week ending 16 September 2011
A cider and perry firm is claiming to be one of the first in the UK to have switched to solar power. Herefordshire based Butford Organics has installed a 16 panel 3.9kw solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of a barn. According to the farm the panels, installed by Southern Solar, should produce more electricity than the farm needs during the summer months.
Edie 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Cardiff solar goes to America
G24 Innovations (G24i), the Wales-based developer of dye sensitised solar cells, in collaboration with US firm Skyco Shading Systems has secured a contract with a global hotel chain to supply energy efficient shades in over 8,000 of its windows. The hotel plans to deploy large scale solar systems indoors to use recycled light to produce electricity. The wireless shade system uses G24i’s Gen-3 indoor solar cell technology.
Electronics Weekly 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Commercial Efficiency u-turn
The government has been accused of performing a U-turn over applying a key energy efficiency measure to commercial buildings, in a move that has sparked a furious backlash from the construction and property industry. In March the government committed to roll out Display Energy Certificates (DEC), which are currently used to rate the actual energy performance of public buildings, to all commercial buildings by the end of October 2012.
Building 16th Sept 2011 more >>
A COMMUNITY energy trust in Scotland has been cited as a model that could be copied elsewhere in the UK as part of David Cameron’s Big Society. The Fintry Development Trust, which has set up a wind farm collective in the village near Glasgow, is one of the examples singled out by the social and economic commentator Phillip Blond, as a project that promotes the values of the Big Society. The Fintry project is run by volunteers and has generated 140,000 for the community since it began in 2003.
Scotsman 16th Sept 2011 more >>
ALMOST a million households in Scotland will now be in fuel poverty after the last of the major suppliers announced a second price rise in less than a year, it has been warned. The 15.4% jump in gas and 4.5% rise in electricity tariffs announced by EDF means that all six of the big power suppliers have now raised tariffs for the coming winter and campaigners said households had seen their annual bills rise by 224 (21%) to 1293 in 12 months. It is estimated that 569,600 more families in the UK will be forced to spend at least 10% of their net income on keeping warm because of the latest round of rises and uSwitch.com warned that almost seven million households are now going to be classed as fuel poor. The figures suggest that close to one million families will be in fuel poverty in Scotland. Official figures show that 32.7% of households north of the Border spend a tenth o f their income on energy costs, compared with 18.4% in England.
Herald 16th Sept 2011 more >>
TWO Yorkshire entrepreneurs are planning to invest £100m over the next two years in a new company which aims to become one of the UK’s leading providers of renewable energy generation systems. Oakapple Renewable Energy (OAREL), launched by Philip Taylor and Gary Douglas, will initially be generating power through the installation of free solar panels but in the longer term aims to develop other forms of renewable energy generation including wind power and anaerobic digestion systems.
Business Desk 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Yorkshire Post 15th Sept 2011 more >>
West Lothian College
A college in Scotland is set to slash its energy demands from the National Grid by 60 per cent and save 20 tonnes of carbon being pumped into the atmosphere every year, by commissioning one of the country’s largest solar power projects. The small, specialist land-based college has installed 204 PV panels on the roof of its main teaching block to generate electricity and a smaller array of solar thermal panels on four residential blocks to provide hot water for students.
Farmers Guardian 16th Sept 2011 more >>
Wind turbine manufacturer Proven Energy is thought to be facing a cash crisis following the discovery of “acute technical” problems with its flagship P35-2 model. The Scottish company issued a statement on its website, warning customers to stop using the turbine as soon as possible. It has also suspended sales of the 12kW turbine.
Business Green 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Local Authority Emissions
The vast majority of local authorities saw greenhouse gas emissions fall in 2009, partly because of the economic downturn, according to new government figures. DECC says it is not banking on this to reach emissions targets. “When the economy picks up again we want to make sure we don’t see a sudden peak in emissions which is why we have policies in place to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Business Green 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Designed and constructed in 2003, the low-energy, selfbuild home of architect Chris Helmore has utilised renewable energy technology to provide ventilation, heating and domestic hot water since the new build was completed almost 9 years ago. The home now boasts a zero carbon rating following the installation of photovoltaic panels onto the property in November 2009 to reduce the reliance on electricity during the day and work alongside the original heat pump ventilation system installed in the home.
Low Carbon Economy 15th Sept 2011 more >>
A Japanese energy firm is ramping up its presence in Scotland to capitalise on the trend for farmers and the like to generate their own renewable power. Smartest Energy has opened an office in Glasgow as it looks to recruit more of the mini power generation businesses that are mushrooming across Scotland. These firms are being developed in response to measures to encourage investment in renewables, like the Feed in Tariff scheme. The surge in energy prices has also encouraged businesses to invest in generating facilities.
Herald 15th Sept 2011 more >>
US solar collapse
Republicans are investigating why the White House approved a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee for a solar panel manufacturer that it was citing as a model for creating “green jobs” but which subsequently went bankrupt.
