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 Some of this might be a bit outdated given time considerations and the fact that I don't get paid for doing this, but I do try and keep it as fresh and new as I can so it's still worth checking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.
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
The Smart Cornwall Business Development project has announced the initial results of its initiative to develop the UK’s first fully integrated smart energy system.
UK Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, recently gave a keynote speech to RenewableUK's Global Offshore Wind 2015 conference. Although she confirmed that the government does intend to support offshore wind, she also said that subsidies "can't last forever".
Ms Rudd described offshore wind as “one of the 21st century’s industrial success stories” but she added that the industry's costs must be “progressively reduced”so that it “becomes more and more competitive, requiring less and less public support so the future is sustainable and subsidy-free”.
Fergus Ewing MSP, Scotland’s minister for business, energy and tourism, was heartened by Ms Rudd's support for offshore wind but also noted that “there also needs to be clarity of support beyond 2020”. Others felt that she had failed to offer clear policy signals.
Monday, 29 June 2015
Last week, the UK government announced it was to end subsidies for onshore wind farms in the country by closing down the Renewables Obligation (RO) a year early, from 1st April 2016. The decision has generated widespread debate, particularly with regard to its likely effects on the UK renewable energy sector as a whole...
The Australian tidal and wave energy company Carnegie Wave Energy has established a base in Cornwall with a berth at Wave Hub.
A renewable energy company called Zero based in Exeter, UK, is celebrating after receiving a substantial grant from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Mr Hall warned that wind farms may have to rely on the taxpayer for another decade. “It’s obvious to me that costs should come down for new investments, because all consumers and governments want cheaper electricity" he said. “We’re committed to doing that, but you also need time before you can produce or invest in wind power totally without subsidies.”
Source: The Scotsman
Friday, 26 June 2015
The UK government well and truly hit the headlines this month with regard to its decision to close the Renewables Obligation (RO) a year early, announced by the new Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd. The RO is the main subsidy scheme providing funding for renewable energy infrastructure over 5 MW. The previous coalition government had already made provision for its replacement in 2017 by Contracts for Difference (CfD) but now the government has brought the closure forward, amid accusations of influence from senior, climate-sceptic Tories opposed to renewable energy. The closure of the RO in such a manner would hit Scotland particularly, it has been claimed, and there are also widespread accusations that it would damage investor confidence and severely harm the country’s ability to establish a low-carbon economy.
In order to get some clarity on the subject, REM asked Phil Foster of Love Energy Savings why the government would do this. Here’s what he had to say.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES), together with GE and Downer have announced a major contract for the supply of 75 wind turbines to the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm in south-west Victoria.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
REC is entering numerous markets in Africa, beginning with ECOWAS, East and South African regions, with solar power uptake on the African continent predicted to surge over coming years.
- 7 percent of final energy consumption in 2014 came from renewables, up from 5.7 percent in 2013.
- Renewable electricity grew by 19 percent and renewable heating and transport also rose.
- Renewables share of electricity generation (wind, solar, hydro and others) increased from 19.6 percent in 2014 Q1 to 22.3 percent in 2015 Q1 with wind generation up by 5.3 percent.
- Renewable electricity was a record 21.1 TWh in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 15 percent on the same period a year earlier.
- Electricity from biogeneration increased 45.7 percent to 6.7 TWh in 2015 Q1 largely due to a second converstion to biomass at Drax Power Station in Yorkshire.
- Electricity generated from onshore wind increased by 4.7 per cent in to 7.0 TWh, and generation from offshore wind increased by 6.3 per cent to 4.7 TWh. Both increases were due to increased capacity; although average wind speeds were high compared to the 10 year mean for the quarter, they were only marginally lower than 2014 Q1.
- Generation from solar photovoltaics
increased by 60.4 per cent to 0.8 TWh, largely due to increased capacity.
- Renewables’ share of total generation in 2015 quarter 1 was a record 22.3 per cent, an
increase of 2.6 percentage points on 2014 quarter 1, mostly reflecting increased capacity.
- Renewable electricity capacity was 26.4 GW at the end of the first quarter of 2015, 23.1 per
cent (5.0 GW) higher than a year earlier, and a 7.4 per cent increase (1.8 GW) on 2014
- Liquid biofuels represented 2.9 per cent of petrol and diesel consumed in road transport in the
first quarter of 2015, 0.7 per cent lower than in 2014 Q1.
- The amount of electricity generated from renewables sources in 2014 was 64,654 GWh, a 21 per cent increase during the year.
- Offshore wind generation increased by 17 per cent, and onshore wind generation increased by 10 per cent. Generation from solar PV more than doubled; both bioenergy sources and hydro generation saw 25 percent increases.
- Generation capacity increased by 4.8 GW (24 per cent) to 24.6 GW.
- Heat from renewable sources increased by 4.6 percent during 2014 (to 2,730 ktoe); renewable biofuels for transport rose by 14 per cent (to 1,243 ktoe).
- Renewable transport fuels accounted for 3.9 per centof road transport fuels in 2014.
- Renewable energy provisionally accounted for 7.0 percent of energy consumption, as measured using the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive methodology. This is an increase of 1.4 percentage points on the revised 2013 position of 5.6 per cent.
