Transport for London goes Solar
Transport for London (TfL) is preparing the imminent launch of a tendering process for new solar installations on its own buildings, Solar Power Portal understands. Plans for a roll-out of new solar PV are currently being drawn up by the network’s energy and carbon strategy team, which will use the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) RE:FIT programme to procure solar and some energy efficiency measures.
Solar Portal 16th Feb 2017 read more »
Solar Power Purchase Agreements
RenEnergy has begun construction on a 1.9MW PPA project in Norwich which is likely to be one of the last to be supported by ROC accreditation, with the developer already looking at post subsidy PPA models. Briar Chemicals is expecting to make significant savings on its energy bills after signing a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) to take energy from the new project, to be built adjacent to the Norwich plant. With subsidy support from the ROC scheme PPA rates can be kept low at around 7.5p/kWh. However, the closure of the scheme on 31 March will make it more difficult to keep rates low with just the feed-in tariff acting as support following cuts to the scheme early last year.
Solar Portal 16th Feb 2017 read more »
The Scottish Water board is enabling the generation of more renewable power than it consumes for the first time since it launched efforts to reduce its energy bill and increase renewable generation five years ago. The utility is one of the biggest users of electricity in the country and requires about 445 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year across 4,500 sites such as water and waste water treatment works. This is enough to power nearly 140,000 homes. Through a combination of Scottish Water’s own investment in renewable energy and hosting private investment on its estate, new figures confirm that the company now generates and hosts more renewable power than it consumes annually and is on course to double this by 2018.
Scottish Energy News 16th Feb 2017 read more »
71 per cent of UK councils have no strategy or plan for future solar investment, including no target for future deployment, and 70 per cent have no plans to deploy solar in the next five years. Many councils blamed changes to government subsidy schemes, with 47 per cent citing cuts in financial support as the main barrier to investment in solar energy. Lack of capital to provide up front investment was also cited as a barrier by 23 per cent of respondents, while a lack of internal stakeholder buy-in was highlighted by six per cent.
Business Green 15th Feb 2017 read more »
RENews 15th Feb 2017 read more »
Energy Live News 16th Feb 2017 read more »
Hounslow Council claimed in May 2016 that it had become the first local authority to incorporate battery storage into a solar project after investing £2 million to install a 1.73MW array atop Western International Market (WIM). In the first year alone, the project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 50% and earning the council £255,000 each year. Charles Pipe, energy manager at London Borough of Hounslow, said: “While the Government’s dramatic cuts will impact solar deployment, there are still options available to local authorities. All energy installations must meet specific criteria and have as close to a seven-year payback as possible. Solar can meet this and more – offering immediate savings and the potential for more in the future. “For our project at Hounslow, we expect to make several million in the next 20 years. It can and does work, councils simply need to understand that solar investment is no longer a risk.”
Solar Portal 15th Feb 2017 read more »
The National Trust is continuing its march towards self-sufficient energy generation, having produced 12% of its heat from on-site renewable energy sources in 2016 – four years ahead of Britain’s national renewable heat targets. The British conservation organisation has also drastically reduced its reliance on oil consumption, with a 50% drop on 2009 levels, as of December 2016.
Edie 15th Feb 2017 read more »
How can we connect solar photovoltaics (PV) directly to railways to power electric trains? That’s the question my charity 10:10 and researchers at Imperial College’s Energy Futures Lab are trying to answer. Electric trains are by far the best long distance transport mode when it comes to carbon emissions – at least when their electricity comes from renewable sources like solar or wind. But the UK’s ageing power network poses a significant challenges to any bid to decarbonise road and rail that relies on the grid. There are now swathes of the British countryside where it is impossible to plug in any new solar, wind or hydropower without being hit with a whopping bill for the full costs of local network reinforcement. Faced with this constraint, and squeezed by government subsidy cuts, UK solar developers have started to focus on ways to generate power directly for consumption, rather than exporting it to the grid. With the right customers, solar developers can offer lower tariffs than the grid, while still earning more for their power than they would get from exporting it. Solar giant Lightsource, for example, recently signed a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Belfast airport that underwrote a neighbouring £5m solar farm, using a private wire to supply a quarter of the airport’s electricity needs. As an industrial client with high on-site daytime energy use and a structural reason to stay put, Network Rail has all of the features needed to support this kind of approach.
