Tuesday, 31 January 2012

UK clears energy firms' accounting over price rises

A forensic review of UK energy company accounting practices has found no evidence of financial irregularities aimed at justifying steep rises in retail gas and electricity bills last year, regulator Ofgem, which commissioned the study, said.

A string of double-digit price increases, announced in the summer of 2011 by utilities, helped drive UK inflation to a three-year high in September at a time of stagnant wage growth and economic hardship, prompting a consumer backlash.

The energy watchdog launched the study partly to answer allegations that utilities had used accounting techniques to justify raising retail energy bills, by making those operations appear less profitable.

Britain's six largest utilities, E.ON, RWE, Centrica, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF have not shifted profits between business segments to make retail operations look less successful, Ofgem said on Tuesday.

#SSE loses 50,000 #energy customers


UK SME’s missing out on business #energy efficiency savings due to lack of information

#SSE on course to up profits

Energy firm SSE said it was on course to deliver an increase in the dividend per share and an increase in pre-tax profits for the financial year to 31 March 2012. This came despite its nine month update showing the number of electricity and gas customer accounts it has Great Britain and Ireland fell by 50,000 to 9.60 million. Their consumption also fell with SSE's household customers in Great Britain using 8.3% less electricity and 26.6% less gas. Its figures show that an average household customer paid £710 for electricity and gas in the nine months to 31 December 2011, compared with £760 in the nine months to the end of 2010. In January SSE announced a cut of 4.5% in its unit price for household gas with effect from 26 March 2012 and said it would not to implement any increase in household electricity and gas prices until October 2012 at the earliest.

The average #water bill in England and Wales will rise by 5.7% from April this year, the water regulator Ofwat has announced.

The average water bill in England and Wales will rise by 5.7% from April this year, the water regulator Ofwat has announced.

The increase - which is 0.5% above inflation - will add £20 to the average 2012/13 bill, taking it to £376.

Ofwat defended the rise, saying it was necessary for a multi-billion pound investment programme and was roughly in line with inflation.

It was also far less than the 10% that water companies had asked for.

The watchdog's CEO Regina Finn said: "We understand that any bill rise is unwelcome, particularly in tough economic times. Inflation feeds through into water bills, and this is driving these rises.

"We will make sure customers get value for money."

The impact of the new charges will vary for households depending on the company that supplies them and whether or not they have a water meter, Ofwat said.

Fuel poverty protesters occupy British Gas offices

UK retailers beat #green targets

Monday, 30 January 2012

UK winter 2012 #gas prices touches 11-week high

British gas for summer delivery surged to a seven-week high early on Monday as temperatures plunged and storage withdrawals accelerated to meet rising demand.

Gains pushed summer 2012 gas back above technical support levels, but brokers questioned the longevity of the surge given the bearish backdrop that has underpinned a months-long decline in prices.

The contract retreated to 57.60 pence ($0.90) at 10:30 GMT on Monday, up on the day by just under a penny, following a burst of buying interest that propelled it to a high of 58.4 pence earlier that morning.

UK gas for next winter delivery touched 11-week highs of 70.50 pence but fell back to about 70 pence in mid-morning trade, pulled lower by softening prompt prices which drove gains across the forward curve. The contract was still up 1.45 pence on the day.

Boardrooms in the dark over energy, says new Siemens research report

Glowing green sea, an equinox house and energy-efficient skyscrapers

Friday, 27 January 2012

Climate change: Number of people willing to 'go green' and change the way they live falls 10%

‘Thin air’ costing businesses over £100m a year in energy costs

UK businesses are losing over £100 million a year in energy costs through leaky or inefficient equipment that compresses air, the Carbon Trust has found.
Air compressors are widely used in the industrial sector and account for around 10 per cent of UK industry’s electricity consumption. But a Carbon Trust report, released today, has found that up to £110 million a year is being wasted in business energy costs because of poorly managed or damaged compressed air systems and processes.

"There is a misconception that compressed air is a free or low cost resource, when – in fact – the opposite is true," Richard Rugg, director, Carbon Trust Programmes, said. "Just a single three millimetre hole in a compressed air system creates a leak, which can cost a business an additional £1,000 a year in electricity costs." 

UK energy sector 'most vulnerable' to extreme weather


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Prediction of ‘rush’ for #solar panels after appeal rejected

National Trust commits to solar power


Energy committee attacks UK #carbon price


#Green power bids 'thrown into chaos' by new appeal

SOLAR power-producing Scots saw their green ventures thrown into more "disarray and chaos" yesterday as the UK Government vowed to pursue further legal action to cut the price it will pay for the clean energy.

The sector was given a boost after the Court of Appeal ruled Whitehall's attempt to lower payments to small-scale producers of solar power, generated by panels installed after December last year, was illegal.

