week ending 8 June 2012
Edinburgh Community Turbine
Community groups, Scottish Water and the Scottish Government have agreed to work together to find an alternative site for a wind turbine owned by communities in the East of Edinburgh. Following a meeting between Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, representatives from PEDAL (Portobello Transition Town), Greener Leith and Scottish Water agreed to find an alternative site for a community-owned wind turbine for the East of Edinburgh. The two community groups had planned to erect a wind turbine at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works, with money raised from the turbine benefiting both communities, but the site is no longer considered suitable. The land in question provides the only potential for vital expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Works serving Edinburgh should this be necessary to meet future customer demands.
Scottish Gov 8th June 2012 more >>
Bristol is today bidding to be named Europe’s Greenest City, an accolade officials predict could create 1,000 new green jobs and provide a £1m boost to the local economy. A judging panel in Brussels will decide whether Bristol’s environmental standards are superior to fellow finalists Copenhagen and Frankfurt, with the winner announced on June 29 in Nantes, the holder of the title for 2013. This is the second time Bristol has reached the finals of the European Green Capital award (EGCA) and it remains the only UK city to have been shortlisted for the title.
Business Green 8th June 2012 more >>
Calderdale Zero Carbon Homes
Ryburn Valley High students helped to celebrate the opening of a group of seven new homes for rent close to their school off Beechwood Avenue, Sowerby. All the properties on Holybush Close are designed to meet exacting environmental standards and two are carbon neutral. The properties have been built by Pennine Housing 2000 and Bramall Construction with grants of £300,000 from Calderdale Council and £840,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Halifax Courier 8th June 2012 more >>
ABERDEEN City Council is planning to install almost 2,500 solar panels on schools, sheltered housing developments and other local authority properties to cut energy bills. A council spokeswoman who explained the proposal said: “The scheme involves the council buying the electricity generated by the solar panels to power council buildings.”
Scotsman 8th June 2012 more >>
TWO poultry farms supplying Moy Park in Co Tyrone are collaborating with Omagh-based renewable energy firm KES Ltd (Kernaglee Electrical Services) to install and trial state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic power panels in their poultry houses.
Farming Life 8th June 2012 more >>
Green Deal Finance
A group of companies expected to finance the government’s Green Deal energy efficiency scheme have issued a stark warning to the Deputy Prime Minister that its flagship policy is in jeopardy as a result of funding delays. Thirteen companies, including E.ON and SSE, wrote to Nick Clegg on Wednesday to inform him that they have halted work on a Green Deal Finance Company – a non-profit consortium that will provide low-cost loans to homeowners wishing to install energy-efficiency measures when the Green Deal launches in October.
Business Green 8th June 2012 more >>
St Austell Solar Centre
BRE is seeking European funding to set up a National Solar Centre in Cornwall to collect data on, and promote, the use of photovoltaic panels.
Construction Index 8th June 2012 more >>
Letter Robin Russell-Jones: Generating electrical power and heat locally from renewable sources is a no-brainer for the farming community, but microgeneration schemes could also be exploited by hundreds of communities. The problem is that government policy is wedded to the six big energy companies, which see the consumer as the lucrative end-point of a massive distribution system, with power stations miles from the point of delivery. Not only is this macro-model highly prone to blackouts, it is massively inefficient: as much as two-thirds of the energy generated is lost even before it leaves the power station.
Guardian 7th June 2012 more >>
Half of the UK population will be in fuel poverty by the end of this year, new research has shown. On average, 37% of consumers are currently spending more than 10% of their income on gas and electricity bills, which is defined as being in fuel poverty. This figure will rise by a further 13% by the end of 2012, leaving 30 million people in this situation, according to SwitchGasandElectric.com.
Moneywise 7th June 2012 more >>
The call for solar panels has significantly reduced in the UK since Government announced feed-in tariff cuts. That’s a fact. While at one time installers’ phones were ringing off the hook while they worked seven-day weeks, now, just a few months later many are struggling to fill their days. Industry has come up with several reasons for this dip in demand, yet the most frequent culprit appears to be negative press.
