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View blog posts for category: Biomass

Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 July 2013 at 9:41 am

Why buyers should take care when investing in renewable heat

Let me set my stall out: I'm a fan of renewable heat technologies if they are installed well in suitable buildings. I'm also delighted that details of the domestic renewable heat incentive scheme has finally been announced, and that the rates are higher than expected.  But, and g…

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How to choose your biomass boiler installer

Posted by FairEnergy . on 18 July 2013 at 9:35 am

How to choose your biomass boiler installer

A biomass boiler is unlike any other type of boiler and there some very important considerations that your installer should understand and be able to explain to you. 1. Ask how long the company has been installing biomass boilers. 2. Find out how many installations the company has done an…

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Details of the domestic renewable heat incentive finally announced

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 July 2013 at 10:25 am

After several delays, the details of the renewable heat incentive, originally announced in July 2010 have finally been announced. Its aim is to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies to cut carbon, help meet the renewables targets and to save money on energy bills. Who can apply …

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Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 July 2013 at 10:10 am

Check you are eligible for RHI before installing renewable heat

The renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) for biomass boilers and heat pumps are only available for properties that are off the mains gas network. Until the announcement on the full domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) is made this summer we won't know if this will also be the case for th…

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How free biomass boiler deals may lose businesses £23k a year

Posted by Amanda Hobbins on 21 May 2013 at 10:37 am

How free biomass boiler deals may lose businesses £23k a year

Companies offering free biomass boilers to replace your oil- or LPG-fired boiler take the Government’s Non-Domestic RHI tariff payments instead of up-front payment for the installation. This is fine if you really can’t afford to buy your biomass boiler yourself, and you’ll still…

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DECC doubles upfront grants for renewable heat technologies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 May 2013 at 3:32 pm

More help with the upfront cost of installing renewable heat is now available as the Department of Energy and Climate Change announces a doubling of the Renewable Heat Premium Payments. These money off vouchers have been increased to: £2,300 for ground source heat pumps £2,0…

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When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 April 2013 at 9:17 am

When will I get renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments?

A: As RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments have been delayed again till Spring 2014, do we have to wait till then to get our payment? So there will be no payment in 2013 then? Q: If you are what the government describes as a 'legacy' applicant, which means someone who has installed…

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Miscanthus: a sustainable alternative to wood fuel

Posted by FairEnergy . on 15 April 2013 at 9:27 am

Miscanthus: a sustainable alternative to wood fuel

Concerns that we will eventually run out of biomass wood fuel have been refuted by the Forestry Commission which says it that the wood fuel industry will be sustainable for many years yet. It estimates that the woodfuel industry could generate £1 billion and support more than 15,000 job…

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A bad week for renewable energy

Posted by Stewart Boyle on 3 April 2013 at 3:54 pm

A bad week for renewable energy

Last week was a bad week for renewable heat, and biomass especially. The announcement that there would be a significant further delay to the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI-2) scheme finally came. With RHI payments due to start no earlier than Spring 2014, this will mak…

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Renewable technologies work together at Devon vineyard

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 11 March 2013 at 10:50 am

Renewable technologies work together at Devon vineyard

Different renewables technologies can complement each other when used in tandem, as Pebblebed Vineyard’s Clyst St. George Vineyard in Devon shows. A solar thermal system became the farm's newest renewable energy installation in November 2011, adding to solar PV and a…

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Is biomass heating suitable for urban flats?

Posted by FairEnergy . on 1 February 2013 at 12:10 pm

Is biomass heating suitable for urban flats?

Q: Is it possible to install biomass heating systems into blocks of flats? A: The short answer to this is yes.So long as there is suitable space that can be allocated to the scheme, inside or outside, a suitable pellet, wood chip or even log system can be designed to supply heat through a cen…

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Introduction to biomass boilers for heating and hot water

Posted by FairEnergy . on 4 December 2012 at 12:23 pm

Introduction to biomass boilers for heating and hot water

With the price of fossil fuel rising, people of the UK groan as they reluctantly turn up their thermostats, as temperatures plummet for the festive season. I know this as I speak to these folks daily through my role at Fair Energy. There is no hiding from the pain of this rise in energy costs. So…

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Biomass boiler means house is warm for the first time

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 November 2012 at 4:10 pm

Biomass boiler means house is warm for the first time

"It's the first time in the history of our house that we've had a warm house. Last year we were scraping ice off the inside of the windows." Anyone who lives in an old, leaky farmhouse and heats it with oil will probably prick up their ears at a quote like that and want to k…

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I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 November 2012 at 3:06 pm

I'm on mains gas, am I eligible for the domestic RHI?

