Thursday, 28 June 2012

UK's renewable energy award winners announced


RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has announced the winners of the association's inaugural Energy Awards.

More than three-hundred guests, including business leaders and politicians, attended the awards ceremony in London last night.

Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive said: “We created these awards to recognise and celebrate excellence in the wind and marine energy industries. The extraordinarily high calibre of the winners, and indeed of all those nominated, shows there is a great deal to celebrate.

IKEA To Use 100% #Renewable Energy In Sweden With Addition Of Wind Farm


International home furnishing retail giant IKEA wants to use only energy generated by renewable sources for its operations and has recently made a move towards meeting this goal with the installation of 30 wind turbines in Härjedalen, Sweden.

Named the Glötesvålen Wind Farm because it is sited over 3,300 feet up on Glötesvålen mountain, construction will begin this summer and is expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2014. Sweden-based O2 Vind AB is the developer and manager of the wind farm and has ordered the 30 turbines needed for the project from Danish manufacturer Vestas. At full capacity it will generate 90-MW of electricity each year, supplying enough power for the needs of 48,000 average-sized homes, and will reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by 176,000 tonnes.

“At IKEA, we want to take a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon society by only using 100 percent renewable energy in our global operations. By only using wind power in Sweden, it is an exciting and important step toward reaching that goal. We will not only be self-sufficient in electricity in Sweden, generating enough to supply all IKEA buildings and operations in the country, but it will give us opportunities to supply IKEA stores in other countries with wind power,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

Video - Poultry power: Turning chicken manure to #energy

China may be the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, but it is also a pioneer in the development of green technology.

Martin Patience has visited a chicken farm on the outskirts of Beijing where the birds' manure is being used to create energy.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Npower The Market Report June 27th

Watch npower’s Magali Hodgson as she brings you the latest power market news.

And check out our latest energy report:


Generate Electricity From Walking


When it comes to movement, we’re more used to expending energy than generating it. Petrol for cars, fuel for planes – even food for our bodies before and after exercise. However, researchers in the UK have designed a new device that could allow the humble act of walking to change the way we think about energy on the move and generate electricity from walking.

By placing a device – similar to a low-profile knee brace – around a person’s knee, researchers are able to harness the movement of the leg whilst performing everyday activities to create energy.

Comprised of two ring-like structures, placed one inside the other, as the knee bends the innermost ring rotates. This rotation plucks at small plectra in the channel of the outer ring, causing them to vibrate. This vibration then uses the piezoelectric effect to generate electricity.

At present, the British research team are currently only capable of producing around 2mw of energy from this new device, they are confident that with further experimentation this could be pushed up to around 30mw.

CBI calls for carbon tax to be scrapped


he Confederation of British Industry is calling on the government to scrap its Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and remove the number of environmental taxes, that is restricting business growth.

The business group carried out a survey of its members and found that the majority believe environmental taxes can help stimulate business, with the Landfill Tax and Vehicle Excise Duty both well regarded, but that there were now too many.

With just four such taxes in 1989, to 12 existing today, raising a combined £43.4bn in tax revenue in 2010/11.

The CRC was a tax particularly disliked, with businesses considering it over-complicated and considered as “a cost of doing business in the UK”. Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment policy, said: ‘The current uncoordinated approach to environmental taxes is not working for business. An independent review of environmental taxes has become an urgent priority. With a more joined-up approach, environmental taxes could provide certainty for businesses, unlock investment, and reduce the impact on the environment without damaging UK competitiveness.’

Economic benefits from UK nuclear plans


A report for EDF Energy has put some figures on the benefits to the UK economy that could flow from the company's plans for new nuclear power plants.

The report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) takes the UK's longstanding lack of infrastructure investment as its starting point. It notes that public and private investment in British roads, rails and power plants has lagged behind that of many similar countries in recent decades. This longstanding issue has combined with the planned retirements of 12 GWe of fossil and 7.1 GWe of old nuclear power plants by 2020 to mean the country faces a potential power generation shortfall.

