week ending 26 July 2013
Warm Up North
British Gas has won a £200m contract to deliver the UK’s largest regional Green Deal programme, which should see 50,000 homes and businesses in the North East of England given energy efficiency makeovers. Newcastle City Council yesterday confirmed British Gas had been selected to deliver the “Warm Up North” programme, which aims to help reduce energy bills and carbon emissions across eight local authorities from Northumberland to Redcar.
Business Green 26th July 2013 more >>
Supermarket with 22MW of solar
Sainsbury’s yesterday announced it has installed its 100,000th solar panel, taking its total installed capacity to 22MW and providing clean energy to 210 stores across the country.
Business Green 26th July 2013 more >>
Energy Live News 26th July 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 25th July 2013 more >>
Weeks of strong sunshine across much of Britain and a surge in photovoltaic (PV) panels installations has resulted in the record generation of solar power, according to figures from government and the industry. There are now over 450,000 solar installations, almost all on household roofs, which together have a capacity of 2.7GW. On a sunny day solar power is able to generate around 2% of UK demand over a 24-hour period. But because solar panels generate electricity in peak daylight hours, this is the equivalent of around 6% of all electricity needed in Britain between 10am and 5pm.
Guardian 26th July 2013 more >>
Aston University Biomass Plant
Redhall Jex is nearing completion of a nine-month contract working alongside German Bio-Waste Specialist, Wehrle, to build a bio-energy plant located within a new facility on the Aston University site in Birmingham. Redhall Jex installed plant and equipment and manufactured and installed all of the pipework systems within the plant. The new facility, funded by the University and the European Regional Development Fund, will generate heat and power from biomass using algae, sewage sludge, wood and agricultural waste as sources of fuel. Biomass is plant matter used either to generate electricity (via steam turbines or gasifiers), or to produce heat (via direct combustion), or both - as is the case at the Aston University bio-energy plant.
Modern Utility Management 26th July 2013 more >>
Can the government really reduce greenhouse gas emissions by four fifths, while maintaining energy security and keeping prices down? The government’s latest energy statistics, out today, give some grounds for optimism about whether it can be done - but the news on energy efficiency - and fuel poverty - doesn’t look good. As ever, the majority of the energy debate tends to focus on the supply mix. But the possibility of failure in energy efficiency may well be the more worrying prospect, and pose the greatest threat to the country’s ability to meet its carbon targets.
Carbon Brief 25th July 2013 more >>
Last week our coalition government produced a policy review of fuel poverty – marking a departure both from previous methods of measuring who is fuel poor and from previous policies. When Labour had come to power in 1997, although little else changed with regard to the direction of energy policy, attitudes towards fuel poverty did shift. This became clear in 2003 when, as part of the White Paper fuel poverty became one of the four central objectives of energy policy (see chapter 8 on ‘Energy and the Vulnerable’). A commitment was made to ‘ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated’ as well as to try and ensure, ‘as far as reasonably practicable’, that no household in Britain should be living in fuel poverty by 2016-2018. Government has now, with one clever stroke, taken 1m English households out of fuel poverty – by redefining how it is measured. The number of fuel poor households in 2010 has consequently dropped from 3.5m to 2.5m. Interestingly, the report says nothing about fuel poverty statistics as measured for all of Britain. Some of those that have dropped out of fuel poverty may well be medium to high-income households who spend a disproportionately high amount on gas and electricity, but many may not be. The Fuel Poverty Action Group has remarked that new measures mask an escalating cold homes crisis.
IGov 25th July 2013 more >>
Green Deal Boost
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced plans to fund Green Deal crews to advise the public door-to-door, an initiative designed to boost uptake of the flagship energy efficiency programme. DECC is making £20 million available for local councils until December 2013 to fund so-called Green Deal “communities”, who will advise householders on Green Deal plans.
Solar Portal 26th July 2013 more >>
Squads of insulators and energy-efficiency experts are to be sent house to house around the UK, in the latest stage of the government’s bid to plug the gaps in Britain’s leaky homes and curb rising bills. Sending installers out to properties street by street is thought to be the most effective way to get people to sign up for improvements that will save energy and carbon emissions as part of the green deal, the coalition’s flagship home energy efficiency package which aims to transform millions of houses.
