week ending 14 June 2013
Zero Carbon Homes
Builders are concerned the UK’s zero carbon homes standard will be further watered-down or scrapped all together, after the government once again delayed announcement on its energy efficiency building code. More than a year ago, the government revealed plans to require buildings to meet stricter energy efficiency standards during 2013 under the Part L building code, paving the way towards its stated goal of ensuring all new homes and commercial buildings meet “zero carbon” standards by 2016 and 2019 respectively.
Business Green 14th June 2013 more >>
Community Windfarm with Big Plans
PLANS to construct the UK’s largest community-owned windfarm on the Isle of Lewis – which has been handed a £1million boost – is set to create a “quiet revolution” of the island. The remote Point and Sandwick Development Trust has been awarded £999,718 from the Big Lottery Fund to build the Beinn Ghrideag windfarm – on land where crofters once cut peat for fuel. Donald McSween, chairman of Point and Sandwick Development Trust, said: “Today’s funding means a quiet revolution can now take place in our community and it is wonderful news.” The trust aim to generate £36million over the next 25 years by selling electrricity to the National Grid, with profits being pumped back into the community to regenerate parts of the island.
Scotsman 14th June 2013 more >>
BBC 13th June 2013 more >>
STV 13th June 2013 more >>
Small Wind with Big Potential
An innovative wind turbine designed by a Devon firm could provide a vital source of power for communities in some of the world’s poorest countries. The Square Rigger turbine, inspired by the science of sailing boats, has been developed by Exeter-based Tradewind Renewable Energy as part of investment in excess of £1 million into its design.
Western Morning News 14th June 2013 more >>
A third of the public would consider investing their own cash in small scale renewable projects including solar facilities, according to a new poll. The survey, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, also found that more than half of the 2,000 respondents think the UK government should support the construction of more renewable energy sources.
Solar Portal 14th June 2013 more >>
SOLAR panel business Sumec UK has expanded after moving to new headquarters at Escrick Business Park. Sumec has taken on five new staff and installed an eight-kilowatt solar power generation system on its warehouse roof, five months after making the move to a new 10,000 sq ft warehouse in December 2012. By the end of April the company already employed 17 people and it has plans for further expansion as it explores new markets in the renewable energy sector. It hopes to increase staffing to 20 by the end of 2013.
York Press 14th June 2013 more >>
Solar on every commercial rooftop by 2018
Almost every commercial rooftop in the UK could have solar panels installed within the next five years. That’s according to the Business Development Director of a renewable energy firm, who claims it is “inevitable” that firms in the UK will soon realise the economic benefits of solar.
Energy Live News 14th June 2013 more >>
Small solar generation firms and those engaged in energy storage can apply for a share of £19 million from the second round of a government fund unveiled today. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Energy Entrepreneurs Fund has already allocated £16 million from the first round announced in 2012. The previous phase funded projects including energy storage, heat storage, tidal turbine testing, a thermally-insulating window and an ‘eco power shower’.
Solar Portal 13th June 2013 more >>
UK-based renewable energy company Lark Energy has obtained planning permission for its five solar projects totaling power capacity of 100MW in the country. With these new projects, the developer is expected to exceed solar capacity of 150MWp. It has earlier completed the first phase of solar projects with total power capacity of 60MWp. The 150MWp project portfolio comprises 35MWp and 14MWp plants at two former airfields at Stradishall and Ellough in Suffolk, 26MWp plant at South Creek and two 15MWp solar plants at Thornham in Norfolk and Burton Pedwardine in Lincolnshire.
Energy Business Review 13th June 2013 more >>
Lark Energy, which has developed and installed 60MW of solar energy in the UK since 2011 – including Britain’s largest solar farm at Wymeswold in Leicestershire (33MW) – has secured planning permission for a further 100MW across five new sites.
Solar Portal 11th June 2013 more >>
A LOCAL MP has urged David Cameron to extend tough new rules enabling residents to stop construction of wind turbines to include large solar panel farms. Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall, raised constituency concerns over the impact on the landscape of the renewable energy source with the Prime Minister.
Plymouth Herald 13th June 2013 more >>
Prime minister David Cameron today remained non-committal when asked by an MP if he would extend powers enabling communities to more easily block windfarms to solar energy projects. Last week, ministers announced that new planning guidance would give greater weight to the concerns of local people during the planning process for wind farms. And today, during prime minister’s question time in the House of Commons, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, asked if the powers would be widened.
Solar Portal 12th June 2013 more >>
Climate Action & Fuel Poverty
Norman Kerr, Energy Action Scotland: LAST Friday, the Scottish Government missed its 2011 climate target for the second year in a row. It only missed the target by a narrow margin, but it sent a signal that the government must up its game. It needs to meet challenging targets on climate change and on fuel poverty elimination. Emissions from housing make up a quarter of domestic emissions in Scotland. Meanwhile, more than a third of Scots live in fuel poverty. We believe that radical action is needed to tackle this twin scourge. Tackling climate change tackles fuel poverty, creates jobs in insulation and saves money on healthcare costs. This is preventative spend at its best.
