18
MAR

Vince Adams says:
Time for us all to face the truth and do something about it


Category: Climate Change, Wind Power
Tags: ,


Keith Wheaton Green speaks with such personal understanding and eloquence regarding our continued Denial of the most obvious. Is it really just total selfishness by a few who hold back everyone of us and generations to come after us ??

 

Someone in denial obviously can’t see the truth even when the evidence is all around them. I believe I have only been in denial once in my lifetime to date – when a loved one was dying but I refused to believe it even though everyone around me understood the truth. Obviously, denial has no impact on the inevitable. And so it is with climate change. It can be difficult to accept the truth when it affects cosy lives or  world views. Change, or the perception that things will change can be uncomfortable.

I saw this discomfort last week when – yet again – I attended a planning determination for a wind farm in Dorset, this time on the outskirts of Dorchester. The proposed six large (giant?) turbines would produce the annual equivalent of Dorchester’s electrical consumption. That British paranoia with wind was on show yet again. Fifty three of us speakers (for and against) were each given a firm maximum of three minutes. Everything and everyone was polite and professional. The surprise for me was the fact there appeared to be more speakers in support than against the turbines. I haven’t seen this before. Again and again, speakers were passionate and eloquent. People of all ages – even several living in sight of the turbines – expressed a desire to see beautiful turbines. Comments included “turbine installation is reversible, climate change is not, our selfishness is leaving a poisonous legacy to our children, this is the last turbine application in Dorset and our last opportunity to do the right thing, landscape impact of the turbines is dwarfed by the new residential developments of Poundbury and Charlton Down.”

I think the floods of the last three years, the fact that the 15 hottest years on record were during the last 16 years and the uncharacteristically warm, daffodil blooming December 2015 has led to the penny having dropped. Dorchester seems to have a surprising wealth of well-informed people.

However, the planning establishment are wedded to the concept of “landscape harm” and their professional (?!) opinion was that this outweighed the benefit of renewable energy generation. The case officer spent most of his presentation time explaining that harm, with only a passing mention of the schemes benefits. I would say he was in denial of the benefits and the degree of public support. He was not alone. One speaker erroneously stated that there had been no global warming since 2000 and that wind turbine saved no carbon emissions because of the back-up generation required. There were many other statements made that were simply not true. Denial of reality to keep themselves in the cosy zone of their imagined reality.

Councillors had evidently already made up their minds and voted 6 to 3 to reject the application with little discussion. There is no prospect of an appeal to our wind turbine hating government.

Our government is also evidently in denial. Despite David Cameron speaking with apparent passion in support of the firm targets to reduce carbon emissions in Paris, and his statement that Britain was “already leading the way in work to cut emissions,”  the current trajectory to reduce UK emissions is dire. Thanks to previous DECC ministers, Eds Milliband and Davey, we did indeed show leadership up until election of our current government. The introduction of the feed in tariff in 2009 and the renewable heat incentive in 2011 led to impressive expansion in renewables. Wind now regularly supplies around 14% of electrical demand (and is not as intermittent as you might think) and photovoltaics show up as a significant reduction of midday demand. (If you don’t believe me, have a look at the excellent gridwatch.templar website where you will find up to the minute and historical easy to understand data.) However, our current government cannot claim responsibility.

Here is a list of what they have done to halt our progress;

  • Closed the Renewables Obligations 12 months early
  • Closed the ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CfDs) to onshore wind (which aimed to support new investment in all forms of low-carbon generation and to offer price stabilization.)
  • Removed Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) pre-accreditation and implemented a wholesale review of FiT with expectation that it could be scrapped entirely.
  • Changed  planning laws for Renewable Energy, making the rules significantly different from shale gas
  • Removed renewable electricity from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption
  • Accepted that the whole of South West England has no grid access for renewable energy
  • Removed tax breaks for small community-led projects.

