All-Energy & Dcarbonise 2020 Webinar Series Review

All-Energy & Dcarbonise 2020 Webinar Series Review

26 webinars and counting!

Countless Insights on Delivering Net Zero

We created the All-Energy and Dcarbonise webinar series with one thing in mind: supporting the renewable and low carbon energy community during a time of unprecedented challenge. We launched the webinar series with four webinars on what would have been the original dates of the All-Energy & Dcarbonise 2020 event – the 13 and 14 May. We rapidly found the level of support and participation was outstanding.

Capitalising on that success, we now host monthly webinars on the hottest low carbon and renewables topics, including offshore and onshore wind, hydrogen, inclusive transition, community and local energy, solar energy and more. We ramped up the volume in November by holding the All-Energy & Dcarbonise Virtual Summit, which comprised eight webinars over three days, with stellar speakers including Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

Click below to view the full series overview and tune in to our sessions on-demand.

Offshore wind: Keeping our eye on the long term prize

Offshore wind: Keeping our eye on the long term prize

Our industry is a critical part of our UK and global response to climate change. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind, and we are seeing rapid expansion across the globe. But in the midst of a global pandemic, how does our industry prioritise and stay on the path to low carbon growth. We bring together leading figures from across our industry to talk about the continued opportunity for offshore wind and reflect on what our changed environment means for our businesses.

Chair: Maf Smith, Director, Lumen Energy & Environment

Panelists:
● Jonathan Cole, Managing Director, Iberdrola Global Offshore Wind Business
● Mary Thorogood, Senior Specialist, Strategy, Business Development and Government Relations, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
● Benj Sykes, Vice President, UK Offshore. Head of UK Market Development, Consenting & External Affairs, Ørsted and Industry Chair, OWIC
● Christina Horspool, Environment Division Manager, Xodus Group
● Morris Bray, Senior Business Development Manager, National Grid Ventures.

Panel Q&A

Speakers

Maf Smith
Maf Smith
Director, Lumen Energy & Environment

Maf Smith is the founding director of specialist consultancy Lumen Energy & Environment. He is an expert in energy transition, with a 20+ year leadership career in the renewable sector.

Between 2012 and 2019 Maf was the Deputy CEO of RenewableUK. In this time he was chief spokesperson, represented industry at all levels of Government, and managed the Association’s membership and commercial growth. Prior to this Maf worked in DECC on Electricity Market Reform, was Director of Scotland for the Sustainable Development Commission between 2006 and 2011, and CEO of Scottish Renewables between 2002 and 2006.

Jonathan Cole
Jonathan Cole
Managing Director, Iberdrola Global Offshore Wind Business

Jonathan is based in the UK and runs the Offshore Wind Business of Iberdrola Renewables (ScottishPower Renewables in the UK).

Under Jonathan’s leadership, Iberdrola’s Offshore Wind Business has grown from its inception in 2011 to a business with €6Bn under investment and more than 300 professional staff.

Jonathan is responsible for the development, construction and operation of a large international pipeline of projects, including 3,500MW of Projects off the East Anglian coast, >1,000MW of projects in Germany, 500MW in France and >5,000MW in the US.

Jonathan also sits as Chairman/Director of a number of industry bodies, including the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Programme Board, the Global Offshore Wind Health & Safety Organisation and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Industry Advisory Group. 

Mary Thorogood
Mary Thorogood
Senior Specialist, Strategy, Business Development and Government Relations, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

Mary leads MHI Vestas’ Government Relations and policy team, ensuring policy frameworks and the political environment work together to deliver sustainable, long term growth in offshore wind markets around the world.   Mary joined MHI Vestas from Vattenfall, the state-owned Swedish utility and one of the world’s largest offshore wind developers.  Mary has strong experience of the UK CfD and wider offshore wind space as it has evolved and grown, working with Government and wider stakeholders to ensure offshore wind delivers low cost power to UK businesses and communities.  Mary also played a key role with the UK industry and Government in delivering the Offshore Wind Sector Deal

Benj Sykes
Benj Sykes, Vice President, UK Offshore, Head of UK Market Development, Consenting & External Affairs, Orsted and Industry Chair, OWIC

Benj is Head of Market Development, Consenting and Public Affairs in the UK offshore wind business of Ørsted and is responsible for business growth, setting and delivering the company’s sustainability and environmental agendas, and managing Ørsted’s relationships across government, authorities and NGOs. 

He is Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and led the work to agree a Sector Deal with  Government; he also serves on the Board of G+, providing Health and Safety leadership for the offshore wind sector.  He is a member of the government-appointed Advisory Panel on Highly Protected Marine Areas.

Benj previously worked in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Christina Horspool
Christina Horspool
Environment Division Manager, Xodus Group

As Environment Manager at Xodus Group, Christina Horspool is a proactive, innovative and inspiring business leader in the areas of climate change, energy efficiency, decarbonisation and sustainability. Christina’s experience across the energy sector, including offshore wind and oil and gas, as well as her technical background in atmospheric emissions, carbon accounting and carbon lifecycle, allows her to lead the 60-strong team of environmental and marine specialists across the UK.

