A growing number of property investors are looking to reap significant competitive advantages by shifting to a ‘green’ model of potentially adding value to a home. This new model uses resources more efficiently and is creating an appetite for innovation in areas like solar power in the home, with fresh research carried out for OVO Energy revealing that around a quarter of all UK homes will have solar panels in the next few years. It is estimated that about 6% of homes in the UK are currently fitted with solar panels, however almost one in five homeowners are planning to install them in the near future, the study said.
Property Investor 2nd Dec 2016 read more »
The UK’s Climate Change Minister Nick Hurd has joined major businesses in signalling support for the commitment of UK cities and local authorities to shift towards 100% clean energy by 2050. The proposals from UK100 – a network of 67 British city and local council leaders – have been welcomed by Hurd, who promised to collaborate on a transition to a low-carbon economy as the Government implements its Industrial Strategy. Speaking at a Westminster roundtable in London yesterday (30 November), Hurd said: “Cities and communities are important partners for the Government as we transition to a global low carbon economy. Together we can demonstrate that cutting emissions is compatible with economic growth as we build a diverse energy system fit for the 21st century.
Edie 1st Dec 2016 read more »
The mayors of Atlanta, Cape Town, Paris and Vancouver have pledged to lead a 7,000-city push to combat the threat of climate change, even as Donald Trump’s election as US president dims hopes for co-ordinated national action. The group’s more than 7,000 members have all signed up to work on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make cities more resilient to the potential impacts of climate change. Mr Bloomberg said he expected US businesses, states and cities to continue with action on climate change, even if Mr Trump put s a brake on initiatives at the national level. “Almost all the progress made in the US was made by corporations and states,” Mr Bloomberg told the Financial Times. “What’s driving the climate issue is public support.” The Global Covenant of Mayors — formed from the merger of two earlier groups, the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors — is one of the groups seeking to do more to address climate change than national governments. It brings together the leaders of about 7,100 towns and cities from 119 countries to work on best practice for curbing emissions and protecting against the possible threats posed by global warming.
FT 1st Dec 2016 read more »
Figures from Zero Waste Scotland show small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland waste around £19,000 on average each year that could have been avoided simply by making energy efficiency improvements. So the Scottish Government is now offering interest-free, unsecured loans to businesses to help them to save money by reducing energy use. Loans of up to £100,000 per-SME are available to help them make positive efficiency changes, subsequently saving themselves money by reducing waste. Examples include installing LED lighting, better insulation, boiler upgrades and renewable technologies, and can range in scale and cost with unsecured funding of £1,000 to £100,000 available.
Scottish Energy News 30th Nov 2016 read more »
Bournemouth Council has extended its climate change strategy beyond just delivering local efficiency improvements through to a long-term vision to become the nation’s green economy leader. The Council’s in-house electricity consumption has decreased from 19,037MWh in 2008/09 to 11,734MWh in 2014/15. An impressive feat, but energy management won’t attract tourists or business. However, the Council has been slowly implementing a new strategy that reaches far beyond its council buildings. Taking inspiration from cities such as Vancouver, Stockholm and Copenhagen, Bournemouth recently announced a plan to position itself at the vanguard of environmental protection; a wholesale economic transformation to attract businesses, talent and investment.
Edie 29th Nov 2016 read more »
3MW Solar Carport
Bentley Motors has been given the green light to construct a 3MW solar carport at its manufacturing facility in Cheshire, which would become the UK’s largest when finished. Earlier this month Solar Power Portal reported on the proposals which would see nearly 11,300 modules make up a carport system that would shelter roughly 2,000 car parking spaces at the facility in Crewe. Having received no objections to the plans, Cheshire East Council approved the decision at a planning committee meeting held on Wednesday last week.
Solar Portal 29th Nov 2016 read more »
Official figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have shown the UK solar industry delivered more than £4.6 billion to the UK economy in 2014 as part of a turnover of £83.4 billion created by the low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) economy
Solar Portal 29th Nov 2016 read more »
The potential for citizen involvement in electricity production is considerable. A recent study showed that by 2050 half of all Europeans could produce their own electricity either at home, as part of a cooperative, or in their small business. Counting generation from wind and solar power alone, these small actors could meet almost half of Europe’s total electricity needs. Even more people could support the energy transition, and share in the benefits, by storing power in batteries, electric vehicles and smart boilers. This enables the grid to draw power when it’s cheap and plentiful, and temporarily lighten the load if there’s a peak in demand.
Guardian 29th Nov 2016 read more »
Fuel poverty action groups have called for the Scottish Government to ensure that plans to force private landlords to ensure that rented homes are warm and free from damp are brought in as soon as possible as a charity south of the border warned that many people are suffering from illness and anxiety as they struggle to heat their homes. Energy Action Scotland said that while the Scottish Government is taking action to tackle fuel poverty, particularly in the rented sector, the new Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector Homes (REEP) needed to be introduced as fast as possible after a consultation next spring to help people living in cold, damp properties. Sister charity National Energy Action yesterday launched a campaign to lobby the UK Government to consider similar legislation. It said that four million households in the UK still face the problems of living in a cold, damp home, affecting their life chances. The problem is particularly acute in privately rented homes such as bedsits and hostels.
Scotsman 28th Nov 2016 read more »
A remote tropical island has catapulted itself headlong into the future by ditching diesel and powering all homes and businesses with the scorching South Pacific sun. Using more than 5,000 solar panels and 60 Tesla power packs the tiny island of Ta’u in American Samoa is now entirely self-sufficient for its electricity supply – though the process of converting has been tough and pitted with delays. Located 4,000 miles from the west coast of the United States, Ta’u has depended on over 100,000 gallons of diesel shipped in from the main island of Tutuila to survive, using it to power homes, government buildings and – crucially – water pumps.
Guardian 28th Nov 2016 read more »
Keith Barnham: Many state schools struggling to help disadvantaged pupils are facing a further demand on their shrinking budgets. Prudent schools that have invested in solar panels to reduce their electricity bills now face a retrospective six- to eight-fold hike in their tax rates, if the government gets its way. This would be socially divisive, as it will apply to state schools but not to the private schools that have charitable status. The higher rates will also apply to businesses and other organisations that use solar electricity internally. This is yet another blow to the solar industry, already reeling from four separate subsidy cuts since May 2015. UK solar had been expanding exponentially, creating many new jobs and reducing both the wholesale price of electricity and our carbon emissions
Guardian 29th Nov 2016 read more »
Electric avenues that can transmit the sun’s energy onto power grids may be coming to a city near you. A subsidiary of Bouygues SA has designed rugged solar panels, capable of withstand the weight of an 18-wheeler truck, that they’re now building into road surfaces. After nearly five years of research and laboratory tests, they’re constructing 100 outdoor test sites and plan to commercialize the technology in early 2018. A kilometer-sized testing site began construction last month in the French village of Tourouvre in Normandy. The 2,800 square meters of solar panels are expected to generate 280 kilowatts at peak, with the installation generating enough to power all the public lighting in a town of 5,000 for a year, according to the company. For now, the cost of the materials makes only demonstration projects sensible. A square meter of the solar road currently costs 2,000 ($2,126) and 2,500 euros. That includes monitoring, data collection and installation costs. Wattway says it can make the price competitive with traditional solar farms by 2020.
Bloomberg 23rd Nov 2016 read more »