Last night the 2016 Low Carbon Champions were announced by The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) during the industry’s leading networking dinner in assocaiation with LCV2016. The champions Awards shine a light on achievements and innovation in the move to low carbon road transport.
H2 Aberdeen – which has developed a strategy for the introduction of cleaner, hydrogen-powered transport to the Scottish city – and Argent Energy – which has developed a drop‐in diesel replacement for cars, buses and trucks – were jointly presented with the highest accolade; the ‘Grand Prix’, or winner of winners, Award.
Sir Peter Hendy was recognised as the 2016 winner of the Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport at the celebration. Hosted by Formula E TV presenter and science communicator, Nicki Shields, who was Master of Ceremonies, the event took place at the Double Tree by Hilton, MK Dons Stadium.
The LowCVP Managing Director Andy Eastlake said about the Awards:
“All the entries short-listed for the Champions Awards deserve recognition for the contribution they are making to cutting carbon emissions from road transport.
There is a lot of work still to be done to achieve the long-term objectives set under the Climate Change Act
“There is a lot of work still to be done to achieve the long-term objectives set under the Climate Change Act, but the dynamism and determination shown by so many of those involved today shows how UK industry and operators have the drive and potential to achieve them.”
The judges said that Toyota – which won the car manufacturer award – has been a global leader in low emission vehicles, selling over 9 million petrol hybrids. They said that the company has built on this reputation with the introduction of the zero emission hydrogen fuel cell car, Mirai.
The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project – H2 Aberdeen – has introduced Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses. The project has delivered the UK’s largest hydrogen production and bus refuelling station. The bus companies report that the vehicles are proving to be extremely efficient compared to their diesel equivalents.
Argent Energy manufactures 60 million litres of biodiesel from waste each year. In 2015 Argent supplied high bio‐blend diesel to two major London bus companies. After a year of supplying these companies, the greenhouse gas emission savings will be equivalent to 150 million miles of carbon-free travel, based on DfT figures.
The Champions Awards judging panel was comprised of 22 senior executives from across a range of UK organisations with a stake in the low carbon road transport agenda.
Richard Bruce, Director Energy, Technology and Innovation at the Department for Transport – one of the Awards judges – said: “It’s fantastic to see another array of ground-breaking companies vying for the Low Carbon Champions Awards this year. It’s precisely because of the synergies between environmental improvement and great commercial opportunity – synergies that the ideas and technologies here demonstrate so well – that the UK Government remains so committed to this agenda.”
Alex Burns, Chief Executive of Millbrook, the Champions Awards headline sponsors, said:
“It’s encouraging to see so many UK-based organisations committed to cutting carbon emissions and improve air quality. We are pleased to present this award to two fantastic companies, and commend them for their continued good work.
“As an organisation committed to the test, validation and engineering of low carbon transport, Millbrook is proud to present the ‘Grand Prix’ award jointly to H2 Aberdeen and Argent Energy.”
The UK vehicle industry continues to push the boundaries of innovation in low carbon technology
Darren Messem, Chairman of the LowCVP and an Awards Judge said:
“The UK vehicle industry continues to push the boundaries of innovation in low carbon technology, production and operation. This is essential to deliver the decarbonisation of transport needed to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and to improve air quality.
“This year’s LowCVP Champions Awards recognise innovation across the transport sector, and all stakeholders in the LowCVP – the Board, the Secretariat and our members – hope this provides further stimulus to all the innovators and operators working hard to deliver low carbon transport.”
Another of the judges, Professor Neville Jackson, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Ricardo UK Ltd, said: “The LowCVP Champions Awards have now been established as a key event in the Automotive technology calendar.
“Both the LowCVP and their awards have played an important part in transforming the low carbon transport sector to provide a dynamic and successful contribution to UK innovation. This has resulted in an expansion of the low carbon agenda, from a few niche vehicles and initiatives to mainstream automotive in recent years.”
“Robert Evans, Chief Executive of Cenex, the organiser of LCV2016, said: “We are pleased to be able to host the LowCVP Low Carbon Champion Awards as part of the Cenex-LCV2016 networking dinner.
“The LCV2016 event brings the low carbon vehicle community together for two days of technology showcasing and networking, with the evening dinner extending this valuable networking time. As an awards judge I commend all those nominated for an Award and congratulate the winners.”
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!