Thursday, 3 July 2014

Renewable Energy meets 20% of all UK electricity generation.

Wind  Power helps to meet 20% of all UK electricity mix

Renewable UK says new statistics published this week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change prove the case for wind power, and makes nonsense of the Governments ban on future onshore wind farms.

The figures show that 19.4% of all the UK’s electricity mix in the first quarter of this year was generated from renewable energy sources, compared to 12.4% in 2013. DECC says the primary reason for the increase was improved performance and greater capacity from onshore and offshore wind power.

Total renewable electricity generation was a record 18.1 terawatt hours in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 12.7 terawatt hours the previous year, an increase of 43%. This is enough to power some 15 million homes for the quarter. Coal, gas and nuclear production all fell in the same period.

Onshore wind showed the highest absolute increase in generation, increasing by 62% to 6.6 terawatt hours, with offshore wind increasing by 53% to 4.4 terawatt hours. This made onshore wind the largest source of renewable electricity, with the technology providing 7.2% of all electricity across the UK. The combined total for onshore and offshore wind was nearly 12% of all electricity generated.. 

The increase was partially due to increases in installed capacity, but also record high performance factors (load factors) of 40.4% for onshore wind and 54.3% for offshore wind. In addition, wave and tidal production increased 77%.

The paper also confirms previously released statistics for 2013, once again showing record performance for renewables across the year, led by onshore wind. However, the document does confirm that progress towards the overall energy target, including heat and transport, was below the interim target that the Government set out for 2013, highlighting the need to keep investing in renewable electricity – including onshore wind. 

RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Once again, wind delivered strongly for the UK in the first quarter of the year – when we need power most - providing nearly 12% of all our electricity. 

“At a time when some politicians were finalising their plans to rule out any future support for onshore wind, it was quietly generating enough electricity for the equivalent of over 5 and a half million homes. Offshore wind also made a significant contribution to getting us off the hook of fossil fuels and reducing our dependence imported energy. 

“Onshore wind is delivering today, and it’s deeply illogical to talk about limiting its potential. Without the strong performance of wind last year, the Government would have been even further behind its energy targets. That’s why we need to ensure that there’s continued investment in both onshore and offshore wind moving forward.”

Edited version of a NextGen report.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Clean Energy: Best Guides Review


So if you are interested in knowing how to create your own clean energy and reduce, or even eliminate your electricity bills, then you have come to the right place. Below we have reviewed and listed the top Do it Yourself guides to Solar and Wind energy generation.

With energy prices soaring, surely there is no better time than NOW, to stop throwing money out the window and start saving some by generating your own clean energy.

Whether you want to simply cut your power bills down  to size or completely eliminate them – the one stop solution is creating your own electricity.You can pay £1000's for professionally installed solar or wind power systems.All of the reviewed guides below, gives you the opportunity to build your own home made solar  or wind, green energy system for a fraction of the cost.

That's right, these guides teach you everything you need to know about generating your own  wind and solar power system. With the complete step-by-step set-up, fully illustrated manuals and easy to follow video instructions present in these guides you will  easily be able to create your own renewable energy at home.

                                                               GREEN POWER EASY

                                                            OVERALL RATING  9/10

No 1 Rated Clean Energy Site for 2012
The clear winner from our criteria was Green Power Easy. This learning package was developed by Peter and Jennifer Lowe, and it is the most well put together green energy package that we tested.
When you buy Green Power Easy you will immediately be able to download the package. Included is the manual, blueprints, and how-to videos that make learning this one very simple.
The focus of this package is on converting your home to either wind or solar power or indeed both. Most importantly it focuses on how to accomplish this for very little cost. All of the parts that Green Power Easy recommends are readily available and easy to obtain.
For being the most complete package, that also worked better than the others we tested, we are giving this one the best-clean energy-learning-package award:

                                                      DISCOVER MORE NOW

                                                                  EARTH 4 ENERGY
                                                           OVERALL RATING 8.5/10

In second place we have an eBook package called Earth 4 Energy. Previously this one was in top spot, but with Green Power Easy coming to market it has been overtaken.
The Earth 4 Energy package again consists of both eBooks and videos that work well to teach you how to convert your home to clean energy. The material is clearly laid out and the instructions are simple to follow.
When we tested the components that we built using this system the power generated by the solar panels and the windmill did match that of our winner. It does cover converting your  whole home, but it isn't explained quite as well as with our number 1 choice.

                                  DISCOVER MORE NOW

                                                              GREEN DIY ENERGY

                                                            OVERALL RATING 8/10

In third place we have Green DIY Energy. Overall this package is worth the money you spend to get it, but it just isn't written as well as our top two picks.

The package again consists of eBooks and videos that work to teach you how to convert your home. The material is fairly well laid out, but the images lack a little compared to Green Power Easy.
You will be able to build solar panels, or wind turbines, quite easily with Green DIY Energy, but you may find it harder to perform a whole home conversion. On the plus side however,this package does cover Solar Water Heating as well, unlike our top 2 choices.

                            DISCOVER MORE NOW

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Solar Schools: Is there one near you??

