Decentralised energy

DEFINITION: Energy that is generated close to where it will be used, rather than at an industrial plant and sent through the national grid. Decentralised systems typically use renewable energy sources, including small hydro, combined heat and power (CHP), biomass, solar and wind power. A decentralised energy system can increase security of supply, reduce transmission losses and lowers carbon emissions.

See also: Distributed generation

See also: Renewable energy

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UK climbs to fifth for global renewables market outlook

The UK has leapfrogged Germany to rise to fifth in the rankings for national attractiveness of renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.

China (pictured) and the US led the way for installations in 2020, with European markets likely to rebound in 2021

Renewables will overtake gas and coal globally in 2024, IEA predicts

The International Energy (IEA) has published a major analysis on the state of the global renewable energy sector, predicting that wind and solar capacity will double by 2025.

The Plan provides a discount for Tesla owners but it open to all EV drivers. Image: Octopus Energy

Tesla launches UK-based virtual power plant project

Tesla has opened its Energy Plan to UK residents with electric vehicles (EVs), encouraging them to install domestic solar generation and batteries to provide flexible energy services to the grid.

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There is more than 10GW of large-scale solar being planned in the next few years

Renewable and technology associations team up to drive corporate demand for clean energy

UK trade associations, techUK, the Solar Trade Association (STA) and RenewableUK are forming a new partnership to encourage companies to purchase more renewable energy in a bid to spur the net-zero transition.

The solar and storage facilities are due to come online by the end of 2020

Warrington Borough Council launches resident-funded green bond in bid to reach net-zero

Warrington Borough Council has launched a green bond that will see residents invest in the region's renewable energy and energy storage sectors, as it works to deliver a carbon-neutral town by 2030.

Output over the three-month period was 19% higher than the previous peak

Report: Europe recorded record solar output amid Covid-19 lockdowns

Solar output in Europe hit a record high of 47.6TWh in the second quarter of 2020, new analysis from EnAppSys has shown.

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The average rated capacity for new turbines installed in 2019 surpassed 2,750kW, up 72% from 2009 levels

Wind sector is getting bigger, in more ways than one

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Concerns had been raised as to placing the storage system onto farmland. Stock image

BEIS approves UK's largest solar farm

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has this week approved what is set to be the UK's largest solar farm, located in Kent.

The developers claim that the farm would generate enough renewable electricity to power 91,000 homes and would reduce UK carbon emissions by 68,000 tonnes annually. Stock image

UK's largest solar farm expected to be approved

Development consent for what would be the UK's largest solar farm is expected to be confirmed by the Government this week, which could also see the world's largest energy storage system co-located at the site in the Kent countryside.

The Government believes that the 12GW target will provide equivalent energy outputs to power 20 million electric vehicles annually

Government targets 12GW of renewables in latest CfD auction

The Government is aiming to double the amount of renewable energy procured through its Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, with 12GW of wind and solar energy being targeted.

Pictured: An artist's impression of the facility. Image: Desolenator 

Carlsberg turns to thermal solar tech to meet water stewardship ambitions

Multinational brewer Carlsberg Group has revealed that it is investing in the world's first solar thermal water purification facility, in India, as part of its work with WaterAid.

The UK could become a world leader for green hydrogen, as it could become cost competitive much faster, due to enabling policies and low-cost and highly abundant renewable

Report: Renewables to account for three-quarters of UK's power demand by 2050

The UK could source 76% of its power demand from renewables by 2050, according to a new report from RenewableUK which claims that the nation's net-zero target will spur rapid demand for green hydrogen while attracting more than £50bn to an already world-leading offshore wind sector.

Eshcon director Anya Ledwith (left) and compere Julia Bradbury (right) present the award

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While a gigafactory would improve competitiveness for the UK's EV market, it needs to look at circularity in the long term

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Reports have emerged that the UK is set to unveil funds for a national battery production centre in the UK, but efforts may still be required to ensure that battery production is aligned to the circular economy.

