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New Energy Centre at South Humber Bank Power Station

A vacant land at South Humber Bank Power Station will see the arrival of a new multi-million pound energy centre. Set to create around 50 new jobs, the £300 million facility would generate 49.9MW of electrical power, which is the equivalent to supporting around 500,000 homes. The planning application for

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Energy Projects Receive Funding Boost

A £2 million funding boost has been offered to a number of energy projects in the South West. Bristol City, Devon and Plymouth Councils secured a grant from the European Investment Bank and the European Commission to fund new energy efficiency, renewable, sustainable transport and heat networks projects across the region

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Siemens Stores Wind Turbine Blades

A 12-month contract has been agreed between Siemens Gamesa and the ABP Port in Hull to store 37 wind turbine blades destined for the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the Hornsea One Project. A six-acre area located at the Port of Hull’s Eastern Access, on King George Dock, is now being

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How Can Thoughtful Construction Help Businesses Save on Energy Bills?

As the world looks to reduce its impact on the environment, one area that’s changing is construction. Governments and officials throughout the globe have started to introduce new guidelines for the construction of new buildings. Manufacturers need to be more mindful over the materials used and buildings now need to

Read More »

What can shale and biomethane offer the gas industry?

The future of energy is hard to determine, even for experts in the industry. At the 2017 Future Energy Scenarios event, the efficiency and future use of shale gas and biomethane was brought into the discussion. Here to analyse how the UK might benefit from both these forms of energy

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Energy Assets Moves into Local Energy Network Ownership

Energy Assets Group, Britain’s leading independent meter asset management company, has unveiled plans for rapid expansion in the ‘final mile’ electricity and gas network ownership and operator market. Energy Assets has been awarded an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT) and Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) license to own, adopt and operate

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RWE and Engie mull Franco-German alliance

RWE and Engie are considering an alliance which would see RWE swap a stake in its renewables and grids spin-off Innogy for a minority interest in Engie, Reuters has reported. The utilities have discussed possible deals with advisors and bankers although there are no active talks between senior executives, according

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Herefordshire Council Approves 20MW Energy Storage System

Herefordshire Council has given planning permission for the building of a 20MW energy storage system (ES) which will give real-time grid stabilisation to the local distribution network. Energy Reservoirs now has three years to start building the system, which will be made up of batteries housed in ten containers on

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Windows Just Got Smart Thanks To Revolutionary Innovation

As we move towards a more sustainable economy, our goals have rightly shifted, as has our long-term ambition. With the latest development in window technology revealing the potential to cut cleaning costs and a reduction in heating bills, it is unsurprising to see builders, architects and estate managers eagerly eyeing

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

Energy

Energy Assets Group Unifies Nationwide Utility Network Construction Offering

Energy Assets Group (EAG), one of Britain’s leading metering and energy services businesses, has announced that from 1st February 2019, all of its utility network design and construction operations will be rebranded as Energy Assets Utilities (EAU). As a result of the brand strategy, Future Energy Group (FEG), which was acquired by EAG in May last year, and Dragon Infrastructure Solutions (DIS), which joined the Group in May 2017, will now operate as EAU. The move reflects the success of the company’s expansion strategy which, since 2015, has seen its network design and construction business build a nationwide offering with operational centres in Livingston and Alva (Scotland), Northampton, Birstall and Sheffield. In total EAU employs over 300 people, working with housebuilders and developers to deliver the gas, electricity, water and fibre-to-the-home networks that energise Britain’s public and private housebuilding programme. “The acquisitions of FEG and DIS have added significantly to the resources and geographic capability of the network design and construction services available to our customers.  By creating a nationwide service offering with a single brand, our people will be better empowered to drive our growth plans through a clearer sales, marketing and customer service focus,” said Craig Topley, Energy Assets Group Managing Director (Construction). “This opens up exciting opportunities both for staff and our customer base as we continue to enhance the service delivery portfolio through the strategic expansion of the Group.” The Group is also an independent operator of ‘final mile’ gas and electricity networks and a leading provider of energy-related services including metering, data and asset management.   www.energyassets.co.uk

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New Energy Centre at South Humber Bank Power Station

