week ending 7 June 2013
Two wind turbines are to be installed at a train depot to help power the railway. ScotRail have been granted planning permission to install the turbines on the site in Bathgate, West Lothian. They will generate around 14,000 kWh of electricity which is enough to power a small train station
STV 7th June 2013 more >>
Greg Barker “deeply concerned” at EU levies on Chinese solar imports. Climate Minister warns tariffs will cost jobs and threaten EU green energy targets in joint article with Swedish counterpart
Business Green 7th June 2013 more >>
Telegraph 6th June 2013 more >>
Telegraph 5th June 2013 more >>
London Pay as you Go
London Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday announced a major new initiative to drive energy efficiency improvements across the capital’s schools by providing them with access to interest-free pay-as-you-save loans. Under the initiative, the existing RE:FIT energy efficiency programme targeting London’s homes will be expanded to cover schools, providing governors and head teachers with free energy audits and technical advice, as well as access to specialist public sector energy efficiency loans from Salix Finance.
Business Green 6th June 2013 more >>
Ed Davey: I want to see a community energy revolution in the UK. Research to find out why people are getting involved will help us deliver a strategy to unlock further potential.
Guardian 6th June 2013 more >>
Just two miles long by one mile wide, the Isle of Muck is home to 38 people. Based around a single sheep farm run by the MacEwen family, the island also has bed and breakfast accommodation and one small hotel. In the past islanders have had to rely on power from diesel generators, the fuel for which must be shipped from the mainland. This meant that restrictions were placed on when islanders could access electricity with power being available from 8 until 11 am and then again from 5 until midnight. “It was missing the last ten minutes of a film, it was not being able to put your mixer on to make your bread and have the washing machine on,” explained Zoe Moffatt who moved to the island with her husband Gareth and three children two years ago. The islanders got together and decided to bid for lottery funding to build a source of renewable energy that could power the island. Basing their plan on a similar scheme built on the neighbouring island of Eigg, the islanders managed to secure £978,840 from the Big Lottery Fund and contracted a renewable energy company, Wind &Sun to design and build their plant. Using wind turbines from a British manufacturer, Evance Wind Turbines, alongside solar panels and a backup diesel generator, the system provides more than enough power for the islanders.
Telegraph 6th June 2013 more >>
Peterborough Solar Farm
About 150 villagers living near Peterborough have pledged to fight a scheme to build a solar energy farm. Peterborough City Council wants to put thousands of solar panels and wind turbines on 900 acres (365 hectares) of farmland across three sites it owns. The largest site would be on 500 acres (200 hectares) of land farmed by tenants near the village of Newborough.
BBC 6th June 2013 more >>
The UK energy industry has had to get used to conflicting policy signals in recent years, but this morning set some kind of record as the same announcement appeared to suggest reforms to planning rules would make it simultaneously easier and harder for onshore wind farm developers to gain planning permission. A Call for Evidence is seeking proposals on how the government can help enable more communities to take ownership of their own energy projects, with a particular focus on how to stimulate initial interest in developments. “The barriers are often cultural, people think this model is not for them,” says Barker. “The question we want to address is how to spark the initial interest. We now have a feed-in tariff that works and a framework that makes it possible for community projects to access funding and cut through bureaucracy. But you still need people to want to do it in the first place and the key question is how to drive that interest.”
Business Green 6th June 2013 more >>
Devon Solar Farm
A 2.1MW solar farm in Holsworthy, Devon has been put up for sale by a private landowner. The solar farm was completed in 2012 when module costs fell to such a level that developments began to be feasible under both the feed-in tariff (FiT) and Renewables Obligation (ROC) schemes. The 2.1MW site stretches over 7.5 hectares and is let to a developer for 25 years.
Solar Portal 6th June 2013 more >>
Ahead of the publication of the UK’s first ever Community Energy Strategy in Autumn, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is seeking views on how local communities can engage with generating local energy. DECC has identified that a growing number of communities have become disconnected from the energy that they use. As a result the government wants to encourage as many new projects as possible in order to reestablish that connection. Launching the Call for Evidence the energy secretary Edward Davey said: “Community groups know their local area best, so I want to see them taking control of their own energy projects, generating their own power and shielding themselves against the rising cost of wholesale energy prices.
