Over the last seven days we've seen big green energy (opens in new tab) news, with the announcement that new eco-homes constructed in Greenwich are the greenest ever built in the UK. Meanwhile, households could see lower energy bills, if a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research is acted upon by the Government; and more. Here's all the energy news from the last week...
New eco homes will be the greenest in Britain
Zero-carbon modular homes constructed in Greenwhich by ilke Homes and ENGIE will be among the most environmentally friendly homes ever built in the UK. According to PBC Today (opens in new tab), each building has been installed with solar panels and heat pumps, and will be able to export excess energy back to the grid.
Manufactured offsite, the houses were constructed using digital design tech such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), which enables manufacturers to vastly improve how airtight a building is, as well as improve quality. Precision-engineering techniques also created high levels of energy efficiency.
As a result, the new homes will have an EPC rating well above the top EPC ‘A’ category. Occupants will be able to heat them for as little as £1 per day, generating huge savings on energy bills, no matter which energy supplier (opens in new tab) they're signed up to.
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Government urged to increase support for heat pumps
A report released by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found that the Government is supporting the installation of only 2 per cent of the amount of heat pumps that are needed each year if the UK is to meet its zero-carbon goal.
An increase in heat pumps could enable householders to cut their energy bills, reducing the country’s carbon emissions and creating around 275,000 jobs in England alone.
According to the IPPR, there will be a role for different technologies - but heat pumps should be favoured over hydrogen boilers as they are already readily available, will likely to be cheaper to run, and don't rely on natural gas imported in large quantities from abroad.
- Read more: Energy Live News (opens in new tab)
Large-scale battery storage boom could be triggered
The government is to pass legislation that will enable large-scale energy storage projects to move forward without the added worry of red tape and higher costs from the planning system.
Soon, battery storage projects will be able to apply for planning permission via local planning rules. This will mean that the development process for projects will be quicker and easier, potentially triggering a boom in large-scale energy projects.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said that the key to capturing the full value of renewables is ensuring homes and businesses can be powered by green energy, even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind blowing.
- Read more: Government plans to boost large-scale green energy storage (opens in new tab)
Iconic hydro power station to balance UK’s energy supply
Yorkshire-based Drax Power is to collaborate with the National Grid by supplying critical system support services from its Cruachan Power Station. The aim is to safeguard power supplies as the UK transitions to renewables - a move that's expected to save consumers more than £120 million.
The power station, built inside a mountain, will use its turbines to make the plant act like a giant battery, helping reduce the risk of power cuts.
Julian Leslie, ESO head of networks, said: “This approach – creating a market for inertia and other stability services – is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is a huge step forward in our ambition to be able to operate the GB electricity system carbon-free by 2025.”
- Read more: Drax Group (opens in new tab)
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