Renewables – solar

Letter Paul Barwell, CEO, Solar Trade Association; Andrew McCornick, President, NFU Scotland; Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland; Dr Richard Dixon, Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland and others. Scotland’s bold ambitions for renewable energy in the draft Scottish Energy Strategy are warmly welcome. Confidence among investors in UK renewables has been damaged by regressive policy change emanating from Westminster, particularly for the most affordable clean technologies; wind and solar. It is therefore more important than ever that the Scottish Government uses all the powers at its disposal to help restore jobs and vitality to these important industries, while delivering the cheapest clean power for the Scottish people. Rooftop solar provides an exceptionally cost-effective, popular, community-based solution with the potential for a staggering 40GW of rooftop capacity across Scotland. However, solar deployment on Scottish rooftops lags far behind both national and European deployment. One of the reasons for this is the particularly harsh tax treatment of rooftop solar on Scot tish businesses and public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals. Indeed business rates in Scotland for these larger solar roofs are currently 10 times those south of the Border (although Westminster threatens similar treatment) and these taxes do not apply in Europe. This is an own goal that needlessly puts the Scottish solar industry at a competitive disadvantage and denies Scottish business an important opportunity to invest for energy and carbon savings. The Scottish Government has the power to lay simple secondary legislation to exempt rooftop solar cells and panels from business rates and it should not hesitate to do so. The abrupt loss of national support for solar means the economics is now fragile, but decisive action on business rates would go a very long way to enabling new solar jobs and solar rooftops to blossom across Scotland. We urge ministers to now use their powers.

Herald 27th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 March 2017

Renewables – fuel cells

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer announced it has completed installation of its fifth biogas-powered fuel cell system in California – and in the country – at its East Palo Alto location in the San Francisco Bay Area. Furthering the Swedish retailer’s investment in fuel cell technology, this project complements the company’s focus on other renewable energies such as solar and wind. With the East Palo Alto fuel cell system installed, commissioned and operational, IKEA is on track to generate 1.5 MW in total of energy via fuel cells, supplementing onsite solar arrays atop all these stores.

Esolar 16th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 March 2017

Energy Storage

A German coal mine will be converted into giant “battery station” to store enough renewable energy to power some 400,000 homes. The Prosper-Haniel pit in the state of North Rhine Westphalia near the Dutch border, has produced the fossil fuel for almost half a century. But now it will find a new purpose as a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir.

Independent 25th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 March 2017


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has this afternoon finally relented and published the Frontier Economics-produced report on the system costs of renewables integration. The report itself investigates the whole power system impacts of various electricity generation technologies, aiming to establish the added costs and factors that need to be taken into account when integrating variable renewables generators into the grid alongside more traditional, centralised power stations. Stressing that levelised costs of electricity calculations are not the best way to compare technologies due to how they disregard other costs associated with the wider electricity system, the report stresses the need to identify whole system impacts to better understand them.

Solar Power Portal 24th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 March 2017

Renewables – solar

New reports from SolarPower Europe show that solar power had a very good year last year. Worldwide, installed solar power capacity grew by an amazing 50 percent in 2016, with a the largest growth occurring in the U.S. and China. The total amount of solar capacity added last year was more than 76 gigawatts (GW), while 2015 saw 50 GW installed. The total global solar power capacity is now about 305 GW, a major leap from the 50 GW installed worldwide a mere 7 years ago. The U.S. and China both doubled the amount of solar power they added in 2015, leading all other countries in solar growth. China added 34.2 GW and the U.S. added 14 GW. Europe, however, saw a 20 percent downturn in growth compared to the previous year, but there was still progress. Europe has now passed its goal of 100 GW of installed power, reaching 104 GW.

Tree Hugger 13th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Renewables – solar

Southern Water has appointed Forrest as the sole contractor to work on a five-year renewable energy framework which will see the utility install solar across its portfolio. Under the contract Forrest’s energy division will design, supply, install, operate and maintain ground and roof-mounted solar systems to help Southern Water increase the amount of renewable energy it produces on-site. Southern Water has already identified three such projects; a 1.9MW ground-mount solar array at Testwood Water Supply Works, a 1.5MW project at the company’s site in Otterbourne and an 850kW project in Hardham.

Solar Power Portal 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 March 2017


Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen. For 10 years now, CAT has been undertaking increasingly detailed research showing that we have the technology needed to rise to the climate challenge. This research remains an important tool for campaigners and policymakers needing to showcase how we can overcome the perceived technical barriers to change. Following the Paris climate agreement, however, there is increasing acceptance that we can and must move towards a zero carbon future. The challenge is increasingly around how this change is delivered. Rather than an unresolved technical challenge, it is now widely accepted that we face a mix of economic, cultural and psychological barriers. But, once again, we could not find any unified piece of research that worked across different disciplines and at a range of levels to explore how we overcome the various barriers, and to show the co-benefits and synergies of building a zero carbon future. Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen is our response to that gap.

CAT (accessed) 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 March 2017

Renewables – offshore wind

The leader of North East Lincolnshire Council has pledged to “ratchet up” the profile of renewables, as the local authority plans to make borough the UK capital of the industry. Speaking to Utility Week, councillor Ray Oxby, said he was concerned that politicians in Westminster “don’t recognise the importance of renewables, or the need to invest it in the future”. “I think we need to promote it, market the need and get some senior ministers to come down to endorse what we are looking to do, both around the renewable energy sector and around our ambitions for Grimsby, so it gains more profile and credibility,” said Oxby. “We need to ratchet up the political profile around the energy sector and the need for sustainability,” he added. “Communities need energy.” The local authority has ambitious plans to make the Humber, and Grimsby in particular, the UK capital of the renewable energy industry. The council leader said they already have several key companies involved in the region, including Dong Energy, Siemens and Eon. In addition, the council is also looking to see greenhouse emissions cut in the borough by 57 per cent by 2032. It is also looking to hold a summit up in Grimsby for the renewables industry in the summer, called Clean Break.

Utility Week 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 March 2017

Local Energy

Cities from Oslo to Sydney are setting goals to curb climate change that exceed national targets, causing tensions with central governments about who controls policy over green energy and transport and construction. More than 2,500 cities have issued plans to cut carbon emissions to the United Nations since late 2014, setting an example to almost 200 nations that reached a Paris Agreement in December 2015 to fight global warming.

Climate Central 18th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 March 2017


The UK Government must revise its policy approach to help companies realise the significant economic and environmental benefits of sending food waste to anaerobic digestion (AD), the industry’s trade association has insisted. Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) policy officer Thom Koller discussed his role in breaking down the major barriers to further expansion of the AD industry. “There is a need for committed action from Government to bring more food waste into AD,” Koller said. “That is certainly something ADBA continues to lobby for heavily.” ADBA has called for a removal of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) 20MW deployment cap for AD plants, which Koller believes is constraining much-needed baseload capacity. Ministers recently moved to alleviate industry concerns with an industry consultation which implemented softer AD generation tariffs. Koller welcomes the Government’s change of tack but remains concerned that the UK will miss upcoming carbon budgets unless further concessions are made.

Edie 21st March 2017 read more »

Posted: 22 March 2017