week ending 1 April 2011
Zero Carbon Homes Taskforce
WWF-UK has today resigned from a taskforce tasked with greening British homes in protest over the government’s decision to water down its Zero Carbon Homes standard. In another blow to the coalition’s bid to become the ‘greenest government ever’, WWF accused the government of rendering the taskforce “effectively useless” by making the decision without consultation with stakeholders.
Business Green 1st April 2011 more >>
The suggested tariffs in the Consultation Document, up to 73% reduction, are a sign that the Minister wants to kill off all solar projects over 50kWp.
Low Carbon Economy 1st April 2011 more >>
Commercial Green Deal costs outweigh savings
Blow to sustainability policy as study shows commercial building improvements cost more than they save
Building 1st April 2011 more >>
Lewes Football Club goes Solar
THE Dripping Pan, home of Lewes Football Club, could soon be generating electricity into the National Grid. Plans to make the Mountfield Road site a community-owned solar power station are being investigated after a similar scheme at Harveys Brewery hit a setback.
Sussex Express 1st April 2011 more >>
Tata Steel has said it is investing around £10m in a trio of Welsh research projects working to commercialise emerging low carbon building technologies, such as paint on solar cells that could turn homes offices and factories into mini power stations. Tata yesterday cut the ribbon on the £6.5m Sustainable Building Envelope Centre at Shotton in North Wales, where it will test new integrated heating, energy and ventilation systems on the fabric of buildings, including pioneering dye solar cell technology.
Business Green 1st April 2011 more >>
One year on from the launch of the UK’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT), new research reveals the majority of UK homeowners are open to solar technology and are aware of the positive benefits of the FIT payback scheme. However, in light of Energy Minister Greg Barker’s announcement to cut the FIT for installations over 50kW, there is concern consumers could lose faith and potentially miss-out on the rewards available to them.
Click Green 1st April 2011 more >>
Barnsley Solar Football
BARNSLEY is to become the first football club in the country to be powered by solar energy. The Oakwell outfit will start installing photovoltaic panels on roofs of two stands next month, as well as on the external wall of the ground’s south stand.
Sheffield Star 1st April 2011 more >>
Tribal Football 31st March 2011 more >>
300,000 properties to be solarised
Clifford Chance (CC) and DLA Piper have advised on a £300m renewable energy project that will see around 30,000 properties across the UK gaining free solar power. Newcastle-based clean-tech company Eaga is to use £300m of funding to add solar panels to the social housing properties, with the funding including £75m of equity from Eaga, HSBC Environmental Infrastructure Fund and Barclays European Infrastructure Fund II and £225m of debt from a syndicate of banks.
Legal Week 31st March 2011 more >>
Wiltshire-based renewable energy supplier, Good Energy, has launched its new website to help grow their customer base and communicate to an increasingly diverse audience their vision for a 100% renewable energy-based future in the UK.
The Drum 31st March 2011 more >>
Optimism about solar
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) is optimistic about the UK solar photovoltaic (PV) market despite uncertainty over the future of feed-in tariffs.
Renewable Energy Focus 31st March 2011 more >>
SOLAR power is causing a stir in Cheylesmore since a new business put its solar energy system on show. The shop in Daventry Road has fitted three solar panels above the front door instead of a shop sign. And passers-by can see a meter in the shop window showing how much energy the panels are producing. The idea came from owner of City Solar and City Bathrooms, Keith Darlison, who wants to show people the power of renewable energy first-hand.
Coventry Telegraph 31st March 2011 more >>
The second edition of the UK solar conference hosted by Solarplaza is taking place on the 29 June 2011 at Central Hall Westminster. “Solar Future, UK” will analyse the UK solar PV market following on from last year’s debut event. Last year’s conference considered the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) and the future market perspectives which will be continued with an update at this year’s event.
Connecting Industry 31st March 2011 more >>
Spain had one of the world’s most ambitious - and generous - plans to boost the amount of electricity it generates from the sun. That dream, for the solar industry at least, has turned sour. Just days before Christmas, the government slashed the level of subsidies that all new and existing photovoltaic (pv) solar projects will receive. But even the powerful utility companies, which opposed the solar industry, are now warning that the fallout could be long-lasting and reach far beyond the energy sector.
