Wales’ Solar Village
A cluster of eco homes utilising solar panels are being used to provide low cost public housing to tenants in Pembrokeshire as part of Wales’ first solar village. Four of the six new homes built by Western Solar at the Pentre Solar development in Glanrhyd are being offered to tenants on Pembrokeshire County Council’s social housing waiting list. Each is equipped with a large solar installation on the properties’ monopitch roofs to provide low cost energy for the occupant. Meanwhile, Western Solar receives an income from the export of solar energy to the grid as the systems – 6.5kW on each of the four semi-detached homes and 13.5kW on the two detached properties – are purposely designed to generate up to three times more than needed by the Ty Solar homes. This is due to the low energy demand of the eco homes, which are prefabricated from locally sourced timber and use recycled newspaper for insulation to consume just 12% of the energy used in a traditional home.
Solar Portal 6th Jan 2017 read more »
Wired Gov 6th Jan 2017 read more »
Wales Online 5th Jan 2017 read more »
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the government to act over the proposed solar business rate increase, arguing it could act as a “huge disincentive” for SMEs to invest in the technology.
Solar Portal 5th Jan 2017 read more »
More than one in ten small businesses now generates electricity on-site, according to new figures that underscore the increasing shift towards localised power production in the UK. The Federation of Small Businesses said that 12% of its members generated their own power, primarily using solar panels, which have boomed in recent years thanks to Government subsidy schemes. However, the group said ministers must do more to encourage other firms to follow suit to help meet the UK’s climate change targets while also addressing fears about Britain’s reliance on energy imports. Some 86% of FSB members were concerned about import dependence, with just over half calling for the UK to aim for full self-sufficiency, it said. It called on the Government to “urgently” produce a new strategy, known as a “carbon plan”, setting out how it would ensure secure energy supplies and also hit climate targets that require the UK to slash its emissions.
Telegraph 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Swindon’s Solar Bond
Construction is set to begin on Swindon Borough Council’s second solar farm to be funded by a unique council solar bond, which raised over £2.4 million from more than 800 investors in just six weeks. Following the success of its first investment offer, which raised £1.8 million from community investors to co-fund the Common Farm development at Wroughton, the council launched a second offer in November. The bonds closed on 23 December after selling out over a month early, with the remaining £3 million needed to meet construction costs of the Chapel Farm solar park being invested directly by Swindon Borough Council. Building work is set to begin next week (9 January) on the council-owned former landfill site at Blunsdon, where the new 5MW solar farm will be erected over a ten-week building schedule.
Solar Portal 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Business Green 5th Jan 2017 read more »
Aberdeen’s new exhibition and conference centre is to be heated and powered by the biggest low-emission facility of its kind in the UK. The city council has struck a deal with UK energy engineering specialist Doosan Babcock to supply the fuel-cell technology for an on-site energy centre. It will install three of its 460kW Purecell units for the new venue at Bucksburn, which is due to open in 2019. The local authority is arguing the scheme is on a par with the largest fuel-cell projects across Europe and will help cement the Granite City’s “energy capital” status. Council leader, Jenny Laing, said: “The new AECC will be a modern and fit-for-purpose facility, attracting bigger names in entertainment and major international events and conferences to the north-east. “So it is fitting that it will be leading in fuel-cell technology. It is great that such an experienced company as Doosan Babcock will be a part of our city’s future.” Fuel cells have become an increasingly popular means to provide heat and power to large commercial, industrial and civic venues without producing such harmful emissions. They work by converting oxygen and hydrogen – usually obtained from natural gas – into “clean” electricity and thermal energy, which is regarded as a more efficient process than producing each separately. Doosan Babcock chief executive, Andrew Hunt, added: “We are thrilled to be involved in such an exciting and transformative project.
Press & Journal 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Solar Agricultural Show
Solar will be at the heart of England’s biggest agricultural show after a 250kW array was installed on the roof of one of Yorkshire’s largest event spaces. A total of 960 panels will supply 190MWh of electricity annually to the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, home to the Great Yorkshire Show. The system was installed on the centre’s newly-built Hall 1, which was completed in June 2016, and is expected to save £20,000 a year in electricity costs.
Solar Portal 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Cambridgeshire County Council Solar Farm
The last remaining solar site funded through first Contracts for Difference auction began generating power before Christmas. A 10MW solar farm owned by Cambridgeshire County Council has connected to the grid, delivering a boost of up to £1m a year for local frontline services.
Business Green 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Cambridgeshire County Council’s 10MW Triangle Solar Farm in Soham began generating in the week before Christmas after a difficult year of delays and spiralling costs. The project originally had a target commissioning date of 1 July 2016 but the council was forced to negotiate an extended deadline with the Low Carbon Contracts Company after struggling to gain grid access, and then saw costs spiral by £500,000 owing to the pound’s drop in value following the Brexit vote.
