Local Authorities and Energy: Building a Fairer Low Carbon Energy System. The latest report from No2NuclerarPower looks at a range of innovative local energy initiatives which show how Britain’s towns and cities are transforming efforts to create a cleaner, smarter and more affordable energy system, providing an alternative to the big utilities, and boosting their local economies in the process. The report looks at a range of different energy initiatives being carried out by local authorities around the country. The list – in alphabetic order – is not meant to be exhaustive, but hopefully it will inspire others to set up projects of their own. If local authorities can learn from each other, rather than starting from scratch, it will avoid common pitfalls and speed up progress towards a low carbon local renewable energy revolution.
No2 Nuclear Power (accessed) 28th Oct 2016 read more »
Gloucester Cathedral has become the latest historic site to embrace solar power with the installation of the first of 150 solar panels on the roof of the iconic building. Reverend Canon Celia Thomson laid the inaugural panel on the roof of the Nave earlier this week, kicking off the latest phase of a project by Gloucestershire-based renewable energy company Mypower. Once the installation is completed, the 1,000-year-old building will become the oldest cathedral in the UK, and possibly the world, to boast a commercial-sized solar panel PV system, the company said.
Business Green 28th Oct 2016 read more »
Gloucestershire Live 25th Oct 2016 read more »
There will be 315 Passivhaus buildings around the world open to the public over the weekend of Friday 11th November to Sunday 13th November, of which 15 are in the UK. They range from new-build single family houses to a Passivhaus retrofit of a Victorian end of terrace house, to the refurbishment of a block of flats. For full details, and whether any booking is necessary, visit the Passive House Database on the link below, click on Advanced Search, select United Kingdom and under ‘Passive House Day options’ click on the dates you are interested in, then click Search.
Passive House Database (accessed) 28th Oct 2016 read more »
Swansea Community Solar
INVESTORS in a new energy project in Swansea will earn an annual return of six per cent on their outlay — much more than any bank or building society can offer. Swansea Community Energy and Enterprise Scheme Ltd (SCEES) has installed solar panels on nine city schools and one council residential home in Townhill and Penderry, and wants the public to buy into the project. The not-for-profit group paid for the work with a loan from Robert Owen Community Banking. It said the solar panels will reduce electricity bills for the buildings in question and generate income via feed-in tariff subsidies and electricity sales.
South Wales Evening Post 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Baroness Neville-Rolfe has suggested the government is looking to level the playing field between public and private schools over the issue of solar business rates during a questions session in the House of Lords this morning. The minister for energy and intellectual property claimed the regime, which will see business rates applied to schools without charitable status while private schools and academies remain exempt, was a “curiosity” of the system. Lynne Featherstone, who raised the issue in the Lords, called it an “unfair and unjust anomaly”, creating “a two-tier system which penalises local authority schools” and would be “devastating” to school and parish councils.
Solar Portal 27th Oct 2016 read more »
The Odyssey Group, owners of the SSE Arena Belfast, has proposed installing a 420kWp commercial rooftop system atop the entertainment centre’s buildings. Plans submitted to Belfast City Council earlier this month detail how a system comprising more than 1,400 modules has been proposed for the roof of the Odyssey Pavillion, part of the Odyssey Complex which incorporates the SSE Arena Belfast amongst other buildings in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
Solar Portal 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewable energy – increasingly reliable and cost competitive with conventional energy sources – is becoming an ever more crucial part of corporate strategy. More than 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies and at least 60 per cent of Fortune 100 companies now have targets relating to renewable energy procurement, energy efficiency or cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Yet for many businesses, running on renewable power is easier said than done – how easy it is to install, and how much it costs, depends on the resources, size and location of the company. So how can businesses best secure 100 per cent renewable electricity for their operations? Certainly, there are major global corporations such as IKEA with the wherewithal and drive to invest, construct and operate their own renewable power projects with the aim of becoming ‘energy independent’. But not all companies have that option, and must procure their energy from elsewhere. According to the WBCSD, direct procurement of energy from suppliers via Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) may offer the simplest and most cost-effective answer. It is seeking to encourage more businesses to consider PPAs for renewables, and has commissioned a new guide specifically looking at the challenges involved and the different options available.
Business Green 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Preliminary figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for Q3 2016 show deployment of around 74MW, less than a quarter of what was deployed in the same period last year. The three months from July to September last year witnessed deployment of around 300MW, driven predominantly by strong deployment in the residential sector.
