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DECC launches £20M funding pilot for Energy Demand Reduction projects

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has annouced that it will run a pilot scheme from June 2014 by which it will help fund energy demand reduction projects.

What is the EDR pilot?

  • £20m is being made available to support projects that deliver lasting reductions in electricity demand, e.g. through the installation of a more efficient lighting system or pump.


How will it work in practice?

  • Projects will bid into an auction and commit to delivering a kW saving
  • Successful bids secure funding, that can then be used to support the installation of more efficient electrical equipment.
  • Projects will need to qualify. This will include submitting a project plan with estimated savings and a plan for measuring and verifying these (a manual will be provided to help with this).
  • There will be a minimum bid size of 100kW in the auction. This may be achieved by a single project or through several projects, aggregated into a single application.

Who and what will be eligible?

  • Projects will need to be based in Great Britain and deliver efficiency savings at least during times of winter peak electricity demand (3-7pm on weekdays, November-February).

Projects which would not be eligible include:

  • Those that shift electricity demand to other times of the day
  • Measures benefitting from specified forms of Government incentive (such as Climate Change Agreements, Salix loans)
  • Savings made by switching to other energy sources (e.g. onsite generation)

For more information please see this factsheet and the DECC website

 

 
West of England LEP Growth fund open to applications

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased to launch round 2 of its West of England Growth Fund. Applications are now being accepted for funding of up to £80,000 to support new activities that will lead to business growth and job creation.

Full details of Round 2 are available in the LEP guidance and are summarised below:

  • Applications can be made for between £10,000 and £80,000
  • Applications must be for new and additional activity, or a combination of activities, that will enable companies to grow and employ new staff.
  • Applications can only be accepted from Small and Medium sized enterprises.
  • Grant funding will be released in arrears of expenditure and at a fixed rate of 20% of eligible expenditure incurred.
  • No funding can be released for any expenditure incurred after 31 March 2015.
  • Funding is made available under the European Commission De Minimis Regulation and is allocated as notified State Aid for economic activities.
  • Some exclusions apply and there are some rules around eligible costs. These are detailed in our guidance.

Applications can be made between 17th March and midnight on the 30th April 2014.

The LEP aim to notify successful applicants by the end of May 2014 and agree formal offer letters as swiftly as possible after this.

 

For more information and to apply see the West of England LEP website

 
LCSW win award for Contribution to the Community

Photo by Michael Lloyd - Bristol Post

 

We are delighted to have been awarded the Contribution to the Community Award in the Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards!

Amy Robinson, Network Director collected the award and said: "I'm thrilled. It's a real honour especially given that it is the first Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards.

"It's lovely to be recognised for the work we do in the community and I hope this will encourage other businesses to support their communities too in whatever big or small way they can."

Well done Amy!

 

 

 

 
Retrofit event at Norton Radstock College

01.04.2014

We were pleased to hold an event on 26th March 2014 at Norton Radstock college for businesses wishing to find our about opportunities in the retrofit sector including training, funding and tendering opportunities.

The event was run in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council. Delegates heard presentations from various speakers, and learned about the funding and training opportunities available to help them take advantage of the opportunities in the green sector.

Sara Grimes, Corporate Sustainability Officer, B&NES Council gave a presentation on the Council's research that underpins the emerging sustainable energy strategy and its targets. The 45% cuts in carbon emissions that the council has committed to achieve are ambitious and it's keen to explore all their options for meeting them. Sara also touched on the B&NES Council's Energy@Home initiative which promotes energy efficiency, better heating and use of renewable energy in B&NES. They will soon be tendering for partners to run an Advice Service and to deliver retrofit objectives so potential suppliers are urged to ensure they are signed up to www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk where full information will appear soon. You can see Sara's presentation here



Olly Frankland of Regen SW, introduced the Ready for Retrofit programme, whereby £1000 vouchers are available to companies who wish to undertake training to get ahead in the retrofit sector. Olly also gave an overview of the performance of the Green Deal so far, and the relationship with other government initiatives such as ECO (The Energy Company Obligation)

More information is available in Olly's Prezi presentation

Pearl Mills of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership skills team explained the LEP's remit to help ensure they build skills to create jobs in the region, and the low carbon sector is a key focus. She outlined the match funding that is currently available to employers for taking on apprentices or interns.