Solar Portal 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
Sheffield food supplier has become the latest business to take advantage of a unique solar power scheme. Lembas Wholefood Wholesales Co-operative in Heeley is now benefiting from a solar pv project, which uses panels to convert sunlight into electricity, from Sheffield Renewables. The company said the scheme will result in lower energy bills and see a reduction in their carbon footprint. It was made possible through a community share scheme in which environmentally aware individuals and organisations are invited to invest in Sheffield Renewables to help fund solar power opportunities.
Sheffield Telegraph 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
THE Scottish Government must continue to champion the use of solar power, according to WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association Scotland. Their call came as they published figures showing Scotland had achieved two new solar power milestones during 2016, with over 200 megawats (MW) of installed capacity solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems at 50,000-plus locations. But the groups also said that the figures revealed the detrimental impact UK Government policy decisions were having on installed solar capacity north of the border, with 2016 recording the slowest rate of increase since 2011. Analysis of updated figures from Ofgem for 2016 found that Scotland’s installed solar PV capacity now stands at 209MW – a rise of 30MW on the same time last year, but the slowest rate of increase since 2011; Over 49,000 homes and 1,000 business p remises in Scotland now have solar PV arrays fitted, and there are almost 200 community-led solar PV schemes, with a combined installed capacity of 2MW, now exist in Scotland. John Forster, of the Solar Trade Association Scotland said: “Over the past year major policy changes by the UK Government have led to rooftop solar deployment stalling and thousands of jobs lost in the industry. In the coming year, the Scottish Government will have the opportunity to breathe life back into the solar industry with the publication of its new strategy on climate change and energy. We urge them to build on their manifesto pledge to work with industry to expand solar.”
The National 3rd Jan 2017 http://www.thenational.scot/business/14997980.Trade_and_green_groups_tell_Scottish_Government_to_back_solar_power/
More than 50,000 solar power systems have been installed across Scotland; but the tally could have been much higher by now according to WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association. At least 49,000 homes and 1,000 business premises in Scotland now have solar panels fitted. One of the significant commercial installations we recently covered was Mackies Of Scotland’s 1.8MW solar farm. Additionally, there are close to 200 community-led solar PV schemes, with a combined installed capacity of 2MW.
Energy Matters 3rd Jan 2016 read more »
In excess of 200MW of solar has been installed in Scotland across more than 50,000 installations. The Scottish government has been urged to throw its weight behind the country’s solar industry after what WWF Scotland labelled a “landmark year” for renewables. Throughout the course of 2016 WWF Scotland said the country’s renewables industries set a number of new records and firsts, with solar enjoying a particularly fruitful year. Scotland’s largest solar farm in Tayside came on-stream, while the UK’s largest community-owned rooftop solar project was completed in Edinburgh. Those projects contributed towards Scotland’s total solar capacity, which industry body Scottish Renewables said now totalled more than 200MW spread across 50,000 separate installations. And WWF Scotland has urged the Scottish government not to turn its back on the various renewables industries operating in Scotland, even if the UK government has done so through cuts to subsidy support.
Solar Power Portal 3rd Jan 2017 http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/holyrood_urged_to_back_scottish_solar_following_landmark_year
Aberdeenshire is leading Scotland in the potential output of installed solar power systems. WWF Scotland figures show the area has the most solar panel installations of any council area – at more than 4,700. Across the country, there are now more than 50,000 of these systems installed – producing potentially more than 200 megawatts of energy. This is a rise of 30MW, or 17%, on the same time last year, but the slowest rate of increase since 2011.
Original FM 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
United Utilities is considering the feasibility of building a floating solar array adjacent to its Wayoh water treatment works in Edgworth, Lancashire following the success of the 3MW system installed in Godley, Greater Manchester last year. Plans for the 1.5MWp system have been approved in principle by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, leaving the water utility until December 2019 to build the system. Documents submitted to the council show the system would constitute almost 5,500 modules floating on the south end of the Wayoh reservoir, where it would provide electricity to the nearby treatment works for a 25 year period.
Solae Portal 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
Brendon Energy is applying for permissions for a hydropower scheme on the River Exe, projected to generate 450,000kWh of electricity each year, saving 240 tonnes of CO2 yearly. Financial projections indicate a Community Fund of c. £200,000 over the 20 years of the project. The scheme features a ‘fish friendly’ Archimedes screw turbine.
