Aberdeen Pioneers Hydrogen
A high-level agreement is to be signed in Brussels next week by Aberdeen Council and a European-wide organisation which will boost the city’s hydrogen renewable energy profile. Aberdeen council currently holds the presidency of HyER, the Hydrogen Organisation for the European Regions. Councillor Barney Crocket, the city’s spokesman on hydrogen, is to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) which seeks to ensure better working relationships for hydrogen fuel cells between regions and industry. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a co-operation of representatives from industry, academic, research organisations and public authorities to develop and deploy strategies for fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies, and its mission is to accelerate the commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. As cities and regions are the main drivers to decarbonise the transport sector, improved coordination of priorities and activities within EU is key to achieving the goal of accelerating the adoption of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. Aberdeen is promoting hydrogen energy technologies through schemes such as the Hydrogen Bus Project.
Scottish Energy News 18th Nov 2016 read more »
The grass is always greener than the gas on the other side, according to a British businessman who claims grasslands could provide enough gas to heat all of the UK’s homes. Dale Vince, the chairman of renewable energy company Ecotricity, is investing £10m in the first of a generation of what he calls ‘green gas mills’ that he says could compete against gas from fracking. The company said its Hampshire plant at Sparsholt College, which has planning permission and is slated to be operational in 2018, will take grass harvested from nearby fields and break it down in an anaerobic digester. Grass at the plant would be turned into biomethane within 45 days and then injected into the national network, providing the heating needs of more than 4,000 homes. A report by Ecotricity on Thursday said there are around 6m hectares of suitable grassland in the UK, not including arable land for crops. It argued this would be enough to match the amount of gas the National Grid forecasts homes will consume by 2035, but doing so would require the building of around 5,000 mills akin to the Hampshire one. Vince admitted that getting to that point would be a huge challenge, given no other country had done it before and it was a new approach in the UK. “It would be a massive undertaking but it would be permanent. Grass keeps growing, it doesn’t run out, unlike gas from fracking. Most of the value would be in the hands of farmers who, post-Brexit, may be in need of it,” he told the Guardian. The company is planning four other mills in addition to the one at Sparsholt College – in Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Shropshire, Wiltshire. Ecotricity is lobbying the government to secure subsidies for the plants, via the renewable heat incentive, which currently excludes support for grass.
Guardian 18th Nov 2016 read more »
Community Energy Finance
A CORPORATE financier has drafted a paper outlining how Scottish communities could directly benefit from renewable projects by investing in a green energy bond. It marks the first significant work to set out how such a bond, mooted by Scottish ministers in their 2016-17 programme for government, would work in practice. Simon Robinson, a consultant with significant experience of helping firms raise finance to build wind farms and offload renewable assets, explored the practicalities behind the idea after holding talks with Scottish Renewables. It comes with the Scottish Government committed to having one gigawatt (GW) of renewable capacity under community and local ownership by 2020. The previous 500 megawatt target has already been exceeded.
Herald 18th Nov 2016 read more »
Chris Goodall on Solar
Sustainability expert, Chris Goodall, shares his thoughts via Mega.Online in a new video on how the power of the sun could continue to drive global energy use and change the world. The video interview with Goodall, author of The Switch, focuses on why cheap solar panels and advancements in storage technology are about to transform our world. By 2030 or 2040 solar will be the cheapest way to generate electricity, indeed any form of energy EVERYWHERE. At the rate of growth that we are seeing at the moment of 35-45% per year solar will grow from providing 2% of global electricity to at least 50% by 2030. We can see the cost of batteries coming down in price dramatically. Turning surplus solar electricity generating during the summer into something we can put into natural gas networks is what we should be looking at in the UK. Generating hydrogen from water and merging it with carbon dioxide is the simplest way to do this using microbes. These then excrete methane. The era of fossil fuels is drawing to a close.
