week ending 19 July 2013
The government will take additional action to help independent renewable generators gain entry to the electricity market, in order to promote competition and innovation, Greg Barker announced today. An amendment has been tabled to the Energy Bill that will make it easier for independent generators of renewable electricity to sell their power to suppliers via Power Purchase Agreements, thereby improving their access to market.
DECC 19th July 2013 more >>
Business Green 19th July 2013 more >>
Green Investment Bank
Renewable energy experts remain deeply cynical that the Green Investment Bank (GIB) can deliver significant benefits to the UK clean tech sector, according to research published by Invest in Cornwall. Over 60% of those surveyed stated that the £3 billion invested in the GIB would not help the UK achieve its transition to a greener economy over the next five years. In addition, respondents criticised the GIB’s investment strategy which seeks to invest in lower risk projects that use existing, proven technologies. Just 21% indicated that GIB’s current strategy is correct. There remains serious concern amongst the renewables industry that accessing private sector investment will continue to be a challenge; 57% believe that the government should be doing more to encourage low-carbon investment.
Solar Portal 19th July 2013 more >>
Small Steps: Big Savings
It does not take much for building owners to enjoy a savings bonanza from energy efficiency, as the non-profit Carbon War Room explains in a report this week. However, despite the potential, many private building owners miss out on the financial rewards of readily available technology. The white paper, Raising the Roof: How to Create Climate Wealth Through Energy Efficiency, says misinformation and a lack of understanding are just a few reasons why building owners leave easy money on the table. That is according to research gathered from 30 municipalities, from Chicago, to Wellington, New Zealand, over 30 months.
Business Green 19th July 2013 more >>
Initially set up in 1962 to help protect a colony of Purple Emperor butterflies, the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is now ensuring a sustainable future for locals by setting up its own solar farm. The ground breaking partnership with Bath & West Community Energy will see the formation of a new company – Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy (WWCE). The WWCE will act as an independent community enterprise that will develop, finance and operate community-owned renewable energy projects across the Trust’s sites.
Solar Portal 18th July 2013 more >>
Business Green 18th July 2013 more >>
BBC 16th July 2013 more >>
Anesco has signed a £7 million finance agreement with RBS to fund its solar farm projects. Under the working capital debt finance package the Reading-based energy efficiency company will have a rolling facility whereby it can access finance as it needs up to the maximum £7 million.
Solar Portal 18th July 2013 more >>
The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) and Easy Green Deal have both urged industry to hold faith in the Green Deal. The companies have been vocal in their support for the policy and offered advice to householders and tradesmen in the potential energy and financial savings that can be made under the policy.
Solar Portal 18th July2013 more >>
Government statistics show 36 households had signed up to the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme by the end of June. The number is an improvement on the four households recorded midway through last month, but still leaves the government a long way short of a targeted 10,000 Green Deal financing packages by the end of the year.
Business Green 18th July 2013 more >>
You can now invest in solar panels on school roofs. So you can help schools cut their energy bill, help the environment and get an annual return around the 8% mark.
Love Money 17th July 2013 more >>
The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has today announced its first investment in Scotland, confirming its backing for a £1.2m project to install a biomass boiler at the Tomatin Distillery near Inverness.
Business Green 17th July 2013 more >>
Solar Installers Website
Viridian Solar has launched a new website dedicated to installers of its in-roof solar PV and thermal panels. The UK manufacturer has launched the Solarsure.net/work site in order to provide a single point of information for solar installers. The site will include design tools such as wind loading and solar energy calculators, product installation guides, a library of marketing images, product brochures as well as industry briefings.
Solar Portal 17th July 2013 more >>
A quick drive around a new-build industrial estate or office complex will demonstrate the impact solar panels are having in the UK. But as an industry leader we need to be cleverer than simply carrying out installations on sites which are set up for modern renewable technology. They key to ensuring solar energy has as big an impact in the UK as it does in mainland European countries such as Germany is to learn to work within environments which are much more challenging. I’m talking about the challenges of installing new technology into old buildings – where issues such as planning regulations, strong designs and the aesthetics come massively into play.
Solar Portal 16th July 2013 more >>
Somerset Community Solar
COMMUNITY shares in a Wedmore solar energy plant have already raised £265,000 towards the £1.1million needed for the project. The scheme includes two paddocks of 4,000 solar panels on land off Quab Lane to the north-west of the village and is being run by Wedmore Community Power Co-operative Ltd.
