week ending 27 September 2013
Greenvale AP are hoping to add 865 solar panels to the roof of their potato packing sheds at Craigswalls, between Chirnside and Duns. There are already 210 panels on the southern slope of the roof and this week Greenvale put in a planning application to Scottish Borders Council to increase these by 622, plus another 243 on the western roof slope, bringing the total to 1075 panels. It is estimated that the photovoltaic panels on the building would generate 205,400kWhs of electricity a year (equivalent to running 58 average three bedroom households for a year) and all the energy generated will be used on-site by Greenvale AP.
Berwickshire News 27th Sept 2013 more >>
Residential solar projects will struggle to reduce so-called ‘soft’ costs more than their commercial counterparts, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). NREL has analysed the non-hardware-based ‘soft costs’ associated with solar energy projects. Customer acquisition, installation labour and financing were among the main factors underpinning soft costs for both commercial and residential solar, said the report. Permitting, inspection and interconnection (PII) was another.
Business Green 27th Sept 2013 more >>
Biomass - Sky’s the limit
Sky’s ambition to cut its carbon emissions by one quarter have taken another step forward this week, after the broadcaster cut the ribbon on four new biomass boilers. The boilers were installed at Sky’s customer contact centre in Livingstone, Scotland, and are expected to supply enough heat and hot water for the 2,500 employees on site.
Business Green 27th Sept 2013 more >>
A Dutch company claims to have broken the world record for crowdfunding after it raised 1.3 million (£1.09 million) for a wind turbine co-operative in just 13 hours.
Energy Live 27th Sept 2013 more >>
Freetricity has penned a new financing deal with the Australian investment bank Macquaire. The deal will allow Freetricity and its installation partner, Styles & Wood energy, to fund free residential solar installs on up to 1,500 houses a month. The company claims that the deal will herald the largest free solar roll-out of its kind in the UK. Freetricity also calculates that the new funding deal will create over 500 new jobs in the industry, whilst adding around 30MW of new solar capacity.
Solar Portal 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Energy Business Review 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Fit-out firm Styles & Wood has been appointed by UK solar supplier Freetricity, to install residential solar panels on 1500 homes a month. Styles&Wood Energy, the group’s specialist renewable energy division, will handle all aspects of site-surveying, specification and installation for the nationwide programme, which expects to generate in excess of 30MW of solar power. The roll-out programme, which has recently commenced, is the largest free solar roll-out of its kind in the UK and represents a major boost for the market.
Manchester Evening News 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Scottish Building Standards
New buildings in Scotland will be more energy efficient from 2015 after the Scottish Government confirmed changes to the country’s building standards. Scottish Planning Minister Derek Mackay yesterday announced that from October 2015 new homes will have to produce 21 per cent less CO2 emissions then current levels. Meanwhile, the improvement in non-domestic buildings such as shops and offices will an average reduction in emissions of around 43 per cent.
Business Green 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Protecting the environment is at the heart of what we do here at Good Energy and our new development sites provide us with a great opportunity to enhance the natural habitats that surround them. Carefully planned and situated wind and solar farms can produce cleaner, greener electricity, allow agriculture to continue and actually improve biodiversity by encouraging natural grasslands, wetlands and hedgerows to grow. Our 28MW proposed solar farm at Mapperton in Dorset, for example, has potential for a number of biodiversity projects that would enhance the natural habitat. If planning permission is granted, we plan to plant wildflower meadows to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, as well as ground nesting birds such as the skylark.
Good Energy 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Fife Council Turbines
A national anti-windfarm campaign group has slammed Fife Council for “hatching secret plans” for huge turbines on local authority sites. But Council leader Alex Rowley has defended the plans, saying they could lead to a reduction in the authority’s energy costs and generate income for investment in local communities. The Council has submitted 25 screening applications for turbines at sites including ones in Burntisland, Aberdour and Kinghorn, and in other locations in central Fife. Scotland Against Spin has blasted the plans, saying the proposed turbines were much bigger than originally indicated.
Fife Today 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Dunfermline Press 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Dundee Courier 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Opinion Poll on Fife’s plans (scroll down).
Dunfermline Press 26th Sept 2013 more >>
Dingwall Wind Co-op
The first wind turbine in Scotland to be wholly owned by a co-operative is coming soon, following the recent launch of the Dingwall Wind Co-op. The 250 kW turbine was originally planned as a private venture but the owners of the Knockbain Farm – where it will be built – were persuaded to turn the project into a co-operative to spread the risks and share the perks.
