Monday, 16 April 2012

New solar PV FiT rates

The Government have issued new rates of Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) as of April 1st for Solar PV installations. The rates are more or less the same as they were in March, 21p/kWh for domestic properties, but they are now linked to energy efficiency standards.

All buildings the panels are fitted on must achieve Energy Performance Certificate grade D or above. This will be achieved on newer properties, but older properties may need more insulation to bring them up to the required level.

Rates of return for Solar PV are still good, if your building can meet the extra requirement. Two installers, Paradise Power and Plug in to the Sun are able to do installations of panels on Scilly.
Solar PV FIT Rates April 2012

Monday, 2 April 2012

Honey bees and pesticides

In many places throughout the world honey bees numbers have been declining rapidly. Not only does this mean less honey available, but more seriously there is a threat that millions of acres of food crops (especially fruit and vegetables) won't be pollinated. Bees are absolutely critical to survival of the human species, and a reduction in bee numbers should worry us all.

There are thought to have been many causes of a decline in bees and undoubtedly not one single factor is to blame. Declining resistance to disease, lower quality forage and endemic diseases are all playing their part, but which have come first - what's the cause?

Some beekeepers and researchers have long been convinced that group of pesticides called neonicotinoids are to blame. Many countries, including France, Italy and Germany have banned these pesticides precisely because they are strongly implicated in massive declines in bees.

Last week a report came out that has linked a 50% decline in bee populations over 25 years, in both the US and UK, to neonicotinoids: Perhaps the UK Government will now take this seriously and ban these dangerous chemicals?

More information:
Vanishing of the bees
Soil Association