With lifetimes of technologies typically in excess of 15-20 years, and our inability to forecast energy costs accurately more than a year or two in advance, we need to rethink how we communicate energy issues to the wider public. Instead of focusing on what is the current cheapest option (currently gas), we need to consider what energy system will deliver the energy services we require but with the resilience to cope with unknown future energy costs. We need to focus on the productive use of energy in households and businesses rather than the unit price of electricity or gas. This will allow us to reclaim “low carbon” to its proper meaning, which is to deliver the energy services we need as individuals, businesses or communities, far more productively, and with less dependence on fossil fuels. Low carbon does not mean high cost.
Scotsman 3rd Jan 2014 read more »
2013 proved to be another tumultuous year for the solar industry in the UK, despite early optimism that the UK solar market had finally managed to secure a steady policy framework with sensible degressions, the EU anti-dumping investigation threw all this into disarray. The uncertainty surrounding the European Commission’s investigation acted as a severe constraint to deployment and created a “lost quarter” in the UK. Although the fallout from the anti-dumping investigation is still being felt across the market, the UK solar sector has continued to perform strongly. Indeed, the whole global industry has experienced a year of growth, with an unprecedented 12GW of capacity installed in the last quarter of the year – taking the total capacity installed to 36GW.
Solar Portal 2nd Jan 2014 read more »
Community Energy on Mull
A £1m hydro-electric scheme will generate more than 1,100MWh of renewable energy each year on the Allt Achadh na Moine watercourse on the east coast of Mull with profits benefitting local island charitable, environmental and education projects. The scheme will be built and operated by a newly formed Community Benefit Society, Green Energy Mull, which has seen almost £150,000 of money flow in after launching a community share offer with support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub. It is hoped that construction will start in Spring with the scheme operational by the end of 2014.
Guardian 2nd Jan 2014 read more »
Local MP Mike Weir has given his support to a national campaign to double the number of solar roofs across the UK to one million by 2015. The bid, by the Solar Trade Association, is also supported by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Eden Project, 10:10, Forum for the Future and Global Action Plan. At the launch event last week, Mr Weir met with John Forster, head of Angus-based Forster Energy which makes a significant contribution to the country’s solar market. The business is growing steadily alongside its sister roofing company, which now provides the roofs for one in five new homes in Scotland as well as a roof replacement service for the public sector and social housing.
Forfar Dispatch 2nd Jan 2014 read more »
THE UK has seen a shift towards a reliance on renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar photovoltaic (solar pv), with particular interest from the business and farming communities, according to a renewables expert. Business development manager at UFW, David Taylor, said he is confident of further growth in the industry during 2014. “We can accurately predict the cost of producing electricity across the lifecycle of a wind turbine or solar array which is on average 25 years. I would challenge anyone to predict the cost of producing electricity by fossil fuels in 25 years; in 2004 the average energy bill was £580 today it is £1,315 and continuing to rise.”
Farmers Guardian 2nd Jan 2013 read more »
In many ways, Africa is the final frontier. Although humans originated from Africa, technology is often the last to come to Africa. In the West, we take light bulbs, refrigerators, and other appliances for granted. While those products were invented a long time ago, they have yet to make their way to the majority of Africans. According to the International Energy Agency, almost 60% of Africans still do not have access to electricity. As Africa modernizes and solar costs trend lower, solar energy is poised to play an integral part in Africa’s electrification.
Motley Fool 31st Dec 2013 read more »
The number of homes becoming warmer and cheaper to heat under government-backed insulation schemes collapsed in 2013, according to the latest official statistics. The drop, of more than 90% in the case of loft insulation, was described as serious by the government’s own fuel poverty adviser and terrible by Labour. The only way for households to cut energy costs permanently is by improving energy efficiency, but the new figures show that the number of efficiency measures enabled by government schemes plummeted in 2013 as new policies replaced those of the previous government. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change figures, 1.61m lofts were fully insulated in 2012, but in the year to the end of October 2013, the most recent data released, just 110,000 had been treated, a pro-rata fall of 93%. For cavity wall insulation, measures fell from 640,000 in 2012 to 125,000 in the year to October 2013, a pro-rata fall of 77%.
