A new report paid for by some of Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers and the Scottish and UK government – has found that household bills could be cut by £50 a year through energy storage. The report details total cost savings for the UK electricity system, should the potential for energy storage be realised, of up to £2.4bn a year by 2030. The report (Can storage help reduce the cost of a future UK electricity system?) was collaboratively funded by three major utilities – SSE, Scottish Power and E.On – as well as the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Scottish Government. The analysis, carried out over 12 months by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, is the most comprehensive review to date of the benefits of storage at a UK-system level.
Scottish Energy News 20th May 2016 read more »
Since the initial release of government incentives to UK solar at the start of 2010, the UK has become one of the few countries globally to install more than 10GW of solar PV. And a driving factor behind this somewhat unexpected growth has been the companies that were responsible for the build of large-scale ground-mounted solar farms. While the overall breakdown of the 10GW-plus installed in the UK today has contributions from both rooftop and ground-mounted solar, the case for analysing the solar farm builders is compelling, as explained in this blog. The UK market can be broadly segmented across rooftop and ground-mount, but each of these has a few subtleties in terms of who installs the systems. The domestic rooftop market has been served generally by regional specific installers, many of whom have clocked up megawatts worth of business over the years. Most of these companies also perform small rooftop installations in their areas, with the most successful over the years hitting figures at the 10-20MW during the past five years. Ground-mount activity has been split largely by small systems for the agricultural segment (almost always less than 250kW to satisfy legacy FiT levels), and large-scale solar which can be put into the utility scale solar category and are often in the 5MW to 50MW-plus range. This large-scale ground-mount solar segment (covering installs greater than 250kW) has been the single biggest reason why the UK has become a 10GW-plus market today, and accounts for more than two-thirds of the UK market by capacity installed.
Solar Portal 20th May 2016 read more »
Hounslow goes solar
A £2m solar investment by the London Borough of Hounslow has converted London’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and plant market into a ‘carbon-zero’ zone. Unveiled today, it is the largest PV solar array installation by a UK local authority and the first to incorporate battery storage, according to lead project partner LG Electronics.
Business Green 19th May 2016 read more »
A London council is unveiling a vast installation of 6,000 solar panels on a wholesale market rooftop, which it says is the largest such array put up by a local authority. The London Borough of Hounslow says its £2m investment in solar, which has been installed on the roof of Western International Market, is also the first by a council to adopt battery storage to maximise the power from the panels. The 1.73 megawatt (MW) array of 6,069 panels and four 60kW lithium batteries system now generates half the site’s required electricity. The site is west London’s largest wholesale market for fresh produce and flowers, and uses around 3.5 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity to provide climate controlled facilities to around 80 wholesalers and buyers – the equivalent of 1,750 homes a year. Hounslow council, which owns the market near Heathrow Airport, says the solar system will contribute 2% of its carbon reduction target, cutting emissions by more than 780 tonnes a year. LG Electronics, on e of Hounslow’s partners in the scheme, said it was the company’s largest solar panel installation in Europe and would deliver significant costs savings to the borough. LG Solar’s UK senior solar sales manager Bob Mills said: “What’s more, the project has set the wheels in motion for further investment and research into the potential of battery storage, which is set to revolutionise the solar industry.”
Guardian 19th May 2016 read more »
Solar Portal 19th May 2016 read more »
Oldham Community Solar
A community energy scheme is one step closer to offering public buildings in Oldham cheap, clean energy after Renewable Energy 4 Business was selected to fit almost 2,000 solar panels to a number of council-owned community buildings and schools in the area. Oldham Community Power (OCP) was formed to fund the installation of the panels via a community share offer. Residents will be able to buy shares in solar systems planned for around 14 public buildings when the offer is launched in the next few weeks. OCP is seeking to raise up to £750,000 to fund the scheme, which is almost exclusively targeting buildings with high energy usage. These will enter into discounted power purchase agreements with the group in exchange for low cost, green energy.
Solar Portal 19th May 2016 read more »
Oldham Chronicle 18th May 2016 read more »
A climate change organisation is looking for Thurrock households to take part in a new solar energy project. Not-for-profit Nottingham Energy Partnership are looking for 35 Thurrock houses who already have solar panels to take part in a new battery storage trial. The charity said the “ground breaking” technology will reduce bills by allowing families to use 30% more of their free, clean electricity in the evenings, and power kitchen appliances, lights and the television “at little or no cost”.
Braintree & Witham Times 19th May 2016 read more »
ADBA analysis shows a failure to carry through unused capacity from one quarter to another will result in 2.4MW of the 20MW of subsidy allocated to the anaerobic digestion sector being lost.