A vacant land at South Humber Bank Power Station will see the arrival of a new multi-million pound energy centre. Set to create around 50 new jobs, the £300 million facility would generate 49.9MW of electrical power, which is the equivalent to supporting around 500,000 homes. The planning application for the scheme has been submitted by EP UK Investments Ltd (EPUKI), which owns and operates South Humber Bank Power Station. The application was validated in December by North East Lincolnshire Council and a decision is due to be made by the end of March. “We are very pleased to announce the proposed development of an Energy Centre at the South Humber Bank Power Station and it follows the completion of our recent £53 million investment in the existing site,” said James Crankshaw, head of engineering at EPUKI. “The project is not dependent on securing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or other form of secured income such as a Contract For Difference (CFD) as other EFW projects have required and, as such, EPUKI expect to progress to the construction phase soon after planning is approved,” he added. If the planning permission is granted, the South Humber Bank Energy Centre will be powered by approximately 620,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel annually. “The Energy Centre will provide much needed new power generation and energy recovery facilities, as well as creating permanent local jobs. We look forward to working with the planning authority and local community over the coming months,” James concluded. A subsidiary of Europe’s seventh biggest power generator EPH, EPUKI aquired in 2017 2.2GW of combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations from energy giant Centrica. Moreover, the firm put plans in place last year to boost its portfolio further by commissioning a new 420MW biomass power station at Lynemouth, Northumberland. EPUKI also has development consent to deliver up to 4.2GW of new build CCGTs in Eggborough and King’s Lynn.

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Energy Projects Receive Funding Boost

A £2 million funding boost has been offered to a number of energy projects in the South West. Bristol City, Devon and Plymouth Councils secured a grant from the European Investment Bank and the European Commission to fund new energy efficiency, renewable, sustainable transport and heat networks projects across the region over the next three years. “This is yet another really exciting step towards carbon reduction in Bristol. The scale of sustainable development generated by the last ELENA grant made an enormously positive impact on our ability to deliver clean energy for the city, so we have high hopes for the opportunities that come with this latest round of European funding,” said Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste and Regulatory Services, Councillor Kye Dudd. “It’s great that Bristol has once again been recognised as a national leader in the field of sustainability as our goal to become a carbon neutral city by 2050 moves a step closer. It’s even more exciting now that we are in a position to share our knowledge and expertise with other parts of the region, helping them to reduce carbon and provide clean energy to towns and cities across the South West,” Cllr Kye added. Bristol City Council is the lead organisation, therefore it will manage the projects with its central delivery team. Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, also commented: “The funding will help us to kick start a range of projects which will support the council in delivering its target of reducing the Devon region’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. These projects will also give us more control over energy use, will reduce air pollution from transport and generate energy which will improve the quality of life for Devon’s residents.” “We anticipate that this funding will stimulate Devon’s renewable energy sector and lead to at least £16 million being invested into low carbon projects in the county,” Cllr Roger concluded.

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Siemens Stores Wind Turbine Blades

A 12-month contract has been agreed between Siemens Gamesa and the ABP Port in Hull to store 37 wind turbine blades destined for the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the Hornsea One Project. A six-acre area located at the Port of Hull’s Eastern Access, on King George Dock, is now being leased for the storage of the 75 metre, 30 tonne blades in order to accommodate the expanding business. An operation is underway to transport the fibreglass blades nearly two miles from the current site on Alexandra Dock. “We’re proud to be able to say that we have been an essential link in a major green project such as this, which will eventually see the blades powering one-million homes.  It’s also another example of our expertise in handling such large and specialist components. We have worked closely with Siemens Gamesa to offer solutions and to support their business growth, so that together as partners, we can keep Britain trading and provide the nation with environmentally-friendly power,” commented David Morriss, ABP Humber Head of Property. The transportation process requires for a remote-controlled loader to be guided by an operator to carefully transport the wind turbine blades through the port to its new location at 5mph. Each blade takes around 1 hour 15 minutes to move during the early hours of the morning to cause minimal disruption to port traffic. “Siemens Gamesa is delighted to again be working with ABP, continuing a ground-breaking partnership in Humberside. To deliver clean, green energy to millions of UK households is a complex team effort, and ABP is a crucial member of that team,” said Anton Bak, Factory Director, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Hull. Hull City Council has also made improvements to the Northern Gateway Roundabout to help facilitate the movement of abnormal loads, as well as create further investment opportunities in the city and port. The council utilised funding from the Green Port Growth Programme to create a route through the centre of the junction and part-time signals to control traffic during the movements.

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How Can Thoughtful Construction Help Businesses Save on Energy Bills?

As the world looks to reduce its impact on the environment, one area that’s changing is construction. Governments and officials throughout the globe have started to introduce new guidelines for the construction of new buildings. Manufacturers need to be more mindful over the materials used and buildings now need to feature a more sustainable design in order to meet new regulations. It’s not just the environment which can benefit from more thoughtful construction. Businesses could also feel the benefits, particularly in their pockets! Here, we’ll look at how more thoughtful construction can help businesses to save on their energy bills. Insulating warehouses One of the biggest costs’ businesses face is keeping their warehouses at adequate temperatures. They are renowned for being cold and when built incorrectly, can waste a lot of energy throughout the year. This is where insulation comes in really useful. Adding high-quality insulation into warehouses can help to trap the heat in, reducing the strain on heating systems. It can also keep the warehouse cooler in the summer months too, ensuring more heat is kept outdoors. Using air source heat pumps Speaking of heating, if businesses switched to air source heat pumps, they could save over 50% on their energy bills. They’re efficient, cost effective and renewable, making them an excellent choice for new buildings. These types of heating systems can even eliminate the need for a gas boiler, electric, oil and LPG. It’s thought that using air source heat pumps can save thousands of pounds for businesses each year. Efficient lighting controls A simple thoughtful construction element which could also save businesses money on their energy bills, is the use of efficient lighting controls. Using sensors, timers and lighting controls can make significant cost reductions, as well as proving to be much better for the environment. Of course, even in existing buildings cost savings can still be delivered through the use of energy management. Companies such as Utilitywise, can ensure businesses have the best energy deals. Overall, thoughtful construction can help to really lower business energy costs. The above is just some of the ways new buildings can be constructed with energy savings in mind. Adding insulation and switching to more efficient heating systems such as air source heat pumps are both great examples of how small installations can make a huge difference to a company’s energy bills.

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What can shale and biomethane offer the gas industry?

The future of energy is hard to determine, even for experts in the industry. At the 2017 Future Energy Scenarios event, the efficiency and future use of shale gas and biomethane was brought into the discussion. Here to analyse how the UK might benefit from both these forms of energy in the years to come is Flogas — a leading supplier of LPG storage tanks… The future of shale gas Shale and the fracking process are constantly in the news, with the idea of fracking production sites in the UK being a highly contentious issue. On one side, the UK government has argued that shale gas stands to deliver the nation with increased energy security, growth and jobs. However, there is a counter argument that the method for extracting shale gas — which involves water being injected into ‘shale’ rock formations at a high pressure to extract gas — runs the risk of having a ruinous impact on the environment. The process is also very expensive. Some criticisers of fracking have also made the argument that the process extends the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels. What’s more, others have said that it heightens the risk of water being polluted and has links to the number of earthquakes that take place. Steve Mason, of cross-party pressure group Frack Free United, commented: “This Tory government is backing fracking and forging on with a ludicrous dirty energy policy. It is time for them to wake up and listen to their own reports, the voice of the public in areas under threat and halt all fracking activity now.” However, few can argue with the success of fracking in the US, where it wasn’t too long ago that the country was importing large amounts of oil and gas. That changed when the US discovered the effectiveness of extracting shale gas, with the nation is now self-sufficient and exporting gas. Today, the UK finds itself in a similar situation to its allies across the pond, as it imports over 50 per cent of the gas it needs from overseas. However, a report by the British Geology Society published in 2012 suggested that there is a resource estimate of around 1,327 trillion cubic feet of gas found throughout the UK. Ineos’ CEO, Jim Ratcliffe (whose company has licences to frack in the UK in an area measuring one million acres) also said to The Guardian: “The future for manufacturing in the UK will look quite gloomy if we don’t exploit shale. I can’t see otherwise what is going to arrest the decline in British manufacturing.” The future of biomethane gas The bonus of biomethane for most is that it is a completely green energy source. This is because the gas occurs naturally from the anaerobic digestion of organic matter, which can be sourced from manure, organic waste, sewage and both dead animal and plant matter. Biomethane is also a sustainable method of sourcing gas that means those in the industry will not need to rely on extracting natural gas from the ground, as the two are the same type of gas. Already in the UK, we can read about major success regarding biomethane. For instance, Severn Trent Water was successful in opening a facility at its Minworth Sewage Treatment Works in 2014, whereby biogas from the anaerobic digestion process is converted so that it can be used within the domestic gas supply. The facility was the largest gas-to-grid plant found in the UK at the time of its opening, with 1,200 cubic metres of biogas able to be converted into 750 cubic metres of biomethane each hour. This biomethane can then be injected into the National Gas Grid. However, some people are still unclear as to how biomethane works and its general procedure as a sustainable energy source. Explaining the setup of the Minworth Sewage Treatment Works gas-to-grid plant, Severn Trent Water’s renewable energy development manager said: “As part of the sewage treatment process, sewage sludge is produced. At Minworth we feed this to our 16 anaerobic digesters, or ‘concrete cows’, which work like giant cow’s stomachs to digest the waste material to produce energy in the form of gas. “Currently, we use 40 per cent of this energy to make electricity, but more can be done – that’s where this new process comes in. With treatment, gas from sewage is made clean enough and at the right consistency to be injected into the gas supply network to power homes in the area. It’s local gas produced from local people.” Of course, like shale gas and fracking, biomethane has also hit the headlines. A year after the launch of the Minworth Sewage Treatment Works gas-to-grid facility, popular chain, Sainsbury’s, made its Cannock superstore the first to be powered entirely by the food waste created by the retailer. Prior to 2015, Sainsbury’s had the following principles: Any other unsold food was turned into animal feed. Any unsold food which was still suitable for human consumption would be given to charities. Any surplus unsold food was delivered to Biffa’s advanced anaerobic digestion facility, located in Cannock. When food is delivered to Biffa’s facility, it is broken down to create biomethane gas. This gas is then used to generate electricity. Soon, both Biffa and Sainsbury’s thought they could make use of the Cannock superstore’s close proximity to the advanced anaerobic digestion facility. As a result, the two companies created and installed a 1.5km cable between the pair of buildings so that the plant can provide a direct supply of renewable electricity to the superstore. Regarding prices, the investment was well worth the cost it took to create the set-up. £280,000 of investment was put towards the project — which covered the setup of power cables, switch gears and the covering of all legal fees — and Sainsbury’s estimated that it had the potential to save in the region of £140,000 in just one year due to relying less on the National Grid for day-to-day power supplies. Could this spell