However, the breakthrough was quickly thwarted by the announcement from Energy Minister Chris Huhne that a further appeal will be taken to the Supreme Court.

The Government wants to reduce the price paid for solar-generated electricity fed into the National Grid from 43p to 21p per KWh but faces claims the move puts 29,000 jobs at risk, some 2000 of them in Scotland.

John Conway, operations manager at Solar Panel Scotland, of Linwood, Renfrewshire, which manufactures and installs solar panels, said the further challenge left damaging uncertainty in the industry.

Mr Conway said: "We are all shocked and we are in a situation of disarray.

"Customers won't commit to signing contracts until they know what the position is.

"There is confusion yet again. We have a massive bank of orders in abeyance and the phones were crazy this morning after the court ruling with people asking if we can come out and do the work.

"We can only quote the lower tariff because we are respon-sible and have to hang fire."

The UK Government wants to bring down the value of its Feed In Tariffs (FiT) paid to homeowners and communities in line with the falling cost of solar technology, with claims the allocated budget can no longer support the higher rates.

The Court of Appeal ruling, as it stands, will allow the Government to bring in the lower rate in for panels installed after March 3 this year, giving people a window of opportunity to take advantage of the higher tariff.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

12 Acquisitions that Transformed the Energy Management Software Market in 2011

Business Owners Beware – #Energy Cuts only apply for Household users | Energy Live #News

Customers 'misunderstand how to save energy'

Fixed-rate energy customers advised to stay put

UK 'subsidising nuclear power unlawfully'


UK SME’s missing out on business energy efficiency savings due to lack of information

UK SME’s missing out on business energy efficiency savings due to lack of information

Small Businesses (SME’s) account for 45 per cent of all the business energy usage in the UK and according to the Carbon Trust as well as reports from energy suppliers the vast majority are missing out on saving opportunities due to the lack of information on how to improve their business energy efficiency.

business energy efficiency
The Carbon Trust stated that SME’s have the greatest potential for savings on energy: 20 per cent compared to eight per cent for larger organisations. E.ON estimates that four million of the UK’s 4.8 million small to medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) could be saving up to £2,000 per year by implementing simple energy efficiency measures such as smart meters and lighting timers. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

UK prompt gas drops on milder weather, good supply

UK prompt gas prices dropped on Tuesday as healthy supply and moderate demand created a balanced supply chain and prices further out on the curve were pushed up on a tightening outlook for liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments to Britain.

At 308.6 million cubic metres (mcm), UK gas demand was around 26.5 mcm below the seasonal norm on Tuesday, according to National Grid data.

At the same time, expected flows of over 311 mcm mean that the system would be 2.5 mcm oversupplied.


Scottish #renewable energy set to get £7.6bn to connect to grid

Energy regulator Ofgem signalled it was likely to approve up to £7.6bn of infrastructure investment to connect new Scottish wind farms and other renewable power generators to the UK grid.

Ofgem said on Monday it had fast-tracked proposals for infrastructure spending by energy companies ScottishPower and SSE (Frankfurt: A0RFBG - news) and expected to make a final decision in April, following a consultation.

The investment will be paid for through energy bills and is likely to add 35p to a typical household bill each year from 2013 to 2021.

Ofgem said the proposals would "deliver essential upgrades to Scotland's transmission network at the lowest cost to consumers".

The proposed spending would "replace ageing infrastructure" and also "greatly assist connections to renewable generators", Ofgem said.

It estimated that more than 1,500 jobs would be created as a result of the investment.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Businesses told not to be fooled by ‘Big Six’ #energy prices cuts

Business are being warned not to be fooled by the price cuts being announced by the 'Big Six’ energy firms, and instead brace themselves for increasing energy costs in the non-domestic market.

ScottishPower and E.ON, yesterday, became the last of the 'Big Six’ to pass energy price cuts in the wholesale market onto their domestic customers.

However, businesses are being told not to take this as a sign that energy tariffs for business customers are going to follow suit.
"Don’t fall into the mistaken belief that the price cuts being announced are going to be passed onto business customers. It’s not true," Nick Heath, spokesperson for energy broker Make It Cheaper told GreenWise. "If businesses sit back and do nothing, they are actually going to see their tariffs go up because roll-over rates are actually 50 per cent higher."

According to research commissioned, last year, by Make It Cheaper from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, by the end of 2012, business gas and electricity prices are actually expected to go up by 15 per cent.


Environmental Leader’s 15 Top Energy Management Stories of 2011

Opus Energy signs wind power agreement with Danish energy company Nordjysk Elhandel

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

UK #gas prices rebound after touching 2012 lows

British prompt gas prices rebounded slightly on Wednesday due to a relief rally after prices slumped to a three-week low on Tuesday and supply fell short of demand.

