week ending 12 July 2013
Solar for new Homes
RENEWABLE energy company Eco2Solar has secured a £0.7m order to provide solar PV to 323 new homes and four large apartment blocks from Galliford Try’s housebuilding division Linden Homes. Kidderminster-based Eco2Solar is working with Linden Homes to install solar PV systems on new build homes throughout the UK. The deal is via the preferred supplier agreement it has with the building firm.
Business Desk 12th July 2013 more >>
Householders could get paid hundreds of pounds a year for heat generated by solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker confirmed today. The tariff levels have been set at 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal. The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for householders is designed to drive forward uptake of renewable heat technologies in homes across Great Britain to cut carbon, help meet renewables targets and save money on bills. The scheme is a world first, and has been up and running for the non - domestic sector since November 2011.
DECC 12th July 2013 more >>
Mike Landy, head of on-site renewables at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “After several delays and stagnation in the market, today’s announcement will give a huge boost to the domestic renewable heat industry. Companies will now be able to tell homeowners exactly how much financial support they can earn through the use of renewable heating systems. Green heat can be very cost effective, particularly for households off the gas grid, and can make a major dent in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions from heating, which account for roughly double those of electricity and nearly half the UK total.”
Solar Portal 12th July 2013 more >>
Business Green 12th July 2013 more >>
The Government has promised a crackdown to block the “industrialisation” of the countryside amid fears large solar power farms are scarring the rural Westcountry. The pledge from Energy Minister Greg Barker came as MPs from Devon and Cornwall raised concern over the proliferation of photovoltaic (PV) panels causing a “wasteland”. In a House of Commons debate secured by Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston, the minister revealed revised planning guidance would be published in “a matter of weeks” amid claims solar schemes look far less attractive in the landscape than they do in the developer’s brochure.
Western Morning News 12th July 2013 more >>
Watching the large-scale solar parliament debate yesterday, I was very saddened that solar developers were accused of falsifying information in advertising specifically with regards to the growth of grass underneath and around the panels. It was even insinuated that the grass could have been falsely added into the picture or the panels falsely added over the grass.
Solar Portal 12th July 2013 more >>
Homes, small businesses, and communities are quietly driving a revolution in the energy sector, installing gigawatts of renewable energy capacity through clean technologies, such as rooftop solar panels and wind turbines. In fact , as research proved this week, so big is the decentralised energy market, that the “Big Six” now own a minority of the UK’s renewables capacity. Abundance Generation launched last year, but has already raised £2.4m to fund three projects - a 0.5MW wind turbine and two solar projects in Kent and the South Downs. The company is currently raising funds for one other scheme, and with a project pipeline totalling 3.6MW, Bruce Davis, Abundance’s cofounder and joint managing director, reckons it is on track to raise £10m by the end of the year.
Business Green 12th July 2013 more >>
Green energy provider Good Energy has launched a share issue as it seeks to raise £3.8m to fund its next round of solar project development. The company announced yesterday that it was planning a Proposed Placing to raise £1.8m from institutional investors and an Open Offer to raise around £2m from existing shareholders. In total, 3,113,335 New Ordinary Shares will be issued at a price of 125p per share.
Business Green 12th July 2013 more >>
SCOTTISH schools are hosting 68 wind turbines across more than two-thirds of councils, erected with £1.5 million of taxpayers’ money. Local authorities have only built turbines at schools during the last few years, but a fifth have already been decommissioned. The Scottish Government has backed the expansion of wind farms as part of its flagship policy of increasing the use of renewable energy for Scotland’s power supply. Schools are increasingly being used as sites for turbines, with taxpayers footing the bill for the maintenance of the schemes as well as the building costs. The government has said schools can benefit from a “financial return” if they allow wind farms on their land. However, critics of the schemes have argued they show the SNP’s obsession with promoting renewable energy regardless of the cost and environmental consequences.
Scotsman 12th July 2013 more >>
Lincolnshire County Council’s waste facilities are now generating their own power thanks to a £300,000 solar project. The solar scheme has seen systems of 50kW fitted at waste transfer facilities in Louth, Sleaford, Grantham and Gainsborough. In addition, a 10kW system has been fitted at the Boston transfer station and a further 50kWp array at Louth household waste recycling centre.
Solar Portal 11th July 2013 more >>
The government will today announce plans for a new scheme designed to help ensure that businesses respond to new mandatory energy efficiency audits by undertaking efficiency improvements. Under the EU’s energy efficiency directive, larger businesses with more than 250 employees or turnover exceeding 50m will have from December 2015 to undertake a mandatory energy efficiency audit at least once every four years.
Business Green 11th July 2013 more >>
This morning the European Parliament ITRE Committee gave support by overwhelming majority to the Micro-generation Resolution, put forward by rapporteur Ms. Judith Merkies. Today saw also the publication by COGEN Europe of a new briefing paper which features the concrete steps at the EU and national levels that need to be taken in order to unleash the potential of micro-CHP and fulfil Europe’s key climate and energy priorities. The agreed text of the Micro-generation Resolution, stresses the need to give more attention to the untapped potential of small scale technologies to engage citizens and small businesses in producing their own power and heat in a sustainable and energy efficient way. COGEN Europe agrees that microgeneration technologies hold an important potential and points out that in the UK alone micro-CHP deployment can lead to emission reductions of around 4.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year in domestic and non-domestic buildings. In addition, given the flexibility and controllability of micro-CHPs, technology providers are currently demonstrating how these technologies can be used to balance supply and demand in the electricity market with an increasing share of variable renewables (e.g. by clustering distributed generation installations such as micro-CHP in Virtual Power Plants). Dr. Fiona Riddoch, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, reacted to the vote: “The benefits of micro-generation technologies, such as micro-CHP, need to be better understood at the national and local levels, in order to unlock their potential to deliver low-carbon, reliable and affordable heat and power to citizens. Today’s vote validates the importance of small scale technologies and the need to address some of the barriers to a faster up-take”.
