Renewable Energy Course

Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Time to seize the moment on offshore wind and the renewable industry

Investment in Scottish renewables to top £1 billion and support 11,000 jobs

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government should allocate further investment to boost the electricity market and create thousands of offshore wind jobs.

A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics found that UK GDP will be £20bn or 0.8 per cent higher in 2030 if wind is deployed rather than gas, with 70,000 more jobs created – but that investors needed certainty if we are to secure these benefits.

Ahead of a debate on the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, Mr Ewing warned the UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016, is risking jobs, investment and economic growth.

The proposals outlined in the Energy Bill published in November 2012 lack measures to give investors confidence beyond 2020, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to countries like Germany which has already set a clear target of 26GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Scotland would benefit in particular from an increase in offshore wind, as we have a quarter of the offshore wind potential in Europe.

Already, four international turbine manufacturers, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Samsung Heavy Industries have announced they intend to build turbine manufacturing plants in Scotland, creating an estimated 8,600 potential manufacturing jobs.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore wind has reached a watershed. The industry has enormous potential, and to realise this potential it is essential that investors have confidence.

“Over the past weeks I have spoken to many potential investors who say the uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is starting to affect their investment decisions.

“The time to reassure them is now. The UK Government must make clear their ongoing support for offshore wind and emulate the Scottish Government’s approach by setting a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target now, not in 2016 as planned under the Energy Bill..

“Offshore wind has the potential to raise UK GDP by 0.8 per cent, and we must seize this prize. The opportunities the industry present us – in terms of jobs, investment, stabilizing energy bills and reducing our carbon output – are too valuable to risk.”

What is your reaction to the support by the Scotland’s Energy Minister to boost the renewable industry and create thousands of renewable jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

CRC simplified to save businesses millions of pounds and create new jobs

Energy Efficiency SchemeCRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will be dramatically simplified in order to help businesses save millions of pounds and create new jobs, the DECC announced today.

The reforms to the scheme are set to deliver 55 per cent cost reduction and a total of £272 million worth of savings for participants in the in the scheme.

The simplification of the CRC programme will make it easier for businesses to feel the benefits of using less energy, and will also support jobs in the energy savings industry.

The changes are expected to increase demand for energy efficient products and services.

Minister of State Gregory Barker said: “Energy efficiency increases productivity and is good for growth so it is important that we continue to incentivise this through the CRC.

“We have listened to the concerns of business and radically simplified the scheme in order to cut down on administrative costs and red tape. And we will consider how to encourage new renewable on-site generation through the CRC scheme.

“The scheme will now be more flexible and light-touch, saving participants money and helping them to save energy”.


Reforms to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme include:

  • Reducing the number of fuels that participants have to report against from 29 to 2 (electricity and gas for heating).
  • Reducing scheme complexity by removing the 90% rule and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) exemption rule.
  • Abolishing the Performance League Table but continuing to publish participants aggregated energy use and emission data.
  • Reducing overlap with other climate change legislation.
  • Withdrawing all state-funded schools in England from the scheme.
  • Government will consider how the CRC can incentivise the uptake of new onsite renewable self-supplied electricity.

Davey calls for clean development at the United Nations

Speaking in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Edward Davey said urgent actions need to be taken to combat climate change and help the green economy.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said that countries around the world had to make their contribution to reach closer to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements.

Last year, the UN agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change no later than 2015.

That would mean that each country has to cut its carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy resources, boosting the green economy and creating new jobs.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “A global effort is needed if we are to achieve our climate goals – we need to pave the way for the new global deal while delivering more action now.

“Many developed and developing countries have already come forward with pledges under the UN framework to reduce their emissions by 2020. I want to encourage more to do so at Doha and beyond.

“The EU has led the way in calling for more ambition and in enshrining emissions reductions in law. I want to encourage it to move to a more ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target of 30%.

“Here in the UK we are driving forward our plans to move to a lower-carbon energy mix, and this week we will be publishing the Energy Bill which will enable this.

“I also want to see progress at Doha on achieving the global deal that all countries agreed to work towards in Durban last year. For the first time all countries agreed to sign up to a legally-binding deal to be adopted by 2015, and at Doha we need to agree a plan for these crucial negotiations.”

