If electricity could be star-rated for quality, the 150 kilowatt hours going daily into the grid from Lodge Farm in north Wales would probably score five. Generated from the slurry of 300 brown Swiss and Norwegian red cattle, and topped up by chicken litter that cannot go to animal feed and by waste from the local Kellogg’s food factory, it is as good as it gets, says farmer Richard Tomlinson. Since 2011, the gas from the organic farm’s £750,000 anaerobic co-digester (AD) has generated more than 4.5m kWh of electricity and heat for the farmhouse, an on-site engineering works and for 80-100 homes.
Guardian 15th July 2016 read more »
Yesterday we launched The Green Gas Book.- a series of essays exploring the development of “green gas” (or more accurately, “green gases”), written by experts in the field. This book looks at the range of those green gases – biomethane, hydrogen, bio-substitute natural gas (bioSNG) and biopropane – their uses, benefits and potential challenges in their application. While no one of these green gases is the perfect solution, we may think of them as “10% solutions,” which, together with developments such as district heating schemes, would go a long way towards helping us decarbonise the heat sector. This book was commissioned by Labour’s frontbench energy team and has been produced in co-ordination with the PLP’s energy and climate change committee. We hope that it can serve as an important contribution to policy discussion.
Alan Whitehead 14th July 2016 read more »
Alan Whitehead 14th July 2016 read more »
The UK should look to Scotland to implement new revenue streams that account for a “modernised” grid system, which should have energy storage at its heart, in order to unlock £2.4bn in savings. That is the call to action from Scottish Renewables and consultants Everoze, which have produced a report calling on the UK Government to de-risk investment opportunities for energy storage systems. Scottish Renewables’ director of policy Jenny Hogan said: “Energy storage is an essential part of the transition to a cleaner energy mix, for delivering an energy system for the 21st century and for reaching our climate change targets. “While batteries today are 94% cheaper than they were in 1990, and a range of pumped storage projects are ‘shovel-ready’ or in the planning process, the current market arrangements are at risk of favouring more expensive sources of flexibility for our network. A whole series of changes are needed if we are to ensure that the cheapest and most efficient technologies provide the services that a modern clean electricity system requires.”
Edie 14th July 2016 read more »
An expert new report published today aims to decode complex market opportunities for UK energy storage and explain what is needed to drive cost-effective investment. The report from Everoze – a commercial energy consultancy – makes a series of far-reaching recommendations to level the playing field for rapidly developing energy storage technologies – some of which are locked out of current market arrangements. And it tackles head-on the primary risk holding back the roll-out of energy storage: securing a bankable revenue stream. The report adds: “The three major issues of low bankability, lost potential and revenue interface risk are common across the whole UK. A Scottish Renewables spokesman added: “A whole series of changes are needed if we are to ensure that the cheapest and most efficient technologies provide the services that a modern clean electricity system requires. “While batteries today are 94% cheaper than they were in 1990, and a range of pumped storage projects are ‘shovel-ready’ or in the planning process, the current market arrangements are at risk of favouring more expensive sources of flexibility for our network.”
Scottish Energy News 14th July 2016 read more »
Renewable Energy Focus 15th July 2016 read more »
Dozens of companies are set to submit bids this week for one of the world’s biggest energy storage projects, supplying back-up power for the National Grid. More than 60 companies have expressed interest in the colossal energy storage scheme to provide 200 megawatts of back-up electricity, mainly using industrial-scale battery arrays. That is roughly equivalent to the power produced by more than a million iPhone-sized lithium-ion batteries, according to AES, an American company that is among the bidders. Japanese, British and European groups are also involved. The contract from National Grid, for which preliminary bids are due tomorrow, is one of the biggest energy storage contracts of its kind in the world. It is viewed as an urgent priority after the shutdown of a string of coal-fired power stations and Britain’s growing reliance on volatile wind and solar power. Renewables supplied 25 per cent of electricity last year.
Times 14th July 2016 read more »
The scheduled rise in business rates on companies owning solar installations on their properties has been raised in the House of Commons, with shadow energy minister Barry Gardiner accusing the government of “sleeping on the job”.
Solar Portal 14th July 2016 read more »
The review of business rates attached to solar PV installations could shift interest towards power purchase agreement models significantly, but crucial details are still required by the industry. Alastair Marsden, director at Wales-based installer Dulas, told Solar Power Portal that while introducing business rates at the current level would be significantly damaging for the rooftop market, the change could “put a rocket under the PPA model”. Companies are liable for business rates attached to solar installations on their premises if they own them, however under PPA models the ownership of the installation is usually either retained by the installer or held by a third-party which has financed it.