And no one can deny that.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "David Saunders long term guru of renewable energy comments on Keith’s article “Nice article, lovely to see your passion, and worrying of course to know it’s against the stream of government thinking. I attended a public economics lecture at Bristol University last night, on ’the one thing that would change everything’. Beautifully and clearly arguing that if polluters pay the real costs of pollution, rather than externalise them, it would put everything right – meaning climate change. He dismissed 4 or 5 other approaches including a magic techno fix, and said he’d expect to get questions on the alternatives, which gave me the chance to ask one… And I was fresh from Regen SW’s much-smaller-than-last-year-because-of-the-cuts Smart Energy day in Exeter. I’d been practicing my future-of-energy-in-two-diagrams on various of the attendees and exhibitors, while picking up ideas for the shared renewable energy systems that we want to be planning for our bale-build-community-led-hopefully-very-affordable-cohousing projects. So I framed the question by saying that I’m actually rather skeptical (based on long experience, plus observation of the Thatcher and Cameron governments) about us being able to persuade the government to legislate to tell us to do the right thing, even post-Paris, and especially in light of recent moves – like the elimination of the petroleum production tax in the budget which is hardly aimed at reducing emissions. So can I ask a question about a technology solution? Given permission, I pointed out my thesis that solar was following a Moore’s law curve (and at Exeter yesterday, people were agreeing, and no longer putting up the ‘but the energy companies will fight it all the way’ argument, if only because they already have been fighting it all the way, and what we’ve achieved is in spite of that opposition). And it is significant – solar has grown by a factor of ten three times in the last 21 years, in roughly eight, then seven, and then six years respectively. Halving its cost each time, to the point where – in 2014 – it supplied one percent of world electricity, and is lowering grid prices for energy, with or without subsidies. Given this, I said that doing all you can to reduce pollution, or charge people for making it, is a fine ambition. But what if you replace pollution with something that ACTUALLY COSTS LESS and does not pollute? And what if that replacement, whether it’s a techno fix or not, and whatever timescales they may have been talking about in Paris around 2030, 2040 or 2050, is on target to produce ten percent of our electrical energy in 6 years or less, and then
    one hundred percent in a few years more? Because it will have shut down a whole bunch of the polluting energy sources, and replaced our current electricity supply with something far cheaper? Wouldn’t that be alright? He said “I have just two words for you – ‘I agree.’ “. And then slipped into a kind of precautionary ‘do both’ reply, with which I have no problem whatsoever – though as you are pointing out Keith, the likelihood of our present government legislating to promote the right things seems both microscopic, and receding. He was helpful enough to mention the issue of storage being something we’d have to work on for solar, giving me the opportunity come back and say something about that. Fortunately I had already discussed the issue of storage in the gas grid earlier in the day with a Wales and West Energy guy. Rather than shutting down the gas grid to stop methane emissions – which they recognise has to happen some time – they are already thinking about switching it to hydrogen instead of methane, made from hydrolysis using excess summer solar energy. In Germany, the gas grid has three months worth of national energy demand in storage capacity – so it is already a massive, low cost storage solution. I summarised and shared this information at the lecture, and got another ‘I agree’ from the lecturer, and was shortly afterwards surrounded by students as the questioning ended and the lecture started to disperse, and had a fun chat with some of them. It was very sweet, actually, to find that an old geezer who had been a bit of a nerd for most of his life, could find lots of common ground with today’s young people. And my point is?… Whatever our governments are doing or saying, it is a truism that politicians are at best generalists, and not in touch with real trends and or solutions in areas in which they are supposed to be expert. (And only a truism, not the fiull truth – there are smart politicians, and politicians who aren’t in the pockets of vested interests). But it does make it uphill work talking with politicians. If it’s around getting permission for wind farms, that becomes a problem. But if it’s around putting solar on most roofs that can take it, there’s no need to have that conversation, and eventually they come round to your point of view, because it’s so obviously working, and there’s no way for them to stop you. Except, of course, that by virtually removing feed in tariffs, they have done their utmost to stop solar dead in its tracks, and stop the next tenfold increase in the UK. Which would, incidentally, take us from 8Gw, to 80Gw, which is quite a lot more than our peak daytime electricity demand, and takes us well into the territory where nuclear is long dead (whatever the cleanup cost) and storage has become the issue, and by which time, switching the gas grid from methane to hydrogen will have become a well-discussed and understood topic, and we’ll be working towards it – hopefully. It’s the least cost solution so it should be a no brainer for people owning gas grids to switch to hydrogen. Renewables have already demonstrably caused a lowering of grid wholesale prices, and only solar has the ability to halve its cost again, and then one more time again. Meaning a wholesale price for energy around 1p to 2p per unit? That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Whether we manage to get this to reduce prices for energy end users is up to us – communities have to own the solar generation, and distribution as well, for this to happen There’s no reason why not – or, rather, there’s every reason why not, as it will go against vested interests, and the need for corporations to continually increase profits in a growth economy. SO. In just two diagrams and far less time than it took me to write this, and even less time than it took you to read this (if you’ve been kind enough to do so) we have a complete solution to our energy problems. Abundant, cheap, secure, 100% renewable year-round energy. There’s plenty that could be said to flesh it out, and fill in the evidence base to support the logic, as well as fill in the steps that get us from here to there. But the bottom line is it’s pretty simple, and almost absolutely unstoppable – as with Moore’s law in electronics, it did not need government legislation to get super powerful smartphones in everyone hands, and reduce the cost of storage from £600 for 40 megabytes (my first hard disk drive in or around 1992) to £199 for 8 terabytes (my latest, which would have cost £120,000,000 at 1992 prices). Similarly, government can’t stop the growth of the solar economy, because economics itself drives the change – but government could help the development of the solar hydrogen economy. Once Hinckley C is dead (or, rather, once it is recognised as dead) there’s no reason for government not to go for this. Discuss? Tough about the wind, and cost of nuclear cleanup, but no worries about the long term renewable future. And the ‘long term’ is a lot sooner than governments imagine – see above…” "