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.

Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.

Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.

Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.

“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”

NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.

Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.

Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.

“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”

 

Bradford resource recovery centre will create new trade jobs

A major new resource recovery facility, that will boost Bradford’s construction industry and create hundreds of trade jobs has been given the go ahead. 

Members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee have approved plans to build the state-of-the-art centre that will produce enough electricity to power around 20,000 homes.

Construction giant Skanska will be responsible for delivering the project and will work in a joint venture with AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, to design, build and commission the Resource Recovery Facility.

FCC Environment (formerly Waste Recycling Group (WRG)), a leading UK waste management and energy recovery company, will operate the facility.

The facility will mechanically extract valuable recyclable materials from Bradford and Calderdale’s household waste before using the remainder to produce electricity to be supplied to the National Grid.

It will divert over 90% of Bradford and Calderdale’s waste away from landfill each year, help the councils increase their recycling rates to over 50% and generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

The scheme at Bowling Back Lane will create 80 permanent jobs with a further 300 positions created during construction.

Speaking after the committee’s decision Mark Tribe, Project Director for Pennine Resource Recovery (PRR), said: “Our project will bring great economic and environmental benefits to Bradford and Calderdale and we’re delighted councillors have recognised this.

“No matter how environmentally responsible we are, our society will always generate waste.  The Resource Recovery Facility will ensure we deal with waste in a sustainable way and avoid sending it to environmentally damaging and increasingly costly landfill sites.

“This decision is great news for Bradford and Calderdale.  The scheme has been specifically designed for the area and we will be working very closely with local training and employment agencies to ensure that local people across both districts are able to benefit from the employment and training opportunities on offer.”

Benefits for residents and the economy within the Bradford and Calderdale areas include:

• 300 jobs during construction

• 80 permanent jobs during operations

• 80 apprenticeships

• 124 weeks of work experience for school children

• 1,500 weeks of work experience for unemployed people

• Up to £50,000 a year donated to a Community Fund

• Contracts available for local recycling companies

• £30million in construction contracts

Industry urges EU policy-makers to build low carbon future

A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.

The so-called Energy Partnership will be launched today in Brussels by its founding partners Alpine Energie, Dong Energy, First Solar, GE, and Shell.

The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.

They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.

They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.

Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.

“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.

Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.

“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.

“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

Green Industry Offers Jobs Growth

The scale of green employment and low-carbon infrastructure investment has been rising, employing a significantly larger workforce than other UK industry, a major report by the Green Alliance think tank revealed today.

According to the report, the current state of the Green Economy, which is worth £122 billion, has been consistently growing by 5 per cent since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

The Green Economy currently forms almost 10 per cent of the total economic activity in the UK, employing 939,600 people in low-carbon and environmental jobs.

The Green Alliance said the UK’s top 20 infrastructure projects in 2012-13 will deliver a £23 billion investment which will bring further employment opportunities for people in the trades.

Speaking to Business Green today, report author Alastair Harper, said that some of the biggest projects in the pipeline are in the offshore wind industry as well as in public transport, nuclear and other renewable programmes.

He said: “All you are going to get with more road, gas and airport infrastructure is the same level of capital investment we’ve been bumping along with since the 1970s.

“In contrast, the green economy is about new projects that can attract new investment, and provide a source for exports.”

Mr Harper said that despite negative language from some ministers, the green industry has been able to get major international investors “to open up their wallets” and invest in the low-carbon sector.

What is your reaction to the low-carbon investment which led the green economy to succeed in crating hundreds of thousands of green jobs? Do you agree with the current trend which is forecast to continue in future? 

Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Trades Praise Clegg’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

The largest trade association in Britain, the Renewable Energy Association (REA), has welcomed Nick Clegg’s announcement to provide a £100 million fund for green investment that will boost the renewable energy industry and create new jobs.

Making the announcement today, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said that the multimillion fund will enable the UK Green Investments team (UKGI) to see more domestic and foreign investments to the renewable industry.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, praised the Deputy Prime Minister for his leadership and commitment to the renewable energy sector.

He said: “We need clear leadership from the top of Government on renewable energy, so the Deputy Prime Minister’s unequivocal commitment to renewable energy is very welcome and timely.

