week ending 21 January 2011
Climate change minister Greg Barker yesterday refused to reveal when the long-awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will be introduced, despite the designers of Europe’s largest ground-source heat pump claiming the scheme cannot come fast enough. The RHI was originally expected to be introduced in April this year, but it has subsequently been delayed until June, and speaking yesterday Barker would only confirm that the incentives would be delivered “later this year”.
Business Green 21st Jan 2011 more >>
Yorkshire hosts UK’s largest solar housing scheme
South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) is on course to own more solar powered properties than almost any other organisation in the country after its 120th house signed up to its flagship renewable energy project. The association’s ‘Power Roofs’ programme aims to have 650 homes in South Yorkshire using solar power for 30 per cent of their electricity needs by 2012, in a move designed to protect residents against energy price rises and reduce energy poverty.
Business Green 21st Jan 2011 more >>
SCOTLAND’S damp, gloomy climate would not immediately appear to be the ideal spot for a 200 million investment in solar energy. But now thousands of Scottish homes and businesses are to be fitted with photovoltaic panels, paid for through a green energy scheme. The project, led by Stirling renewable energy firm Emotion Energy, will benefit only structures with south-facing roofs - in a bid to harness as much of the sun’s power as possible. The project will also generate cash for community-funded charities over the next 25 years. “People believe solar panels need a lot of sun and that is just not the case,” said Mike Cox of Heriot-Watt University, which is today hosting a conference on the risk to businesses caused by climate change. Daniel Borisewitz, Scottish Renewables policy manager for bioenergy and heat, said 12 businesses and householders a week had installed their own solar panel systems.
Scotsman 21st Jan 2011 more >>
As part of a wide-ranging sustainability programme operated by United Biscuits, COFELY has helped the company achievea 27% reduction in gas usage, a 5.2% reduction in electricity consumption and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 27,468kg at its headquarters in Middlesex.
Premises and Facilities Management 21st Jan 2011 more >>
Birmingham Solar Hub
Birmingham has been announced as the host city for the annual Solar Power UK Conference and Exhibition in October 2011. The event benefits from the institutional support of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the Micro Power Council, BRE Trust, Birmingham City and Solar Power Group, the voice of PV in the UK. The decision to move the event to Birmingham comes from the city’s increasing recognition as a hub for the developing UK solar industry.
Solar Portal 20th Jan 2011 more >>
Business leaders will again urge the government to set out a clear and long-term policy framework for the clean technology sector, after a new report found investor confidence has dropped markedly since the spending review and electricity market reforms were announced late last year.
Business Green 20th Jan 2011 more >>
Solar Thermal Training
Now that the Renewable Heat Incentive has been given a green light, the solar thermal hot water sector is set for a sharp rise in demand. Carol Hitchcock joined Nu-Heat’s NICEIC-approved training course to find out how installers can benefit from a new skill.
Pham News 20th Jan 2011 more >>
City Heat Pumps
A new shopping, leisure and office complex in London is being heated and cooled by large-scale renewable energy technology installed under the site. One New Change, in the City of London, is using a renewable ground source heat pump which controls the temperature in the centre by transferring heat to and from the ground below. The “state-of-the-art” heating system, thought to be the biggest of its kind in Europe, includes almost 40 miles of pipework - enough to wrap round the London Eye 140 times - and two water wells about 500 feet below street level.
Harborough Mail 20th Jan 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 21st Jan 2011 more >>
Westcountry households are leading the race to tap into the power of the sun, after figures revealed nearly one-fifth of solar panel inquiries were from the South West. According to Cornish-based renewable energy provider Enact, 18 per cent of all UK inquiries to its call centre have been from the South West. The company, which manages projects across the country, said Cornish households are twice as active as those in Devon when it comes to looking into the benefits of solar power, and more than five times as active as residents in Dorset and Somerset.
This is Cornwall 20th Jan 2011 more >>
The head of business banking at Europe’s largest sustainable bank, Triodos, has warned that many solar projects will fail to move forward this year as developers rush to secure financial backing before the government cuts the incentives available through its feed-in tariff scheme.
Business Green 19th Jan 2011 more >>
Lancaster University is submitting fresh plans for a wind turbine to cut its carbon footprint. Last year Lancaster City Council threw out a scheme for two turbines on land behind the university. But the university authorities have returned with a fresh application for a single turbine. Campaigners fighting the plans have said that they have already collected 400 letters objecting to the renewed attempt to get planning permission.
BBC 19th Jan 2011 more >>
Oxford Solar Farm
PEOPLE living near the planned site of Oxfordshire’s first major solar energy farm have welcomed the idea. A total of 27,000 panels could be used to generate power for the National Grid on a 38-acre site at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, the home of Lord Rotherwick. People are being invited to view the plans and have their say at an exhibition.
Oxford Mail 19th Jan 2011 more >>
St Austell Plan
A MASSIVE regeneration plan could put the St Austell area on the map as the UK’s flagship for sustainable development. More than 14,000 homes could be built around St Austell, the Clay Country and St Blazey in an ambitious vision which includes a pioneering cable car scheme and development opportunities at 19 sites including the eco-town.
This is Cornwall 19th Jan 2011 more >>
A PIONEERING business has insurance for eco-friendly homes and helps the environment.
Express 19th Jan 2011 more >>
GAIA-wind, the Dutch domestic turbine maker which is establishing a £5 million factory in Port Dundas in Glasgow, has won “essential” certification which ensures customers can claim back cash from green energy exported to the National Grid. Johnnie Andringa, the manufacturer’s managing director, hailed the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation as a “huge breakthrough” for the firm. Certification also simplifies the planning permission process for wind turbines
Scotsman 19th Jan 2011 more >>
Impact of ASHPs
Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA) has today published its findings from research commissioned in 2009 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to assess the implications of ‘Air Source Heat Pumps’ (ASHP), on the domestic network infrastructure. In the longer term the Government’s Micro-generation strategy has suggested that 40% of the UK’s electricity demand and a 15% cut in household energy use could be met by installing micro-generation equipment on all types of buildings by 2050; as a result, micro-CHP and air-source heat pumps were technologies identified as ‘best poised’ to grow rapidly and deliver meaningful energy and CO2 savings in a supportive policy environment.
Oil Fired Up 19th Jan 2011 more >>
The chief executive of the Eden Project has slammed the government for halving its support for deep geothermal power while boosting funds for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology as part of its recent spending review.
Business Green 18th Jan 2011 more >>
Business owners and commercial landlords have a fantastic opportunity to harness a low risk, low maintenance steady income over 25 years by investing in solar panels for their property. Lark Energy, a local business specialising in renewable energy, has years of experience with solar Photo Voltaic (PV) installations and has even won environmental awards for being carbon positive. The company is also en route to gain top level green accreditation with Investors in the Environment.
Peterborough Today 18th Jan 2011 more >>
A state-of-the-art research facility powered by stored energy from a wind turbine has been officially opened by First Minister Alex Salmond. The Hydrogen Office, which forms part of Fife’s Energy Park in Methil, is expected to become one of Europe’s leading locations for creating and developing renewable technology. The £4.7 million facility houses a hydrogen production system that captures surplus energy from a 750-kilowatt wind turbine, stores it as hydrogen when the wind is not blowing and then uses a hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity from the energy when required. The hydrogen and fuel cell system was developed by the Pure Energy Centre in Unst.
Herald 18th Jan 2011 more >>
Windpower Monthly 18th Jan 2011 more >>
Press and Journal 19th Jan 2011 more >>
Business Green 20th Jan 2011 more >>
The UK’s first deep geothermal power plant is on the brink of securing financial backing from the oil and gas industry, moving the planned 10MW project one step closer to reality. Speaking to BusinessGreen on the sidelines of an industry event yesterday, Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering, said the firm has been holding extensive meetings with an unnamed potential investor from the oil and gas sector for its proposed £40m geothermal plant in Redruth, Cornwall.
Business Green 18th Jan 2011 more >>
With a steeply pitched thatched roof and lime wash-rendered wattle and daub walls, at first sight the house, which will be set in 26 acres of woodland in Warwickshire, looks as though it could be the nostalgic reproduction of an ancient British chieftain’s hut. It will even use prehistoric insulation techniques such as a turf roof and wood-burning heating. Yet 21st-century materials and technologies, such as rainwater harvesting, a combined heat and power scheme and renewable energy systems, combine to make the building both carbon neutral and architecturally outstanding.
Telegraph 18th Jan 2011 more >>
Herefordshire Solar School
A renewable energy project in Herefordshire has been awarded more than £23,000 from EDF Energy. The grant for £23,178 from the EDF Energy Green Fund will help pay for solar panels and an air source heat pump at Peterchurch Primary School, in Peterchurch, near Hereford. The school is already implementing a range of sustainable habits, as one of more than 11,000 schools that are part of The Pod, EDF Energy’s online programme for greener schools.
EDF Energy 17th Jan 2011 more >>
Totnes College Solar & Biomass
Environmentally-minded students at King Edward VI Community College in Totnes will unveil a new green boiler and solar panels on Monday (Jan 17) that will generate heat and electricity for decades to come. The woodchip boiler and 102 photo voltaic panels are expected to save around 150 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. The project has been supported by £48,000 from EDF Energy’s Green Fund, with £29,000 towards the solar panels and £19,000 towards the biomass boiler.
EDF Energy 17th Jan 2011 more >>
The coalition government has talked a lot about decentralisation and supporting small-scale local projects. The preface to DECC’s Microgeneration Strategy consultation says: ‘There will be a role for small-scale electricity producers in homes, schools, offices and factories around the country to complement the substantial new investments needed in large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage, nuclear and renewable electricity such as offshore wind; a new supply of locally-produced power that spreads the risk and can help make us all more self-reliant. And there will be a step-change in the use of renewable micro-technologies such as heat pumps, as we tackle the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions, the heating our homes.’ However, overall, the government does not seem to see community-scale projects as very significant. The new revised National Policy Statement on Energy says: ‘The government does not believe that decentralized and community energy systems are likely to lead to significant replacement of larger-scale infrastructure.’ Despite the fact that EST says Community-scale projects could economically meet 4.3% of total UK energy demands if householders were to act collectively. That’s 13% of total annual UK household energy demands.
Environmental Research Web 15th Jan 2011 more >>
The Scottish government has today granted planning approval to a new 4.5MW hydro electric plant capable of generating enough power for around 2,500 homes. The project at Maldie Burn, near Kylestrome, was proposed by RWE NPower Renewables in June 2009 and aims to build an intake weir at the site that will allow for the use of run-of-river technology to produce electricity
Business Green 17th Jan 2011 more >>
A lack of familiarity of microgeneration within planning offices is putting some customers off installing renewable energy technology, one expert has claimed. Laurie Eve, director of Source Renewable, a south-west based low-carbon energy company, said the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) have kick-started the industry for small-scale renewable energy generation, but there “is still work to do”.
IB Times 17th Jan 2011 more >>
Microgeneration in Kent
Environmental expert Sean Furey, deputy director of Protect Kent – the county’s branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England – has published a book showing residents how they can create sustainable communities without relying on harmful fossil fuels.
Your Ashford 16th Jan 2011 more >>
Regen SW has been chosen by Devon County Council to deliver a range of services to the low carbon sector. This is seen by the council as key to improving Devon’s economic resilience and cementing its reputation as a centre of excellence for low carbon technology development. The work will build on the successes of the award-winning Renewable Energy for Devon (RE4D) project and take it to the next stage. It focuses on providing tailored support to the sector through a mix of mentoring, innovation and skills development. Regen SW, and delivery partners the Centre for Energy and the Environment and the Energy Saving Trust, will offer a series of practical initiatives which will support the renewable energy sector.