Solar Portal 14th July 2016 read more »
Farm rooftop solar installations could be hit by a six-to-eight-fold hike in business rates from next April if government plans go ahead. Most at risk are projects where the installation is primarily to provide power consumed on site. Renewable energy interests are lobbying to get this reduced, although some farm schemes may be eligible for an exemption as they are on agricultural buildings, which are not subject to business rates, said Nick Wood of the Solar Trade Association (STA).
Farmers Weekly 11th July 2016 read more »
Exeter Community Energy
Exeter Community Energy has been awarded £19,660 to repeat its success with community-owned solar energy by delivering a renewable heat project in Devon. The money will be used to replicate the handfull of other community heat projects in the country; will be the first in the south west; and possibly the last Urban Community Energy Fund opportunity as a result of the government’s changing priorities. Exeter Community Energy will be investigating different heat technologies for community buildings including schools and public sector buildings. Sites will benefit from savings on their heating bills, reduced carbon emissions and greater fuel security. Exeter Community Energy will also be running events for the community to explain what renewable heat can offer and gather feedback on people’s interests.
Exeter 11th July 2016 read more »
An EDF Energy-funded energy efficiency project has helped reduce bills and carbon emissions at 330 social houses in North East Derbyshire, the firm has revealed. The project, which ran from June 2015 to January 2016, saw the installation of insulation and double glazing into 330 concrete-built ‘REEMA’ properties in the county. REEMA houses were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s using prefabricated reinforced concrete panels and are often difficult to heat, EDF said.
Business Green 13th July 2016 read more »
Ofgem has announced the 50,000th installation of a renewable heat incentive-accredited system, yet the future shape of the scheme remains unclear. Ofgem’s E-Serve division announced the achievement of the milestone yesterday, confirming that it had brought the total renewable heat generated by all accredited installations to around 827,000MWh.
Solar Portal 12th July 2016 read more »
A new report has proposed that the city of Leeds should convert its gas grid to an all-hydrogen version by 2030 in order to test the viability of using hydrogen to help meet national carbon reduction targets. The Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has fronted the H21 Leeds City Gate project, which lays out the blueprints to convert Leeds into a “hydrogen city”. A new feasibility report from the project organisers has established that a switch away from methane would be “economically viable”. NGN has claimed that the city should be considered as it has the optimal size and location for the conversion, which could start in Leeds by 2026 at the cost of £2bn, before being rolled-out nationally.
Edie 12th July 2016 read more »
Today, natural gas – composed primarily of methane – is used to heat more than 80pc of homes in the UK. When it burns, it releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. If Britain is to meet its targets under the Climate Change Act, which requires it to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 20pc of their 1990 levels by 2050, it has to find a different way of heating its homes. As yet, there is no firm plan for how to do so. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Government’s official adviser, warned last month that emissions savings so far have been almost exclusively in the power sector and that “policies are not in place to broaden the sources of emission reduction”. Decarbonising heat is, as Alan Whitehead MP, former shadow energy minister, put it recently, the “elephant in the room”. Most prescriptions so far have involved “the electrification of the heating system”: replacing gas boilers with either direct electric heating, or heat pumps. “As far as customers are concerned, that does mean, among other things, ripping out all their boilers, ripping out the mains, and replacing those with heat pumps,” Whitehead told the Utility Week Energy Summit. “I would predict that pretty much every customer would regard that transition with some horror.” Iain Conn, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, was equally forthright: “We pay 5p/kwh for gas, and 15p/kwh for electricity – so this whole idea of electrifying everything is mad, especially when we have got natural gas plumbed into all of the homes. “And if you electrify everything, what are you going to generate the electricity from? For quite a while I’m afraid it’s going to be more natural gas-fired power stations.” An alternative solution, both men suggested, is not to change the heating system, but to change the gas. “Rather than ripping everything out,” Whitehead proposed, “we look at: can we supply, for example, green gas, or different forms of gas supply into the system? Leaving it substantially as it is but actually changing the carbonisation mix of what goes into it – and giving the customer a much better deal.” Several ‘green’ gas options have been mooted; ‘biomethane’, derived from crops or waste, is already being fed into the UK gas grid at a small scale – but this still produces carbon dioxide when burnt.
