Connect with us


Climate Action Is Driving Global Energy Transition As Businesses Reap Benefits



Climate Action Is Driving Global Energy Transition As Businesses Reap Benefits

The largest expo in Europe bringing together major energy buyers and low carbon generators is happening in Birmingham this October. The companies participating alongside the solar, energy storage and efficiency sectors include M&S, Tesla and Good Energy.

Large energy buyers across the world have woken up to the unstoppable force of the UN climate treaty and it’s not just about lowering carbon usage. As businesses and cities explore the opportunities brought to them by innovative technology, low carbon generation and clever ways to manage their energy, they are realising savings with and without on-site solar. Clean Energy Live is a showcase for innovation, demonstrating the technology and business models that are delivering energy at lower cost and lower carbon.

“The global energy transition, driven by the imperative to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees and powered by rapid digital and communications technology advancements, is now unstoppable,” said Giles Bristow, Director of Programmes at Forum for the Future. “Not only are businesses and industries benefitting from this revolution now, but they will also play a leading role in shaping the new energy economy.


Clean Energy Live brings together enlightened companies and organisations that wish to actively explore this.


Bristow added “I look forward to sharing how energy users are creating the ‘living energy system’ of the future – responsive, adaptive and self-balancing, rather than cumbersome and wasteful.” Bristow will be joined by Sainsbury’s, Aggregate Industries, Tarmac and United Utilities and will give an update of their 200MW Living Grid project, a network of companies who can manage demand and offer capacity.

Marks & Spencer has cuts its energy consumption by 40% as part of its Plan A programme. The firm’s head of energy Giacinto Patellaro will look at policy and the impact it’s having at encouraging companies to reduce their power usage or install their own generation.

In a recent trial with Good Energy and Open Utility, the Eden Project is claimed an annual saving could reach £20,000. The service used Open Utility’s Piclo platform, matched renewable generators and business customers, enabling participating parties to both sell and purchase renewable power on the platform.

The show welcomes Carbon Trust in 2016 who will focus on their work with corporates to create value with their energy. Land Securities joins a panel with Carbon Trust, SmartestEnergy and Solarcentury which will show companies how to take a science-based approach to reducing energy usage and carbon before weighing up the pros and cons of on-site generation or off-site Power Purchase Agreements.

Companies with their own installed power will show how to manage the transition from energy buyer to energy generator. Welsh Water will speak about how to manage a mixed portfolio of assets, including hydro, anaerobic digestion and solar. Arla Foods will speak about their anaerobic digestion facilities and look at how a company can assess the right sites for a project and keep the local community engaged.

The National Trust, with a commitment to invest £35 million in over 40 more renewable energy projects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and source 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources on land it looks after by 2020 will look at how storage can benefit landowners and the RSPB will update attendees on how they think the energy system of the future can co-exist with the UK’s wildlife.

Up to 5,000 attendees are expected to gather in Birmingham to discover new opportunities after a shift in the power market, as more clean energy moves online and ownership of utilities broadens beyond the big six. Formerly Solar Energy UK (SEUK), Clean Energy Live is the meeting place for large energy buyers, clean generators, emerging technologies, financiers and advisors. They will be able to attend four theatres focused on Solar, Storage, Clean Tech Installations, Future Utilities and Energy Management plus an exclusive EV Pavilion.

Now in its seventh year, the event will also showcase opportunities for new ground mount solar in Ireland, France, Sub-Saharan Africa and India and features case studies from Solarcentury, Actis, Dexler, Mytrah, Oreed Group, BNRG, Armstrong Energy and Amarenco.

UK Solar O&M and secondary markets will feature heavily with experts from Quintas Energy, NextEnergy Capital, Glennmont Partners, Magnetar Solar and Bluefield Partners LLP. UK-specific sessions will examine the current state of the PV market using proprietary research from Solar Media’s Head of Market Research Finlay Colville, Lightsource and Solarcentury.

Smart homes and future installer sessions will help organisations future proof their businesses and see how the clean energy residential and commercial markets will mature and benefit from presentations from Forster Group, Egnida, PA Energy, Spirit Solar, Photon, Caplor, Carbon Zero and Poweri.

The Energy Storage Theatre will examine what the addressable market for energy storage is in the UK and what the rules of play are. Starting off by investigating in more detail the role played by landowners (CLA, Crown Estate) and DNO (WPD, UKPN, Scottish Power) in the deployment of storage, the theatre will delve into detail into the results of the 200MW EFR tender and how the winners of the tender are planning to develop their projects. The second day will cover updates in regulations and policy, finance for storage (Primrose, Camborne Capital) and sessions targeted at energy buyers outline what to consider when purchasing energy storage. European case studies and lessons learnt will be the focus of the last day on the theatre.

Jerry Hamilton, Channel Manager of Tesla’s new Powerwall home battery device remarked:

“The transition from just solar to now clean energy & include solar as part of the overall energy mix is key for the evolving solar market. Tesla will not only be demonstrating its battery technology products but sharing its views and ambitions on how to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

The exhibition brings together the whole of the UK’s solar value chain attracting a wide selection of international companies with new investment opportunities in countries such as India, Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria and Tunisia. The event will give attendees strategic information necessary to beat the uncertainty that the UK’s policy U-turns have created and will update companies on how Europe’s tendering process will change and the impact this will have upon developers.

The four cutting-edge conferences are free to attend and allow delegates to explore storage, rooftop PV, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, India, Ireland, Europe – and of course the UK. Attendees will also hear from landowners, rooftop owners, DNOs, electric vehicle companies and energy buyers decarbonising their own operations.

To register for free and for more information visit



Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?



The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?

The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.

Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.

The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.

Introducing New Technology

The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.

  • To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
  • Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
  • Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.

How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy

Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.

The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.

The Internet of Things

Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.

Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.

Blockchain Technology

It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.

Continue Reading


4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy




Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.

However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?

A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.

1.     Boulder Nissan

When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:

  • Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
  • They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
  • Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.

This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.

2.     Valley Electric Association

In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.

“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”

The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.

3.     Las Vegas Casinos

A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.

“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”

There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.

4.     Boston College

Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.

Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.

Continue Reading