Businesses do it themselves
After years of purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) to meet clean power sourcing goals, dozens of global businesses across multiple industry sectors, from consumer products to retail to high tech, are taking matters into their own hands. Their mission: Inspire local and national governments, along with utilities, to fast-track policies that place renewable energy alternatives on a level playing field with fossil fuels. Their motivation: lack of progress by government policy-makers and frustration with rising bills from utilities that have been slow to invest in clean power infrastructure.
Business Green 20th March 2015 read more »
Bute Community Power
Information on Bute Community Power’s plans for two wind turbines on a hilltop site near the centre of the island will be available at a public drop-in event in Rothesay this weekend.
Buteman 20th March 2015 read more »
LED Street Lighting
Glasgow begins switch to LED street lights after agreeing a £6.3m loan with Green Investment Bank to swap first 10,000 lamps to energy-efficient LEDs. The LED lights last about seven times longer than standard bulbs and are expected to use half the energy of the old versions, paying for themselves through energy savings while saving more than 18,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 18 years. The finance package the GIB provided to Glasgow has been designed to finance public sector energy-efficiency projects. In agreeing the deal with Glasgow, GIB has standardised the process so other local authorities can use it to convert their street lighting, lowering the upfront cost. According to the GIB, more than 100 councils have expressed interest in LEDs, but currently fewer than 10 per cent of the UK’s 7.4 million street lamps are fitted with the technology. It says a nationwide switch to LEDs could cut the £300m a year councils currently spend to switch on street lights and prevent up to 475,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking more than 200,000 cars off the road.
Business Green 20th March 2015 read more »
Everyone, it seems, agrees that battery storage is the next big thing to affect global energy markets. What is not agreed upon is the timing. Some think this may happen in a few years, others in a decade or more. Some think it is happening now. The big question for many is how quickly battery storage costs will fall in coming years. Will it be as dramatic as that of solar PV, which took everyone but a few solar savants off-guard and cut costs 80 per cent over a five-year period? Some – such as investment banking giants Deutsche Bank and UBS – say it will. Others say it is not possible. Ken Munson, the founder and head of smart energy systems start-up Sunverge – which is backed by an Australian government-funded investor – is in no doubt that storage costs will fall. In fact, he thinks they could fall three times as fast as solar costs did.
Renew Economy 20th March 2015 read more »
From summer 2019 medium and large building-mounted solar PV systems will be allowed to be moved between buildings without the loss of Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments.
DECC 20th March 2015 read more »
Building solar systems into the infrastructure of cities could be the most efficient way to provide clean energy according to a new study by Stanford University. Using California as an example, researchers found that solar equipment constructed on and around urban infrastructure would exceed the state’s energy demands by up to five times.
Edie 19th March 2015 read more »
Solar Eclipse to Drive Storage
Friday’s solar eclipse highlights the importance of energy storage to the continued growth of solar, experts have claimed. Energy consultancy Frost & Sullivan estimate that by covering 85% of the sun; the eclipse removed 35GW of solar power from the European grid – equivalent to 80 conventional power plants. This sort of instability will drive generators to invest in better storage facilities to ensure a constant security of supply, according to the consultants.
Edie 19th March 2015 read more »
MEMBERS of Transition Dorking enjoyed a presentation by world famous scientist Keith Barnham at their annual general meeting this week. Former Dorking resident Mr Barnham, author of The Burning Answer talked about his discovery of a new solar cell that is three times as efficient as the most efficient cells on the market today. The packed Meeting House heard about his early career in experimental particle physics, and how he switched to researching solar energy before becoming a solar entrepreneur.The emeritus professor and distinguished research fellow at Imperial College, talked through his belief that a switch to a combination of renewable energy sources is not only possible, but essential.
Dorking Advertiser 19th March 2015 read more »
Adrian Lea, technical director at Wardell Armstrong offers Solar Power Portal some tips on getting large-scale solar through the planning process ahead of his appearance at the Large-Scale Solar UK 2015 conference in Bristol.
Solar Portal 19th March 2015 read more »
The first turbine at the UK’s largest community windfarm near Stornoway was completed. The Point and Sandwick Community windfarm at Beinn Ghrideag is a 9MW project with three turbines to be installed.The Point and Sandwick Trust have been waiting for an appropriate window of weather to install the turbine blades at the site.