“He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfills its extraordinary potential.”

However, Mr Hartnell said that the Coalition Government needed a more stable policy framework to make sure the UK’s renewable industry continues to expand, paving the way for green jobs in the future.

Mr Hartnell said: “The Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind.

“Recent decisions on support levels for renewable power technologies, which have failed to provide the expected certainty out to 2017, together with the uncertain status of the Electricity Market Reform package, do not provide the stable framework that industry needs.”

Do you also welcome Nick Clegg’s intervention to boost the green economy? What else the Government could do to further accelerate green investment and create more jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Green Investment is set to Create New Jobs in the Trades

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £100 million fund for green investment which will create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Speaking to an energy conference in London’s Lancaster House today, Mr Clegg defended the Government’s commitment to support the renewable energy sector, outlining lasting benefits to the UK low-carbon economy.

He announced multi-million contracts by UK Green Investments (UKGI) with fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to provide initial capital to encourage foreign and domestic investment in non-domestic energy efficiency.

The Deputy Minister’s announcement was hailed with a £12 million expansion by a recycling firm Closed Loop in Dagenham, East London, that will create and safeguard 100 jobs.

The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services in the world. It contributes 3.9 per cent of the UK’s GDP and employs 173,000 people.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Coalition Government is ‘unreservedly committed’ to help Britain’s low carbon sector thrive, providing a clean and green economy.

He said: “There is a global energy revolution underway and the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front.

“Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”

What is your reaction to the Government’s £100 million fund that will accelerate investment in the renewable industry and create new jobs?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS Part 2

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100814233 key=key-2by76dvtlbkwqi04khzv mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100588986 key=key-2598v5zpt8bl0chvdcdm mode=list]

Green Jobs are Vital for UK’s Energy Efficiency

The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.

The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”

The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product;  63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.

Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”

What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Rio+20 UN Conference Sets Ambitious Goals for Sustainable Development

Member States participating at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, have reached an agreement to advance negotiations towards sustainable development.

“We now have a text which will be adopted at the Conference,” Rio+20’s Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said in a statement. “We think the text contains a lot of action, and if this action is implemented, and if follow-up measures are taken, it will indeed make a tremendous difference in generating positive global change.”

United Nations’ Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, defended the summit agreement but said that it was ‘merely a piece of paper’ unless world leaders showed political commitment and implemented specific measures towards achieving sustainability.

The Secretary General said: “Why do we have a summit meeting? The leaders are the ones who can make a political decision. Depending on the political priorities they chose, the consequences will be huge,” Mr Ban said in a direct appeal to 190 governments from across the globe to work harder on putting the ideas into practice. “If these actions are not implemented, then this will merely be a piece of paper,” he added.

In addition to the outcome text, there have been over 400 voluntary commitments for sustainable development by Member States in the run up to the high-level meeting of Rio+20, which officially started on Wednesday.

The agreed outcome document spells out action points such as the need to establish sustainable development goals and mobilize financing for sustainable development, as well as the promotion of sustainable consumption and production, among others.

It also stresses the need to include non-governmental organizations, and indigenous groups in the sustainable development agenda, and calls on the private sector to engage in sustainable corporate business practices.

What is your reaction to the agreement set by world leaders to advance the implementation of sustainable development worldwide? Share your opinion by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.  

The Offshore Wind Industry to Reduce Energy Cost

A new report has revealed the UK will reduce the cost of electricity generated by offshore wind by 30 % in the next seven years. 

The report, published by the industry-led Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, showed evidence that the offshore wind industry can make significant cost reduction in its delivery of 18 GW electricity from wind farms, which is around 20% of UK’s total electricity demand.

The report found the industry could drop delivery cost from £140/MWh today to £100/MWh by 2020, achieving substantial savings of £3 billion per year.
Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, welcomed the announcement by saying: “I am encouraged that this report shows that substantial cost savings can be achieved if action is taken and I welcome this valuable work. I look forward to working closely with industry to take this forward further and deliver these ambitious targets.”

Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force made 28 specific recommendations for the renewable sector to diverse and secure more affordable energy for consumers. The report also encourages industry officials to work more closely with the government for optimising collaboration

Mr Hendry emphasised on the importance of offshore wind farms and their role in securing low carbon energy mix in the future, but he also said that energy costs must come down too.

