Posts tagged environment
Householders across Great Britain will be able to get even more cash for renewable heating kit, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced today.
The money off vouchers available under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme have been increased to £2,300 for ground source heat pumps, £2,000 for biomass boilers, £1,300 for air source heat pumps and £600 for solar thermal systems.
The RHPP scheme, first launched in July 2011, is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems by offering money off the cost of the equipment. The scheme is targeted at those living off the gas grid, where most money on bills and carbon can be saved.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Over 10,000 householders have already taken advantage of money off renewable heating kit and we want to see even more consumers stepping up to the plate and getting on board.
“But I want to go even further. I want to kick start this exciting new market for consumer renewable heat technologies.
“This time limited, big increase in the value of vouchers for hardworking people who want to do something positive to install money saving green heating in their homes, should be a real boost for this growing green sector.”
The scheme was extended in March this year until the end of March 2014 ahead of the launch of a Renewable Heat Incentive for householders, with around £12 million up for grabs.
Alongside changes to the voucher values, householders will now be required to undertake a Green Deal assessment before submitting a claim to the Energy Saving Trust to redeem their voucher.
This will help householders think about how renewable heat could fit with energy efficiency improvements for their home and ensure they are advised on choosing the right technology for them.
The additional voucher values are intended to reflect the cost of a Green Deal assessment, as well as the cost of getting these technologies installed in homes. Householders can also use the Green Deal to pay for some of the cost through savings on their energy bill.
The increased voucher values and Green Deal assessment requirement will kick in for any applications submitted today onwards.
Builder Willmot Dixon has finally got the green light to start of the regeneration of Keynsham town centre, near Bristol.
Bath and North East Somerset Council was forced to postpone the August start of the project earlier this year after criticism from some local people, and the town’s civic society about the designs .
Now after several design variations to the roofs and cladding, the council planning committee has approved the scheme.
The project involves the £36m redevelopment of the existing council offices site in Keynsham with new shops, a library and new council offices.
The buildings have already been stripped for demolition and the scheme, while the planning wrangle was being sorted out.
The project will allow the council to reduce the amount of office space it uses from 12 building to four and become more financially efficient.
Reduced running costs will deliver 10% annual savings that will benefit the local taxpayer public purse. The Council carbon footprint specifically in its buildings will reduce by up to 70%.
Thousands of new trade jobs could be created as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, encouraged officials to reconsider plans to build a £30 billion barrage across the Severn estuary between England and Wales.
After a meeting with Peter Hain, who left his post as shadow Welsh Secretary in 2010 to back the project, David Cameron has asked ministers to take another look at the multi-million scheme which will create 20, 000 construction jobs and diversify the country’s energy supply.
It has been estimated that the 10-mile barrage from the Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset would provide 5% of the UK’s electricity demand, creating tens of thousands of additional jobs in activity around the barrage.
Hain told BBC Wales that it was a “more productive meeting than might have been expected”, revealing that “Number 10 are taking the barrage much more seriously than has been the case over the last few years”.
It is understood that much of the funding for the scheme would come from global private investors and taxpayers’ money will not be spent. According to Mr Hain, ‘several’ sovereign wealth funds have already come forward to finance the project, including investors from Kuwait and Qatar.
Mr Hain said: “Government support is an absolute pre-requisite for getting the whole project underway.
“Not a penny of taxpayers’ money would be needed for this £30bn investment, which would be transformative for Wales.
“It would create 20,000 jobs in construction and another 30,000 in activity around the barrage.”
What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support to urge ministers to reconsider building plans for the £30 billion barrage that will create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
“Development to generate plenty of employment opportunities for people in the trades”
A council has given the go ahead for a £430 million housing regeneration scheme to build 1,600 new homes and refurbish a further 1,200 existing homes, creating hundreds of new jobs in the trades.
After a 4-year consultation period with the local community in Pendleton, the multi-million scheme is going to be delivered by SP+ consortium, which includes Chevin Housing Association, Keepmoat, Harewood Homes and Latham Architects, creating opportunities for local suppliers and trade professionals to benefit from work contracts.
The housing improvement scheme will create 500 new jobs in the building construction sector, many of them in the plumbing, electrical and gas-engineering industry. The huge project is set to create 2,000 work experience placements for apprentices and people looking to enter the trades.
As well as housing, the scheme will also provide new sports pitches, green space, walk ways, cycle paths, an extra care facility, new shopping promenade and new sports pitches at the Fit City development.
Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council, said: “Now that we have approved plans the contractors will be able to get on site and start creating a new Pendleton.
“The plans put forward by the preferred bidder not only build new housing, they will also make the most of what is already there, refurbishing some of the existing properties and creating parks and green space that will create a much nicer environment for local residents to enjoy.”- said Councillor Merrett.
What is your reaction to the £430 housing regeneration scheme that has been given the go ahead by Salford City Council? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
A £65 million deal for student accommodation at the University of Essex is going ahead, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
Today’s announcement gets the ball rolling for selected building and design contractor Bouygues UK to build over a thousand student-bed accommodation complex.
