week ending 4 March 2011
Save our Solar
Adding to the mounting response to the recently announced feed-in tariff review, We Support Solar has launched a new campaign calling for the Government to raise its solar ambitions. The new initiative, ‘Save our solar’ highlights the importance of protecting the UK’s solar industry, with the aim of raising awareness of the limited support for solar power in Government.
Solar Power Portal 4th March 2011 more >>
Carbon Trust Fund
Siemens and the Carbon Trust have joined forces to launch a new low carbon business finance scheme. Up to £550 million is to be made available over the next three years under the programme, which from April 4th will be seeking applications from any UK firm. The funding can be used for investment in energy-efficient equipment or low carbon technologies. Proposals will be assessed based on their potential CO2 savings, reduction in energy usage and cost effectiveness.
Low Carbon Economy 4th March 2011 more >>
Business Green 4th March 2011 more >>
Green Gas Certification
Customers using so-called green gas can now be certain that fuel they receive really comes from renewable sources, thanks to the launch of a new certification scheme. Biomethane, or green gas, can be extracted from anaerobic digestors, landfill sites or syngas created during synthetic gas production. A number of developers are currently working on injecting green gas into the national gas grid, displacing the need for conventional gas and providing customers with the opportunity to purchase renewable gas
Business Green 4th March 2011 more >>
Swindon Solar School
KINGSDOWN School is setting a shining example to students as it makes an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The school has put in a planning application to Swindon Council to install solar panels on the roof of one of its buildings. The school was one of 25 in the country to be nominated in a competition run by the Daily Mail and British Gas. British Gas has donated and will install the solar panels, worth between £20,000 and £40,000, which will cut up to 20 per cent off the school’s annual electricity bill
Swindon Advertiser 4th March 2011 more >>
Solar Landscape Worry
Energy companies persisting with plans to cash in on solar power despite a threat to their payback scheme risk ruining the natural landscape, campaigners have warned. A glut of solar farm plans have landed on local authority desks in recent weeks, each seeking to harness the power of the sun and access the Government’s Feed-in Tariff, despite ministers last month announcing the incentive would be reviewed. While some developers appear to have nipped their plans in the bud, others are determined to press ahead with multi-million-pound projects. But that has concerned the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), whose supporters say profit-hungry companies will wreck the Westcountry’s rural landscape if their renewable energy designs get the go-ahead.
This is Devon 4th March 2011 more >>
Solar Powered LED
We’ve seen some interesting examples of LED desk lamps, but the Greendix Lumileaf recently debuted by Sonelis Technologies takes top honors, by virtue of both its elegant design and the fact that it doesn’t come with a plug.
IB Times 3rd March 2011 more >>
Heat Pump Collapse
A Falmouth firm that heats homes and offices with energy absorbed from the ground has gone into administration. Earth Energy blamed a number of factors including a fall in public spending after the government’s Spending Review.
BBC 3rd March 2011 more >>
MCS accreditation specialist Easy MCS has been awarded advisory firm of the year at the New Energy Awards 2011. Easy MCS Ltd was recognised “for outstanding achievement in providing MCS accreditation support and training throughout the UK”.
Heating & Ventilating 3rd March 2011 more >>
Save our Solar
While sharply rising oil prices claim attention across the world, the British Government is facing increasingly vocal criticism over a policy on solar power subsidies that critics deride as “extraordinary”. A group of more than 60 companies, trade associations and opposition politicians will today launch the “Save our Solar” (SoS) campaign, calling for ministers to reconsider recently-announced plans for a fast-track review of the “feed-in tariff” (FIT) scheme for all solar panel projects of more than 50 kilowatts (KW).
Independent 3rd March 2011 more >>
New Solar Trade Group
The two largest trade bodies representing the UK solar industry are to combine memberships, creating a 400-member organisation supporting both solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The new body will bring together the 33-year-old Solar Trade Association (STA) with members of the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) Solar Power Group under the banner of a relaunched STA, creating the largest solar trade body in the UK.
