week ending 11 February 2011
Weekly shopping trips at Sainsbury’s could soon include solar panels and advice on saving energy after the retailer this week announced a major new partnership with British Gas. Sainsbury’s Energy will offer customers the chance to purchase solar panels, as well as gain access to in-store energy saving advice, green-home assessments, and gas and electricity tariffs. British Gas will help provide the new service after Sainsbury’s dropped its previous energy partner EDF at the end of its contract.
Business Green 11th Feb 2011 more >>
The EU is threatening to impose legally binding energy efficiency targets on member states unless they step up efforts to meet targets requiring them to cut energy use 20 per cent by 2020.
Business Green 10th Feb 2011 more >>
Solar Review undermines industry
Solar energy experts are now warning the review could have a serious impact on the industry and undermine investor confidence. “It has taken the new government just seven short months to undermine what by their own admission has been a successful programme to date,” Jeremy Leggett, executive chairman at Solarcentury, told Business Green. He added installations of 50KW are generally considered to be medium-scale, describing the government’s classification as “total nonsense”. Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, expressed similar concerns, saying developers will be left “hanging in the air”. The government said any changes made following the review, which was originally scheduled for 2012, will not be applied retrospectively to existing installations.
Low Carbon Economy 10th Feb 2011 more >>
East Lothian Council
East Lothian council plans to invest £10m in renewable energy projects. The extra income generated from the investments, estimated at £158,000 in 2011/12, will be used to support council services.
BBC 10th Feb 2011 more >>
Westcountry businesses are calling for Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to take a more-far sighted view on solar Feed in Tariffs (FiTs), as they assess the impact of a government review upon the regional economy. The government is set to scale down large-scale industry take-up of the fixed earn-while-you-generate incentive, to safeguard payments to domestic and small-scale schemes from a finite £900million pot. ‘Fast track’ changes to the FiT for solar systems larger than 50kW are expected to be enacted by the parliament summer recess in July.
This is Plymouth 10th Feb 2011 more >>
BACKERS of plans to build two solar power arrays near Exeter are hoping to get their proposals approved before changes to a green energy reward scheme are made.
Exeter Express & Echo 10th Feb 2011 more >>
Green campaigners have launched a major campaign aimed at overturning any Government plans that would stifle the development of sustainable energy schemes. They are protesting to get the coalition to reverse plans to limit a fund that rewards people who have invested in energy-creating projects. The meeting of experts in renewable systems was held in Plymouth after Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announced an early comprehensive review of the Feed-In Tariffs (FITS), the scheme that pays energy providers. They fear the review will stifle investment and have long-term implications for the nation’s power supply, jobs, food security and environmental protection.
This is Plymouth 10th Feb 2011 more >>
Bristol Airport Turbine
A wind turbine has now been successfully installed at Bristol Airport which has been harvesting wind energy on site since early January. The vertical axis turbine is part of a pilot project known as ‘The Quiet Revolution qr5’ and is located on the approach road to the terminal building.
Bristol Evening Post 10th Feb 2011 more >>
RENEWABLE energy specialists from Carter Jonas in Peterborough will hit the road next week to explain the financial benefits of a range of renewable energy sources including solar roof-top schemes for both commercial and agricultural business users. The energy team will showcase its expertise in the sector at the Energy Now Expo on February 16 and 17 in Malvern, Worcestershire, the first event in the renewable energy 2011 events calendar.
Peterborough Telegraph 10th Feb 2011 more >>
Nottingham Heat Map
AN energy and heat map of Nottingham is to be created to help the city council target areas where it can help reduce the most carbon emissions. The council’s Sustainability and Climate Change Team has secured £200,000 from the Government for the project. It comes after the council was selected as one of nine local authorities across the country to lead the way on reducing carbon emissions.
Nottingham Evening Post 9th Feb 2011 more >>
Work on a new community-funded hydro electric project could soon get underway if the not-for-profit firm behind the development can successfully raise the £550,000 required to install the innovative technology at a proposed site in Stockport.
