
Sheffield Star 3rd Jan 2011 more >>
Developers behind a new £14 million solar farm scheme have pledged to give some of its earnings back to the community and to use Cornish companies to install the technology. Cornwall Power won planning permission for the 27-acre scheme, on the Lanhydrock Estate, near Bodmin, just before Christmas. It is also working to progress six other solar farm schemes in Cornwall as well as others in Devon, Wiltshire and South Wales.
Plymouth Herald 3rd Jan 2011 more >>
Eaga – trouble ahead
Cuts to the government’s Warm Front heating and insulation programme, which Eaga delivers. Consequently, Mr Johnson may have to make partners compulsorily redundant; 700, mostly in north-east England, must go
FT 3rd Jan 2011 more >>
Big property firms are cutting costs and attracting tenants by giving buildings a green overhaul, making them more energy efficient.
Sunday Times 2nd Jan 2011 more >>
Cornwall has given the go-ahead to what will be one of Britain’s first large-scale solar farms. Small investors are likely to finance it. Councillors approved a planning application just before Christmas for a 25-acre solar array on part of the Lanhydrock National Trust estate near Bodmin. The five megawatt station will be the largest built so far in Britain.
Sunday Times 2nd Jan 2011 more >>
Most the councils surveyed treat separated food waste via a process called in-vessel composting. But, a Wrap report last year showed that anaerobic digestion – a source of 100 per cent renewable energy – is the preferable option for dealing with food waste. The process produces a methane-rich biogas that can generate heat and power, plus a soil improver. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), there are 37 such plants in the UK, with another 60 planned. It suggests digesting one ton of food waste rather than sending it to landfill cuts greenhouse gas emissions and saves up to one ton of CO2 equivalent.
Independent 2nd Jan 2011 more >>
Generating your own renewable electricity can provide a great boost to farm profits and help cut energy bills, provided you do your homework first.
Farmers Weekly 1st Jan 2011 more >>
SOUTH Tyneside residents will find it easier to make plans to improve or extend their homes thanks to new planning guidelines which covers householder renewable energy.
Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette 2nd Jan 2011 more >>