The deal with Tesco will take Low Carbon’s advanced renewable energy pipeline to more than 4GW

Tesco to co-create three UK solar farms

Tesco has confirmed a new partnership with a renewable energy investor that will facilitate the creation of three solar farms in the UK that will generate clean power equivalent to powering 44,800 homes.

Between 2011 and 2019, gross operational emissions in the sector have fallen by almost 45%

Renewables and restoration: Water sector outlines net-zero routemap for 2030

The UK's major water companies will unveil a Routemap detailing how solar installations, electric vehicles and biomethane production will enable the sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.

Community-owned energy projects generated 168MW of electricity in 2018, of which 21 organisations operate within Northern Powergrid’s region

Northern Powergrid unveils community engagement decarbonisation plans

The distribution network operator (DNO) for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has unveiled a new community energy engagement strategy outlining steps to use community-based consumption and power to respond to the climate emergency.

More than £60m of specialist manufacturing equipment is in the final stages of commissioning

£130m battery development centre gears up in Coventry

A new multi-million-pound industrialisation centre to test recyclable and innovative battery systems is ready to become operational in Coventry.

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Annually, the brewery generates excess solar energy equivalent to powering around 300 homes for more than a month

Taste the Sun: Sol beer brewed using 100% renewable electricity

Heineken's Sol brand is being brewed using 100% renewable energy, following the installation of more than 9,000 solar panels at a facility in the Netherlands.

Pictured: An aerial view of the project. Image: Flexitricity 

UK's largest battery comes online in South Yorkshire

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In the locations with the best infrastructure and policy, solar can generate electricity at costs below $20 per MWh, the report states

World Energy Outlook: IEA forecasts boom for solar in wake of Covid-19

Even if nations do not bolster their climate targets, renewables will meet 80% of the global growth in electricity demand by 2030, with solar leading the way, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) new World Energy Outlook.

Ainslie Macleod, associate director, Carbon Trust (far left) and compere Julia Bradbury present Whitbread's team with the award.

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The LCOE of battery storage has fallen to $150 per MWh for systems with a four-hour duration, almost half of its LCOE cost recorded in 2018

Onshore wind and solar 'cheapest' form of energy for two-thirds of global population

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The US and China will be the two largest global players by 2030, the report predicts

Global energy storage capacity to grow by one-third every year to 2030, report

Following a 17% drop in deployments in 2020, the global energy storage sector is set to boom with capacity growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31% through to 2030.

PepsiCo currently powers facilities using a mix of renewable electricity of 18 countries, of which 9 are accounted for by 100% renewable electricity

PepsiCo targets 100% renewable electricity globally

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Charging infrastructure and technical advice and assistance will also be provided by ABB, Tesla and the AA

Retailers sign up to co-locate on UK's first electric forecourt

A host of retailers including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Booths and Gourmade have enrolled into a new partnership with the UK's first electric forecourt, which is due to open near Braintree, Essex, this November.

The whitepaper notes that the UK’s future energy system will have to be supported by technologies still in their infancy - carbon capture and storage (CCS), energy storage and hydrogen production

UK slipping behind on build rate required for net-zero target

The UK is achieving less than half of the required build rate to deliver energy systems that will reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a new whitepaper from engineering consultancy Atkins.

Over the next decade, IGS will aim to shift to clean energy solutions, including building on its existing solar division

Energy retailer IGS commits to net-zero by 2040

One of the US's largest energy retailers, IGS, has announced a new commitment to reach net-zero emissions for its operations and the services it provides to its domestic and business customers by 2040, pledging to provide 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas.

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The researchers do note that smaller-scale technologies won’t reach net-zero emissions by mid-Century in isolation and may have to be combined with larger-scale solutions

Prioritise Small-scale technology to deliver affordable net-zero transition, researchers claim

A new study has warned of focusing on "politically seductive" large-scale solutions such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS), noting that more granular solutions like energy storage, solar and heat pumps can be mass deployed at an affordable cost to enable a quicker net-zero transition.

