week ending 26 October 2012
VENTURE capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is helping to pour £3.3 million into a hydro-electric developer to trigger a flood of new projects. Perth-based Green Highland Renewables, run by managing director Ian Cartwright, will use the cash to increase the number of landowners it works with. The company specialises in small to medium-sized schemes that can generate from 100kW to 2MW of electricity, enough to power between 80 and 1,600 homes. SEP is investing in the company alongside the Scottish Investment Bank. Neither party would disclose the size of the stakes they are buying.
Scotsman 26th Oct 2012 more >>
UK solar reaches 1.3GW
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released its latest quarterly energy statistics which show that installations under the feed-in tariff (FiT) have reached 1.3GW across the UK. The month of September saw the UK solar industry add 67.969MW of capacity under the FiT mechanism, taking it over the 1.3GW mark to 1,340,868kW total capacity. That means the UK has installed 747.586MW of solar in 2012 under the FiT scheme so far.
Solar Portal 26th Oct 2012 more >>
A risk assessment of wind turbines at schools in the Highlands has been completed. Highland Council had the devices turned off in May after worries about safety were raised by councillors and members of the public. The local authority said the review suggested the turbines could operate safely in winds gusting to 134mph. However, the council has decided to have them turned off in 100mph conditions. Twelve schools are to get better security fencing, turbine servicing and staff training in the operation of the devices.
BBC 26th Oct 2012 more >>
THE director of Northern Ireland’s first community owned wind co-operative, which is building a £750,000 wind turbine on the Ballyboley Road, Larne, is to be a guest speaker at a public meeting on Thursday, November 1 hosted by Larne and District Friends of the Earth group.
Larne Times 26th Oct 2012 more >>
DECC opposition to PV ‘bonkers’
Seven years ago, during the messy transition period between the old solar PV grant programmes, a senior official summed up Whitehall’s historic view of the technology by telling us that “PV ticks all the boxes but unfortunately it is just so expensive”. Fast forward to the recent consultation on PV banding in the Renewables Obligation (RO) and despite all price fall evidence to the contrary, it seems that old habits die very hard. Despite warm Ministerial words, the 22GWp “ambition” for 2020, price falls of 70 per cent since 2010, and PV at scale already delivering levelised costs at or below that of offshore wind, there is no sign that DECC is now going to embrace PV as a cost-effective contributor to the UK’s 2020 renewables and carbon targets. Indeed, the reverse is true. We searched in vain for the section in the PV RO banding consultation document talking up the cost-effective contribution that can be made by a technology that has already delivered the 2020 levelised costs predicted for it in the 2011 Renewables roadmap.
Business Green 25th Oct 2012 more >>
Welsh Solar Revolution
A £20MILLION solar technology project turning “buildings into power stations” will create 300 jobs in Wales. A partnership including the universities of Bangor and Glyndwr (Wrexham) and Tata Steel in Shotton is spearheading an initiative aimed at taking advantage of large properties by integrating new technologies into roofs and walls to generate and store clean renewable energy. They say Wales is on the threshold of a £1billion global renewables industry if it capitalises on the structural mass of supermarkets, retail outlets and industrial parks, such as Deeside, St Asaph and Llangefni.
Daily Post 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Lincolnshire Solar Park
A RENEWABLE energy project on the Lincolnshire coast which will use just the power of the sun, has been approved. East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee supported plans by Juwi Renewable Energy Ltd for the sun park on land at the Hollies at Croft, near to the two wind turbines in this area.
East Lindsey Target 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Bristol Solar Park
RESIDENTS in Backwell are gearing up to fight plans to build a solar energy park on acres of green belt land in the village. Wessex Solar Energy has submitted plans to build a solar energy facility on land at Garleys Wood, Downside. The scheme will see up to 75,000 photovoltaic panels mounted on metal frames at intervals of three to four metres on the 11.9 hectare site. The new solar park – which would have a 25- year lifespan – would be able to produce 5MW of electricity at peak output times – enough electricity to power up to around 1,600 households.
Bristol Post 24th Oct 2012 more >>
The UK’s first urban community-owned solar energy project in Brixton, Lambeth, has scooped an award in the Sustainable Housing Finance category, which celebrates projects that are at the vanguard of housing sustainability best practice. Brixton Energy Solar 1 is co-produced by Lambeth Council and Repowering South London with support from local residents. Funding for the project was raised through a share offer that attracted investors from the local community and throughout the UK. The solar panels are situated on the roofs of a building on the Loughborough Estate in Brixton.
Build 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
IKEA plans to be energy and resource independent by 2020 under an ambitious new sustainability strategy backed by 1.5bn in clean energy investment and unveiled today by the global furniture retailer. The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers’ desire for a greener lifestyle, the firm said in a webcast this morning.
Business Green 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
Solar Portal 24th Oct 2012 more >>
Solar technology has once more topped the opinion polls as the most popular form of energy generation. An incredible 74% of Brits indicated that they want the Government to utilise more solar to meet the country’s future energy requirements.
Solar Portal 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
Business Green 23rd Oct 2012 more >>
A hydro scheme that could net a Highland Perthshire community a multimillion-pound windfall is an ‘‘interesting proposition’’, according to the local councillor.
