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Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

Renewable Heat Incentive – Domestic Scheme Now Launched

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


On a mission to promote heat generation from renewable energy sources, the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive payment scheme was initially launched on 28th November 2011 for non-domestic buildings.  The RHI was set up to replace the Low Carbon Building Programme which ceased in 2010, and rewards those who generate energy from renewable heat technologies such as ground source and water source heat pumps, solar thermal panels and biomass boilers.


Based on the Energy Act 2008, the introduction of the scheme for Domestic RHI has seen several delays but it was finally launched on 9th April 2014, providing financial reward for those who use renewable heat technologies within the home including air source pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Those who are interested in benefitting from the scheme need to complete an application process with the domestic scheme open to private landlords as well as owner occupiers, self-builders and providers of social housing.


Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets are administering the scheme and further information on eligibility and the application process is available at the Ofgem Website, with the scheme open to domestic customers regardless of whether they are on or off the gas grid, although for the latter the potential of the scheme is greater.


Those wishing to apply will need to provide an EPC Energy Performance Certificate, confirming that only a single property that is regarded as a domestic dwelling is being heated by the renewable system. The EPC will also cover energy use and recommendations within the dwelling and forms part of the Green Deal Assessment, details of all of which are also available from Ofgem.  Support is also on hand through Ofgem for installers on the necessary technology criteria that meets the schemes guidelines.


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Global Energy Guide

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Worldwide demand for energy has risen relentlessly during the last 150 years and ties in with the industrial development and growth of the population. Forecasts show that the demand for energy will keep rising and by a minimum of 50% by 2030 because developing countries like India and China who need more energy to keep up with their rapid economic growth.

About 80% of the world’s energy is at present, supplied thorough fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal. Forming a very long time ago from the remains of dead animals and plants that are carbon rich, unfortunately these are non-renewable energy sources that are running out.

Over the last decade or so, there is worry about the impact on the environment. When fossil fuels are burning they create greenhouse gases which if not monitored and reduced will cause climate change.

The pressure is on to replace fossil fuels and find more renewable sources of energy that are non-polluting and enduring like solar energy or wind.

Nuclear Energy could be an option.

Fission: It’s the basis of current atomic energy production involving the decay of specific large atomic nuclei like uranium-235, which releases a lot of energy. Commercial nuclear reactors first started up in the 1950’s and now about 440 reactors supply over 15% of global electricity. This was supposed to be the failsafe option, delivering clean and plentiful fuel, however the nuclear industry struggled with its image, because of accidents like Chernobyl and the big job of dealing with radioactive waste. Now that fossil fuel prices are rising and reserves are getting lower, there is pressure mounting about dealing with climate change, some countries are looking towards Fission again.

Fusion: Energy can be released by forcing together light atomic nuclei instead of splitting heavy ones. This is the same process that power stars. Some believe that nuclear fusion will provide a safe and green energy source compared with fossil fuel. Allowing huge amounts of energy to be produced from plentiful sources like lithium and water. However this is a relatively new method and a commercial reactor has not been made yet and won’t be expected to be made until about 2050, if ever? There are still so many engineering and scientific tests to be made.

Hydropower is the best source of renewable energy. Relying on rainfall that flows into rivers, to dams. Water is then channelled to flow to a turbine and turn it, which then produces energy in a generator. After the dam is built, hydropower is a cheap source of power and there are no carbon dioxide emissions. Norway produced over 99% of its electricity for domestic use from hydro stations.

Wind is the second most successful renewable energy source. It is more costly per unit of electricity produced than fossil fuels. They are flexible as they be used on shore and off shore. Their efficiency is down to the weather. Some people also complain as they think that they can mar the landscape. Wind power seems to be more popular in Europe.

Sun is a renewable and emission free energy. IT is not a cheap method of using renewable energy as the initial set up is very high. But the costs are eventually lowering and once they are installed the actual energy source is free.

Wave and Tidal Power are big sources of unused energy from the ocean. These are new technologies and have not been explored to the extent that wind and solar energy have and development is costly.

Biomass is organic and a material that is non-fossil which creates a renewable energy source.

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