week ending 29 November 2013
UP to 100 wind turbines across the UK are to be funded by a Wetherby-based supplier thanks to backing of £10 million. Earthmill has announced the creation of a new fund to meet soaring demand for turbines as power costs rise and the deadlines when levels of Government incentives fall, draw closer. Earthmill director Mark Woodward said: “We have secured more than £10 million of backing to fund the installation of new super-efficient turbines with no cost to the farmer or landowner.
York Press 29th Nov 2013 more >>
Harrogate News 27th Nov 2013 more >>
At the final PV Parity Conference, on 26 November in Brussels, the Europe based organisation presented its final report - the main results of the PV Parity Project. The Project concluded that photovoltaics is increasingly evolving from an investors’ market to an energy-savings market. This can be fully achieved by moving from pure feed-in-tariff driven markets towards more self-consumption based regulatory frameworks. ‘Our analysis of the costs of current photovoltaic support schemes shows that self-consumption, if favoured by adequately-designed measures, can be the basis for reducing the costs of support schemes in general and that of feed-in-tariffs in particular’, declared Georg Lettner, from Vienna University of Technology.
Modern Power Systems 29th Nov 2013 more >>
A Conservative MP has called for the government to expand its investment in energy efficiency schemes, even as rumours continue to circulate that the Chancellor is poised to cut insulation programmes in the upcoming Autumn Statement. Oliver Colvile is co-author of a new report which concludes that UK businesses are missing out on huge economic and environmental opportunities because senior executives do not understand the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.
Business Green 29th Nov 2013 more >>
The Government should “relaunch” the Green Deal for the non-domestic market and enable small businesses to access cheap energy-saving loans in order to stimulate the energy efficiency market, according to a coalition of leading businesses, parliamentarians and civil servants.
Greenwise Business 27th Nov 2013 more >>
Industrial-scale wind farms have aroused the anger of millions of people up and down the country. But a single turbine, built on the initiative of local people and sited on their own land, is a different story. The residents of one English village decided to put their own money into such a scheme to cut their bills, liberate themselves from the big power companies – and generate a decent 8pc return on their investment. Their action came as millions of British households feel the chill this winter after being hit with above-inflation rises in their energy bills.
Telegraph 29th Nov 2013 more >>
Small-scale plants producing energy from food and agricultural waste could avoid anticipated cuts to subsidies, after the government yesterday confirmed a review of the support scheme for the technology. Climate change minister Greg Barker has informed industry bodies a consolation will be launched in January on “measures, including a tariff review” to ensure anaerobic digestion (AD) plants below 500kW in capacity are not unfairly disadvantaged by an automatic drop in feed-in tariff incentive payments.
Business Green 29th Nov 2013 more >>
Watchfield’s 80-year-old village hall will be reclad, insulated and repainted following a £10,000 donation from Hadstone Energy which is developing a 10MW solar farm in the area. The solar farm developer gave the donation as a means of compensation for any disruption caused to the local community during the construction of the solar farm when work begins over the Christmas and New Year period. Although not a stipulated term in the planning permission, after consultation with the local community, Hadstone Energy felt the donation would provide significant benefit to the community.
Solar Portal 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Ministers poised to extend ECO deadlines in attempt to curb bills. Efficiency sector left disappointed as government prepares to announce package of reforms designed to trim £50 a year from consumer bills.
Business Green 28th Nov 2013 more >>
The UK Green Building Council has today commented on the Government’s reported plans to change “green levies” - including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – on energy bills. Reports suggest that the period which ECO covers will be doubled to four years – but it is not yet clear whether additional carbon targets will be set for this extended period. The Warm Homes Discount would also be moved into general taxation and other changes made to reduce the cost of ECO, suggest the reports. Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “If ministers think they have ‘saved ECO’ by allowing energy companies longer to deliver the same amount of energy savings, they are in for a real shock. Diluting the ambition of the scheme, and dramatically reducing the amount of solid wall installations, would increase winter deaths and fuel poverty in cold homes, and put 10,000 people out of work in the energy efficiency industry.”
UK Green Building Council 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Uncertainty over the future of the energy companies obligation (ECO) has already resulted in hundreds of households losing the improvements they were promised, with thousands more that could be delayed or scrapped. The Guardian has learned of at least one fully ECO-funded scheme in Sunderland worth around £500,000 that was scrapped in the last fortnight which would have equipped 100 properties in an area of severe deprivation with solid wall cladding and other insulation. The scheme would have kept the occupants warm, slashed their energy billsand created about 25 jobs, now under threat.
