week ending 29 July 2011
The Toyota Burnaston car plant’s solar power system has officially come on stream in order to help meet the plant’s electricity demand and reduce its solar footprint. The solar panels cost over £10million and were installed and paid for my British Gas who will claim the feed-in tariff which is a Government scheme designed to increase solar power generation system uptake which sees owners being paid for the renewable electricity they produce.
Car Pages 29th July 2011 more >>
BioCore Environmental Ltd and Sotterley Estate are seeking planning permission for a biogas plant on land at the former Ellough Airfield. The anaerobic digestion plant is designed to produce 10 million cubic metres of biogas a year and would occupy an area of seven acres, according to documents submitted to Waveney District Council. It would use agricultural crops such as maize to produce electricity or gas which would be fed into the National Grid.
Eastern Daily Press 29th July 2011 more >>
PV is Key
The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap was published last week alongside details of how the government will meet its target of generating 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Andy Boroughs, a businessman who was instrumental in introducing biomass wood pellet boilers to the UK market, said he was surprised that despite the action plan highlighting the usefulness of solar PV, the technology was not considered to have the potential of other sources of energy, stating that excluding solar power from a list of key renewable energy sources was disappointing and concerning.
Connecting Industry 29th July 2011 more >>
Newark & Sherwood Solar
A 5MW solar power plant at Hawton in Nottinghamshire will qualify for full support under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme following completion this month, just six weeks after receiving planning permission from Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Planning 29th July 2011 more >>
UK solar power capacity has risen by more than 18-fold since last year as homeowners and businesses rush to take advantage of subsidies. From April to June this year, nearly 34 megawatts (MW) of new solar generating capacity was added to the UK grid - the biggest amount ever in a single quarter, bringing the UK’s total capacity to nearly 122MW. This represented more than 14,500 new installations in the last quarter alone, compared with the UK’s total capacity of only 2,700 solar panel systems in use by the end of March 2010, according to newly released figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The g overnment’s new feed-in tariffs (Fits) have fuelled the boom, making photovoltaic panels an attractive investment as owners receive a steady income stream for the power they produce, as well as being able to use it to offset their energy bills. However, the boom is in danger of faltering in the coming months as changes to the feed-in tariffs begin to bite. Larger solar farms or parks face sharp reductions in the subsidies available, after ministers decided to restrict most of the funding to smaller installations, such as households and small businesses. The changes - coming into effect from 1 August - mean that large installations, of more than 50 kilowatt (kW) capacity - enough to cover a large field, around 20 houses or a typical school - will lose the higher rate of subsidy and be eligible only for a lower tariff that some developers say is not enough to make them economically viable. Projects completed before Monday will continue to qualify for the higher rate, at least until the next review, giving companies a massive incentive to build as quickly as possible.
Guardian 28th July 2011 more >>
British solar power capacity rose by more than 50 percent in the three months to June as developers scrambled to finish projects before lower government support tariffs kick in next month, energy ministry data showed on Thursday.
Reuters 28th July 2011 more >>
Community groups and schools will be given unprecedented access to a £20 million solar energy fund as part of a landmark project launched today. Cornish-based charity Community Energy Plus (CEP) will this morning unveil its comprehensive plan allowing residents, churches and fundraising groups to produce their own electricity through harnessing the power of the sun.
Western Morning News 28th July 2011 more >>
Click Green 28th July 2011 more >>
TWO giant solar farms are to be built on the outskirts of Holsworthy. Campaigners say that such huge developments, which are the first of their kind in Torridge, will change the landscape and Holsworthy could start to resemble a renewable energy science park. Questions have also been raised over why proposals of this size were not discussed at Torridge District Council’s plans committee. Planning officers at Torridge District Council have approved plans for a 7.5 hectare (18.5acre) solar farm at Great Knowle Farm on Derriton Road in Pyworthy, and a second proposal at Eastacombe Farm, Clawton covering 8.3 hectares (20.5 acres). Both applications were submitted by The Green Company (Europe) Ltd.
North Devon Journal 28th July 2011 more >>
BUSINESS is booming for Exeter-based Sungift Solar thanks to Government incentives for households to invest in renewable energy. The company has continued to grow rapidly since being shortlisted for the prestigious Business of the Year accolade in the inaugural Express & Echo Business Awards.
Exeter Express & Echo 28th July 2011 more >>
The Government announced its new £15 million ‘Renewable Heat Premium Payment’ scheme – which will open for applications on 1st August this year until March next year which they anticipate will support up to 25,000 installations. £3m of the £15m will be set aside for registered social landlords to improve their housing stock. Details of how to apply for these funds will be announced at a later date.
