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renewable

Energy Transition

Campaigners call from Scotland to tap into solar power

Campaigners are calling for more homes and businesses to make use of solar power after figures showed there was enough sunshine last month to power electricity supplies. Around 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland currently have solar panels. Data from WeatherEnergy showed that sunshine in Edinburgh in April generated more electricity than is used in an average home - 113% - while in Aberdeen the figure was 111%, 106% in Glasgow and 104% in Inverness. For homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine in the cities to cover average usage.

Energy Transition

Home batteries to store solar power

The launch of a new battery for homes that can store solar power for use in the evenings is “another nail in the coffin of conventional utilities”, it has been claimed. Tesla announced it was launching the wall-mounted lithium ion rechargeable storage units, based on the batteries used in the company’s electric vehicles, at an event in California. Chief executive Elon Musk said: “Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy”, as he launched the new “powerwall” batteries, which are little bigger than a conventional boiler. The technology will cost between 3,000 and 3,500 US dollars (£2,000 - £2,300) and will start shipping in the US in the summer.

Energy Transition

Irish energy company strikes deal for UK windfarms

Ireland’s top energy company, ESB, has struck a deal with a developer to bring another nine onshore windfarms to the UK. The nine projects being developed by Dublin’s ESB and Berkshire-based Coriolis Energy will have a capacity of 400megawatts, enough to power 225,000 homes.

Energy Transition

Wind sector ‘adds £900million to economy’

The renewables industry has hit back at Tory and Ukip pledges to stop new onshore wind farms with a report showing the sector added more than £900 million to the economy last year. According to the study, the onshore wind industry generated £906 million in gross value added revenue to the UK economy in 2014, with £7 in every £10 invested staying in the UK. More than a quarter (27%) of the economic benefits of onshore wind went to the area around the wind farm and almost half (48%) stayed in the UK region where the project was located, the report said. The report by BiGGAR Economics for industry body RenewableUK showed that the revenue onshore wind adds to the economy has risen by £358 million since the beginning of 2012, a 65% increase.

Energy Transition

Norway power link could create 200 jobs

Plans have been tabled for a £2billion power link between Aberdeenshire and Scandinavia which could create 200 jobs. The NorthConnect scheme would carry electricity generated in Scotland and Norway to both nations to meet demand. The consortium involved wants to build an onshore converter station in the village of Boddam, south of Peterhead.

Other News

Lib Dems set out ‘five green laws’

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans for five “green laws” as they seek to establish their credentials on protecting the environment and fighting climate change. The party’s manifesto pledges to bring in laws which would protect nature, cut waste, make transport greener, slash the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve the energy efficiency of homes. A Nature Act would include requirements for the government to set out a 25-year plan for helping the UK’s nature recover, increase access to green spaces, protect forests, bees and birds and tackle wildlife crime. And, following on from the Tories’ announcement yesterday of a marine protected area around Ascension Island, the Lib Dems have pledged a million square kilometre reserve in the South Atlantic.

Energy Transition

Offshore windfarm fund nets £463million

More than £460 million has been raised for the world’s first dedicated offshore wind fund to invest in wind farms off the UK’s coasts. The UK Green Investment Bank said £463 million in capital had been committed by investors including UK pension funds and a sovereign wealth fund in the first stage of fundraising for a planned £1 billion fund to invest in offshore wind farms. The Government-backed bank is also investing £200 million in the fund, which is managed by its subsidiary the UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Ltd, and said that with fundraising continuing it expected to meet the £1 billion target. It has transferred its investments in two existing offshore wind farms into the fund, which will give investors an immediate cash yield.

Energy Transition

Study: Almost half of energy from renewables

Nearly half of Scotland’s energy consumption came from renewable sources last year, official figures show. Provisional renewable electricity generation 2014 national statistics show 49.6% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in Scotland last year, an increase from 44.4% in 2013. Renewable electricity generation increased last year by 11.7% and is now estimated at 18,959 gigawatt-hours (GWh). This is approximately enough electricity to power the equivalent of an additional 430,000 Scottish households for a year, compared to 2013.

Energy Transition

Debate blows hot and cold over windfarms issue

A row broke out last night after a survey showed that the majority of people living in the north and north-east of Scotland support wind power. The industry claimed the results shot down the “vocal minority” of objectors who claim that most Scots are opposed to giant turbines dotting the countryside. But anti-windfarm campaigners said the findings had to be “taken with a bucket of salt” as they did not separate those who are “adversely affected”, mainly people living in rural areas and communities targeted by wind developers.

