Industry News Page3

Electrified heat and hydrogen: Renewable energy deployment 'must grow fivefold by 2030'

28 April, 2021 – The Energy Transitions Commission’s latest reports indicate that renewable energy capacity must be at least five times larger by 2030 for the world to be aligned with net-zero targets. The dramatic increase in renewable energy installations needed is partly due to predictions that electricity will make up 70% of the energy demand by 2050.

Wind turbine proceeds support renewable energy schemes in north Northumberland

27 April, 2021 – The sale of a community wind turbine in Berwick is helping fund onsite renewable projects in the region. The fund has already awarded £127,000 to community groups, charities and sports clubs for installing technologies like solar and heat pumps. The fund is currently open for applicants in the northeast of England. Successful projects include Berwick Bowling Club, which has saved £400 in their yearly electricity bills after gaining funding to install solar PV. If you are interested in installing onsite renewables at your site, contact OnGen today.

National Grid bulb enlightens homes about clean power

26 April, 2021 – The National Grid has released a new low-energy smart light bulb that changes colour when the electricity in the household is powered by renewable energy. This bulb is aimed to help households understand how the UK generates electricity and, in the long-term, switch to a greener tariff. The National Grid is partnering with COP26 to help the UK residents have a better understanding of their energy sources.

Highland wind farms to 'generate £485m for UK economy'

22 April, 2021 – SSE Renewables’ latest report communicates that its four onshore wind projects within the Scottish Highlands will supply £485 million to the UK economy during the projects’ lifespans. The report also highlighted that these wind projects will greatly benefit the local community, with £23.1 million expected to be invested into the local areas surrounding the projects. The onshore wind projects have helped create hundreds of jobs within the Scottish Highlands.

US sets first 2030 climate goal as Canada and Japan increase targets

22 April, 2021 – New climate targets have been prominent around the world this week with the US, Canada, Japan and the EU all announcing more ambitious climate targets. The US has unveiled a 2030 goal for halving its emissions against its 2005 levels. Japan has confirmed a 46% reduction in emissions by 2030 based on the countries 2013 baseline. It is hoped that these high emitting countries’ targets will lead the way for stronger climate goals globally.

Ikea to invest £3.4bn in renewable energy by 2030

21 April, 2021 – Ikea aims to invest an additional £3.4 billion in its renewable energy operations by 2030. The aim of Ikea’s investment is to expand its portfolio of wind and solar farms, while also installing EV charging points at its stores. Ikea also plans to install energy storage systems and swap to hydrogen fuels in its delivery vans. Ikea is well on its way to reaching its aim of being carbon neutral by 2030.

Ofgem unveils plan for electricity retail market-wide half-hourly settlement

21 April, 2021 – Ofgem has confirmed the introduction of a market-wide half-hourly settlement for the electricity retail market. This system should enable all domestic and non-domestic users to record half-hourly energy consumption. The new system will use data collected from smart meters to track energy consumption. It is hoped that this new system will be more accurate and support grid flexibility. Ofgem has set the target of October 2025 for full implementation of this system.

Climate change: UK to speed up target to cut carbon emissions

20 April, 2021 – Boris Johnson has confirmed the UK’s latest ambitious climate target of reducing carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. This commitment will also include international aviation and shipping for the first time. This latest target was recommended by the Climate Change Committee, with the cut in emissions based on 1990 emission levels. Full plans by the UK Government will be required to understand how the UK will reach this target.

Amazon set to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025

19 April, 2021 – Amazon has released plans for nine new solar and wind projects to be installed globally. One of the projects will be 350MW of offshore wind being installed in Scotland. This project in Scotland will be one of the biggest corporate renewable energy projects in the UK. Amazon’s other installations planned throughout Europe will take Amazon’s renewable energy generation capacity over 2.5GW. This large generation capacity will result in Amazon being the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in all of Europe.

Community Windpower toasts 5TWh milestone

15 April, 2021 – Community Windpower’s seven Scottish onshore wind farms have reached a new generation record within the company of 5TWh. This generation total is enough energy to power 1.4 million homes in Scotland. Community Windpower hopes to further increase its energy generation by installing three additional wind farms in Southern Scotland, totalling 164 turbines.

Europe's wind sector weathers pandemic with €43bn investment in 2020

14 April, 2021 – According to WindEurope, wind investments in Europe hit a new record in 2020, with €43 billion being invested. This level of investment is resulting in 20GW of wind being installed throughout Europe. Investment soared by 70% when compared to 2019. The increase in investment is thought to be due to wind energy remaining a strong investment choice throughout the. The UK has invested the most in wind energy, with €13 billion invested during 2020.

