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EDF offers British homeowners a solar system – installed free, but with conditions

Guardian 12th Aug 2017, If you want solar photovoltaic panels on your home but don’t have the money for them, EDF Energy is offering to install a free system – complete with
storage batteries – if you agree to buy the subsidised power it generates
for 20 years.

The French-owned energy giant is looking for 100 homes to
trial its Sunplug scheme, which is being offered in conjunction with
established solar supplier Lightsource. To sign up you need to have a
large, unshaded south-facing roof at a pitch of about 45 degrees. If you
are accepted, the company will install the largest solar panel system the
roof can take – a 16-panel setup will generate 4kW – plus an LG storage
battery that lets you use the power that’s generated during the day in the
evening.

In return, EDF gets to keep the feed-in tariff paid by the
government, which is worth about £150 a year. It also keeps the export
tariff – around £50 a year. The householder is contractually bound to
pay Sunplug 9.9p per kilowatt hour for each unit of electricity they use
from the panels and battery.

This is a little cheaper than what you would pay if you bought green electricity from the grid. For example, green
supplier Good Energy charges 15.5p, with a standing charge averaging 26p a
day. The advantage could come in future years as the price demanded by
Sunplug can only rise by the retail prices index or 2.5% – whichever is
lower.

If the price of grid electricity rises substantially over the next
20 years, users will make considerable savings. However, if they don’t,
some users will be left wondering why they bothered, not least because they
have to have the system inspected each year, which will cost about £80. So
this scheme is likely to appeal to anyone who wants green electricity at
fixed prices over the next two decades.

The other significant benefit comes at the end of the 20-year term, when the householder is given ownership of
the system, which should continue to generate substantial free power. So
what’s the Money verdict? Solar PV systems are still a good investment if
you have the money upfront, the right roof and location, and if you plan to
stay in the house for a long time. The case for the free Sunplug deal is
less clear. To us, it looks too heavily weighted in favour of the company.
If it offered some free electricity each day or other incentives, that
would make the scheme more attractive.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/aug/12/edf-free-solar-panels-buy-power-generated-20-years

August 14, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Big savings for UK homes that install solar and storage technologies

Solar Power Portal 10th Aug 2017, Installing solar and storage technologies into homes could save them as
much as £600 each year on their fuel bills, a new study has found.

The report, released by Swansea University’s Specific Innovation and
Knowledge Centre, claims that an integrated system comprising solar PV roof
installations, battery storage and solar heat collection technology on
south-facing walls could cut energy consumption by more than 60%.

The findings are backed up by a working demonstration project completed on a
school in Swansea. The ‘Active Classroom’, as it has been dubbed, has
generated more energy than it has consumed since receiving the complete
system six months ago.  https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/solar_and_storage_could_save_homes_600_each_year_new_report_finds

August 14, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

New records on solar power generation in UK -reducing demand on the grid

Solar Power Portal 9th Aug 2017, Soaring generation from the UK’s solar assets sent UK power demand to a
new low last month, according to data compiled by monitoring firm EnAppSys.

The data showed that average half-hourly demand throughout July stood at
26.2GW, courtesy of a significant amount of embedded generation from
sources such as rooftop solar. These sources are seen on the grid as demand
reduction and, as a result, reduce the amount of power that is drawn down
from the grid.

Throughout July the average embedded generation figure stood
at 3GW. Solar and other renewables have already witnessed a number of new
generation records this year, particularly in Spring. Unseasonable weather
in April helped solar to a new landmark generation record.
https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/soaring_solar_sends_uk_power_demand_to_eight_year_low

August 11, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

In remote Asia, solar power is transforming the lives of women

Climate News Network 1st Aug 2017, A solar revolution is transforming the lives of women in the remotest parts of Asia. They no longer have to wait decades to be connected to a power grid but are able today to exploit the huge potential of the abundant sunshine.

In societies where women normally play a subservient role and spend much of their time on menial chores, solar businesses are creating a new breed of female entrepreneur who are bringing electricity to their villages.

