Hertfordshire-based company Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has announced its first UK contract to build and support a battery energy storage system. The company will install and maintain a 640kWh battery system next to a 1.5MW solar park just south of Glastonbury in Somerset. The £1m system will help balance supply and demand between the solar park and the local grid. The project is part of a major initiative being run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) – the electricity distributor for the Midlands, the South West and South Wales – to investigate the technical and commercial feasibility of battery energy storage combined within distributed generation installations in the UK. According to RES, using energy storage in this way offers huge potential to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of grid operations without the need for public or Government subsidy. It also has the potential to improve access to the grid for low-carbon energy sources at the least cost to consumers. RES already operates nine similar projects around the globe, with total energy storage capability of up to 48MWh.
Edie 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Business Green 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Solar Portal 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Renewable Energy Focus 8th Jan 2016 read more »
One of the first industrial-scale battery storage facilities is to be developed in the UK in a joint project by British Solar Renewables (BSR) and Western Power Distribution (WPD). This £1 million project will demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of directly linking a major battery storage facility, a solar park and the electricity network.
Scottish Energy News 8th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has embarked on a new drive to ensure the country’s commercial buildings live up to the performance standards promised by developers. The trade body yesterday launched a research project to examine how better design and construction practices can boost the performance of non-domestic buildings during their lifetime.
Business Green 7th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK building industry has launched a new research project that aims maximise building performance in terms of energy efficiency and overall environmental impact. Led by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the project will examine the way the industry designs, constructs and operates non-domestic buildings. The research will encourage UKGBC members to explore what companies are already doing to address the issue of building performance, seek out best practice, and identify gaps and barriers that need to be overcome across the whole industry. A key area of focus will be reducing the gap that exists between a buildings expected performance and its actual performance.
Edie 6th Jan 2016 read more »
National Trust Solar
A new solar array has begun to provide energy to Bodnant Garden, which has become the latest National Trust site to benefit from the charity’s efforts to reduce overall energy use by 2020. The 175 panel installation has been placed on a rocky hillside at the site where it provides electricity to the Pavilion café as well as two car charging points. The free power is also being used to recharge the batteries of power tools used onsite.
Solar Portal 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Many in the solar industry have returned from the festive break still uncertain over how the new feed-in tariff system will work, according to senior industry figures. With just over a week to go until the current Feed-in Tariff (FiT) ends ahead of the introduction of a new regime in February, solar industry representatives have warned the industry is still in the dark over how many areas of the new incentive regime will work.
Business Green 7th January 2016 read more »
Britain generated more electricity from sunshine than from rain for the first time last year. Solar farms contributed 7.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of electrical energy, pipping the 6.84 TWh produced by hydro-electric stations, according to an annual study of electricity generation. Wind, however, beat both sun and hydro combined, generating 32.4 TWh – or 10 per cent of the nation’s entire electricity needs. Total generation by all forms of renewable energy including biomass came close to the levels of nuclear generation, while coal-fired power stations’ contribution hit a 64-year low. While wind farms were by far the biggest renewable energy provider, solar produced the biggest increase in production, more than doubling from 3.4 TWh in 2014. Developers rushed to get solar farms built to beat the deadline after which subsidies were slashed. Total consumption dropped 9 per cent over the past five years to 310.6 TWh because of energy efficiency measures and the closure of large industrial users. While only a modest contributor of the nation’s energy, hydro – the first British renewable – was responsible for 1.5 per cent of total generation as long ago as 1972.
Times 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Official data from National Grid shows that generation from renewable energy in the UK has continued to grow and could overtake levels of nuclear generation in 2016. While electricity generation from conventional and nuclear power plants still dominate in the UK, the growth in wind energy and solar power helped the renewables sector to reach a generation share of 21 per cent in 2015. With coal-fired and nuclear generation set to fall, generation from renewables will surpass that from the nuclear sector this year, says EnAppSys, which compiles the data. Wind farms provided the largest volume of renewable generation with 32 TWh, up 15 per cent from 2014, and set new weekly and monthly and quarterly records.
Modern Power Systems 7th Jan 2016 read more »
LEDs for London
Minimise Energy has won a series of contracts to supply and install LED lighting across a number of London sites, including 18 of the capital’s fire stations under the Mayor of London’s RE:FIT programme. APC’s energy efficiency technology business will supply and install new lighting at 18 stations as part of the London Fire Brigade’s first phase of upgrades the Mayor’s scheme. The framework is designed to reduce carbon emissions in Greater London and lead to energy savings of around 385,982kWh across all 18 locations. The London Fire Brigade contracts, worth over £1.15m, are not the only new work to be won by Minimise Energy, which has also been contracted by existing client Royal Mail Group to supply and install LED lighting solutions at five new sites. The company will also carry out similar work at a London university after winning work from Cofely Energy Services. LED lighting will be installed at three of its largest buildings and is also delivered under the Mayor of London’s RE:FIT framework.
Clean Energy News 7th Jan 2015 read more »
Feed-in Tariff Fight
Baroness Featherstone, a former Liberal Democrat coalition minister, has tabled a “regret motion” calling for the cuts to the “feed-in tariff” subsidies to be rescinded. If the motion wins the support of Labour and significant numbers of cross-benchers, it could see the government defeated in the Lords. The prime minister’s ruling party has a majority in the House of Commons, where the Lib Dems were reduced to a pitiful rump of eight MPs in May’s general election. Yet the Tories are outnumbered in the upper chamber, with 251 Tory peers to 213 Labour and 111 Lib Dem – out of 822 Lords and Baronesses.
FT 6th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK solar industry has been warned not to get its hopes up after motions were laid to annul the government’s feed-in tariff cuts. Yesterday it was revealed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone laid motions in the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively, ‘praying’ for the statutory instrument containing the cuts to be annulled.
