Plymouth’s Solar Car Park
ONE thousand solar panels have been placed atop a city centre car park as the Plymouth City Council embraces World Environment Day. The Western Approach car park installation is the largest by the council so far and is expected to earn back its £295,000 cost through its lifetime of savings on energy spending. The council plans to go a step further by fitting LED lights and hopes to slash electricity use by up to 70 per cent putting Western Approach in the running to become one of the greenest car parks nationwide.
Plymouth Herald 6th June 2014 more >>
CfDs will make it difficult for companies beside established players with access to capital to build large solar projects. Boyle, whose presentation was entitled “Succeeding in the UK market: head down, keep pushing”, said the CfD scheme was a gamble for developers, who would not know whether their project would be approved until it came to the bidding process. CfDs, Boyle said, might disrupt the hegemony of the so-called ‘Big Six’ energy companies that dominate the UK landscape but with the barriers to entry for smaller companies, the result of such a disruption might even ultimately mean the creation of a ‘Solar Big Six’, where a small number of large solar companies would be able to bear the brunt of uncertainty by using scale and greater access to funds. Life would be made difficult for small contractors and developers, Boyle said.
Solar Portal 6th June 2014 more >>
Renewable electricity supplier, Good Energy, is proposing to offer people living in Cornwall the chance to invest in its Big Field Wind Farm scheme.
Business Cornwall 6th June 2014 more >>
Insider Media 6th June 2014 more >>
Solar Roadways, the Brusaws’ project, is certainly bold. They are not just proposing to build glass-topped solar panels that are rugged enough to withstand big trucks and heavy traffic and generate electricity for sale; they also envisage charging electric cars, perhaps wirelessly while the cars zoom down the highway. They are putting LED in the panels not only for marking roads but also for displaying advertising, at least for parking lot projects for businesses.
Guardian 5th June 2014 more >>
Solar Schools has announced that it has raised over £100,000 in eight months in order to install solar arrays on 19 schools across the UK. The programme, run by 10:10, encourages schools to use a combination of fundraising techniques to help raise the money required to install solar. 10:10 calculates that a typical PV installation will generate over £30,000 in energy savings and associated feed-in tariff (FiT) payments for a school over the array’s FiT lifespan.
Solar Portal 4th June 2014 more >>
Pembrokeshire based Western Solar Ltd announced their intention today to build Wales’ first Solar Hamlet at Glanrhyd in North Pembrokeshire based on their award winning Ty Solar zero energy home, exclusively for people local to the North Pembrokeshire area. A development application has been lodged by Western Solar Ltd with Pembrokeshire National Parks for consideration to convert the former garage at Glanrhyd to erect six homes. The houses will be manufactured at Brynawelon Farm near Croft by a newly established eco factory that intends to meet, what it hopes will be, growing demand for zero energy housing.
Tivy-side Advertiser 4th June 2014 more >>
Solar World Cup
Eleven of the 32 countries competing in the forthcoming football World Cup are unable to generate as much solar energy as Brazil’s 2.5MW national stadium. So claims the ‘Poor Peoples’ Energy Outlook’ (PPEO) report published today by British NGO Practical Action. The newly constructed national stadium and World Cup venue, Est dio Nacional Man Garrincha in Brasilia, produces 2.5MW of solar energy. But the report highlights the competing countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Iran, Ivory Coast, Uruguay and Ghana all produce the same or less than 2.5MW of solar power, the report said. Brazil will generate more renewable energy than any other world cup before it. It is also sponsored by global solar company, manufacturer Yingli Green.
PV-tech 4th June 2014 more >>
Bill would exempt all small housing developments from new green standards and allow builders to pay their way out of full obligations. The coalition has effectively abandoned a pledge to make all new homes ‘zero-carbon’ by 2016, as new legislation in the Queen’s speech would not apply to housing built in small developments and companies would be allowed to buy exemptions from new green standards.
Edie 3rd June 2014 more >>
A record year for solar
The solar energy industry has hailed a record year after 38.4GW of capacity was added in 2013, according to figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). This far surpasses last year’s 30GW of installations and shows the rapid development of an industry that has seen costs fall to such an extent that deployment can still expand despite total investment levels falling.
Business Green 3rd June 2014 more >>
Plymouth Science Park
PLYMOUTH Science Park is now generating 20 per cent of two of its buildings’ electricity from the sun. An array of 600 solar panels should provide 200,000kwh of electricity a year for the Park’s phase 1 and 2 buildings, which total 48,000 square feet and house 113 offices.
Plymouth Herald 3rd June 2014 more >>
Western Morning News 3rd June 2014 more >>
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Scotland Forum responds today to the Scottish Government’s draft renewable heat energy policy statement consultation. It broadly welcomes the draft policy and encourages the Scottish Government to be even bolder.
NFLA 2nd June 2014 more >>
Towards decarbonising heat: Maximising Opportunities for Scotland.