Business Green 19th May 2016 read more »
“Micro CHP and other efficient gas appliances have potential to revolutionise home heating and in turn reduce our carbon emissions” says the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, HHIC. Their comments come in response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s Energy Revolution Inquiry. Stewart Clements, Director of HHIC said “Micro CHP units meet the space heating and hot water needs of homes and buildings, while generating electricity. By enabling consumers to produce their own electricity, used directly or fed back to the gird, micro CHP has the potential to revolutionise the UK energy market. The majority of micro CHP products are “heat led” and as the peak demand for heat and power are fairly closely aligned it means that electricity is generated and used locally at the time the grid is facing its largest demand. As the electricity generated is used at source, micro CHP devices result in no transmission or distribution losses and offer back up generation capacity to the grid. Unlike some alternative heating technologies installing micro CHP does not require larger radiators or sizeable external units making them well suited to the average UK home. Generating electricity on site can also result in significant bill savings for consumers – an additional bonus. In the short term micro CHP can enable the efficient use of fossil fuel gas but will also be a key enabler of a transition towards low carbon gas. As the gas grid is decarbonised, through biomethane, bio SNG or hydrogen, micro CHP will still operate, proving heat and power.
Energy & Utilities Alliance 18th May 2016 read more »
Letter Nicholas Holtam: The Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign is encouraging dioceses, cathedrals and parishes to reduce energy bills and lower carbon emissions through practical steps, from installing energy-efficient lightbulbs to switching to renewable energy (Blessed be the solar roof installers, Letters, 17 May). More than 400 churches, church buildings and vicarages already have solar panels installed, with other developments including the first carbon-neutral churches. Other measures adopted have included the installation of ground source heat pumps in some churches.
Guardian 18th May 2016 read more »
With prices dropping rapidly for both renewables and battery storage, the economics of decarbonizing the grid are changing faster than most policymakers, journalists, and others realize. So, as part of my ongoing series, “Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated,” I will highlight individual case studies of this real-time revolution. We already know there are a number of ways to greatly increase the penetration of renewable energy using existing hardware and software. What we are now witnessing is the dawn of a revolution that will enable lithium-ion batteries to play a larger and larger role in that increased penetration. Renewables are more unstoppable than ever. The only questions that remain now are 1) will we embrace the kind of aggressive deployment programs needed to avoid catastrophic global warming, and 2) will we nurture a domestic market that will maintain U.S. leadership in key job-creating low carbon technologies, or will we outsource more jobs to China and Europe.
Climate Progress 18th May 2016 read more »
2.35 million households in England living in poor quality, energy inefficient housing have to decide each winter whether to ‘eat or heat’. They live in cold homes because they can’t afford to pay their fuel bills and then suffer from respiratory illnesses which have long-term effects on their health and wellbeing, and sometimes fatal consequences. Last year, England and Wales experienced the highest number of ‘excess winter deaths’ in fifteen years, with 43,900 dying – 27% more than during the non-winter months. It’s an urgent issue that needs solutions. A workshop on Community Solutions to Fuel Poverty was held on 13th May in Hastings – an area badly affected by fuel poverty – and was attended by a mix of stakeholders, including local government, community groups, academics, energy utilities, as well as the local MP, RT Hon Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The aim of the workshop was to bring together a range of expertise in fuel poverty work and present concrete policy recommendations to the Secretary of State. A key policy recommendation made to the Secretary of State was the need to invest in better quality, energy efficient housing across all housing tenures, including owner-occupied as well as the private and social rented sectors. An area-based, street-by-street approach was suggested to address the energy efficiency of housing.
SPRU 18th May 2016 read more »
Lightsource has connected what is claimed to be Northern Ireland’s first utility-scale solar farm near Belfast International Airport. The 4.83MW project is located on land at Crookedstone Road in Antrim and is wired directly into the airport’s private electricity network. The airport has signed a 25-year PPA with Lightsource and the installation is expected to supply around one-quarter (27%) of its annual demand.
Solar Portal 18th May 2016 read more »
Utility Week 19th May 2016 read more »
Solar Bus Shelter
Polysolar, the transparent solar-PV (photovoltaic) glazing specialist based at the Hauser Forum, already boasts its technology on the exterior of the Future Business Centre and has now opened the world’s first transparent PV bus shelter at Canary Wharf. Commissioned by Canary Wharf Group, and designed and developed by Polysolar with street furniture supplier Marshalls, the bus shelter uses innovative transparent photovoltaic glass that generates clean renewable electricity even – and this is the key bit – in low and ambient light. The energy will be used to run smart signage and other infrastructure in the area.
Cambridge News 18th May 2016 read more »
Renewable sources could provide nearly half of the energy used to heat Europe’s homes by 2040, according to a new international market intelligence report. Tightening existing regulations could lower end-user natural gas demand by half within the next 20 to 25 years, and reduce residential carbon dioxide emissions by more than 75% by 2050, according to a new study from the IHS Energy business advisory service. This reduction would move Europe closer to achieving the European Union (EU) 2030 and 2050 climate targets. The heating sector is the focus of increased attention from policy makers following the release of the first European Heating and Cooling Strategy on February 16.
