week ending 25 March 2011
A number of major firms have already invested significant sums of money in developing PV schemes based on the original feed-in tariffs and are now considering legal action against the cuts.
Construction Manager 25th March 2011 more >>
Lincolnshire Solar continues
PLANS for Bourne’s £12m solar farm continue, despite the Government’s decision to slash financial incentives for renewable energy schemes. Lark Energy, part of the Larkfleet Group based in the town, submitted its planning application to South Kesteven District Council last month to install a series of solar panels on the 35-acre site at Limes Farm, Spalding Road. Lark Energy is extremely disappointed by the Government’s FiT review but remains fully committed to developing solar projects.
The Local 25th March 2011 more >>
Farmers and landowners who want to earn the best returns for generating electricity to act now before a government incentive programme is slashed this summer.
Farming UK 25th March 2011 more >>
Unsubsidised Solar – no problem
One of Europe’s top renewables bosses has contradicted much of the rest of the solar industry by saying he is unconcerned about the changes being made to subsidies for solar power by governments around Europe. Francesco Starace, chief executive of Enel Green Power, said his company was “not at all worried” about recent changes to government policies, which have included reductions in solar subsidies in the UK and Spain, as well as discussions on a similar move in Italy.
FT 25th March 2011 more >>
SOLAR panels could be installed on the roof of a council building. Officials at Wychavon District Council, which covers villages near Tewkesbury, are considering putting the panels on to the roof of its Pershore headquarters.
This is Gloucestershire 25th March 2011 more >>
Letter: It was announced last week, after a fast-track review, that the government’s feed in tariff will be cut, cutting the incentives to farmers to build solar farms on their land. Tariffs will be cut from 31p per kWh to 8.5p per kWh of energy fed into the grid. This announcement casts doubt on all non-domestic schemes, and while both domestic and commercial schemes are important, if we are to move Britain towards a low-carbon economy, we need to see more commercial photovoltaics schemes. Many different investors have invested in renewables, and solar in particular, solely on the basis that the FiT income is guaranteed for 25 years. This backtrack has halted many important CO2 saving projects and has undermined the low-carbon industry’s confidence about investing in the UK.
Guardian 25th March 2011 more >>
Solar Cuts Ill-Judged
Farming leaders say plans to slash the financial incentives for producing renewable energy through solar power are “ill-judged and extremely damaging for renewable energy in Britain”.
This is Devon 24th March 2011 more >>
Solar Burns Brightly
The solar market analysts at Solarbuzz have released their annual solar photovoltaic (PV) maket report for 2011, finding that last year was a year of aggressive growth for worldwide PV installations as it reached a total of 18.2 gigawatts (GW) – that’s 139% higher than 2009.
Green Economy 24th March 2011 more >>
Birmingham Energy Saving
Be Birmingham has launched a five-year project which aims to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The initiative commits Be Birmingham to maximising investment in retrofitting houses and businesses in Birmingham through new brand Birmingham Energy Savers.
The Drum 24th March 2011 more >>
Copeland Council this week received the application, from Sustainable Energy Systems Ltd, for a micro wind turbine to generate electricity for land near to Ellerbeck Barns.
Whitehaven News 24th March 2011 more >>
PLANS for a solar energy farm near Gillingham have been put on hold after the Government announced a review of how much energy producers will be paid in future. AEE Renewables was hoping to submit a planning application later this month for a 8.2 hectare power station on fields at Whistley Farm, about two miles north west of the town.
This is Dorset 24th March 2011 more >>
Supermarket giant Tesco has installed four wind turbines with a capacity of nearly 1 MW, each at three of its grocery distribution centers.
Environmental Leader 24th March 2011 more >>
Analytiqa 23rd March 2011 more >>
Sheffield Solar and Water
PLANS to generate electricity from the River Don are surging forward at the same time that Sheffield aims to become a ‘Solar City’. Volunteers are working on hydro power schemes at Jordan Dam, near Meadowhall, that would provide electricity for about 80 family homes, and at Kelham Island that would be linked to the industrial museum.
