UK power firm plans world’s largest battery storage project

Drax, a UK power company, has announced that it is seeking planning permission to continue the reinvention of its North Yorkshire coal plant by installing a 200MW battery onsite.

If approved and commissioned, the storage facility would be the biggest in the world, dwarfing the 129 MW lithium-ion battery project currently being built in Australia by Tesla and Neoen.

Drax first announced plans to convert its 2,500 acre coal-fired plant – which is the largest in the UK and one of the largest in Europe – earlier this year, and has already switched three of the six units from coal to biomass.

These new proposals would see the remaining coal capacity idled and replaced with 3.6 GW of new gas generation capacity and the 200 MW battery storage facility. Drax said that the proposal is “subject to a positive investment decision and would need to be underpinned by a 15-year capacity market contract”.

The upgrade would significantly enhance Drax’s flexible and responsive power capability, placing the English county of Yorkshire at the forefront of the global energy storage sector in the process.

“We are at the start of the planning process but, if developed, these options for gas and battery storage show how Drax could upgrade our existing infrastructure to provide capacity, stability and essential grid services, as we do with biomass,” said Drax Power CEO Andy Koss.

“This would continue to keep costs low for consumers and help to deliver the government’s commitment to remove coal from the UK grid.”

The UK government has announced that it wants to phase out coal from the British energy mix completely by 2025. Current coal production is almost zero, with solar PV alone outstripping coal’s power output in H1 of 2017.

The planning process for Drax’s ambitious proposal could take up to two years given the size and complexity of the task at hand, but the intention of one of the country’s foremost coal generators to add such vast capacities of storage is to be welcomed.

The announcement comes just a day after renewable energy developer Anesco announced that it had been granted approval to claim ROCs for the storage element of three of its large-scale solar+storage solar farms – a decision by power regulator Ofgem that could open the floodgates for massive amounts of battery storage uptake at solar farms across the country.

Delays In Renewable Deployment Could Cost UK Consumers £2.6 Billion

Clean Power

Published on September 14th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill

September 14th, 2017 by

Despite tumbling prices and growing demand, further delays in the deployment of renewable energy in the UK could end up costing consumers £2.6 billion annually in 2025.

As we saw earlier this week with the announcement of the UK’s most recent Contracts for Difference competitive auction, in which offshore wind energy projects won contracts at record low strike prices, bringing costs below that of natural gas and nuclear, renewable energy projects now rank as not just cost competitive, but actively cheaper than traditional energy generation sources.

However, new analysis conducted by UK think-tank Green Alliance has found that without faster deployment of renewables, consumers could end up paying £2.6 billion extra annually in 2025. Specifically, the choice detailed in the new report, Closing the clean power gapis between low-carbon renewable energy sources or natural gas sources. Green Alliance conclude that investing in and building low-carbon renewable energy sources like wind and solar will save consumers £1.8 billion per year in 2025, or £2.6 billion per year if energy efficiency is included (shown below as ‘Negawatts’ — a measurement of watts saved).

New build gas facing a carbon price versus renewables by 2025

Further, these savings will only double by 2030: Specifically, continuing to build renewables and increasing energy efficiency efforts will save UK consumers £3.7 billion per year by 2030, or £5.3 billion when including energy efficiency measures.

New build gas facing a carbon price versus renewables by 2030

But despite the increasingly obvious value in renewable energy and continued price declines, the UK Government has yet to properly commit to renewable energy deployment in a way that puts all doubts to rest and gives policy confidence to investors and developers. Despite promises to develop renewable energy and tough targets to increase renewable energy’s share of the country’s electricity mix, delays after delays have threatened the industry.

“Since 2015, the UK has been cutting back on renewables just as they’ve become cheap, having previously invested heavily to bring down their costs,” explained Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance. “A smarter strategy would be to follow through on the earlier investment and buy more of this cheaper, clean energy, which would keep energy bills down and support new jobs in the renewables industry across the country.”

