Archive for December, 2015


24
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Ovo Energy on how and why to change energy suppliers


Category: Uncategorized
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I recently meet Ovo Energy the Bristol based energy supplier and was hugely impressed with their operation and the simplicity of their message.

Whether changing to Green Energy or just trying desperately to reduce your energy costs Ovo have much to offer.

They have published a simple guide to switching which can be found at the following link:

https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/dual-fuel.html

Its very readable and will I am sure inspire you to make changes to your supply lines in 2016…stay abreast of all the changes and company news by subscribing to our website and blog.



21
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Exciting news from VW


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


VW is set to reveal at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month the launch of an all-electric microbus van, with a range of up to 310 miles, Autocar reports.

The van, called Camper, will be announced during the January 5 keynote address by Herbert Diess, head of passenger cars for Volkswagen.

Will this Camper achieve the iconic status of their existing Camper Van, who knows but its a great step forward for everyone who sees the future of transport as ELECTRIC

For the full story follow the link to :
http://adventure-journal.com/2015/12/vw-to-introduce-all-electric-long-range-camper-van/



19
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Regen’s upbeat message


Category: Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


Who said renewable energy has been dealt a lethal blow by our Government ? Regen SW are extremely upbeat.

“Cognitive Dissonance: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change”

  • “Let’s just imagine for a moment what we would have to say to our grandchildren if we failed. We would have to say, it was all too difficult,”  David Cameron, Paris ‘COP 21’ Climate Summit, 30th November 2015.
  • “New measures to deal with the projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies have been announced today” DECC announcement, 17 December 2015.

 

t many ways 2015 has been a spectacular year for clean energy with 60 GW of wind and 55 GW of solar deployed globally and global commitments to clean energy culminating in the Paris agreement. In the UK renewables topped 25 per cent of electricity generation for two quarters in a row. Perhaps it is this very success and the threat to incumbent business models it represents, that has led to the policy backlash in the UK over the last six months.

We at Regen have been inspired by the resilience and innovation in the sector – so strikingly on display at our Renewable Futures: Pathways to Parity conference. Working with our sector to develop new business models will be our key focus in the year ahead.

Our first event of 2016 will be our reception at the House of Commons on 13th January with Amber Rudd, on our Entreprenurial Women in Renewable Energy initiative.

For lots more detail and info contact: Regen SW rhayes@regensw.co.uk



18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Why not use UK coal instead of imports


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags:


Today’s closure of the last coal mine in Britain got me to think why ?

Why throw good men and true out of their lifetime of working there when we still have a requirement to use coal. Sure its being phased out which for me as an advocate for renewables in a great step forward but in the interim we still have coal powered power stations in use.

My understand is that we will be importing millions of tonnes of coal from around the World adding senseless cost to the process in terms of travel, people and our own resiliance.

The local Conservative MP when questioned about the closure blamed everything on renewables. That showed a total lack of understanding and highlighted the problem we have with our present Government.

He should have said, we believe that if its cheaper to import coal then who gives a sod for the few remaining miners and their families. He even called Wind Power as ineffectice as a chocolate fire guard in supplying energy, which is total nonsense. His consituents should seriously question his understanding of climate change and the need to develop clean energy and the huge part that wind power has to play.

So over Christmas spare a thought for the people in Yorkshire effected by the closure and wish them all good speed in finding work and futures for them and their families.

They will succeed but wow why do we make it so difficult.

 

Oh and how ironic that this week the Commons passed the Bill allowing fracking exploration to continue, hey ho

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35124077



18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Update and response from Regen on Fit’s cuts


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Solar Energy
Tags: , ,


Regen SW statement regarding Feed in Tariff cuts

Dear Vince

Commenting on the cuts on the support for renewable energy today, Regen SW chief executive Merlin Hyman said:

“The Government has pulled back from the worst of its proposals to cut support for renewable energy following a strong reaction from communities and businesses.

However, the strict caps to support for renewables are in painful contrast to the ambitions set out in Paris at the weekend.

The Paris agreements have fired the starting gun on the global race to clean energy and made the shift to a radically different decentralised energy system unstoppable.  The UK clean energy sector is determined to play a leading role in that shift despite the UK Governments attempts to prop up fossil fuel and nuclear power.”

