BWEA, the UK’s leading renewable energy business organisation has launched a new Small Wind Turbine (SWT) performance and safety standard at yesterday’s BRE Small Scale Wind Seminar

The standard will allow consumers wishing to install small wind systems, to compare products on a like for like basis. It a result of extended testing of turbines in operational conditions.

Consumers will be able to compare power outputs and noise, and have assurance of quality, as to pass the standard turbines would have had to pass a rigorous 2000+ hours testing.

Alex Murley, BWEA Small Systems Manager says: “Although small wind is a young and emerging technology, the UK industry is leading the global sector. The publication of the new BWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard demonstrates that the UK small wind industry is committed to transparency, customer satisfaction and safety standards.”

The Standard was first published by BWEA in March 2007 and is linked to the Government managed Micro-generation Certification Scheme. Following further work by BWEA members and consultations with Government, the Standard has now been updated.

Alex Murley says: “This standard goes further than any other national document in defining noise parameters, to help prevent nuisance.”



The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCLST) today welcomes the interim report of the Government’s review into the provision of services to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCNs), known as the Bercow Review.

One in 10 children – an estimated 1.2 million across the UK – has a communication disability. Recent evidence suggests that in some parts of the UK more than half of children arrive at primary school without the speech and language skills they need to learn and make friends.

RCSLT particularly praises the involvement of John Bercow MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group into Speech and Language Difficulties and Chair of the Review, who has led the review with great passion and keen understanding of the importance of this key life skill for children.

RCSLT CEO Kamini Gadhok said “We are pleased with the thoroughness of the review and have been glad to be involved in the process. The overwhelming response from parents and users to the call for evidence demonstrates the impact which communication needs have on a child – and how important good support can be.

“Over the coming months we hope to work with John Bercow and the Government to help develop concrete solutions to meet children’s speech, language and communication needs in the future.”

In particular the RCSLT would like to see:

• an awareness raising campaign around SLCNs to raise the profile of these hidden but life-changing needs – among those working with children, families and the general public – supported by much-needed research into the best interventions for children
• strengthening of joint commissioning arrangements, such as Children’s Trusts
• work to develop the pathways to support the child and family, especially in the early years and through early intervention
• work to resolve the postcode lottery and waiting lists for services, to audit local provision and ensure the right treatment and support is available in a timely way
• that the excellent work of the Review will be carried into the future by making a minister responsible for the delivery of services for children with SLCNs



Thursday 6th March 2008: The Migrant Worker Support Network (MWSN) and South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (S.T.E.P.) are holding a conference event entitled ‘Migration and Integration’. The event aims to explore the challenges of integration from societal, employment, educational, policy and research perspectives. The event will take place on Friday 4th April at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon.

The half day conference aims to identify the challenges and actions needed to facilitate successful integration in Northern Ireland from a number of perspectives. Community and voluntary organisations from across Northern Ireland will be in attendance. Private and voluntary sector organisations or any other relevant parties are welcome to attend.

Key speakers will provide representation from some of the leading organisations in this area including: Women from Minorities Network, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), Armagh City and District Council, Inclusion and Diversity Service, Queen’s University of Belfast and Integrating Ireland.

The conference takes place from 9.00am until 2.30pm on Friday 4th April at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon. Places are free to all subscribing members of the network and a nominal fee of £15 applies to non-members or £5 for students. For more information or to book a place please contact Assumpta O’Neill on 028 8772 9002 or email: assumpta@stepni.com by Thursday 27th March. Registration forms and information leaflets can also be downloaded from www.stepni.org



BWEA, the UK leading renewable business organisation welcomed today’s budget as the first step towards providing a framework for an expansion of renewable energy.

BWEA Chairman Adam Bruce said “This budget begins to map out a new policy deal for renewable energy” he added “The Government is beginning to understand the scale of the potential for the UK provided by renewable energy. Not only is it good for the planet, it is good for the economy as well.”

BWEA supports today’s Budget announcement of the launch a consultation on a new Renewable Energy Strategy in this Summer, which will consider how the UK can deliver on the new binding target of delivering 15% of all the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The 2020 target will require up to 40% of the UK’s electricity supply to come from renewables, including some 33GW of offshore wind power, in little over a decade. The new strategy will have to tackle the real problems that wind companies face gaining access to the National Grid and the severe delays in the planning system.

The Budget confirmed that the strategy will also look at whether to introduce a new support mechanism of ‘feed-in tariff’ for small and micro generation. Feed in tariffs provide a fixed price and guaranteed sale for renewables producers. BWEA support the measure and welcome the Government’s move.

