Archive for ‘Solar Energy’


11
DEC

Vince Adams says:
The final hurdle please help and support Mapperton Farm Solar Project


Category: Community Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


I received the following report from Good Energy this weekend and it appears that the final planning decisions will be made concerning Mapperton Farm’s Solar project in the near future.

Its been a long haul but with a final push this project is going to happen.

So if you feel strongly about the need for more renewable energy projects please show your support as per the details below.

Thankyou

vince adams

Dear Vince,

As someone who kindly helped rally local support for the project in the past, I am writing to ask for your help one more time in securing planning permission for our proposed solar farm at Mapperton near Sturminster Marshall.

Good Energy’s planning application for a proposed 24.2MW solar project at Mapperton Farm is being reconsidered by the local authority after a previous approval was overturned following a legal challenge.

Councillors on East Dorset District Council’s planning committee are due to consider this proposal for a second time at a meeting on 17th January 2017. The application is unchanged from that approved in June 2015 but, in reaching their decision, councillors will take into account any new submissions from members of the public. So we’re asking everyone who backed the previous application to confirm their support by writing to the planning officer one more time.

Please feel free simply to repeat the comments you made on the previous application. If you don’t have these to hand, some key facts about the project are shown at the bottom of this email.

The easiest way to show support is by letter or email directly to the local planning officer, James Brightman, using the details below. Please make sure you quote planning application number 3/13/0681/FUL and submit your comment by the deadline of 19th December 2016.

Email: JBrightman@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

Postal address:
FAO James Brightman
Planning Applications (East Dorset)
Council Offices
Furzehill
Wimborne
BH21 4HN

Key points to consider in your submission:
· Once built at the proposed capacity of 24.2MW, the solar farm would generate renewable electricity energy to power around 6,000 average homes, equivalent to around 70% of the new homes planned for Christchurch and East Dorset over the Local Plan period;

· The solar farm would deliver investment in local community initiatives worth at least £35,000 per year for the lifetime of the project, together with funding for rooftop solar PV systems for a local primary school and village hall;

· The solar farm would protect the land for current and future agricultural use, providing opportunities for sheep grazing along the avenues of solar panels, a practice endorsed by the National Farmers’ Union;

· The proposals include wildlife habitat enhancements such as wildflower meadows throughout the site, hedgerow improvements, planting around field margins and installation of birds and bat boxes in a nearby woodland.

· When last considered by the planning committee in June 2015, the application attracted considerable public support, with over 80 letters being submitted from the local community and the wider Dorset area in favour of the project.

If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With best wishes and many thanks for your continued support

James
Good Energy



05
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Tesla Solar is this the future


Category: Electric Transport, Solar Energy
Tags: ,


‘Tesla Solar’ Wants to Be the Apple Store for Electricity

June 29, 2016
    
Sponsored By:

Tesla Motors Inc.’s bid to buy the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer has little to do with selling cars. Rather, it’s about solving two of the biggest problems standing in the way of the next solar boom. And perhaps a good deal more.

When Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk came out last week with his $2.86 billion plan to acquire SolarCity Inc., it was almost universally derided as a risky financial move that threatens to derail the electric car maker at its most critical moment.

That’s undoubtedly true. But in the dozens of analyst notes and news stories that picked apart the deal, there’s been little attention paid to what we’ll call “Tesla Solar” and how it could transform the power sector. It’s actually a really big idea.

Solar Problem No. 1: It’s too complicatedConsider the average homeowner who might be vaguely interested in adding rooftop solar. Where does the process start?

Adding solar requires customers to sort through competing technologies and complex financing schemes with no household names to turn to. And then there’s the aesthetic impediment: Solar panels alter the look and value of one’s most important personal asset—the home. It’s a big leap of faith, even in regions where adding solar is an economic no-

This problem has dogged solar companies for years. Vivint Inc. has legions of door-to-door salesmen, while others have deployed mailers, robocalls, sports sponsorships, and internet search ads. None of it resonates all that much.

Musk, who turned 45 on Tuesday, wants to change this daunting transaction in the same way the Apple Store changed the way we buy consumer electronics. Fifteen years ago, Apple Computer Inc. (as it was known then) faced problems similar to those hobbling solar today. Buying a computer was a big investment: They were complicated, the benefits uncertain, and the choices undifferentiated. Sound familiar?

With the opening of the first Apple Stores, electronics shopping turned from exasperating to joyful. Consumers got to touch and play with the products and ask questions from no-pressure salespeople. Early critics said the stores had too few products and would never make money, but before long the stores themselves became a destination.