Andrew Jamieson, Chair of the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, said: “To ensure that the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector expands rapidly over this decade and fulfils its massive potential within the UK’s energy mix, it is vital that costs are reduced. In doing this not only will we reduce risk and drive investment into the sector, we will further protect consumers from increasing energy costs, reduce the industry’s requirement for financial support and deliver jobs and energy security for decades to come.”

What is your reaction to the report which suggests the offshore wind industry will reduce cost by over 30 per cent in the next seven years? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

“No Fees” Incentive for Green Deal Installers

Assessors, installers and providers of Green Deal services will face no fees for registration or oversight during the scheme’s first two years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced. 

The DECC is going to fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service in order to help those participating in the scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.

Speaking at Wolseley, UK’s Plumb Centre Green Deal open day in Leamington Spa, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker welcomed the announcement of “no registration fees” which will encourage participation in the scheme and give businesses the confidence they need.

Mr Barker said: “No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get on-board and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”

The announcement follows the appointment of a multi-service provider Gemserv to run the new Green Deal oversight body which will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, the DECC confirmed today.

Commenting on the recent appointment the Energy Minister said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.”

Do you welcome the announcement of “no fees” for installers and Green Deal providers? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

 

Train4TradeSkills News: The UK Geothermal Could Generate as Much Electricity as 9 Nuclear Power Stations

A new independent report published by Sinclair Knight Merz claims deep geothermal resources could produce 20% of UK’s electricity and the heat for millions of homes.  

Although, deep geothermal power is new technology in the UK, the sector has been growing internationally. In Germany, the deep geothermal industry employs 6,000 people and has attracted €4 billion of investment.

The new report shows that the recourse is widely spread around the UK and has the potential to provide 9.5GW of renewable electricity which is an equivalent to nearly nine nuclear power stations, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said.

It has been forecast that in the UK, former mining regions like Cornwall, Yorkshire and the North East of England, including Northern Ireland and Scotland, could support valuable commercial projects*.

Ryan Law, Chair of the REA Deep Geothermal Group, emphasised the importance of geothermal investment for the UK industry and outlined significant benefits and commercial rewards for the geothermal sector.

Mr Law said: “We don’t want to be left out of a global industry which is estimated to be worth £30 billion by 2020. We could be at the forefront of this industry given the strength of British engineering skills. If the UK wants to seize a share of this booming global market we must prove our competence at home. Clearly investment at home could also go a long way to meeting our future energy needs cleanly and safely.”

What is your reaction on the widely spread geothermal energy resources across the UK? What the government could do better to accelerate those projects?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page

*The resource set out in the report has been summarised as:

Cornwall and the South West

HEAT: 13,000 MWth – 6.5 million homes annual heat demand

POWER: 4,000 MWe (equivalent to 3.3 nuclear power plants)

 

The North East

HEAT: 9,000 MWth – 4.5 million homes annual heat demand

POWER: 4,000 MWe (equivalent to 3.3 nuclear power plants)

 

The Lake District

HEAT: 8,000 MWth 4 million homes

POWER: 2,300 MWe (equivalent to 1.9 nuclear power plants)

 

Wessex Basin

HEAT: 33,000 MWth 16.5 million homes

 

Cheshire Basin

HEAT: 14,000 MWth 7 million homes

 

East of England

HEAT: 12,000 MWth 6 million homes

 

Worcester Basin

HEAT:  6,700 MWth 3.35 million homes

 

Larne Basin

HEAT: 1,000 MWth 500,000 homes

Green Economic Growth to Boost Employment

A recent government report has shown that the UK’s green economy grew with £5.4 billion in 2011, employing almost 1 million people in the low carbon industry.

The new report, released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, shows record growth for UK’s green goods and services, generating £122 billion in 2011, an increase of 4.7 per cent against figures from 2009/10.

Employment levels across the Low Carbon, Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) increased with 2.8 per cent, indicating that 939, 627 people are currently employed in green industry sector. Rise in the number of people working in the low carbon industry is “the first really positive sign of employment growth in the sector since the recession in 2008” the report says.

