ECO attacks bolster Big Six
Andrew Warren of the Association for the Conservation of Energy argues that the campaign against ECO has bolstered the top line for the energy giants. Hundreds of thousands of homes that were set to be improved in the near future will now continue to leak energy wastefully – to the benefit of their energy suppliers’ balance sheets. By running an unprincipled and mendacious campaign, the companies succeeded in concentrating all attention upon a single scheme, the maximum cost of which equated to around four per cent of an average bill or £47 a home. There will be 900,000 households paying an average of £400 more each year than they would have done if they had received the energy efficiency makeover the government had promised the energy companies would provide. Effectively last month’s Autumn Statement ended up lining the Big Six’s pockets even more than today. Surely that cannot have been what the Prime Minister really had in mind, when he called for the overhaul of green taxes?
Business Green 10th Jan 2014 read more »
Power Your Future is celebrating the completion of its 100th installation under the ‘Power Your Future – Solar for Schools Programme’. The programme, which has received support from the minister for energy Michael Fallon, fits solar arrays across UK schools at no cost to the school. The programme has seen the company install more than 2.5MW of PV capacity across the 100 schools. Pedmore Technology College in Wordsley is the latest school to receive a solar array under the scheme. The new 50kWp solar array is predicted to generate 42,730kWh of energy a year, which the school will be able to purchase and consume at a discounted rate.
Solar Portal 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Mid Devon District Council’s planning committee approved permission for two small solar photovoltaic arrays at Crediton and Chawleigh yesterday (Wednesday) but overturned plans for a larger scheme at Sampford Peverell which could have seen more than 2,000 panels spread over nearly 2 hectares of agricultural land. Cllr John Downes took issue with the applicant’s suggestion that ‘most’ of the power generated by the scheme would be used on site, rather than being exported to the grid. He asked: “What is going on at a free range chicken farm during the day that would require 1MW of energy?”
Mid Devon Gazette 9th Jan 2014 read more »
LED Tubes to slash emissions
Direct replacement for 12 billion fluorescent tube lights promise to slash emissions from shops and offices. Philips has this week launched a new LED light that aims to provide a direct replacement for the billions of fluorescent lighting tubes found in offices, shops and factories around the world. The company yesterday announced the introduction of its new InstantFit LED tube, which it claims will cut lighting energy costs by 50 per cent compared to standard fluorescent tubes, allowing companies to recover their investment within one to three years. Crucially, the new model has been designed to be compatible with standard fluorescent lighting fixtures, making it much easier for a building to undertake an LED lighting roll out.
Business Green 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Solar Gold Rush
A recent report from Deutsche Bank singled out installers as a particular driver for a “second gold rush” in solar technology, mirroring the first rush for capacity that occured between 2005 and 2007, before being hit by the global economic downturn. The firm took a broadly bullish position on PV solar in a research note issued this week. “We expect another gold rush by downstream installers to add recurring MW ahead of policy changes over the next two to three years,” the note stated, adding that residential leasing would be a particularly hot area.
Business Green 8th Jan 2014 read more »
PV Tech 7th Jan 2014 read more »
Scottish Rural Eco
SSE is leading a £5.4 million programme to help tackle fuel poverty for 2,000 homes in rural Scotland. SSE, under its Scottish Hydro brand, will provide up to £4 million for the project under its Energy Company Obligation (Eco), and this will be complimented by £1.4 million from the Scottish government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland (HEEPS). Housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess said: “To help tackle fuel poverty we are actively working with councils and energy companies to ensure Scotland continues to get its fair share of funding for energy efficiency programmes like these.”