Tesla showrooms are cast from the same mold. At the new Tesla outpost in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, customers sip free espresso and chat about cars. People go there to learn about electric vehicles often for the first time, and much of the experience is focused on education. Central to all of the showrooms is a stripped-down aluminum Tesla chassis, so customers can get a feel for how the battery and electric motors work. You can even take a test drive with the kids in a tricked-out $130,000 Model X SUV, and no one will ever ask if you want to buy a car, let alone haggle over prices and options if you do.

For solar companies, one of the biggest costs is making that initial connection. For every dollar SolarCity spends on marketing, it installs only an additional half-watt of solar power, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). To put that in perspective, a typical rooftop solar system in the U.S. is rated at more than 5,000 watts.

This is the biggest reason rooftop solar costs almost twice as much at SolarCity ($3.20 per watt) as similar systems in Western Europe or Australia ($1.70 per watt), according to BNEF. Most people in the U.S. just ignore the expensive marketing anyway: A BNEF survey found that 40 percent of buyers were referred by a friend or family, and 28 percent instigated the purchase themselves.

Other retail companies have experimented with solar partnerships—including Home Depot Inc. and Ikea—but the strategy never really took off for these retail megastores. The solar industry is a product in need of an Apple Store, and Tesla happens to have hundreds of showrooms with very few products to sell. Critics of the SolarCity deal brushed aside the so-called synergy of selling cars and solar panels in the same location, but that may miss the point. Is a customer likely to walk in and buy both at the same time? No more likely than an Apple Store customer will buy an iPhone and a desktop Mac simultaneously.

Instead, what ties the cars-plus-solar Tesla store together is an implicit guarantee of good customer service and sophisticated technology that’s easy to use. That’s branding that can never quite come together so long as Tesla and SolarCity remain separate companies. But together, it just might expand the entire market for solar. A Tesla showroom finally answers that question asked by millions of homeowners: Where do I start?

Solar Problem No. 2: The sun goes downHere’s where things get interesting. Tesla isn’t just a car company looking to buy a solar company. It’s also a battery company that wants to link its two biggest markets: energy supply (solar) with energy demand (electric cars). Cheap and efficient batteries are what make Tesla cars possible, and they have the potential to change the economics of solar, too.

The solar-plus-battery bundle hasn’t really caught on yet. SolarCity’s total bundled sales thus far number in just the hundreds. But that’s because the batteries are still too expensive, and because a government policy known as net metering makes it more profitable to sell solar power back to the grid. Both of these obstacles are about to be flattened. Musk is betting that, in the next five years, the price of solar bundled with batteries will cost less than electricity from the power company.

A Tesla Powerwall battery currently costs about $3,000 for a 6.4-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery, not including the considerable costs of the power inverter and installation. That’s a lot of money for a little bit of electricity. But Tesla plans to announce the first production of battery cells from its massive “Gigafactory” in Nevada later this summer: When fully up and running, it will produce more battery capacity than the entire global market for lithium ion batteries made last year. The scale is crucial for the rollout of Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 electric car, due in 2017.

By 2020, Tesla is aiming to bring the cost of battery packs down to about $100 per kWh—from an industry average of $1,000 in 2010 —according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak. At that price, a Tesla Powerwall battery could cost as little as $640 to make. With an integrated Tesla Solar company, the additional costs of bundling a battery with a $25,000 rooftop solar system would be minimal. At that point, it almost makes sense for Tesla to install batteries as standard with every new solar project.

Net metering rules, which require electric utilities to buy back rooftop solar from customers at retail rates, are the biggest U.S. subsidy for solar power. But as solar power spreads, the policy will begin to destabilize grid economics. Several states have reversed their rules already, most notably Nevada, where the abruptness of the turnabout left customers in the lurch with overbuilt solar systems and no way to recoup costs. Higher-capacity battery storage will eventually allow solar customers to profit from their solar systems with or without net metering. It’s investment security for the homeowner.

A group of solar firms and utilities are pushing to keep net metering rules in place until at least 2020, according to Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technology officer. After that, the company plans to begin including batteries with most of its solar systems, Rive told investors on a May 9 call.

Next Up: Tesla EnergyEverything described thus far is the beginning, not the end, of the possible advantages of “Tesla Solar.” What comes next is more speculative, but perhaps more profitable. Basically, there are regulatory changes that are coming to U.S. utility markets that could allow Tesla to dip into one of the most lucrative businesses in the power sector. Tesla could become a sort of power company itself.