Q: I am very interested in the RHI (renewable heat incentive) but a little confused! I would love a biomass boiler or air source heat pump but I have read somewhere that if I have gas and disconnect from the gas mains I still can't claim RHI? Is this true? Are biomass and ASHP RHI payments only for …

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If you're not sure about renewables, nothing beats seeing them in situ

Posted by Gordon Glass on 31 August 2012 at 9:35 am

If you're not sure about renewables, nothing beats seeing them in situ

The unfamiliarity of a lot of new technologies such as biomass boilers, solid wall insulation, heat pumps and solar panels puts many people off the idea of installing one. Seeing one working in someone's home, and being able to ask questions about how they find it can make all the difference. …

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Why you should service your biomass boiler

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 29 June 2012 at 9:40 am

Why you should service your biomass boiler

A biomass boiler is classed as a solid fuel appliance and as such produces a waste product, apart from flue emissions, this waste is ash. Ash production is around 3% for wood chips at 30% moisture content and much lower for pellets at around 1%. Ash is a highly insulative material and due…

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Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Posted by Mark Henderson on 28 June 2012 at 10:31 am

Finance is available for businesses to install renewable heat

Finance for the up-front costs of installing renewable heat technologies is now available for businesses and other organisations thanks to a new collaboration between The Carbon Trust and Siemens. The Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme offers low-cost leases, loans and other financing opti…

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Solar thermal and other renewable technologies: what our readers say

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 June 2012 at 12:05 pm

Solar thermal and other renewable technologies: what our readers say

This month the stories from readers that I like best all talk about solar thermal in some way or another. During the feed-in tariff frenzy it somehow became the poor relation to solar PV, whereas before FiTs it was the better seller. What comes over loud and clear below is that once you've got solar…

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Eco guest house is first business in Wales to benefit from RHI

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 June 2012 at 10:17 am

Eco guest house is first business in Wales to benefit from RHI

A biomass boiler, solar PV and solar thermal are all the result of a Welsh guest house's belief that you should be able to enjoy a holiday without damaging the environment. Installation of the boiler means the guest house has become the first business in Wales to benefit from the Renewable Heat Ince…

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Financial help is available for wood burning boilers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 June 2012 at 10:04 am

Financial help is available for wood burning boilers

Q: Could you point us in the right direction in regards to having an external wood burning boiler installed (for heat and hot water), and would it be covered under a FIT scheme like our solar PV system? A:  Interest in wood burning boilers - also known as biomass boilers - is on the increase…

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What to look for when buying a woodburning stove

Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 April 2012 at 9:20 am

What to look for when buying a woodburning stove

It is often hard to distinguish between one woodburning stove and another at face value.  But behind the stylish façade of a modern appliance there are a few key factors to consider before making your decision.  Output This calculator should give you a very rough ide…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 10:35 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) remains elusive, as the government announced a second phase of the renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) scheme yesterday. The domestic RHI, which will reward people who switch to renewable sources of heat with regular payments for and anticipated …

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Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 March 2012 at 9:02 am

Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

When people register on YouGen we ask them about their renewable energy, and any tips they have for others. Here are our favourites this month: Drumrossie is retired, and lives in a large, old and difficult to heat house. He has installed a log burning boiler with a 60kW output and with 4,000 lit…

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Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

Posted by Harvey Jones on 14 March 2012 at 8:01 am

Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

We’re off the mains gas grid so I chose biomass (wood chip) to replace our old oil-fired boiler as I wanted to be as CO2 neutral as possible. It also meant there was no possibility of a catastrophic heating-oil spill. Our old, cold house already had central heating with radiators and we wer…

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Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 February 2012 at 12:39 pm

Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

This month's first tip comes from Lewis, a retired university lecturer who is still active as a runner, orienteer, and log collector. He has installed a wood burning stove for hot water and three radiators (gravity circulation). He self-installed solar hot water in 2010 (which means he won't be e…

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Make sure your biomass stove or boiler is not poisoning you

Posted by Laurence Jones on 6 February 2012 at 9:08 am

Make sure your biomass stove or boiler is not poisoning you

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. It is produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. CO has no taste, smell or colour and can be present in the fumes (combustion products) of gas, oil, solid mineral fuel or biomass burning appliances. If a biomass stove or boiler is correctly inst…

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Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 January 2012 at 11:29 am

Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

There are several ways of using biomass to heat the home. I recently blogged about independent biomass boilers that run on pellets, wood chip and logs. However, there are two other noteworthy ways of using a biomass fuel source in conjunction with a central heating system. Although these appli…

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How wood pellets are made

Posted by David Fields on 2 December 2011 at 9:40 am

How wood pellets are made

Wood pellets are essentially biomass materials that have been shredded into sawdust and then compressed through a die cast to create the pellet shape. The materials are then held in place by a binding agent, such as naturally forming lignin, and produced into their 6mm size. To go into more detail,…

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Five top tips for choosing the right wood pellets

Posted by David Fields on 31 October 2011 at 5:30 am

Five top tips for choosing the right wood pellets

Since the announcement of the Renewable Heat Incentive an increasing number of homeowners and businesses are looking to new and innovative ways to power and heat their property. Alongside solar panels and heat pumps, wood pellet boilers are emerging as one of the most efficient ways to generate …

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How SAP ratings are used to measure the annual efficiency of a biomass boiler

Posted by Laurence Jones on 23 September 2011 at 10:15 am

How SAP ratings are used to measure the annual efficiency of a biomass boiler

Q: I understand that biomass boilers come with SAP ratings to measure annual efficiency. Please can you explain what an SAP rating is and how effective it is as a measure of efficiency. A: What is SAP? Standard Assessment Procedure (more commonly known as SAP), is a home energy rating that i…

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What to expect from your biomass boiler

Posted by Laurence Jones on 19 August 2011 at 9:27 am

What to expect from your biomass boiler

Biomass has an important role to play in the generation of heat for domestic users, according to the Microgeneration Strategy published by the department for energy and climate change (DECC) in June. It also highlighted the universal requirement for a greater understanding of the ‘durability of m…

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Wood co-ops offer access to woods, free logs and friendship

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 August 2011 at 10:20 am

Wood co-ops offer access to woods, free logs and friendship

Where the wood will come from is one of the issues to consider when investing in a wood burning stove or biomass boiler. The provision of wood pellet and wood chip are growing industries with measurable standards. Log supply, however, generally remains local, with variable quality, and difficulty co…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payment rates confirmed - but are they enough to kickstart renewable heat?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 July 2011 at 11:22 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payment rates confirmed - but are they enough to kickstart renewable heat?

Capital grants to help with the cost of installing renewable heat technologies will be available from 1 August. Any householder in England, Scotland or Wales can apply for the £300 renewable heat premium payment for solar thermal panels. However, payments for biomass boilers (£950), air sou…

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Choosing a Wood Pellet Stove: Five things to look for

Posted by Laurence Jones on 5 July 2011 at 9:28 am

Choosing a Wood Pellet Stove: Five things to look for

For many, fireplaces are the embodiment of the British household, with the hearth taking pride of place in the home. With the advent of climate change awareness, people are looking to reinstate period features such as these, whilst using an appliance that is efficient, economical and environmental.&…

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Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 June 2011 at 9:08 am

Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

The Government's announcement last week on measures being considered for inclusion in the Green Deal, and its thinking on consumer protection, went some way to allay criticisms of the scheme. The Green Deal is expected to offer loans of up to £10,000 over a period of up to 25 years. To qualify f…

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The pros and cons of wood chip for biomass boilers