The Xodus vision is that ‘together, we will deliver a responsible energy future’.  Christina is proactively reinforcing the company vision through her engagement across industry including various Oil and Gas UK forums around decarbonisation and energy transition; and through the Scottish Government-backed Future Industry Leaders Programme. Christina’s proactive approach to people development and innovation across the energy sector, as well as her underlying objective for sustainability and efficiency, has paved the way for a well-motivated, engaged, multi-skilled team of consultants all working to deliver clean energy alongside sustainable economic growth. Most recently, Christina has been a core part of Xodus Group’s aim to help the UK energy sector deliver beyond its net zero ambitions through innovative technologies, processes and techniques.

Christina sees offshore wind as a critical part of the UK’s response to climate change and is passionate about leveraging the cross-sector opportunities offered through the UK’s long track record in offshore energy and infrastructure projects; whether these be associated with offshore wind helping to decarbonise oil and gas activity, or helping supply chain or the workforce prepare for the next phase of major growth in offshore wind.

If you need any further information do give me a shout. My mobile is on my signature so feel free to give me a call on there.

Morris Bray
Morris Bray
Senior Business Development Manager, National Grid Ventures

Morris is a Senior Business Development Manager for National Grid Ventures, leading new HVDC developments between GB and other countries in the North Sea region. He has experience of HVDC interconnector project development, having led National Grid’s team in the development phase of the IFA2 interconnector between GB and France along with RTE, and advocates the transition to a North Sea grid through multi-purpose interconnectors that combine the benefits of connecting markets with benefits of providing offshore connections for offshore wind.  Morris is a member of the European Commission Expert Group on Interconnection Targets.

Thank you Paul Wheelhouse!

Thank you Paul Wheelhouse!

Thank you Paul Wheelhouse!

We at All-Energy and Dcarbonise send thanks and commiserations to Paul Wheelhouse who was Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, and who sadly will not be joining his colleagues in the new Scottish Parliament. Go to Twitter and search on his name and you will read countless lovely messages to a hardworking, knowledgeable and caring man. Here’s just one:


Another tweeted saying it was like “snakes and ladders”….. Sadly the ladder didn’t come into play this time. SNP Energy Ministers have been superb – first we enjoyed Jim Mather, next was Fergus Ewing and then Paul Wheelhouse. We look forward to hearing who will be in the hot seat in the all-important run-up to COP26. Paul has much of which to be proud.

Thank you again Paul for your support, your encouragement, and your words of wisdom both at the ‘live’ event and on our webinars.

You can relive all 30 of the webinars on The Energy Forum. Paul spoke in two ‘Meet the Minister’ ones, and in ‘Greening the Blue Economy: Marine Energy’; and sent a message on solar to ‘40GW Solar Deployment by 2030’. 

On the subject of webinars … let’s talk about onshore wind

‘The Climate Emergency and Planning: Have we got the balance right?’ in early November last year was very much about onshore wind and how we should rise to the challenge of building more windfarms.

It is good to see RenewableUK on the warpath, urging the UK Government to commit to a specific deployment target for onshore wind of 30GW by 2030 in ‘Raising the bar: the world leading energy commitments the UK should make ahead of COP26’.

As well as making the case for onshore wind to do much needed heavy lifting to reach the UK’s all-important goals, it also asks the government to commit to specific deployment targets for floating wind, renewable hydrogen, and marine energy (all topics covered by our webinars), in the run-up this historic event (to which All-Energy  & Dcarbonise on 18-19 August, also at SEC Glasgow, will be a steppingstone)

What about solar?

Planning activity for new solar farms in the UK remains vibrant reports the SolarPowerPortal. The pipeline of new ground-mounted sites reached almost 17GW at the end of April 2021, with 800-900MW of new sites being identified every month. This, and other facts, are all covered in the latest research UK Large-Scale Solar Farms: The Post-Subsidy List conducted by their in-house market research team, explaining how the likely large-scale solar farm candidates for 2021 build-out can be ring-fenced.

While the majority of this pipeline feeds into build plan options in the mid-term (2023 onwards), a subset of these sites are ready to get built. And those that come to fruition in 2021 will ultimately determine if the UK solar industry as a whole (covering all rooftop and ground-mount sites) succeeds in reaching the 1-GW-level of new (and fully unsubsidised) capacity additions this year.

Before the Scottish Election, Solar Energy Scotland chair Thomas McMillan wrote to the major Scottish political parties outlining the case for greater ambition and policy support for solar energy in the country, saying: “Scottish solar has been sitting in the shadows of the wind sector for far too long. We need to dispel the myth solar is not a major resource in Scotland.” In the letter Thomas called on the parties to include a “robust plan of action” for deployment of solar energy technologies as part of their election bid. We look forward to focusing on Thomas’s (and his members’) views at All-Energy 2021.

Heat pumps in the news

Hands up if you were looking at heat pumps, let’s say, five years ago. Probably very few of us. How things have changed; now vast numbers of people in the UK are trying to find out more about the technology available that would suit their home; and the cost; and they can get to install one…

The first months of 2021 recorded a 28% rise in the demand for heat pumps. Research by the online marketplace Rated People finds that 57% of homeowners want to be more eco-friendly when it comes to their energy use. The report shows that only 3% of homes across the UK currently have heat pumps. According to estimates of the Energy Saving Trust, an air source heat pump could save the average detached home with four bedrooms up to £1,300 a year, depending on the heating system that is being replaced

And, if you live in Edinburgh or the South East of Scotland you may be in for some good news! It seems that people living there may be eligible to have a free heat pump installed in their homes as part of Changework’s Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project.