Summary of key points from Feed in Tariff (FIT) announcements:

  • The FIT budget has been confirmed as up to £100m from 15 January 2016 up to the end of 2018/19
  • The Government response sets out measures to pause new applications to the FIT scheme from 15 January to 8 February to allow time for the implementation of cost control measures through the parliamentary process
  • Quarterly deployment caps will be introduced from 8 February 2016, including a queuing system for applicants who miss out on quarterly caps
  • A two stage re-cycling mechanism for underspent budget within the FIT scheme will be introduced
  • Tariff levels for <50kW solar PV and >50kW to 1.5MW onshore wind have received a small uplift compared to that proposed in the consultation. Other technologies and bandings have received tariff levels as set out in the consultation with the exception of standalone solar PV and hydro, which have received further reductions
  • Pre-accreditation of projects will been re-introduced from 8 February 2016
  • Generation tariff’s for extensions will be removed for all installations which commission on or after 15 January 2016
  • Government does not propose to introduce changes to the FIT scheme in relation to export tariffs, tariff indexation, competition, smart meters and grid management.
  • A separate consultation is expected for anaerobic digestion tariff levels and sustainability criteria early in 2016
  • The banding review consultation for solar PV projects of 5MW and below within the Renewables Obligation has been published today.  Details can be found here

The full Government response to the Feed in Tariff review can be found here

Rachel Hayes
Head of membership and events
Regen SW
‘Delivering sustainable energy’


18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Government tries to kill off renewable energy projects….


Category: Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Uncategorized
Tags:


Community Energy England spell out the crisis facing Community Renewable Energy Projects in future and details of Decc’s response.

Less than a week after the historic climate agreement was agreed in Paris, DECC has today published its response to the Feed-in Tariff consultation, the content of which highlights again the UK government’s lack of commitment to the green economy. The results of the Feed in Tariff consultation provide little support or encouragement for communities attempting to install rooftop solar on community buildings including schools and community scale hydro schemes.

The re-introduction of pre-accreditation for rooftop solar schemes over 50kW is welcome but overall we are very disappointed by the outcome of this consultation. Initial feedback from our members indicates that at the rates proposed for most schemes over 10kW are currently not viable for community schemes which are accustomed to offering additional benefits such as reduced price electricity to schools and creating local funds for alleviation of fuel poverty. We are also very concerned that operation of the caps will have a disproportionate impact on the community solar sector which has very limited resources to develop projects compared to the commercial solar sector.

Our press release on DECC’s response which includes comments from Sharenergy and the Low Carbon Hub is available here. Please share with your contacts and local MPs.
A summary of DECC’s response is available below.

Community Energy England will be working hard with the support of its members to develop business models to enable to the community energy sector to adapt and grow. In order to do this more effectively we will be recruiting additional staff in the new year (more details to follow). I would also like to welcome Alex Germanis, from Pure Leapfrog, as a new board member and Chris Rowland, from Community Energy South, as a board advisor. At our AGM, Alex and Chris put themselves forward as Directors and only very narrowly missed out being voted in. The board agreed that due to their wealth of knowledge and expertise they would be very valuable additions to CEE and so were asked to become involved in board activities.

Finally, I would like to thank Gemma Cater, who has been interning with us over the last 3 months and whose last day it is tomorrow. Gemma has been a huge help in leading on our social media and gathering intelligence from our members and a range of MPs.

Emma Bridge

Chief Executive
Community Energy England

Summary of DECC’s FiT consultation response

DECC has released its response to the consultation on a review of the Feed-in Tariff.

Key decisions include:
· The budget for FITs to April 2019 is up to £100m of new spend from January 2016

· There is no separate tariff for community energy but this is to be kept under review

· New tariffs will come into force on 8 February 2016 (table of new tariffs below)

· Under new tariffs, Government is targeting a 4.8% rate of return for solar, 5.9% for wind, and 9.2% for hydro

· The export tariff has been maintained at 4.85p/kWh

· DECC has sustained the link with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation link for export and generation tariffs (rather than Consumer Price Index as proposed)

· A quarterly deployment cap system will be introduced, with a queuing system for applicants who miss out on a quarterly cap. Some of the deployment caps are very low i.e. only an estimated 70 rooftops over 50kW per quarter will be allowed in 2016

