week ending 20 May 2011
The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies hosted its inaugural meeting on 18 May, bringing together the 14 hub colleges which, along with 80 other providers, currently comprise its training network. Located in Birmingham, representatives from the educational establishments based across the country joined forces. The aim of the Skills Academy to “deliver demand driven, quality focused, accessible, progressive and recognised training”. Phase 1, which is currently underway, sees the introduction of level 3 environmental technologies training for solar thermal, photovoltaics, heat pumps and water harvesting and recycling, plus a qualification in environmental technologies awareness, which acts as a stand-alone unit for non-technical staff and is embedded in all the installer specific training. Phase 2, set to be introduced later this year, will see courses in micro-CHP, micro-hydro, micro-wind and bio-fuels. The importance of the environmental awareness qualification, plus any complimentary provision colleges may already offer, such as leadership and management training, was discussed, as entering into renewables installation is about more than just the physical act of fitting the equipment.
Heating & Ventilatin.net 20th May 2011 more >>
How Baxi Ecogen works.
You Tube 20th May 2011 more >>
FREE range egg franchise operator John Bowler has gone into the renewable energy market - notably photovoltaic (solar) and wind. The Derby company is now offering would-be investors a complete package on the same lines as its free range enterprises.
Farmers Guardian 20th May 2011 more >>
Caledonia Green Innovation Ltd presented its Sycamore vertical axis-wind turbine and Nymph hydro unit at All-Energy in Aberdeen, Scotland. The two technologies are currently being prototyped for installation worldwide. The Nymph is an open-flow hydro technology that floats in a river or tidal stream (with no need for dams, pipes or foundations) to generate electricity at unit sizes of between 30 kW and 100 kW in arrays of up to 1 MW. The Sycamore is a vertical-axis wind turbine for onshore use, developed from an offshore unit pioneered by Wind Power Ltd with R&D from Cranfield University. It can be scaled between 100 kW and 10 MW.
Renewable Energy Focus 20th May 2011 more >>
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has been shortlisted for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. The judges of the Ashden Awards recognised CAT’s courses in renewable energy and sustainability as a vital part of moving the UK towards a low carbon future. CAT has been shortlisted for the award in recognition of its education and training work.
Building Talk 20th May 2011 more >>
Alistair McGowan on solar power and green politics. The comedian and impressionist talks about the importance of solar energy the green failures of the coalition government.
Guardian (audio) 20th May 2011 more >>
Building Talk 16th May 2011 more >>
24 Dash 13th May 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Guide
A new guide is being released on ‘Renewable Energy Systems Integration’ by the domestic building services panel at CIBSE. The guide is the fifth in the series of books that cover domestic heating, solar heating, underfloor heating and rainwater harvesting.
Heating & Ventilating.net 20th May 2011 more >>
Plans for hydropower stations on River Thames. For centuries locks and weirs have been used to regulate river levels and generate power. Now the Environment Agency wants to tap in to this source of renewable energy on a much larger scale. They want to install hydropower stations at key weirs along the Thames, and are looking for investors to make it happen.
Meridian 19th May 2011 more >>
Aerial Solar Mapping
Bluesky is helping UK Housing Associations make the most of their housing stock’s solar energy potential. Working with carbon reduction company Sustain, it is using high resolution aerial photography combined with detailed 3D models to measure the potential for solar energy generation for individual properties based on a number of contributing factors such as roof size and aspect. These measurements are helping the Housing Associations produce income from Feed-in Tariffs, reduce energy bills for householders and decrease carbon emissions.
Heating & Ventilating.net 19th May 2011 more >>
Building Talk 19th May 2011 more >>
Carbon Trust & EST cuts
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has today quietly announced that the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust will no longer receive core grant funding from next April. The two flagship government-backed green bodies will instead be required to bid for government funding through competitive tendering processes, as part of efforts to deliver better value for money and help tackle the deficit.
Business Green 19th May 2011 more >>
Green Deal too expensive
The government’s flagship environmental policy, the “green deal” whereby millions of households are to be fitted with energy-saving technology, is likely to be rejected by homeowners because of its high cost, campaigners have warned. Ministers unveiled the green deal with fanfare this month, as the centrepiece of the energy bill, but problems with its implementation are already apparent, even according to the government’s own calculations. Under the scheme, from 2012 firms, including utilities but also retailers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer will offer households loft and wall insulation, double glazing and other energy efficiency measures designed to reduce heating bills. The householder pays nothing up front, but the equipment and installation cost will be added in instalments to the household’s energy bills for years. A report from the environmental thinktank E3G and research by the Green party MP Caroline Lucas suggest that householders’ bills are likely to be so high there will not be enough of an incentive to “energy refurbish” a home.