“Musk’s intentions are larger than simply adding a third product category,” said BNEF analyst Hugh Bromley. “The future of Telsa Energy could be in energy services.”

The idea is that Tesla could create its own electricity network, aggregating bits of power from thousands of batteries and rooftop solar systems it installs for customers, and sell that energy back to the grid when demand is greatest. This could be used to provide the grid with extra generating capacity during hours of peak demand. But an even brighter market for a network of lithium ion batteries may be to smooth out the tiny surges and shortfalls of the electricity supply that occur throughout the course of any given day.

“This is the most popular service for stationary storage, as it pays so well,” said BNEF analyst Julia Atwood. “And it pays so well because the provider has to respond incredibly quickly and accurately, which is something batteries do very well.”If Tesla produces the cheapest lithium ion batteries available, and it begins to offer them standard with every rooftop solar system that Tesla Solar sells, it could suddenly find itself in control of a very large supply of flexible battery storage. The proceeds could be shared with customers directly or used to subsidize the upfront cost of rooftop solar installation.

This “is the dream,” said Yayoi Sekine, a BNEF analyst. “But there are so many hurdles to get there.”

Aggregating battery and solar capacity into a virtual power plant isn’t a particularly new idea, and it’s one that companies like SolarCity and Enphase Energy Inc. have flirted with in the past. It just hasn’t yet had the scale or the regulatory freedom that the business requires. But California, New York, and Texas are all working on plans that would allow this very scenario to play out.

Why now, and why SolarCity? Without a merger, Tesla could continue selling batteries to various solar installers, including SolarCity, but its would always compete in a commodity market for the cheapest battery. The solar project itself would be branded SolarCity (or Vivint or Sunrun), instead of using the Tesla name, and it wouldn’t be Tesla that aggregates and profits the most from its batteries.

Tesla and SolarCity also have complementary product announcements coming up that make sense for the timing of a deal. Tesla is about to cut the ribbon on the world’s biggest battery factory and unveil the next version of its Powerwall battery pack. SolarCity is getting ready to reveal a new line of high-efficiency panels that it developed from its acquisition of California startup Silevo Inc. in 2014. Musk said he wants to put his mark on those panels, which will be produced in the largest U.S. solar panel plant, which is still under construction.

Like Tesla’s cars, SolarCity’s new panels will be made in the U.S. and sold by the company’s thousands of in-house installers. Here are some of the plant’s particulars:

SolarCity’s Panel Gigafactory Cost: $750 million Location: Buffalo, New York Manufacturing capacity: 10,000 panels a day Power: 1 gigawatt of panels a year Panels: Industry-leading efficiency; Musk promises new aesthetics that add value to the home Start date: 2017The acquisition really couldn’t have happened with another solar producer. SolarCity has the right scale of operations and the American-made panel factory. It’s also hopelessly tangled up with Tesla already. There’s only one member of SolarCity’s board who doesn’t have direct ties to Tesla, and two-thirds of Tesla’s shareholders already own shares of SolarCity.

While the timing does complicate Tesla’s unprecedented ramp-up of its Model 3 electric car production, the competition for electric and autonomous cars is only going to get more fierce. Companies including Apple, Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co., and Daimler AG have all committed to electric vehicle programs to challenge Tesla. Musk’s ambition creep is all his company has ever known, and is probably all it will ever know if it’s going to succeed against the biggest technology and automobile companies in the world.

Is SolarCity a major distraction for Tesla? Probably. Does it add existential risk to both of these long, cash-torching bets? Most likely. Are the conflicts of interest messy? Definitely. But could the deal also result in the world’s first clean-energy juggernaut, a company that does for solar power, batteries, and electric cars what Apple did for computers, phones, and software apps? It’s worth considering.



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’


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.



10
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Explore renewable energy technologies for your home, business or farm


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags:


Just wanted to share these great interactive diagrams created by MCS certified renewable energy installers Futurum Renewable Energy Systems who are based here in Dorset but cover much of the UK.

They are a really quick and easy visual way to explore what renewable energy options are possible for your home, business or farm – from Solar, Heat Pumps and Biomass Energy to Water and Wind Power.

futurum-home

futurum-business

futurum-farm

Click on the diagrams to link through to their site to see more, or to explore technologies further go to: http://futurumltd.co.uk/technologies.



24
JUN

Vince Adams says:
4th July is Solar Independance Day


Category: Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Your chance to visit a working Solar Farm and see for yourself whats going on under the panels.

Please find attached an invitation to visit Race Solar Farm near Lytchett Matravers which will be open to the public to celebrate Solar Independence Day, on Saturday July 4th from 11 am to 3 pm.