Construction Magazine 28th July 2011 more >>
East Lothian Plans
SUGGESTIONS that an anaerobic digester could be built as part of a renewable energy park in Dunbar have raised concerns among community councillors. Hallhill Developments Ltd wants to install a £5 million solar energy farm to the rear of Asda in Dunbar as part of the first stage of a renewable energy park.
East Lothian Courier 28th July 2011 more >>
COUNTRYWIDE has launched a new venture within its rural supply business which will help farmers green up their operations while cutting costs. Countrywide Renewable Energy delivers a full range of renewables from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to biomass boilers, wind turbines, anaerobic digestion systems and specific solutions for poultry farmers including heat exchangers.
Farmers Guardian 28th July 2011 more >>
Swindon Solar Farm
Britain’s largest solar energy farm has now begun to generate electricity thanks to a Cheshire firm. Alderley Edge-based Blue Energy was recruited to build the £12m farm near Swindon in Wiltshire. The farm, which covers the equivalent of eight football pitches, has the capacity to power at least 1,500 homes for the next 25 years and consists of 23,000 solar panels mounted on a framework three metres above ground. The build took eight weeks, and time was at a premium after the government announced it would curtail subsidies for large-scale solar projects from August 1.
Manchester Evening News 27th July 2011 more >>
Birmingham electrical services contractor JT Hawkes has brought renewable energy to 1,500 homes in Oxfordshire by fitting out Britain’s largest solar power plant. The environmental specialist worked against the clock to design, install and commission the electricity plant for Westmill Solar Farm at Swindon in only six weeks.
Birmingham Post 27th July 2011 more >>
PV Permitted Development
A group of renewable energy campaigners have finally claimed victory in their fight to end the chaos surrounding the installation of solar panels on the fabric of homes and business premises. Following a three month campaign, renewable energy company Eco Environments has received confirmation from Eden District Council that it will no longer require people to apply for planning permission or building regulations as long as their chosen installer is a member of the Government’s Competent Person Scheme.
Green Building 27th July 2011 more >>
Business Green 26th July 2011 more >>
THE Co-operative has confirmed the appointment of a partner to build a major renewable energy centre to power its NOMA scheme.Dalkia will build a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) station off Cheetham Hill Road, which will be powered by locally-sourced waste wood that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.
Business Desk 27th July 2011 more >>
ONE of the most powerful solar energy farms in the country could cover nearly 20 acres of disused farmland if a developer gets the go-ahead. Tommy Tomkins, 69, wants to install enough solar energy panels to power 2,000 homes on his land at Netherhouse Farm, near Waltham Abbey, covering the area of about 20 football pitches
Epping Forest Guardian 27th July 2011 more >>
The reports we are carrying on our business pages suggest that greentech is far more than some fashionable, flash-in-the-pan. It amounts to a series of real opportunities for Nottingham as a city, the businesses which are based here, and the people whose lives they may have an impact on. Evidence of the attempts being made to try to overcome at least some of those challenges can be seen in the rapid rise of companies like EvoEnergy of Chilwell, which installs solar panel systems, and in Nottingham City Council’s push to help ordinary people benefit from these seemingly advanced technologies. It can be seen, too, in the council’s efforts to try to persuade developers it is worth taking a financial bet on the construction of a business park which will derive at least some of the energy its tenants need from renewable sources.
Nottingham Post 27th July 2011 more >>
The Scottish Agricultural college’s consultancy business has received an increasing number of requests for advice on wind, hydro or other green power developments as more landowners tried to take advantage of the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariff (Fit) scheme, which pays premium rates for energy used or fed back into the National Grid.
Press & Journal 27th July 2011 more >>
Solar to reach cost parity by 2020
Ernst & Young Outlook on the UK solar PV industry which points to grid parity for PV here in the UK without any subsidy by 2020? It will happen well before that in Germany as a direct consequence of the far-sighted decisions they took many years ago.
Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>
Ernst & Young June 2011 more >>
Decc ‘taking action shortly’ on loophole allowing extended solar farms to receive original feed-in tariff after August deadline. When making the changes, officials failed to remove sections of the legislation that would allow some solar developers to bypass the cuts and continue to access the original feed-in tariff rates for large solar farms. Sections 15 and 16 of the Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010 remain in force, meaning that developers registering systems before the August deadline will receive the original rate for additional capacity built at the same site for up to a year afterwards.
Guardian 26th July 2011 more >>
Reuters 27th July 2011 more >>
Business Green 25th July 2011 more >>
KEVIN HARD’S first contract in the renewable energy business was fitting solar panels to the roof of a house in Kingston-on-Thames. It was 2007 and he was the owner and sole employee of a new company in Nottingham called EvoEnergy which designed and installed solar energy systems for homes and businesses. Five years on and the power of sunlight, combined with some canny business foresight on Kevin’s part, has enabled EvoEnergy to grow into a multi-million pound business employing 200 people.
