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Please scroll down for lots of useful information. There are links to industry and environmental journals, relevant dates in the environmental and renewable energy calendar, current debates, a solar PV Feed-in Tariff calculator, green products websites, campaign groups and more. Some of this might be a bit outdated given time considerations and the fact that I don't get paid for doing this, but I do try and keep it as fresh and new as I can so it's still worth checking out.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

George Ferguson labels First's consultation on bus fares a PR stunt



http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Consultation-bus-fares-PR-stunt/story-18787746-detail/story.html#axzz2R60rg9Lh
BRISTOL mayor George Ferguson has labelled First's consultation on fares a PR stunt.
The bus operator launched a review into their prices after thousands signed a Make Fares Fair petition. But mayor George Ferguson has raised concerns about the consultation.
First's fare review questionnaire – A Fare Hearing For Bristol – includes three pages explaining the challenges and costs the business faces.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

New plan to build solar PV plant in the Philipines



http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-news/current/2013/kw16/philnewenergy-to-build-35-mw-solar-pv-plant-in-the-philippines.html
The Phillipines' Board of Investments (BOI) has approved PhilNewEnergy Inc.'s plan to build a 35 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Philippine province of Davao del Sur on the island of Mindanao.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What if Iraq war trillions had been spent on renewables?



http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/what-if-iraq-war-trillions-had-been-spent-on-renewables-65410
The US is noting a somber milestone this year: a decade of death and destruction following its invasion of Iraq. As the country continues struggling with the moral dimension of its action, what has become clear is the staggering cost to future Americans and the opportunities forsaken across the USA.

Portugal hits 60 percent renewables



http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/mixed-greens-portugal-hits-60-per-cent-renewables-61965
Portugal is the newest country to make the list of over 60% renewable electricity. According to this report by the network operator REN, it got 70 per cent in quarter one of this year. The largest part (37 per cent) comes from hydro, which had excellent weather conditions, leading to a 312 per cent increase over last year’s figures. But wind also contributed 27 per cent, with a 60 per cent increase, also primarily due to favorable weather conditions. As expected, generation from coal was down by 29 per cent, and from gas was down by 44 per cent. (reprinted from Cleantechnica).

Friday, 5 April 2013

More bankruptcies needed if solar companies want a future, investment site argues



http://www.thestreet.com/story/11887958/1/the-troubling-state-of-solar-energy-stocks.html
Two major issues plague the sector: excess supply and weak demand. China hoped to have a sustainable solar energy market, but there are simply too many firms operating at a loss and producing too much solar products. Unfortunately, the industry needs more bankruptcies of weak unprofitable firms, if solar companies want a future.

More than one million PV systems installed under Australia's Renewable Energy Target



http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/Latest-Updates/2013/April/one-million-solar-panel-systems-installed
Data released today by the Clean Energy Regulator shows more than one million (1 000 643) households in Australia are now equipped with solar photovoltaic panels. Today's postcode data also shows that more than 794 345 solar hot water and air source heat pump systems were also installed under the Renewable Energy Target.

The Renewable Energy Target is designed to deliver on the Australian Government's commitment to ensure the equivalent of at least 20 per cent of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
Under the Renewable Energy Target, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive through the creation and trade of small-scale technology certificates for homeowners who install eligible renewable energy systems, such as solar hot water heaters, air source heat pumps and solar panels, based on the amount of electricity an eligible system generates or displaces.

See the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme for more information about small-scale renewable energy system installations under the Renewable Energy Target.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Solar panels make more electricity than they use






Solar panels make energy, but they take energy to make, too. And, until about 2010 or so, the solar panel industry used more electricity than it produced, according to a new analysis. Now, the industry is set to "pay back" the energy it used by 2020.
 

North Carolina legislation could deter renewable energy use



http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2013/04/bill-could-deter-renewable-energy
Legislators at the N.C. General Assembly will discuss a bill today that opponents say could derail the state’s renewable energy industry. House Bill 298, currently in a commerce and job development subcommittee, would lift a requirement on the types of energy public electric utilities use. Current law, enacted in 2007, requires utilities to derive 12.5 percent of their retail sales from renewable energy sources by 2021.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Interest in the Green Deal growing



http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/article.php?category_id=1&article_id=1439
With 1800 Green Deal assessments completed since January, and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker promising more funds to market the scheme, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling on construction SMEs to upskill and qualify to take on green work.

ROC's are a win-win for DECC and PV but Feed-in Tariffs need to be amended





A blog in PV Tech from Finlay Colville argues that all it needs for the UK to have a strong and balanced PV industry is the amendment of Feed-in Tariffs in favour of <250kW systems.

Britain's largest rooftop solar array supported by RO rather than Feed-in Tariffs






Car manufacturer Bentley has installed a 20,000 panel solar system on the roof of its factory in Crewe. The system covers 3.45 hectares and boasts an installed capacity of 5MW. It is expected to be able to generate 40 percent of the factory’s electricity supplies at peak times and displace over 2,500 tonnes of carbon per year. A two-way connection means that energy can be exported to the national grid at weekends and shut-down times. The system is owned and maintained by Lightsource which will supply power to the factory via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Lightsource commented that in order for the project to remain viable it had to be developed under the Renewables Obligation (RO) rather than the Feed-in Tariff which will reduce payments to large solar farms from the beginning of April. The company said in a statement: “The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar array stands out as a major anomaly for a market that has continued to struggle since a challenging feed-in tariff rate was introduced when the tri-monthly degression mechanism was implemented.”

Other large companies such as Solarcentury and Conergy have been racing to complete their large projects before the deadline passes.
 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Roofs over roads could tap into solar power



http://zeenews.india.com/news/science/roof-over-roads-to-tap-solar-power_838924.html
Gandhinagar: India's major roads may double up as solar highways, if an innovative proposal by some scientists gets the government's approval. The proposal is the brainchild of scientists at the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) in the state capital. In a paper just published in the International Journal of Energy, Environment and Engineering, the scientists say highways can be used to generate solar power, if a roof of solar panels was laid over them, across the length of the roads

Energy & Environment Dates 2012