Solar Independence Day is the UK’s annual solar celebration showcasing solar homes, solar schools, commercial solar rooftops and solar homes.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about the growing solar industry, how it works, what’s involved, as well as seeing it in action! The event is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of solar to you, your local community, and the UK as a whole, and the huge potential the technology has for safe, renewable and low carbon energy for the UK.
If you would like to attend please register via Eventbrite, if you would like any further information feel free to contact the Solar Trade Association at enquiries@solar-trade.org.uk.
Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy Solar Independence Day!
Kind regards,
Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall
sophy@sfwcommunications.co.uk
07979 368238
@sfwcomms



22
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Visit a working Solar Farm


Category: Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


The Manor Solar Farm near Silton to open doors as part of nationwide Solar Independence Day

I am writing to you to invite you to our solar farm open day on Saturday 4th July between 10am and 4pm at Manor Farm (Church Road, Silton, Dorset, SP8 5PR), hosted by renewable energy developer Lightsource Renewable Energy as part of Solar Independence Day.
A series of Solar Independence Day open days are taking place across the country on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th July, led by the Solar Trade Association. The open days include a housing estate in Northumberland, a farm building in Perthshire, a community solar farm in Hampshire and a further education college in Edinburgh.

The Manor Solar Farm open day is a unique opportunity to understand how an operational solar farm works on a day-to-day basis and see first-hand how the solar farm works in harmony with the local rural environment, whilst supporting the landowner’s agricultural business.
The Manor Farm solar installation has a capacity of 4.9MW, which is enough to provide clean, renewable power to 1,400 homes. The solar farm was installed over the course of just 6 weeks after being commissioned on 28th March 2014.
We would love for you to come along and to meet some of the Lightsource team. Hot and cold refreshments will be available throughout the course of the day and guests will be able to join us for a hog roast at lunchtime (vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available on request).
Spaces on the open day are limited and therefore we would kindly ask that you RSVP by giving me a call on 01225 422243 or by emailing paulerskine@meetingplacecommunications.com. We would also kindly request that you take this opportunity to let us know if you have any specific dietary or access requirements.
Otherwise, if you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email using the details above.

Yours sincerely,



12
JUN

Paul McIntosh says:
Dorset Community Energy share offer launch


Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Dorset Community Energy launched the first community investment share offer in Dorset at the Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester on Friday 5th June. The offer will be open for 1 month between June 5th and July 4th, and provides local communities with the opportunity to collectively own high-tech PV solar panels. The development of the Dorset Community Energy solar panels scheme has been supported by the Big Lottery Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset programme.

The aim of the share offer is to raise £135,000 to fund 6 solar panel installations on 3 schools and 3 village halls in the Dorchester and Bridport area. The 3 village halls (Martinstown, Osmington and Salway Ash) have recently been installed with solar panels using a short-term bridging loan, while the 3 proposed school installations are scheduled in August. It is hoped that all 6 installations will be fully operational by Autumn 2015.

Local community members are invited to invest in shares, each at a value of £1. The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum £10,000. All shareholders will become members of the Community Benefit Society, which will oversee the 6 installations and ensure their long-term sustainability.

It was noted on Friday that membership makes both environmental and financial sense. The solar panels will produce low-carbon, free-of-charge electricity to each of the 6 buildings, with any surplus going to the national grid. It is estimated the energy created from these panels will displace the equivalent of 42 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and provide approximately £200,000 of free electricity to the combined 6 sites over a period of 20 years.

Dorset Community Energy has applied for Advanced Assurance for the Government’s ‘Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme’ (SEIS) tax relief, meaning that taxpaying members have potential to claim back 50% of their investment as tax relief. Upon considering interest and capital repayment, the internal rate of return (IRR) is projected to be 6.3% over a 20-year period, and 13.8% with SEIS.

However prospective members should consider membership a long-term investment and are advised to read the Share Offer document available on the website www.dorsetcommunityenergy.org.uk in full and take independent financial advice before making an investment.

Directors Derek Moss and Tom Burnett

Directors Derek Moss and Tom Burnett

 


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Hi, I hope you all get behind this offer to create real community energy projects in South and West Dorset. For those of you based in North Dorset and the Stur Valley we have our own community energy team ESVIPS.com come on lets get going and follow the lead of Dorset Community Energy. "
    June 12, 2015 a 8:16 pm


04
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Cover all new roof spaces with Solar or Plants


Category: Climate Change, Energy News for UK, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,


Cover all new roof spaces with Solar or Plants

I just read this article on the Guardian website and its so simple why don’t we do something similar. Local authorities will be empowered to ensure that on all new builds they will have to have either solar panels or plant covering. Both options are a win, win for the local community with new natural energy being created or more food and living space for wildlife.