Britain has operated for almost 3,300 hours without coal so far in 2020 – more than 60% of the year

Heatwaves bring Britain's coal-free run to an end

Britain's run of more than 55 days without relying on coal for power came to an end this morning, with the National Grid firing up a coal-fired plant in Nottinghamshire to combat low energy output during the current heatwave.

The vast majority (85%) of the growth was accounted for by wind deals, mainly offshore

Renewable power purchase agreements surge more than 25% in Europe

Renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) made by corporates in Europe totalled 8GW in 2019, up from 5.5GW in 2018.

The report also noted that the group achieved a 6.5% reduction in carbon emissions per tonne of production during the reporting year from a 2015 baseline

Ibstock to pilot net-zero factory

Brick manufacturer Ibstock has announced plans to pilot at least one net-zero factory, with the company outlining its intention to set a net-zero carbon goal for its operations in the near future.

Clayhill solar farm generates enough energy annually to power 2,500 homes. Image: Anesco 

Gridserve buys UK's first subsidy-free solar farm to power EV forecourts

Gridserve has purchased the UK's first subsidy-free solar farm from developer Anesco as it works to bring more than 100 "electric forecourts" online across the nation.

Some EVSE UK members will join the REA’s EV Steering Group and many will gain access to other REA industry groups, including the Solar Forum and the Energy Storage Forum

REA and UK EVSE merge to deliver unified voice on electric vehicle infrastructure

The REA has announced that members of the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association (UK EVSE) will join its 75-strong group of companies involved in the delivery and operations of electric vehicle (EV) chargers and services in the UK.

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Japan is regarded as having one of the world's most developed battery industries

World's largest network of AI-enabled residential batteries doubles in size

Smart battery giant Moixa has doubled the number of residential battery storage units it operates in Japan to 20,000, making the network the largest of its kind in the world.

Pictured: The Scout Moor Wind Farm is England's second-largest onshore wind array

Onshore wind and solar 'could boost UK economy by £29bn'

BEIS and the Treasury are being urged to remove barriers to onshore renewable energy projects as part of their Covid-19 recovery planning, in a new report claiming that 'shovel-ready' renewables could provide a £28.9bn boost to the UK economy.

Battery storage projects are becoming increasingly common in the UK, but investment and installation had lagged in the first half of 2020

Energy storage planning regulations eased in bid to spur net-zero transition

The UK Government has moved to relax planning rules for large-scale energy storage arrays, in the hopes of speeding up the energy sector's net-zero transition and boosting investment in the sector post-lockdown.

The bond will finance the installation of five new solar arrays.

West Berkshire Council launches 'UK's first' resident-funded green bond

West Berkshire Council has launched a green bond that will see residents invest in the region's renewable energy sector, in what it claims is a UK first.

Solar-powered carpark lighting poles will offset more than 9,000kWh of energy use annually

First zero-emission McDonald's restaurant unveiled at Disney, Florida

McDonald's has unveiled its first zero-emissions restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, with solar arrays, green walls and kinetic bikes all featuring to create enough renewable energy that the building will need each year.

In the UK, planning permission applications to install energy storage facilities have quadrupled since 2016

Tesla Megapacks to provide grid flexibility in Dorset

A new energy storage project located in Poole will feature six Tesla Megapack batteries that will store and transfer green energy to and from the National Grid.

An artist's impression of the facility, showing its rooftop solar array and battery storage modules. Image: Gridserve

Ground broken at UK's first rapid-charging EV forecourt

Work has begun today (10 March) on the installation of an "electric forecourt" featuring rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers, battery storage and onsite renewables in Essex, meaning the facility will open for public use this summer.

The masterclass webinar is now available to watch on-demand

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The guide has been developed in partnership with E.ON

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GIG is aiming to improve the biodiversity at each site, with a Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment to be carried out on each project

Macquarie issues joint venture on 1GW solar and battery project pipeline

Macquarie's Green Investment Group (GIG) has announced a new UK joint venture with Enso Energy to create one of the largest solar and battery portfolios that will enhance the biodiversity on each project site.