The government expects the companies involved in the LCEGS sector to continue to expand, bringing more employment opportunities for the renewable and low-carbon industry.

What do you think of the UK’s green economic growth? Do you think that green industry sector will continue to expand as forecast by the Government?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page: 

The Growth of Green Industry is Vital for UK’s Economic Recovery

“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.

The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.

The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.

However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.

The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.

Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Do you agree that renewable energy investment is a key factor that will pave the way for more jobs and an economic recovery? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Apple to Power Data Centres with Renewable Energy

 

Apple has announced plans to power its main data centre in North Carolina entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2012, Reuters has reported.

The announcement comes after long-lasting environmental concerns by Greenpeace about Apple’s rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms in the US.  Greenpeace activists drew significant attention last week on Apple’s use of coal at the data centre that powers its iCloud.

The maker of the iPhone and the iPad confirmed on Thursday that it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations near its core data centre in North Carolina. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.

“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal.” said Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook.

The solar farm is expected to supply 84 million kWh of energy annually and it will cover 250 acres of land around Apple’s main data centre.

“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data centre in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters.

Mr Oppenheimer outlined company’s ambition to continue its environmental approach along with its expansion in services and provide sustainable development for its products.

“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,” Oppenheimer said.

What is your reaction to the decision by Apple to power its main data centres with 100% renewable energy? Do you think that other high-tech companies will follow its environmental approach? Share your thought with us by leaving a comment below: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Leigh Reeve talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Leigh Reeve is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Leigh to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to second part of Leigh’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    
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Renewable Industry Praises Delay to Solar Tariff Cuts

 

The UK’s renewable industry has welcomed the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which would have badly hit the solar PV sector.

Solar does not only protect homeowners from rising energy bills, but it also delivers a great return on investment. The cost of solar power has been coming down faster than any other energy generation technology, the Renewable Energy Association confirmed.

Commenting on the decision to help the renewable industry, Energy Minister Greg Barker said the Government is “listening carefully to industry” and that this delay gives industry the opportunity to reignite the solar market and grow further.

“It is very encouraging for the future that Government is listening to industry concerns, but we need certainty as soon as possible on the details of when and what the next tariff adjustments will be.”- Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association (STA), Paul Barwell, said.

Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO of Good Energy which is the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier commented that solar is a great opportunity for the generation of renewable energy and a powerful way of giving households greater control over their energy bills.

Ms Davenport said: “Already we’re seeing how solar makes a natural partner for more intermittent forms of renewable generation, like wind. That’s going to become more and more important in years to come, and it’s time to invest today for the energy market of tomorrow.”

What’s your reaction to the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which will help the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Leigh Reeve talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Leigh Reeve is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Leigh to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Leigh’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    

[scribd id=94011352 key=key-11izthe2l6jrc4257evm mode=list]

Green Energy Will Support Economic Growth in Britain

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian newspaper yesterday that Britain has to stimulate future economic growth by investing in the renewable energy sector.

Economic recovery from double dip recession will work only if the government pursue ‘green growth’ because energy saving is a win-win situation for both businesses and households, the Former Cabinet Minister stated.

Mr Huhne is confident that green growth is sustainable because it has the potential for creating new jobs, cutting energy bills and increasing spending incomes of households. He also encouraged more vigorous debate on the wider agenda for natural resources and energy efficiency.

Mr Huhne said “Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all.”

Although the Former Liberal Democrat Minister didn’t criticise the government and declined to name those who are portraying green policies as a barrier to growth.  Some senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have previously complained that Tory MPs have been obstructing green policies relating to energy efficiency.

What is your reaction to the article by former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne? Do you share his opinion that investing more in energy projects will boost the UK economy? Let us know by leaving a comment below:  

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Adam Hiles talks about electrical training with T4TS

Adam Hiles  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Adam to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Adam via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills   


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Prime Minister Cameron supports the Renewable Energy Sector

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed a £350 million investment for energy projects which will create hundreds of new jobs across the UK, the official website of Number 10 Downing Street announced today.

The Prime Minister, who attended Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in London, told ministers from the world’s most polluting countries that he passionately believed in the rapid growth of renewable energy.

