week ending 1 November 2013
The latest solar PV installation figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that the domestic market has hit 1.3GW. The installation numbers show that almost half a million UK homes are now fitted with a solar array. The milestone has been achieved off the back of steady installations in the 0-4kW segment, with an average of 7.77MW installed every week since September.
Solar Portal 31st Oct 2013 more >>
Renewables – what about the minerals?
Renewable energy sounds like the obvious solution for a power-hungry planet in a greenhouse world. But where will all the minerals come from? Humankind could be about to exchange one kind of energy crisis for another. The switch from the finite store of fossil fuels to renewable sources could involve a huge additional demand for the world’s equally finite store of metals and minerals. Three French CRNS scientists - Olivier Vidal and Nicholas Arndt of the University of Grenoble and Bruno Goff of Aix-Marseille University - issue the warning in Nature Geoscience.
Ecologist 31st Oct 2013 more >>
Small Wind Cleans Water
Six 5kW wind turbines installed at two waste water treatment works run by Scottish Water have been given the go ahead to start generating. The R9000 turbines manufactured by Evance have been installed at plants in Broadford on the Isle of Skye and Raasay. Another three turbines are set to be installed at the Portree treatment works next month.
Energy Live News 31st Oct 2013 more >>
PassivSystems has won a contract from Freetricity to provide solar PV monitoring for the latter’s £50m ( 58.5m) ‘free solar’ campaign in the UK. Under the contract, PassivSystems will provide irradiance-adjusted solar PV monitoring service to individual solar arrays, ensuring their proper performance as anticipated. The monitoring service will also provide alerts of any sporadic faults as well as in-depth analysis of the portfolio.
Energy Business Review 31st Oct 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 30th Oct 2013 more >>
No threat to FiTs
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a statement confirming that investor schemes such as the feed-in tariff (FiT), renewables obligation (RO) and contracts for difference (CfD) will not be affected by the Prime Minister’s ‘green levies review’.
Solar Portal 30th Oct 2013 more >>
The community energy sector needs a champion, according to a leading lawyer, “to kick government into putting its money where its mouth is.” The call followed pledges of support for community projects from energy minister Greg Barker. Partner at SGH Martineau Paul Mountain this week said there was a gap in the market between micro-generation schemes serving a few households and fully-fledged businesses serving 1MW-plus loads. “The sector needs some kind of resources hub, maybe a community energy bank, certainly stronger champions to kick government into putting its money where its mouth is and enabling community energy to thrive,” said Mountain.
Utility Week 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Airvolution Energy has been granted permission to build three wind turbines, 100 metres high, near Workington in Cumbria. After Allerdale Borough Council failed to make a decision on the Potato Pot project within the required 16 week timeframe, we appealed for non-determination in January 2013. “This project on a brownfield site has all the right ingredients for a great wind project, so it’s a shame it had to go to Inquiry at all. Despite being held in April, the decision has been a long time coming but thankfully sense prevailed.” said Richard Mardon, Chief Executive of Airvolution Energy. Allerdale Borough Council were criticised during the inquiry proceedings by the Inspector, who said it was the most poorly presented case he had seen in 17 years.
Energy Business Review 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Carlisle News & Star 28th Oct 2013 more >>
The news that Hinkley Point achieved a strike price of £92.50 per MWh, nearly four times the amount originally proposed, cannot but rankle with the British solar industry. What, no degression model? Support for green energy lasting thirty five years? A vast, decade-long construction project in the countryside of southwest England? You’d expect Tory back-benchers to be up in arms! Instead we find the media cheering the move to the rafters.
Solar Portal 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Doncaster Rovers has become the first football league club to install solar panels on its stadium, following the completion of a 50kWp solar array at the Keepmoat Stadium. Local solar installers, Eclipse Solar, oversaw the project, installing 200 Romag solar modules on the stadium’s roof. The array is predicted to generate around 42,290kWh of electricity in its first year of operation – saving the club approximately £3,000 in energy bill payments and generating around £6,400 in feed-in tariff payments.
Solar Portal 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Cornish Solar Farm
The AIM-listed renewable energy specialist, which is headquartered at Chippenham in Wiltshire, told investors it had obtained planning permission for an 8.3MW solar site near St Austell in Cornwall. Juliet Davenport, founder and chief executive officer of Good Energy, said: “Each solar farm that gains consent gives the potential for more renewable electricity to be produced here in the UK. “The sites will see benefits to local people via a community fund and the surrounding environment with a bespoke ecological plan.”