Green Alliance analysis has determined that the UK Government has cut back on renewables so much that there is a queue of 65 terawatt-hours of renewable energy waiting to be developed — which would account for approximately 20% of the UK’s energy consumption. This pipeline could also be developed for much less than the comparable amount of natural gas.

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UK government introduces proposals for cap on crop-based biofuels

The UK government has made proposals to introduce a cap on crop-based biofuels in order to meet its renewable fuel obligations.

The maximum level for the use of fuels made from agricultural crops will begin at 4% in 2018 and reduce linearly year on year from 2021 to reach 3% in 2026 and 2% in 2032.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said: “The level is intended to provide a market for domestic producers to utilise installed capacity, to ensure that E10 fuel could be deployed as a cost effective means to meet supplier obligations, and to provide a clear pathway towards higher contributions from waste-derived fuels.”

The news comes as the government published its response to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) consultation.

The RFTO supports the government’s policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by encouraging the production of biofuels that don’t damage the environment.


The RTFO ensures that a percentage of the petrol and diesel used UK vehicles comes from renewable sources, especially waste. The market for renewable fuels, such as bioethanol (blended into petrol) and biodiesel (blended into diesel), has been held at 4.75% since 2012, meaning that over 95% of the transport fuel mix is still fossil-based. The RTFO was designed on its introduction nearly a decade ago to be increased to 10% by 2020. This has led to more than £1bn of investment in domestic manufacturing infrastructure.

With this new proposal, the overall RTFO will be increased to 10% by 2020 and 12.4% by 2032. This new proposal suggests that waste-based fuels will form 10.4% of the share.

E10 boost

In his foreword, Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP said: “Increasing the renewable content of petrol by moving to E10 fuel should make achieving our targets easier and potentially more cost effective, as well as providing an economic boost to domestic producers.

“The government will work with industry to facilitate any future introduction of E10 petrol, playing our part to ensure that is managed carefully and to ensure ongoing availability of fuel suitable for older (pre-2000) petrol vehicles. In doing so, we expect the oil industry to do their part to help minimise any impacts on owners of older vehicles.”

Biofuels made from certain wastes, residues, non-food cellulosic material and lignocellulosic material, will be eligible for  twice the number of Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) than biofuels from crops or other non-waste feedstocks.

The renewable energy industry cautiously welcomed the proposals published by the Department for Transport to increase the amount of renewable fuel in the transport energy mix.

Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said: “The REA is pleased that the amount of renewable fuel will now be increased, which gives biofuels producers, especially those using waste as feedstock a bigger market to go for. However, the decision to decrease the use of sustainable crops in renewable fuel production to 2% raises the question whether fuel suppliers will supply an increasing amount of renewable bioethanol.

“The government’s own Transport Energy Task Force recommended that increasing the amount of renewable bioethanol into petrol to ten per cent would be the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions from petrol.

“If this fuel is not introduced this would destroy an immediate route to low carbon fuels and improved air quality.

“Our AD biogas producers will also be disappointed that their biomethane, largely derived from food and organic farm waste, will not qualify as a Development Fuel. Renewable gas can play a major role in decarbonising the heavy transport, a major contributor of carbon emissions.”


Looking forward, the government will continue to engage with stakeholders as it takes the legislation through Parliament and finalise guidance on its operation to support its implementation and their preparation for it.

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International.

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Europe Biopower Market, Update 2017 - Global Market Size, Average Price, Major Feedstock, Regulations, and Key Country Analysis to 2025

LONDON, Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Europe Biopower Market, Update 2017 - Global Market Size, Average Price, Major Feedstock, Regulations, and Key Country Analysis to 2025

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Bioenergy is renewable energy derived from the biomass feedstock and accounts for 14% of world primary energy supply. Essentially, biomass is used to produce electricity (biopower), heat (biothermal), fuels (biofuel), and CHP. The potential biomass feedstock includes bioenergy crops, forest products, agricultural residues, and animal manure. Global biomass supply in 2030 is estimated to range from 97 exajoule (EJ) to 147 EJ per year. Nearly 40% of this total would come from agricultural residues and waste (37-66 EJ). The remaining supply potential is shared between energy crops (33-39 EJ) and forest products, including forest residues (24-43 EJ). The largest supply potential exists in Asia and Europe (including Russia) (43-77 EJ).