Posted by Laurence Jones on 23 May 2011 at 9:20 am

The pros and cons of wood chip for biomass boilers

Renewable energy enthusiasts looking at biomass boilers have one big decision: wood chip or wood pellet? This first of a two part series concentrates on the former fuel type. What is wood chip? Wood chips come from three sources; roundwood (virgin timber cut to length), slab wood (off cut…

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6 tips for finding the best log supplier

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 April 2011 at 10:10 am

6 tips for finding the best log supplier

There are a number of things to think about when buying logs. While price is always going to be important, it's not always easy to compare - as you may not be comparing like with like. Here are five great questions that the Biomass Energy Centre suggests you ask suppliers before you buy: 1. Ar…

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How to choose logs for a wood burning stove

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 31 March 2011 at 10:12 am

How to choose logs for a wood burning stove

Moisture content and the density of the wood are the two main things to bear in mind when choosing logs for a wood burning stove. Not only will they affect the amount of heat you get per kilo of fuel, but they will also make a difference to how well the wood burns - whether you get nice flames or ta…

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6 things to consider before buying a wood burning stove

Posted by Laurence Jones on 17 March 2011 at 9:06 am

6 things to consider before buying a wood burning stove

More and more people are turning to stoves to heat their homes. Biomass fuels such as firewood have been growing in popularity as a carbon-lean heating solutions as consumers aim for a more ecocentric outlook for their homes. However, the importance of buying a suitable appliance for th…

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Wood pellet boiler or stove: which would suit you best?

Posted by Jon Edge on 31 January 2011 at 9:57 am

Wood pellet boiler or stove: which would suit you best?

Wood pellet is a low carbon and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels and works very well in urban properties. There are two types of pellet heating system: a boiler which replaces your existing central heating system for space heat and hot water; or a pellet stove which has a window to show …

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14 things to ask your biomass boiler installer

Posted by Jon Edge on 3 November 2010 at 9:20 am

14 things to ask your biomass boiler installer

Biomass is still pretty new to a lot of people in the UK. However, it is a tried and tested technology, used successfully for many years in other countries. Biomass boilers are a modern and very low carbon alternative to fossil fuels, especially oil or LPG and will give you as much heat and hot w…

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Is there enough wood in the UK for biomass?

Posted by Jon Edge on 24 August 2010 at 5:02 pm

Is there enough wood in the UK for biomass?

As the market for biomass boilers grows in the UK, there is concern that the wood supply will not be able to meet this demand, now and in the future. There are many factors that affect the answer to this question, but the short answer is yes, there is enough wood for a local UK biomass industry. …

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Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 9 July 2010 at 11:16 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

First let's get something straight. I think the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is a good idea. Rewarding people for their contribution to reducing carbon emissions is great and will stimulate the market. However, in its current form the RHI may not reduce emissions, and due to lack of Government cla…

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Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 22 June 2010 at 10:53 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

In the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the calculation of how much will be paid for renewable heat production depends on the installation type, as follows: Small scale installation, such as in a home: each installation's entitlement is calculated by multiplying the payment per kW…

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Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 17 June 2010 at 1:03 pm

Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

The uptake of renewable heat technologies has really dropped off with the renewable heat incentive (RHI) still looming, but no confirmation of the final tariffs or criteria, and the recent removal of the LCBP grants. No doubt things will pick up once the RHI details have been announced there.…

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Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 June 2010 at 9:44 am

Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

No one can confidently say that renewable heat is a good investment right now, as we don't know whether or not the promised renewable heat incentive will be introduced in April 2011 as laid out by the former Labour government. Making a significant investment when you can't confidently calculate the …

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Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 May 2010 at 12:31 pm

Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) grants scheme closed to new applications on Monday. We're calling on the Government to act quickly to eliminate the state of uncertainty facing  consumers and the renewable heat industry as a result. The cut came as part of the Department of Energ…

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MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

Posted by John Martin on 14 May 2010 at 9:58 am

MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) appears to be suffering in a similar way as the Gas accreditation scheme did  when it was introduced. It is shrouded in mystery, with rumour-mongers spreading the word that 'none shall pass' and that 'its only for large companies'. This situatio…

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Renewable Heat Incentive consultation: YouGen's response