Sheffield Telegraph 24th March 2011 more >>
Cornwall attacks solar cuts
A DARK cloud is hanging over an anticipated solar power “gold rush” after the Government indicated it wanted to dramatically cut subsidies for solar energy. Cornwall Council has received dozens of planning applications from firms wanting to set up solar farms, as the county is the best location for them in the UK. It was hoped the farms would have brought millions of pounds into the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs. However, many of them, including two planned by Cornwall Council itself, were relying on the Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) which offers generous payments for energy from solar panels.
This is Cornwall 24th March 2011 more >>
BBC 19th March 2011 more >>
Solar Cut Legal Threat
Developer Low Carbon Solar is seeking legal advice, and the firm’s chief executive Martin Shorrock said schools and local co-operatives would be most likely to suffer. “The proposals are nothing short of disastrous,” said Mr Shorrock. “If adopted, they would mean a large rooftop installation on a school or office with 100 kW capacity would see available incentives cut 42 per cent, while solar farms with up to 5 MW will see incentives slashed by 72 per cent. The result is that hundreds of solar energy community schemes are in jeopardy.”
Construction News 24th March 2011 more >>
Micro Wind at US Embassy
The League of Green Embassies is working to incorporate the best in new, energy-efficient products and technologies from U.S. companies in embassies around the world. Recently, we received word that one of the members of this 80-member consortium the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland will feature micro-wind turbine manufacturer WindStream Technologies’ TurboMill.
IB Times 23rd March 2011 more >>
Alternative asset manager Foresight Group and Our Generation Ltd have agreed a £50 million programme of sub-50 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the UK over the next 12 months.
Renewable Energy Focus 23rd March 2011 more >>
Growth Business 21st March 2011 more >>
A LEADING North-east renewable energy company has branded the Government’s clampdown on solar power projects “a joke” which threatened to damage job creation and economic growth. However David Hunt, a director with Darlington-based Eco Environments, said: “The Government’s claim to be the greenest ever is in tatters. While we accept that solar farm scale projects of 1MW plus do warrant review, reducing the tariff significantly for installations of just over 50kWp is farcical.
Newcastle Evening Gazette 23rd March 2011 more >>
Liverpool Post 23rd March 2011 more >>
Cuts - an opportunity, not a threat
The proposed changes to reduce the UK solar energy Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for installations over 50 kWp should be regarded as an opportunity rather than a threat, as it will move the UK market more quickly towards efficiency and scale,” stated Robert ‘Markus’ Feldmann, AZUR SOLAR UK’s Managing Director. “AZUR SOLAR, hardened from years of massive competition in the German Solar PV market which is the world’s largest, established itself in the UK to master the challenges of industrialisation and scale in the industry from the outset.”
Industry Today 23rd March 2011 more >>
£300m on Social Housing Solar
A TEAM of Yorkshire lawyers advised Newcastle-based Eaga on a £300m debt and equity fundraising for its ongoing solar power project. The rooftop solar PV scheme will see HSBC Infrastructure Fund, Barclays Infrastructure Fund and Eaga invest £75m of equity, with a consortium of five banks comprising RBS, National Australia Bank, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander lending £225m to the scheme. The funds will be used to install up to 37,000 solar PV systems on properties owned by social landlords in England.
Newcastle Journal 23rd March 2011 more >>
Northern Ireland AD
The Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday approved amendments to the province’s renewable energy subsidy scheme, upping payments for energy generated through anaerobic digestion and bringing tariffs for older renewable energy generators in line with those agreed for new projects last year.
Business Green 23rd March 2011 more >>
A package of budget measures designed to bolster the development of green homes and accelerate the roll out of microgeneration technologies have today received a mixed response from industry. Experts expressed anger at changes to zero-carbon home standards that industry insiders alleged would weaken the environmental credibility of green building rules, while others welcomed the announcement of a new consultation designed to make solar panels and roof-top wind turbines cheaper to deploy.
