week ending 27 May 2011
A solar panel installer has launched a £20m scheme offering to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on rooftops free of charge, allowing occupiers to keep the electricity but forfeit the feed-in-tariff (FiT). Warwickshire-based EOS Energy launched the scheme yesterday, targeting anyone who cannot afford to pay the upfront costs of installing solar panels, such as households, small businesses, local authority buildings and community centres.
Business Green 27th May 2011 more >>
Wadebridge Solar Soap
The residents of the small town of Wadebridge, Cornwall, are aiming to transform the area into the first solar- and renewable-energy powered town in the UK. Their journey towards this goal is the subject of a YouTube mini-series.
Independent 27th May 2011 more >>
Finding a location to install a solar project can seem like a race to the bottom for the least desirable real estate, as developers try to make solar power as affordable as possible. And few places are less desired than landfills and deserts, where a lot of solar is going in. But land cost isn’t usually as important as other factors in determining whether a project gets developed in a certain spot. What often matters more is the red tape tied to a location, ease of connection to the electric grid, construction costs and how much space is available.
Waste Management World 27th May 2011 more >>
Ruukki says it is the first company to have developed a photovoltaic system that has been fully integrated into a facade to convert sun rays into energy. The solar power system does not depend on the sun’s warmth, only its radiation. The electricity generated is used either to meet the building’s own needs or is fed into the electric grid.
Compound Semiconductor 27th May 2011 more >>
A solar energy “farm” which was recently given the go-ahead is “highly unlikely” to be built after the government changed its subsidy rate. Wessex Solar Energy received planning permission for a 5-mega watt farm near the M5 in Bridgwater on Tuesday by Sedgemoor District Council. The company was relying on a government scheme which saw it paying solar farms money for renewable energy. The amount paid is set to change from 29.5p per kilowatt (kw) hour to 6p
BBC 27th May 2011 more >>
UK-based renewable energy firm Eco Environments has urged the government to stop councils violating laws intended to encourage solar power schemes. Eco Environments’ request comes following instances of councils telling people that they require planning permission or Building Regulations approval inspite of rules spelling out how homeowners can have solar PV installed as long as the work is done by an approved contractor. Eco Environments has received reports from homeowners in Cumbria’s Eden Valley who had wrongly been told they needed to secure Building Regulations approval. Other examples have since emerged in Lancashire, Kent and elsewhere.
FMX 26th May 2011 more >>
Solar power is the fastest-growing industry in the world and local firm Solarsense have enjoyed a momentous year since the UK Feed-in-Tariff was introduced in April 2010. This caused the UK solar PV market to explode and resulted in a tripling of business for the Bristol-based firm, who installed the UK’s most famous solar PV system at Worthy Farm, Pilton, in late 2010.
This is Somerset 26th May 2011 more >>
Berwickshire Wind to Fund Housing
Berwickshire Housing Association is are aiming to become the first housing association in the UK to develop a three turbine wind farm where all profits will go towards building affordable houses as well as contributing to charitable organisations. BHA was the first housing association in Scotland to have a council’s entire housing stock transferred over to it (Berwickshire District Council did so in 1996) and now residents at Hoprigshiels, near Cockburnspath have voted in favour of the association going ahead to apply for planning permission for a community windfarm which will raise money to help them build more houses in Berwickshire.
Berwickshire News 26th May 2011 more >>
A Wyre energy expert is bringing the benefits of solar power to homes and smaller businesses. Mike Birchall, an electrician with more than 25 years’ experience, has launched MBE Solar having been convinced of the benefits of solar power within his own home. His business is fully accredited under the Government’s Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS) and Mike is a member of the REAL assurance scheme set up by the Renewable Energy Association.
Blackpool Gazette 26th May 2011 more >>
Plans to enable electric cars to run directly from renewable energy are set to take a step forward in the coming weeks when a family-run solar panel business launches what is being hailed as the first solar assisted charge point. Transport minister Norman Baker is expected to cut the ribbon on the solar powered canopy, dubbed eTap, at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) in east London at the start of July.
Business Green 26th May 2011 more >>
East Lothian Solar Farm
PIONEERING proposals to create a £5million solar energy farm in Dunbar could further expand East Lothian’s “vital role” as a major contributor to the Scottish Government’s vision of 100 per cent renewable electricity. Hallhill Developments Limited hopes to build a solar energy farm of approximately 12,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels - capable of generating up to three megawatts of electricity. The capacity of the proposed site would be enough to power the equivalent of 900 households.
East Lothian Courier 26th May 2011 more >>
Free Biomass Heat?
Woodpecker Energy UK, a full service provider of domestic and commercial biomass boilers, has welcomed the announcement of the £860 million Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), saying that businesses, farmers and the public sector could effectively benefit from free installation of biomass heating systems and free fuel for 20 years. The first scheme of its kind, the RHI has been designed to reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels. Under the scheme, commercial, agricultural and civic and public sector buildings will be eligible to install renewable energy technologies, including biomass. The RHI provides a financial incentive, with payments being made for each kWh of renewable heat produced. Tariffs for using renewable energy sources will be paid for 20 years for Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited renewable heat systems commissioned after 29th July 2009
Low Carbon Economy 25th May 2011 more >>
COUNCILLORS have given permission for three giant solar energy farms near Bridgwater. Sedgemoor District Council’s development control commitee yesterday granted permission to build parks in Summerway Drove, an area near Westonzoyland Road, and on the Royal Ordnance Factory site in Puriton.
