Havering could become the first London council to be powered by solar energy. Plans to develop two solar parks in Gerpins Lane, in Corbets Tey, Upminster, and on the land adjacent to Dagnam Parkin Harold Hill. The renewable energy could generate up to £1million a year for the council and would be used to reduce its running costs while funding frontline services. Residents would also be able to invest in a solar financial investment fund, a scheme which could provide long-term return on investment for individual investors. A proportion of the income generated from the solar farm on the Dagnam Park site, will be transferred to a ring-fenced community fund to maintain and improve the park and the surrounding area.
Romford Recorder 6th Oct 2016 read more »
Exeter Community Energy
Solar panels have been installed on the roof of The Beehive in Honiton and are now supplying the community centre with low-carbon solar energy. The 89 panels installed will provide 25,472 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which will reduce the carbon footprint of the Beehive by 13.5 tonnes a year and cut energy bills. It is the latest installation funded by Exeter Community Energy (ECOE), a not-for-profit social enterprise. The Beehive, Honiton, was one of the last projects that ECOE was able to secure the higher feed-in-tariff last September and had a year in which to complete the project. The project was fully operational just in time for this deadline.
Exeter Express & Echo 6th Oct 2016 read more »
Building Efficiency Standards
Setting a requirement for homes and businesses to meet minimum energy efficiency standards before they can be sold could deliver a £45bn boost to the UK economy while delivering signficant emissions reductions, according to Britain’s energy efficiency sector. The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) is today calling for the government to create a new scheme to provide property owners with appropriate financial and technical assistance in order to meet the proposed efficiency standards. The calls come in a report released today by ACE in which the group warns that due to “successive government failure” to enhance energy efficiency in UK buildings the UK is in danger of missing emissions targets set out in the Fifth Carbon Budget.
Business Green 6th Oct 2016 read more »
New research by the Association for the Conservation of Energy and the Regulatory Assistance Project paints a worrying picture of the UK’s prospects for achieving its carbon targets in the building sector: the Government’s own projections for abatement show that the UK will not meet the 5th Carbon Budget in buildings. We need to de-risk, reform, extend and expand existing policies, but also introduce new instruments – especially mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings when they are sold – in order to speed up carbon abatement in the sector. £45bn is the prize.
ACE 6th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK (mostly Scotland) has ‘multiple gigawatts’ of renewable energy storage projects pumped-up and primed to proceed – but are stalled pending ‘a better (UK) government policy framework’. New data released by the Renewable Energy Association reveals the extent of energy storage deployment and the industry’s future growth in the UK. There are 35 standalone grid-connected projects operating, spanning technologies from lithium-ion batteries (such as those used in mobile phones or electric vehicles) to pumped hydro systems (where water is stored in a reservoir and released through turbines when electricity demand peaks). At least 1,500 smaller, residential-scale projects are also recorded. The cumulative electricity storage capacity operating in the UK is currently 3.23-GW. At least 453 MW of energy storage capacity has been announced as under construction or being commissioned, in addition to the 200 MW of “enhanced frequency response” storage that was contracted by National Grid last month.
Scottish Energy News 6th Oct 2016 read more »
Switching to a low-carbon economy offers cities “significant economic opportunities”, an assessment says. Low-carbon markets was worth US $33bn (£26bn) to London’s economy, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) said in its latest report. However, collaboration between public and private sectors was an essential ingredient needed to deliver economic growth and carbon cuts, it observed. The findings examined the commitments made by 533 cities around the world. The report, It Takes a City: The Case for Collaborative Climate Action, added that the cities spread over 89 nations had identified more than 1,000 economic opportunities linked to climate change. Almost 300 cities featured in the report were also developing new business industries, such as clean technology. CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, describes itself as “an international, not-for-profit organization providing the global system for companies, cities, states and regions to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information”. The report was published by CDP and AECOM, a multinational engineering firm, and sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Maia Kutner, head of cities at CDP, said that many cities were already collaborating with businesses so there was “no need to reinvent the wheel” in order to get the two sides talking to each other. A report commissioned by the mayor of London in 2013 suggested that the low-carbon sector was worth in excess of £25bn to the city, and had recorded “solid growth” during the economic downturn. Government figures estimate that the sector could double in size by the middle of the next decade. Other UK cities highlighted as looking to benefit from reducing carbon emissions include Birmingham and Manchester. Earlier this year, a report suggested that Leeds should be the first UK city to convert its gas grid to hydrogen to help meet carbon reduction targets. Globally, the most popular carbon-reduction measure was finding ways to use energy more efficiently.