At the same time, climate change concerns have led British politicians to put in place a target of 80% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The target is virtually unachievable without the decarbonisation of the electricity sector by 2030, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Leaving appliances on standby 'can cost UK households up to £86 a year'


Losing money while you sleep is easy, according to a new study which has found that leaving our everyday appliances on "standby" costs UK households between £50 and £86 a year on average.

Televisions, satellite boxes and other video and audio equipment are the worst offenders, but people are increasingly leaving computers, mobile phones and other appliances from washing machines to dishwashers on standby, where an appliance appears to be off but is still using energy.

Standby use accounts for about 9% to 16% of the average electricity bill of £530 a year and is helping to push the UK's electricity use upwards, but with little benefit to consumers, according to a new study called Powering the Nation, from the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

Turning off equipment left idling on standby could be a quick and cheap way for people to start shaving pounds from their energy bills, according to the EST, helping to combat fuel poverty and cut unnecessary carbon emissions.

Costa coffee owner cuts its carbon


Ever think about how much carbon goes into making your coffee? It’s a question the owner of the Costa coffee chain has thought about – and it says it has saved more than 1500 tonnes of CO2 in 2011.

Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant group, cut the same amount of carbon as taking 250 medium-sized cars off the road across its hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.

The savings are an 11% cut in carbon emissions relative to sales revenue, according to the latest Environment Report from the group which also owns Premier Inn.

UK homes getting more hungry for #electricity


UK homes are consuming much more electricity than previously estimated, a report described as the most detailed of its kind has suggested.

For example, it found that up to 16% of households' energy bills are spent on devices left on standby.

It is estimated that domestic energy use accounts for more than a quarter of the nation's CO2 emissions.

The report was commissioned by the government and the Energy Saving Trust to unearth the nation's energy habits.

"This standby power is double what we have assumed it to be in past models and policy assumptions," explained Paula Owen, the report's lead author.

"Before, we have always gone with an 8% figure so it was quite a shock."

Within in this study, Dr Owen explained, standby had a slightly wider remit from its traditional perception of the red lights on TVs and videos.

Monday, 25 June 2012

US Government Gives Classified Tesla Technology to UN for Sustainable Development Scheme


Wireless energy transfer (WET), a.k.a. wireless energy transmission, is the transference of electromagnetic energy transmitted from a central power source without the use of connecting wires.

Tesla’s coil experiments, proving the feasibility of WET, during his experiments in Colorado in the early 1900s were the pre-cursor to the “inventions” in this field today.

After Tesla died, the US government confiscated all documents pertaining to his experiments and classified them. Since the 1950s the US government has held this technology in secret.

In the UK, the induction power transfer (IPT) is the first commercially available wireless electric car charger. HaloIPT, a start-up corporation, has released this technology in certain areas of England’s motorways or car parks. Electric cars will be charged automatically when the integrated receiver pad is enabled.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Brussels tells UK to up VAT on energy saving materials or face Court of Justice


In a statement (here) the Commission said it had asked the UK to amend its legislation. If the legislation is not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission said it may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

The seemingly perverse move is likely to baffle industry. A Treasury spokesperson said it "did not agree with the Commission" and "would not have introduced a reduced rate if we thought it was not allowed." Treasury will "study the Commission's argument carefully", she added.

Renewable energy in line to power #eBay data centre


The construction of a 6 megawatt (MW) renewable energy-powered data centre has been announced by eBay, as the online marketplace steps up its green credentials.

The centre, based in Utah, will use 30 Bloom Energy servers, each of which generates 1.75m kilowatt hours of electricity a year. This will make it the “largest non-utility fuel cell installation” in the US.

“We believe the future of commerce can be greener”, said John Donahoe, eBay president and CEO.

“Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionising how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionise how shopping is powered.

“We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data centre energy architecture. Running our data centres primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.”

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Statnett To Build Power Cables From Norway To Germany And UK


The Norwegian oil and energy department Thursday announced that Statnett, the country's electricity grid owner and operator, has been approved to build a power cable between the Nordic country and Germany, as well as one to the U.K.

Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe and Germany's Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Rosler met today and said they expect that Statnett's plans for a power cable between Norway and Germany can be realized in 2018.

Statnett, German system operator TenneT, and German national bank KfW are working together on the 1,400MW project, with Statnett owning 50% of the project, KfW at least 25% and TenneT the remaining portion.

Read more:

Meter firm Energy Assets Group reports maiden profit


The Livingston-based firm said it made a pre-tax profit of £2.9m in the year to the end of March, while revenue increased by 32% to £12.7m.

The profit figure was at the top end of market expectations.

Energy Assets said its business outlook for the current financial year remained "positive".

The company, which raised £15m in new equity funding on its flotation, said it would continue its main strategy of expanding its market share as a Meter Asset Manager (MAM) within the UK industrial and commercial gas sector.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Chiltern District Council reduces energy bills with two PV installations | Solar Power Portal


Chiltern District Council has installed solar PV on the roof of the King George V Council Offices and the Chesham Leisure Centre in a bid to reduce rising energy costs and their dependence on electricity suppliers. The project was completed by InstaGen in November 2011.

Both systems were installed on high profile public buildings requiring detailed site surveys, system design and careful management. InstaGen worked hard with the Council’s Principle Engineer to ensure each stage in the process covered all the necessary legal and health and safety requirements for such an installation.

The site surveys were carried out on both the buildings by InstaGen’s renewable energy consultant, Waldon Energy, which proposed a bespoke design to improve the efficiency of the system on the Council Offices, with a simpler panel system on the Leisure Centre roof.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Is Football the Next Wave of Renewable Energy? | Energy Live News


Five Harvard students have created a concept football that is able to produce and store electricity whilst it is being played with.

Dubbed the ‘Soccket’, this revolutionary ball is capable of producing enough energy to power a light for around three hours, from being kicked around for just thirty minutes.

Using an induction coil fitted into the centre of it’s construction, the Soccket contains a magnet, which rapidly oscillates when the ball is in motion. This oscillation powers a motor, and the electricity is stored in an on-board battery.

An AC Adaptor is fitted behind one the panels of the Soccket, allowing a multitude of appliances to be powered in such a manner, though the designers – Jessica Lin, Julia Silverman, Jessica Matthews, Hemali Thakkaras and Aviva Presser – envision it’s best use is to charge mobile phones and power lights.

Las Vegas plugging into #solar energy


John Bettencourt smiled from under his wide-brimmed hat as the Southern Nevada sun blazed across the 25-acre solar array he has been installing in northeast Las Vegas.

“Solar technology is changing so fast. It's really pretty incredible,” said Bettencourt, manager of the photovoltaic project under construction next to the city of Las Vegas’ wastewater treatment plant near Vegas Valley Road and Nellis Boulevard.

The $19.7 million project, which is being funded by the city's Sanitary Sewer Enterprise Fund, is one of the largest of its kind for a municipal government.

“The initial panel installation has gone very quickly, and it should be online by the end of the year,” said David Mendenhall, the city’s environmental manager.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Do Smart Meters Present A Privacy Risk?


A UK privacy group says that the increased use of smart meters is a risk to users’ privacy.

Privacy International, a London-based organization that monitors privacy policies both in the UK and worldwide, says that the energy meters are able to collect data such as when users are home, how they spend their leisure time and the kind of medical devices that they are using.

While energy firms in the UK have attempted to assure the public that their privacy rights will be protected, Privacy International argues that proposed safeguards do not do enough to address the concerns. Over 30 million smart meters are to be installed in UK homes by 2019.

According to the UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change, users will have the ability to opt out of the data collection. Energy UK published a document on its web site that attempts to alleviate some of the consumers’ fears. For example, the company pledges that, “Consumption information will not be collected in real-time (your energy supplier won’t be able to see the exact time you have used energy, just a total amount used between any two separate meter readings) unless it is needed for a particular product or service you have agreed to take.”

However, Anna Fielder of Privacy International told BBC News that simply giving consumers the choice to opt out will not do enough.