Insider Media 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Money AM 30th Oct 2013 more >>
The first of a new generation of farm-scale wind turbines has been installed on a farm at Liskeard in Cornwall where it will generate the equivalent electricity used by almost 150 homes. The first Endurance X29 to be installed on UK soil is also the first to be built in the UK in a brand new Midlands factory and is now generating clean energy on Matthew Rowe’s Great Tredinnick dairy farm.
Farming UK 30th Oct 2013 more >>
A ‘crowdfunded’ 9.2 MW wind farm in Scotland is about to set its turbines in motion and start generating electricity. The £10.5 million Greenside Wind Energy project is a project backed by two farming families in the North East of Scotland who needed up front cash to secure bank financing. Now 22 local investors between them own 30% of the project near Crimond in Aberdeenshire, which is being financed by the ‘ethical bank’ Triodos. Electricity generated by the four 2.3 MW turbines will be bought by the independent buyer and supplier Smartest Energy under a 15-year agreement.
Energy Live News 30th Oct 2013 more >>
Consumers’ energy bills could be reduced by hundreds of pounds per year by adopting smarter domestic heat and electricity systems. This will allow consumers to be properly rewarded for the money they save utilities by producing their own power when it is expensive to buy, by using power at times it is cheaper to produce, and for providing other services to the grid. In the research, conducted by Ecuity Consulting LLP, jointly for the Micropower Council and the Electricity Storage Network, microgeneration and storage are found to enhance consumer benefits significantly in an increasingly competitive and smarter energy environment. The research also looks at the scope to reduce consumer bills considerably once certain regulatory reforms are put in place.
Ecuity 29th Oct 2013 more >>
Business Green 31st Oct 2013 more >>
The UK is struggling to improve its energy efficiency performance, especially in the residential sector. A proposal to focus energy efficiency improvements on target geographical areas aims to harness the age-old desire to keep up with the neighbours to make Britain’s homes warmer. Could it work? UK homes are so poorly insulated that the country has the highest rate of fuel poverty and among the highest rate of winter deaths from cold in Europe. There’s no doubt that these kind of programme require a lot of money. Energy Bill Revolution, supported by an alliance of groups, is calling for the government to use revenues from the Emissions Trading Scheme and Carbon Price Floor to fund a nationwide energy efficiency programme. That’s quite an ask, as it would involve a big sacrifice for the Treasury. The campaign suggests it would free up £4 billion a year for energy efficiency programmes. That might be a hard sell for the government at present. But so far it has not suggested any new ways of tackling energy efficiency, if it delays or cuts ECO. As energy bills continue to rise, it could be under pressure to think of something.
Carbon Brief 30th Oct 2013 more >>
If you want to profit from renewable energy but the thought of solar panels on your roof seems too expensive or a wind farm in your garden sounds too noisy, you could benefit by investing in a new breed of funds and trusts.
Daily Mail 30th Oct 2013 more >>
I don’t imagine the chief executives of any of the big six called before MPs on Tuesday has ever had to unplug their fridge because they simply can’t afford to run it, or wrap their toddler in a fleece all-in-one and a jumper and a dressing gown of an evening. Aren’t we ashamed that people who need emergency food handouts are eating cold beans and stewed steak from the tin, or handing it back, because they can’t even heat it up?
Guardian 29th Oct 2013 more >>
Cost-efficient plastic solar cells are now one step closer to the market thanks to new research from Imperial College London a new means of exerting control over the arrangement of polymer molecules within a thin layer of a plastic solar cell has been developed, allowing, essentially, the creation of ‘nanowires’ within the material.
Solar Love 29th Oct 2013 more >>
Two of the government’s flagship energy efficiency policies are facing fresh criticism today, after consumer affairs group Which? urged the coalition to fundamentally reform its energy strategy in order to hold down domestic energy bills. In an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd today calls on the government to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to commit to separating energy generation and supply operations, reform the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme to focus more on lower cost home improvements, and halt the government’s ambitious smart meter rollout.
Business Green 29th Oct 2013 more >>
Developers are racing to install large-scale solar parks on land across the UK in unprecedented numbers. The rush has been sparked by concerns that Britain’s ageing electrical grid has limited capacity for renewable energy. Environmental campaigners are concerned by the size of the solar farms being proposed. They argue that using agricultural land for energy production is swapping one form of dependency for another.