Business Green 23rd March 2011 more >>
Shadow energy minister - Huw Irranca-Davies: The shambolic handling of the solar power review by government has sadly demonstrated a shocking level of ministerial incompetence. Caught red-handed in the act of sabotaging the fledgling feed-in-tariffs that pay people for producing solar energy, climate minister Greg Barker has thrashed around wildly for someone to blame it on. “It was them, guv’nor!” he says, pointing a shaking finger at the previous government, or poor economic modelling (ie the civil servants), or the nasty capitalist solar park developers. The minister justifies his shock treatment of the sector by “put a stop to the threat of larger scale solar soaking up the cash”. Yet he hasn’t only stopped what he initially fingered as the villains in the piece (the very large solar parks on greenfield sites). He hasn’t just stopped larger industrial installations on supermarkets or huge industrial buildings. He has also jeopardised medium-sized installations above 50 kw – including many schools, hospitals, churches and community facilities – which would have dramatically scaled up the jobs in manufacturing and installation and servicing, and helped reduce carbon emissions.
Guardian 22nd March 2011 more >>
Scottish Renewable Heat
The Scottish renewable energy industry is calling for more ambitious targets on the use of green heat sources. Trade body Scottish Renewables wants parties in Holyrood to increase the overall target for renewable energy use from 20% to 30% by 2020. This includes proposals for 16% of Scotland’s heat energy to be generated through renewable alternatives, such as biomass.
BBC 22nd March 2011 more >>
Scotsman 22nd March 2011 more >>
Owners of land and buildings from pony paddocks to industrial units could miss out on income from solar and wind power due to a lack of understanding of the various options available, says the head of a new renewable energy guidance service launched this week by rural professionals Bagshaws.
Stackyard 22nd March 2011 more >>
Bill Rumble, Mark Group commercial director, welcomed the announcement, but was keen to stress the importance of using a reputable installer. He said: “The introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive is potentially great news for householders across the country. It is a little disappointing that final tariffs have not been announced, but we will work with our customers to ensure they can take advantage of the RHI Premium Payment over the next year. We will also work with government as it seeks to develop sustainable tariffs for introduction in 2012. Despite the positive news of today’s announcement it is vitally important that consumers use an accredited installer, certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for any renewable heat installation. This is the only way to benefit from the interim and full Renewable Heat Incentive. It also guarantees peace of mind that the new heating system will work effectively. At Mark Group, we have fully accredited installers ready to provide full home-energy makeovers and we look forward to helping government and consumers to achieve their renewable ambitions.”
Roofing Cladding & Insulation 22nd March 2011 more >>
Incentives are still needed to encourage homeowners to install solar panels, despite the cost of solar energy falling, one expert has claimed. Ian Reilly, business development manager at Beyond Building Solar, said the government must “seriously consider” the financial effect that cutting the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) in its review of the scheme would have.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd March 2011 more >>
Fallout from the UK Government’s decision to massively curtail the growing solar PV industry in the UK continues, with criticism coming from many quarters.
Renewable Energy Focus 22nd March 2011 more >>
Cornwall Community Power
Efforts to create a co-operative which would generate profits for the community through renewable energy sources have been welcomed by local residents. Community Power Cornwall (CPC) has launched the scheme to encourage communities to take an active role in meeting their energy needs through renewable sources, while retaining financial, social and environmental benefits within the county.
This is Cornwall 22nd March 2011 more >>
Dramatic cuts to solar farm subsidies could scupper up to 15 proposed sites in Cambridgeshire and kill off the ‘green energy’ industry.
Cambridge News 22nd March 2011 more >>
GOVERNMENT plans to slash the incentives available for solar energy installations have been condemned by farmers, landowners, environmentalists and the solar industry.
