week ending 1 July 2011
Borders Community Projects
BORDERS communities are being urged to consider developing their own renewable energy projects and help is now nearby since Community Energy Scotland opened a new office in the region. The renewable charity’s board visited the region recently to raise the profile of benefits that local communities can enjoy by buying into renewable energy projects, and to emphasise the help and support CES can give them. Berwickshire Housing Associations has already started to develop its own projects - a three turbine mini windfarm at Hoprigshiels near Cockburnspath that can generate over twice as much electricity used by BHA tenants.
Berwickshire News 2nd July 2011 more >>
Keep Britain Tidy’s Eco-Schools programme, England’s leading sustainable schools programme, has seen more than 1,200 English schools in just four weeks sign up to participate in its Free Power for Schools Programme, which is managed by Winch Energy. Having received almost 5000 registrations from interested schools across the same period Eco-Schools has dramatically expanded the programme and Winch Energy expects that around 80% of applications will lead to panels being installed.
Low Carbon Economy 1st July 2011 more >>
Miliband challenges solar cuts
Ed Miliband’s challenge to the Government today over its plans to scrap solar power subsidies has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth, the National Farmers Union and the solar industry, who warn the move could kill off the UK’s fledgling green power revolution. The Labour leader has tabled a motion that will trigger a Parliamentary debate on proposed 70 per cent cuts to the Government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) payments for energy generated through solar panels over 50kW - equivalent to panels for around 15 homes. More than 60 organisations, including Friends of the Earth, Solar Trade Association, Co-operative Group and the National Farmers Union (NFU), are warning that such drastic cuts are likely to have a devastating impact on community green electricity projects and small businesses, threatening jobs and undermining the UK’s shift to a low carbon economy.
FoE Press Release 1st July 2011 more >>
Business Green 1st July 2011 more >>
One sector for on-site power with considerable potential for growth is the residential energy services market in Europe, where micro-CHP, PV and small wind projects could thrive. Jon Slowe summarizes the results of a study to assess this potential, and the role of utilities in moving it forward.
Cogeneration & On-site Power Production 1st July 2011 more >>
Fuel Cell R&D
Panasonic today launched the Panasonic Fuel Cell Development Office Europe (PFCOE) in Langen, Germany. The facility, situated in Panasonic’s European R&D centre in Germany (PRDCG), will focus on developing residential fuel cells for the European market in close collaboration with leading European utility companies.
Business Wire 1st July 2011 more >>
Birmingham District Heating
CHP and decentralized energy schemes are necessarily flexible, serving variable on-site loads as opposed to merely pumping power into a grid and, in the case of CHP at least, providing energy in two (sometimes three) different forms. The ability to operate in flexible, load-following patterns is essential. Add district energy and the situation becomes more complicated. Birmingham in the UK is home to a major trigeneration (heat, power and cooling energy) district energy scheme that has been growing since the feasibility study was carried out in 2003. The gas-fuelled scheme sends low cost heat energy and chilled water, via underground pipelines, and, via ‘private wires,’ electricity to client buildings across the city. Here, the aggregation of many different loads helps to simplify the operation of the central plant
Cogeneration & On-site Power Production 1st July 2011 more >>
New York: New York
The City University of New York (CUNY) released a solar map of New York City last week, allowing building owners in the city to determine the amount of solar power their roof could host. The cumulative impact is enormous, with city rooftops capable of providing half the city’s peak power, and 14% of its annual electricity consumption.
IB Times 1st July 2011 more >>
SOLAR power coming to a Wincanton showroom will help charge up its electric cars. Wessex Renewable Energy will be installing 96 photovoltaic panels at FJ Chalke’s showroom.
Blackmore Vale Magazine 1st July 2011 more >>
Turning chicken litter into renewable energy.
Farmers Weekly 1st July 2011 more >>
GROWTH in demand for renewable energy projects is driving expansion plans for Eco Environments. The company, which has an office in Birmingham, increased turnover to £1.4m – a rise of 636% on the previous year – and is now targeting £5m within two years. The company, which also has operations in the north of England and North Wales, is planning to launch in the South East, East Anglia and the South West by this time next year.
Business Desk 1st July 2011 more >>
The NFU has expressed “deep disappointment” over the Government’s plans to rein in feed-in tariffs for larger solar energy and biogas projects, announced last week.
Horticulture Week 1st July 2011 more >>
Norfolk Renewable Lessons
FARMERS in Norfolk have been given the chance to learn more about cutting rising fuel and electricity costs, reducing carbon and potentially gaining an additional source of revenue at a renewable energy conference. The conference was organised by Norfolk-based Windcrop Ltd and Anglia Farmers for Norfolk County Council’s farm estate portfolio which covers 16,200 acres of farmland across the county and is let to more than 145 tenants. Farmers asked speakers about the return on investment from various sources of renewable energy, the reliability of systems and the Government’s commitment to feed-in-tariffs.
