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Controllis launches IonLiFe® battery

New lithium-ion battery transforms hybrid power solutions for telecoms & off-grid sites United Kingdom, 5th July 2019 Critical telecoms and off-grid sites can now gain significant performance and cost improvements by switching to state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. Leading hybrid power systems specialist Controllis has launched an innovative 48V 105 Amp hour lithium-ion battery solution, IonLiFe®, specifically designed to integrate into the company’s flexible hybrid power system for mobile, tower and off-grid deployments.The new solution promises longer… Source: RealWire

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Report: Businesses hosting decentralised energy ‘key’ to meeting net-zero

Onsite renewable generation by businesses and households will need to play a “key” role in the energy system if the UK is to reach its 2050 net-zero target, new research has concluded.

Between 2013 and 2017, solar capacity hosted by businesses and homes grew by 330% to reach 2.1GW

Between 2013 and 2017, solar capacity hosted by businesses and homes grew by 330% to reach 2.1GW

The study, by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), found that the UK’s transition away from centralised energy systems is happening “at a pace”, with 500,000 homes now connected to heat networks and onsite renewable generation capacity having surpassed 2.1GW in 2017.

But it claims that these efforts, along with those in the spaces of customer-owned energy efficiency measures and ‘smart’ energy technologies will need to be scaled up in order to create a “just” transition to a truly net-zero economy.

The ADE is using its research to encourage the adoption of a “future-smart, user-led” energy system, in which business and domestic consumers become “prosumers” – actively generating, selling and timing energy rather than simply purchasing it.

Its vision for this system consists of onsite generation, flexibility and energy storage; the adoption of “widespread” energy efficiency measures; low-carbon heat networks and combined heat and power (CHP) facilities hosted at business sites.

According to the ADE, rapid growth in the market for flexibility services from homes and businesses could reduce peak power demand by up to 15%, which could translate to a £2.4bn saving if passed on to consumers. The body estimates that a third of commercial energy demands and almost a quarter of industrial energy demands could be made flexible before mid-century.

On energy efficiency, the ADE claims that technologies and innovative industrial processes could slash the UK’s business energy bills by £6bn between now and 2030, with a further £400 per home, per year, to be reaped in savings in the domestic space.

And regarding CHP, it has forecast that demand from businesses for heat generated in this way will triple to 15GW by 2050.

The ADE’s director Tim Rotheray said that these findings show that facing the UK’s ‘Climate Emergency’ can be an opportunity, as well as a challenge, for all.

“Whether through onsite generation, storage, energy efficiency, capturing waste heat or smart vehicle charging, the next stage of the energy revolution centres on the energy user,” Rotheray said.

“From homes to industrial sites, we need to help energy users drive a dramatic change in our energy system. Those same users will benefit from lower bills, cleaner air and even a rebate on their power bill for helping the system.”

Clean energy: Transition or revolution?

Amid the increasing decentralisation and digitisation of the energy sector, the ADE is just one body to have stressed the importance of a more consumer-led approach to decarbonising the power sector.

Former National Grid boss Steve Holliday, for example, has claimed that the actions of businesses and energy consumers have turned the low-carbon energy transition into a “chaotic revolution”, in which the country has shifted away from a focus on the scale of energy systems to a more local approach.

Similarly, the Labour Party’s energy spokesman Alan Whitbread has been urging Government to update its current regulation system to better support decentralised energy generation and storage, as has think tank and charity Green Alliance, particularly in regards to community solar schemes.

The appetite to drive this change can be seen across the private sector. New research from Centrica Business Solutions this week found that more than 80% of UK businesses generating renewable energy onsite plan to increase capacity over the next five years – a trend which Npower’s former chief executive Paul Massara recently told edie he had been noticing firsthand

Sarah George

News

Public Opinion

Public acceptance of energy technologies is an important area of energy and social science research. However, few studies utilise large datasets which include spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as the demographic and attitudinal characteristics of survey respondents. In this paper, we analyse twenty-five waves of the UK Government’s Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker: a large, nationally representative dataset spanning six years (2012 – 2018). This enables unique insights into trends in public acceptance across time, space and social groups, covering eight energy sources. We find differing profiles in terms of who supports which types of energy, with a key division between support for renewable technologies on the one hand, and nuclear and fracking on the other. We also identify a growing gap between public and policymakers’ attitudes to energy technologies which we argue must be bridged to ensure a smooth rapid transition that is acceptable to all.