Guardian 28th Nov 2013 more >>
From the front, the Rogers’ house on a quiet street in Northwich looks just like all the others, its red brickwork identical to millions of other Victorian terraced houses up and down the land. But look at the building from behind, and it’s a different story. Cladding four inches thick has been applied, transforming a cold and leaky house into a cosy home, with lower energy bills and a satisfied family inside. “It’s made a big difference,” says Antony Rogers, who lives in the three-bedroom, gas-heated mid-terrace home with his wife and two grown-up sons. “We can really feel it, and we’ve hardly had the heating on.”
Guardian 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Energy companies will profit from selling an extra £360 million worth of gas and electricity under the Government’s plan to reduce household bills, it has been claimed. Ministers are working on a plan to cut £50 from the average annual energy bill and want to delay a scheme to insulate homes. As a result, 600,000 customers will have to wait longer for savings on their bills, which will put money in the pockets of the Big Six energy firms, according to the Association for the Conservation of Energy. The Government wants to delay the completion of the Energy Companies Obligation by two years until 2017, it emerged yesterday. Under the scheme, the companies are required to help homes save energy by installing insulation and new boilers, with the costs passed on to all customers through their bills.
Times 29th Nov 2013 more >>
Two years ago Hazel Adams invested £11,000 of her life’s savings in solar panels for her home. “At 78, most people thought I was mad to make this kind of investment but I saw things differently.” Good Energy supports a growing community of over 55,000 generators across Britain. And from time to time, we like to drop in to see them to find out how they’re getting on.
Good Energy 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Solar Farming in Scotland
FARMERS in the Highlands could earn more than £50,000 a year renting out their land as sites for large-scale solar-power farms. A London-based firm has been “scoping” potential sites for the developments – including coastal areas in the north and north-east. Lightsource Renewable Energy is on the hunt for 700 acres of ground – the equivalent of about 400 football pitches – for 100 megawatts of solar farms in Scotland.
Press & Journal 28th November 2013 more >>
2,700 people die every year because they can’t afford to heat their home - and a key government measures for tackling the problem is about to be weakened. The government’s fuel poverty programme is already in trouble - but are matters about to get worse? The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires energy providers to seek out and subsidise home insulation for low-income households. But the scheme is due to be rolled out slower than originally planned, according to this morning’s Today programme, giving suppliers four years rather than two to achieve their targets. The move comes in response to public concern about rising energy bills. ECO is paid for through a levy on consumer bills - so weakening ECO will decrease average household spend on energy. The measure isn’t a perfect solution to fuel poverty, and has been widely criticised. But without it, the government’s plans for tackling the problem look even shakier - and there’s no sign it’s thinking about ways to improve the situation.
Carbon Brief 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Excess winter deaths” in England and Wales rose by 29% compared with the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. There were 31,000 additional deaths last winter , the ONS report states. The figures follow a bitterly cold start to the year. Friends of the Earth fuel poverty campaigner Sophie Neuburg said: “Making energy efficiency a top Government priority would knock hundreds of pounds off fuel bills, create jobs and save thousands of lives every year.”
London Evening Standard 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Independent 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Campaigners say Government should be “ashamed” as official figures reveal thousands of over 75 year-olds perished in Britain during the coldest winter for nearly 50 years. Prime Minister David Cameron was tonight urged to spend hundreds of millions of pounds insulating homes across the UK as official figures revealed 31,000 people died because of the freezing weather last winter. Official figures revealed so-called “excess winter deaths” rose 29 per cent in 2012-2013 to their highest level for four years. Campaigners said Ministers talking about cutting green levies should be “ashamed” at the figure, which is worse than Sweden and Finland. More than 80 per cent of the 31,000 were pensioners aged over 75, who suffered from influenza as temperatures in March fell to levels not seen since 1962.
Telegraph 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Hospitals have seen cases of hypothermia rise by more than a third to 28,000 under the coalition, amid soaring energy bills and harsh winters, according to figures uncovered by Labour. Luciana Berger, the shadow public health minister, said a rise in episodes of the life-threatening condition were “deeply shocking”. She called for more action to help vulnerable people heat their homes. Figures released by the Department of Health show that 28,354 episodes of hypothermia were treated in 2012/13 – an increase of 25% on the year before and 40% on the year before that. Many of these relate to the over-70s and babies, who are more susceptible to the cold.
Guardian 25th Nov 2013 more >>
Toyota goes solar
CAR manufacturer Toyota has revealed plans to replicate the success of its Derbyshire factory’s solar park at its engine-making plant in Wales. The Japanese manufacturer wants to install more than 12,500 solar panels close to its Deeside factory. The company, which has partnered with British Gas Solar for the project, said the scheme could provide around 10% of the electricity needed at the plant. It has submitted its plans to Flintshire County Council, which will make a decision in the coming weeks.
Derby Telegraph 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Daily Post 27th Nov 2013 more >>
Firms must get their property rights “buttoned up” first if they are planning to get solar panels, according to legal experts.
