week ending 8 July 2011
Carbon Neutral Farming
Whether based around harnessing the power of the wind, water, sun or anaerobic digestion, on-farm systems are being installed in increasing numbers. A pioneering organic vegetable farm has, in fact, become one of the first carbon neutral farms in Wales following the installation of solar PV panels on a barn roof. The family-run Blaencamel Farm, at Aberaeron, in the Aeron Valley of west Wales, is now able to produce enough electricity to run the farmhouse, farm shop and a range of other farming operations, while also powering the business into the future.
Farmers Guardian 8th July 2011 more >>
Communities working together are more likely to encourage reduced domestic energy use and increase the popularity of renewable energy technologies than individual green pioneers or even government campaigns. The finding comes from IPPR’s independent assessment of the British Gas Green Streets community challenge, an initiative which saw 14 communities receive funding and expertise to install micro-generation and energy efficiency measures in households and community buildings.
Wired Gov 7th July 2011 more >>
Saving Energy UK
AN Essex-based renewable energy consultant is inviting residents to an open weekend at The County Hall Hotel in Chelmsford on July 23/24 to showcase the latest energy efficient home improvements. The two day event, hosted by Saving Energy UK, will have practical demonstrations of the energy-saving benefits of solar PV panels and solid wall insulation.
Saffron Walden Reporter 7th July 2011 more >>
Two of the UK’s largest solar arrays are set to come online today as developers race to connect new solar farms to the grid before an August deadline cuts solar energy incentives by up to 70 per cent. Green energy company Ecotricity will flick the switch on a 1MW development in Lincolnshire, while SolarCentury plans to inaugurate a 1.4MW solar farm, the UK’s largest to date, at a reclaimed tin mine in Cornwall.
Business Green 7th July 2011 more >>
Cornwall’s first solar energy farm has been switched on at the site of a former tin mine. The £4m complex has been built on the historic Wheal Jane site near Truro, where tin production ended 20 years ago. Those behind the project said the nearly 6,000 solar panels will generate enough power for 400 homes. It is said to be the UK’s largest solar farm. A slightly smaller farm is also opening in Leicestershire.
BBC 7th July 2011 more >>
Lincolnshire Solar Farm
A new 1-megawatt facility at Fen Farm, near Conisholme, will contribute to electricity produced by an existing 20 turbine wind farm on the same site. Ecotricity, the company behind the sun park, also has another wind farm near Mablethorpe and plans to build a 23-turbine site near Heckington. A separate developer plans to build a 240-turbine site off the Lincolnshire coast. The Fen Farm facility has been part-funded by Ecotricity’s EcoBonds. The company said this allowed customers to invest in green energy and earn money from the electricity produced.
Grimsby Telegraph 7th July 2011 more >>
Lincolnshire Echo 7th July 2011 more >>
PV Top Ten
A list of the top 10 monocrystalline solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in terms of efficiency has been compiled by SolarPlaza.
Renewable Energy Focus 6th July 2011 more >>
Newquay Solar Farm
Solar power company EOS Energy is putting the finishing touches to a £3M array of photovoltaic (PV) cells in Newquay, Cornwall. The Warwickshire-based company has been busy installing over 5,000 units spread over 4ha of land in recent weeks. At 1.15MW, this will be the largest array of solar panels installed under the Feed In Tariff (FiT) system.
New Civil Engineer 6th July 2011 more >>
SOUTH Somerset looks to have a bright future – as a solar energy firm based in the area has quietly been enjoying increasing success. Solar SW, based at Coombe Farm in Crewkerne, have been setting trends and are director Nick Keeler is now hoping that more people will consider solar power for their energy needs
This is the West Country 6th July 2011 more >>
WHEN Will Pierce considered options for a retirement nest egg, his first thought was not savings or a pension. The 55-year-old, who lives on a farm near Mold instead decided to invest in renewable energy. A self confessed “green anorak”, Will has now installed 18 Stiebel Eltron Solar PV panels at his home. However, with the introduction of the government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT), he will earn cash back for at least the next 25 years, while the panels generate free electricity.
Daily Post 6th July 2011 more >>
BANKS have created a £50-million fund and renewable energy team to help meet demand from agricultural businesses looking to install wind turbines and solar panels. NatWest and RBS have taken the initiative after research showed that 33 per cent of agriculture businesses wish to deploy renewable energy at their farm. But more than half of those surveyed said they would need funding from their bank to take this forward.
Western Gazette 6th July 2011 more >>
Solar energy will reduce the heating requirement of the 80 000 m2 retail distribution centre of Marks & Spencer at Castle Donington by 30%. The 4500 m2 SolarWall transpired solar collector being supplied by CA Group is said to be the largest in the world on a single building. SolarWall is widely recognised as one of the most efficient and cost-efficient renewable systems available and can generate up to 500 W/m2 of heat.
Modern Building Services 6th July 2011 more >>
Will some of the world’s poorest people bring about the solar revolution? It’s possible, for Indian villagers are beginning to plump for solar power, encouraged by aid programmes and their own government.
Telegraph 6th July 2011 more >>
Where now for farm scale solar?