Source: redOrbit (

UK to plug into green Irish #energy


A deal to enable exports of renewable energy from Ireland to the UK could be in place within six months as the two states start formal discussions on the issue next week

TALKS ON A deal that could pave the way for green electricity exports from the Republic to Britain are likely to begin in earnest next week when the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, meets his opposite number, Charles Hendry, in London.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

EU watchdog flags up smart meter privacy risk

Tighter controls over smart meter data collection are needed to prevent snooping on the public, an EU watchdog has warned.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said, while the devices would help reduce the carbon footprint in people’s homes, the data collected and sent back to companies could also be used to “infer information about domestic activities”.

The watchdog brought up the matter in response to the European Commission’s plans to rollout smart meters across the continent by the end of the decade.

Scot’s a Hot-Spot for Renewable Energy Investment

Whilst all we’ve had to report over the past few weeks is Coalition-led cuts and restructuring to the incentives for renewable public and commercial energy in England, Scotland is set to becoming the leading location in the UK for attracting investment in renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Investment

A projected £8billion investment – equivalent to £4.5m per day – comes after the 2011-12 reports compiled by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed that £1.7 billion of new renewable energy projects were being completed north of the Scottish border.

As well as attracting further interest and driving down the cost of public and commercial energy in the highlands, 4,411 jobs were created directly as a result of the expansion into ‘green’ energy.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Scot’s a Hot-Spot for Renewable Energy Investment

Whilst all we’ve had to report over the past few weeks is Coalition-led cuts and restructuring to the incentives for renewable public and commercial energy in England, Scotland is set to becoming the leading location in the UK for attracting investment in renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Investment

A projected £8billion investment – equivalent to £4.5m per day – comes after the 2011-12 reports compiled by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed that £1.7 billion of new renewable energy projects were being completed north of the Scottish border.

As well as attracting further interest and driving down the cost of public and commercial energy in the highlands, 4,411 jobs were created directly as a result of the expansion into ‘green’ energy.

UK Business Energy Costs - Infographic - Greener Ideal

UK Energy Market Report June 2012 | The Market Leading Energy Consultant -


Our monthly analysis of the UK gas and power markets is now available on line for the month of June 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 reactor starts up again


EDF Energy, the UK's biggest nuclear power producer, reconnected its 550 megawatt Dungeness B22 reactor to the grid on Sunday it has confirmed.

"Reactor 22 was synchronised to the National Grid at 23.30 hours on Sunday June 3, following completion of its statutory and refuelling outage," a spokesman said.

The start up was a day later than planned. It had planned to restart operations on June 2 after completing a statutory outage period that commenced on August 5 last year.

Monday, 11 June 2012

June 2012 - UK Energy Market

The fallout from the Greek elections renewed eurozone instability fears during May, forcing GB wholesale energy prices to drop and international energy markets to reach new lows.

Annual coal hit a 20-month low of $98.8/t on 24 May on continuing weaker demand from the Far East, while the same day month-ahead Brent crude oil slipped to a five-month low of $105.6/bl. Carbon also struggled to bounce back after recent record lows. These factors helped drag annual gas and electricity prices down.

Smart meters 'can cut small firm's energy bill by fifth'


Small businesses being hammered by rising energy costs have been offered help from brokers and power companies.

Business energy prices have risen by 58 per cent since 2010.

And the first quarterly Business Energy Barometer of 500 firms by energy broker Business Juice found that nearly a third of small companies said the impact of rising prices was so severe it would change the way they operated, while one in 12 feared that they could be pushed out of business.

Read more:

Farmers helping UK reach renewable energy target

Friday, 8 June 2012

UK-Norway energy deal to create 1,600 UK jobs

New energy projects will help boost UK's economy

New energy projects will help boost UK's economy



Opinion Former News

IET: Energy – The Big Six: comment from Europe’s largest engineers’ group

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Europe’s largest engineers’ body, with 150,000 members in 127 countries, has commented on the recent summit held by Prime Minister David Cameron, and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, with the six biggest power firms, consumer groups, and the regulator Ofgem.

