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.
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
● 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
Giving electric vehicles a boost
Range anxiety, its real!
We’ve all experienced the inconvenience of a flat phone battery, but how much worse could it be if it were your electric vehicle battery running out? Range anxiety is real. As my electric car started to die, off went the heating, down went the speed. A case of hope and prayers we would make it back home.
The culprit was not bad planning but an unexpectedly long detour. How nice to be able to pull in and get a boost of 50 miles+ charge in 3 mins, but the only option now is more like 30 minutes – unless you are lucky to be passing an ultra-rapid charging station. These are being rolled out on motorways but still will be few and far between when ideally, we need them every few miles.
The problem is getting local grid power connections of up to 350kW to the charge points, however not only is this expensive but it’s also wasteful. For a typical demand of twenty of 3-5 mins charges a day, utilisation is only 5%. The answer is to buffer the energy in safe, low cost flywheels, which are being developed by Levistor Ltd. Existing 50kW “rapid” chargers can be boosted to up to 350kW by adding the storage which avoids the need to upgrade the grid.
Why not batteries?
Batteries are not suited to this harsh duty of around 10 thousand cycles a year. As we all know, they degrade with high discharge cycles; Flywheels offer a better solution since they do not degrade.
Flywheels have been around for a long time, they can be used for electric storage by mounting an electrical machine on the flywheel rotor. They are very reliable with modern designs having low losses. The problem is costs for most commercially available flywheels are too high; it is typically cheaper to a use a Lithium Ion battery with massive overcapacity. This overcapacity means the battery undertakes what is described as “micro-cycles” which allows it serve high power, high cycle applications.
However, the overcapacity factor required for this duty is over ten to give 10 years life, which means the battery must be costed for 10 times the capacity needed, making Levistor flywheels competitive. By use of low-cost steel in a laminated fail safe design, Levistor flywheels can operate safely above ground without need of heavy containment or bunkers. There is also minimal fire risk, unlike Lithium Ion, which is important given many rapid chargers are located within petrol filling stations. Highways England have partnered with Levistor in this exciting development which will help them in supporting the transition to electric transport.
Author: Professor Keith Pullen, CTO Levistor Ltd
The runners and riders in the ScotWind leasing round
At 17:00 last Friday the door shut on any more applications in the long-awaited ScotWind leasing round. On Thursday Energy Voice published a splendid look at the applicants, that he have kept updated, but as it was behind a pay wall, we’re helping you find out more by tracking down press releases from the companies concerned, providing you with plenty of reading material!
We wish good luck to all of them, there are some great All-Energy friends on the list. More than a dozen areas are available with a maximum bid threshold of £100,000 per square kilometre. Crown Estate Scotland promises an update this week on who has put in applications and the next steps.
BP has set out ambitious plans for a £10 billion spending spree if it secures a lease to install and manage turbines in the North Sea. It estimates this will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Scotland, including in Aberdeen, which it will make the centre of its global offshore wind business
• TotalEnergies, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group
The Offshore Wind Power Ltd (OWPL) consortium will bring together the partners’ extensive expertise to leverage Scotland’s domestic supply chain and deliver world-class developments that will accelerate the country’s energy transition.
ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) & Shell have signed a joint bidding agreement for the ScotWind Leasing round. The partners have 70 years’ combined experience offshore in Scotland, with over 50 years’ experience offshore in the North Sea. In addition, the partners have over 15 years of combined experience in Floating Offshore Wind. The combined ScottishPower Renewables/Iberdrola and Shell portfolio includes over 2GW of operational offshore wind, over 11GW of offshore wind in development and additionally over 700 MW of floating wind in various stages of development.
• Red Rock Power and Eni
Have formed a new 50/50 partnership as they made a joint bid with the support of transmission company, Transmission Investment. The partnership’s future offshore wind projects in particular would prioritise maximising opportunities for local supply chain growth, the development and deployment of new technologies, and contributing to the decarbonisation of the North Sea and the transfer of skills this will generate.
“Equinor has the experience and capabilities necessary to develop the next full-scale floating offshore wind farm in Scotland following Hywind Scotland. By leveraging our offshore execution capabilities and our leading position in floating offshore wind, we are ready to create more long-term value and drive the industrialisation of floating offshore wind further. We see floating wind as an enabler for the Scottish Government to achieve its offshore wind targets and help reach its ambitious net zero target of 2045,” says Equinor’s senior vice president for business development in Renewables, Jens Økland.
…have formed a new partnership for the development of offshore wind in Scotland using floating technology. Currently partnering in California, USA, and Korea, the companies will join forces to bid in the ScotWind leasing round, which is making new seabed leases available for the development of offshore wind in Scottish waters. Ocean Winds is, of course, an EDP Renewables and ENGI JV.
The partnership reflects both companies’ commitment to helping Scotland progress to net zero and support the country’s ambition to become a world leader in offshore wind. The bid will focus on achieving maximum value for the Scottish economy – creating sustainable supply chain in Scotland and bring long term economic benefits. By combining the skills and experience of two of Europe’s leading renewable energy developers, this significant industry collaboration will maximise the potential that the bid can deliver and provides the opportunity to demonstrate how Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions can be truly realised when industry, government and communities work together.
Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables, said: “We’re delighted our ScotWind partnership has now submitted our bids. This is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from our team and we believe our bids demonstrate the local experience, technology and sustainability leadership, and global expertise that our partnership brings. We know ScotWind will play a pivotal role in delivering Scotland’s offshore wind target of 11GW by 2030, and we believe we’re uniquely placed to utilise our immense knowledge, experience and commitment to play a key role in helping the country lead the charge towards Net Zero.”
“The ScotWind process is a critical step for Scottish Government delivering its ambitious target of 11 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. As a long standing partner and investor in the Scottish renewables industry, RWE is pleased to be able to support this through our participation. Our company is a highly experienced, innovative and globally-recognised player in the offshore wind sector, and anticipates that success in ScotWind would unlock significant opportunities to re-energise the local supply chain, while helping create important, high quality, long term employment. We look forward to continuing as a trusted partner to Scotland in the delivery of its offshore ambitions.” Tom Glover, RWE UK Country Chair
Since pioneering the first ever offshore wind farm in 1991, Ørsted has developed and built more offshore wind projects than any other company in the world. Combining this unparalleled track record with BlueFloat’s unique knowledge and experience in developing, financing and executing floating wind projects and Falck Renewables’ track record in global project development and community engagement in Scotland in particular, the consortium is well placed to deliver world-class floating offshore projects.
Jonathan Landes, President Subsea at TechnipFMC, commented: “Magnora and TechnipFMC bring together decades of combined knowledge regarding the development of profitable offshore energy projects. This partnership reflects TechnipFMC’s ambition to capture a significant position in the renewable offshore energy market. We are delighted to support Magnora Offshore Wind by providing our expertise and know-how in bringing innovative offshore energy solutions to the market.”
Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Ideol, stated that “With this consortium, we bring together a unique array of corporate and individual capability; we believe that our respective track-records and experience of project delivery in offshore wind, wind project development in Scotland and locally constructible floating wind expertise render our joint efforts particularly credible and we are confident we can demonstrate clear and significant positive local economic impacts.”
At the end of last week Colin Palmer, Director of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We really appreciate and acknowledge all the time, effort and investment that has gone into each and every application to ScotWind Leasing. We know that there is significant interest in Scotland’s ability to host major offshore wind projects, and our engagement with the sector throughout the development of ScotWind has been clear evidence of that.