Solar Portal 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Levenmouth Turbine Plan
A controversial plan to erect an 81m wind turbine in the grounds of New Bayview may be scuppered because of a Scottish Water pipe. Ore Valley Housing Association had hoped to build the turbine by March and generate a £750k dividend for the Levenmouth community by selling electricity to the National Grid over the next two decades. However, preconstruction utlity checks last week discovered a pressurised waste pipe five metres underground which connects directly to Levenmouth’s waste water treatment plant.
Fife Today 26th Oct 2016 read more »
The Solar Trade Association (STA) and the Energy Saving Trust are among a group of 21 organisations that have penned a letter to the minister of state for energy and intellectual property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, calling on her to retain solar thermal within the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Edie 26th Oct 2016 read more »
Scottish Energy News 27th Oct 2016 read more »
Business Green 26th Oct 2016 read more »
Solar Portal 26th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK Government is seemingly beginning to take heed of advice to focus on delivering low-carbon heating systems, with two new announcements which could effectively reduce emissions from heating demand in towns and cities and begin to restore investor confidence in the neglected sector. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has this month launched the first part of a £320m fund to supply low-carbon and recycled heat in towns and cities across England and Wales; and proposed to soften changes to renewable energy subsidy support, which were abruptly announced in the summer. The new funding comes in the form of a £39m pilot scheme of the Heat Networks Investment Project – part of the Government’s ‘central heating for cities’ funding package which will be delivered over the next five years. This initial funding, announced by Energy Minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, will seek to accelerate the growth of communal and district heating schemes through the development of infrastructure allows municipalities to recycle wasted heat produced from the likes of factories, power stations and even the London Underground, and pump that heat back into homes and businesses to keep them warm.
Edie 25th Oct 2016 read more »
Fuel Poverty – Scotland
The Scottish Government has missed the statutory target to eradicate fuel poverty this year by some distance. So, new reports on fuel poverty should be welcomed, but only if they are quickly followed by a new strategy. According to the latest statistics (2014), there are 35% or around 845,000 households living in fuel poverty in Scotland, and 9.5% (229,000 households) living in extreme fuel poverty. This high rate of fuel poverty is largely unchanged since 2009, and has doubled since the Scottish Government‟s fuel poverty target was set in 2002. The Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force reports have been published alongside a Scottish Government research paper on the likelihood of being fuel poor in rural Scotland. This is to help identify and target households in rural Scotland who have a high risk of being in fuel poverty.
Dave Watson 25th Oct 2016 read more »
SNP MP Deidre Brock has visited the innovative Wyndford district heating scheme in Glasgow to find out more about how older homes can be made more energy efficient and deliver on the UK’s low carbon agenda. The visit was co-hosted by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and Brock (MP for Leith and north Edinburgh) was shown how district heating works and how the scheme is helping to improve residents’ quality of life and tackling fuel poverty in the long term. The Wyndford scheme is home to one Britain’s biggest retrofit district heating schemes, providing on-demand low carbon heating and hot water to more than 1,800 homes. The system was installed by SSE in partnership with a Scottish housing association. A recent report published by SSE shows that the scheme has delivered a 62% reduction in CO2 emissions since it was installed, as well as compelling evidence that lives have significantly improved, comfort has increased, and jobs and economic value have been created.
Scottish Energy News 25th Oct 2016 read more »
Edinburgh Solar Co-OP
Edinburgh is celebrating the completion of what is thought to be the largest community-owned rooftop solar framework in the UK after 1.4MW of solar was deployed across the city’s public buildings. The project has been entirely funded by a community offer from The Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC), which raised just under £1.5 million from local residents in six weeks. Working alongside Edinburgh City Council, Energy 4All and contractor Emtec Energy, the funds have been used to install solar on 24 buildings, including a leisure centre, community centre and various schools. According to Chris Clark, director at Emtec Energy, the systems range from 150kW to 15kw and required significant preparation to complete within the project’s deadline. “In all the frameworks we have delivered, this has by far been the most challenging but also the most rewarding. On-site works of ten weeks can only ever be accomplished through months of detailed planning, and the effort and hard work by all stakeholders.”
Solar Portal 25th Oct 2016 read more »
Khan pledges to ensure new homes built in London meet ‘zero carbon’ standards and promises to develop new and innovative approaches to energy efficiency, beginning with an early trial of net-zero-energy retrofitting of homes.