CPA: Industry Launches Green Deal Opportunities Publication

A publication outlining the Green Deal Opportunities for Industry has been published jointly by the Construction Products Association Green Deal Project Team and the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes.

IET: Electricity Market Reform: Action needed to ensure sufficient generation gets built

If the UK is to keep to its environmental commitments then electricity market reform (EMR) needs to quickly facilitate investment in new large scale generation, whilst enabling transition to a low carbon energy system over the next ten years, say the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Related News

Households to pay more under coalition's energy plans

Draft energy bill will be deeply controversial in next 12 months

Consumers will have to pay even more for their energy to fund the switch to renewable energy, under legislation to be published later.



60 per cent rise in energy bills 'possible'

UK energy bills could rise up to 60 per cent by 2016

The energy regulator has announced that UK energy bills could rise up to 60 per cent by 2016 due to climate change.

Lib Dems: Our 'green deal' will create 100,000 jobs

Huhne: 100,000 jobs could be created in home insulation

The Liberal Democrats have announced the delivery of the party's manifesto pledge of a 'green deal' for insulating Britain's homes - claiming the plans will create 100,000 jobs.

Related Analysis and Comment

Sketch: Cameron's bluster-o-meter was off the scale

Ed Miliband succeeded in riling David Cameron in the Commons this pm

By the time Miliband had finished Cameron had transformed from a sanguine, professional politician into a mess of a man.



Comment: Does Ed Davey have what it takes to replace Chris Huhne?

Andy Atkins: 'The key challenge for Mr Davey is fixing the UK’s broken energy system'

Huhne was respected by green campaigners. What can Ed Davey do to earn the same reputation?



Cameron: No safeguards means no UK involvement in new Europe

Cameron: No safeguards means no UK involvement in new Europe

British prime minister David Cameron outlines why he vetoed proposals for greater fiscal integration in Europe in the early hours of Friday morning:



Over 1,600 jobs will be created in the UK as part of an initiative to secure the nation's long-term energy supply, according to prime minister David Cameron's speech in Oslo yesterday.

The UK-Norway energy partnership, a bilateral agreement between the UK and Norway, will focus on strengthening the energy links between the two countries, with the goal of ensuring a secure and affordable energy supply for both countries into the future.

At the heart of the partnership will be a joint business advisory group to find ways to incentivize investment and encourage innovative energy technologies.

The executives of ten major energy companies, worth a combined £400 billion, are set to take part in the initiative, working together on issues such as environmentally sensitive oil exploration, electricity interconnection, and stable long-term oil and gas supplies.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

CleanTech pioneer raising £5 million

Green-Tide Turbines, the Cambridge UK company whose technology can generate energy from tidal power, is raising £5 million to accelerate commercialisation.
The funding will be a mix of angel and VC cash and possibly some grants, although these are pretty thin on the ground at present.

G-TT also plans to recruit a highly experienced CEO – ex Rolls-Royce – to take over the push for global markets post funding.

Founder and current CEO Michael Evans told Business Weekly that the company’s technology development is going great guns thanks to a number of key partnerships with influential players.

Evans said: “We have gained the support of the Environment Agency, which will be providing access to facilities north of Cambridge for installation of our river turbine prototypes and work with us to develop standards and assess environmental impacts with Southampton University.

“A lucrative Joint Venture in Rio is ready to go and will be initiated once funding in the UK company is secured. We have been asked to submit a proposal for installation of two prototype turbines in the heat exchanger outflow of a nuclear power station south of Rio.

DECC proposes building data security requirements into smart meter licence conditions

In its latest consultation (18-page / 118KB PDF) on use of the technology the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set out steps suppliers will have to carry out to ensure their systems are secure to an "appropriate standard" in the period running up until the launch of its Data and Communications Company (DCC).

Suppliers will have to conduct an initial risk assessment of their end-to-end systems as well as ongoing risk assessments as new threats emerge, and will have to have annual independent security risk audits conducted by external specialists.