Amazon to invest $2bn in low-carbon innovations

Amazon will invest at least $2bn (£1.6bn) in smaller firms creating technologies or services aimed at reducing carbon emissions to net-zero, the e-commerce giant announced on Tuesday (23 June).

The model enabled at least 25% more renewable energy to be utilised at peak times. Image: Greenhouse PR

Virtual power plant trial in Yorkshire hailed a success

A two-year project in which combined solar and battery storage arrays across Yorkshire homes were used as a virtual power plant (VPP) has proven a success, both in terms of grid decarbonisation and lowering energy bills.

Pictured: An artist's impression of the completed project. Image: Carlton Highview Storage

World's biggest liquid air battery under construction in Greater Manchester

Construction on the world's largest liquid air battery is beginning in Trafford this week, after the project secured a £10m grant from the UK Government.

A full sustainability report is due next month

SSE outlines £7bn green recovery package, sets science-based climate targets

Energy major SSE will spend more than £7bn on clean energy initiatives over the next five years, in a bid to spur a green UK recovery from Covid-19 and to meet its new, stronger climate targets.

Solar panel installation, Tetra Pak site. Image: Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak targets net-zero value chain by 2050

Packaging firm Tetra Pak has today (11 June) committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its operations by 2030, with a longer-term target to achieve a net-zero emissions value chain by 2050.

Wind farm in Kokkolantie ,Finland

'Records are falling like dominos': Europe delivering record renewables generation

New statistics have confirmed that Europe broke a renewables generation record during the month, with the continent sourcing more than 50% of its energy needs from green energy on May 24.

Zalando has committed to placing solar panels and low-carbon technology on all its new and existing fulfilment centres by 2023

Zalando unveils science-based targets, commits suppliers to set carbon goals

Online fashion retail platform Zalando has built on its commitment to carbon neutrality across its own operations by having targets to reduce operational carbon emissions by 80% and emissions from the production of private label products by 40% approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Hosted across the Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea areas, the VPP system will incorporate solar panels, batteries and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure 

West Sussex's £31m 'smart' local energy system to progress during lockdown

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project in West Sussex which is aiming to streamline how low-carbon energy is generated, stored, traded and consumed is still running "at full speed" despite the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The document outlines sweeping green policy changes across energy, buildings and transport

Europe's draft 'green recovery' plan leaked

The European Commission's promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV.

The Capacity Market will now be subjected to reporting and verification mechanisms that place a carbon emissions limit that will apply to all contracted technologies before July 2019

Government to introduce 'carbon threshold' for Capacity Market

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has outlined reforms to the Capacity Market auction system which will enable demand-side response technologies to bid for 15-year contracts while adding a carbon emissions limit to spur an increase of low-carbon assets offered contracts.

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Centrica will also oversee a new sustainability programme focused on low-carbon technologies that will enable Lotus to mitigate the environmental impacts across its operations

Centrica and Lotus partner up on electric vehicle energy storage

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has announced a new strategic partnership with auto manufacturer Lotus to give electric vehicle (EV) owners more viability to store electricity and reduce household emissions.

Gravitricity’s concept has secured £650,000 in government funding from Innovate UK

Gravity-based energy storage project set for Edinburgh

A demonstrator project aiming to transform old mine shafts into energy storage systems is set to be up and running in December, after the company behind the innovation agreed to a land rental agreement at a site in Edinburgh.

Coronavirus lockdowns have seen national energy demand fall by 15% for the month of April.

Coronavirus lockdown: UK hits coal-free month

The UK has gone more than 30 days without relying on coal for power, with gas, nuclear and renewables providing enough demand during a period of lower energy demand because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Unilever’s chief executive Alan Jope reflected that amidst a global pandemic it was the duty of business to repair a broken capitalism mode

Unilever's Alan Jope on repairing capitalism, Covid-19 and Sustainable Living Plans

Providing an update to Unilever's flagship Sustainable Living Plan as it enters its 10th and final year, chief executive Alan Jope reflects on the need to double down to protect the planet and society during the pandemic by "driving a new model of capitalism".