Stornoway Gazette 18th March 2015 read more »
Local crofters from across the Stornoway Trust Estate have been having their say on wind farm payments at a series of consultation meetings on the Scheme for Developmen proposals for The Stornoway Wind Farm. The meetings, which were chaired by representatives of Lewis Wind Power and The Stornoway Trust, were open to all crofters with grazing rights on land leased to Lewis Wind Power Ltd for the wind farm.
Stornoway Gazette 18th March 2015 read more »
Prices of energy efficient LED lightbulbs are falling so fast some bulbs are already as cheap as they were expected to be 10 years from now. But the energy-saving benefits the technology offers could be at risk if the EU votes next month to delay rules demanding a wholesale shift to LEDs, according to a report from a consortium featuring the Danish Energy Agency and CLASP, an NGO focused on energy performance.
Business Green 18th March 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
The utility and fossil-fuel industries continue to spread a crude canard against the growing popularity of rooftop solar across America. The lie goes something like this: Households and business that install photovoltaic panels are doing so at the expense of other electricity ratepayers because they are “subsidized” by those that don’t have solar panels. The truth is this: Rooftop solar provides substantial benefits for everyone, regardless of who installs it. It helps power the homes and shops that adopt it, to be sure, but it has far-reaching benefits for other customers as well. If Jane Doe in Anywhere, USA, puts a solar panel on her roof, every other electricity ratepayer within the footprint of whatever regional grid Jane Doe is tied into will benefit as well.
Green World 18th March 2015 read more »
RENEWABLE energy firm Oakapple has launched a second round of crowdfunding for its solar site, and has already hit the £374,000 mark with a third round on the horizon. Leeds-based Oakapple launched the crowd funding attempt with green investment site Abundance Generation to complete the next phase of its installation of roof mounted solar PV systems for one of the top five national house builders. The target is to raise £415,000, and is expected to close within the month.
Business Desk 18th March 2015 read more »
BDaily 18th March 2015 read more »
The UK’s commercial rooftop market needs innovation if it is to offer an attractive legal proposition, UK law firm Burges Salmon has said. The legal group said that the commercial market lacked the maturity of ground mount and residential rooftop markets, and that work was needed if developers were to attract investors.
Solar Portal 18th March 2015 read more »
Generation from PV, which might otherwise be constrained as there isn’t sufficient demand on the electricity grid, could be absorbed by hydrogen production. And the hydrogen could be added to the gas distribution network. I’m aware that National Grid only allows 0.1% of H2 on the network, although up to 10% can be blended on the German gas network. I can envisage National Grid being keen too. They are firm advocates of biomethane injection, and it’s not hard to see why. Its existing infrastructure has a role beyond fossil fuels in carrying renewably generated gas. So I am sure they would be prepared to up the spec for H2 – it’s just that no one has asked them yet. I speak with some experience here, as my other hat is Green Gas Certification. Imagine a future where the electricity system is balanced by a number of storage technologies, one of which is H2 injection. H2 injection is effectively storage on a colossal, almost limitless scale. It enables gas to be kept in short term storage, or not even taken out of the gas fields in the first place.
Solar Portal 18th March 2015 read more »
Solar Roof Tiles
Romag’s first installation of its highly innovative ‘Intecto’ solar roof tile is almost complete. The installation is being undertaken in conjunction with Gentoo Homes at their site in Beechbrooke, South Shields, Tyne and Wear. The Intecto integrated solar tile has been designed with aesthetics in mind and blends seamlessly with terracotta, concrete and clay tiles. It also comes in black, grey and brown and can be tailored to work with almost all existing tiling systems. The tiles use the same PV cells found in the British manufacturer’s existing range of PV panels, but the cells have been specially manufactured to colour-match the UK’s range of terracotta roof tiles. This means that house builders no longer need to compromise on the look of their new housing to prospective customers when incorporating desirable solar technology.
