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REA hold mixed reaction to changes in government proposals on biogas and biomass



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The Government consultation into the reform of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) closed yesterday. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) who cover power, transport and heat, responded to proposals regarding biogas and biomass. They are encouraging the Government to support a wide range of renewable heat technologies in order to meet 2020 renewable energy targets.

The RHI is the principal policy that supports the decarbonisation of the UK’s heating sector. Heating is one of three sectors that are covered in the legally binding 2020 renewable energy targets, along with power and transport.

REA, has submitted to government that if the changes proposed to the policy were to be approved, the resulting collapse of the biomass heat industry would result in job losses and a significantly slowed rate of decarbonisation.

The response outlines the UK’s already poor progress towards meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets and the benefits that supporting the wood-heat industry bring – including benefits to British forests which are more actively managed as a result.

Biomass represents 89 per cent of the renewable heat in Europe and international examples of decarbonising the heat sector were also highlighted in the response.

Frank Aaskov, Policy Analyst at the REA, said: “We need a range of technologies to decarbonise a range of properties.

“Rural locations, for example, with no access to a gas network cannot be left behind. Biomass boilers are low-cost, provide significant carbon savings compared to oil boilers, and support the growth of healthy British forests.

“For many properties, biomass boilers are a pragmatic low-carbon alternative. They are used in diverse locations, such as at the National Trust property at Ickworth in Suffolk.

“It is distressing that the Government’s proposals would shutter this growing industry and would have us rely instead on largely untested technologies.”

However, the renewable energy industry has welcomed the Government’s vision for the growth of the anaerobic digestion sector. The worry is that limited access to waste feedstocks and drastic reductions in government support under the Feed-In tariffs call into question if the support being offered can be made into a reality.

Dr. Kiara Zennaro, Head of Biogas at the REA, said: “We welcome the Government’s recognition that anaerobic digestion has a critical role to play in decarbonising the heat, waste and agricultural sectors.

“We share the Government’s ambitions for growth, but building new industry requires stability and support. There is a need to reassess whether the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s expectations can be met given the current constraints in terms of feedstock availability, drastic reductions in the Feed-In Tariffs and the proposed restrictions on energy crops.”

The REA is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with approximately 750 members, ranging from major multinational companies to sole traders. For more information visit


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




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



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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