Guardian 25th July 2013 more >>
A new £20 million Green Deal Communities scheme to help local authorities drive street-by-street delivery of the Green Deal has been announced today. Under new proposals from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), local authorities in England will be able to bid for funding from a £20 million pot to help households benefit from the Green Deal on a street-by-street or area basis.
DECC 25th July 2013 more >>
The latest PV installation figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that <50kW installations have stabilised around the 4MW mark during July. The initial rate of installs in July had fallen dramatically following a modest 3.5% degression to the feed-in tariff (FiT) rates at the end of June. However, July’s average weekly installation rate represents the lowest since the start of the year. In the run up to the degression, the solar industry was able to successfully sell against the cut as an effective call to action, resulting in an average of 14.4MW-a-week in June.
Solar Portal 25th July 2013 more >>
46 social landlords across Great Britain have been awarded a share of £7million to get renewable heating into the homes of their social tenants, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today. The winners in Scotland are mostly for Air Source Heat Pumps (Argyll Community Housing AssociationCairn Housing Association Dumfries & Galloway H.P.East Lothian Council Hebridean Housing Margaret Blackwood HA) and Biomass Heating Systems for Highland Council.
DECC 24th July 2013 more >>
Business Green 25th July 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 24th July 2013 more >>
A council in Cheshire is seeking to tap into potentially vast reserves of geothermal power beneath Crewe that it hopes could power and heat the region for centuries to come. Cheshire East Council this week voted to carry out a feasibility study into the area’s geothermal energy resource, after a report last year identified Crewe as one of six areas in the UK that could deliver significant quantities of geothermal power.
Business Green 24th July 2013 more >>
Green Deal Failing
Commenting on the latest Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 18th July, Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) said: “whilst there was a small increase in the number of insulation installations in May compared to April the number of installations in 2013 remains well short of what is required.
“There are some 7m solid walls, 5m cavity walls and 7m lofts that still need insulating and in its annual report in June the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) stressed the need to maintain and increase the pace of insulation installations to meet the Carbon Budgets.
National Insulation Association 23rd July 2013 more >>
Ceramic Fuels Cells Ltd (CFCL) has launched a new initiative called ‘free BlueGEN’, which will see its fuel cell micro-CHP systems installed for free in the UK.
COSPP 22nd July 2013 more >>
Fuel Cell Today 23rd July 2013 more >>
Smart Grid Experiment
More than 400 solar PV system owners are taking part in a new smart grid project designed to shed light on how Britain can become low-carbon. The Customer-led Network Revolution (CLNR) project will monitor users across the North East of England and Yorkshire to determine their energy consumption and generation habits. Trials are already underway with the data being analysed by academics from Durham University.
Solar Portal 22nd July 2013 more >>
Energy efficient street lighting in Bristol set to save the council £500k a year.
Business Green 22nd July 2013 more >>
Green Deal Flaws
A major new retrofit project has found that Green Deal SAP calculations over-predicted energy savings by an average of 77%. The FutureFit project was carried out by social home provider Affinity Sutton in order to assess the role that retrofitted energy efficiency measures can play in reducing fuel poverty. The report monitored 150 different properties across the country which Affinity Sutton identified as falling into 22 common types of housing, representative of around 75% of England’s total housing stock. .
Solar Portal 22nd July 2013 more >>
A crowdfunding project to install solar panels on the rooftops of four schools across England has already attracted a third of its target investment – or £77,500 - in just four days. The project – called Brighter Schools – is the fifth renewable energy project from Abundance Generation, an FCA-regulated eco-friendly crowdfunding platform. It says this is its fastest selling offering yet, highlighting how investors are starting to flock to alternative ideas as savings rates remain paltry.
This is Money 19th July 2013 more >>
Westminster Heat Inquiry
So far much of governments energy policy focus has been on low-carbon electricity generation (in particular, the Energy Bill, which aims to reform the electricity market). Yet heat is responsible for 46% of UK energy use, approximately a third of UK GHG emissions, and is a major cost in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors. This has been recognised in DECC’s Heat Strategy. The committee has recently held enquiries into the RHI and biomass. This inquiry will develop these and explore how and where emissions and costs can be reduced from UK heat, specifically looking at the range of trade-offs between costs, GHG emissions, and wider sustainability issues, as well as potential interactions with other technologies – for example distributed use of fuel makes carbon captures and storage difficult. Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the Heat inquiry page on the Committee’s website.
Parliament 17th July 2013 more >>