This is the West Country 16th July 2013 more >>
London-based asset manager, Downing LLP, has recently funded a 9MW solar farm development in Lincolnshire. The 9MW solar farm was constructed by Armstrong Energy and Lark Energy. The development builds on a previous 5.6MW project completed by the group in March 2013 before the Renewable Obligation rate was revised downward.
Solar Portal 15th July 2013 more >>
Helius Energy’s £60.5m biomass plant turning whisky by-products into energy and heat has today started commercial operation after successfully completing a test period. The site at Rothes in the Scottish whisky heartland of Speyside uses by-products from nearby distilleries to produce renewable energy and a liquid animal feed product known as Pot Ale Syrup.
Business Green 15th July 2013 more >>
Renewable Energy Focus 15th July 2013 more >>
The UK’s flagship energy efficiency programme is being fatally undermined by the Treasury and an ongoing battle over the Conservative party’s future strategy. That’s the view of the former energy and climate Secretary of State Chris Huhne, who says the Green Deal scheme needs stronger support from the top of government. According to government statistics, buildings that leak heat and waste energy account for 43% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Around 14 million homes in the UK require better insulation, but in June statistics revealed only 245 households had agreed a Green Deal Plan since its launch in January 2013. The real problem has been it required more than one department to play ball, not just DECC, but also the Treasury, and it has not been prepared to see the jobs advantages, the living standards advantages of doing that.”
RTCC 16th July 2013 more >>
In his first significant intervention since leaving jail, the ex-Cabinet minister signalled the Treasury is to blame for a lack of interest in the Green Deal - a flagship scheme offering people loans to pay for insulation, solar panels or green boilers. Mr Huhne’s comments suggest he has not entirely exited the political scene after serving a quarter of his eight-month sentence for perverting the course of justice.
Telegraph 16th July 2013 more >>
Householders and landlords 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 on Friday. 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.
Sustainable Housing 15th July 2013 more >>
Householders will be able to claim hundreds of pounds a year for green heating technologies such as solar hot water systems from next year under a flagship renewable energy scheme. But Guardian analysis shows that despite the increases in the government payment levels announced on Friday, it will still take decades to recoup the upfront costs of installing these technologies. Under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), homeowners will be paid for energy generated by solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps that they install in their homes at their own cost. When initial tariffs were announced last September, the Guardian estimated it would take 20 years for owners of houses that are heated by oil to recoup their initial outlay on a £3,000 solar thermal unit. Under new tariffs, which will become available in the spring, owners could receive around £220 for the first seven years, in addition to savings of around £80 a year on their bills - meaning payback would come in 18 rather than 20 years. Savings for houses heated by gas would be significantly less.
Guardian 12th July 2013 more >>
According to industry analysis from Edinburgh-based Delta-ee, fuel cells are now outselling engines as the most common technology employed in micro-CHP systems for the first time on record. According to their analysis, until 2012, the global micro-CHP market was dominated by products powered by combustion engines but there has since been a shift.
COSPP 15th July 2013 more >>
For the first time ever, fuel cells have become the most common technology employed in micro-CHP systems sold today. Until 2012, the global micro-CHP market was dominated by products powered by combustion engines but according to industry analysts Delta-ee, residential fuel cell now accounts for 64% of global unit sales. This represents a doubling of this technology’s market share since 2011.Changes in the political and regulatory landscape in Japan and Germany - both of which support a move towards decentralised energy generation - have been critical factors behind market growth. Japan is leading in residential fuel cell micro-CHP, although Germany should start contributing with sales within the next two years. If micro-CHP fulfils its potential, the manufacturers and developers in Japan and Germany will be best positioned to become the global leaders in the industry.
COSPP 11th July 2013 more >>
We knew 2012 was going to be a bumper year for micro-CHP sales – with continuing concerns over power supply in a post-Fukushima Japan and increasingly attractive market conditions for cogeneration in Germany. And in collating our latest edition of the Delta-ee ‘Micro-CHP Annual Roundup 2012’, we learned that global sales leapt by more than 50% in 2012. This means almost 44,000 units were sold around the world – compared with less than 29,000 the previous year. The value of the market increased again, this time to almost 700 million – with the increasing popularity of expensive residential fuel cell in Japan being the main reason. We predict growth in global market value to just less than 900 million for 2013.