Farmers Guardian 22nd March 2011 more >>
AD Increase not enough
The government is to increase its support for anaerobic digestion under the Feed-in Tariff scheme, but members of the industry say the changes do not go far enough. Under the old tariffs, from April 1st anaerobic digestion projects would be granted 12.1p/kWh up to 500 kW of energy. The new tariffs increase this to 13p/kWh for installations with a total capacity of between 250 kW and 500 kW and 14p/kWh for those with a capacity of up to 250 kW. Applications for farm-based anaerobic digestion had been lower than first anticipated by the government, with just two of the six applications expected received. Members of the industry initially welcomed the review but now claim the small increase in payments will not be sufficient to boost take up.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd March 2011 more >>
People living in a new £1.25 million affordable housing development in County Durham are having their homes powered by solar energy. Residents recently moved into ten new bungalows in a development by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) at Ascot Way, St Helen Auckland, near Bishop 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 that generate electrical power.
24 Dash 21st March 2011 more >>
The UK’s green energy sector has reacted with disappointment to the Government’s decision to slash its funding of the Feed-in Tariff for large-scale solar farms. The Micropower Council lead the industry’s response saying it was very concerned by the proposals to reduce financial support available via the Feed-in Tariff for built environment installations over 50kW, under proposals in the consultation published last Friday on the fast track review of the scheme.
Click Green 21st March 2011 more >>
Energy Efficiency News 21st March 2011 more >>
Connecting Industry 21st March 2011 more >>
Eight19, the Cambridge-based developer of printed plastic solar cells based on organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology, is ramping closer to commercialisation.
Business Weekly 21st March 2011 more >>
A MULTI-MILLION pound renewable energy project is looming but there are still obstacles in the way. Eastbourne Borough Council is gearing up to invest £18.6 million in a solar power project which will help cut the town’s carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. If the scheme is successful it could see a £40 million return over a 25-year period.
Eastbourne Herald 21st March 2011 more >>
A complete package for heating poultry houses with wood pellets has been put together by renewable energy company LandEnergy. Tapping into financial support under the government’s new Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, the company says that its wood pellet biomass heating system can now compete financially with exisiting LPG and oil-based heating systems.
Farmers Weekly 21st March 2011 more >>
Support for solar installations of greater than 50kW has been slashed following the government’s review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change said the rate will be cut for all solar panel projects deemed to be “larger than microgeneration size”, claiming bigger installations are taking cash set aside for homeowners.
Low Carbon Economy 21st March 2011 more >>
FARMERS and growers are looking at a new scheme to encourage renewable energy technologies. The Renewable Heat Incentive adds new grant support possibilities to those previously existing for biogas production, ground heat extraction, wood furnaces, wind turbines and sunshine collectors. Work on the RHI was started by the last government and picked up cautiously by the reigning coalition. The outline plan for it pledges £860m in start-up funds.
Yorkshire Post 21st March 2011 more >>
The government has launched a study into how waste from anaerobic digestion plants could be used to replace manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to help control costs for farmers and boost production.
Business Green 21st March 2011 more >>
The renewable energy industry, especially the solar sector, have been nervously-awaiting the results of the Fast Track consultation on the Feed-In Tariffs (FITs). The announcement came on Friday. There have been impressive cost reductions in solar PV since the policy was introduced, last April, which was in the context of a significant new industry establishing itself, said the REA. Critical size is needed to achieve price reductions, and that had been happening. Before the announcement of the review, the REA estimated that 17,000 new solar jobs would be created by the end of 2011.
Green Buildings Press 19th March 2011 more >>
The Feed in Tariff scheme (FITS), introduced by the government in April 2010, is encouraging owners of large commercial premises to adopt renewable energy sources. The scheme is helping owners producing their own energy make extra cash worth thousands of pounds. FITS works with the customer receiving a cash payment for a fixed amount per unit of electricity generated by the solar system for a 25 year period. Any unused units will be sold back to the national grid.
FMX 18th March 2011 more >>
Micro-CHP offers carbon savings over gas boilers in the UK until 2030.
Delta Energy 2010 more >>