Dundee Courier 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
An innovative bid to harness the Water of Leith has moved a significant step further after city planners backed the proposals. Plans to revive the use of the hydroelectric power station at the Harlaw Reservoir dam for the benefit of the local community are set to be approved later this week. The defunct structure was once part of a network which powered mills across the region, and residents from a Balerno community group are now bidding to return the device to its previous use. Comprising a skilled set of homeowners, including designers and engineers, the Balerno Village Trust has drawn up plans for the 65-kilowatt device – which has been defunct since the Second World War – at minimal cost. It would be connected to the National Grid, which would in turn pay the community for the power generated. They would also receive feed-in tariffs from the government for generating green energy. After ten months of planning, officials at the city council have recommended councillors back the bid, which they will formally vote on next week.
Edinburgh Evening News 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
Five companies have announced that they will joining the three previous solar companies in requesting damages from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The companies claim that the “unlawful and unfair” cuts to the feed-in tariff caused substantial damages to the solar companies’ respective businesses.
Solar Portal 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
Business Green 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
Conducted by the University of Surrey the ‘Efficient Household Appliances Study’ revealed that even the greenest households are not making the connection between their energy use and bills. For example with washing machines it discovered that by buying a more efficient appliance in the first place and by turning washing temperatures down to 30 degrees the energy used for washing clothes could be cut by 48 per cent. The research findings echo those of the ground-breaking ‘Powering the Nation’ research, which also unearthed some unwelcome surprises about the way households use energy. For instance, despite numerous awareness campaigns the average household is still spending between £50 to £85 per year on appliances on stand-by.
Business Green 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
Ecoliving, the micro-renewable energy installer, was among the winners at the Micropower Council Awards. The ceremony took place at nextgen at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire with the awards designed to highlight the achievements of the microgeneration industry over the past year. Ecoliving won the ‘Installer of the Year’ award. For this award the judges were looking for an installer organisation that could demonstrate commercial success and a positive impact on the sector as well as a clear and compelling vision for paving the way to mass market microgeneration.
H&V News 22nd Oct 2012 more >>
PLANS to spend £24 million to make NHS hospital and facilities in Scotland more energy efficient have been unveiled. The Scottish Government said the money would be spent over the next three years on a range of projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases across NHS Scotland by around 10 per cent. Ministers say the measures should save the NHS around £4 million in energy costs each year and that the savings will be reinvested in providing frontline patient care.
Scotsman 21st Oct 2012 more >>
In a report to be unveiled at the British Hydropower Association conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Carluke-based Baby Hydro will say the industry is “floundering” through a combination of poor grid connections, lack of suitably skilled workers and difficulties raising finance. Baby Hydro, whose predecessor Nick Forrest Associates modelled the hydroelectric industry for the Scottish Government in 2008, has reduced its forecast build-out of hydro to 2020 by 30% to around 112MW.
Herald 21st Oct 2012 more >>
A LAIRD has offered to share up to half of a possible £12 million profit if residents allow a hydro-electric scheme to be built at a famous Scottish beauty spot. Donald Ogilvy Watson is offering the people of Aberfeldy 50 per cent of any profit from the scheme in return for permission to build part of it on common land. Renewable energy consultants estimate that the offer, which depends on the community investing around £285,000 in the project, could net the community in the Perthshire town more than £6 million over the next 50 years.
Scotsman 21st Oct 2012 more >>
Vegetated roofs can improve the output from photovoltaic solar panels, according to two recent studies. One study in Germany showed an average of 6% increase in power and the Bronx Design and Construction Academy in New York City found that green roofs boosted production by 3%.
Green Buildings 21st Oct 2012 more >>
The government has followed its commitment to provide £125m of funding to incentivise the uptake of energy-efficiency improvements with the announcement of a further £40m to support localised energy-efficiency initiatives.
Business Green 19th Oct 2012 more >>
With energy prices on an ever upward trajectory, Britons are increasingly turning to wood-burning and other solid fuel stoves to heat their homes – in some cases running them on home-grown or recycled wood. Last year more than 180,000 UK homes had a stove installed, and sellers say this week’s domestic gas and electricity price increases will only add more interest to the sector.
Guardian 19th Oct 2012 more >>
Today (Friday 19th) saw the opening of the first community owned revenue generating wind turbine in the Western Isles. ‘Cuibhle an Fhortain’ (The Wheel of Fortune) is the fisrt of its kind on the island and is in the village of Shawbost. Energy generated by the turbine will be sold into the National Grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme, and will provide an estimated £80,000 annually for the local community, which consists of 70 households on the western side of the Isle of Lewis.
Stornoway Gazette 19th Oct 2012 more >>
STV 19th Oct 2012 more >>
Highland charity Soirbheas Ltd is completing the final stages of fundraising before construction begins on the 10 MW Corrimony windfarm between Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, near Inverness. The development, which is being delivered in partnership with local company Corrimony Energy, owned by the Girvan family, is set to be operational early next year.
Green Energy Net 18th Oct 2012 more >>
Funding for Community Projects
How other community-based renewable energy projects have accessed the funding and income to turn their proposals into reality. This is part of PlanLoCaL (http://www.planlocal.org.uk), a project from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), that helps communities influence local planning policy and contribute to a low-carbon and renewable energy future (http://www.cse.org.uk).
You Tube 10th March 2011 more >>