In the coming years we shall be having Local Plans created probably without any input from many of the communities that they are being created for.

Here’s an idea to take to your own Local Plan facilitators, get involved and see what they are doing, are they thinking Green, local and sustainable.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/20/france-decrees-new-rooftops-must-be-covered-in-plants-or-solar-panels


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Such a no brainer get onto your local MP’s, Councillers, Builders and make them see sense "
    June 5, 2015 a 10:14 am


03
JUN

Guest Energizer says:
Making Your New Home More Energy Efficient


Category: Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , ,


If you are going to move to a new home soon, you might want to consider ways to make it more energy efficient and green. While it is true that the whole situation is stressful enough, indicated by the fact many surveys rank this among the most difficult tasks one has to deal with in life, it is also true that moving house presents many new opportunities.

One of the most important things you can consider for your home is implementing green technology and features. Now is the perfect opportunity to become a better eco-friendly person, start a new life in your new and improved home. Relocation to a new place is your opportunity to live in a home that is green and less taxing on the environment.

Making Your New Home more Energy Efficient

Here are some projects you can consider:

Rainwater harvest system – that is one thing you should definitely consider for your new home. An RHS allows the collection of rainwater from your rooftop, which would normally go to waste. It is a precious resource, which the system will store in a tank, allowing you to utilise it later for various needs. Collected rainwater can easily be used for various cleaning tasks, all of which you will have to perform a lot of after relocation. The benefits of having an RHS installed in your home are huge – it can save you up to 50% of your water bill, which is not a small amount at all.

Solar panelssolar power has become a widespread reality. Many homes have panels installed, and this is very good, because it is a great way of saving energy and utilising a renewable source for power. The thing to consider before moving house to a place with solar panels is that the investment is a rather large one. You can expect a long-term return, but that should not stop you from implementing this project in your home.

Energy efficient electronics – if you want to pay less for moving services, you can leave part of your old electronics behind or sell them in order to acquire new and more energy efficient ones. This is definitely something to consider, because it not only makes your move easier, but also makes your new home much more eco-friendly and green.

Wind turbine – another great way of making your home more eco-friendly is to harness the power of the winds by mounting a wind turbine on the roof of your new home. Even small models can make quite a difference in reducing your electricity bill. Of course, you have to keep in mind whether or not the conditions are good – your home must be in an area with plenty of winds, otherwise the turbine will not produce electricity.

It is by implementing these 4 features in your new home that you can make it green and eco-friendly. Definitely consider the upgrades, because they are worth it and their positive impact on the environment will be noticeable.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for: Islington Van and Man Hire. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about house removals, storage, office relocation, green living home solutions, other home related topics.



02
JUN

Lets Get Energized says:
Proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
Tags: , , ,


Proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall

Good Energy, the 100% renewable electricity supplier, encourages you to have your say on its proposed solar farm in East Dorset.

As you may know, Good Energy is a 100% renewable electricity supplier dedicated to helping the UK achieve a future that’s powered purely by renewables.

In addition to our first solar farm near Wool in Dorset, we’re committed to developing further renewable electricity generation capacity to help build energy security for the UK and tackle climate change. This is where our proposed solar development at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall, comes in.

If it gets the go-ahead, this project will generate enough renewable electricity to supply around 6,000 average homes*, making a significant contribution to Dorset’s renewable energy targets.

This site itself is in a sparsely populated area that is naturally screened from view by the surrounding landscape. It is outside any conservation areas but it will also benefit from various measures designed to increase the wildlife value of the site.

The local area will receive a range of community benefits including a locally-controlled fund of £35,000 per year to support local initiatives. You can read more about the community benefits package here.

Our proposals are due to be considered by the planning committee at East Dorset District Council within the next few weeks. Local voices like yours could make all the difference to the future of this important project, so we urge you to register your support for our planning application.

You can submit your comments by registering on the Council’s planning website here or by e-mailing JBrightman@ christchurchandeastdorset.gov. uk quoting the application number 3/13/0681/FUL. Alternatively you can write to the planning officer as follows:

FAO James Brightman

Planning Applications (East Dorset)

Council Offices

Furzehill

Wimborne

BH21 4HN

 

We would urge you to make sure that your comments are submitted by Friday 12th June to ensure that they can be taken into account in the planning officers report.

