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  • Lynemouth biomass plant given EU state approval

    Plans to convert a coal fuelled plant in Lynemouth to biomass have been granted state aid approval, the EC has announced. Owners RWE now intends to press ahead with the plans for conversion.

    The European Commission opened its investigation early in the year and made its ruling on December 1, 2015. It announced that the UK government support for the project was in compliance with EU state aid rules and said the conversion would help the UK to reach the environmental and energy targets set out by the European Union without “unduly distorting competition”.

    Plans to convert the station were first announced in 2014, and the government is supporting the project by paying a premium in addition to the market price. The project will continue to receive aid until 2027.

    Commenting on the announcement, Andree Stracke, Chief Commercial Officer of RWE Supply and Trading GmbH said:

    "We welcome this confirmation of the government support for biomass power generation, which provides a reliable base load to complement other renewables such as wind and solar.”

    Stracke added that the company hope to have converted the plant within the next 18 months and he said it would allow the export of 390 MW of low carbon electricity to the National Grid, thus aiding the government’s climate change aims

    The government has set itself a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. One of the ways the government intends to reach its aim is by switching to low carbon alternatives and becoming less dependent on fossil fuels.

    When the conversion goes ahead, Lynemouth power station intends to use renewable wood pellets, which will be exported from the United States, Europe and Canada. In addition, a sustainability management system will be put in place to ensure that the biomass fuel produced by the plant will meet the minimum sustainability standards that have been set out.

    The plant, which is based in the Northumberland in the UK, has the capacity to make enough electricity to power more than 450,000 homes. In addition, converting the Lynemouth plant from coal power will have a positive impact on the environment and on the economy in the north east.

    Moreover, it will burn 1.5 million tonnes of wood pellets annually, and produce an estimated 2.3 TWh of power.

    The Lynemouth power station has been powered by coal since the early 1970s and was previously owned by Alcan. In 2012, RWE took over the running of the plant and as a result the Lynemouth Power Company was established.

  • Majority of businesses unconcerned about power cuts

    A new study shows that most small and medium sized enterprises in the UK aren’t worried about winter power cuts. The research by British Gas Business indicated that 83 per cent of SMEs don’t view power loss as a threat to their business, and just 17 per cent of the 500 UK-based SMEs said power cuts were a concern.

    Senior managers working in small businesses said they had lost an average of two working days in the last five years due to power cuts, while larger businesses with turnovers of £50 million or more had lost six days due to black outs. 

    However, small and medium sized enterprises are being warned against complacency, and they are being urged to put an action plan in place now rather than risk losing access to heating or hot water in the winter.

    Testing procedures and maintenance

    The survey also indicated that only a limited amount of companies carry out testing procedures, and 72 per cent of businesses don’t have a maintenance plan in place. Moreover, 41 per cent of senior managers revealed they hadn’t organised annual services for boilers and other appliances; this figure was higher in smaller companies.

    James Bennett, Managing Director of Business Services at British Gas, said:

    “With winter fast approaching, now is the time for small businesses to make sure they have well maintained heating and hot water systems. Companies with annual servicing or maintenance plans in place are better positioned to focus their time on creating revenues and growth.” 

    Employers are also reminded of their legal requirements to keep gas appliances, flues etc., well maintained.

    Reduced risk of winter black out threat

    However, there is less chance of black outs this winter, according the National Grid’s latest outlook report. The National Grid has taken steps to increase power capacity after warnings in the summer about the record low levels of spare capacity.  

    The Telegraph reports the National Grid invested £123 million into ten power stations so they would stay open as part of an emergency scheme. Extra payments would be made to the power companies if the back-up support is needed.

    Eggborough reprieve

    The news that the Eggborough power plant in Yorkshire is to stay open has also resulted in extra capacity for the months ahead. The plant had originally been scheduled to close in March 2016, but the agreement with the National Grid means it has got a reprieve, and the plant will supply power under the Supplemental Balance Reserve scheme should capacity fall this winter.