“We’ll now look forward to the next stage in the journey, and beginning the work of assessing applications and, ultimately, awarding agreements that can help move some of these exciting potential projects closer to reality.”
There was more, much more, in the news than Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round!
The Just Transition and fairness
Professionals across all walks of UK energy have called for government and industry to coalesce around a national skills strategy that underpins the development of low-carbon energy and supply chains, in a just way that does not leave today’s skilled workers and their communities stranded. Their views, hopes and fears are revealed as part of the Energy Institute’s (EI) Energy Barometer 2021: the net zero skills issue.
Fairness should underpin the UK’s transition to net zero. That’s one of the recommendations of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee which urges the government to prioritise the Net Zero Review and Net Zero Strategy to increase engagement with the public, businesses and industry in its report ‘Climate Assembly UK: Where are we now’.
Nissan announces plans for a battery “gigafactory” in Sunderland
On 1 July Nissan announced plans for a battery “gigafactory” in Sunderland; a fortnight later a second was announced (just like those proverbial buses that finally arrive in pairs). This time Coventry was in the spotlight with a BBC report that. “Mission critical” plans have been submitted for an electric car battery “gigafactory” at Coventry Airport that could create up to 6,000 new jobs. Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd are putting forward the blueprint. Steve Turner, from the Unite Union, said the factory would be a “shot in the arm” for the West Midlands economy. Backers say the plant, which would be 5.7 million square feet in size, and could attract £2 billion of investment.
The Morlais tidal stream energy project has taken a significant step forward following approval of its outline business case by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board; and was heavily involved in today’s Marine Energy Wales webinar to launch their State of the Sector 2021 report .
Who said floating solar wouldn’t work?
Dutch developer of offshore floating solar technology Oceans of Energy has reached a milestone with its offshore floating solar demonstrator which survived all storms encountered in the North Sea in the past 18 months. And the concept has met with approval in London for a floating solar array in London’s Royal Docks that will provide clean renewable energy directly to the capital’s City Airport has won a share of the £1m Resilience Fund. Organised by the Mayor of London, in partnership with Nesta Challenges, the project from Renewable Connections Developments Limited won the renewable energy category.
Getting serious about heat pumps
Octopus believes heat pumps present a huge opportunity. By the end of 2021 it intends to be recruiting plumbing and heating engineers at a rate of 1,000 each year and funding their training as Octopus-employed heat pump installers. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that Ministers are resisting calls to reduce VAT on green home improvements, despite pleas from MPs and builders, as they prepare to set out a national strategy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from home heating.
Just two more floating offshore wind stories….
The global floating offshore wind industry is expected to grow from 74MW to 126MW by the end of 2021 according to a new report from the Floating Wind Joint Industry Project managed by the Carbon Trust. Many countries are considering floating wind, as it opens up new areas with high-wind resources that are not suitable for bottom-fixed installations, such as very deep waters. However, as outlined in the report the industry has certain inherent challenges that need to be addressed in order to maximise the efficiency of commercial-scale floating offshore wind farms.
Did you listen to Henrik Stiesdal on the BBC World Service?
Now there is more news about him and his TetraSpar Demonstrator floating wind turbine. Developed by Stiesdal Offshore Technology, in the early part of last week it had left the Danish port of Grenaa & was being towed to Norway’s Metcentre test site.
National Grid ESO’s FES launched today
National Grid ESO’s Future Energy Scenarios (FES) published today, and celebrating their 10th anniversary, draw on hundreds of experts’ views to model four credible energy pathways for Britain over coming decades. Matthew Wright, their head of strategy and regulation, outlines what the 2021 outlook means for consumers, society and the energy system itself.
“This year’s Future Energy Scenarios insight reveals a glimpse of a Britain that is powered with net zero carbon emissions,” he writes. “Our analysis shows that our country can achieve its legally-binding carbon reduction targets: in three out of four scenarios in the analysis, the country reaches net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with Leading the Way – our most ambitious scenario – achieving it in 2047 and becoming net negative by 2050.”
“Two scenarios – Leading the Way and Consumer Transformation – see Britain reduce its emissions by 2035 by the 78% (from 1990 levels) committed to in the recent sixth Carbon Budget. But our analysis also highlights the level of societal change and policy direction that will be needed to meet these targets.
“Consumers will need to embrace new ways to use energy in the coming years. That means a greater understanding of how their power use and lifestyle choices impact how sustainable our energy system will be – from how we heat our homes, to when we charge our future cars.
“For example, in our Leading the Way scenario, people in 2050 are turning down their thermostats by an average of 1°C, reducing heat demand by 13%.
“And over 80% of households are smart charging their electric vehicle (EV), responding to time-of-use energy tariffs to access cheaper, greener energy and reduce peak demand on the grid.
“Switching to LED light bulbs and smart appliances, too, could have a significant impact, with potential improvements of over 30% in consumers’ energy efficiency according to our Consumer Transformation scenario.”
UK net zero strategy must assemble a mass skilled workforce, says Energy Barometer 2021
Professionals across all walks of UK energy have called today (12 July) for government and industry to coalesce around a national skills strategy that underpins the development of low-carbon energy and supply chains, in a just way that does not leave today’s skilled workers and their communities stranded.
Their views, hopes and fears are revealed as part of the Energy Institute’s (EI) Energy Barometer 2021: the net zero skills issue, based on responses from more than 400 UK professionals representing the span from renewables to oil and gas to energy efficiency.
Acknowledging progress in UK energy policy over the past year, but that further bold action is needed to get the country on track for its 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals, respondents to the survey highlight that action to bring on the necessary workforce is pressing.
EI President Steve Holliday FREng FEI said: “A laser focus on policies and initiatives to drive the development of low-carbon technologies is vital, but it must not eclipse the equally important need to support and develop the net zero workforce.
“We often hear about the long lead times involved in building a new power plant. But the lead times required to bring on a heat pump installer or wind turbine engineer – from inspiring interest in STEM in schools through the necessary apprenticeships and university degrees and into the workforce – are as long if not longer.
“The Barometer is clear that decarbonisation won’t happen at the necessary speed and scale without the assembly of a mass skilled workforce, and so we are encouraged by signals from ministers that this will be an integral part of the UK’s net zero strategy.”
No nuclear in the UK’s Green Financing Framework
The UK’s Green Financing Framework, released on 1 July by the Treasury, describes government plans to finance expenditures by issuing green gilts and the retail Green Savings Bonds that it believes “will be critical in tackling climate change and other environmental challenges”. The 31-page framework sets out the basis for identification, selection, verification and reporting of the green projects eligible for finance from the green gilt programme and savings bonds. The Framework “aligns with the 2021 International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles.”
The framework lists renewable energy as one of its “green categories” with the following “subcategories”:
- Support development of renewable energy generation capacity such as wind, solar and hydrogen;
- Schemes for renewable heat use, including heat networks, heat pumps and hydrogen heating;
- Support for energy storage systems, such as batteries, compressed air/liquid air, and gravitational storage; and
- Research and development for the commercial viability of renewable energy technologies.
It also details a number of “exclusions”. It says, “Eligible Green Expenditures will exclude any expenditures financed and/or refinanced by green financing instruments issued by other government agencies and public sector entities to ensure suitable oversight and avoid double-counting.”
Also excluded is nuclear energy. The document notes: “Recognising that many sustainable investors have exclusionary criteria in place around nuclear energy, the UK Government will not finance any nuclear energy-related expenditures under the Framework.” It adds, however that the government recognises that reaching net zero emissions will require all energy to be delivered to consumers in zero-carbon forms and be derived from low carbon sources.