Telegraph 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Farming the Sun
WITH the hikes in energy prices and the relatively pain free process of creating solar energy, more and more farmers are installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on their buildings. The Government has already paid out £8million since the Feed in Tariff (FiT) was introduced in April last year and with experts insisting PV is a ‘win-win’ situation, it is not hard to see why farmers all over the UK are jumping on the PV bandwagon.
Farmers Guardian 15th Sept 2011 more >>
AN Out Rawcliffe businessman has saved £500 on his electricity bills – and earned a further £800 for surplus electricity generated after installing solar panels on his property. Peter Wilkinson, of Fylde Saddlery, made the decision to install the panels with Lytham-based Solar Sense (NW). And he says the decision was a no-brainer.
Blackpool Gazette 15th Sept2011 more >>
MORE than a third of dairy farmers are planning to invest in renewable energy projects, according to Barclays. Of that 37 per cent, the majority plan to carry out those projects in the next year. Wind energy is most popular, with 59 per cent planning to invest in the technology, and 55 per cent planning to invest in solar power and three per cent in biomass projects. Saving money on energy costs is cited as the main reason.
York Press 15th Sept 2011 more >>
East Lindsey District Council
SOLAR panels could be the future for Louth as East Lindsey District Council begins plans which could see it produce its own source of energy. Subject to planning permission and full council approval, the council’s executive board has agreed to install arrays of photovoltaic panels on the roofs at the Meridian Leisure Centre and London Road sports ground in Louth, as well as other sites in Skegness and Horncastle.
Louth Leader 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Cornish Solar Plans
Long-harboured dreams of stimulating Cornwall’s renewable energy economy with a marquee development have been left in tatters after the developer admitted the project was no longer viable. Cornwall Council has instead decided to plough the £15 million intended for the Kernow Solar Park into more than 300 smaller projects – including cash-generating solar panels on council-owned buildings and schools.
Western Morning News 15th Sept 2011 more >>
BBC 15th Sept 2011 more >>
Payom’s subsidiary, Solen Energy UK, has won another major order for its pre-assembled solar kits. The order, valued at 10 million, was placed by Pinnacle Solar and will see them supplied with kits, ranging between 2.3kW and 4kW in size, until the end of March.
PV Tech 14th Sept 2011 more >>
New Orleans – power of God
A church that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has grown again and is being powered from a force in the heavens – literally. Solar panels are going up at Community Church Unitarian Universalist in Lakeview after donations poured in.
WDSU.com 14th Sept 2011 more >>
Small-scale renewables in Daventry
A DROP-IN event is being held in Brixworth to help residents meet companies which install renewable energy products. The free event runs at Brixworth Village Hall on Thursday, September 22, from 5pm til 8pm and is open to households and local organisations and firms. Visitors can find out about technologies like solar power, biomass and small-scale wind turbines.
Daventry Express 14th Sept 2011 more >>
Small Wind in US
Small and mid-sized companies across the United States are manufacturing smaller wind turbines designed for use at the top of office towers and in facilities such as airports and shopping malls. These companies are increasing U.S. employment while contributing to the production of alternative energy. These small wind turbines power houses, small businesses, or farms, where they can reduce electric bills by approximately 20 percent.
Area Development Online 14th Sept 2011 more >>
Norfolk County Council has decided to set up an energy services company (Esco) which would develop a portfolio of renewable energy projects including solar, micro-hydro, biomethane and biomass. The initial focus would involve solar panels and biomass boilers for county-owned buildings like schools, libraries and fire stations.
Utility Week 14th Sept 2011 more >>
eGov Monitor 12th Sept 2011 more >>
THE Dovecote Barns, between York and Selby, is to boost its renewable electricity production by 1,300 per cent after investing £60,000 in renewable technology. The self-catering holiday accommodation will produce more electricity on-site than it requires, after increasing its eight photo-voltaic solar panels to 112, which will generate an extra 16,000kWh per annum. About half of the electricity produced will be sold back to the national grid
York Press 14th Sept 2011 more >>
GROUNDBREAKING solar power technology that can be fitted on to clothing and small objects or even “printed” on to buildings is being developed by a Scottish scientist. It is hoped it could be used to bring cheap electricity to poverty-hit areas of the Third World, potentially benefiting more than a billion people.
Scotsman 14th Sept 2011 more >>
Bradford-on-Avon solar scheme
A BRADFORD on Avon climate action group has developed a partnership with a solar power provider to help homeowners save money on their energy bills. Residents who join Climate Friendly Bradford’s solar scheme can have solar panels installed at their homes at a discounted rate. They could also benefit from the Government’s Feed-In tariff which rewards home owners for any low-carbon electricity fed back to the grid. So far, 15 houses across the town have joined and the group is keen to attract more
Wiltshire Times 14th Sept 2011 more >>
Solar on Flat Roofs
A FIRM of renewable energy experts claim to have found a solution to the problem of installing solar power systems on flat-roofed properties. St Asaph-based Carbon Zero UK have pioneered a special design of solar panel mounting specially for flat roofs which will mean home owners can cash in on the Government-backed feed-in tariffs.
