week ending 11 March 2011
THE chairman of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum has resigned after being kept in the dark by a Government minister over changes to key policies. Graham Blount, in a letter to Housing Minister Alex Neil, said he was quitting after he was not informed of a substantial change to the Government’s Home Insulation Scheme (HIS) and the consequent budgetary implications for the associated Energy Assistance Package (EAP).
Herald 11th March 2011 more >>
The Renewable Heat Incentive, which was unveiled yesterday, has an £860 million pot to fund green technology in homes, businesses and other organisations, with the first payouts due to start in September. Anyone using solar panels, ground-source heat pumps or similar renewable technology will be in line for cash bonuses. Controversially, it will also pay out for incinerators, which green groups warned would do little to encourage recycling and waste reduction. The scheme, which is UK-wide, was originally proposed by the last government at Westminster. Chancellor George Osborne agreed last year to keep it, but scrapped proposals to fund it through a levy on bills because it would be “overly complex”. Instead, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said it will be taxpayer funded as part of the “Green Deal” which aims to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions from homes.
Herald 11th March 2011 more >>
Telegraph 11th March 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 11th March 2011 more >>
Juliet Davenport, chief executive of renewable energy supplier Good Energy, said: “We are concerned that the full scheme won’t start until October 2012, a lengthy gap which may spook potential investors. We are also concerned that excluding agents from supporting RHI customers will increase the volume of enquiries Ofgem will face, which may result in delays and confusion similar to those currently experienced by Feed-in Tariff customers. And we don’t understand why Ofgem cannot pay customers monthly – which is in the best interests of consumers.” The Renewable Energy Association said the rates of subsidy for solar heating systems was too low.
Guardian 11th March 2011 more >>
Households will receive regular payments in exchange for installing a heating system powered by renewable energy, under a new government incentive scheme.
Which? 10th March 2011 more >>
Industry leaders today welcomed the UK Government’s announcement of its world-first scheme to support renewable heating. Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Micropower Council, said: “This scheme marks a world-first, long-term, commitment to a rapid growth in renewable heating with £860m of public funding in the first four years. We are delighted that the Government has largely shielded the residential sector’s early months of the scheme from the budget cuts brought about in the Comprehensive Spending Review, with a quarter of the first year’s funding being reserved exclusively for the household sector. This should provide confidence that this is a serious policy aimed at encouraging citizens to switch over to more sustainable home heating systems in their tens and hundreds of thousands in the early years, and subsequently, we hope, in their millions. There are still important details to follow of how the first 15 months’ residential sector first year payments will be distributed, and we will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure this happens in a way best designed to ensure long-term and sustainable growth for the industry”.
Click Green 10th March 2011 more >>
Green Build News 10th March 2011 more >>
Business Green 10th March 2011 more >>
Energy Minister Chris Huhne has today unveiled details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is aimed at boosting the UK’s uptake of renewable energy.
Click Green 10th March 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 10th March 2011 more >>
The incentive will tie in with the Green Deal, the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme, and as such will be introduced from October 2012. Eligible technologies installed since 15th July 2009 will receive payments made for each kWh of renewable heat produced for 20 years, with levels ranging from 1.9 pence per kWh for small biomass, to 8.5p/kWh for solar thermal.
Business Green 10th March 2011 more >>
A ROSELAND farmer who faces losing his EU subsidies in 2013 has revealed plans to build solar panels on 25 acres of his land in an attempt to bridge the funding shortfall. Jim Hext, who farms 700 acres on the peninsula, is hoping to give over 10 per cent of his 250-acre Tresilla Farm near Philleigh to the panels to generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.
Plymouth Herald 10th March 2011 more >>
Thousands of private landowners’ renewable-energy projects have been thrown into jeopardy by the Government’s early review of Feed-In Tariffs
Country Life 10th March 2011 more >>
South Wales Solar Farm
A £12 MILLION solar power station could be built near Carmarthen’s Nantyci Showground by this time next year, developers hope. Specialist green energy company Low Carbon Solar is hoping to build a solar park of up to 30 acres at Red Court Farm, Llysonnen Road. The proposed park, which would be sited close to the existing electricity substation, could generate as much as five megawatts of power a year through rows of individual panels held on steel supports.