Gems from throughout the week
INEOS Chemicals Grangemouth, INEOS FPS and Petroineos, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 9 July with the Acorn CCS Project to work together to develop Scotland’s first carbon capture and storage system linking Scotland’s industrial heartland to the Acorn CO2 transport and storage system in North East Scotland by 2027.
Today’s announcement presents a pathway for Scotland to help meet its ambitious climate targets through effective carbon capture and storage. Investment at the Grangemouth site will enable the capture and storage of approximately one million tonnes a year of CO2 by 2027, with the scope to capture further significant volumes beyond this date.
On 8 July Ørsted announced a partnership with onshore wind community engagement pioneer Falck Renewables and floating wind expert BlueFloat Energy, to participate in the upcoming ScotWind leasing round.
The consortium is set to apply for seabed leases in sites which lend themselves to the deployment of large-scale floating wind technology in the Crown Estate Scotland’s upcoming Scotwind leasing round.
Since pioneering the first ever offshore wind farm in 1991, Ørsted has developed and built more offshore wind projects than any other company in the world. Combining this unparalleled track record with BlueFloat’s unique knowledge and experience in developing, financing and executing floating wind projects and Falck Renewables’ track record in global project development and community engagement in Scotland in particular, the consortium is well placed to deliver world-class floating offshore projects.
New car registrations in June grew 28.0% year-on-year to 186,128, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)’s latest figures. The monthly performance was again artificially lifted through comparison with June 2020, when the UK began to emerge from the first pandemic lockdown and showrooms in England opened up at the beginning of the month.
With the latest SMMT research showing electrification could create 40,000 new jobs by 2030, plug-in vehicles continued to increase market share.3 Combined, battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for 17.2% of new vehicles hitting the road (31,981 units). BEVs accounted for more than one in 10 registrations (10.7%). PHEV uptake, however, continued to grow faster than BEV uptake for the third month running, following reductions to the Plug-in Car Grant in March.
Last week, The Crown Estate announced the formation of the Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum which will identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with the co-location of Offshore Wind and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) infrastructure, as well as solutions to help make this a reality where needed.
Following the advice of the Climate Change Committee, both offshore wind and CCUS have a significant role to play in helping the UK achieve its net zero by 2050 obligations. As suitable space on the seabed is limited, and as capacities for both will need to increase to meet this target, it is anticipated that that there will be a number of areas that will require infrastructure in the same location.
Led by The Crown Estate, the Forum brings together the offshore wind and CCUS industries including the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) and RenewableUK, as well as Government and Crown Estate Scotland. It will provide strategic coordination of co-location research and activity and help maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities.
Food for thought: Jeremy Cresswell, the emeritus editor of @EnergyVoiceNews, wrote a thought-provoking piece: That all low carbon energy roads lead to Glasgow for COP26 in November would seem a fair supposition. However, energy is a world where it is mostly money that talks. he writes. “The system favours the haves, and not the billions of people around the world for whom being able to cook a meal is a struggle and climate change is very real threat. As far as can be ascertained, there is no such thing as a global low carbon energy coalition, nor will there ever be……”
SP Energy Networks has unveiled plans to invest £3.2bn by 2028 in critical infrastructure upgrade works needed to support the UK’s net zero goals. SPEN’s draft RIIO-ED2 Business Plan also includes a £30m ‘Distribution Net Zero’ fund which will support low carbon project proposals.
Another announcement from SPEN was that they had appointed Conrad Energy, the UK’s largest Independent Power Producer, to assist with a ground-breaking project to utilise reactive power to solve network constraints, helping support communities and customers on the journey to net zero emissions. This is the first time a UK Distribution Network Operator (DNO) has contracted with a third party to provide a reactive power service at a distribution level, and we’re proud to be helping lead the way towards a cleaner, greener future – a vision shared by Conrad Energy.
Onshore wind: Speed and scale are essential!
Onshore windfarms in Scotland must be built bigger if the country is to move away from a dependency on oil and gas, the Greens have demanded, reported the Daily Record. The Green party shared a letter with the paper that they and the leaders of Scotland’s other main political leaders had received from some of the leading companies involved in the renewables sector, which blames restrictive planning laws from allowing taller turbines to be constructed. Energy giants ScottishPower, SSE and EDF are among those warning that Scotland could be left behind much of Europe when it comes to harnessing the potential of onshore wind energy.
In an interview with Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, published on 1 July by reNEWS in their subscription-only newsletter: “Regulators such as NatureScot, the former Scottish Natural Heritage, and local authorities may be handed extra resources to push through developments deemed vital to the green pledge according to the Cabinet Secretary.” Adding: “The minister is considering the changes as part of the ongoing National Planning Framework (NPF4) review into Scotland’s long-term strategy for sustainable infrastructure development. A draft is due later this year.” Mr Matheson was quoted as saying “If there are particular pinch points in the decision-making process that need to be addressed then the NPF4 process will help us in flushing some the that out…”
Safety is vital too
Formed in April 2019 – with a current membership of 18 Tier 1 members and 40 Tier 2 members – SafetyOn, the health and safety organisation for the onshore wind sector has launched its inaugural data report. The organisation provides leadership in health and safety for the industry and ensures transparency about the industry’s Health and Safety performance, as well as assisting industry stakeholders to see that key emerging risks are mitigated through co-operation and shared learning.
The inaugural report presents the analysis of the quarterly data returns submitted by members who experienced incidents during 2020 and serves to highlight key risk areas that can then inform SafetyOn’s future work programme.
In this first report, 6,971,142 worked hours were reported with a total of 532 incidents. The incident data has been reviewed and analysed across the following categories:
- project status (i.e., development, construction, operation)
- nature of work (i.e., routine maintenance, access and egress, electrical systems, etc)
- nature of response and actual consequence (i.e., emergency response medical evacuation, medical treatment, lost work day incident, etc)
- by body part injured (i.e., hand, head, back, leg, foot, etc)
Of the reported incidents, 455 (86%) took place on an operational onshore wind farm, with 62 (12%) on a wind farm under construction, 13 (2%) on a site under development and 2 (0.4%) whilst working from home. The key risk areas identified were incidents during routine maintenance, incidents during access/egress, and incidents when working with electrical systems, with 126, 84 and 50 incidents reported respectively.
Geothermal energy moves up the agenda
Congratulations to Geothermal Engineering Ltd (@GELtd) whose #uniteddownsgeo site near Redruth in Cornwall (once a global mining capital) were in the news explaining their power plant will be producing electricity and heat by next year. Quite rightly The Guardian acknowledged the “decade of hard graft – and some bold, imaginative thinking” explaining that: “A plume of steam finally exploded into the clear Cornish air, a signal of what is being heralded as a breakthrough for an energy project that taps into the hot rocks of the far south-west of Britain.” A great diagram accompanies the story.
Ryan Law, MD of GEL has already agreed to provide an update at All-Energy 2022 (if you are interested in speaking you will find the Call for Speakers open). His company now has plans to build four more sites in Cornwall by 2026
Marine renewables – much in the news
Is it our imagination or are there much more positive vibes about marine renewables – primarily tidal stream and wave power?
Last week started with Members of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee travelling to Orkney to visit the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and gather further evidence on renewable energy in Scotland. A report on their findings will make recommendations to UK Government this summer ahead of November’s COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.
The Committee held an oral evidence session in Kirkwall to discuss marine renewable energy specifically, as well as wind energy, grid networks and innovation in energy systems. The livestream recording of the oral evidence session is available on the UK Parliament website.
Orbital Marine Power used a suitably upbeat Tweet to spread word of the visit:
Fantastic for our Commercial Director to join today’s @SustDev #OceanEnergy Webinar to share his insight into how #tidalenergy can help reach #GlobalGoals for #NetZeroBy2050! https://t.co/lCXDHrO5OE pic.twitter.com/8keRDjyTgt
— Orbital Marine Power (@Orbitalmarine) June 29, 2021
There was buoyant news too from Scotland’s Nova Innovation and France’s Sabella who have signed an MoU to “accelerate development” of tidal energy sites the companies are developing; they will combine expertise to “drive rapid scale up” of installed capacity in the UK & France.
Dutch tidal energy company Tocardo and U.S.-based marine energy developer C-Power have made it to the Greenbackers Investment Capital’s final list of technology start-ups to take part in an innovative six-month international investment programme.
It was only recently that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited EMEC; now HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Princess Royal has seen AWS’s wave device on display at the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Watch a video of the visit here.
Decarbonisation – the BBC dives in
In a week when the BBC has removed an educational page laying out the “benefits” of climate change after a furious online reaction, it seemed to suddenly take to renewable energy and decarbonisation like the proverbial duck to water!
BBC Sounds featured a fascinating BBC World Service ‘Witness History’ 9-minute interview with @HenrikStiesdal, that he drew attention to via LinkedIn and Twitter, saying it was: “A nice, small piece on the BBC regarding the first offshore wind farm at Vindeby, Denmark.” It’s more than that, it is a superb tribute to the great wind pioneer, and provided an insight into his life building his first turbine as a teenager and then the steps he has taken – and we all know there is more, much more, to come from him.
Last Thursday evening there were two BBC Radio 4 back-to-back programmes that demonstrated the corporation’s decarbonisation interest. The first ‘Rolling out Electric Vehicles’ was on The Bottom Line. Earlier in the day Nissan announced details of a new battery “gigafactory” that will enable its Sunderland car plant to massively increase production of electric vehicles and become the largest battery gigafactory in the UK; and the UK government is committed to ensuring that no new vehicles running on petrol or diesel will be sold after 2030.
“The electric transport sector will play a crucial role in tackling climate change” explained host Evan Davis on The Bottom Line. But are we on track to hit these targets? Can EVs deliver the same reliable services as combustion engine vehicles and reduce ‘range anxiety’? Does the rolling out of this transition have consumers convinced? His guests Lex Hartman, CEO of Ubtricity; Toddington Harper, CEO of GridServe; and Tanya Sinclair, UK & Ireland Policy Director, Chargepoint supplied the answers.
Next the Radio 4 schedule was ‘Inside Science’. Sandwiched between gene therapy and watermelons, wild flowers and pollinating insects the programme looked at heat pumps, explaining that in the near future they may replace domestic gas boilers. Visiting a district heating system in London that is already installing the pumps in a scheme which should see 50% reductions in their carbon emissions, ‘Inside Science’ listeners visited the Citigen site to see how the plan would work. The potential for domestic heat pump roll out was discussed with Simon Evans from Carbon Brief.
The day before, Radio 4’s ‘Money Box’ focused on ‘Community Energy Projects’ asking “would you like to generate your electricity through a local, renewable energy project rather than buying it from a big supplier?” In last Wednesday’s episode, Adam Shaw and guests Jodie Giles, head of community and local energy at Regen (who featured in the All-Energy and Dcarbonise webinar ‘Community and Local Energy: A Beacon for 2030’), Tanuja Pandit, director of Power Up North London, and Steve Shaw, the director of Power for People considered the costs and practicalities of setting up and running community-led energy projects, and giving their views on whether such initiatives make financial and environmental sense.
So, what was the educational page and the reaction all about? BBC Bitesize, its website for schoolchildren, claimed warmer temperatures “could lead to healthier outdoor lifestyles” and that a benefit of climate change could mean easier access to oil in Alaska and Siberia. You can no longer read it on the BBC’s website but obviously there is more in The Guardian report.
A need to move forward with speed
Last week’s Climate Change Committee online launch of their joint Progress Report to Parliament 2021 really is required viewing. It offered an opportunity to hear from CCC Chairman Lord Deben, Adaptation Committee Chair Baroness Brown, CCC Chief Executive Chris Stark, and other leading CCC voices about progress being made and the vital next steps on the path to a Net Zero, climate resilient UK..
This year the CCC #TheCCCUK published both their annual report on progress in reducing emissions and their biennial report on progress in preparing for the impacts of climate change. Both reports are available at.
Lord Deben started the online launch saying: “There is much to celebrate. The problem is there is very little action, very little delivery to show that what we have promised we are going to achieve” & explaining the CCC has looked at promise/action department by department”; and Chris Stark ended it explaining: “We have reached the end of the statutory reports we supply every five years – an exciting time for us. The CCC will now shift its focus to real world progress to real world delivery just as the government must.”
An Editorial in today’s Guardian carries on the campaign: “Targets are all very well. But not if there is no way of reaching them. In which case, they are a sham. This is the problem now confronting the government. The UK’s stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels is very ambitious. “Remarkable” was the word used last week by Lord Deben (the former Conservative environment secretary John Gummer). He chairs the climate change committee (CCC) that advises the government. Its latest reports make an unflattering contrast between impressive aims and the absence of plans to meet them.
“A strategy setting out how the UK intends to meet its net zero pledge is promised before the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow in November. But there is little sign so far that ministers grasp the scale of the challenge. Not a single government department, the CCC finds, is moving at the necessary pace.”
Behind a paywall in The Times Simon Clarke MP for Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland, and former exchequer secretary to the treasury and minister for local government and regional growth writes today about green jobs: “New jobs and industries with huge global export markets are being created right across our industrial heartlands. The think tank Onward estimates that up to 1.7 million additional green jobs could be created by 2030 and that these will be disproportionately located in areas that are the focus of the government’s levelling up agenda.”
- A joint National Grid ESO & UK Power Networks project is demonstrating how wind & solar farms can dynamically feed in power to provide voltage control services to balance the system & help more efficient grid running.
- One of the UK’s largest low-carbon heating systems will soon begin warming homes and offices in London’s Square Mile by capturing heat from more than 650ft below the streets of the City.
- … to BBC Springwatch, GeoPura and Siemens Energy as you will learn from this Springwatch-behind-the-scenes video, hydrogen was put to good use to reduce the series’ footprint.
- …to Ørsted who have installed their one thousandth offshore wind turbine in UK waters, which is also the sixteenth to be installed at Hornsea 2, which will feature 165 turbines in total, will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm once completed next year.
- ….to Verdant Power whose grid-connected tidal power demonstration project in New York City has exceeded performance projections by every measure. The three turbines on a novel mounting system have exceeded energy output by 40%, generating over 275 MWh in eight months of continuous operation.
- ….to AWS Ocean Energy who achieved a critical milestone in the construction of its 16kW Archimedes Waveswing wave energy converter when the two major sub-assemblies were joined together and Waveswing finally took shape. Malin Marine at Westway Dock, Renfrew is building the prototype Waveswing. The £3.4m project has been funded by Wave Energy Scotland as part of the Novel Wave Energy Converter development programme.
- ….. to Welsh marine energy developer Marine Power Systems (MPS) who reached over its £2 million crowdfunding target in an ongoing campaign that just opened for the general public.