Nottingham Post 26th July 2011 more >>
THE Government introduced the Feed-in Tariff scheme on April 1 2010 to give an incentive to small-scale renewable energy generation such as solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines, hydro, combined heat and power and anaerobic digestors. Under this scheme, homeowners and businesses receive payments both for the ‘green’ electricity they use and any excess they export to the National Grid. Since the tariff scheme is guaranteed for 25 years, renewable energy is now seen as a rock solid long-term investment – especially as the tariff payments (which are paid by the large utility companies) are so attractive.
Nottingham Post 26th July 2011 more >>
Un-sunny Black Country
A landlord is in a dark mood after hearing a Black Country council is likely to reject plans for his pub and brewery to “go green” and switch to solar power. An e-mail from Dudley Council to his architects says planners would probably not allow solar panels on the roof of the Duke William in Coventry Street, Stourbridge, because it is in a conservation area. But Dave Craddock, aged 29, who recently launched a micro brewery at the pub, said: “The only nice building in the street is the Duke William – and people would have great difficulty craning their necks to even see the solar panels on the roof.
Express & Star 26th July 2011 more >>
Latest figures for the UK show that nearly 18,500 renewable installations have registered for tariff payments, of which 17,250 are solar. Just over 1,540 have registered in the East Midlands, of which 84 per cent are solar; 14 per cent are wind schemes and two per cent are hydro.
Nottingham Post 26th July 2011 more >>
As a consultant to the mining and oil industries, Jeremy Leggett couldn’t live with the knowledge that these sectors were damaging the environment. So he set up solar panel installer Solar Century. Ten years on, sales have hit £50m amid soaring popularity in renewable energy.
Money Week 26th July 2011 more >>
Hampshire Cosmetics, in Waterberry Drive, Waterlooville, has signed an agreement with energy firm Anesco allowing Anesco to lease the huge 55,000sq ft roof for the next 25 years. Solar panels almost cover the whole roof and will generate almost 25 per cent of the company’s £100,000 energy usage a year. It means a huge saving for the busy factory, which produces cosmetics for Body Shop, Tesco and Waitrose.
Portsmouth News 26th July 2011 more >>
Yorkshire One-Stop Shop
Staff at property consultancy Carter Jonas, chartered accountants Saffery Champness and biomass boiler firm Rural Energy are collaborating to offer advice about opportunities in the renewable energy sector. The three companies, which have all got large bases in North Yorkshire, aim to provide a one-stop shop for clients who are interested in “green” energy generation.
Yorkshire Post 26th July 2011 more >>
Ever-increasing energy bills could be a thing of the past for householders in Cornwall who invest in renewable energy technology. Cornwall Council is offering householders the chance to find out more about all aspects or renewable energy technology and which approach would be best suited for each individual or community. The Cornwall Renewable Energy Show being held at the former Gaia Centre at Delabole will feature the latest technology available to householders and communities.
Build.co.uk 26th July 2011 more >>
Steps to slash the energy consumption of domestic heating systems hold great potential in the long term, according to the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF). Dr John Constable, director of policy and research at the REF, said initiatives like the Renewable Heat Premium Payment could be “very beneficial” in the long term and in the short term will make a “significant difference” to those who receive grants.
Low Carbon Economy 26th July 2011 more >>
MILLIONS of home owners in Wales could get up to £1,250 to install renewable energy in their homes. The government’s £15 million Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme will support installations including biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels.
Daily Post 26th July 2011 more >>
Poultry farmers need to team up with other farmers to develop AD.
Farmers Weekly 26th July 2011 more >>
Renewable power station operator, Farm Power, is celebrating as its substantial 308kWp ground-mounted solar PV system powers up for the first time, taking just 100 days to complete. Farm Power commissioned the project to create one of the largest renewable solar photovoltaic (solar PV) power stations in Dorset - connecting to the grid just 100 days after planning permission was granted by Purbeck District Council.
Annesco Press Release 25th July 2011 more >>
Whitby Hydro Shares
Whitby Esk Energy is raising £320,000 in a share issue to install an Archimedes screw at Ruswarp on the river Esk. The community group will invest all surpluses from the electricity generated into local carbon reduction projects and education.
Low Carbon Economy 25th July 2011 more >>
Largest Solar Roof
Lightsource Renewable Energy and Octopus Investments has announced that the country’s largest solar farm will go live on a Promens warehouse rooftop at Beccles in Suffolk. The installation was developed by Lightsource, built by Grupotec, and funded by hundreds of small investors throughout the UK, through funds managed by Octopus.
