More than a million solar homes
There were almost 800,000 domestic solar power schemes registered under the “feed in tariff” subsidy scheme by January, figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) show. And the Solar Trade Association (STA) estimates there are now 775,000 square metres of solar thermal hot water panels in operation in the UK, which equates to around 258,000 homes. Leonie Greene, of the Solar Trade Association, said: “Decc’s latest data proves the British solar industry can deliver the large volumes of clean power we need, and fast. “However, the data also shows relatively poor levels of deployment of solar on larger buildings like schools, factories and warehouses, where this technology is particularly efficient and cost-effective.” She said the Government’s policy for subsidies for large-scale rooftop solar was constraining growth and that there was also “no meaningful support” in the UK for solar schemes that were more than one megawatt (1MW) in size. “We hope that Government will heed calls from right across the energy sector to get fully behind solar power again.
Business Reporter 26th Feb 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 25th Feb 2016 read more »
Energise Barnsley has reiterated its commitment to deploying solar despite having to suspend its council house rollout programme in the wake of cuts to the feed-in tariff (FiT). A statement issued to Solar Power Portal this morning confirmed that while the project is “unviable under current conditions”, the community benefit scheme intends to keep a watching brief on costs associated with deployment. The scheme still intends to deploy solar to help reduce fuel poverty once it becomes viable and councillor Jenny Platts, Barnsley Council cabinet spokesperson for communities, revealed that the project is hopeful of launching a battery storage trial “very soon”.
Solar Portal 26th Feb 2016 read more »
Charging Solar for Grid Access?
Solar looks set to play a “significant” role in the future of the UK energy market but faces questions over the problems caused to the grid by its intermittency, a report compiled by Energy UK has found. Earlier this week industry body Energy UK published its ‘Pathways to 2030’ report which details how the government could collaborate with the domestic energy industry to ensure it meets climate goals while delivering energy security. Compiled with consultancy giant KPMG, the report states that the growth of decentralised energy systems will become prevalent out to the 2030s, with solar-plus-storage the obvious front runner. Costs associated with solar PV and storage systems will continue to fall over the next decade, bringing them to grid parity within the next few years. This, the report argues, will lead to accelerated deployment and uptake of a more decentralised energy market with less importance placed on large generators such as EDF’s controversial Hinkley Point C project. But the report argues that as decentralised generators become more pervasive, households with them would not be contributing as much to grid operation costs by generating and consuming their own energy.
Solar Portal 25th Feb 2016 read more »
Solar Car Ports
Two companies working in the field of architectural textiles have merged with the aim of producing lightweight fabric structures and carports to generate clean solar energy. Solar Cloth Company (SCC) has merged with Base Structures (BASE). The two companies will continue to trade under their respective names.
Transport Extra 25th Feb 2016 read more »
Ironically, the week in July last year that it became apparent solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in the UK were about to be targeted for a fundamental overhaul, Solar Media held its first round table on residential energy storage. Attended by manufacturers, installers, distributors and trade associations, everyone in the room was clear that batteries are no longer just the theoretical next step to making solar a mainstream technology. They are happening now.
Solar Portal 25th Feb 2016 read more »
Scottish Solar Plan
The Scottish arm of the Solar Trade Association (STA) has called on the Scottish government to consider a series of ‘key asks’ on solar to support the industry and help reach the country’s renewables targets. The Holyrood government plans to meet 100% of electricity demand from renewables by 2020 and has already achieved half of this target with 7.5GW supplying the nation. While 5GW comes from onshore wind, STA Scotland says solar can make an important contribution towards meeting this goal, as well as an “essential balance” to the mix of renewables in Scotland. To do this, the organisation has called for the establishment of a Solar Action Plan for Scotland, which would set targets for deployment of both solar PV and thermal systems. It suggests 2GW and 200,000m2 or 141MWth respectively for the two technologies by 2020 would be “ambitious and achievable” targets. In policy terms, it also asks for financial support mechanisms for all solar projects to be implemented using the devolved powers of the Scotland Bill following a widespread withdrawal of support by the UK government. These would bridge the gap to subsidy-free solar projects, which STA Scotland estimates will emerge in the early 2020s. The list of measures also includes changes to tax reliefs for companies producing renewables and community energy projects; a Green Deal replacement scheme covering both domestic and commercial properties, which would encompass energy efficiency and renewables; removal of the need for planning permission for rooftop solar; and a raft of other policy suggestions.
Solar Portal 24th Feb 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 24th Feb 2016 read more »
Scottish Energy News 25th Feb 2016 read more »
Scotsman 25th Feb 2016 read more »
The Solar Trade Association (STA) has released a new document of 20 ways the Scottish Government can catalyse significant growth in the deployment of solar energy across the country. The ‘key asks’ document from the STA has outlined the numerous ways which the Scottish Government can boost the ambitious plan to generate 100% of electricity from renewables by 2020.