Business Green 9th Feb 2011 more >>
The ‘Powering Your Home’ challenge is the second phase of GE’s ‘Ecomagination’ project. The company is looking for innovative ideas that use new technology and would help capture, monitor and use energy in homes in a more environmentally friendly way, such as smart meters and smart appliances as well as solar and wind energy sources. The first phase, ‘Powering the Grid’, which focused on creating, connect and using energy in new ways, received more than 4,000 ideas, 115 of which came from the UK more than any other other country in Europe.
Greenwise Business 9th Feb 2011 more >>
Large Solar to be killed off
A Government review of its green energy reward scheme will scupper large scale solar projects in the Westcountry, an industry expert said yesterday. The “Feed-in Tariff” scheme, which was only launched last April, was designed to assist small and medium scale renewable energy projects.
This is Cornwall 9th Feb 2011 more >>
A GREEN new future could be coming to hundreds of homes if an environmentally-friendly pilot scheme proves a success. South Essex Homes has installed solar panels to one of its properties to help provide hot water alongside a new energy-efficient boiler. If the pilot proves successful, the scheme will eventually be applied to other homes managed by South Essex Homes.
Southend Echo 9th Feb 2011 more >>
British Gas Solar
Supermarket sales of solar panels and other energy-saving products are set to create 85 new jobs at the British Gas Cardiff call centre. The utility firm has signed a five-year deal with Sainsbury’s, which is promoting its own home-energy services for potential customers. Workers at the call centre, which already employs 1,500 people, will answer calls about the products.
BBC 9th Feb 2011 more >>
Energy company WINGAS is strengthening the role natural gas plays in the energy mix and as a partner of renewable energies. It has launched an incentive program worth millions of euros to promote the use of energy-efficient decentralized CHP technology (combined heat and power) in the consumer market over the coming years.
Powergen Worldwide 9th Feb 2011 more >>
A TORQUAY-based renewable energy firm has received official accreditation. Sun Solar and PV Ltd, based in the Innovations Centre in Lymington Road, has obtained accreditation following a thorough assessment procedure to ensure it complies with the strict regulations for the solar power industry. Accreditation under the micro regeneration scheme proves the company is qualified to fit PV panels. It is also needed if the householder/commercial unit owner is to collect the feed-in tariff gained from the electricity produced from the panels.
This is South Devon 9th Feb 2011 more >>
A retired Nottinghamshire couple have told how they’re hoping to live energy bill free after installing solar panels just eight months ago. Michael and Sue Anson, from Brinsley, now enjoy the electricity they produce and are able to make enough cash selling power back to the grid to minimise their utility bills. The couple’s interest in green energy started in the early 1970s but at the time the technologies were too basic and prohibitively priced.
ADF Online 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Farmers are being urged to attend workshops to hear from experts in anaerobic digestion (AD) following the completion of a state-of-the-art plant at Cockle Park Farm near Morpeth.
One North East 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Insider Media Ltd 10th Feb 2011 more >>
The government’s decision to review the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments for farm-based anaerobic digestion (AD) has been welcomed by members of the industry. Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne announced this week the government would be conducting a review into the initiative due to concerns that large-scale solar farms could receive payments intended for homeowners and small businesses.
Low Carbon Economy 9th Feb 2011 more >>
Business Green 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Mitie, the strategic outsourcing company, is undertaking a renewable energy project on the Winnall estate in Winchester on behalf of local social housing provider A2Dominion. The project, on behalf of A2Dominion, fully funded by Savills Solar, involves the installation of photovoltaic (PV) roof mounted panels that use solar cells to convert energy from the sun into electricity. The installation consists initially of 200 pilot properties and began in December 2010. All homes with PV mounted panels will enjoy free electricity during daylight hours, which will make an enormous difference to residents in fuel poverty. The forecast saving per home per year is £150. In addition, the carbon footprint of each home is forecast to decrease by just under one tonne of CO2 per annum.