Energy Live 26th Sept 2013 more >>
North Star 25th Sept 2013 more >>
There is a growing community energy industry in this country where neighbours are collaborating, creating jobs and growing their social capital as well as economic power. There are social investors helping them flourish. Recent research suggests that community energy could grow to 89 times its current size if existing barriers were lowered.
Guardian 25th Sept 2013 more >>
WORK has begun on installing Wedmore’s community-owned solar plant and will begin generating clean electricity for homes within weeks. Wedmore Community Power Co-operative is using locally-recruited labour to help put up the frames that will carry almost 4,000 solar panels.
Cheddar Valley Gazette 25th Sept 2013 more >>
A KIDDERMINSTER-based renewable energy specialist has earned a national title. Eco2Solar was named National Solar PV Installer of the Year 2013 at this year’s Energy Efficiency and Renewables Awards. The awards, organised by Energy Efficiency Exhibitions at the Ricoh Arena, recognise the achievements of energy-efficiency professionals across the UK.
Kidderminster Shuttle 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Labour is to scrap the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme if it wins the 2015 election, after dismissing the green deal as “failing” and its progress as “woefully inadequate”. “It was meant to be the biggest home improvement programme since world war two and ministers said they would be having sleepless nights if 10,000 people had not signed up by Christmas 2013,” said Caroline Flint, shadow energy secretary, noting that just 12 green deals had been completed. “They won’t be getting much shut eye.” The pledge to scrap the green deal follows Ed Miliband’s dramatic promise to freeze energy bills and break up the big six energy companies that dominate the UK market. The green deal aims to retrofit 14m of Britain’s leaky homes in the next decade, by offering loans for measures such as insulation and new boilers, with repayments offset by the energy bill savings.
Guardian 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Instead Labour wants to bring in its own pay-as-you-save policy entitled the Energy Saving Scheme, with lower interest rates than the seven plus per cent offered by the Green Deal. A spokesman for Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint told BusinessGreen that the party believes the finance packages are the main thing deterring households from investing. “I don’t really buy the government’s line that it’s just early days, because the number of assessments is pretty healthy,” he said. “The problem is that once they’ve had the assessment, 99 per cent of people are saying they don’t want a Green Deal. The problem is the financing.” He added that high interest rates, penalty payments for early repayments, and hidden charges were all putting people off. But while the new policy has a title it remains unclear exactly how it will offer lower interest rates. The spokesman said Labour is now planning to consult with industry on a number of options, including replicating the model offered by the state-backed German KfW bank, which offers interest rates as low as one per cent for energy thanks to its AAA credit rating and state subsidies. Unlike the Green Deal, KfW does not link repayments to household energy bills. It is also looking at Nationwide’s Green Additional Borrowing service, which allows existing mortgage customers to take out loans of between £5,000 and £20,000 to undertake approved energy efficiency measures.
Business Green 25th Sept 2013 more >>
Just 12 households have taken out Green Deal plans since the scheme’s launch in January, according to the latest Green Deal figures published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The statistics show the Coalition’s flagship green policy’s performance up to the end of August. In total, there have been 71,210 Green Deal assessments lodged, up 23% from the previous month. Of those assessments, 677 have expressed an interest in a Green Deal Plan with 293 accepting the quote, 372 signed plans pending installation and 12 with measures installed. Neil Marshall, chief executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) has attacked the figures, labelling them “extremely disappointing and of huge concern.” The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) stressed the need to maintain and increase the pace of insulation installations to meet the Carbon Budgets. There are still 7 million solid walls, 5 million cavity walls and 7 million lofts that need insulating in the UK. That means 600,000 cavities, 1.2 million lofts and over 80,000 solid walls to be insulated each year. However, over the first seven months of 2013 Green Deal and ECO have delivered at a rate equivalent to just 114,000 cavity wall, 135,000 loft and 12,000 solid wall installations per annum which is very bad news for carbon savings, consumer’s energy bills and jobs in the insulation industry. The NIA believes that the lack of uptake within the Green Deal can no longer be attributed to a slow start and is calling for urgent government intervention to boost the scheme.
Solar Portal 23rd Sept 2013 more >>
Looking at the geographic split between the solar PV capacity installed in the UK during 1H 2013, it should not come as any great surprise that over 50% falls within the two Southern regions (South West and South East). This is shown clearly in Figure one. While historically Cornwall was the focus of installs in the South West, more capacity was installed in Devon during 1H 2013 than any other county within the UK. Major contributions within the South come also from Hampshire and Somerset.