Guardian 19th May 2011 more >>
Seven/Eleven Japan, with over 13,200 stores nationwide, is among the many forward-looking companies helping set the pace for change within the nation’s energy policy. The convenience store chain plans to spend over $123 million to switch to energy efficient LED lighting at about 6000 outlets in Tokyo, and will install solar panels on roofs of 1,000 stores around the country over the next few months. This would not only save 125KW a day per store but also benefit manufacturers of LED lighting and solar cell panels a win-win for all. Renewable energy experts agree that the ongoing nuclear crisis, while tragic, could be a remarkable opportunity to move away from the country’s focus on nuclear power development and imported fossil fuels toward solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and other natural domestic sources.
Time 18th May 2011 more >>
A BEXLEY school has joined forces with a renewable energy company for a project which could provide the school with all of its energy needs. Bexley Business Academy and Dartford company Enevis, have put in a planning application to Bexley Council to create a solar farm on the academy’s land in Yarnton Way, Thamesmead
News Shopper 18th May 2011 more >>
A DORSET school is going green, thanks to a partnership with Wessex Renewable Energy. The company fitted solar photovoltaic panels to the assembly hall for Stower Provost School near Gillingham.
Dorset Business 18thMay 2011 more >>
Energy Efficiency Funding
New Energy Efficiency Indicator survey for Europe shows companies place increasing priority on energy management, but they struggle with funding. This is the conclusion of Johnson Controls’ fifth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator survey for Europe that reveals the main drivers and barriers related to energy efficiency improvements that companies and institutions in six countries are facing. The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey for Europe was produced after interviewing 857 private and public sector executives from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Low Carbon Economy 17th May 2011 more >>
HUNDREDS of homes in Blacon and Chester city centre are to benefit from renewable energy and energy efficiency installations following a successful multi- million pound European funding bid. Three tower blocks in Blacon are being fitted with external wall insulation, while another three tower blocks within the city centre will benefit from external wall insulation and a community biomass heating system – totalling more than £3.5 million investment in the area.
Ellesmere Port Standard 17th May 2011 more >>
MITIE, working with funding partner Industrial Solar has completed its first solar power ‘for free’ installation project. The project involved installing photovoltaic (PV) roof mounted panels that use solar cells to convert energy from the sun into electricity. The installation was provided to the building owner, conservatory furniture manufacturer MGM Trading, for free, with Industrial Solar recouping the costs. The installation will mean lower electricity bills for MGM Trading and reduced carbon emissions. The four-week project was completed in April and was delivered through MITIE’s CarbonCare services, helping organisations to manage down their energy use and carbon footprint.
Roofing.Cladding & Insulation 17th May 2011 more >>
Hampshire goes large solar
Hampshire is soon to become home to one of the largest rooftop solar PV schemes in the UK, following substantial investment by a major new fund. Anesco Asset Management has signed a deal with Hampshire Cosmetics Ltd, based in Waterlooville, to lease its 55,000 sq.ft roof space and create a 277kWp solar PV scheme - one of the largest rooftop solar PV schemes in the country.
Anesco 17th May 2011 more >>
There are plenty of critics of the subsidy system designed to encourage the growth of renewable energy. And many of the criticisms that are made are justified. But this Coalition Government, just like its Labour predecessor, made what looked like a binding commitment to renewable energy developers and landowners to make it worth their while to invest in green projects like anaerobic digesters and large scale solar “farms”. To renege on those commitments now, as ministers are doing, is shameful.
Plymouth Herald 17th May 2011 more >>
PLANS to install North Wales’ largest solar power bank have been revealed. Anglesey Outdoors residential centre in Trearddur Bay hope to install £300,000 worth of solar panels next year. The 150 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) panels, which convert the power of the sun in to electricity, will generate 120,000 units of electricity and save the 76 bed centre around £12,000 on energy bills per year.
Daily Post 17th May 2011 more >>
The Carbon Trust has given an insight into its future operations by calling for partners to extend the reach of its energy efficiency and low carbon advisory role. The Trust stated in an advert in today’s Financial Times that it is looking to build on its work helping companies reduce their carbon impact, and asked for organisations to submit expressions of interest to “be considered for commercial partnerships or to enter into alliances or arrangements with
Business Green 17th May 2011 more >>
Residential solar firm Sungevity has signed home improvement company Lowe’s as a distributor, significantly expanding its reach into the fast expanding market for domestic solar panels.