Suppliers will also be expected to have incident management procedures, enabling them to identify and respond to security incidents in a coordinated manner, in place along with business continuity and disaster recovery procedures. They will also be expected to install physical security controls to protect equipment that interacts with the smart metering system.

French president Francois Hollande cuts retirement age


The bulk of those are expected to come through plans from Norwegian oil services group Aker Solutions to develop its west London offices into an engineering hub, creating 1,300 jobs by 2015. It currently has around 3,100 employees in the UK.

More concrete announcements on companies’ expansion and investment plans are expected after Mr Cameron and his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday meet senior executives from ten energy companies, including Aker, National Grid, Centrica, Shell and Norway’s state-owned giant Statoil.

Mr Cameron on Wednesday became the first British prime minister to visit Norway in 26 years, when he arrived in Oslo for a working dinner with Mr Stoltenberg.

The two leaders will on Thursday outline plans to strengthen the energy links between their countries, by working together on long-term gas supplies, oil and gas exploration, investment in renewable energy and electricity interconnection.

In addition, a joint business advisory group will be set up to allow companies to talk to government directly about how to spur on investment and to encourage new technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

E.ON - Over one million SMEs unaware of energy savings on offer in the cloud

The study surveyed SMEs in business, professional, finance and property services and exposed a severe lack of knowledge of available cloud-related energy efficiencies that ultimately impact the bottom line. Cloud computing allows SMEs to only pay for the computing power they use with the ability to scale requirements up or down as needed - crucially without the need of additional physical servers. Energy savings are therefore inherent with the cloud as fewer machines equate to greater electricity savings. Yet despite the significant savings available with this technology, over a third (39%) of SMEs admitted to not even knowing what the cloud is.

With the findings revealing 60% of SMEs are concerned by their energy expenditure, E.ON is on a mission to get British businesses energy fit by providing the tools and advice to better understand the amount of electricity they consume, how to cut bills and save energy.

Revealing a lack of foresight when it comes to business growth, less than a third (30%) of SMEs consider the impact on energy costs when making business plans.

Cloud knowledge by industry sector:

SMEs in property services were the least knowledgeable regarding cloud computing, with only a quarter (25%) admitting to knowing what it is, compared to over three quarters (77%) of those in business services who were aware;

Surprisingly SMEs in the finance sector are the least savvy when it comes to financial savings - a meagre 3% were aware they can save up to 90% on their IT energy footprint by moving their business into the cloud.

Iain Walker, Head of Business Sales at E.ON, said: 'Energy is a hot topic for UK SMEs and it's clear they are unaware of the energy saving solutions available to them. By adopting cloud computing, small businesses are in a win-win situation, they will be able to improve their productivity through its flexible approach and will benefit from savings on their IT energy expenditure.'

Phil McCabe, Senior Policy Adviser at the Forum of Private Business, said: 'As with other green technologies, it is important that business owners realise that embracing cloud computing can significantly reduce bottom line costs, as well as their energy footprint.

'Using the internet rather than physical servers is a flexible and effective way of managing accounts and other paperwork, for example helping businesses to adhere to HM Revenue & Custom's record-keeping guidelines, sidestepping the aggravation and cost of more traditional business accounting systems.'

E.ON recently announced a seven step plan to make energy easier for its SME customers, including new industry standards for business sales by energy brokers, better billing standards, pay-as-you-go smart meters and a customer panel to reflect the views of business, to ensure they receive the best possible service from their energy supplier. To find out more or to join E.ON's new YourSay panel for business customers please visit: .

Catalyst Commercial Review | Energy Live News


Catalyst is the UK’s market leading independent business energy consultant, specialising in energy procurement services, sustainability and environmental solutions.

For over a decade Catalyst has been helping companies reduce their energy operating costs by decisive procurement and a range of energy management solutions.

Experts in our field, we currently work on behalf of thousands of UK companies helping them to make significant savings in their energy bills, through well informed procurement decisions, by eliminating and recovering overpayments, and by helping those customers manage their energy consumption through the Catalyst Energy AdvantageTM with consumption data reports, and on going invoice validation analysis.

