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Fantastic start for “really well received” Chesterfield Community Energy project

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Anesco Community Energy is co-ordinating the Chesterfield Community Energy project, which has seen a large solar farm installed on a former coal stocking site at Oxcroft, seven miles east of the Derbyshire town. Investment in the £5.5m community energy project is off to a flying start with more than £2.85m already raised.

Chesterfield Community Energy (CCE) project is offering a five per cent gross returns for investors, with the interest paid every six months for an initial three year term. In addition to this, they are providing a long-term funding stream for local charity groups.

With over 30 days remaining until the offer closes, CCE is reporting that the solar bond has been “really well received”.

Adrian Pike, Chairman of Chesterfield Community Energy, said: “We’re thrilled with the reception the offer has received and the response shows that investors have a real appetite for this type of investment.  With many more pledges in the pipeline, we believe this is a fantastic opportunity for people to be involved in a community project that has the potential to make a real difference on so many levels.

“The fact that the bonds are for an initial 3 year period and the interest is paid every 6 months at a gross level of 5% has been well received by the initial investors. What is also pleasing is that the solar farm is performing well in its first month of operation, which is obviously critical for the long term income streams.”

The creation of a community fund will see around £15,000 being given to local charities every year for the 40-year lifetime of the scheme. Groups being supported include The Freedom Community Project, which provides support for people who are struggling with debt, dependency and related issues within North East Derbyshire.

Chesterfield Community Energy is also working closely with the local community in Stanfree, where it’s helping to produce a biodiversity masterplan with the Friends of Oxcroft Group.

The Chesterfield Community Energy solar farm covers an area of approximately 11.6 hectares and will generate just over 4,000MWh of electricity per year – enough energy to power around 1,200 homes. As a renewable power source the solar farm will be reducing the region’s carbon emissions by up to 1,800 tonnes per year.

Adrian Pike added: “The site is already making a contribution to the National Grid and performing in line with expectations. We’re really delighted with progress to date.”

The solar farm is one of only two community energy projects in the country that will benefit from being connected to a battery storage unit. A 1000 kW / 1200 kWh Energy Storage System (ESS) will be installed on the site, meaning the energy generated can be stored and released when it is most needed.

Partners on the project include The Freedom Community Project based in Bolsover, the Friends of Oxcroft Group, Close Brothers, Limejump, Anesco and RSPB – which will be working with the site’s developers to introduce natural habitats for ‘priority species’ the breeds most under threat.

Adrian Pike concluded: “Our objective is simple – to help share the benefits of renewable energy by giving communities and individuals an opportunity to invest in solar bonds. By backing Chesterfield Community Energy investors will not only be supporting a reduction in the impact of climate change and increasing energy security, but also be helping to generate significant benefits for the community and local economy.”

The Chesterfield Community Energy solar bond offer will remain open until the maximum sum has been reached, or until 31 May 2016. The minimum investment per applicant is £500 for one bond. Applications can only be made via the website.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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