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Network operators collaborate on blockchain data register for generation and storage

Energy firms and network operators have teamed together to create a shared register powered by blockchain for energy generation and storage data, in a bid to improve the decarbonisation and operating costs of the UK energy system.

The first phase of the project will map generation and storage assets with an installed capacity of more than 1MW

The first phase of the project will map generation and storage assets with an installed capacity of more than 1MW

Electron, National Grid Electricity System Operator, SP Energy Networks and UK Power Networks will work together on the RecorDER project, aimed at creating a comprehensive and data-driven view of assets that are connected to energy networks. The improved visibility and availability of asset data will be used to inform decisions related to reducing operating costs and accelerating decarbonisation through the integration of renewables and the use of energy storage assets.

“This is a great example of networks collaborating to deliver benefits to their customers. We are delighted to be working together with such key, forward-thinking industry partners on a shared asset register,” Electron’s chief executive Jo-Jo Hubbard said.

“This is an important first step in the process of integrating distributed assets and allowing them to play their full role in balancing the electricity system.”

The blockchain platform will remove the requirement for either a large-scale infrastructure project to be developed, or for a central party having to host the system.

The first phase of the project will map generation and storage assets with an installed capacity of more than 1MW.

It is hoped that the platform will enable network operators, aggregators and regulators to collaborate on shared datasets that create industry standards for generation and asset use. Asset owners and managers can also link their assets to be used in connected systems.

The platform builds on the work of both the Energy Data Taskforce and ENA’s Open Networks System Wide Resource Register, aimed at granting secure data access from network operators which ensures that new data isn’t siloed.

NGSO Innovation head Carolina Tortora said: “Embracing new technology is essential to managing the energy system efficiently and RecorDER is one example of how we are working in partnership across the industry to identify new and exciting ways to work together.

“If successful, this register could lay the foundations for a robust GB-wide flexibility market across transmission and distribution, unlocking huge value for consumers and driving the transition to a low-carbon flexible energy future.”

Storage boon

The project will incentivise use of energy storage assets across the UK. Planning permission applications to install energy storage facilities in the UK have quadrupled since 2016, with a massive increase in capacity expected in the next few years.

database revealed that UK applications for storage portfolios totalled just 2MW of capacity in 2012, soaring to a cumulative total of 6,874MW in 2018. More than 300 UK-based firms are now estimated to be involved in this growing market.

Globally, the energy storage market is expected to double six times by 2030 to reach 125GW, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

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Matt Mace


Banking giants commit to align maritime shipping investments with climate goals

A group of 11 big-name banks have pledged to align their investments in the shipping sector with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal of halving emissions by 2050, against a 2008 baseline.

The IMO 's 2050 argets were set in 2018 and are bolstered by a short-term roadmap to 2023

The IMO ‘s 2050 argets were set in 2018 and are bolstered by a short-term roadmap to 2023

The banks all have significant holdings in the global shipping industry, with their joint shipping finance portfolio topping $100bn and accounting for 20% of all global ship finance. They are Citi, Societe Generale, DNB, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea.

Under the new rules, which are called “the Poseidon Principles”, the banks will be required, as a first step, to disclose whether their shipping portfolios are currently aligned with the IMO’s vision for 2050. This disclosure will be made through a new, in-depth methodology developed by academics.

The banks will need to make this disclosure every year and asses whether its findings mean they should divest from certain holdings, or work more closely with them to champion the low-carbon transition.

Additionally, the banks are committed to a further and more wide-reaching set of principles around accountability, enforcement and transparency, which are applicable to lenders, shipping finance leasers and guarantors – including national export credit agencies.

“As banks, we recognize that our role in the shipping industry enables us to promote responsible environmental stewardship throughout the global maritime value chain,” Citi’s global industry head of shipping and logistics Michael Parker said.

“The Poseidon Principles will not only serve our institutions to improve decision making at a strategic level but will also shape a better future for the shipping industry and our society.”

The international shipping industry is currently responsible for about 2.5% of global CO2 emission, according to a report by the European Parliament.

All at sea

Before setting its 2050 goal, the IMO, in 2016,  approved a roadmap through to 2023 on the global adoption of an emissions reduction strategy. Since then, more than 170 countries have reached an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from their respective maritime sectors by at least 50%, against a 2008 baseline.

However, these targets are not legally binding. Moreover, international shipping is currently exempt, along with aviation, from the Paris Agreement.

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May last week confirmed that international shipping will be covered by the Government’s newly unveiled ambition of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. This will result in a strengthening of its current commitment to the IMO’s 2050 target and will be bolstered by a sector deal for maritime shipping under the Industrial Strategy.

Sarah George



The challenge of rapidly decarbonising our energy system can’t be addressed if only half of the population is involved. Unfortunately it’s old news that women are significantly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, with the UK having the lowest proportion of female engineers in the EU. Across all academic disciplines women account for 58% of Postgraduate students but only 25% of Professors. Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation added to the list of longstanding pronouncements on the topic, writing earlier this year, when he said: ‘To have real equality in the sector, we need to ensure talented women are able to progress into the academic and leadership roles they desire, and get the remuneration they deserve… Having women properly represented in all aspects of university life is not only a sign of a fair and inclusive society; it can also lead to a more cohesive, collaborative academic community.’ Our research explores the current state of gender balance in UK energy research. We looked at the data and talked to female energy researchers about their experience of securing research funding and of academic life. They told us what needs to change.

IGov 17th June 2019 read more »

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