  • Majority of businesses unconcerned about power cuts

    A new study shows that most small and medium sized enterprises in the UK aren’t worried about winter power cuts. The research by British Gas Business indicated that 83 per cent of SMEs don’t view power loss as a threat to their business, and just 17 per cent of the 500 UK-based SMEs said power cuts were a concern.

    Senior managers working in small businesses said they had lost an average of two working days in the last five years due to power cuts, while larger businesses with turnovers of £50 million or more had lost six days due to black outs. 

    However, small and medium sized enterprises are being warned against complacency, and they are being urged to put an action plan in place now rather than risk losing access to heating or hot water in the winter.

    Testing procedures and maintenance

    The survey also indicated that only a limited amount of companies carry out testing procedures, and 72 per cent of businesses don’t have a maintenance plan in place. Moreover, 41 per cent of senior managers revealed they hadn’t organised annual services for boilers and other appliances; this figure was higher in smaller companies.

    James Bennett, Managing Director of Business Services at British Gas, said:

    “With winter fast approaching, now is the time for small businesses to make sure they have well maintained heating and hot water systems. Companies with annual servicing or maintenance plans in place are better positioned to focus their time on creating revenues and growth.” 

    Employers are also reminded of their legal requirements to keep gas appliances, flues etc., well maintained.

    Reduced risk of winter black out threat

    However, there is less chance of black outs this winter, according the National Grid’s latest outlook report. The National Grid has taken steps to increase power capacity after warnings in the summer about the record low levels of spare capacity.  

    The Telegraph reports the National Grid invested £123 million into ten power stations so they would stay open as part of an emergency scheme. Extra payments would be made to the power companies if the back-up support is needed.

    Eggborough reprieve

    The news that the Eggborough power plant in Yorkshire is to stay open has also resulted in extra capacity for the months ahead. The plant had originally been scheduled to close in March 2016, but the agreement with the National Grid means it has got a reprieve, and the plant will supply power under the Supplemental Balance Reserve scheme should capacity fall this winter.

  • Manocomb TM unit - Three Instruments in One

    Manocomb TM unit

     

    Three Instruments in One

    The Manocomb TM unit features a highly accurate mechanical pressure switch with a pressure gauge for visual indication of pressure & a 4 -20 mA pressure transmitter for re-transmission of pressure data. All housed in a robust IP65 housing with ranges starting at 0 to 600 mbar & going up to 250 bar. The Manocomb TM offers three instruments in one, saving space & connections on systems. 

  • Manufacturing close to stagnation rates

    Manufacturing has hit a 34-month low, according to figures from the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which takes its data from more than 600 manufacturing companies.

    The UK manufacturing PMI now stands at 50.8, which is only just above the stagnation mark and output has experienced a sharp decrease. The fall comes just a month after an increase of the January manufacturing PMI to 52.9, which was due to a surge in domestic orders.

    The slump is attributed to a slowdown in the consumer and investment goods market, and capital and consumer goods are also in decline.

    Commenting on the new figures, Rob Dobson, a Senior Economist at Markit, said:

    “The near-stagnation of manufacturing highlights the ongoing fragility of the economic recovery at the start of the year and provides further cover for the Bank of England's increasingly dovish stance.

    "The breadth of the slowdown is especially worrisome. The domestic market is showing signs of weakening while export business continued to fall."

    “Price pressures also remained firmly on the downside, with the survey signalling input costs falling at a double-digit annual pace and average factory gate selling prices showing a further decline. A lot of this is driven by the ongoing weakness of global commodity prices. However, there are also signs that weaker growth is driving up competition between manufacturers to secure new business and among their suppliers too.”

    Nevertheless, despite the decline in February’s results, the PMI still remains in positive figures and previous industry surveys show that manufacturers are positive about the future prospects.