Solar Power Portal 7th June 2012 more >>
A DINNINGTON company is expanding into the agricultural sector after securing its first contract to supply a farm with solar energy panels. Greenbuy Energy is extending its operation beyond supplying homes and business premises with renewables, as a change in the law in April means that commercial property owners, including farmers, can now have solar panels installed on their land without the need for planning permission.
Worksop Guardian 7th June 2012 more >>
Autarco, an international renewable energy company, will become the first company to supply single brand complete PV systems to the UK market. Autarco believes that the solar market is unique in that customers often have to turn to three or four different brands in order to solve a single problem. By providing all the required components for a solar PV system under one brand, the company hopes to avoid the situation. The company has undertaken an innovative supply chain redesign that has allowed it to jettison what it calls “costly middleman” in order to pass saving directly onto the customer.
Solar Power Portal 7th June 2012 more >>
The majority of cities reporting their emissions have identified how measures to combat climate change tcan boost economic growth, but just a third expect to receive new sources of funding to help tackle the problem, according to a new report by the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Business Green 7th June 2012 more >>
M&S Plan A
M&S has implemented “green” contracts for all the electricity bought directly, which include 15 per cent from small-scale producers, including a new Archimedes screw water wheel installed on the Thames and anaerobic digestion (AD) plants running on food waste from M&S stores. Just under 90 per cent of the supermarket’s food waste is sent to AD facilities as part of a policy that has seen M&S recycle 100 per cent of its total waste and send nothing to landfill.
Business Green 7th June 2012 more >>
A SOLAR panel company is making inroads in the renewable energy market with plans for wind turbines, solar thermal and biomass projects. Totnes-based Kier, formerly Beco Solar, is best known for its solar energy systems but is also active in the wind turbines market.
Herald Express 7th June 2012 more >>
Solar Stacks Up
PROPERTY consultancy DTZ has said the rapid recent fall in the price of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels means landlords should look again at installing them onto buildings - despite recent changes to the feed-in tariff.It said that prices of solar PV panes have dropped by around 50% in the last 12-15 months, meaning that “payback” periods for solar PV panels are now less than two years.
Business Desk 7th June 2012 more >>
Bristol Co-op Success
The group behind a solar energy scheme in Bristol has revealed it has smashed through the £90,000 target set at the start of its community share issue in April. The not-for-profit Bristol Energy Co-operative aims to realise its plans of installing solar panels on community buildings in the city. It hoped to attract hundreds of members investing as little as £50, and initially concentrated on two sites, Hamilton House and Knowle West Media Centre. But since the launch two months ago, expectations have been exceeded, with £115,000 already raised. The “stunning success” has encouraged the group to extend the share offer to the end of June.
Bristol 24/7 6th June 2012 more >>
Scottish Greens say ministers have failed the most vulnerable in society by delaying so long before creating a National Retrofit insulation scheme to tackle growing levels of fuel poverty. The idea was first proposed by the Greens in the knife-edge budget debate in 2009 after nearly a year spent attempting to persuade the SNP to support it. Greens proposed a 10 year programme to fit loft and cavity wall insulation free-of-charge, area-by-area. This would have quickly delivered hundreds of pounds of savings on heating bills for households and created vital jobs in the construction sector.
Scottish Green 6th June 2012 more >>
A nationwide programme to make homes more energy-efficient could help reduce fuel poverty and also boost the economy, campaigners have said. The Existing Homes Alliance is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a co-ordinated and fully-funded programme to improve the energy-efficiency of all homes. Alan Ferguson, chair of the Alliance, made the plea to Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil ahead of a statement in Holyrood on fuel poverty. Mr Ferguson, also director of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “In tough economic times it is vital that efforts to tackle fuel poverty are delivered efficiently, which is why we call upon the Cabinet Secretary to implement a coordinated and fully-funded national retrofit programme to install energy-efficiency measures in Scotland’s homes.
STV 6th June 2012 more >>
Scotsman 6th June 2012 more >>
Herald 6th June 2012 more >>
A massive programme to transform Scotland’s ageing houses into energy efficient homes has been announced today by Alex Neil. The Scottish Government hopes to work with energy companies to identify around £200 million a year to assist homes in areas of fuel poverty save money and become more energy efficient. This new programme will offer a range of free or discounted heating and home insulation measures to people living in older homes across Scotland who struggle with fuel poverty. This will build on the successes of current fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes, which are due to save households across Scotland some £700 million in total.
