Devon County Council has called on ministers to raise the issue of proposed increases in business rates applied to solar installations, claiming the plans will have “a profound effect” on its own plans to install solar. In a letter seen by Solar Power Portal addressed to Devon’s MPs, Councillor Roger Croad, cabinet member for community & environmental services, said he and his colleagues were “extremely concerned” that many local authorities and businesses will see “major tax or business rates increases on their rooftop solar installations”. “I am highly concerned about the impact of this move,” he added.
Solar Portal 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Bournemouth University has installed a 95kWp solar system atop its new £22 million academic ‘Fusion Building’, which will provide it with more than 100,000kWh of electricity each year.
Solar Portal 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Nuclear energy is secure but expensive; renewable energy is increasingly affordable but less secure. Furthermore, nuclear production is not dispatchable, so is unable to respond when renewable production is low. By introducing flexibility into the system, storage may offer a solution to the energy trilemma and many companies are now looking at it as a major growth area. However, as is so often the case, the regulation has been slow to catch up with technological developments. There are a number of barriers which prevent the mass uptake of storage. The current regulatory framework was not designed with widespread and integrated storage deployment in mind and one of the biggest obstacles facing companies looking to invest in storage is the lack of any distinct definition of storage within it. When the current framework was being designed, storage was an insignificant part of the energy landscape. A small amount of pumped hydro did exist but given its ability to compete with generation in the provision of bulk energy and balancing services, it was convenient to simply treat it as a form of generation. However the characteristics of pumped hydro are very different from more modern storage technologies which offer a far wider range of services. In ignoring this and in ignoring the fact the storage does not create net positive flows of electricity, the inclusion of storage within the generation definition is no longer appropriate.
Energy Voice 10th Nov 2016 read more »
New documents released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have revealed that the government now thinks solar will be significantly cheaper to develop by 2020 than predicted three years ago. This morning BEIS published its ‘Electricity Generation Cost Report’, which compiled various data sets from documents – including the now infamous Parsons Brinckerhoff report on small-scale solar used to inform last year’s feed-in tariff review, as well as responses to the consultation – to produce updated levelised cost of energy (LCOE) forecasts across various technologies.
Solar Portal 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The EU has dropped plans to force toaster-makers to improve the energy efficiency of their products over fears of the political costs of being seen to be intruding in people’s daily lives, it has emerged. But while a new EU plan to cut emissions controversially emits several appliances, the manufacturers of electric kettles, refrigerators and hand driers will have to make their future products consume less energy. Solar panels and building automation systems are among the six product ranges set to benefit from the Ecodesign package, which should help Europe meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement. But hairdryers, hot drinks vending machines and toasters – the subject of a tabloid campaign during the Brexit referendum – will be excluded, the commission’s first vice-president, Frans Timmermans, told a Brussels press conference.
Guardian 8th Nov 2016 read more »
The Irish minister for communications, climate change and natural resources has sought to manage expectations for the country’s nascent solar market, indicating that not all of the applications currently in the pipeline will be supported by the government. Speaking at an event organised by the Energy Institute, Denis Naughten confirmed what many in the Irish market already suspected and said the Irish government would not seek to subsidise the entire pipeline of solar developments. Recent figures released by Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) show a pipeline of around 4.3GW of solar applications submitted through the market’s non-group processing approach (GPA) process. As Naughten pointed out, the “significant volumes of solar energy projects proposed” exceed Ireland’s winter level of demand.
Solar Portal 7th Nov 2016 read more »
A project to harness the power of a Borders river to generate energy has secured more than £1.5m in funding. It will see a series of hydro-electric generators placed on the Gala Water in Galashiels. The people behind the project said it was an “exciting revival” of the use of the river from the times of the old textile mills. It will initially create 150kW of power although it is hoped that could rise to up to 400kW in the longer term. It could ultimately meet the needs of about 1,000 homes in the town. The funding has come from the Scottish government via the Energy Saving Trust and Local Energy Challenge Fund.
BBC 7th Nov 2016 read more »
A new project to mitigate curtailment in commercial scale wind turbines, which aims to divert unused renewable energy into affordable heat, has been launched by Heat Smart Orkney Ltd. HSO is a subsidiary of Rousay Egilsay & Wyre Development Trust, and the company that will co-ordinate the community engagement of the Heat Smart Orkney project, whilst project delivery partners Community Energy Scotland will support the delivery of the project as well as engaging with technical and installation contractors. The Heat Smart Orkney project had been funded by the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund, administered by Local Energy Scotland, which awarded just under £1.3 million for the project in March this year. Michelle Koster, Project Manager, said: “It seemed untenable that renewable energy generators are being curtailed due to the constraints on the distribution of electricity around the Orkney grid, whilst fuel poverty levels are at 63% for all households in Orkney” “We know there is excellent work going on with organisations in Orkney addressing insulation and energy efficiency across our homes, but this is of limited reach and even a super-insulated property still needs an affordable energy source to provide heat in the home.” The Heat Smart Orkney project will provide a demand-side management solution by installing secondary heating systems into local homes willing to participate. These secondary heating systems will be charged when the participating turbine suffers ‘marginal’ curtailment. In its simplest form, when the participating turbine receives a curtailment signal as the marginal generator, the Heat Smart Orkney system will switch on secondary heating systems installed in local homes, charging storage heaters, or storing energy in wet radiator systems or thermal stores by heating the water. By doing this, the installations provide a new intelligent demand on the grid that utilises the linked turbine’s generation prior to it reaching grid pinch-points at times when the turbine would otherwise be curtailed to protect the grid.
Scottish Energy News 7th Nov 2016 read more »
This year we have been involved in an exciting and innovative heat storage project called EAST-HEAT (Edinburgh and Surrounding Towns Heat Energy Action through Thermal-storage). The project has received over £3 million funding from the Scottish Government, through the Local Energy Challenge Fund and more than £4 million of investment in solar panels from Edison Energy. The lead partner on the project is Sunamp, a small company based in East Lothian which designs and manufactures innovative heat storage ‘batteries’. Other partners include East Lothian Housing Association and Edison Energy, a solar company. The project has developed and tested the heat storage batteries in a variety of different situations, with the aim of increasing residents’ comfort and tackling fuel poverty. EAST-HEAT has involved various Castle Rock Edinvar properties, including sheltered housing developments at Balfour Court in Edinburgh and Salisbury View in Mayfield, and over 600 individual house and flats across central Scotland.
Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association (accessed) 6th Nov 2016 read more »