- The Renewable Energy Directive introduced interim targets for member states to achieve on their route to attaining the 2020 proportion. The second interim target, across 2013 and 2014, is 5.4 per cent, provisional data indicates this has been achieved, reaching 6.3 per cent.
Given that global gas prices, in previous years, have been the main driver of high energy bills (important because anti-renewables voices usually blame green energy for this), it is also worth mentioning that the industrial gas price for 2015 has fallen by 11.5 percent on the same period the previous year. The price paid for consumer gas fell by 4.3 percent.
More information is available from DECC here.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Telecommunications and internet company Softbank Corp is to form a joint venture with Indian company Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan manufacturing services provider Foxconn to help develop renewable energy in India.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Siemens has announced it has handed over the fourth North Sea grid link, HelWin2 to the customer TenneT, marking the start of its commercial operation.
Now this is what I like, if you're going to criticise a new idea for a solar PV scheme, at least suggest an alternative, and that, actually, is exactly what Tavarish on the Jalopnik website has done. You will see on this article various criticisms of the solar cycle path constructed in Amsterdam. The piece includes a picture of what seems to be the glass cover broken up, revealing the panels beneath.
However, rather than using this as an excuse to bash PV in general, Tavarish has pointed out a solar roadway scheme that DOES work, that is to say the bike path stretching along the Daejeon to Sejong motorway in South Korea.
The video is featured above. See what you think.
Monday, 22 June 2015
You know all those concerns about renewable energy systems being intermittent? Well, with vanadium flow batteries, those concerns are history.....
The decision by the UK government to end subsidies for onshore wind a year early is “wrong, ill-advised and irrational” said Fergus Ewing, MSP, warning that investors could leave the UK for other countries.
Bombora Wave Power has signed a Technology Evaluation Agreement with Indonesian company Anoa Power in advance of a manufacturing and distribution arrangement for the supply of its Wave Energy Collector (WEC).
Friday, 19 June 2015
The Singapore national water agency PUB and Anaergia have announced the commencement of Singapore’s first project to produce biogas for electricity generation from used water sludge and food waste.
Hanwha Q Cells and the ISM Group have completed the construction of one of the largest solar power plants in the Bitterfeld region of Germany.
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Northwest Energy Innovations (NWEI) has successfully deployed its Azura wave energy device at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) near Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawai.
Infinis Energy has announced it has signed a seven year, £83 million project financing facility for the construction of the 66 MW Galawhistle Wind Farm in Scotland
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Integrated energy company Elsewedy Electric has signed the first agreement related to the development of a 50 MWp solar PV plant in Egypt.
British renewable energy company Good Energy has become the first energy company in the world to join a local currency, allowing customers to pay their energy bills with ‘Bristol Pounds’.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced five new partnerships that will award up to $6.5 million for modernisation of the US national grid for increasing amounts of renewable energy.
Offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, has unveiled its first vessel capable of carrying up to 24 industrial personnel.
Wind turbine manufacturer Orenda Energy Solutions has signed a major trade agreement with China ZhuangHe Investment (CZH) involving the supply of Orenda’s 51 kW medium wind turbine.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Recycling and renewable energy company Viridor has welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG GCVO, and distinguished guests to the opening of its new Ardley Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Oxfordshire.
Veolia Energy Services, the Irish subsidiary of Veolia, has been awarded a contract worth 450 million euros to operate the largest biomass plant in Ireland, at Killala, Co. Mayo.
Thursday, 11 June 2015
Renewable Energy Generation Limited has announced an agreement with turbine manufacturer Gamesa to supply 19 wind turbines for five of REG’s consented UK onshore wind farm sites
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) has announced its commitment to invest in Senegal's first industrial-scale wind power project and the largest wind farm planned in West Africa.
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has just given the green light for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, the first of its kind in the world.
The European Commission needs new powers to ensure that Member States meet the EU's 27 percent renewable energy pledge by 2030, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
Monday, 8 June 2015
Siemens has been awarded an order for a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system to connect the British and Belgian national grids via subsea cable.
Friday, 5 June 2015
Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa has entered into an agreement with ScottishPower Renewables for the supply of 239 MW at the Kilgallioch wind farm in southern Scotland.
Thursday, 4 June 2015
The Global Apollo Programme is aiming to make carbon-free electricity less costly than electricity from coal, and to achieve this in ten years or less.
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
California on Monday, but the state will have to do more to prepare for a possible "new normal" of increased demand and dry periods that are longer, more frequent and more intense, a group of scientists said.
California's approach to water management is severely outdated and ill-suited to the state's mostly dry climate, according to Monday comments from members of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The state has to overhaul its water rights system, give its water managers the authority to supervise water use and restrict it when necessary.
Two leading organisations in ocean energy research have pledged to work together to measure and understand the impact of turbulence on wave and tidal energy devices.
Thailand, already known as the Detroit of the East, is now aiming to be a global production hub of electric vehicles (EVs), Bangkok Post reports.Demand for EVs has risen rapidly over the past five years and is expected to keep growing, and being an EV hub would help Thailand capitalise on strong demand for EV parts and batteries, said Thailand’s Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj.