Energy Research & Social Science (accessed) 4th July 2019 read more »

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HSBC to support UK businesses with green finance offerings

One day after the Government launched its Green Finance Strategy, banking giant HSBC has launched a new range of green finance services aimed at helping businesses of all sizes strengthen sustainability initiatives.

HSBC has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing by 2025. Image: HSBC

HSBC has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing by 2025. Image: HSBC

HSBC has launched a range of new loans and a Green Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) that are available for small to medium enterprises (SME) through to large corporates.

The Green Loans services have been launched following a trial last year and have been extended to SMEs wanting to secure loans for sustainability initiatives. The minimum green loan starts at £300,000 and HSBC UK has already provided green loans totalling £600m as part of the pilot.

HSBC UK’s head of commercial banking, Amanda Murphy, said: “With the Government committing the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, sustainability is increasingly important for companies of all sizes.

“We can now support their aspirations through our comprehensive Green lending proposition, which supports businesses as they pursue sustainable and environmentally-focused activities.”

The Green RCF enables companies to access funds when required, for a minimum value of £1m, depending on cash flow needs for sustainability projects. A dedicated HSBC Green Framework can be used to manage cash flow needs.

Finally, a green hire purchase, lease and asset loan product is available to finance green assets to be hired or loaned.

Green growth

More broadly, HSBC has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing by 2025, as well as launching a $1bn green bond portfolio.

As part of a partnership with HSBC, US-based retail giant Walmart has developed a green finance initiative that rewards suppliers for setting, meeting or exceeding ambitious sustainability aims.

Called the Sustainable Supply Chain Finance Programme (SSCF), the scheme will align the sustainability performance of suppliers with their ability to apply for preferential financing packages.

Firms which are able to demonstrate good progress on reducing their emissions under Walmart’s Project Gigaton initiative, which is striving to mitigate one billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the supply chain by 2030, will be given access to the more funding sources. Walmart notes that 90% of its total emissions come from the supply chain.

Earlier this week, the UK Government unveiled its highly anticipated Green Finance Strategy, outlining how the finance sector and better climate disclosure from corporates can drive progress towards wider action on climate change and the push towards net-zero emissions.

Matt Mace

News

Onsite generation: UK businesses primed to become ‘power plants of the future’

More than 80% of UK businesses generating renewable energy onsite plan to increase capacity over the next five years, according to a new survey.

More than a third of businesses view energy security as a “substantial risk” to long-term business plans

More than a third of businesses view energy security as a “substantial risk” to long-term business plans

Conducted by Centrica Business Solutions (CBS), the research report, Distributed Energy Future Trends: The insights behind sustainable business growth, features the findings of a survey of almost 600 UK businesses.

The survey found that 81% of companies already generating energy onsite have plans or aspirations in place to increase self-generation capacity over the next five years, in a move to become “power plant of the future”.

Almost three-quarters of businesses recognise the need for more flexibility in how they generate and use energy, according to the survey, with more than a third viewing energy security as a “substantial risk” to long-term business plans.

CBS’ sales director Ian Hopkins said: “Our research shows that UK businesses are responding to market forces around environmental performance to ensure their long-term success, we call this end-state the Sustainable Business. One action many are taking is to seize control of their energy needs, effectively becoming power plants in their own right. Crucially, we’re finding that the firms doing this tend to be the most economically sustainable and resilient businesses.

“The Government’s net zero target puts the country right at the forefront of the global climate change agenda. Businesses have an important role to play and the research indicates that today’s sustainable businesses see energy as an opportunity and a strategic asset, not simply a cost.”

While companies are considering the importance of self-generation, the survey suggests that many are still to consider the potential economic returns of doing so. Just one in five businesses view energy as an asset that can be traded to unlock revenue streams, suggesting that the use of smart data technologies, energy storage and demand response services are still limited within the private sphere.