And in last week’s update, we covered the marvellous Channel 4 interview at Whitelee Wind Farm with Keith Anderson and Chris Stark during which both spoke of heat pumps and Keith Anderson talked of installing 24 million heat pumps and said: If you get the market right, you get the regulations right, you get a huge wave of investment, you get innovation and you drive the costs down really, really quickly”.

 

10 years of servicing Scotland’s small hydro fleet

10 years of servicing Scotland’s small hydro fleet

10 YEARS OF SERVICING SCOTLAND’S SMALL HYDRO FLEET

In early 2011, it was clear that the Feed in Tariff was achieving exactly what it was designed to do for the UK small hydro sector, the number of schemes on enquiry and under contract for construction was starting to increase significantly as momentum and interest gained in small hydro.

In an effort to provide greater operational support and breakdown response cover to our existing and future customers, Gilkes made the decision to open our first Hydro Service Centre in Fort William, aiming to reduce engineer travel time, improve response and to be local for emergency breakdown support.

Fort William being the industrial centre of the West Highlands was well placed to access the local engineering support services (fabricators/industrial supplies) that are available, while having good access to industrial premises.  At the end of February 2011 Gilkes took the keys to the first service centre on the Ben Nevis Industrial Estate employing local electrical engineers to work out of the office supporting the growing installation base.

Within 18 months of the Fort William service centre opening, there had been over 40 new hydro schemes installed around Scotland and it soon became clear that it was not going to be practical to cover the growing number of schemes from Fort William. The decision was quickly made to expand again and the search for a second Scottish Service Centre started.

At this time, John Duncanson of John Ducanson Engineering Ltd was looking to slow down and move to retirement. Gilkes took the opportunity to purchase his business and integrate his engineering staff and customer base into the Gilkes fold. As John was Evanton based the logical step was to look for premises in the area both to maintain support for John’s customer base and the new schemes that were rapidly appearing all over the Highlands at the time. In October 2012, we opened the second Gilkes Service Centre on the Clayton Court Industrial Estate in Invergordon giving Gilkes both a West coast and East Coast Highland presence.  Increased coverage and a growing engineering team, allowed us to react to our customers’ needs with much faster call out times.  Reducing unplanned downtime is a priority for any hydro operator whether a private landowner or large utilities and Gilkes growing presence provided specialist service and maintenance teams to minimise lost generation revenue.

After seven years of continued development of new hydro installations around Scotland, the search began for a 3rd service centre location.. This time Callander being the gateway to the Trossachs and on the Highland fault line was the perfect place to locate. The plan being that between Fort William, Invergordon, Callander and Kendal we would not be more than a 2.5hour drive from nearly all the Scottish hydro schemes. In January 2019 we opened the Callander Hydro Service Centre on the Geisher Road Industrial Estate, Callander.

As we celebrate 10 years of providing local service to our customers in Scotland we are also sadly seeing the last of the new Feed In Tariff schemes  completeing construction. Since the opening of the Fort William Service Centre over 200 new Gilkes turbines have been supplied and installed in Scotland alone, with a Gilkes total installed capacity of over 126.7MW achieved in ten years. Small hydro schemes on there own maybe relatively small output, however as a combined contribution to the countries future renewable energy mix they can play a significant and important role. Through our Scottish Service Centres we look forward to providing the preventative maintenance and spares to this new fleet hydro for many years to come.

Author: Alastair Steele, Field Operations Manager, Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd

Keith Anderson & Chris Stark Interviewed at Whitelee

Keith Anderson & Chris Stark Interviewed at Whitelee

Keith Anderson and Chris Stark interviewed at Whitelee

Let’s start with two pieces that are in effect required viewing and reading. First the marvellous ‘double act’ featuring Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower and Chair of CBI Scotland, and Chris Stark, CEO of the Climate Change Committee on Channel 4 News interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) with Stirling University’s Professor Kirsty Park.

Their enthusiasm is infectious and should be bottled and sold! Interviewed at Whitelee Wind Farm they set the scene for COP26 in Glasgow and talked wind, charge points for electric vehicles, heat pumps, investment and delivering a massive economic recovery. “We just need to get on with it” was very much the message in eight compelling minutes of television.

‘Can Rishi Sunak act quickly enough to save the planet?’

And here is the second “vital to read” piece. It’s by Paul Waugh and comes from the Huffington Post. It’s long, running to 17 pages, but you’ll find it time well spent. With the headline ‘Can Rishi Sunak Act Quickly Enough to Save The Planet?’ it dives straight in with: “With the Treasury’s Net Zero Review looking, critics fear the chancellor is not evangelical enough about the environment. But allies say he won’t’ run ahead of public opinion”

The UK Treasury certainly has a central role in any carbon cutting agenda an in the next few weeks, its Net Zero Review will reveal just how radical Sunak plans to be in hitting the legally-binding pledge to get net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November, the UK will write into law a plan to cut its emissions by 78% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2035, as recommended by the independent Climate Change Committee.