Energy Transition

Scotland sees rise in community power output

The amount of electricity produced by projects owned by local communities has increased by more than a quarter in the last year, the Scottish Government has revealed. Ministers have set the target of having plants producing 500 megawatts (MW) of power in communities and local ownership by 2020. The latest figures show such schemes can generate 361MW, up from 285MW in the previous year. The increase was revealed by energy minister Fergus Ewing ahead of the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) conference in Stirling.

Energy Transition

‘Misconceptions’ about wind power

The UK public believes that wind power subsidies paid by consumers are many times higher than they actually are, according to polling for the industry. A survey questioned 2,000 people for industry body RenewableUK about what they thought payments for wind farms added to fuel bills, and found the average estimate was £259 for a typical £1,300 dual-fuel energy bill. But the industry said the actual cost of wind power subsidies from domestic energy bills was around £18 a year.

Energy Transition

Solar project completed in anti-fracking village

Residents from a village which was at the centre of huge anti-fracking protests have seen the completion of their first community-owned solar panel project. A total of 69 panels have been installed on a cow-shed as part of a long-term plan to generate enough power to match the entire electricity use of Balcombe in West Sussex. Thousands of protesters converged on Balcombe in the summer of 2013 after energy firm Cuadrilla started exploratory drilling for oil, sparking fears that it would go on to frack there.

Energy Transition

North-east can play a big role in CCS, seminar delegates will hear

The north-east can become a carbon capture and storage (CCS) “powerhouse” of Europe, benefiting from job creation and other economic rewards as the fledgling industry takes off, seminar delegates will hear today. Chaired by Aberdeen Harbour Board chief executive Colin Parker, the event throws the spotlight on new CCS opportunities facing the region as it battles to overcome a big slump in oil prices. But it will also highlight concerns about the dangers of any sluggish action from Westminster in getting projects off the ground.

Energy Transition

Scottish planning authorities receive scores of windfarm bids

Figures have revealed windfarm companies have submitted almost 200 planning bids for major developments in the past 18 months. The Freedom of Information statistics show the level of applications for windfarms of more than three turbines, with rural local authorities bearing the brunt of submissions. The data compiled also revealed the Western Isles received the most applications for windfarms in that time period, followed by Dumfries and Galloway and Highland.

Energy Transition

Windfarm developer paid £7.5million to turn off its wind turbines

A green energy company has been paid £7.5million – to switch off its turbines and stop producing electricity. This year alone Falck Renewables Wind Ltd received £2.8million not to generate power on 77 separate occasions. The firm was under fire from politicians and campaigners last night as it emerged it wants to extend its Millennium development in the hills above Loch Ness.

Energy Transition

Renewables match fossil fuel power

Electricity generated from renewables in Scotland has matched that produced from fossil fuels for the first time. Both sources accounted for 32% of total electricity generated in 2013, according to figures released by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. Scotland continues to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting 28% of generation compared to 26% in 2012.

Energy Transition

Scottish Government creates national marine plan

A new plan to boost the economy by exploiting the energy, food and recreational resources of the sea while protecting the environment has been launched by the Scottish Government. The first national marine plan sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the sustainable development and use of the marine environment. The plan aims to ensure sustainable economic growth of a range of marine industries and protect and enhance the marine environment.

Energy Transition

Offshore wind farm backed by government

The UK government has granted permission for an offshore wind project which is expected to create up to 2,500 jobs. Hornsea Project One in North Lincolnshire will be made up of three offshore wind farms with a maximum capacity of 1200MW. Once built, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes.

Energy Transition

Renewable overtakes nuclear as main energy source

Renewable power has overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity in Scotland, figures have revealed. In the first half of last year sources such as wind and hydro power produced 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, figures from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change showed. Nuclear power stations, which had been Scotland’s main source of electricity, generated 7.8TWh over the same period, according to data from the National Grid.

Energy Transition

Financial boost announced for renewable sector

Renewable electricity projects will be able to compete for £300million of financial support, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has announced. The funding for Contracts for Difference (CFD) scheme is aimed at proving long-term certainty for investors as the UK government looks to reform electricity markets and create a new generation of clean, secure supplies.