Healthcare sector plots first global roadmap to net-zero

14 April, 2021 – The healthcare sector, in partnership with Arup and Health Care Without Harm, has released a global roadmap for reaching net-zero. For the UK, the report explains that measures including energy efficiency and decarbonising transport with EVs could help the UK decarbonise 80% of its healthcare emissions. The final 20% of healthcare emissions could be offset. With healthcare emissions equating to 5.4% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is crucial that the NHS begins reducing their footprint.

Free electricity for EV drivers

13 April, 2021 – Good Energy, in partnership with Zap-Map, has released a new tariff specifically for EV drivers. The latest tariff will offer time periods when EV drivers can charge their car or power their home for free. These free periods will be when there is a high volume of solar and wind energy being generated. Good Energy’s tariff will be the first EV-specific tariff that is powered by 100% genuine renewable energy.

Bathers dive in solar powered London Fields Lido swimming pool

13 April, 2021 – Hackney Council have installed solar PV at London Fields Lido Outdoor Swimming Pool. The 33kW solar installation is expected to generate enough energy to operate the facility and excess energy will be fed back into the grid. The solar PV array was deployed while the facility was shut due to the pandemic. Hackney Council next plan to install a water source heat pump to meet the heating requirements of the swimming pool. OnGen has helped local authorities meet their energy demand with onsite renewables. Interested? Get in touch.

ScottishPower to build 40MW of solar to help fuel Green Hydrogen for Scotland

12 April, 2021 – ScottishPower has announced plans to install a 20MW electrolyser at Whitelee Wind Farm in East Renfrewshire. This 20MW electrolyser installation will be the biggest in the UK, with an estimated 8 tonnes of green hydrogen being generated daily. The electrolyser will be powered by renewable energy, with an additional 40MW of ground-mounted solar and 50MW of battery storage planned for installation at this site. The Whitelee Wind Farm will also help power the electrolyser.

First power generated from subsidy-free Gordonbush Extension Wind Farm in Scotland

9 April, 2021 – The Gordonbush Extension Wind Farm in Brora at the Scottish Highlands has begun generating power. This subsidy-free wind farm will generate 38MW of electricity, which is enough to power 46,000 homes in the UK each year. The renewable energy generated by the wind farm is predicted to save 37,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually over the next 25 years. The wind farm is expected to be fully operational by mid-2021.

Centrica begins UK-wide heat pump project to improve energy efficiency of sanctuary social housing stock

8 April, 2021 – A heat pump project is being led by Centrica to help increase the energy efficiency of social housing for landlord Sanctuary Housing. Approximately 600 properties throughout England will benefit from having heating pumps installed. The chosen properties will have an air source heat pump fitted along with necessary accessories, including new radiators. It is hoped that the EPC rating of these homes will reach C or above while also lowering carbon emissions. The OnGen Expert can assess the feasibility of air source heat pumps at non-domestic properties. Interested? Contact OnGen today.

British Army to switch on first solar farm as part of net-zero aspiration

8 April, 2021 – The British Army has started installing the first of four ground-mounted solar installations as part of a pilot project. These solar installations will be installed at Barracks and different buildings within the army’s estate around the UK. Construction is beginning at the Army’s Defence School of Transport in Yorkshire, with 2.3GW of solar PV being installed at this site. This pilot project is expected to save £1 million in energy costs and 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Tesco reaches 500,000 electric vehicle charges

8 April, 2021 – Tesco’s EV charging network has reached 500,000 charges after 600 free charging points were installed throughout the UK. This project is in partnership with Volkswagen and Podpoint. The charging points are powered by carbon-neutral electricity and a total of 3 million kWh of electricity has been used for the 500,000 charges. This initiative is part of Tesco’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2035.

Great Britain’s electricity system has greenest day ever over Easter

6 April, 2021 – Easter Monday has been hailed as the greenest day ever recorded in the UK. Due to a mix of sunshine and windy weather, there was a rise in the volume of renewable energy produced. The good weather resulted in 60% of electricity in the UK being generated by solar and wind. Owing to this, the lowest grid carbon intensity was confirmed at just 39g for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. This carbon intensity is the lowest recorded by the National Grid.

'Record 260GW' of clean power added in 2020

5 April, 2021 – The latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states that 2020 was a record year for installing new renewable energy. A total of 260GW of renewable energy was installed in 2020, taking the global renewable capacity up to 2799GW. China dominated the renewable installations by installing 136GW of renewables. IRENA communicated that 127GW of installations in 2020 were from solar, while 111GW of wind were added as well.

Scotland's original national park sets out green vision

1 April, 2021 – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority has unveiled its roadmap for reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Plans include installing air source heat pumps, solar panels and introducing an electric hybrid-powered patrol boat. There will also be nature-related projects including tree-planting and peat restoration to help offset emissions.