This is South Wales 9th March 2011 more >>
Don’t Crush Solar Revolution
Members of the solar industry have called on the UK government to raise its ambitions for the renewable energy source. In an advert placed in this week’s New Statesman, the sector has linked with WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to draw attention to the potential solar power offers. Howard Johns, chairman of the Solar Trade Association, said: “This government isn’t taking solar seriously and that is completely unjustified. Costs of solar are dropping as fast as oil costs are rising, and this technology could easily meet a third of UK electricity needs.” Entitled Don’t Crush This Solar Revolution, the piece comes in response to the government’s review into Feed-in-Tariffs, which it claims are needed to address the “threat” presented by large solar farms. The signatories argue schemes larger than 5MW, which the government classes as “super-size”, are common in other countries and the review is also jeopardising the future of medium-sized installations.
Low Carbon Economy 9th March 2011 more >>
Hopes are growing that a soon-to-be-published report detailing the level of financial support available to large-scale renewable energy projects from 2013 could include plans to boost incentives for deep geothermal energy projects.
Business Green 9th March 2011 more >>
The recent announcement of a review of feed-in tariffpayments for solar photovoltaic installations, prompted by fears over large-scale solar farms blowing the budget for Fits, was met with a chorus of disapproval from both the solar industry and environmentalists. However, last week, John Costyn from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) explained the reason for exploring an upper limit of 50kWp for entering the scheme: it’s because that is the legal definition of micro generation. This reminder that the tariff is all about encouraging small installations in and for local communities – not big installations needing big money and generating big profits – suggests that the review should be welcomed instead.
Guardian 9th March 2011 more >>
EU proposes energy efficiency package
Energy audits and building refurbishment targets designed to cut energy use 20 per cent by 2020. Requiring three per cent of public buildings to be refurbished each and every year and imposing mandatory energy audits on large companies have today been confirmed as just two of the measures proposed under the EU’s new energy efficiency plan.
Business Green 8th March 2011 more >>
TWO well-known local companies have formed a new solar energy installation business to meet the upturn in demand for home-produced energy. Manor Roofing Ltd, a well-regarded roofing company, and Cawoods Electrical, an established firm of electrical engineers and solar photovoltaic (PV) system designers, have joined forces to launch Manor Solar, a company that specialises in installing and maintaining solar PV panels on homes and properties in the East of England region. The new company has just launched its website – www.manorsolarpower.co.uk – offering advice on the merits and benefits of solar PV panel installation.
Peterborough Telegraph 8th March 2011 more >>
Norwich Company Growth
Soaring demand for renewable energy is set to double sales at a Blofield Heath business. Stephen Thorley, new chief executive at RenEnergy, said the business was seeing a steep uplift in interest in renewable energy systems, particularly photovoltaic (PV) panels. The company grew from five staff to 30 last year, designing, supplying and installing PV systems, air and ground source heat pumps and small wind turbines.
Norwich Advertiser 8th March 2011 more >>
A college in the North-east has said it will expand its construction department because more people want to learn about environmentally friendly building techniques. Green technology will dominate Gateshead College’s planned £7.5 million extension of its construction academy. Work on the 4,650 sq m extension will start this month and the new building is set to be opened in September.
H&V News 8th March 2011 more >>
At least 1,000 Green Deal apprentices could receive Government funding towards their training, as part of plans to insulate the UK’s homes and businesses against rising energy prices and reduce carbon emissions. Funding for the apprenticeships is part of a package of measures announced by the Government today to create a skilled workforce for its flagship Green Deal programme. A cross-Government action plan on climate change is also published today, backed by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, which sets strict actions and deadlines for Whitehall. Today’s announcement, made during a visit by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne to B&Q’s flagship energy saving store in Sutton, has received the backing of leading companies including B&Q, Carillion, E.ON, British Gas and InstaGroup.