Within-day gas prices rose 0.60 pence at 52.60 pence per therm after touching a 2012 low of 51.80 pence on Tuesday afternoon, with day-ahead gas trading at the same level.

A drop in terminal send-out and a slower pace of storage withdrawals made the system slightly undersupplied, data from National Grid showed.
The network manager forecast gas demand at 335 million cubic meters/day, which is pegged about 4 percent below the seasonal average as mild temperatures prompt households to turn down thermostats.

#Shale #Gas: Boon Could Stunt #Renewable Energy Alternatives, Study Says

#Electricity and #Gas Price Cuts – What does it really mean?

The six major energy suppliers known as the “Big Six” have announced either gas or electricity price cuts for their household consumers in recent days. Despite the fact that here at Catalyst our aim is to find the cheapest business gas and business electricity prices for our clients, we decided to investigate these cuts and find out if they will really make much difference to the average household energy bill.
Electricity and Gas Price Cuts

When it comes down to household finances any type of cut to our daily, monthly and yearly costs and expenditure is welcomed.

But to what extent are these electricity and gas price cuts really?

Share your thoughts on Electricity and Gas Price Cuts on our comments below, or join the discussion on our Facebook Page or Google+ Page.  Do not forget to “Like” and “Follow” us first.

There is also a discussion happening on Twitter about Electricity and Gas Price Cuts, and you can tweet your opinion with a @CatalystEnergy but remember you will need to follow us first.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Siemens puts cost of #nuclear exit at 1.7 trillion euros

Germany's exit from nuclear power could cost the country as much as 1.7 trillion euros ($2.15 trillion) by 2030, or two thirds of the country's GDP in 2011, according to Siemens (), which built all of Germany's 17 nuclear plants.

"This will either be paid by energy customers or taxpayers," Siemens board member Michael Suess, in charge of the company's Energy Sector, told Reuters in an interview at the annual Handelsblatt Energiewirtschaft conference.

The estimate of 1.7 trillion euros assumes strong expansion of renewables, with feed-in tariffs as the biggest chunk of costs. The cost would be lower -- at about 1.4 billion euros -- if gas was one of the major energy alternatives, Suess said.

The estimates given by Siemens factor in feed-in tariffs -- costs that utilities have to pay to generators of renewable energy -- investments into power transmission and distribution, operations and maintenance as well as technologies to store renewable energy and carbon dioxide.

UK #gas prices drop on mild weather outlook

British prompt gas prices fell to the lowest level this year as mild weather forecasts and improved supplies took pressure from the system, while the forward market received a slight push from positive economic data.

Within-day gas prices fell to a 2012 low of 51.80 pence per therm on Tuesday afternoon, down more than two pence on the previous session and day-ahead gas prices also slipped, trading down to 52.00 pence.

The weaker spot gas prices were a result of milder weather and healthy supplies, despite a rise in demand above seasonal norms on Tuesday.

"Consumption is forecast substantially down this morning giving a clear bearish signal for day-ahead," analysts at Point Carbon said, adding that its price outlook was between 51 and 53.20 pence per therm.

The UK's Met Office said that weather conditions were expected to become "much milder across England and Wales" by Wednesday, with midday temperatures expected to rise from just above zero degrees Celsius on Tuesday to almost double-digit figures a day later.

The #green deal could hit uk #climate change targets

The government's Green Deal aims to deliver large cuts in carbon emissions. But official figures show it will mean a dramatic fall in British homes being insulated to make them more energy-efficient.
The Green Deal aims to deliver large cuts in carbon emissions. But official figures show it will lead to a dramatic fall in British homes being insulated to make them more energy-efficient. (Getty)
The Green Deal is meant to be at the heart of the government's stated ambition to be "the greenest government ever". It is meant to deliver large cuts in carbon emissions. But the government's own figures show that it will instead lead to a dramatic fall in the number of British homes which are being lagged or insulated to make them more energy efficient.

About a million homes a year are currently being insulated under a government arrangement that make energy providers pay for most of the work. The result is vastly reduced utility bills for homeowners and significant reductions in carbon emissions from our old and leaky housing stock. But all of that is about to change.

A mammoth business #gas bill has left a Post Office owner stunned

Ismail Patel, postmaster at Batley Carr Post Office and NisaLocal store, has been locked in a dispute with energy supplier British Gas since 2008. Late last year he received his first bill in four years, requesting immediate payment of £18,000.

Four months later British Gas said there had been a mistake – the actual figure he owed was more like £45,000.

Mr Patel, who has owned the post office for four years, said he was still in a state of shock over the bill.

“I’ve been making regular payments based on what I thought the supply would cost, even without the bills,” he said.