Scottish Government 6th June 2012 more >>
Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic says it is starting production of lithium-ion battery packs for home energy storage this month. The energy storage system consists of Panasonic’s 1.35 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery with a battery management system to allow charging and discharging as needed. The system could store excess energy from home solar photovoltaic panels, for example, to provide power when needed or after dark when the panels are no longer producing electricity.
Energy Efficiency News 6th June 2012 more >>
A CUMBRIAN energy firm has signed a deal with global electronics giant Samsung to spearhead its drive into the UK solar panel market. Sundog Energy, of Penrith, will distribute the South Korean company’s 250w solar panels through its Sundog Wholesale division.
Cumberland News 6th June 2012 more >>
Temperature controlled storage and distribution company Cold Move has installed, what it claims, is the North of England’s largest solar energy project. The scheme forms part of the company’s long-term goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 25% by 2020 and it is anticipated the photovoltaic system will help reduce carbon emissions by 108,658 tonnes a year and generate 199,740 kWh of electricity annually.
Edie 6th June 2012 more >>
INDUSTRY chiefs have welcomed the Government’s move to stagger reductions to the subsidies it pays on solar projects. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the measures would put the growing photovoltaics industry on a ‘more predictable, certain and sustainable footing’. Part of the plan is to delay the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) cuts from July to August, which will give installers more time to adapt to the changes. DECC confirmed the tariffs would be cut by about 3.5 per cent every three months, with the next reduction due on November 1.
Farmers Guardian 6th June 2012 more >>
Solar photovoltaic specialist EvoEnergy has launched an interactive Energy Consumption Guide in an attempt to help the British public better understand how the UK’s energy consumption has changed since 1970.
Solar Power Portal 6th June 2012 more >>
Viessmann has launched a promotion offering installers and developers a Vitodens 242-F solar storage combined boiler and Vitosol solar kit package at a discount of £1,000. The offer will run until November 2012, while stocks last. The compact size of the Vitodens 242-F gas-fired condensing boiler makes it an ideal installation for tight spaces. The boiler comes prepared for direct connection to Viessmann’s Vitosol solar kit.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 6th June 2012 more >>
Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth has been refused planning permission to fit his Grade II listed mansion with a solar thermal module. Hounslow Council initially rejected the appeal, stating that the “inappropriate size and positing would not preserve the architectural and historic significance of the listed building.”
Solar Power Portal 6th June 2012 more >>
Carbon Neutral City
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- This city plans to invest in wind farms, electric cars, bike paths and energy-efficient buildings in an effort to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.
Scientific American 5th June 2012 more >>
The number of solar power installations is rising but the switch to green energy could happen faster if government policy were more positive. The government had its day in court in March but lost. The judges decided to go against the cuts proposed by the coalition to the feed-in tariff that is paid to consumers who generate their own electricity using solar power. That decision won plaudits from environmentalists – but the future of such subsidies is still uncertain.
Professional Engineering 5th June 2012 more >>
A wind turbine of 100 kilowatts has begun powering Sky’s West TV headquarters in west London, which have repeatedly been hailed as the greenest studios in Europe since opening around a year ago. By a 55-metre turbine, 133 megawatt hours per year of green energy is expected to be generated to Sky Studios – which is enough to match the TV giant’s office lighting requirements. Sky’s Northwind 100 turbine is to operate in conjunction with the satellite broadcaster’s combined cooling and heating power operations, which have been commissioned as being part of the £233 million hi-tech studios Sky opened last summer.
Recycle 4th June 2012 more >>
Surge in use of wind and solar power is providing secondary income for agriculture sector, in addition to rural tourism. More than a quarter of all farmers have not just green fields but “green” barns too, thanks to a surge in the use of solar panels and wind turbines. Renewable energy is promising to overtake rural tourism as a secondary income for the agricultural sector, with 200 megawatts of power – enough for 40,000 households – installed, according to joint research by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and NatWest bank. They found that one in six farmers will have solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in place by the middle of this year and one in five will be producing clean electricity by this date. If this trend continues, as much as 15% of all UK electricity from renewable sources come from the land by the end of this decade, they believe.