DECC 8th March 2011 more >>
At least 1,000 Green Deal apprentices will receive Government funding towards their training, as part of plans to insulate the UK’s homes and businesses against rising energy prices and reduce carbon emissions.
New Civil Engineer 8th March 2011 more >>
The growing number of generators used means more harmonics on the network. Harmonics is a form of pollution in the electricity supply created by some types of equipment, for instance generators and variable speed drives, as well as everyday items such as fluorescent tubes and washing machines. Harmonics are made up by multiples of the network frequency (for instance a 250Hz waveform on a 50Hz network) and represents energy that cannot be used by the equipment on the network but which may make the equipment unstable. With continued growth of small scale generation, harmonics will increase in parts of the network that were previously relatively unaffected and the total harmonic load on the network will increase.
Connecting Industry 7th March 2011 more >>
A new scheme has been launched to track biomethane through the supply chain and verify it is completely green. The Green Gas Certification Scheme follows any contractual trading of biomethane until the point it reaches the consumer. Users will then be provided with a certificate identifying the organisations involved in the process. It was developed by the Renewable Energy Association in partnership with Bio Group, British Gas, E.ON, National Grid, Milton Keynes Council, Thames Water and CNG Services.
Low carbon economy 7th March 2011 more >>
Domestic solar PV not only cuts 50% of a family’s electricity consumption at source & creates thousands of local jobs – it puts responsibility for energy generation in real people’s hands which drives actual, rather than theoretical, behavioural change. Even after scrapping ‘solar farms’ the Treasury is pushing to cap cumulative rooftop installations at 500MW to prevent more than £8-10 pa being levied onto every UK electricity bill in 2014. For comparison, £9 is 33% of the recent Scottish Power annual price rise. Last year alone, Germany installed 8000 MW (equivalent to 3 nuclear power stations) of solar PV. Unlike much scale generation, the energy comes on tap almost immediately, the manufacturing, installation and supply chain created a domestic industry employing more than 70 thousand people and deployment drove extraordinary public understanding of renewables & climate change and all for a net cost of a few pints of beer per person per year!
Engensa 7th March 2011 more >>
Clean Energy, a Harrogate-based renewable energy company, has warned householders and businesses not to be blinded by ‘solar cowboys and has called on the government to do more to rid the industry of unscrupulous firms cashing in on the back of the green energy revolution.
Connecting Industry 7th March 2011 more >>
Some of the UK’s energy companies are backing the Renewable Energy Association’s newly launched accreditation scheme to guarantee ‘green gas’ for consumers. Gas use could increase radically in coming years as carbon emissions targets rule out coal and new low-carbon energy sources such as nuclear and wind power are slow to come online. But biomethane can be produced from anaerobic digestion, in the form of biogas, from landfill or from synthetic gas – syngas – production. The Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) will track all biomethane through the supply chain so that consumers can be certain that they are purchasing ‘green gas’. British Gas, Bio Group, E.ON, National Grid, Thames Water, CNG Services and Milton Keynes Council are all backing the scheme.
Energy Efficiency News 7th March 2011 more >>
The pressure is building for a swift end to the confusion over the future level of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) paid on green energy schemes, as yet another organisation expresses its anger at the Government’s decision to review the payment. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has a close interest in the issue. Many of its members are landowners who have invested – or are about to invest – on the basis that a relatively generous FiT is available for every unit of energy generated from schemes of up to five megawatts in size. Put bluntly, the FiT makes solar power a worthwhile and cost-effective investment for hard-headed business-minded landowners. Without that subsidy, such schemes will be solely the preserve of people with enough money to indulge their desire to “be green”. Sadly there are simply too few of them to make a substantial contribution to Britain’s obligations to cut carbon emissions.
Plymouth Herald 7th March 2011 more >>
Carbon Neutral UNEP Building
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi has become the first carbon-neutral building in Africa by using solar power. A system of over 4,000 modules were installed on the roof of the new UNEP offices by German firm Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH. The 515 kilowatt solar project was connected to the grid on February 21st, and is expected to generate more energy than the 1,200 employees in the building will need.