Edie 25th Feb 2016 read more »
THE SUN has got its hat on as Redditch Borough Council taps into solar power on the rooftops of two large buildings. It is the latest bid by the council to reduce its carbon footprint – and could save local taxpayers more than £4,000 a year on bills at the Abbey Stadium and the Crossgates Depot. Solar panels – 120 of them at the Abbey Stadium and 112 at the depot – were installed in December and are now equipped to harness energy from the sun to contribute to the electricity used at the sites.
Redditch Advertiser 24th Feb 2016 read more »
Redditch Standard 23rd Feb 2016 read more »
Council Solar Bond
The UK’s first ever ‘council solar bond’ has been launched today. offering people the chance to invest in Swindon’s new local community solar farm. The £4.8m initiative, which comes from Swindon Borough Council and peer-to-peer investment platform Abundance, will be funded by investments from both the council and UK-based small investors. The minimum stake is just £5, with an effective rate of return of six per cent from the project paid in cash twice yearly.
Business Green 24th Feb 2016 read more »
Solar Portal 24th Feb 2016 read more »
If Tesla’s Powerwall is the “Lamborghini” of the solar storage industry, a small Brisbane company backed by University of Queensland researchers says it has hit on the formula to deliver the “Toyota”. “Fundamentally, the big thing we all need to be talking about as consumers is not batteries or whatever, but self-consumption – that is the itch we have to scratch,” Livingston said. The big thing we all need to be talking about as consumers is not batteries but self-consumption. The average solar-powered house consumed only 25-30% of the power it produced, the rest now fetching scant rates on the wholesale power market, he said. The Powerwall, with its Lithium battery, would take “self-consumption” to 57%. The Ouija system would better that at 61% and “about a third less in cost” than the Powerwall, Livingston said.
Guardian 23rd Feb 2016 read more »
Barnsley Suspends Solar
Barnsley Council has been forced to suspend plans to fit solar on more than 5,000 council houses and other public buildings following cuts to the feed-in tariff. In August last year Barnsley Council outlined ambitions to install solar on as many as 5,000 council houses and local buildings under a new scheme dubbed ‘Energise Barnsley’. More than £16 million in funding had been set aside, with surplus income generated via feed-in tariff payments used to support community projects in the area. While the project has suspended future installs, it did manage to fit solar on more than 300 council houses which will benefit from free electricity, and around 90 other public buildings will still receive installations due to them being pre-accredited under the old rate.
Solar Portal 23rd Feb 2016 read more »
Anglesey Solar Park
Plans are set to be submitted on Anglesey for one of the UK’s biggest ever solar parks. Countryside Renewables Capital want to place a solar energy park of up to 50MW spread across 200 acres of farmland, the equivalent of 100 football pitches. They revealed the original scheme last year and sources say they are now days away from submitting the multi-million pound project at Llanbadrig, in the north of the island.
Daily Post 23rd Feb 2016 read more »
Shoppers in London’s West End could soon take a break from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street by visiting the capital’s first power-generating street. The New West End Company has secured funding from Transport for London (TfL) to turn Bird Street – a traffic-free space just off Oxford Street – into an ‘intelligent street’ boasting solar and kinetic power generating technologies. The company said under the project “materials in roofs, canopies and pavements would generate the energy, and would be integrated into an enjoyable public space that will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists”.
Business Green 22nd Feb 2016 read more »
Solar Portal 22nd Feb 2016 read more »
What will be the biggest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) array in Europe once completed — a 6.3 megawatt (MW) array on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in London — is now under construction. The developer — Lightsource Renewable Energy — has revealed that the project will be composed of 23,000 solar PV panels and will generate enough electricity to provide for the need of around 1800 local households once finished.
Renew Economy 22nd Feb 2016 read more »
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has claimed around 83MW of rooftop solar was deployed just before the regime changed in mid-January and revised its installation figures for December 2015.
Solar Portal 22nd Feb 2016 read more »
A new report by economists at The Brattle Group reveals that advanced strategies of using electric water heating to provide ancillary services, store thermal energy on a daily basis, or adopt heat pumps can provide significant value to the electric power grid.
Renewable Energy Focus 22nd Feb 2016 read more »
Zero Carbon Homes
The Government will create ‘future misery’ for homeowners if it doesn’t reverse its decision to scrap the zero-carbon homes requirement and Code for Sustainable Homes, the National Policy for the Built Environment Committee has said.
Edie 19th Feb 2016 read more »