Mr Cameron emphasised the contribution that Britain has already made in the renewable energy sector, Britain has invested a total value of £4.7 billion and supported 15,000 jobs in the UK’s renewable industry

He said: “Renewables are now the fastest growing energy source on the planet. And I am proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of this green energy revolution.

“Britain has gone from virtually no capacity for renewables, to seeing them provide almost 10 per cent of our total electricity needs last year. And we’ve added more capacity for renewables in the last two years than at any time in the last decade.”

The Prime Minister said: “Our commitment and investment in renewable energy has helped to make renewable energy possible. Now we have a different challenge. We need to make it financially sustainable.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) welcomed the acknowledgment by the Prime Minister today that the renewables are the fastest growing energy sector in the world, but said that the government should understand better the benefits of renewable energy investment, including the creation of more jobs.

The Chairman at REA, Martin Wright, said:  “There is a tendency to focus on the costs of renewables as opposed to the benefits. Renewables give us energy independence, they are totally sustainable, there is no waste, and in the long term they will provide low cost energy and, above all, price stability.”

What is your reaction to the address by David Cameron to the renewable energy sector? Do you feel more optimistic about the future of renewables in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

New Report Says the UK Renewable Sector Could Create Millions of New Jobs

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) published a report today  showing that meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 could create 400,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.

The report ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, looks at employment figures for the entire UK’s renewable sector. It has estimated that the renewable industry was worth £12.5 billion in 2010/11 and supported 110,000 jobs.  The new report suggests that employment across the renewable sector would rise significantly, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs by the end of this decade.

Launching the report, REA’s Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell welcomed the findings of the report by saying that it is vital for the UK to keep on track with its commitments to meet the renewable energy targets by the end of 2020 as well as encourage economic growth and create more green jobs.

Ms Hartnell said: “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy. Government needs to take steps to build the skills base and keep the UK on track to meet its renewables targets. When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face, the answer is clear – make it renewable and make it in Britain.”

Gregory Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change, said: “Renewable energy not only provides us with clean and secure energy that cuts our reliance on imported fossil fuels – it generates billions of pounds of investment and potentially hundreds and thousands of jobs and is a key growth sector for the UK economy.”

What is your reaction to the report by the REA which suggests plenty of employment opportunities for people in the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Cameron Supports the Renewable Industry

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to 100 Conservative MPs, who recently complained about wind farm subsidies and demanded cuts to the £500 million a year, paid to the wind power industry.

The 100 MPs, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month, expressed concerns that wind farm proposals are not welcomed by local residents and that they might damage the natural landscape of Britain.

The Prime Minister shared a robust defence of the government’s plans to continue with its commitment to support renewable energy projects across the UK. Mr Cameron echoed strong support for wind farm subsidies, describing them as vital investment for the creation of green jobs and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Cameron said: “On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy, a portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.”

However, Mr Cameron said he sympathised with local residents’ concerns but the national interest of Britain had to be considered in order to fulfil its commitment to meet targets for renewable energy and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support for the renewable industry? Are you more optimistic about the future of wind farms after Cameron’s backing?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Gas tutor Anthony Scotto talks about gas training with T4TS, Part 1

Anthony Scotto is a gas tutor at Train4TradeSkills fulfilment centre in Worcestershire. Train4TradeSkills Radio spoke to Anthony to find out what students make of his training and how they are going to use it to develop their career.

Listen to Anthony’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    
[scribd id=81949839 key=key-gtin6vvbckx2yieqgmf mode=list]

Bright Future for the Green Economy

With increasingly higher demand for professionals in the renewable sector, the UK’s environmental charity organisation, Global Action Plan and global management consultant Accenture, have launched a two-year collaborative partnership to help young people gain the necessary skills for the emerging green economy.

The scheme will provide green skills development for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who are not currently in education or training, to build their employability skills, offer new opportunities and address the current skills shortage in the green sector.

Funding of £170,000 will be provided to support the green training by 2014; it will help people to find relevant work placements across a number of organisations in the green industry. Some 1,300 young people will benefit from the project.

Environmental groups, policymakers and companies have made the argument that renewable energy should be favoured over sources of non-renewables because it will create green jobs and boost the economy as well as help people tackle climate change.

