week ending 13 September 2013
The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has the potential to drive down costs and thereby trigger a mass market for solar thermal technology, the Solar Trade Association (STA) has suggested. Research published in a white paper by the STA claims that the prices of solar hot water systems could come down by 29.2 per cent if the market expands tenfold to catch up with solar PV. The cost reductions enjoyed by solar PV since 2011 have been mainly driven by falling equipment costs, the organisation said, but the cost reductions projected for solar thermal would be mainly driven by efficiencies on the installation side.
EN for Business 13th Sept 2013 more >>
Utility Week 12th Sept 2013 more >>
H&V News 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Business Green 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 11th Sept 2013 more >>
Big 6 to become Big 60,000
Greg Barker: We can achieve a cleaner, more decentralised energy sector. But environmentalists should recognise that gas is part of the answer. I have stated that my personal ambition is to see over 20GW of solar deployed in the UK by the next decade. We could achieve that huge figure by covering just 14% of our industrial and commercial roof spaces with increasingly efficient solar photovoltaic panels. But solar is not the only technology we need to deploy with greater ambition. The UK is bursting with innovation across a range of energy technologies. Combined heat and power (CHP) plants, particularly in larger industrial, commercial and retail premises could also help supersize our local energy economies. If CHP can work in Slough business park, at British Sugar in Norfolk, at Waitrose in Bracknell or in the heart of Sheffield, Birmingham and even in Whitehall, it can work anywhere. Thanks to falling costs and innovation, if approached with sufficient financial rigour, affordable big expansion of small energy is achievable. We can build the big 60,000. Success will require the government as an active partner in growth. But the prize is growth, jobs, economic resilience, a better deal for the consumer, a cleaner, greener, safer environment and energy security.
Guardian 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Panasonic said it would begin selling micro-CHP fuel cells in Germany early next year. The Japanese electronics manufacturer will try to replicate the success of its Ene-Farm residential fuel cell program in Japan, which has deployed several thousand micro-CHP fuel cells in a partnership with Tokyo Gas Tokyo Gas over the past few years. Panasonic manufactures proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells that produce electricity and useful thermal energy through a single process.
Forbes 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Opus Energy has announced it will buy all unused power from turbines built by Endurance Wind Power. Around 500 of the small-scale 50kW turbines have been installed across the UK for homeowners, businesses and farmers in particular. Opus Energy says all current and future Endurance customers will get a preferential rate for the energy they sell.
Energy Live 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Just as the benefits of corporate sustainability initiatives go beyond simply doing “what’s right” or saving money, colleges and universities are finding wide-ranging benefits from making sustainability core to their brand.
Business Green 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Santander Solar Farm
The largest bank in Spain has started building a giant solar energy farm at a former RAF site in Suffolk.
Energy Live News 12th Sept 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 12th Sept 2013 more >>
A small Wester Ross community has submitted a planning application for a community-owned wind turbine. Funds raised from the sale of electricity generated will be put towards projects in Achiltibuie, which has a population of 300 people. Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) is leading the wind turbine venture. The organisation has also been trying to breath new life into a former smokehouse in Achiltibuie.
BBC 12th Sept 2013 more >>
PV round the Wrekin
Telford & Wrekin Council is considering building a solar farm as it looks to protect frontline services from spending cuts. The council has revealed it will discuss the plans for a PV development at Wheat Leasows, large enough to power 1000 homes, at a cabinet meeting on 19 September. It would be only the second council-owned solar farm in the UK.
Solar Portal 11th Sept 2013 more >>
Shropshire Star 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Waitrose & Ecotricity
Waitrose is to launch a major campaign to encourage its customers to switch to green energy and embrace clean technologies, offering them money off vouchers and free energy meters and electric vehicle (EV) charging points. The retail giant announced today that it is teaming up with green energy provider Ecotricity to launch a special offer for its customers, providing them with a £50 Waitrose/John Lewis voucher if they switch to using Ecotricity’s 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff.
Business Green 11th Sept 2013 more >>
North East Solar
Shildon engineering firm, The Bignall Group, has installed what is thought to be one of the North East’s biggest single roof solar panel projects. The family-run precision engineering firm has installed the 150-kilowatt, 620 solar panel system and believes the work will support planned expansion into international markets through cost savings.
Bdaily 10th Sept 2013 more >>
We’ve just launched a new, national Green Open Homes network, funded by DECC. We want to encourage more open homes events that show off home energy saving improvements because when people can see real improvements in real homes it really does encourage them to take action. And we’re really excited to be able to announce a competition offering the chance to win up to £20,000 of funding and support for groups and organisations who want to try it.