Solar Portal 7th Jan 2016 read more »
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone have both laid motions in an attempt to block the government’s controversial feed-in tariff cuts. The Labour leader laid an early day motion (EDM) yesterday with the support of shadow DECC ministers Lisa Nandy, Alan Whitehead, Clive Lewis, Barry Gardiner and chief whip Rosie Winterton. The EDM has been tabled at the same time Baroness Featherstone laid a non-fatal motion within the House of Lords in an attempt to annul the statutory instrument.
Solar Portal 6th Jan 2016 read more »
The government has been urged to revisit proposals to ban sending food waste to landfill, after it emerged the parliamentary estate already ensures much of its food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to produce green gas and fertiliser. A parliamentary question last month from Labour’s Melanie Onn to the Liberal Democrat’s Tom Brake who represents the cross-party House of Commons Commission, revealed catering food waste produced on the parliamentary estate is processed into biogas. The news was welcomed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), but the group also argued ministers should now take steps to ensure more institutions follow parliament’s lead and ensure food waste is not sent to landfill. The previous government rejected proposals for a ban on food waste to landfill and while some councils offer food waste collection services many still send waste food to landfill where it leads to greenhouse gas emissions.
Business Green 6th Jan 2016 read more »
The goal of Renewable Cities is to triple, across five years, the number of cities that have 100 percent renewable energy targets. We’re doing this via two strategies. First, we’re active contributors to the Global 100%RE campaign coordinated by the World Future Council. We heard a lot in Paris about this concept of going big with 100 percent renewables—especially at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies. So we work through, and with, that campaign, and in the coming year we’ll contribute to it with measurements and metrics. And second, because we’re a program of Simon Fraser University’s Center for Dialogue, we’re very focused on convening diverse international players around the table for rich policy conversations. It’s a challenging approach, but we think it’s the best way to go.
Globe 2016 6th Jan 2016 read more »
With over half a million solar installations in the UK it is inevitable that some will, on occasion, experience technical problems. The vast majority of solar companies are adept at carrying out repairs and in many cases work will be covered by warranty or insurance policy. However, following the closure of a number of solar firms last year in the wake of the government’s controversial solar subsidy cuts, some customers have been left asking what happens if a solar panel experiences a fault and the original installer has gone out of business? That is the question the Solar Trade Association (STA) is seeking to answer with the launch of a new ‘Solar Repair Agreement’ designed to make it easier for installers to repair and maintain solar arrays that they did not originally install.
Business Green 5th Jan 2016 read more »
Demand Management – Scotland
Green groups, opposition parties and renewable energy industry bodies have unanimously called on the Scottish Government to embrace ‘demand response’ energy efficiency measures in favour of building more costly and dirty fossil fuel power stations. WWF Scotland, Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Greens have all told edie of the need for the nation’s political parties to commit to a comprehensive national strategy to help homes and businesses reduce and manage their demand for electricity. Universities, banks, supermarkets and datacentres could act as ‘virtual power plants’, voluntarily lowering their demand for electricity and therefore avoiding the need to turn on conventional power stations, the organisations claim. “It’s far cheaper to reduce our electricity demand than it is to build new power stations that are only used for short periods of time,” said W WF Scotland’s climate and policy officer Gina Hanrahan. “If we want to cut consumer bills and lower climate emissions then demand reduction must be a central part of any future energy strategy. “Scotland’s political parties need to commit to a national strategy to help consumers and businesses cut their demand for electricity by at least 1% a year to 2030.”
Edie 5th Jan 2016 read more »
Scotland’s Solar Capacity
Scotland’s solar capacity has risen by over a quarter in the last year, an increase of almost 9,000 per cent since 2010, reveal new figures from Ofgem. The statistics, published by WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association Scotland (STA Scotland), show that over 40,000 homes and 850 businesses have solar systems fitted, with overall capacity reaching 179MW, a rise of 28 per cent, while capacity on homes now stands at 159MW. The 2015 figures are in stark contrast to the 2MW of solar capacity Scotland had in 2010, while WWF Scotland and the STA Scotland have called on the Scottish Government to do all it can to help encourage the recent solar surge in the country, stating that the installations can aid annual CO2 emissions reductions.
EnergyZine 5th Jan 2016 read more »
H&V News 5th Jan 2016 read more »
Letter: It has been a long wait for detail of how we tackle the UK’s dire fuel poverty problem. A new government strategy was published last January, with more revealed in the Autumn Statement and then Paris last month. There is much ambition, and a list of long-term targets. The historic Paris agreement will require countries to limit their emissions, and the UK still plans to have dealt with our fuel-poor homes by 2030. But still very little is known of the detail. The Autumn Statement set targets to improve 200,000 fuel-poor homes per year, albeit with a continued fall in eco investment. We remain in a woeful position in Europe, with only Estonia having a higher rate of fuel poverty. And the biggest single reason for poor energy efficiency is the quality of UK housing. Across England, there are 2.3m households living in fuel poverty. The number of winter death s will give this unresolved problem the scrutiny it needs once again. Fuel poverty can only be reduced by focusing on the energy efficiency and energy bills of those in fuel poverty, especially low-income vulnerable households. Greater detail is needed quickly for a number of reasons. First, all major energy efficiency programmes only run until 2017, so we need to work out the best ways to maximise future investment. Government investment over the next five years represents only half of what the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group felt was needed to meet 2030 targets, before it was disbanded last year. Others need to come together to meet this investment gap – investment from health, housing and environmental partners that will benefit financially from a country of warmer homes.
FT 3rd Jan 2016 read more »
A study just published in the International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management says that renewable energy auctions do not reduce costs of renewable energy projects any more than conventional feed-in tariffs.
Dave Toke’s Blog 29th Dec 2015 read more »