An army of heat pump influencers is vital to UK’s net zero goals

1 April, 2021 – Research by the University of Sussex Business School has found that, in order for the uptake of heat pumps to increase, there need to be more enthusiastic heat pump users to influence homeowners. The study used Finland as an example, where heat pump users have actively shared their positive heat pump experiences and as a result, the installations of heat pumps increased. The University of Sussex academics have advised the UK Government to follow the same technique as Finland, along with offering subsidies to help increase heat pump installations.

UK must dramatically scale battery energy storage to meet net-zero, report reveals

31 March, 2021 – Wärtsilä’s new analysis on the UK’s ability to achieve carbon-neutral electricity has found that the UK needs to greatly increase its battery energy storage. Wärtsilä modelling highlights that for the UK to be powered by 100% renewable and low-carbon energy, the UK will require 7.3GW of energy storage capacity to be installed, along with 42.2GW of flexible gas power capacity. The high volume of flexible gas power is hoped to be fuelled by hydrogen blends.

At-scale blade recycling could create 20,000 UK jobs

31 March, 2021 – The ORE Catapult’s latest report explains that finding a solution to wind turbine blade recycling is necessary for achieving zero carbon within the wind industry. It is expected that 20,000 jobs could be created by recycling turbine blades within the UK supply chain alone. Wind turbine materials are 85-90% recyclable but the components are currently difficult to breakdown. Therefore, a recycling solution could help reduce the carbon emissions produced by this industry. The ORE Catapult is calling for UK companies to find a resolution to this recycling issue.

Government announces end of Green Homes Grant

29 March, 2021 – The UK Government have axed the Green Homes Grant, closing the scheme to new applicants on the 31st of March, 2021. The grant scheme was previously criticised due to the slow uptake and homeowners being hesitant to let tradespeople into their houses due to the pandemic. A further £300 million of funding has been given to local authorities to help with additional green home upgrades for private households. The additional funding is only a fraction of the £2 billion that was originally planned for energy efficiency improvements.

Scottish Water unveils ‘most ambitious’ solar scheme yet with 4GWh project

29 March, 2021 – Scottish Water has unveiled ambitious plans to install 5MW of ground-mounted solar panels at the Balmore Water Treatment Works in East Dunbartonshire. The 8,620 installed panels are predicted to generate 19% of the electricity consumed onsite. The project is planned for construction at the end of 2021 and will help Scottish Water reach its 2030 net-zero goal. If you are considering onsite renewables at your site, contact OnGen today.

Renewables met 97% of Scotland's electricity demand in 2020

25 March, 2021 – Scotland narrowly missed its 2020 target of generating 100% of the country’s energy by renewables. Scottish Renewables has announced that 97.4% of electricity was generated by renewable technologies in 2020, which is extremely close to the 2020 target. This percentage has increased by 7.3% compared to 2019, highlighting that Scotland’s renewable energy is continuing to rise year on year. Scotland’s next step is to work towards decarbonising heat, with only 6.5% of heat currently coming from renewable sources.

News Environment Scottish islanders leading the UK in home-grown green power

25 March, 2021 – MCS’s latest report has communicated that homeowners in Orkney and the Western Isles have the highest volume of green energy installations. One-fifth of households in Orkney and one-seventh of houses in the Western Isles have installed onsite renewables including solar PV and heat pumps. These areas are thought to top the charts due to being off the grid and suffering from high fuel poverty. Scotland is also ahead of the rest of the UK when installing onsite renewables. Onsite renewables could be a great asset for your business. Interested? Contact OnGen for more information.

Welsh wind blows high for ‘UK’s first’ consumer-owned wind farm

24 March, 2021 – Ripple Energy is developing the first consumer-owned wind farm in Wales. The project has received £1.1 million of funding from the Welsh Government and will allow local households to buy a share of the wind farm. The wind farm will be owned by 675 households who will benefit from green and low-cost electricity. The wind farm is expected to help homeowners in the area save up to 25% on their electricity bills.

West Sussex to turn former council waste site into energy storage facility

24 March, 2021 – West Sussex County Council has confirmed plans for building a 12MW energy storage facility. The 12MW battery system will be installed at a former waste site, allowing for this site to be efficiently repurposed to fit with the UK’s transition towards clean energy. The batteries aim to offer additional energy security by storing excess electricity and releasing the energy at peak times. Installing onsite battery storage may be ideal for your organisation. Contact OnGen to find out more.

European storage market ‘set to double in 2021’

23 March, 2021 – The latest report from the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has predicted that the European storage market will double in size during 2021. The UK, Italy and the Nordics are the areas with the largest market growth and are driving the European storage market. Funding from the EU’s €1.8trn COVID-19 Recovery Plan is also expected to help support the storage market with further expansion. EASE estimates that the market will reach 3,000 megawatt-hours by the end of 2021.