The government is determined to continue with its commitment to improve energy efficiency in Britain. It has already invested £200 million into renewable energy projects which will help the green sector grow and give confidence to businesses.

Chief Executive of Global Action Plan, Trewin Restorick, said that the collaborative venture has been designed to boost employment and address key issues in the renewable sector.

Mr Restorick said: “As unemployment among 16-24 year olds continues to hit record highs, cross-sector partnerships such as the one between Global Action Plan and Accenture are vital in ensuring young people get into employment and contribute to a better, more sustainable society.”

What is your reaction to this and other initiatives to help the green sector? Do you think the government is doing enough to help the renewables sector? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Train4TradeSkills Radio: David Blake talks about electrical training with T4TS

David Blake is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed David to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to David’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  
[scribd id=81717729 key=key-9p1mk45g732nhp81bdq mode=list]

Co-Operative Environmental Agenda Helps Renewable Sector

The Co-Operative has announced savings of £40 million per year as a result of recent investment in a sustainability scheme to cut operational greenhouse gas by more than a third. 

Today the Co-Operative revealed it has reduced greenhouse emissions by 35% and made significant savings whilst optimising performance and using less energy resources, as well as making a contribution towards the environment.

The group, which employs more than 120,000 staff in the UK, has invested £1 billion in renewables and energy-saving measures aiming to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the environment.

This, and more recent investments are expected to boost the renewable’s industry, which would create new jobs and more employment opportunities for existing professionals in the renewable energy sector.

The Co-Operative has also announced a series of new targets for this year, including generating a quarter of its energy needs from renewables by 2017 and cutting water consumption by a third. The group is planning to reduce the greenhouse gases of its operations by 50% in the next 8 years and has committed £700 million to renewable energy.

The group’s Chief Executive, Peter Marks, said that the savings of £40 million is the result of a number of environmental measures for greater responsibility towards the environment and adopting more efficient methods of doing business in future.

Mr Marks said: “Despite the economic downturn, we have remained true to our pledge to show the way on corporate responsibility. The one million new members we now have bears testimony to the continued support we have from our customers.”

What is your opinion on the environmentally friendly agenda of the Co-Operative? Do you think more companies will adopt such approach in the near future? Tell us why, by commenting on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Electrical tutor Barrie Fisher talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Barrie Fisher is an electrical tutor at Train4TradeSkills’ fulfilment centre in Worcestershire. With 45 years of experience in the electrical trade, Barrie talks to Train4TradeSkills Radio to give students an insight about what the benefits are of being a qualified electrician and how easy it is to become one.

Listen to Barrie’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  [scribd id=81593942 key=key-45doxznz6orjvo0gh38 mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Electrical tutor Barrie Fisher talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 1

Barrie Fisher is an electrical tutor at Train4TradeSkills’ fulfilment centre in Worcestershire. With 45 years of experience in the electrical trade, Barrie talks to Train4TradeSkills Radio to give students an insight about what the benefits are of being a qualified electrician and how easy it is to become one.

 

Listen to Barrie’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills     
[scribd id=81467347 key=key-1tvdrktbnctx0v6zu2yr mode=list]

New Energy Secretary Will Push for Green Deal

The new Energy Secretary Edward Davey has pledged to continue with the Green Deal, a policy which could support up to 65,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Today, Mr Davey has unveiled that he has created a dedicated team within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to look at different methods of improving energy efficiency and making it more relevant to people’s everyday life.

Speaking at a meeting with key industry leaders in London today, the Energy Secretary explained that the Green Deal is a vital policy not only for the environment, but also for economic growth and job creation across Britain.

Mr Davey said: “I’m hugely enthusiastic about energy efficiency. It’s the cheapest way of cutting carbon emissions – and cutting bills for consumers. It has to be right at the heart of what we do.”

The dedicated team at the new Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO) will work in collaboration with other energy departments to communicate the positive implications the scheme is going to have on the environment as well as to the renewable sector.

This year the government will enable homeowners to take a loan to install insulation or other energy-saving measures to help the environment. People will be able to install packages of energy saving technologies such as insulation at no upfront cost with repayments made over time out of the energy savings.

Davey emphasised the importance of the project for the thousands of people who will to benefit from the significant government investment and contribute for greener and more efficient economy.