BBC 5th Oct 2016 read more »
Solar could be the lowest cost form of energy generation in 2020. That’s according to a report by the Solar Trade Association (STA) which quantifies the cost of integrating solar into the UK power market today and in a 2030 scenario, where this source provides above 10% of the country’s annual electricity. STA’s analysis shows that today the cost of integrating solar into the power system, including back-up, is at £1.30 per MWh. If solar reaches 40GW in 2030, which is more than 10% of the country’s annual electricity, that figure would rise to just £6 or £7 per MWh. The report also shows integrating solar into a more decentralised, flexible, smarter power system, including batteries, delivers more benefits than costs to the system.
Energy Live News 5th Oct 2016 read more »
A new study shows that the cost of ‘integrating’ the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system.
Ecologist 4th Oct 2016 read more »
A new report commissioned by the Solar Trade Association debunks the myth that it is not cost-effective to integrate sun power into National Grid. The Aurora Energy analysis – published today to coincide with the UK Tory party conference, where all energies routinely lobby the government – shows that the cost of integrating solar into the power system, including ‘back-up’, is negligible at only £1.30 per MWh, or less than 2% of the costs of solar. This report quantifies for the first time the negligible cost of integrating solar into the UK power market, both today and in a 2030 scenario where solar provides over 10% of British electricity.
Scottish Energy News 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Solar outstrips coal
Electricity generated by solar panels on fields and homes outstripped Britain’s ageing coal power stations over the past six months in a historic first. Climate change analysts Carbon Brief found more electricity came from the sun than coal from April to the end of September, in a report that highlighted the two technologies’ changing fortunes. Solar had already eclipsed coal for a day in April and then for the whole month of May, with coal providing zero power for the first time in more than 100 years for several days in May. The latest milestone saw an estimated 6,964 gigawatt hours (GWh) generated by solar over the half -year, or 5.4% of the UK’s electricity demand. Coal produced 6,342GWh, or 4.7%. The trend will not continue into winter because of solar’s seasonal nature, but the symbolic records reveal the dramatic impacts solar subsidies and environmental penalties for coal have wrought.
Guardian 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Independent 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Renew Economy 5th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK’s solar panels generated more electricity than coal across the past six months combined, Carbon Brief analysis shows, rounding off a historic half-year of firsts. Saturday 9 April 2016 was the first-ever day where more electricity was generated in the UK by solar than by coal. May 2016 was the first-ever month. The three months from June through to September was the first-ever quarter. And now the six months to September is the first half year. These firsts reflect the changing face of UK electricity supplies, with solar capacity having nearly doubled during 2015. They also reflect historic lows for coal-fired generation, driven by changes in wholesale energy markets and the carbon price floor. Carbon Brief runs through the numbers.
Carbon Brief 4th Oct 2016 read more »
More than a quarter of a million Europeans could be producing their own energy by the middle of the century if certain policies are pursued, a new report has found. According to calculations by Dutch consultancy CE Delft, households and businesses could meet 45% of the continent’s power demand using their own solar panels and wind turbines. The study, commissioned by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Federation, Friends of the Earth and REScoop.eu, sees so-called ‘energy citizens’ producing 611 TWh of electricity by 2030 — a fifth of Europe’s forecast demand. That number could grow to 1,557TWh over the subsequent two decades, boosting energy independence and supporting countries’ renewable energy and climate change targets.
Energydesk 26th Sept 2016 read more »
Half of Europeans could have solar panels on their roofs by 2050 and be self-sufficient when it comes to their energy needs. And the trend won’t stop there as small-scale energy cooperatives bring in eight times more revenue to local authorities than big utilities, argues Dirk Vansintjan. Dirk Vansintjan is President of the European Federation for Renewable Energy Cooperatives (REScoop.eu). He spoke to EurActiv.com’s publisher and editor, Frédéric Simon.
