week ending 31 August 2012
Solar Pension Fund
A new pension fund is aiming to install £50m worth of solar panels onto social housing, while offering investors returns of up to eight per cent a year. The Solar Green Energy Fund launched by London-based Goldfield Partners this week is thought to be the first pension product of its kind in the UK.
Business Green 31st Aug 2012 more >>
Bavarian village Wildpoldsreid, with a population of about 2,600, has created a local economy that produces 321 per cent more energy than it needs, selling the excess back to the national grid at a rate of $US5.7 million annually. This little German powerhouse has utilised solar, biogas digesters, windmills, hydro power plants, and a natural wastewater system to reduce its own use and increase its energy positive output. Every hamlet, township, city, metropolis, and megalopolis can learn something from Wildpoldsreid.
Renew Economy 30th Aug 2012 more >>
Even Top Gear goes Solar
BUSINESS parks in the Midlands should get into top gear and take advantage of solar technology, says energy expert Ron Fox. He says they should follow the example of Dunsfold Park in Surrey which has just announced that it is the nation’s first industrial area to be fed entirely on green energy. The aerodrome is famous as the home of BBC’s Top Gear test track and studios. Next time Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond put a new car through its paces, viewers might make out the 8,500 solar panels on the ground flanking the track.
Lichfield People 30th Aug 2012 more >>
April 1 brought with it another round of feed-in tariff cuts for the solar industry as well as an inevitable stall in installation levels. The introduction of the 16p tariff alongside the reduced 20-year lifetime has caused an 80 percent drop in solar panel installations. Tom Pakenham, Founder of London-based renewable firm, Green Tomato Energy, believes that continued negative media coverage of feed-in tariff cuts has caused unfounded fears amongst home owners, resulting in potential customers shying away from installing solar panels.
Solar Portal 29th Aug 2012 more >>
Roof Integrated PV
Redland has acquired Schott Solar’s InDax technology, which it will use in the manufacture of roof-integrated photovoltaics.
Building Talk 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Construction Index 28th Aug 2012 more >>
85% of Orkney’s entire electricity demand will be met by its home-grown renewables industry by early 2013. It will soon exceed 100%. Six communities own their own large wind turbines – each turn of the blades earns them 7p – and 10 more are considering it.
Guardian 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Residents on the Isle of Wight are today being asked to directly support the island’s high-profile Ecoisland initiative by signing up to a new community energy scheme backed by utility giant SSE. The energy giant is a partner of the Ecoisland project, which aims to make the Isle of Wight energy independent by 2020, and also operates the power network on the island.
Business Green 28th Aug 2012 more >>
It is still hoped by many working in the UK solar sector that the new feed-in tariff degression model will offer some certainty for industry and investors alike, however the recent installation figures remain low in comparison to previous months and are yet to show signs of increased investor certainty.
Solar Portal 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Methil Energy Park
LESS than two dozen people turned out to a public consultation exhibition giving full details of a massive wind turbine proposed to be built just metres off the shore at Methil. At 196m, the demonstration turbine will be more than twice the height of the old power station chimney and the exhibition, which included information about environmental studies and images of how the turbine would appear on the landscape, aimed to give all interested parties a chance to find out more about the proposal.
Fife Today 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Small wind in Skegness
A SMALL-scale wind turbine is helping a farm combat its rising energy bills in Skegness. Owner of Willow Farm in Thorpe Fendykes, Sue Evens, who runs animal care courses for children with special needs, installed the 15 metre high turbine 5kW turbine which should generate up to 16,000 kWh a year.
Farmers Guardian 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Well it barely seems more than a few weeks since I was writing about the last round of cuts in feed-in tariffs. Which isn’t surprising – it really has only been a few weeks since the last cuts! This time round we are seeing the first of the capacity triggered reductions in tariffs – the longer term, more regular, smaller cuts that are designed by Government to provide ‘stability and long-term security’ to the PV market. So now looks like a good time to assess the scheme and see whether it really can deliver.
Solar Portal 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Kingston goes green
Kingston Council has vowed to go green after opting for renewable energy resources including wind and solar power. The move will see a significant amount of the council’s electricity use over the next three years from sustainable sources. The council intends to reduce CO2 emissions by 24 per cent by 2015 as part of their low carbon management plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Local Guardian 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Renewable Heat Premium
New Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme for communities. This scheme was actually launched on 24th July 2012 by DECC so apologies - we are a bit late on announcing this news! It is open to legally constituted, not-for-profit community groups such as co-operatives, voluntary groups, social enterprises and development trusts. Unfortunately the deadline for applications is 7th September 2012. But EST are still asking for bids from communities right now. The scheme provides households within a community with access to discount vouchers for specific technologies. Renewable heating technologies that are supported under the scheme are: Solar thermal panels; Heat pumps (air to water, ground source or water source but excluding air to air and exhaust air heat pumps); Biomass Boilers
Green Energy.net 28th Aug 2012 more >>
Green Homes Open Doors
Some of Dumfries and Galloway’s most eco-friendly homes will open their doors on September 29 for the Green Homes Network Open Day. The Green Homes Network, a Scottish government initiative managed by the Energy Saving Trust, was launched last year and now has more than 600 homeowners signed up across Scotland. The eight households in Dumfries and Galloway are part of a group of 48 homeowners across Scotland taking part in the open day to provide others with an opportunity to visit a local home that has a renewables system installed.
Galloway Gazette 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Doncaster Solar Farm
A DONCASTER village is being targeted for a £10 million solar power generation scheme. TGC Renewables is drawing up plans which would use around 50 acres next to Tudworth Road, Hatfield, to develop a solar farm made up of dozens of photo-voltaic cells which turn the suns light into electricity. The site the company is investigating is three fields of agricultural land. The intention is for it to be dual use - solar farm and potentially sheep grazing.
Sheffield Star 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Community Energy Scotland has released a report revealing the monumental impact that community owned renewable energy projects can have on community life. The survey found that not only did the projects have substantial impacts on community facilities, confidence, employment and training opportunities; revenue generating projects such as community owned turbines reported incomes of up to £399,000 and equivalent CO2 savings of 2,000 tonnes, which is comparable to the emissions of almost 500 return flights from London to Australia.
Stornoway Gazette 25th Aug 2012 more >>
By reconnecting people to energy reduction rather than merely relying on technological solutions, companies can make significant efficiency gains without large scale investment. European companies were fully engaged in boosting energy productivity, the continent as a whole could hold energy demand at 2008 levels, according to McKinsey & Company. Most increases in energy efficiency within industry are achieved through the installation of new technologies rather than through changes in how energy is managed. However, these installations are only achieving a fraction of what innovation in energy reduction could.
Guardian 24th Aug 2012 more >>
The heading on a national newspaper advert from a claims management company (CMC) – “Mis-sold solar water heating?” – is the latest move by an industry of more than 3,000 claims handling firms looking for the next new thing after hoovering up huge profits from payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling. The ad, from Cheshire-based Consumer Reclaim, continues: “If you think you’ve been sold a Solar Hot Water Heating System by the exaggeration of its benefits, you could be entitled to claim back the full cost.”
Guardian 24th Aug 2012 more >>
Community power projects are ushering in a new movement that allows citizens to take charge of their energy needs by providing locally generated renewable energy to their communities. These local projects are not only gaining momentum because of the economic and environmental advantages they provide, but also because of the immense social benefits they offer. Community-owned power projects encourage community-building and social cohesion as a group of ordinary citizens is presented with the opportunity to come together and achieve something extraordinary.
Community Power Report 21st Aug 2012 more >>
RHI update bulletin from Ofgem
Ofgem July 2012 more >>