Global cumulative installed capacity for biopower increased from 49.4 gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 111.3GW in 2016. A major portion of this increased capacity employed several biomass conversion technologies, while a small portion used landfill gas or biomass gasification complemented by biogas conversion technology. The rise in global installed capacity during this period can be attributed to the installations in China and Brazil. Brazil used almost entirely solid-biomass conversion, with negligible biogas capacity addition. China, on the other hand, installed biomass and biogas plants. Steady growth of the cumulative capacity is expected to continue, to reach 165.2GW by the end of 2025, with more than 84% of the capacity using solid-biomass conversion technology.

Europe is the largest biopower market in the world. It accounts for 37.4% share of the global cumulative biopower installed capacity. Asia-Pacific is the second-largest region with a share of 30.25% by 2016. It is followed by North America (NA), South and Central America (SCA), and Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Europe and Asia-Pacific regions were the major markets for biopower in 2016. In the same year, Europe invested $9,332m with average capital expenditure (capex) of $4,350 per kilowatt (kW), followed by Asia-Pacific with $8,833m and capex of $2,677 in biopower technology. The key European countries contributing to biopower market included the UK, France, Germany and, Italy, whereas in Asia-Pacific countries such as China, India, Japan, and Thailand were the major investors.

The report "Europe Biopower Market, Update 2017 - Global Market Size, Average Price, Major Feedstock, Regulations, and Key Country Analysis to 2025", offer comprehensive information and understanding of the European biopower market. The report provides an overview and detailed insight into the Global and European biopower market. The report covers information related to biopower installed capacity, biopower generation, average price, market size, feedstock analysis, major plants and some of the key policy support measures in the region as well as for ten key countries

In particular, this report provides the following analysis -
- Market study of biopower industry in the world, for Europe and for countries such as the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Finland, Austria, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, and Denmark.
- Historic (2006-2016) and forecast data (2017-2025) for cumulative and annual installed power capacity and power generation for biopower.
- Information on feedstock potential and installed capacity share by feedstock type.
- Analysis on major market forces driving or restraining the growth of biopower market at global level.
- Market size and average capital cost data at country and global level.
- An overview on tenders and contracts signed in Europe between 2016-2017.
- Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of biopower.

Companies mentioned in this report: Ofgem, Drax Group, DONG Energy, Weltec Biopower Gmbh, Domaix Energie, General Electric Company, Pacific Power Solutions, Bowman Power Group Ltd, Fuji Electric Company, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Engie S.A., E.ON Sverige AB, SWB AG, Mercer International Inc, Multifuel Energy Ltd, RWE Npower plc, Inova Var Biomasse, Acea S.p.A., AB Fortum Varme, Lenzing AG, Tauron Polska Energia S.A.

The report analyses global and Europe biopower market.

Its scope includes -
- Market study of biopower industry in the world, for Europe and for countries such as the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Finland, Austria, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, and Denmark.
- Historic (2006-2016) and forecast data (2017-2025) for cumulative and annual installed power capacity and power generation for biopower
- Information on feedstock potential and installed capacity share by feedstock type
- Analysis on major market forces driving or restraining the growth of biopower market at global level
- Market size and average capital cost data at country and global level
- An overview on tenders and contracts signed in Europe between 2016-2017
- Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of biopower.

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- Facilitate decision-making by providing historical and forecast data in biopower sector
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- Respond to your competitors' business structure, strategies and prospects

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UK awards CfDs to 2 dedicated biomass with CHP projects

The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced Contracts for Difference (CfD) have been awarded to 11 new projects, including two dedicated biomass power plants with combined-heat-and-power (CHP).