Guardian 30th Dec 2013 read more »
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, a minister will announce. Greg Barker, the energy minister, is expected to in the New Year 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. Mr Barker’s desire to dramatically increase the Government’s commitment to renewable energy will dismay many senior Conservatives. The plans are understood to be a “personal ambition” of Mr Barker’s and are not an official Government target.
Telegraph 30th Dec 2013 read more »
Eco Watch 30th Dec 2013 read more »
Solar photovoltaic demand is forecast to reach 49 GW in 2014, up from 36 GW this year, according to findings in the latest quarterly report from NPD Solarbuzz. According to the report, the fourth quarter of this year (Q4’13) will be another record quarter for the solar PV industry, exceeding the 12 GW threshold for the first time. Furthermore, demand in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1’14) will also set records.
Solar Industry 30th Dec 2013 read more »
Harnessing naturally occurring heat trapped between layers of rock below the earth’s surface, geothermal power plants are capable of supplying clean, renewable electricity around the clock. This valuable trait should position geothermal power as an important asset within emerging sustainable energy systems that rely heavily on intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. But despite more than 50 years of commercial activity, geothermal power’s path has been more rocky than disruptive. Funded by National Science Foundation and Department of Energy grants, a team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Ohio State University (OSU) has developed a novel geothermal power plant design that leverages unwanted, captured carbon dioxide to boost both output and efficiency compared to conventional geothermal plants. The approach also extends the potential reach of geothermal power generation across the country.
Business Green 30th Dec 2013 read more »
Low Carbon Innovation
A solar farm developer, smart meter technology firm, and energy monitoring company have received a total of £1.7m backing from the University of East Anglia’s Low Carbon Innovation fund. Fund manager Turquoise International confirmed the investments earlier this month, that included £750,000 to Colchester-based Push Energy as part of a £1.5m funding round to develop large-scale ground mounted solar farms.
Business Green 30th Dec 2013 read more »
PUPILS from a Fazeley school are among 15,000 set to benefit from a pioneering Staffordshire-wide solar project. Staffordshire Sunny Schools is a brand new initiative which will deploy solar panels on 25 schools in the county – including Millfield Primary School. The systems will convert sunlight into electricity, which will be supplied free to the school and make huge savings. It is the latest community share offer from Gen Community – a community benefit society which aims to promote mutual local ownership of local energy generation for the benefit of the community. Gen Community is aiming to raise £880,000 through the project. It expects to generate a surplus fund which will then be distributed to community projects by way of a community fund.
Tamworth Herald 28th Dec 2013 read more »
An explosion in reports of damp and mould in social housing because tenants on low incomes can no longer afford to switch on their heating has emerged as the latest unwelcome sign of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis. Social housing maintenance experts say a new condensation damp phenomenon – which was considered a marginal issue for social landlords until a few months ago – is a direct result of increasing poverty and rising energy bills.
Guardian 27th Dec 2013 read more »
While wind energy may be the renewables poster child in Scotland, the solar power sector’s performance in 2013 has also been impressive. Data from Ofgem, the regulator of electricity and gas markets in the UK, shows Scotland’s installed solar PV capacity has reached 106MW – an increase of 28MW (36%) on the same time in 2012. At the end of 2010 Scotland hosted just 2MW of solar panels. More than 28,000 homes and 450 commercial premises in Scotland now have solar power systems installed.
Energy Matters 31st Dec 2013 read more »
Supporters of renewable energy are calling for more Scottish homeowners and businesses to reap the benefits of solar power, after new figures revealed that the total installed capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the country had passed the 100 megawatt (MW) milestone. Analysis of fresh statistics from Ofgem shows that Scotland now has 106MW of solar PV, a rise of 28MW (36%) from the same time last year and a massive increase of 104MW (5200%) since 2010. Over 28,000 homes and 450 business premises in Scotland now have solar arrays installed, and together WWF Scotland, the Energy Technology Partnership, and the Scottish Solar Energy Group are hailing this as an important achievement.
Blue & Green 27th Dec 2013 read more »
Recharge News 27th Dec 2013 read more »
Aberdeen Press and Journal 27th Dec 2013 read more »
Green Building Press 27th Dec 2013 read more »
PV Magazine 27th Dec 2013 read more »