Meeting RE targets could cut water challenges

Meeting renewable energy targets could significantly cut the amount of water used for generating electricity as water scarcity becomes a bigger risk, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), reports Blue and Green Tomorrow. Changing the way we use water and cutting down where possible is hugely important as climate change is expected to exacerbate water scarcity. A report, published last year, warned that half of the world could face extreme water scarcity by 2095.

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European approval for Tees RE plant

The £600mTees Renewable Energy Plant has received crucial European Commission approval, reports the Darlington and Stockton Times. The factory will be built at Teesport, between Redcar and Middlesbrough, and will be one of the world’s largest biomass power stations, providing electricity for 600,000 homes.

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Solar power in the UK almost doubled in 2014

Solar power almost doubled in the last year, with 650,000 installations ranging from solar farms to panels on homes, figures showed, reports The Guardian. By the end of 2014 there was almost five gigawatts (5GW) of solar photovoltaic panels installed, up from 2.8GW at the end of 2013, the Department of Energy and Climate Change figures showed.

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UK tops 3GW of FiT projects

The UK has topped 3GW of renewable capacity under the feed-in tariffs scheme, according to Ofgem, reports reNews. The scheme started in 2010 and there have to date been 568,612 accredited projects, almost double the amount forecast by DECC. The figure breaks down as 561,185 for solar PV, 6256 for wind, 546 for hydro, 490 for microchip and 135 for anaerobic digestion.

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Energy trends and prices statistical release

The latest provisional monthly energy statistics produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change were released on 29 January 2015 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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Balcombe balks at community scheme tax changes

The small, picturesque village of Balcombe in west Sussex became synonymous with fracking – and the opposition to it – nearly two years ago, reports The Guardian … Now the focus of protests has moved elsewhere, but the villagers are continuing their anti-fracking revolution in the form of a new, carbon-free, source of energy for the area …. even as they celebrated the project, which has taken 18 months from conception, through planning, legal hurdles and fundraising, to finally generating clean energy, the volunteers responsible were facing the possibility that this first success might also be their last. Tom Parker, along with fellow volunteers in the REPOWERBalcombe group, said he was worried about tax code changes that will come into force from April.

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RES, OffshoreMW win 2GW off US

RES Americas and OffshoreMW have won the rights to develop sections of the 5GW Massachusetts offshore wind lease area, reports reNews. RES bid $281,285 for a 187,523-acre zone and OffshoreMW bid $166,886 for a 166,886-acre tract in an auction held today, 29 January. Two other areas were unclaimed. The 742,000-acre zone some 12 miles off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket was being auctioned as four commercial wind energy leases.

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$3.9m R&D tax refund for Carnegie

Wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy Limited has received a Research and Development Tax Incentive cash rebate from the Australian Tax Office of $3.9 million. The R&D Tax Incentive provides a tax rebate to support Australian companies to undertake Australian research and development. During the year ended 30 June 2014 Carnegie incurred eligible R&D expenditure from which the tax rebate was calculated. The net rebate that Carnegie received for the year ended 30 June 2014 of $3.9 million represents an increase over the previous year of $1.6 million. Based on current forecasts Carnegie estimates the financial year ended 30 June 2015 will likely deliver a cash rebate of between $8 and 10 million.

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A CCS future for Europe: SSCS report

North Sea nations have the skills and storage capacity to deliver a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry that will transform Europe’s industry and power sectors, providing a least cost transition to a low-carbon future and a reliable electricity supply while helping to secure economic resilience, says a report released today by Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS). The report urgently calls for specific policy support and wider political ambition within the EU, and is published as the European Commission meets stakeholders in Edinburgh to discuss a strategic vision for energy infrastructure in the North Sea basin. The SCCS report, A CCS future for Europe: catalysing North Sea action, derives from an SCCS meeting of European and international experts.

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Win for Gwynt y Môr Emergency Response Team

RenewableUK and The Crown Estate has announced that RWE Innogy has won this year’s Renewable Energy Health and Safety Award in recognition of the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Offshore Emergency Response Team. The Emergency Response Team (ERT) is responsible for the entire offshore site, an area of 80km², located 18km off the North Wales coast. The team aims to provide the same level of emergency response as onshore colleagues, and is highly qualified in providing expert trauma care and rapid response.

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