    March 18, 2016 a 4:40 pm


18
MAR

Vince Adams says:
Renault Electric Cars in smart deal with Utrecht


Category: Electric Transport, Electric Transport, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE for smart solar charging project
March 11, 2016 | ID: 76330
Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE for smart solar charging project
Renault has signed a letter of intent with the Dutch Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet on Smart Solar Charging for electric vehicles.
The signature took place during the state visit to Paris of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, under the schedule of Franco-Dutch Economic Year 2015-2016.
THE SMART SOLAR CHARGING NETWORK PROJECT

Renault, Europe’s leading electric vehicles manufacturer, and its Dutch economic partners Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet signed a letter of intent in Paris on 11 March 2016 to develop a Franco-Dutch framework of smart solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

The signature ceremony was attended by Renault’s Laurens van den Acker, SVP Corporate Design and Guillaume Berthier, EV sales Director; in presence of the king and queen of the Netherlands, the Dutch minister of trade, Lilianne Ploumen and the French Foreign Affairs Ministry’s secretary of state for European affairs, Harlem Désir.

SMART-CHARGE SYSTEMS FOR ELECTRIC TRANSPORT

According to the letter of intent, the city of Utrecht could be the testing ground for the solar smart-charge project. Renault, Europe’s leader in electric vehicles, would supply a fleet of 150 Renault ZOE models through 2017 to the city. ElaadNL would handle management of infrastructures and the smart-charge standard, and LomboXnet would take charge of installing the network of unique public charging terminals powered by a 44 kW grid connection. Grid operator Stedin would be involved to balance supply and demand of the grid.

Phase one of the project would involve setting up 1,000 smart solar-charge stations, powered by 10,000 photovoltaic panels in the Utrecht region. Infrastructure installation would run side by side with development of a car-share service of electric cars, powered by renewable energy, for Utrecht residents. The Renault ZOE R.Access connectivity and 22 kW charging make it ideal for car-share and smart charging applications.

Phase two of the project would proceed with the partners developing a vehicle-to-grid ecosystem, with the network of solar chargers capable of both charging the electric cars and of feeding energy stored in the batteries of parked cars onto the grid to meet demand peaks. This could be the starting point for a new system storing renewably sourced energy.

STEPPING UP THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Through its pioneering work on EVs and their batteries, Renault contributes to the energy transition in the automotive industry by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Renault, through smart charging experiments, increases the proportion of renewable energy EVs use. One of the goals of the Smart Solar Charging Project developed by Renault, ElaadNL, LomboXnet and the Utrecht City Council is to make a substantial contribution to reducing the carbon footprint not only of the auto industry but of all sectors consuming electricity.

ElaadNL researches and tests the possibilities for smart charging on behalf of the dutch grid operators. With innovative techniques ElaadNL can charge electric cars in a smart way, exactly at the right moment. With Smart Charging, the abundance of electricity from the sun and wind is used to charge our cars. Live off the wind and drive on the sun!

In June 2015, LomboXnet introduced in Utrecht a world-wide scoop: a charging station making Smart Solar Charging accessible worldwide. This charging station can charge and discharge (vehicle-to-grid, V2G), establishing the foundation for a new local energy system based on local energy sources and local storage. The unique charging station is developed in a consortium of GE, Stedin, Vidyn, Last Mile Solutions, Utrecht Municipality and led by LomboXnet.