Business Green 31st March 2011 more >>
Local Energy Revolution
Councils are grappling with unprecedented budget cuts, green issues are in danger of slipping down the priority list. But in my view, it would be an economic error for local authorities to take their eyes off the environmental ball now. Given the intense pressure on resources, local authorities will be understandably reluctant to undertake capital investment. But our research shows how renewable energy not only pays for itself but can create a ‘revolving fund’ to reinvest in further energy saving measures – meaning a virtuous financial circle is set in motion.
Guardian 31st March 2011 more >>
CAMBORNE town councillors gave their support on Monday to plans for a solar energy farm in a neighbouring parish. A planning application has been submitted for the production of solar energy at Nanterrow Lane, Connor Downs.
South West Business 31st March 2011 more >>
Since the fast track review bombshell was dropped last week I have been thinking about what kind of implications this will have on the UK solar industry as a whole -- not just how it will affect the large-scale market. As we all know, one of the many things this country’s renewable energy industry lacks is experience, which is why it was so encouraging to see some of the world’s largest and most influential solar players step onto British soil. But what will happen to them now that the subsidies face the axe? In the wake of the feed-in tariff disaster, I have been catching up with some of these companies to find out what happens if those with years of global experience decide that the UK is a no-go area.
PV Tech 30th March 2011 more >>
Feed-in Tariff Review
Comprehensive Feed-in Tariff Review Workshop.
Micro Power Council March 2011 more >>
The steel giant Tata is to invest another £3.5m in a project that brings together solar power technology and steel. The company will expand its development at its site at Shotton, Flintshire, alongside specialist firm Dyesol. The expansion will see another 20 staff taken on to the project team.
BBC 30th March 2011 more >>
Small Wind; Big Growth
Already being hailed as a potential UK base for the rapidly growing offshore wind energy industry, the North East has now been chosen to host a conference and exhibition which heralds a revolution in small land-based wind systems - and the entrance to the seminars over the two days is free! RenewableUK, the country’s leading voice for the renewable energy industry, says that the number of small turbines across the UK could increase from the present 15,000 to over 600,000 by 2020, with farmers and land owners leading the way but with schools, businesses and others also now showing growing interest.
Farming UK 29th March 2011 more >>
Berwickshire News 30th March 2011 more >>
Solar knocked off course
The solar industry has been knocked off course by a government that has “destroyed confidence” in its renewable energy policy, says Alex Cunningham MP. The renewable industry has been taken aback by the government’s decision to slash Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) for medium to large scale Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects.
ePolitix 29th March 2011 more >>
Recent headlines about the Government doing a u-turn on guaranteed returns for installing renewable energy schemes will not impact on many small businesses in the South West, according to one of the region’s sustainability specialists. While the Government is threatening a halt to “solar-farms” proposed by investment companies, they remain committed to the original aim of providing financial incentives for households and small businesses to install renewable energy systems.
Wiltshire Business 29th March 2011 more >>
THE University of Warwick is to take part in a consortium which has been awarded £1.4m to develop the next generation of solar energy harvesting technology. The finance package has been put together by the UK Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Other members of the group are companies Kurt Lesker, Asylum Research, New World Solar and Molecular Solar along with Imperial College London.
Business desk 29th March 2011 more >>
The Engineer 28th March 2011 more >>
Shareholders at renewable energy firm Eaga have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a £306 million takeover proposal by support services giant Carillion.
Construction News 29th March 2011 more >>
A centre specialising in renewable energy research has been officially opened by the energy and climate change secretary. The Durham Energy Institute (DEI), based at the university, has been operating since 2009. Chris Huhne is also due to visit the site of a geothermal borehole being drilled in the centre of Newcastle. Both universities are collaborating on plans to sink a 2,000m (6,562ft) hole in an attempt to find hot water.
BBC 28th March 2011 more >>
Efficiency North are seeking to create a concession framework for roof mounted solar PV systems which will be available for their members’ use as well as within the East Midlands, North East and North West regions of England. The concession framework will offer public sector landlords a rent a roof style solution for housing and other public sector owned buildings with the successful bidders providing an income to the landlords along with full finance, installation, maintenance and monitoring for the solar PV installations over 25 years in exchange for the feed in tariff.
