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This is a really intresting article by John Johnston, 7000 people have become shareholders in a wind turbine- in just 13 hours!  

 

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Aquaterra, an innovative company who are passionate about renewable energy, are in the process of designing a multi- million pound renewable energy project. They are planning on building a bridge between Yell and Unst which would either incorporate a tidal generator or have the tidal generator accessible from the new bridge.

 

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A French billionaire has announced plans to introduce 3,000 electric hire cars in London, in a scheme similar to the 'Boris bikes' introduced in 2010.

Vincent Bollore confirmed the proposals after a subsidiary of his Bollore Group, IER, was selected by Transport for London to take over the management of the existing Source London scheme from June this year.

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The proposed Rampion Wind Farm is without doubt a massive and exciting project and of particular interest to all Nsure staff as the vast array of offshore wind turbines will be quite visible from the windows of the Nsure office in Worthing, should it be built.

 

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A University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) research associate and electrical engineering professor have designed a micro-wind turbine that generates electrical energy. Their target looks to be an innovative solution to cell phone batteries constantly in need of recharging and home energy generation where large wind turbines are not possible.

Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao designed and built the device that is about 1.8 mm at its widest point. A single grain of rice could hold about 10 of these tiny wind turbines. Their example is hundreds of the wind turbines could be embedded in a sleeve for a cell phone. Wind, created by waving the cell phone in the air or holding it up to an open window on a windy day, would generate the electricity that could be collected by the cell phone's battery.
Rao's work in micro-robotic devices has initially spun up a Taiwanese company's interest in having Rao and Chiao brainstorm over novel device designs and applications for the company's unique fabrication techniques, which are known in the semiconductor industry for their reliability.

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As every Autumn draws to a close, it heralds the three day Renewable UK annual exhibition and conference, which this year took place in Birmingham at the NEC.

David Elliot-Rose and Dave Cole arrived at their hotel towards the end of the Monday afternoon and after a late lunch, went to set up their stand.

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As Nsure arrange insurance for the four operating turbines on the Scottish island of Gigha this item is of particular interest.

The island is exploring the potential of being involved with a £2.5m development aimed at solving a well-documented issue - how to store energy generated by renewable energy sources. The proposed project will involve installing huge batteries containing 75,000 litres of sulphuric acid mixed with vanadium pentoxide; the intention is to allow power generated by the island's wind turbines to be stored for later use.

While the island's turbines are running, their power is used to run households on the island and any excess is transmitted by cable to the mainland electricity grid. When winds are low, and Gigha's turbines do not turn, the grid feeds power to the island. However, the existing cable link has an upper power limit. Consequently, much of the island's excess power is wasted as this cannot be transmitted to the mainland grid. The project, backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is intended to get round this problem.

One crucial point is that these batteries will be able to be used over and over again, and the islands and remote highland regions have immense potential for generating power from a variety of renewable energy sources. However, because suitable grid infrastructure is not in place and would be immensely expensive to upgrade or replace, comparatively, battery storage systems could help.

The concept is not new, although the size and scale of the use of battery storage is increasing. In August 2013, the Isle of Orkney recently powered up the UK's first large scale grid battery, being a new 2MW lithium ion battery which will help to balance grid and support renewable energy on the Scottish island.

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The article below caught Nsure Renewables' eye. This is a summary from The Guardian's "Sustainable Business Blog" on 18th November 2013.