Slashed FiTs doesn’t necessarily mean an end to farm-scale solar says Philip Wolfe.
Farmers Weekly 6th July 2011 more >>
Micro CHP Growth
Global shipments of grid-tied residential fuel cell micro combined heat and power (mCHP) systems could reach 6 million units annually by 2017, according to Pike Research’s base case forecast. With system sizes varying between 0.8 kilowatt-electrical (kWe) and 5 kWe, we could potentially see 10 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity between 2011 and 2017.
Fierce Smart Grid 5th July 2011 more >>
Hawick Solar Church
DENHOLM Community Council has backed plans to install solar panels on the roof of the village church. The Reverend Douglas Nicol, minister for Hobkirk and Southdean with Ruberslaw, informed members during last week’s meeting about the church’s bid for solar panels - as part of a scheme to overcome the problem of excessive condensation, ahead of a full restoration programme. And although an initial proposal had been rejected by Scottish Borders Council on the advice that it would not be in keeping with conservation policy, it was heard that a site meeting had resulted in an acceptable compromise, and the group had been advised to seek support from the community before submitting a revised scheme.
Hawick News 5th July 2011 more >>
A YORKSHIRE solar energy business is on course to complete 4 Megawatt of solar systems in its first 12 months, generating enough electricity to power 1,200 homes. Dodds Solar, part of the Dodds Roofing and Renewables Group, has already become one of the fastest growing solar specialists in the region and has attributed much of its first-year success to the rising demand for solar power from the agricultural industry.
Business Desk 5th July 2011 more >>
A VILLAGE hall is reaping the rewards of lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint thanks to a recently installed solar energy system. Areley Kings village hall in Stourport is generating green electricity and earning extra money thanks to the installation of a £15,000 solar energy system.
Evesham Journal 5th July 2011 more >>
A FARMING family that hosted a visit from the Prince of Wales last week has retreated from developing renewable energy generation on their farm because of “bad vibes” from the government and a system that would favour the manufacturer and installer, not the owner. Anthony Gibbon, who farms with his father Islwyn and brothers Henry and Robert at Fferm y Garreg near Kidwelly, said the family had considered putting solar panels on the roof of their new milking parlour. And he was interested in biogas production from a biodigester that would handle slurry from the farms 305 milking cows. These sort of developments are frequently seen on German farms, where government support helps the farmer to meet the costs.
Western Mail 5th July 2011 more >>
Cornwall Council is organising a major renewable energy show and conference taking place later this month. The two-day event will be held at the former Gaia Centre in Delabole on July 28-29. The first day of the two day event is aimed towards industry and business, and will feature companies such as South West Water and Davidstow Creamery explaining how they are responding to increasing fuel costs, while a range of developers will explain the various renewable energy technologies available. The second day of the event is aimed at householders and community groups, with organisations such as the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network explaining their hopes and ambitions, while developers will explain a host of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, biomass, hydro and ground source heat.
Business Cornwall 5th July 2011 more >>
Cornwall Council has been named runner-up in the British Renewable Energy Industry Awards. The council came second to the Welsh Assembly Government in the British Renewable Energy Region award. The achievement reflected its approach to renewable energy deployment of technologies both large and small.
Western Morning News 5th July 2011 more >>
A new European Union (EU) fund has been launched to support public renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in member states. Created by the European Commission, European Investment Bank (EIB), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Deutsche Bank, the fund is intended to help the EU hit its 2020 targets to slash emissions by 20 percent and up renewable energy usage.
Low Carbon Economy 5th July 2011 more >>
International Construction 5th July 2011 more >>
Business Green 4th July 2011 more >>
Generate Brass from Muck
Great Ynys Farm will use poultry power to become more eco friendly and generate a new income stream as a renewable energy generator. The Hereford-based farm, which has 125 acres of arable land and a 90,000 broiler chicken operation, will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert chicken litter into biogas for renewable electricity and heat generation.
ESTA 5th July 2011 more >>
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the mechanism which the government are introducing to transform the way in which the UK is heated and which gives customers a strong financial incentive to switch to biomass heating. There have been two important documents published in relation to the RHI over the past 10 days. These are: 1. The finalised text of the RHI legislation which will now be laid before and approved by the UK Parliament. 2. RHI - Draft Scheme Guidance, published by OFGEM who are going to administer the RHI and make the payments. The RHI will be a fundamental driver to taking biomass heating mainstream and many of the projects we have reviewed over the past 3 months are showing a rate of return of between 10% and 20% when the RHI is considered. It is therefore important that clients and other stakeholders understand what is contained within these two documents (circa 300 pages.) We have summarised our initial thoughts on these documents on our website.
HW Energy 4th July 2011 more >>
HW Energy 4th July 2011 more >>
Mark Twain once said that he was “seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one”. I sometimes wonder if this government, which seems so wilfully short-sighted when it comes to good opportunities, shares the same problem. The UK solar industry, currently standing at a crossroads, is a case in point. At a meeting on solar power organised by the Renewable Energy Association in parliament last week, we saw strong evidence – including in a recent report by Ernst and Young (pdf) – that solar has huge potential to deliver affordable and secure energy, and can play a significant role in the decarbonisation of our economy.
