May 17, 2020

Crest Energy to Develop New Zealand's First Large-Scale Tidal Energy Project

2 min
Crest Energy to develop first large-scale tidal energy project in New Zealand
Since 2006, New Zealands energy sector has grappled with the legal and consent process of developing the countrys first tidal energy generation project...
Since 2006, New Zealand’s energy sector has grappled with the legal and consent process of developing the country’s first tidal energy generation project. Tidal energy utilizes the movement of ocean currents to spin underwater offshore turbines, thus generating electricity. While smaller demonstration tidal energy schemes have been developed off of New Zealand’s coastline, none have yet provided power plant-levels of electricity before, to help offset the country’s growing energy needs.

Now, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s has finally granted approval for a large-scale tidal energy generation project in New Zealand. The contract is being awarded to Crest Energy, who will oversee the installation of up to 200 tidal turbine generators in New Zealand’s Northland Kaipara Harbour. The total area to be covered is roughly 8km by 1 km, and will generate enough electricity when finished to power “everything above Auckland—from Albany to the Cape,” according to Crest Energy Director Anthony Hopkins.


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Now that the project has the green light to develop, Crest Energy is seeking investment, and predicts the first turbines to be installed within the next two years. The project in its entirety is expected to cost upward of $600 million in the first 10 years.

Investors with an interest in New Zealand tidal energy generation include the country’s wealthiest family, the Todd family.

Rumors are circulating that Irish company OpenHydro will be supplying the tidal turbines for the project.

The installation process for the tidal turbines is to be phased gradually, as to allow for testing and monitoring throughout the project’s implementation to assure that environmental concerns are addressed. Three turbines will be installed first and monitored. “I am aware of concerns raised by submitters and believe the conditions set out would ensure any possible negative impacts can be properly monitored and accounted for,” said Conservation Minister Wilkinson. A public review process will be in place that could halt the project if environmental concerns are detected.

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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