week ending 22 March 2013
Northumberland Schools Revolution
SCHOOLS across Northumberland are to get their own mini-wind turbines and eco-friendly heating systems as council bosses step up a £7m investment programme in renewable energy. Solar panels have already been installed on the roofs of 89 schools as part of the drive to reduce the county’s carbon footprint and cut energy costs. Now, as a new report reveals the panels are on course to save £66,000 a year from school energy bills, further measures are in the pipeline to continue the green revolution.
Newcastle Journal 22nd March 2013 more >>
RSPB teams up with Ecotricity
Wind farms have long been characterised as being harmful to wildlife, but thanks to a pioneering new partnership between the RSPB and one of the UK’s leading wind farm developers they could soon become established as valuable wild life habitats. The charity has this week officially launched a partnership with Ecotricity that will see the two organisations work together on selecting new wind farm locations, establishing new wildlife habitats at renewable energy projects, and reducing the environmental impact of RSPB offices and visitor centres.
Business Green 22nd March 2013 more >>
Portsmouth Solar Farm
A HUGE solar farm producing enough energy to power 4,600 homes could be built to the north of Chichester. Plans for the 68,676-module farm have been unveiled and would be built on two fields – one off Hunters Race and the other off West Stoke, Lavant. A planning statement from developers Brilliant Harvest stated: ‘The solar park at Hunters Race has been specifically designed to maximise the amount of electrical hours of production per hectare.
Portsmouth News 22nd March 2013 more >>
Solar Thermal & Combi Boilers
Solar Thermal systems are one of the most popular renewable energy technologies. However, many homes have combination boilers and integrating solar heat with these devices is technically more challenging and carries greater risk, especially for retrofit. A “big six” energy supplier engaged Narec Distributed Energy to study the reliability and energy performance of two combi boiler systems fitted with different solar collectors and compare with that of a standard combi. The results of this trial have given the client an informed understanding of the technical and commercial potential of these systems.
Low Carbon Economy 21st March 2013 more >>
The smaller-scale solar PV market in the UK is continuing to recover and grow slowly following the introduction of a new feed-in tariff (FiT) degression model. The latest installation figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that >50kW installations have broken 2,000 a week – a rate 61% higher than the average weekly install figure for January.
Solar Portal 21st March 2013 more >>
Sefton Wind Co-op
RESIDENTS will be able to buy shares in the proposed Lower Alt windfarm if the project is approved. Coriolis and Falck Renewables have said that members of the public will be able to join a community cooperative which would have a stake in the wind farm. The cooperative will provide shareholders with an annual payment based on the value of their stake and the performance of the windfarm.
IC Crosby 21st March 2013 more >>
Liverpool Echo 21st March 2013 more >>
Hampshire Schools go Solar
More Hampshire schools will be able to harness the power of the sun to help reduce their energy bills in future, as solar panels plan to be fitted on up to 20 school extension projects by Hampshire County Council over the next four years. All new primary schools built by the County Council already feature solar PV technology, and in future, technical appraisals for possible solar panel installations will now be carried out on all schools identified for extension across Hampshire.
Hantsweb 20th March 2013 more >>
Solar Farm for Leeds
Plans have been submitted for a 7.2MW solar park on the outskirts of Leeds by local green energy company, Oakapple Renewable Energy. If approved, the £9 million development will be the largest in Yorkshire and generate enough energy to provide 2,100 homes with clean electricity every year.
Solar Portal 19th March 2013 more >>
The government needs to act urgently to give equivalent terms for renewable energy development to community renewable companies as are being given to the big electricity companies. Proposals that could do this in a competitive manner have been put forward by Alan Whitehead MP, but have so far been ignored by the government. It is remarkable that the media is full of special pleading from EDF for outrageously bloated subsidies, but meanwhile there is silence about the plight of independent renewable generators. Community renewable companies will have access to far lower incentive levels than the Big Six energy companies will get for their renewable schemes.
Guardian 19th March 2013 more >>
Dave Toke’s Green Energy Blog 20th March 2013 more >>
Building Integrated PV
Kingspan Group, a UK-based provider of sustainable products for the construction industry, has developed an innovative insulated BIPV module for industrial and commercial rooftops which is expected to “revolutionise” the BIPV market.
PV-Tech 19th March 2013 more >>
Dumfries & Galloway may go for wind
A council is considering putting up three of its own wind turbines to pay for and off set carbon emissions from its street lights. Planners at Dumfries and Galloway are meeting to discuss installing three turbines up to 66 metres high on council land. They have identified 11 sites and are considering using school playing areas.
ITV Border 19th March 2013 more >>
Quiet Revolution in Countryside
Out of sight of the mass of people living in towns and cities, a quiet revolution is underway in the British countryside as more and more farmers are investing in renewable energy. According to the National Farmers Union, one in five of its members had produced clean electricity from solar or wind by the end of 2012. Between 2011 and 2012 there was a 28% increase in the number of biogas plants, capable of providing both renewable electricity and heat from farm waste. This is from a very low base. As yet, the scale of on-farm renewables in Britain is tiny compared with Europe’s leader, Germany. By the end of 2010, German farmers owned over 10% of the country’s renewable energy capacity, equivalent to over 5,700 MW. Compared with the UK’s 78 biogas anaerobic digesters, there were 6,000 digesters in Germany by 2010, with plans to double capacity by 2020. But the German example just shows the potential that could be realised here.
IGov 18th March 2013 more >>
FARMING bosses have said more of Suffolk’s agricultural land could be used to generate green energy as a way of boosting income. The claim comes after proposals for more than 100 ground-mounted solar panels on farm land near Newmarket were submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council. Ronald Davison, of the High Elms Partnership at High Elms Farm in Cowlinge, said the 108 photovoltaic panels would earn an income over the next 25 years and could be especially valuable during a bad year. He added: “We were looking for something to invest in that will give a better return than the bank.
East Anglian Daily Times 18th March 2013 more >>
Green technology group TEG, which jointly owns an anaerobic digestion facility in Glenfarg, has trimmed its annual losses following a 25 per cent jump in revenues. The firm said its Biogas Perth joint venture, which generates power from organic waste, is operating “very successfully”, with output running ahead of its design capacity.
Scotsman 18th March 2013 more >>