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Why FITs cuts are good for the solar industry

There's been a lot of discussion FITs cuts and the potential impact on consumers, but Sunny Britain chief executive, Barak Goldstein explains why he believes this is actually a good thing for his business.

Influential environmental mind: Terry Tamminen

Interview: Terry Tamminen

Terry Tamminen is recalling the day after Arnold Schwarzenegger swept to victory in California's 2003 gubernatorial elections.

Sustainable future that’s becoming reality

The water industry has to embrace green solutions to improve energy efficiency and cut emissions. Barry Oliver explains the best approaches

Solar pump brings running water to a Gambian school

Mono's UK sales manager Mark Viner was part of a team to visit Gambia and install a solar pump in a school. Here he explains

Give offsetting some credit

Carbon offsetting has come under fire lately. The immaturity of the offset market has led to increased scepticism. But Emily Tyler, a project developer with experience in developing countries argues that this market does have an important role to play

Every pound counts

There are a wealth of opportunities for businesses to improve their bottom lines through good environmental practice. And the incentives, and penalties, are significant, writes Mark Simpson.

Never knowingly unsustainable

The compatibility of sustainability and good business is exemplified by John Lewis's recently-opened distribution centre in Milton Keynes
Jitendra Patel

Futureproofing your data centre

As vital as they are to our modern economy, data centres are not immune to the onslaught of energy-efficiency legislation. But staying one step ahead is not as daunting as it seems

Tomorrow's home today

The government's proposal that all new homes should be zero-carbon rated by
2016 has set a tough target for housebuilders in terms of design, delivery and affordability. Gary Mills reports on a new development which addresses these issues

The great grant farce

The Low Carbon Building Programme's 'inefficient' grant system is a mess, according to Robert Kyriakides of Genersys. Is it time to find a replacement?

Land Rover hits the road to sustainability

Land Rover's Fran Leedham has a balancing act to perform. The company is driving for a greener image, which is embodied in a new concept car. But it also has to cater to its customers' needs. Tom Idle talks to the head of environment and sustainability about her challenging role

One green bottle

Adnams prides itself on being one of the most eco-efficient brewery companies in Europe. John Haven investigates

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, April 2007

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. This month we see new regulations giving financial incentives for energy saving devices and a law obliging producers to recover and recycle packaging waste, while English and Welsh water undertakers are told in more detail how to prepare and publish water resources management plans.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary, March 2007

Recent changes to legislation which will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see new regulations in Britain's green energy and bio-fuel sectors, as rules on co-generation plants guaranteeing the origin of the green electricity they produce enter into force.

The green housing effect

Tim Pollard says the construction industry should stop navel-gazing and start taking action to appease the nation's fear of climate change

Ecobuild: Bigger than ever

Dubbed as Britain's biggest green building information programme, Ecobuild will showcase truly sustainable construction in action. John Haven reports

'Every industry should be an environmental one'

He's been environment minister for less than a year, but David Miliband has a clear vision for the environmental performance of business

How to be change-proof

While telecoms group BT has had its ups and downs in business, its excellent environmental management performance has been maintained. Tom Idle met group head of environment, Mike Hughes

The migration to Ethernet

Telemetry is a complicated business. Mike Knights looks at which solutions an engineer should select for a particular challenge, and asks whether there are any golden rules.

Bridging the brownfield

The Bridge is a £400M scheme that aims to turn a 107 hectare brownfield site into a "culturally vibrant" new community. John Haven describes the ambitious Dartford development

MCerts: The fuller picture

The introduction of MCerts for self-monitoring of discharge flows focused attention on areas of flow measurement that had been long overlooked. But the story is far from complete. WRc's Andy Godley reports

Yorkshire Water gets good vibes from microgenerator

Perpetuum has developed the first effective vibration energy harvesting microgenerator that makes wireless, battery-free sensors a reality. Yorkshire Water, along with the US Navy and a major international oil company, has been trialling the PMG7 high-performance microgenerator. We take an in-depth look at the technology and how it has been benefiting the water utility.