Blue & Green Tomorrow 16th Nov 2016 read more »
Mega 16th Nov 2016 read more »
Terry Macalister: The real reason why renewable power should not be devastated by governments run by Trump – or even Theresa May – is that it is on a roll. The price of clean power is falling all the time and even if politicians are unwilling to act on that, many businesses are taking matters into their own hands anyway. New estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released last week showed government expects the costs of large-scale solar PV built in Britain to fall to £67 per megawatt hour by 2020. That compares to the £92 figure used just three years ago and the £92.50 subsidy used for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station running for 35 years. The solar figure for 2030 assessed by BEIS is £60, cheaper than onshore wind and combined cycle gas turbine plants.
Solar Portal 15th Nov 2016 read more »
MORE than a third of Scottish households are living in fuel poverty and nearly half of those affected are pensioners, the Existing Homes Alliance said yesterday. The revelation that 845,000 households have to spend 10 per cent or more of total income on keeping homes adequately warm means that the SNP administration has failed to keep its pledge to end fuel poverty north of the border by this month. Scottish Labour is demanding a Warm Homes Act and specific targets to tackle the scourge, which deputy leader Alex Rowley branded “shameful.” Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has promised an extra £10 million to remedy the problem, but this amounts to a measly £11.83 per household affected. Scottish Greens housing spokesman Andy Wightman said people living in fuel-poor homes were at greater risk of “poor health and lower educational attainment,” while WWF Scotland climate and energy policy officer Fabrice Leveque called investment in energy-efficient homes “a no-brainer.”
Morning Star 17th Nov 2016 read more »
LABOUR has called on the Scottish Government to set a new target to eradicate fuel poverty after a target to do so by this month was missed. The latest figures show about 845,000 households – or 35 per cent of homes in Scotland – are still living in fuel poverty and almost half of those affected are pensioners. Fuel poverty is currently defined as households which spend 10 per cent or more of their income on heating. Alex Rowley said the failure to hit the target was a “source of regret” and accused
The National 17th Nov 2016 read more »
Herald 16th Nov 2016 read more »
LABOUR is to call for a new target to eliminate fuel poverty after the Scottish Government failed to meet its pledge to eradicate the problem. The party will use an upcoming Holyrood debate to urge MSPs across the chamber to back an “ambitious” new goal. Earlier this month, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced an extra £10 million to tackle fuel poverty, currently defined as households spending 10 per cent of their income on heating. Ministers had pledged to eradicate the problem by November 2016 but the latest figures show around 845,000 households – or 35 per cent of homes in Scotland – are still affected, with almost half of those pensioners.
Herald 13th Nov 2016 read more »
We are again getting to the time of the year when the days are getting shorter and the nights colder. Many of us are turning our heating on, without having to think too much about it. However, many others are in a situation where they cannot afford heating in their homes and this time of year can have dire consequences on their health and wellbeing. We at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, together with South East London Community Energy, a community group developing sustainable energy projects, have been researching community-led initiatives that address fuel poverty. Fuel poverty kills and it is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed as an energy, social and health issue, and at all levels of government, local authorities and health authorities. It also has wider energy justice implications in terms of how we consider equity within our energy system. We need to ask ourselves what type of a society we live in – and if our homes, usually a source of comfort, are allowed to keep having fatal consequences.
SPRU 14th Nov 2016 read more »
St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School has been provided with a unique opportunity – to be powered by solar energy from an external solar farm! A school spokeswoman said: “We believe we are the only school in the UK, if not Europe, to be in this position and are delighted that after two years of planning with Conergy UK the St Richard Gwyn solar farm is now fully operational.
