week ending 28 September 2012
Brixton Energy Co-op
Residents who installed a solar power station on a Brixton housing estate are planning to expand their work. Repowering South London, a community led cooperative organisation which is supported by Lambeth Council, raised money through a share offer to build solar paneling on Elmore House on the Loughborough Estate in Brixton earlier this year, creating clean energy for local residents. It was the first inner-city community owned solar power project in the country. Following the success of Brixton Energy Solar 1, the group are launching Brixton Energy Solar 2 share offer to raise the funds to install more solar panels on the roofs of Styles Gardens on the Loughborough Estate. It will be 100 per cent community owned giving local investors a share of the profits, with the remaining profit created being used to help reduce the carbon footprint of Brixton through a Community Energy Efficiency Fund.
Lambeth News 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Lots of businesses are looking to biomass as an alternative, sustainable and more environmentally friendly fuel source for their future. With the current commercial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in place along with the imminent introduction of the domestic Green Deal thousands of businesses and homes across the UK will be able to reap the benefits of saving on energy costs, more efficient energy technology, as well as doing their bit for the environment. The Green Deal will be a pioneering and innovative financial scheme allowing homeowners to install energy efficiency and renewable measures without the need to pay upfront. For any financing that customers receive, the ‘golden rule’ will provide the reassurance that the cost of the measures will always be covered by the savings made on the utility bill.
Business Green 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Sharp reportedly plans to end production and sales of solar photovoltaic products in Europe and the US as early as next year. Several news outlets carry reports today suggesting the company will concentrate production in Japan as part of a turnaround plan approved by banks yesterday. The deal could also see the sale of three Japanese manufacturing plants.
Business Green 28th Sept 2012 more >>
A GOLF club has gone a fairway to cutting its carbon footprint with the installation of solar panels. Wearside Golf Club is the latest North East business to install electric vehicle charging posts and solar photovoltaic panels as part of the region-wide EVPV initiative.
Sunderland Echo 28th Sept 2012 more >>
More on Ploughcroft
THE former owner of a solar installation firm which has gone into administration has said that creditors would “invariably” be left with losses, but he vowed to contribute to the local economy via his new business. Chris Hopkins also told the Yorkshire Post that all 15 staff at Brighouse-based Ploughcroft Building Services had been made redundant. He said yesterday he shouldn’t have put “all his eggs in one basket” and would spread the risk across different areas in his new business.
Yorkshire Post 28th Sept 2012 more >>
Spain at last has its own renewable energy cooperative Som Energia founded in Girona in the country’s Catalonia region. The group gets involved in profitable renewable energy projects to supply green electricity to its members and partners. The Cooperative has just surpassed the 3,500 membership mark. This nonprofit organization allows members to invest directly into renewable energy projects, as is already being done in many Northern and Central European countries, such as Germany. The current economic crisis is really hurting Spain, and that means that many people are looking for alternative ways of living, and joining cooperatives are a great option compared to the large multinational energy companies (which dominate the Spanish energy sector). The cooperative invests in its own photovoltaic, wind, biomass, biogas, and hydroelectric projects. And the members (who pay a one-off 100 to join ) can then change their energy provider over to Som Energia, therefore receiving purely clean energy. Alternatively, each member can invest into projects directly (investors can get a return of between 3-5% annually and can take out their investment whenever they wish).
Clean Technica 27th Sept 2012 more >>
SOLAR power warmed the hearts of toddlers and pensioners for the first time in Tilney St Lawrence village hall on Wednesday after a £50,000 refurbishment. Now one of the greenest village halls in the region, it had 16 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, a new heating cylinder and roof insulation fitted thanks to funding from various sources.
Ely Standard 27th Sept 2012 more >>
Wind & Sun’s hybrid Mini-Grid system utilises wind, sun and hydro power to help create a stable micro-grid. The company’s first mini-grid system saw the inner Hebridean Isle of Eigg abandon its previously ubiquitous diesel generators as the renewable micro-grid provided more than 95 percent of the island’s required electricity. Micro-grids have been widely tipped as the environmental solution for the future, helping wean the western populace off its existing centralised energy infrastructure as well as providing developing countries access to clean, reliable energy. Following the success of the system on the Isle of Eigg (christened “Eiggelectric” by the locals), Wind & Sun has provided a similar system for the neighbouring island of Rum as well as the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth in Powys; and are soon to start work on the Isle of Muck.
