Solar and Batteries for Coalfield Village
Dozens of homes in a village will have batteries installed to create a “virtual power plant”, in a trial that aims to boost solar power. Some 40 council homes in Oxspring, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, are to get the battery technology to see if it can help increase the capacity of the electricity network and enable more homes to install solar panels. The £250,000 trial’s backers say households with solar panels and batteries can halve their electricity bills, helping tackle fuel poverty – but grid constraints can prevent widespread roll-out of solar power without expensive upgrades.
Barrhead News 19th Jan 2017 read more »
Business Green 19th Jan 2017 read more »
Times 20th Jan 2017 read more »
A village in the heart of one of Britain’s former coalfields is to host a groundbreaking trial that could pave the way for tens of thousands more homes to run off solar power. People in 40 council homes in Oxspring, South Yorkshire, are being given batteries that can store electricity from rooftop solar panels, in the latest sign of interest in energy storage systems. The batteries, which normally have a starting price of about £2,000, will be hooked up to a “virtual power plant” that will aim to smooth out how much solar power is exported to the grid, enabling more homes to have solar panels. The growth of solar power has been held back in many parts of the country, including the borough of Barnsley, which takes in Oxspring, because of the extra strain it puts on local grids. Operators have to keep voltage levels within strict limits but this is difficult if solar panels are generating a lot of power on a bright day but dip sharply as clouds pass by. “We can do all sorts of things to address this,” said Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation at Northern Powergrid, a distribution network operator taking part in the £250,000 Oxspring trial. The Oxspring trial is the latest in a growing number of efforts to see if batteries can help ease pressure on power grids as renewable energy spreads. Centrica, the UK’s largest retail energy supplier, is testing another scheme in Cornwall that will see if a mix of batteries and green energy systems can turn nearly 160 homes and businesses into a new independent power market.
FT 19th Jan 2017 read more »
A new trial beginning this month will test the potential of batteries to shave the peak output of domestic solar installations to increase the capacity of the electricity network and reduce the need for costly improvements to the local grid. Smart batteries from Moixa have been selected by distributor Northern Powergrid to be installed in 40 homes and linked in a virtual power plant. The trial will use 30 homes fitted with solar through the Energise Barnsley community energy initiative and will test how the solution can reduce peak solar output onto the electricity networks when there is low local demand.
Solar Portal 18th Jan 2017 read more »
Green energy firm Anesco has entered into a partnership with Green Hedge Energy UK which will see the two collaborate on the development of the latter’s Energy Barns concept. The Energy Barns – essentially utility-scale storage installations – will be developed at four key sites in England, have a combined capacity of 40MW and be constructed over the coming months.
Solar Portal 19th Jan 2017 read more »
PV Kits Direct has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Mibet to bring the Chinese manufacturer’s floating solar systems to the UK. The company’s first contacted spoke in Q4 2016 and signed a deal shortly after. According to PV Kits, the company has already quoted for over 40MW in the UK and 1MW in Poland, with the first installations to begin in Q2 this year. Floating solar is still in its infancy in the UK, with only a handful of projects having been completed. These include the 6.3MWp QEII floating solar PV project completed by Lightsource for Thames Water, as well as smaller projects byEast Green Energy and Forrest.
Solar Portal 19th Jan 2017 read more »
The UK has a pipeline of 2.3GW of commercial and industrial (C&I) battery-based energy storage projects, with many developers already looking to ‘stack’ revenues through providing multiple services, a new report has found. Many of these developers are the same names that have been behind the rapid growth in utility-scale renewables that the country has seen over the past few years, including Anesco, Low Carbon and Green Hedge Energy, according to the UK Battery Storage Project Database, produced by the market research division of Solar Power Portal’s publisher, Solar Media.
Solar Portal 19th Jan 2017 read more »
Energy Efficiency Prospectus
Prospectus for Affordable Warmth: The All Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency Group works to stimulate debate across all sides of the House about how to address the trilemma of fuel poverty: rising energy prices, low incomes and poor energy efficiency of the housing stock. Although fuel poverty is now measured differently across the UK, there remain significant similarities between the characteristics of households at risk of living in a cold home. The main drivers are the price of energy, the level of household income, the physical quality and energy efficiency characteristics of the dwelling and the degree of vulnerability of the occupants. The physical impacts of living in a cold home cause unnecessary suffering and premature mortality and are a bigger killer than smoking, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse. Impacts on health are significant and can cost health services around £3.6 million per day. The UK Government and each of the UK nations formally recognise the need for citizens to adequately heat and power their homes. However, since the level of assistance provided for the fuel poor varies across nations, localities, agencies and government programmes, and is dependent upon different funding streams, FPEEG agreed to produce a prospectus in order to summarise the benefits of current local and national schemes which do, or can, provide affordable warmth across the UK. The report includes information directed to all MPs and agencies delivering affordable warmth by: championing existing best practice fuel poverty-alleviating schemes; outlining measures that help everyone better heat their homes while revising how present success can be expanded; guiding MPs of benefits they can bring to reduce fuel poverty, and drawing ways alleviation can be expanded to any constituency; recommending changes to government that supports best practice scheme expansion; The report highlights a number of recommendations that should be taken forward to ensure that we can tackle the cold homes crisis in the UK.