24 Dash 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Renewable energy product manufacturer, Stiebel Eltron, is issuing an urgent plea to the government to thrust investment, skills and the slashing of red tape to the forefront of its microgeneration industry consultation. The government is currently undertaking its second consultation on small-scale power generation. Climate change minister Greg Barker launched the new consultation document on the government’s microgeneration strategy in December. He said the consultation would ensure that industry and consumers had “the confidence to invest”.
Heating and Plumbing Monthly 8th Feb 2011 more >>
LABOUR has unveiled plans to set up a new organisation to help Scotland become a world leader in the renewable energy sector. Party leader Iain Gray said the intention was to create a new body called Energy Scotland to develop a strategy to maximise energy generation, efficiency and use, and to ensure the country becomes a major exporter of electricity.
Press & Journal 8th Feb 2011 more >>
The only way for the UK renewable energy market to grow to a respectable size comparable with Germany is for it to have the full support of the incumbent government. The fact that large-scale solar PV farms are beginning to appear in the English countryside should be celebrated as a success of the government’s Feed in Tariffs (FIT) policy. Instead, the scheme is being portrayed as an enemy to microgeneration, with little regard for the fact that large-scale solar PV helps companies to achieve lower costs that can then be passed on to domestic installations.
Green Bang 8th Feb 2011 more >>
The UK Government’s review of feed-in tariffs (FITs) announced yesterday – in particular the ‘fast-track’ look at developments over 50 kW – could risk jobs, warns the Micropower Council. “The review of all solar PV above 50kW came as a complete shock,” says Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Micropower Council. “Many installations such as schools, buildings such as retail outlets and public buildings will be affected by this where, unlike large field-based solar, no prior indications have been given that tariffs were likely to change early.”
Energy Efficiency News 8th Feb 2011 more >>
24 Dash 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 8th Feb 2011 more >>
The announced review to the UK feed-in tariff for solar power is “bad news for PV,” according to the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) Technical Director Stuart Pocock.
Renewable Energy Focus 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Business Green 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Solar energy firms are threatening to take legal action against the government after ministers said they could stop large-scale commercial “solar farms” from hoovering up a green electricity subsidy. After a Guardian report on Sunday, the government announced it will launch a “fast-track” review of the feed-in tariff scheme, which was launched only last April. The scheme subsidises households that install solar panels or other small- and medium-scale renewable energy projects. But ministers say that too many companies are planning to build “solar farms”, where fields are filled with solar panels, which would take up funds intended for households.
Guardian 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Ministers will review green subsidies after it emerged households risk losing out on payments because all the money could go to massive solar farms.
Telegraph 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Solar companies have warned of “massive uncertainty” hanging over the market, after the Government said it would review subsidies for renewable electricity.
Telegraph 8th Feb 2011 more >>
FT 8th Feb 2011 more >>
The bulk of the microgeneration industry is understandably delighted and relieved that large solar farms will now almost certainly be blocked from hoovering up the bulk of the £360m in feed-in tariff incentives that are available up to 2014. The timetable for the review also increases investment certainty for providers of small-scale wind turbines, rooftop solar panels and other technologies, providing them with assurances that tariffs are highly unlikely to change before April 2012. Developers of anaerobic digestion technologies will be even more delighted than most, after the government confirmed it will undertake a fast-track review of the support available to the technology with the goal of increasing incentives as soon as possible. However, there is a notable absentee from this welcoming committee in the form of solar farm developers and investors, many of whom will feel understandably aggrieved at the imminent cut in support.
Business Green 7th Feb 2011 more >>
The U.K. government signaled today it may cut the prices paid for electricity from renewable sources, saying it began a “comprehensive review” of feed-in tariffs introduced last year. Evidence that larger-scale solar farms may “soak up” money meant for roof-top panels, small wind turbines and smaller hydropower facilities prompted the study, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement. The move will allow officials to change above-market fees paid for renewable power by more than what was already planned in April 2012.