BWEA is pleased that the Government has reconfirmed its previous pledge to provide £200m for renewables & low carbon technologies as part of the Environmental Transformation Fund. However, what was missing from the Budget was a new support structure for the emerging technologies of wave & tidal power, which will be needed in the longer term.

Bruce added ‘BWEA supports the proposals for carbon budgets, which could make a real difference to tackling climate change, but the Government must recognise that households and businesses will only be able to live within them if they have access to clean, green energy on the scale that only wind can supply’.



“97 per cent say wind farms would have no impact on their decision to visit Scotland again”

Scottish Government study released today on economic impact of wind farms on tourism, claims that for 97% of visitors “wind farms would have no impact on their decision to visit Scotland again”. The study also claims 68% of tourists were positive about the statement “a well suited wind farm does not ruin the landscape”, with a further 12% neutral.

Jason Ormiston, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, BWEA’s sister organisation in Scotland, in welcoming the report, said: “This report confirms that the impact on tourism of sensible wind farm development is minimal, if not zero, and if there are any losses to the Scottish economy they would be more than offset by establishing a renewables industry in Scotland.”

He added: “By 2020, the Scottish renewables industry will be worth billions, whereas this report says, on a high development, total visibility scenario, that the Scottish tourism industry will contribute £4.7 million less than it otherwise would have done to the Scottish economy if renewable electricity targets are delivered.”

The study, completed by Glasgow’s Caledonian University, based on survey responses and research findings, states that the total potential drop-off in tourist income could be as little as 0.18%, with income from renewables growing “by over £2 billion in real terms”. In total, it found 75% of respondents felt wind farms had a positive or neutral impact on the landscape. The findings are consistent with a MORI Scotland 2002 poll, conducted amongst visitors to Argyll and Bute.(2)

Adam Bruce, BWEA Chairman said: “This is quite simply excellent news for the Scottish economy and environment. It shows that the purported adverse effect of wind farms on tourism is simply a myth. It also shows something that the BWEA has been saying all along: benefits of wind power outweigh the costs, by a very large margin.”



New legislation to be introduced to relax planning rules for micro- and small-wind projects

BWEA, the trade association representing the UK’s micro- and small-wind industry, today welcomed the Govt’s decision to relax planning rules for onsite household wind turbines.

The Govt plans to allow householders to install wind turbines, with a diameter of up to 2m, without having to get planning permission from local councils.

Alex Murley BWEA Small Systems Manager said “Planning is one of the major blockages to providing onsite renewables for homes and businesses” he added “thousands of applications are stuck in the planning process, this reform will make it much easier for consumers to supply their own clean, green energy.”

The Govt is introducing new regulation as part of its reform of the planning system, the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), to relax planning red tape for domestic renewable energy. Micro-wind turbines and air source heat pumps has passed the first stage of being included in the new guidance having won UK Government approval from DCLG, it now has to be referred to the EU for final ratification before coming into force.



On the 17th of March hundreds of young people will take to the streets of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, adding even more colour to Ireland’s greenest day. The Suas volunteers will be painting shamrocks on the faces of revellers young and old and accepting donations to support schools in the slum areas of India and Kenya.

All the money raised by the Suas volunteers goes directly to Suas’ partner schools in Calcutta, India and Nairobi, Kenya. Last year, Suas was the official charity of the St. Patrick’s Festival and raised around €32,000. Along with other fundraising, this provides a quality, holistic education for almost 2,500 children living in the cities’ poorest areas, some of whom are the first generation in their families to receive a formal education.

Suas is an Irish charity originally set up by third-level students that supports educational projects in Ireland as well as overseas. Suas offers volunteering opportunities for young people nationwide to engage in community programmes such as homework clubs, refugee mentoring programmes, computer and radio clubhouses. Young people also engage in awareness raising projects and fundraising events for the partner schools. Suas is also sending a team of 90 Irish third-level volunteers to work with partner schools for ten weeks during the summer of 2007.

Suas CEO, Dr. Colman Farrell said that “The Suas St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser is a great example of young people giving up their St. Patrick’s Day to support their peers overseas. When €100 provides quality education, including food and books, for a child for a year, just think how far the proceeds from the St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser will go.

“The schools supported by Suas are run by leaders in their communities making a difference by providing education in disadvantaged areas. We are delighted to be supporting them”

For further information about Suas or to volunteer on St. Patrick’s Day go to www.suas.ie


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