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News Round-Up - 24/02/14

Spring is just around the corner and to celebrate this Duncan Renewables are treating you to another Renewable Energy News Round-up! On the agenda this week; the latest UK energy figures from DECC, the opening of the world’s largest solar thermal plant and changes to the Green Deal.

Look out next month for the quarterly commercial RHI update and more on Duncan Renewables’ upcoming trade shows!
More cash-back for people carrying out Green Deal home improvements – DECC (18/02/14)

Hoping to inject momentum into the ‘under-delivering’ Green Deal scheme, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently announced revisions to the Green Deal cashback scheme. The changes include increases to the amount of money homeowners taking out Green Deal measures can re-claim with cash-back potentially reaching £4,000.

The Green Deal scheme helps people to install energy efficiency measures by providing them with money back on the contributions they make towards improvements.

DECC has announced that consumers can now claim up to £4,000 for solid wall insulation, up from £650; up to £1,000 for ‘room in roof’ insulation, increased from £220; and up to £650 for double glazing, from £320.

The cap on cashback payments has also been raised from 50% of a household’s contribution towards costs to two-thirds. The cashback scheme is being extended until June 2014.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker stated: “The extension and increase to Green Deal cashback means more families will be helped to have warmer, more energy efficient homes and lower energy bills by next winter. These changes also create more opportunities for the growing number of authorised green deal companies.”

The new rates and contribution cap will apply to any applications made on or after December 2013.

Read more here
Sun Power goes big time with world’s largest solar thermal plant – Reuters (15/02/14)

Sprawling across 3,500 acres in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border, one of the world’s largest solar projects has been official opened.

The $2,2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a solar thermal power plant which contains three generating units. Through utilising the sun to heat water inside the towers, which then creates steam that moves turbines; enough emissions-free electricity to power a yearly average of 140,000 homes or 392 megawatts is generated. This impressive yield will no doubt bring California closer to achieving its ambitious goal of getting one-third of its power needs from renewables by 2020.

Despite the huge potential in solar plants, it is unlikely that plants of a similar nature will be constructed in the near future. For example, due to environmental concerns, including fears that the intense heat and energy around its plants would harm or kill desert birds, Ivanpah developer BrightSource Energy Inc has failed to secure a permit for any other solar thermal projects in California.

To see the incredible photos of the world’s largest solar thermal plant and to read more about the official opening; click here
Latest renewable energy trends – DECC (13/02/14)

Key results from the publication of the latest edition of ‘Energy Trends’ from DECC show that renewables’ share of electricity generation in the UK was 13.2 per cent in 2013 Q3. This is an increase of 1.4% on a year earlier, thus reflecting increased capacity. However, this was 2.2% lower than the record share set in 2013 Q2

Bioenergy had the largest share of renewables generation in 2013 Q3 with 45%. This high proportion is in part due to the conversions of Ironbridge and Drax stations to bioenergy earlier in 2013.

With regards to the Feed-in Tariff, 170 MW of installed capacity joined the Feed in Tariff scheme in 2013 Q3, this increasing the total capacity to 2.1 GW. This is approximately 11% of all renewable installed capacity.

To read these and more statistic in more detail, click here for DECC’s official statistical publication.

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