Welcome to The Renewable Energy Centre
Use the menu on the left to choose the area that interests you. Each area has a general introduction followed by page(s) showing UK suppliers and contractors. From these pages you can:
- click the logo to visit a company's own website
- click the email link immediately above each logo to contact the company
- send one email to all of the companies shown using the button at the top of the page
Further down, you will find useful information including Latest News, Trade Associations, Government Initiatives, Grants and Funding Educational Resources, Conferences and Exhibitions and more!
We hope you find this site useful; if you have any comments please email us. Please mention The Renewable Energy Centre when contacting organisations you find on this site. Thank you.
New! The Renewable Energy Centre Blog
We have now launched a blog on the website which will offer posts about what is going on in the industry with some very interesting opinion and views. We would also love to receive guest post so please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest Article from our Blog
Wind and wave power are my two favourite renewable technologies but they both sit at very different ends of the investment spectrum. As we all know wind pow...
Saving Money, Saving Energy & Saving the Planet
We are all conscious of the effect that industry and our society are having on the planet and also of the spiralling cost of energy both financially and environmentally. As such, many countries across the world joined together to agree a set of principles and targets to stem the increase of greenhouse gases which are rapidly increasing the earth's temperature.
Although increasing temperatures may sound like good news for those who live in colder climates, the warming of the earth is set to cause catastrophic events which will affect everyone.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) predicts that by 2100 the earth's temperature could reach over 6 degrees centigrade however it is widely recognised that 2 degrees centigrade is the threshold at which significant and devastating environmental events will occur. This threshold is only around 1.2 degrees centigrade from where the temperature stands today.
The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Summit was held in 1997 to address this issue and many countries committed to changing the way they used and supplied energy. A benchmark was set at the greenhouse gas emission levels during 1990 as the baseline below which targets have to be met.
In 2002 the European Union of 15 states (at that time) ratified the Kyoto Protocol:
- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% within the period 2008-1012
- to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020
- to source 20% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020
- to reduce the use of primary energy by 20% by 2020
As part of its contribution to the target, the UK committed to:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% within the period 2008 to 2012
- source 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020
The Climate Change Act
In 2008 the Climate Change Act was introduced by the Government and legally binds the UK to a committment of a 34% reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
By addressing climate change and the UK’s impact on global warming, the Government has set some tough targets but with some positive steps forward in the wind power industry and the ongoing development of wave and tidal power it is hoped the 2020 commitment can still be achieved.
The government has introduced a number of measures for the commercial sector to achieve carbon reduction objectives. The main vehicle for managing these programmes is the Carbon Trust
For individuals there are also some new grants and incentives to help encourage energy efficiency and the installation of low carbon technology within the home, such as the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive.
The Code for Sustainable Homes
To encourage environmentally friendly construction practices in the UK, the Government also introduced The Code for Sustainable Homes which provides guidelines for sustainable building practices. There are six award leves ranging from 10% energy efficient to zero carbon. It will eventually become mandatory that all new buildings will meet Level 6 (zero carbon) of the Code.
In October 2010 Building Regulations changed to reflect Level 3 (25% increased energy efficiency) for every new home built.
By adopting some simple technologies we all (householder, business and industry) can save money, save energy and help save the planet.
The UK Climate Change Roadmap
So what is the UK doing alongside the Kyoto Protocol to fight climate change? Below is a selection of the key directives which the UK has implemented:
1997: Kyoto Summit
Meeting to agree a set of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
2001: Climate Change Levy
The Climate Change Levy is a tax on commercial businesses which supply electricity, natural gas, petroleum and hydrocarbon gas in liquid state, coal and ignite, coke and semi-coke or coal or ignite and petroleum coke.
Currently oil, road fuel gas, heat, steam, low value solid fuel and specific waste materials are not included in the levy.
2002: Ratification of Kyoto Protocol
The targets set out in the Kyoto agreement were formally agreed and made a legal requirement for 15 countries which signed within the EU including the UK. Since then a further 10 countries in the EU have made a commitment of 6-8% reduction.
