week ending 14 December 2012
A new survey of experts argues that solar power will become much cheaper through 2025, while expanding greatly-but for these trends to continue for the long term, will require a commitment to funding research.
IB Times 14th Dec 2012 more >>
DAVID Hill’s phone stopped ringing on December 12 last year and didn’t ring again until January 23. The month-long drought in business and income for him and his 21 employees began the very day that the Government’s 50% tariff reduction for household solar scheme came into effect, clouding the horizons of what had been a healthy and growing renewables industry. Perhaps too healthy. During the “gold rush”, as Hill and others in the industry put it, his business, Carbon Legacy, was installing up to five renewable energy systems a week, seven days a week.
Nottingham Post 14th Dec 2012 more >>
Terraced Housing Makeover
Roof gardens and solar water systems may not be the kind of architectural details usually associated with the traditional Welsh terraced home. But the house-type intrinsically linked with our industrial past has been given a design overhaul that could yet see it become the future’s ideal home. Modern, more environmentally sustainable versions of the terrace could soon be built under a new pilot scheme – and it is hoped renovations to existing properties will also be a viable, cost-effective option.
Wales Online 14th Dec 2012 more >>
Large Solar & Planning Policies
Large-scale solar developers have been urged to work closely with local authorities to avoid seeing future project proposals rejected by planning officers. With recent changes to national planning policy, councils in the UK are now drawing up local policies dictating what renewables projects will or will not be permitted in a given area, and there are fears that unless the solar industry influences this process, it could see future projects turned down.
Solar Portal 13th Dec 2012 more >>
Dorset Solar Farm
ONE of the UK’s biggest solar energy farms could be built in Christchurch should multi-million pound plans be given the go-ahead. Solar Power Generation Ltd has applied for permission to build a 118 acre – 48 hectare – farm on land owned by Eco Sustainable Solutions at Parley.
Dorset Echo 13th Dec 2012 more >>
Roof mounted solar
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is considering introducing a new, higher Renewable Obligation (RO) band for roof-mounted solar. Solar Power Portal understands that DECC is contemplating the move after a number of responses to the RO consultation expressed concerns that the 250kW-5MW solar market under a FiT rate of 7.1p/kWh has been brought to a standstill. As a result, setting the RO rate with the proposed FiT equivalency methodology would render the onsite mid-scale solar market severely under supported.
Solar Portal 13th Dec 2012 more >>
Energy bills for a number of homes in Keith look set to be slashed thanks to a pioneering Moray Council scheme to combat fuel poverty. The 80 properties at Mar Court are to be the first in Scotland to benefit from the Scottish Government’s National Retrofit Programme that will see them being insulated with new cladding fitted to exteriors and walls. Work will be undertaken as a result of a £285,000 grant, part of £3.5million in funding revealed by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this week to help combat fuel poverty.
STV 13th Dec 2012 more >>
LED Finance Scheme
Companies and public sector organisations can now get energy-efficient LED lighting systems fitted for free under a new £5m investment scheme. An Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) company set up by London-based Goldfield Partners will install a fully-tested LED system with no upfront cost, earning revenue by way of a five year maintenance agreement that companies can pay using the resulting energy savings.
Business Green 13th Dec 2012 more >>
Energy independence for Bristol can be achieved in two ways: firstly by investment in Bristol renewable energy, and secondly, by massive investment in energy efficiency. The problems of the 21st century cannot be solved with 20th-century solutions, but the irony is that the radical funding solutions leading to energy independence may be found prior to the advent of modern banking in 1694.
Bristol 24/7 13th Dec 2012 more >>
Solar Business Park
The UK’s first solar-powered business park has generated 730,000kWh in its first 12 months, preventing 400 tonnes of CO2 from being released in to the atmosphere. Since the installation of 3,000 ground solar panels last year, Oxfordshire-based Howbery Business Park, which counts the Environment Agency among its tenants, powered 34% of its park with solar energy from April to September 2012, beating its initial forecast of 25%.
Edie 13th Dec 2012 more >>
A NEW solar panel system which should generate electricity equivalent to that used by seven has been unveiled on the roof of a doctors’ surgery in Totnes. The system will power the Leatside Surgery in Babbage Road and is likely to reduce its electricity bills by 20 per cent.
Herald Express 12th Dec 2012 more >>
Solar Strategy Needed
STA’s solar specialist, Ray Noble, said: “The Treasury is fixating on the wrong technologies. The UK needs a dedicated Solar Power Strategy. If the government is serious about tackling climate change, answering the looming energy crunch and seizing huge economic opportunities, it needs to vigorously back solar technology. “It is particularly disturbing to have this unconventional gas push announced as nations struggle to hammer out a desperately needed global agreement on preventing dangerous climate change.” STA says solar can be deployed quickly. It is already competitive with other forms of low-carbon generation at the mid-size and larger scale, requiring less than 2 ROCs of support. The government’s Gas Strategy anticipates CCS gas costing £100/MWh in the 2020s, which is the same price anticipated for offshore wind. According to the Association, solar power is likely to be competitive without subsidy with the retail prices of electricity in the 2020s.
Roofing Cladding & Insulation 12th Dec 2012 more >>
Cofely, a GDF SUEZ company, has completed the first phase of the Leicester District Energy Scheme, enabling thousands of homes, as well as council-owned and other buildings in Leicester, to be provided with environmentally friendly energy. The Leicester District Energy Scheme is a 25-year £15mn partnership between Leicester City Council and Cofely District Energy. Spanning six city estates, the system is the largest of its kind in the UK to be installed in one phase. It uses a combination of over 5MW of low carbon gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) and upgraded biomass boilers, which will help achieve carbon savings of around 12,000 tonnes per year by 2014, Cofely says. It is anticipated these carbon savings will rise to more than 20,000 tonnes per year by 2020.
Renewable Energy Focus 12th Dec 2012 more >>
An installation of 144 solar panels on the roof of Norwich City Hall has gained a local family business a national award.
Eastern Daily Press 12th Dec 2012 more >>
Solar Farm Opposition
PROPOSALS for a 16,000-panel solar energy farm on land just outside Mickleton have left people up in arms. MS Power Projects has submitted plans for the two-and- a-half metre high solar photovoltaic panels on land at Norton Hall, just off Broad Marston Road.
Cotswold Journal 12th Dec 2012 more >>
Ofgem has issued new guidance on Renewable Heat Incentive payments for ground-source heat pumps. Until now there has been confusion over how to calculate RHI payments for systems that cool as well as heat a building, as during the cooling process heat is returned from the building back underground for storage. Ofgem is now recommending an approach, first suggested by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, that acts as a “ready reckoner” of the amount of “first time” heat extracted from the ground.
H&V News 11th Dec 2012 more >>
The Wood Window Alliance (WWA), an independent body made up of 17 members manufacturing many different kinds of doors and windows, has launched a campaign to highlight the benefits that having wood windows can bring property owners.
Independent 11th Dec 2012 more >>
A high profile solar power company, which employs 40 staff in Cardiff, has gone into administration. G24 Innovations designs flexible solar panels capable of powering mobile phones.
BBC 11th Dec 2012 more >>
A row brewing on Dartmoor represents the region’s first large-scale protest over hydroelectric-generation. We’ve had plenty of mass objections to wind farms in the past few years – now we’re witnessing dissent over something which, on the face of it, doesn’t have anywhere near the impact as tall turbines with turning blades.
Western Morning News 11th Dec 2012 more >>
Anesco is celebrating the triple after being awarded contracts from two local authorities and a leading housing association to fit insulation in thousands of tenant homes.
Anesco 10th Dec 2012 more >>
ROYAL Bank of Scotland’s corporate and institutional banking arm is today launching a £200 million fund to help businesses invest in new technology to reduce energy costs. The bank said it plans to provide lower lending rates to companies by using the UK Government’s Funding for Lending scheme. The Carbon Reduction Fund is being targeted at firms with turnover of more than £25 million. It is planned to finance sustainable energy projects, such as fitting buildings with more efficient lighting, providing on-site wind power or installing more environmentally friendly heating options, such as ground source heat pumps.
Herald 10th Dec 2012 more >>
The price of solar PV systems is to keep on falling according to a joint report from the US government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Berkeley’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL).
Renewable Energy Focus 10th Dec 2012 more >>
Solar Installation Rates
The latest weekly solar installation figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are beginning to paint a brighter picture for the UK solar industry as installation rates jumped up another 40%. The week ending 2 December saw industry install 1,615 domestic-scale installations, a 42% increase on the 1,137 installations put in place during the last week of November. The increased installation levels will come as a welcome boost for industry which has experienced lacklustre installation figures since March. Despite the increase, installation levels are still relatively small; Solar Trade Association’s PV specialist, Ray Noble, thinks that the UK solar industry should be installing around 6,000 installs a week by spring next year.
Solar Portal 10th Dec 2012 more >>
Green Homes Hub
UK start-up WithGreen is poised to launch an online hub designed to help people identify green home improvement suppliers that can help them cut their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The company, which specialises in providing a range of business development services to green goods and services providers, said the new website would officially launch next month, ahead of the full launch of the government’s flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.
Business Green 10th Dec 2012 more >>
Householders in the Dunbar and East Linton are being offered grants to install solar water heating systems with funding from the Aikengall Wind Farm owners’ Community Windpower Ltd. The company, which commissioned the Dunbar wind farm, wants to encourage home owners ‘be green’ and use the sun’s energy for hot
East Lothian News 9th Dec 2012 more >>
Solar Coal Museum
WALES’ national coal mining museum is now benefitting from solar energy following the installation of PV panels, which will bring in an income of around £400,000 over the next 25 years. Big Pit has installed 200 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the Big Pit museum building in Blaenavon.
South Wales Argus 9th Dec 2012 more >>
Evergreen Energy Solutions has revealed a woodburning boiler that could mean greener, cheaper energy once you’ve paid for the system to be installed. The wood pellet condensing boiler - technically known as a biomass system - burns wood pellets, which are automatically fed into the system at regular intervals. The system is also cleaned automatically, which the company claims helps reduce breakdowns. The product is one of a number of wood-burning boilers on sale. Our full guide to wood heating systems shows how much you could save: as much as £580 per year if you replace electric heating in a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house (about £100 a year replacing gas heating).
Which? 8th Dec 2012 more >>
EcoIsland – the UK’s largest single sustainability project – will see hydrogen vehicles on the roads and in the water around the Isle of Wight, as well as providing a demonstration of smart grid technologies in tandem with the use of hydrogen for both vehicle refuelling and energy storage.
Renewable Energy Focus 7th Dec 2012 more >>