By implementing the vehicle-to-grid project on a regional scale, the region of Utrecht creates – together with partners like Renault – a large living lab for innovative smart grid solutions. This show case implements not only green power, but ensures also clean air zero emissions in the city and region of Utrecht. Thus, Utrecht makes way with Healthy Urban living. Not only to continuously improve its leading position as the most competitive region of the EU (according to Eurostat) but also to inspire other metropolitan regions as well.

Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 2.8 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2015, with 36 manufacturing sites, and employing more than 117,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international development and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles, the Alliance with Nissan, and its partnerships with AVTOVAZ and Daimler.

More information on the Franco-Dutch Economic Year 2015-2016: www.economieFRNL.com #economieFRNL

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Eric van Kaathoven
ElaadNL
06-81400683
eric.van.kaathoven@elaad.nl

Herman van Vuren
Gemeente Utrecht
030 286 37 92
h.van.vuren@utrecht.nl

Robin Berg
LomboXnet
06 41 412 222
robin@lomboxnet.nl



29
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Ovo a new way to purchase your energy


Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Green Electricity & Gas, Uncategorized
Tags:


OVO Energy are a different kind of energy supplier. Six years ago OVO Energy started out as a kitchen table chat between a couple of friends who wanted to create an energy supplier that actually did what people want. A supplier which had fairer prices, more transparency over pricing and where energy comes from. A supplier with great customer service, the technology to make managing your energy easier and above all a focus on sustainability and the environment.

Today OVO have over half a million satisfied customers and are working harder than ever to make customers energy supply as easy and as inexpensive as possible.

OVO Energy strive to offer their customers two things. Firstly, an energy mix of gas and electricity from the greenest and secondly, energy from the most sustainable sources available and at the best possible price. OVO’s mix of energy comes from natural gas and renewable sources whilst avoiding energy generated from coal.
Fairer fuel
Just one of the ways in which OVO brings fairer energy prices is through its ‘Communities’ initiative. OVO communities aims to bring energy to customers from local sources whilst cutting costs (and thus prices as well as reducing carbon emissions. Consumers in these areas have access to greener, cheaper energy which is generated, bought and run by local communities. Another bonus for consumers is that it brings more secure long term energy tariffs

OVO have set up several community partnerships with local authorities such as Cheshire East Council, Peterborough City Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. These community partnerships aim to tackle fuel poverty through measures (such as in Cheshire East) by operating on a not-for-profit basis.

OVO are an independent energy supplier. This means that they do not generate energy in their own power stations but buy it on the open market from a whole range of suppliers. OVO Energy buys their gas and electricity from different power generators from around the country. This allows OVO to constantly buy energy at the best possible price, passing savings on to customers, whilst ensuring that they can always buy the cleanest, greenest energy available on the market at an affordable price. This is something OVO Energy calls ‘mainstream green’.

Not generating their own fuel, but buying from the energy market allows OVO to offer some of the most competitive gas and electricity rates on the consumer market. Part of the way OVO does this is through dual fuel plans or dual fuel tariffs.
What does ‘Dual Fuel’ mean?

Dual fuel can be a cheaper way to pay for your electricity and gas. A ‘dual fuel’ tariff bundles both electricity and gas from the same supplier into a single energy contract, pricing plan and bill. Energy suppliers like dual fuel tariffs as they get more income when customers take both energy sources from them so often push consumers to take these plans. So are dual fuel tariffs just good for energy companies?

No. A lot of people find dual fuel tariffs are convenient and save time and money with only one bill to worry about paying and a single supplier to deal with if there are any problems. As energy suppliers actively want customers to take dual fuel tariffs they often offer extra discounts for customers who sign up to these plans.



29
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Thoughts from the USA


Category: Climate Change, Uncategorized
Tags:


This article from BBC reports on the So. Cal. methane leak, the largest in US history. It’s not just the burning of fossil fuels that is the problem. In order to burn them we have to extract, transport and store them. Each step in the process exposes the environment to leaks, spills and waste disposal problems.It’s a dirty business from beginning to end. A tax on carbon at the source, and end to government subsidies and enforcement of pollution laws would bring the cost pop fossil fuels far above that of renewables.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35659947



16
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Co-Founder of Green and Black hits out…..


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


We sent Craig Sams the co-founder of Green and Black an article about how difficult the Government had made the development of renewable energy to continue its development right now.

He came back with the following comment:

“One thing is the EU’s 74.5% tariff on imports of solar glass from China. This props up some European manufacturers but it also makes the cost of solar installations less competitive. Fossil fuels are still heavily subsidised while subsidies for solar are slashed and solar glass is heavily taxed. The Chinese lead the world in wind and solar – they have no big oil companies and want to get rid of coal.”

This dispels the myth that renewables are costing consumers a lot on their energy bills. Compared with the support overtime for fossil fuels and nuclear its extremely modest.

Take another look at our website that aim to give you the real facts about renewables and get involved in the debate now, its our real future for energy and the Planet.



03
FEB

Vince Adams says:
Help Hydro Projects to survive


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized, Water Power
Tags:


The Hydro movement needs our help !! Read on :

From: Simon Hamlyn [mailto:Simon.Hamlyn@british-hydro.org]
Sent: 01 February 2016 12:15
To: Simon Hamlyn
Subject: Petition to the House of Lords
m
Dear Member,

As you well know, the hydropower sector has been hit hard by the recent maelstrom of Government policy changes and we now face a very challenging future. Intentional or non, the effects are real and we whilst we have been lobbying both DECC and the Treasury very hard and continue to do so, we have also been working with many MP’s and Peers in England and Scotland over the past 6 months. Amongst others, we have requested meetings with the Secretary of State, Amber Rudd and with the leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, Ruth Davidson.

In particular we have been supporting Baroness Featherstone in her work in the Lords to get the Government to rescind the tariff cuts through her ‘Regret motion’ which she has tabled. Her address to the Lords is Tuesday 2nd February and by bringing our numbers we can add weight to her plea – ‘Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2015 Baroness Featherstone to move that a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Order, laid before the House on 18 December 2015, be annulled (SI 2015/2045). 20th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee’

The BHA has also teamed up with one of our members, the Micro hydropower Association and their CEO Kate Gilmartin, so please add your name to the attached letter by signing our petition at the link http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldordpap.htm

Please pass on to all those within your network and get them to sign as soon as possible.

Let me know if you have any questions

Simon

Simon Hamlyn BA Hons
Chief Executive Officer
British Hydropower Association
Mobile: +44 (0)7788 278422
Home office: +44 (0)1978 780910
Unit 6B Manor Farm Business Centre
Gussage St Michaelp
Dorset
BH21 5HT



31
JAN

Vince Adams says:
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Wind Energy in Dorset


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: ,


Last week opponents of Wind Energy won yet another victory in stopping the Slyers Lane proposal.
This was indeed a sad day for Dorset whose target for clean energy is now in tatters.
This horrendous not in my backyard approach of a minority of Dorset’s people will no doubt comeback to haunt them one day soon when Fracking becomes the goto alternative for our County.
If anyone thinks that WT’s are a threat compared with the ravages of Fracking then they are nuts.
So to the next generation I say sorry, sorry we could not win the argument for you.
Remember its our Country and when its your time to vote next think about how the current Government have decimated the renewable energy industry.
Come forward Mr Corbin and The Green Party we want and need alternative thinking !!



21
JAN

Vince Adams says:
Keith Wheaton Green speaks out


Category: Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Power from the People
I was at a meeting of the South Somerset Hydropower Group (SSHG) a couple of weeks ago. Have you noticed how whenever a group of British people meet on more than one occasion to discuss matters of mutual interest, they instinctively elect a chairman, secretary, treasurer and thereafter, manage their affairs with integrity? Their interests usually also have some benefit to wider society. This has certainly been true of SSHG. The group have had a profoundly positive effect on developing the hydropower industry in the SW. Members attend consultation events organised by the Environment Agency and government departments as well as opening their sites for visits. Apparently 39% of the UK population volunteer at least once a year. People give their time and energy to achieve things for society as a whole. Very civilised. David Cameron described it as the “Big Society” and gave much encouragement including “The Building a Stronger Civil Society Strategy” published in 2010.
There followed in 2014 a “Community Energy Strategy” which set out a vision for rapid expansion of the community owned energy sector and an explanation of the financial incentives from government.
Many of us interested renewable energy responded by setting up a community energy society to develop installations owned and managed by people living nearby. There are now over 5,000 of these who have developed PV, wind and hydro projects in the UK with the south west well represented. A lot of voluntary work went into finding sites, negotiating with site owners and renewable energy installers, writing share offer documents and sorting out land and roof leases. Volunteers organisations cannot be as fleet of foot as in the commercial world. In most cases the volunteers are on a steep learning curve. But the future for this activity was bright. The government had told us so.
However, during the latter half of 2015 – without the Lib Dems pushing this agenda from the Department of Energy and Climate Change – we have seen a dramatic change of emphasis. First we had the consultation to reduce the feed in tariffs (FITs) by 87%. We don’t know for sure whether government will take any notice of the 55,000 responses, which include what DECC describe as “2800 detailed written responses,” but they don’t usually make a difference. Secondly, the ability to pre-accredit a project – so that it has a FIT rate guaranteed two years before installation – has been removed. This is particularly cruel for hydro projects because it can take years to get the necessary licenses and permissions, and money spent achieving them is even more at risk when the returns are unknown. Thirdly, George Osborne announced that – despite the promises in the Community Energy Strategy – Social Investment Tax Relief would specifically not be available for Community Energy Societies.
The net result of these changes is that the projects that have soaked up so much volunteer time, energy and enthusiasm, that cannot be installed before the multiple deadlines do not stack up financially. It seems our efforts may have been wasted. So much for Cameron’s “Big Society
Government U turns are also having an impact on the South West’s renewable energy installation companies. The Renewable Energy Association estimates 20.000 jobs will be lost so I was interested to listen to the CEO of a small SW company. They had diversified from their long established plumbing and heating company to install PV, solar thermal, biomass boilers and heat pumps. In the year ending June 2015 their turnover of renewable energy business was £600k which amounted to 2/3 of their business. New premises had been taken on and staff diverted from traditional boiler work. Money was spent in training. Since the proposed FITs cuts were announced there has been a large amount of work booked for installation before January 2016 to take advantage of the current tariffs. There have been no enquiries for work after then so they will have to lay off one member of staff. The company will revert to its original core business and hope to take work from other competing business. Basically, renewables were an area of growth enabling existing businesses to expand and new ones to set up. We will now see a contraction and redundancies.
Individual Conservative MPs have been supportive of their constituents pro renewables dialogue. However, I suspect many currently working in the renewables industry regret the loss of Lib Dem MPs in the SW that lead to the demise of the Coalition government.

 

“this article first appeared in The Landsman”



13
JAN

Vince Adams says:
Time to get off the fence


Category: Renewable Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
Tags: ,


The future of our Planet and what our kids will inherit is now of crucial importance. Renewable Energy is clearly the key energy solution going forward and Wind specifically on-shore wind energy is the most productive source.

It harms almost no-one, it even has aesthetic beauty and it delivers energy directly to the people who need it.

So its time to ask your MP’s, Local Councillors etc why they don’t give it their 100% backing and to help you support this campaign the Pro Wind Group have produced the following letter.

Its extremely well crafted and if you agree with its points I urge you to print it and send it as soon as possible to your local representatives.

Its time that the majority had their say !!

Thankyou for subscribing to LGE.com

 

Open Letter to WDDC Councillors about Renewable Energy in Dorset

17th May 2015

Dear

Congratulations on your recent election to West Dorset District Council.

You and the other newly constituted local councils around the country are now in the hugely responsible position of facing a wide range of decisions that can make or break national aspirations for climate change mitigation.
The United Nations Development Programme estimates that over 70% of climate reduction measures are undertaken by local government.

Climate change is the issue of our times. Indecisiveness now will result in huge costs later.
The UK Committee on Climate Change states in its progress report for 2014 that ‘urgent and intensive action before 2020’ would save £100 billion, reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels from politically unstable countries and have a positive impact on energy prices.

Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy to Dorset 

There is considerable merit in embracing the move to renewable energy purely on economic grounds.
According to Regen SW there are already 10,000 jobs in the renewable sector in the SW and this is expected to rise to 34,000 by 2020.

Currently about £30 million enters the local economy in the form of feed-in tariffs earned by households and there is potential for more.
There are increasing opportunities for people to invest in solar panels on their local school or village hall through organisations such as Dorset Community Energy, a not-for-profit community benefit society.
Standard practice for wind farms is to offer an annual community benefit of £5,000 per MW and solar farms £1000 per MW for the lifetime of the project. Existing solar farms across 11 Dorset parishes have already agreed a community benefit spend of £2 million.

Opponents tend to exaggerate the level of subsidy. Government figures calculate the total subsidy for UK renewable energy to be £38 per household per annum. The costs of the established technologies of solar and wind are dropping even faster than expected and it is highly likely that by 2020 they will be cheaper than other forms of energy and will need no subsidy.

The move to renewables in the UK will come. The only question is whether Dorset politicians will assist Dorset in benefiting fully from its huge natural resources of sun and wind.

Making Progress towards Renewable Energy in Dorset

There are already some great success stories in Dorset:

  • The Piddle Valley community of 2500 homes is supplied with 100% renewable energy from solar and biogas
  • The largest solar farm in the UK is the 60MW farm near Bournemouth airport that is so well screened that most people are unaware of its existence.
  • Corbin Industries in Bridport employs 70 people to make frames for solar panels.

However there is still a mountain to climb during your tenure as councillor.

Much of the low-hanging fruit has been picked and the challenge is becoming clearer.

The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Renewable Energy (BDPRE) Strategy sets a 7.5% target for renewable energy generation for 2020. The strategy has been produced by the Dorset Energy Partnership that includes Dorset County Council, all the district and borough councils and a wide range of community groups. The latest figures (March 2015) indicate that 3.4% of total energy consumption can be covered by projects that have been built or are in construction.

So we still need to double the capacity in the next 5 years. This really is a minimum since further national targets beyond 2020 are increasingly ambitious.

The Dorset Energy Partnership, which includes WDDC, has clearly rejected widely circulated claims by some groups that targets have almost been reached.

/continued…

Protecting Landscape, Wildlife and Heritage Assets

Last month no lesser person than the director general of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh, made an unequivocal statement that climate change poses ‘the biggest threat’ to the land and houses in the care of the National Trust. She cited loss of biodiversity and wildlife on the land and the already substantially increased flood, stormwater, subsidence and gale damage to properties. She promised that the trust would lead by example in moving to renewable energy generation.

The Government’s ‘UK 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment’ examines threats to the built environment and concludes that the risks posed by sea level rise and higher average temperatures will have a substantial impact by mid-century and that extreme weather events resulting from climate change are already causing substantial damage.

It is important to protect our landscape, wildlife and heritage assets for the current generation, but the only way to secure their long-term future is to tackle climate change.

Local Government Decisions

You are the tier of government best placed to show leadership and to bring businesses and communities along with you. You are in a position to turn good ideas into tangible results – cooperatives for local energy production are a good example.

You will face planning decisions that must be guided by key statements in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) – ‘all communities should play their part in contributing to renewable energy generation’ and ‘local government should design policies to maximise renewable energy’.
The BDPRE Strategy is clear that to achieve the 2020 target the full range of renewable technologies will need to be exploited in the form of both small and large scale projects. In particular there will have to be some larger scale, appropriately sited, solar and wind farms in the mix.
Developers are aware that the number of suitable sites in Dorset is very limited, in particular because of the extent of the designated AONBs (Areas of outstanding Natural Beauty) and other environmental designations. Most developers consider site selection carefully before committing large sums of money to a project.

Councillors need to be clear that if they reject the projects coming into planning in the immediate future they are prepared to accept that Dorset will not reach its target. Dorset people will be refused the opportunity to play their fair part in the national endeavour to decarbonise electricity.

The next 5 years offer an exciting opportunity for councillors to make a real difference to our social, environmental and economic future by ensuring that initiatives and planning decisions are firmly focused on the achievement by 2020 of the targets we have set ourselves in Dorset for all the reasons we have outlined above.

The following groups are signatories to this letter:

Transition Town Dorchester

Dorset Community Action

Dorchester Churches Together (Ecology Group)

West Dorset Friends of the Earth

Dorset Energised

Charminster Clean Energy Group

Dorchester Quaker Meeting

West Dorset Pro Wind

Bridport Renewable Energy Group

Weymouth Environmental Action Centre

Transition Town Bridport



01
JAN

Vince Adams says:
10 reasons to buy an electric bike in 2016


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


Electric bike technology and the amazing array of new models makes this the most trendy of ways to travel in 2016.

Checkout the options carefully. Visit real electric bike specialists and insist on test rides and take your time choosing the model for you.

We know one great shop in Poundbury where the owner and staff really know their business. Always a happy welcome and full back up should you decide to buy.

http://www.theguardian.com/electric-bike-revolution/2015/nov/27/10-reasons-to-make-your-next-bike-electric?CMP=share_btn_tw



24
DEC

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


Category: Uncategorized
Tags:


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.