Property pioneers

Developers have been dabbling with green construction methods for a while now, but none has captured eco design quite like South West Eco Homes. Tom Idle paid a visit to the Great Bow Yard project in Somerset and spoke to regional co-ordinator, Cara Naden

What lies beneath

Martin Preene discusses the carbon-reducing benefits of heat-pump technology. Unlike geothermal methods, it can extract even moderate heat from the earth - while cooling it

Keeping in touch

Mike Knights of Pacscom looks at the changes in telemetry that are on the way and which should be of benefit to the water industry

Turning down the heat

Stricter building regulations demand new homes be better insulated and more efficiently heated. Phil Marris reports on the latest in heating and ventilation

Hidden cost of renewables

The Government wants 10% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2010. But any business that installs a renewable-energy system on its property faces increased rates. The British Retail Consoritum asks why As industry ponders the future of Britain's energy supply, political pressure is mounting on the Government from a range of disparate voices. The environmental lobby wants clean and green energy. The private sector is concerned by both rising costs and fears about security of supply, while voters (hit by soaring gas and electricity bills) simply want an energy bill they can afford.
It is against this tense background that the DTI is conducting the major energy review currently under way. Clearly, the nuclear option looms large (an option explored on page 16), but the scale of a nuclear build needed to meet Britain's energy demand may remain an unpalatable political decision for this current Government. But we shall have to wait and see.
In the build-up to Kyoto, and following its implementation last year, the Government has worked hard to secure creditability globally with its commitment to climate change. Only a few months post-Kyoto, Tony Blair lectured his G8 colleagues on the threat of climate change at Gleneagles, calling it "probably, long-term, the single most important issue we face as a global community".
Thus, in recent years, we have seen a range of policy drivers designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the property market. These have included regulatory spurs, such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and changes to the Building Regulations, and incentives via a range of grants and reliefs (for example the Clear Skies programme and business rates relief for good-quality combined heat and power plant).
For the moment, at least, the Government continues to maintain its support for renewable energy and is publicly committing to generating 10% of the UK's electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2010. Clearly we are still some way off meeting this goal - at present, less than 3% of the UK's electricity supply comes from renewable sources. In order to meet the 10% target, the UK will need to install approximately 10,000MWe of renewable capacity by 2010, an annual build rate of more than 1,250MWe.

Small scale
Until recently, the Government has focused on the potential for large-scale renewable systems - but this is set to change. Small-scale renewable systems have now been developed which can be installed on just about any structure and most locations
- including the high street.
Voices within government have recognised the potential for business to drive up the UK's generating capacity from renewable sources and have identified the planning system as one of the best mechanisms. With this end in mind, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) published a new planning guidance document on renewable energy at the end of 2004 called Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22): Renewable Energy.
Although this document is barely 18 months old, there is already talk in some Government circles about whether to begin work revising and presumably extending PPS22. And the ODPM and the DTI have been engaged in an interesting series of exchanges about whether or not there would be a redraft.
A growing number of local authorities are beginning to flex their new planning powers to implement the Government's 10% target. And we are increasingly beginning to see individual wind turbines and solar photovoltaics (PV) appearing in the most unlikely of places - standing alongside a supermarket, a DIY retailer or attached to a petrol station forecourt.
The Mayor of London has taken this further with the introduction of legislation that means all major developments in the Greater London Authority area should generate at least 10% of the site's energy needs from on-site renewable energy. No doubt, as new development schemes designed under this new regime begin to come online, we will witness an explosion of micro-renewables across the Capital.
Despite all these laudable attempts to promote the growth of the fledgling renewables market, the Government is in danger of undermining all its good intentions by penalising private-sector investment in renewable energy. It is a little-known fact that an anomaly in the system of business rates means that any business that installs a small-scale renewable energy system on its property - be it a 30kW wind turbine or a small panel of PV - faces a supplementary increase in their business rates levy. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which administers the business rates regime on behalf of the ODPM, fails to make a distinction between fossil fuel burning plant and machinery and renewable plant.
Accordingly, an incongruous situation has emerged
where retailers who look to reduce their carbon emissions by investing in renewables
are penalised with increased
rates liability.
Clearly this small branch of Government has not kept up with the rest of Whitehall thinking on renewable energy and climate change. And, given the already high start-up costs associated with renewable technologies, many leaders in the retail community have voiced the opinion that this practice is a deterrent from taking up these important technologies.
This point is also picked up in Ernst & Young's global renewable energy market report. Although the most recent edition ranks the UK as one of the two most attractive countries in the world for investment in renewable technologies, the UK's position is downgraded for the first time because of the Government's business rates regime.