Scotsman 12th June 2013 more >>
From small Eiggs
Islanders on Eigg are marking three milestones. It is 16 years since the tiny island in the Small Isles was taken over by its residents in a community buy-out. Five years ago, a renewable electricity system came online marking an end to islanders’ heavy reliance on diesel generators. John Chester, a Scottish Wildlife Trust ranger who moved to Eigg in 1986, has also had a book about the isles’ birdlife published. Since the buy-out in 1997, islanders have halted a decline in the population and brought about a transformation in how their homes are powered. Residents now get more than 90% of their electricity from hydro, solar and wind schemes. As well as micro hydro-electric schemes, the island also has wind turbines and photo-voltaic cells which harness the power of the sun.
BBC 12th June 2013 more >>
South West Solar
The South West has topped the national league table for the number of households installing solar panels. Latest figures from the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem figures reveal that the region saw more than 15,000 confirmed installations and around 57 MW installed electricity generating capacity last year. The six-county region, running as far as Bristol, was followed by the South East with 13,000 then in third by the East Midlands with just over 12,000. It also tops the leader board for domestic solar photo-voltaic (PV) installations since the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) incentive was introduced in 2011.
Western Morning News 12th June 2013 more >>
Community Energy Strategy
The launch of a community energy strategy by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is set to provide an interesting look at the potential for people to engage collectively in more ambitious local renewables schemes than they could do alone. In an individualistic world in which energy is consumed passively, this seems radical and refreshingly counter-cultural. The DECC strategy is fairly narrowly focussed, with ‘community energy’ defined as schemes formally incorporated under community ownership, or led by, or for, the community.
Solar Portal 11th June 2013 more >>
The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has said anaerobic digestion (AD) projects are “at the heart” of its waste investment strategy , revealing that it is currently considering direct investment of up to £50m in the sector. The news comes in a report the government-owned institution published yesterday assessing the investment potential of the UK’s AD sector, which currently amounts to around 106MW of capacity in operation or under construction, with a further 148MW in the latter stages of planning.
Business Green 11th June 2013 more >>
Scilly Isles Solar School
The plan to generate solar energy on the roof of the Sports Hall has paid off handsomely for the school and the Council. The Five Islands School Green Team has just accepted the first cheque for £4,903, which is their share of the income generated from the solar array. Much of the electricity generated from the PV panels is used to run the sports hall, while money raised by selling the excess electricity back into the grid is split equally between the school and the Council.
Scilly Today 11th June 2013 more >>
Renewable energy provider Eco2Solar has secured a £700,000 contract to install solar systems on 323 new homes and four apartment blocks being built by Linden Homes. The order book comprises systems of up to 1.5kW, including 53 rooftop installations at Evolution Quarter in Orpington, Kent, and the completion of 171 rooftop arrays at the Kingston Mills development in Bradford-Upon-Avon.
Solar Portal 10th June 2013 more >>
Bedford Solar Farm
PLANNING chiefs have given the go ahead for one of the UK’s biggest solar energy parks to be housed at a Bedfordshire farm. Consent has been granted for the 15 megawatt solar energy park which will be built at Glebe Farm near Bedford
Farmers |Guardian 10th June 2013 more >>
Social Stock Exchange
As an ethically and socially responsible company, Good Energy is proof that a business can be commercially successful because of those values, not despite them. The creation of the Social Stock Exchange is evidence that consumers increasingly want businesses to demonstrate their social and environmental impact and investors are ready to respond to that.
Huffington Post 10th June 2013 more >>
Most parts of Scotland have welcomed the arrival of three consecutive days of sunshine with the kind of enthusiasm more usually associated with the Beliebers. But in the Stirlingshire village of Fintry, balmy days evoke mixed feelings. The community may be only 25 minutes’ drive from Glasgow but it is remote and rural, and has no mains gas, so when plans for a wind turbine were unveiled nearby, the community negotiated a second for its own use. For the past five years, the turbine has sold power to the grid and raises revenue for the community to spend on energy-saving projects. In Fintry, there is no such thing as an ill wind. Fintry is the exception rather than the rule. Wind turbines pepper Scotland from Shetland to the Solway Firth but they tend to invoke despair rather than cheer among those forced to live in their shadow. Their relentless march across the landscape in a bid to fulfil the Scottish government’s target of generating 100% equivalent of Scotland’s energy requirements from renewables by 2020 and 50% by 2015 has left communities feeling under siege.
Sunday Times 9th June 2013 more >>
Fewer than 200 homes have signed up for the government’s flagship Green Deal so far, the BBC has learned.
BBC 7th June 2013 more >>
Next Friday, residents of the Cambridgeshire village of Gamlingay will hold a party to celebrate their newest installation – a 33m diameter wind turbine. While other communities around the land are fighting plans for wind farms, this project has been welcomed by local people, principally because they funded it and will benefit directly from the power it generates and the money it makes. They are not Nimbys but Wimbys: welcome in my backyard.
Telegraph 7th June 2013 more >>
Ampair, the Dorset based small wind turbine and power system manufacturer today announced the much anticipated re-launch of its Ampair 6000 6kW wind turbine. The company, which is the oldest wind turbine manufacturer in the UK prides itself on products that are all designed and manufactured in Britain.
Altenergymag 6th June 2013 more >>