Solar Portal 27th Sept 2012 more >>
Wind-powered train station
The largest wind turbine of its kind has been switched on at Horwich Parkway railway station. The turbine is the largest in terms of scale and potential power generation to be installed at any train station in England. Half the station’s power needs are now supplied by the 11 kilowatt high efficiency turbine, which is set to cut carbon emissions by 289 tonnes over its lifetime. The turbine will deliver electricity directly to the station and any surplus energy produced will be directed back to the National Grid.
Public Sector Executive 27th Sept 2012 more >>
Bolton News 28th Sept 2012 more >>
A HUGE solar farm could be built just a few miles from Waterlooville. Plans are afoot to build solar panels on 35 acres of farmland south of Day Lane, Lovedean. The solar farm would generate 5.7 megawatts of electricity
Portsmouth News 27th Sept 2012 more >>
An energy company is investigating the possibility of setting up a 46-hectare solar park on the outskirts of Calne. The site, between High Penn Farm and Abberd Lane, is located on land originally used for landfill and is next to a quarry site owned by Hills. It belongs to local farmer Jim Angel, who would lease it to the Hive Energy Comp-any for as long as 15 years. The company, which also has plans for at least five other solar parks, including sites in Southampton, Somerset and Northampton, hopes to generate 20mw of power per year.
This is Wiltshire 27th Sept 2012 more >>
Ploughcroft Building Services Ltd yesterday confirmed it has entered administration and been sold to a new company, Ploughcroft Ltd, with the loss of the entire workforce. A statement issued by the renewable energy technology installer says administrators have agreed to sell all the company’s assets and goodwill to former owner Chris Hopkins, who will now continue to trade under the newly-formed Ploughcroft Ltd.
Business Green 27th Sept 2012 more >>
How many homes are insulated?
The number of homes being insulated in Britain has risen according to the latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Between April and July 2012, over 200,000 had cavity wall insulation and 480,000 properties undertook loft insulation. That now means that 65% of homes with a loft have had loft insulation and 68% of homes with cavity walls have had their walls insulated.
Guardian 26th Sept 2012 more >>
The Solar Trade Association has welcomed initial proposals set out in the consultation on the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The consultation proposes a Tariff of 17.3p/kWh for solar thermal installations, payable over seven years. However, the consultation makes clear it remains open to evidence on costs and to exploring alternative means of support. The STA is working closely with its members to identify the most effective support framework.
Roofing, Cladding and Insulation 26th Sept 2012 more >>
A Cumbrian solar power firm has just completed a major contract at a shopping centre. Penrith-based Sundog Energy has fitted new Trinamount III flat roof mounting solar photovoltaic panels to the Crystal Peaks shopping centre in Sheffield. The state-of-the-art solar system spans four large roofs at Crystal Peaks – three flat and one pitched. A total of 276 Trina 245Wp panels were mounted over three flat roofs using the new mounting system – and 129 Trina 250Wp panels were mounted on the pitched roof using conventional fixings.
Cumberland News 26th Sept 2012 more >>
The solar industry is still coming to terms with the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s new tri-monthly degression model that saw the feed-in tariff tumble from 21p/kWh down to 16p/kWh in August. Since the introduction of the new lower rate, installations have struggled to climb back to previous levels. Since August 4, there has been an average of 1,090 installations a week. To compare, the average number of installations for the seven weeks prior to August 4 stood at 5,334. That means that the industry has seen the available domestic market shrink by 79.5 percent.
Solar Portal 26th Sept 2012 more >>
Housing developers and councils in Scotland are being invited to bid for a new multi-million pound government fund that is aiming to improve energy efficiency in the nation’s building stock and boost the green construction sector. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s Secretary for Infrastructure Investment and Cities, yesterday unveiled the £10m Greener Homes Innovation Scheme, designed to support off-site construction – a method that sees components built in a factory and then transported to building sites as one unit.
Business Green 26th Sept 2012 more >>
Welcome to Lighter Learning, our programme lighting classrooms in Africa using clean, safe solar. We take light for granted. Yet nearly 2 billion people in the world have no access to electricity. And that includes schools. The only option for many teachers is to burn dangerous, dirty, expensive kerosene lamps so their students can study. These not only produce poor quality light but pose a frightening health risk too. The SolarAid solution is simple: harness the extraordinary power of the sun with robust, reliable solar technology so schools can give pupils a chance to study for a better future without putting lives and health at risk.
You Tube 25th Sept 2012 more >>
A Scottish start-up has signed a deal to turn by-products from a whisky distillery into fuel for cars. The agreement is said to be the first of its kind in the world and will see the independent Tullibardine distillery in Perthshire team up with Celtic Renewables, a biofuels company spun out of Napier University in Edinburgh.