· Only one degression threshold will be implemented at the level of each quarterly cap. The new rate will be a flat 10% if the cap is hit

· The first cap period will run from 8 February to 31 March 2016

· Pre-accreditation will be re-introduced for solar and wind over 50kW and all AD and hydro projects with an additional 6 months for community energy projects from 8 February

· Pre-registration will not be re-introduced at this stage. It may be re-introduced if an implementable system can be devised which delivers cost control and reduces gaming. DECC will issue an update early next year

· FiT will be removed on extensions for all installations commissioned on or after 15 January

Table of new tariffs:

Tariffs (p/kWh)
Installed capacity
New tariffs

PV
1000kW
0.87
Stand alone
0.87

Wind
1500kW
0.86
Hydro
2000kW
4.43

A pause to the FiTs scheme will be implemented from 15 January 2016 to 8 February 2016 when the new tariff and deployment caps will be put in place. During the pause, no new installations will be accredited for FITs except for those with pre-accreditation granted before 1 October 2015 who are applying for accreditation within the period of validity of the pre accreditation. Installations which commission and apply for FITs during the pause will be in the queue when the new deployment caps and tariffs come into force on 8 February 2016.

DECC will launch a separate consultation in early 2016 to consider tariffs and degression for anaerobic digestion (AD) and micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) technologies. DECC also intends to revisit the topic of sustainability criteria for AD plant, setting out more detailed proposals than those outlined in this consultation.

Consultation on the levels of banded support for new solar PV under the Renewables Obligation

Also published today, this consultation sets out the Government’s proposals for reduced support under the Renewables Obligation for solar PV up to 5MW, to apply from 1 June 2016. The proposals will affect solar PV generating stations with an accreditation date from 23 July 2015 onwards (and additional capacity added to existing accredited stations that does not take it above 5MW in total installed capacity), unless they are eligible for the specified grandfathering exception, the significant financial commitment grace period or the banding reduction exception.

The consultation also sets out the proposed eligibility criteria for the banding reduction exception that was announced in the December 2015 Government response to the consultation on changes to financial support for solar PV. This exception will apply to projects which can demonstrate that a significant financial commitment had been made on or before 22 July 2015. It will give those projects protection against the reduction in support proposed under the banding review.

Deadline for comments to DECC is 27 January. Full details at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-level-of-banded-support-for-new-solar-pv-under-the-renewables-obligation

Update on pre-action letter to Treasury

In our last newsletter we informed members that CEE had served on HM Treasury a ‘Letter before Action’ in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review challenging the implementation of proposed changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) for community energy enterprises.

We have received a response from the government lawyers, but they omitted to include the relevant evidence. This is due before the end of the week, so we will provide an update after that.

Community share offers

An amazing £12.8m was raised in November for community energy schemes across the country in the run up to the deadline for EIS. This really demonstrates the public support that there is for community energy. I know a lot of work and very long hours went into this success so congratulations to all those involved.

Membership

Welcome to our newest member:
· Joju solar – one of the longest-standing MCS-accredited solar installers in the country. They have carried out hundreds of solar installations for home owners, businesses, public authorities and community organisations.

Other News

EBR action: write to National Infrastructure Commission
The Chancellor announced at the Conservative Party Conference the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), led by Lord Adonis. The aim of the Commission is to make independent judgements about the future infrastructure needs of the UK and advise the Government accordingly. The creation of this Commission is an important opportunity for us to finally get home energy efficiency recognised as a huge infrastructure opportunity for the UK.

The NIC is conducting a consultation to investigate three initial infrastructure areas, transport in the north of England, transport in London and balancing electricity supply and demand. Home energy efficiency does not fit neatly into the consultation questions although it is important for this consultation to recognise that if most, or even a sizeable proportion of our future heat is delivered by electricity (as expected), then this could have enormous implications for electricity supply. To mitigate this risk means making all UK homes energy efficient.

The Energy Bill Revolution is encouraging as many people as possible to write to the NIC before their consultation closes on 8th January, calling for home energy efficiency to be made an infrastructure priority and asking them to conduct a full consultation as soon as possible to investigate this huge infrastructure opportunity.

