Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a campaign against proposals to install solar panels in a country park in her Hastings & Rye constituency, arguing such a move “would damage our much-valued local green space”. The proposals, put forward by the local Labour-controlled council, could potentially see two 1MW ground-mounted solar arrays installed in Hastings Country Park, as well as a third at Upper Wilting Farm. The council argues its revenue predictions for the a project are “conservative” and “realistic”, and that the proposed feasibility study would take into account potential ecological impacts and financial implications ahead of a full planning application being lodged. In a statement council leader Peter Chowney said local authorities and national governments must do “everything they possibly can” to cut emissions and avoid “catastrophic consequences” of climate change. He also criticised government policies restricting onshore wind farms in England and cuts to the feed-in tariff subsidies for solar. “If the studies we’re commissioning reveal that the solar arrays have significant negative environmental consequences, particularly for the neighbouring Site of Special Scientific Interest, then we wouldn’t go ahead with it,” said the Labour councillor. “But in the end, if the only reason for opposing it is one of aesthetics, that would not seem to be a good enough reason to reject the proposal. The challenges we face from catastrophic consequences of climate change are far too great to reject proposals for sustainable energy generation solely because it spoils the view… The only responsible thing to do is to act now, and install sustainable energy generation wherever we can.”
Business Green 4th Jan 2019 read more »
The various utility subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries have submitted bids to state regulators for seven solar plus storage projects totaling 262 MWac of solar and 1,024 MWh of energy storage, with power purchase agreement prices ranging from 8-12¢/kWh. In 2015 Hawaii passed legislation requiring electricity providers to generate 100% renewable energy by 2045, with multiple islands projecting that they’ll hit 100% renewable energy before 2045. Molokai expects to be 100% powered by renewables by 2020, and all of the islands – when taking into account customer-sited generation – will hit this mark sometime in the 2030s. And for good measure, last winter island leaders gathered to pledge to also move ground transportation to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Despite all this headline-grabbing ambition, petroleum-fired generation is still the main source of Hawaii’s electricity. However, now that we’re seeing the scaling of storage begin – 33 GW in the nationwide utility pipeline and record sized projects – we can seriously consider running on solar+wind and storage.
PV Magazine 4th Jan 2019 read more »
Off-grid Swedish housing block to be supplied 100% by PV, hydrogen. Upon completion, the long-term storage benefits of compressed hydrogen, coupled with an abundance of solar radiation in the summer months, will allow for a fully energy-sufficient 172 home apartment block in Sweden. By combining solar PV and hydrogen fuel cells, what has been described as the world’s first fully off-grid, energy-sufficient housing complex, is in the process of being realized in the Vårgårda Municipality of Sweden. Started in early 2018, the breakthrough project was initiated by municipal housing company Vårgårda Bostäder, alongside partners Danish firm Better Energy and Sweden-based Nillson Energy. When complete, all of the apartment complex’s electricity and heating needs –172 flats across six blocks – are expected to be met through on-site solar generation and storage.
PV Magazine 4th Jan 2019 read more »