Builder & Engineer 28th March 2011 more >>
A contract worth up to £400m is up for grabs to finance and install solar power systems on the roofs of 213,000 homes across Yorkshire and Humberside. The Efficiency North consortia of social landlords is looking to create a concession framework for roof mounted solar PV systems which will be available for their members’ use and also within the East Midlands, North East and North West of England. Up to six firms will be appointed to the installation framework which will run for one year.
Construction Enquirer 28th March 2011 more >>
Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, announced last week that the government was proposing to slash Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) for larger solar power developments by a massive 70%. Commercial investors have warned that cutting the FiT, only one year after its inception, will sign the death warrant for Britain’s renewable power industries.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 28th March 2011 more >>
Cornwall county council has urged the government to use the region as a “living laboratory” to help develop renewable energy for the rest of the UK. In a letter sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) late last week, the council highlighted the scale of Cornwall’s renewable resource. The county is already home to several wind farms and solar PV projects as well as two geothermal plants, including one planned for the Eden Project, and the Wave Hub marine energy testing centre.
Business Green 28th March 2011 more >>
This is Cornwall 28th March 2011 more >>
BBC 27th March 2011 more >>
Where there’s sun, there’s brass
SUN farms, converting sunlight to electricity on a large scale, were being planned for this region until the government declared its intention to rewrite the tariff for green electricity last weekend – and could still be viable, according to one specialist. The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for electricity from renewables was published only a year ago and both the National Farmers Union and the Country Land & Business Association say changing the rules now is unfair and short-sighted.
Yorkshire Post 28th March 2011 more >>
Renewable UK International Small Wind Conference: Exploring the latest policy and technical developments for microgeneration wind systems. The conference will address the latest international policy and technical developments in small wind systems. The programme is designed by the RenewableUK Small Wind Systems Strategy Group, ensuring the most up to date and topical content.
Business Green 27th March 2011 more >>
A solar energy farm of 20,000 panels has been given the go-ahead in Lincolnshire. The facility, based at former RAF base at Faldingworth, is expected to produce enough power to supply 1,300 homes for about 25 years. Lunar Energy Power Ltd has been granted planning permission by West Lindsey District Council. The parish council said concerns about traffic and toxic substances had been addressed by the developers.
BBC 27th March 2011 more >>
Landowners and FiT
THE Government is in danger of damaging its green energy credentials and its business credibility by effectively pulling the plug on large scale projects to harvest solar energy - according to landowners in the Midlands.
Kidderminster Shuttle 26th March 2011 more >>
IT MAY be more than 100 miles from the nearest Marks & Spencer store, but a small wind farm in Orkney is helping the retail giant with its green credentials – and earning cash back for the island. M&S has announced that the volume of renewable energy it buys from small suppliers, such as farmers and landowners, has doubled in the past year
Scotsman 26th March 2011 more >>
Microgeneration is high on the carbon saving agenda right now, and receiving lots of news coverage. As the manufacturer of Baxi Ecogen, the only Dual Energy System on the market, Baxi understands how important it is to be able to claim the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) so you can start enjoying the benefits as soon as you have your appliance installed.
Baxi 25th March 2011 more >>
Micro CHP Acceleration
The Carbon Trust has recently released the Micro-CHP Accelerator Report. Several members of the UCL Energy Institute, Prof. Bob Lowe, Dr. Alex Summerfield, Ian Hamilton, and Anna Mavrogianni were involved in the analysis and in particular the development of the Market Potential section for domestic and non-domestic micro-CHP. The report notes that an approximate estimate of the overall carbon saving potential of micro-CHP in the domestic market is around 4 million tonnes, if the savings in the field trail were realised and if installed in all suitable households in the UK. Annual sales in suitable houses could be around 170,000.
UCL 21st March 2011 more >>
Kent’s Longfield Academy will harness the natural power of the sun and earth to give the academy full marks for renewable energy performance. The new academy building for 1150 students, due to open in June 2011, is combining ground source heat pumps, which harness solar energy absorbed by the earth, with solar thermal technology to maximise renewable energy efficiency. By working in tandem, these renewable technologies will supply heating and hot water to the academy, together with passive underfloor cooling in the summer months. This is projected to reduce the academy’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its heating system by up to 40%.
Ener-G 15th March 2011 more >>