He said: “The Green Deal will play a huge part in this work and will also support jobs in the insulation and construction industries– as many as 65,000 right across the country by 2015. It can help us deliver a fairer, greener economy. And help us get young people back into work – or into work for the first time.”

What is your reaction on Davey’s commitment to push forward for the Green Deal and improve energy efficiency? Baring in mind the 65,000 people who will be employed as result of the scheme do you share minister’s enthusiasm about new jobs? Let us know by leaving a comment here: 

£35 Million Solar Panel Plan to be Given Green Light

Lark Energy, a leading green energy company in the UK, is planning to install 120,000 solar panels, which would produce enough energy power for up to 7,000 homes across Leicestershire.

The energy company has submitted plans for a £35 million solar project on a 150-acre site near Loughborough, Leicestershire, the BBC has reported.   The project would be the biggest solar farm in the UK to be built, meaning more contracts for the renewable energy sector and new jobs to be created.

Lark’s managing director, Jonathan Selwyn, said construction work could take place later this year if Charnwood Borough Council approved the project. Local residents have welcomed the proposal, expressing enthusiasm as it will generate electricity from renewable sources and will help the environment.

Mr Selwyn said the farm will not take long to build, a maximum of 5 months, it will convert daylight into electricity which would then be sold to a power company and distributed through the national grid.

He said: “This will be 25 to 30 megawatts so it will be quite big but it will not be intrusive. There will not be reflection because the panels are designed to absorb the light rather than reflect it.”

Mr Selwyn explained that there are no real on-going costs for maintaining the solar panels whilst there are many benefits for the environment to obtain energy from daylight.

“Daylight is free, easily accessible and it is unlimited unlike fuels like gas and coal which will become increasingly scarce and, therefore, more expensive.”- Mr Selwyn added.

Charnwood borough councillor Jenny Bokor told the Leicester Mercury that she welcomed the proposed investment of £35 million. It would generate environmentally friendly energy for the needs of local residents and people across Leicestershire.

Ms Bokor said: “I think this is a really good idea. There are 1,500 homes in all the Wolds villages and this could more than meet their needs.

“I am sure there will be some people who will object but I am in favour of making use of the land to create energy.”

Chairman of Wymeswold Parish Council, Nick Shaw, said the project is a very good idea because it will not make any noise or create pollution.

 

What is your opinion about installing more solar panels in the UK? Why do you think renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular? Does it mean better employment opportunities for you?  Let us know what you are thinking on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

Thousands of solar jobs have been saved today as the government lost its case to cut solar funding

Today, the solar industry has won an appeal against the government’s attempt to cut subsidies for solar panels in the UK.

Three judges today rejected the government’s decision to reduce renewable energy tariffs through which people in Britain are paid for the electricity they generate.

The Solar industry welcomed the news as a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector in Britain.

Ben Warren, a partner at Ernst and Young, told the BBC this morning that the decision from the court was a big breakthrough for the entire renewable sector across the country.

Mr Warren said: “This decision has very important implications for the whole renewable energy sector in the UK.”

The government proposed a new tariff of 21p per kilowatt-hour opposed to a previous tariff of 43p per Kilowatt-hour which sparked anger from environmental groups and installers across the country. The new changes were expected to come into effect from 1 April this year.

As the High Court ruled today that changing the tariffs in this way was “legally flawed”, the government should now re-consider its approach to providing funding for the renewable energy sector.

The proposed change to significantly cut solar subsidies had disappointed industry as it affected projects which have already been commissioned but not installed – costing businesses millions of pounds and thousands of jobs for people in the renewable industry.

Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, the UK’s leading solar energy company, expressed optimism about the court ruling said the news was a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector.

Mr Leggett said: “Today we have reminded government that it will be held to account when it acts illegally and tries to push through unlawful policy changes.

“We would much prefer not to have taken this path but ministers gave us no choice. Our hope now is that we can work together again to restore the thriving jobs-rich solar sector that has been so badly undermined by government actions since October.”

What is your opinion on the government’s attempt to reduce solar subsidies for the renewable energy sector? What would have been the drawback of such decision if the High Court had not recognised the issue in its ruling today? Share your thoughts be commenting below:

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