Brendon Energy 2nd Jan 2017 read more »
More communities are producing their own renewable energy, with a 17% increase in nine months, according to a new report. Scotland had 595MW of community and locally-owned renewable capacity in June this year – enough to power about 300,000 homes, the research found. This was a 17% increase on the operational capacity in the last report in September 2015, when the operating capacity was estimated at 508MW. As in previous years, the largest proportion of operational community and locally-owned capacity was on Scottish farms and estates, which produced 41% (244MW), followed by local authorities, which made 18% (108MW). The Energy Saving Trust report, published on December 29, found there are 15,570 locally and community-owned renewables sites in Scotland at present, though more wish to pursue projects. Within those already in place, the two largest power sources continue to be onshore wind (273MW) and biomass (162MW). Business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We have exceeded our 2020 target of achieving 500MW in community and local ownership and, in line with our 2016 election manifesto commitment, we now pledge to double this to 1GW in the same timeframe. “Putting this in context, 1GW would be enough electricity to power half a million homes in Scotland. “Locally-owned renewables have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change in communities across Scotland.
Independent 29th Dec 2016 read more »
Scotsman 29th Dec 2016 read more »
Green Investment Bank loan to finance almost 15,000 low energy LED streetlights with aim of halving Barking and Dagenham’s streetlighting bill, Barking and Dagenham council has secured a £6.8m loan from the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help finance the roll-out of almost 15,000 energy efficient LED streetlights in the East London borough.
Business Green 28th Dec 2016 read more »
Health, housing, anti-poverty and environmental organisations have called for more public money to be spent on making Scotland’s homes energy efficient after a new poll found there was overwhelming backing for more investment to tackle fuel poverty. A survey commissioned by WWF Scotland revealed that 69 per cent of Scots support more public investment in energy efficiency and 87 per cent want to see an end to cold homes in Scotland within a decade. The charity said the findings send a clear message to the Scottish Government that investment must be stepped up to ensure no-one is living in a cold, difficult to heat home. The environmental group is calling for funding for energy efficiency to be increased to £190 million with a total of £4.5 billion of public funds being spent between now and 2025, through subsidised loans, grants for the fuel-poor and other schemes.
Scottish Housing News 4th Jan 2017 read more »
POOR Scots will languish in cold homes for another 25 years unless ministers step up efforts to end fuel poverty, the Scottish Greens claim. Figures published earlier this month show 748,000 households struggle to power their homes. This marks an improvement on the previous year, when 845,000 households had difficulty with heating and lighting. However, the figure is still higher than in 1996, when fuel poverty was first measured, and the Scottish House Condition Survey found 738,000 households were in this category. Now the Greens claim it will take a quarter of a century to eradicate the problem unless the Scottish Government changes its policy. Two working groups have made more than 100 recommendations to the Scottish Government since it missed its target for ending fuel poverty in November. Norman Kerr, director of Energy Action Scotland, wants Holyrood to do more for rural areas and to “develop a new strategy set a new fuel poverty target and increase funding” for this work. He said: “The progress to date on solving the problem of cold, damp and unaffordable to heat homes must not be lost, but can and should be built upon.” Age Scotland deputy chief executive Keith Robson said low energy prices had masked the extent of the problem and warned of the impact of any hikes, saying: “We need a radical transformation of Scotland’s housing stock if we want to ensure that older people can live in safe, warm and comfortable homes which they can afford to heat.” The Greens want warm homes to become a national infrastructure priority, and Wightman called for action to “end the scandal of people being unable to heat their homes in energy-rich Scotland”.
The National 29th Dec 2016 read more »
Campaigners have called for an increase in funding for energy-efficiency measures in Scotland’s homes as a poll shows strong support for the move. WWF Scotland urged ministers to boost investment in improving cold and damp housing in order to slash fuel poverty and help meet climate change targets. A OnePoll survey of 1,000 Scots commissioned by the environmental charity found 69% agreed the Scottish Government should increase spending on improving home energy efficiency, with a further 87% backing an end to cold homes in Scotland by 2025. WWF Scotland has united with health, housing and anti-poverty organisations to back funding for energy efficiency being increased to £190 million, with a total of £4.5 billion of public funds being spent between now and 2025 through subsidised loans, grants for the fuel-poor and other schemes. The group highlights that while the Government’s draft budget for 2017-18 proposes a year-on-year increase in spending on fuel poverty and home energy efficiency to £114 million, it falls short of the £119 million spent in 2015-16.
Aberdeen Evening Express 26th Dec 2016 read more »
Scotsman 26th Dec 2016 read more »
Third Force News 26th Dec 2016 read more »
France opened the world’s first “solar highway” yesterday, a stretch of road covered with panels that convert sunlight into electricity.
Times 24th Dec 2016 read more »
Independent 23rd Dec 2016 read more »