Business Green 24th Oct 2016 read more »
The Edina Group, the combined heat and power installer, has won a new contract to supply and install an additional CHP biogas engine at a bio-waste and energy plant in Ayrshire. The SSE Barkip Biogas plant – officially opened by Princes Charles in May 2012 – is one of the largest combined organic waste treatment and energy generating facilities in Scotland. The plant processes up to 75,000 tonnes of organic and food waste per year, and currently generates 2.2MW of renewable electricity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the biogas produced.
Scottish Energy News 24th Oct 2016 read more »
Welsh Solar Village
Wales’ first solar powered village opens next month. The houses in the village in Pembrokeshire, called Pentre Solar, will be affordable housing accepting tenants off the council housing register in Pembrokeshire. The cluster of six homes is not a local authority or housing association project. It is a purely private sector initiative launched by a small start up in West Wales that started as an experiment and could now kickstart a national trend.
Wales Online 24th Oct 2016 read more »
New figures show almost 900,000 homeowners owe their gas and electricity supplier money in unpaid energy bills, even before the seasonal thermostat adjustment kicks in. Households that are behind on their bills – around 5 per cent of the UK population, according to Gocompare.com, owe an average of more than £120 each, despite these bills typically relating to the summer period of relatively low energy costs.
Independent 22nd Oct 2016 read more »
The overnight low in West Kirby on the Wirrall was around 5C last night. Yet in Colin Usher’s home the temperature is a comfy 20c-21C – despite the fact he has not turned on the heating once this autumn. Even in the depths of winter, the house uses a fraction of the energy that most British homes consume trying to keep warm. On average, the Ushers’ home energy bills since 2014 have been £530 a year, and that for a house that is nearly twice the size of a standard British semi. It means the family is saving at least £1,000 a year, and possibly much more. Throw in the fact that their rooftop solar panels generate an income of £500 a year and their net energy bills are actually close to zero. Usher is a fan of “Passivhaus” eco-standards for building, he is critical of some in the insulation industry. “I have a jaundiced view of installing insulation without warning about the condensation risks. People go to great efforts to put in insulation, then get condensation and mildew in the corner of their rooms. It’s almost bound to happen.” He recommends that anyone making their home airtight should also consider systems such as the Nuaire Drimaster, which costs around £250 and gently forces moist air out of the house.
Guardian 22nd Oct 2016 read more »
Seventeen projects across Scotland have been offered a share in grant funding of over £600k of funds from the Scottish Government. These projects will investigate and develop approaches which link local energy generation with local energy demand, using innovative distribution and storage solutions. “It is encouraging to see communities, academia, companies and the public sector working together to ensure a sustainable energy future for local areas across the country – from the Western Isles, Moray and the Highlands in the north to North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway in the south west of Scotland. “Scotland is making great progress in renewable energy with the equivalent of 56.7% of gross electricity consumption coming from renewables in 2015. From energy storage to renewable heat and smart grids, this funding will help to unlock new forms of renewable energy at a local level.
Local energy Scotland 21st Oct 2016 read more »
The first crowd-funded solar project at a higher education institution has been completed at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) after raising more than £22,000 in around two months. Solar SOAS, a project from the energy and climate justice student society, successfully raised the funds needed for the 29.6kWp system after launching the offer in August. The installation was carried out on 26 September and is expected to generate 24.15 MWh per year, generating £2,000 of profits annually for a community fund. The SOAS community will decide how the proceeds are spent, with a voting process to be open each year to determine what green project or cause will be selected over the lifetime of the scheme.
Solar Portal 21st Oct 2016 read more »
On September 22 2013, 50.9% of the Hamburg citizens voted in a referendum for the full remunicipalisation of the energy distribution grids in the city. The referendum was initiated by the citizen’s initiative ‘Our Hamburg – Our Grid’ (OHOG) and constituted the climax of an intense political controversy that lasted for more than three years. Through this vote Hamburg has received international attention and became a flagship example for remarkable civil engagement. In the international best-seller “This Changes Everything” (2014), Naomi Klein sees the driving motive in the people’s ‘desire for local power’. Indeed it is true that under the constitution of the City of Hamburg, a successful referendum has a binding effect, which left the City government no other option than to announce the implementation of the referendum decision and to start the remunicipalisation process immediately after the vote. Now, three years after the referendum, it is time to evaluate what has been achieved so far. A series of interviews with key actors that were and, for the most part, still are involved in the remunicipalisation process shed some light on the remunicipalisation process and recent developments.
World Future Council 19th Oct 2016 read more »