“The first major country in the world to commit to such legislation, Britain plans the fastest drop in emissions of any big economy and the new document drafted in the bowels of the Treasury – and covering everything from investment to taxation – is the blueprint for action,” writes Paul Waugh. It ends with some encouraging comments from Lord Stern, whose ground-breaking report on climate economics was published under the Blair government.

Let us have your views. Let’s start a discussion on this one!

Dogger Bank: THE offshore wind project

Offshore Engineer breaks down the main elements and players at Dogger Bank, explaining “It is not simply an offshore windfarm project, it is THE offshore wind project” with the UK North Sea offshore wind farm site destined to be the world’s largest and most innovative. The article considers the UK’s renewable energy ambition to have every home in the country powered by offshore wind by 2030 – six million homes will benefit from Dogger Bank’s three phases.

It charts financial progress; looks at the GE Haliade-X turbines being used for the first two phases; the production of blades. Use of ‘Voltaire’ the largest jack-up installation vessel ever seen in the industry; the installation of the foundations; service operation vessels; cables; schedules; PPAs and more.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTS) – the future of wind farming?

Still on offshore wind, this time looking at Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) -a research team from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (ECM) at Oxford Brookes led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis conducted an in-depth study using more than 11,500 hours of computer simulation to show that wind farms can perform more efficiently by substituting the traditional propeller type Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs), for compact VAWTs. They found that when set in pairs the vertical turbines increase each other’s performance by up to 15%.

Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR)

It was announced last week that 28 UK businesses are ready to reap the rewards from the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s industry-leading Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) business improvement and supply chain growth programme.

The latest regional F4OR programmes, covering North East Scotland and North East England, received over 80 expressions of interest, with 28 winning companies selected (16 in the north east of Scotland; 12 in North East England).

That brings the total number of companies being supported through the Programme to 53, with 25 companies already granted or on the journey through existing programmes in Scotland, Norfolk and Suffolk. Names of all the recent awardees are announced in the ORE Catapult release.

What’s new in heat and energy efficiency? 

Nationwide Building Society has launched a cashback offer for those purchasing a property with a high-energy efficiency rating. Nationwide’s ‘Green Reward’ is available on any property with a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of at least 86+, which is equivalent to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or a high B. The majority of homes sold in the UK must have an EPC to inform prospective buyers how energy efficient the home is.

Stirling could become the tomato growing capital of Scotland if plans being considered by Stirling Council’s planning panel today get the ‘go ahead’. The idea is to install a river source heat pump, pumphouse and glasshouses on more than 18 hectares of land at Bandeath Industrial Estate in Throsk along with a rainwater reservoir. The glasshouses and buildings would house a tomato production, packing and distribution operation. When first mooted it was estimated 150 jobs could be created.

From Scottish tomatoes, to exported Scottish green gas…

Iona Capital has agreed a landmark deal with King’s Cross in London which will see the 67-acre estate switch entirely to green gas. This means that all the heating and hot water for the estate’s 2,000 homes, 5 million square ft of offices, retail and dining space will be powered by green gas.

By switching its gas supply to green gas, King’s Cross will reduce its carbon footprint by 50% and save 20,000tCO2 per annum from being released into the atmosphere, equivalent to the average annual carbon emissions of around 2,000 Londoners.

The deal, which has been facilitated and managed by Optimised Energy, will see an Iona Capital owned plant in Scotland supply 40,000MWh of green gas each year to King’s Cross. The plant generates green gas from an anaerobic digestion (AD), where farm animal slurries and residues are broken down to produce clean energy.

And finally, congratulations to Ørsted

TIME magazine named Ørsted its 2021 list of 100 of the world’s most influential companies. This is an extension of TIME’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Coming down to Earth Day – with a bump

Coming down to Earth Day – with a bump

The day after the Earth Day before, 2021.

The planet is careering towards catastrophic tipping points and the temperature is rising in more ways than one. All the main Scottish political party manifestoes for the forthcoming election are now out. So is it Douglas to the rescue? Is Willie’s shoulder to the wheel? Is Nicola radical enough? Is Anas’s army up to it? Or will Patrick and Lorna’s green machine make the difference?

I thought I’d take a look and pass comment. Not on how many ‘net zeros’ there are, or whether they are committed to this that or the other distant target, or whether they wanted a ‘Just Transition’ to a clean, green future of energy, or mentioned Hydrogen. There’d be nothing to say, it wouldn’t matter who you voted for, they’d all be amazing and rich in promise that they will take us to the promised land of net zero by various future dates, typically beyond the period for which election is being sought.

What about actual action on some of things that are closest to GreenPower’s heart? Namely developing onshore wind and solar generating stations in order to create the green electrons to seriously tackle the vast plume of pollution that heating and transport is pumping out every year. It’s not scientific, it isn’t comprehensive – but a snapshot on these fronts.