Guardian 4th July 2011 more >>
Labour leader Ed Miliband has added his voice to pleas for the Government to reverse a move which campaigners fear could kill off Britain’s solar energy industry. Mr Miliband joined senior Labour MPs in tabling a parliamentary motion urging ministers to ditch plans to cut by 70% the payments going to operators of larger solar installations under the “feed-in tariff” scheme. The challenge was welcomed by representatives of the solar industry, as well as the National Farmers Union and environmentalists Friends of the Earth.
24 Dash 4th July 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 5th July 2011 more >>
Public Sector Role
Speakers at the recent ‘Increasing renewable energy conference’ held in London, warned that unless the public sector played its part in replacing energy capacity, the UK would struggle to keep its lights on by 2030.
Connecting Industry 4th July 2011 more >>
UK solar installer, EOS Energy has just received the go ahead to start work on an installation of a 50kW photovoltaic array on the roof of Coventry Cathedral.
Glass and Glazing Products 4th July 2011 more >>
Homeowners can earn up to £1,000 a year for the next 25 years, according to Riomay Renewable Energies. The renewables firm has calculated that the sum is available if homeowners swap their energy source from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Not only will this help the planet, but it could help finances and generate a four to 10% tax-free return on an initial investment of between £6,000 and £15,000.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 4th July 2011 more >>
A scientific advance in renewable energy which promises a revolution in the ease and cost of using solar cells, has been announced. A new study shows that even when using very simple and inexpensive manufacturing methods - where flexible layers of material are deposited over large areas like cling-film - efficient solar cell structures can be made. The study, published in the Journal Advanced Energy Materials, paves the way for new solar cell manufacturing techniques and the promise of developments in renewable solar energy. Scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge used the ISIS Neutron Source and Diamond Light Source at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire to carry out the research.
Process and Control Today 4th July 2011 more >>
A government-backed research project has hailed a breakthrough in the efficiency of printed plastic solar cells, potentially paving the way for the commercialisation of cheaper and more transportable solar panels. The Science and Technology Facilities Council, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, today confirmed the results of its research into the layers of materials which convert sunlight into electricity.
Business Green 4th July 2011 more >>
The Engineer 4th July 2011 more >>
Tritec Office Opens
Swiss solar firm Tritec has increased its presence within the UK solar industry by opening a new office in Eastleigh, Hampshire. The office has only opened recently, although Tritec has been advising the UK’s tradesmen, roof owners and investors about system planning, design and installation since May.
PV Tech 4th July 2011 more >>
North East Scotland Renewable Boom
A boom in renewable energy schemes in the north-east is continuing to gather pace, with plans lodged for 33 wind turbines and 40 solar panels in just a week. Aberdeenshire Council’s weekly planning list for July 1 featured a noticeable surge in applications, after a steady flow of bids for several months. Among this week’s proposed developments are plans from north-east food giant Mackie’s of Scotland to site a 320ft wind turbine on land north of the company’s Westertown base, near Rothienorman.
Press & Journal 4th July 2011 more >>
EnviTec Biogas UK is installing a biogas plant for a dairy being built by Stowell Farms in Wiltshire, UK, making use of the farm’s cow slurry.
Renewable Energy Focus 4th July 2011 more >>
Renewable Heat in the South-west
The South West is perfectly poised to take advantage of unprecedented renewable energy opportunities that could see multi-million-pound investment across the region, industry leaders have predicted. A new report released today shows that in the next decade there could be a 700 per cent increase in renewable heat capacity in the Westcountry, presenting business and investment opportunities. The Renewable Heat Opportunities in the South West report, compiled by independent renewable energy experts Regen SW, reveals that there are currently 4,000 renewable heat installations in the region but by 2020 there could be more than 140,000. Some 1,000 of these are expected to be industrial installations, 8,800 in the commercial and public sectors, and 136,000 in domestic premises.
Western Morning News 4th July 2011 more >>
Cornish Guardian 6th July 2011 more >>
100k for Welsh Village
A Welsh village is £100,000 richer after being named the greenest community in the UK. So environmentally aware are the 1,300 residents of Llangattock in the Brecon Beacons National Park that they expect to shave around £62,000 off their combined energy bill in the next five years. And they will be helped in that by the cash prize collected from their triumph in the British Gas Green Streets Community Challenge, designed to encourage neighbourhoods to save and generate as much energy as possible.
Western Mail 4th July 2011 more >>
Ecoliving delivers renewable energy systems to residential and commercial properties. The technology involved includes ground and air-sourced heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV systems, wood and pellet boilers, wind turbines, wood-burning stoves and heat recovery ventilation systems. We provide a one-stop shop from an initial site and needs survey through to installation.
Herald 4th July 2011 more >>
Tea rooms around Britain are set to take a step towards improving their environmental impact after a Devonshire dairy today opened a £3.4m anaerobic digestion (AD) plant. The waste-to-energy facility at Langage Farm, Plymouth, which received a £1.2m government grant from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), was opened by Environment Minister Lord Henley today.
Business Green 1st July 2011 more >>