Construction work has already started on the site adjoining Boundary Road which forms part of the University’s major Knowledge Gateway development.
The three-year scheme includes the construction of 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones, for which the Bouygues Development will provide the university a capital receipt.
The new build part of the scheme – known as The Meadows – has been designed by Lewis & Hickey architects and comprises 12-bed town houses accommodating 228 students and a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms.
An eye-catching pavilion that will house a student common room, known as ’The Hub’, will be built along the clusters of the study bedrooms.
Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said: “Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation.”
Mr Church commented that the combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience will complement and enhance the sense of community for students and local residents
One of the UK’ top sports colleges is about to get a £19 million facelift which is expected to create hundreds of new trade jobs.
Morgan Sindall has been given the go ahead for projects in Hull aspart of the city’s £400 million Schools Future Programme. Part of this will renovate St Mary’s College and will construct a 70, 000 sq. ft. teaching block.
North East construction managing director, Gordon Ray, said: “Construction work of this size and calibre has a huge impact on the economy of the city.
“We always look to support the communities and we hope to bring in a number of jobs to the region including for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.”
The new campus building will also include a new professional-standard 300-seat theatre with a ‘fly’ tower, allowing stage scenery to be raised and lowered during performances, which is one of the first to be installed in a school in the UK.
Mr Ray said that the company will aim to work with 50 building subcontractors from the area and also recruit apprentices throughout the lifetime of the project.
Due to the large amount of glazing and south facing frontage in its design, the new building will use thermal modelling and solar controlled glazing to ensure a steady internal temperature.
The main building will house 12 humanities classrooms, six sixth form classrooms, 14 science laboratories, 7,500 sq. ft. design and art space, a food technology classroom and two ICT suites.
As a specialist sports college, St Mary’s will build a new 11,800 sq. ft. three court sports block with three sports science classrooms, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area.
What is your reaction to the £19 million building scheme in Hull’s Mary College that will provide employment opportunities for trade professionals? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Building work on Manchester City’s new £100 million training academy has been given the green light by the government, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
After clearing objections by previous landlords who refused to sell their plots to the football club, now the Secretary of State has granted a compulsory purchase order, allowing building work to start.
The scheme, which involves building a 7, 000 seat-stadium and 15 small pitches will create new jobs and help the local economy.
Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester, told the BBC that this development will benefit the people in Manchester and create new jobs
Mr Smith said “Manchester City Football Club’s plans in east Manchester are a hugely important ingredient of the ongoing regeneration of the area, which will see not only world-class leisure and educational facilities for the community, but also jobs for local people.
“We worked with the club to help relocate existing business and sustain existing jobs and are pleased that the Secretary of State has reached a decision in the public interest which will enable this ambitious scheme to move forwards.”
BAM Construction has won the main contract after holding off competition with other firms.
Plans at the site on land next to the Etihad stadium include:
- A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
- One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
- One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
- On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
- A carefully planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
- A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
- Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
- A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus
“The new redevelopment is to bring employment opportunities for trade professionals”
A multimillion redevelopment scheme at the University of Hull’s historic library has been given the green light with the appointment of its main contractor that will refurbish the 16,000 square-metre building and provide new employment opportunities for people in the trades.
Today’s appointment of BAM Construction will provide the eight-storey library with new facades, mechanical and engineering services.
Building work is set to start this month, with the main scheme getting underway in November 2012. The project will continue for 3 years and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The project is expected to meet the world’s leading environmental and rating system for buildings, BREEAM.
BAM said in a statement today that it will hold suppliers days to attract local labour and provide employment opportunities for trade professionals, including plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.
BAM’s Construction Director, Kelvin Pollard, said that the company is delighted to bring such impressive library to the forefront of modern design and technology which will encourage economic growth and create new jobs.
Mr Pollard said: “This major project will benefit the local economy and will ensure the library remains operational throughout. When complete, students will benefit from lighter, airier spaces that are more conducive to study and better equipped for modern learning.”
What is your reaction to the multimillion redevelopment scheme at University of Hull’s historic library which will benefit the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
The University of Bath has announced plans to spend £100 million on improving its campus over the next three years that will enhance student experience and create new jobs in the building trades.
The University’s major refurbishment programme announced today will provide 708 en-suite bedrooms in 75 flats across two buildings and deliver increased space for teaching and research improved facilities, creating employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector.
A new multimillion Art Centre will be built by the autumn of 2014 including general teaching building facilities with a main 350-seat lecture theatre which is due to open in October 2013
Building plans have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council which is expected to reach a decision and give the green light to the improvement scheme by October 2012.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and the changing tuition fee landscape, the University of Bath is facing the future with great confidence.
“Our aim is to further enhance the university’s ability to deliver an outstanding student experience; creating additional facilities for research, and an inspiring working environment, as well as providing cultural and economic benefits for the wider Bath region.”
“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”
Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).
The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.
The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.
Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.
“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”
The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.
What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
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.
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.
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.
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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:
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.”
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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.
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