“This has caused a big problem for me, financially. I can’t pay that amount.”

Before March, the last bill Mr Patel received from British Gas was in March 2008 for £96.

In July last year he received his first alarming bill, after several requests for it to be sent out.

In an internal British Gas log, a member of staff said the £18,000 figure was ‘fictitious’. This log was later released to Mr Patel and has been seen by the Reporter.

In November Mr Patel was sent another bill, this time for £43,520.

Monday, 16 January 2012

E.ON Joins Rivals In Electricity Price Slash

E.ON Joins Rivals In Electricity Price Slash

story picture

Energy company E.ON has said it will reduce its electricity prices by 6%, joining four of its rivals who announced lower tariffs last week.

Read on Sky News

US and #Google attempt to tap a volcano's heat for #green #energy

A worker steps down from the drilling platform at the Newberry Crater geothermal project near LaPine, Oregon in 2008.

Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 91 million litres of water into the side of a dormant volcano this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to green energy.

They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that is not dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes.

They also want to see if the water injected into the volcano in the western US state of Oregon will resurface without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents.

Renewable energy has been held back by cheap natural gas, weak demand for power and waning political concern over global warming. Efforts to use the Earth's heat to generate power, known as geothermal energy, have been further hampered by technical problems and worries that tapping it can cause earthquakes.

Even so, the US government, Google and other investors are interested enough to bet US$43 million (Dh158m) on the Oregon project. They are helping AltaRock Energy of Washington state and Davenport Newberry Holdings of Connecticut to demonstrate whether the next level in geothermal power development can work on the flanks of Newberry Volcano.

"We know the heat is there," said Susan Petty, president of AltaRock. "The big issue is can we circulate enough water through the system to make it economic."

The heat in the Earth's crust has been used to generate power for more than a century. Engineers gather hot water or steam that bubbles near the surface and use it to spin a turbine that creates electricity. Most of those areas have been exploited. The new frontier is places with hot rocks, but no cracks in the rocks or water to deliver the steam. To tap that heat - and grow geothermal energy from a tiny niche into an important source of green energy - engineers are working on a new technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).

Feed-in Tariff stalemate is costing UK's #renewable industry £25k-a-day

With the future shape of the UK solar industry on the line and at least £500,000 of taxpayer's money in the balance, the Government faces an anxious few days as it awaits the outcome of yesterday's legal bid to the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers for the Department of Energy and Climate Change argued for the opportunity of a full appeal hearing in an attempt to overturn last month's High Court judgement that the proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff was unlawful.

According to industry analysis, the current stalemate is costing the UK renewable industry around £25,000-a-day in cancelled and deferred orders compounded by increasing sales costs, uncertain wage bills and the depreciation value of redundant stock.

A study of the latest installation figures for the first week of January reveal the devastating toll of draining consumer confusion and lack of confidence in the market.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Which? warns of #energy #smartmeter 'fiasco'

The scheme to install new energy meters in every home in the UK should be halted because of spiralling costs, a consumer campaign group has warned.
Which? said the government, rather than energy companies, should install the "smart meters" to keep costs down.

But Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the £11.1bn cost of introducing them to 30 million homes and firms from 2014 to 2019 would reap an £18.1bn benefit.
The devices show exactly how much gas and electricity is used in real time.

The project has been led by energy companies who have been installing the meters house-by-house as customers ask for them.
Which? claims it would be better if the government co-ordinated the installation process, whole streets at a time.

Friday, 13 January 2012

#Energy firms cut prices by less than 8p a day

The moves, 24 hours after EDF Energy said it would cut gas by 5% on February 7, piles pressure on the remaining big firms – E.ON, npower and Scottish Power – to follow suit.

The cuts, while welcome, are just a fraction of the price rises last year and Richard Lloyd, of campaign group Which? said: “With the average bill now more than £1,300 a year, reductions of around £30 will not be a solution for those struggling to pay their next bill.”

UK government set to invest in tidal-energy demonstration

The UK government is to invest more than £10m in research and development to help demonstrate that wave and tidal energy can be generated at scale and with lower energy-production costs.

According to a statement, ’Marine Energy — Supporting Array Technologies’ is a competition for collaborative R&D funding that will support the applied research, experimental development and demonstration of technologies that solve common issues faced by those developing and deploying the first marine-energy arrays.

The funding — from the Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Enterprise and the Natural Environment Research Council — will support the successful deployment and operation of the first series of wave and tidal arrays while complementing other public-funding initiatives such as the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC’s) Marine Energy Array Deployment capital grant scheme, the Energy Technologies Institute’s (ETI’s) wave and tidal-energy system demonstrator programmes and the Scottish government’s Saltire Prize.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

New #LED lighting technology reduces energy needs by 65 per cent

UK based manufacturer at Middle East Electricity to showcase latest LED light fittings and innovations

Dubai, UAE, 11th January, 2012: Industry players assembling in Dubai next month for the world's leading power event will be presented with new light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures that typically reduce energy needs by 65 per cent, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Produced by UK and US based manufacturer Dialight, the LED luminaires are designed specifically for industrial and hazardous locations including factories and oil rigs, as well as transportation and infrastructure applications such as roads and traffic signals.