NEA 18th Jan 2017 read more »
Ecotricity & storage
Clean energy utility Ecotricity is to launch a trial of its residential energy storage technology ‘Black Box’ later this quarter, Solar Power Portal can reveal. Speaking to SPP, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said that the Black Box product was now coming to fruition after spending around five years in development. Ecotricity first started to explicitly mention the Black Box last year, however the company has now entered into agreements with partners that Vince said would enable it to produce the technology at scale. It now intends to launch a trial of the product with selected customers this quarter ahead of a possible wider release later this year.
Solar Power Portal 17th Jan 2017 read more »
Ecotricity, has sold more than £1 million of small windmills to Japan through its Britwind subsidiary, to become the country’s leading small wind exporter. Britwind launched in November 2014, producing windmills that are designed and made in Britain and has now shipped 130 small 5kW wind turbines to Japan in the past 18 months, with a further 30 windmills set to be dispatched by the end of March – an order totalling more than £1.3 million. This latest shipment will include the very first of Britwind’s new H15 windmills – a 15kW machine that can power the equivalent of 13 homes. A team from the company will show off the new windmill at Wind Expo 2017, Tokyo, which runs from 1-3 March 2017.
Ecotricity 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Environment Times 17th Jan 2017 read more »
Remove Barriers to Storage
The Solar Trade Association (STA) has called on the Government to remove all barriers to deployment of energy storage. Following substantial recent reductions in costs associated with storage – especially lithium-ion batteries – the industry is ready now to deliver smarter alternatives for a clean energy system that will save money for the consumer. Research commissioned by the STA and conducted by independent analysts Aurora Energy Research, has shown that batteries work particularly well with variable generation, such as solar. The research showed that a high deployment of solar in our future energy system would come with only modest integration costs associated with its variable output. However, the addition of storage removes this cost and in its place delivers a net economic benefit. By enabling the provision of cheap, clean, energy for longer periods of the day there would be downward pressure on prices for the consumer, and reduce the need for other more expensive forms of generation. In the call for evidence, OFGEM and BEIS identified a number of barriers to storage deployment, many of which the STA highlighted in their recent report Solar + Storage = Opportunities. Of particular importance is the lack of a regulatory definition for storage, leading to problems in treatment under current market rules such as double charging on energy consumption levies.
Scottish Energy News 16th Jan 2017 read more »
A green home improvement scheme that the government abruptly abandoned 18 months ago has been snapped up by City investors who hope to turn it into a one-stop spot for eco-friendly energy shopping. The investors have paid £40m for what is left of the Green Deal programme the former coalition government launched in 2013 to encourage homeowners to borrow money for new boilers, wall insulation and other energy-saving upgrades. “We want to become the trusted brand in the home energy andrenewable energy space,” said Kilian Pender, chief executive of the Greenstone Finance investment company, one of the groups behind the acquisition. He said that over time, the new owners hoped anyone wanting a new boiler, solar panels or a high-tech thermostat system would come to their website first to get help finding the most suitable product; a trustworthy installer and, if need be, financing. But their first task will be relaunching a loan scheme that struggled to meet its creators’ expectations. Ministers initially hailed the Green Deal as the biggest home improvement measure since the second world war and a revolutionary effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions by fixing Britain’s notoriously draughty houses. It was designed to offer loans for insulation and other upgrades that could be repaid through homeowners’ energy bills. Those bills should have been lower because of the improvements. It had been hoped that 10,000 households would sign up to the Green Deal in its first year of operation but it had fewer than 11,000 after two years.
FT 16th Jan 2017 read more »
The new owners of the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) will seek to rebuild the installer base that grew around the original scheme by recruiting from the tens of thousands of UK companies working in the home energy efficiency products sector.
Solar Portal 19th Jan 2017 read more »
A million over 65s expect their health to suffer this winter because they will be unable to afford to heat their homes properly, according to a survey. The cost of heating increases as temperatures fall and boilers use twice as much gas as usual when it falls below zero. To pay higher energy bills, two fifths of pensioners said that they would dip into their savings or cut down on food and luxuries, according to the Populus poll of more than 2,000 people aged over 65. The Office for National Statistics says that 15 per cent more people die in winter and more than a third of them die of respiratory diseases. The Competition and Markets Authority said that 70 per cent of all customers – and a higher proportion of elderly people – were languishing on suppliers’ expensive standard tariff.
Times 16th Jan 2017 read more »