Business Green 2nd March 2011 more >>
British shoppers can now pick up a solar panel while out grocery shopping as the country’s third largest supermarket J Sainsbury Plc has started to sell renewable energy technology in some stores.
Reuters 2nd March 2011 more >>
Councillors debtated plans for two solar energy farms in South Cambridgeshire - giving the one in Bourn the thumbs down but approving another in Chittering.
Cambridge First 2nd March 2011 more >>
Chesterfield Going Green
Chesterfield Borough Council hosted a visit from the Rt. Hon Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to highlight the Council’s work in installing renewable energy technology to its own buildings.
Build.co.uk 2nd March 2011 more >>
Sheffield Star 1st March 2011 more >>
SOLAR energy is coming to Oldham through Vertical Access Ltd, a business set up 22 years ago by Everest climber Paul Braithwaite, from Delph. Solar systems can be fitted to domestic or industrial premises and, providing guidelines are met, planning permission is not required.
Oldham Chronicle 2nd March 2011 more >>
British Gas has announced it is to fit charging points for Nissan’s Leaf electric car in homes and offices across the country and will also offer to install solar panels on owner’s homes that will supply the chargers with free renewable energy.
Business Green 2nd March 2011 more >>
Local Authority Renewables
A new resource has been launched by the LG Group to help councils capitalise on renewable energy opportunities. Councils will be helped to 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.
Government Business 2nd March 2011 more >>
Newcastle going renewable
Narec, the National Renewable Energy Centre, has provided a first phase of training to Newcastle City Council employees to enable the council to install renewable technologies and systems on their buildings.
North East Business Guide 2nd March 2011 more >>
The spring sunshine will look better than ever for residents of a new green and affordable housing development in County Durham, with homes powered by solar energy. Tenants recently moved into ten new bungalows in a development by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) at Ascot Way, St Helen Auckland. The two-bedroom properties, built on behalf of DAMHA by North East social housing building specialists Dunelm Property Services, have photovoltaic solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.
Green Building Press 2nd March 2011 more >>
Green Deal Struggling?
The government’s high profile Green Deal initiative lacks clarity and will struggle to encourage widespread adoption of energy efficiency measures, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker was today warned by building industry representatives. Speaking at the Ecobuild conference in London, Barker was challenged by Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, and Robert Peto, president of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, to provide more certainty for the industry over how the green loan scheme will work.
Business Green 1st March 2011 more >>
Urgent Heat Action
The Renewable Energy Association has again called on government to make an immediate announcement on how it intends to support renewable heat. Details of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) have been delayed since last year and the continually moving date was sapping the confidence of potential investors, the REA said in an open letter to the secretary of state.
First4Farming 1st March 2011 more >>
Farmers Weekly 1st March 2011 more >>
Ecobuild’s packed solar hub echoed to calls of ‘Save Our Solar’ as business demanded the Government backed the renewable energy source.
Edie 1st March 2011 more >>
The market for solar energy has grown more during 2010 than all experts had predicted. Worldwide, a capacity of 15 gigawatts (15.000 megawatts) has been achieved through installation of solar panels.
IB Times 28th Feb 2011 more >>
Death of a Gold Rush?
Cornwall, the poorest county in England, said five months ago it expected a “gold rush” of $1.6 billion in solar energy investments. Now, the U.K. government may get in the way. The central government said this month it’s considering cutting incentives and reducing the size of projects, concerned that the above-market rates it promised through April 2012 may lead to too many solar farms.
Bloomberg 28th Feb 2011 more >>
Boutique investment firm Triplepoint has reportedly become the latest investor to shelve its interest in solar projects, following the government’s controversial decision to conduct a fast-track review of the feed-in tariff incentives available to larger solar installations.
Business Green 28th Feb 2011 more >>
Welsh Microgen Network
The Welsh Microgen Network is a new forum to bring together Welsh companies working in renewable energy installation. It aims to develop the microgeneration supply chain so companies can meet their potential. The network aims to enhance companies competitiveness, maximise new business opportunities and help inform policy development.