Bloomberg 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Edie 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Developers are urging the government to offer more attractive incentives for small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plants that match the level of support offered to other renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar, after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today announced a comprehensive review of its feed-in tariff (FIT) incentive scheme.
Business Green 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Geothermal Engineering, the company developing Britain’s first commercial-scale deep geothermal power plant in Cornwall, has bid for a share of the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund. The fund is designed to stimulate enterprise by providing support for projects that can create long-term, private-sector-led economic growth and employment. The company said it plans to develop up to 30 further plants in Devon and Cornwall with the capacity to meet half of Cornwall’s current electricity demand.
The Engineer 7th Feb 2011 more >>
GREEN-thinking Herefordshire College of Technology has opened an eco-friendly cafe on its Holme Lacy campus. The Straw Bale Cafe is made of renewable local materials including cedar and straw bales from the campus estate. Most of the highly-insulated building was pre-fabricated offsite and is powered by solar panels and a wind turbine.
Hereford Times 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Newcastle-under-Lyme solar project
Solar panels are being installed on properties in a sheltered housing complex to cut energy usage and save residents money. Aspire Housing is working in partnership with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to fit panels on 29 bungalows and a community hall in Kent Grove, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
24 Dash 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Japanese car maker Honda has turned its expertise in efficient engine technology to jointly develop a new micro-combined heat and power system (mCHP) for use in the home. Teaming up with heating and ventilation specialist Valiant, the new mCHP system is designed especially for the European market and will become available in Germany by the middle of the year under the name Vaillant ecoPOWER 1.0. It is the first European system with highly efficient gas engine technology for use in single-family homes.
Green Car website 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Energy Efficiency News 9th Feb 2011 more >>
Micro Power Skills
A new nationwide network of accredited training provision for low carbon and renewable skills has been given the go-ahead by Government. The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies will provide training in the design, installation and maintenance of technologies such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, heat pumps and water harvesting and recycling. It is being supported by employers across the building services engineering sector. Over 80 colleges and other training providers across England have been accredited under the National Skills Academy banner. Together they will deliver a range of environmental technology courses that have been approved by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering. Additional technologies such as biofuels and micro-CHP will be available in the near future.
Heating & Ventilating.net 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Business Green 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Greenwise Business 8th Feb 2011 more >>
Industrial-scale solar farms are threatening a government green subsidy that pays homeowners, schools and community groups for installing solar panels. A government announcement is expected this week on the fate of the scheme, with a review of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) policy, originally planned for 2012, brought forward in response to an increasing number of solar farms being granted planning permission.
Guadian 7th Feb 2011 more >>
Independent 6th Feb 2011 more >>
Advice to Farmers
WHILE oil and gas giants are raking in huge sums on the back of strong oil prices, many small and medium-sized firms are putting their eggs in the renewable energy basket. This week’s SME Focus highlights one of the Scottish firms that have been benefiting from the growing interest of farmers and the like in producing their own power. But the experience of the company’s owners provides a reminder that all entrepreneurs need to expect the unexpected.
Herald 7th Feb 2011 more >>
The Government will this week move a step closer to banning “hot money and speculation” in the solar industry by launching a review into whether big companies are soaking up £360m of subsidies meant for households.
Telegraph 6th Feb 2011 more >>
Canadian Solar, a North American producer of solar panels which aims to be the next to enter the UK market, has joined a growing number of companies warning the Government not to tamper with incentives or risk losing green investment.
Telegraph 6th Feb 2011 more >>
Concerns that commercial solar “farms” are cashing in on an incentive scheme designed to boost small-scale renewables is prompting the Government to review the programme. Feed-in tariffs, which are financed by increases on household energy bills, pay people and organisations for the “green” electricity they generate from small scale solar panels, wind turbines and other renewables. The latest figures from Ofgem show that almost 20,000 individuals, businesses and communities have registered for the scheme since it began in April, with solar panels on homes making the majority of renewable installations. But with subsidies paying out for solar electricity installations of up to 5 megawatts, the equivalent of 200 homes having the panels on their roofs, solar farms which stretch over a number of acres are being given the go-ahead.