Solar Portal 24th Sept 2013 more >>
Labour should ...
Labour could and should champion the real, transformational solutions – from a serious attempt to bring down energy-use through a nationwide home insulation programme, to helping every school, hospital or community harness its own green energy. Some Labourites whisper these ideas; it’s time to shout from the well-insulated rooftops. We need to hear Ed Miliband pledge new jobs by restoring investor confidence in low-carbon energy, one of the few growth sectors of the economy. He should promise to slash fuel bills with a nationwide programme to insulate heat-leaking homes, which would save the NHS some of the £1bn it spends annually on dealing with the health problems related to fuel poverty.
Criag Bennett 23rd Sept 2013 more >>
External Wall Insulation
A nationwide Community Energy Saving Programme, funded by levies on consumers’ energy bills has paid for an external wall insulation project in Wallsall. Not many in Walsall are complaining. Most of its 100,000 households are in fuel poverty, making them eligible for ECO. British Gas fought off competition from other energy companies to strike a deal with WHG, one of the largest providers of high-quality housing in the West Midlands. Cliff Horrocks, director of asset management at the housing association, said: “British Gas has got the most amount of money to give away.” British Gas has agreed to spend £60 million on 11,000 homes under ECO and CESP in Walsall. The sum dwarfs the amount that WHG, which funds itself from subsidised rents, is able to spend itself.
Times 23rd Sept 2013 more >>
The UK residential solar market seems have stabilised in terms of pricing: at the start of this year a 4kwp (16 panel) system could cost as little as £5,000 or as much as £7,500; currently a price range of around £5,500 to £6,500 is the norm in the market. Caused by the minimum price for Chinese panels, this smaller price range combines with a trend away from cheap Chinese panels to ‘higher quality’ European and Japanese brands. This appears to be the end of a race towards ever-falling prices and allows installers to focus their selling on quality rather than quantity of materials, service and warranty.
Solar Portal 23rd Sept 2013 more >>
SCHOOLS across the area are set to benefit from lower energy bills following work by a York firm. Solarwall, based at Green Lane Trading Estate at Clifton, recently installed insulation at Easingwold School, North Duffield Primary School and Appleton Roebuck Primary School which will help to save a combined £2,950 a year on energy bills and 14 tonnes of carbon each year. The work is the latest in a line of school projects undertaken by Solarwall, who also provided solar thermal hot water panels at York St John’s University, and a solar photovoltaic system at Barton School.
York Press 23rd Sept 2013 more >>
Green Investment Bank
Green Investment Bank (GIB) is to tap foreign investors for advice on how to pump cash into energy efficiency projects. The bank will mark its first anniversary as a standalone institution next month with a gathering in Edinburgh featuring some of the biggest players in clean energy finance. Funding groups from Asia, Europe and the United States will be represented at the Green Bank Conference on 17 October. In total, about 20 of the most influential people in international clean energy financing are expected for the first of what could become an annual gathering. The event comes a year after the European Commission granted state aid approval for the GIB.
Scotland on Sunday 22nd Sept 2013 more >>
The government has billed its green deal as “the most ambitious home improvement programme since the second world war”, but it has now been revealed that just 12 homeowners are making repayments through its finance package for energy-efficient work carried out on their property.
Observer 22nd Sept 2013 more >>
Britain’s communities are facing three big challenges: a living standards crisis, a jobs crisis and a climate crisis. Improving Britain’s homes to make them more energy efficient is a significant part of the answer to all three but the government’s market-driven approach looks inadequate. Instead, greater shared responsibility between government, the market and civil society should be encouraged to address this triple crunch. So what does the British public think about these three problems and is there a solution for all three? It is often asserted that the 2015 election will be the ‘living standards’ election. In May, earnings growth fell to its lowest level in four years. Inflation at 2.8 per cent is eroding disposable income and families’ purchasing power. Some prices stand out for consumers with energy becoming the country’s number one concern. According to the Committee on Climate Change, nine out of ten households are now worried about rising energy bills.
Green Alliance 20th Sept 2013 more >>
The RHI will be introduced into the Domestic sector in April 2014 and as ever Space Air Altherma is ready with MCS accredited Daikin Altherma Air Source Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal option packs!
Low Carbon Economy 20th Sept 2013 more >>