In the last two years two schemes designed to encourage women to bring the solar revolution to parts of rural India and Nepal have won international Ashden Awards, which bring the organisations involved
£20,000 (US$26,360) each in prize money and a lot of guidance to improve
and extend their businesses. http://climatenewsnetwork.net/women-take-control-solar-revolution/

August 4, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, social effects, women | Leave a comment

Decentralised renewable energy is benefiting businesses

Edie 20th July 2017, Businesses that invest in decentralised energy systems can enjoy the triple benefit of economic value, security of supply and “telling a good story”, the new chief executive of community energy supplier Mongoose Energy has told edie. In his previous role as head of international NGO the Climate Group, Mark Kenber led the RE100 scheme which gets firms to source 100% renewable electricity.

It was revealed by edie earlier this month that the initiative was targeting 500 members by 2020 after passing the 100-member milestone. Kenber, who took the reins at Wiltshire-based Mongoose Energy in April, welcomed the growing number of businesses recognising the financial benefits of sourcing renewable energy.

He cited Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with local suppliers as one of the increasingly popular methods for
companies to meet renewable energy targets, and also improve CSR credentials. “Businesses sign up to RE100 for broadly financial reasons, they know the economics stack up,” Kenber said. “And if you can get a lot of CSR benefit from it, with a local store buying from the localcommunity, it’s a really good story. A lot of them are looking at that. Now
you can get competitive prices which work for both partners.
https://www.edie.net/news/6/Mark-Kenber–Localised-energy-will-revolutionise-the-way-businesses-source-power—/

July 22, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s soaring solar energy capacity – could go even higher with consumers becoming “prosumers”

Consumers could drive UK solar capacity as high as 44GW by 2050: National Grid, Solar Power Portal, 13 Jul 17 The UK’s solar capacity could soar to as much as 44GW by 2050 if consumers take command of their own power supply, National Grid has forecasted.

The UK’s transmission system operator today unveils its Future Energy Scenarios, charting how it considers the UK’s power market might evolve from now until both 2025 and 2050.

Using various models and insight, National Grid has compiled four principal scenarios of varying levels of ambition, dubbed ‘Steady State’, ‘Slow Progression’, ‘Consumer Power’ and ‘Two Degrees’.

Its most pessimistic scenario Steady State, a word in which security of supply takes precedence and short-term policies are pursued, the UK’s solar capacity will grow to 14.33GW by 2025, an increase of less than 2GW on current levels. Solar capacity will also decrease by 2050 as PV generators are not renewed past their current operational life.

However the most ambitious scenario for renewables deployment – ‘Consumer Power’ – expects the majority of UK consumers to become ‘prosumers’ and generate their own power. This will see 23.53GW of solar deployed by 2025 and 44.15GW – a near quadrupling of current levels – by 2050……..

National Grid has already been quick to highlight the consequences that record levels of solar generation have had on the grid. Earlier this year afternoon demand dipped below that of the night before for the first time in the UK, while solar generation records have been broken already this summer.

The operator said today that this was yet more evidence of the burgeoning evolution in the power market. “Last year I said that we were in the midst of an energy revolution, and this year it is even more evident,” Marcus Stewart, head of energy insights at National Grid, wrote in the document’s foreword, adding that cost reductions in solar and storage had already “driven major change in a short space of time”.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said: “This year’s report recognises that renewables have transformed our energy system, disrupting the status quo and displacing fossil fuels extraordinarily fast – and that this trajectory is set to continue, with the rapid development of energy storage.” https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/consumers_could_drive_uk_solar_capacity_as_high_as_44gw_by_2050_national_g

July 15, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Germany’s renewable energy auctions

Energy Post 27th June 2017,The introduction of renewables auctions in Germany, replacing administratively set feed-in premiums, has led to considerably lower prices and very high realization rates. However, community participation was very low in the first solar PV auctions.

Now a new rule favouring community projects in onshore wind auctions turned out to be so attractive that most
bidders created community projects to profit from them. This is turning the
market upside down. Corinna Klessmann and Silvana Tiedemann of consultancy Ecofys, a Navigant company, look at the effects of auctions on the German renewables markets and make recommendations.    http://energypost.eu/germanys-first-renewables-auctions-are-a-success-but-new-rules-are-upsetting-the-market/

July 3, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, decentralised, Germany | Leave a comment

Nottingham, England, to have Europe’s largest community solar battery installed

Solar Portal 29th June 2017, What is expected to be Europe’s largest community battery is set to be
installed at an innovative regeneration scheme in Nottingham, with a 2MWh
Tesla battery to be deployed in September as part of a housing scheme
alongside community solar.