Iniquitous practice
The retail sector and others in the business community feel they have the potential to go some way in helping the Government meet its ambitious target of generating 10% of the UK's electricity from renewable energy by 2010. However, at the present time it is still more cost effective for retailers to source their energy needs from the national grid.
The rating of micro-renewables further reinforces this situation. The British Retail Consortium is currently campaigning to ensure the Government puts a stop to this iniquitous practice.

The HWJS precipitation measurement station. Image Logotronic

Hydrometeorological measuring network for Vienna

Optimisation of Vienna's sewage management system necessitates collection of accurate and detailed meteorological information on precipitation. Carolin Melischek of Austrian instrumentation specialist Logotronic explains how the company is supplying measurement stations based on its most advanced datalogger.

Why is renewable energy use penalised?

The Government wants 10% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2010. But any business that installs a renewable-energy system on its property faces increased rates. The British Retail Consoritum asks why

Telemetry cabinets - a lot less hassle

Modular cabinets offer secure storage for pressure-relief valves as well as increasingly vital security for storing chlorine.

Edie Environmental Legislation Summary (March 06)

Recent changes to legislation whichth will impact on the environmental sector in the UK, Europe and internationally come under the spotlight in this Semple Fraser and Edie News monthly round-up of new law and policy. Among the developments this month we see EU legislation on public access to pollution information and on the marketing and use of dangerous substances, while in the UK orders on offshore installations and the renewables obligation come into force.

Solar fire fighting

Richmond firefighters are making history by staffing the UK's first solar-powered fire station - and it could be the first of many. Varya Shaw reports

Real alternative

Alternative energy has to move from being an interesting technical sideshow into the mainstream of the heating industry. John Haven reports

The fear of carbon

After 20 years of research, Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen believes theories of global warming and 'climate alarmism' are unscientific and for political gain

Hard talk

When it comes to saving the planet, says CIWEM executive director Nick Reeves, tough decisions need not always be bad ones.

Hard talk

When it comes to saving the planet, says CIWEM executive director Nick Reeves, tough decisions need not always be bad ones.

Good wood

As global deforestation continues at a staggering rate, Chayley Collis reveals why sustainable timber procurement is becoming more and more important

Dr Donald MacPhee carries out tests on the degredation of naphthalene in the fuel cell with a lab-scale photoelectrocatalytic reactor

Electric charge for solar disinfection

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland are developing new solar disinfection technology that simultaneously creates electricity. Three industrial partners, OpTIC Technium, Yorkshire Water and Scotoil Services, along with the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), have committed over €1.7million to commercially develop novel technology for breaking up pollutants found in all types of water supplies.

Solar panels cut costs at the Borrego Springs ranch

California boasts world's largest solar irrigation system

Technological innovation in irrigation is cutting costs, improving reliability and providing solutions to environmental concerns and legislation, reports Dr Anand Rangarajan, executive vice-president of WorldWater & Power Corporation.

Solar pump study for nature reserve

Direct-coupled solar powered pumping systems for environmentally sensitive areas are being studied as alternatives to battery-backed systems as Simon Bouwmeester, Bernard van Hemert and Mark Koerft of Ecofys report.

The letter warns that the Government would “struggle” to alleviate fuel poverty and reach a 12% renewable heat target for 2020 without the aid of solar thermal installations

Solar industry 'left in limbo' over delays to RHI decision

The Solar Trade Association (STA) and the Energy Saving Trust are among a group of 21 organisations that have penned a letter to the minister of state for energy and intellectual property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, calling on her to retain solar thermal within the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Alongside strong political support in some of the world’s largest economies, the uptake in renewables looks set to be boosted by tumbling installation costs

IEA significantly increases renewables forecast

Having previously been accused of "holding back the global energy transition" through "misleading" outlooks for the growth of clean energy, the International Energy Association (IEA) has today (25 October) increased its five-year growth forecast for renewables.

The letter suggests that the removal of current trade measures would “stimulate growth” in European manufacturing sectors

European businesses call for EU to cut 'ruinous' tariffs on chinese solar

Businesses across Europe, including more than 60 based in the UK, are calling on the European Union (EU) to remove trade measures on Chinese solar modules and cells that have had "unforeseen consequences" on the European solar value chain.

