Australia’s Macquarie Funds British Distributed Solar

Originally published on RenewEconomy
by Guest Contributor Sophie Vorrath

UK public-housing contractor, Herbert T Forrest Ltd, will receive as much as $US197 million from Australia’s Macquarie Bank to fund zero upfront cost solar-power installations across Britain, reports Bloomberg.

UK distributed energy gets $197 million in financing from Australia’s Macquarie.
UK distributed energy gets $197 million in financing from Australia’s Macquarie.

The northern England-based company says it will use the funds over three years to install panels on residential rooftops at no upfront cost, a deal it will offer to both social-housing tenants and private homeowners.

Customers taking advantage of the deal would give up the associated subsidies – feed-in tariffs, or fixed above-market rates for clean energy – earned by the new solar systems, which would go towards repaying the bank.

As Bloomberg notes, offers like these once helped fuel a UK solar boom, until renewable energy incentives were cut in April last year. “Macquarie, which already supports Freetricity Plc’s free solar plans, is helping fuel a revival.”

Such a revival would, presumably, also be welcomed by the industry in Australia, where clean energy subsidies have been pared back dramatically over the past two years, and where the solar leasing model remains in its infancy.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency recently said it was looking at mechanisms to attract just the sort of capital that Macquarie is now applying in the UK. While there remains debate about whether leasing schemes would be attractive to home owners with a mortgage, ARENA says there would be huge opportunity in houses with low incomes, or which are rented.

Back in the UK, Forrest says it will initially offer the PV installation deal to tenants of the public housing units it manages in northern England, the Midlands and Wales. It then plans to open it up to private homes and social housing partners in Scotland and southern England.

The company launched its clean energy unit in 2011 to benefit from the introduction of subsidies, and has installed 6,000 solar photovoltaic systems so far.

This article, Macquarie Funds Solar Leasing For British Public Housing, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

Top 10 Gigawatts: Offshore Wind Power Capacity [Infographic]

by Amber Archangel – Special to JBS News

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

This infophoto shows the current information available on offshore wind in a graphic form, so we can easily see the big picture. It will be fun to update this in a year and look back at the progress that’s been made. It will also be wonderful to see the United States participate in the offshore industry.

offshore wind

When we discuss gigawatts of offshore wind, the place to begin is megawatts. The wind farms that are operational at this time are all megawatt (MW) in size. There is one project underway in the United Kingdom that will be more than 1 gigawatt (GW) in size. The planning consent has been granted for what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Triton Knoll, off the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coast. It represents a £3.6 billion investment, around 1,130 jobs created and will provide power to 820,000 homes.

According to RenewableUK:

Great Britain has been the world leader in offshore wind since October 2008, with as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined. Total offshore generating capacity in UK waters is currently around 3,653 MW, providing power for around 2 million homes.

In addition to the capacity already installed, a further 3.8 GW is either in construction or has planning approval, and a further 7.8 GW is in the planning system. One of these projects that in the planning system is the 1.1 GW Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. It will be located off the Dorset and Hampshire coasts, near Brighton & Hove.

The US Department of Energy reports:

Offshore wind represents a large, untapped energy resource for the United States, offering over 4,000 gigawatts of clean, domestic energy potential – four times the nation’s current total generation capacity. According to a recent report commissioned by the Energy Department, a US offshore wind industry that takes advantage of this abundant domestic resource could support up to 200,000 manufacturing, construction, operation and supply chain jobs across the country and drive over $70 billion in annual investments by 2030.

This article, Top 10 Gigawatts: Offshore Wind Power Capacity (Infographic), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

is an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, constant student of many studies and founder of Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing, the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, she helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Archangel is fond of private aviation, would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in her yard. She is a peaceful, courageous soul who believes that clean energy is helping our economy and helping our world; she enjoys contributing to this effort.

UK opens World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm

by John Brian Shannon

The recently completed London Array began operations July 4, 2013 as the largest offshore windfarm in the world.

London Array consists of 175 Siemens wind turbines producing enough electricity to power half a million homes in Kent, UK. That’s 65 percent of the homes in the Kent region.

London Array. Image courtesy: Arabian Gazette
London Array near the Outer Thames Estuary, UK.  Image courtesy: London Array

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, Secretary of State Edward Davey and the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, welcomed London Array partners at the inaugural event in Margate, Kent, UK.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar; Dr Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON, Brent Cheshire, Chairman and Managing Director, DONG Energy and Peter Loescher, President & CEO, Siemens, spoke about the successful completion of the wind farm project which began in July 2009 and became fully operational in July 2013.

“Its 175 turbines will be capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million homes and reduce harmful  CO2 emissions by over 900,000 tonnes every year.” — London Array website

London Array is 20 kilometres off the coast of Kent on a 245 square kilometre site. Phase One covers an area of 90 square kilometres and includes 175 Siemens 3.6 megawatt turbines with a combined capacity of 630 MegaWatts. A possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870 MegaWatts.

From the GOV.UK Press Release: Following a helicopter tour of the facility, the PM formally opened the wind farm with a speech in which he welcomed the investment in the UK clean energy sector and called it a “win for local jobs, skills & growth.” The Prime Minister hailed Britain as a great place to invest and the London Array as testimony to that.

“Today is very simple. It’s a triple win.”

“First of all it’s a huge win for Kent. This project has been built by some of the bravest seaman, some of the most talented engineers, some of the hardest workers, and it’s going to continue to bring benefits to people in Kent for many, many years to come.”

“The second thing that it’s a big win for is renewable energy. Sometimes people wonder; Can you really have renewable energy projects at scale?”

“What the London Array shows – powering half a million homes, the biggest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world – it absolutely shows that you can do scale renewables and you can do them right here in Britain.”

“And that leads me to the third and I think the most important win of all, and it’s a very big win for Britain. Sometimes people wonder; Can we in the West do big projects any more? Can we do the big investments? Isn’t that all happening somewhere else in the east and south of our world?”

“If you look at the UK you can see we can do big projects. Not only did we do a superb Olympics, but London Crossrail is the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe.”

“Not far from here is London Gateway, which is the biggest port construction taking place anywhere in Europe, and here you have the biggest offshore construction anywhere in the world.”

“I think this demonstrates Britain is a great place to invest.” — Prime Minister of the UK, the Right Honourable, David Cameron

The consortium has submitted an application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to seek approval to remove a planning condition and allow Phase Two of the project to go ahead. If approved, Phase Two would be capable of generating up to 240MW, giving a combined generating capacity of 870MW.

Energy companies DONG Energy (50%), E.ON (30%), and Masdar (20%) took part in the £1.5 billion Phase One joint venture. Over 75 organizations and 6,700 people were employed to bring the Array to fruition.

To find out more about the London Array offshore windfarm, sign up for the London Array newsletter to keep you up to date on the latest developments.

Or, feel free to download London Array’s 15-page PDF brochure.


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