week ending 25 February 2011
Scottish Permitted development
The Scottish Government has cut through red tape requiring public building and commercial premises to apply for planning permission to install microgeneration technologies. Under a new parliamentary order, planning permissions will no longer be required for solar thermal or photovoltaic panels, ground and water source heat pump pipework and biomass boilers fitted to non-domestic buildings. The Scottish authorities have already waived the need for planning permission for similar installations on domestic buildings. There are no plans to add wind turbines to the list, however.
Energy Efficiency News 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Business Green 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Zero Carbon Lobbying
An industry report recommending that new homes offset less of their carbon emissions with onsite renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures than originally intended was handed to housing minister Grant Shapps earlier this week, as pressure continues to mount on the government to revise controversial proposals for so-called zero-carbon homes. The building industry has lobbied heavily for ministers to water down the original definition of a zero-carbon home after the government committed to ensure all new homes are zero-carbon by 2016.
Business Green 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Solar Fund Suspended
Triplepoint has suspended the launch of its £100 million Solar Income fund after a government announcement on renewable energy subsidies threatened its investment strategy.
Citywire 24th Feb 2011 more >>
The first of a series of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants backed by Government opens today at a vegetable production company in Lincolnshire. The £6.5 million AD facility at Staples Vegetables in Boston, Lincolnshire received £2 million in funding from the Government’s Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF). Able to process 40,000 tonnes of ‘waste’ vegetables, it will generate 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The energy produced by the technology will go towards heating, cooling and powering the business, which specialises in growing and harvesting Brassicas, including cabbages, sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.
Greenwise Business 24th Feb 2011 more >>
More than a hundred properties in the Winsford and Northwich area are to benefit from renewable energy installations following a successful bid for European funding. The project will see the properties, none of which are currently connected to mains gas, benefit from get thermal hot water installations, totalling more than £300,000 investment in the area. Solar panels will be fitted to each property, which will in turn heat up to 60 percent of the household’s hot water requirements, reducing the need for electricity to create hot water.
Housing Excellence 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Ipswich Borough Council has announced it is working with renewable energy developer Partnerships for Renewals to test land adjacent to the A14 at Thorington Barn, Belstead. The project is just a proposal at the moment and the council will be consulting with surrounding residents in March. However, initial studies into building the trio of turbines in the area found this could generate enough electricity to power 3,600 homes a year.
East Anglian Daily Times 24th Feb 2011 more >>
According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, in 2010 solar photovoltaic power (PV) was the leading renewable energy technology in terms of new capacity growth by almost 13GW in Europe. The energy output of these new PV installations corresponds to the electricity production of two large coal-fired power plants. At the end of 2010, the cumulative installed capacity of PV in the EU amounted to more than 28GW, with an energy output that equals the electricity consumption of around 10m households in Europe.
Industrial Fuel and Power 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Both big energy firms and smaller specialist companies install solar panels, including several in the north Lincolnshire area. Among them is Mark Tomlinson, who set up Energy-Envi, an energy and environmental consultancy in 2008. Since FIT was introduced last year, he has installed more than 60 solar panels across the country. He believes the incentive scheme has made buying them a sound investment.
Humber Business 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Micro Power Council
Despite having “no official status” within parliament, all-party groups are entitled to issue parliamentary lobby passes to paid staff, though official guidance notes this is “not as a matter of course”. It continues by stating that if any staff members have “remunerated activity which is advantaged by the privileged access to parliament afforded by their pass”, then the staff member’s identity must be recorded. The Guardian found 70 groups met this criteria. Those afforded parliamentary access by all-party groups include the parliamentary officer of the council of Arab-British understanding, the managing director of lobbyist Parliamentary Perceptions and the public affairs manager of the micropower council.
UTV 24th Feb 2011 more >>
The revolutionary Baxi Ecogen dual energy system has picked up two awards in the Homebuilding & Renovating Product Excellence Awards 2011. The Baxi Ecogen overcame stiff competition in both the Green Award and Heating and Plumbing categories to emerge as Britain’s most innovative and environmentally friendly central heating boiler.
Home Heating Guide 24th Feb 2011 more >>
The battle between the government and the solar industry looks set to intensify after energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne today offered a defence of his department’s decision to launch a fast-track review of incentives offered to large solar installations.