BBC 29th Oct 2013 more >>
Solar Farming in Rutland
Solar developer Lark Energy has partnered with Armstrong Energy to develop and construct three solar farm projects totalling 30MW across Lincolnshire and Rutland.
Solar Portal 29th Oct 2013 more >>
GT Energy has started work on the next phase of its geothermal scheme, which aims to provide a secure supply of cheaper, renewable heat to homes and businesses in Manchester.
H&V News 28th Oct 2013 more >>
Business Green 31st Oct 2013 more >>
More than 40 businesses and trade bodies, including E.ON, Carillion and Travis Perkins, will today warn the Prime Minister that his plans to roll back green regulations could have the “perverse effect” of pushing up bills. The coalition of businesses, led by the UK Green Building Council, say they are particularly concerned by proposals to scale back the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which requires the so-called “Big Six” utilities to insulate the homes of vulnerable and low income households and “hard to treat” properties.
Business Green 28th Oct 2013 more >>
Hampshire Community Wind
THE first steps have been taken to strike a deal for local community ownership of the proposed Bullington Cross wind farm. Hampshire Energy Group (HEG), the local renewable energy co-operative, has now signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) with wind farm developer EDF Energy Renewables to confirm the joint intent of the parties and the principles of the proposed deal. Under the terms of the MOU, the proposed Bullington Cross community share ownership scheme will give Hampshire Energy Group the option to purchase a revenue share of up to 10 per cent in the wind farm development on behalf of its co-operative members.
This is Hampshire 27th Oct 2013 more >>
LEARNING how to manage woodlands to deliver a new income stream from woodfuel is the focus of a free event being staged at Baddingsgill, West Linton next month. The event, taking place on November 5, is open to woodland owners who are keen to plan and manage their farm or estate woodland to maximise its economic and environmental potential - and anyone with an interest in the use of renewable wood-fuelled heating systems.
Peebleshire News 27th Oct 2013 more >>
Bright sparks in Linlithgow have been awarded £10,000 toward their vision of making the town energy independent. The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) has decided to plug into the plan by Transition Linlithgow with funding that will map energy transmission and consumption around the town centre. It will identify ways of minimising energy use, not just per household, but for potential neighbourhood schemes such as district heating and renewable energy.
Linlithgow Gazette 25th Oct 2013 more >>
In the race for commercial solar power, Wal-Mart is killing it. The company now has almost twice as much capacity as second-place Costco. A better comparison: Wal-Mart is converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states.
Bloomberg 25th Oct 2013 more >>
Walmart currently has 89 megawatts of solar power at 215 locations.
Oil Price 29th Oct 2013 more >>
With bills reaching record levels, leading more and more households into fuel poverty, a number of parties have been keen to offer their solutions to the problem. However, none of them seem to have identified the two most fundamental things missing from our energy system – significant levels of demand reduction, and strong, courageous leadership.What Osborne and Cameron seem to be missing is that the demand-reduction supported by these ‘Green Levies’ is one of the best ways to create lasting protection for consumers, particularly the fuel-poor, against rising energy bills. Put simply, the smaller the amount of energy required to stay warm, the smaller the impact of any price rises. Any response designed to tackle rising bills, that leads to the removal of one of the only policies working to protect the fuel poor against those very rises, is completely counter-productive. With polls from Carbon Brief, and ICM (commissioned, but not published by the Sunday Times) showing that only 7% – 11% (respectively) of the public believe bills are rising primarily due to ‘green levies’, this appears to be little more than a short-sighted bid to appease the Tory right, at the cost of the fuel poor. To stand firmly behind the need for an energy transition, while forcing disengaged consumers to insulate their homes, and ensuring the funds are there for them to do it, requires real political courage. However, given we are in a world where a suggestion of wearing jumpers in the home quickly leads to considerable back-pedalling, the required sort of leadership may be in fearfully short supply.
IGov 25th Oct 2013 more >>
Data released by the government earlier on this week about the costs of a much-maligned energy efficiency policy suggest that it’s less expensive than energy companies say it is. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires energy providers to seek out low-income households and consumers on benefits, and subsidise their home insulation. Energy companies have criticised the measure for being too expensive. And now, it may be reformed or delayed as a part of government plans to “roll back” green levies as part of an attempt to lessen energy bill rises, according to today’s Times.
Carbon Brief 25th Oct 2013 more >>