See Pearl's presentation here

 

Martin Reeves is Senior Curriculum Lead for Construction at Norton Radstock College. He set out the opportunities for businesses offered by the College to improve their knowledge and skills in construction and retrofit activities.

The College is willing and able to be very flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of businesses in terms of courses, content and timetabling. Martin is keen to have dialogue with businesses to ensure that the College is  meeting their needs for adult learners.

Martin's slides are here

The delegates were also taken on a tour of the college's model home, (right) which has proved an invaluable learning tool in the development of the green cirriculum. The home is being built by students on various courses and is a great way of illustrating the interconnectivity the trades as they apply sustainability principles as a cross cutting theme.

Finally, Amy Robinson, Network Director, Low Carbon South West, spoke about the West of England Carbon Challenge and the benefits to be gained by companies taking a look at their energy, transport and efficiency costs and committing themselves to making improvements.

See Amy's Presentation here

 

Thank you to all the delegates who attended and to Norton Radstock College for hosting the event.

 

For more information on the courses the college offers, please see http://www.nortcoll.ac.uk/

 


 
Putting the 'new' into renewables - Low Carbon Business Breakfast March 2014

The Low Carbon South West Low Carbon Business Breakfast returned today to the Bath Innovation Centre to discuss developments in renewable energy solutions.

18.04.2014

The 40 strong delegation heard from Professor Geoff Hammond (University of Bath), who presented on recent collaborative research into low carbon energy transitions and solutions, and Alan Seviour (Ace Energy) a local business owner who is experiencing first hand the challenges currently facing the uptake of these technologies.

Professor Hammond manages the Transition Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy consortium, which was initially established in 2008 and was sponsored by E.ON UK and EPSRC (Energy and Physical Sciences Research Council).

The team has devised models with three alternative approaches to model a potential renewable energy future. Market Rules involves minimal interference in market arrangements; Central Co-ordination, involves centralised generation technologies and greater government involvement ; and Thousand Flowers, involves a range of ‘bottom up' solutions promoting local leadership and widespread microgeneration.

Due to the losses in conversion and transmission from centralised systems - often up to 58% of total energy generated is lost before it reaches the end user. Decentralised generation addresses this issue, and of the three models, the ‘Thousand Flowers' model attained the lowest predicted figures for 2050 carbon emissions. The primary source of energy in this model is CHP (Combined Heat and Power), and it is hoped that through localising power generation, consumers will become more active participants in energy system development and operation.

However, new technology is never without its challenges; current barriers to change include costs, lack of information and issues with obtaining planning permission for certain technologies. There is also the pressing need to maintain the reliability of the electric supply. A reliable alternative to the current system cannot be realised until the UK has reliable capacity in small-scale plants, which could take many years. However, an energy system with more highly distributed micro-generators could clearly help to reduce carbon emissions, and may be crucial in leading to alternative visions & realities of a low-carbon society.

More information on Professor Hammond's research: http://www.realisingtransitionpathways.org.uk/

Alan Seviour (ACE Energy) gave an industry insight into current Micro CHP; an alternative energy solution that is underrepresented in the current energy mix despite generous Feed in Tariffs. CHP provides a constant energy supply and therefore more geared towards dealing with current market demands than intermittent supplies such as solar PV and wind.

CHP systems produce a combination of heat and electricity, when used exclusively for electricity they can be around 60% efficient - however, when the heat generated as a by-product is used for heating water this efficiency rating rises to as much as 85%. These statistics are impressive, but as described above, CHP is not without its limitations, one being the cost of the systems. That said, CHP systems are rapidly becoming more affordable and there is scope in the future for them to be combined with other fuel sources such as biofuel, making them truly renewable in comparison to the current consumption of natural gas from the grid.

 

 


Both full presentations are embedded above or can be found on Slideshare.

The next Low Carbon Business Breakfast is in Bristol at the Engine Shed on the 22nd of April, and we will back in Bath on the 20th of May. To find out more and book your place, click on the dates to be taken to the respective pages.

 

 

 
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