Bridgwater Mercury 25th May 2011 more >>
Northern Ireland Growth
AGRICULTURE minister for Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill has said the local renewable energy sector is an ‘instrumental component’ to help grow the economy. The minster was speaking after a tour of the Environment and Renewable Centre at the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Hillsborough. She said: “My first visit to AFBI has proved very educational. The research undertaken at this centre provides a unique opportunity for the agriculture and forestry sectors to generate renewable energy from indigenous resources such as animal manures, biomass crops and forest residues.
Farmers Guardian 25th May 2011 more >>
OFFICIALS have recommended that plans for North Lincolnshire’s first-ever solar power farm be approved. A £2 million investment in solar power by Nottingham-based Parkside Luxury Homes has been earmarked for a 10-acre field at Trentside, Keadby. But official recommendations come despite fears from nearby residents, with one saying “it will be a devastating eyesore.”
Humber Business 25th May 2011 more >>
Wales going solar
A £54 million contract to enable solar power across 9,000 properties in Wales has become available. United Welsh Housing Association and Torfaen County Borough Council have formed a purchasing consortium to let a framework contract for the design, supply and fit of photovoltaic (PV) electricty generation systems - which employ solar panels - to existing residential and commercial properties.
Construction News 25th May 2011 more >>
Construction Index 25th May 2011 more >>
ONE of the UK’s fastest growing renewable energy companies has launched in North Wales. The decision by Eco Environments comes after the firm completed a number of installations in the country during the past two years.
Daily Post 25th May 2011 more >>
Scottish whisky producers are using their distillery by-products in a project to produce electricity, animal feed and cut carbon emissions. A £60.5 million biomass/feeds combined heat and power plant will be built by Helius CoRDe Ltd, a partnership between the Combination of Rothes Distillers, energy firm Helius Energy Plc and project equity company, Rabo ProjectEquity BV. The group estimates that the plant, to open in 2013, will save 46,642 tonnes of CO2 emissions and create 100 construction jobs. The plant will use the whisky by-products to generate 7.2 MW of electricity, which will be exported to the national grid. It will also produce as animal feed in the form of pot ale syrup.
Edie 24th May 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 24th May 2011 more >>
Business Green 24th May 2011 more >>
Norfolk Solar Plans
Plans for a solar energy scheme to be built on the site of a former radar station in north Norfolk are set to be put under the spotlight by councillors later this week. It is estimated the project, to build a photovoltaic array, a linked collection of solar panels, at RAF Neatishead, could generate power for 1,000 homes. The plans, which have been recommended for approval by planning officers, are set to be discussed by North Norfolk District Council’s development control committee on Thursday .
Eastern Daily Press 24th May 2011 more >>
NatWest and RBS are to launch a £50 million fund to support renewable energy installations from the agriculture sector and small businesses. The two banks are to make the cash available which will allow firms to pay the upfront cost of renewables projects, as well as putting business managers working on accounts through a renewable energy finance course.
Low Carbon Economy 24th May 2011 more >>
An open-air theatre on the edge of Bodmin Moor is hoping to go carbon-neutral in the next few years. Sterts Theatre has cut its energy bills by having solar panels installed on the roof of its main office building. The six kilowatt installation will provide energy for the lighting of the theatre, cafe, and the energy needs of the charity’s administration offices.
BBC 24th May 2011 more >>
A carrot and stick approach is needed to encourage take up of the Green Deal, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has claimed. Environmental think-tank E3G claimed in recent research that in its current guise there was “significant doubt” that the ambitious scheme would deliver the scale of retrofitting needed.
Low Carbon Economy 23rd May 2011 more >>
CENTRAL Fifers who invest as little as £250 in fresh air could be in line for a tidy windfall - if a ‘green’ windfarm next to the M90 at Halbeath goes ahead. The Kingdom of Fife Community Wind Co-operative scheme would offer locals the chance to own a stake in the windfarm with a possible return to members of 10 per cent. There would also be an annual trust fund of around £48,000 to be spent on community projects and activities and two information days will be held this month.
Central Fife Times 21st May 2011 more >>
SOLAR panels could soon become a common sight on the roofs of council-owned buildings if a new green scheme gets the go ahead. Hartlepool Borough Council is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by 124 tonnes a year and save money by installing photo-voltaic (PV) panels on some of its properties to generate electricity.
Hartlepool Mail 21st May 2011 more >>
Microgeneration UK 2011 is brought to you by the Micropower Council, the British Photovoltaic Association and the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council incorporating the BPVA AGM, the Micropower Council Conference and the Microgeneration Awards 2011. Microgeneration UK 2011 will be held from 20 - 22 June in Central London, and is shaping up to be lively and topical programme of opinion and debate.
Microgeneration UK May 2011 more >>