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Energy Assets Moves into Local Energy Network Ownership

Energy Assets Group, Britain’s leading independent meter asset management company, has unveiled plans for rapid expansion in the ‘final mile’ electricity and gas network ownership and operator market. Energy Assets has been awarded an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT) and Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) license to own, adopt and operate gas and electricity networks and the company has launched Energy Assets Pipelines and Energy Assets Networks as independent gas and electricity network ownership entities. Working alongside its direct labour division and Dragon Infrastructure Solutions (part of Energy Assets) the businesses are also partnering with independent utility construction contractors and residential and commercial developers to provide innovations in asset-based finance, network design, network ownership, compliance and management. Colin Lynch, Energy Assets’ Chief Executive Officer, says the move into ‘final mile’ network ownership comes at a time of great opportunity for the house builder and developer sector. “Britain stands on the brink of the biggest house building programme for generations,” he said. “With the government’s stated aim of creating 300,000 new homes every year, the question is – how can developers and contractors make the most of this opportunity? “To help house builders and NERS and GIRS approved contractors deliver the most cost-effective and efficient utility networks, we’ve created ownership vehicles that will speed up design and approvals timescales and offer innovative asset-based finance packages. We are also one of just a handful of independent operators authorised by OFGEM for both gas and electricity network ownership and management.” As part of this drive, the Group’s recently-acquired business Utility Distribution Networks Ltd, an IDNO, is being rebranded Energy Assets Networks and will be building on its established relationships with house builders and contractors to drive expansion across Britain. Gas network ownership will be managed through Energy Assets Pipelines, a new business that will leverage the Group’s extensive gas network design and asset management expertise. Debbie Edgar, Managing Director of Energy Assets Networks, commented: “The launch of Energy Assets network ownership continues to transform the competitive landscape in the ‘final mile’ of utility connections and ownership. The flexibility that is available to IDNOs such as Energy Assets Networks creates innovative finance options for contractors and developers that the existing distribution network operators simply cannot match.” John McLuskey, who is leading Energy Assets Pipelines gas operation, said: “With Energy Assets’ proven asset management expertise and our track record in delivering process innovation, we see great opportunities opening up for our customers to speed up network construction through expert design certification, compliance support and flexible funding options, resulting in a more cost-effective utility provision.” www.energyassetsnetworks.co.uk www.energyassetspipelines.co.uk

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RWE and Engie mull Franco-German alliance