Scottish Energy News 17th May 2016 read more »
German solar developer BayWa r.e. has struck a significant long-term power purchase agreement with Nationwide Building Society. The 15-year deal will see all the electricity generated from the firm’s 45MW Vine Farm solar park near Cambridge – BayWa’s largest in the UK to date – supplied to the UK bank.
Solar portal 17th May 2016 read more »
Commercial rooftop solar specialists EvoEnergy have completed a 235kW rooftop installation which is expected to save its client as much as £20,000 each year. Six Evo engineers installed 950 Risen modules and SolarEdge optimisers and inverters over a two-week period on the roof of Wakefield-based computer manufacturer PC Specialist. The array is estimated to generate around 187,900kWh of electricity per year, amounting to around two-thirds (65%) of the company’s total yearly demand of 285,000kWh.
Solar Portal 16th May 2016 read more »
Commercial property owners in Scotland are unprepared for a new set of energy efficiency regulations set to come in later this year, a property consultancy has warned. The regulations will require owners of buildings larger than 1,000 square metres who sell or rent out their property to provide an Action Plan laying out measures they will take to improve the energy performance of the building and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are also required to submit energy improvement data to the Scottish Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) register. But new analysis, released last week by property consultancy Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, found that around 70 per cent of those required to complete Action Plans have yet to do so. While property owners still have time to complete the plans before they come in on 1 September, the consultancy warned that landlords who fail to comply with the regulations could face enforcement action from local authorities.
Business Green 16th May 2016 read more »
Renewables – hydro
I think we have all accepted there will be virtually no new schemes coming forward after 2017, and 80% of all run-of-river hydro jobs will be gone by 2020. However this does not mean that the world stops turning, or that all activity ceases today. At Green Highland Renewables we have a very active pipeline of projects in construction, and our strategy is to build and acquire hydro assets with the goal of establishing a significant operational hydro portfolio by 2018.
Scottish Energy News 16th May 2016 read more »
Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade has said he has “strong concerns” over how the government’s next energy efficiency scheme will handle the able-to-pay market, and the cost of the scheme to customers in fuel poverty. Speaking at a Public Accounts Committee hearing this week, Slade said: “I think it is very useful that we have an interim to take us from the end of current Eco [Energy Company Obligation] to the next one, I generally support the idea of focusing the money available towards the fuel poor.“I have strong concerns, though, over how we are going to handle the able-to-pay market and complexity of measures that need to be delivered there to meet our interim targets but also the amount of work that needs to be done there.”
Utility Week 13th May 2016 read more »
When it comes to grabbing headlines with visions of the future, few can beat entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk. He’s behind SpaceX, the rocket company that he sees as a vehicle to his dream of colonising Mars. Better known, perhaps, are his Tesla electric cars, an increasingly common sight in the US and here in the UK. While powerful rockets and fast cars might be the most exciting of Musk’s products, his hopes of changing the way we live are much more likely to be delivered by something much more prosaic – Tesla’s Powerwall. Much less glamorous than Musk’s other concepts, this plain white battery, intended to harness energy from renewable sources such as the wind and sun and make it available for household use or feed back into the power network, could have a far bigger impact than anything else the billionaire has dreamt up. The concept behind these batteries in homes – which working together are known as a “distributed grid” – is that they will store up cheap electricity generated when demand is lower, then discharge it at peak times when energy from the traditional network supplied mainly by large power stations is expensive. Not only do these batteries – known as “behind the meter” storage – raise the prospect of reducing households’ electricity costs by optimising the time they receive power, they could cut further bills by selling excess power back to the network at times of high demand. They could also provide an emergency back-up if the main grid fails.
Telegraph 15th May 2016 read more »
Jenny Chu, a manager at The Climate Group, was speaking from the Alliance to Save Energy’s annual efficiency conference, which took place this week in Washington, D.C., and where The Climate Group — an international nonprofit that works with businesses and governments to transition to clean energy — launched a new initiative, EP100. Under EP100, companies will commit to doubling their energy productivity — that is, getting just as much done using only half the energy (or getting twice as much done for the same amount of energy — you get the idea). That’s a big deal. One of the major talking points against emissions reductions is that lowering our carbon footprint will ruin the economy — but efficiency is hard to argue against. And perhaps more than other emissions-reductions efforts, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in efficiency. According to light bulb company Phillips, if all the world’s companies switched from old-fashioned light bulbs to LED ones, they would collectively save $94 billion in energy costs — and reduce demand by the equivalent of 371 power plants. (For comparison, there are currently 290 active coal-fired power plants in the entire United States). And if you’re willing to go further than light bulbs, there is more hidden inefficiency to target. A retrofit at Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel building resulted in $1 million worth of energy savings each year for the commercial building, according to Danfoss, another company that joined the EP100 initiative this week. That company installed new pumps for the 64-story building’s water supply and new fans in its air circulation system. In a case study, the building manager says that driving down energy costs has also made the building more attractive to tenants — a positive economic side effect.
Climate Progress 13th May 2016 read more »