Your input needed
- If you are involved with the tidal sector you might want to respond to an invitation to give feedback to the EU-backed Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project (TIGER) which wants your input in order to evaluate how tidal energy sector could transition from manufacturing single prototype devices to tens or hundreds of commercial devices per year
- Four conservation and community development organisations in the South of Scotland have launched a challenge to companies to find an innovative technological solution to tackling climate change through land use.
Third UK climate risk assessment launched
Make time to watch the Climate Change Committee’s thought – and hopefully action – provoking video. This launched their Third UK Climate Risk Assessment (CCCRA3) last week and concludes that progress in adaptation policy and implementation is not keeping up with the rate of increase in climate risks.
The UK is experiencing changes in its climate now. These risks will not disappear as the world moves to Net Zero; many of them are already locked in. This is why we must adapt to climate change as well as taking action to reduce our emissions.
The video enables you to hear about what the latest scientific evidence tells us about vulnerability and exposure to weather-related hazards in the UK, the cost implications of the impacts of climate change, the benefits for society and the economy of taking strong action to adapt to climate change now, and the urgent priorities for the next five years.
The CCRA3 Assessment is the result of more than three years of work, with input from over 450 experts from 130 organisations, and provides a comprehensive view of UK climate change to inform the Government’s third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3 Government Report) and the next UK and devolved National Adaptation Plans.
Scottish Government announces £26 million investment
On Saturday (19 June) the Scottish Government announced that more than £26 million is being invested in a major initiative to accelerate the energy sector’s transition to net-zero emissions.
The Energy Transition Zone, which will be located adjacent to Aberdeen’s new £350 million south harbour development, is expected to directly support 2,500 green jobs by 2030, alongside a further 10,000 transition-related jobs.
The investment will come from the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund, a five-year financial package which was launched in June 2020 to support the oil, gas and energy sectors grow and diversify, whilst helping attract further private investment.
The Fund has already provided funding of £6.5 million for a Global Underwater Hub as well as £4.65 million to Aberdeen City Council to expand its hydrogen bus fleet.
ScottishPower has pledged to help radically reduce Glasgow’s carbon emissions
The company have signed up to become a ‘Climate City Champion’, supporting the city council’s aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. To mark the occasion CEO Keith Anderson joined Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken to sign the local authority’s Sustainable Glasgow Green Recovery Hub charter at event in the city chambers. The charter marks a commitment by leading businesses and employers in Scotland’s largest city to take action within their own organisation and sectors to contribute to a green recovery and radically reduce carbon emissions. Back in 2019, on the opening morning of All-Energy / Dcarbonise 2019 ScottishPower and the Council pledged to transform Glasgow into the UK’s first net zero city.
Data from the G+ global health and safety organisation shows that the offshore wind industry recorded 95 injuries last year. This marks the first time the number has dropped under 100 and is the lowest figure logged since benchmarking began. The full report can be found here.
Last week started with congratulations to Audrey Gallacher, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policyof Energy UK who was awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the energy industry and energy consumers
Audrey has an extensive background in the energy sector. Initially working with the regulator Ofgem as Head of Consumer Affairs in Scotland, before moving into energy consumer advocacy in 2000 when she became National Director in Scotland for the statutory consumer representative, energywatch. More recently she has held Director of Energy positions with the watchdog, Consumer Futures and at the charity Citizens Advice. She is also currently a member of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and a trustee for the Fuel Bank Foundation.
- Mocean Energy commenced testing of their Blue X wave energy prototype at EMEC in Orkney. The 20-metre long, 38-tonne wave machine was towed from Kirkwall to EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site where it has been successfully moored and commissioned for initial sea trials. Later this summer the Blue X will be moved to EMEC’s grid connected wave test site at Billia Croo on the west coast of Orkney, where it will go through its paces in more rigorous full sea conditions.
- The development of the 17.5MW Raz Blanchard tidal farm FloWatt, is gaining momentum with the newly established partnership between turbine developer HydroQest and independent renewable power producer Qair.
- Nexans has secured a contract from SSE Renewables to supply 800km of underground cables for the Viking Wind Farm in Scotland. The 33kV cables will create the inter-array connection for 103 wind turbines at the site, as well as exporting the power generated by the wind facility.
- TotalEnergies has joined forces with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) to bid for offshore wind sites in the 10GW ScotWind lease round. The Offshore Wind Power Ltd (OWPL) consortium will bring together the partners’ “extensive expertise” to leverage Scotland’s domestic supply chain and deliver “world-class developments that will accelerate the country’s energy transition”.
- Run of river hydro in the news. Watch Alex Reading, head of the Simec Atlantis hydro team and chair of @BHA_Events, on site at one of their run-of-river hydro projects, a 5.8MW scheme in the West of Scotland.
- The first of two export cables, each 37km in length, has been installed at the nearshore of Thorntonloch Beach as part of construction of the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm off Scotland.
News on innovation
- The mobile offshore wind pioneer Odfjell Oceanwind has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy, where Odfjell Oceanwind intends to use their technologies for their Mobile Offshore Wind Units (MOWUs). The intention of the MoU is for the three parties to jointly develop MOWUs with Odfjell Oceanwind’s WindGrid™hybrid for micro-grids, where emissions could be reduced by up to 70% compared to power generation from gas turbines or diesel engines. The WindGrid™ is intended to utilize Siemens Energy’s BlueVault™ energy storage solution which includes batteries, AC PowerGrids, transformers, switchboards and power control system. Odfjell Oceanwind’s harsh environment semisubmersible MOWUs are intended to use Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD or SG 11.0-200 DD offshore wind turbines, featuring either 14 MW or 11 MW capacities, respectively. The MoU is of non-binding nature.
- A Fugro-led consortium that includes AS Mosley and the University of Strathclyde has designed a mooring line fatigue tracker that safely and cost-effectively monitors offshore floating wind turbines, thanks to innovation funding from the Scottish Government. The consortium won the funding to develop the tracker, which fuses the motion and position measurements of floating hulls with a simulation model to monitor fatigue, in March 2020 through the Floating Offshore Wind Technology Acceleration Competition (FLW TAC), which was run by the Carbon Trust’s Floating Wind Joint Industry Project. Having already demonstrated the technology in a relevant environment, Fugro and partners are now identifying opportunities to work with floating wind developers on pre-commercial projects to trial the solution offshore.
- Volvo Cars is teaming up with Swedish steel maker SSAB to jointly explore the development of fossil-free, high quality steel for use in the automotive industry. The collaboration makes Volvo Cars the first car maker to work with SSAB and its HYBRIT initiative, the steel industry’s most ambitious and advanced projects in fossil-free steel development. HYBRIT was started by SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy firm Vattenfall. It aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is expected to be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint.
- A Norwegian Greentech company has recently unveiled its new 1,000-foot (324m) tall, floating wind turbine Called “Wind Catcher“, this innovation in renewable energy generation could be used to power as many as 80,000 homes. The system has been developed by the Norwegian-based Wind Catching Systems (WCS), who declare that their new wind turbine setup could generate five times the annual energy of the world’s biggest standalone wind turbines. Not only that, but if scaled, it could reduce the costs of wind energy to be competitive with traditional grid-supplied electricity.
- Barcelona-based battery company Bioo is generating electricity from the organic matter in soil and creating biological batteries that can power agricultural sensors, a growing 1.36 billion dollar global market. Bioo’s tech eliminates the need for single-use chemical batteries, which have to be replaced frequently. The company will work with large players such as Bayer Crop Science to pilot its sensor tech on farms, while also experimenting with using bio-batteries to power lighting installations. Eventually, Bioo envisions a future where biology may even help power our largest cities.