The company claims that the technology can boost cell output by around 30%, and hopes to use the latest investment to bring it one step closer to commercialisation

Oxford firm receives £8.7m investment on technology to improve solar efficiency

A company founded as a "spin-out" from the University of Oxford has received a new equity investment of £8.7m, as it aims to accelerate the commercialisation of a solar cell that could boost the performance of photovoltaics by 30%.

The partnership will run through to March 2017, at which point the $1,000 promotion on behalf of SolarCity will drop to $750

SolarCity and Airbnb offer cash incentives on solar installations

As Tesla begins to make waves in the autonomous driving sphere, its sister company SolarCity has also branched-out into a new domain - partnering with hospitality company Airbnb to offer cash rebates on solar array installations.

Octopus Energy will receive branding rights for all domestic fixtures played at the Emirates in an attempt to broaden the company’s reach

Arsenal signs up renewable experts as official energy partner

Arsenal Football Club has unveiled a new marque signing, as the UK's largest solar energy investor becomes the club's official UK energy partner in a move that will see the Emirates Stadium powered by renewable energy.

Panasonic is working with Schneider to develop a new energy management system for commercial buildings, and with Tesla to manufacture and produce solar PV cells in the US

Panasonic embraces the power of partnerships to drive green innovation

Japanese electronics firm Panasonic has ramped up its involvement in the low-carbon agenda, forming two new collaborative partnerships with automaker Tesla and energy management solutions provider Schneider electric to develop new solar PV cells and smart building technology.

The WWF has also called on politicians to continue to develop the county's

September an 'astonishing' month for Scottish renewable energy

Scotland has had an "astonishing" month for wind energy, managing to generate 100% of its energy needs through wind turbines alone for two full days.

The trend will not continue into winter because of solar’s seasonal nature, but the symbolic records reveal the dramatic impacts solar subsidies and penalties for coal have wrought

Solar outstrips coal in past six months of UK electricity generation

Electricity generated by solar panels on fields and homes outstripped Britain's ageing coal power stations over the past six months in a historic first.

An outbuilding of a historic building in Stapleford, Cambridge (C) Viridian Solar

STA promotes 'desirable' arrays through Stunning Solar campaign

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has launched a campaign aimed at highlighting the aesthetic prowess of modern solar installations, in an attempt to promote the number of installations on old and new buildings.

Global renewable generation capacity grew by 152GW (8.3%) last year, breaking the previous record for annual deployment

10 things you probably didn't know about the renewables revolution

With new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealing that renewables grew at record pace in 2015, edie digs deep into the data to bring you 10 surprising statistics about the world's green energy transformation.

The completion of Nottingham's solar carport comes as the UK’s first two solar carports received a pair of national awards following their recent installation

Nottingham flicks the switch on solar carport

A leisure centre in Nottingham is set to save the local council an estimated £10,000 on energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 41 tonnes thanks to the installation of an 88KWp solar carport.

 There was 21MW of small solar installed in February and March this year compared to 81MW for the same period in 2015, according to Ofgem

UK solar power installations plummet after Government cuts

The amount of household solar power capacity installed in the past two months has plummeted by three quarters following the Government's cuts to subsidies, according to new figures.

The company has confirmed it will not be selling self-branded modules, mounting systems or inverters

Ikea aims to become number one residential solar retailer

Swedish furniture giant Ikea plans to start offering residential solar arrays from its stores across nine countries including the UK and the Netherlands in 2016/17, in a bid to provide households with an opportunity to reduce energy costs.

Lightsource will hard-wire a 4.84MWp off-site solar farm into the Belfast International Airport private network – providing 27% of the airport’s annual electricity demand

Belfast set for largest UK airport solar project

Belfast International Airport will receive power from a 4.84MWp off-site solar farm developed by Lightsource Renewable Energy in what is the UK's largest airport Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solar project.

The the new solar farms signify what could be the last projects to benefit from the RO Scheme which will expire on Friday (1 April)

Battery-connected community solar farms completed ahead of RO deadline

Two new £5m community solar farms have been connected to the grid in Stratford and Chesterfield, representing two of the last renewable energy projects to qualify for Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy entitlement.