More details about the Energy Bill Revolution at: http://www.energybillrevolution.org/
National Infrastructure Commission consultation at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/infrastructure-commission-invites-submissions-on-critical-infrastructure-challenges

Ofgem: Update to Sustainable Development Indicators
Ofgem’s Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) assess the sustainability of the gas and electricity markets in Great Britain, and are structured along three core themes: 1) environmental impact; 2) social outcomes, bills and quality of service; and 3) reliability and safety.
The updated indicators include:
· Electricity intensity

· Power station emissions: nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide

· Proportion of total domestic customer accounts in debt by fuel type

· Energy spend as a percentage of total household expenditure

· Large suppliers: Complaints received per 100,000 customer accounts as a weighted average.

Please let us know if other people in your organisation want to receive our newsletter, or if you wish to unsubscribe from future newsletters.

What do you think, tell your local MP what you would like to see happen, we can all make a difference !



01
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Punch in the stomach or a wake up call to installers ??


Category: Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


 

What is the real purpose of drastic feed in tariff reductions?

 

Most of us expect government to govern to improve the lives of the whole population. When governments are not doing so, they must still issue statements to look as if they are. And so it was when Amber Rudd, the minister for Energy and Climate Change said in justification of a proposed dramatic reduction in renewable electricity feed in tariffs (FITs), “We need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way.” Whereas the reality is that our government are intent on preventing the renewables industry from competing with a new subsidised Hinckley nuclear power station, a new subsidised fracking industry and the remaining – hard to extract (and supported by recently announced generous tax breaks) – off-shore oil and gas fields. Whose interests is government protecting I wonder.

I can’t believe it is the interests of the whole UK population. Renewable electricity, once the generation equipment is installed, is almost free. Wind, sun and moving water cost nothing and the cost of equipment maintenance is minimal. Yes there is the ongoing cost of feed in tariff to encourage householders and businesses to install currently adding £45 a year to each household bill but most of the bill is fossil fuel costs. A coal or gas fired power station always pays for fuel whereas with renewables the cost of subsidy comes down to eventually reach zero. The impression is given by government ministers that FITs are coming out of government spending so allowing them to link slashing FITs to the need for austerity. Also that renewables are adding large amounts to consumer bills. Neither is true. The 3% of household energy bills that pay for the feed in tariff is actually an excellent investment in reducing future bills. The subsidy for Hinkley C ties consumers to high electricity prices for the next 30 years.

Since the introduction of the feed in tariff in 2009, renewables – particularly photovoltaics – have grown quickly to provide 22.3% of UK electricity in Q1 of 2015, 2700 installation companies and 112 thousand jobs. The proposed rapid FITs cuts of 40% for wind and hydro and 90% for PV puts the industry, those jobs and future recovery in serious jeopardy. Householders will not feel it worthwhile to install PV until prices drop by £800 for a 4 kW system (which will not happen for a few years yet). New small hydro and wind schemes will not seem worthwhile, especially given the difficulty and expense of getting planning and environmental permissions. Businesses will go to the wall and thousands will lose their jobs. Are the Conservatives the party supporting small businesses? The renewables industry is as keen as the government to get to a subsidy free future but sudden unpredictable changes are extremely damaging and unfair.

Amber Rudd has previously expressed understanding and enthusiasm for renewables and community owned renewables in particular. There is no preferential treatment for community renewables in the current proposals and it is evident that George Osborne has overruled Amber. His enthusiasm for fracking is obvious. When announcing encouragement for fracking he stated, “This new tax regime, which I want to make the most generous for shale in the world, will contribute to that. I want Britain to be a leader of the shale gas revolution – because it has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and keep energy bills low for millions of people.” But renewables have a greater capacity to deliver geographically distributed jobs, climate change mitigation and eventual lower electricity prices.

The inevitable future is a multiplicity of small widely distributed clean renewable generators with less demand on the inefficient high voltage national grid. PV will be attached to most buildings and wind turbines of all sizes will be far more common. Demand will be smoothed with battery storage and base load will be covered from tidal lagoons around our coast. Crucially, this will achieve lower prices and no carbon emissions. Given the Climate Change imperative, we should be getting there ASAP. So why on earth our government slowing this down and guaranteeing high electricity prices for longer?

 

This piece is penned by Keith Wheaton Green a supporter of renewable energy and first published in the Landsman.



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