The UK committed to a 12.5% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels between 2008-2012.
2002: Renewables Obligation (RO)
The RO was established to ensure that energy suppliers would increasingly source power from renewable sources. The 2002 obligation was 3% renewable energy supply which is steadily rising to 15.4% by 2015. The Renewables Obligation can be achieved in 3 ways:
- Acquiring and redeeming Renewable Obligation Certificates
- Paying a buy-out price
- A combination of both
2005: EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
As per the Kyoto Protocol the EU committed to businesses reducing carbon emissions by 8% below 1990 levels across Europe. A cap is set on the amount of emissions an installation can produce. Those who fall under can trade the excess to those who exceed the limit. The ETS now covers 45% of EU emissions with over 12,000 installations involved. Sectors include:
- Electricity Generation
- Iron and Steel
- Mineral Processing
- Pulp and Paper Processing
2006: Low Carbon Buildings Programme
This scheme is now almost at end but was a two phase grant scheme for public and private housing and communities to access funding for renewable energy installations. Phase two officially ends in April 2011 for the completion of installations and will be replaced by the Renewable Heat Incentive.
2008: Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)
This scheme runs until 2012 and is for domestic energy suppliers with a customer base of over 50,000. The scheme is to encourage suppliers to reduce domestic CO2 emissions by promoting energy saving products such as light bulbs, smart meters and insulation to homeowners.
The CERT target for energy suppliers has recently changed to focus on insulation. 68% of the CO2 reduction target must now involve insulation solutions and priority is given to vulnerable households and low income areas.
The cost to energy suppliers is estimated at £5.5 billion between the period 2008-2012.
2008: Climate Change Act
The UK created a legally binding target to:
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% below 1990 levels by 2020
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050
2009: Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)
A secondary scheme targeted at UK domestic energy suppliers to encourage energy saving solutions specifically in communities with low income areas. This is a whole house approach and only energy saving measures which make a substantial difference to emissions and fuel bills will be counted towards the CESP. This scheme ends in 2012 and intends to deliver £350 million of energy saving measures into UK communities. An example might be the installation of solar thermal heating system, insulation and smart metering.
2010: Carbon Reduction Commitment
This is now called the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and is for larger businesses and organisations to reduce energy consumption. Businesses using over 6000Mwh of electricity per year (equivalent to circa £500,000) can apply to enter the scheme and a league table of their energy efficiency is published.
2010: Energy Bill
This bill has been created by the coalition government to support and increase energy saving measures across the UK in all areas and encourage the use and implementation of renewable energy. There are seven main areas to the bill:
- The Green Deal
- Private Rented Sector
- Energy Company Obligations
- Energy Efficiency
- Energy Security
- Low Carbon Technology
- Role of the Coal Authority
You can read more about each section in the Energy Bill Overview and a summary of The Green Deal which is targeted at homeowners and business owners.
2010: Feed In Tariff (FIT)
This is an incentive scheme to reward those who generate their own electricity through the use of low carbon technology or renewable energy. As long as the amount of power generated is less than 5MW per year the scheme offers a rate of pay back to the generator for the power which is used and any excess which is exported back to the grid. The Feed in Tariff is designed to encourage homeowners, businesses and communities to invest in low carbon technology such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric, anaerobic digestion and domestic micro-combined heat and power (CHP) at 2KW or less.
All products used and the installer must be approved by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) otherwise the FIT will not apply.
Once a FIT scheme has been established the rate is set from between 10-25 years depending on the type of installation. The current rate will not be changed until 2012 unless it is required by the 2011 review.
2011: Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
Due to go live in April 2011 the RHI is to financially reward and help encourage homeowners, businesses and communities to source their heat from renewable or low carbon sources. The following technology helps generate low carbon heat:
- Biomass Boilers and Stoves
- Air-Source and Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Sustainable Biogas
- Solar Thermal Water Heaters
- Renewable Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
The Renewable Heat Incentive includes all levels from individuals to large scale commercial operations.
This website provides an introduction to renewable technologies currently available, the suppliers in the market and contacts to installation companies and equipment suppliers.