Business Green 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils’ proposal for a contractor to deliver anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities is being prepared to meet the requirements of Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan. The Zero Waste Plan, which is expected to come into effect in 2015, has been implemented to impose bans on source-segregated food waste and recyclables. The Councils of Edinburgh and Midlothian insist that anaerobic treatment will meet these prerequisites and hope that the AD contract will be awarded in 2012.
Edinburgh Journal 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Holyrood Partnership has increased its client portfolio with the addition of one of the UK’s leading land and property management agents. Bell Ingram – a diverse practice of land, property and energy specialists – appointed the Edinburgh-based agency initially to showcase its fast-growing microgeneration division.
Allmedia Scotland 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
PLANS for a 30-acre solar energy park, which could provide enough electricity for 1,200 houses, have hit the buffers. Farmland off Lower Road, Minster, is the proposed destination for a sea of south-facing, three-metre high solar panels. The company behind the proposal has put the plan on pause amid wavering local and government support.
This is Kent 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
An urgent Government review of its solar power incentive scheme was ordered to prevent a “boom and bust scenario” that would have dashed hopes of multi-million-pound investment in the Westcountry, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said yesterday.
This is Cornwall 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Huhne: The money for FITs comes from you and I, it’s a cost which is added to energy bills. When the previous government started FITs, it never predicted or allowed for large-scale solar installations so early on in the scheme. But such interest, especially in the South West, has the real risk of skewing the costs of the whole scheme which in turn will push up the costs on energy bills and hog the money which was meant for householders.
This is Cornwall 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Engineers will today begin drilling a 2,000m deep hole in an attempt to harness geothermal heat from below the city of Newcastle. If all goes to plan, the team from Newcastle and Durham Universities hope to pump out water heated to 80C (176F) that could eventually heat the city’s planned 24-acre Science Central site as well as neighbouring city centre buildings.
Business Green 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
BBC 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Daily Mail 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 24th Feb 2011 more >>
We Support Solar
The solar industry has launched two separate online campaigns calling on the government to rethink its decision to review the level of support available through the feed-in tariff incentive scheme to large and medium-sized solar installations.
Business Green 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Solar today launched a campaign to head-off the UK Government’s proposed early review of feed-in tariffs (FITs) for community-scale solar projects. The Government argues that its review of FITs wants to look at whether larger-scale solar projects over 50 kW are taking funds away from smaller domestic installations. But the Power to Society campaign says the proposed review has thrown many community-scale projects into doubt.
Energy Efficiency News 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Pay as you save
Pay-as-you-save (PAYS) schemes are “essential” if the government is to encourage Brits to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes, one expert has claimed. Gordon Miller, sustainability and communications director of Sustain Worldwide, explained the government has promised to deliver such incentives through the Green Deal, which is due to be launched next year, however it is still unclear how this scheme will work.
Low Carbon Economy 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Zero Carbon Recommendations
Final recommendations on how the building industry can comply with the 2016 zero carbon homes target have been delivered to the government. The Zero Carbon Hub presented the report on carbon compliance – the on-site reductions in carbon emissions – to housing minister Grant Shapps, including separate limits for different types of dwelling. Originally the task group had suggested tightening the carbon compliance standard by 70 percent, however it now says this “may not be achievable in all cases”.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Rent your roof
Some of the country’s biggest retailers are looking to open up the solar PV market with a radical new approach. Nick Stevenson, New Energy Director for Ideal Heating, explains how this could open some new opportunities for the domestic heating industry. The rent your roof arrangement could make all the difference to the country’s renewable energy strategy and give a welcome financial boost to the hard-pressed consumer. The advent of Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) last year means that many major companies are now keen to partly or even fully finance away photovoltaic (PV) systems that generate electricity by capturing energy from the sun. As well as BG, Marks & Spencer, Tesco (including most of the energy suppliers), several others have indicated their interest in this fast growing market.
Pham News 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Sainsbury’s will begin testing a smart-grid system at its new Hythe store in Kent on Wednesday, aiming to reduce its own carbon emissions and reliance on the grid at times of peak demand. The company said that when energy demand spikes the system will activate the store’s on-site generator, which runs on waste oil and fat from Sainsbury’s outlets, reducing demand from the grid.
Business Green 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Help for Local Government
The LG Group has launched a new web resource designed to help councils explore ways to save money on their fuel bills and boost revenue by selling energy into the national grid. Compare Renewables provides information on eight different renewable energy options available to councils, including details on how they work, costs, payback periods and potential returns. It is designed in part to help councils capitalise on the deregulation of the national grid, but also provides information on how councils can use renewable energy to tackle fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions and help developers meet sustainability standards.
