Renewable investment not keeping pace with green energy progress

According to a recent report from Imperial’s Centre for Climate Finance & Investment in collaboration with the International Energy Agency, renewable power is outperforming fossil fuels in US and European markets.

Over the last decade, it was found that renewables have offered a significantly higher return on investment than fossil fuels over the same period. Yet, the report reveals that levels of investment in clean energy are still well below that needed to seriously combat climate change.

These findings and the obstacles to putting the world’s energy system on a more sustainable path were recently discussed in the latest webinar of the series entitled Imperial Future Matters. It involved a virtual audience of industry leaders, students, alumni and journalists

Dr Charles Donovan, Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at the Business School said:  “We are in the midst of a clean-tech miracle—in particular with regards to solar power. We are 10 to 15 years ahead of schedule due to a revolutionary set of changes. If there’s any problem, it’s that solar power is too cheap today. There’s real momentum gathering behind renewable power, based purely on their economic advantage. Our results show that renewable power is outperforming financially, but has still not attracted sizable support from listed equity investors.”

Following the presentation, industry figures offered their thoughts on the key issues. Zoe Knight, Managing Director, Global Head, HSBC Centre of Sustainable Finance at HSBC Holdings PLC said: “In emerging markets, one way to improve things post-COVID is to help liberalise the energy sector in order to bring in either direct investment on a national basis or foreign direct investment from corporates that are operating globally and have made pledges to deliver 100% of their power needs from renewables. This will help to attract the capital that the country needs and in turn decarbonise and create different jobs as we exit COVID.”

An energy framework designed to tackle the climate change emergency

The climate change emergency was at the front and centre of the news agenda before Covid-19, and even while we are still in the grip of the pandemic, it is an issue that has rightfully refused to go away.

We have found that in our discussions with clients and potential new customers that the drive towards a carbon-neutral position – by 2050, or even 2030 in some cases – is still a key focus.

Figures released by BloombergNEF showed how purchasing green energy contracts rose by 40% on the previous year in 2019, reaching almost 20 gigawatts (GW), and that appetite for change is still there if our experience is anything to go by.

Our Choice Energy Framework is proving to be a popular option for those public sector organisations looking to not only save money in their energy procurement but also be more ethical in the way they power their facilities.

There has been tremendous interest in securing green energy contracts – ones that use wind and solar energy, for example – as opposed to traditional brown energy that relies on fossil fuel power generation.

The Choice Energy Framework involves up to six energy suppliers who have been shortlisted on the basis of tariff competitiveness, billing accuracy, max/min volume threshold restrictions and terms and conditions.

Fixed and flexible contracts will be offered by the suppliers with the length of the contract varying from 12 months to as long as four years.

If you would like to find out more, please contact one of our team on 01225-867722

Renewed focus for green energy procurement

As the UK strives towards a zero-carbon future, green energy procurement has become a key focus for such minded companies.

Switching away from fossil fuels to renewables has become much more straightforward given the increase in the range of options available, such as solar and wind turbine generation, and the growing affordability of the energy such methods produce.

Today, renewables produce more than 20% of the UK’s electricity, and that figure is forecast to rise to 30% by 2030, especially with the largest solar farm of its kind to be built shortly in Kent.

Organisations are now aligning their energy strategy to reflect the shifting trend, with increased investment in renewables gathering momentum.

Supporting sustainability

As one of the UK’s leading consultancies, Energy Management LLP recognises this and has devised a Green Energy Framework (GEF), which is designed to support public sector bodies in their commitment to a more sustainable future.

Incorporated within the over-arching framework agreement is a desktop audit of current energy efficiency schemes and analysis of half-hourly (HH) energy consumption data.

Once these initial steps are taken, a site survey is then conducted by one of our chartered engineers, and based on their findings, a detailed action plan highlighting areas of improvement will be discussed with clients.

At Energy Management, we are committed to helping clients for the whole duration of their journey towards net-zero carbon, and ongoing support is available through accountable auditing.