The US$150 million company will be at Middle East Electricity 2012, taking place from 7-9 February at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, as it looks to increase its presence in the region.

Dialight has been at the forefront of developing LED lighting solutions for 40 years, enabling organisations to reduce energy use and C02 emissions, improve safety, ease disposal and lower maintenance costs.  In addition to the UK and USA, the company has operations in Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia, and Mexico, as well as the Middle East headquarters in Dubai which opened in early 2011.


5 Ways to Make Sense of the Energy Management Software Market

More companies are purchasing Energy Management Software (EMS) to support energy and GHG reporting to top customers and investors and to reduce energy costs. The market for EMS products is tremendously varied and confusing. By prioritizing their needs against five common use cases, corporate managers can avoid the bewilderment caused when confronted with the hundreds of EMS offerings available today.

We define an EMS as a database of energy use and cost data that helps companies track and reduce energy use. Data can be historical -- like that obtained from utility bills -- or real-time from physical monitors for a single energy load, single facility or multiple sites. An EMS can be a stand-alone product or a module of an operations, maintenance, sustainability, or environmental suite of products.

A Confusing EMS Market

As part of an upcoming report titled A Corporate Buyer's Guide to Energy Management System - A Guide to Develop a Short List of Vendors, our research confirmed that corporate managers are experiencing significant confusion about the differences among the over 100 EMS offerings (here is the full list).

There are many reasons for this problem. The EMS category is a largely amorphous product space in which vendor offerings widely differ. Product approaches vary from software-only to hardware-only to hybrid software and hardware products; pricing and business models differ in shared savings, to software subscription, to blended models; and the breadth of solutions fluctuates between energy tracking-centric to control-centric to maintenance-centric.

Even more frustrating, terms like EMS, enterprise energy management energy intelligence, intelligent buildings and many others are defined differently and even used interchangeably. Moreover, vendors' strengths vary by industry (such as retailing or manufacturing) and by facility type, where the top underlying energy loads differ greatly.

Adding to the confusion are the blurring lines between traditional vendor offerings. EHS vendors now offer carbon and energy management modules, and firms that started as carbon specialists have morphed into EMS providers. Utility bill management vendors added carbon offerings, while demand response providers now sell enterprise-wide energy management software suites, and Building Management Systems (BMS) providers are extending their offerings with more robust EMS capabilities.
Not surprisingly, all this leads to a very perplexing, kaleidoscope-like EMS vendor market.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

#Google Continues Its Investments in #Renewable #Energy

Although Google is a tech-company with huge, energy-intensive data-centers, they are also pretty clued in about sustainability. Through the years, they have been investing heavily in renewable energy technology, not only as part of their CSR but also because it makes business sense for them. Last year, they released details about their carbon footprint and their report discussed their plans to make their data-centers more energy-efficient. Their focus on renewable energy is tremendous and although they are not directly involved, they have supported many projects through investments.

#EDF #Energy cuts gas bills by 5%

One of the UK's major energy suppliers has offered a glimmer of hope for cash-strapped households by announcing a cut in tariffs.

EDF Energy increased its gas bills by 15.4% in November but said it would now cut them by 5% after a 9.2% decline in the one-year wholesale gas price.
The move follows speculation over the weekend that British Gas owner Centrica was considering a 10% reduction in households energy bills.

EDF said it was the last of the major suppliers to raise its energy prices in the autumn and is the first to announce a cut.

Chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "What customers want more than anything else is fair, clear and transparent prices.

"We know they want action rather than words. That is why we are the first major supplier to announce a cut and were the last to increase prices."

Top Tips to Reduce #Business #Gas Usage

Top Tips to Reduce Business Gas Usage

Even though the fiscal only starts in April with the start of the new year many companies begin to revise their expenditures which includes their business gas and business electricity requirements. In today’s article we bring to you 5 ways to reduce business gas usage, therefore, its costs.

Reducing Business Gas Usage
Natural gas is widely used across a number of different industries and sectors for, be it for heating or on industrial processes. Either way, costs with the commodity are usually high and take up a huge slice of the expenditure pie of most companies, reason why saving on business gas is essential.
Here are five tips to help you reduce your business gas expenditures in 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

#Football pitch-sized batteries could change the world of #renewable #energy

2011 saw huge advances in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources, and these advancements will continue into 2012. In fact 2012 could be the year that renewable energy sources start to seriously compete with traditional fossil fuels, at least that is the hope in the battle to reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on dwindling oil stocks. However a major problem with renewable energy sources is that they can rarely provide consistent power levels, due to a myriad of factors outside of human control.