Further information about the project is available on Good Energy’s website: www.goodenergy.co.uk/ dorsetsolar/mapperton-farm.  I f you have any questions or comments about the project, please get in touch viamappertonsolar@goodenergy. co.uk.



16
MAY

Lets Get Energized says:
Public consultation for Stapehill Solar Farm near Wimborne


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Solar Energy
Tags: , , ,


Public consultation for Stapehill Solar Farm near Wimborne

Local residents, councillors and other members of the community have been invited to a public consultation for a proposed solar farm at Stapehill Farm, Uddens, near Wimborne.

The consultation will be held on Monday 18th May from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Betty Webster Room, Colehill Memorial Hall, Cannon Hill Road, BH21 2LS and will provide an opportunity for local people to view the proposals, provide feedback and meet the developers.

The proposed development, by Wiltshire-based Solstice Renewables, is for a 5 Mega Watt peak (MWp) solar park that would generate enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,500 typical homes.

Giovanni Maruca, Director, Solstice Renewables, said: “Stapehill is a great site for a solar farm. The land is low grade and is currently used for grazing horses, so we can make a big difference to biodiversity and ecology. We’ll be sowing native grasses and wildflowers around the panels to encourage more wildlife and help stem the decline in pollinators like bees and butterflies. As well as transforming the site into a wildlife haven, we will maintain the land with sheep grazing around the panels so that it can be used for food production as well as generating renewable electricity.

“We’re looking forward to meeting people from the local community and welcome their suggestions for how the scheme could be improved. We’re also offering a community benefit fund of approximately £5,000 a year for 25 years – over £125,000 in total – plus £2,000 a year funding for educational support to local schools linked to the solar farm.”

The site is approximately 7.4 hectares in area and is currently used for grazing horses. It is located between Colehill and Ferndown, next to the A31.

This is Solstice Renewables’ third proposed solar development in the area. A 20 MWp solar farm at Manor Farm, Verwood, was connected to the grid in February 2015 and a 7MWp solar farm at Bedborough Farm, near Wimborne, is due to begin construction later this month.



16
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Guidelines on Solar Power for Homeowners


Category: Solar Energy
Tags:


Guidelines on Solar Power for Homeowners

There are many things we can agree upon and one of them is that utility bills can certainly be smaller. We can make it happen however, especially if you know what you’re doing and how to deal with them in a creative way. Residential solar power will allow you to deal with that, as it is one of many solutions for such needs that allow us to become more and more independent from our local power supplier. Of course solar power can be used in a strictly supplementary role if we simply don’t have the weather for optimal use, but in the end it remains an excellent solution. The tips ahead will explain how you can make use of it around your home:

  • There are a lot of commercial systems that allow us to take advantage of solar power better than the more common residential ones, but they need to be placed in locations with good light levels to take advantage of the technology. They possess better storage cells and efficiency, but they are also more expensive as well. Working with this type of tech will allow you to lower your energy bills drastically, assuming your local weather allows it.
  • There is a lot of independence in owning solar panels and making use of them around your home. Using this type of green power source not only saves you from power outages when they happen, but they also give you a chance to stay away from the grid entirely if you happen to live in arid climates. Using solar power is attainable as a goal, but you will need to keep in mind that it will still take a good bit of time to pay the setup. It will work for itself, but it still carries a good bit of financial strain as well, so you will need to consider that before you move on to the actual task at hand.
  • Once you work this out, you will need to decide on subsidies and the final price. Solar water heating systems will be simpler to pay off, but a true photovoltaic system will need about a decade to pay for itself with current prices. You can always combine a good solar water heater with photovoltaic panels, but you will need a good bit of space to do so. You may want to consider doing that before you move into a new home, whether you use a moving company or not. This will be the best time to do so, as choosing your property will largely dictate the solar power capability it will possess. Make sure you do so long before the moving truck arrives at your front door and see about doing an energy audit for your new home.
  • You may need to retire your system as a purely supplemental power source if you don’t have a steady weather pattern of unobstructed sunlight where you live. Doing so will still allow you to keep your bills low, but at the same time you will still benefit from solar power in the end.

This post is by Guest Energizer Sofia Lewis for: London Removals Ltd. She is a passionate freelance article writer and blogger. She is inspired by home improvement projects and writes mainly about house removals, storage, office relocation, green living home solutions, other home related topics.