Business Green 17th May 2011 more >>
The Cernunnos Homes consumer show at the Plinston on Friday and Saturday gave businesses and homeowners the chance to see the latest in renewable technologies in action and speak to experts in the field. Peter McKeown, managing director of the company which installs green energy systems in homes and businesses, said: “To see so many local companies and residents turn up at the show highlights how important this topic is to people these days.
The Comet 16th May 2011 more >>
An independent renewable energy distributor has had its new exhibition centre opened by Leicestershire MP - Andrew Robathan. The UFW exhibition centre gives the opportunity for developers, architects, professional installers and the general public to both view systems and discuss their individual project requirements with the team.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 16th May 2011 more >>
The UK’s FiT shot out of the gate like an over-eager race horse, rapidly running into a government unprepared for fast growth and fearful of the market overheating. In response, the government recently cut the FiT rates significantly, while also designating systems >50kWp as large solar farms. Speaker Craig Jackson from South Yorkshire Housing Association succinctly explained with a picture of a 58kWp system on the roof of a homeless shelter: “this is not a solar farm.” Regulatory certainty is key to a healthy market, and the UK government has badly managed expectations in this regard, said Dave Sowden from the Micropower Council. Basically, if there is a subsidy the market will gravitate to it -- and the reverse is also true, as the FiT for PV roofs killed the market for solar thermal, he noted. He accused the government of not doing its homework in setting up the FiT, and the models developed to forecast market behavior misforecasted the response, so the 50kWp limit “came out of the blue” knocking out many projects including schools. The UK needs to learn from Germany before the next FiT review, he asserted.
Electro IQ 16th May 2011 more >>
Plumb Centre Commits to Renewables
Plumbers merchant Plumb Center has confirmed it is extending network of training centres and renewable technology displays around the country.
Builders Merchants Journal 16th May 2011 more >>
THE Co-operative Bank and accountancy firm Grant Thornton have written to business secretary Vince Cable, urging him to divert some funds from the forthcoming Green Investment Bank (GIB) towards small community renewables projects. The two companies are concerned that smaller projects - which they claim have the potential to create 6,500 UK jobs - will lose out amid speculation that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will next week announce that the bank will initially concentrate on backing large nuclear and offshore wind projects.
Scotsman 16th May 2011 more >>
Business Desk 17th May 2011 more >>
Manchester Evening News 16th May 2011 more >>
Marsh has developed an insurance contract that provides coverage for photovoltaic project companies and operators against default risk on long-term guarantees for modules by manufacturers.
Post Online 16th May 2011 more >>
THE boss of a North-East renewable energy company has called upon the Government to stop councils telling homeowners to apply for unnecessary planning permission for solar power schemes.
Northern Echo 16th May 2011 more >>
The Royal Docks of London will soon be home to a cluster of sustainable buildings one of which promises a memorable addition to the city’s skyline with a curved aluminum facade faced in solar panels. Archdaily reports that the 24-story Silvertree Residential EcoTower, designed by Studio RHE, has been granted planning approval and is scheduled to begin construction this summer. This green mixed-use development will be home to 161 2-3 bedroom apartments, as well as retail/office space and a cafe.
IB Times 13th May 2011 more >>
Micropower Council’s recommendations for the operation of the RHI Premium Payments in the residential sector from July 2011. This position paper has drawn on the output of two detailed workshops in March run jointly with DECC, and follows extensive discussions and wide consultation with our members.
Micro Power Council 13th May 2011 more >>
Microgeneration Seminars attract record numbers
Scottish land and estate agency Bell Ingram reports that its three recent one-day sessions to help cut through confusion surrounding small scale renewable schemes, known as microgeneration projects, attracted record numbers.
Comprop 13th May 2011 more >>
Video more >>
Former MP Alan Simpson, giving evidence on behalf of FoE to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee: “In Berlin ... the local energy company provides 40% of its own energy needs from renewable sources, and across continental Europe, the presence of distributed energy systems has on average, an ability to reduce the peaks and troughs by about 15%. So that aspect of decentralised systems is really important ... in Hamburg, where their own energy appraisals said the city needs perhaps 2 GW of additional electricity to give energy security in future. After a long debate, they decided that they were not going to build any of the power station options that were on the table, and instead have come up with a scheme called LichtBlick. That is a partnership with Volkswagen to install 100,000 CHP boiler systems in people’s homes, schools, factories, libraries and so on. They provide the individual needs, and at the same time, when the city has an additional energy requirement, the central control unit simply sends out an instruction.
Energy and Climate Change Committee (Q208) 8th Feb 2011 more >>