Last week saw the launch of what I understand is the UK’s second ever solar power buyers’ club. ‘Juice from your Roof’ offers discounted photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal panels in south-west London, centred on the borough of Merton. They will be supplied by Solar Technologies, which was bought by British Gas for £2.8m in 2008.
The discount rises as more panels are installed: from 5.4% for just ten installations, rising to 12.5% for a more impressive 100 installations. That means a top-of-the-range four-kilowatt PV system would cost £12,037, down from £13,757. However, the full price will be charged at point of sale: the discounts will be rebated as more installations are made.
The launch on 22 March was attended by about 50 of the 100-plus households and businesses signed up to the scheme. (more…)
This was not, overall, a good green Budget. The chancellor’s announcement on the Green Investment Bank attracted ire, because it will not be able to borrow significantly until 2015 at the earliest.
But what he said about the GIB was as good as could be hoped for, given the government’s unshakeable deficit-cutting priority. If all goes according to plan, the bank will be up and running in 2012 and be able to line up £18bn to back projects by 2015. (more…)
Civil servants aren’t meant to do politics. So it was an uncomfortable, queasy occasion this week when Mike Anderson, the environment department’s director general for green economy, had to set out the coalition’s new vision for sustainable development at the close of the Sustainable Development Commission’s big farewell event.
His boss, DEFRA secretary of state Caroline Spelman, had already had some of the SDC’s commissioners in for breakfast that morning. She wanted to explain how the government would drive forward on sustainable development after abolishing the commission, which closes at the end of this month. (more…)