ALL-ENERGY & DCARBONISE POSTPONED UNTIL 11-12 MAY 2022 – MAJOR VIRTUAL SUMMIT PLANNED FOR AUTUMN 2021
RX (Reed Exhibitions Limited) has announced that All-Energy, the UK’s largest annual renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference, and the co-located Dcarbonise, are now scheduled to take place on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May 2022 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).
In place of the face-to-face event, Dcarbonise Week will be staged in the early autumn as a pre-COP26 week-long Virtual Summit. Dcarbonise Week will provide exceptional educational and guidance from industry leading experts involved in clean energy, transport, cities, industry, travel, and farming, all with clear messages for the global summit, the green recovery, and a Just Transition.
Jonathan Heastie, All-Energy and Dcarbonise Event Director, and Portfolio Director of RX (Reed Exhibitions), said:
“With Dcarbonise Week in autumn 2021 and All-Energy and Dcarbonise 2022 in May 2022, we will now straddle the all-important COP26 with two key events.
“With just a little over two months before All-Energy and Dcarbonise are due to be held in August, as with question marks remaining about holding major indoor events, we have consulted with industry and key stakeholders and, with their input, concluded that we now have a solution that better suits the challenges we all face. It almost goes without saying that we are very disappointed to not be going ahead with a live event in August. But we know that Dcarbonise Week will most certainly make for an interesting and informative substitute this year and it will build on the incredible success of our webinar series, which between May 2020 and March 2021 has seen 30 webinars created and nearly 20,000 views either live or ‘on demand’.
“Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and set to work first on Dcarbonise Week; and then on ensuring that All-Energy, often referred to as the ‘AGM of the renewable and low carbon energy industry’, and Dcarbonise 2022, will be the highly effective post-COP26 legacy events, held, as usual, at the COP26 venue – SEC Glasgow and in our traditional May spot.
“We look forward to delivering the true value of this industry-leading event for our exhibitors, sponsors, partners, speakers, visitors through both the virtual and live events. We would like to thank them and, of course, SEC for their continuing support in these challenging times.”
2022 Conference Call for Speakers now open
With an eye on the next physical event on 11 and 12 May 2022 the Call for Papers has been reopened (with some new categories) and is available at www.all-energy.co.uk/en/Conference/callforpapers. Those who have submitted for the 2021 event need not re-submit, their submissions will be ‘rolled-over’ for consideration for 2022; but they are very welcome to suggest new ideas as well. The Call will remain open until Friday 17 December 2021.
Sponsors, supporters, and further information
All-Energy’s major sponsors include Shepherd and Wedderburn (Headline Sponsor) and Natural Power (Power Club Sponsor); and webinar sponsors included the Scottish Government, GreenPower International, Natural Power, Ørsted, ScottishPower, SP Energy Networks, Shepherd and Wedderburn, SmartestEnergy, and UKRI.
All-Energy is held in association with the Renewable Energy Association; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Scottish Enterprise; UKRI and Innovate UK; Sustainable Glasgow; and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), with Glasgow as its Host City, and the Society for Underwater Technology as Learned Society Patron. Dcarbonise is sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland.
The Smart Urban Mobility Solutions conference stream (part of Dcarbonise) is supported by Transport Scotland and organised in association with the Smart Environment Forum of ITS United Kingdom
Caption: Jonathan Heastie, All-Energy/Dcarbonise Event Director, and Portfolio Director, RX
Notes to Editors:
All-Energy, the history: This will be the 20th edition of All-Energy. The UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference has been held, before the COVID-19 pandemic, annually since 2001. The first co-located Dcarbonise was held in 2019 embracing low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport (the latter via the Smart Urban Mobility Solutions conference stream). The first 14 All-Energy events were held in Aberdeen; the show moved to Glasgow in 2015.
The 2019 event attracted total attendance of 7,871 over the two days and included some 250 exhibiting companies and over 600 speakers.
Webinar statistics: The 30 webinars, which included the inaugural All-Energy/Dcarbonise Virtual Summit in November 2020, resulted in total attendance of nearly 12,000, over 18,240 registrations and up to 20,000 live and on-demand views. Information on the ongoing All-Energy and Dcarbonise webinar series can be found at https://forum.all-energy.co.uk/category/webinars/
Editors – if you would like your publication to be an All-Energy/Dcarbonise 2022 media partner: please contact Tina Abulashvili firstname.lastname@example.org
Further press information is available from: Judith Patten @ JPPR – judithpatten@JPPR.uk.com from whom a wide selection of hi-res jpegs is also available encompassing busy aisles; conference line-ups and busy halls; people checking out equipment and/or having meaningful conversations; Ministers doing tours and looking at everything from a hydrogen powered bus to visiting the new Dcarbonise exhibition
About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors.
RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.
RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.www.rxglobal.com
The leaders of the G7 countries – the UK, the US, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy – and the EU will meet in Cornwall on Friday
Top of the agenda will be the global economy, Covid-19 vaccines, taxes on business, and the climate crisis. No doubt there will be an increasing amount of news as we build up to Friday. Here’s one from last week to start the ball rolling.
‘The Treasury missed a green trick when it handed out Covid cash’, The Guardian headline for a story by Philip Inman declared. “When the government reacted to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 with unprecedented rescue funds, ministers were urged to attach strings before the money disappeared out the door” he wrote.
“The strings would have forced employers to adopt policies they had resisted for years, most obviously cutting carbon emissions and promoting a healthier environment.” It’s an interesting read in the week that the G7 comes to Cornwall.
In time for G7 there has been an interesting development at London’s Heathrow airport which plans to use sustainable jet fuel as part of the G7’s summit. At the back end of last week as deliveries of the SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) began, Heathrow, the Finnish company Neste (who produced the fuel) and oil trader Vitol explained that the fuel is made solely from renewable and sustainable materials such as cooking oil and animal fat. Use of the new fuel will see up to an 89% cut in greenhouse gas emissions.
After expressing delight that Heathrow is the first UK major airport to successfully incorporate SAFs, John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s CEO said: “Now is the time for less talk and more action and Ministers should set an escalating mandate to blend SAF into fuel and provide incentives that are stable over 5-10 years to foster investment in production, with a target of 10% by 2030 and at least 50% by 2050.”
G7 is the first of two major inter-governmental events being held in the UK this year. The other is of course the UN’s COP26 in November.
Last week the governments of the 23 countries responsible for more than 90% of global investment in clean energy innovation, announced the good news that they had come together to invest $250 billion (£177bn) into clean energy research and development across the next decade. Their investment is part of the second phase of the Mission Innovation Initiative which was launched alongside the Paris Agreement in 2015 at the end of COP21.
The drive for local supply
The drive is well and truly on to ensure that more companies in the supply chain across Scotland benefit from the expansion of offshore wind. To this end, Scottish Enterprise has appointed global energy consultancy Xodus Group to the role of Offshore Wind Cluster Builder to develop and grow the offshore wind supply chain across Scotland.
The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder will support Scotland’s existing offshore wind clusters, DeepWind and Forth and Tay Offshore, in their remit to foster collaboration, drive competitiveness and improve productivity in Scottish offshore wind.
The project will do this by delivering a range of services to SMEs including 1:1 support, events, workshops and market intelligence, as well as facilitating collaboration between SMEs and academia.
Scottish Enterprise head of low carbon transition Andy McDonald said: “The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder will be an important project to support the development and growth of the offshore wind supply chain across Scotland.