PA 6th Feb 2011 more >>
Manor House Heat Pump
The owner of one of Britain’s most famous stately homes has just pulled off a cost-cutting coup which has made him the envy of the stately home-owning world. Howard has just slashed his heating bill by tens of thousands of pounds via new pipes in his garden. Castle Howard heating and hot water bill has just gone from something in the region of £80,000 a year to £14,000. And it might be about to drop further.
Daily Mail 5th Feb 2011 more >>
Farmers looking at entering the renewable energy market were warned this week that such is the current enthusiasm for such projects, there is a lot of poor advice going around. Chris Rodgers, who heads the renewable energy team at the Co-operative Bank, said he was giving a health warning when he described some of the advisors on such projects as “double-glazing salesmen” making a lot of money out of the current dash into renewable energy.
Scotsman 5th Feb 2011 more >>
Farmers in the West are cashing in on opportunities to create solar or wind farms on their land before subsidies run out by lodging their planning applications. Wind energy firms called on farmers in the West to act now before the guaranteed income from the power they produce is cut in two years’ time, while the deadline for solar farms runs out this time next year. That means any farmer or landowner wanting to get on board the renewable energy bandwagon has to have found a firm, signed a deal, obtained planning permission and have the turbines or panels installed, up and running before those deadlines, to ensure they get the maximum 25-year payment.
This is Dorset 4th Feb 2011 more >>
Micro Power assurance
The Microgeneration Industry’s self-regulating watchdog, the REAL Assurance scheme, has published details of the enforcement action taken in 2010 for breaches of the industry’s Consumer Code. Over 2000 companies have now signed up to the Scheme’s Consumer Code. During 2010, 3 companies were expelled from the Scheme for non-compliance. 2 companies were suspended but have now been reinstated for a probationary period after acting to correct their non-compliances and giving compliance undertakings. A further 3 companies resigned from the scheme prior to the conclusion of their non-compliance proceedings.
Micro Power Council 4th Feb 2011 more >>
Vancouver-based startup called Etalim is developing a hybrid of a thermoacoustic engine and a Stirling engine. What’s impressive about this technology is that according to the company, at least it’s compact, made of non-toxic and recyclable materials, easy and inexpensive to manufacture, can use any source of high-grade heat (biogas, biomass, natural gas, solar, fossil fuels), and is not subject internally to mechanical friction, meaning the product is highly reliable and has a long life with very little need for maintenance. It if can deliver, this would change the economics of microCHP (combined heat and power) for the home, biogas/landfill generation, solar thermal power generation and a whole host of distribution generation applications in need of a small, efficient and affordable engine that’s agnostic to fuel or energy source, as long as it supplies heat.
Energy Collective 4th Feb 2011 more >>
An ambitious £1 million plan to bring back into use long-term empty houses in Mansfield and Bolsover and restore them to good quality and affordable, energy efficient homes, has cleared a major hurdle. The extensive restoration work, incorporating high levels of energy efficiency, is being carried out by Crestra Ltd, the Creswell-based trading arm of Groundwork East Midlands, a training agency which has undertaken to recruit locally, as well as teaching between six and 10 trainees valuable construction skills for the future. SYHA’s LiveGreen team and Crestra both have a strong track record in devising and installing renewable energy initiatives and the refurbishment work will include measures such as the installation of photo-voltaic panels
24 Dash 4th Feb 2011 more >>
Micro CHP Revolution
The provision of heating and hot water in the family home is undergoing a revolution. The traditional central heating boiler is starting to be replaced by an appliance that makes both heat and electricity. This appliance is substantially more efficient leading to lower household energy bills and reductions in energy use and carbon emission. The revolution is centred around micro-CHP. With a market size of 50 million potential installations, micro-CHP has the opportunity to truly bring the power to the people, engaging them much more directly in the energy system and radically reforming the use of the electricity system
Cogen Europe 2nd Feb 2011 more >>