A new twist on life this week…..
Let’s look at the topics being covered by Dcarbonise Week ‘Virtual Sustainability Summit’ in which All-Energy/Dcarbonise take pride of place with the first three days (4-6 October), devoted to webinars and ‘break spots’ of interest to our renewable and low carbon energy community.
Topic by topic, we’ll pick up on some of the recent news that emphasises just how topical and relevant our webinar subjects are. Our full programme is at https://www.all-energy.co.uk/en-gb/dcarbonise-week/programme.html The week continues on 7 and 8 October with input from our RX Global ‘sister’ shows, Oceanology International (including a look at offshore wite investigation and floating offshore wind); World Travel Market; and Future Farm Technology
The Scottish Government must ensure local firms win more public contracts if it wants to achieve its ambitions for a green recovery, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said. The organisation says reforms to the public procurement regime are needed to ensure small businesses get a fairer share of the huge value of contracts awarded and to support the drive to reduce carbon emissions. https://www.heraldscotland.com/business_hq/19558501.ministers-told-help-small-firms-fuel-green-recovery/
A new Just Transition Commission is to be established to help ensure Scotland’s journey to net zero is fair for everyone. It will be chaired by leading climate scientist and IPCC Bureau member Professor Jim Skea CBE and run for the duration of this parliamentary term, reporting annually on the progress Scotland is making to ensure a greener, fairer future for us all. Scotland’s Just Transition Commission was first established in 2019 and submitted a report in March 2021 following a two-year remit to provide practical advice and recommendations. The Scottish Government responded to the report last week, accepting all of the Commission’s recommendations and becoming the first country in the world to commit to a Just Transition Planning Framework. This sets out a consistent, ambitious approach to just transition planning with the first specific plan addressing the energy sector.
The Scottish government has outlined plans to help secure a just transition to net zero, including opportunities for new green jobs. This comes as part of its Programme for Government 2021-22, which while detailing plans for the next year, also “sets the scene” for the next five years.
Check the webinar programme and you will see that solar, onshore wind and marine renewables all figure in this session so, quite legitimately we include some of last week’s stories on these sectors:
- For the first time since 2015, established technologies, including onshore wind and solar, will also be able to bid. The Government is seeking up to 5GW of capacity from these technologies, with a £10m budget
- Orbital Marine Power is to lead a pan-European consortium to deliver the EU-backed Forward-2030 project, set up to accelerate the commercial deployment of floating tidal energy
It’s true, the stakes have indeed never been higher, and news comes thick and fast. We can only home in on a few key stories from the past week to stress this point!
SSE Renewables has announced that it is combining two proposed offshore wind farms into one super project development which would accelerate Scotland’s net zero ambitions and help tackle the climate crisis.
Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms, off the east coast of Scotland, have been brought together into one single wind farm – now known as Berwick Bank Wind Farm.
With a potential output of 4.1GW, Berwick Bank Wind Farm would more than double the size of current offshore wind either in construction or operational in Scotland at the moment. It would also increase the country’s overall renewable energy capacity by nearly 30%.
Looking forward to the fourth CfD round BEIS announced that £200 million (of the total £265 million a year) to support offshore wind projects. This will help meet the manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has 40GW of capacity by 2030. Plus £55 for emerging renewable technologies of which £24 million is ringfenced for floating offshore projects for the first time.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has awarded VolkerFitzpatrick an £82 million design and build contract, to deliver two wind turbine blade manufacturing facilities and repurpose an existing factory, at its site in Hull. The works began in August and are due to complete in May 2023.
The award follows VolkerFitzpatrick’s successful delivery of the existing blade factory at the same site, in 2016. Once complete, the new facilities will enable Siemens Gamesa to produce lager blades, with greater efficiency.
Research by RenewableUK into the total size of the pipeline of floating offshore wind projects worldwide shows that it currently stands at over 54GW if all are fully constructed. The pipeline includes projects from an early stage of development through to those which are fully operational. Over half of this is in Europe (30.9GW), with the UK leading the world at 8.8GW. Ireland has 7.7GW in the pipeline, Sweden 6.2GW and Italy 3.7GW. Norway, Spain and France are also planning to deploy floating wind at scale.
The world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind, has been operating in Scottish waters since 2017 and a second floating project, Kincardine, is almost fully operational. This week the Government announced a dedicated budget of £24 million to support floating projects in the next CfD auction which opens in December.
