Thousands of householders are installing solar-powered “smart meters” that promise to cut household bills by £250 a year. The development comes as state payouts for renewable energy produced in homes fall sharply. The devices track when rooftop solar panels produce excess energy and divert it to a water heater. The hot water can be used later, saving on gas and electricity bills. Any gadget that claims to improve the return on solar panels will come as welcome news to home owners who could see subsidies cut by 87pc as part of a government reform to the “feed-in tariff”. If you bought solar panels today the Government would pay a feed-in-tariff rate of 13p per kilowatt hour (kWh). But from January this rate will drop to less than 2p.
This project wants to support this rural village by installing a heat pump in facilities for sport and leisure. The sports pavilion will be able to be heated economically and ensure it is sustainable Income from the associated solar PV installation will contribute to the running costs of the pavilion The social room will provide a focal point for events such as the Village Gala, Fun Run, sports teams and children’s parties or other social activities.
Powering Wigton Baths Into The Future: We need your vote! We need your votes to secure the regional prize (£12,500) so that we can install 40 Solar PV Panels on the south facing roof of the Swimming Baths in Wigton. Each year we would save £2,500 from our running costs and 4.7 tonnes of carbon. And would continue to do so each year for the next 25-30 years. 1900 local people successfully campaigned to keep the Swimming Baths open. Local people have been swimming in Wigton for the past 100 years and we want to make sure that your grandchildren and great grandchildren are able to swim there too. We know you do. In the past four months we have been delighted by the numbers of you coming back to the Baths attracted by the longer opening hours; improvements to changing areas; special offers; loyalty cards; increased staffing (nine local jobs created); special sessions; etc..
A college in Hampshire has teamed up with green energy supplier Ecotricity to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) mill on campus, it was announced yesterday. Sparsholt College has announced its intention to build a Green Gas Mill after receiving support from clean energy company Ecotricity and a grant from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. Ecotricity said the 6MW plant will convert locally harvested grass into carbon neutral green gas, providing enough energy to supply renewable heat to almost 5,000 homes each year. The gas created will be used to supply both the college and local residents. The AD plant would be the latest in a series of green developments from the college, which has already installed a rooftop solar array and last year submitted plans to build a 500KW wind turbine at its site. Tim Jackson, college principal, said the development would put the college at “the centre of what is the future of gas generation in Britain”.
Glasgow-based Start Renewable Energy has won a £350,000 contract to supply heat pumps for a pioneering renewable energy scheme which will, for the first time in the UK, see solar thermal panels being used to power a district heating scheme. Under the contract Star will design and build a large-scale heat pump system connected to a solar energy farm to be built in the new town of Cranbrook, now under construction near Exeter. The system will provide heat and hot water to the town’s district heating scheme, one of the largest in the country, operated by German energy giant E.On. David Pearson, director of Star Renewable Energy, told the Sunday Herald that the demonstrator project – awarded a £1.3 million research grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change earlier this month – would help prove that heat pumps can be used effectively with low carbon solar panels. A successful system would allow Crankbrook’s currently gas-fired system to lower its emissions.”The aim of the project is to improve the performance of heat networks and to demonstrate how the combined technologies can replace or work alongside the existing combined heat and power district heating scheme to provide lower cost and significantly lower carbon heating and hot water,” Pearson said.
The potential advantages of district heating for the UK, where the technology is expected to meet 20% of the country’s heat demand by 2030. District heating (DH) is currently experiencing a renaissance the UK. Implemented across Europe during the post war period, DH remains popular on the continent in places such as Germany, Scandinavia and much of Eastern Europe. DH in Denmark, for example, currently heats over 60% of homes with that number rising to 95% in Copenhagen. In contrast, the UK, which saw significant growth in DH with the council housing boom in the 1950s – 1970s, fell out of love with DH when the North Sea natural gas network was established in the 1980s. The tide is turning, however and the UK’s energy future with regards to DH looks to be falling in line with the rest of Europe’s. The last government funded, via DECC, over 140 DH feasibility studies to the tune of over £6m. The Government’s Heat Strategy published in 2013 firmly placed DH as the preferable source of heating in urban areas by 2050. Today’s figure of 2% of domestic demand in the UK being fed by DH is predicted to rise to a figure of 20% by 2030. Why is this the case and what are the advantages of district heating?
Edinburgh-based UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix have invested £4 million for a series of sewage-heat recovery system installations across Scotland. This is the first time this technology, developed by SHARC Energy Systems, will be deployed in the UK. The pilot project will see heat extracted from waste water intercepted from Scottish Water’s Galashiels network. The heat will then be sold to Borders College under a 20-year purchase agreement resulting in energy and cost savings and a reduction in carbon emissions.
Underground thermal water sources could be used to heat homes and businesses around Scotland if a new feasibility study in Fife is a success. A green energy centre run by the University of St Andrews is to investigate the possibility of heating buildings using warm water recovered from sedimentary rocks deep below the ground. The University is lead partner in a Scottish Government funded project based at the Guardbridge Energy Centre, which it operates. Experts hope geothermal energy could provide significant amounts of renewable heat for Scotland, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a low carbon heat source. The project will establish whether it such geothermal heat sources offer a financially viable resource. Dr Ruth Robinson, the lead for the project at the University of St Andrews, said: “Extracting geothermal heat from sedimentary rocks is similar to getting drinking water out of the ground, except in this case the water is warm enough to be used for heating. University of St Andrews Executive Director for Guardbridge, Ian McGrath said the project was just one of the renewable energies being explored at the industrial site, which has previously housed a distillery and paper mill. “We believe the diverse range of potential uses for Guardbridge has the capacity to re-establish this huge site as a key economic centre in Fife,” he said. St Andrews University is investing £25 million at the site, five miles west of St Andrews, to generate power through clean biomass and pump hot water 4 miles underground to St Andrews to heat and cool its labs and residences. Alongside plans for a six-turbine wind power development at Kenly to the east of the town, the Guardbridge scheme aims to help St Andrews to become the United Kingdom’s first carbon-neutral university.
Nearly 33,000 homes have secured Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments for biomass boilers, solar thermal panels and heat pumps, since the government launched the subsidy scheme one year ago, new figures from Ofgem have revealed. The energy markets regulator yesterday said it has paid out £20.7m to homes that have installed renewable heat technologies, after the domestic arm of the RHI launched in April 2014.
We need a “major change of mindset” on how we heat our homes, according to Scottish Renewables. The trade body says we need to “kick its addiction” to gas-fired boilers if we are to meet ambitious targets for renewable heat. The benefits of decarbonising heat use are not only related to the environment, but could save consumers money and boost the local economy. “Most of our homes, businesses and public buildings are warmed by conventional gas boilers, and we must kick that addiction. District heating, for example, is a great way for hundreds of homes to share one heat source, but we have yet to see a consensus on its importance.”