17 June, 2021 – Solar Energy UK has released a report that explains that the UK solar capacity is predicted to double by 2030. However, this increase would still leave the UK 11GW behind its solar PV installation target. Solar Energy UK has suggested policy amendments that would help the solar capacity treble by 2030, with policies including cutting VAT for solar PV installations. Interested in installing solar PV? Contact OnGen today to find out if installing solar PV would be suitable for your site.
15 June, 2021 – The National Grid ESO expects that the UK will have periods of zero carbon grid electricity by 2025. The rise of renewable energy and energy storage will allow for fossil fuels, such as natural gas, to not be relied on as ‘back-up’ to meet high electricity demand periods. Instead, renewables, including wind and solar, are predicted to produce sufficient energy to meet the electricity demand in the UK. It is expected that these zero carbon periods will be small at first and will increase as the volume of renewables deployed increases throughout the UK.
15 June, 2021 – The latest study from Cornwall Insight has identified that 65% of UK households have signed up to a green electricity tariff. These homes receive their electricity from an electricity tariff backed by a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGOs) Certificate. The number of homes choosing a green electricity tariff has greatly risen in recent years, with a 45% increase from 2017. Is your company considering switching to a green energy tariff? Contact OnGen to find out about our latest software, OnSupply, which finds the most cost-effective renewable tariff for your site.
11 June, 2021 – Ikea has announced plans for its suppliers to be powered by 100% electricity. Ikea has acknowledged that its supply chain contributes to two-thirds of the company’s carbon emissions. Therefore, a switch towards renewable energy will significantly lower the supply chain emissions. Ikea will support 1,600 suppliers in China, Poland and India by setting up initiatives such as Power Purchase Agreements for suppliers to source renewable energy. It is expected that 670,000 tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved annually if the suppliers are fully powered by renewables.
10 June, 2021 – Research by Propel has found that farmers in the UK are prioritising investment in onsite renewables. The study has found that renewable energy technology is the third-highest purchase by farmers, after tractors and trailers. As farmers continue to diversify, onsite renewables including wind and solar PV are having a strong financial return. Interested in installing onsite renewables at your site? Contact OnGen to see how the OnGen Expert can find the most suitable technology for you.
10 June, 2021 – Part of Loch Ness has been given the go-ahead to provide pumped hydro storage. The 450MW project, developed by ILI Group and AECOM, will allow for electricity to be generated via pumped hydro storage. Electricity will be stored when not required and then turned back into electrical energy when there is higher grid demand. A further 5GW of pumped storage is currently in the pipeline to be deployed across the UK.
9 June, 2021 – The UK government has announced a ban on halogen and fluorescent light bulbs in a bid to cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions per annum. Many of these light bulbs will be banned from shops by September 2021, allowing for consumers to switch to more energy efficient LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs are 8 times more energy efficient than halogen and fluorescent light bulbs. The energy labels of light bulbs will also be changed, with ratings from A-G being introduced to make energy efficiency easier to understand by consumers.
9 June, 2021 – The brewing company Budweiser has donated 5 million kWh of renewable electricity to offset the emissions emitted from the energy used during the G7 summit. The G7 summit, which is taking place in Cornwall this week, will receive renewable energy certificates from Budweiser that will match the event’s energy consumption. Budweiser produces 100% renewable energy for its operations from solar PV and wind installations around the UK.
8 June, 2021 – Multiple solar projects located in the UK, which equate to 200MW, are being proposed by partners European Energy and Firma. These organisations are working with farmers to explore building solar farms at 30 different sites primarily in the north of England. Each proposed site is over 50 acres in size and will be leased from farmers for approximately 30 years. The partnership is also considering projects with alternative technologies including hydrogen.
4 June, 2021 – The renewable energy company, Ørsted, has announced that it is committing to reuse, recycle or recover all of its wind turbine blades across its portfolio of onshore and offshore wind farms. Ørsted is planning to conduct research into the recycling of the wind turbine blades and has committed to storing the decommissioned wind turbines until the best solution is found. The company hopes to inspire other wind manufacturers to take on the same responsibility.
4 June, 2021 – Edinburgh Council has stepped up its plans for reaching its net-zero 2030 target. The council will focus on reducing its energy emissions by retrofitting historical buildings to help them become more energy efficient. Other plans include installing electric car charging hubs for public service vehicles and building new homes with net-zero building techniques. The City of Edinburgh Council has set aside over £750,000 to help start working towards its net-zero goal.
4 June, 2021 – The energy supplier, So Energy, has released a new system for battery storage that allows the supplier to remotely control the battery for improved battery efficiency using data based on factors including weather forecasts and energy consumption. This will improve energy efficiency and greatly reduce energy costs. The new battery system will be paired with solar PV in domestic households. Interested in installing solar PV paired with a battery? Use the OnGen Expert to find out if this technology is suitable for your site.
3 June, 2021 – A new education program has been unveiled in London to support careers in the solar industry. The ‘Solar Skills London’ scheme has been launched by Solar Energy UK and the Mayor of London to include online training and work placements for people interested in a career in the solar industry. The program should help increase the number of people that are skilled as solar technicians as the UK recovers from the pandemic.
3 June, 2021 – The University of Strathclyde’s latest study has highlighted that the Scottish renewables industry supports 22,600 jobs across Scotland. Onshore wind has the highest number of employees at 8,780, while offshore wind supports 4,700 and hydropower supports 3,290 workers. The study also found that the renewables industry also supported an additional 3,000 jobs in construction and 2,200 in manufacturing. These findings demonstrate the positive impact that renewables have on the Scottish economy.
2 June, 2021 – The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report has forecasted a 10% year-on-year increase in global energy investments, with $750 billion predicted to be invested in 2021. This percentage rise will result in investment levels reaching pre-pandemic levels. IEA predicts that 70% of energy generation investment will go towards renewables. However, even with this increase in investment, IEA reports that the energy sector is not on route to meet net-zero emissions by 2050.
28 May, 2021 – Roche UK is the first life sciences company to trial a renewable energy initiative with E.ON. Roche UK plans to purchase 100% renewable energy from E.ON that has been produced from UK wind energy at a competitive rate. Roche UK will also be supporting its supply chain partners to ensure that each company can access green wind energy to power sites at a special rate. This partnership aims to help Roche meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2031.
28 May, 2021 – The UK Government has awarded £30 million of funding to support three heat networks located in Southeast London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire. The network proposed in Manchester will produce heat for commercial buildings, hospitals and housing within a 5km radius of the site using air source heat and solar energy. Aside from these three projects, an additional £14.6 million will be used to fund 11 other projects related to low carbon heating and cooling.
27 May, 2021 – The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Energy (REA) has announced in its latest report that the UK is leading the way in the bioenergy industry. In 2020, the UK produced 11% of its electricity from biomass, which is triple the volume produced in 2010. The REA also highlighted that the UK has the highest share of electricity production from biomass globally. This result demonstrates that the UK is beginning to successfully transition away from coal, with a carbon emissions reduction of 10 Mt per annum.
27 May, 2021 – Electricity company, Emergent Energy, is offering a new system of leasing heat pumps, solar PV and EV chargers from developers. This energy system should benefit property developers and social housing providers that wish to install these systems to form a micro-grid. The developers will receive long-term payments from leasing the installed technologies from Emergent Energy. The energy company aims to use the generated energy with communal battery storage and algorithms to effectively manage the grid.
25 May, 2021 – Abandoned mines in Holborn, South Tyneside will be repurposed to become a district heating system. The project will use a mine water heat pump and a river water heat pump (from the River Tyne) to produce heat for public buildings. The heat pumps will be powered by electricity from solar panels mounted on the front of the building. This project is expected to save 2,436 tonnes of carbon a year. South Tyneside Council has secured £4 million of government funding to begin working on this renewable project.
22 May, 2021 – The National Grid ESO reported that a new wind generation record was broken on the 21st of May, 2021, where, between 2-3 am, wind power generation met 62.5% of the country’s electricity demand due to gusty winds. This record is 2.6% higher than the large wind generation record set in August 2020.
21 May, 2021 – 35% of councils in the UK have set a net-zero target that pre-dates the central UK Government. Councils such as St Albans City and District Council and Hammersmith & Fulham Council are some of the 57 councils that have signed the UK100 pledge of net-zero by 2045. These local councils are calling for more powers from the UK Government to be able to facilitate changes for reaching net-zero early.
20 May, 2021 – Proposed energy park at Gwent Levels is causing controversy due to the area being an important conservation site. Plans for an energy park containing 250,000 solar panels along with 160 battery storage units have been submitted for the Gwent Levels area. The proposed installation would supply 40,000 households with green energy and has claimed it would help restore nature in the area. However, due to the important conservation value of the site, organisations, including Friends of the Gwent Levels, are against this installation, as it may threaten rare wildlife.
20 May, 2021 – Triodos Bank UK has approved a loan to fund the installation of Ray Valley Solar Park in Oxfordshire. This solar park will be the largest subsidy-free and community-owned solar park in the UK. Ray Valley Solar Park will act as a trial site for Local Energy Oxfordshire to understand the potential of local energy projects. The solar park aims to generate enough electricity to power 6,000 homes per annum by Autumn 2021. If you are interested in installing ground-mounted solar at your site, contact OnGen today.
20 May, 2021 – The UK’s electricity grid emissions have increased during 2021 when compared to 2020. The National Grid ESO published that carbon intensity during the first few months of 2021 were 5% higher than in 2020. These findings highlight the need for an increase in renewables to help decarbonise the grid. Renewable UK, Solar Energy UK and the Nuclear Industry Association have demanded that the government release a solid plan for meeting net-zero grid emissions.
18 May, 2021 – Latest analysis by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London has communicated that more energy flexibility could reduce energy costs by £16.7 billion a year by 2050. The research suggests that the energy system must be expanded for the decarbonisation of heat to be achieved. The report also highlighted that hydrogen could be important for creating a flexible energy system.
17 May, 2021 – The Ministry of Justice plans to build four fully electrified prisons in England. The new all-electric sites will be powered by solar panels and heated using heat pumps. Energy efficiency measures will also help reduce energy consumption, resulting in carbon emissions being cut by 85% when compared to other prisons. These new prisons will be built using low carbon materials, including recycled concrete and steel. The first of these prisons is planned to be built beside HMP Full Sutton later this year.
13 May, 2021 – Schools in the UK have seen their energy bills increase by 6.5% over the past few years. A new report by eLight has found that, in the Yorkshire and Humber and the North East regions, there has been an increase in average annual spending per pupil for energy costs. It is thought that a large percentage of the energy used by schools could be reduced as a result of more energy-efficient improvements. The cost of electricity bills could also be reduced by installing onsite renewables at schools. If you are interested in finding out the best energy solutions for your site, contact OnGen today.
13 May, 2021 – The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) and ARUP have published a report relating to the economic potential of deep geothermal energy. This report is backed by businesses and industry professionals and urges the UK Government to include deep geothermal developments as part of the green recovery. REA’s report suggests 12 deep geothermal projects could be installed in the UK, resulting in £1.5 billion of investment and the generation of 35,000 direct and indirect jobs. The proposed deep geothermal projects would also have an annual carbon saving of 3 megatons.
12 May, 2021 – UK Power Networks net-zero targets have been verified to be aligned with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree trajectory. The Distribution Network Operator is aiming for net-zero by 2028 for direct emissions and net-zero on all indirect emissions by 2050. UK Power Networks has been able to reduce emissions by 26% when compared to its 2014 baseline. Plans for replacing two-thirds of vehicles with EVs, increasing energy efficiency and installing low-carbon generators are some of UK Power Network’s plans to reach its climate goals.
11 May, 2021 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that the global renewable energy industry in 2020 had the fastest growth rate since 1999. IEA communicated that renewable energy projects had a 45% increase in the rate of new capacity in 2020 than compared to 2019. China has seen the largest rise in renewable technologies, making up a large percentage of this increase. IEA predicts that 2021 will have a similar capacity of renewables as in 2020.
10 May, 2021 – The National Grid has announced plans for installing power flow technology at three substation sites to have an additional 1.5GW of network capacity. SmartValve TM technology will be deployed to help free space on the grid, benefiting new renewable installations. A new network capacity of 500MW will be created in each substation region because of this new technology, helping improve the grid capacity in the UK.
10 May, 2021 – North Yorkshire County Council has been awarded £2 million in a bid to decarbonise council buildings. The funding from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will be used to make improvements on 20 schools within the county. Care homes and libraries are additional public buildings that are expected to benefit. Energy efficiency improvements are to be made and renewable energy technologies will be installed. If you want to find the best energy efficiency and onsite renewables at your site, contact OnGen today.
7 May, 2021 – RenewableUK has asked the UK Government to up its onshore wind ambition by setting a 2030 target for 30GW of onshore wind to be installed. The latest report by RenewableUK also demands that older wind farms should be regenerated to be powered by modern technology rather than disposed of. Calls for an increase in green hydrogen and marine energy were also mentioned within RenewableUK’s report.
6 May, 2021 – Buccleuch has proposed a 210MW pumped storage hydro installation along with an onshore wind farm in the Queensberry Estate, Dumfriesshire. The project will be located at a former opencast coal mine, giving the site a new lease of life. Buccleuch is working with the investment bank Noble & Co to help fund the £250 million required to complete this project. The pumped storage hydro system would be effective at helping balance the energy system.
6 May, 2021 – Dorset-based Hall & Woodhouse Brewery has been able to generate green energy with its unsold beer. The brewery has installed a wastewater treatment plant, which is creating biogas. The biogas can then be used to generate electricity that is required for the bottling and packaging of beer. Between the wastewater treatment plant and previously installed solar PV panels, the brewery is generating enough energy to power 17,000 homes for a day.
4 May, 2021 – During the Early May bank holiday, the UK reached another wind generation record as a result of blustery winds. A total of 17.6GW of electricity was produced by onshore and offshore wind turbines, which is a new generation record. As a result of this high generation, wind made up 48.5% of the electricity grid in Scotland, England and Wales. Although, due to the poor weather, solar farms only generated a fraction of the electricity mix at 2.3%.
4 May, 2021 – Cambridge University has submitted a planning application for a large ground-mounted solar installation. The solar farm is to be deployed in a nearby field at the edge of Cambridge. The planned area for ground-mounted solar is very large, covering the size of 50 football pitches. If this installation is granted planning permission, it is expected to generate enough electricity to power 13,500 homes.
4 May, 2021 – The dairy supplier, Arla Foods, has announced plans to purchase renewable energy directly from their farmers that are generating electricity from onsite renewables. Arla’s farmers will sell their Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates to Arla to help offset its electricity consumption. Farmers with large onsite installations will be able to generate enough electricity to power their operations with renewables while making extra profit through exporting the excess energy to Arla Foods.
30 April, 2021 – A survey conducted by Opinium and Liquid Gas UK has revealed that 28% of rural households could not afford to install a low carbon heating system. Many people do not want to spend more than £4,000, but the average heat pump ranges from £11,000 to £18,000. 88% of the rural households want to see more government support for low carbon heat and to be realistic about the most suitable heating systems for rural properties.
30 April, 2021 – Over 50% of UK households are considering installing renewable energy at their property, according to research by GHD. Installing solar is the most popular option. Swapping to a hydrogen boiler, hydrogen batteries or ground source heat pump is also being considered by over half of the people surveyed. The analysis demonstrated that over 75% of the UK agree that the public have a role to play in become more sustainable. These results clearly show a positive future for renewables and green hydrogen.
29 April, 2021 – 3.3 million new wind power jobs are expected to be created globally within the next five years to assist with the large expansion of the industry. Many of these jobs will be created in countries with the most planned installations, including China, the UK and the US. New jobs in the industry will be across onshore and offshore wind, in areas including manufacturing and project planning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 March, 2021- The UK Government has brought forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2030. To help support this, the UK Government has added £20 million of funding to help with EV research and development. It is hoped that by bringing forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars, the UK can rapidly reduce carbon emissions and meet the country’s net-zero target.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
21 January, 2021 – The latest analysis by Solar Energy UK has highlighted a rise in solar PV installation by 27% in 2020 when compared to 2019. A total of 545MW of solar PV has been installed in the UK during 2020. The large quantity of solar PV installation is particularly notable, due to 2020 being the first full year without the Feed-in-Tariff and installation being more constrained due to COVID-19. 2020 has been the highest year for solar PV deployment in the UK since 2017.
20 January, 2021 – Joe Biden has put climate change at the heart of his political agenda after re-entering the US into the Paris Agreement only hours after being sworn in as president. Biden is aiming to make the US quickly respond to the climate crisis by making climate change his next biggest priority, second only to COVID-19. With the US being a global leader, Biden is sending a strong message about the importance of climate change and meeting the Paris Agreement, which should echo across the world.
20 January, 2021 – The UK government have announced that, by 2025, new builds must produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions than current building standards, improving energy efficiency. Existing homes will also be expected to become more energy-efficient, with building extensions having specific energy efficiency requirements too. Non-domestic new builds will have more ambitious targets by aiming to be ‘zero-carbon ready’ by 2025.
19 January, 2021 – Natural Power, a renewable consultancy team, has pioneered a new technology which will help reduce bat collision with wind turbines. The new technology has a Detection and Active Response Curtailment (DARC) system, which has an acoustic monitor that monitors bat activity by listening for bat calls. When bat activity is sensed at the wind turbines, the turbines will cease moving for 30 minutes. By shutting down turbines, bat collisions should reduce, making wind turbines less damaging to their ecosystem.
18 January, 2021 – Cork Institute of Technology has launched a ‘Re-Wind’ project with innovative solutions for recycling old wind turbines. The project will test the effectiveness of turning an unused wind turbine into a pedestrian bridge in County Cork. It is hoped that if this project is successful, this recycling solution will help reduce waste coming from the wind sector. The bridge will be constructed in early 2021, with installation expected by June 2021.
14 January, 2021 – Tim Davie, the Director-General of the BBC, has recently announced that the BBC has committed to a 2030 net-zero target. Details on how the BBC will reach this target are expected to be released in the next few months. The BBC’s net-zero plan is expected to include onsite renewable energy installations, along with increased energy efficiency measures. The BBC will join other large broadcasting organisations, such as Sky and BT, in committing to a net-zero target.
13 January, 2021 – The National Grid ESO have announced that 2020 has been the greenest year for the UK’s electricity. Both wind and solar have reached new generation and percentage contributed to the electricity mix records in 2020. The renewable energy highlight of the year was that, in 2020, the UK was powered coal-free for 5,147 hours, which sufficiently tops previous years. It is hoped that 2021 will be a promising year for further renewable energy records.
13 January, 2021 – Lane Clark & Peacock LLP have released a new study which indicates that 3.6TWh of generated wind power in the UK was wasted in 2020, which is enough to power a million homes for a full year. The main reason for the wasted energy was attributed to network constraints. Lane Clark & Peacock LLP have suggested that the installation of 20GWh of battery storage could help reduce the wasted energy by approximately 50%, as the energy could be stored in the battery until required at peak hours.
12 January, 2021 – A cold snap in the UK this week has resulted in the price of electricity reaching a record high rate of £1,500 per megawatt-hour. The increase in the price is related to the extremely high demand in periods of low renewable energy generation. The price of gas has also risen in price by 1/5 during this freezing winter period. The installation of onsite renewable energy is a great way to ensure long-term cost-savings on energy and to avoid price volatility. Contact OnGen today to find out if onsite renewables are feasible at your site.
12 January, 2021 – Aggreko a temporary power provider has invested £4.5 million to create a ‘future energy hub’ in Scotland. The company are planning on turning their production facility in Dumbarton into an eco-friendlier site. Green initiatives include replacing diesel with low emission hydrotreated vegetable oil, installing standalone battery storage and replacing light bulbs with LED lighting. The latest investment at this site will help Aggreko work towards meeting their net-zero goal.
12 January, 2021 – The latest Global Energy Talent Index report, which surveyed 16,000 energy professionals across 160 countries, has highlighted that 77% of people believe that the renewable energy sector has grown in 2020. Furthermore, 85% of the responders are expecting the renewable energy industry to continue to expand over the next three years. This report clearly communicates a positive outcome for the renewables sector during the pandemic, which is expected to continue.
8 January, 2021 – Distilleries across the UK have received up to £75,000 from the UK government to motivate sustainable produce. The funding is expected to help support jobs in the industry and help the industry transition to net-zero. The seventeen distilleries that have received funding are planning to invest in onsite renewables and low-carbon heating technologies, including biomass, biofuel boilers, hydrogen and geothermal energy. Our software, the OnGen Expert, allows for you to assess the feasibility of biomass CHP and biomass heating, along with an array of other onsite renewables and low-carbon technologies. Contact OnGen today for a software demo.
8 January, 2021 – Norfolk County Council has unveiled energy efficiency plans to install a further 15,000 LED streetlights across the county to reduce emissions and become more energy efficient. The County Council is already making progress towards its carbon neutrality 2030 target, with earlier LED instalments providing 1,2000 tonnes of carbon savings. Our software, OnEfficiency, can recommend the best ways for your buildings to become more energy-efficient, providing greater cost and carbon savings. Contact OnGen for more information about OnEfficiency.
7 January, 2021 – A joint Vehicle-to-Grid project with Nissan, E.ON and Imperial College London has highlighted the potential of EVs being used for distributed energy storage. The EV battery inside a plug-in parked vehicle could distribute energy from the EV battery to the electricity grid and back again during high demand. The research suggests that emissions from power networks could be lowered by using the Vehicle-to-Grid concept, while also giving annual cost savings of up to £880m.
7 January, 2021 – OnGen have completed a successful pilot with the North East Yorkshire and Humberside (NEYH) Energy Hub. OnGen’s software, the OnGen Expert, has been used to assess the feasibility of onsite renewables for 76 locations across 12 local and combined authorities. The pilot has identified an array of opportunities for large carbon savings within this Energy Hub. The NEYH Energy Hub Manager, Paul Taylor, has claimed that the project has been a “huge success, with public bodies identifying investable, decarbonisation schemes where they have not had the tools and expertise to do so before.”
5 January, 2021 – Portsmouth International Port confirms plans to be the first UK port with a MW-scale battery and solar canopy installation, paired with 1,670 roof mounted solar panels. The 750 killowatt peak system solar and battery installation is expected to meet approximately a third of the site’s electricity requirements, with 159 annual tonnes of carbon savings. Onsite renewables are the perfect way to increase carbon savings at your site. Contact OnGen today to find out your potential for onsite renewables today.
4 January, 2021 – An iconic PPA between Ecotricity and Geothermal Engineering Limited allows for geothermal baseload electricity to be generated and sold within the UK for the first time. Approximately 3MW-5MW of geothermal electricity will be generated in Cornwall and distributed to Ecotricity via the national grid. This project highlights the possibilities of geothermal as an additional resource for generating renewable energy in the UK.
4 January, 2021 – UK government funding of £8 million will be split across six projects in the UK to aid with creating the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial zone by 2040. The projects are located in West Midlands, Tees Valley, North West, Humber, Scotland and South Wales. These projects aim to create new employment opportunities while reducing emissions. The next step for the net-zero projects is to produce more in-depth plans for becoming net-zero in their industrial sector.
4 January, 2021 – Good Energy have launched a new electricity tariff which will benefit EV drivers. The energy company’s new tariff has an extended off-peak window which is paired with a lower energy price, allowing for EV drivers to charge their vehicles for a lower cost. Good Energy aims for this new initiative to make EVs more accessible, while also reducing strain on the electricity grid, as EVs would be charged at times of lower grid demand.
3 January, 2021 – Gas users in Winlaton village in the Northeast of England are pioneering a blended hydrogen and gas network for heating and cooking. The customers in this village will receive gas that is blended with 20% hydrogen by the end of the first quarter of 2021. If the pilot is successful, a blended gas and hydrogen mix could be a great first step to decarbonising heating across the UK.
31 December, 2020 – The National Grid ESO has reported that 2020 is expected to be the greenest year on record for electricity generation in the UK, reaching an average grid intensity figure of 181gCO2/kWh in January to November. The average carbon intensity value has largely decreased when compared to previous years, with a 15% decrease from 2019. With an aim to reduce grid carbon intensity to 100gCO2/kWh by 2030, the UK still needs to continue increasing decarbonisation initiatives to reach this target.
28 December, 2020 – Boxing Day’s Storm Bella provided record wind generation for the UK, with 50.7% of the total electricity consumption being generated by wind power for over 24 hours. Earlier in December, the record for the highest power supplied by wind farms was reached at 17.3 gigawatts. During the earlier record, the electricity demand was higher in the UK, resulting in wind making up a smaller percentage of total energy consumption. These wind records help celebrate a triumphant year of renewable energy records being met.
22 December, 2020 – An open letter sent to UK Ministers that was signed by organisations, including the UK’s Renewable Energy Association and Powervault, urges the UK government to reduce VAT on home energy storage systems to 5%. Previously, when the UK was part of the EU, the VAT percentage increased across the EU for home battery storage systems in 2019, resulting in these systems becoming less affordable. Now, as the UK faces the Brexit transition, it could be the perfect time to reduce the VAT on home energy storage systems with the aim to help grow the energy storage sector and decarbonise the UK.
18 December, 2020 – A joint statement signed by eight large energy companies including Total, BP and Equinor agrees on six ‘energy transition principles’ for reaching net-zero. These energy companies have agreed to follow net-zero principles including supporting the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce their carbon emissions and being more transparent with any climate change risks. It is hoped that these principles noted will help these energy giants reach their net-zero targets.
18 December, 2020 – The latest annual energy statement for Scotland has highlighted that the Scottish renewable energy output for 2019 equates to the equivalent of 90.1% of the country’s total electricity consumption, another record year for the increase of renewable energy electricity generation. The Scottish government aim to further increase the percentage of renewables by decarbonising energy-intensive industries, heating and transport through acting on new sustainability policies announced in the Scottish government’s Climate Change Plan Update.
18 December, 2020 – Budweiser Brewing Group has increased sustainability efforts at Magor brewery in South Wales by installing a wind turbine to power the site. The wind turbine is located within 1 mile of the brewery and will power Magor brewery by purchasing the generated electricity through a power purchase agreement with CleanEarth. The recently installed wind turbine will generate approximately a quarter of the required electricity for this site, saving 2,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. If you are interested in understanding the potential of onsite renewables at your site, contact OnGen today.
17 December, 2020 – Scottish Water have announced plans of installing over 1MW of solar paired with battery storage (800kWh capacity) at Perth’s wastewater treatment works. The project will result in 2,520 solar panels and four vanadium flow batteries being installed in 2021 and will reduce the site’s energy costs by 40%. The project is also predicted to reduce 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year to help Scottish Water meet their 2040 net-zero emissions target.
17 December, 2020 – HSBC’s latest poll involving 1,000 UK-based companies has found that 73% plan to introduce new net-zero goals in 2021. Furthermore, 78% of these companies are expecting their sales to increase in 2021 as a direct result of concentrating more on sustainability. These companies would like to see more government support, with 42% of the surveyed organisations wanting more government funding for initiatives to reduce their emissions.
16 December, 2020 – Bloomberg NEF report that the battery pack that is used in electric cars’ price has dramatically fallen by 89% over the past 10 years, falling 13% in 2019 alone. The battery pack now costs $137/kWh on average. The decrease in price should result in EVs becoming more affordable, as the battery pack currently makes up 21% of an EV’s cost. The decrease in battery packs prices will also positively influence the price of standalone battery storage.
14 December, 2020 – Yü Energy’s latest survey based on SMEs’ energy efficiency measures has found that just 46% of SMEs are making energy efficiency improvements to their businesses. Of the surveyed companies, less than 20% have buildings which have an EPC rating above B. Yü Energy suggest that by becoming more energy-efficient and achieving a higher EPC rating, an SME will not only be more eco-friendly but will also save up to 28% off energy bills. If you are interested in increasing your SME’s EPC rating, try OnGen’s newest software OnEfficiency for recommendations on how to make your business more energy efficient.
11 December, 2020 – The Scottish Government’s decarbonisation manufacturing fund has now opened for applicants. The £34 million Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund allows for companies within the manufacturing industry to apply for grants of up to £125,000 to invest in onsite energy efficiency improvements and low-carbon technologies. The fund is open for applicants until the 26th of February 2021. If you are interested in taking advantage of this fund to deploy renewable and low-carbon technologies, contact OnGen to unlock the potential of renewables at your site.
11 December, 2020 – Jacobs, the global engineering firm, has announced that it is now powered by 100% renewable energy. The engineering firm also revealed that it has become carbon neutral in its general operations and business travel. Jacobs is planning to take its ambitions further, with an aim to become carbon negative by 2030. Jacobs is a leading company in making sustainable choices and hopefully will inspire more companies to make a carbon-negative target.
10 December, 2020 – Plans for recycled wind turbines to replace raw materials in cement manufacturing in the US have been announced by GE Renewable Energy. The recycled wind turbine blades can replace up to 90% of the raw materials used to create cement. This recycling process has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in cement production by 27%.
Amazon becomes ‘world’s largest’ renewable energy backer with 26 new utility-scale solar and wind projects
10 December, 2020 – Amazon has released plans for 26 new renewable energy projects spanning from the UK to Australia to help power their company. Amazon is planning for a 3.4GW increase in electricity production because of these new projects, which will help Amazon become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. These projects are expected to be a mix of solar PV and wind installations.
10 December, 2020 – Bloomberg NEF’s latest report highlights that the renewable energy investment market has been unevenly influenced by COVID-19 between developed and undeveloped countries. The report found that developed countries, such as the UK and Germany, were on track for meeting a similar percentage of clean energy finance as was seen in 2019. In contrast, in developing countries, including Pakistan and Haiti, investment was found to be around 20% lower than 2019 levels. Bloomberg NEF also has concerns that the renewable market will recover more slowly in developing countries.
8 December, 2020 – Ofgem have announced plans for investing £40 billion into the national electricity grid infrastructure as part of the finalised RIIO-2 price control. Ofgem aims for this funding to help increase green energy investment. The investment will also help network companies make repairs and upgrades to the grid.
7 December, 2020 – IEA reported that 2020 has had the lowest level of investment in energy efficiency improvements within the past decade. IEA is alarmed by these findings, as they believe that energy efficiency improvements are necessary for meeting climate targets. We hope that the government’s funding packages, such as the UK’S Green Home Grant, should have a positive impact on energy efficiency in future years. If you would like to improve the energy efficiency of your organisation, contact OnGen to learn more about our software, OnEfficiency.
7 December, 2020 – The UK’s first electric charging forecourt has opened in a retail park in Essex with facilities to change 36 cars. The forecourt will be powered by a mix of a subsidy-free solar power from Bedfordshire, solar carport canopies and a battery storage system. The company Gridserve say that this project is the first of over 100 installations that are planned to be deployed within the next five years around the UK. Interested in powering your site by solar carport canopies and a battery storage system? Try the OnGen ExpertTM to assess the feasibility of these technologies at your site. Contact OnGen for a free demo.
4 December, 2020 – The UK Government have announced 2030 plans to reduce their annual carbon emissions by 68% when compared to the UK’s 1990 levels. This new target is a large rise in the UK’s reduction target when compared to the current target of 57%. It is hoped that the UK’s larger target will help lead the way in encouraging other countries to also increase their climate reduction target.
4 December, 2020 – The latest report by Green Alliance has highlighted that local councils in England are struggling to meet their net-zero goals due to a lack of government funding. Although there is a significant amount of funding available for the public sector, it is still lower than in previous years and has decreased by 24% in the last decade. The report suggests that an increase in funding and the size of the skills force will be necessary for local councils to meet their net-zero goals.
3 December, 2020 – The Welsh Government’s EU SMART Cymru program has announced a new funding opportunity for businesses that are interested in exploring the feasibility of decarbonisation initiatives. The funding is aimed at reducing carbon from products, processes and technologies for organisations with over 10 employees. This new funding is ideal for organisations that want to assess the feasibility of onsite renewables at their site by using the OnGen Expert. If you are interested in making use of this funding, contact OnGen today.
3 December, 2020 – A new partnership between European Energy and Norstar will help support the deployment of 12 new solar projects in the North East of England. It is hoped that the expertise of both companies will allow for a strong partnership that will incorporate local and European solar knowledge.
30 November, 2020 – The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund (GRID) have finished their investment in the 50MW standalone battery in Wickham Market, Suffolk. The battery installation has a storage capacity of 74MWh and has been connected to the distribution network. The completion of this project totals GRID’s operational standalone battery portfolio to up 315MW. The standalone battery is expected to gain revenue by trading within the wholesale market and National Grid’s FFR tenders and Balancing Mechanism.
30 November, 2020 – The University of Glasgow has announced plans for a net-zero 2030 target. The university’s ambitious goal is aiming to be met by an array of eco-friendly changes including the installation of onsite solar panels and increasing energy efficiency improvements. Since 2015, the University of Glasgow has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 13%. The installation of onsite renewables is a great way to lower your carbon dioxide emissions. If you are interested in unlocking the potential of renewables at your site, contact OnGen.
30 November, 2020 – The UK’s largest battery storage project has been announced to be built in Essex at the Thames Estuary. InterGen is planning to install 320MW/640MWh of battery storage with the potential to expand the capacity to 1.3GWh. The battery storage will help balance the grid in Essex and is planned to be built by 2024.
24 November, 2020 – Octopus Energy’s latest study that surveyed institutional investors has highlighted that global investment in renewables is forecasted to double within the next five years. Investment in renewable energy is expected to increase from 4.2% to 8.3% within the next five years and continue to rise to 10.8% by 2030. The largest volume of investment is expected from investors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
24 November, 2020 – The UK has reached the top 5 in the global renewables market in EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). The UK’s offshore wind commitments have helped the UK jump above the lower ranking spots that the UK has taken in previous years and overtake Germany to reach 5th The US has the top RECAI ranking after offering large COVID-19 packages that support renewables and China follows closely in second place because of their large solar installations continuing during 2020.
24 November, 2020 – The UK government have announced plans of increasing the renewable energy capacity by 12GW in the next CfD auction in 2021. The proposed increase is over double the capacity of the last auction at just 5.8GW. The rise in capacity will help the UK meet the net-zero goal. The renewable technologies will also be split into different groups when competing in the fourth round, resulting in onshore wind and solar being in a separate category from the other renewable technologies. Offshore wind will be in its own category.
23 November, 2020 – Wärtsilä Energy’s latest report suggests that if the UK government supported the installation of more renewables and battery storage rather than building a new nuclear plant, £660 million could be saved by 2030. The cost savings would be a mix of reduced operational and building costs. However, with many of the UK’s nuclear power plants closing, the government would prefer to not completely lose nuclear generation.
23 November, 2020 – The Riding Sunbeams project was granted £2.5 million of UK government funding to support the world’s first railway that will be powered by solar energy. The planned solar railway line is the London to Eastbourne line. This railway line would be connected to a 3.75MW community solar project in East Sussex which would help power the railway line. The London to Eastbourne railway line is expected to be powered by solar by 2022 and there are plans for the project to be extended to other parts of the UK.
19 November, 2020 – The Advertising Association have released a new framework to help the UK’s advertising industry meet net-zero emissions by 2030. The project will offer advice to companies in the advertising industry related to reducing emissions through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency investments. If advertising companies sign up to the framework, they are then committed to reducing their emissions and reaching their net-zero target.
19 November, 2020 – The City of London Corporation are going to pioneer a £40 million power purchase agreement (PPA) with Voltalia. The green energy for the PPA will be generated at a 50 MW solar plant planned to be built in south-west England. The project is the first PPA to be set up between a local authority and a renewable. The City of London Corporation is expected to save £3 million on energy costs over the next 15 years. If you are interested to understand the cost-savings from installing solar PV at your business site, contact OnGen today for a renewable energy site assessment.
19 November, 2020 – Carbon Copy’s latest report into local councils’ net-zero targets has highlighted that nearly three-quarters of local councils have declared a climate emergency. The report also demonstrated that over half of the local councils in the UK have set a net-zero goal for 2030 or earlier, which is 20 years sooner than the UK government’s target. As part of Carbon Copy’s study, they have also released an interactive map to look at climate targets in each local area.
18 November, 2020 – The UK is investigating if solar power from space could be used as a constant source of renewable energy. A space-based solar power system would be composed of large solar satellites that would generate renewable energy in space. The generated energy would then be converted into radio waves and beamed to ground-based receivers. The receivers could then be connected to the electric grid. Frazer-Nash Consultancy will be conducting the project research to understand if this project could be feasible.
17 November, 2020 – Boris Johnson unveiled a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution to take place in the UK. The government have set aside £12bn to meet these goals, which include a ban on diesel and petrol cars by 2030 and investment in carbon capture initiatives. The 10-point plan is also expected to create up to 250,000 jobs throughout the UK. However, it is questioned if this plan is ambitious enough to meet the UK’s net-zero target.
16 November, 2020 – European Energy and Locogen have partnered up to develop plans to install 800 MW of onshore wind in Scotland. The project is expected to go ahead within the next five years and when complete, the installation could supply energy to up to 500,000 homes. If your business is interested in installing a wind turbine, contact OnGen to understand the feasibility of this technology at your site.
13 November, 2020 – Tesco has announced the installation of three UK ground-mounted solar farms to generate energy to power their UK stores. The excess energy will be exported back to the grid through a PPA. The installation of their solar farms will help Tesco reach their goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2030, in-line with their net-zero 2035 UK goal. The company also plan to install roof-mounted solar on a further 17 of their English stores. Interested in installing solar like Tesco? Contact us today to see if it’s feasible at your commercial site.
12 November, 2020 – BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker survey of 4,000 adults has found that nearly 80% of people in the UK support the use of renewable energy. The highest supported renewable energy technology was solar energy, with 85% public approval, while the lowest public approval percentage was onshore wind at 73%. The BEIS survey also highlighted that 80% of the public are concerned or fairly concerned about climate change.
11 November, 2020 – SSE have announced that they aim to have net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. The energy supplier has previously released plans to support this target, including investing £7.5 billion on renewable infrastructure such as Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm. SSE also plan to reduce their absolute Scope 1 and 2 2018 baseline emissions by 40% by 2030.
10 November, 2020 – The International Energy Agency reported that 2020 has been a record year for global renewable energy installations. Nearly 90% of all energy installations during this year have been renewable technologies. Furthermore, the IEA suggest that due to recent trends of renewable installations increasing while fossil fuels decline, renewables are set to become the biggest global energy source by 2025. The results from this report come as great news after previous concerns that COVID-19 would slow down the renewable installation rate during 2020.
9 November, 2020 – The Scottish Government have announced £4.5 million of cashback funding to help support households installing renewable heating systems or energy efficiency measures. The installation of a renewable heating system offers 75% cashback up to the value of £7,500 and 40% cashback is offered for households taking energy efficiency measures up to £6,000. This new scheme should be a great incentive for households wanting to take more sustainable measures.
9 November, 2020 – The UK government have extended the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) by 12 months until March 2022 to support the private sector during the impacts of COVID-19. The extension will help support businesses that are already considering installing a low carbon heat technology. The Renewable Energy Association’s head of policy, Frank Gordon, welcomes the decision and expects that the extension will help support hundreds of businesses. Contact OnGen to unlock the renewable heat potential of your commercial site.
6 November, 2020 – The Egni Co-op have installed roof mounted solar panels on multiple primary schools in Swansea, resulting in emissions being reduced by 1,600 tonnes over the course of 20 years between these sites. These installations are helping Swansea Council meet their aims of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The OnGen ExpertTM can be used to assess the feasibility of solar PV at your school or business. Contact OnGen today for more information.
6 November, 2020 – A blacked out part of the transmission network been restored as a result of wind power from Dersalloch windfarm in South Ayrshire. The project used virtual synchronous machines to manage the frequency and voltage from the energy generated by the wind turbines. This technology was able to keep the system balanced and could also merge the energy supply with the grid to restore power to areas of the transmission system that had been blacked out. The success of the project is allowing Dersalloch windfarm to become a fully ‘black-start’ windfarm by 2022.
6 November, 2020 – A pioneering battery production centre has opened in Coventry as part of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC). The site aims to bring different researchers and manufactures together to work on developing battery storage systems in the UK. This week, UKBIC have welcomed their first partners into the new site. The centre at present has 86 employees, with the hope to grow by making future industry partnerships.
5 November, 2020 – Vattenfall have transformed a wind turbine in Leicestershire at the M1 motorway into a poppy to honour Remembrance Sunday. The wind turbine was modified to look like a poppy by projecting a 90-metre-wide poppy head onto the blades and smaller poppies surrounding the wind turbine. It is hoped that this installation will allow for people to see the wind turbine poppy for miles into the distance to pay remembrance in their own way.
3 November, 2020 – RenewableUK estimate that onshore wind could reach 30GW capacity in the UK by 2030, producing enough power for over 19.5 million homes per annum. The deployment of onshore wind will also help drive a green recovery, with an estimated 30,000 jobs being supported. The predicted rise in capacity is partly due to onshore wind being part of the CfD auctions, as well as decreasing capital costs.
3 November, 2020 – Flexitricity, on behalf of Gresham House, have deployed the UK’s largest battery storage system of 50MW/75MWh in Thurscroft, South Yorkshire. This battery storage system will be used to help the National Grid balance the grid as renewable installations continue to rise. Gresham House is aiming to continue increasing their onsite energy storage to 350MW by the end of 2020. If you are interested in finding out if a standalone battery system would be feasible at your site, contact OnGen today.
29 October, 2020 – Primark are the latest fashion store to sign the UN’s Fashion Charter, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. The UN Fashion Charter launched in 2018 and has over 50 businesses committed to the net-zero goal, including H&M and Levi Strauss. Primark also aim to reduce their emissions by 30% by 2030 and are currently developing a decarbonisation roadmap.
29 October, 2020 – Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council have received over £6.5 million of funding to allow for the development of a low carbon energy network in Solihull Town Centre. Solihull plans to install an open-loop ground source heat pump which will provide heat to multiple properties within the town centre. The project will save over 280,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide once installed by 2022. Unlock the potential of ground source heat at your site by using the OnGen Expert. Contact OnGen for a software demo.
29 October, 2020 – The Scottish Government have announced a £4 million cashback grant scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses improve their energy efficiency and to install renewable heating technologies. The scheme will allow for SMEs to access a 75% cashback grant for up to £10,000 towards renewable heat measures and a 30% cashback grant for energy efficiency measures up to £10,000. Now is the ideal time to make the most of these grant schemes; contact OnGen to find out what renewable heating technologies are feasible at your site.
27 October, 2020 – Tesla have announced the highest Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff in the UK as part of the Tesla Energy Plan. The Tesla Energy Plan is now available for homes with solar panels and Tesla Powerwall battery systems with or without an EV. The rate of £0.08/kWh for Tesla vehicle owners and £0.11/kWh for non-Tesla vehicle owners has been offered, which is significantly higher than the current SEG tariffs on the market. At OnGen you can assess the feasibility of solar PV with a battery system for your business with a chosen SEG tariff. Contact OnGen today for a free demo of our software.
27 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest quarterly market outlook expects photovoltaic installations to have increased globally by 115GW by the end of the year. However, an increase in COVID19 outbreaks may result in installation for the rest of 2020 slowing. Wood Mackenzie predict a 5% global increase in installations for 2020 when compared to 2019. The percentage of global increase is forecasted to steadily raise up to 2025. Photovoltaic installations are increasing the most in Asia, with 39GW being deployed in 2020.
27 October, 2020 – 17 UK organisations, including Scottish Renewables and Energy Networks Association, have called for Ofgem to consider the UK net-zero target when deciding on price control. Chief executive of Scottish Renewables, Claire Mack, has emphasised the importance of Ofgem setting a regulatory framework for electricity and gas transmission, distribution and price controls, which would allow for the flexibility to work towards net-zero. The next policy changes by Ofgem are to be announced in December for the transmission of gas and electricity.
21 October, 2020 – DNV GL has reported that a global effort and investment is needed to increase the uptake of energy-efficient measures. Energy efficiency is often a forgotten step in a company’s decarbonisation journey, although it is the easiest way to cut emissions. Energy-efficient measures should be remembered as another pillar to help reach emission reduction goals. If you are interested in helping your company become more energy-efficient, contact OnGen for a demo of our new software, OnEfficiency.
21 October, 2020 – Vattenfall’s ornithological study in Kilm Wind Farm, Denmark has found that birds are able to avoid the rotor blades of wind turbines far easier than previously thought. The study demonstrated that 99% of the short-billed geese and cranes that flew within the Kilm Wind Farm area were able to avoid the blades of the wind turbines. The results of this study are highly positive for the installation of wind turbines, especially as the studied area is also within an important natural area.
20 October, 2020 – Engie are helping local authorities and housing associations reduce their emissions to meet net-zero goals by releasing a new low carbon housing retrofit service. The retrofit service aims to make homes more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. The new services include the installation of solar PV, standalone battery storage and housing retrofit. With over half of the UK housing market having an EPC rating of D or less, this initiative is a great start to help the housing market be greener. Our new software OnEfficiency can help you increase your company’s EPC rating by becoming more energy efficient. Contact OnGen for a demo.
20 October, 2020 – Cornwall Insight estimate a 1.3GW increase in installed capacity of onshore wind this winter in the UK. The increase in capacity would result in a 5% increase in total capacity to 25.4GW. This rise in onshore wind is the result of this technology being included within the Contracts for Difference scheme which allows for this technology to be even more financially feasible. However, the National Grid ESO’s report estimates that a faster installation rate is needed to meet the UK’s net-zero goal.
19 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest report highlights that an increase in module efficiency rates and the power class of solar PV will significantly reduce the cost of solar energy during the next decade. The capex cost of a solar project is expected to reduce by 3-9% during this period as solar module technology rapidly evolves, with modules with small wafer sizes eventually being phased out of the market as large modules become more cost-efficient.
16 October, 2020 – Plans to build the first British hydro scheme within 30 years have been consented by the Scottish Government. The 1,500MW hydro storage scheme will be located at Coire Glas in the Scottish Highlands and, if the project goes ahead, will be extremely beneficial for meeting the UK’s net-zero target. The project is awaiting commercial approval before building can commence but consent from the Scottish Government is a big step in the right direction.
16 October, 2020 – Solar Trade Association (STA) chief executive, Chris Hewett, is urging the UK government to increase their solar and battery storage ambition. Hewett estimates that the UK will have to triple its solar capacity within the next 10 years to have a chance at meeting the net-zero goal. The STA chief executive wishes to see a similar boost in solar that has previously been seen with wind.
15 October, 2020 – The Cheshire Energy Hub has been awarded over £700,000 of government funding to build the first smart energy blueprint in the UK. The aim of the project is to create a local, low carbon, smart energy system for the Energy Innovation District in a port in Cheshire, which is made up of an array of businesses. The project will be used to explore energy generation potential with onsite renewables and hydrogen fuel.
14 October, 2020 – A 45% decrease in the ordering of wind turbines has been found globally for Q2 2020 when compared to Q2 2019. Wood Mackenzie estimated a total of 17GW was ordered globally, which would have cost £12.2bn. The percentage drop is thought to be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest decrease in wind turbine ordering was seen in the USA and China, while countries such as the UK, Netherlands and France decided to increase their ordering after having a surge in offshore wind demand.
13 October, 2020 – The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report highlighted a promising future for renewables, while fossil fuels such as coal have a more gloomy outlook and may never return again to pre-pandemic consumption levels. IEA predict that solar could reshape the future of energy by becoming the leader of electricity due to record levels of deployment expected. The report also demonstrated that as a result of current policy commitments, renewable deployment should continue to grow, meeting up to 80% of projected growth.
13 October, 2020 – Aggreko has announced their new global rental scheme for solar panels. The company are allowing customers to rent up to 1MW of solar panels with the deployment of the rental technology taking place within just 4 months. The contract duration begins at 5 years and the solar panels can be co-located with a battery storage system to make the system even more energy-efficient. If you are interested in the potential of onsite solar, contact OnGen today for a desk-based feasibility assessment.
9 October, 2020 – The City of London Corporation has announced plans to reach net-zero by 2040. Plans include changing planning regulations for more energy-efficient buildings and creating extra pedestrian space. A total of £68m has already been set aside to begin working towards this target, with 800 green jobs planning on being made.
9 October, 2020 – Carbon Trust’s annual survey has highlighted that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have placed more importance on sustainability. The survey involved 453 interviews from different companies across Europe, Mexico and Singapore and found that 63% of the interviewees reported that the sustainability budget of the company is planned to increase in 2020. The number of dedicated sustainability professionals will also increase by 4% compared to 2019.
7 October, 2020 – The South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (SYPA) have set the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. SYPA aim to have an action plan to achieve this goal within the next 6-months and will work with Border to Coast Pensions Partnership to help reach this carbon neutral target. The SYPA is not the first pension organisation to announce a net-zero goal, with NEST, Aviva and BT’s pension fund previously announcing net-zero targets.
Boris Johnson’s pledge to power all UK homes with offshore wind power by 2030 is ‘ambitious, but achievable’
6 October, 2020 – The Prime Minister pledged for offshore wind to have the capacity to power all homes within the UK by 2030. Johnson aims to increase the offshore wind capacity from the current 10GW to 40GW by 2030. It has been questioned if this target is realistic, with Aurora Energy Research calculating that £50bn of investment would be required to reach this goal, while the pace of installation would also need to be ramped up. With the needed investment, the industry is confident that they can achieve this goal.
5 October, 2020 – Octopus Energy have announced plans to generate 1,000 more technology jobs with an aim to make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of energy.” These jobs will be created in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, along with plans to create a tech hub in Manchester. This initiative has been praised as a great opportunity for employment during the planned green recovery.
2 October, 2020 – Ofgem announced that seven energy suppliers owe a total of £34 million for the Renewables Obligations (RO) and Feed-in Tariff levelisation payments. The levelisation payment will be used to provide the owner of onsite renewable energy a payment. If these suppliers do not attempt to pay these payments, Ofgem may remove their energy licence.
2 October, 2020 – The largest roof mounted solar site in Europe, which is operated by Amazon, has started generating energy at a warehouse in Essex. The installation comprises over 11,500 solar panels and covers the size of 28 football pitches. This project is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge programme to help the company be powered completely by renewable energy by 2025. If you are interested in utilising the roof space of your organisation’s buildings for solar generation, contact OnGen for a site feasibility assessment.
2 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie have predicted that the energy storage capacity will continue to grow by one-third every year within the decade to reach 741GWh by 2030. The US are expected to dominate the growth over this period to make up around half of the worldwide capacity by 2030, while China will also greatly contribute to the energy storage increase. Europe are expected to contribute less to the energy storage capacity because of slower market growth.
2 October, 2020 – RWE Gas Storage West GmbH and CMBlu Energy AG have announced plans for research into the storage of renewable electricity within underground salt caverns. These caverns are currently being used for gas storage, but it is thought that they could be used as an organic battery. RWE plan to fill the caverns with an organic electrolyte solution, which would be used as the main energy source for the battery storage.
1 October, 2020 – The £2bn Green Homes Grant and £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme have been officially launched by BEIS and are ready for applicants. The funds were first announced at the government’s Summer Economic Update and aim to help the economy recover by creating new jobs, while also working towards a greener future. The schemes together hope to support 130,000 jobs. Interested in claiming this funding but don’t know which project is best for your site? Get in touch.
1 October, 2020 – The NHS announced plans to be the first health system in the world with a net zero target. The NHS aim to firstly reduce direct emissions by 2040 and then have their wider supply chain in line with reaching net zero by 2045. Plans to reach this target include electric vehicles, reducing single-use products and building more energy efficient buildings. Our software suite is suited to help organisations like the NHS meet their net-zero targets. Contact us today on how to get started.
29 September, 2020 – IRENA’s annual report highlighted that 498,000 full time roles have been created globally in 2019 within the renewable sector. This new addition of jobs in 2019 brings the total number of renewable energy jobs up to 11.5 million. The largest increase in roles over 2019 was found within the bioenergy sector, while solar made up one-third of the total renewable energy occupations. IRENA forecast that COVID-19 will have a positive impact on the sector due to the green energy transition.
29 September, 2020 – Recent survey results conducted by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Scotland have found that over half of offshore workers would consider a job within the renewable and offshore wind industry. The survey also found that 81% of oil and gas workers would consider a job outwith the oil and gas industry, as COVID-19 has resulted in job insecurity within the sector. We hope this is a promising move towards a greener economy.
24 September, 2020 – The UK government announced a further £6.9m of funding for energy efficiency skills training in preparation of the Green Homes Grant Scheme. This funding is open to organisations that currently offer low carbon retrofit training, with an aim to get the workforce ready for the expected increase of up to 100,000 jobs within the construction sector as the new scheme comes into place in England.
24 September, 2020 – PwC’s latest report highlights that venture capital investment into climate-related technology is increasing five times quicker than the average rate of all other industry investments. PwC have found that, in 2019, $16bn has been invested into this sector. The growth within green technology is likely to be driven by corporate requirements to meet climate targets, with over 300 companies committing to a net-zero future.
24 September, 2020 – BEIS announced that during the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, the contribution of renewables to the UK’s electricity output had increased by 9% in comparison to the same period in 2019. The production of coal and other solid fuels fell by 29% when compared to the 2019 Q2 timeframe. It is thought that this large change from 2019 is a result of electricity consumption dropping during Q2 as a consequence of COVID-19.
24 September, 2020 – Plans for the first 100% recyclable wind turbine have been announced as part of a collaboration project headed by the Zero Waste Blade Research project. LM Wind Power will be building the prototype blades for this project using Elium, which is a fully recyclable thermoplastic resin. Further research is taking place to understand the best method to recycle the Elium material.
22 September, 2020 – Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind project, has announced that it will be powered by the new 13MW Haliade-X turbine, which is the most powerful wind turbine available globally. This site will be the first in the world to install these turbines, which are 107 metres in height. As these turbines are so powerful, fewer wind turbines will be required at the site, which will help lower the operation costs and improve efficiency.
22 September, 2020 – The UK government has launched plans to introduce a carbon tax on UK gas suppliers. This new levy will help provide subsides for the building of more biomethane production plants, allowing for an increase in the decarbonisation of heating. It is expected this new levy will rise consumer gas bills by approximately 11p per month and will help the UK reach the net-zero goal.
18 September, 2020 – The UK’s most energy-efficient housing scheme has started undergoing construction in Kent. Each home will be carbon neutral by roof-mounted solar PV being established for electricity generation and an air source heat pump being installed for hot water and heating. Interested in going carbon neutral? Contact us today to find out more about the potential of onsite renewable and low carbon technologies at your site.
17 September, 2020 – Fitch Solutions announced their latest renewable energy forecasts up until 2029. Fitch expects that the global renewable capacity will increase by over 1.4TW by 2029 and the capacity of solar PV will overtake wind as soon as 2021. The growing installation of solar PV is thought to be related to the variety of ways it can be deployed, from domestic roof-mounted solar to large-scale ground-mounted solar PV.
17 September, 2020 – The ‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ plans have been released in partnership with Scottish Power Renewables, BOC and ITM Power. The project aims to increase hydrogen production facilities across Scotland, which would allow hydrogen fuel to power large vehicles. The process of creating hydrogen fuel will be powered by wind and solar energy to make the process fully sustainable.
17 September, 2020 – A Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce has been launched this week, made up of industry experts in energy, construction and finance, to research zero-carbon heating alternatives for domestic heating. It is hoped that the work that the taskforce completes will help increase investment and knowledge within this sector.
16 September, 2020 – Calls for the UK government to increase the size of the next CfD auction in order for the different renewable technologies to be able to equally participate. Industry experts from the solar, offshore wind and tidal energy sectors are calling for a boost in capacity and financial support from the government. The final details of the next CfD auction have yet to be announced but it is hoped that it will keep the UK keep on track to meet the 2050 net-zero target.
16 September, 2020 – The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) latest report, which is backed by 40 large energy company leaders, highlights the best pathway to globally reach net-zero by 2050. ETC claims that only 0.5% of the world’s GDP is required to meet global net-zero by 2050. The report also outlines guidance for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, including recommending that no more new coal-fired power capacities should be built.
11 September, 2020 – Solar Trade Association, TechUk and Renewable UK have issued a joint declaration to promote a green recovery. The partnership will be promoting long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) within the tech industry to help increase onsite renewables and examine the impact that technology can have in advancing the renewable sector.
10 September, 2020 – Climate Assembly UK have reported that the UK’s citizens assembly are in strong favour of the deployment of wind and solar renewable technologies to meet the net-zero target. Offshore wind scored 95% in public favour, while solar power received 81%, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is largely accepted as the way forward for a low carbon future.
8 September, 2020 – Over five million second-generation smart meters have been installed within the UK, helping UK residents keep track of their energy use. The large volume of installation of these smart metres highlights that Britain is concerned about their carbon impact and are taking steps towards a greener future.
8 September, 2020 – An Atkins report highlights that the UK is behind in the build rate required to meet the country’s net-zero target. The deployment of over 6,520 wind turbines and 80GW of solar PV is still needed to be built, along with a wealth of other technologies to help generate enough clean energy to meet the 2050 goal.
7 September, 2020 – A new battery storage rental option for the vanadium electrolyte has been recently announced by battery provider Invinity. This innovative idea will allow for the cost of battery storage to be spread over the course of a project to help make batteries more affordable.
6 September, 2020 – Moray Council have published an initial action plan to meet their ambitious 2030 net-zero goal. Actions include deploying onsite renewables at council-owned buildings, eliminating single-use plastics and supporting local renewable energy schemes. OnGen can help councils meet their net-zero targets through onsite renewables. Contact us today to kickstart your renewable journey.
4 September, 2020 – The first completely domestic weekly Firm Frequency Response deal was won by Social Energy, who offer domestic battery storage systems with an artificial intelligence platform. It is hoped that this trial deal will help balance the electricity demand on the national grid while reducing customers’ energy costs.
4 September, 2020 – Cornwall Insight report shows that during the Covid-19 outbreak in March, the demand for power in the UK was 15% lower than 2019 levels. As Britain returns to work and school, the electricity rates have risen back to 2019 levels over the summer months and are expected to remain at higher levels. Are you interested in reducing your organisation’s grid energy consumption? Contact OnGen to see how onsite renewables could help your organisation.
31 August, 2020 – Recent Drax Report finds that the UK renewables generation for the second quarter of 2020 has increased by 32% when compared to 2019. The large increase in renewable electricity generation (up to 70% of the UK’s total electricity demand) is the result of new generation records being reached for biomass, wind, and solar, as well as a decrease in demand.
28 August, 2020 – A new collaboration between GE Renewable Energy and Wykes will allow for the UK’s first DC-coupled battery storage system to be developed. The new battery system will be combined with the 60MW ground-mounted solar PV site located at Chelveston Renewable Energy Park.
28 August, 2020 – World Forum Offshore Wind report findings highlight that the UK continues to remain the largest global offshore wind market for the first half of 2020. In the last six months, the UK has added an installed capacity of 714MW. China is a strong contender in this race, with its offshore wind market dramatically growing, with 1.4GW installed over the six-month period.
19 August, 2020 – New research by solar panel specialists has found that installing panels on properties can increase house prices across the UK by £32,459 on average, an increase of 14%. The highest increase was seen in London, followed by Bristol and Edinburgh. The ability to sell surplus generation to the grid and the reduced energy bills makes solar extremely desirable for home buyers.
18 August, 2020 – The government has announced a six-month extension for applications to the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in the wake of coronavirus. The decision postpones the scheme’s planned closure in March 2021 to September 2021. The move is only an extension for projects already under development and those that have not benefited from recent extensions to tariff guarantees.
18 August, 2020 – According to a report by Frontier Economics, support for green hydrogen through the CfD mechanism would give investors more certainty than providing regulated returns. Frontier Economics state the worst option would be an obligation scheme guaranteeing purchases, which could expose business and domestic consumers to paying high payments.
14 August, 2020 – Engie is offering fixed-price long-term power purchase agreements that are tailored to fit the individual requirements of developers and funders. These PPAs will provide guaranteed income that is often needed to secure funding. Developers can choose PPAs of any length up to 10 years.
13 August, 2020 – Compared with the same period in 2019, offshore wind helped the UK’s renewable generation increase by 30% in the first quarter of 2020. Wind generation increased significantly for both offshore (53%) and onshore (29%). However, solar generation decreased by 11% in the first quarter of this year compared to last year.
12 August, 2020 – Schools across England waste more than £326 million each year on inefficient lighting, which generates more than 572,000 tonnes of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions annually. Many state schools are tied down by procurement rules preventing them from upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment.
11 August, 2020 – The National Infrastructure Commission has advised the UK to increase its renewable electricity target from 50% to 65% by 2030. New research shows this can be delivered at the same cost as meeting only half of the total demand. The commission recommends a refreshed pipeline of contracts for difference auctions to accelerate more offshore and onshore wind, as well as solar power projects.
7 August, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced a review of current energy infrastructure at sea, focusing on improving the cabling and transmission network to reduce costs and impacts of connecting new wind farms to the onshore grid. The announcement follows an Oil and Gas Authority report which found that offshore renewables could account for 30% of the emissions reductions needed by 2050.
7 August, 2020 – The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has agreed to finance a land preparation project that will prepare a site for the development of a wind hub. The project is one of seven to secure backing from the LEP’s £25.8 million Getting Building Fund. Plans include 1,270 metres of heavy duty quays and an 80-hectare marshalling area.
7 August, 2020 – The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Reports have shown that the Bank has been offering support packages to large companies without environmental conditions, going against their stated prioritisation of low-carbon finance. The Bank’s Corporate Bond Purchase Programme has invested £11.4bn of the total £20bn in energy-intensive and high emitting sectors.
Climate crisis: World’s largest coal mine sees value slashed by £1.4bn amid surge in demand for renewables
6 August, 2020 – The world’s largest coal mine, North Antelope Rochelle, has reported a loss of £1.17bn for the second quarter of this year, owing to cheap gas and increasing wind capacity coming online. Mine production has decreased by over 50% since 2014, which can be attributed to increased demand for clean energy.
6 August, 2020 – Industry figures are calling for the Scottish government to set fixed timelines for each stage of the planning and decision-making process for onshore wind. It was also stated that excessive weight had been given to landscape in the planning system, potentially inhibiting the drive for green infrastructure.
5 August, 2020 – The University of Surrey is set to start developing a battery that captures carbon dioxide emissions. This project aims to position the UK as a leader in portable energy storage through breakthroughs in efficient carbon dioxide fixation.
5 August, 2020 – Iberdrola has announced it will build and operate the world’s largest onsite self-consumption solar power system in Spain. The 100MW array will create up to 500 jobs during construction and will provide green electricity to SABIC’s industrial plant, making the industrial complex the first large-scale chemical production facility to operate fully on renewable electricity.
4 August, 2020 – Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, has issued £4.4bn in sustainability bonds, which is the largest sustainability bond issued by a corporation to date. Projects that can receive support from the bond include energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as well as those addressing racial equality and circular economy.
27 July, 2020 – Good Energy has announced a new heat pump tariff, which is set to offer cheaper rates when the grid is greener and experiencing lower demand. The tariff thus aims to make greener heating more cost-effective for UK households. After Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the Green Homes scheme, where homeowners can claim up to £10,000 for heat pumps, this tariff is a welcome additional push to help heat pump deployment increase.
27 July, 2020 – The expansion of offshore wind, bioenergy and carbon capture and storage could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033. Demand-side response and storage will also contribute to this net zero projection. However, to achieve this, we need immediate action across key technologies and policy areas, most notably in the transport, heating and energy efficiency sectors.
27 July, 2020 – Renewable energy is likely to become the cheapest kind of power to produce in the UK, meaning that consumers may benefit from cheaper energy bills. With the UK is dominating the global offshore wind market, offshore wind may become cheaper than fossil-fuelled power stations. Rapid technology development, allowing larger turbines to be built further out at sea, has allowed for this decrease in price.
YouGov poll finds that only 23 percent of British citizens believe burning wood from forests should be classed as ‘renewable energy’
24 July, 2020 – A YouGov poll found that only 23% of British citizens think biomass should be classified as renewable energy, while 55% oppose continued Government subsidies for this technology. Research has shown that large-scale biomass use can release more carbon than a coal plant, especially when including the emissions from importing biomass overseas.
24 July, 2020 – The Treasury Committee is relaunching an inquiry to examine whether the UK’s response to coronavirus should take net zero targets into account. Specifically, the committee wants to address whether support packages should distinguish between companies based on their pollution levels. Without green conditions on financial assistance, public money will be used to support businesses whose efforts do not align with net zero targets.
22 July, 2020 – The UK government has announced a suite of funding that targets emissions reduction in the heavy industry sector. Investments will be used to help decarbonise aviation, construction and transport, as well as bring CCS technologies online and at scale. Although this helps address important areas of reduction, carbon pricing, as well as stricter mandates on embodied carbon and energy efficiency will likely be needed.
19 July, 2020 – The potential for green hydrogen production in the UK is immense, owing to high winds from the North Sea. The UK has all the ingredients to make hydrogen successful, but significant government intervention is needed. Successful expansion of hydrogen will reduce emissions, provide real export opportunities and boost job prospects in regions suffering most from the impact of coronavirus.
17 July, 2020 –Transport for London (TfL) is aiming to source all its electricity requirements from zero-carbon sources by 2030 through power purchase agreements. As TfL is one of the largest electricity consumers in the UK, this will act as a significant step to reaching the UK’s net zero target. The plans will also explore the potential for meeting the Greater London Authority group’s wider demand for renewable electricity.
16 July, 2020 – A new analysis by Thrive Renewables suggests that onshore renewables could pump £38.9bn into the UK economy by 2035 and save energy users up to £1.5bn a year. This would require building 5.5GW of onshore renewable capacity annually between now and 2035. The report suggests that policy stability and the removal of planning difficulties will be needed for onshore renewables to reach their full potential.
15 July, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng launched a review into the existing offshore transmission regime to address the barriers it creates for future offshore deployment. The review will see a focus on projects due online before 2025 and will consider how to give developers the flexibility to test new ways of bringing power to shore. It will also look further into the future, seeking to create a long-term regime that helps limit environmental, social and economic costs.
15 July, 2020 – A new analysis by IHS Markit Hydrogen and Renewable Gas Forum states that green hydrogen production could become cost-competitive by 2030, owing to increased scale and standardised manufacturing. The study suggests that hydrogen will be used increasingly to decarbonise the transport, heating, industry and power generation sectors.
15 July, 2020 – BEIS ministers voted to enable storage projects above 50MW and have altered local planning frameworks to shorten the application process. BEIS believes that this will help more renewable generation come online and balance the grid, as well as boost the economy after lockdown. These changes are a welcome step on our way to net zero.
13 July, 2020 – Despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, global offshore wind investment more than quadrupled in the first half of 2020. BNEF believes this can be attributed to falling capital costs. The growth in offshore wind powered a 5% rise in total renewable energy investment to $132.4bn, despite a slump in onshore wind and solar projects.
13 July, 2020 – East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has released a plan to power half of Margate’s Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital with 1,200 solar panels. Plans also include the deployment of LED lighting and the upgrade of heating systems. This project is expected to save more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and £1.2m per year. Interested in cost and carbon savings? Contact us today.
13 July, 2020 – Construction has begun on the world’s longest subsea power cable, which will transport renewable energy between Britain and Denmark. This ‘Viking Link’ project aims to increase Britain’s access to green power and help prevent homegrown renewable energy from going to waste when generation is too high. The cable is set to be operational in 2023.
£35bn green energy overhaul to prepare UK for zero-carbon electricity system – and makes bills cheaper
9 July, 2020 – Ofgem has proposed a £35bn overhaul of the energy network, making it greener and more resilient. The money will be invested in new wind and solar farms, as well as network upgrades to deal with the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Further changes will include the addition of hydrogen into the grid to help decarbonise heat.
8 July, 2020 – A flywheel project in north-east Scotland aims to be operational by winter of 2021 and will help stabilise the grid’s electrical frequency, removing the need for carbon-emitting spinning turbines. This project will allow the grid to use more renewable energy and help prevent future blackouts, like that seen in August 2019.
8 July, 2020 – According to RenewableUK, renewable energy can provide 12,000 new jobs and £20bn of new investments to the UK. If policymakers lift capacity caps for the renewable energy auction in 2021, 11GW of new onshore and offshore wind could be secured. Further boosting of the development of renewable infrastructure would support faster decarbonisation of the transport and domestic heating sectors.
8 July, 2020 – Edinburgh’s Saughton Park has become the UK’s first fully eco-powered greenspace. Its micro-hydro technology generates electricity for all the park’s needs, including the running of two ground source heat pump systems, which heat the buildings. Over 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide and £19,000 will be saved annually
8 July, 2020 – Exeter City Council has announced plans to build a 1.2MW solar array co-located with a 1MW battery. This scheme will help the city reach its net zero by 2030 target. Interested in becoming a world-leading green city? Contact us to see how onsite renewables can reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions while saving money on energy bills.
8 July, 2020 – The Renewable Energy Association has described the £3bn of green recovery offered by the UK Government as a “drop in the ocean.” With no mention of renewables, the plans have been criticised as uncomprehensive. Although money will contribute to energy efficiency improvements and a drive on green job creation, £3bn is not in the right ballpark for a world-leading green recovery.
2 July, 2020 – The UK government has granted consent to the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project, which would provide electricity for nearly two million homes. Located 30 miles offshore, the farm will consist of 90-180 turbines and will provide 400 jobs during the construction phase. This project will boost the government’s chances of delivering 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.
30 June, 2020 – Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes by increasing insulation could create 8,000 jobs, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, save on household energy bills and help protect the NHS. Increased physical and mental health benefits will prevent excess winter deaths and could save the NHS £63 million in the first year of roll-out.
30 June, 2020 – Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) applicants have been given a 14-month extension to complete projects delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. This extension will provide certainty and security to those in the renewable heat industry, helping stop 108 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted and providing new green-collar jobs.
30 June, 2020 – Boris Johnson has committed to plant more than 30,000 hectares of trees per year and spend £40 million on local conservation projects. He said he would step up investments in technologies like net zero planes and renewables, however, he made no mention of improving home insulation. We need to retrofit and renovate to meet net zero, as, by 2050, 80% of UK families will still be living in homes that have already been built today.
29 June, 2020 – Yorkshire Water hs opened a tender for an agreement that covers the development of solar arrays across 150 of their sites. The generated electricity will be purchased by the water company under a PPA, with all surplus exported to the grid. Once operational, 6000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved per year, energy costs will be reduced and biodiversity will be enhanced. We can help companies like Yorkshire Water meet their net zero goals through onsite renewables. Contact us to get started today.
26 June, 2020 – Ofgem, the UK energy regular, has deferred extra grid balancing costs arising from the impact of the pandemic. National Grid will recover excess charges equally across 2021-22 instead. BSUoS charges being capped at £15/MWh should avoid generators and suppliers going bust.
25 June, 2020 – A consortium of trade associations related to the renewables industry has sent an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for renewables to be embedded in the UK’s recovery package. The letter highlights the value of developing a circular economy to help meet net zero targets and provide a return on investment, as well as millions of jobs and energy security.
25 June, 2020 – In the first quarter of 2020, 47% of the UK’s electricity generation was provided by renewable generation, surpassing the previous record of 39%. The increase seen was driven by growth in solar and wind generation, with a notable increase of 53% in offshore wind power generation since last year.
24 June, 2020 – The latest Aurora Energy Research report suggests that hydrogen could provide around half of the energy needed to power the UK’s industrial sector. For this to happen, policy and industry will need to collaborate at a rapid scale and will require a collective investment of £450bn. Hydrogen doesn’t only present a great path to net zero, but it is suggested that 55,000 jobs will be safeguarded.
22 June, 2020 – Brighton Council plans to install solar panels on 500 households, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tonnes per year. Set to finish by 2023, the scheme will have a significant impact on meeting their carbon-neutral by 2030 target. At OnGen, we have helped several local authorities meet their targets through onsite renewables. Contact us to kickstart your journey today.
22 June, 2020 – The benefits from solar, LED lights and ground source heat pumps are immense; from energy security to cost savings, the consumer is likely to benefit in more ways than one. Interested in transforming your energy consumption? Contact us to find out what renewable and energy efficiency options are right for your site.
18 June, 2020 – The UK government has rolled out plans to increase smart meter installation through increased publicity. Smart meters can save consumers up to £250 on their bills and can slash carbon dioxide emissions by 45 million tonnes. Smart meters can, therefore, help the UK reach its important net zero target.
18 June, 2020 – Construction near Manchester is beginning on the world’s largest liquid air battery, which will store renewable electricity. The system will use spare green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it to be later released into a gas to power a turbine. This project, set to be operational in 2022, will be able to power 200,000 homes for 5 hours.
17 June, 2020 – SSE Renewables has plans to press ahead with the UK’s biggest onshore wind farm, a 443MW project on Shetland. It is hoped that the project will be completed in 2024 and would create about 400 jobs at peak construction. This project will help Shetland harness its renewable potential, securing its electricity supplies and decarbonising its energy source.
17 June, 2020 – More than 27,000 clean energy jobs were lost in May, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, it is suggested that over 620,500 clean energy workers have become unemployed. Through a green recovery, we hope this number bounces back and green jobs are prioritised to deliver a clean and green future.
16 June, 2020 – In a new letter to the Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, the Solar Trade Association states that the UK government should commit to a 40GW solar capacity target. The government should also implement green tax reform to ensure sustainable growth of rooftop solar and battery storage. Green finance should be available for solar installations through grants or zero-interest loans.
16 June, 2020 – As coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to ease, there are early signs that domestic renewable energy installations are recovering. The average number of solar installations in May rose by 37% compared to April, as caution eases and the supply chain begins to be restored. Interested in solar? Assess the feasibility on your site using the OnGen Expert. Contact us for more information.
12 June, 2020 – The Scottish Government has launched a £62m fund to help the energy sector recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This Energy Transition Fund will support businesses grow and diversify, ultimately helping Scotland meet its ambitious net zero targets. Projects that are being considered for funding include a hydrogen hub and an energy transition zone.
11 June, 2020 – Jobs insulating homes can be created at a fraction of the cost of other construction jobs and help cut local pollution and energy bills. 700,000 direct jobs could be created in England’s low-carbon and renewable energy economy by 2030, with 46% of those related directly to clean electricity generation and 21% involved in energy efficiency product installation.
10 June, 2020 – Crown Estate Scotland has launched a leasing round for up to 10GW of offshore wind, the first in Scottish waters for a decade. Agreements can lead to leases for offshore wind farm development, forming a large part of Scotland’s green recovery. Total investment could surpass £8 billion and deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household.
10 June, 2020 – Think tank Policy Exchange found that environmental professionals were the second-least diverse profession in the UK, with only 3% of professionals identifying as non-white minorities. Companies listed at the top of racial and ethnic diversity parameters are 35% more likely to deliver financial returns. Everyone must talk about racism more, call out instances of racism and take action to rectify them. Black Lives Matter.
9 June, 2020 – Reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during the lockdown are likely to be temporary unless we make real changes. Onsite renewables can help take pressure off the grid, improve energy security and save money on energy bills. Interested in joining the collective fight against climate change through installing onsite renewables? Contact us today to get started.
9 June, 2020 – The lockdown caused by the pandemic has the potential to change the energy industry long term. Wholesale electricity prices went negative, causing grid operators to pay their customers to use power and nuclear plants provided nearly half of the low carbon electricity used in Europe; how will the energy sector look following the pandemic?
8 June, 2020 – Business secretary Alok Sharma has launched a recovery round table to examine ways of stimulating economic growth through a green transition. The round table acts to increase efforts to listen to the business and academic communities to ensure a green economic bounce-back. The work from the round table will feed directly into how the government structures their economic recovery.
4 June, 2020 – BEIS plans to protect suppliers from 80% of the increase in suppliers’ obligations under the CfD, owing to the impact of the pandemic. CfD regulations will also be amended to defer an increase in obligations by an additional quarter, pushing to the second quarter of 2021. Proposals are now going to parliament for approval, which is predicted before 9 July.
3 June, 2020 – WindEurope and other trade groups are calling on the UK and the EU to work towards net zero emissions in tandem. Trade groups state that linkages and cooperation are needed to preserve the current system functioning and enable the evolution of future systems. Specific focus was placed on the benefits of efficient and cost-effective trading over interconnectors and the importance of continued collaboration.
2 June, 2020 – The UK has unveiled plans for a country-wide emissions trading scheme to replace the European Union’s version. This new scheme would increase the emissions cap by 5% as compared to the current EU system, with further amendments predicted in future to align the cap with the net zero emissions target. The new scheme aims to have enough similarities to ensure a seamless transition after Brexit.
2 June, 2020 – May was the UK’s “greenest” month since the Industrial Revolution, running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month. Wind and solar made 28% of May’s energy mix and gas contributed 30%. The collapse in energy demand due to the coronavirus lockdown, as well as the unseasonably sunny weather, contributed to this dramatic change in the energy mix.
2 June, 2020 – The UK Government has refused planning permission for Vattenfall’s up to 340MW offshore wind farm due to potential impacts on commercial shipping routes. This expansion was thought to be an important development for the local area and the road to net zero. To achieve the 40GW capacity by 2030 target, new projects will need to be progressed.
1 June, 2020 – More than 200 top UK firms and investors, including Asda and Siemens, have signed a letter calling on the government to deliver a green recovery plan. The key proposals include driving investment in low carbon innovation, focusing support on environmental sectors and ensuring bailout cash is well aligned with climate goals.
28 May, 2020 – The UK Secretary for BEIS, Alok Sharma, has approved a 350MW solar farm in Kent, which will generate enough energy to power 91,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 68,000 tonnes annually. The solar farm will also include energy storage and will significantly contribute to the net-zero agenda.
28 May, 2020 – National Grid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are exploring using surplus wind energy to heat Scottish homes to prevent wind curtailment. There are currently 380,000 homes in Scotland that could benefit from electric heating solutions such as ground source heat pumps. Interested in ground source heat? Contact us to see if it’s the right option for your site.
27 May, 2020 – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, global energy investment is predicted to fall by 20%, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA also warns that fossil fuels are likely to rebound following the crisis, leading to a spike in carbon emissions. The plunge in investment also means the loss of jobs and economic opportunities, as well as a loss of energy supply that may be needed urgently in future.
27 May, 2020 – COP26 has been further postponed to November 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic having placed restrictions on events and public gatherings. The delay is notable due to the US elections scheduled for later this year, which would either enable Trump to fully withdraw from the Paris Agreement or allow Biden to rejoin the agreement. Further, the UK has yet to unveil a clear roadmap to net-zero; this additional time should allow the UK to lead the way with a green recovery.
26 May, 2020 – NextEnergy Capital has secured £100m debt financing with Santander to built two subsidy-free solar plants. Llanwern solar farm in Wales will be the largest subsidy-free plant, as well as the largest solar farm in the UK to date. The intention is to move the two farms to a new subsidy-free private fund, which will target new-build solar projects in the UK.
25 May, 2020 – On 23 May, the carbon intensity of the grid fell to a record low of 61 gCO2/kWh due to increased solar and wind generation. The lowest grid carbon moment reported on the 23rd was as low as 33 gCO2/kWh. As lifestyles shift and demand patterns change, we hope the grid continues to decarbonise at a fast rate.
22 May, 2020 – According to a report by RenewableUK, the UK could source 76% of its power demand from renewables by 2050. Overall wind capacity could grow by 66 GW by 2030 to provide more than half of the UK’s power demand. With a large renewable capacity, the UK could also produce hydrogen using renewables, helping hydrogen become competitive quickly and helping it decarbonise the grid.
22 May, 2020 – Hundreds of renewable energy projects may be asked to turn off this bank holiday weekend to avoid overloading the grid, as electricity demand in the UK plummets to new lows. Sunny weather is expected to generate more electricity than needed, threatening to overwhelm the energy system. Small wind turbines and solar installations, therefore, will be paid to stop generating by a new Nation Grid scheme.
20 May, 2020 – National Grid has launched a new signal for wind generators, providing live data on the potential maximum power output of wind farms while comparing the data to actual output. National Grid can then calculate the response and reserve capability held by each wind generator, helping boost the potential for involvement in real-time frequency response.
20 May, 2020 – The UK Government has published its Capacity Market response, with plans to reduce the minimum capacity threshold for participating generators from 2MW to 1MW. Other changes include reporting and verification mechanisms for the introduction of carbon dioxide emission limits in the Capacity Market. These, alongside the other changes, will help cutting-edge clean technologies compete.
19 May, 2020 – Analysts, economists and environmentalists argue that renewable energy should help power a green economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown. After the last financial crisis, the UK’s green economy supported tens of thousands of jobs and helped contribute to fiscal growth. The Social Market Foundation predicts that clean energy could provide 1.4 million new jobs with little risk, as renewable energy technology costs plummet.
15 May, 2020 – After the lockdown, London has plans to turn itself into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city. Places like Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge will be restricted to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. The Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone will be reintroduced on 18 May, with propositions to increase the charge and hours of operation.
15 May, 2020 – Edinburgh-based Flexitricity will optimise revenue and help balance supply and demand for Europe’s largest battery. The lithium-ion battery storage site will be monitored from Flexitricity’s 24/7 control room and Flexitricity will dynamically move the asset between different markets. Investment in batteries will help decarbonise the grid and transition to a renewables-led electricity market.
13 May, 2020 – Scottish Power has unveiled plans to repower Scotland’s oldest windfarm as part of a £150m scheme to deliver 100,000 homes with green electricity in central Scotland. This windfarm is expected to create 600 jobs at its peak and 280 long-term jobs. Similarly, SSE and Equinor have plans to use the Port of Tyne for the world’s largest offshore wind development, creating 200 permanent jobs. These projects, alongside others, will help boost the economy when the pandemic ends.
13 May, 2020 – Due to the impact of coronavirus, the UK government is seeking views on a proposal to defer raises to electricity suppliers’ obligations under CfD rules. Owing to the decrease in electricity demand and higher payments to CfD generators because of lower wholesale electricity prices, suppliers would have faced an unexpected increase in their obligations. BEIS later extended the closing date for the fourth CfD consultation by a week to ensure interested parties have ample time to respond.
13 May, 2020 – A report by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute suggests the CCS technologies must form a key part of delivering net-zero emissions by 2050. CCS will help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate industrial sectors and help decarbonise hydrogen production. The institute predicts that more than 2,000 CCS facilities will be needed by 2050, a large increase compared to the 19 large-scale facilities that are currently operating.
12 May, 2020 – The Flexibility in Great Britain project, led by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, will investigate how flexibility in the heat and power sectors can reduce consumers’ costs and explore how an integrated flexible system can be delivered. Findings will be published in 2021 and will inform the rapid transition towards net zero and low emission transport options through new flexibility. The project consortium includes organisations like EDF Energy and the Greater London Authority, as well as the engagement with BEIS and the CCC.
11 May, 2020 – According to research by Longevity Intelligence, the average UK employee could emit 28% fewer carbon emissions through continuing remote working. Research states that office occupancy will decrease by roughly 50% due to the prolongation of home working to ensure employees’ safety. We hope this helps some businesses achieve net zero at a quicker rate. Does your business still have offices? Why not reach net zero emissions through onsite renewables? Contact us for more information.
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