NFLA 2nd June 2014 more >>
Cumbria Street Lighting
Cumbria has become the latest region to upgrade its street lights to energy-efficient alternatives, maximising savings for the county council and helping to protect the environment of the beautiful area. Their planned installation of almost 12,000 LED light bulbs along the winding country roads in the county is expected to save around £430,000 a year in energy and maintenance, in another great example of modern lighting technology streamlining costs while boosting performance. The council will be investing around £7.6m over the next three years to acquire and install the bulbs, and they will also be reviewing the 33,000 remaining street lights in the region to explore whether they could reduce their hours of usage or dim them to conserve energy. The new bulbs are confirmed to be LED light bulbs, the most efficient type on the market. The high-performance bulbs produce more light using less energy – the energy that they do consume is almost completely channelled into the creation of light, rather than losing waste energy in heat form, as many incandescent bulbs do.
BLT 2nd June 2014 more >>
Zero Carbon Housing – or not
A government pledge to make all new homes “zero carbon” from 2016 looks set to be dropped in favour of allowing developers to offset carbon emissions. Both the Guardian and BBC today report that the Queen’s speech on Wednesday will contain a plan to force firms to contribute to carbon abatement schemes if homes do not meet requisite levels of sustainability once built.
Business Green 2nd June 2014 more >>
Solar Portal 3rd June 2014 more >>
The Solar Trade Association has hit out at government proposals to water down the zero carbon homes standard, labeling the move as ‘bizarre’. The association notes that the inclusion of ‘Allowable Solutions’ means that buyers of new home will actually be paying for green energy measures elsewhere as opposed to their own home, where they could benefit financially from reducing energy bills. The STA calculates that, had the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) stuck with its original proposals, a 1.73kWp solar array would meet the standards at a cost of £2,550 per house. The association adds that if build rates reach 200,000 units per year, as widely predicted, it would result in 0.35GW of new annual capacity. A total that would eclipse the current installation rate under the feed-in tariff for existing homes.
Solar Portal 3rd June 2014 more >>
Brits who own a solar PV array demonstrate a greater understanding of how their household consumes electricity, according to a study by the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR). More than 9,000 customers’ electricity usage was analysed as part of the study, which is claimed to be one of the largest qualitative studies of consumer electricity use ever recorded. A large number of those taking part of the study have low carbon technologies installed, including heat pumps, electric vehicles and solar PV.
Solar Portal 2nd June 2014 more >>
The original infrastructure plan stated very clearly that one of its priorities was to achieve a “step change in energy efficiency”, including homes and commercial buildings. The main policy lever for doing this was expected to be the Green Deal. By the time of the 2013 update, energy efficiency is still name-checked as a “huge opportunity”, but with no concrete plans or commitments other than the smart-meter rollout (to be funded by the bill payer, of course), efficiency schemes were conspicuous by their absence on the pipeline of 40 key infrastructure projects. This is a massive missed opportunity. Energy efficiency ticks multiple boxes used by the Treasury when deciding what constitutes a national infrastructure priority. According to HMT, infrastructure must “strengthen and drive the economy, create jobs and act as a key enabler for future economic development and rising living standards across the whole country”. That’s a tick, tick and tick for energy efficiency. So what needs to change? Ironically, not that much. I don’t necessarily think that energy efficiency’s status as a poor relation is down to the Treasury being the Treasury, but quite possibly a failure of DECC not to push energy efficiency as an infrastructure priority alongside its generation projects.
Business Green 2nd June 2014 more >>
Hydro Share Offer
Since the cost estimates in the feasibility studies were completed in 2010 several things have changed; importantly most of the estimated items now have firm prices but inevitably the total has risen and up to £105k in additional funding is being sought. The society has established that it can borrow the additional amount required but the most cost effective route to additional capital is to sell more shares. Accordingly the share offer is being re-opened on exactly the same terms as before, the share application form will be on the website along with the updated financial projection. The intention is to keep the share offer open until the end of June 2014 when a decision on whether to proceed with a loan for any difference will be made.
Harlaw Hydro 31st May 2014 more >>
Last month owners switched on a new hydroelectric scheme at the foot of Inverlochlarig burn, a course of water which feeds into Loch Doine, then Loch Voil and eventually the Firth of Forth. Inverlochlarig, near Lochearnhead and within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is a 10,000 acre hill farm which has been tended to by the same family since 1877. It is home to more than 3,500 Scottish Blackface and Cheviot Ewes and a herd of 100 cattle.
Renewable Focus 30th May 2014 more >>
Give Local Authorities Responsibility
We’ve asked leading thinkers, from politics, business and green groups, to set out their one big manifesto idea for the next parliament – the one they think will make a big impact in creating a greener Britain. We are publishing them through May and June. Rebecca Willis says give local areas the responsibility, and the powers, to meet climate change objectives and energy needs for their area, through a locally-owned energy agency.
Green Alliance 29th May 2014 more >>
Co-operatives UK has successfully led a lobbying campaign that called on the Government to safeguard investment in community energy co-operatives. Realising the potential impact of provisions within the 2014 Budget Co-operatives UK rallied 70 community energy co-operatives, and the Social Economy Alliance, to back calls for an exemption for energy co-ops, so that they could continue attracting community investment.
Click Green 22nd May 2014 more >>