“SMEs will have access to services to collaborate, grow and secure business within the offshore wind industry locally, nationally and internationally leveraging Scottish capabilities to strengthen the offshore wind supply chain for a sustainable industry and net zero future economy.
“The new project will align with the work of DeepWind and Forth Tay Offshore to ensure Scotland benefits from the many opportunities presented by offshore wind.”
The Energy Industries Council (EIC) also had a UK supply chain story to announce. Theirs was about the creation of a new UK Energy Supply Chain (UKESC) taskforce, to be co-chaired by DIT Minister for Exports Graham Stuart, BEIS Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan and EIC CEO Stuart Broadley.
In a move which underpins the crucial role that the UK’s energy supply chain will play in helping the UK government to achieve their 2050 net zero ambitions, UKESC has been developed to help ensure that UK companies can more readily transition to the green economy.
Key to this will be to nurture the key technologies, skills and capacity that thousands of businesses have, and to identify and support the rapid growth of competitive new capabilities to meet future energy needs.
There’s good news too on the blades side of things. Last week it was news of GE Renewables’ UK factory plans, this week it is about blades for the SSE Renewables’ Seagreen project. SSE has confirmed that 87% of the blades for the 1075MW project will be produced in the UK.
Of the 114 V164 blade sets to be installed at Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, 99 will be produced by Vestas domestically for installation off the Angus coast by the end of 2022.
Production by Vestas is currently underway for the Seagreen project at its blade factory and R&D centre on the Isle of Wight.
And an export story to celebrate
Scotland’s Livingstone-based FoundOcean has won a major new export contract to provide the foundation grouting for a 100-turbine offshore wind farm in Taiwan. International Trade Minister Graham Stuart made the announcement for the contract, which was secured following financial support from UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s export credit agency.
From offshore wind to waste-to-hydrogen
Plans have been unveiled for a £20 million green energy plant on the River Clyd, The Herald revealed last week.
Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P which with Peel Ports is part of the Peel Group, said it is planning to develop a waste-to-hydrogen facility which will be the first of its kind in Scotland developed by Powerhouse Energy Group.
The facility, at Rothesay Dock on the north bank of the River Clyde, West Dunbartonshire, will take non-recyclable plastics, destined for landfill, incineration or export overseas, and use them to create a local source of sustainable hydrogen.
Turbines to make passers-by smile
Tulips-shaped turbines could help harness the power of the wind, after a green energy company came up with its own spin on wind power in an “eco-art” design.
Flower Turbines, based in the US and the Netherlands, has installations across Rotterdam, Amsterdam, parts of Germany, Israel and Colombia. The company aims to democratise green energy for everyone and make small windfarms a leading player in the green energy industry…. and at the same time perhaps raise a smile.
What a week it turned out to be for ‘Big Oil’
As The Guardian summed up on Saturday: “The world’s patience with the fossil fuel industry is wearing thin. This was the stark message delivered to major international oil companies this week in an unprecedented day of reckoning for their role in the climate crisis.
“In a stunning series of defeats for the oil industry, over the course of less than 24 hours, courtrooms and boardrooms turned on the executives at Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Shell was ordered by a court in The Hague to go far further to reduce its climate emissions, while shareholder rebellions in the US imposed emissions targets at Chevron and a boardroom overhaul at Exxon.” It’s well worth reading their summing up.
Considering the Dutch judgment, Energyvoice.com had reported that supermajors could look to divest their carbon heavy assets in order to meet climate change targets, according to a Verisk Maplecroft analyst.
“In a landmark decision on Wednesday, oil and gas giant Shell was ordered by a Dutch court to axe its emissions by 45% by the end of the decade”. It wrote that: “The ruling has been hailed as a big win for environmental campaigners, in a week where Chevron and ExxonMobil also faced climate inspired backlash.
“It means Shell will have to quickly ramp up its decarbonisation activities, although the firm does have a carte blanche on how it chooses to reduce emissions. And Will Nichols, head of environment and climate change research at Verisk Maplecroft, says that could incentivise firms to farm out the dirtier parts of their portfolio.”
Pressure on major oil companies and investors to accelerate energy transition
On Friday Reuters reported that the world’s biggest asset manager and top BP investor BlackRock said it had backed a shareholder resolution calling for faster climate action which the energy company’s board opposed. BlackRock’s vote at BP’s annual general meeting earlier this month points to growing pressure on both major oil companies and investors to accelerate efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions. BlackRock holds a 6.8% stake in BP, according to Refinitiv data.
IEA report: viable pathway to net zero by 2050
All of this comes hot on the heels of the recent report from the International Energy Agency declaring in a recent report – described by them as a ‘landmark special report’ – that the world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050, but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally.
Business as normal on the renewables front!
A new UK Offshore Energy Workforce Transferability Review by Robert Gordon University (RGU) highlights that the offshore energy workforce mix will change significantly in the next 10 years, with roles in decarbonised energies projected to increase from 20% to 65% of all jobs in the offshore energy sector (oil & gas, offshore wind, carbon capture utilisation and storage and hydrogen). The Review also indicates that over 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have medium to high skills transferability and are well positioned to work in adjacent energy sectors.
Plans for new GE Renewable Energy facility
GE Renewable Energy’s plans for a UK factory to manufacture blades for offshore wind turbines have taken a major step forward after it submitted plans for the facility. The 78,000sq metre facility, in the South Bank zone of the Teesworks site, will sit alongside a new 1km heavy lift quay, creating the UK’s premier location for offshore wind.
SIMEC Atlantis Energy tidal power facility passes inspection
Congratulations to SIMEC Atlantis Energy who announced last week that their tidal power generation facility in Naru Island, Japan, has passed the Japanese government’s pre-use inspection tests. The site, which features the AR500 tidal turbine, is now recognised as an official power generation facility. The tests were undertaken by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which is a key stakeholder in consenting renewable energy projects in Japan.
EMEC visited by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
EMEC played host last week to very special visitors The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited them on Orkney in pursuit of solutions for tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green economic recovery. Their Royal Highnesses met with EMEC’s managing director, Neil Kermode, and external relationship manager, Eileen Linklater, to hear about the test centre’s role in developing an ocean energy industry and green hydrogen economy. Discussions centred around the potential for ocean energy as a new sustainable energy resource stimulating job creation and supply chain development in coastal communities.
SSE to invest £2bn in low carbon projects
SSE plans to invest around £2bn largely in low carbon power projects this year and is weighing up further investments as the UK prepares to host COP26. The company has created more than 1,000 jobs during the pandemic and expects to build on this number in 2021-22. Additionally, they are to partner with not-for-profit organisation the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) Scotland which encourages diversity and inclusion. SSE is the latest company to join AFBE-UK, a platform for sharing ideas and supporting diversity and inclusion strategies.
Four day work week could reduce emissions by 20%+
If you’ve enjoyed yesterday’s Spring Bank Holiday here’s news that might interest you! A study, by the environmental organisation Platform London and the 4 Day Week Campaign, found that moving to a four-day week by 2025 would shrink the UK’s emissions by 127m tonnes, a reduction of more than 20% and equivalent to taking the country’s entire private car fleet off the road.
Some milestone moments…
First the G7: At the end of last week after what The Guardian described as “two days of wrangling” the world’s richest nations agreed to end their financial support for coal development overseas, in a major step towards phasing out the dirtiest fossil fuel. The G7 environment and energy ministers, hosted virtually by the UK, all reaffirmed their commitment to limiting global heating to 1.5C, and committed to phasing out coal and fully decarbonising their energy sectors in the 2030s. You can read more about what caused the ‘wrangling’ which involved Japan and China and financing of coal power on The Guardian. All the other G7 members – the UK, the US, the EU, France, Italy, Germany, and Canada – were all united in calling for an end to such financing.