First up, solar

First up solar – the SNP manifesto doesn’t even mention it once. Neither do the Lib Dems. And this is a technology that the UK Climate Change Committee recommends 80GW is installed across the UK. In Scotland today there is a only 370MW installed, just 3% of all Scottish renewable capacity. The trade body Solar Energy Scotland estimates 16 times this is deliverable in Scotland by 2030. I know Scotland can be a bit dreich, but solar works here. For example, on the east side of the country there are similar levels of irradiation as say somewhere way south like Birmingham – and a country like Denmark at the same latitude currently has over 3 times more solar installed than we do.

Scottish Labour – are they good for it? No. It only merits a fleeting mention name-checking a community solar company as an example of community energy initiatives. The Scottish Conservatives – absolutely nothing.  Maybe the Greens will do better? But no, nothing there either. How very odd! I suspect this is all just an oversight, albeit a pretty embarrassing one for them all I would suggest. But with the various generic manifesto commitments to ‘renewable energy’ there may be room post election for the party or parties in power to get their act together on solar.

How about onshore wind?

First up the Scottish Lib Dems – nope, no mention. That’s disappointing. Willie appears to be all offshore on wind. The Scottish Conservatives mention it once – so all is not lost. They will support onshore as long as the local community agrees and benefits. The SNP and Labour manifestoes don’t mention it specifically, preferring to join Willie offshore, but there are some references to harnessing renewable energy generally so there may be some hope there.

The Greens are much less coy, making a clear commitment to doubling the amount of onshore wind by 2030 and improving the planning process to do so. That’s more like it. They also want much more of the investment in projects to come from the domestic supply chain. This latter point is a laudable aim, but to deliver it absolutely demands the quid pro quo of setting specific deployment targets and creating a planning system that can deliver volume and scale – so that industry can gear up the investment in the supply chain. Creating Scottish renewable jobs is something all parties want – part of the ‘Just Transition’ which all the parties namecheck with some gusto. Good to see at least the Greens getting the planning and deployment policy connection to maximising job creation.

What I was looking for was clear action on solar and onshore wind, and committing to actions in the short term to deliver the necessary volumes by 2030. All of them hopeless on solar. Only one of them appears to get onshore wind properly. 2030 is the key date. Deployment targets will drive all policy to deliver, especially in planning policy, and such policy will need to happen early in this next parliamentary term to do it.

Author: George Baxter, Director of Development, GreenPower

UK to cut 78% of emissions by 2035

UK to cut 78% of emissions by 2035

UK to cut 78% of emissions by 2035

Unsurprisingly the weekend papers had plenty to say this week as the UK announced it will cut emissions by a world-leading 78% by 2035, which means adopting the Climate Change Committee’s recommended Sixth Carbon Budget in full (including emissions from aviation and shipping), and President Joe Biden hosted 40 leaders at a virtual summit.

The Guardian’s Environment Correspondent, Fiona Harvey, asked the question “Which country has made the biggest climate commitment?” pointing out that China has yet to submit a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UN, finishing with the all-important question, ‘who has the best policies to meet their targets?’

Switch to the Sunday Times where in print Ben Spencer’s article was named ‘Get set for the Great British race to net zero.’ He looked at the ‘rise of renewables’; ‘warming to hydrogen’; ‘motoring makeover’; ‘fair air fares’; ‘plough a new furrow’; and finished on ‘The tricky bits’ shipping; manufacturing (particularly of steel and cement); and CCS.

Jillian Ambrose in The Observer homed in on ‘Green – or envious? The winners and losers in Britain’s climate change plan’ citing battery storage; green home experts; recycling plants; and carbon capture as the winners; and the North Sea; crude refineries; airlines and nuclear power plants as the losers. In the ‘green home experts’ section, she highlighted a report by the Green Alliance thinktank which estimates that all the UK’s 29 million homes will need at least some work to make the grade in a carbon-neutral future – but this would create 190,000 jobs, save £7.5bn a year on energy bills and ease pressure on the NHS by preventing illness. So, something of a win-win situation – we just have to grit our teeth and get on with it!

 Offshore wind planning: Encouraging news from Kwasi Kwarteng

BEIS secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told the offshore wind industry the UK Government is evaluating changes to the current planning regime to de-risk the consenting process. As reNEWS reports, he made the comments during last Thursday’s Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind 2021 conference, when asked about recent delays which have hit projects in the UK.

“You’re right to raise planning concerns because this is something which could, and I stress could, hit progress,” the minister told delegates, adding: “I am working very closely with colleagues to see if we can quicken it [the consenting process].”

Congratulations to O2 and the Orbital team

The world’s most powerful tidal turbine has made it safely to Orkney waters… Congratulations to all the Orbital Marine Power team. Here’s looking forward to the next stage in their exciting journey.

The BBC website reminds us that the 680-tonne Orbital O2, which is 72m (236 ft) long, was assembled at the Port of Dundee over the past 18 months. It will be anchored close to Orkney where it will produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes; and enables us to catch a video of it in preparation for launch and then neatly sitting on its barge that took it home to Orkney. Twitter shows us the turbine safely in home waters.


Energy storage – UK reaches a GW and just look at the pipeline!

The UK reached a gigawatt of battery storage deployments in the second quarter of 2020 and the industry has 14.9GW in its development pipeline including 1.8GW of ready-to-build projects and 6.9GW with planning approvals in place.