A recent report from CBS has created a business case for smart technologies. New technologies such as battery storage and solar could “inspire a new industrial revolution” and save the manufacturing sector at least £540m on its energy bills, the company found.


edie and CBS explore flexible energy

As the UK’s energy system undergoes a fascinating transition towards decarbonisation and decentralisation, edie has published two new guides that help businesses seize the opportunities of onsite generation and battery storage technologies to achieve a sustainable future.

The onsite generation business guide explores the different energy technology options that are now available – from solar and wind to combined heat and power (CHP) and anaerobic digestion (AD) – and helps energy managers make decisions about which system is most appropriate for them.

— READ THE ONSITE GENERATION GUIDE HERE —

The energy storage guide, meanwhile, is ideal for any individual or organisation looking to capitalise on the business benefits offered up by battery storage systems. Specifically, the guide explores how energy storage provides grid stability during electricity outages and reduces the need to import electricity via interconnectors, whilst also reducing wastage and saving money.

— READ THE ENERGY STORAGE GUIDE HERE —

Matt Mace

News

UK’s liquid gas sector targets 100% biofuel by 2040

The trade body representing the UK’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry has unveiled a new vision of helping the sector transition to 100% biofuel by 2040.

Almost two million UK homes are heated using LNG

Almost two million UK homes are heated using LNG

Published today (3 July), Liquid Gas UK’s new framework lays out plans to help LPG companies shift to bioLPG, which produces up to 90% fewer carbon emissions throughout its lifecycle than regular LPG.

LPG is currently used to heat almost two million off-grid homes across the UK and is also used widely by mobile and rural businesses.

BioLPG is already available on the UK market, but not in the quantities needed to facilitate an industry-wide transition, Liquid Gas UK claims. In order to speed up a rollout, it is urging the Government to remove the fuel cost element from the methodology of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) – an element it claims has historically favoured cheaper, carbon-intensive fuels such as oil.

The framework also stresses that a shift to bioLNG could help to create a more circular economy for food, as it can be chemically produced using feedstocks such as organic waste, waste sugar, glycerol or vegetable oils.

Liquid Gas UK’s chief executive George Webb said bioLPG could help the Government adopt a “mixed technology approach” to meeting net-zero by 2050 in which “policymakers recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach for off-grid energy will not work’”.

“As a drop-in fuel with no expensive changes to heating systems required, bioLPG is an affordable and non-intrusive option for homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint,” Webb said.

“There are millions of homes across the UK that, unless undergoing a major redevelopment, a transition to electrified heating solutions is not affordable. These alternative options are also unlikely to consistently provide the levels of heating demanded by users.”

The publication of Liquid Gas UK’s framework comes shortly after the Renewable Energy Association (REA) claimed that upping the deployment of bioenergy renewable sources by more than 10% would enable the UK to affordably meet future carbon budgets while also overcoming an “impending nuclear gap”.

And, on a global scale, a new report this week from the World Biogas Association (WBA) concluded that biogas could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10-13% by 2050.

The hot topic

Heating and hot water account for around 15% of the UK’s overall carbon footprint, with the nation currently off-track to meet a key target of ensuring 12% of heat is generated using renewables by 2020. 

The Government has previously run a number of clean heat initiatives, including a £320m package of grants and loans for businesses, hospitals, schools and local authorities with a heat network of two or more buildings and an Energy Systems Catapult centre to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with decarbonising their heat systems.

However, the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendations to Government on meeting net-zero by 2050 state that “serious plans” for new legislative frameworks and financial incentives for low-carbon heat will need to be developed.

Sarah George

News

Regulation

For years European policymakers have been working toward an integrated, competitive energy system. Now the Clean Energy for All Europeans package directs Member States to develop a decarbonised, cost‑efficient energy system that provides consumers with access to affordable and secure energy. The urgency of this task is further heightened by climate concerns. Power sector regulation needs to develop in concert with these changes. Performance-based regulation is a powerful tool to help policymakers create a regulatory framework that rises to the current challenges. It can help network companies contend with issues from rising amounts of variable renewable energy sources and increases in prosumerism, decentralised generation and demand from electrification of the heating and transport sectors.

RAP 26th June 2019 read more »

News

General Motors unveils science-based carbon reduction targets

General Motors (GM) has had its carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), making it one a select few carmakers to have aligned with the Paris Agreement.