Eric Wesoff, an industry analyst with Greentech Media, explains that, "A wind farm only works when the blades are spinning. It might have a nameplate capacity of 100 megawatts, but it never puts out that much. Sometimes it's 70; sometimes it's nothing. To a grid operator, that kind of resource is a headache rather than an aspirin." To overcome these fluctuations energy storage systems can be used to store excess power at peak generating times and release it when needed to provide a more constant level. "So now that 100-MW wind farm can say, 'We're a 40-MW, steady-state, 24/7 energy source'-more like a coal plant. That's more valuable to society."

MITIE acquires energy consultants Utilyx Holdings

MITIE Group, the strategic outsourcing and energy services company, has acquired the leading energy and carbon management specialist Utilyx Holdings in a deal worth up to £16.2m.

Utilyx provides a number of services relating to its clients' energy demands including strategic planning, procurement and risk management, all of which are designed to manage the business impact of energy consumption and rising energy costs.

The acquisition of Utilyx will complement and enhance MITIE's existing CarbonCare energy services capabilities. The energy services market is significant for MITIE, with 35% of the Group's revenues derived in this area.

MITIE is ranked as the second largest energy services company in the UK, providing a full range of integrated services that help its clients manage their energy use and carbon footprint. MITIE's energy services proposition supports all the key energy issues facing businesses and public sector organisations across the UK. These include business continuity through security of energy supply, value through cost reduction, reduction of carbon emissions and renewable energy.

EU Carbon Permits Rise Most in Two Weeks as Power, Gas Contracts Gain

European Union carbon permits rose the most in more than two weeks as German power and U.K. natural gas advanced.

EU allowances for December increased 3 percent to close at 6.80 euros ($8.66) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, the biggest one-day jump since Dec. 20. United Nations Certified Emission Reduction credits for December were 3.1 percent higher at 3.71 euros a ton.

European carbon has dropped 54 percent in the past year as the region’s debt crisis weakened the region’s economy amid rising supply. The UN-overseen executive board that regulates the offset market handed out 21.5 million tons of new CERs (CERSTOTL) in the two weeks ending Jan. 6, according to data from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change website compiled by Bloomberg.

Allowances may drop to a record low this week as the European Investment Bank reports Jan. 11 on its first sales of 2013 permits, the first year of the market’s third phase, said Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Energy Market Report Jan12:

Our monthly analysis of the UK gas and power markets is now available on line for the month of Januar 2012. The service is intended to keep you up to date with all the major news in Europe’s gas and power markets. It is also designed to keep power executives focused on market activity in an easy to digest format.

UK gas rises as weather due to turn cooler

UK prompt gas prices rose on Monday morning as cooler weather forecasts towards the end of the week increased the demand outlook and after a drop in gas flows from one liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal left the system tightly supplied.

The within-day gas contract gained 1.05 pence on Monday, rising to 53.90 pence per therm, after supply from the South Hook LNG terminal fell to the lowest since the beginning of the year, tightening supply margins.


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Wind power is expensive and ineffective at cutting CO2 say Civitas

Wind farms earn £1m to shut down over Christmas and New Year gales

The gales battering Britain have been so strong that many turbines have had to be shut down for safety reasons and the National Grid forced to increase output from gas and coal fired power stations to make up the shortfall.

At one site, near Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, 110mph winds were so strong that 15ft blades were blown off three turbines.

On other occasions, often during periods when the wind is still strong but slightly less gusty, operators have been asked to turn off their turbines, because they were flooding the network with more electricity than was needed.

On the 23 occasions since Christmas Eve on which this has occurred, operators have received more than £1 million from the National Grid.

The so-called “constraint payments”, ultimately passed on to household bills, are paid to suppliers at times when the network is unable to absorb excess power being generated.

Friday, 6 January 2012

British government 'gambling with energy policy'

More than 20 years since the privatisation of electricity and the United Kingdom government is to introduce measures - which it hopes will deliver new nuclear power stations, more renewables, lower prices and guarantee more energy security in the long term. New analysis shows that this strategy is a high political gamble. It will require considerable market intervention to get close to achieving the decarbonisation and new-build the government wants. But it risks significantly increasing fuel poverty and prices for industry in the medium term.