Government commits £560m to decarbonise housing

23 March, 2021 – The UK Government has announced £562 million of funding towards decarbonising the least energy-efficient homes in England and Scotland. The government funding is expected to help 50,000 homes lower their carbon emissions by installing energy-efficient improvements and replacing gas boilers with renewable heat such as heat pumps. The funding aims to lower carbon emissions and help households lower their energy bills. It is estimated that 70,000 tonnes of carbon will be saved annually due to this initiative.

Unite Students set net-zero carbon goal for 2030

19 March, 2021 – Unite Students, a student accommodation provider, has announced a net-zero by 2030 goal. The company aims to reach this goal by increasing eco measures, including reducing its buildings’ energy consumption and switching the energy supply to renewable sources. Unite Students has previously installed solar PV and air source heat pumps at some of their sites. Unite Students plan to release further details on its net-zero plan later this year.

UK cities leading the way on net-zero and renewable energy, report finds

18 March, 2021 – REN21’s newly published report has highlighted that the UK’s cities are world leaders in net-zero measures. The report communicated that 73% of the UK’s urban population live in areas with net-zero targets, with 493 cities and towns having targets, while the global average was just 25%. REN21’s report considered mainland Europe, the US, the UK, Canada, Japan and South Korea, which are the world’s highest carbon emitters.

New scheme to help businesses in London reduce their carbon footprint

17 March, 2021 – An ambitious energy-saving project is being piloted in Southwark for businesses within the area. The businesses that take part in the project will receive expert advice from Turner and Townsend consultants on how to decarbonise their buildings within the Southwark area. Twenty businesses will take part, including Shakespeare’s Globe and London Marathon Events, with the first goal to reduce their energy consumption by 10%. OnGen can offer solutions to help reduce your building’s energy consumption through our OnEfficiency software. Contact OnGen for more information today.

BEIS allocates £932m for Public Sector Decarbonisation with strong solar focus

17 March, 2021 – The UK Government has announced £1 billion of funding for an Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy. The strategy plans to supply the UK’s industries with 20 TeraWatt hours of low carbon power by 2030 (approximately 40% of current demand). The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is part of the strategy, with 429 projects to be funded in England during phase 2 of the scheme. This funding can be used to install onsite renewables, including solar PV and heat pumps. The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme opens next month for phase 2 of applicants. OnGen has helped multiple local councils build a business case for accessing this fund. If you’re interested, contact OnGen today.

IRENA outlines global strategies towards carbon-neutrality

16 March, 2021 – The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) latest report has found that 90% of all decarbonisation efforts by 2050 will be powered by renewable energy including solar and wind. Carbon capture and removal technologies will also help lower carbon emissions. IRENA predicts that green hydrogen will contribute largely to the electricity demand too. For global climate goals to be reached by 2050, IRENA report that planned investment must increase by 30%, to US$131 trillion.

EDF acquires 100MW UK solar duo

15 March, 2021 – EDF Renewables has secured two large ground-mounted solar projects, resulting in an additional 100MW of solar in the UK. The projects, located in Burwell and Porth Wen, are expected to be built by the end of 2022. The Porth Wen site also has consent for a battery co-location. These projects have a focus on enhancing the biodiversity around the sites, with plans to plant hedgerows and reedbeds around the perimeter of the sites.

Nissan announces massive solar farm plans to power Leaf production in Sunderland

12 March, 2021 – The car manufacturer, Nissan, has announced plans to install an onsite ground-mounted solar installation at its car factory in Sunderland. The installation will generate 20% of its energy demand by renewables. The generated onsite energy is expected to be enough power to build Nissan’s Leafy EV. Onsite renewables are ideal for reducing carbon emissions. Contact OnGen today for more information.

Glasgow’s energy efficiency scheme ‘slashes more than half a million tonnes of CO2’

12 March, 2021 – Glasgow City Council’s Affordable Warmth program, which offers energy efficiency measures for domestic properties, has been praised for helping the city save half a million tonnes of carbon emissions. The city council has made over 11,000 energy efficiency improvements throughout Glasgow. The energy efficiency improvements are helping bring down energy costs, while also saving carbon emissions. If your business is wanting to become more energy-efficient, contact OnGen today.

Report: Cumbria can create 9,000 green jobs by 2035, without a coal mine

12 March, 2021- Cumbria Action for Sustainability has released a new report highlighting 9,000 green jobs that could be made if the Cumbria coal mine plans are scrapped. Jobs within renewable electricity and heat, building retrofit and sustainable waste make up some of the suggested 9,000 green roles. These green jobs would also exceed the lifespan of the coal mine. This report is expected to go in favour of removing planning permission for the controversial coal mine in Cumbria.