Apple's new recycling robot, algae bottles, and tomato power are the big innovation in this week's round-up

Liam the robot and Disney World powered by tomatoes: the best green innovations of the week

After a week that saw the Energy and Climate Change Committee's (ECCC) embark on a new exploration into innovation in the energy sector, edie rounds up the latest low-carbon technologies and innovations that could accelerate the global green industrial revolution.

The Eveley Solar Farm installation was granted planning permission in July 2015 under the RO grace period rule and will shortly be accredited by the scheme which is set to be scrapped from start of next month.

One of the last big solar farms launches under Renewables Obligation

Developers of a new solar farm in Hampshire that reached completion this week have warned the site may be the last utility-scale solar park built in the UK for a long time, due to impending subsidy changes.

Renewables, excluding large hydro, still represent a small minority of the world’s total installed power capacity (16.2%), but that figure continues to climb (up from 15.2% in 2014).

Renewables revolution in full swing as global investment smashes records

Renewable energy sources added more generation capacity than all other technologies combined in 2015, with a world record total of £286bn invested in renewables across the globe, a major new UN-backed report has found.

Apple’s original pledge to run entirely on renewable sources was set two years ago and since then it has ensured that all of its data centres run entirely on renewable sources

Apple now powered by 93% renewable energy

With all eyes glued to the unveiling of Apple's new 'iPhone SE', the tech giant took to the stage in California this week to confirm that 93% of its global facilities are now running on renewable energy, before unveiling its eye-catching answer to the problem of e-waste.

The Premier Inn hotel at East Mayne in Basildon - one of the three largest rooftop solar installations to be installed on Whitbread's properties

Whitbread rolls out rooftop solar systems at 88 Premier Inns

Britain's largest hospitality company has completed the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of 88 of its Premier Inn hotels across the country.

Under the new ruling – which has gained cross-party support - it is expected that the House of Commons will agree to keep solar and other renewable sources in the lower VAT tax band

Good news: Solar VAT hike set to be vetoed in Parliament

After enduring a series of policy changes, Britan's solar community could finally be set for some welcome political news as it has been reported that a potential VAT hike on solar installations will be vetoed.

The Green Alliance urged the chancellor to lift restrictions on new renewable generation, arguing this would be cheaper for the UK’s future energy supply

Chancellor urged to invest public money in renewable energy

Building more renewable energy capacity with public money would cost less than the current subsidy regime in the UK, a new analysis has found, despite government claims that subsidies are too expensive.

Las Vegas’s power drama captures an ongoing dilemma in the new energy economy

Las Vegas casinos seek to power their bright lights with renewable energy

The glittering Las Vegas strip is not an obvious model for energy conservation. Yet hidden above the glowing Eiffel Tower, neon resort awnings and a black pyramid that shines a beam of light into space, is one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the country.

Improving the grid infrastructure in the Orkney Islands could increase revenue from existing wind developments by £2.7m a year

Harnessing renewables could provide £725m windfall for Scottish islands

A cluster of Scottish islands including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could receive a £725m economic boost if they were converted into renewable outposts, a new independent report has found.

The proposed reforms of the Renewable Heat Incentive come as the UK remains way behind a self-imposed target of generating 12% renewable heat by 2020

Government proposes major RHI reform with removal of support for solar thermal

Another day, another shock green policy proposal from the UK Government, this time in the form of a consultation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which would see a 98% reduction in the deployment of non-domestic biomass boilers and an end to support for solar water heating systems.

Rust could offer cost-effective, round-the-clock solar energy storage and hydrogen gas which could potentially be used to power vehicles, the researchers claim

Could rust provide an answer to the big energy storage question?

Old bikes and barbecues lying dormant in garages could be covered in stuff that can make large-scale solar energy storage a reality, after researchers found that rust can be transformed into water-splitting solar cell batteries.

Tata Motors already has its own 21.9MW ‘captive wind power’ project which has led to carbon savings of around 24,000 tonnes

India's largest car manufacturer joins drive for 100% renewable power

India's largest carmaker has become the second company from the country to join The Climate Group's RE100 initiative - a move that will see the firm source 100% of its energy use from renewable generation.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom was involved in a heated exchange with ECCC chair Angus MacNeil in Parliament yesterday (2 March)

Andrea Leadsom is 'sick and tired' of green policy critics

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom is "sick and tired" of the barrage of complaints being fired at the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) over its punitive cuts to renewable energy subsidies.