In his March 2011 Budget, British Chancellor George Osborne announced a new unilateral UK carbon price floor - to be known as carbon price support - to start in 2013. This will operate by "topping up" the price of carbon set within the European Emissions Trading System. This topping up will then ensure that the UK's own set trajectory is met. The carbon price floor will tax the 75 per cent - and growing - of Britain's grid, which is fossil fuel based like gas, coal and oil. Its role is to incentivise those who invest in new low carbon technology. But relative to current projections for the EETS price by 2020, the new unilateral UK price could nearly double the carbon price on today's figures. Importantly, this will affect many UK generators with vast interests in fossil fuel plant whose emissions will face the price floor from 2013. The carbon price floor will, therefore, increase the wholesale price of domestic electricity as a consequence of increasing the costs incurred by oil, coal and gas-fired power stations.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Baking giant #Warburtons looking to #renewable energy

Bakers Warburtons has announced plans to potentially install renewables on its properties around the UK.

The business, founded in Bolton in 1876, reveals in its first Corporate Responsibility Review published today (January 5) that it currently sources no power at all from renewables.

However, according to the report that is all set to change with plans for solar, wind and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) all mooted.

The report states the business, which has locations in Bolton, London, Nottingham and elsewhere, has a total roof space of 1.27m square feet making installing solar 'a real possibility'.

Although the report makes no reference to Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), which could have benefitted the business had it invested in solar earlier.

It does though indicate wind 'may also be an option' for some of its bakeries.

How #solar #power can help the billion people without #electricity

After the Durban talks last month, climate realists must face the reality that "shared sacrifice," however necessary eventually, has proven a catastrophically bad starting point for global collaboration. Nations have already spent decades debating who was going to give up how much first in exchange for what. So we need to seek opportunities — arenas where there are advantages, not penalties, for those who first take action — both to achieve first-round emission reductions and to build trust and cooperation.

One of the major opportunities lies in providing energy access for the more than 1.2 billion people who don't have electricity, most of whom, in business-as-usual scenarios, still won't have it in 2030. These are the poorest people on the planet. Ironically, the world's poorest can best afford the most sophisticated lighting — off-grid combinations of solar panels, power electronics, and LED lights. And this creates an opportunity for which the economics are compelling, the moral urgency profound, the development benefits enormous, and the potential leverage game changing.

The cost of coal and copper — the ingredients of conventional grid power — are soaring. Meanwhile, the cost of solar panels and LEDs, the ingredients of distributed renewable power, are racing down even faster.

If we want the poor to benefit from electricity we cannot wait for the grid, and we cannot rely on fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency, historically a grid-centric, establishment voice, admits that half of those without electricity today will never be wired. The government of India estimates that two-thirds of its non-electrified households need distributed power.

'Poop to power' program turns pig manure into #sustainable #energy

The nearly 9,000 hogs at Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkin County, N.C., produce 400,000 gallons of manure every week. Since the waste had too high a nitrogen content to be used as fertilizer, owner Loyd Bryant used to pump that waste into a local lagoon, where it released methane, ammonia and "an unholy stink" according to the Los Angeles Times.

Companies cautious on hedging in headline-driven #energy markets

Energy-intensive companies are reluctant to pursue aggressive hedging programmes in the current market environment, where headlines are having a disproportionate effect on prices compared with the fundamentals, say consultants

Downward price pressure from mild weather and the eurozone crisis is further discouraging corporates to hedge at this time and risk locking in higher prices. However, uncertainty over Iran has been keeping oil prices buoyed so far this year. The possibility of sanctions disrupting Iranian supply, the fourth largest in the world, has helped keep Brent futures at an all-time high average of $111 a barrel in 2011, according to research by Barclays Capital.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

British #Energy Bills Increase Despite Less Consumption

Well, there is good news for the environment. Recently, Brits have been consuming less power. This is all well and good, but most Brits are not doing this to save nature. They are doing it to save their wallets. Reports go on to show that British household energy bills actually increased by 9.2 percent on average this year. Oddly enough, bills are rising despite the fact that the average level of consumption was lower than in 2010.

These reports go on to show that Brits paid almost an extra 100 pounds for gas and electricity this year when compared to last year. This is of course more than inflation. Gas suppliers want consumers to believe that they are paying more money due to an increase in wholesale gas prices. If this is true, then consumer bills would likely increase. However, some reports suggest that wholesale gas prices are already coming back down. Despite this fact, household bills are still high. Furthermore, these prices show no sign of coming back down anytime soon.

Reports show that the overall energy consumption level in the UK actually fell by an amazing 2.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011. This was driven by a 6.4 percent fall in gas demand. On top of this, electricity demand fell by 1.5 percent as well. This information was brought to light by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

New Amazing #Solar Power Breakthrough

A recently announced solar power breakthrough in solar technology could change the way electricity is generated for good. Researchers have developed a new type of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell that uses a system similar to that employed by plants to capture solar energy. 