Collectively we have helped save them millions of pounds and helped to significantly reduce their carbon emissions.

Bribes Help Secure Windfarms


This week, chairman of the Commons energy and climate change committee Tim Yeo has claimed that the best way to win support for new wind farms is with direct fincancial incentives. Or bribes to me and you. In addition, the Mr. Yeo also warned Chancelor George Osbourne not to cut subsidies to onshore facilities.

Windfarms have been a subject of much debate amongst the Coalition government, not least because of the Conservative side of the house’s overall hostility towards this particular method of energy production.

Whilst more than 3,000 onshore windfarms exist in the UK, the Coalition government’s long-term goal is to double that figure by 2020 to increase the output for local and commercial energy.

UK G4S Utility Services wins E.ON Smart Metering Foundation Contract

G4S Utility Services (G4S) is further increasing its footprint in the smart metering sector with the announcement it has been awarded the Foundation smart metering managed service contract by E.ON.

The service will support the installation, commissioning and full data communications process of industry compliant metering devices. Additional value added services will also be delivered, including support for legacy smart meters and providing interoperability services for smart meters following change of supplier.

G4S has been providing traditional meter reading services to E.ON for many years, but this is the first time that smart metering services are being included and recognises G4S’ increasing involvement in smart meter technology.

Kim Challis, Managing Director at G4S Utility Services, said:

“This is great news for us and we’re proud that E.ON has chosen us to provide this service. As technology and energy provision changes, we’re moving with the times and that means increasing involvement in the provision, maintenance and operation of Smart metering technology. Our expertise in data management and Smart services allows us to provide an interoperability solution, meaning we can serve all E.ON’s Smart meters, whether installed by E.ON and their agents or inherited by E.ON on change of supplier. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with E.ON.”

Don Leiper, Director of New Business at E.ON, said:

“We’ve already installed over 100,000 smart meters across the country and will install one million meters during the foundation period which runs until 2014. Our customers want more accurate bills, more innovative products and more control over their energy use. Smart meters give us the opportunity to provide this and we’re working hard to ensure that our customers who wish to receive the early benefits of smart metering are able to do so.

Energy firm to appear at committee

The energy firm behind a controversial offshore wind farm development is to appear before Holyrood's Energy Committee.

Vattenfall, the company which is facing strong opposition from US businessman Donald Trump over its proposed development off the coast of Aberdeen, will be questioned by MSPs as part of an inquiry into the Scottish Government's renewables targets.

The firm is part of a group behind the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in the North Sea. Its location on the horizon near Mr Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course prompted claims from the tycoon that he could stop his investment.

The Energy Committee has already heard evidence from Mr Trump, and will today hear from representatives from Vattenfall, alongside other firms Burcote Wind, Renewable energy Consultants Ltd and Scottish Power.

Vattenfall's written submission to the committee, published before today's session, focused on land-based wind.

Utilitywise raises £6.86m through a share placing ahead of AIM float

Green energy consultant Utilitywise has defied the gloom, raising £6.86m through a share placing ahead of a float on AIM.

Trading in its shares will start next week and it will have a market value of £36.9m.

The company, based in South Shields, Tyneside, was founded in 2006 and trebled its revenues last year to £11.7m. Profits grew to £3.5m.

Read more:

Is this the end of wind farms in the UK? George Osborne slashes subsidies


George Osborne is demanding huge cuts in government aid for wind farms – a step which could kill plans for the construction of hundreds of turbines across the country.

The Chancellor has told the Treasury to draw up plans for a reduction of 25 per cent in subsidies for onshore wind farms.

The intervention will provoke widespread anger among his Lib Dem coalition partners, who strongly support plans to put up hundreds of turbines in the countryside.

Environmental groups say the cut in subsidy would put an end to the development of further wind power sites – an outcome that would be welcomed by thousands of campaigners who are opposing plans for turbines near their homes.