Edinburgh renewable energy pioneer makes progress

11 March, 2021- Energy storage pioneer, Gravitricity, has gotten the go-ahead to test their innovative energy storage project in a trial session at Forth Ports’ Prince Albert Dock in Edinburgh. The project uses excess electricity to hike up a weight in an underground shaft that charges the system. The weight will then be lowered, resulting in electricity being discharged back to the grid. If the energy storage mechanism is successful, it could be a great way of storing energy.

Government confirms 2030 fossil fuel car sales ban as it touts new £20m EV funding package

Government confirms 2030 fossil fuel car sales ban as it touts new £20m EV funding package

Newcastle secures £27.5m to decarbonise public buildings

8 March, 2021 – Newcastle City Council has been awarded £27.5 million in funding to make green energy improvements through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The council is planning on installing solar PV, heat pumps and LED lights to reduce carbon emissions as the council aims for a 2030 net-zero target. Newcastle City Council is one of many councils in the UK that have been awarded funding through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. OnGen has helped local councils build a business case for funding renewables. Contact OnGen today to find out more.

Half of Northern Ireland electricity consumption generated from renewables last year

5 March, 2021 – Data from Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy has revealed that a total of 49.2% of electricity in Northern Ireland came from renewable energy in 2020. The percentage of renewable energy consumed has increased by 5.6% when compared to 2019. Wind energy made up the highest percentage of renewable energy at 84.9% of the renewable mix, while solar contributed 3.4%. Northern Ireland aims to produce 80% of the country’s energy needs through renewables by 2030.

Aberdeen City Council approves five-year climate change plan

5 March, 2021 – Aberdeen City Council has released a five-year climate change plan to help reduce carbon emissions within the council by 2025. The council’s goals include becoming more energy efficient and for the rubbish-collecting vehicles to switch to an electric or hybrid model. Aberdeen City Council have announced that they have already reduced carbon emissions by 34% since 2015 levels. If your business wants to become more energy efficient, try our newest software, OnEfficiency. Contact OnGen today for a free demo.

The new multimillion pound project in West Lothian will be one of the largest subsidy-free onshore wind farms in the UK

3 March, 2021 – West Calder, West Lothian, has had the planning permission to build the 50MW Longhill wind farm approved. The wind farm will consist of eight large capacity onshore wind turbines, making it one of the biggest subsidy-free onshore wind farms in the UK once fully operational. The wind farm construction is planned to begin next month and to become operational in 2022. The project is expected to be beneficial to the community and increase jobs within the construction sector.

Budget 2021: Sunak confirms Net-Zero Innovation Fund, announces freeports to spur green investment

3 March, 2021 – Rishi Sunak revealed the UK Government’s 2021 budget, which features multiple green funds in an effort for the UK to reach the 2050 net-zero target. The 2021 budget confirmed multiple green budget announcements including a £1bn Net-Zero Innovation Fund for supporting sectors including energy storage and biomass and a further £57m of funding towards helping Scotland support 260,000 jobs, as the energy sector transitions from oil and gas towards low-carbon energy and cleantech.

New Citi CEO commits bank to net zero financed emissions target on first day in role

2 March, 2021 – Citigroup will join major investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, by setting a net-zero 2050 emissions target. Citigroup’s new chief executive officer, Jane Fraser, announced the climate commitment on her first day in the role, demonstrating a clear drive for Citigroup to be a greener investment bank. The net-zero roadmap will be published within the next year, with a focus on Scope 3 (indirect) emissions.

IEA: Global CO2 emissions rising again after ‘unprecedented’ fall in 2020

2 March, 2021 – The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report has highlighted that, in 2020, the global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 5.8%. IEA’s reported reduction in carbon emissions is the highest annual percentage reduction since World War II. However, the IEA report also communicates that carbon dioxide emissions began rising again towards the end of 2020. By December 2020, the global energy emissions were 2% larger than in December 2019 as economic activity resumed.

Government urged to adopt ‘ambitious target’ for UK solar deployment

25 February, 2021 – Energy and environmental organisations, including Greenpeace and Community Energy England, have grouped together to ask the UK Government for a higher solar PV commitment. The organisations have requested that the government increases their solar PV installation target to 40GW by 2030, with a mix of large-scale and onsite installations. Furthermore, these organisations are requesting that solar PV and energy storage should be part of the Green Homes Grant scheme to help households from all backgrounds afford to install these renewable technologies.

Europe wind growth 'too slow' to hit climate targets

25 February, 2021 – WindEurope has announced concern for the slow wind turbine installation in Europe during 2020. In 2020, a total of 14.7GW of wind was installed within Europe; however, this installation rate is 6% less than installations in 2019. WindEurope explains that 18GW of wind will need to be installed each year to meet existing wind targets. The UK is predicted to deploy the highest wind capacity of 18GW by 2025, with most of the wind installations being offshore. Germany plans to install a similar volume of wind, with onshore wind being prioritised.

Greggs targets carbon neutrality and improved diversity through new sustainability pledges

24 February, 2021 – The UK food retailer, Greggs, has revealed new green commitments, with the aim to become a carbon-neutral business. Greggs plans on becoming more sustainable by using 100% renewable energy and reducing packaging waste by 2025. The food chain is also going to design more energy-efficient shops with low-carbon designs. Greggs has signed the British Retail Consortium’s net-zero roadmap, along with retailers including Aldi and Costa Coffee, to become net-zero by 2050.

REA’s ‘green pathway’ could accelerate net zero and create thousands of jobs in the process

24 February, 2021 – The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has released its ‘green recovery pathway,’ which includes ambitious targets for reaching net zero emissions. REA’s plans include having over 50% of electricity generated by renewables by the end of 2022 and increasing to 100% by 2032, as well as having renewable and clean technologies meeting the energy demand for the heat and transport sectors by 2035. REA predicts that 200,000 new jobs could be created by 2035 to help reach these climate goals.

Up to 209GW of solar PV to be installed in 2021, BloombergNEF forecasts

23 February, 2021 – BloombergNEF’s latest report forecasts that at least 160GW of solar PV will be installed in 2021, with solar PV installations potentially reaching as high as 209GW. If the global solar PV installations reached this level in 2021, there would be at least a 13% increase in solar PV deployments when compared to 2020. BloombergNEF expects this rise in installations partly due to China and India having plans to install a large volume of solar PV in 2021 in a bid to work towards lowering their carbon emissions.

Renewable Exchange platform hails record month for PPA deals

19 February, 2021 – The UK’s online Renewable Exchange marketplace platform has announced that January 2021 has been a record month for short-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) being organised using their online platform. A total of 91 PPAs were secured in January for independent clean power generators across an array of renewable technologies, including wind and solar. The record month follows a rise in PPA prices, as the PPA export rate is currently higher than the fixed Feed-in-Tariff export rate.

HBS, JA Solar and GSE Integration launch in-roof PV solution for zero carbon homes

18 February, 2021 – A roof-integrated PV system has been pioneered for new build houses in the UK through a partnership with HBS, JA Solar and GSE. The in-roof solar can be installed with JA Solar half-cell modules, ranging from 320W to 370W with an array of designs to help offer flexibility for the housebuilders. The roof-integrated PV system will be ideal for reaching the UK’s Future Homes Standard for reducing carbon emissions in new builds, while being aesthetically pleasing for the homeowner.

Cut VAT for green home improvements and repairs, MPs urge

17 February, 2021 – A committee of MPs has suggested that VAT should be reduced on green home improvements and repairs. The cut in VAT has been advised as an incentive for homeowners to install low-carbon technologies and make their homes more energy-efficient. By reducing the VAT on these green goods, the committee of MPs hopes that low-carbon technologies will be more accessible for homeowners and would raise people’s interest in green technology. The committee has also asked the government for a carbon tax to be introduced.

World's tallest on land wind farm planned for Scottish site

17 February, 2021 – The world’s tallest onshore wind turbines are to be installed in New Cumnock, East Ayrshire. These 260-metre-tall wind turbines will be part of a 50MW extension to the Lethans wind farm. The wind farm extension is expected to generate enough electricity to power over 36,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33,000 tonnes per annum. The wind turbines will be 13.5 metres taller than the current tallest wind turbine (246.5 metres) located in Germany.

Climate Pledge: 20 businesses including IBM and Iceland Foods join Amazon's net-zero commitment

17 February, 2021 – Amazon and Global Optimism’s Climate Pledge has had 20 new businesses join the net-zero by 2040 commitment. The businesses include IBM, which announced a 2030 net-zero target this week, along with Iceland Foods and Johnson Controls. The increase in signatories highlights that businesses are becoming more interested in reducing their carbon emissions and becoming more eco-friendly. The Amazon and Global Optimism’s Climate Pledge focuses on promoting clean energy and energy efficiency to reach these net-zero targets.

Gigafactory proposed in West Midlands

16 February, 2021 – Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd plan to enter a Joint Venture partnership to propose the building of a ‘Gigafactory’ to manufacture batteries, which would create 4,000 new job opportunities while growing the battery industry in the UK. The project is still at the early stage of planning, with investment and planning permission still required. However, if the project was successful, it would be a strong asset for the battery and EV industry in the UK.

Solar power in British prisons to support MOJ’s net zero target

12 February, 2021 – The Ministry of Justice has announced plans for installing solar PV at several of their properties within England and Wales. Prisons, including HM Prison Bure and HM Prison Whitemoor, will have solar panels deployed onsite, while other projects to install heat pumps and biomass boilers are planned for other HM Prisons. These projects were initially scoped using OnGen’s software, the OnGen ExpertTM, which helped the Ministry of Justice understand the full potential of renewables at their sites. The renewable energy deployments will reduce carbon emissions by over 2,300 tonnes, helping the Ministry of Justice exceed their 2025 carbon reduction target. If you are interested in finding out the potential of onsite renewables for your sites, then contact OnGen today.

Green uniforms: David Luke Schoolwear completes 1,000-panel rooftop solar plant

12 February, 2021 – A large UK-based school uniform provider, David Luke Schoolwear, has installed a roof-mounted solar PV system at their headquarters in Manchester. The company have installed over 1,000 solar panels to help reduce the cost of the energy bills and lower carbon emissions. The installation is predicted to save 3,600 tonnes of carbon emissions within 25 years. David Luke Schoolwear has been able to finance the solar panels due to HSBC’s UK Green loans scheme. If you are interested to find out if roof-mounted solar is feasible for your organisation, then contact OnGen today.

Billions to be slashed from Green Homes Grant budget

12 February, 2021 – The UK Government has removed a large percentage of the £2 billion funding set aside for the Green Homes Grant Fund. The Government has announced that the original funding was only a ‘short-term stimulus’ and after only spending 5% of this budget, the funding has now been cut to £320 million. The Green Homes Grant Fund remains open, but with these budget cuts, fewer homes will be able to take advantage of this fund.

Awareness of net zero hits record levels across UK

11 February, 2021 – In BEIS’ latest Public Attitudes Tracker survey, it has been reported that three-quarters of the UK are now aware of the concept of net-zero. The percentage of the UK population that understands the meaning of net-zero has increased by 24% when compared to 2020. The survey also highlighted that only 28% of the population understand heat networks and that few people are aware of renewable heating technologies, including heat pumps and biomass boilers.

European Parliament approves €672.5 billion recovery fund

11 February, 2021 – The European Parliament has accepted plans for a €672.5 billion green recovery. The green recovery fund will help EU countries’ economies bounce back from the pandemic while lowering carbon emissions. The fund will offer €312.5 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans to be claimed by 2024. The fund will offer support for a variety of green projects, including green transition and digital transformation. EU member states will be able to submit project plans to request funding.
Flag of Wales on the mast

Wales targets net zero emissions by 2050 but aims to ‘get there sooner’

10 February, 2021 – The Welsh Government has announced a 2050 net-zero emissions target following recommendations by the Climate Change Committee. Wales is aiming to reach its net-zero target sooner than 2050 but has currently set their net-zero goal as 2050 to align with the UK Government’s target. Wales is planning on reaching this goal by working closely with the UK Government and setting ambitious climate policies. Furthermore, Wales has set a 2030 net-zero goal for local councils.

Powering up: UK hills could be used as energy 'batteries'

8 February, 2021 – Research into using gentle slopes for storing hydropower has been conducted by engineers at RheEnergise. The new system would allow for electricity to be stored and released from gentle slopes rather than the characteristic steep dam walls and mountains found at hydroelectric power stations. The gentle slopes would use ‘high intensity’ hydropower with a mineral-rich dense fluid, which would create the same volume of electricity as slopes with a far steeper gradient. By utilising these shallow slopes, the potential of hydropower could be extended to many more locations in the UK.

UK battery storage pipeline surges to 16GW

5 February, 2021 – According to RenewableUK’s latest report, the capacity of battery storage in the UK that is deployed, under construction or planned has increased by 5.5GW when compared to December 2019. A total of 16GW of battery storage capacity across 729 projects has been recorded in the UK, with a further 4.5GW in the early planning stage. The change in legislation for battery storage planning permission now allows for projects’ planning permission to be decided by local planning authorities rather than the central government. This latest change should help quicken the planning process for battery storage, resulting in more batteries being installed.

£33bn Scottish plan unveiled to drive 'green recovery' from pandemic

4 February, 2021 – The Scottish Government has announced a £33 billion plan to help launch a ‘green recovery’ from the coronavirus pandemic. This funding is planned to help a variety of sectors, including £1.6 billion towards supporting a transition to low carbon heating for homes and businesses. Other measures include decarbonising rail transport and increasing flood defence. The range of measures is expected to support 45,000 jobs between 2021 and 2026.

Sainsbury's outlines science-based targets to slash emissions on the path to net-zero

4 February, 2021 – The major supermarket, Sainsbury’s, has released its science-based targets to help meet its 2040 net-zero goal. Sainsbury’s aims to reduce 30% of emissions from its supply chain by 2030. The supermarket has already started making green improvements, including installing LED lighting in stores and switching to electric delivery vans.

Low-carbon heat: UK's heat pump sales set to almost double this year

3 February, 2021 – The Heat Pump Association has reported that heat pump manufacturers predict that the UK’s heat pump sales will double in 2021 when compared to sales in 2020. This year, there have been 67,000 heat pump units ordered by suppliers in the UK to help meet the growing demand for both air source and ground source heat pumps. As heat pumps are expected to grow in popularity, the Heat Pump Association has communicated that more must be done to help upskill the UK’s workforce. If your business is interested in finding out if a heat pump is feasible at your site, contact OnGen today.

‘West Midlands can become net zero by 2041’

3 February, 2021 – The West Midlands Combined Authority has released its initial 5-year action plan for working towards their net-zero target. The combined authority has a 2040 net-zero goal and plans to work towards this aim by reducing their carbon footprint by 25% within the next five years. The West Midlands Combined Authority expects to create over 21,000 jobs by 2026 due to the increase in the green technologies and industries required to meet the 25% carbon reduction.

10 million Smart Meters now installed in Britain

1 February, 2021 – The Data Communications Company has announced that the milestone of 10 million smart metres being installed in the UK has been reached this week. The installation of these smart metres has reduced 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum. The smart metre rollout is helping households have more accurate bills and keep up to date with their energy usage, increasing energy efficiency.

Barcombe in East Sussex aims to be the UK’s latest zero carbon village

29 January, 2021 – Residents in Barcombe Village, East Sussex, are working with UK Power Networks in a ‘CommuniHeat’ project to help create a zero-carbon heating solution. The first part of the project is to establish how village residents use their energy by installing smart metres. UK Power Networks will then decide on the best way for the village to transition to electric heating or heat pumps. If you are interested in switching your business to a zero-carbon heating source, contact OnGen today.

Ikea surpasses renewable energy generation milestone after installing 920,000 solar panels

28 January, 2021 – Ikea has generated 132% of its overall electricity consumption in 2020 through renewable generation. To meet this amazing goal, Ikea installed 920,000 solar panels and 547 wind turbines in a mix of onsite and offsite locations. Aside from Ikea’s strong commitment to renewables, the company have also increased recycling initiatives and reduced their single-use plastics.

Renewables surge past fossil fuels in UK energy mix

28 January, 2021 – Ember’s annual report has communicated that a record level of electricity was generated by renewables in 2020. A total of 42% of the UK’s electricity in 2020 was generated by renewables, which overtakes the percentage of fossil fuels in the electricity mix, at 41%. The percentage of wind in the electricity mix increased the most, making up 24% of the UK’s electricity, while solar and hydro stayed stagnant, making up 4% and 2% respectively.

Around 60% of local authorities find it difficult to access data needed to tackle net zero

26 January, 2021 – Energy Systems Catapult’s latest research has highlighted that 60% of the local councils in the UK that have previously announced a climate emergency have found it hard to access appropriate data to help make green decisions. Although these local councils have a large range of accessible resources, many are missing the appropriate tools and in-house expertise to help make informed decisions. If you are part of a local council and are looking for the best way to reach your net-zero target, contact OnGen today to see how onsite renewables could lower your council’s carbon emissions.
Scotch whisky in a traditional tasting glass.; Shutterstock ID 1481668376; Purchase Order: My Weekly Annual; 361e62c0-f3b3-4ef1-adea-d1c09e852bbd

Scotch Whisky reveals plans to drastically cut its environmental impact with ambitious Sustainability Strategy

25 January, 2021 – The Scotch Whisky industry has announced a 2040 net-zero target across all of its operations. To meet this ambitious target, the Scotch Whisky industry’s aims include producing sustainable packaging and using water efficiently by 2025. The whisky distilleries will also require some energy-efficient initiatives to reach this 2040 target. With the Scotch Whisky industry contributing a large percentage to Scotland’s economy, their net-zero target should help support Scotland’s green net-zero transition.

Ofgem calls for independent body to run the electricity system

25 January, 2021 – Ofgem has requested that a separate independent body should be set up by the government to help the UK transition to net-zero. Currently, the electricity system is operated by the National Grid ESO. However, Ofgem explain that the separation of the net-zero goal from National Grid ESO would ensure that net-zero electricity is delivered with the customer in mind. Ofgem has estimated that an autonomous body providing independent advice on reaching net-zero could help customers save £400 million to £4.8 billion from 2022 to 2050.

Wood Mackenzie: Solar on Course to Become Cheapest Source of New Power

21 January, 2021 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest report highlighted that the price of solar PV has continued to drop over the past two decades and predicts that solar will become the cheapest source of new energy by 2030, attributing to a prediction of a price fall by another 15-25%. The further drop in price is expected due to additional technological development, allowing for the technology to become more efficient.