    Employment slump and Exports

    Employment in the manufacturing sector also fell, with the figures for February showing a reduction for the second successive month, however, the fall was not significant

    Exports were on the decline with manufacturers stating there is a slowdown in orders from key locations such as Russia, Brazil and mainland Europe, and there was low demand from the domestic market also.

    Exchange rates, Brexit and the manufacturing sector

    Many manufacturing firms have expressed concerns over the volatility of exchange rates and the impact these will continue to have on the sector. Moreover, with an EU referendum set for June, this will lead to more uncertainty over the future of exports.

    The future of the UK export market will remain unclear while the outcome of the Brexit vote is unknown. In the meanwhile, analysts state that if the UK public does vote to exit the EU, this will have a significant impact on many UK manufacturing sectors, including the chemical, food and beverages industry.

  • Manufacturing gains pace

    Purchasing Manufacturing Index (PMI) figures released by Markit on July 1 indicate encouraging news for the U.K.’s manufacturing sector. The PMI figures showed their highest increase in five months at 52.1, up from 50.4 in the previous month.

    According to the data from Markit, new orders were also on the increase, and they were accelerating at the fastest pace since October 2015. However, there was less positive news on the employment front, with further job losses in the manufacturing sector being reported for the sixth consecutive month.

    Commenting on the figures, Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit said

    “With 99% of survey responses received before the end of 23rd June, the latest PMI signalled that the manufacturing sector has started to move out of its early year sluggishness in the lead up to the UK’s EU referendum.”

    CBI figures indicate greater stability

    In further positive news, figures released by the CBI indicated greater stability for the manufacturing industry. Its Industrial Trends Survey showed order books had gained in strength, with the food and drink sector among those receiving a boost.

    Manufacturing output and selling prices also showed signs of stabilising, and manufacturers are optimistic they will continue to increase in the next quarter.

    The Brexit Effect

    However, it needs to be considered that both sets of figures were compiled before the results of the Brexit vote were known and it will be some time before the full effects of leaving the EU are felt by businesses.

    There are concerns that the on-going certainty following the vote could impact on current business deals. In addition, it is not yet known what trade deals the UK government is going to be able to secure during its negotiations with the EU, or whether it will be possible for the UK to keep access to the single market.

    As uncertainty remains, the CBI are calling on the government to draw up firm plans for the UK and its future without EU membership, and it’s urging ministers to establish a framework, which would enable businesses to work effectively with the government.

    Brexit and Challenges for the Manufacturing Industry

    The fall in the pound following the vote has already left some businesses concerned over the rising prices of imports, which they feel they might have to pass on to customers. Also, the manufacturing industry is likely to face further challenges due to the increase in import costs

  • Manufacturing gathered pace in September

    Manufacturing grew in September, according to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics. The pharmaceutical sector showed a strong performance, but the gas and oil sectors unperformed, causing an 0.4 per cent drop in total industrial production, the BBC reports.

    Moreover, there were further challenges for the manufacturing sector in September in the form of inflation, leading to a rise in prices for materials and the cost of fuels.  Manufacturers have also had to contend with the low value of the pound, which has made imports more expensive, but sterling is now on the rise.

    Manufacturers adjusting spending plans

    The immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote has not had the impact on the manufacturing sector that many had feared. However, manufacturers are adjusting their investment plans following the referendum result, according to research from the EEF.

    The EEF/Santander Monitor 2016 report indicates that manufacturing firms will slow down their investment into capital equipment for the near future. 60 per cent of the manufacturers surveyed stated they will be spending either the same or less on equipment in the next two years.

    Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at the EEF said:                    

    “Fears of an immediate collapse in business investment appear to be unfounded for now. UK manufacturers have been investing at a healthy pace in recent years and while that rate of increase wasn’t going to continue forever, keeping up with customer needs and the competition is ensuring that investment stays on track for many.

    EEF attribute this slowdown in spending to order book uncertainty. In addition, some manufacturers are already faced with ‘soft demand’, with a third of manufactures already having spare capacity, meaning they are reluctant to invest in equipment that could go under used.