Farmers Guardian 1st July 2011 more >>
The government is set to launch a series of trials designed to “nudge” households and businesses towards implementing energy efficiency measures using incentives or strategies that let people know how much energy they are using compared with their neighbours.
Business Green 30th June 2011 more >>
Economist View on FiTs
The government estimates the net cost of small-scale generation will be more than £8 billion over 20 years to be raised through higher energy bills. This makes solar subsidies regressive: poor people spend a larger share of their income on fuel than the rich. The perks, meanwhile, go to those with panels often wealthier homeowners. So community engagement in the fight against climate change may have a flip side, predicts Dieter Helm of Oxford University: rising bills could prompt a backlash against climate-change goals. The subsidy is designed to help make solar technology affordable by stimulating mass production and innovation. But the British market is too small to have much influence on solar-panel prices. And since the government recently cut subsidies to commercial solar farms, the policy now focuses on the least cost-effective examples of an inefficient technology. Worryingly, Britain’s energy regulator does not even collect data on how much electricity each subsidised household generates, which will make it harder to assess efficiency.
Economist 30th June 2011 more >>
Plumb Centre View
Plumb Centre is urging the government to protect Feed-in Tariffs, which give homeowners cash incentives to choose renewable solutions to their energy needs.
Builders Merchants Journal 30th June 2011 more >>
Solar energy may soon become easier to capture, say researchers who have developed a novel method to produce solar cells using inkjet printing.
BBC 30th June 2011 more >>
Click Green 28th June 2011 more >>
Scunthorpe Solar Plan Rejected
COUNCILLORS have confirmed why they threw out plans for North Lincolnshire’s first solar power farm. A controversial ten-acre field at Trentside, Keadby, had been earmarked for a £2 million investment by Nottingham-based Parkside Luxury Homes.
Scunthorpe Telegraph 30th June 2011 more >>
Micro Power awards
The Microgeneration UK Awards were presented on 21 June by Baroness Maddock, president of the Micropower Council. The awards were developed by the Micropower Council in partnership with the British Photovoltaic Association and the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council and consisted of five categories. The Technical Innovation award was presented to Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd for BlueGen, the first fuel cell based microCHP product in the UK and an electrical efficiency of 60%. Innasol Ltd was also highly commended in this category for its Neura air source heat pump. The Commercial Innovation award was won by Carillion Energy Services for Project Bright, a privately financed end-to-end delivery model for installing solar PV onto social housing at no cost to the tenants or landlords.
H&V News 30th June 2011 more >>
A WEBSITE to help businesses and commercial property owners generate additional income by installing renewable energy technologies, has been launched. Solarpoweredsavings.co. uk, owned by Lincolnshire renewable energy products distributor Eco Building Products, is designed to provide businesses and commercial property owners with information about photovoltaic solar installations and how these can generate an income from the Government’s Feed In Tariff (FiT).
Lincolnshire Echo 29th June 2011 more >>
Renewable energy experts Solarwall this week installed one of the newest and most efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) systems currently available. The new panels, which are black instead of the traditional blue, offer energy-conscious individuals a choice when considering installing renewable technologies on their home. The work, which was carried out on a property in Sutton-upon-Derwent near York, saw the installation of 18 black solar panels made by Austrian company Kioto. Combined with savings made on their annual electricity bill and the income generated by the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) the owner of the property stands to benefit by around £1600 each year.
Build.co.uk 29th June 2011 more >>
German solar in Cornwall
A leading solar company from Germany has set up a UK arm in Cornwall, offering businesses the chance to reduce energy bills and generate additional income through photovoltaic technology. Solen Energy UK has set up at Indian Queens and offers solar PV systems to commercial and agricultural markets. With a large warehouse and range of stock, it also sells panels and equipment to installers working with smaller, domestic projects.
Business Cornwall 29th June 2011 more >>
Coventry Cathedral 29th June 2011 more >>
ENERGETIX Group, the Chester-based supplier of energy-efficient products, has gained a CE certifcation for its microCHP Kingston condensing boiler.It said that this means the boiler can now be deployed into domestic homes to not only provide heat and hot water but also generate electricity to the house. The company said that the system can generate up to 1kW of electricity when the boiler is operating which directors believe could translate to a £200 saving on the electricity bills for an average home.
Business Desk 29th June 2011 more >>
IB Times 29th June 2011 more >>
Domestic wind energy has come in for a lot of criticism, with some consumers reporting very low power generation figures. In 2007 The Energy Saving Trust in the UK carried out a field trial of domestic wind turbines. They found that turbines do work but only when installed properly in an appropriate location – performance is highly dependent upon the local wind speed, which is difficult to predict and highly variable. They recommend that consumers install anemometry devices to determine the wind speed distribution before spending serious money a domestic turbine.