Glass & Glazing Products 25th July 2011 more >>
Role of Micro CHP
There is currently considerable debate as to the potential role for micro CHP and other low carbon technologies within an energy system that is becoming increasingly decarbonized and may ultimately become carbon neutral. Some argue that, as the carbon content of grid supplied electricity falls, eventually micro CHP will no longer make an effective contribution to reducing carbon emissions and, as the grid decarbonizes further, micro CHP will actually increase carbon emissions. These observers tend to overlook the importance of transitional measures and thus underestimate the potential contribution of micro CHP to a long-term, sustainable low carbon energy system. Indeed, UK government analysis focused on 2050 scenarios does not even include micro CHP in its portfolio of technology options, let alone attempt to quantify the short-term carbon mitigation potential of this technology.
Cogeneration 25th July 2011 more >>
The Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA) has signaled its approval of Scotland’s commitment to maximize efficiency in energy generation via the capture of waste heat and its support for the creation of district heating networks. The industry body’s comments follow the launch of Scotland’s ‘2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland’, which has outlined plans for the country to achieve a 100% renewable energy supply by 2020. Scotland has prioritised renewable generation in the routemap, with a strong focus on the use of biomass resources. One low-cost option the initiative supports is the capture of waste heat from power generation. It proposes to extend this further to cover power from renewable sources such as biomass and waste. The routemap also identifies that current incentives are driving large-scale biomass electricity schemes rather than using biomass through the highly efficient method of CHP and it says that market mechanisms must be changed to deliver the right level of support to boost CHP production.
Cogeneration 25th July 2011 more >>
Scottish farmers have called on the nation’s government to create a steering group of renewable energy experts to help them maximise the potential of green power.
Click Green 25th July 2011 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 25th July 2011 more >>
Eastbourne Solar Plan
A BUSINESS plan to install solar panels across the town has been approved. Members of Eastbourne Borough Council’s cabinet committee gave the plan the green light at the Town Hall last Wednesday. Council officials say the business case is based on a “generous” system of payments, known as feed-in-tariffs, that will repay all the project costs over the 25 year lifetime of the scheme and produce a surplus.
Eastbourne Herald 25th July 2011 more >>
As well as providing a source of alternative energy, roof-mounted solar panels could also have the extra benefit of cooling the house or workplace on which they are fitted says a new report.
Independent 25th July 2011 more >>
Solar Flexible Film
Special dye-sensitised cells can be made as a flexible film that can be printed onto glass to turn them into a source of energy. New funding will be used to produce working examples of the windows, hopefully within 18 months, Arthur said. “We have two goals to improve the efficiency of the electricity generation and to prove that they can last for 25 years, which is what building firms will need.”
Sunday Times 24th July 2011 more >>
The agricultural industry has welcomed a new initiative by two of the UK’s leading banks which will see ’50 million made available to agricultural businesses seeking to install renewable energy systems including wind turbines.
Farming UK 23rd July 2011 more >>
A TEES Valley firm has expanded into the booming renewable energy market on the back of a bumper year that have seen sales soar past the £1m mark. Darlington-based Blackwell Heating & Plumbing will create new jobs as it branches out into the design and installation of ground and air source heat pumps, solar panels and biomass renewable energy system
Northern Echo 23rd July 2011 more >>
Environment Minister cuts the ribbon on new anaerobic digestion plant in Northumberland, which makes renewable electricity from pig slurry. The £1.2 million Cockle Park Farm anaerobic digestion plant was opened yesterday in front of a large crowd of onlookers.
Low Carbon Economy 22nd July 2011 more >>
Solar Prices Drop
A 20%-25% collapse in the price of rooftop solar power units in recent months has turned the government’s feed-in tariff scheme into one of the most lucrative financial propositions for households with the right sort of property. The scheme was introduced in April 2010, when the Labour government introduced generous feed-in tariffs to encourage households to install solar photovoltaic systems. Back then, anyone spending, say, £13,000 up front to fit a 2.5kWp system to their home was paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated – enough to earn them a typical annual income of £900 a year in payments, on top of a £140-a-year saving in reduced electricity bills. It was described as a good investment because payments for each unit of electricity generated were guaranteed for 25 years, paid tax-free, and set to rise each year in line with inflation. If you were planning to stay in your home and had a suitable roof (unshaded, at a pitch of about 40 degrees, and facing between south-east and south-west), the main question was how big a system to install – assuming you could raise the installation costs. The bigger the system, the greater the financial return.
Guardian 22nd July 2011 more >>