    The EEF also stressed the need for policies that would assist the manufacturing industry. Ms Hopley stated:

    “…It’s over to the Autumn statement now to press ahead with policies that further enhance the UK business environment for spending on modern machinery and increasingly important intangible investment.”

    Change in investment strategy

    Manufacturers are also changing the way they invest. EEF say manufacturers would rather invest in innovation to help them stand out from the competition, allowing them to enhance productivity and to improve future demand for their products. 60 per cent of manufacturers say that investing in ‘intangibles’ rather than equipment is now more important to their businesses.

    Despite the concerns prior to the referendum, the report shows that Brexit has had little impact on the manufacturing sector’s plans for future investment. There is also more optimism over exports due the fall in the value of pound.

  • Manufacturing industry needs more innovation

    There need for more innovation in the manufacturing industry has been highlighted by new research.

    Just 11 per cent of manufacturers have a system in place to enhance innovation; this could put the UK at a distinct disadvantage in the future due to the many challenges the manufacturing sector is currently facing, according to RSM, who conducted the survey.

    RSM found that more than half of the manufacturers interviewed said they do intend invest in business systems at some point. However, these efforts are mainly concentrated on technology to improve the way the business is run, boost efficiency and productivity, but many UK manufacturers are neglecting to invest in innovation.

    Discussing the research, Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing for RSM, said:

    ‘As many UK manufacturers prepare for a potential surge in competition and uncertain trading conditions, harnessing technology could be the answer to future success. Technology will play an important role to help the sector become more efficient, productive and, in turn, more competitive, but this requires significant investment into the right software, equipment and talent to drive change.’

    Lack of innovation not limited to manufacturing industry

    Experts say that innovation is crucial if the UK manufacturing industry is going to be competitive post-Brexit and if it is to keep up with cheaper manufacturing bases like China.

    However, the manufacturing sector isn’t the only industry struggling when it comes to innovation.

    A study from PWC found that relatively few of the UK-based companies interviewed (32 per cent) viewed innovation as important, with most companies preferring to prioritise technology instead.

    Government initiatives to improve innovation in manufacturing

    Although a considerable percentage of manufactures admit that investing in innovation isn’t their priority, government agency Innovate UK say UK manufactures do still rate as a ‘major driver of innovation’.

    The agency also explains how new technologies that involve digitisation, like the Internet of Things and cloud based data, have the power to transform manufacturing.

    Digitisation is where a new generation of ideas and products is most likely to come from in the future, and progress is being made in this area. Research shows that most UK companies plan to have invested in digitalisation by 2021, although they don’t plan to invest quite as much as other countries.

    And to encourage fresh innovations in the sector, government agency Innovate UK has opened the third round of funding competition, which is designed to encourage manufacturers to come forward with new ideas.

  • Manufacturing orders on Increase, but food prices expected to rise

    The latest Industrial Trends Survey, which interviewed 450 UK businesses, shows manufacturing orders are on the increase, but there was less demand for export orders, although they do remain above average.

    Manufacturers were also positive about the prospects for output, with 38 per cent expecting it to grow over the course of the next quarter, however, average selling prices are in for a sharp increase during the next quarter to +19, according to the CBI.

    Order book balance and output volumes

    The order book balance is now at minus 3, which is a notable improvement on October’s figures of minus 17. However, output volumes also slowed in the last quarter.

    Rain Newton Smith, chief economist for the CBI, said:

    “It’s good to see manufacturers’ overall order books at healthy levels, and the outlook for output growth remaining robust as we head into Christmas.

    “But the weak pound is beginning to make its mark, and prices are expected to rise, especially in the food and drink sector. On the flip side though, export orders remain above average.

    Autumn Statement

    The announcement of the new Productivity Fund was welcomed by the CBI, the EEF and the Food and Drink Federation; it is hoped some of the measures outlined in the Autumn Statement will give businesses the confidence to invest.

