News

Falling Cost of Wind Adds Pressure on Government to Re-Think

New onshore windfarms built in the UK could cost half that of nuclear power and reach cost parity with gas fired power, according to a new report. The engineering consultant Arup found that the technology has become significantly more affordable and that wind turbines could offer a guaranteed price of power so low it could effectively become subsidy-free. The Hinckley Nuclear power plant developers, EDF Energy have been awarded £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years. In contrast, Arup found that onshore wind could be delivered for a maximum of £50-55 over a 15 year period.
 
The report was commissioned by Scottish Power, who hope to use it to force a change in stance from the UK government. Onshore wind has faced planning obstructions and subsidy restrictions following a move in 2015 to limit onshore wind turbine development in England. http://bit.ly/2eG7gSE​​​​​​​

Hayfield Sustainable Transport Plans Car Club

Following on from the success of its Minibus Club, Hayfield Sustainable Transport Ltd (HSTL) is hoping to start a Car Club. The community organisation currently owns two minibuses that can be booked out by groups and clubs. HSTL are now planning to get hold of some vehicles that could be used by different people at different times. For example, someone might drive to the train station in the morning, someone else could use the car during the day, and it could be returned in time for the first person to drive home from the train station in the evening. They hope is that this might reduce the need for private car ownership in the area.
 
Anyone who is interested in being involved with this initiative can contact Roland Strube: roland.strube@gmail.com or visit: http://www.hstl.org.uk

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He Huffed and He Puffed… but the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Eco Homes Stayed Warm!

A straw bale extension being constructed in Derbyshire

Looking for a different sort of day out this summer? Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire residents who have followed in the footsteps of the three little piggies and live in homes built from straw, wood, brick…. and also stone, are inviting you to visit them. Fortunately none of the houses will fall down if you huff and puff, but they do all have fantastic eco features that have saved their owners money and kept them warm and cosy.

All of the homes are involved in the brand new Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Eco Open Homes (NDEOH) ‘View By Appointment’ initiative. An Edwardian brick house with solid wall insulation, a straw bale extension on a Victorian terrace, a modern timber framed bungalow, and a 1760’s stone-built house with many eco features are all available to visit by appointment with the householder. From solar panels and wind turbines to simple draught proofing measures, the people who live in these houses have all found ways to save on their energy bills and reduce their environmental impact.

Caroline Harmon, of charity Marches Energy Agency, said: ‘Whatever material your house is built of, rising energy bills are affecting us all and there’s a pressing environmental need to reduce our energy use and get energy from renewable sources. This is an opportunity to see real solutions in real homes, done on a range of budgets, and have a chat with the people who live there about their experiences of having this work done.’

More than 600 people have visited a home or other building in the area between 2013 and 2015 as part of the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Eco Open Home Week events. The ‘View By Appointment’ initiative will give visitors more time to see homes and chat with the owners one-to-one. To find out more and book an appointment to visit any of the homes visit: http://www.everybodys-talking.org/ecohomes/visit-appointment

Community Renewable Energy Powers 130,000 Homes

A community-owned wind turbine at Hockerton, nr Southall. A local example of a community-owned renewable project
 
Community-owned renewable energy is generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 130,000 UK homes according to the findings of a‘state of the sector’ survey. Released by Community Energy England, the results show that a total of 222 organisations are now operating solar, hydro or wind power schemes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These organisations have raised £190m investment, mainly from community share issues.
 
The report highlights the success achieved by community organisations but warns that reduced government support is threatening the future viability of the sector. Community Energy England Chief Executive Emma Bridge said: ‘These projects have proved that they are both innovatory and resilient in a very tough climate but the unprecedented cuts in subsidy and tax incentives present them with their biggest challenge yet.’
 
Read the full report: http://bit.ly/2s2q00p