Geothermal progress at the Eden Project

A drilling rig is due to arrive this week at the Eden Project in Cornwall to bore almost three miles down into the granite crust in search of “hot rocks” that will be used to warm the attraction’s biomes and other buildings.

The first lorries carrying a 450-tonne, 55-metre-high drilling rig will arrive on the outer edge of the Eden Project site. The first phase of drilling is expected to take five months and aims to generate heat to warm Eden’s Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes, offices, kitchens and greenhouses.

Then it will be time to move onto the second phase for heating the local area and to allow the generation of electricity from the hot water. Successful completion of the second phase will mean that the project will generate enough renewable energy for Eden to become carbon negative by 2023.

Research has shown that when geothermal energy is developed, it will be capable of providing around 20 per cent of the UK’s current electricity demand plus a vast amount of heating. In Germany the industry has created more than 22,000 skilled jobs and added €13.3 billion to the German economy since 2000. The use of geothermal energy reduced the country’s emissions by more than 1.7 Mt CO2 equivalent in 2017.

We’ll be inviting the Eden Geothermal Project to give an update in the All-Energy/Dcarbonise conference in August.

5 Reasons to Exhibit at All-Energy and Dcarbonise 2021

5 Reasons to Exhibit at All-Energy and Dcarbonise 2021

Your chance to connect with the industry…

The UK’s only full supply-chain renewable and low carbon energy event is back from the 18-19 August 2021, face to face at the SEC Glasgow. Exhibiting at All-Energy and Dcarbonise this year is going to be unforgettable.

Having not had the chance to meet as an industry since 2019, this is a prime opportunity to put your business under a spotlight. Here are our top five reasons for why you should exhibit this year…

1. Boost your business and speed up post-pandemic recovery

Every year, thousands of visitors attend All-Energy and Dcarbonise looking to source solutions, generating valuable business and connections for our exhibitors. All-Energy presents the opportunity for two days of uninterrupted business, with access to key suppliers, buyers and contacts in the industry, enabling you to create new leads and build new relationships.

The last 12 months have been a challenge across the industry, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is our ability to connect you with the right people and provide you with the platform to boost your business. Attending All-Energy and Dcarbonise 2021 will give you that much-needed opportunity to recuperate and catch up on missed opportunities.

2. Increase brand awareness

Exhibiting at All-Energy and Dcarbonise creates endless opportunities to increase customer awareness of your brand. On-site, your exhibition stand creates a visual identity for who you are and what you do, giving your sales representatives the chance to mingle with potential buyers against the backdrop of your impressive display.
Our sponsorship opportunities also give you the opportunity to place your brand right under the noses of your target audience. Whether it’s on-site signage or session sponsorship, we have options for every budget.

Your exhibitor profile on our directory also provides an opportunity to showcase your solutions. You can even upgrade your profile to showcase more and draw in a greater audience.

The average person needs to see an image 6 times before they start recognising it, so make sure that you’ve taken advantage of all our sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

3. Catch up with the rest of the industry before COP26

Our goal is to connect you, supplier of renewable and low carbon energy solutions, with developers, investors, buyers, policy-makers and a number of professionals from around the world. With COP26 just a few weeks after All-Energy and Dcarbonise (and at the same venue!), you’ll want to join us to catch up with your peers in advance and hear about the very latest industry innovations.

Some of the topics coming under the spotlight in the main All-Energy conference include bioenergy, community and local energy, CCUS, industry decarbonisation, low carbon heat and more.

4. Gain insight into the latest developments and thought-leadership

All-Energy and Dcarbonise is the place to be to learn about the latest industry developments and hear from the innovators who are making waves in the community. As an exhibitor, you’ll be surrounded by your peers and clients, with the opportunity to get into the nitty gritty subjects that spark inspiration.

You’ll also have access to our renowned conference programme, jam packed full of insights and debate. In 2019 47% of participants attended the All-Energy and Dcarbonise conference to learn from our world-class speakers via presentations and academic posters. With keynote sessions in 2019 from Keith Anderson, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon and Chris Stark, you can expect big things from our 2021 programme.

5. Showcase your technology

Your exhibition stand is your opportunity to really show what you can do. Place yourself at the forefront of the renewable and low carbon energy community and market yourself as a leader of innovation by showing off your tech to your target audience.

Safety at All-Energy

Nowhere else will you find this level of exposure to every group with a stake in our shared energy future. If you’re considering exhibiting this year but you’re concerned about the safety measures we have in place, rest assured that we take your health and safety very seriously. Our full safety strategy is available on our website.

How Scotland’s response to the climate emergency is shaping up

How Scotland’s response to the climate emergency is shaping up

How Scotland’s response to the climate emergency is shaping up

In spring 2019 Scotland declared a climate emergency and made it the focus of its Programme for Government. Nearly two years later, the Climate Emergency Response Group looks, by means of a report, at the many achievements in Scotland’s response to the climate emergency.

The report highlights those achievements and identifies outstanding concerns that must be met in the coming years by a new Government and through the delivery of major policy instruments such as NPF4 and the Infrastructure Investment Plan. It will publish a new report – within the first 100 days of the new Government – outlining in detail the steps that the new Government should take to build on the progress made to date and to take further action to ensure that Scotland’s ambition to become a net zero nation into tangible changes in its communities, buildings, infrastructure and land management practices.

