week ending 19 April 2013
There remains an uneasy relationship between ‘paid-for’ and ‘rent-a-roof’ solar developers. Inevitably, whenever the Department of Energy and Climate Change publishes the latest weekly installation figures a section of installers calls foul. Their argument is that the figures aren’t representative of the market because the amount of free installs distort the numbers. To compound matters further, DECC doesn’t distinguish between free and paid-for installs meaning that gleaning this information from the traditional sources is impossible. However, sources close to Solar Power Portal estimate that around 60% of all the 0-4kW installs are free.
Solar Portal 19th April 2013 more >>
Environment Minister Alex Attwood today announced schools, businesses and farm buildings will no longer need planning permission for solar panels. The change involves microgeneration equipment, including panels which generate electricity or heat from sunlight. It will begin on April 30 and follows similar measures previously introduced for the installation of solar panels on homes.
Newsletter 19th April 2013 more >>
Manchester-based solar developer, Green Energy UK Direct Ltd, is investigating the suitability of a 10MW solar park in Canterbury, Kent.
Solar Portal 19th April 2013 more >>
Green Deal Solar
Scotland’s first small “Green Deal” provider has said it expects to double its workforce when the energy-saving scheme arrives. Glasgow-based PV Solar created Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Systems (Helms) to benefit from the new incentives for energy efficiency. Founder Doug Wilkie says he hopes to increase the workforce of 150 to about 300 in response to Green Deal. The scheme allows homes or businesses to pay for energy-saving improvements through savings on their fuel bills, rather than upfront, and will include 45 different measures.
Herald 19th April 2013 more >>
The latest solar installation figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that weekly installations have broken the 8MW barrier for the first time in 2013.
Solar Portal 18th April 2013 more >>
An ambitious plan to provide clean energy to 43 of its historic properties was launched today by the National Trust in conjunction with green electricity supplier Good Energy. The Trust will invest nearly £3.5 million in five pilot projects, including hydro, biomass and heat pumps, during 2013/14. If the pilot is successful, the Trust expects to spend ten times that sum in a programme that will see it generate 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and halve its fossil fuel consumption by 2020.
Good Energy 18th April 2013 more >>
The National Trust has revealed a plan to generate half of its power from renewable sources by 2020. The trust already has 150 individual renewables schemes, but the new document projects how fossil fuel will be reduced across its properties. It aspires to set an example to others by integrating renewable energy into sensitive landscapes.
BBC 18th April 2013 more >>
Telegraph 18th April 2013 more >>
Business Green 18th April 2013 more >>
Councillors have agreed to install 200 solar panels to Banchory Academy. The request for full planning permission for installation of 200 solar photovoltaic PV panels was approved by members at the Marr Area Committee meeting in Huntly on Tuesday (April 16). Councillors unanimously backed the proposal to install the energy friendly units on the flat roofed building to the south east of the wider Academy site. It will be a major green boost for the school and comes as part of the wider Aberdeen City and Shire structural plan which the report into the panels surmises: “The purpose of this Structure Plan is to set a clear direction for the future development of the North East... objectives identified (include)...promoting economic growth, promoting sustainable economic development which will reduce carbon dioxide production, adapt to the effects of climate change and limit the amount of non-renewable resources used.”
Donside Piper 17th April 2013 more >>
Charles will also open a heat and power biomass plant in Speyside, designed to recycle waste from the whisky-making process. The Helius Corde plant will process waste from nearby distilleries to generate 8.32 megawatts of electricity every year, enough to power 9,000 homes in the area, the operators said. It will also produce an animal feed protein supplement as a by-product.
Scotsman 17th April 2013 more >>
Business Green 18th April 2013 more >>
Leeds Green Deal
The 11 councils that make up the Leeds City Region have launched the country’s largest Green Deal scheme, predicting that more than 12,000 homes in Yorkshire should undertake energy efficiency improvements in the next few years. The £100m initiative is designed to help domestic and non-domestic properties reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions, while maximising economies of scale for the programme through collective purchasing.