Euractiv 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Home battery storage company Moixa has launched a solar storage offer to protect households from rising prices. The package allows customers to benefit from the smart power revolution and claims to save them £350 per year in electricity costs. It includes a 2kWh Moixa smart battery with a 2kW solar PV system, costing £4,995 to buy and install. Customers will also receive £50 annual payments for making their battery capacity available through Moixa’s grid share aggregation platform – helping to balance demand and reduce the need for back-up power from coal, oil and gas.
Utility Week 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Edie 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Business Green 4th Oct 2016 read more »
The UK now boasts 35 standalone grid-scale storage projects and at least 1,500 residential storage units, according to new industry data. A report released today by trade body the Renewable Energy Association (REA) found that as of August this year there was a total of 3.23GW of storage capacity in operation across the country, with technologies spanning from lithium-ion batteries to pumped hydro systems.
Business Green 4th Oct 2016 read more »
Homes and businesses across 11 local authority areas will be warmer and cheaper to heat thanks to over £9 million of Scottish Government funding. Councils have been awarded the funding to pilot new and innovative approaches to drive down energy bills and tackle climate change, but most of the money will be spent on insulation. Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pathfinder Fund is being directed at businesses, community groups and individuals working and living in areas with particularly high levels of fuel poverty.
Scottish Energy News 3rd Oct 2016 read more »
A brand-new market is growing for home batteries that make it possible for British homeowners to store energy generated by solar panels and other renewable sources. The “Powerwall” battery, from Tesla, the pioneering automotive company founded by Elon Musk, is now going on sale in Britain. But one Oxford couple have already found their own DIY way to store the energy generated by their solar panels. Brian and Ruth Willis have had conventional solar panels on their roof for four years. Then earlier this year they installed a new system, which makes it possible for them to use their solar energy to heat and light their home day or night, rain or shine. The 12 ground-based solar panels are in a south-facing area and angled so that they collect the maximum amount of energy possible during the spring and summer. The energy is then stored in 28 batteries kept in a covered enclosure outside the house. The 16 rooftop panels are capable of producing a peak output of 4kW. This is used to power and heat the house during the day. The power source is then switched over to the ground-based panels and batteries every evening.
Telegraph 1st Oct 2016 read more »
Powering your home from sunlight is a dream shared by many, but cost-prohibitive for most. Solar energy might be free, but only after you pay for the panels, inverters, and storage systems, andpay someone to install it all. But what if you could subsidize some of the upfront cost by agreeing to sell back a fraction of your power to the grid? That’s the idea behind CrowdNett, a new energy service announced today by Eneco in The Netherlands. An estimated 400,000 homes in The Netherlands already have solar panels installed. Eneco is offering those homes discounted Tesla Powerwalls — €4,500 euro installed, instead of €7,000 — in an effort to build a “virtual power plant” of 400 networked batteries. The power can then be tapped as reserve capacity to help national grid providers cope with constant fluctuations on grid load, reserves usually provided by environmentally unfriendly sources like gas- or coal-fired power plants. CrowdNett participants will receive a payment of €450 a year for a guaranteed period of five years in return for 30 percent of each Powerwall’s capacity — an amount “you will barely notice in everyday practice,” according to Eneco. Ampard will provide the software that redirects CrowdNett power reserves back to the grid, as the company has already done in its home country of Switzerland.
The Verge 30th Sept 2016 read more »
Community energy is a crucial element in the refurbishment of housing, says report based on research by the Carbon Co-op. Retrofit Fact-file is a summary of facts and publications relevant to retrofit – the upgrading of existing homes to new energy-efficient standards – and draws on the Manchester community energy co-op’s practical work in this area. The report, drawn up by urban design and sustainability co-op URBED, showed that energy-efficient retrofits may help tackle environmental and social issues while attracting investment and creating jobs. The issue is an important one, with housing accounting for 29% of final energy consumptionand links between cold housing and poor health. The report confirmed the findings of the Community Green Deal project, which saw the Carbon Co-op organise energy-efficient retrofits. Local owner occupiers benefited from multiple whole-house retrofit measures, such as external wall insulation, triple-glazed windows and solar panels. Energy-efficient retrofits have ambitious carbon emission reduction targets, with the report estimating that Carbon Co-op homes save an average £900 a year on their bills and cut gas use by nearly half.
Co-op New 29th Sept 2016 read more »