LGA 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Pre-Heat has a strong record in gas servicing and compliance, but after spending two years preparing the way, the company is all set to become an enthusiastic leader in the field of domestic renewable energy
Housing Excellence 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Forest of Dean Hydro
A company from the Forest of Dean claims it has cut its carbon footprint by more than 50% after installing a hydro electric generator. Bixslade Stoneworks is using water from a nearby lake to power a turbine and the company estimates it will save thousands on its electric bill.
BBC 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Danfoss warms internet
Eco-friendly energy company Danfoss Heat Pumps has been helping installers to get the most out of the Internet. The Sheffield firm, which supplies equipment that can extract heat for homes and factories from the ground, ponds and lakes and even the air, has been staging free training sessions to show contractors why it is important to develop an internet strategy and how to take advantages of online opportunities. Danfoss Heat Pumps director, Chris Dale, said: “Research shows that customers are increasingly searching online for suppliers of renewable energy and it is really important that our installers can make the most of their presence on the net.
Sheffield Star 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Small Wind Boom
evoco Energy, the specialist in small-scale wind turbine technology, is reporting strong demand for its products as farmers, homeowners and those with commercial property look to realise the benefits of harnessing wind energy. The company expects to have an installed base of approximately 500 active sites across the UK by the end of 2011. Managing director Ryan Gill said: “Small-scale wind may have lagged other renewables in the past, but we are seeing strong momentum through 2011 and beyond, and believe that the UK’s wind resource represents an opportunity for an economic boom comparable to the exploitation of North Sea oil in the 1970s.”
Yorkshire Post 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Denbighshire Village Hall
A VILLAGE hall in North Wales on the brink of closure has made a U-turn by becoming one of the most eco friendly in Wales. Llanbedr DC village hall near Ruthin, Denbighshire, is glowing thanks to a £45,000 programme backed by the community council and Denbighshire County Council. Now, the village centre boasts air source heating, powered by solar panels that can function in minus 20 temperatures. Air from outside the hall is transferred through a heat exchanger and passed through a compressor that acts like a refrigerator in reverse to create the heat
Daily Post 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Norfolk Sports Centre
A playing field association has submitted plans to turn a sports centre environmentally-friendly with a wind turbine and solar panels.
Norwich Advertiser 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
PV Kits Direct are the providers of high quality photovoltaic solar kits for the UK. Our green energy solar solutions are designed to provide a cost effective form of electricity for residential and commercial power needs. Using PV Kits Direct will ensure that you get the maximum benefit from Feed-in Tariffs. You will get paid for everything generated, you will receive extra payments for exporting solar electricity to the grid and you will cut your bills by using the free electricity you have generated. The Feed-in Tariff for Solar PV is guaranteed for 25 years and is index linked. Additionally, if you are a domestic customer the FiTs income is tax free.
ADF Online 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Baxi in Burnley
Increasing energy prices and concerns about his carbon footprint led Mr and Mrs Gibson to re-evaluate the way they heated their home and hot water. Pensioners Bernard Gibson and his wife are the owners of the very first commercially sold Baxi Ecogen combined heat and power appliance (micro-CHP), which was installed in their Burnley home by British Gas in June 2010. Bernard Gibson’s shift from using a conventional boiler for all his needs came in 2008 when he had solar thermal panels installed to provide hot water, and photovoltaic (PV) panels fitted to generate electricity.
Plumbing Park 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Applications for smaller hydro-electric schemes will be considered by councils rather than Scottish Government ministers as part of a plan to cut bureaucracy. The changes will affect projects up to 50 megawatts from June, bringing them into line with thresholds for wind farm applications. At present, ministers decide schemes over one megawatt.
Herald 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Scotland is seeing a boom in small hydro schemes, with scores of streams and rivers earmarked for development. But why has this form of green energy suddenly become so popular? There’s a gold rush starting in the Scottish hills. But the rush is to find one of most Scotland’s most abundant resources - water - rather than a precious metal. And specifically water that flows down steep enough slopes and ravines to allow it to generate an increasingly precious resource: energy. One hydro specialist says it’s the busiest his company has been for a “decade or more”. Another consultant reports a three-fold increase in his work.