Business Green 17th April 2013 more >>
Energy Efficient Appliances
UK households could save millions of pounds a year if they all switched to the most energy efficient appliances, according to a new report from charity Global Action Plan (GAP). Large appliances, such as washing machines and fridges, account for 42% of household electricity use. But we’re not always buying the most energy efficient appliances, which could save us hundreds over the lifetime of an appliance. For instance, if all the consumers who bought an A rated fridge freezer in 2011 had bought an A+++ rated one instead, they would have saved £24 million a year and 100,000 tonnes of carbon. That’s equivalent to taking 33,000 cars off the road.
Which? 16th April 2013 more >>
Eric Pickles would be forgiven for thinking he’d already killed off the controversial “Conservatory Tax”, but once again the innovative energy saving policy mechanism came back to haunt him last week. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ruled late last year that the government would not be introducing building regulations known as “consequential improvements” that would require households undertaking significant improvement work such as extensions to meet minimum energy efficiency standards, despite the fact his own department had put forward the proposals and consulted at length on measures that the government’s impact assessment reckoned would lead to £11bn of economic benefits. However, last week it emerged that in justifying his decision to parliament Pickles had used inaccurate information.
Business Green 16th April 2013 more >>
Electronics giant Philips has unveiled a new lamp, which it claims to be the most energy efficient in the world, potentially paving the way for a global transformation in the way we light out offices and homes. Philips new LED lamp protoype claims to use half the amount of energy compared to current LED lights, making it the first in the world to deliver 200 lumens per watt of high quality light.
Business Green 15th April 2013 more >>
Wilfred Maddocks has cut its energy bills and lowered its carbon footprint by adding solar panels to its dairy unit roof, with the aid of mounting system technology from TRITEC UK. The busy farm, based in Newport, Shropshire, identified solar power as a means to protect itself from energy price rises, while also reducing its environmental impact. During construction of a new dairy complex, Wilfred Maddocks chose to install a 99.9kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its south-east-facing corrugated fibre cement roof using a TRITEC mounting system.
Energy Management 15th April 2013 more >>
Residents in a Cornwall parish have been given a £13,000 cash injection thanks to a pioneering community energy co-operative. The funding, generated from Low Carbon Ladock’s renewable energy installations in the area, is used to help reduce people’s electricity bills and improve community infrastructure. After receiving a one-off Government funding award in 2009 eight houses, Grampound Road and Ladock village halls, two pubs and three other local businesses were selected for energy saving and renewable energy measures. These included the installation of 12 sets of solar PV panels and five sets of solar thermal panels; two biomass boilers; two ground-source heat pumps; two air-source heat pumps; the insulation of four buildings and the a 20kW wind turbine installed on a farmer’s field. Householders and community buildings benefit from lower energy bills, while the feed-in tariff income goes back to the co-operative. The installations generate about £13,000 each year for the community fund to be re-invested in local projects.
Western Morning News 13th April 2013 more >>
Hydro Investment Opportunity
Investors have pledged more than £100,000 in four days after shares were offered in a community project for a small hydroelectric plant. West Oxford Community Renewables has planning permission for a water turbine on the River Thames at Osney Lock. It needs to raise £250,000 by 7 May so work can coincide this summer with renovations by the Environment Agency. A share offering has already raised £115,000 with investors offered an annual return of 4%.
BBC 12th April 2013 more >>
A HYDROELECTRIC power station is being revived in the Pentland Hills. The reconstructed plant will be built at the Harlaw Reservoir dam, as part of plans to feed profits back into the local Balerno community. Investors behind the green energy initiative to harness the Water of Leith started selling shares in the scheme on Monday to help fund the £313,000 project. The 65-kilowatt device would be connected to the National Grid, which would in turn pay the community for the power generated. On track to be completed by next spring, it will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 56 homes for a year. Shareholders will receive feed-in tariffs from the Government for generating green energy. Any surplus cash will be fed back into the community via the Balerno Village Trust.
Evening News 12th April 2013 more >>