There used to be one reason alone for companies to stick a wind turbine in the car park or a solar panel on the roof, and that was a photo opportunity for marketing and the annual report. It looked good to be green but added to costs rather than lowered them. But as more businesses are choosing to invest in on-site renewable energy than ever before, the reasons appear to be changing.
A recent report found that on-site generation by UK businesses increased by 53% in 2012 alone, with almost 90% of that coming from solar and wind. And the motivation now is one of energy security.
According to the latest DECC figures, the annual average price of gas and electricity (including the climate change levy) has increased by 121% and 93% respectively since 2002 for non-domestic customers. Meanwhile costs of renewable technologies have gone down, performance has improved, whilst incentives and funding structures such as feed in tariffs (FITs), Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have appeared.
"When we were making the original decision, one of the big things for us was energy security," says Graham Chadwick, environment and CDM functional manager at Bentley Motors. In April it installed the largest roof mounted solar panel system in the UK, over 20,000 solar panels with a capacity of 5MW fixed to its factory in Crewe.
The Carbon Trust's associate director of business advice, Dominic Burbridge, describes the current popularity of on-site renewables as "predominantly driven by a change in the business case... more organisations have been investing in energy efficiency, they've gained the returns of being more efficient and are asking 'where else can I make investments to cut costs and be greener?'"
He has also noticed "aggressive sales" for solar in particular. "Lots of companies now will go to an organisation with a large land or roof asset and say 'you don't even need to put any cash in, we can give you fixed-price energy basically for free, but we will take all the revenue that comes from the FITs and any electricity exported to the grid'"
In fact, very few companies own their on-site renewable assets. Bentley's is a joint venture with Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited, which leases the roof space. Toyota, whose 4.1MW array of 16,800 solar panels at its Burnaston site was previously the biggest in the country, is in partnership with British Gas. The benefit of such arrangements is that the company does not take on the risk or the up-front costs. Such co-ownership arrangements may only be a short-term trend, however. Mr. Burbridge argues that five- to seven-year payback periods for solar and warranties for 25 years on panels already offer "a good rate of return" and "owning on-site renewables means you get all the benefit".
Many of the world's largest companies are going even further. Since the first solar panel appeared on a Walmart store in 2007, it now produces about 4% of the electricity it uses in the US and aims for 20% by 2020. BMW's Leipzig plant in Germany installed four 2.5MW wind turbines this spring and Apple gets 16% of its electricity from solar and biogas.
The next trend is to move beyond on-site generation toward purchasing green energy direct from source – or even owning the source. Microsoft recently announced a 20-year agreement to purchase all the electricity generated from a 110-megawatt (MW) Texan wind farm. Google has announced a deal to buy 240MW of electricity from a wind farm, also in Texas. Ikea now owns 137 wind turbines having recently added a 7.65MW Irish wind farm to an already impressive portfolio in its goal to become totally energy independent by 2020.
This, not the token photo opportunity, is the driver now. It may be propped up by FITs, ROCs, and a current glut of third-party developers. Take those away overnight and "the price indicators wouldn't be there", as Mr.Chadwick comments. But those fixed energy costs are becoming more and more attractive. And as the technology rapidly improves, the market for on-site renewables could become self-sufficient soon enough.

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New insurance products are always being developed to react to potential risks faced by owners and developers. For example, a reduction in yield can have a significant impact on a solar installation's financial performance which may not be as a result of any damage suffered. As a leading provider of insurance products for the renewable energy sector, Nsure Renewables help companies to better manage the impacts a reduction in yield can have on business.


Nsure's SolarPlus product provides cover for reduction in expected yield due to an installation's under performance, without the need for proof of negligence or defectiveness to trigger coverage for revenue losses.
SolarPlus provides cover for reductions in yield when production falls as a result of, for example, inclement weather, temporary sky obstructions, smoke, or volcanic ash clouds.

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Nsure Renewables congratulate their client Renewable Energy Generation Ltd (REG) on the sale of their 12 MW operational wind farm at Goonhilly Downs in Cornwall to a fund managed by BlackRock.

Under the terms of their existing Asset Management Agreement with BlackRock, REG will continue to manage operations at the wind farm, with Nsure Renewables continuing to arrange the wind farm insurance.
REG Group currently has 38MW of projects with planning consents as well as 140MW of projects awaiting determination. The proceeds of the sale, together with REG's existing funds, will be employed in moving both existing and new consents to construction as quickly as possible, accelerating the growth of the Company and maximizing returns to shareholders.

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The heavy horses have been back on Gigha in recent times, working the land like they had done in years past. Neil McPhail and Michael Mayberry of Skernish were at the site of Gigha 's new wind 330kw turbine, carrying out re-instatement works on 3km of 11kV underground cables that were laid in January 2013. Whilst the bulk of the work had been carried out by tractor, the final stages were left in the capable hands of Tommy and Poacher – the award winning Skernish Clydesdales.