The £100 million Trent Basin project is a new housing development built at the site of an inland dock previously derelict
for around two decades. It is expected to deliver 500 homes over five
phases with 375kW of rooftop and ground mounted solar and the Tesla battery
to be installed by EvoEnergy.

In an innovative use of the solar farm, planning permission has been granted on the basis that the site shall be
cleared by 28 February 2020. By this time, the panels from the ground
mounted installation will be removed and installed on new homes built as
part of the development.   https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/tesla_install_to_bring_europes_largest_community_battery_to_nottingham

July 3, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Scotland to get the world’s first floating wind farm

Times 1st July 2017, Turbines for the world’s first floating wind farm are set to arrive in
Scottish waters within weeks after taking to the seas off Norway. Five
turbines for the £200 million Hywind project, being built by Statoil, the
Norwegian energy group, were floated near Stord island on the country’s
southwest coast. They will be towed on a four-day journey to a location 16
miles off Peterhead.

The five turbines, standing 175m above sea level, are
kept afloat by ballasted steel cylinders that extend 78m beneath the waves.
Each will be attached to the seabed by chains. Together they should
generate up to 30 megawatts of power, enough to supply 20,000 homes.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/turbines-sail-closer-to-the-wind-8bfzgdxnl

July 3, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Community Energy developments in European Union

Co-op News 27th June 2017, Energy co-ops are in a bullish mood and are focused on sector-wide growth.
Last week, I attended the General Assembly of REScoop – the European
federation of renewable energy co-operatives – on behalf of Co-op Energy
and also as an elected director of Community Energy England.

One of the discussion points was that around half of the European Union population
will be producing their own energy in the next 40 years, according to the
European Renewable Energies Federation. The figures predict that over 264
million European citizens could produce their own energy in 2050, meeting
45% of Europe’s electricity demand.

The discussion was all very upbeat and heartening, although all gains made to date are still in play, with
legislative proposals subject to amendments from the European Parliament in
the near future. The European Commission is now even on record as saying:
“Our vision is of an Energy Union with citizens at its core, where
citizens take ownership of the energy transition, benefit from new
technologies to reduce their bills, participate actively in the market, and
where vulnerable consumers are protected.” https://www.thenews.coop/119543/sector/energy-coops-come-together-to-innovate/

June 30, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Bristol UK to become a major generator of community-owned clean energy

Bristol Energy Co-op 27th June 2017, Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) launches a new crowdfund to continue its
journey to become a major generator of community-owned clean energy. The
crowdfund target of £1,150,000 will enable BEC to repay previous loans and
invest in new micro-renewable generation and storage schemes. These include
a 100kW Tesla battery storage project at a new sustainable housing site.

This bond offer builds on the popularity of BEC’s energy schemes where
surplus profits are reinvested into the community. BEC has a proven track
record of funding and developing renewables, including raising the
ambitious sum of £10m last year.
http://www.bristolenergy.coop/news–events/our-new-crowdfund-launches-to-continue-the-energy-revolution

June 30, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Contrary to his boast, President Trump was NOT the first to suggest a solar wall

Times 23rd June 2017, President Trump laid claim to an idea that could help his promised wall
along the Mexico border to turn a profit: solar panels. “I will give you an
idea that nobody has heard about yet. The southern border: lots of sun,
lots of heat. We are thinking about building a wall as a solar wall. So it
creates energy. And pays for itself,” he told a campaign-style rally in
Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The scheme would lower the cost to Mexico too, he said,
adding: “Pretty good imagination, right? My idea!” Mr Trump has discussed
the scheme in private meetings with legislators but floated it publicly for
the first time on Wednesday.