RWE and Engie are considering an alliance which would see RWE swap a stake in its renewables and grids spin-off Innogy for a minority interest in Engie, Reuters has reported. The utilities have discussed possible deals with advisors and bankers although there are no active talks between senior executives, according to four unnamed banking sources quoted by the news agency. The sources said a marriage between the European energy giants would not take place before the German elections in September. However, one went on to say that because no plants would be closed as part of a deal, it could otherwise proceed very swiftly. “There are indeed talks ongoing, but that does not mean they will succeed,” said another source from the French government. Innogy debuted on the Frankfurt stock exchange in October 2016, after the grids and renewables business was spun-off from of the rest of RWE. At the time of publication, the new company had a market capitalisation of €19.8 billion. RWE owns a 76.8 per cent stake in Innogy worth €15.2 billion. However, RWE is itself valued at just €10.7 billion, suggesting that the conventional generation operations which it retained following the separation are viewed as a liability by stock market investors, Reuters surmised. One deal being considered would involve RWE trading either some or all its interest in Innogy for a minority stake in Engie. A banker told the news outlet that a share swap could see RWE take ownership of up to one third in the new Franco-German group. The French government owns a 28.65 per cent share in Engie and the company is currently valued at €32.9 billion. Any agreement would need to ensure a balance between of power between the French government and RWE, the sources said. RWE and Engie and Innogy all declined to comment on the story, although a spokesman for Engie reiterated comments made by the company’s chief executive Isabelle Kocher, who in March denied reports from Bloomberg that her company had plans to take shares in Innogy.

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Herefordshire Council Approves 20MW Energy Storage System

Herefordshire Council has given planning permission for the building of a 20MW energy storage system (ES) which will give real-time grid stabilisation to the local distribution network. Energy Reservoirs now has three years to start building the system, which will be made up of batteries housed in ten containers on a greenfield site to the west of Clay Hill Pitch, Dormington. The original planning documents state that the system will be directly connected to the adjacent substation to provide energy storage capacity to the National Grid. It will mean that excess electricity generated from a number of conventional and renewable sources will be allowed to be stored in the batteries during times of low demand. The stored capacity will then be fed back into the grid during peak demand times, which can coincide with times of low generation. A spokesperson for Energy Reservoirs said that in terms of other potential streams of revenue, the process of prequalifying for the capacity market was “an expensive job” for a battery due to the high bid bond require, while arbitrage “doesn’t really work yet sadly”. The project is therefore expected to rely on providing frequency balancing services as the main revenue stream. However, the spokesperson added that the company intended to take part in National Grid’s next tender after failing to win in the recent EFR competition. Energy Reservoirs has yet to appoint a supplier and is currently attracting quotes from a number of potential partners, the majority of which are offering lithium-ion batteries.

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Windows Just Got Smart Thanks To Revolutionary Innovation

As we move towards a more sustainable economy, our goals have rightly shifted, as has our long-term ambition. With the latest development in window technology revealing the potential to cut cleaning costs and a reduction in heating bills, it is unsurprising to see builders, architects and estate managers eagerly eyeing the true benefits of “smart windows”. Believed to be on track to hit the market within five years, University College London (UCL) has produced a prototype that confirms three major benefits. Firstly, the windows offer “self cleaning”. It accomplishes this by being ultra-resistant to water, the material making any moisture hitting its surface form spherical droplets that roll away. As they do so they pick up dirt along the way, removing dust, debris and other contaminants. This is achieved through a conical design; a pencil-like nanastructure etched on the glass which enhances the smart window’s abilities by trapping air and thus allowing only a small amount of water to settle on the surface. This is in comparison to traditional glass which allows rain to settle on the surface and stay there, leaving streak marks as it rolls away. Crucially, the glass also saves energy. Utilising a tiny layer of low-cost vanadium dioxide the glass is capable of stopping thermal radiation from escaping during cold periods preventing heat loss. Meanwhile, when the season changes, the glass stops sunlight radiation penetrating the building. The value and size of vanadium dioxide makes it ideal and a better, more sustainable option over other glass coatings like silver or gold based layers. UCL believes it will enable the glass to help reduce heating costs by up to 40%. In addition, the structure offers anti-glare capabilities – dramatically cutting light reflection internally – that has been estimated to have the anti-reflective capabilities of moths and such creatures that have evolved to evade predators. Dr Ioannis Papakonstantinou, UCL project leader, noted the innovative characteristics of the smart window calling the product a “self-cleaning, highly performing” piece of technology. Discussions are currently underway with glass manufacturers in the UK. Key ambitions going forward involve scaling up the nano-manufacturing methods.  

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