Guardian 4th June 2012 more >>
Green Deal for Manufacturing
A Green Deal targeted specifically at manufacturers could help firms in the sector make a quicker transition to more energy-efficient production equipment and processes and make better use of clean energy. The scheme would mirror the government’s programme to upgrade Britain’s homes by providing loans to cover the upfront cost of new measures that companies would then pay back through savings on their energy bills, according to two new papers to be published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank today.
Business Green 4th May 2012 more >>
Over the past three years the number of “microhydro” applications has quadrupled, letting more people than ever generate and sell their own electricity. It’s a vast and untapped natural resource – the only obstacle in its way is government red tape.
Observer 3rd June 2012 more >>
Decarbonising domestic heat
At a special low carbon residential heat exhibition in Portcullis House, the House of Commons on the 11th June to demonstrate to Government the important role that heat pumps can play in decarbonising the nation’s housing stock, Mitsubishi Electric is joining the Micropower Council. The exhibition, which is being arranged in collaboration with PRASEG (the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group), will showcase the latest technologies used to produce low-carbon heat such as fuel cells, micro CHP, biomass and solar thermal, in addition to Mitsubishi Electric’s market-leading Ecodan air source heat pumps.
Eco Friend 1st June 2012 more >>
Merchant Wind Power
British firms could slash their energy costs by as much as 35 per cent by building wind turbines alongside industrial sites, it has been claimed. UK companies are facing rising energy costs due to the massive worldwide demand for fossil fuels. New research by green energy firm Ecotricity and Friends of the Earth suggests a concept called merchant wind power could significantly drive down electricity costs. The groups say companies should be looking to maximise use of industrial land because a high number of windfarm proposals on such sites get approved. Merchant wind power works by supplying wind power directly on-site, instead of through the grid.
Applegate 1st June 2012 more >>
Click Green 29th May 2012 more >>
Public sector organisations face a period of unsurpassed austerity, managers are bombarded with directives to not only cut costs and improve efficiency, but to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy consumption at the same time. In London, mayor Boris Johnson has committed the city to targets that could make it the greenest conurbation in the world, reduce the capital’s CO2 emissions and energy consumption by 60% by 2025. As a significant part of London’s CO2 is emitted from public sector buildings, there needs to be a focus on making those buildings more efficient. This will require action from local government – figures estimate that up to 80% of premises belonging to councils, health, and education authorities will still be in use in 2050. One answer lies with the Greater London Authority’s retrofitting scheme, known as RE:FIT, which alone could lead to a reduction of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2015. The programme works by helping public organisations equip their buildings with energy-saving technology that did not exist when the buildings were first built. Retrofit measures include new building management systems, combined heat and power, photovoltaic solar panels, low-energy lighting and new, efficient boilers.
Guardian 1st June 2012 more >>
Wrexham Council’s ambitious solar scheme saw 3,000 homes across the county receive solar arrays, in what was one of the largest solar social housing outfits in Europe. Now, residents of one of the streets lucky enough to receive solar arrays are preparing for a solar-powered tea party on June 5 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Solar Power Portal 1st June 2012 more >>
Heat Pump Plan
Leading heat-pump manufacturers and installers in the UK have jointly set out a vision detailing how industry and Government can radically decarbonise residential heating by 2050. John Kellett, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s domestic-heating division, one of the sponsors of a report written by Ecuity Consulting LLP, says, ‘The current regulatory environment remains a source of uncertainty for the sector, yet we have eight leading heat-pump companies ready and willing to work with Government to develop a solid regulatory plan that will allow heat pumps to move beyond subsidy by the end of this decade.’
Modern Building Services June 2012 more >>
Community Projects in Scotland
A ground-breaking report has provided a unique insight into efforts to roll-out community energy schemes across Scotland. The study reveals the huge advantages and benefits of community installations after analysing more than 300 organisations involved in renewable energy projects. But the research also highlights the obstacles that are still hindering the development of schemes across the country, which leaves it lagging well behind other countries such as Denmark and Germany. The unique report is the first of two emerging from a project, supported by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), entitled SCENE Connect.
Click Green 31st May 2012 more >>