These new solar photovoltaic cells have been labelled ‘dye-sensitised solar cells’ (DSSC) because they are made from a nanocrystalline titanium oxide film plus a sensitizer dye, which can then be printed onto building materials such as steel, glass and plastic allowing them to generate electricity.

UK switch to low-carbon #energy will cost £5,000 per person a year

Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation's entire energy system, according to government figures. But the cost of developing clean and sustainable electricity, heating and transport will be very similar to replacing today's ageing and polluting power stations, the analysis finds.

The forecasts come from a unique open-source analysis package, called the 2050 pathways calculator, which was created by Professor David MacKay, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The predictions challenge suggestions that the costs of embracing low-carbon energy and meeting the UK's legally binding commitments to tackle global warming will be higher than the bill would be for using traditional energy sources. They are also supported by a major EU project that found developing renewable energy was no more expensive than alternatives.

"The calculator takes the poison out of the debate," MacKay told the Guardian. "The key thing is that any scenario you choose has to add up." He said the tool, constructed with the help of hundreds of experts and a thorough literature review, is used to enable "open source policy making", where anyone can see and challenge the assumptions made and the data used. "You can play at being secretary of state, and you have to make a plan which is not too unpopular."

The History of MIT’s Blatant Suppression of #ColdFusion

A stunning report written by the late Eugene Mallove details the efforts of professors, researchers, and even the former President of MIT to squash cold fusion at all costs. If you have any doubt that Pons and Fleischmann had enemies desperately trying to discredit them, this article will erase it! A funeral party or wake to mock cold fusion was held by biased hot fusion scientists at MIT before their experiment to replicate Pons and Fleischmann’s results was even complete!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Revolution in #Solar Energy Technology? Cheap Quantum Dot Solar Paint

Researchers have reduced the preparation time of quantum dot solar cells to less than an hour by changing the form to a one-coat quantum dot solar paint.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are coated with cadmium sulfide (CdS) or cadmium selenide (CdSe.) The composite nanoparticles, when mixed with a solvent, form a paste that can be applied as one-step paint to a transparent conducting material, which creates electricity when exposed to light.

Although the paint form is currently about five times less efficient than the highest recorded efficiency for the multifilm form, the researchers predict that its efficiency can be improved, which could lead to a simple and economically viable way to prepare solar cells.

The scientists responsible for the research breakthrough, Mathew P. Genovese of the University of Waterloo in Canada, with Ian V. Lightcap and Prashant V. Kamat of the Radiation Laboratory and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, will be publishing their study in an upcoming issue of the American Chemical Society's publication Nano.

During an interview with PhysOrg.com Professor Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame's Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano) and who led the research, explained, "Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals which exhibit size-dependent optical and electronic properties. In a quantum dot sensitized solar cell, the excitation of semiconductor quantum dot or semiconductor nanocrystal is followed by electron injection into TiO2 nanoparticles. These electrons are then transferred to the collecting electrode surface to generate photocurrent.

The holes that remain in the semiconductor quantum dot are removed by a hole conductor or redox couple and are transported to a counter electrode. If we can optimize the paint preparation, it should be possible for anyone to open a bottle (or a can in the long run) and apply it to a conducting surface. This will decrease the variability between lab to lab or person to person as one encounters in a multi-step process. Having fewer fabrication steps and ambient preparative conditions should provide an economically viable transformative technology."

Wind now providing bigger slice of #green energy

NEARLY 10% of the UK's power supplies are now generated by renewable energy sources - with wind turbines off the Suffolk coast playing an increasingly big role.

Figures released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change show renewable sources generated 9% of the UK's electricity from July to September this year - an increase of 1% on the same period the previous year.

It highlighted the fact that the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind has increased "substantially" compared to the same quarter in 2010, partly because of increased capacity and partly because it was the windiest September for at least 10 years.

The Greater Gabbard wind farm off Suffolk is now operational, and there will be further developments in the year ahead including East Anglia One and the Galloper Wind Farm, which moved a step forward earlier this month after passing a planning hurdle.

UK slumps to third-bottom of European #renewable energy league

The UK is languishing third-bottom of the European renewable energy league, published today.

The share of renewable energy in the UK's final energy consumption was just 3.3%, slightly ahead of only two other of the European Union's 27 member states, Malta and Luxembourg.

The report also reveals that out of all the European nations, the UK has the biggest gap to bridge to achieve the legally binding 2020 target of sourcing 15% of the country's energy mix from renewables.

The UK needs to increase its energy share from renewables by 11.7% over the next 9 years.

Sweden topped the league with 46.9% of the national energy mix sourced from renewable technology, followed by Latvia (34.3%), Finland (33.6%), Austria (30.7%) and Portugal (24.7%).

The European Commission statistics were revealed today as part of the EurObserv'ER project.