Renew On Line (UK) 51

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 151 Sept-Oct 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.Wind power- problems  offshore, new co-op

2.Photovoltaic solar - mandatory soon?

3.Funding Wave & Tidal Energy- £50m more

4. Biomass Heat Gap- RCEP report

5. Hydrogen Arrives- on the farm

6. New Energy Policy ? Yes please!

7. UK Energy Research Centre- soon

8.UK Government policy news- Energy Bill Passes but targets cut

9. European news- Bonn was good, Denmark gets better

10. US News- Local wind problems, hydrogen plans

11 Other International news- 40GW of wind now in place.... 

12.   Nuclear news'EU needs nuclear'

2.            Photovoltaic solar

Mandatory PV for all new homes ?

Solar photovoltaics should be mandatory for every new home according to Peter Hain, the secretary for Wales and one time energy minister. At the opening of the new Sharp PV solar cell manufacturing plant in Wrexham, Clwyd, he said his cabinet colleagues were discussing a change in building regulations as part of the government’s plan to catch up with the solar revolution in Germany- which is where most of the output from the Wrexham plant is destined.  He admitted that ‘there is no doubt the Germans have stolen a march on us in a big way. I believe that we should change building regulations so that by law every new house and development in Britain should have photovoltaic electricity production and solar panels for water heating. I know that Patricia Hewitt [the trade and industry secretary] is keen on this, and we are talking to Gordon Brown and cabinet colleagues. This technology is the future. Let us put it this way, if we do not switch to green energy, then our whole future as a human race is in jeopardy, or even more simply, we are doomed.’

Jeremy Leggett, chief executive of Solar Century, which installs solar energy systems, told the Guardian (July 3rd) that he had twice as many clients wanting PV in new developments than the government was prepared to support financially via it subsidy scheme. ‘This is an industry that needs support to get liftoff. We thought when the energy White paper was published two years ago that we would get it, but so far there has been a yawning chasm between their rhetoric and what they actually do’. 

Takashi Tomita, for Sharp, said ‘the UK has been slow to embrace solar because, unlike us [Japan], you have oil. But you are a country of good traders, with plenty of sunshine at least in the south. You will realise the potential of solar.’

* The state of California has just passed legislation making PV mandatory on all new homes: more in  Renew 152

£4.5m for new PV solar

Six UK universities and seven companies have embarked on a £4.5m four year programme  aimed at halving the cost of solar photovoltaic generation. The project will develop thin-film cells which, though less efficient than traditional single-crystal silicon, are potentially much cheaper to make. It is part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSCR’s) £25m Supergen programme looking at alternative energy sources and at more efficient ways of storing power: more on Supergen in Renew 152.

This is EPSRC’s largest  grant  so far for PV research. Beneficieries are the University of Bath’s Department of Chemistry, (£0.5m to look at low-cost ways of making the new cells from copper indium sulphide and copper indium gallium sulphide), and the universities of Durham, Northumbria, Southampton, Loughborough and Wales. Industrial participants are Crystalox, Mats UK, Millbrook Instruments, Epichem, Kurt J Lesker, Oxford Lasers and Gatan UK.

Even more PV

Twenty four more solar photovoltaic projects have been  funded under Major PV Demonstration Programme at a grant cost of just over £2.2 million- which should result in almost 650kWp being installed in the range 5-100MWp in housing associations, councils and schools and businesses- including a Children’s Hospice in Guildford, a large housing development in Huddersfield, a cemetery in Nottingham and a school on the Isle of Wight. So far the government ha awarded £15m under the £25m programme. This is round 8. See Groups  for details of the 16 projects  in  round 7.

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