Gupta family makes strategic investment in UK and Indian tidal lagoon programme. Gupta family interests, which have been investing heavily in UK energy and industrial assets over recent months, have today (1st February) committed to an eight–figure investment over time in the development of tidal lagoon power plant in the UK and India.
The move is part of a wider strategy by Gupta company, SIMEC, to create multi-billion pound renewable energy capacity worldwide and apply innovative technologies to provide low–cost power for energy-intensive industries, particularly steel.
The past year has seen SIMEC and sister company, Liberty House, acquire extensive power generation, steel production and engineering capacity across the UK, including the 393megawatt Uskmouth Power Station at Newport.
The investment agreed today (1st February) gives Gupta interests a substantial stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company established by Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons in UK and international waters.
The world-first Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will open up for the UK the option of delivering a programme of larger lagoons. Tidal Lagoon Power is pursuing five such schemes that, combined with the Swansea Bay project, could meet 8% of UK electricity demand for 120 years.
Proposed schemes at Cardiff and Newport, for which planning applications are expected in 2017 and 2018 respectively, represent some 4,000MW of lagoon power and £10 billion of capital investment.
Gupta family representative, Sanjeev Gupta said “We are very pleased to invest in this ambitious and innovative enterprise that promises to provide low-carbon, baseload energy and drive economic renewal through the development of a high-value supply chain that will create thousands of new jobs. As a group we are expanding internationally on several fronts and renewable energy is right at the heart of that expansion.”
Today’s agreement also leads to the creation of a joint venture between the Guptas’ global energy and commodities company, SIMEC, and Tidal Lagoon Power to develop largescale tidal lagoons in India.
In November, Prime Ministers Cameron and Modi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation in energy, including clean energy, while, earlier this month, India joined the UK in the International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems intergovernmental collaboration programme.
The first feasibility studies will be conducted in the Gulf of Khambhat under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding that Tidal Lagoon Power is to establish with the Government of Gujarat at the invitation of the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, whose Government has expressed great interest in the scope for tidal lagoons in the state.
Andrew Manley, executive director at Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “Just like the Severn Estuary and Liverpool Bay here in the UK, the Gulf of Khambhat holds vast potential for the generation of power from tidal lagoons. We’re looking forward to working with SIMEC to better understand the natural resource in Gujarat and shape our commercial plans accordingly. Back in the UK, we welcome the Gupta family to our investor base at an extremely exciting time for the sector.”
Jay Hambro, chief executive of SIMEC’s energy and mining divisions said: “We are investing in tidal lagoon as part of a wider strategy to expand our involvement in the renewable sector globally. It’s a very exciting development for us because we see huge potential for renewables in the energy mix and, as such, it will be a substantial part of our business going forward.
“The scope presented by tidal lagoons for economic growth and job creation in Wales and the UK is clear, and, in partnership with Tidal Lagoon Power, we are also talking to authorities in India about exporting tidal power technology from the UK to develop projects there,” he added.
He explained that SIMEC’s substantial land holding on the Severn Estuary at Newport provided a strong basis for the development of a tidal lagoon and other renewable energy capacity there. SIMEC restarted the mothballed Uskmouth Power Station in June 2015 as a coal-fired facility but intends eventually to convert the installation to biomass generation.
SIMEC and Liberty House currently have assets covering energy, commodities and manufacturing across five continents and have bases in around 30 countries.
Since October Liberty has restarted a mothballed steel rolling mill at Newport and saved nearly 1,000 jobs through the acquisition of former Caparo companies in the UK West Midlands.
Gupta family interests have also entered agreement to acquire the Tungsten Bank which they aim to reshape as a challenger bank championing investment in industry, energy and commodities.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!