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The recently released renewables ouput figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change have shown a significant increase in output from the sector throughout the UK. Commenting on these figures, Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:
“The figures show that even in an exceptionally dry and calm year, renewables still met over 30 per cent of the annual demand for electricity from every home and business in Scotland. This reinforces that the sector is now a major part of our energy mix, and a significant part of our economy.”Read: UK Renewables Output up by 50% In 2011
A UK based company has come up with a novel way to encourage farmers and businesses to install solar panels on barns and car ports. Lumicity are offering to build new barns and car ports up to the value of £40,000 in return for reaping the rewards from the solar panels that they will install and connect to the national grid.Read: Discounted Barns in Exchange for Solar Energy
Several leading European organisations – including the NNFCC have joined forces on a £12.3 million, four and a half year project called Energetic Algae (EnAlgae).
EnAlgae will establish a series of pilot scale seaweed farms and microalgae growth facilities in the region to provide the crucial information needed to assess the productivity of algae production in North West Europe.
Date Posted 06 Sep 2011
Story Source Dr Matthew Aylott, NNFCC
Munich based renewable energy company Renerco has just completed the purchase of its second UK wind farm.
The purchase of Kildrummy wind farm in Scotland was completed under a framework agreement with German utility giant RWE. The 8 wind turbine, c. 18 Megawatt wind farm is located 50km west of Aberdeen and construction is due to start in early 2012. The wind farm construction contract negotiation is currently underway.Read: German Company Renerco Buys UK Wind Farms
Local councils will soon be able to keep the business rates from wind farms if the idea is received well by the public.
A new consultation by the Department of Communities and Local government is looking for feedback on the proposals to change the way local government is funded by introducing the retention of business rates.Read: Local Councils to keep Business Rates from Wind Farms
British company Wind Prospect has won a bid to develop the largest solar powered energy plant in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Australian arm of the renewable energy company made the bid as part of the ‘Solar Dawn Consortium‘ alongside Areva and CS Energy.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the announcement following an 18-month competitive process which started in late 2009.Read: British Firm Wins Australian Solar Thermal Bid
The new feed in tariff rates for small scale renewable energy were confirmed today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The revised Feed In Tariff rates are due to be implemented on 1st August 2011.
The rate for larger scale solar energy projects of 250 kW – 5MW has been dramatically reduced from 30.7 pence per kWh to 8.5 pence. As a result the UK is unlikely to see proposals for ground based solar parks of this scale.Read: New UK Renewable Energy Tariff Rates Confirmed
The report recommends that “if a set of alternative options can be found to meet the EU renewable energy target, then offshore wind ambition in 2020 could be moderated.”
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, said:Read: Further Doubt for UK Offshore Wind Industry
British renewable energy trade association RenewableUK is launching a campaign to urge the Government not to cut funding for Britain’s marine energy sector.
The ‘SeaPower’ campaign is being unveiled at the world’s largest wave and tidal energy conference and exhibition, which is being held in London this week. The keynote speaker is the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker.
RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Development Manager, Oliver Wragg, said:
“Our new report, “Wave and Tidal Energy in the UK” shows that Britain has the opportunity to lead the world in developing the emerging marine energy industry. This sector has the potential to employ 10,000 people and generate revenues of nearly £4bn per year by 2020. The removal of £42 million of ring-fenced funding through the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) means that there will be no guaranteed support for the development of this technology from the end of March this year.”Read: UK Marine Energy Funding Under Threat
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has this week predicted that the EU will exceed its target of 20% of energy from renewable energy by 2020.
Justin Wilkes from EWEA said that all 27 National Renewable Energy Action Plans have been submitted to the European Commission and that EWEA has done an analysis of the plans.Read: EU Set to Exceed 2020 Renewable Energy Target
With areas of UK forestry mooted suitable for commercial development – the coaltion government has spotted a opportunity to sell off this publically owned asset for a quick buck.