Utility Week 8th Jan 2013 read more »
Solar Energy UK has announced that its annual series of roadshows is returning in February, helping solar companies to ‘cut costs and boost profits’. The consensus across the solar industry is that 2014 is set to be a record-breaking step forward for the global PV market, with the UK predicted to play an integral role in its development. Solar in the UK is transforming into a mature market off the back of installing over 1GW of capacity for the first time last year. In order to fulfil the sector’s predicted potential, British solar companies need to address a number of changes that will affect the profitability of installing solar in 2014:
Solar Portal; 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Solar Farms for Northern Ireland
The UK’s largest solar developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy, is exploring the possibility of installing two solar farms in Northern Ireland. The London-based developer has singled out two sites for proposed 4.9MW developments; a brownfield site in Downpatrick and land near Lisburn.
Solar Portal 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Port Talbot Solar Farm Planned
Plans to build a 13.28MW solar farm have been submitted to North Port Talbot Council by London-based solar developer EEW Eco Energy World. The plans outline the company’s intention to install over 53,000 modules across 33.40 hectares of land at Tyle’rfedwen Farm in Cwmafan near Port Talbot. Although some areas of the site are currently used for sheep grazing, the land that the solar farm will sit on is classified as grade five agricultural land – the lowest agricultural grade possible. The developers are also proposing introducing additional planting on the eastern boundary of the solar farm as well as retaining certain habitats such as marshy grassland and scrub.
Solar Portal 7th Jan 2014 read more »
One in ten pensioners have said they are being forced to stay in bed longer to keep warm as a result of rising energy bills, according to a survey by Saga.
Utility Week 6th Jan 2014 read more »
We know that energy efficiency in homes is the only really effective way to combat fuel poverty in the long term. And we know that for any serious climate change emission targets to bite we need many more UK homes, commercial and industrial buildings being made more energy efficient and these goals will only be achieved by the methodical implementation of measures in a reliable, extensive, year in and year out fashion until we get there. It is time for a fundamental rethink of how we get ourselves anywhere near back on track, because we know we will have to do so sooner or later. Even if the plans of the admirable Energy Bill Revolution people were to be adopted, with their proposed root and branch energy efficiency programme which uses the proceeds of future green taxes to vault English and Welsh homes up through the energy rating bands, we would still need to look at how such a programme might be delivered. And here I think is where much of the effort, even when it was better and publicly funded, has come unstuck. Where programmes have worked or started to do so, they were through area partnerships between energy companies and local authorities. Local authorities should be given an obligation to reach energy efficiency targets for treating properties in their areas, and once programmes have been put into place, energy companies should be obliged to compete to secure the right to fund an agreed part of them.
Alan Whitehead 7th Jan 2014 read more »
Leading investment house Deutsche Bank has dramatically lifted its demand forecasts for the global solar industry – predicting that 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV will be installed across the world in 2014, before jumping by another 25 per cent to 56GW in 2015. It notes that the world’s three biggest solar markets – co-incidentally located in the world’s three biggest economies, US, China and Japan – are currently booming and are likely to deliver what market analysts describe as more “upside demand surprises.” But it also points to other countries such as India, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, as well as regions in the Middle East, South America and South East Asia, to act as strong growth contributors.
Renew Economy 7th Jan 2014 read more »
Latin America is about to find out whether unsubsidized solar can be an economic market reality. While generous subsidies have driven the thriving solar markets of Germany, Japan, China and the U.S., botched efforts in Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic have driven markets to overheat and collapse. But with Mexico and the rest of Latin America, we’re seeing renewable markets evolve with far less government largesse.
Green Tech 6th Jan 2014 read more »
Amory Lovins, the founder of the famous Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, has written a book in which he presents an energy future without coal, oil or nuclear power. Yet he insists his is not a green or left-wing vision. On the contrary, it will save money and create wealth. “The energy transformation is the greatest business opportunity of our time.”
Energy Post 6th Jan 2014 read more »
Government may go Solar
The energy minister is set to propose that four million solar panels, covering land the size of 3,400 football pitches, should be built on government land and property, including schools and prisons. Greg Barker is expected to disclose plans for one gigawatt of electricity generated by solar panels on the “government estate”. It could mean huge solar farms on government land, as well as panels on thousands of public buildings.