Gigha Green Power Limited (GGPL) is a community-owned company that are installing a 4th turbine on Gigha, providing more income to the island for all its future projects such as it Housing Improvement Project.

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Nsure are delighted to congratulate their client Evance Wind Turbines Ltd in respect of the commissioning of three R9000 small wind turbines at Scottish Water's water treatment works on the island of Stronsay in Orkney.


Due to the grid connection limitation Evance has installed the R9000 Grid+ system, so enabling the maximum energy from each 5kW turbine to be captured and used, while only allowing 3.68kW to be connected to the grid, so complying with the requirements of G83.

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Hiring a Crane? Some points to be sure of.....

Nsure Renewables, specialist insurance brokers to the renewable energy industry, have been involved in the insuring of wind farms both in construction and operation for over 15 years, and are often asked about crane hire and the inherent risks involved from an insurance perspective. The answer really stems from the decision by you or your company as to which type of hire agreement is likely to be entered into.

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Nsure Renewables client, Cleanwind Ltd, formed in 2009 to meet the demand for experienced technicians in the wind industry, has experienced significant growth.

Amongst many other services, Cleanwind currently provide blade cleaning teams throughout the UK and Southern Ireland to tackle the on-going issue of dirty blades, nacelle's and tower sections. Their cleaning practices ensure that all damage concealed behind years of operational dirt, grease and algae growth is disclosed and reported back to clients.
"We work hard to ensure we use cleaning agents which best suit the environment, using the most environmentally friendly products available. We also work closely with our suppliers, who provide us with specifically designed washing units to meet our operational needs" explains co-owner, Paul Quinn.

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The Cadzow family have long been renowned for the Luing breed of cattle, which was first developed after 1947 on the island of Luing in the Inner Hebrides by brothers Shane, Denis and Ralph Cadzow.

 

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Nsure Renewables are pleased to congratulate their clients Renewable Energy Generation Limited (REG) who have entered a long term strategic partnership with a fund managed by BlackRock.


The Transaction comprises three key components:

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Nsure are pleased to announce that they have agreed a bespoke liability insurance policy wording with Zurich Energy for their renewable energy insurance book of business.

 

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In November of 2011, Liquid Robotics dropped four of its brand new Wave Glider robots in the water just off the coast of San Francisco with hopes of making history and learning a thing or two in the offing. Two of the robots would set a course for Japan and the other two for Australia, each destination roughly 9,000 nautical miles away. It was to be the longest journey ever taken by any autonomous vehicle, a slow but steady swim across the entire Pacific Ocean that would collect and relay high resolution oceanographic and atmospheric data all along the way, stopping only for a quick maintenance check-up in Hawaii--if they made it that far at all.


And so Liquid Robotics' engineers dumped their robots into the rolling water and turned them loose, uncertain as anyone else whether the robots could survive the weather, waves, and wildlife they would surely encounter on a trans-Pacific crossing. There are sharks out there, after all. Massive waves and gale-force winds. There's a whole lot of saltwater out there, itself a force for destruction and disruption of mechanical systems. And yet almost exactly a year after launching the Wave Glider known as "Papa Mau" navigated around the Great Barrier Reef and arrived off the coast of Queensland Australia in May 2012, half a world away from where it started and only somewhat worse for wear.

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Pentland Road Wind Farm (Pentland) on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, has been in construction since early Spring 2012. Nsure Renewables, specialist insurance brokers for the renewable energy industry, arranged all insurances for the £27 million project in conjunction with financing from the Co-Operative Bank, and, as with every wind farm has proved to be demanding in more ways than one.

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As wind energy capacity in the UK continues to grow, days with a lack of wind can have a significant impact on industry and the financial performance of individual companies.

Nsure Renewables, specialist insurance brokers to the renewable energy industry, have looked to the Met Office to use its expertise as a world leading provider of weather and climate services to help companies manage the impacts of low wind.

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