Business Green 25th Sept 2012 more >>
Special barriers to reduce noise and generate electricity along the M40 motorway in Buckinghamshire have moved a step closer. A proposal to install barriers with built-in solar panels has won support from the Highways Agency and Wycombe District Council. M40 Chilterns Environmental Group (M40CEG) said barriers would improve the quality of life for 20,000 people. The barriers are already used in other countries but not in the UK. Electricity generated by photo-voltaic panels on the barriers could be used to help power homes and businesses along the motorway.
BBC 25th Sept 2012 more >>
Community Energy South West
A new Community Energy Group Network is being launched on 24 September by Regen SW to give community energy groups in the south west a stronger voice. The launch comes as the Department for Energy and Climate Change announces a consultation into how communities that host onshore wind farms can secure greater financial, social and environmental benefits from schemes. Regen SW, the independent renewable energy centre of expertise, is working with government and international partners to develop and coordinate the new network to enable active community energy groups to respond to the consultation and work together.
Building construction design 25th Sept 2012 more >>
Despite a tumultuous 18 months in the UK solar industry, investment in solar farms up to 5MW nationwide surged to 140MW by December 2011. This year a combination of dramatic drops in PV module prices and the extension of solar’s Renewable Obligation (RO) banding until April, has led to an unprecedented large-scale renaissance in the UK solar market.
IB Times 24th Sept 2012 more >>
IB Times 26th Sept 2012 more >>
Green Art Building
Art students have gone back to college in a ground-breaking new building that is among the most environmentally-friendly in the Westcountry. The new White Building at Truro College has welcomed back art and design students with large teaching studio spaces, ceramics and kiln rooms, photography dark rooms and a large gallery space. Energy efficiency has been prioritised through features such as ground source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting.
Western Morning News 24th Sept 2012 more >>
Social Housing & Green Deal
A third of social landlords do not intend to make use of the Green Deal, according to new research from npower. This is despite 84% of landlords revealing concerns about the energy efficiency of their housing stock and more than two thirds (69%) saying a lack of funding is the key barrier to making improvements. The npower Housing Energy Index (nHEI) which reflects the views of 100 senior decision-makers representing a range of social landlords and 300 tenants, revealed the scale of those holding back on investment. More than half (52%) are not considering investing in renewable heating systems by 2020. When asked why, one quarter (25%) cited a lack of finance.
24 Dash 24th Sept 2012 more >>
Social Landlords and FiTs
Social landlords throughout the UK installed thousands of solar panels to gain uptake of the Government Feed In Tariff (FIT). Many associations are still considering how they could take advantage of the current FIT regime. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation will launch research exploring the experiences of social landlords with FITs at the national Fuel Poverty Conference on 10th October 2012 in Manchester.
24 Dash 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Sundog Energy will showcase solar power options at the North Lakes Business Park, near Penrith. The firm has grown at a pace over the past few years and has had a number of major projects on its books. It continues, however, to install solar power systems for homes and businesses as people look to make savings on their electricity bills.
NW Evening Mail 21st Sept 2012 more >>
KIDDERMINSTER-based solar energy specialist Eco2Solar is to put renewable energy in the spotlight. The company’s first Making Sense of Green Energy event takes place in Worcester on Friday, October 19. The free public awareness event aims to educate homeowners on the benefits of energy efficiency in the home, how to generate green energy and outline the latest developments on the Government’s Feed-In Tariffs and new Green Deal.
Kidderminster Shuttle 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Green Deal Pilots
Seven cities will receive a share of a £12m fund to run pilot projects of the government’s flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme that should deliver around 2,500 retrofits to households and non-domestic properties.
Business Green 21st Sept 2012 more >>
Solar Portal 21st Sept 2012 more >>
A proposal to invest £16m in a “Renewable Energy Programme” that could see wind turbines built on council owned farms has been given the green light at Cornwall Council . At a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, September 19, members considered a report which included a desktop assessment of wind turbines on ten Council owned sites. The council says the findings of the assessment give an indication of the potential to reduce Cornwall’s carbon emissions and of the benefits to the economy of Cornwall.
Falmouth Packet 20th Sept 2012 more >>
The government finally admitted this week the implementation of its flagship Green Deal scheme has been delayed until 2013, with retrofit work now not expected to come to market until February. The Green Deal was due to start this October, with the industry hoping it would lead to a spike in retrofit work in the final quarter of 2012.
Building 20th Sept 2012 more >>