Energy Live News 28th Nov 2013 more >>
Emerging technologies such as energy-efficient LED lighting are creating a dramatic opportunity for consumer-side cost savings, as well as the potential for a much broader suite of municipal services via LED-integrated smart sensors, and with it the possibility for upending a staid and overlooked component of the traditional utility service offering. Clearly, these are not your grandfather’s street lights.
Renew Economy 27th Nov 2013 more >>
ECO is failing
Energy efficiency schemes are failing despite their £8.4bn price-tag while take-up of Green Deal insulation programme is running at less than 1pc of target, according to studies. Policies designed to cut energy bills by forcing suppliers to insulate customers’ homes are failing, despite being on course to cost consumers £8.4bn, Which? claims on Wednesday. A parallel scheme that relies on home-owners taking out loans voluntarily to fund insulation measures is attracting just 1pc of targeted take-up, think tank IPPR finds in a separate report. The damning findings come as ministers prepare to unveil reforms in coming days to the most controversial scheme, the Energy Company Obligation (Eco), in a move that will trigger cuts to household energy prices. The Which? report says the schemes have failed to help the majority of home-owners, with 14m out of 27m homes still lacking adequate insulation and calls for a “radical overhaul” of policies.
Telegraph 27th Nov 2013 more >>
Notts householders are being warned about misleading solar energy deals following a rise in solar panel related complaints received by the County Council’s Trading Standards team. The number of complaints have doubled in the last 12 months and have involved sales people misleading customers on how much money the solar panels would generate or not being clear that the deal would involve signing up to a finance agreement.
Retford Guardian 27th Nov 2013 more >>
The energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has opened Oxford PV’s new fabrication and test facilities at Begbroke Science Park. The Oxford University spin-out is developing an energy-generating coating that can be applied to glass. The new test facilities and fully equipped cleanroom will help accelerate the roll-out of the technology which is capable of enabling solar PV generation to be integrated in buildings.
Solar Portal 27th Nov 2013 more >>
Small Wind Growth
The small wind power market is set to grow almost five-fold to reach $3bn by the end of the decade, analysts have predicted. Incentive schemes and growing consumer awareness are expected to propel the global market, which stood at $609m in 2012. According to research by GlobalData, the market is poised to deliver a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent over the years through to 2020.
Business Green 26th Nov 2013 more >>
British Solar Renewables and Santander have entered a joint venture which will invest in the construction of 56.5MW of solar farms across the UK. The capacity is spread out over three sites in West Cornwall, East Dorset and North Norfolk. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2014 before the Renewable Obligation is lowered and will be handled by Spanish engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Isolux Corsan.
Solar Portal 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Brighton Energy Coop has now achieved the amazing feat of raising £280,000 for our new solar PV projects. It’s been amazing experience to be on the receiving end of nearly £10,000 every day for the last five weeks – we couldn’t have done it without our members continued support.
Brighton Energy Co-op 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Solar Portal 26th Nov 2013 more >>
Solarcentury has revealed that it is working on two solar farm projects across the UK totalling 25MW of new capacity: 10.2MW solar farm at Watchfield Farm in Somerset and a 15MW solar farm in Oxfordshire.
Solar Portal 25th Nov 2013 more >>
Nuneaton Solar College
AN INSTALLATION of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at a college has saved double the amount of energy predicted in its first four months of operation. North Warwickshire and Hinckley College installed solar PV panels back in May of this year. Following on from this the site has already saved 15 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions being produced and generated enough electricity to power 30 computers, 24 hours a day for a year. The solar panels were provided and installed free of charge as part of the British Gas Solar School programme, which helps schools and colleges generate their own free electricity and reduce energy costs.
Nuneaton News 25th Nov 2013 more >>
Plans have been drawn up to develop Scunthorpe’s first solar-powered pub in the new year. The revealed £17,000 will be spent on reroofing and fixing solar panels over the 180-capacity concert room which dates back to 1911. Owner Steve Glenworth, 43, a local roofing contractor, estimates that work at Glenny’s Bar will halve the £6,000-a-year energy bills for the building in Cottage Beck Road.
Scunthorpe Telegraph 25th Nov 2013 more >>
4GW of Solar Projects in Pipeline
The capacity of solar PV projects within the UK, scheduled for ground-mount construction, has grown significantly over the past 12 months, and now exceeds the 4GW level, according to new research outlined within the NPD Solarbuzz UK Deal Tracker project database. There are now over 700 ground-mount projects above 250kW in size, of which approximately 30% have been fully completed until now. Over 480 ground-mount projects therefore fall into the project pipeline, with the capacity of these projects now exceeding 4GW.
Solar Portal 25th Nov 2013 more >>