08
APR

Conor MacGuire says:
Renewable Energy – Power Your Home More Effectively and Efficiently


Category: Biomass Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags:


In the recent years, the rising costs of energy have boosted the overall cost of living to all new heights. Thus, it now becomes necessary for the homeowners to set their sights on the alternative energy sources. These sources reduce both, energy dependence and expense to a significant amount.

As the fear of ending conventional sources of energy rises, the homemakers have started weighing other options for their energy consumption. More and more people now ought to invest in alternative energy resources of energy, and it seems to be a growing market. Along this, a number of states now offer rebates, tax credits, and other incentives to promote clean energy. So, now it’s your turn to switch to these energy sources, before it gets too late. Read out here to find some promising solutions, which can help power your home efficiently and effectively:

renewable-energy

Solar

When it comes to renewable sources, ‘Solar energy’ is the first to strike your brain. The reason for its ever increasing popularity is that it is the easiest solution, or better say, one of the most easily accessible. For your home, all you need is the photo-voltaic solar panels, batteries and an inverter.

The performance depends greatly on the region you are residing, for example, the location having sunny and brighter days for most of the time per year will show better results. But, that doesn’t mean the areas with less sunlight cannot use solar panels. Even, if the temperature falls off, the solar energy users can still keep their homes warm and bright.

Another advantage of solar energy is that it demands a little maintenance. The solar panels once installed, can provide large amounts of electricity and don’t ask for repairs often.

Wind

Do you know that wind energy is the second most widely used renewable source? But, many homemakers associate it with those mammoth wind farms, neglecting their usage at home. The fact which remains silent is that there are a number of small sized turbines available, perfect for producing a significant amount of energy.

So, it is a valuable solution for those looking for non- conventional sources. The speed of the wind in your region will decide over the right solution for your home. You can seek help from the weather services, they will let you know the average wind speed in your region.

Undoubtedly, bigger turbines are capable of generating a large amount of energy, but you can use a 10-kilowatt turbine for your home. It is 100 feet tall, the turbine is nearly 23 feet and is sufficient to produce enough energy for a house.

Micro Hydro Electricity

This is an effective solution and its installation is much easier. Warning!!! – It is ideal only if you live near moving water.

All you need is to place a pipe, running from the higher area (where water is flowing) to a lower piece of ground. As the water moves downhill, turns the turbine at the end of the pipe, energy is produced. Surprisingly, a number of micro hydro systems have been known to produce ten or even 100 times more power than wind or solar. Moreover, it is more efficient than the two other sources, as it can run non-stop and overnight.

Biomass

As far as the use of biomass for your home is considered, it usually includes the stove used to heat water or for general home heating. You can use plants, including wood waste, grass, crops or trees to fuel your stoves. It is sometimes reported to pollute the air, but it is still a green option as it produces less pollution than those fossil fuels, which involves burning of harsh chemicals.

So, there is a multitude of combinations available. Now, it depends on your budget to achieve energy independence with help of these renewable sources!

UK Gov is inspiring folks to use these technologies and providing loan under the scheme like Green Deal. If you need green deal in Scotland then contact Green Energy Scotland Limited for your needs. UK Gov is also running another scheme called: Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat. The RHI pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings.



25
MAR

John Olver says:
Argument over solar subsidies in the UK


Category: Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Argument over solar subsidies in the UK

The UK, as with the rest of the world, has seen a dramatic surge in solar power generation over the past few years. the cost of solar panels has dropped quickly and governments have subsidized the industry. Now governments are considering cutting these subsidies because solar is beginning to be competitive with fossil fuels. I would agree with this action if governments would also cut the subsidies they have been giving to fossil fuel companies since the inception of that industry.

Fossil fuel companies have never had to pay the cost of the environmental damage they do when extracting or burning their products. Neither have fossil fuel companies had to pay for the damage to human health caused by their products. Paying these costs would make sustainable energy sources more than competitive and that’s why the fossil fuel industry contributes so much to political campaigns around the world. Consumer prices would go up for fossil fuel energy but come down for sustainable sources and that would bring a cleaner world sooner rather than later.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32028809


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bristolboy comments:
    "In terms of UK solar I would say the feed in tariff cuts for small scale solar (eg building mounted) are suitable and the new way in which cuts are relative to install rates are suitable. This is shown by install rates being very constant, indicating that the feed in tariff cuts correspond well to install cost reductions. The major issue at the moment is that the subsidy cuts for large scale solar that were effective from 1st April have been too extreme. Previously such projects were getting 1.4 ROCs/MWh which was probably too generous following capex falls, hence the large number of solar farms appearing over the last year or so. However, they now have to compete for Contracts for Difference (CFDs) against onshore wind projects which is something solar is unable to do until further capex reductions occur. "
    April 12, 2015 a 5:23 pm


21
JAN

Steve Bewers says:
There’s power in them ‘ills!