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To date, 8.2MW of solar PV has been installed across 43 Scottish Water sites, capable of generating 6.5GWh of renewable electricity annually

Scottish Water switches on latest solar array at Dunfermline wastewater facility

A wastewater treatment facility in Dunfermline is the latest Scottish Water facility to be fitted with onsite solar technology, as the water company progresses towards its net-zero carbon target for 2040.

The project will now focus on bringing more parties into the LEM

Local energy trading market launched on Orkney islands

A trial focused on delivering real-time trading between renewable generation and local grid flexibility on the Orkney islands has been successful, with project lead Electron noting that more than 1,300 trades have been completed as part of a demonstration projected.





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The VIGIL consortium consists of Aston University, ByteSnap Design, Grid Edge and Nortech Management

Government-funded Vehicle-to-Grid project completes grid balancing trials

A Government-funded Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) project has successfully participated in a trial aimed at providing real-time control of when and how electric vehicles (EVs) are charged and discharged to help balance the grid.

Coal is set to be hit particularly hard by the pandemic

IEA: Global emissions in 2020 to plummet by largest margin ever recorded due to Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is set to deliver the biggest disruption to the energy system since the 1930s, with global electricity demand to fall by 5% while the level of emissions for 2020 are set to fall by 8% - the largest annual decrease in emissions ever recorded, according to the IEA.

The project has secured planning permission for more than 80 sites across the nation to date. Image: Gridserve

Hitachi pours millions into Gridserve's electric forecourts project

Hitachi Capital UK has announced a multi-million-pound investment to support Gridserve's ambitious project to develop more than one hundred electric forecourts across the UK to spur the low-carbon transition.

The four weeks of April has seen coal account for less than 1% of electricity generation

UK sets new record for coal-free generation

The UK has this morning broken its existing record for coal-free power generation, surpassing 18 consecutive days and counting.





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Virtual power plants are now able to respond to balancing mechanism units following an amendment to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) in 2019

Flexitricity and Devonshire food firm deliver first 'virtual' balancing mechanism trade

A Devonshire catering company has become the first business in the UK to trade into a virtual balancing mechanism in response to a demand request from the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

The peak record in solar generation also contributed to the UK’s longest coal-free period in 2020 so far

UK smashes solar generation record

Solar use in the UK broke an all-time peak generation record on Monday (20 April), accounting for almost 30% of UK electricity demand, with the UK also operating for more than 11 consecutive days without coal.

Recent research found that one million EVs sold in the UK in 2017 alone will generate 250,000 tonnes of battery waste when they reach the end of their lives 

Honda expands European electric vehicle battery recycling initiative

Honda is extending a European battery recycling initiative to ensure the collection and reuse of old batteries from the carmaker's hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) and give them a second life as stationary storage assets.

In action: EDF battery storage optimisation with a financial services company

A financial services company worked with EDF and its partner, Upside Energy, to support an energy storage fund by realising financial returns from its assets. In turn, the Fund achieved this financial goal by focusing on specific source of revenue generation.

Companies such as Siemens Gamesa had to halt production as part of compliance with the UK lockdown

Coronavirus: New UK wind capacity to fall 20% this year

Disruption caused by the coronavirus could see the UK's installed capacity of wind energy in 2020 shrink by 20%, according to analysts GlobalData.

LG Solar is currently giving away cherry trees to customers to help them capture carbon at home

LG's solar arm targets carbon neutrality by 2030

LG Electronics' solar division has unveiled a new strategy of measures that will enable the business to become carbon neutral by 2030.

EnAppSys does state that the trend is likely to be a “temporary high”

Renewables eclipse other power sources in Great Britain for first quarter of 2020

New data has revealed that renewables accounted for more electricity than any other power source in Great Britain for the first quarter of 2020, as blustery winds spurred renewables generation to 45% of the entire electricity mix.