DECC 10th Sept 2013 more >>
The UK Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO) came into being in March 2012. The European Energy Efficiency Directive came into force in November 2012. Over eighteen months later we are beginning to see the first fruits of both entities, both intended to revolutionise the effectiveness of “the fifth fuel.” As the summer break began, the EEDO launched a lengthy public consultation exercise, setting out ideas for implementing one of the key Articles of this Directive. Put simply, Article 8 requires each government in the European Union to introduce a programme of regular energy audits in every large enterprise. These audits cover every aspect of any business that consumes energy. The first set of audits must be completed by December 2015. But this will not be a one-off exercise. The requirement is that it must be repeated every four years.
ACE 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Community Energy Barriers
Westminster-based thinktank ResPublica has published a report claiming that local councils are the greatest barrier to the growth of community energy. The report, The Community Renewables Economy: Starting up, scaling up and spinning out, claims that local councils are “seriously blocking progress” and that instead of hindering growth, they should be helping it.
Blue & Green Tomorrow 10th Sept 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 10th Sept 2013 more >>
Community-owned renewables schemes such as wind and solar farms have the potential to hit a total installed capacity of 5.27GW in the UK by 2020, a study claims. This would account for almost a fifth of total renewable energy capacity but is only achievable “with leadership and investment from local authorities and with the right national policy framework”, according to think-tank ResPublica. The Community Renewables Economy report on community renewables found there has been a 14-fold increase in the past 10 years, up from just over 4MW of total installed capacity in 2003 to nearly 60MW this year. On current trends the sector will grow nine-fold to 550MW by 2020 but if hurdles on funding, financial know-how and legal expertise are addressed 5.27GW could be a realistic target.
Renews 10th Sept 2013 more >>
John Lewis is to trial a new product-labelling scheme that, for the first time, will give consumers the lifetime electricity running costs on the most popular household ‘white goods’ such as washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers. Backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, it is intended to enable people to better understand how energy efficient products can bring real savings to household bills. By choosing a more energy-efficient washer dryer when replacing an old appliance, for example, it is claimed that consumers could save over £500 on its lifetime energy costs.
Guardian 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Greenwise Business 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Business Green 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Tamar Energy’s plans to build the UK’s largest network of anaerobic digestion plants has taken another step forward, after the company last week unveiled proposals for four new plants capable of turning food and organic waste into biogas, The company confirmed late last week that it is pursuing plans to develop new facilities at Bromley in London, Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester, and Wardley in Gateshead.
Business Green 9th Sept 2013 more >>
Queen Margaret University
A plan for a wind turbine at environmentally-friendly Queen Margaret University near Musselburgh has been blown away by East Lothian Council’s planning committee. Opposing the application, Councillor David Berry said the 47-metre turbine would be the second highest structure in East Lothian after the chimneys at Cockenzie Power Station.
East Lothian News 8th Sept 2013 more >>
Green Homes Cashback
Households in Brechin and Angus could save £9 million per year by giving their home green upgrades to be more energy efficient. By upgrading to more efficient systems, householders could also get Scottish Government funding work £1,200. The Green Home Cashback scheme, managed by the Energy Saving Trust, means each Angus household could be eligible for the funding towards installing a new boiler, insulation or other energy efficiency measures.
Brechin Advertiser 7th Sept 2013 more >>
Solar Clothes Dryer
The German appliance company has introduced the only tumble dryer in the market that uses solar energy from a rooftop array, drying clothes with an energy efficiency of up to 80 per cent
Eco Business 5th Sept 2013 more >>
Troubled insulation manufacturer Superglass has warned investors about its “volatile” summer trading as it revealed how sales in its core markets remain depressed despite efficiency and emission-cutting programmes. The Stirling-based firm said the uptake of retrofit measures under the UK Government’s energy-saving Green Deal initiative remains “very low”.
Dundee Courier 5th Sept 2013 more >>
The ability to start small with renewable technologies such as solar PV, wind and micro-hydro means they lend themselves to a community ownership model. As Kim Bryan explores in this issue, the confluence of open source technology development, including hardware as well as software, and energy co-operatives could open up exciting possibilities for what we might call ‘energy democracy’. Mobilising around this ‘positive’ vision of reclaiming our ability, as communities, to produce our own energy is a real possibility – especially as some energy co-operatives already exist, covering places as large as Brighton and Bristol. Public investment could bolster energy democratisation, not just provide jobs.
Red Pepper September 2013 more >>