“EVs are expected to be the new industry trend, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and saving limited oil resources,” Pichet pointed out at the opening ceremony of the Auto Parts Tech Day held at the Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani province.“The global automobile industry is focusing on EVs and biofuel vehicles, while Thailand is a hub for one-tonne pick-ups and eco-car production. It’s a natural fit for the country to prepare for EV output,” he added.
According to the minister, his ministry plans to train staff and prepare facilities for EVs and offer investment privileges to attract investors. Also on the cards are plans to coordinate with universities to set up fuel-cell training courses to be included in the area of mechanical engineering with the goal of creating EV experts.
To further support the vision, the ministry has allocated Thailand Science Park as an EV parts R&D centre, and is set to designate an industrial estate as a special-innovation zone (SIZ) to create new products for the EV sector. For the latter, the ministry will discuss incentive packages for eligible investors with the country’s National Economic and Social Development Board and Board of Investment.
Organisations that are already conducting EV testing include PTT Plc, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, the Provincial Electricity Authority and universities, running vehicles from small cars to buses.
If the current military-led Thai government pushes on with this EV plan, it will face Malaysia as a rival, as we have been making plenty of electric car sounds lately. Late last year, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Mohamad Madani Sahari announced that two EV models will surface by 2017, priced below RM100k.
It was also reported that MAI will coordinate the EV project, setting aside RM10 million for local companies to conduct EV R&D. As the battery constitutes some 30% of the overall price of an EV, MAI will also work with manufacturers to introduce a battery leasing concept – full story here.
More recently, Chinese carmaker Beijing Auto International Corporation (BAIC) chose Malaysia as its regional electric vehicle manufacturing hub, with a plant in Kedah expected to be operational in July 2016. BAIC’s Gurun plant, which is being built at the cost of between RM200 million and RM300 million, will also serve as a marketing centre for BAIC vehicles for Malaysia and ASEAN.
Of course, we also have the just-launched COMOS EV car-sharing service and a small network of charging stations in the Klang Valley in place. Thailand vs Malaysia – who will win the EV battle?
Although gas prices are temporarily low at the pump, long-term energy costs are on the rise. According to State of the World 2015 contributing author Nathan John Hagens, a former hedge fund manager who teaches human macro-ecology at the University of Minnesota, nations are papering over those costs with debt. Higher energy costs are leading to continued recessions, excess claims on future natural resources, and more-severe social inequality and poverty (www.worldwatch.org).
The relatively low cost of energy extraction has been perhaps the most important factor in the industrialized world's economic success. Historically, large quantities of inexpensive fuels were available even after accounting for the energy lost to extract and process them. But, as remaining fuels become less accessible, higher energy costs will have ripple effects through economies built around continued large energy-input requirements. Rising costs will endanger highly energy--- intensive industries and practices-including the energy sector itself--- as well as widen and deepen poverty as everything becomes more expensive.
"Despite having 'plenty of energy,' higher physical costs [of extraction] suggest that energy likely will rise from a historical average of 5 percent of GDP [gross domestic product], to 10--- 15 percent of GDP or higher," writes Hagens.
In the short term, nations are taking on growing debt to avoid losses in GDP--- an indicator of the economic health of a country. Since 2008, the Group of Seven nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have added about $1 trillion per year in nominal GDP, but only by increasing their debt by over $18 trillion.
However, continued use of credit to mask the declining productivity of energy extraction is unsustainable. For each additional debt dollar, less and less GDP is generated, and, at the same time, our highest-energy-gain fuels are being depleted. Energy is becoming more expensive for the creditor in the future than for the debtor in the present.
"We have entered a period of unknown duration where things are going to be tough," writes Hagens. "But humanity in the past has responded in creative, unexpected ways with new inventions and aspirations." While policy choices such as banking reform, a carbon and consumption tax, and moving away from GDP as a proxy for well-being are good long-term ideas, "we urgently need institutions and populations to begin to prepare...for a world with the same or less each year instead of more."
Worldwatch's State of the World 2015 investigates hidden threats to sustainability, including economic, political, and environmental challenges that are often underreported in the media. For more information on the project, visit http://www.worldwatch.org/
state-world-2015-confronting- hidden-threats-sustainability- 0.
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
EDF Energy has contributed £1 million to fund an energy efficient heating system in three tower blocks in Manchester, UK
US Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has announced the selection of five Alaskan Native villages to receive technical assistance in support of clean energy development.
Monday, 1 June 2015
Flooring technology company Pavegen have been selected to install their unique renewable energy generating tiles in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf district.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
Should the US government waive the Renewable Fuel Standard?
Should the US government waive the Renewable Fuel Standard?
Journals and Environmental Information
- Air Quality England
- American Journal of Environmental Sciences
- Anals of Environmental Science
- Cities and the Environment
- Climate Central
- Conservation Evidence
- Ecology and Society
- Environmental Research Letters
- Grantham Research Institute (LSE) policy briefs
- Green Building Bible
- Green Building Magazine
- Green Theory and Praxis
- International Energy Agency publications
- The Green Guide environmental directory
- Windpower Monthly