Only last week the campaigners scored a major victory when a High Court judge ruled that the right of villagers in Norfolk to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government’s energy targets.

Last night Tory backbenchers supported Mr Osborne’s determination to slash the amount spent on renewable energy by the Government at a time of austerity.

Douglas Carswell said: ‘Why has it taken so long? A centre-right government should be bringing an end to this. One of the reasons that the economy is not growing is because energy costs are so ridiculously high because of this wind farm scam which is adding hidden surcharges to our bills.’

Read more:

Leaked documents reveal UK fight to dilute EU green energy targets

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

£8bn green investment to create total of 8000 jobs

The table, compiled by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), currently puts Scotland second behind Yorkshire with confirmed announcements to date of £1.7bn, creating 4411 jobs.

Yorkshire, said DECC, has so far attracted the greatest amount of investment in renewables – £1.9bn, with another £1.8bn in the pipeline.

However, DECC pointed out that – in terms of investment value – Scotland is about to see a huge injection of £8bn, adding another 3313 jobs to the 4411 people already employed in the industry north of the Border.

Forthcoming projects include a plan by Spanish firm Gamesa to invest up to £122 million in developing a new offshore wind hub at Edinburgh's Port of Leith.

DECC said in the financial year to April, renewable energy firms unveiled plans to invest almost £7bn across the UK, supporting 20,848 jobs.

Last year, Scotland produced a record amount of renewable electricity, amounting to more than a third of its gross domestic consumption.

This exceeded the Scottish Government's 2011 target of 31%.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Coal use in UK reaches six year high


Coal use in the UK reached a six year high at the beginning of the year, according to reports. Government statistics released by DECC yesterday show coal accounted for 46% of power production in the first quarter of 2012.

The UK’s trade body said the figures suggest the out of favour fossil fuel is still alive and kicking in Britain because it’s cheaper than gas.

David Brewer, Director General for CoalPro told ELN: “Coal is the cheapest fuel around, cheaper than gas at the moment, quite why I don’t know. Gas has been expensive for some time.”

Future of UK #nuclear power hangs in balance


The future of nuclear power in the UK hangs in the balance after it emerged that crucial government funding deals could break EU law.

Industry insiders stress that state subsidies, which guarantee financial returns for companies that invest in the technology, are essential to ensure new power stations are built – but energy firm Centrica has reportedly warned proposals to guarantee energy prices could be hampered by EU state aid regulations.

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Martin Lewis sells for £87m


High-profile personal finance commentator and campaigner Martin Lewis has sold his website for up to £87m.

It is being bought by which runs an online price comparison service.

Martin Lewis will remain as editor-in-chief of MoneySavingExpert, which will retain its editorial independence via an agreed editorial code.

The deal will need to be approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Martin Lewis said: "This is great news for and its users, ensuring, with or without me, the site will be around for many years to come, maintaining our ethos of 'cutting your costs and fighting your corner'.

" has become part of people's daily lives, far bigger than the man who founded it, and now is the right time for it to stand on its own two feet."

Under the terms of the deal, Mr Lewis, who started his website in 2003, will receive an initial £35m plus shares in worth £25m.

Geothermal #energy 'could heat all homes'


Deep geothermal energy could be exploited across the UK, with “hot spots” including Cornwall, East Yorkshire, Hampshire, Northern Ireland and Scotland, according to the study for the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

But the current subsidies on offer for geothermal energy are not enough to attract international investment that can develop the industry and create thousands of jobs, the report by engineering consultants Sinclair Knight Merz found.

Deep geothermal systems can generate electricity from water heated far underground to create steam that drives turbines. They could supply almost as much power as nine nuclear reactors, the report found.

The power source could also supply enough heat directly to warm all the UK’s homes and buildings, although the REA admits the infrastructure is not in place to deliver the heat to where it is needed. However it could be developed close to areas of large heat demand such as hospitals.

The REA believes geothermal has significant potential as a “baseload” electricity source, which can be exploited as a backup to the more variable wind power and adjusted to meet electricity demand, as well as providing heat.