IB Times 6th March 2011 more >>
Renewable Heat Incentive
Homeowners and firms who switch to sustainable fuels to heat their properties will be able to reclaim part of the cost from the taxpayer under a 4.5 billion government scheme to be launched this week. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will offer subsidies for various kinds of green heating technology including boilers that run on wood chips, solar panels for heating water, ground- and air-source heat pumps and the production of methane from sewage. Households and firms installing, for example, an approved wood-chip boiler will be able to claim payments for generating green heat. These could halve their heating costs. Introduction of the scheme, the first of its kind in the world, follows a campaign by Friends of the Earth and the Renewable Energy Association (REA). Leonie Greene, the REAs head of external affairs, said it could be a breakthrough moment for renewables. She added: If the levels of support are right, it will empower people to change how they heat their homes, schools and workplaces, while also generating thousands of new jobs in green industries.
Sunday Times 6th March 2011 more >>
Flat Pack Low Carbon
It takes Persimmon only a few hours to erect the shell of one of the Space4 houses. But there are also substantial environmental benefits, not least the fact that the construction process produces little waste. Persimmon estimates that about a third of the energy consumed by UK industry go es into making and transporting building materials. That represents about 10% of all UK energy consumption. As the flat-pack homes arrive largely complete, there is a huge reduction in transport costs. While the Space4 boxes may not be to everybodys taste, no ozone-depleting substances are used in their construction and their high thermal performance means that less heating will be needed and so carbon dioxide emissions will be kept to a minimum. So far, they account for about 20% of all Persimmon houses sold, some 2,000 a year. Mike Farley, the chief executive, believes that this could rise to 50% as more homebuyers come to appreciate their environmental benefits.
Sunday Times 6th March 2011 more >>
An entrepreneur with permission to build two solar energy farms in Norfolk believes the region has potential to become a centre for the technology, provided the government does not withdraw financial support for large-scale developments.
Eastern Daily Press 5th March 2011 more >>
Ely-based Bio Group Ltd, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions through a network of facilities that turn organic waste into renewable energy, are playing a lead role in talks to decide the future of UK energy provision. Bio Group designed, built and operates the Adnams Bio Energy facility in Southwold. It converts Adnams brewery waste and local food waste from Adnams pubs and other local businesses, hotels, restaurants and schools into biomethane which is then used as green gas for the national grid.
Business Weekly 5th March 2011 more >>
Official figures have been released by the French Government showing that 719MW of PV installations were connected to the grid in 2010, tripling installations compared to the previous year. Combined installations from previous years means that France has surpassed the 1GW level last year. Total installations reached 1,025MW.
PV Tech 4th March 2011 more >>
According to recent research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), solar photovoltaics (PV) currently represent only 0.3% of renewable energy in the UK today, some 32MW. This places the UK a long way behind other countries such as Germany, Spain and the USA. To put this in perspective, in 2009, PV installations in the USA were some 500MW, whereas the UK had a mere 6MW. Both of these pale into insignificance when compared to Germany which installed 3,800MW.
BSEE 4th March 2011 more >>
Day4 Energy, major supplier of solar photovoltaic solutions, has declared that it has obtained the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation, authorizing the company to sell its Day4 60MC-I solar PV modules in the UK market. MCS is an industry headed and sponsored system that assures the reliability of installations and products of renewable energy technology. It authorizes the utilization of micro-generation technologies to generate heat and power from non-conventional sources. It enables peripheral users to gain from the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) proposal released by the UK government in April 2010.
Cleantech 4th March 2011 more >>
Expanding its presence in the UK solar market, Solon has now accredited all of its currently available modules under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The MCS certificate verifies that SOLON solar modules and systems being supplied in the UK are eligible under the feed-in tariff scheme, which requires that both the components as well as the installer of a photovoltaic system are MCS certified. By using this scheme, customers are assured that the installed solar power technology meets the highest quality standards.
Solar Power Portal 4th March 2011 more >>