Solar Portal 6th June 2013 more >>
Essex Solar Park
PLANS for one of the UK’s biggest solar power parks in the Essex countryside was rejected on Monday. Applause echoed around Maldon Town Hall as councillors voted against controversial plans for the 35-hectare “industrial park”, which would have included 60,000 solar panels on land at Little Braxted, near Witham. But victory for campaigners is not yet ensured as the final decision will be taken by district councillors on the Planning and Licensing Committee later this month.
Braintree Chronicle 6th June 2013 more >>
Portsmouth Solar Farm
NEW proposal to build a solar farm on land near Stubbington has been unveiled.German renewable energy firm IB Vogts first proposed building on a 123-acre site at Newlands Farm, last year. But due to local opposition over the scale of the site – it would have become Europe’s largest solar farm – the firm has reduced the proposed size to just over 69 acres.
Portsmouth News 6th June 2013 more >>
Cambridgeshire’s Community Turbine
An £800,000 wind turbine put in and paid for by a Cambridgeshire village is now up and running. The Gamlingay Community Wind Turbine stands 177ft at its highest point and is 33m in diameter – and it was paid for almost entirely by residents and businesses. About 30 or 40 people and firms will receive a share of the profits made by Cambridgeshire’s first community turbine, which are expected to be in the region of £100,000 a year. And 10 per cent of the money raised will be spent on local charities and community projects decided by a committee to include a representative of the project.
Cambridge News 6th June 2013 more >>
Case for & Against Solar Farms
Julian Herrington, chairman of Countryside Under Threat said: “Solar energy is largely accepted (82 per cent of the public) as being the way forward for alternative energy, but Government policy states that Grade 1 land should not be used for solar farms. This is admirable especially when this year, for the first time for many years, we are now a net importer of wheat – this ‘green and pleasant land’ no longer provides us with all the food we need.
Faversham Times 6th June 2013 more >>
A green scheme which aims to turn renewable energy into a tempting moneyspinner gets off the ground this weekend. Grand Union Community Energy has been set up to develop projects along the canal corridor, and has already sealed its first high-profile scheme in Kings Langley. This summer will see the installation of the first community-owned ‘solar array’ – the name given to a collection of solar panels – in South West Herts on the Rudolf Steiner School campus in Langley Hill. The scheme will be funded by local investment, with those who buy shares expected to get a rate of return well above current savings accounts.
Berkhamstead Gazette 6th June 2013 more >>
The Minister for Energy and Climate Change told the Information Daily that solar energy can no longer be in the “shadows”, and that its price should be reduced to compete with other energy sources. As part of the Information Daily’s focus on environmental policy this week, we look back at the London opening of the BRE National Solar Centre in January 2013 with an interview with the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker. “Despite the dramatic falls in costs and prices over the last couple of years,” he told The Information Daily, “we’ve still got a way to go”. The Minister for Energy and Climate Change believes that the way forward in transforming solar energy from a concept into a widely used form of power is sharing, and open data.
Information Daily 5th June 2013 more >>
SolarAid has been awarded £500,000 after winning the Global Impact Award as part of Google’s Global Impact Challenge. The award will help the UK-based charity distribute 144,000 solar lights across rural Tanzania as well as creating jobs for over 400 solar entrepreneurs.
Solar Portal 5th June 2013 more >>
Business Green 5th June 2013 more >>
Renewables companies risk deterring farmers from investing in on-farm energy generation with confusing and inconsistent information, according to new research from the clean tech consultancy, CCgroup. Based on a survey of 130 British farmers and landowners, the CCgroup found that although 95% believed renewable energy would be vital to the future of UK farming, 42% said they weren’t given the information they wanted and needed.