The two dedicated biomass with CHP projects include the Grangemouth Renewable Energy Plant, under development by Grangemouth Renewable Energy Ltd., and Rebellion, under development by Rebellion Biomass LLP.

Located in Scotland, the 85 MW Grangemouth plant is expected to provide power to 148,880 homes. The plant was awarded a strike price of £74.75 ($99.32) per MWh with delivery expected in 2021-’22. The smaller-scale Rebellion project is based in England and will have a capacity of 0.64 MW and is expected to provide power to 1,120 homes. The Rebellion project was also awarded a strike price of £74.75 per MWh with delivery expected in 2021-’22.

CfDs were also awarded to six projects featuring advanced conversion technologies and three offshore wind projects. On a combined basis, the 11 projects are expected to generate more than 3 GW of electricity, enough to power 3.6 million homes.

“We’ve placed clean growth at the heart of the Industrial Strategy to unlock opportunities across the country, while cutting carbon emissions,” said Minister for Energy and Industry Richard Harrington. “The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today. This government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low carbon future, and will set out ambitious proposals in the upcoming Clean Growth Plan.”

A statement released by the U.K. Renewable Energy Association indicates the advanced conversion technology projects involve the gasification or pyrolysis of waste. Projects classified as advanced conversion technologies that were awarded CfDs include the 15 MW Drakelow Renewable energy Center, under development by Future Earth Energy (Drakelow) Ltd.; the 0.05 MW Station Yard CFD 1 project, under development by DC2 Engineering Ltd.; the 25.5 MW Northacre Renewable Energy Centre, under development by Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd.; the 10.2 MW IPIF Fort Industrial REC, under development by Legal and General Prop Partners (Ind Fund) Ltd.; the 5.56 MW Blackbridge TGS 1 Ltd. project, under development by Think Greenergy TOPCO Ltd.; and the 8 MW Redruth EfW project, under development by Redruth EFW Ltd. The first five advanced conversion technology projects were awarded strike prices of £74.75 per MWh, while the Redruth EfW project was awarded a strike price of £40.00 per MWh.

“The latest renewables auction show huge price reductions across the board, with offshore wind, energy from waste and biomass clearing at prices from £57.50-£74.75,” said James Court, head of policy and external affairs at the U.K. REA.  "These results show that renewables are now the most cost effective form of any energy generation which can future proof both the U.K. grid and provide sustainable new jobs in the U.K.”

Massive offshore wind farm set to be built in Moray Firth

A massive offshore wind farm is set to be built off Scotland’s east coast after winning a UK government tendering competition to supply power.

Known as Moray East, it will be sited between Fraserburgh and Wick in the Moray Firth,

When completed in the next five years, the 950MW scheme will be Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm – overtaking the 588MW Beatrice field being constructed nearby.

With around 100 204m-tall turbines, Moray East will generate enough electricity for around one million homes.

The development, a joint venture between Spanish renewables giant EDPR and French utility firm Engie, is the only Scottish wind project to have been awarded a 15-year Contract for Difference (CfD) from Westminster’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in the current round of licensing.

The new agreement, with a strike price of £57.50 per megawatt hour, represents a significant drop in the cost of offshore wind generation.

The latest price is nearly two thirds less than in 2015 and dramatically cheaper than the £92.50 per megawatt hour deal with the new Hinkley C nuclear power station.

Announcing the contracts, UK energy minister Richard Harrington, said: “We’ve placed clean growth at the heart of the industrial strategy to unlock opportunities across the country, while cutting carbon emissions.

“The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today.

“This Government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low-carbon future.”

The Scottish Government granted consent for the project in 2014, but Wilfrid Petrie, chief executive of Engie in the UK, said the contract marked an important step forward.

The announcement has been welcomed in Scotland.

Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The results of this latest auction are good news for Scotland, for our environment and for our energy system. The cost reductions seen in offshore wind in particular have been dramatic and are testament to the determination of developers to drive down costs.”

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said it shows “renewable energy is now the best route to delivering sustainable, affordable electricity for consumers”.

UK renewables boosted as costs fall below price of nuclear power

Offshore windfarms are to be built for a record low price in the UK early next decade, after developers bid far more aggressively than expected for a multimillion-pound pot of government subsidies. EURACTIV’s partner The Guardian reports.

Industry watchers had expected the guaranteed price for power from windfarms around Britain’s coast to come in somewhere between £70 and £80 per megawatt hour, below the £92.50 for the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

But the “exceptionally low” results of a government auction on Monday for subsidy contracts show two offshore windfarms will be built for £57.50 per MWh, way below even the most extreme predictions. The price is half of what new offshore windfarms were being awarded just two years ago.

Poland to treat coal addiction by embracing nuclear power

Poland’s ongoing large-scale investment in three new coal-fired power plants may be the country’s last fossil fuel venture, its energy minister said on Wednesday (6 September), indicating a possible energy shift in the EU’s largest eastern member amid revived plans to embrace nuclear power.

Ministers said the £290m-a-year of subsidies, paid for by consumers on energy bills, would bring forward enough clean power for 3.6m homes and create thousands of jobs.

Richard Harrington, the energy minister, said: “The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today.”

As well as a major boost for renewables in the UK, which have suffered from government subsidy cuts in recent years, today’s auction will fuel a debate over whether ministers should rethink their commitment to new nuclear power to meet the country’s carbon targets.

The Green party said the results should sound the death knell for Hinkley Point C, which is currently being built by EDF in Somerset.

Caroline Lucas, the party’s co-leader, said: “This massive price drop for offshore wind is a huge boost for the renewables industry and should be the nail in the coffin for new nuclear.

“While clean, green wind power has the potential to seriously cut people’s bills – the government’s undying commitment to new nuclear risks locking us into sky high prices for years to come.”

Unlike Hinkley, where the price was agreed in negotiations between EDF and government officials, the offshore windfarms’ backers had to compete in a reverse auction for the lowest guaranteed price, known as a contract for difference. The lower the price, the more electricity generating capacity can be built.

The winning developers are Germany’s Innogy, which will receive £74.75 per MWh for Triton Knoll off the coast of Lincolnshire, Denmark’s Dong Energy at £57.50 for its Hornsea Two project off the Yorkshire coast and Spain’s EDP with £57.50 for the Moray offshore windfarm in Scotland.

The higher price for Triton Knoll reflects the fact it will be delivered slightly earlier, in 2021-22, compared with 2022-23 for the other two.

In total they will have a generating capacity of 3.2GW, the same as Hinkley Point C, though they should be operational at least two years before the pair of new reactors.

Matthew Wright, managing director for Dong Energy UK, said: “This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the UK and a massive step forward for the industry.”

Europe's wind capacity grows but concerns persist

The first half of 2017 saw 6.1 gigawatts of extra wind power capacity installed in Europe. But a lack of long-term political commitment has hit investment and market concentration remains problematic.

The price of building offshore windfarms has fallen by nearly a third since 2012 as the technology matured, and developers believe that a new generation of even bigger turbines mean they can achieve further cost reductions in coming years.

“Offshore wind’s success was undoubtedly buoyed by the decreasing costs of capital in the sector and the wider downward trend of subsidy levels witnessed in other European tender processes,” said Robert Marsh of law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, which represents the UK’s big energy companies, said: “Today’s exceptionally low results are further evidence of how the cost of clean energy is continuing to fall, and the move to a low carbon future is delivered at the lowest cost to consumers.”

He called on the government to set out its long-term plan for cutting carbon emissions, and to provide certainty around the timing for future auctions like the one today. Ministers have allocated a further £440m-a-year for more auctions to be held before 2020, but have not confirmed when these might happen.

Exchange rate on 11 September 2017, €1 = €0.91

Jaguar and Land Rovers to make all cars electric or hybrid by 2020

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced all of its vehicles will be available in electric or hybrid models from 2020 as it becomes the latest car-maker to move away from internal combustion engines.

The company’s first fully electric model will be the Jaguar I-Pace, which will go on sale next year.

Chief executive Ralf Speth said: “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice.

“We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”

The announcement from JLR, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, follows a similar pledge from the Swedish firm Volvo, which aims for all its new cars to have an electric motor from 2019.

Earlier this week Scotland’s First Minister announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032 as part of efforts to tackle air pollution and climate change.

The move goes a step further than recent proposals from Westminster, which will see conventional combustion engine cars and vans phased out by 2040.

JLR, which increased production by 11 per cent last year to 544,000, also said it will develop a driverless car dubbed “Future-Type”, which features a talking steering wheel that can “summon your car, play music, book you a table and even knows what’s in your fridge”.

The popularity of electric cars in the UK has risen sharply over the past few years.

There are now more than 100,000 plug-in vehicles on the road, compared with just 3,500 in 2013.

The dramatic rise has come about because of a greater level of choice for drivers, a shift in public attitude and improvements in the public recharging network.

The latest move has been welcomed by the green power industry.

Matthew Trevaskis, head of electric vehicles at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement today reflects how rapidly the electric vehicle market is changing and how car companies are recognising that if they’re not increasingly electrifying their vehicles they’re going to be left behind.”

In order to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels, he says governments must put in place “policy that supports the growth of a network of easily accessible, strategically placed charge points across the country with the renewable energy generation, grid capacity and intelligent management to sustain it”.

Scotland Looks To Phase Out Gas And Diesel Vehicles By 2032

6 hours ago by Mark Kane

Renault ZOE powered almost entirely by renewable energy in Scotland

Scotland would like to get rid of internal combustion cars even quicker than the greater UK, which set a target of 2040 for new gas/diesel cars ban.

Tesla Supercharger In Scotland

Scotland is aiming for a date of 2032, so just 15 more years of anguish left.

The new sales of petrol and diesel are looked to be phased out by 2032, at least according to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“Our aim is for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to be phased out in Scotland by 2032—the end of the period covered by our new climate change plan and eight years ahead of the target set by the UK government”

Today, the total sales of plug-in cars in UK exceed just 2% market share, so there is still away to go…but 15 years is a long time.

The SNP leader also detailed plans to “massively expand” charging points in the region, and to also set up new project to boost electric vehicle adoption.

“We live in a time of unprecedented global challenge and change…We face rapid advances in technology; a moral obligation to tackle climate change … These challenges are considerable, but in each of them we will find opportunity. It is our job to seize it.”

Additionally, Sturgeon wants to make the A9 Scotland’s first all electric roadway.

Scotland accounts for just 10% of UK car sales, but is full of renewable energy sources, which would be great combination with plug-in vehicles.

source: EcoWatch

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Low-Income Homes In The UK To Get Free Solar Panels

Going green is great for the environment, like installing solar panels, battery packs for the home, driving electric cars, and so on. However sometimes going green can be expensive and in some instances, like electric cars, are a luxury that people who are on a minimum salary simply cannot afford.

However in the UK, a new government scheme will help make things easier for those who aren’t quite as wealthy. The government has announced a new program across England and Wales in which 800,000 low-income homes will be getting free solar panel installations. This billion dollar project will see renewable energy company Solarplicity partner with social housing providers to provide and install solar panels for low-income homes.

The idea behind solar energy is to help reduce dependency on more traditional forms of energy that aren’t quite as good for the environment, or at least provide an alternative source of energy for certain situations or uses. Ultimately it will help reduce the amount that we pay in our electricity bills and according to Solarplicity, this move is expected to save home owners an average £240 a year.

The first 100,000 homes will receive the panels in the first 18 months, with the remaining homes expected to get their solar panels installed over the course of the next five years.

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