Almost half of the respondents have called for an end to the subsidised building of fossil fuel infrastructure

Overwhelming public support for renewables could shape Scottish elections

The next Scottish Government would be wise to spark investment into the renewables sector, as a new YouGov survey reveals overwhelming public support for the continued development of clean energy over fossil fuels and nuclear.

(L-R): The London Mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith (Conservative); Sadiq Khan (Labour); Sian Berry (Green Party); Peter Whittle (UKIP); and Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat)

#GreenerLondon: 7 ways the next Mayor can deliver a sustainable capital

The National Trust, WWF, RSPB and Greenpeace are among a coalition of the UK's most prominent environmental organisations challenging the next London Mayor to transform the capital into a world-leading sustainable city.

The STA believe that solar can make up a large proportion of the energy mix in Scotland

20 ways Scotland can ignite a solar revolution

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has released a new document of 20 ways the Scottish Government can catalyse significant growth in the deployment of solar energy across the country.

Once operational the solar farm will add to Swindon’s renewable capacity of 140MW

Swindon welcomes first UK council solar bond

The UK's first ever council solar bond has been launched in Swindon, offering councils and local authorities the chance to raise capital for a 5MW community solar farm.

September saw the UK drop out of the top 10 of EY’s respected international league table on renewable energy for the first time since its inception 12 years ago

Britain in 'make or break' year for renewables, says EY

The UK "must try harder" to attract investment into renewable generation capacity, as the global power market enters "a year of reckoning", analyst EY has warned.

London is performing worse than any other major British city in regards to solar growth, Greenpeace claims

Next London Mayor urged to ignite solar energy revolution

A London-exclusive feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidy scheme and a new solar taskforce are among the new approaches to renewable energy generation that should be taken by the next Mayor of London, a new report from Greenpeace has claimed.

The floating solar pontoon will cover around a tenth of the reservoir – enough to fill eight Wembley football pitches

London set for Europe's largest floating solar system

Europe's biggest ever floating solar array is being installed on the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, to the south of the River Thames.

High-voltage power lines. The UK has an enviable wind resource for the new demand response scheme, with Scotland the windiest country in Europe

Blustery Britain brings windfall for businesses with new demand response scheme

Days when Britain's renewable energy output is at its greatest could prove to be a money-spinner for energy-intensive businesses under a new automated 'demand turn-up' service being piloted by National Grid.

Sadiq Khan at Islington Bunhill Energy Centre

Sadiq Kahn unveils plan for London 'clean energy revolution'

Labour's London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan has outlined his ambition to ignite a 'clean energy revolution' in the capital, pledging to be the 'greenest mayor ever'.

The move is expected to save almost 2,500 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2016 alone

Ireland's national stadium goes 100% renewable for Six Nations

Aviva stadium, home of the Ireland rugby team will be fully powered by renewable energy for the upcoming 2016 Six Nations tournament, becoming the first stadium in the competition to be so.

The largest project announced this week saw Bristol City Council add a new 7,000-panel solar farm to its existing wind turbine site in Avonmouth

'Once green capital, always green capital': Bristol unveils new sustainability ambitions

The city of Bristol has announced a flurry of sustainability initiatives as it looks to maintain the positive momentum it built last year as the European Green Capital.

Google is testing a variety of drones to assist with the rollout of 5G wireless internet

Google and Ministry of Defence testing solar-powered drones

The world's skylines could soon be littered with high-altitude, autonomous, solar-powered drones after it was revealed that tech giant Google and the UK Ministry of Defence have acquired drones in efforts to boost communication methods.

Investors and the council would reap 35% of the profits, with 65% going towards local community initiatives

Swindon set to offer UK's first council solar bonds

Swindon Council is considering a new community solar project that would offer residents a 6% return on any investment for the next 20 years.

The DECC survey introduced questions about fracking opposition for the first time

DECC survey: The more people know about fracking, the less they support it

The more people know about fracking, the less they support it, new Government research has found.

The Government launched its plans to prematurely end RO for large-scale projects, with a consultation in May 2014

Solar firms renew court battle against Government subsidy cuts

Two of the UK's largest solar companies will take on the Government in court today (2 February) over the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) to large-scale solar projects in early 2014.