The Green Energy Framework follows on from the successful launch of the Choice Energy Framework, another of Energy Management’s initiatives that allow public sector bodies to access the best energy solutions.

Demand for renewables growing quicker than supply in Europe

The pricing of green energy may need rebalancing if growth in demand for renewables across the European market continues to outpace the growth in supply.

According to figures published in a report from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), demand for renewable energy in Europe – that is tracked and documented with guarantees of origins (GOs) – grew at a rate of 11.7% in 2019, an increase of 61TWh from 2018 levels.

ECOHZ managing director Tom Linberg said: “The growth in the supply of renewable energy tracked and documented with GOs during the same period is estimated to be only 3.5%, resulting in a significantly smaller surplus in 2019 than previous years.”

Spain has the highest growth in GO demand with 38%, followed by France (26%) and Germany (10%), the latter having been the first country to pass the 100TWh mark in 2019

UK impact  

The UK is not a member of the AIB and uses the Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGOs) scheme, although the report found that the UK is still impacting the supply and demand balance across the European market.

The UK currently allows for the import of GOs to the European Energy Certificate System Standards (EECS GOs). Demand has grown year-on-year with the European markets ramping up – export volume is around 20% of the UK’s total import volume.

Due to different reporting schemes adopted, the statistics could be skewed, however, ECOHZ believes the positive trend could lead to a “healthy” price market in 2020.

There are some uncertainties which could impact pricing and surpluses going forward, such as Brexit uncertainty, clarity on the UK policy for GO imports and REGO exports and the Coronavirus pandemic.

With the UK declaring a carbon net zero target of 2050, there has never been a better time to look at renewable energy sources for your business.

Energy Management have years of industry experience with green energy procurement at the forefront of our service offering.

We can tailor bespoke green solutions for your business, meaning you can mitigate market uncertainty whilst securing the best possible contract for your business.

For more information on how we can help, contact a member of the team on 01225 867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

EVs sales hit record high in 2019

More electric cars were registered in the UK during 2019 than any other year to date, as diesel car registrations fell by more than one-fifth on a year-on-year basis – but EVs still make up a very small percentage of overall car sales (1.6% market share).

That is according to new industry data released today (6 January) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMTT).

The data reveals that the number of new car registrations fell by 2.4% between 2018 and 2019 – a trend the SMTT attributes, in part, to environmental concerns and anticipation around incoming clean air legislation. The largest fall was recorded in diesel cars – 21.8% fewer were registered in 2019 than in 2018.

While noting that registration of new petrol vehicles rose slightly (2.2%) on a year-on- year basis, the SMTT’s data reveals far more rapid growth in the electric car space, with year-on-year registrations up 144%. The figure covers solely fully electric vehicles. 6

Hybrid electric vehicles, meanwhile, experienced a 17.1% year-on-year registration increase, despite Government cuts to the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) scheme.

The SMTT said in a statement, “While the huge increase in battery electric vehicle demand is welcome, their 1.6% market share is still tiny and underlines the progress needed to reach the 50-70% share the government envisages in the next 10 years The body has additionally voiced concerns that the national car market experienced its third consecutive annual decline in 2019, which it attributes to “weak business and consumer confidence, general political and economic instability and confusion over clean air zones.”

It is calling for more national policies to buck this trend in the face of Brexit, claiming that Government action is crucial to unlocking further investment in the electric vehicle (EV) transition.

“A stalling market will hinder industry’s ability to meet stringent new CO2 targets and, importantly, undermine wider environmental goals,” SMTT chief executive Mike Hawes said. “We urgently need more supportive policies: investment in infrastructure; broader measures to encourage uptake of the latest, low and zero- emission cars; and long-term purchase incentives to put the UK at the forefront of this technological shift.

“Industry is playing its part with a raft of exciting new models in 2020 and compelling offers but consumers will only respond if economic confidence is strong and the technology affordable.”

