week ending 12 April 2013
A university in Australia has developed a new wind turbine design that promises to solve the noise issue associated with urban turbines, through a unique design that can be installed on the sides or tops of skyscrapers and large apartment buildings. The so-called PowerWindows were designed by Professor Farzad Safaei at the ICT Research Unit in the University of Wollongong and has recently led to a two-year deal with engineering firm Birdon to build and test prototypes of the technology.
Business Green 12th April 2013 more >>
The latest figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that interest in the Green Deal is gathering pace. Since the scheme was launched in January there have been over 9,200 assessments lodged. The latest figures show that the number of assessments has dramatically picked up over the last month, with 7,465 assessments lodged in March – a 331% increase from February’s figures.
Solar Portal 11th April 2013 more >>
Business Green11th April 2013 more >>
A £35 million solar farm, thought to be the biggest in the UK, has been connected to the National Grid, its developers Lark Energy announced today. The 34MWp project, constructed on Wymeswold Airfield in Leicestershire, consists of more than 130,000 panels and was commissioned and completed before changes in renewable obligation certificates (Rocs) last month.
Utility Week 12th April 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 11th April 2013 more >>
The University of Salford has opened a £400,000 research facility for solar power which has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The new facility provides businesses based in the north-west region with a facility to test new designs, configurations and installation methods for solar cells. In addition, businesses will be able to benefit from the university’s expertise in the energy sector and will be offered free consultancy services.
Solar Portal 11th April 2013 more >>
Plans for a 40-acre solar park development have been revealed by Hive Energy for an agricultural field at Manthorpe Farm in Swallow Hill, near Thurlby, about 800 metres north east of Manthorpe. The panels would be connected to the National Grid and generate between 6-7MW of energy per year.
Stamford Mercury 12th April 2013 more >>
Real Market Reform
Juliet Davenport: If we’re going to create the kind of decarbonised and secure energy market we all want and this country needs, then we should be concentrating far more on how that market can benefit those who are paying for it: the consumer. This requires fresh thinking and compels us to ask some fundamental questions about the way our energy market operates. That comes down to three things. First, we need to better use customer demand to stimulate investment in green technologies. Second, we need to attract the widest possible range of new entrants to the market as part of the decarbonisation process. The accessibility of renewable technology is key to that. Third, the retail market has to deliver new savings to consumers, through drivers like smarter tariffs linked to the times of the day when renewables are generating electricity.
Business Green 11th April 2013 more >>
Lighting company Philips has developed an LED lamp that it describes as “the world’s most energy-efficient”. It said the prototype tube lighting LED is twice as efficient as those currently used in offices and industry around the world but offers the same amount of light. Being able to halve the amount of energy used could bring huge cost and energy savings. Lighting accounts for more than 19% of global electricity consumption.
BBC 11th April 2013 more >>
A DEVON businessman has been asked to help develop the next generation of street signs which could save taxpayers thousands of pounds. Nick Bartlett, of South West Solar & Renewable Systems based in Uffculme, is heading off to Belgium to work with a new technology company, using his expertise in the field of renewable energy installations to test their latest equipment.
Exeter Express & Echo 11th April 2013 more >>
BusinessGreen Plus explores how best to install solar technology for your company. BusinessGreen explores the policies, technologies and best practices businesses need to consider when installing solar systems.
Business Green 10th April 2013 more >>
In line with positive predictions for the UK solar industry, the country has completed at least 350MW of solar installations in the first quarter of 2013. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), this includes a record number of large ground-mounted PV projects, which were able to take advantage of higher incentive rates before cuts came into effect on 1 April.
PV Tech 10th April 2013 more >>
Renewable energy supplier Good Energy saw its pre-tax profits rise 27 per cent last year to £1.4m, amidst claims its customers were “turning the market upside down” through a massive rise in the number of people generating their own electricity. The company, which specialises in providing 100 per cent green electricity, yesterday released annual results confirming revenue for 2012 rose 31 per cent year-on-year to £28.2m, while gross profits also rose 10 per cent to £9.6m.
Business Green 10th April 2013 more >>
It is accepted wisdom that solar panels should be ‘the last thing you do’, once all your lights are LED, your loft lagged and your windows double, even triple, glazed. This viewpoint is even enshrined in legislation with less energy efficient domestic and business properties receiving a lower feed-in-tariff rate. But what if reversing this journey made it quicker; if installing solar earlier made implementing other energy efficiency measures easier? Evidence from our Solar Schools project certainly points to this. Solar Schools helps schools raise money to install solar panels. We provide on and offline resources, communications training, support and mentoring which enable schools to reach out to, and involve, both their immediate and wider communities. We’ve witnessed mini energy revolutions taking place within many of our Solar Schools. Running a high profile project has succeeded in pushing once struggling and almost invisible ‘green teams’ in to the spot light. With higher visibility has come kudos, and the mandate and support to make things happen.
Energy Desk 9th April 2013 more >>
A farm in the Peterborough area has just invested £1 million creating a huge roof mounted solar panel system in a bid to cut energy costs. Alan Bartlett and Sons (Chatteris) Limited has commissioned the installation of more than 4,000 solar photovoltaic panels that are expected to generate up to 1.2 Megawatts of on-site energy.
Peterborough Telegraph 9th April 2013 more >>
Portugal brings sun
Portugal-based renewable energy company Martifer SGPS is set to boost its solar projects portfolio by adding solar parks with consolidated capacity of nearly 28MW in 2013.
Energy Business Review 9th April 2013 more >>
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Energiewende (and of the years leading up to it) is the almost complete destruction of Germany’s erstwhile power generation oligopoly. Over many years, four large firms had dominated it E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Sweden’s Vattenfall. By 2010, these four once-mighty firms accounted for only 6.5% of electricity generated in Germany with their role being supplanted by hundreds of local co-op, municipal and small-scale producers that have sprung into existence. This is a democratization of economic power unprecedented in the industrial world. So there is no doubting the scale of the changes unleashed by the Energiewende and their long-term impact. Within the next decade, Germany will have shifted from a coal- and nuclear-powered industrial economy with four large, centralized power producers to a thriving, decentralized system generating power from renewable sources all over the country.
Renew Economy 8th April 2013 more >>
Cooking waste from thousands of London restaurants and food companies is to help run what is claimed to be the world’s biggest fat-fuelled power station. The energy generated from the grease, oil and fat that clogs the capital’s sewers will also be channelled to help run a major sewage works and a desalination plant, as well as supplying the National Grid, under plans announced by Thames Water and utility company 2OC. The prospect of easing the financial and logistical problems of pouring £1m a month into clearing the drains of 40,000 fat-caused blockages a year is being hailed by the companies as a “win-win” project. Thirty tonnes a day of waste will be collected from leftover cooking oil supplies at eateries and manufacturers, fat traps in kitchens and pinchpoints in the sewers – enough to provide more than half the fuel the power plant will need to run. The rest of its fuel will come from waste vegetable oil and tallow (animal fats).
Guardian 7th April 2013 more >>
Insulation is a topic whose time has come. Energy prices keep rising and will continue to do so to pay for wind farms and nuclear power stations. You can save two-thirds of your heating bills by insulating your home properly. There are sizeable gains to be made by topping up any job done more than a decade ago, when we didn’t take insulation as seriously. There are two obstacles – besides the cost of actually installing the stuff – torpor and trust. Torpor because you may decide you can’t face the hassle of hiring an army of workers to empty the clutter from the attic. Trust is trickier still, because who, actually, do you? I would like to trust Greg Barker, the energy minister and inventor of the government’s Green Deal, which offers us the opportunity to put the cost of energy-saving improvements on our future electricity bills. But the jury is still out on the skills of the contractors he has empowered, or the wisdom of the advisers who decided Green Deal recipients had to pay annual interest of 7% or more on the investment, secured on the property, which might make it harder to sell.
Sunday Times 7th April 2013 more >>
One of Wales’ leading renewable energy businesses has drawn up plans for the development of one of the largest solar energy parks in the UK. Machynlleth-based Dulas, which is one of the UK’s longest established renewables businesses, has submitted a planning application for the park which would power an approximate equivalent to 3,705 homes. Located at Glebe Farm near Bedford, the proposed 15.5 MW solar park would consist of 65,800 panels covering an area of 27 hectares and would be capable of powering approximately 6% of the homes in Bedford County Borough.
Wales Online 6th April 2013 more >>
Energy Saving Co-op
Businesses and individuals will today be invited to buy shares in an innovative new co-operative, designed to provide low cost energy efficiency retrofits for buildings and green incentives for community groups. The Energy Saving Co-operative, which will today launch its share issue, is aiming to raise between £300,000 and £700,000 to support the new energy efficiency programme. The co-operative has already undertaken a pilot scheme in the Midlands, which saw the organisation undertake building upgrades, such as double glazing and insulation, in partnership with a number of community groups. The model is similar to the government’s recently launched Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, as it aims to provide a one-stop-shop for homes and businesses looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. However, the Energy Co-Operative claims that it can offer cheaper and simpler loans than the government scheme.
Business Green 6th April 2013 more >>