Delta 10th July 2013 more >>
Solar & Mortgages
Government energy minister Greg Barker may say that householders could get paid hundreds of pounds a year for heat generated by solar thermal panels – but there are potential pitfalls to be avoided if you are looking to buy a home which has them fitted. Buyers can have trouble getting a mortgage if the roof has been “rented” to a utility supplier, according to research by independent home finding company County Homesearch.
Banbury Guardian 14th July 2013 more >>
About 12m people live in the countryside in the UK, 1m of these in Scotland. Energy efficiency schemes aimed at lowering carbon emissions and reducing fuel poverty, including the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), are failing vulnerable consumers due to the way policy-makers have placed responsibility for the administration and implementation of the schemes in the hands of the “Big Six” energy companies.
Sunday Times 14th July 2013 more >>
Mitsubishi is investing £20m at its Scottish base and looking to create a further 100 jobs as it builds a centre of design excellence at Livingston. Mitsubishi Electric Air-Conditioning Europe has opened a world-class research and development facility in the form of two highly-instrumented test houses, located next to its factory, where it will develop a new range of renewable air to water heat pumps. Currently 10% of its Scottish output, the heat pumps business along with the transfer of high-end design functions from Japan could see another 100 jobs created over the next two years to add to the 450 employed at the site.
Herald 13th July 2013 more >>
Green energy provider Ecotricity has today announced a shake-up of its electricity tariffs replacing its two tariffs with a single offer that promises 100 per cent green electricity.
Business Green 13th July 2013 more >>
FiT fall causes installations to plummet
The latest weekly installation figures for the sub 50kW market show a 90% fall off from last week’s year-high levels which saw 32MW installed. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) the week ending 7 July saw 2.95MW of capacity installed, a drop of 29.58MW from the previous week. Over the week 915 installations were registered, with 2.4MW installed in 0-4kW capacity band, 130kW at the 4-10kW band and 428kW in the 10-50kWp band. The figures show that, despite the headline tariff of 15.44p/kWh only degressing by 0.5p, the solar industry saw a huge upswing in demand as customers looked to beat the feed-in tariff deadline the 1 July.
Solar Portal 12th July 2013 more >>
Geoffrey Lean: The High Court refused a judicial review of Eric Pickles’s perverse decision to scrap the so-called “conservatory tax” – which did not affect conservatories and was not a tax, but obliged people extending their homes to improve insulation on the existing building. Taking out a Green Deal loan to pay for this would have enabled householders to make money, not lose it. And by ministers’ own calculations, the provision would have stimulated 2.2 million loans, provided £11 billion to boost the construction industry, and saved 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Ministers insist these are “early days”, and that the Green Deal is a “20-year programme”. But with energy prices rising and shortages looming, we need the savings now.
Telegraph 12th July 2013 more >>
More and more British businesses, farmers and local communities are generating their own energy and demonstrating the democratising power of renewable technologies in the process. And this is only the start of a truly transformative process which has the potential to empower and benefit us all. Independent renewable energy generation is on the rise in the UK, according to a new report by energy-buyer Smartest Energy. In 2012 alone, the number of commercial scale ‘mini power stations’ – i.e. those owned by businesses, farms, cooperatives and local authorities, and not the Big Six energy companies – increased by 24% to over 2,000. These include Anaerobic Digestion plants which turn organic waste into biogas, community wind turbines, and solar installations on the roofs of factories and schools. Combined, they now generate £768m worth of electricity each year.
Abundance Generation 12th July 2013 more >>
Last week the Government announced plans to allow communities to earn cash-back for generating power from larger renewable energy projects. This went by largely unnoticed by the press; picked up by just a handful of trade websites. But community power is not to be sniffed at. The other day I came across an article in the Times reporting that a big rise last year in the number of farmers and small firms producing their own power is “turning the UK into a nation of mini power stations”.
FoE 12th July 2013 more >>
Paul Brown: The Government’s new green investment bank said it was considering investing £50 million in new Anaerobic Digestion projects. This could create 35,000 jobs and help produce 10% of the country’s gas needs. Mr Madden says the growth potential of digesters will ultimately be limited by the amount of waste available, about four million tonnes a year in Britain, enough to feed 150 medium-sized plants. At the moment only 25 have been built.
Climate News Network 12th July 2013 more >>
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has finally revealed the details of the domestic RHI after the scheme was first trailed four years ago. Here is a comprehensive round-up of the industry’s reaction to the news.
Solar Portal 12th July 2013 more >>