The solar power group backed by BP is to install more than 350,000 panels in Britain without subsidies after striking a deal to sell electricity to the maker of Budweiser. Lightsource BP said it would build new solar farms covering 500 acres and generating 100 megawatts of power, after winning a tender to provide renewable electricity to AB Inbev. The brewer has signed a 15-year deal to buy enough power from the solar farms to more than match the electricity usage of its two main British breweries at Magor, south Wales, and Samlesbury, Lancashire. It plans to market Budweiser with a symbol that it is brewed with “100 per cent renewable electricity” by 2020 at the latest. Nick Boyle, Lightsource BP’s chief executive, said the new farms would cost tens of millions of pounds and marked the revival of solar power in the UK after a hiatus caused by the government scrapping subsidies. It is the largest unsubsidised solar deal in Britain.
Telegraph 19th Dec 2018 read more »
In the last week Brighton Energy Coop raised £75,000 to help fund our solar in our city. At the same time work began at the University of Brighton’s Grand Parade building (see above) – an amazing start to our latest solar projects. So: first of all a big welcome to all our new members – thank you so much for our support. Everyone’s investments go towards funding our new community-owned school projects – like solar on Woodingdean, Coldean and Carden Primary Schools.
Brighton Energy Co-op 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The government has today confirmed controversial plans to axe the export tariff for solar power, which guarantees owners of PV panels money for excess energy they produce. Campaigners have for months been fighting to save the export tariff after the government revealed plans to scrap the flat rate payments to households after March 2019, when the Feed-in Tariff subsidy scheme will also end. But despite overwhelming opposition to the plans, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today confirmed both the Feed-in Tariff and the export tariff will close to new participants next year.
Business Green 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The export tariff will close to new applicants at the same time as the generation tariff, the government has confirmed, despite overwhelming opposition to the plans. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed in a response to this summer’s consultation today, claiming a fixed and flat-rate export tariff does “not align with the wider government objectives” of a move toward market-based solutions. The feed-in tariff scheme will therefore now close in full to new applicants from 31 March 2019.
Solar Power Portal 18th Dec 2018 read more »
Chris Hewett, chief executive, Solar Trade Association: “BEIS has taken this decision even before it sets out how it will overcome a really fundamental market failure that risks seeing new solar homes put power on the grid for free from next April. At a bare minimum, government should retain the export tariff until an effective, alternative way to fairly remunerate solar power is implemented. “Nobody is saving any money here because the export tariff is not a subsidy. Last month energy minister Claire Perry said that she would not allow a situation where solar generators would have to give away their power for free. We urgently need her to set out the detail behind plans for an export floor price as soon as possible to prevent the uncertainty that today’s announcement will create from damaging market confidence any further. The STA has proposed a number of viable options, so there is no justifiable reason for delay.”
Solar Portal 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The government’s decision to cut the export tariff to new applicants could reduce deployment of small-scale solar to as low as 40MW per year, an impact assessment has concluded. And the news is even starker for renewables in general, with small-scale renewables – solar including wind, hydro, anaerobic digestion and micro CHP – could be reduced to just 50MW per year in total. Today the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed that the export tariff would close to all new applicants on 31 March 2019.
Solar Power Portal 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The government has said households that install solar panels in the future will be expected to give away unused clean power for free to energy firms earning multimillion-pound profits, provoking outrage from green campaigners. The mayor of London, big energy firms and environmentalists had urged ministers not to end the “export tariff” for solar panels under the feed-in tariff scheme, which is closing next year. But officials confirmed that anyone who adds solar from April 2019 will not be paid for any excess power they export to the grid. Climate change charity 10:10 said the decision was bizarre and urged a rethink to avoid pushing solar “off a cliff” next year. A BEIS spokesperson said: “It’s only right we protect consumers and adjust incentives as costs fall, with solar having fallen by 80%, and we will consult shortly on a future framework for small-scale renewable energy generation.”
Guardian 18th Dec 2018 read more »
In response to the government’s announcement that there will be no domestic solar export tariff, and so households installing solar panels may have to give their excess power to utility companies without compensation, Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist for Greenpeace UK, said “People putting solar panels on their roofs are doing their bit to save us all from a collapsing climate. But instead of rewarding them, ministers want households to hand over their power surplus to the big energy companies, who can then sell it back to us. This, according to the government, is a ‘market-based solution’ – it looks more like a sophisticated rip-off. It penalises people who are trying to be part of the solution to reward the vested interests which have been part of the problem for decades. It’s simply perverse. Solar prices have plummeted, and the solar industry are on a path to subsidy-free status. Ministers should be looking for ways to help this affordable technology expand instead of putting spanners in the works while signing blank cheques for the nuclear industry.”
Greenpeace 18th Dec 2018 read more »
Energy minister fumes at UK over scrapping of green subsidies … The UK Government’s cancellation of the domestic solar export tariff has been … Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse raged at the decision in a letter to the Government.
Energy Voice 19th Dec 2018 read more »
The National 18th Dec 2018 read more »
Which? 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The technical challenges and fast-changing regulatory requirements associated with installing and integrating variable RES capacity are inevitably holding up the transition to clean energy all around the globe. So the announcement of a new smart solar farm in Australia that seems to have overcome these hurdles is really good news. The situation has been neatly captured across a number of recent reports (summarised here) by Giles Parkinson of RenewEconomy. In New South Wales, Australia, the state has introduced the Transmission Infrastructure Strategy to increase grid capacity to accommodate the “flood” of new renewable energy capacity in the development pipeline. Concern about delays and changes to rules for grid connections has emerged as the major concern for developers of wind, solar and storage projects in Australia, overtaking the perennial issue of long term investment certainty. According to a new survey of 60 executives by Australia’s Clean Energy Council, grid connection has emerged as the major issue because of a combination of delays, shifting rules, and resulting cost over-runs, and the assessment by the market operator that some networks simply don’t have the capacity to accept new projects. Enter Meralli Projects which has been contracted to build the Kanowna Solar Farm. At just 9MW, the Kanowna solar farm near Moree, NSW will not, by any stretch of the imagination, be the biggest solar farm in Australia. But it will likely be among the “smartest” solar farms in the country because of actions its developers are taking to deal with connection challenges and in preparation for battery storage. The Kanowna solar farm is being built about 95km west of Moree in northern NSW, by the same people who delivered the Chillamurra and Dunblane solar farms over the past 18 months. According to project manager Emma Mailler, the “cutting edge” nature of the technology is the use of both DC optimisers and DC coupled battery architecture for central inverters.
Energy Post 18th Dec 2018 read more »
The University of Cambridge has installed 384kW of solar power on the roof of nine of its accommodation blocks. A total of 1,175 panels were installed by Photon Energy as part of the North West Cambridge development, which aims to provide up to 3,000 new homes and community facilities to help overcome problems with overcrowding and rising land prices. The solar panels are expected to generate approximately 262,355kWh of electricity each year for local residents and save 136 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Energy Live 19th Dec 2018 read more »