Regen SW 15th Jan 2011 more >>
Hundreds of wind turbines could be added to the landscape as farmers seek to reduce their carbon footprint and boost their income. Earlier this year the Government introduced a “feed-in tariff” which pays owners of small-scale renewable energy devices a fixed premium for every unit of electricity generated. The move has encouraged more farmers, including some in West Craven, to apply for permission to install wind turbines on their land.
Craven Herald & Pioneer 15th Jan 2011 more >>
Castle Biomass Plan
The owners of a stately home plan to make it greener by building an environmentally-friendly boiler. Belvoir Castle has submitted plans to build a biomass boiler using wood chippings from the estate’s 1,600 acres of forest.The boiler would replace the castle’s expensive oil-fired heating system and could be in place by next winter, if given the go-ahead by Melton Borough Council.
Leicester Mercury 15th Jan 2011 more >>
The award winning Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP boiler (dual energy system) not only provides highly efficient heating and hot water, it also generates low cost, low carbon electricity in the process. Using this energy to power household appliances means that you need to buy less electricity from your electricity provider, so you can look forward to lower electricity bills and a smaller carbon footprint. It is the first micro-CHP product to achieve Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certification, meaning it is also eligible for the Government’s Feed-in Tariff – providing financial assistance to lower your fuel bills even further.
Laars Boilers 15th Jan 2011 more >>
Urban Forum has published Community Power Empowers – a look at successful community, co-operative and municipal renewable energy projects from across Europe.
Citizens’ Eye 15th Jan 2011 more >>
Community Power Empowers more >>
As 2010 drew to a close, the government cemented its commitment to the zero carbon agenda, with Grant Shapps announcing plans to develop a community energy fund as part of the effort to meet the zero offset for homes built after 2016. More recently, Shapps outlined the community infrastructure levy aimed at helping local authorities achieve reductions in carbon emissions locally. However he came under fire for scrapping the Homes and Communities Agency’s Core Standards for new buildings, removing the basic energy efficiency standards laid out by the last government. As part of this drive for eco-friendliness Zero Carbon Hub’s benchmark report recommended building homes with on site renewable energy. Meanwhile, housing association Peabody has set up a £23 million programme to fit solar panels to its housing stock and is aiming to reduce emissions by 60% of their 1990 levels by 2025.
Guardian 14th Jan 2011 more >>
A COMPANY specialising in providing homes and businesses with renewable energy solutions has been launched in Tamworth. Eco-Environments, one of the fastest growing firms in its sector, has opened an office in the town in the latest part of its UK-wide expansion plan.
Business Staffordshire 14th Jan 2011 more >>
Plymouth Solar Park
RESIDENTS and councillors welcomed plans to build a solar energy park on the outskirts of Plymouth. Members of the public viewed the masterplan for the stalled Langage Energy Park, near Plympton, at a public exhibition yesterday. Visitors were enthusiastic about proposals for the site, which could produce jobs as well as electricity for hundreds of homes.
Plymouth Herald 14th Jan 2011 more >>
PepsiCo has several investments in renewable energy, from solar power in Turkey and biomass plants run on rice husks in India, to CHP plants in Texas and Florida. But Evans says he has had little support for similar projects in the UK because the right policy framework is not in place. For example, PepsiCo last year developed a biomass CHP boiler using oat husks at its Quaker factory in Cupar, Scotland, which would have produced enough energy for the entire site. The project has since been put on hold as it is not financially viable under the current UK framework. Evans said this was “a hugely frustrating experience”.
Green Wise Business 14th Jan 2011 more >>
Growers supplying potatoes for Walkers crisps are being issued guidelines on best practice to cut carbon and water use on farm. Reducing the carbon footprint of a bag of Walkers crisps has been a target for PepsiCo since 2007, when it first measured the footprint of the while process
Farmers Weekly 14th Jan 2011 more >>
PepsiCo has unveiled significant savings in energy use as it continues to make progress towards its goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable businesses. It plans to become a fossil fuel free operation by 2023.
Business Green 17th Jan 2011 more >>