week ending 23 November 2012
The latest weekly solar installation figures show that the domestic-scale solar market is continuing to struggle. Installations in September and October averaged around 1,767 a week, however, when a number of feed-in tariff levels were degressed by 3.5% at the beginning of November, the installation rate plummeted by 72.9% to just 841 registered installs for the week ending 11 November. The steep drop in installation rates will not come as a surprise to many in the industry, as installation rates have always experienced a dramatic tail off following the downward revision of tariffs. However, the severity of the drop has caught many industry players by surprise considering that the headline 0-4kWp FiT figure was only cut by just over half a pence.
Solar Portal 23rd Nov 2012 more >>
Scotland is sacrificing an estimated £1 billion in potential annual income from renewable energy by allowing multi-national energy companies to cream off the profits from wind energy, Aberdeenshire farmer and entrepreneurial businessman, Maitland Mackie, has claimed. In an open letter to Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy and Tourism, Dr Mackie urges the Scottish Government to do more to keep the profits in Scotland by easing the planning regulations which, he says, act as a disincentive to farmers and landowners to invest in wind energy themselves.
Buchan Observer 23rd Nov 2012 more >>
Biogas to Grid
The country’s “first” commercial-scale biomethane plant connected directly to the grid was opened by The Prince of Wales yesterday. The 5MW anaerobic digestor should be capable of supplying renewable gas to 56,000 new-build homes when at maximum capacity in the summer with output falling by around 4,000 homes in the winter.
Business Green 22nd Nov 2012 more >>
Somerset-based renewable installer, Solarsense, has won the 2012 South West Green Energy Installer of the Year Award. The award recognises the company’s continued commercial success as well as community engagement following various local initiatives that it ran over the year. The company was praised by the judges for its strong commitment to the community. Solarsense recently installed a solar carport at its head offices that provides the Bristol area with free electricity for local EVs. The addition of the solar carport further boosts the company’s Backwell head office’s green credentials which now operates at zero-carbon.
Solar Portal 22nd Nov 2012 more >>
The Solar Trade Association (STA) is warning the UK government against ruling out mid-and large-sized photovoltaic installations when it rules on new support levels. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is expected to outline the level of financial support for solar power under the Renewable Obligation (RO) shortly.
Energy Efficiency News 22nd Nov 2012 more >>
Over the next ten days, DECC will be deciding on the level of financial support for solar power under the Renewables Obligation (RO). The consultation has focused on utility-scale solar (5MW+), but the STA has raised concerns with DECC that the needs of mid-sized installations in the non-domestic sector must also be addressed. Nothing has been built in the largest FIT band (250kW-5MW) since the FIT was reduced to just 7.1p in July. The RO at two ROCs had just begun to support mid-size solar but it is unclear how this sub-sector will be enabled going forwards.
Roofing Cladding and Insulation 21st Nov 2012 more >>
H&V News 21st Nov 2012 more >>
The government must address the mid-sized non-domestic solar market in its forthcoming decision on what rate of support solar will receive under the Renewables Obligation (RO), according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).
Solar Portal 20th Nov 2012 more >>
Edie 20th Nov 2012 more >>
The Big Six energy firms could miss targets aimed at reducing bills for vulnerable people because they say they are proving too hard to find. The failure to hit the targets could see the regulator, OfGem, broaden their scope in a bid to help the utilities meet their obligations. A spokesman for Npower said: “The industry is spending three times more on finding these customers than it is actually financing the delivery of the carbon saving. It’s ridiculous.” The Government’s CERT initiative requires all large domestic energy suppliers to make carbon savings of 293 Mt CO2 by 31 December 2012 through efficiency measures such as home insulation designed to reduce bills. But the bill payer funded scheme is designed to specially help the fuel poor.
Energy Desk 21st Nov 2012 more >>
One in 10 households could be getting financial help with the cost of their fuel bills, insulation and new boilers, according to the Home Heat Helpline. Research for the helpline indicates an estimated 3.4 million households are eligible for help through the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme. This entitles those who are eligible – because they receive an out-of-work benefit, tax credits, pension credit or a disability benefit, or live in private rented or owner-occupied housing and lack sufficient loft or wall cavity insulation – to help which is designed to reduce the size of their energy bills, including discounts and rebates on bills and action to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Guardian 20th Nov 2012 more >>
It has been widely thought that the arrival of cost-competitive rooftop solar PV systems would be the biggest game changer in the electricity market. But it may be that the emergence of affordable energy storage systems will have an even more profound impact.
Renew Economy 21st Nov 2012 more >>
Following the success of Sundog Energy’s recently launched solar advice centre, the Cumbria-based renewable specialist is expanding the facility to include wood-pellet biomass boilers, ground and air source heat pumps, solar water heating and wind turbines. The aim is to make the company’s new Renewable Energy Advice Centre a one-stop shop for all renewable energy solutions, advising customers on the merits of various renewable technologies while also exploding some of the myths that surround renewables, the company said.