To date, only one other automaker - Groupe Renault - has had its science-based targets approved by the SBTi

To date, only one other automaker – Groupe Renault – has had its science-based targets approved by the SBTi

The company confirmed the achievement in its ninth annual sustainability report, which states that its new carbon aim will be to reduce emissions by 31% by 2030, against a 2010 baseline. The goal is in line with the Paris Agreement’s 2C trajectory.

According to GM, the new aim will help deliver on its vision to create a world with “zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion”. This vision was first unveiled in summer 2016 by company chairman and chief executive Mary Barra.

Since then, GM has pledged to double the quantity of resources it allocates to electric vehicle (EV) and autonomous vehicle programmes by 2020, against a 2016 baseline. Its new sustainability report reveals that the company will debut new EV battery architecture – a collection of three drive units which can be used to build everything in its portfolio – through its Cadillac brand later this year. Elsewhere, GM is developing a fully electric truck.

The new report additionally highlights the work GM is doing to help the improvement of EV infrastructure accelerate to match the pace in rising EV sales. It announces a new partnership with charging network EVgo, charging software firm Greenlots and infrastructure company ChargePoint, aimed at boosting access to a US-wide network of more than 31,000 charging points.

“For years, we have said that the auto industry is experiencing more change today than in the past 50 years and that pace of change is only accelerating,” GM’s Barra said.

“With the right team, technology, resources and scale to achieve our vision, I believe the only thing that can stop us is not acting quickly enough. Disruption creates uncertainty, but it also creates vast possibilities that will lead to a better world.”

To date, only one other automaker – Groupe Renault – has had its science-based targets approved by the SBTi. It is working to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions produced per car manufactured by 60% by 2030, against a 2012 baseline, and has also pledged to recude Scope 3 emissions from product use by 41% per kilometre travelled by 2030, against a 2010 baseline. 

A further 20 car companies, including the likes of Daimler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Yamaha UK have committed to set approved science-based targets in the next two years. 

Sarah George

News

Natural Power expands commercial team with focus on emerging markets

Leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider, Natural Power, continues to expand its commercial team in 2019 with some key appointments. Keith Burns began as Commercial Director earlier in the year and has now been joined by David Tidhar who moved from the planning and environment team to take up the new role, Head of Emerging Markets. Keith’s role has been focusing on the wider commercial operations of the business by leading the team in… Source: RealWire

News

Green Finance

The UK Government has unveiled its highly anticipated Green Finance Strategy, outlining how the finance sector and better climate disclosure from corporates can drive progress towards wider action on climate change and the push towards net-zero emissions. The strategy is set to place UK financial services at the centre of efforts to tackle climate change and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 – a target that was passed into UK law last month. The strategy features investment and funding increases into green projects, infrastructures and homes and is built on findings from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. More than 780 organisations now support of the TCFD, including the world’s largest banks, asset managers and pension funds, responsible for assets of $118trn, highlighting the appetite for green finance. Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Chris Skidmore, said: “As the first major economy to legislate to reach net emissions by 2050, green finance can play a crucial role in our mission to protect the planet while growing the economy.

Edie 2nd July 2019 read more »

The financial services industry must play a “vital role” in combating climate change, the City minister will say today as the government unveils the details of its green finance strategy. John Glen will set out the government’s plan to bolster investment in sustainable infrastructure and projects as part of proposals that also will push listed companies and asset managers such as pension funds to reveal by 2022 the risks that climate change poses to their operations.

Times 2nd July 2019 read more »

Regulators and MPs have urged the City do do more to tackle the “core financial risk” of climate change before it drags on business, the economy and markets. In a speech to finance leaders on Tuesday, City minister John Glen is expected to announce government plans to boost the use of green financial products and remind financiers of the “vital role” they have to play in “securing a greener future for us all”. The action plan includes the official launch of a so-called Green Finance Institute, the creation of a fund to help pilot products such as green mortgages and the launch of an education scheme to ensure topics about climate change are included in financial qualifications.

Telegraph 2nd July 2019 read more »

Guardian 2nd July 2019 read more »

FT 2nd July 2019 read more »

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