From reading the statistics for quarter 3 of 2010 released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, electricity delivered to the national grid from renewable energy sources is at its highest, contributing 8.6% of electricity to the grid. This puts the UK close to reaching its target of 10%.
Comparing the 3rd quarter of 2009 the supply from renewables’ rose by 23.1%, which wind increased to 36.9 percent due to increased capacity. With many more onshore and offshore wind farms in the pipeline, wind will continue to be a major contributor to the UK’s energy supply.
Alex Murley, RenewableUK Head of Technical Affairs, commented:
“We have been forecasting that wind will make an important contribution to the UK’s electricity supply within a comparatively short time frame. Wind is also set to provide not just clean electricity, but the jobs and the economic regeneration this country needs. Onshore the British Isles have the best wind resource in Europe, while offshore we are world-leaders. Building on these undeniable facts could transform the UK into a regional renewable energy powerhouse”
The full press release and statistics can be seen here: DECC Press Release this is a PDF and requires Adobe Reader to be installed on your computer.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) released its forecast for wind power installations in 2010. It expects 10 gigawatt (GW) of new wind power capacity to be installed in the EU during 2010, taking total installed capacity by the end of 2010 to almost 85 GW – an increase of 13%.
Last year – a record year for wind power installation – saw 10.163 GW of new wind power capacity installed, constituting 39% of all new power capacity installed in the EU that year. Total installed wind power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.767 GW.
- UK world leader in the sector with 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed wind farms, providing energy for 700,000 homes
- Landmark reached with installation of DONG Energy’s Gunfleet Sands and E.ON’s Robin Rigg
- Development pipeline now over 40GW, sufficient to provide bulk of UK’s electricity
The landmark first gigawatt (GW) of installed offshore UK wind energy capacity has been reached this week(23rd April 2010) as two wind farms off the coast of Britain began generating electricity: Robin Rigg operated by EON and Gunfleet Sands operated by DONG Energy. One GW, now comprising of 11 wind farms, or 336 installed wind turbines, cements UK’s world-wide lead in the sector.
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive said:
“The UK offshore wind industry has come of age. In the last ten years we have built a brand new world-leading industry sector that will create long-term value for this country. In the first quarter of this year alone half a billion pounds of private investment has been invested directly into offshore wind in the UK.
The opportunity now for this country is to build on this position of global leadership to develop the industrial and service supply chain to provide the equipment and skills that will embed Britain’s competitive advantage in marine renewables. To have deployed 1,000MW of offshore wind plant in ten years, and with pioneering technology, is a tremendous step forward.”
Solar panels offer organisers annual income of £40k
npower’s solar division has applauded Michael Eavis’s decision to install solar photovoltaic panels at Glastonbury, and has urged other festival organisers to follow his example.
While Eavis was motivated by his ambitions for an eco-friendly festival, according to npower’s solar expert James Morgan there’s now a second incentive for festival organisers to go green. He comments: “From 1 April 2010, owners of solar photovoltaic panels will be paid for all the energy they generate – regardless of whether they use it themselves or sell it back to the grid.
Free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation is available, with the help of government grants, if you or someone you live with is over the age of 70, living in mainland Great Britain, own your own property or are currently receiving the following benefits:
- Council Tax Benefit
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Disability living Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (and household income less than £15,600)
If you’re not eligible for a full grant for insulation you can still receive up to 70 percent off the cost!
The government wants to reduce the CO2 emissions Great Britain produce and have pledged around £1bn in insulation grants. The grants are part of the governments Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) which consists of major energy companies such as NPower, E.ON and British Gas meeting carbon emissions targets.
These grants should significantly increase the interest from home owners to install insulation, because not only will they be reducing the amount of CO2 emissions released into the air, but they will reduce energy bills through the amount of energy saved.
Properties currently installed with the correct amount of loft and cavity wall insulation, are already reducing the buildings heat loss by at least 25 percent and that’s only from the roof. Not only does insulation save you on heating bills, but if condensation is a problem in your house then insulation actually reduces this, as the interior surface of walls and ceilings will be warmer. To have a complete overview of cavity insulation and roof insulation read our article on insulation.
Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are the two most energy efficient measures that can be done to your home, so these grants could be the best way start saving energy and helping the environment.
The European Commission’s ‘Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ published today contains grid and market commitments that will boost the growth of wind energy in Europe says the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
Smart growth and sustainable growth are two of the three priorities put forward by the European Commission for the development of Europe’s economy until 2020. These are intended to be implemented through seven ‘flagship initiatives’ of which one is ‘resource efficient Europe’. Here the European Commission states that it will work:
Desertec Industrial and several other businesses, including Siemens, E.ON and Deutsche Bank, have announced plans to supply energy to Europe with a huge solar power plant, located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The £249bn project called the Desertec Initiative aims to supply Europe with 15% of its energy needs by 2050 and hopes to start supplying electricity by 2015. Initially this will be achieved with huge solar power plants in the Sahara desert.
The future significance of Micro CHP in meeting our energy demands may be set to increase, as Ceres Power promises to provide new CHP products on the market by 2012 which may have the potential to halve CO2 output from the average home.
Such CO2 savings are possible, due to use of ‘Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology’. The technology, which uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) is 80% efficient, and generates heat and electricity with the only by-product being H2O, thus there is a huge potential to reduce CO2 and achieve the elusive Carbon Zero home. Read the rest of this entry »
It is predicted that the price of solar panels could fall by between 30-40% by the turn of the year, after huge increases in poly-silicon supplies lead to a substantial fall in production costs.
This is a view taken by leading industry analysts New Energy finance, whom contribute this sharp decrease in the price of solar cell modules to recent global investments to increase the production of silicon. Read the rest of this entry »
According to uSwitch.com the cost of gas and electricity has been continually rising over the past five years, with no sign of it slowing down. Consumers should be aware and seriously think about how to reduce their energy bills, as the annual bill could reach £5,000 by 2020.
In 2004 the average household energy bill was only £580 and currently (2009) the annual bill is around £1,240. Read the rest of this entry »