Pictured: Cumbria's Walney Extension wind farm, the largest offshore wind array in the world

New renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019

Almost three-quarters of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 uses renewable energy, representing an all-time record. New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows solar, wind and other green technologies now provide more than one-third of the world's power, marking another record.

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The Council has committed to installing an additional 182 electric vehicle charging points by the end of the year

Hackney Council powered by 100% renewable electricity

Hackney Council is now sourcing 100% of its electricity demand from renewables, with the council accelerating towards a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

The platform will enable EVs to charge when costs are at their lowest and manage renewable assets cost effectively 

UPS integrates AI software at Camden depot to optimise clean EV charging

Logistics delivery giant UPS will spearhead a new project exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can optimise how businesses charge electric vehicle (EV) fleets and integrate onsite renewables to reduce emissions and energy costs.

In total, 6.2GW of installed capacity was supported by FiTs between the scheme's launch in 2010 and closure in 2019

One year on: How has the solar feed-in-tariff closure impacted renewables in the UK?

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US and China remain the world’s largest markets for onshore wind power development

World's wind power capacity up by fifth after record year

The world's wind power capacity grew by almost a fifth in 2019 after a year of record growth for offshore windfarms and a boom in onshore projects in the US and China.

The USER projects aims to use hot water cylinders to balance grid demand

SMEs and households to benefit from energy efficiency clean technology trials

The UK Government has backed a new digital energy efficiency platform for SMEs to receive automated advice to save energy, in the same week that a smart homes project that uses AI technology on hot water systems to generate storage capacity and manage grid demand commenced.

The slowdown in large-scale clean energy projects started before coronavirus crisis due to lack of state support, the analysis concludes

Energy storage boom stalls in Europe

Europe's energy storage boom stalled last year due to a slowdown in large-scale schemes designed to store clean electricity from major renewable energy projects, according to the European Association for Storage of Energy (Ease).

Dunkirk’s port district will be home to the 25MW project

Total launches France's largest energy storage project as new global battery company emerges

French energy firm Total has confirmed it will be developing France's largest energy storage system, while UK-based redT energy has announced plans to merge with a US battery company to drive global demand for heavy-duty battery technology.

Last October, the Government rejected a string of recommendations from MPs aimed at decarbonising UKEF’s portfolio

UK Export Finance accused of climate 'hypocrisy' over funding

Updated: In the same week that the UK Export Finance’s (UKEF) direct lending facility has allocated more than £2bn for clean growth projects a global NGO has accused the government body of “rank hypocrisy” for breaching OECD guidelines by supporting overseas fossil fuel projects.

Pictured: A rooftop solar array at PepsiCo's HQ in Harrison, NY. 

Visa and PepsiCo celebrate 100% renewable electricity milestones

Visa has met its target to use 100% renewable electricity across its global operations, in the same week that PepsiCo announced that 100% of the electricity used across its US operations will be renewable by the end of 2020.

Solar demand could fall by as much as 16% due to a reliance on production in China

Solar demand could fall for first time in 30 years due to Coronavirus

BloombergNEF (BNEF) analysis suggests that the ramifications of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) will lead to downgrades in forecasts for renewables deployment and electric vehicle (EV) development, with solar capacity set to fall 16% compared to previous estimates.

Anglian Water says it has completed nature surveys to ensure the array does not negatively impact biodiversity at the Grafham Water site

'Another step towards net-zero': Anglian Water invests in onsite solar at key site

Anglian Water has unveiled plans to install an 11.6MW solar array at one of its key operational sites, as part of its plan to become a net-zero business by 2030.

Forestry growth and rapid deployment of renewables could put the UK on course for its net-zero target

UK's net-zero target possible with 'unprecedented' low-carbon innovation

Reaching net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is possible but would require "unprecedented innovation across the economy" that could see electricity generation triple, hydrogen generation grow exponentially and land use to be radically overhauled across the country.