Of the 90 new car models due to launch in the UK in 2020, the SMTT has listed 23 as fully electric and 11 as plug-in-hybrids.

The findings from the SMTT come after Dyson axed its electric car project, which would have seen a new model manufactured and assembled in the UK, ready for a 2021 launch. Similarly, hybrid and fully electric models sold in the UK by the likes of Nissan, BMW and Vauxhall are now manufactured or assembled – either in full or in part – outside of the UK.

As sales grow, who takes ownership of charging capacity is a question that largely remains unaswered.

If you would like to know more about our EV infrastructure installation service, please visit our dedicated page by clicking HERE.

Article source: Edie.net

Report claims UK has technology to achieve zero carbon

Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the UK is said to be achievable with current technology, according to a recent report.

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) stated a net-zero carbon Britain is already possible without any future technology developments.

The report claimed that by making changes to buildings, transport and industry, demand for energy could be reduced by 60%. It also stated making more changes to energy, our diet and the lay of the land use could lead to renewable energy being the only source of energy, as well as cutting emissions from agriculture and industry.

The UK government has, however, described the carbon capture technology as “game-changing” when addressing climate change, with the first project set to be operational next year.

So how can we become carbon zero?

Firstly, CAT said new houses being built need to be to a standard where energy costs can be cut to just £15 a year. This would be achieved by using insulated masonry and concrete, triple-glazing, LED lighting and air-source heat pumps.

It is possible that changes could be made to existing buildings to enhance temperature control, with the potential of heating being reduced by 50%.

Meanwhile, transport demand, the report claims, could be reduced by up to 78%, by increased use of public transport, walking, cycling and using EVs. The aim is also to cut flights by two thirds.

Increasing energy supplies

Based on the UK’s energy use figures in the last decade, it appears possible to meet demand with renewable and carbon-neutral energy-based sources.

Wind power would make up half with the rest being generated from geothermal, hydro, tidal and solar. Carbon-neutral synthetic fuels are also an important alternative to electricity.

Transforming land and diets

Diets can help us to reach carbon zero by switching from meat and dairy-based diets to plant-based proteins. CAT has said we can reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by 57% and cut food imports from 42% to 17%. Three-quarters of current livestock can also be used for restoring forests and peatlands.

Also, as a country, CAT insists, we are currently importing many foods which could easily be grown in the UK.

Plenty of food for thought, I’m sure you’d agree!

Renewable electricity overtakes fossil fuels in the UK for the first time

A couple of days after the famous Ferrybridge power station cooling towers were razed to the ground, it was announced that, in the third quarter of 2019, for the first time history renewable energy generated more electricity than fossil fuel power stations in the United Kingdom.

The U.K’s wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydro plants outstripped coal, oil and gas during the months of July, August and September, producing 29.5 terawatts (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh, according to Carbon Brief.

The new milestone confirms predictions made by the National Grid that 2019 will be the first year since the industrial revolution that zero-carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear – overtakes gas and coal-fired power. New offshore wind farms have helped to take renewables past fossil fuels in a crucial tipping point in Britain’s Energy transition.

Less than 10 years ago fossil fuels made up four-fifths of the country’s electricity, which was split between gas and coal. However, the recent analysis undertaken by Carbon Brief shows that coal-fired power made up less than 1% of all electricity generated. This has resulted in British coal plants, such as Ferrybridge, which has dominated the Yorkshire skyline for around half a century, shutting down ahead of the 2025 ban. By next spring just four coal plants will remain in the UK.

Nuclear made up less than a fifth of the UK’s electricity in the last quarter, while wind power is the UK’s strongest source of renewable energy. The opening of wind farm schemes almost doubled the 2,100MW worth of offshore capacity which began powering homes in 2018.

Luke Clark of Renewable UK, stated the industry hopes to treble the size of its offshore wind sector by 2030 to generate more than a third of the UK’s electricity.

For more information on how Energy Management can help your business secure green energy for the future, contact a member of the team now on 01225-867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.