Heating & Plumbing Monthly 6th Jan 2014 read more »
This 5-bedroom timber-frame property is believed to be the UK’s first fully solar-powered new-build home and is set to exceed the requirements of the Government’s 2016 zero-carbon target. One of its key features is the use of CA Group’s SolarWall transpired solar collectors to preheat fresh air before it is drawn into the building’s heating and ventilation system, reducing reliance on fossil fuels by as much as 50%.
Modern Building Services 6th Jan 2014 read more »
Despite lovely views over the Usk valley, the farm at Llwmws in the Brecon Beacons lives up to its Welsh name, which literally means “cold, desolate or bare”. The north-facing slopes provide rough grazing for hardy Welsh sheep but little else, and the sun disappears behind the hilltops at 1.30pm in the winter. The stream that bounces and plays its way down the hillside has, until recently, been such an insignificant part of this bleak landscape that generations of farmers on the hill have failed to give it a name. The current farmer, George Smith, says it has been of more interest to his children, who love to play in it, erecting rock and pebble dams, than to anyone else. But as of the end of November last year, dozens of ordinary people were interested enough in this little stream, and another similar one on neighbouring land, to invest £270,000 in them. Why? Because within a year, as “micro hydro” schemes they will be providing enough electrical energy to power 57 homes in such a low-tech, unobtrusive way that George Smith’s children won’t even notice the difference in their dam-building.
Penn Energy 5th Jan 2014 read more »
With his Bentley, his smart suits and his Bolton accent, Peter Darwell is an unlikely eco warrior. Yet the former financial adviser from Hale, in Cheshire’s stockbroker belt, is one of the biggest entrepreneurs in the UK’s renewable energy sector. After years of uncertainty, compounded by the credit crunch, 2013 turned out to be a good year for Mr Darwell and he is hoping that 2014 will be just as good, if not better. Mr Darwell is chairman of the Cardiff-based Eco2, the independent renewable energy developer that has been pioneering power stations that turn farm waste into energy. In August he completed a deal to sell a 40MW straw-fired power station to a Danish pension fund for £160 million. Brigg, which should provide enough power to light up 70,000 homes, is under construction and should begin generating for the grid by 2016.
Times 6th Jan 2014 read more »
Homes in Poor State of Repair
One million homes in the private rented sector fail to meet basic standards of safety, warmth and repair, a report reveals today. Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being spent on housing benefit for rent given to private landlords who fail to keep the properties in good condition, the research by the IPPR North think-tank says in a report entitled “Back to Rising Damp?”. The IPPR North report says that privately rented properties are the most expensive yet are in the worst condition, and that taxpayers’ money would be better spent on improving conditions for tenants. The Decent Homes Standard states that all social housing should be free of health and safety hazards, be in a “reasonable state of repair”, have “reasonably modern kitchens, bathrooms and boilers”, and be “reasonably insulated”. Private landlords do not have to meet the Decent Homes Standard, but must meet minimum legal requirements on safety. However, many private rented homes remain in appalling states of repair, with mould and damp on the walls, poor central heating or insulation and cramped conditions.
Independent 5th Jan 2014 read more »
Rural Community Energy Fund
CSE’s communities team is offering support to groups who want to apply to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF). RCEF is a £15m funding initiative to support community groups in developing low-carbon projects in rural areas. Are you a member of a constituted community group residing in a rural area, wanting to develop a community renewable energy project? If so, RCEF could be the opportunity you have been waiting for. The funding provides a grant of up to £20,000 for investigating the viability of renewable energy in your area.
Centre for Sustainable Energy 4th Jan 2014 read more »
Winchester Solar Farm
Councillors have voted in favour of a proposed 40MW solar farm on the Southwick Estate, just north of Portsmouth. At a meeting of the council’s development control committee, councillors voted seven to three in favour of approving the 82-hectare development proposed by Hive Energy and Welbourne Solar Ltd.
Solar Portal 3rd Jan 2014 read more »