Rushcliffe Solar

Rushcliffe Solar started as a Transition West Bridgford campaign to encourage greater use of Photovoltaic home power generation systems in Rushcliffe borough, but we are always willing to answer an enquiry from other towns in the region. There are many buildings and entire streets with roofs which have a good view of the Sun and could produce power for the Grid and Income for the occupants. Hit the You Enquire tab to get a free appraisal of the photovoltaic potential for your building. Email:
If you are thinking about it, do not be put off by recent changes in the tariff!: Since April 2012, the tariff was reduced to 21 pence/unit and ones on poorly insulated buildings get only 9 pence/unit. There have been further reductions since. Use the Expertsure calculator to check out your house and see if it is still worth doing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Update on the FIT scheme

20 Jan 2012: Good Energy have come out with a bulletin explaining some of the options, in a PlanA / Plan B style. The FIT scheme and the appeal are still awaiting judgement.
There is still uncertainty. Let's get this right, it is still worth doing, even with the new tariff if you have a large roof. But the uncertainty from DECC and the Govt is causing the industry to stop in its tracks. The proposal to link the tariff to households who must first raise their house to a level 'C' EPC of energy efficiency will stop many perfectly good roofs from being converted to electricity generating. A decentralised supply of clean energy is a powerful requirement - even if it is fitted to uninsulated barns, garages, or mounted on racks in the garden. Insulation, through schemes such as the Green Deal and other incentives is important, but it is wrong to make one dependent on the other, and it only favours the very well off.

Good Energy’s Ed Gill wrote recently,
"Real progress would be for the government to set out a long term future for FIT that recognises that it’s the best vehicle we have for delivering the decentralised energy market we need. This has to include a new structure that takes into account the popularity of a scheme that allows people, households and businesses to have greater control of their energy bills. It has to avoid introducing emergency consultations and measures like the proposed energy efficiency standard."

As I (DNC) wrote earlier, If the government said that 'you cannot insulate a building until it has PV', it would be demonstrably crazy. So it is equally crazy to say that 'you cannot have PV until you have insulated the building'. Each are important, but some architectural conditions are too complex to meet either of those statements. Society needs clean energy, whatever it is mounted on.

Monday, January 16, 2012

PV for commercial greenhouse

16 Jan 2012: Report here on a project in Spain to use PV on commercial greenhouses to have a modified roof to get electrical power in the summer, without reducing the quality of environment for the peppers and other vegetables. When the sun is high in the summer, this PV is reducing over heating.
With transparent prismatic add-ons to the roof, the capture in winter is good enough for growing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

43pence FIT might return

12th Jan 2012: Rumours abound that the 43pence FIT payment rate may return this month, or even this week. This may only extend the period for people to instal (at this high FIT rate) to the end of March 2012. But that would be better than the artificially caused frantic rush in November and Dec 2011.
See Which Report 13 Jan.

13 Jan 2012 Evening Postscript:
Email from DECC, 1728 13th Jan 2012:
 Statement by DECC spokesperson on FITs case 13 January 2012 
"The Court of Appeal has not yet decided whether to give permission for an appeal or made a judgement on the FITs case. The Court will wrap up the decision on permission for an appeal and a possible judgement if an appeal is allowed in the next few weeks. Once the outcome is known we will consider our options and make an announcement on the way forward to provide clarity to consumers and industry."
At the time of writing, the DECC website is unavailable, but when it is, it should be:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Green Technologies

10 Jan 2012:  The need for the economy to make a transition to green technologies is eloquently explained in this Guardian article by Andrew Simms. 
There's a story here of lost opportunities, governments going back on promises, ideals which get dumped if they are not 'good for business'.... The green movement needs to keep plugging away, it ain't going to come easy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Renewables in Germany

5 Jan 2012: DNC writes: I was pleasing to read that in Germany, the power generated from Renewables has now become the largest part. Nuclear is in decline, as a policy change since Fukushima.
The downside of the story is that the second largest part of German power production is from Lignite, which is brown coal, a more polluting kind of coal.
  For this illustration, I just looked at Germany with googlemaps, and zoomed in on a random part of a randomly picked town, which happened to be Konigsbrunn in Bavaria. In the photo taken from the west, South is off to the right. It is amazing how many people are home-generating, some with larger arrays than the 4kW limit of the UK.
   They are further south than the UK, so will be generating more power, but Rushcliffe and most areas south of here are still getting enough sun for it to be worthwhile.

Power UP and Power Down
  This shows that if we keep plugging away, we can make a difference, one house at a time.
  Converse to energy generation, we also need (as a country) to pay attention to house insulation, so that we achieve a good balance. I don't believe that one should be conditional on the other, as the British government is trying to do after April 2012.
  If you get the two right, it can be a fantastically good balance. My house generates 3,350 kWh/year from the PV roof, but only needs 2,700-3,300 kWh for all heating and hot water (depending on weather variations). So the combination of Powering Up (generate) and Powering Down (insulate) can be effective in reducing carbon emission. 

Location - check your location