Categories PV / EV

New Build Solar PV – Mandatory Yes / No ?

As proactive members of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), we thought we would update you on the carbon reducing switch to sustainables affecting us (the UK) today.

Individual Conversions

Individually, homes are rapidly converting their energy thinking to move from the Grid to self-generated sustainable electricity sources. According to the Independent’s Solar Panels UK 2024 Complete Guide, “The average home can save £1,190 every year with solar panels”. But this is just one reason to convert.

Research conducted by the MCS, reveals that the installation of solar panels and heat pumps in UK homes soared in 2023, driving the country to its highest-ever level of domestic low-carbon technology upgrades. 

Registered solar photovoltaic (PV) installations rose nearly 30% to a post-subsidy record of 189,826 in 2023. And, heat-pump installations were up 20%, reaching a record 36,799 also.

This growth drove a UK record for the total number of domestic renewable electricity and low-carbon heat technologies installations registered by MCS, which reached 229,618.

Community Initiatives

Community sustainability and low carbon impact is being encouraged too.

Alethea Warrington, senior campaigner at climate charity Possible, said: “Powering clean heat with clean, cheap, local energy is the ultimate win-win: lower bills, lower emissions and warm homes.”

Regen furnished the Government with a report intending to show the benefits of community action and seeking support to ease the way for such schemes to flourish.

Community energy organisations are communities taking collective action to address climate change and fuel poverty by delivering community-led renewable energy, energy demand reduction, and energy supply projects.

Dr. Rebecca Windemer, planning and communities lead at Regen and one of the report’s co-authors, said: “We know that we need to go much further and faster on clean heat to hit our net zero targets, and our report gives the Government the keys to a real solution.

By innovating with wind, solar and clean heat technology, we can slash bills while cutting carbon. We desperately need policy change to enable communities to directly benefit from these projects.”

Community schemes vary enormously. At the start of 2022 ModPods International set out to design a Low Carbon Home, and a home capable of producing Zero Energy Bills. Intended for individual modular design and domestic lifestyles to reflect carbon neutral aspirations.

Steve Smith, of ModPods said “We are now being asked to develop community schemes with Warder facilities to suit the vast demand for Social Housing. Kent and the South East have been earmarked for future trials and development.

Made to measure, supplied a pods by low loader, erected, wired and infastructured. One for JGF? – watch this space.

National Activity

National Developments:

A briefing by MCS in February and report by Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser, Solar Energy UK with statistics from a YouGov poll, was a revelation for ‘Project Carbon Neutral’.

MPs overwhelmingly back mandatory solar panels for newbuild homes

The Government is consulting on proposals for regulations for newbuild homes that will come into force in 2025, with two options – one to mandate solar panels for all new homes, and one to not mandate them.

According to the YouGov poll, 79% of all MPs, and 83% of Labour MPs, agree that solar panels should be incorporated into all new-builds from 2025.

Three in five (61%) MPs believe that battery storage, which can maximise the gains from solar panels, should be mandatory in new homes as well. That figure rises to 77% for Labour MPs.

Joe Forsyth, JGF’s MD, said: “PV alone is not the solution. To be truly ‘sustainable’ any system must create and manage a ‘power reservoir’, holding surplus power in batteries to balance out the peaks and troughs of production and use.

Peaks are stored and, if not needed domestically / locally, can be sold back into the National Grid. One of the peaks that is currently concerning the market is efficient sourcing of energy to charge EVs. Harnessing domestic energy generation is the only real step towards making this possible.”

David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs at the MCS Foundation, said, “When it comes to constructing modern homes that are climate-friendly and cheap to run, building-in solar panels, batteries for energy storage, and heat pumps from the start is very clearly the way to go.”

This is exciting news, not just for the country but for JGF. JGF have invested time, training and other resources, gaining accreditation from MCS, and embarking on technical up-skilling to make sure it will play an important role in the Solar PV and EV Solutions market over the next 5 years and beyond.

For further thoughts, see our recent article: Energy Doesn’t Grow on TreesHERE.

Categories PV / EV

Energy Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Tracking Clean Energy Process (TCEP) – How are we doing?

As ULEZ signs topple across London in Sadiq Khan’s one-man last-ditch attempt to save the planet and London residents’ horror at having to do it for him, in a more structured world, the IEA have published their TCEP 2023 report.

Mole End Farms in Cranbrook may be a grain of sand in the desert of renewables but, as you’ll read later (below), by working #together, we may hold back the melting ice flows and stop the growing acres of barren land.

Our principal aim is to build a truly ethical and sustainable long-term business...”

Read what else owner Paul Ward has to say about environmental sustainability, below.

The BIG picture first

The IEA is an international body working with governments around the world offering advice on matters ‘energy’ with the broadest goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

The TCEP report specifically covers:

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Nuclear
  • Heat Pumps
  • Electrolyser
  • Energy Efficiency

How are we doing?

(In their words): Of the over 50 components tracked, in the 2023 edition 3 are evaluated as fully “On track” with the Net Zero by 2050 Scenario trajectory – solar PV, electric vehicles and lighting. Solar PV was upgraded in this edition, as the annual growth in generation in 2022 of 26% is now aligned with the average compound annual growth rate needed from now to 2030 in the Net Zero Scenario. 

Massive UK Growth.

In the first 6 months of 2022, the UK Solar PV market saw the UK posting 80% growth in new solar PV installations compared to the same period the previous with the country’s solar capacity now exceeding 15GW.

And, the UK has ambitious solar power targets to reach 40GW installed capacity by 2030.

Exciting News.

This is exciting news, not just for the country but for JGF. JGF have invested time and other resources, gaining accreditation and embarking on technical up-skilling to make sure it will play an important role in the EV / PV market over the next 3 years.

Energy – it doesn’t grow on trees

But apples do, especially at Mole End Farms in Kent.

This is a slice of Mole End Farm in Kent, an award-winning grower of apples and pears. Paul Ward, MD and passionate organic grower, summed his business aims up for us:

Our principal aim is to build a truly ethical and sustainable long-term business, producing a high-quality food product in a fully sustainable manner with the absolute minimum impact on the surrounding environment.”

Paul added: “We aim to market, package and promote our products using the most environmentally sustainable means.”

For years, part of their ‘environmental sustainability’ includes renewable energy. This began a number of years ago and is an ongoing strategy, developing in conjunction with JGF. Power from solar panels has subsidised energy from the grid and EV Charging is in place, just. Now, the whole ‘internal network’ is being extended across the remaining farms in the group.

Joe Forsyth, JGF’s MD, said: “The next phase is to create a ‘power reservoir’, holding surplus power in batteries to balance out the peaks and troughs of production and use. Then, at quieter times on the farm, we will enjoy the blossom, Mole End Farm will sell energy back into the grid. That’s one happy business.”

Cost efficient?

Joe again: “Yes. But let us conduct a survey and see for yourself.”