Telegraph 11th July 2016 read more »
Using ‘green’ hydrogen for heating would significantly reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions, a new report has found – but only if matched with development of significant carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities. The Leeds City Gate project report outlines the benefits of replacing natural gas in the city’s gas grid with ‘green’ hydrogen – a solution which could be rolled out to the rest of the country. The two year project, undertaken by Northern Gas Networks, Kiwa Gastec, Amec Foster Wheeler and Wales & West Utilities, assessed the prospects for using hydrogen in place of natural gas for cooking in heating – beginning in Leeds and eventually covering the entire UK. However, the report points out that generating hydrogen from fossil fuels would require that the CO2 generated during this process be securely stored in order for the hydrogen to be truly low carbon. An alternative method of producing hydrogen from water using electricity would be far more expensive – even if generated using renewable energy.
Scottish Energy News 12th July 2016 read more »
BBC 11th July 2016 read more »
Business Green 11th July 2016 read more »
Solar beat coal in May
The UK’s reliance on coal power continued its downward trend, as solar PV generation overtook coal for the first time during May 2016, according to the latest update from energy analyst EnAppSys. The latest quarterly report published yesterday by the energy market specialist found solar PV produced 1.38TWh of electricity during May, delivering over 50 per cent more power than the 0.89TWh derived from coal.
Business Green 12th July 2016 read more »
Mark Watts is the executive director of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Prior to this, he was the director of Arup’s energy consulting team. Between 2000 and 2008, he worked as the Mayor of London’s climate change and sustainable transport adviser, which included developing London’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Carbon Brief 13th July 2016 read more »
The Dept for Energy (DECC) consultation on subsidies for anaerobic digestion power (AD-power) and micro-combined heat and power projects closes on Thursday, 14 July. DECC is, in effect, seeking to scale back subsidies for AD-power schemes after higher than expected supply from industry. Almost a third more biogas energy is being produced in the UK compared to this time last year, according to the latest annual figures from industry trade body, the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, which show that the UK now has 617 MWe of biogas capacity. A DECC spokesman said: “Deployment of AD-power under the FITs scheme has exceeded expectations. “While this shows the success of the scheme in attracting investment in small-scale renewable electricity deployment, this has come at a cost to the bill payer, with the scheme projecting to spend beyond its initial projections.
Scottish Energy News 12th July 2016 read more »
The rate at which domestic solar systems were installed witnessed something of an uptick throughout June, but still struggled to approach the feed-in tariff deployment cap for T2. Late last week Ofgem confirmed its final figures for the FiT period running 1 April to 30 June, confirming that a total of 26.679MW of sub-10kW solar was installed over that period.
Solar portal 11th July 2016 read more »
One the most recent additions to the London skyline has achieved BREEAM Excellent rating, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the city. 20 Fenchurch Street, dubbed the ‘Walkie Talkie’, scored 80.2% on the BREEAM rating system, which helps assess the sustainability of buildings and construction. Developed by Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities, the skyscraper was constructed using a number of sustainably sourced materials and has green energy installations in place to mitigate CO2 emissions. The 160m tall building, noticeable for its distinctive, top heavy design, employs solar PV panels on the roof which generate an estimated 27,300kWh of electricity each year. The building also features the first hydrogen fuel cell to be installed on a commercial building in the City of London.
Edie 8th July 2016 read more »
M&S Energy Society has raised over £870,000 of the £1.23m required in just over two weeks, which is a fantastic response. Energy4All has worked with Marks & Spencer to design and deliver this project and is the manager of M&S Energy Society. Please support us to raise the final £360,000 needed and help us by spreading the message of this exciting project to others who you think may be interested
Energy4All 8th July 2016 read more »
Deadlines are looming on opportunities to invest in Bath & West Community Energy and Bristol Energy Cooperative projects. So head over to our open offers page now if you are thinking about making an ethical investment.
Mongoose Energy 8th July 2016 read more »
It’s been a rough year for community energy. We’ve gone from thinking we were on the brink of a huge expansion of the movement, to wondering how we are going to be able to keep going at all. Government support (primarily through the feed-in tariff) has been vital to the success of community solar, wind and hydro projects, and so the cuts announced last autumn mean an end to the way we have done things up until now. Right now, most community energy groups are busy racing against the clock to get their final projects funded, built and plugged into the grid before deadlines hit. So 10:10 spent our time working out what we – as a movement – could do once those projects are out of the way. Since February, we have spoken with over 30 leading community energy groups and support organisations about the future of UK community energy. We focused on what potential new business models community groups might be able to use now that the feed-in tariff can no longer be relied on. These fascinating and inspiring conversations didn’t produce any silver bullets. But they did point to a whole host of new approaches communities can try out to maintain momentum behind the grassroots energy transition over the coming ‘lean years’.
10:10 3rd June 2016 read more »