Oil Fired Up 18th March 2015 read more »
Community Energy in Scotland
Five projects across Scotland will benefit from £21 million in funding to help reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities throughout the country. The funding allocation, from the Local Energy Challenge Fund, was announced by the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) conference. The successful recipients are: £1.8 million to Community Energy Scotland to develop viable grid connections for small scale generators in areas of constrained network on Mull. £6 million to Insch Renewable Energy Consortium to develop a community energy system linking local energy demand with local renewable generation in a rural area of Aberdeenshire – helping to reduce electricity costs. £3.2 million to Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association to develop innovative local heat storage solutions, which will help alleviate fuel poverty for over 1,000 tenants across Falkirk and the Lothians. £6 million to Highland Council to provide low carbon affordable heat and alleviate fuel poverty via a water source heat pump district heating network in Caol near Fort William – benefiting over 500 homes. £4 million to Bright Green Hydrogen to use hydrogen to meet local transport, heating and storage needs across Levenmouth.
Scottish Energy News 18th March 2015 read more »
The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) –which is funded by the Scottish Government – is holding its annual conference in Stirling today and tomorrow (Wed). Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is expected to announce the winners of recent challenge fund bids for Scottish Government innovation and development projects. The conference will also hear from real community success stories, like the Harlaw and Callander community hydro schemes, and the Point and Sandwick Windfarm, currently under construction which will see another nine megawatts of windpower in community ownership contributing to Scotland’s renewable energy future.
Scottish Energy News 17th March 2015 read more »
The amount of electricity produced by projects owned by local communities has increased by more than a quarter in the last year, the Scottish Government has revealed. Ministers have set the target of having plants producing 500 megawatts (MW) of power in communities and local ownership by 2020. The latest figures show such schemes can generate 361MW, up from 285MW in the previous year. The increase was revealed by energy minister Fergus Ewing ahead of the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme conference in Stirling. Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government is driving forward a community energy empowerment programme to ensure that local communities derive maximum benefits from the local energy resources around them.
STV 17th March 2015 read more »
Business Green 17th March 2015 read more »
Five renewable energy projects across Scotland will benefit from funding that will help reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities throughout the country.
Renewable Energy Focus 17th March 2015 read more »
WATER in disused mines warmed by the heat of the earth could be used to create a new energy source under plans by the country’s first geothermal power company. The Edinburgh-based firm hopes to help establish a new industry in Scotland that one report suggested could supply up to a third of the country’s heating needs. The firm called Town Rock Energy is one of the founding members of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation’s Low Carbon Ideas Lab and is also a family venture that is to pitch its idea as an alternative to fracking.
Herald 17th March 2015 read more »
Severn Trent AD etc
Severn Trent has announced it will be boosting its renewable energy self-generation with a £190m investment over the next five years. The company already generates 28% of the total energy it uses from renewable sources, but hopes today’s investment will enable it to generate 50% of its gross energy consumption by 2020. It hopes this will protect it from future volatile energy market prices. In a statement released earlier today (17 March), Severn Trent said it will primarily invest the money in anaerobic digestion (AD) and solar technologies, having already expressed its intention to expand its solar capacity beyond the panels installed on its headquarters in Coventry with a large-scale solar photovoltaic farm.
Edie 17th March 2015 read more »
Solar Portal 17th March 2015 read more »
Energy waste campaigners are calling for Brussels to file legal proceedings against the UK for flouting EU energy-saving laws, following new research by the AEA Ricardo consultancy. Across Europe, the industry body the Coalition for Energy Savings says that a “disturbing” pattern of poor implementation has emerged from analysis of actions that EU states are taking to meet the bloc’s energy efficiency goals. An energy wastage league table the group has compiled shows the UK occupying 13 th place out of 28 countries. While Britain is on equal points with Greece and the Netherlands, it is far below pace-setters such as Denmark (1st) and Ireland (2nd).
Guardian 17th March 2015 read more »
The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unveiled on farm in Berkshire. Located at Sheeplands Farm, Berkshire, the pioneering large scale HYDRELIO Floating Solar PV system is an innovative, reliable and cost effective alternative to ground and roof mounted solat installations with numerous economical and environmental benefits.