Next, the CBI who have kicked off the week with a report into how businesses could help transform the economy over the next decade, it said the UK was at a turning point. Telling Guardian readers that “British businesses have the opportunity to create 240,000 low-carbon jobs and boost green exports by billions of pounds to radically transform the UK economy over the next decade” and that “businesses across the country stood to gain from an ‘early mover advantage’ by leading a campaign to decarbonise the global economy to avoid a climate meltdown”. It has called on companies to “’seize the moment’ amid demands for radical economic reforms after the Covid-19 pandemic. No doubt waking up report readers by declaring that decarbonisation, innovation, growing trade and levelling-up Britain’s lopsided regional economy could unlock commercial growth opportunities worth £700bn by 2030.
In the build-up to November’s COP26 no doubt we will see more articles like the Equinor-sponsored one in the Financial Times. “Becoming a net zero economy by 2050 will require a complex effort over the next thirty years” it declares; and asks the question “How can the UK deliver that transition?” With the help of great infographics it delivers answers on targets, offshore wind, hydrogen and – like the CBI – jobs.
From the big picture to a very personal one – there is a lovely LinkedIn post by Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables summing up both ScottishPower’s ethos and her own, ending with: “I can honestly say I wake up each and every day thinking about the opportunities ahead and it really excites me, knowing we are making a difference”.
In case you missed this key announcement…
The new Scottish Government: Scotland’s former Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has taken over responsibility for Scottish energy policy as Cabinet Secretary for Nex Zero, Energy & Transport. Richard Lochhead becomes Minister for Just Transition.
Homing in on projects/developments
Last week saw Dogger Bank C in the news: Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy have finalised contracts for the supply of 87 Haliade-X 14 MW turbines and a five-year service and warranty agreement for Dogger Bank C, the third and final phase of what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
GE Renewable Energy secured a preferred turbine supplier agreement for the third phase of the Dogger Bank offshore wind project in December 2020. Now, with the wind turbine supply contract in place, the company is confirmed to deliver a total of 277 units of its Haliade-X turbine for the entire 3.6 GW project located off the north-east coast of England.
The contracts are still subject to Dogger Bank C reaching financial close, expected in late 2021.
Ørsted breaks ground on first renewable hydrogen project
Ørsted has started the onsite construction work on the H2RES project in Copenhagen. Dan Jørgensen, the Danish minister for Climate, Energy & Utilities, led the groundbreaking ceremony of the H2RES project, marking the onsite construction start of Ørsted’s first renewable hydrogen project.
H2RES will have a capacity of 2 MW and will be situated on Ørsted’s premises on Avedøre Holme in Copenhagen. The project will investigate how to best combine an efficient electrolyser with the fluctuating power supply from offshore wind, using Ørsted’s two 3.6 MW offshore wind turbines at Avedøre Holme.
The facility will produce up to around 1,000 kg of renewable hydrogen a day, which will be used to fuel zero-emission road transport in the Greater Copenhagen area and on Zealand. The project is expected to produce its first hydrogen in late 2021.
‘Competition for space’ between CCS and offshore wind in North Sea
CCS and offshore wind, a pair of key decarbonising technologies, are in “competition for space” in the North Sea causing a regulatory headache, according to an industry leader.
Ian Phillips is development director of Pale Blue Dot, which runs the Acorn CCS (carbon capture and storage) project at St Fergus. Speaking during the Decom Week conference, he said: “The Acorn storage licence is a very odd-shaped piece of real estate, designed to capture a deep underground sandstone structure.
“However, the Crown Estate, who we have to secure a lease for accessing this, has also got a much more lucrative line going in offshore windfarms and there are some interesting part regulatory and part commercial challenges as to whether an area of the ocean should be licensed for wind generation purposes or for CCS. Or both.”
BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science had two highly relevant segments last week – one on carbon capture and storage and the other on converting discussed coal mines into heat sources as the following information explains:
“The Science Museum reopened this week with a new exhibition looking at the science of Carbon Capture. Inside Science took former Formula One technical champ Paddy Lowe to have a look round. He is interested in Carbon Capture because he has started a new company – Zero Petroleum – that aims to do nothing less than kick start a synthetic (hydrocarbon) fuel revolution.
“Using carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere, he and colleague Prof Nilay Shah believe they can use renewable electricity and other feedstocks to transform captured carbon into fuels and create a whole new petrochemical supply that could close the loop on the industrial revolution – especially for those energy uses where batteries could not currently work, such as jet engines and heavy remote machinery.
“Meanwhile, up in the north east of England, Charlotte Adams of the UK’s Coal Authority describes progress on measures to convert disused coal mines to geothermal heatpumps, providing reliable steady heating for new-build homes across many parts of the UK, and taking strain off the electrical grid.”
So, it’s ‘goodbye Wave Hub’: Wave Hub, the undersea “socket” located off Hayle in Cornwall and launched 11 years ago is to be sold to an offshore wind farm company reports the BBC, who said last week that “owner Cornwall Council said it would be sold for an undisclosed sum to Swedish firm Hexicon in a deal expected to be completed at the end of May”.
The DeepWind Offshore Wind Cluster webinar
The DeepWind Offshore Wind Cluster webinar hosted a webinar last week on the Salamander project a pre-commercial size project, up to 200MW capacity, located off Peterhead in the east coast of Scotland. Due to its privileged location the project is currently exploring different routes to market including oil and gas decarbonization and hydrogen production. The project is in an advanced planning stage and it is aiming to secure a Contracts for Difference (the government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation) in 2025.
The Salamander project is a pre-commercial stepping-stone project that is following the philosophy that Simply Blue Energy is using in the Celtic Sea and therefore has a strong focus on supply chain development. Salamander will provide an opportunity for the local supply chain to gear up for commercial scale opportunities in Scotland, as well as de-risking floating wind technologies for the future commercial projects.
This will allow Scotland to maximise the financial benefit of its strong offshore wind resource and generate long term jobs for its local communities. Importantly it is eager to hunt out likely suppliers NOW. Could you become one? We have invited them to take part in the ‘Meet the Developer’ 1-2-1 meetings feature at All-Energy 2021.
Greenbackers launch SuperPitch
In advance of COP 26, the UN Climate Summit, Greenbackers has launched its “26-for-COP-26” SuperPitch which aims to get 26 of the most promising Net Zero start-ups (earthtech oceantech cleantech) funded with Seed or Series A investment between program launch at the end of May and the actual conference in November.
Greenbackers SuperPitch will promote nominated and selected ventures via the Greenbackers Showcase (their online deal room) continuously between this month and November and their efforts will culminate in a live Pitch in Glasgow, livestreamed to a global investor audience, during the COP. Could you be one of the 26? Now is the time to apply.
Iberdola launches innovative solutions challenge
Iberdrola group is seeking low-cost & environmentally-friendly solutions to combine PV plant roll out and primary sector activities in rural areas in a sustainable way
In some cases, the areas where photovoltaic plants are built coincide with sparsely populated zones where the rural economy is based largely on agriculture and livestock production.
As a result of this, Iberdrola — through its International Startup Programme – PERSEO — launches this challenge to identify competitive and innovative solutions that allow combining solar photovoltaic plants with activities related to agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming or bee-keeping in such a way that they improve the land use. It is what we know as agrovoltaic energy.