Welsh Assembly Government 28th Feb 2011 more >>
Staffordshire Geothermal Plan
EXPERIMENTAL geothermal technology could provide 750 students with clean, renewable energy. Keele University wants to drill a 1.2km borehole on its campus in order to gain access to the boiling temperatures at the centre of the earth. The borehole could potentially save on heating costs and reduce the university’s carbon footprint. If the £1.1 million scheme proves a success, other organisations in North Staffordshire and Cheshire may utilise the technology as well.
This is Staffordshire 28th Feb 2011 more >>
York going solar
MORE than 1,000 council tenants in York could get free daytime electricity through a £7 million solar energy scheme which will cost taxpayers nothing. Plans have been unveiled which would see houses owned by City of York Council fitted with light-gathering panels and allow those living there to save about 25 per cent on their electricity bills. The authority has teamed up with Yorkshire-based firm Community Energy Solutions and Empower Community to devise the scheme. Council officers are being asked to draw up a plan to go forward.
York Press 28th Feb 2011 more >>
A £50,000 fund is being set up by Bristol City Council to help kickstart renewable energy projects in the city. The Bristol Community Energy Catalyst Fund will provide up to £15,000 per project to enable community projects to go from an idea to a working enterprise. Neil Harrison, Lib Dem assistant cabinet member for sustainability, said: “The council hopes that with small amounts of early funding it can enable communities to secure the capital investment they need to realise their projects.”
Bristol Evening Post 26th Feb 2011 more >>
Redland People 1st March 2011 more >>
Build 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Farmland in a rural spot near Leamington could be home to the county’s first solar park. Renewable energy development company Enfinity UK wants to build the park, which could have up to 22,000 solar panels, in Elms Farm, on land north of the B4087 between Wellesbourne and Newbold Pacey.
Leamington Spa Courier 26th Feb 2011 more >>
East Midland Solar Airport
A plan to produce a third of East Midlands Airport’s energy with solar power has run into opposition from some nearby residents. The 10-hectare (25 acre) project is part of plan to make the airport carbon neutral by 2012. But some locals have complained it would ruin the countryside, use up agricultural land and open the door to further development.
BBC 26th Feb 2011 more >>
Cumbrian dairy farmer Jonathan Stamper says milk prices do not justify new investment and he is preparing to switch to renewable energy farming instead. Mr Stamper, of High Head Farm, Ivegill, says he is not prepared to make the large investment his dairy business needs and is instead preparing to host an anaerobic digester.
Cumberland News 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Solar Fact Checker
Solar technology is not understood in the UK and outdated and incorrect assumptions risk derailing a live and exceptional green growth opportunity. Read REA’s Solar Fact Checker and rethink solar PV. REA Chief Executive, Gaynor Hartnell, anticipating the publication of the Fast-track review of solar feed in tariffs for projects over 50kW, said; “The fact is the UK has not caught up with rapid developments in the global solar PV industry – or shown much interest in the facts. On any objective analysis this is a serious power source that demands respect. It is also extremely popular with the public.
Low Carbon Economy 25th Feb 2011 more >>
IB Times 25th Feb 2011 more >>
PLANS to create a £12m solar farm have been on display at a public exhibition. Lark Energy held the event at Bourne Corn Exchange for its proposal to install a series of solar panels on the 35-acre site at Limes Farm, Spalding Road, Bourne, which could supply enough energy to power 1,000 homes.
Bourne Local 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Hebden Bridge Efficiency
An innovative energy efficiency project is now underway in part of Hebden Bridge. Local residents in the project areas are receiving comprehensive energy surveys of their properties and advice on how to save energy costs and cut down on carbon emissions. Meetings are also being held to give people advice about making their homes warmer and reducing energy bills.