Innovation Diaries 28th June 2011 more >>
Solar powered advertising
Anyone driving into London on the M4 from today will gain a fresh insight into the power of advertising when they pass a giant billboard illuminated solely by energy generated by wind turbines and solar panels.
Business Green 28th June 2011 more >>
Oxfordshire Solar Business Park
An Oxfordshire business park now receives a quarter of it electricity from solar energy. Solarcentury expects the 3000 solar panels at Howbery Solar Park to save 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions at Howbery Business Park in Wallingford. It will generate electricity equivalent to more than 200 homes.
BBC 28th June 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 28th June 2011 more >>
IB Times 1st July 2011 more >>
H&V News 1st July 2011 more >>
PV Tech 27th June 2011 more >>
A large number of arable farmers plan to invest in renewable energy in the next few years.
Farmers Weekly 28th June 2011 more >>
UK customers are receiving poor advice from solar power companies, which are using ‘dodgy’ sales practices, warns consumer group Which?.
Energy Efficiency News 27th June 2011 more >>
Heating & Ventilating.net 28th June 2011 more >>
The Microgeneration industry has welcomed the findings of the Which? investigation into the selling of solar electricity systems. In their undercover investigation Which? found that some solar PV installer companies were flouting the MCS installer standard and the REAL Assurance Scheme Consumer Code. Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Micropower Council, commented, “We have seen unprecedented growth in sales of solar PV in the past year, and a rapidly growing industry inevitably attracts a small number of cowboys. This industry has done more than most in its early stages of growth to self-regulate and get off to the best possible start, through our Microgeneration Certification Scheme, and the industry’s selling code, the REAL Assurance Scheme.
Oil Fired Up 28th June 2011 more >>
H&V News 29th June 2011 more >>
Steve Bratt, group CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), has warned that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Microgeneration Plan doesn’t go far enough in addressing the skills gap Britain faces if the country is to meet its renewable energy generation goals.
Connecting Industry 27th June 2011 more >>
Solar Building Materials
A new kind of solar cell could turn building materials into generators that produce electricity at much higher efficiencies than existing technology. Researchers at Toronto University have developed a solar cell that overcomes one of the problems of trying to capture energy from both visible and infrared light. They hope in five years the cells could be integrated into building materials, mobile devices and car parts.
The Engineer 27th June 2011 more >>
The UK Government has launched an action plan to help consumers, communities and businesses generate renewable energy under a microgeneration action plan.
Renewable Energy Focus 27th June 2011 more >>
Leicester Solar Project
A village project to provide solar power for three community buildings was seeking public votes today. North Kilworth is hoping to win £60,000 towards the project to reduce energy costs at the school, village hall and sports club through the National Lottery Jubilee People’s Millions competition. The scheme was to be featured alongside another finalist on ITV Central news today.
Leicester Mercury 27th June 2011 more >>
Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network featured on BBC Countryfile last week. Greg Barker the Minister of State for energy, talked about Wadebridge in his interview on the programme, the only town he mentioned specifically.
This is Cornwall 27th June 2011 more >>
Community Energy Scotland
One of the main organisations offering help and support is Community Energy Scotland (CES). Offering free advice and support as well as offering funding to community projects through the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
Holyrood Magazine 27th June 2011 more >>
Wagner Solar UK Ltd, the UK branch of German solar power and solar heating supplier, system integrator and manufacturer Wagner & Co Solar Technology; announces plans to set up a solar thermal space heating division here in the UK. The division will be headed by Dan Oliver, who is already a veteran at Wagner Solar where he was previously a member of the PV sales team. The company will introduce the industry leading Wagner & Co flat plate thermal collector which is manufactured in Germany. The product is made using the latest precision engineering techniques to culminate in a product which minimises the energy loss and maximises the accumulated heat. Wagner Solar will offer various product options which will range from a single collector plate to a complete package including a dual coil solar cylinder.
Building construction design 25th June 2011 more >>
Residents of Southam, a market town in Warwickshire, could become the greenest community in the country after a local business announced it would supply and install the technology for free. The firm said it would benefit from the deal through the Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme, which offers cash rewards for using sustainable energy, and said residents would be able to save up to £30 million on their electricity bills.
Telegraph 25th June 2011 more >>
Microgeneration Action Plan
Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, launched the new Microgeneration Strategy and accompanying Microgeneration Industry Contact Group Action Plan at the Microgeneration UK conference on Wednesday this week. The objective of the Strategy is to address non-financial barriers to microgeneration and, in so doing, maximising the efficiency of the financial incentives. This is JDS Associates analysis for the Micro Power Council
Micro Power Council 23rd June 2011 more >>