Many forests owned by the Forestry Commission are potentially suitable for tourism, leisure and renewable energy projects such as wind farms, as well as commercial forestry. Indeed such projects already exist in the UK’s publically owned forests from wind farms to Go Ape ‘tree top adventures’.Read: Government to sell English Forests for Quick Buck
UK electricity reform proposals to abolish the Renewables Obligation in place of a new Feed in Tariff have been met with a concerned response.
The new UK electricity reform ‘Feed in Tariff with Contract for Difference’ (FIT CFD) announced last week is set to replace the Renewables Obligation (RO) for renewable energy projects built after 2017. More costly renewable energy technologies such as offshore wind energy are expected to receive a premium rate.
The government is also proposing fast- tracking the next adjustment to the RO to apply from Spring 2013. The announcements have caused unease in the UK renewables sector, although the market reform changes will not necessarily apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland.Read: Concerned Response to UK Electricity Reform Proposals
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today announced the reform of the UK electricity market.
Huhne says the reforms are necessary to deal with increased electricity demand, ageing power stations and the need for low carbon energy sources in order to meet climate change challenges. The changes are likely to mean new feed in tariffs for larger scale low carbon technologies.
The government believes that all low carbon electricity generation needs support to capture its benefits to our climate and to ensure security of supply. The department of energy and climate change want the true costs of unabated fossil fuels and the benefits of low carbon electricity to be captured in policy.Read: UK Electricity Reform to introduce new Feed in Tariff
The new UK Localism Bill was launched by the Department of Communities and Local Government today.
The primary aim of the Localism Bill is to devolve power to local councils, neighbourhoods and elected mayors.
The reforms include a new right of local people to challenge their local councils – to take over services, a new right to bid to buy local assets such as libraries, pubs and shops and a new right to veto excessive council tax rises through a referendum.
At the same time however, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced council budget reductions of around 10% telling authorities to share services or outsource.
Pickles said:Read: UK Localism Bill Launched
The Guardian reported this week that Mitsubishi has taken over the Scottish renewable energy technology company Artemis Intelligent Power.
The Japanese company has said that the move will lead to an investment of £100m over 5 years and an additional 200 green jobs.Read: Mitsubishi Aquires Scottish R&D Company
UK Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles unlawfully used his powers to abolish regional plans, the High Court has ruled this week.
In an embarassing blow to the government the High Court upheld a challenge by housebuilder CALA homes to the government saying they had no right to wipe out the whole tier of regional plans without going through the proper channels. The result is that the government will be required to introduce primary legislation to formally revoke the regional plans.Read: Pickles Guilty of Abusing Powers
UK renewable energy trade organisation RenewableUK told its members this week that anti- wind farm campaigners could cost the country £1.3bn.
A report, produced by Garrard Hassan and commissioned by RenewableUK says that England has the potential to see £1.3bn in investment that will directly create jobs and opportunities for local companies, funds for community activities and increased business rates for local authorities. However according to RenewableUK this is being threatened by the actions of anti-wind farm campaigners. The £1.3bn figure represents money that would flow directly to businesses and organisations at the local and regional level.Read: Anti-wind energy campaigners to cost England over £1.3bn
Early micro-renewable energy generators are angry at the government for doing a U turn on promises relating to feed in tariffs (FITs).
The Tories and LibDems both promised equal FIT rates to early adopters of renewable energy in the run up to the general election. Now the coalition government has gone back on its word and the microgenerator’s campaign is calling on early adopters to let their MPs know how angry they are.Read: Early Renewable Energy Adopters Angry at Government U Turn
A leading development company has accused Eric Pickles of abusing his powers in the High Court.
According to Planning Magazine, Peter Village QC acting for housebuilder CALA accused the communities secretary of unlawfully ditching the plans and striking “at the heart of parliamentary democracy“.
Last month CALA homes launched the challenge against the Government’s decision to scrap regional plans….Read: Pickles Accused of Abusing Power
The UK coalition government has re-issued national policy statements for energy.
The original draft statements were released for consultation by the Labour government late last year but have now been revisited and changed by the current government. The 6 changed energy documents are now being consulted on with the deadline for comments 24th January 2011.Read: UK Government issues Changed Energy Policy Guidance