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 April 2010 at 10:29 am

Renewable Heat Incentive consultation: YouGen's response

The Renewable Heat Incentive consultation closes today. Here is YouGen's response. If you want to respond yourself, you can email DECC's renewable financial incentives team. Key Issues We strongly ask you to reconsider your policy of excluding those who had systems installed prior to July …

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Renewable Heat Incentive: join the campaign for equal treatment for existing generators

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 March 2010 at 10:19 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: join the campaign for equal treatment for existing generators

More and more people are calling for the renewable heat incentive (also known as the Clean Energy Cashback) to treat existing microgenerators equally. At RegenSW's consultation conference in Bristol earlier this month property developers and installers were flagging it up as important for the scheme…

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Renewable Heat Incentive: A homeowners guide

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 March 2010 at 2:09 pm

Renewable Heat Incentive: A homeowners guide

Heat is the biggest use of energy in the UK. Just under half of the UK's CO2 emissions and 60% of domestic energy bills are used on heating space and water. Heat in the UK is currently supplied predominantly by fossil fuels - less than 1% comes from renewable sources. The proposed renewable h…

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Renewable Heat Incentive is welcomed by industry

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 March 2010 at 10:42 am

Renewable Heat Incentive is welcomed by industry

Ambitious and far-reaching were just some of the words delegates used to welcome the Renewable Heat Incentive proposals at yesterday's consultation event organised by RegenSW. However, they said that more education about renewable heat is needed if the Renewable Heat Incentive is going to suc…

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How much space do I need for a wood pellet stove?

Posted by Mike Mackmurdie on 22 February 2010 at 9:32 am

How much space do I need for a wood pellet stove?

A wood pellet stove which which gives full central heating capability is roughly the same size as one which just heats the room that it's in. The amount of space you need to install one, varies between manufacturers, but on average you're looking at: 520mm width, 1055mm height, 700mm …

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12 fascinating facts about wood pellet fuel

Posted by Mike Mackmurdie on 3 February 2010 at 10:52 am

12 fascinating facts about wood pellet fuel

Wood pellets for use with stoves for room heating and for those which give full central heating capability are the subject of my first blog. 1. Wood pellets are manufactured by hot-extruding compressed sawdust which is produced during the working of natural dried wood. The compactness of the …

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Prices vary hugely between renewable energy installers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 November 2009 at 11:17 am

Prices vary hugely between renewable energy installers

Prices for renewable energy installations vary wildly, making buying decisions difficult for homeowners, according to Power from the People, a new study by researchers at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. In addition, there is little correlation between price and the gener…

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Building a thermal store - experience sought

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 October 2009 at 9:35 am

Building a thermal store - experience sought

Can anyone help Jeff B with this query: I am thinking of having a very large thermal store (of the order of 2000 litres capacity) to use with my 30kw wood pellet boiler. Due to space restrictions this would have to be located just outside the house. Does anyone have experience of making a wel…

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Welsh ease planning rules for renewable energy

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 August 2009 at 9:40 am

Welsh ease planning rules for renewable energy

Welsh planning rules for domestic renewable energy installations have been changed to make it easier for homeowners to generate their own heat and electricity. Following Scotland's lead, the Welsh Assembly has announced new regulations which mean that some microgeneration technologies will no lon…

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Is your wood fuel up to standard?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 July 2009 at 10:03 am

Is your wood fuel up to standard?

A log's a log isn't it? Well, not if you want it to burn well it isn't. As with all woodfuel, the efficiency with which it burns depends greatly on its moisture content. For logs to burn efficiently in a boiler the moisture should be at or below 25%. That’s not all. They should …

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Is wood fuel sustainable?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 July 2009 at 10:40 am

Is wood fuel sustainable?

Biomass sounds like a great idea, but I've always had a bit of a nagging question at the back of my head about whether it would be possible or sustainable if we all suddenly converted to wood fuelled heating. Haven't we, over the years, been denuding Britain of trees to such an extent tha…

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Wood fuel supply website launched

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 3 July 2009 at 9:32 am

Wood fuel supply website launched

Finding a wood fuel supplier just got easier – as long as you live in the south west of England – with the launch of the South West Woodshed website. Aimed at both the domestic and the business market it has information about the different types of wood fuel available, and a search function to h…

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How important is air-tightness to energy efficiency?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 24 June 2009 at 11:07 am

How important is air-tightness to energy efficiency?

