week ending 22 February 2013
B&Q goes for Biogas
B&Q’s high-profile sustainability initiative has taken another leap forward with the delivery of 50 dual fuel lorries that promise to help it meet demanding targets to halve transport emissions by 2023. The retail giant confirmed yesterday it is to run its new fleet using a mixture of 40 per cent natural gas and 60 per cent biomethane provided by biogas specialist Gasrec.
Business Green 22nd Feb 2013 more >>
The European Commission has announced that it will refer the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the reduced VAT rate for the supply and installation of energy-saving materials, which includes solar PV and solar thermal modules.
Solar Portal 22nd Feb 2013 more >>
Business Green 21st Feb 2013 more >>
Algae biofuel facades, solar power paint and robotic maintenance all feature in engineering giant Arup’s vision for the buildings of the future.
RTCC 21st Feb 2013 more >>
West Sussex goes Solar
West Sussex County Council is expecting to save £5,900 in a year after installing photovoltaic panels on one if its buildings in Chichester. The solar panels were installed on the Grange block, at County Hall in Chichester, by the Council’s Carbon Management Team in partnership with SSE Contracting, will also save the council more than 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. The cost of the panels was £58,000, and this cost is expected to have covered itself within seven years. It’s estimated that the 40 kilowatt solar panels will generate an average of 29,582 kilowatt hours of electricity per annum over the next 20 years.
West Sussex Gazette 21st Feb 2013 more >>
Isle of Wight
The clean energy products company Acta SpA has signed a letter of intent with the EcoIsland Partnership in the UK, which aims to make the Isle of Wight the first sustainable region in Britain. Acta will provide a domestic renewable energy storage solution, to produce and store hydrogen for use in a fuel cell system in a house.
Renewable Energy Focus 21st Feb 2013 more >>
The Micropower Council has submitted our response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee Enquiry on the RHI Scheme. The executive summary has been included below and the full Written Evidence Submission on the Renewable Heat Incentive for the Select Committee can be seen online.
Micro Power Council 21st Feb 2013 more >>
Meters running backwards
Around a quarter of Which? members who have solar PV panels installed have noticed their electricity meter runs backwards. This means they’re receiving free electricity from their energy company. However, while households may be reluctant to tell their supplier about this some members have been landed with additional bills retrospectively.
Which? 21st Feb 2013 more >>
One of the UK’s leading environmental charities has revealed ambitious plans to support the rollout of the government’s Green Deal scheme by providing households and businesses with advice on how simple behaviour change measures can help maximise environmental and financial savings, cutting their energy bills and leaving them with cosier homes and offices. Groundwork, a federation of independent local trusts focused on environmental and community development projects and probably best known as the charity partner that manages projects funded by Marks & Spencer’s plastic bag levy, is currently working on two pilot projects designed to explore how independent behaviour change advice can help drive Green Deal take up.
Business Green 21st Feb 2013 more >>
Scotland’s leading organisation representing housing associations and co-operatives has called for the Scottish Government to invest more in fuel poverty and energy efficiency measures in order to help meet its climate change targets and support those in greatest need. Responding to a Scottish Parliament enquiry into the Scottish Government’s progress towards meeting the carbon emission reduction targets set in the Climate Change Scotland Act (2009), the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has said that while it welcomes the Scottish Government’s funding of the National Retrofit Programme (NRP), this funding needs to be substantially increased.
24 Dash 20th Feb 2013 more >>
Clarity and ensuring consumers understand who is eligible is key to encouraging more people to participate in energy efficiency schemes, according to Consumer Focus Scotland. The consumer body acknowledges that awareness of energy efficiency schemes is high, but highlights that “comparatively few consumers report that they have accessed help from these programmes”.
Utility Week 20th Feb 2013 more >>
Wick District Heating
A new biomass boiler has been installed in Wick, Scotland as part of its district heating scheme. The 3.5MW steam boiler, installed and operated by Ignis Biomass, forms part of an initial £2.5 million ( 2.8 million) investment into the scheme. A local whiskey distillery will also benefit from the steam produced too, allowing it to move away from fossil fuel use.
Bioenergy Insight 20th Feb 2013 more >>
The UK could lose billions of pounds and thousands of jobs in the solar industry if the EU imposes tariffs on cheap imported panels from China, a report has claimed. The European Commission is investigating if solar panels coming into Europe from China are being sold below market value – known as “dumping” – and benefiting from unfair Chinese government subsidies.
Professional Engineering 20th Feb 2013 more >>
Guardian 19th Feb 2013 more >>
Juliet Davenport: Simple policies like the feed-in tariff has led to an unprecedented growth in clean, decentralised electricity generation in villages, towns and cities across the UK. The scheme has not just delivered value for homeowners or businesses by helping them protect themselves from rising energy bills; it has mobilised the finances of hundreds of thousands of individuals and organisations to deliver desperately needed new investment in clean energy technology.
Business Green 20th Feb 2013 more >>
A SOLAR PV specialist in Gloucestershire has developed new technology costing tens of thousands of pounds in response to predicted future power cuts. Clear Focus has invested £40,000 in PV Plus, a solar energy backup and storage system, which stores power generated by solar panels for later use.
Gloucestershire Echo 19th Feb 2013 more >>
Stow-based renewable energy installer Freewatt is opening a new branch in Loughborough. Over the last four years the company, set up in 2008 by Julian Patrick, has grown from a turnover of £44,000 to revenue of £6.6 million in 2012.
Solar Portal 19th Feb 2013 more >>
Households across the Lothians are being offered the chance to save money on their energy bills through a “collective buying initiative”. Residents living in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian will be able to secure a better deal from energy companies through the Scots Together scheme by social enterprise Changeworks. Householders from other areas will also be able to participate. Changeworks chief executive Teresa Bray said: “Changeworks is delighted to have successfully co-ordinated the application for the local authority partners.
Scotsman 18th Feb 2013 more >>
See Scots Together 18th Feb 2013 more >>
Zero Carbon Dithering
Government dithering over proposed higher standards for energy efficiency in new homes is threatening the building of tens of thousands of houses this year, exacerbating the UK’s housing crisis and deterring new investment, industry leaders have warned.
Guardian 18th Feb 2013 more >>
Labour has urged the government to confirm its commitment to making all new homes meet “zero carbon” standards by 2016 and end the “dithering and delay” around new Building Regulations. An open letter to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles signed by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint, and Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey was released late last week, calling for clarification on when the policy details surrounding the zero carbon home target will be finalised.
Business Green 18th Feb 2013 more >>