Barry Gem 16th Nov 2016 read more »
As governments in Holyrood and Westminster crawl along in first-gear to de-carbonise private and/or commercial motor transport, the private-sector energy and automotive industries are already racing ahead. Meanwhile, the East Lothian-based private-sector battery-power storage provider Sunamp – recently described by a Scottish energy minister as ‘the Scottish Tesla’ – has teamed up with the automotive and truck haulage industry – to increase the range (and hence lower the costs) of BPVs (battery powered vehicles). Sunamp – the lead partner in a BPV project involving retailer Iceland Foods – has effectively inverted its leading-edge Heat Batteries to create a new cold storage technology that can maintain the required ambient temperature in the refrigerated cargo bay of the grocer’s local delivery vans. The Sunamp system has a better power to weight ration and is more efficient than using Li-Ion batteries, helping to increase the vehicle’s payload capabilities by reducing the size of the traction battery pack.
Scottish Energy News 16th Nov 2016 read more »
Swindon Solar Bonds
Almost £700,000 has been raised over the opening weekend of a new solar bond offer from Swindon Borough Council, which is utilising the UK’s first green energy ISA to attract investment for the construction of the council’s second locally funded solar farm. The offer, which includes access to an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), was launched by Abundance Investment working alongside the local authority on 11 November and has attracted £685,179 in just a few days. Around two thirds of this (£450,000) is being held in the IFISA, which allows community members to invest directly into the 5MW solar farm, tax-free. The IFISA has been made possible following a government announcement that from 1 November, the savings account can include peer-to-peer investments such as debentures, allowing individuals to invest directly into businesses and projects.
Solar Portal 15th Nov 2016 read more »
Edie 14th Nov 2016 read more »
Hampshire Fire & Rescue
With continuously growing operation costs, and public pressure to reduce expenditures, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service decided to install PV systems on top of 12 fire stations and three headquarter buildings across Hampshire. It initially specified for a standard string inverter, but Solar-Voltaics, a Hampshire based specialist in commercial solar installation recommended the SolarEdge solution
Solar Portal 15th Nov 2016 read more »
UK’s Largest Solar Car port
Bentley Motors is planning to construct the UK’s largest solar carport – a significant 2.938MW in size – on an employee car park adjacent to its manufacturing facility in Crewe. Planning documents submitted to Cheshire East Council in August this year outline the proposals, which will comprise roughly 11,300 solar modules sheltering more than 2,000 car parking spaces on land situated to the west of the facility. In March 2013 Lightsource completed a 5MW installation on the roof of the manufacturing facility (pictured above), which became the country’s largest rooftop solar array at the time of completion. More than 20,000 modules were fitted to provide as much as 40% of the car manufacturer’s peak energy requirement.
Solar Portal 15th Nov 2016 read more »
Solar Petrol Stations
Multinational oil and gas company Total is launching a program to fit 5,000 of its service stations across the globe with solar PV panels within the next five years.
Edie 15th Nov 2016 read more »
Building Integrated Solar PV
BIPV could open up an untapped portion of the UK solar market, an industry executive has suggested. Susannah Wood, chief marketing officer at Solarcentury, said the company’s research showed aesthetics as a significant damper on demand that if removed, could open up new leads for installers. “In the UK, the two things holding people back from solar are that they think they missed the boat on the tariff and secondly, they are concerned about the look of it. That is a large untapped market of people reluctant to go solar because of the way it looks,” she said, adding that it was also important to demonstrate that solar can still offer an attractive return. In additon to its development work, Solarcentury also sells a range of BIPV modules and solar shingles.
Solar Portal 14th Nov 2016 read more »
The UK’s latest community renewables project came online on Friday as Southill Community Energy (SCE) flicked the switch on the 4.5MW Southill Solar farm in West Oxfordshire.
Business Green 14th Nov 2016 read more »
A new software platform in Germany lets utilities buy and sell “regional electricity” by connecting up small producers with consumers. Start-up Lumenaza, founded three years ago, meets a growing demand for transparency, explains CEO and founder Christian Chudoba in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. Unlike a typical virtual power plant, Lumenaza targets tiny producers such as owners of rooftop solar. Its goal is to connect up all of Germany’s 1.4 million small power producers.
Energy Post 11th Nov 2016 read more »