Daily Post 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Microgeneration five-fold increase
Generating capacity from small-scale renewable energy installations subsidised by the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) has increased fivefold since the scheme was introduced in 2010, new figures suggest.
Planning Resource 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 12th Sept 2011 more >>
A farm near Paignton is now home to the largest solar power station in South Devon after having over 500 solar panels installed. Occombe Farm now has a 100kW array of photovoltaic panels on its barn roofs which generate 76,000 kilowatt hours per year. On a sunny day this is more power than consumed by the farm, meaning the surplus energy will be fed back into the National Grid.
Western Morning News 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Using nanotubes, researchers at the University of Surrey, UK, may have found a route to increase the efficiency – and thereby reduce the cost of – solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.
Renewable Energy Focus 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Flintshire School Biomass
AN ECO-school has become the first in its county to install a biomass heater. Ysgol y Llan Primary school in Whitford are celebrating after Flintshire County Council planners gave the green light to installing the renewable energy heater last week. The heater will use woodchips to heat four classrooms at the village school.
Daily Post 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Sheffield shines out as the soar-away winner of the solar stakes in the UK, with more solar power generation added in the city per household than in any other British city, according to a league table published on Monday. Northern cities have been the unexpected winners from the boom in renewable energy. Nearly 2 megawatts of capacity have been added in Sheffield in the last 15 months, and Leeds comes second in the league table, with more than 1MW of capacity added. Around the UK, in the 15 months to 30 June 2011, more than 160MW of low carbon electricity generation has been applied for under the feed-in tariff scheme, with a total of 44,460 separate installations, according to data collated by the electricity regulator Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. About three quarters of the installations are solar power, though in Scotland wind is predominant.
Guardian 12th Sept 2011 more >>
Which? magazine has published a league table of the cities which have installed the highest number of renewable energy systems. The study, conducted by energy consultant AEA, showed the growth in renewable energy capacity since the launch of the Feed-in Tariff last year. It reveals that small-scale energy generation, including solar panels and wind turbines, has grown by 400 per cent over the last 18 months. The leading city proved to be Sheffield, increasing its renewable energy capacity to over 3.5 kWe per 1,000 people, 99 per cent of which was accounted for by solar installations.
H&V News 13th Sept 2011 more >>
Energy Efficiency News 12th Sept 2011 more >>
Heat Pump Plan
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has put his weight behind a new set of guidelines designed to boost investor confidence in heat pump technologies, which are “off the radar” for most people in the UK. Huhne launched a set of updates to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme MIS3005 guidelines late last week, which are designed to ensure that air and heat pump installers select the right devices for customers.
Business Green 12th Sept 2011 more >>
The London Assembly will tomorrow question representatives from the energy and energy efficiency industry, along with national and local government, about how fuel poverty can be eradicated in the capital. The Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee is investigating the role that suppliers and the Mayor can play in helping to reduce fuel poverty in the capital. With energy prices rising this autumn, fuel poverty is getting worse and London has historically lost out on national energy efficiency programmes, compared to other parts of the UK.
London Assembly 12th Sept 2011 more >>
Consumer Focus is calling for people to get in touch through a new survey to share their good and bad experiences of producing solar and wind power at their home as worrying reports of mis-selling have already been reported to the industry accreditation scheme. The Government has created incentives for households to get involved in making our energy supply greener by paying them, through its feed-in tariff scheme, for excess renewable energy produced at home. There is also a booming industry in companies providing free solar panels and resulting free energy to households in return for them receiving this fee.
Consumer Focus 12th Sept 2011 more >>
Eco Student Homes
A new £40m eco-friendly student village in West Yorkshire will use solar energy and encourage residents to grow their own vegetables. The Green complex is being opened at the University of Bradford.
BBC 12th Sept 2011 more >>
A British-based entrepreneur, who has just tied up a deal with the Queen to provide hydroelectric “green” energy to Windsor Castle, cannot find a bank willing to lend the money to build the necessary turbines in the UK. David Dechambeau, who runs Southeast Power Engineering, has been forced to bring in screw turbines from the Netherlands to be placed in the river Thames at Romney Weir. The turbines cost £700,000 and weigh 40 tonnes. “I have got a local company that would be willing to build the turbines, but we are finding it difficult to find the financial support needed to build this Archimedes-type pump for the first time,” said Dechambeau.
Observer 11th Sept 2011 more >>
People living in the villages of Ladock and Grampound Road, near Truro, now have renewable energy for their homes thanks to a green energy trial. A £500,000 government grant has paid for solar panels and other energy devices to be installed in homes and other community buildings in the villages .
Falmouth Packet 10th Sept 2011 more >>
The first social housing flats in the UK to be built to Passivhaus standards have had the help of leading specialists in heat recovery ventilation and air source heat pumps, Total Home Environment.
Low Carbon Economy 9th Sept 2011 more >>