Category: Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


There’s power in them ‘ills!

The road from Blandford to Winterborne Stickland has many things to recommend it; rolling countryside, peaceful woodlands, 9.3 megawatts of electricity, open views over to Poole Harbour and The Solent, fresh air, and a feeling of escape from the bustling market town.

Woahhhh! Hold on! What was that about electricity?

Ahhh yes, enough electricity for 2,700 typical households being made quietly in a field at Canada Farm. There wasn’t much fuss about that, I saw the signs saying BSR (British Solar Renewables) but didn’t take much notice. It wasn’t until someone cut the hedges that I realised it was there at all!

solar-farm-s

Solar Farm – What Solar Farm?

That’s the thing really, there is a new solar farm of 35,600, 260 watt panels in this picture, somewhere. There are about 10,500 people in Blandford, which means the whole town could be supplied from this one field, and you wouldn’t even know it was there.

I heard that there are still people out there who raise objections to this sort of thing! Are these the same people who switch lights on, cook, re-charge their electric cars and watch the telly?

There is another solar farm being built near Blandford, that would make the area a net exporter of electricity, more on that later.
I’m off to absorb the peace and quiet of the Dorset countryside.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Great pic showing how little solar farms positioned in the right places can be so unobtrusive, thanks Steve for your first pic !! "
    January 21, 2015 a 6:11 pm


19
JAN

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how


Category: Dorset Energized News, Green Electricity & Gas, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


100% renewable and self sufficient North Dorset in Electricity – here`s how

The most recent statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that North Dorset consumes 290.8 GWh/yr

The last census shows 30,397 households, only 11% of those being flats. Quite a few of these dwellings already have PV installed on their roofs but that number is likely to increase substantially when PV becomes so cheap that it will make better financial sense to install it than pay for all your electricity from the grid. This grid parity (without subsidy) is expected to come about as early as 2020. More than half of houses have close to south facing roof space and it’s reasonable to assume that 60% or so could accommodate a 4 kW array. These would generate around 65 GWh/yr

There are 3,800 businesses in North Dorset including farms. Not all will have their own roof space but all those steel sheds on industrial estates and agricultural barns have low pitched roofs that are viable for PV whatever their orientation. A quick look at Google Earth shows at least 50 big enough to take around 50 kW in the towns and farm barns would probably double that. So I estimate these could generate 5 GWh/yr.

There are already quite a few large and small ground mounted solar farms installed and enough space to generate the equivalent of the districts needs without impacting food production. A reasonably large solar farm is 10 MW generating 10 GWh/yr so 29 of those would equate to the district’s annual consumption.

There are at least 6 small 20 kW wind turbines (up to 20 m mast and 7 m blades) in North Dorset tucked away virtually un-noticed. The landscape could easily accommodate 50 small turbines without travellers and walkers constantly coming across them. They could generate 0.35 GWh/yr.

The River Stour and its tributaries already has 4 hydro turbines installed at mills and weirs with another 5 to be installed soon and potential for at least 6. They range from 3.7 to 89 kW and in total could generate 1.75 GWh/yr.

Now the elephant in the room, which is big wind power They may be very much out of favour with a vocal minority punching well above their weight but the fact is that a 2.3MW on-shore wind turbine is the cheapest source of renewable electricity. It would require 60 of these to generate the equivalent of all the district’s electricity and that could not be accommodated easily. I would say a maximum of 20 could be found a home and 10 would be more realistic and they could generate 48.5 GWh/yr

So North Dorset could generate equivalent to all its electrical need with;

65 GWh/yr from domestic roof tops

5 GWh/yr from commercial and agricultural roof tops

0.35 GWh/yr from small wind turbines

1.75 GWh/yr from hydropower

That leaves 218.7 GWh/yr to be found from a combination of large solar farms and wind turbines. Personally, I would like to see 10 large wind turbines, some of those to be clearly viewed from my back garden. That would mean 17 x 10 MW solar farms to take up the slack.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Keith gives a cogent and totally understandable summary of how North Dorset with just a number of small steps could create 100% of its energy needs renewably.
    Think what if every district, County did a similar exercise how simple going renewable could be and how we could see the end of coal, gas and nuclear power for ever.
    This is now not in the realms of fairy stories its hard economic sense and will support reductions in climate change temps and give us better air quality all at the sametime. "

    January 19, 2015 a 6:42 pm


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