BBC 21st Feb 2011 more >>
Scottish Labour has unveiled new plans to oversee the installation of solar panels, domestic wind turbines and renewable heating systems to 10,000 homes over the next four years. Party leader Iain Gray said a Scottish Government led by him would work with councils and housing associations to retro-fit properties with renewable energy systems, to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty caused by high energy bills. He added the scheme would create more than 300 jobs and 750 traineeships and produce an annual saving on fuel bills of 133 per house. Under the initiative, already used by councils in England, Scottish local authorities and housing associations would be encouraged to take out loans to make equipment available for householders. They would recoup the cash from energy suppliers which are required to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low-carbon sources under the UK Governments Feed in Tariff scheme.
Aberdeen Press and Journal 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Herald 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Daily Record 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Dundee Courier 22nd Feb 2011 more >>
Iain Gray has promised that Energy Scotland will lead a ‘green housing revolution’ for homes across Scotland if he becomes First Minister. He said Labour’s initial target is to have 10,000 more homes producing renewable energy across Scotland in the next four years. Labour’s ambition is that by 2020 household and community renewables will be standard in new and existing houses.
Labour in the Scottish Parliament Release 21st Feb 2011 more >>
Scottish Labour’s plans for a ‘green housing revolution’ have been welcomed by organisations across Scotland, from WWF to the STUC and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.
Labour in the Scottish Parliament 21st Feb 2011 more >>
Responding to the news today that Labour plan to have 10,000 more homes producing renewable energy across Scotland in the next four years if they gain power following the elections in May, Dr Dan Barlow, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland said: “With homes responsible for a quarter of our climate emissions a step change within the next Parliament to make all of Scotland’s homes low carbon is critical. We welcome Labour’s commitment to support a ‘green housing revolution’ through support for energy efficiency and household and community renewable energy generation, including renewable heat.
WWF Scotland 21st Feb 2011 more >>
AMBITIOUS plans are under way to give a Huddersfield school the greenest of credentials. Shepley First School is anxiously waiting to hear if its application to transform a piece of unused land at Firth Street into an exciting new teaching area has been approved. The Eco lodge has a wealth of features which will ensure children will be able to make daily voyages of discovery into nature from a purpose built outdoor classroom. Included in the £35,000 design are a solar panel, small wind turbine, sedum roof, mini greenhouse, cold frame, water butt, planters and nesting boxes.
Huddersfield Examiner 21st Feb 2011 more >>
The global growth in renewable energy capacity looks set to spawn a 10bn (£8.4bn) annual market for batteries and electricity storage technologies by 2020, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The study calculates that when more than a fifth of electricity generation comes from intermittent sources such as wind and solar power, a balance of up to 40 per cent of the average grid load will be required to even out fluctuations in renewable energy supply.
Business Green 21st Feb 2011 more >>
FIRST came a proposal for a wind farm, then a plant for organic waste and now the former Asfordby colliery site is being earmarked for a solar farm. mO3 Power, a specialist developer of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic plants, wants to build a 5Mw solar farm on a 30-acre site north of Asfordby Business Park.
Melton Times 20th Feb 2011 more >>
The United Nations will call on Monday for 2% of worldwide income to be invested in the green economy, a move it says would boost jobs and economic growth. The world stands at a critical point in terms of low-carbon investment, according to the UN. While India has a national action plan expected to stimulate $1tn of investment in the next decade, and China - already the biggest producer of wind power and solar panels - is pushing ahead with a five-year plan for a “clean revolution”, other economies are wavering.
Guardian 21st Feb 2011 more >>
Energetix has launched its first micro-CHP boiler this month. The Energetix Kingston looks and operates just like a normal boiler. As well as heating water and powering the central heating system, it also generates electricity enough to meet about half the annual needs of the typical home, leading to big savings on energy bills. Energetix claims a top normal boiler might cost £2,500; the Kingston will cost £800 more. He estimates homeowners can make up the cost of their boiler in two-and-a-half years. Under the Government’s feed-in tariff scheme homeowners also receive 10p for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. Before setting up his business, Hutchings had spent most of his career working in the nuclear industry for British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), the Government’s former nuclear fuel manufacturer in Chester, becoming commercial manager of new business ventures.
Sunday Times 20th Feb 2011 more >>
The fallout from Chris Huhne’s sudden review of the government’s system of subsidies for small-scale renewable energy gathers momentum. Solar firms, who built business cases on the system of subsidies, are threatening judicial review over the Energy Secretary’s change of direction. So why did the government raise concerns about the policy? Apparently, because it has been too successful.