There is just six months to go until COP 26 – the UN Climate Change Conference – in Glasgow, and Scotland can and should showcase world-leading policies to reach net-zero emissions which match its world-leading climate change targets.

Your help is needed to develop a key White Paper

FTech2Zero, is an unfunded, pro bono group including Wood and Siemens Energy, forming a multi-organisational network of industry experts. The group have been drawn together to develop a White Paper recognising the challenges associated with financing and deploying novel technology, raising awareness, and assessing the solutions that can be adapted by both financial institutions and technology providers alike. Here is a short explanatory video:

With less than 30 years to deliver the UK’s Net Zero ambitions it is critical to focus on measures to accelerate deployment of the technologies which are necessary to deliver net zero goals. Current estimates state that the required investment to create an integrated energy system on the UKCS alone requires investment of approximately £430 billion. It is therefore imperative that any initiative is attractive to a broad range of financial investors.

FTech2Zero has produced a survey to collect voices from the entire energy value chain to help broaden our understanding of what is needed to truly move the dial on financing net zero. They need your input.

NnG’s Methil-built jacket foundations

Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree, has been awarded a contract by Saipem Limited for the fabrication and load-out of eight wind turbine generator (WTG) jacket foundations. 

The jacket foundations will service the EDF Renewables and ESB owned Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Farm project located in the outer Firth of Forth in Scotland. The contract schedule is due to commence from 1 July 2021 and is anticipated to create around 290 direct and indirect jobs.

The works for fabrication, consolidation and load-out of the eight WTG jacket foundations will principally be conducted at Harland and Wolff’s newly acquired Methil facilities in Scotland (the old BiFab yard).

Hydrogen: It’s a long read…

…but it’s a fascinating one. As nations come forward with net-zero strategies to align with their international climate targets, hydrogen has once again risen up the agenda from Australia and the UK through to Germany and Japan. In the most optimistic outlooks, hydrogen could soon power trucks, planes and ships. It could heat homes, balance electricity grids and help heavy industry to make everything from steel to cement.

@CarbonBrief examines the big ‘hydrogen economy’ questions – and much more. With a full range of infographics, maps and interactive charts and the views of dozens of experts, this in-depth Q&A addresses ‘Does the world need hydrogen to solve climate change?’ And, whilst answering that, it also answers all the questions you’ve been eager to ask – plus quite a few you might never have thought of. Dive in!

As our most recent webinar at the end of March proved, there is an almost insatiable appetite to find out more about hydrogen (there were nearly 950 registrations and close on 900 watched the webinar live or ‘on-demand’ – it is available at

Great plans at Whitelee 

The ‘Hydrogen: From hype to reality’ webinar (the 30th in our series) was sponsored by ScottishPower. In the past week they have announced they have submitted a planning application to deliver the UK’s largest electrolyser. At 20MW it will be the key component of a green hydrogen facility located close to their Whitelee windfarm. The planning application also includes proposals for a combined solar (up to 40MW) and battery energy storage scheme (up to 50MW), to help power the electrolyser.

Energy efficiency: Housing Associations step up to the mark

Five of the largest housing associations in the UK have signed a partnership to improve the energy efficiency of their 300,000 homes and develop decarbonisation solutions for the sector.

The Greener Futures Partnership (GFP) is made up of Abri, Anchor Hanover, Home Group, Hyde and Sanctuary. All of which have a joint turnover of £2.3bn. Can we invite you to come and talk about this at this year’s Dcarbonise – co-located with All-Energy (SEC Glasgow – 18-10 August).

Over time the five housing associations intend to work together “to procure services, build skills and create jobs, and develop solutions that enable them and the wider sector to build more affordable and sustainable homes, while maintaining existing homes”. Just what our visitors would be interested in hearing about! Please contact us at [what email? Do they fill in the “conference enquiry form? Where IS that?) if you’d like to rise to the speaking challenge!

The power of white paint

In an article headlined: ‘Whitest-ever paint could help cool heating Earth, study shows’ The Guardian drew attention to a new white paint developed at Purdue University in the USA that reflects 98% of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat into space, reducing need for air conditioning. Here’s more from the university’s own website

DWF: Future-proofing solar investments

DWF: Future-proofing solar investments

The rise of Power Purchase Agreements in Europe and their role in new markets

DWF and Solarplaza assess whether different approaches to structure, standardisation and risk associated with offtake arrangements can enhance the future of solar investments

It is a great pleasure to introduce this report on off-take arrangements in Europe that has been co-developed by Solarplaza and DWF. During the “Making Solar Bankable” conference that took place in Amsterdam on February 7, 2020, a large number of industry experts from around the world came together to discuss the latest developments in the solar sector. The purpose of this conference was to learn from world-class keynote speakers and participate in interactive workshops that all relate to increasing the bankability of solar energy. Within the conference, DWF hosted a workshop on off-take arrangements in emerging markets. Our workshop, along with the associated survey, was an undeniable opportunity to assess the opinions of a wide range of global experts and gain insight into possible ways forward for off-take arrangements. The findings from our research are summarised in this report.