    The £23 billion Productivity Fund will mean additional support for innovation and science, which the EEF say is “vital if we are to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution”. The increased support for exports also received approval.

    Rising food prices

    The weak pound and the rising cost of ingredients has caused problems in the food and drink sector. It is predicted that prices of well-known food brands will rise in the coming months, however, some manufacturers  say they will cover these additional costs where they can.

    After Philip Hammond’s statement Autumn Statement, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) issued a statement detailing just how important food and drink manufacturing is to the economy in the UK, with a worth of more than £21 billion.

    Strong export growth for food and drink sector

    The food and drink sector also showed strong export growth in recent months. The FDF say exports increased by 13.7 per cent, and crucially, non-EU exports grew at twice their usual rate in the last quarter.

    The FDF also said branded food and drink exports are at record levels.

  • Meister Flow Limiters - Protecting the environment.

    Flow Limiters by Meister - Tamo UK

    These energy saving mechanical flow limiters require no external power source and enable an almost constant flow rate to be maintained. Primarily designed to work with these compact units are easy to fit into existing systems or new systems. Unlike some other flow limiters there are no wearing parts. Too see the promotional video click on the link. 

    Watch the Video Here 

    Or View Hereon our Website

  • Meister Flow Limiters from Tamo

    Flow Limiters by Meister - Tamo UK

    These energy saving mechanical flow limiters require no external power source and enable an almost constant flow rate to be maintained. Primarily designed to work with these compact units are easy to fit into existing systems or new systems. Unlike some other flow limiters there are no wearing parts. Too see the promotional video click on the link. 

    Watch the Video Here 

    Or View Here on our Website

  • Meister flow switches & indicators have ATEX switches available

    PI-ATEX-3 small

    Meister flow switches & indicators have ATEX switches available as options on most of their standard Ranges. Including their low flow ranges where their series SG-15EX of switches were developed specifically for use on variable area flow meters with small flow rates, enabling reliable monitoring in hazardous areas. Approved by Bureau Veritas, the complete flow switches are suitable for use in zones 1, 2, 21 and 22 in accordance with ATEX.

    For more information contact our technical sales dept.

  • Millions of businesses unclear on duties over safe gas appliances

    More than 1.5 million small and medium enterprises say that they are not aware of their legal duties when it comes to maintaining safe gas appliances.  This could mean that many companies around the UK are inadvertently putting their businesses at risk because they don’t understand, or are unware of the current regulations.

    Under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 all employers are legally obliged to  make sure that gas appliances, gas pipe works and flues remaining in good working order, however, more than 50% of senior managers stated that they did not know that they had to carry out regular safety checks.

    27% of those surveyed said that taking advantage of the recovering economy was most important to them, and 45% of respondents felt that increasing the amount customers spend was the most essential challenge faced by their business, however, 38% said that they were “overwhelmed” by the sheer amount of compliance and safety requirements, while 39% said that they didn’t have adequate time to ensure that they stayed up to date with all of the relevant safety requirements.

    Just under half of the small and medium sized businesses interviewed said that that they had not carried out safety checks within the last 12 months, which could mean that their Business Liability Insurance would no longer be validate should an accident happen or a claim be made against their company.

    Businesses that don’t carry out regular energy safety checks are putting their company at risk of prosecution should a problem occur and they are also endangering the health and safety of the people that work for them.

    Commenting on the survey, Stephen Beynon, Managing Director at British Gas Business, said:

    “Gas safety should be an absolute priority for all businesses. Our customers tell us that it can be a struggle to find the time to wade through compliance requirements, but the consequences of using unsafe gas appliances can be severe. With winter not far away it makes sense to put plans in place which protect businesses and allow them to focus on what matters - growing their revenues to help Britain’s economic recovery.”

    In further findings, 60% of those interviewed stated that they had experienced a  breakdown within the last five years, but  just over a quarter said that they had no backup plan in place should there be a breakdown.

  • Miniature Super Purity Pressure Switches for demanding applications

    SV120 small

    Miniature Super Purity Pressure Switches for demanding applications. The Wasco SP120 miniature pressure switch features:-

    * All Stainless Steel wetted Sensor

    * All Welded Construction

    * Leak tested & Certified to 1x10-9 cc per sec. Helium

    * Finely finished wetted surface to reduce particulates

    Working pressure ranges from 1 to 500 psi. Standard pressure connection 9/16-18 UNF-VCR male.

    A wide range of optional pressure connections & electrical connections are available along with customer specials contact Tamo for more information. 

  • Mk 708 Low flow control valve

    MK708

     

    Why choose Jordon a Low Flow fractional control valve

    Provides the most accurate control available for fractional flow ranges, CV’s from 0.00001 to 4.0 applications suitable for subsea, pilot liquid, fuel cells, hot oil skids & others,

    • Various ranges of size (1/4”- 3/4” DN8-DN20), End connections: Threaded, Socket weld, Tube ends, Welded flanges,Body Materials: CF8M, WCB, or ANY Alloy you can name!

    RAPID DELIVERY within 2 weeks or sooner - Light and compact construction

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  • Mk 8000 Low flow control valve

    Why choose MK8000 SERIES Control valve

    Various ranges of size (1/2”- 2” ) steels, Alloys and plastics available, handles pressure up to 6000psi in some sizes.

    mk800

    Heavy duty bar-stock construction, wide selection of body sizes and type of materials,

    RAPID DELIVERY within 2 weeks or sooner

    In-line maintainability, easy, quick trim repairs

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  • National Grid discuss plans for Borehamwood site

    The National Grid are consulting with residents in Borehamwood over the future of a site that used to house the local gasworks.

    Work is currently underway to clear the site, and efforts to break up the gas holders that are located at the Borehamwood site are expected to get underway shortly; it is thought that the work will be completed towards the end of 2015. With the site cleared, plans for redevelopment can go ahead and there are proposals for the site to be used for housing.

    In addition to plans to remove gas holders from the site, gas equipment that is currently being used is to be transferred to another site in the local area.

    Residents and local councillors were at the meeting to hear about plans for the redevelopment of the site. At the meeting, residents had an opportunity to ask questions about the future of the former gasworks and to find out further details of the proposed redevelopment.

    Among those attending was Councillor Clive Butchins, who acts as a representative for the Borehamwood Hillside Ward.

    Commenting on the meeting, Councillor Butchins said:

    “Although it is a shame to lose such a local landmark, I am happy to see the gasholders removed from site to prepare it for a more useful future.”

    Following the meeting, Nadia Dew, Land Regeneration Manager at National Grid said: “It is always great to meet with the site’s neighbours. We hope that people found the session and opportunity to ask questions helpful.”

    She went on to say:  “We’ll continue to keep all our neighbours updated on how our work’s progressing” and she assured residents that the local pedestrian walkway would remain open during the redevelopment phase.

    The National Grid site has a long history in the area and it had once been essential for delivering gas to locals in Borehamwood. In addition, the site had been used for storing gas, but due to modern developments, there is no need for the gasholders so the decision was made to decommission them.

    According to 4-traders.com, the National Grid first told residents about the proposals to redevelop the site back in February 2015.

    As the plans for redevelopment are underway, local residents are invited to continue to give their feedback on plans for the regeneration of the site. Residents are invited to call the community relations team should they have any questions over the plans for the restoration of the Borehamwood site.

  • New electronic pressure switch from PINTER

    minicomb eds smallest

    With the MINICOMB-EDS PINTER has introduced a new and innovative electronic pressure switch for the fluid technology market.

    The pressure switch features a robust design combined with a highly functional user friendly operating system. With a ergonomic 3-button control panel, the pressure switch is operated with a menu according to VDMA standard. In addition to the standard menu the MINICOMB-EDS features a multilingual plain text menu which clearly explains the selected menu item, ensuring a rapid and hassle-free installation is ensured.

    Reviewing set parameters is easy - even when password protection is active.

    The various menus, parameters and settings are displayed on the monochrome high-resolution full graphic OLED display. The 180° rotatable display allows for excellent readability even under direct sunlight or large angles.

  • New figures show surge in renewable power

    New figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show an increase in the role that renewable energy is playing in powering homes and commercial premises in the United Kingdom.

    The latest figures from the DECC cover the April to June 2015 period and show that during this time, renewable power was used to produce 25.3% of electricity in the United Kingdom; the majority of this was produced from offshore and onshore wind power. This increase represents an 8.6% surge on the figures for the previous year.

    This means that renewable power is now more popular than coal and nuclear as a means of fuel, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change say this upsurge is down to “favourable weather conditions” such as increased wind speeds and sunshine, and a greater capacity for producing wind power.

    Commenting on the increase, Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

    “Renewables have now become Britain’s second largest source of electricity, generating more than a quarter of our needs. The new statistics show that Britain is relying increasingly on dependable renewable sources to keep the country powered up, with onshore and offshore wind playing the leading roles in our clean energy mix.”

    McCaffery added that “we’d welcome clearer signals from Government that it’s backing the installation of vital new projects”.

    New Campaign

    The release of the figures came shortly before a new campaign got underway in opposition to the Government’s plans to cut support for some smaller renewable energy projects such as investment in solar panels and wind turbines.

    The new campaign has been named People Power and hopes to persuade the Government to think again before reducing funding.

    Renewable energy investment cuts

    In recent years there has been a steady increase in renewable energy investment in the UK as the government looks for more sustainable ways to power the country. However, there have been some concerns about continued investment after it was announced earlier in the year that funding for renewable energy subsidies was to be cut.

    In September, the BBC reported the CBI has expressed concerns that the reduction in these energy subsidies could be off-putting to investors, and there are also worries the reduction in funding could lead to job losses in the renewable energy sector.

    Renewable Energy UK says that Government cuts to funding for smaller renewable energy projects would mean it won’t be possible for such schemes to advance.

  • New fund allows communities to create power stations

    A new £10 million fund will make it possible for local communities to come together and create their own power stations. Funding will be made available as part of the Urban Community Energy Fund and allow community groups to apply for grants of up to £20,000 or loans of up to £130,000.

    The initiative is a way of encouraging people to look towards greener formers of energy, and it is part of the government drive to move towards cleaner methods of energy generation.

    Under the scheme, communities will be able to create local “power hubs” by finding innovative new ways to generate renewable energy. Examples include the installation of solar panels on buildings, and the construction of anaerobic digestion plants, which would take local waste and burn it to create energy.

    Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:

    “I want to give more people the power to generate their own electricity and by supporting community energy projects we can - helping them drive down their energy bills at the same time.

    “That’s why we’ve pledged £10 million, so communities can play their part in generating renewable power at a local level. This is all about investing in renewable energy sources, creating jobs and changing the way renewable energy is developed in the UK.”

    New Initiatives

    East Sussex is being cited as one area that has come up with a unique idea that provides a greener source of energy, as well as helping to save money on energy bills. A local community energy scheme fitted solar panels into the brewery walls, and now uses the sun’s rays to help it provide green fuel. The scheme allows the brewery to reduce the cost of their energy bills, and the community also gains as it gets money back from the Feed in Tariff.

    Feed in Tariff Scheme

    Communities that wish to develop their own energy schemes have now been told that they will get additional support from the Feed in Tariff Scheme. The Feed in Tariff Scheme allows community energy project owners to earn extra money by getting paid for the energy production.

    Community Investment Projects

    According to research from Ethex, renewable energy schemes have fast become one of the most popular types of community investment projects and have already generated millions of pounds. It is hoped that with additional support from the government, many more community investment projects will be set up, allowing entire communities to benefit from the generation of green energy.

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