Amber Rudd said Government policies were designed to keep bills low and maintain energy security

10 ways DECC is encouraging investment in clean energy (according to DECC)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a list of ten ways it is encouraging investment in clean energy in response to the latest wave of criticism of its policies.

The £200,000 installation was completed in ‘record time’ to be finalised before the lower feed in tariff subsidy came into effect on 15 January

Brighton University installs rooftop solar array in 'record time' to beat subsidy deadline

The University of Brighton has unveiled a new solar panel array that will reduce carbon emissions at its Falmer campus by 82 tonnes annually, placing Brighton as one of the top universities in the UK for on-site renewable energy production.

It is ‘almost impossible’ for UK electricity demand to be met by 2025, engineers say

Engineers warn of looming UK energy gap

The UK is facing an unprecedented "energy gap" in a decade's time, according to engineers, with demand for electricity likely to outstrip supply by more than 40%, which could lead to black outs .

Under the new subsidised cuts the tariff rates for domestic solar installations has decreased from 12.03p/kWh to 4.39p/kWh

Solar installations surge to beat subsidy cut-off date

Domestic and commercial solar installations in the final quarter of 2015 shot up by approximately 63% year-on-year, as developers scrambled to get projects up and running before subsidy cuts took effect.

The USS Stockdale departing Naval Base San Diego

US Navy launches first biofuel-powered ship

The first ever US Navy ship to run on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations, has been deployed from California.

Businesses may have to wait another two years before energy storage makes sense financially, due in part to lower FIT rates

REA: Energy storage already financially viable for grid and homes

Domestic and grid-scale energy storage projects in the UK are already economically viable in certain circumstance as technology costs continue to fall, a new report from KPMG has found.

The UK’s current energy storage capacity is around around 24 MW

UK energy storage capacity could reach 1.6GW with 'effective regulation'

The UK's energy storage capacity could reach 1.6GW by 2020, but only with changes to existing regulations, the industry has claimed.

As part of the Terrawatt Initiative, the organisations involved have set a target of 1,000GW of solar capacity by 2030

Engie and IRENA launch mass solar scale-up plan

French energy giant Engie has announced a partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will aim to create enabling conditions for the global deployment of 1,000GW of solar energy.

Increasing renewables to 36% of the global energy mix by 2030 would provide about half emissions reductions needed to hold warming to 2C, says Irena

Rapid switch to renewable energy can put Paris climate goals within reach

Countries can deliver on the promises of the historic Paris climate change agreement by rapidly scaling up wind and solar power to 36% of the global energy mix by 2030, an international energy gathering heard on Saturday.

The houses will feature rooftop solar panels, energy storage systems and waste-to-energy technologies

British and Chinese firms agree landmark zero-carbon homes deal

Up to 8,000 zero-carbon homes are set to be built in the UK thanks to a £1.1bn deal between UK solar developers WElink Energy and British Solar Renewables (BSR) and the China National Building Materials Group (CNBM).

RWE plans to float 10% of shares in its renewables business

RWE to expand into large-scale solar

German energy firm RWE, one of the world's largest operators of offshore wind farms, has announced plans to expand into new markets, including large-scale solar PV.

Global clean energy investment was up 4%

UK clean energy investment up 24% in 2015 on strength of offshore wind

The UK was "by far the strongest clean energy investment market in Europe" in 2015, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, with investment up 24% to $23.4bn.

Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

The renewables revolution is now firmly underway in Asia. This week's sustainability news threw up some fascinating figures showing that China has consolidated its position as the planet's leading installer of solar power.

The new solar project will feature 18,860 panels

Vattenfall brings ground-breaking hybrid renewables project to UK

Swedish energy firm Vattenfall will start construction on its first UK solar project later this month, the company has announced.

China's path to a lower carbon future is building traction

China's renewables revolution surges towards 1TW milestone

The world's largest polluting nation is cementing its position as a global green energy powerhouse, with new figures revealing that China's production of renewable energy systems has swelled global capacity to 913 GW.

The multi-million dollar investment will add six more production lines to facilities in Gumi

LG triples solar production capacity in South Korea with $435m investment

Multinational electronics company LG has today (13 January) announced plans to triple solar cell production capacity to 3GW in South Korea through a $435m investment.

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