Solar Portal 21st Nov 2012 more >>
Green Guru Guide book Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.
IB Times 21st Nov 2012 more >>
Plans to power HMP Grendon and HMP Spring Hill with a field of almost 13,000 solar panels have been approved in principle. Members of Aylebury Vale District Council’s cabinet discussed the groundbreaking scheme at a meeting on Tuesday last week, and have asked for more information pending final approval.
Bicester Advertiser 20th Nov 2012 more >>
There is a ban on cars, cats and dogs and the view from your window is a pile of rotting wood. Welcome to Sinclair Meadows, South Shields, one of the UK’s first carbon negative streets. The complex only opened six weeks ago, yet every home - complete with shed, compost heap and allotment - has tenants. The toilets are flushed with rainwater, collected in tanks from rooftops solar panels, and hot water and electricity are generated on site by a big biomass burner which runs on wood pellets.
BBC 19th Nov 2012 more >>
Good Energy will today unveil a new electricity tariff offering people living near its wind farms discounts on their energy bills in a bid to boost the benefit communities get from hosting turbines. The independent utility will launch the local electricity tariff early next year for any customers living within two kilometers of a Good Energy wind farm with a capacity greater than 4MW.
Business Green 19th Nov 2012 more >>
THE Bishop of Oxford proved his head for heights when he climbed on to the roof of a north Oxfordshire church to bless some new solar panels. The Rt Rev John Pritchard climbed to the top of St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Deddington to give the panels his blessing on Thursday. The 42 photovoltaic panels were installed by SMC Solar, a company based in Stanford in the Vale, near Wantage. Bishop John said: “I was really impressed to see the solar panels here on the church. “There’s never been a more urgent time to take green approaches to the generation of energy, and every scheme like this helps a little.
Witney Gazette 19th Nov 2012 more >>
The Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, has admitted that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is still waiting for the first Green Deal assessment to be lodged on the official register. Responding to a written question from Luciana Berger, the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, which asked: “How many Green Deal assessments have been carried out since October 2012?” The Minister replied: “While we understand a number of appointments for the in-property assessments have been made, no assessments have yet been lodged on the register.” The sluggish start to the Coalition’s so-called flagship environmental scheme has been confounded by the fact that only 12 companies have registered as Green Deal providers, a point confirmed by Barker during a Green Deal Q&A session on the DECC website. However, the Minister stressed that he expects to see “many, many more through before Christmas.”
Solar Portal 19th Nov 2012 more >>
Business Green 19th Nov 2012 more >>
Disappointing Solar Sales
The sluggish performance of the solar industry in October has meant that installation levels are likely to fall below the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) stated capacity triggers. According to analysis by Feed-in Tariff Ltd, the lacklustre level of solar sales will probably result in no tariffs being degressed in January with provisional figures released by DECC showing that the capacity installed from August to October falls below the government’s target range in all three tariff bands.
Solar Portal 19th Nov 2012 more >>
Dunbar Community Turbine
A wind turbine earmarked for Cocklaw Hill just south of Dunbar is expected to raise £4 million in profit over the next 20 years to develop local projects. The Dunbar Community Energy Company (DCEco), a trading subsidiary of the charity Sustaining Dunbar, has lodged a planning application for the community-owned wind turbine. Following a community consultation in January, the company has opted for a smaller wind turbine than initially planned and found a way to finance it.
East Lothian News 17th Nov 2012 more >>
Solar short change
A sculptor and part of a British broadcasting dynasty has been left short-changed by his faulty solar system. Nicholas Dimbleby, 66, son of BBC legend Richard and younger brother to David and Jonathan, had solar panels installed in the grounds of his Devon manor house.
Western Morning News 17th Nov 2012 more >>
Green Deal Provider
Anesco has strengthened its position as a leader in the energy efficiency sector, after becoming one of the first firms in the UK to be approved as a Green Deal provider.
Anesco 16th Nov 2012 more >>
A new report published by the green campaign group Energy Fair shows that rapid renewables growth in the UK spearheaded by solar photovoltaics (PV) will severely eat into nuclear’s market by the time any new nuclear stations are brought online in 2020 or later. The report, titled The financial risks of investing in new nuclear power plants, states: “By the time any new nuclear plant can be built in the UK, the market for its electricity will be disappearing, regardless of any possible increase in the overall demand for electricity.
Solar Portal 16th Nov 2012 more >>
More than 5,000 people have now signed up to a bulk-buy energy scheme that promises to cut gas and electricity bills by up to £200 for households in Greater Manchester. Residents are registering at a rate of around 250 a day for the ‘Power to the People’ energy co-operative which will see the region’s 10 councils negotiate bargain tariffs for residents.
Oldham Advertiser 15th Nov 2012 more >>