Where should offshore wind projects be developed to protect marine life? A new £800,000 research project from the University of Aberdeen and University of Highlands and Islands has been set up to determine just that
Heating our homes and businesses makes up a significant part of our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions – they account for around a third of UK emissions. Decarbonising heat, reducing and eliminating the greenhouse gases emitted during its generation and use, is essential to tackling climate change. In its report, Net-zero: the road to low-carbon heat, the CBI recommends a new national delivery body to formulate and steer a national plan for heat decarbonisation and to work with regions and cities to co-ordinate efforts across scales, sectors and geographies.
Scotland aims to provide all homes will have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of band C by 2040, where technically feasible and cost effective, and all non-domestic buildings will have their energy efficiency improved to the extent that it is technically feasible and cost effective. By 2032, it aims to reduce residential heat demand by 15% and non-residential heat demand by 20% by improving the fabric of the country’s buildings and ensuring they are insulated to the maximum appropriate level. It is working on a number of schemes.
Currently, around 13pc of Scotland’s carbon emissions are related to home heating. Scottish Govt targets aim to reach net zero emissions by 2045, with a commitment that new home gas boiler installation will cease from 2024
Almost four fifths of people would swap their gas boiler for a greener heat pump if they were given financial support, a survey published today suggests The poll of more than 2,000 people found that eight in 10 homeowners were willing to make changes to reduce their environmental impact.
The Energy & Utilities Alliance says there is growing concern that quotas for heat pump sales, rumoured to be in the government’s impending Heat & Buildings Strategy, will lead to a loss of British jobs & cheap imports dumped on consumers.
Willie Watt, chair of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said that SNIB, a mission-led development bank, has announced seven key investments since its launch, including in tidal innovation and forestry projects. “We can invest between £1 million and £50m and we hope to make significant other investments in the low-carbon space in the months and years to come,” he added.
North Sea oil and gas producers have been warned that they should use profits generated by steadily rising prices to speed up the decarbonisation of their businesses. Edinburgh-based global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said the current “oil price windfall”, which despite the economic impact of Covid-19 has seen the price of a barrel of Brent almost double since last year, had given producers a “golden opportunity” to invest more in renewables.
There’s just over a month to go until the United Nations climate summit, COP26, takes place in Glasgow. World leaders and delegates from 196 countries are expected to arrive in the city for the biggest diplomatic meeting on UK soil since the Second World War. Famous faces on the guest list include the Queen, climate activist Greta Thunberg and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. But what is COP26 all about? The Press & Journal sets about demystifying it.
The ball is in China’s court when it comes to making the United Nations COP26 climate change conference in November a success, Britain’s Alok Sharma, the summit’s president, said on Sunday. Sharma, who said he had had “constructive and very frank discussions” during a visit to China earlier this month, said China’s President Xi Jinping had not yet confirmed whether he would attend the summit. “In every conversation I had with the Chinese they were very clear that they want to see COP26 as a success so the ball is very much in their court,” Sharma told Sky News.
Scotland will host the 16th Conference of Youth (COY16), the UN’s official youth event for COP26. The Conference of Youth is an essential part of the COP calendar, helping to prepare young people for their participation in COP. It gives young people a voice in the climate negotiations, while providing delegates from over 140 countries the chance to meet, share experiences and build skills. The conference will result in the Statement of Youth, which is presented on behalf of young people at every COP, setting out their hopes and expectations for the climate negotiations. Five young people from Scotland will be selected to represent the country as delegates and contribute to the Statement.
The Net Zero Technology Centre (speaking in our webinar) and Dutch research organisation TNO have launched a report that analyses the significant opportunities that cross sector collaboration in the North Sea can bring. The One North Sea report highlights how the North Sea and its existing oil and gas infrastructure offer an ideal basis for developing a Net Zero Emission basin and emphasises the need for cross-border collaboration and joint planning to achieve energy transition.
Experience working in “harsh marine environments” means Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry acts as a good template for floating offshore wind. Benj Sykes, UK offshore vice president at Danish renewables giant Orsted, said the floating sector should look to “replicate” the skills on offer in the Granite City. Mr Sykes was speaking in Aberdeen during the last day of RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables’ Floating Offshore Wind conference, held at the P&J live
Shell’s new North Sea boss has committed to putting the company’s “upstream business in reverse” as part of a key Aberdeenshire CCS project to drive net zero. Simon Roddy said the Anglo-Dutch supermajor would take action to “earn our license to operate” and secure “public trust” by aiding the drive to net zero, however it will continue to pursue “selective growth” in oil and gas in the UK and West of Shetland. The drive to net zero includes repurposing the existing Goldeneye pipeline to allow emissions to be transported from the St Fergus gas terminal, Aberdeenshire, and stored offshore. That will form the backbone of the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, of which Shell is a key stakeholder.