Is there a Solar School near you

Against a backdrop of rising energy prices, schools the length and breadth of Britain are taking control and generating their own clean energy, thanks to the successful Solar Schools campaign. The carbon-cutting campaign helps schools fund raise to buy a solar power system and generate their own electricity.

 And it's not just schools in the sunny south that can reap the rewards. From Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly in the Southwest corner of the UK, to Springwell School in Hartlepool in the Northeast, schools throughout England and Wales are recognizing the financial, community, environmental and educational benefits of going solar.

The project provides expert advice, training and support and a host of free fundraising materials such as stickers, posters, banners and a page on the Solar Schools website. With their help, many schools have already completed the Solar Schools process since it launched a year ago, tripling on average their normal fundraising efforts, with several more well on their way.The campaign launched its second year in October and 50 schools have already started their fundraising efforts this year. The scheme allows new schools to apply at any time.

The scheme has the backing of Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker   who said: "This is a genuinely exciting technology that will help schools generate their own energy, while saving money and cutting carbon at the same time.But the benefits go much further. Solar Schools brings together the whole community with lots of fun and exciting fundraising activities and helps develop their entrepreneurial and communications skills too.

Onshore wind: Still needed for UK to reach 2020 renewable energy target

Trade Association Renewable-UK has said that if the UK is to meet its legally-binding goal of generating 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, more onshore wind may be needed to make up for a possible shortfall in other parts of the energy mix.

The warning follows comments by the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben, in The Times, in which he stated: “I’m happy that we have already got enough onshore wind to 2020 to meet that part of the portfolio.”

Renewable UK points out that not all the onshore wind projects which have been approved will actually get built - about 10% will drop away for financial and other reasons between now and 2020. This means the UK could lose more than 450 megawatts of onshore wind capacity. So the pipeline of approvals will need to be extended to make up for this.

As well as generating renewable electricity from wind and other clean sources, the UK has committed to produce a significantly higher proportion of heat, and fuel for transport, from renewables.

According to the latest available Government figures, the UK is only a third of the way towards its target for transport fuel, and just a fifth of the way towards its target for renewable heat. To make up for a shortfall in these other areas, the Government could increase the amount of clean electricity to hit the overall target, as the UK is already over half way towards generating 30% of its electricity from renewables - more than half of which is being provided by wind. 

Renewable UK is also calling on the CCC Chairman Lord Deben to support the case for wind energy in the 2020s. In The Times interview, he stated: “It is likely that onshore wind will continue to play a part in our renewables after 2020, but it is not a decision we have to make now, and there are circumstances in which it might not. The public will decide what the balance is.” 

“Public support for onshore wind has reached a record high of 70% according to official Government figures, so the Committee on Climate Change will want to remain in step with the majority of the British public, who strongly support our transition from fossil fuels to clean sources.”

Article previously published on Click Green

Saturday, 7 June 2014

UK now below Canada in Renewable Energy league

The UK Government’s constant meddling  in it's  support for green energy has resulted in the country dropping further down the renewable energy league table, published by EY this week. 

Analysts at EY say that overall, in the last 3 months, “the attractiveness of the UK renewable energy market has decreased dramatically in the eyes of investors and developers alike”, slipping down to 6th – behind the US, China, Germany, Japan and now Canada as well - its lowest level since November 2012. 

Their report claims the drop is mainly due to conflicting signals over the future of support for renewables beyond the 2015 election, as well as the short sighted proposed cap on solar power projects eligible for Renewable Obligation support being introduced two years earlier than planned. 

As well as producing overall country rankings, EY also looks at specific technologies.  Whilst maintaining it's number one position in marine and offshore wind The UK is currently behind China, the US, Germany, Canada and Ireland as the 6th most attractive investment destination for onshore wind generation.. 

The reasons cited by EY for the UK’s overall fall in attractiveness to renewable energy investors include the Chancellor’s decision to freeze the Carbon Price Support and the Coalition's plans to, in effect, ban any future onshore wind projects by ending all financial support, which EY warns is “weighing heavily on the sector’s ability to assess the long-term outlook”. 

Ben Warren, EY’s Environmental Finance leader said policy-makers were creating uncertainty as he described the UK’s position in the index. “The UK has slipped to sixth place for the first time in more than a year,” he said. “Policy tinkering and conflicting signals once again become too much for investors and developers to handle. 

“The recent carbon tax freeze, an energy market competition probe as well as the Coalition's plans to scrap onshore wind subsidies post 2015, are weighing heavily on the sector’s ability to assess the long-term outlook. In addition, the launch of a Government consultation on future financial support for solar has taken the shine off the UK’s otherwise booming solar market.

“As ever with the renewables sector, more damaging than the outcome of any review itself, is the uncertainty it creates and the trust it erodes. This last quarter has been no exception, with little done to foster sympathy from the renewable energy sector, which appears to be continuously caught in the firing line.”

The trade body Renewable UK also believes that the UK government's short-sighted perspective is also severely undermining what should be one of the nation's fastest-growing industrial sectors. As the UK is still the number one destination for investment in offshore wind and marine energy, it urges the current Government, and its successor next year, to ensure that policy makers promote these vibrant technologies, whilst keeping the widest range of renewable options,to maximize economic benefits now and into the future.