Guardian 15th Feb 2017 read more »
The Scot-govt. has allocated a further £11 million for local cooncils to make homes, public buildings and businesses more energy efficient. The second wave of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) pilot fund will help local authorities test new and innovative energy-saving approaches with households, community groups and businesses, which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully in 2018.
Scottish Energy News 16th Feb 2017 read more »
Almost 6,000 new full-time equivalent jobs could be created in the Western Isles if the construction of two planned Lewis Wind Power turbine parcs – already approved by the local cooncil – go ahead. This is the key conclusion of a cost-benefits analysis compiled by BVG Associates, an independent energy consultancy, for the EDF – Lewis Wind Power project partners if the Stornoway and Uisenis wind turbine parcs proceed to development. In addition to the renewable energy generation assets, the project also provides for construction of a high-voltage DC connection to the UK Grid and further onshore wind developments, which would generate 5,970 full time equivalent job years and £164 million in local value added for the Western Isle economy.
Scottish Energy News 15th Feb 2017 read more »
“Insulation is not sexy. Energy efficiency is not sexy. Putting more insulation in your walls that you will never see and you will never even know is there, is not sexy. But your bills are a bit lower,” said Alex Hunt, a sustainable building consultant and partner with Bright Green Homes. Is it time for the Low Energy housing sector to shed its frumpy image and have a face lift? What needs to be done to bring about a low energy housing transformation? That was the question at the heart of a workshop on Low Energy Housing organised jointly by the Energy Savings Trust and the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand. Low energy housing may not be “sexy”, but it is important. Domestic buildings were responsible for approximately 23% of total UK carbon emissions in 2014. Under the Climate Change Act, the UK has to achieve at least an 80% reduction in the carbon emissions from our homes by 2050. If we are to be ready by to meet those carbon targets by 2050, the industry needs to transform. Despite the urgent need, according to Philip Sellwood, CEO of the Energy Savings Trust, the government’s green ambition has been “roughly halved” in recent years.
SPRU 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Around 100,000 local government employees in Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire have invested another slice of their wages into a £50 million offshore wind farm in N. Ireland. This is a result of the Strathclyde Pension Fund – to which all council workers in the West Central Belt belong and which is managed by a handful of officials in Glasgow cooncil – being a major investor with a 20% holding in the Dublin-based NTR investment fund. NTR has now added a further 25 MW to its onshore NTR Wind-1 fund with the acquisition of Castlecraig Wind Farm in Northern Ireland, the third such purchase of pre-construction wind assets by NTR from renewable energy developer RES. Capital costs for the project amount to just over £50 million.
Scottish Energy News 14th Feb 2017 read more »
EV Charge Points
The government has set out its plans for the future of UK electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK, including requirements for smart technologies to allow chargepoints to help balance the grid. However the cost of this policy, estimated to add £150-£300 to the cost of the chargepoint, will be applied to retailers and installers and not consumers, resulting in additional costs likely being borne by the customer.
Solar Portal 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Italian-style coffee shop chain Caffé Nero is looking to extend an innovative coffee-to-biofuel recycling scheme beyond greater London after a successful partnership with recycling company First Mile and technology firm Bio-Bean. Nero expects to have converted 218 tonnes of used coffee grounds into 98 tonnes of biomass pellets – enough fuel to power the equivalent of 453 homes – when the retailer reaches the first annual milestone of its partnership with First mile and Bio-Bean in July.
Edie 13th Feb 2017 read more »
Streetlights connected to electricity networks in Kensington and Chelsea will now act as charge points for electric vehicles (EVs), while a Lanarkshire-based IT specialist has agreed to fund development of wind-harvesting lampposts in the UK.
Edie 10th Feb 2017 read more »
Andrew Warren argues the UK should maintain a ‘watching brief’ during important Brussels negotiations on the next wave of energy efficiency goals. Does Brexit really mean Brexit? If so, it isn’t deterring two UK government departments from deliberately seeking to water down the proposed strengthening of two European directives.
Business Green 10th Feb 2017 read more »