District Heating

Bristol City Council has unveiled ambitious plans to connect its first evert commercial housing development site to an existing heat network, in a move that will enable developers to use low-carbon heat sources for building while generating income for the council.

Edie 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Renewables – offshore wind

Offshore wind could become Britain’s cheapest source of renewable power within a decade as planning constraints prevent the deployment of larger, more cost-efficient turbines onshore, new research has found. Based on current trends, Cornwall Insights has forecast the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for offshore wind to fall below that of onshore wind in 2028.

Edie 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Renewables – marine

Marine energy projects in Wales have lost out on investment since the UK government cut financial support, according to a UK industry body. Ring-fenced UK government subsidies for marine energy ended in 2016. A report by the Marine Energy Council said the UK industry could be worth £76bn by 2050 and produce 22,600 jobs by 2040, with Wales as a key player. The UK government has been asked to comment. The Welsh Government said it was time for the UK government to rethink its energy policy and look “seriously at the viability of marine technology projects in Wales”. Even though investment in marine energy in Wales rose overall to £68.3m in 2017, chairman of the council Sue Barr said they estimated the country was missing out on millions of pounds of further private investment.

BBC 31st Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Renewables

COMPANIES around Europe have signed almost 5GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind farms – almost equivalent to the total wind energy capacity of Denmark and enough to power 35 million homes. PPAs were only launched in 2014 and, although they were mostly in the ICT sector, others are following suit, according to WindEurope, the voice of the industry. The agreements give industrial customers long-term energy supplies at fixed prices and although most are for around 15 years, Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro signed a 29-year deal in 2018 with a company in Sweden. In Scotland, Telecoms group BT has five PPAs, all related to ICT, and Mars, Nestle, HSBC and Sainsbury’s all have one apiece. Environmental campaign group, WWF Scotland, welcome the rise in PPAs. Gina Hanrahan, its head of policy, said: “We know that big businesses in Scotland understand the risks of dangerous climate change and the financial benefits of tackling it. Shareholders and customers are demanding action. That’s why it’s fantastic to see more and more companies opting to go green by purchasing renewable power directly. “This is helping to cut bills and provide clear routes to market for renewable energy projects.” The PPA news came a week after WWF released a report from Vivid Economics, which showed that Scotland had multiple options to end its climate emissions by 2045.

The National 31st Jan 2019 read more »

Dave Elliott: Renewables are doing quite well in the UK, supplying around 33% of the nation’s electricity, but there are worries whether the energy transition can continue. Business Green’s editor recently said: “The policy framework that delivered the first phase of this historic transition is fast running out of road…those ministers hailing the success of the UK’s clean energy transition have been dining out on the policy decisions made by their predecessors. Since 2015 there has been a steady erosion of this policy framework”. That’s pretty much what I also say in my new book on UK renewables policy, although I argue that the problems started much further back. A long way back – there’s been a long history of errors, backtracking and lost opportunities. With the UK nuclear programme now in tatters, the issue of what to do next takes on a new urgency. Renewables are waiting in the wings to help. RenewableUK says that around 4.5 GW of onshore wind projects already have local planning permission but have been blocked from CfD support. SSE’s CEO has argued that we need to be more ambitious about offshore wind. PV solar can also be expanded. Wave and tidal power need more support. So does biomass anaerobic digestion (AD) and combined heat and power (CHP). As the head of the National Infrastructure Commission has said, all of that — and much else — needs revisiting and a new approach. Hopefully, it will be more coherent and effective than those in the past.

Physics World 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Renewables – solar

According to a new report from Agora Energiewende and Sandbag, the EU solar market grew around 60%, or 10 GW, last year. The analysis also predicts that total solar demand across all EU PV markets will continue to grow due to lower module prices, and that it may reach an annual volume of 30 GW within four years. Meanwhile, solar has reportedly achieved a 4% share in the EU electricity mix.

PV Magazine 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Energy Efficiency

A series of innovative technologies designed to cut Britain’s industrial energy use have been awarded a total of £2.7m of government funding. Seven schemes, ranging from greener cement mixes to electrolysed cold water and waste heat recovery technologies, were awarded the funding today from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as part of the department’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA).

Business Green 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

EVs

ScottishPower has become the latest energy company to debut a dedicated tariff for electric vehicle (EV) owners that promises to help them cut the cost of running a zero emission vehicle. The company said the exclusive new tariff would allow EV owners to access discounted charging during off peak hours, taking advantage of cheaper electricity rates through their smart meter for the first time. It calculated that making use of the tariff would cut the cost of driving a mile in an EV to a tenth of the cost of driving a petrol car the same distance. Dubbed SmartPower Green EV January 2021, the tariff will provide discounted power between the hours of midnight and 5am. A smart EV charger developed by Wallbox and installed by ScottishPower will also allowing charging to be scheduled in advance through an accompanying smartphone app.

Business Green 31st Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Transport

Global transport emissions could peak in the 2030s if railways are “aggressively” expanded, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). Rail is among the most efficient and lowest emitting modes of transport, according to the IEA’s new report focusing on the opportunities it offers for energy and the environment. In particular, urban and high-speed rail hold “major promise to unlock substantial benefits”, the report says, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, congestion and air pollution.

Carbon Brief 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Fossil Fuels

Green campaigners have been left dismayed as a Chinese firm announced the discovery of the biggest gas field in the North Sea for more than a decade. Drilling revealed gas reserves equivalent to 250 million barrels of oil, which could go a long way to supplying the UK’s demand. But with the nation facing strict targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement, environmentalists said it was time for an end to fossil fuel extraction in UK waters. “Scientists couldn’t be clearer that, of the fossil fuels we have found, we need to leave 80 per cent in the ground if we have any hope of meeting targets that will deliver on the Paris agreement,” said Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth. This comes after a warning by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that nations around the world, including the UK, must stop burning fossil fuels by around 2030 to avoid catastrophic warming. “We need to be really clear about this – if these companies were to exploit this new find, and if these fossil fuels were to get burned, that will mean many more people will die because of the impacts of climate change,” said Mr Bennett.

Independent 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019

Just Transition

For every step the global economy makes towards lower emissions and a safer future, workers in high carbon industries become more at risk of underemployment and redundancy. Ensuring that worker training moves in lockstep with the economy’s low-carbon transition is therefore essential, not only for the livelihoods of those workers, but for keeping the social fabric of nations intact and ensuring political support for rapid decarbonisation is maintained. It was this challenge that formed a central narrative at COP24 last December in Katowice. Pushed by the Polish Presidency – concerned, rightly, about the fate of the nation’s influential coal industry – and eerily echoed by a backdrop of riots in Paris initially sparked by opposition to new carbon taxes, nations at the UN climate summit promised to do everything possible to “ensure a decent future for workers impacted by the transition while working to ensure sustainable development and community renewal”. The Silesia Declaration stressed the “just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs are crucial to ensure an effective and inclusive transition to low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development”.

Business Green 30th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 31 January 2019