week ending 4 February 2011
Halton Council goes Solar
A Lancashire council is looking for contractors to fit solar panels on the roofs of its buildings in a project that could be worth up to £10m. Halton Borough Council is calling for tenders to provide renewable energy via photovoltaic panels installed on a number of council buildings, including schools, within the borough.
Construction Index 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Gas demand down due to insulation
The average household is consuming 22 per cent less natural gas than four years ago as a direct result of the rollout of energy efficiency measures, according to a new study by British Gas. The utility yesterday published its Home Energy Report 2011, which was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and based on 40 million British Gas meter readings between 2006 to 2010.
Business Green 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Green Deal Finance
The UK Green Building Council has called for the government to use its Green Investment Bank to provide finance for retrofit work. The council warned a “big question mark” hung over the issue of home improvement financing through the flagship Green Deal scheme. Under government plans, home and business owners would get a grant for energy improvement schemes, to be paid back through savings on their bills. Director of policy and communications John Alker told CN the council hoped the proposed Green Investment Bank could provide third-party finance to homeowners to upgrade their properties.
Construction News 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Another Micro-CHP Boiler
Vaillant, the heating and ventilation specialist and Honda held a joint press conference to present a new micro-combined heat and power (mCHP) system for Europe. It is the first European system with highly efficient gas engine technology for use in single-family homes. The mCHP system simultaneously produces environment-friendly heat and electricity and will be available in Germany by mid-year under the product name Vaillant ecoPOWER 1.0.
Honda Press Release 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Zero Carbon Housing
Speech by Grant Shapps at the Zero Carbon Hub Annual Conference 2011: Tomorrow’s New Homes - Definition and delivery of low and zero carbon.
24 Dash 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Westfield Housing Association is leading the way in providing cheaper, greener heating for residents with European grant money awarded to a Cumbrian partnership. The partnership is set to invest more than £7.5 million in the next three years to fit renewable energy technologies to properties and install insulation. Westfield Housing Association has begun the first project using the grant and money from the Government and is fitting thermal solar panels to 16 properties in Ashmore Gardens, Workington.
Times and Star 3rd Feb 2011 more >>
Big businesses and financial vehicles are investing in industrial scale solar farms that could potentially consume most of the available Feed-in Tariffs. The UK coalition Government’s Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, has pledged to help protect the nation’s independent renewable energy incentive but are pledges enough?
Greenwise Business 2nd Feb 2011 more >>
Mold Solar for India
A FLINTSHIRE firm is using its renewable energy expertise to help provide free warmth and shelter for some of the world’s poorest people. Eco-retailer Allbrite UK is supplying photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and other vital equipment for groundbreaking ‘housing pods’ being developed by the Indian government. The pods, which are made from light gauge steel, measure 20 sq m x 40 sq m and each one can house up to six people. They are being built as part of a scheme by the Indian government to provide sustainable housing for the poor.
Daily Post 2nd Feb 2011 more >>
Global investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology could more than double to 70bn (£59.7bn) a year by 2015, provided that governments deliver the financial incentives and policies required to achieve grid parity. That is the conclusion of a major new report published today by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and Greenpeace International, which investigates the outcomes of three potential industry scenarios up to 2050.
Business Green 2nd Feb 2011 more >>
SCOTLAND risks missing its green targets because councils lack clear environmental policies, a study of local authorities has found. While the Government has ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions by 42% before 2020, only three councils have actually written down targets for reducing carbon footprints in their areas.
Herald 2nd Feb 2011 more >>
There is still “a lot of resistance” to efforts being made to retrofit the UK’s housing stock, according to climate change minister Greg Barker. Speaking at the Retrofit Salford 2011 event, Mr Barker said Brits are still unwilling to make energy-efficient improvements to their properties, despite the soaring energy bills that have been seen in recent years. While he acknowledged financial incentives, such as the Green Deal, played a role in this, he said there are other mechanisms that can be used.
Low Carbon Economy 1st Feb 2011 more >>
Permission has been granted for a family in Shropshire to install hundreds of solar panels in a paddock. The solar panelled area will occupy the space of two tennis courts on private land owned by the Bright family in Dovaston, Kinnerley, Oswestry. The Marches Energy Agency said they could potentially produce 90,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Nine complaints were registered mainly about the view, but Shropshire Council said it would support renewable energy.
BBC 1st Feb 2011 more >>
Fowey Renewable Energy Enterprise
A new group claims using green energy could generate income benefiting a picturesque South East Cornwall town for the next 20 years. Fowey Renewable Energy Enterprise (FREE) was formed by local residents to investigate the possibility of installing sources of renewable energy, such as solar panels or wind turbines, in or near the town. The group is the latest throughout the Westcountry to be attracted to the Government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme, which offers financial incentives for every unit of “clean” energy produced.
This is Cornwall 1st Feb 2011 more >>
TWO more solar farms have been announced for West Oxfordshire. A planning application has been submitted for 22,000 panels over 30 acres at Homeleaze Farm, Grafton, near Bampton. And another plan for 5,600 panels at Shipton-under-Wychwood has been announced. Plans for Oxfordshire’s first major solar energy farm, at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, were unveiled last month. Some 27,000 panels would be installed on a 38-acre site, the home of Lord Rotherwick.