30
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Boilers all you need to know


Category: Uncategorized
Tags:


I was sent this comprehensive guide to replacing boilers which I think you might find very helpful.

http://www.castironradiators4u.co.uk/uk/infographic-could-you-be-saving-money-on-your-boiler.php



27
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Swansea’s Tidal Power Lagoon and more…..


Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Water Power
Tags: , ,


I attended the Regen South West Conference this week and the most rewarding and interesting talk was Graham Hillier on Tidal Lagoon Power. If you have the time take a look this weekend at this amazing technology and plan that can light up the UK, reduce the use of fossil fuels and clean up Britain.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/087cfaf09896aa1f0e6c03ffd/files/Graham_Hillier_Tidal_Lagoon_Power.pdf



13
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Community Energy can it survive ??


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


BROKEN PROMISES
HOW THE GOVERNMENT BROKE ITS WORD TO THE COMMUNITY ENERGY MOVEMENT
In Spring 2015, after a campaign which had clearly demonstrated the many social and environmental benefits that community energy brings to local communities, the Government (i.e. the Treasury) gave repeated written assurances as part of the final stages of the Finance Act that it would give the community energy sector 6 months notice of the removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief, which is vital to the success of many community energy projects.
Since the spring of 2015 the community energy sector has been developing their business plans in the belief that the Government would honour this promise to give a minimum of 6 months notice of any significant tax changes. Community groups across the country, many of them run by volunteers, have been making plans to launch share offers and raise the funds for dozens of clean, renewable community energy projects in reliance on these assurances.
Government statements in March 2016 included:-
 The Budget Statement of March 2015:-
“2.77 Venture capital schemes: renewable energy – As announced at Autumn Statement 2014, companies benefiting substantially from subsidies for the generation of renewable energy will be excluded from also benefiting from EIS, SEIS and VCTs with effect from 6 April 2015, with the exception of community energy generation undertaken by qualifying organisations which will in future become eligible for the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). The government will allow a transition period of 6 months following state aid clearance for the expansion of SITR before eligibility for EIS, SEIS and VCT is withdrawn. (Finance Bill 2015) (y)” (paragraph 2.77)
 To coincide with the Budget Statement the Treasury published a background document1 with more details of the changes which confirmed that
“Budget 2015 announced the transitional provisions for community energy organisations moving from the tax-advantaged venture capital schemes to SITR. Provisions to exclude all community energy organisations from EIS, SEIS and VCT will take effect 6 months after the confirmation of state aid approval for the expansion of SITR. Qualifying community energy organisations will be able to use SITR from that date. Co-operatives and other non-qualifying organisations that benefit substantially from subsidies for the generation of renewable energy will no longer be eligible for tax-advantaged investment under the schemes once the transition period has elapsed.”
1 Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates HM Treasury and HM Customs and Excise March 2015 e
 Leading members of the CE sector also received email assurances from a Treasury Official 2 on 18 March stating that
“To provide a smooth transition from the venture capital schemes to SITR, the Government announced in Budget 2015 that all community energy organisations will continue to qualify for the venture capital schemes for 6 months following EU state aid clearance of a larger SITR scheme. This provides a reasonable period for adjustment and more certainty to affected groups.”
 A statement to the same effect that there would be 6 months notice was also made by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in response to a written parliamentary question submitted by Roger Godsiff MP in March 20153.
The Government also announced during the same debate that community energy organisations will not be eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief when state aid approval is received. This represents a second broken promise. No proper explanation has been given for this abrupt change of policy.
The changes have come as a seismic shock to community groups, large and small, up and down the UK. They are causing particular turmoil with existing community share offers which were open and due to run beyond 29 November. The Government seems to have completely disregarded the fact that many community energy projects are social enterprises and just like any other business they need financial and regulatory certainty and stability. This U-turn by the Government has already caused the failure of a number of share offers and projects5. Many community groups are now launching share offers at short notice in an attempt to complete excellent projects which will not only contribute to reductions in carbon emissions but also generate generous community benefits.
CEE also believes that these tax relief changes will have a potentially devastating impact on the pipeline of projects due to be launched in the next six months. Tens of thousands of pounds has already been spent at the development stage of these projects on items such as feasibility studies, planning, structural surveys, legal fees and EPC certificates. Projects affected include a large number to install rooftop solar on schools and other community buildings which are the type of installations which once upon a time the Government actively supported6. Financial margins are tight and without the benefit of tax relief the organisers of many projects are feeling very apprehensive and think they will struggle to raise the capital required.
Community Energy England November 2015

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