Spectator 19th Feb 2011 more >>
Adam Smith says
The entire idea of feed in tariffs for solar PV electricty generation is ludicrous anyway. For the declared aim is to develop the industry, support an infant industry, so that prices fall and finally it will become economic to actually use solar PV electricty. But Britain is a tiny, tiny, market by global standards for this technology. It’s not just that we’re only throwing a few hundred million £s at it, it’s that given what we have for weather, it’s not a good technology for us anyway.
Adam Smith 19th Feb 2011 more >>
RESIDENTS and businesses are being asked for their views on Gedling Borough Council’s new Energy Policy. The policy focuses on how the council and others can save money by reducing energy use, and reducing their carbon footprint at the same time. As part of the consultation, the council hosted the annual conference of the Notts and Derbyshire Local Authorities’ Energy Partnership.
Nottingham Evening Post 19th Feb 2011 more >>
School gets top marks
A NEW primary school, which is set to open later this year, has achieved the highest energy rating score for any school in England and Wales. The building replacing the existing Greenhill Primary School in Gelligaer has achieved an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating score of A+, which no other school in England and Wales has been able to achieve to date.
Campaign 19th Feb 2011 more >>
FiTs What’s the catch?
BROXTOwE Borough Council is hosting an event to clear up confusion about a new electricity campaign.The new Greening Campaign, which offers free electricity and encourages residents to install renewable energy sources, has left residents baffled and asking if there is a ‘catch’. The council will hold the event in partnership with The Greening Campaign at Beeston Town Hall on February 28 for people to find out if they are eligible for the offer.
Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser 19th Feb 2011 more >>
Gorillas in the Warm
An oil-fired burner currently operates the under-floor heating at the Durrell collection, but this is due to be changed to a heat pump system. The project has been funded by £20,000 from the Jersey Electricity Company and £10,000 from ScottishPower Green Energy Trust, an independent charitable trust which supports the development of renewable energy sources in communities around the country to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change.
Jersey Evening Post 19th Feb 2011 more >>
A NELSON firm has signed a £30 million manufacturing contract which could lead to the creation of up to 30 new jobs. Kirk Environmental will build a network of eco-friendly anaerobic digestion (AD) plants for Farmgen, the UK’s leading specialist in ‘energy farming’. The AD plants provide farms with a renewable energy source because the process produces ‘biogas’, which is an alternative to fossil fuels.
This is Lancashire 18th Feb 2011 more >>
TWENTY lucky householders can benefit from free solar power from an East Dorset company. The Energy Conservation Group, headed by David Sanderson, has launched a pilot project to encourage people to go green and get the benefit of free solar electricity. He says: “Although this project sounds too good to be true, it is absolutely genuine as all our equipment and installation is free of charge. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint but you are saving money into the bargain. It’s a win, win situation made possible by the government’s commitment to renewable energy. Why are we doing it? The customer gets all the free electricity worth up to £450 per year and the company gets a feed-in-tariff payment from the government.”
This is Dorset 18th Feb 2011 more >>
RENEWABLE energy experts in Wisbech are pumping up the eco message in the Peterborough area following the announcement of Government help for householders. Jack Elam Services Ltd, a major installer of air to water heat pump systems, is set to benefit from the Renewabale Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme available to the general public announced this month and scheduled to be introduced in April.
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 18th Feb 2011 more >>
York Solar Plan
YORK’S Green Party has drawn up a plan to borrow £1 million to install solar panels on council buildings. As part of their budget proposals for next year, the City of York Council group said the move would boost renewable energy levels by using a Government scheme which guarantees a fixed income for all power generated over the next 25 years.
York Press 18th Feb 2011 more >>
Sharp, a manufacturer of solar PV panels, has opened its new solar installer training academy in Llay near Wrexham. The academy will train 25 to 50 people a month – from electricians, roofers, building contractors to heating engineers – with several different courses.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 18th Feb 2011 more >>
A NEW ‘one-stop shop’ has opened in Grayshott to provide home owners in East Hampshire, south Surrey and West Sussex with a source of independent, impartial advice on how to improve energy efficiency. ReEnergise Renewables at 20, Headley Road, opened its doors last month to offer expert advice on how renewable technologies can play an important part in saving energy.
Petersfield Post 16th Feb 2011 more >>