Farming UK 17th March 2015 read more »
Imagine living in a house that contributed to society: a house that produced energy, while consuming none itself. Well, imagine no more. After perfecting the “passivhaus”, which consumes minimal energy, engineers and architects have developed the energy positive house.
Guardian 16th March 2015 read more »
Decentralisation is the key to energy success and development, Søren Hermansen said in an exclusive interview with EurActiv. Instead of focusing on Putin’s gas, the EU should create its own independent energy grid, including the national feed-in tariffs the Energy Union project opposes, he said. Søren Hermansen is director of the Samsø Energy Academy. Samsø is the world’s first 100% renewable-energy powered island. He spoke to deputy news editor James Crisp.
Euractiv 16th March 2015 read more »
Fife-based TLS Hydro Power Ltd, a renewable energy company which develops, owns and operates a portfolio of hydro power sites across Scotland and England, has today launched a £2.5 million bond issue in partnership with Triodos Bank. Funds raised will be used to develop new hydro power schemes, including a 1 MW project in neighbouring Perth and Kinross district, construction of which is planned for autumn this year.
Scottish Energy News 16th March 2015 read more »
Cheshire East council becomes the first since 1948 to offer power tariffs to local constituents. Local authorities are to offer gas and electricity to residents for the first time since the 1940s in an attempt to encourage more people to switch suppliers and cut bills. From tomorrow, Cheshire East council will offer a deal called Fairerpower to its 170,000 households. Many of them have never switched supplier, and so are paying up to £300 a year more than necessary. The energy will be supplied and administered by Ovo, which is a challenger to the big six suppliers, including British Gas and Scottish Power. The energy prices will be set by the council, however. The move is the latest government-backed initiative to encourage householders to switch. The big six suppliers service more than nine in ten households in Britain. Last week, Labour leader Ed Milliband announced plans to give the regulator, Ofgem, power to force suppliers to cut bills.
Sunday Times 15th March 2015 read more »
More than a tenth of companies implementing the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme have been banned after breaking its code of practice, ministers have admitted, raising fears thousands of homeowners may be being ripped off by dodgy tradesmen. The Green Deal scheme aims to encourage people to install insulation or other home improvement measures to cut their energy usage. The policy originally offered loans for homeowners to fund the work but after low take-up ministers began offering cash grants, which have proved hugely popular. The latest £70 million tranche of funding from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund giveaway is up for grabs from Monday 16 March, with homeowners able to claim up to £5,600 each for work including solid wall insulation, double glazing or a new boiler.
Telegraph 14th March 2015 read more »
Eric Pickles has approved a 24MW solar park in Suffolk 18 months after intervening to block the development. The Communities Secretary rejected Lark Energy’s plans to install solar panels at Ellough Airfield in 2013, even though it had been recommended for approval by the local planning inspector, after deciding it could “have an adverse effect” on the character of the site.
Business Green 12th Mar 2015 read more »
Thousands of households have received support under the UK’s initiative that supports domestic low carbon heating systems. According to DECC, 25,000 homes have been accredited through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, with installations of technologies such as heat pumps, solar thermal systems and biomass boilers.
Energy Live News 13th March 2015 read more »
PV Plus Storage
The short term outlook for residential solar-plus-storage in the UK will be “challenging”, but simple regulatory changes of the kind the renewables industry is already asking for might make a real difference, according to one analyst. Logan Goldie-Scot from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) told PV Tech this week that the case for installing electricity storage in combination with PV at the residential and commercial level “can be very compelling”, but the nascent market still requires education. One obvious policy barrier for the UK is that with a general election just over two months away and the nation undergoing the Electricity Market Reform process, the government has categorically ruled out introducing a policy framework for energy storage anytime soon. The UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) last month hosted the inaugural meeting of its Energy Storage Group. The group aims to hear from and work with a range of stakeholders, from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) including PV module companies, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms and construction contractors, distribution network operators (DNOs), government departments and NGOs. One of the conclusions to emerge from that session, in common with industry consensus from around the world, was that storage does not need direct assistance in the form of subsidies or feed-in tariff (FiT) premiums to be economically viable at certain scales. Instead, regulations could be reconfigured to recognise the benefits that storage can provide through market mechanisms.
PV Tech 13th March 2015 read more »