Several prospective CCS schemes are on the go in the UK, including the Acorn project in Aberdeenshire, which forms the centre of piece of the NECCUS Scottish Cluster industry group. Westminster is due to announce which projects be in the UK’s first CCS wave in October – the goal is to have them up and running by the mid-2020s. But there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure the technology is able to catch the 10 million tonnes of CO2 that has been earmarked for it annually by 2030.
New research suggests towns and cities in the North of England have the best chance to reap economic benefits from the transition to net zero. The Social Market Foundation (SMF) found that Northern local authority areas make up half of the 20 places with the greatest opportunity to gain from the shift to a low-carbon economy.
Gloucester City Council is set to bring forward its emissions target as part of broader commitment to join the UK100 (who are speaking in our webinar). They’ve committed to being carbon net zero by 2045 – exceeding the national target by five years. UK100 is a network of highly ambitious local government leaders doing everything in their power to get to net carbon zero as soon as possible
Public leisure centres in Oxford are getting £10.9m investment to cut carbon, as part of the council’s plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The authority’s Cabinet has confirmed that four leisure centres in the city will benefit from the decarbonisation programme, a change from the initial plan, which was to replace the heating systems at all six public leisure sites.
Hydrogen news abounds – indeed the whole of this issue could be taken up with them. Here are just a few. Our ‘Hydrogen in action’ webinar looks at what is going on on Teesside, hence some of the stories here.
The future of the planet is going to have to be a low carbon one, and that’s about a lot more than electric vehicles and wind farms. Other forms of sustainable fuel also have a critical role, and one of the most important of these will be green hydrogen. Not everything can be electrified. Some forms of transport and industrial processes will continue to need to run on gas, which is where this form of hydrogen – clean, affordable and completely free of CO2 – will be the optimal solution.
A trade body for the UK’s energy networks says plans to invest in the roll-out of hydrogen across the UK – with Teesside set to be a key player – could create 25,000 jobs. The Energy Network Association said that around 17,000 of these jobs could be focused in Britain’s industrial clusters as the industry plans to invest £4.4 billion in developing hydrogen grids to help switch industrial areas to a new fuel.
A huge deal between three global energy firms could bring a multi-million pound boost for Teesside. Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed a deal between bp, ADNOC (the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) and renewable energy developer and operator Masdar which would see them collaborate to develop low carbon hydrogen hubs, supporting a wave of investment and jobs in the Tees Valley. The three have signed an agreement to work together to initially develop 2GW of low carbon hydrogen across hubs in the UK and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
BusinessGreen spoke to Bas Sudmeijer, managing director and partner, climate and sustainability lead at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), about how organisations can drive significant change by looking at their supply chains where a substantial proportion of emissions can be tackled at low to no cost … and that is just what we will be helping people understand in our hour long discussion on the topic on 6 October – the “Hows” and “Whys”
Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria have become a central component of effective corporate governance. The risks posed by climate change are now at the forefront of the boardroom agenda. Coordinating an ESG policy that fit into a company’s corporate strategy can be a daunting task, in particular in globally operating businesses with complex international supply chains.
With our transport sector responsible for more than a third of our carbon emissions, decarbonisation of this sector is an urgent priority for Scotland.
Much of the technology we need to supercharge our drive to net zero in transport exists in the here and now – hydrogen and electric trains and ferries, EV cars, vans and bikes, with Scotland’s first electric aircraft beginning test flights in Orkney this summer.
There are many exciting advances in this sector powered by renewable electricity and green hydrogen, and we must continue to fund research, development and innovation in transport as we strive to hit our net zero milestones.
The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has successfully won funding for five projects as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.
Fifty-five projects successfully secured £23m funding as part of the Competition, announced at an event during London International Shipping Week by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. ORE Catapult is either leading or is a consortium partner in five of those projects, totalling £3.3m in funding awarded. The projects will convene industry, the supply chain and Government to address the policy, commercial, regulatory and technical barriers to achieving maritime decarbonisation.
Whetted your appetite?
Now’s the time to register for as many of our webinars as you like – and also our fascinating ‘break spots’ thanks to SSEN; SWEP and DER Industrialisation Centres. Our thanks to our Dcarbonise Week sponsor – Kellas Midstream, ScottishPower, Shepherd and Wedderburn, and Ørsted we’re in for a fascinating and stimulating three days in early October
See you there!