Farmers Weekly 5th June 2013 more >>
A decision by the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) to review tariff levels for the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, announced on 31 May, has been welcomed by the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA). Speaking as the announcement was made last week, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “The Renewable Heat Incentive has been running for nearly eighteen months, so now is a timely moment to look again at the tariffs. We need to make sure they are set at the right level to continue bringing forward investment and growth and at the same time keep costs to the taxpayer to a minimum. That’s what our proposals set out today are designed to do.”
Heating & Ventilating.net 5th June 2013 more >>
AD around England
Work has begun on four anaerobic digestion plants that are seen as the first step towards a 40-strong network of facilities across the UK. London-based Tamar Energy announced yesterday that the facilities in Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Essex should all be completed by early next year, bringing a combined capacity of around 8MW online.
Business Green 4th June 2013 more >>
Demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the United Kingdom (UK) grew significantly to reach 520MW in the first quarter of 2013, driven by a strong push from large-scale ground-mount PV projects completed during March 2013. Cumulative PV demand in the UK has now exceeded 2.5GW, with 93% of this demand having being realised in the past two years, according to the latest bottom-up analysis derived from the NPD Solarbuzz UK deal-tracker database that now includes over 1,400 non-residential PV projects.
Solar Portal 4th June 2013 more >>
WITH encouragement from Gillingham Town Council and a grant from the Sowing SEEDS Local Action Group, three redundant mill and weir sites have begun to produce renewable energy. Stephen Burroughs said that, for the last 10 years, members of the Stour and Vale Hydro Group have been investigating ways to overcome the wastage of potential energy in our rivers. Traditional water power, once so common in Dorset, has been reinstated with this pilot demonstration project to use recent developments in turbine design.
Blackmore Vale Magazine 3rd June 2013 more >>
Green Deal Provider goes Bust
A respected provider of the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme has gone bust, just weeks after raising concerns with Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey about the way in which funding delays were hitting the insulation market
Business Green 3rd June 2013 more >>
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is aiming to boost the use of renewable heat in non domestic applications by increasing a number of Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs. Under DECC’s proposals, support for ground source heat pumps, large biomass and solar thermal will be increased.
Solar Portal 3rd June 2013 more >>
Small Wind in Skegness
The go-ahead has been given for three wind micro-turbines on a site next to Skegness Stadium. Despite objections from both Addlethorpe and Orby parish councils, who feared an adverse visual impact on the countryside, East Lindsey planners granted planning consent for the turbines which will stand 17.7 metres high.
Skegnmess Standard 2nd June 2013 more >>
The government has today launched a consultation on proposed changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for businesses which as expected would result in higher levels of support for biomass, ground source heat pump, and solar thermal technologies.
Business Green 31st May 2013 more >>
An ancient water mill in Northamptonshire will soon be generating power from the River Nene. Work has begun on installing hydropower technology so that Hardwater Mill at Great Doddington, near Wellingborough can produce electricity. It will soon generate enough electricity to power the mill and produce extra for the National Grid. Several other mills on the same stretch of river are also looking at producing energy. Andy and Anne Newman, owners of the grade 2 listed mill, said it has taken most of their savings and more than two-and-a-half years to achieve.
BBC 30th May 2013 more >>
Making the most of the sun to heat buildings is nothing new. Socrates encouraged it. More recently, glazed cavity walls have maximised passive solar gain, but with the problem that the heat can’t be regulated precisely. Now, a relatively new solar thermal air-heating technology has made its biggest appearance anywhere in the world on a British building: the Marks & Spencer (M&S) distribution centre in Castle Donington, set to open this year.
Green Future 30th May 2013 more >>
Compared with countries such as Germany, UK government policy and incentives for community energy are poor. As the government prepares to publish its Community Energy Strategy this autumn, environmental and local groups are calling for a dramatic improvement in incentives to encourage community-based generation. In Germany, where policy is strongly geared towards decentralised expansion, more than 50 per cent of renewable schemes are locally owned and utilities have lost considerable market share (see box, on page 16). The UK’s policy – or lack of it – is far more conciliatory towards big business.
Utility Week 29th May 2013 more >>