Euractiv 10th July 2013 more >>
Conservatory Tax Legal Action Killed Off
A court has ruled the government did not breach the rules governing consultation exercises when scrapping regulations that would have required more homes to undertake energy efficiency improvements, despite its own consultation revealing strong support for proposals that would have delivered significant emissions savings. Supporters of the so-called “consequential improvement” rules, which were also dubbed a “conservatory tax” by parts of the media, were yesterday told by High Court judge Mr Justice Nichol that they could not judicially review Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ controversial decision to scrap the rules.
Business Green 10th July 2013 more >>
Scottish home energy programmes are set to save householders more than £1bn on their energy bills according to figures published by the Scottish government. In total, the Scottish Government has pledged just under £80m for its fuel poverty energy efficiency initiatives with the aim of leveraging Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding into Scotland to create a £200m per year fund. It said that the new funding was designed to make Scotland “the most attractive place in Great Britain for energy companies to invest in energy efficiency”. The range of efficiency initiatives on offer include the country’s Boiler Scrappage Scheme, which recently exceeded the Scottish Government’s 30,000 boiler replacement target, as well as the Energy Assistance Package, Universal Home Insulation Scheme, and Home Insulation Scheme.
Business Green 9th July 2013 more >>
Green Deal in a Heatwave
Temperatures could soar to dangerously high levels in some homes insulated under the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme, experts have warned. Energy-saving measures designed to save on winter fuel bills and protect the environment could pose a risk to health during summer heatwaves, they add.
BBC 8th July 2013 more >>
The government has played down “sensationalist” reports this week suggesting people could die from overheating after insulating their homes using its Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, arguing that cold homes pose a far greater risk to health.
Business Green 9th July 2013 more >>
Energy Efficient Homes
Owners of energy-efficient homes should pay less for their council tax and stamp duty to drive take-up of the government’s flagship energy-efficiency scheme, according to campaigners. Publishing an analysis on how to improve the green deal, the UK Green Building Council said the changes would be funded by making the owners of the country’s leakiest, most inefficient homes pay more under the two taxes.
Guardian 8th July 2013 more >>
South West AD
A group of south-west farmers has launched a new company to install and promote on-farm anaerobic digestion plants. Greener for Life (GfL) has teamed up with city financiers, two British technology providers and other AD specialists to offer a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to build their own plant. It is offering to manage all aspects of the AD development process, from initial project feasibility, grid connections and planning, to financing, building and operating the plant.
Farmers Weekly 8th July 2013 more >>
There are over 6 million cavity walls out there waiting to be insulated, 3.7million of which are considered to ‘conventionally easy’ and hence low cost to insulate (See for example the ACE ‘Dead Cert’ report of 2012). 3 million cavity walls that have mysteriously been filled between this year and the last – or 3 million and one thousand, if you add the walls that we know have actually been filled with real foam by real installers over the same period.
Alan Whitehead 8th July 2013 more >>
There is enough privately generated electricity in the UK to power most of the Midlands, new research has found and it is farmers and wind turbines that increasingly are making Britain a nation of independently owned mini power stations. An investigation of the electricity generation market has found that, after a 24 per cent rise last year, Britain now has more than 2,000 independently owned commercial-scale power projects. Those power plants, typically set up by property developers, landowners and farmers or by industrial and manufacturing companies needing on-site generation, are capable of producing 4.7 gigawatts of electricity enough to keep the lights on in 3.9 million homes.
Times 8th July 2013 more >>
Morrisons goes Solar
Supermarket giant WM Morrison has taken a major step forward with plans to curb its carbon emissions after starting a programme to install solar power arrays across the rooftops of its stores. Solar installer GMI Energy confirmed late last week that it was fitting more than 4.5MW of new capacity for the retailer on supermarkets and distribution centres.
Business Green 8th July 2013 more >>
THE sun is out and Mike Cox is beaming all the way to the bank now the problems with his solar electricity system have been sorted. The situation this homeowner found himself in is one many readers will recognise.
Express 8th July 2013 more >>
Investors seeking a green approach to profits are being invited to put as little as £5 into a project that could, organisers say, deliver a return estimated at up to 8.6%. Abundance, which went live in April 2012, has launched a fourth project, this one focused on solar electricity. The company describes itself as a “community finance platform” allowing small investors to put money into UK renewable energy schemes and receive a regular cash return based on the energy produced.
Guardian 6th July 2013 more >>
A wind turbine was dispatched to the South Pacific island kingdom earlier this year, by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore: “As I witnessed firsthand Gaia Wind is an innovative, pioneering company and I’m delighted to hear that the turbine that I helped send from Glasgow is already making a vital contribution towards carbon-free energy in Tonga.
Farming UK 5th July 2013 more >>
The Solar Trade Association (STA) has welcomed changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) system which will now provide greater support to some of the larger community energy projects. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently set out the new plans which will offer subsidies for community-owned projects, for example solar PV installations on school roofs or panels on libraries, community owned wind turbines, and hydro power from local streams. The scheme will see householders, businesses, and communities paid money for the electricity they generate with renewable technologies, and also receiving money for excess power exported back to the grid. Support is currently available for projects over 5MW under the Renewables Obligation. But responding to feedback from community groups, the DECC now plans to increase the threshold for community projects, allowing larger installations to also benefit.
New Energy World Network 4th July 2013 more >>