Contrary to his claim, however, others had
already raised the idea. Designs for the wall submitted to the US
government in April by Thomas Gleason, a Las Vegas businessman, had solar
panels powering lig hting, sensors and border patrol stations. The
Department of Homeland Security has been inviting companies to submit
plans, although Congress still has not allocated the funds needed to build
the wall.  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/president-trump-claims-solar-panels-will-pay-for-his-mexican-wall-bt62xbkfl

June 24, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Community energy initiative in UK

Utility Week 19th June 2017, Mongoose Energy has launched a new crowdfunding platform to secure
financing for community energy projects. The company hopes the platform
will widen the pool of potential investors, bring down the cost of capital
and enable greater innovation in funding. “More people want a bigger say
in where their power comes from, where their investments go, and in
improving their own communities,” said former energy secretary and
chairman of Mongoose Energy, Sir Ed Davey. “Launching our own
crowdfunding platform means we can dispatch better energy, better financial
returns and better social dividends to UK community investors.” Mongoose
Crowd will offer people the first ever opportunity to invest up to £20,000
per year in community energy schemes via the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA)
for peer-to-peer lending which the government launched in April last year.
http://utilityweek.co.uk/news/Community-energy-crowdfunding-platform-takes-off/1305532

June 21, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Transition from centralised power to distributed energy by 2018

Big switch: Distributed energy to overtake centralised power by 2018 http://reneweconomy.com.au/big-switch-distributed-energy-to-overtake-centralised-power-by-2018-2018/ By Giles Parkinson on 13 June 2017  [good graphs]

Energy storage has reached a tipping point, so much so that around 320GW of new large scale power plants that might have been planned in the 10 years to 2023 will now no longer be needed.

According to a new report from Deutsche Bank, the growth of distributed energy – locally provided renewables such as rooftop solar and battery storage – will soon outstrip new centralised generation capacity additions across the world.

In fact, it could happen as early as 2018, marking a fundamental shift in the nature of the world’s energy systems, recognising that the old centralised model will be quickly replaced by a system based around localised energy production and storage.

Deutsche Bank estimates that the market for stationary energy storage – used in electricity grids – will rise six fold in the next five years, from 1GW and $4 billion, or 40GW or $25 billion by 2022. Note the big fall in spending per GW as the price of storage plunges.

“This increased penetration of distributed generation should drive the need for intelligent distribution networks comprised of nanogrids, microgrids and virtual power plants (VPPs),” the Deutsche analysts write.

 To put the 320GW into context, it is more than six times the installed capacity in Australia’s electricity grid, and about 14 times the size of its coal fleet. It represents the once-anticipated new build of coal fired power stations in India, that many say will no longer happen.

The shift in emphasis from centralised to distributed energy has long been predicted, although it is given scant attention in the latest Finkel Review. Some analysis, such as that by the CSIRO, predict that half of all generation will come from consumers by 2050.

Deutsche Bank says the global shift is likely to be accelerated by moves to reduce the scope of solar feed in tariffs, encouraging yet more consumers to add battery storage.

“Regulatory environment will likely be a critical driver of storage adoption rates and contrary to consensus views, detrimental solar policies could potentially act as a significant growth catalyst for storage sector.” (Meaning low feed in tariffs will encourage more people into storage).

It notes that in several European countries, the difference in the price of feed-in-tariffs and price paid for electricity from the price of power consumed from the grid is significantly wide. It didn’t mention Australia, but that is also significant difference.

This shift is being accompanied by big cost reductions in battery storage, particularly in the cost of lithium ion cells.

It  lithium-ion cell costs have already plunged from $US900/kWh in 2010 to $US225/kWh in 2015 – a similar trajectory to solar, and are tipped to fall to $US150/kWh by 2020. Tesla/Panasonic li-ion costs are already below $US200/kWh for cells and around $US225/kWh for the entire battery pack.

In says that in California, for example, combining a solar-panel system with a commercial-scale battery installation (500kWh) can deliver a 20 per cent return on investment with state subsidies, and still 12 per cent without subsidies, from peak shifting alone.

 

June 14, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, decentralised | Leave a comment

Extraordinary success of solar rooftop power in Scotland

Solar Portal 6th June 2017 Rooftop solar panels in towns and cities across Scotland were able to generate more than the average home’s demand for electricity throughout May in an “extraordinary month for renewables”, according to WWF Scotland. Analysis of solar data by WeatherEnergy found that homes in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and more were able to generate over 100% of the
average household electricity demand, with rooftop solar in Lerwick on the Shetland Islands producing the most kWh last month.  http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/rooftop_solar_generation_reaches_new_highs_in_scotland

June 7, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment