Sep 26, 2012

Europe Leads World in Solar Power

Europe
Admin
2 min
    Two-thirds of solar panels, or 18.5 gigawatts, worldwide were installed in Europe last year, according to a new rep...

 

 

Two-thirds of solar panels, or 18.5 gigawatts, worldwide were installed in Europe last year, according to a new report from the European Union's Joint Research Centre.

Under a project totaling $84 billion, Europe's solar photovoltaic industry grew by an average of over 40 percent annually. Meanwhile, China remains the world's largest producer of solar panels and the most rapid annual growth over the last five years has actually been concentrated in Asia.

Although the US has fallen behind—with installations at 1,855 megawatts last year compared to Europe's 18.5 gigawatts—solar panel installations are expected to nearly double by the end of 2012, reaching 2.8 gigawatts. Years after the Solyndra bankruptcy fiasco, the U.S. prepares to hand over $197 million in government funding to solar power start-up SoloPower, as part of its plan to reach that target.

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Although Europe's overall solar power capacity is impressive, it still has a long way to go to meet the European Commission's goal of increasing renewable energy to over 20 percent by 2020. The volume of power produced by solar power now can only meet 2 percent of the EU's electricity demands.

 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
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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