A reader recently asked about a seeming conflict between the  modern approach to building energy efficiency which, amongst other things,  focuses on good air-tightness standards, and combustion appliances, such as  wood stoves, most, but not all, of which take their air from inside …

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Sustainable energy solutions recognised by Ashden Awards

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 June 2009 at 2:42 pm

Sustainable energy solutions recognised by Ashden Awards

Inspirational people combined with sustainable energy technologies makes me feel hopeful for the future, and at the Ashden Awards ceremony last night both abounded. The winners spoke humbly about their achievements, yet many of them are significantly transforming people's lives. For example the …

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Renewable energy made normal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 April 2009 at 8:19 am

Renewable energy made normal

Congratulations to the Forestry Commission in Wales which is doing a great job of bringing renewable energy into the mainstream. We had a well-earned rest over Easter at Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth. Though our main reason for going there was the excellent mountain bike tracks they've built there…

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Calculators shed light on renewable choices

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 25 March 2009 at 11:16 am

Calculators shed light on renewable choices

Comparing costs of different renewable technologies and working out potential savings in cash and carbon has just got a whole lot easier. Encraft has developed a range of calculators that help you work out all the figures, so that you can see what's best for your house much more easily. Anyone can u…

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Maldives to be powered by wind and solar

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 March 2009 at 10:35 am

Maldives to be powered by wind and solar

The President of the Maldives has set an example for the world by announcing that his country will be carbon-neutral within a decade. Half a square kilometre of rooftop solar panels, 155 large wind turbines and a biomass plant burning coconut husks will generate the electricity the island country ne…

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Biomass fuels and supply

Posted by Gordon Traill on 9 March 2009 at 10:10 am

Biomass fuels and supply

Biomass fuels encompass a wide variety of products but, not surprisingly, most come from wood. Clean wood is a wonderful fuel, producing up to 5.5kWh per kg dry matter (dm). Wood pellets produce slightly less, at 4.7 to 5kWh per kg. Most suppliers guarantee moisture content to be less than 10…

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Scots make renewable energy easier

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 February 2009 at 11:06 am

Scots make renewable energy easier

The Scottish Government has made it easier for people to get renewable energy for their home following a consultation on planning reform. The aim of the consultation was to increase renewable energy generation and cut carbon emissions. The result is that anyone living in Scotland will be able to ins…

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Creating the green dream

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 February 2009 at 9:28 am

Creating the green dream

Converting your house to low-carbon luxury doesn’t come without a lot of hard work, and vast quantities of attention to detail. Last week I wrote about what Sue Harley and Neil Tappenden achieved in turning their Devon farmhouse into a low-carbon dream home. This week I look at how they did…

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Living the green dream

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 February 2009 at 2:15 pm

Living the green dream

Comfort and beauty don’t have to go out of the window in pursuit of energy efficiency and low carbon living. It is possible to live in beautiful luxury, with barely a fossil fuel involved. Banish all thoughts of The Good Life, I know it’s true, I’ve just seen the evidence. R…

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Good Energy rewards renewable heat generators

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 3 February 2009 at 10:42 am

Solar thermal panels to heat your water just got more attractive with the launch of Good Energy's renewable heat incentive, or HotROC, contract. This means that customers who generate heat or hot water from renewable sources are paid for the energy they create. This is a first step towards pu…

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How to store heat in a thermal store

Posted by Gordon Traill on 30 January 2009 at 11:48 am

How to store heat in a thermal store

Only a serious biomass nerd can get excited about thermal stores. Sadly, I count myself as one of those people. First of all what is a thermal store and what does it do? Essentially it’s a large water tank (usually round) which is well insulated with a series of bosses to connect pipes …

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Why you don’t want biomass!

Posted by Gordon Traill on 11 December 2008 at 9:51 am

Well this is my first attempt at writing a blog, so please be patient and don’t expect too high a standard. To start with I find the term ‘expert’ slightly inappropriate. However, as I’ve been involved with TRECO from its inception I have become aware of many pitfalls whic…

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