Hebden Bridge Times 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Newly built houses will be allowed to emit tons of CO2 every year and still be called “zero carbon” under new rules being considered by ministers. In five years time, all new homes built in the UK were expected to be carbon neutral, using technology such as wind turbines, solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. But guidance drawn up for the Housing minister, Grant Shapps, now suggests that some developments will only have to achieve 50 per cent carbon reductions from present rules to qualify.
Independent 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Scottish Permitted Development
Owners of public buildings and businesses will soon be able to generate energy using technologies such as solar panels without requiring planning permission. The Scottish Government has already reduced the planning burden for homeowners wishing to install certain technologies. But planning permission is still required to install similar equipment on non-domestic buildings.
eGov Monitor 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Liverpool
LIVERPOOL can become Europe’s green capital, according to a new report. Low Carbon Liverpool’s study has found that the city is well placed to benefit from low-carbon opportunities, from energy production in the Irish Sea and the Mersey to the Toxteth Smart Grid and low-carbon cars at Jaguar and Vauxhall. The partners in the study, Building The Low Carbon Economy On Merseyside, are urging city leaders to continue the city’s rebranding following Capital of Culture with an ambition to secure European Green Capital of Culture status.
Liverpool Echo 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Self Sufficient Sheffield
Sheffield City Council and leading energy company E.ON are working to form a city-wide partnership that will see Sheffield produce enough renewable energy to become self-sufficient, eventually selling excess energy back into the national grid. E.ON have been chosen to partner Sheffield City Council in this ambitious new scheme because of its international expertise in developing energy solutions across whole communities while also helping individual customers reduce their energy consumption.
Click Green 24th Feb 2011 more >>
Sheffield Star 25th Feb 2011 more >>
Delays in the publication of the RHI are “sapping the confidence of potential investors” the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has warned. In an open letter from REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell to energy secretary Chris Huhne, Defra secretary Caroline Spelman and energy minister Greg Barker, the REA calls for an end to the “series of delays” which have plagued the publication of the government’s RHI proposals. The letter said: “This is the latest in a series of delays to a publication date that was originally promised for November, then December, January, February and now it is March. This continually moving date is sapping the confidence of potential investors. “The Government has promised to introduce the RHI this summer, but we still do not know the details of the mechanism.
MRW 24th Feb 2011 more >>
DEVELOPERS are coming forward with proposals for two solar farms near Melton. m03 Power, a specialist developer of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic plants, wants to build a solar farm on about 30 acres of land owned by UK Coal north of Asfordby Business Park. Lark Energy, meanwhile, is to host an exhibition on Monday on its proposed development of a 33 acre solar farm near Kirby Bellars.
Melton Times 24th Feb 2011 more >>
A so-called ‘super angel fund’ which aims to bring 10 companies to an initial public offering by 2025 has announced its first major investment. Lough Shore Investments in Belfast has given the cash injection to wind energy firm Simple Power, which focuses on generating power from single wind turbines.
Belfast Telegraph 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Concerns around performance and other barriers mean ‘urban’ wind energy has taken time to catch on, but one company picking up speed is vertical axis turbine manufacturer quietrevolution. Louise Bateman reports.With all the fuss around solar farms and the Feed-in Tariff, it is easy to forget the UK has a small wind sector, let alone an expanding one. But growing it is, with dozens of small turbines going up on farmland and other sites uninhibited by turbulence up and down country every month. According to RenewableUK, the UK small wind sector grew by 25 per cent between 2005 and 2009, with a total of 14,000 small wind system units deployed in that period.
Greenwise Business 23rd Feb 2011 more >>
Whilst the government has announced an impending review on larger scale solar PV developments and Feed-in Tariffs in general, one company continues to find enthusiasm among rural communities throughout the UK for small-scale wind partnerships. Windcrofting is enabling smaller scale landowners and farmers to really benefit from renewable power generation and the Feed-in Tariff incentive. The small Proven Energy turbines used in a Windcroft quickly allay the concerns which people living in rural communities have about large-scale wind farms. We are already finding that one development often leads to another in nearby communities.
Farming UK 14th Feb 2011 more >>