Witney Gazette 1st Feb 2011 more >>
SolarUK Ltd (originally called Magpie Technologies) moved into the Renewable Energy sector in 1998. Early projects involved research and development of solutions to provide power and clean water to developing countries and disaster areas, as well as testing and product improvement for other Solar Thermal manufacturers. A partnership with the multinational Nippon Electric Glass Co. Ltd (2008 Net Sales c.US$3.7m) led to us using their evacuated tube to manufacture solar thermal collectors for the UK market. Our accumulated knowledge, and desire to produce the most effective and durable solar systems, led to the development of the LaZer2 evacuated tube collector, as well as our range of digital controllers and circulation controls; all of which we still manufacture in our UK factory today.
ADF Online 1st Feb 2011 more >>
Somerset Biomass Grant
A renewable energy project in Somerset has been awarded £30,000 from EDF Energy. The grant comes from the EDF Energy Green Fund and will help pay for a 200kW ‘biomass boiler’ at the Royal Bath & West Showground, near Shepton Mallet. The Showground, owned by Somerset-based charity The Royal Bath & West of England Society, is the largest agricultural venue in the South West and is best known for hosting its annual rural event, the Royal Bath & West Show.
EDF Energy 31st Jan 2011 more >>
Nottingham City Council has plans to create an energy park in Bulwell. Low carbon renewable energy would be created on site to be offered to businesses in the area at competitive prices. The council hopes that the project will create new jobs by attracting new companies to the city, particularly those in the expanding green tech sector.
Edie 31st Jan 2011 more >>
A seven-chapter planning application for a biomass energy plant in Leith has been lodged. The plans, made by Forth Energy - a partnership between Leith dock owners Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy. It sparks the start of a consultation period in which public meetings will take place and an opposition petition is expected to be lodged. Developers hope the new plant will kick-start up to 40 years of development at in the Leith Docks and Waterfront area. Local community councils and some politicians are against the plans, raising concerns about the plant’s potential impact on health, how it might look and how local infrastructure will cope. Some councillors, who will be the first to vote on the plans, are unable to comment publicly until the consultation period ends.
Guardian Edinburgh 31st Jan 2011 more >>
Scotsman 31st Jan 2011 more >>
Southwark Waste Heat
Southwark Council is looking at the possibility of heating nearly 3,000 homes across five estates using waste energy from a nearby energy plant. The council is working with its waste and recycling partners Veolia Environmental Services, who will play a key role in managing the project.
24 Dash 28th Jan 2011 more >>
AFFORDABLE housing company Mi-space has received the coveted Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation. It means the firm, part of the Midas Group, is an approved installer of photovoltaic (PV) panels. The Government-backed MCS assurance scheme shows consumers that installers have passed a series of quality, procedural and safety checks. Having an MCS-accredited installer is mandatory if the end user of the renewable energy system wants to receive the feed-in tariffs which provide a significant financial incentive.
Exeter Express & Echo 28th Jan 2011 more >>
ILMINSTER could soon be home to one of England’s first solar energy farms if plans for the 64,000 panels go ahead. Applicant WRS Energy has earmarked four sites to house the solar panels – two on the Dillington Estate, one along Bushfurlong Road and another on Cad Farm. Boosting the region’s renewable energy output, each site would have a life span of 25 years and could provide enough electricity for more than 1,800 homes each year.
Chard & Ilminster News 28th Feb 2011 more >>
Sustainable property developer Citu celebrated in December after gaining the ultimate recognition for their commitment to sustainability at the UK Green Building Council’s Sustainability Awards – culminating in their 12th award win for Greenhouse, the UK’s greenest high-tech homes and offices. Greenhouse a former art deco worker’s hostel in South Leeds, has been raised like a phoenix into a ground breaking new sustainable eco – development, through design and sustainability pioneering environmental credentials. This distinctive development comprises 172 one, two and tree bedroom apartments plus high specification creative office space.
ADF Online 28th Jan 2011 more >>
The construction industry is missing out on retrofit work as utilities companies secure increasing levels of work in the sector, according to experts. Willmott Dixon’s new head of sustainability Robert Lambe, said firms such as British Gas were among the contractor’s biggest rivals for work in the low-carbon sector. He said utilities firms were often better placed to roll out retrofit schemes than many construction firms owing to their expertise and the demands placed on them by government carbon reduction targets.
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Magazine 28th Jan 2011 more >>
The electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary body, the NICEIC, has published a new guide to microgeneration to help consumers get to grips with small-scale renewable technologies. The jargon buster provides clear definitions for several of the key terms used within the energy industry, helping the public understand the benefits and the relative costs of various renewable energy devices.
Rapid 27th Jan 2011 more >>
The government has slashed by half its funding of the Energy Saving Trust (EST), the Guardian has learned. The EST provides grants and free advice to the public to help them reduce their energy use, bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The government has previously said that energy efficiency measures are the cheapest way of tackling energy and climate change.
Guardian 21st Jan 2011 more >>