Click the download button to view the report:

Innovation: The life blood of the sectors we serve

Innovation: The life blood of the sectors we serve

Offshore wind production has soared in value by 37 times in the last decade

The economic value of the UK’s coastal waters has been put at more than £200bn amid growing recognition of the sea’s importance for renewable energy and as a barrier against global heating. In an official estimate for the value of marine natural assets, the Office for National Statistics said offshore wind production had soared in value by 37 times in the past decade.

Innovation: The life blood of the sectors we serve

Last week we touched on the highly welcome announcement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy (BEIS) confirming additional funding to support the UK’s association to Horizon Europe and their commitment to increase investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Research, leading to innovation, is the very life blood of the sectors served by All-Energy helping to bring about an ever-decreasing LCOE.

Just a glance at some of the innovations we picked up during the past week tells the tale of exciting results of long-term research at home and overseas:

  • Equinor and SSE Thermal have unveiled plans to jointly develop two first-of-a-kind, low-carbon power stations in the UK’s Humber region, comprising one of the UK’s first power stations with CCS technology, and the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station.
  • TechnipFMC and Bombora have formed a strategic partnership to develop a floating wave and wind power project in support of a more sustainable future. The relationship brings together TechnipFMC’s unique technologies and experience delivering complex integrated Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (iEPCI™) projects offshore with Bombora’s patented multi-megawatt mWave™ technology that converts wave energy into electricity. The partnership will initially focus on TechnipFMC and Bombora’s InSPIRE project.
  • Nekkar has been awarded a Nkr21m (over €2m) grant from Innovation Norway to progress with the development of SkyWalker, a technology that could significantly reduce the cost and environmental footprint associated with wind turbine installations.
  • Vattenfall, steel firm SSAB and mining group LKAB have started building an underground rock cavern storage facility for ‘fossil-free’ hydrogen gas in Sweden. The HYBRIT project aims to decarbonise iron and steel production and create a completely ‘fossil-free’ value chain from mine to finished steel.
  • Who can fail to be impressed by what Orbital Marine Power described as “it’s like nothing this world has seen before“. Yes, we featured it last week too, we can’t get enough of it!
  • And here’s an invitation to rise to a challenge: The UK Government has launched the application window for the Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) Demonstration Programme and set the deadline for submitting interest by noon 18 June. The government issued its call at the beginning of March for what is a new funding scheme to support the development of technologies and products for the floating offshore wind industry.

What more can you add? We are always interested in hearing from you and are eager to publish blogs on topics that reflect your organisation’s achievements, aims and objectives

Fossil free construction? Is it a myth?

Obviously, there are still challenges in plenty. The Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), for example, sees the biggest unchallenged obstacle as the energy consumed by construction.

“It’s strange to see something described as ‘fossil-fuel free’ when it is made of concrete, steel and glass,” says Joe Giddings, coordinator of the ACAN campaign group. “The production of these materials entails burning a huge amount of fossil fuel. The climate emergency is not a game, and we can’t just spin our way through it. We need to think about where our materials come from, how they’re made and interrogate the whole supply chain – from construction to demolition and reuse.”

How can this be solved? Yes, scope for another blog if you have the solution – indeed, we’d also be interested in asking you to speak about it in the Dcarbonise conference programme; so, do please get in touch.

Virtual introductory offshore wind course from SUT

The Society of Underwater Technology (SUT) All-Energy’s Learned Society Patron has launched a virtual introductory offshore wind course featuring acknowledged industry and academic experts as presenters and in association with Cranfield University. It is designed with two specific groups in mind: professional non-engineering staff, who would benefit from understanding the offshore wind energy industry; and for engineers and technical staff new to the sector or making the transition from another industry. The first course, comprising two mornings of presentations and Q&A, will be held on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th May 2021.

DWF: European Renewable Energy Guide, 2021

DWF: European Renewable Energy Guide, 2021

Market outlook and support systems for Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK

An introduction from Karol Lasocki, Partner & Head of Renewables

The energy transition is rapidly accelerating throughout the world and in Europe in particular. In December 2019, the European Council endorsed the objective of the European Union achieving complete climate neutrality by 2050, while the United Kingdom set similar goals. As the year 2020 unfolded with historic and life-changing events, many thought that the effort would be undermined. The opposite is in fact happening and the pace of the green revolution increased. It will be one of the pillars of recovery. In particular, ever more electricity will be generated from wind sources onshore and offshore, and from photovoltaic power plants. Europe is well positioned for that. Strong R&D and manufacturing sectors, skilled labour, the rule of law and, last but not least, favourable weather conditions for RES, make investments attractive.

This guide aims to bring clarity to the onshore RES regulatory framework in major European markets (Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK) and provide a long-term perspective for each of these countries. All of the economies concerned, except for the UK, continue to maintain support systems for industrial-size onshore wind and solar. As fostered by the EU legislation, support is granted through a competitive tendering process which ensures that only the most efficient projects are eligible. Understanding both similarities and differences of national support systems is vital for ambitious developers operating in an international environment. At DWF, a global legal business with presence in all the described jurisdictions, we analyse and navigate them every day as part of our work. We are pleased to share our experiences with you and contribute to the growth of your businesses.

Click the download button the view the full report: