Industry News

Brits chose insulation over low carbon heat for their homes in October

19 November, 2021 – Homeowners that have received the Green Homes Grant voucher have been prioritising insulation improvements in their properties. The latest statistics provided by BEIS have found that, from the 46,200 energy improvement measures taken in October 2021, 69% of the improvements were insulation measures. Low carbon heating made up 25% of the energy improvement measures. The high volume of insulation improvements could be due to the lower cost of this installation when compared to low carbon heating.

Nearly 73% of Brits are ‘interested in powering their home with renewable energy’

18 November, 2021 – Ripple Energy carried out a survey of 2,000 adults and found that three quarters of people would be interested in powering their home with renewable energy. However, those surveyed have not installed onsite renewables for various reasons, including not being able to afford the costs and not being sure on how to install renewables. If you are a non-domestic property owner that is interested in installing onsite renewables, OnGen’s software, the OnGen Expert, could be a great first step to conduct a desk-based feasibility survey. Get in touch today.

London's Natural History Museum to cut emissions by 60% within a decade

18 November, 2021 – London’s Natural History Museum is the first museum to have a 1.5C-aligned science-based emissions reduction target. The museum is planning on meeting 60% reduction by 2031 and becoming net-zero by 2035 by installing onsite renewables including an air source heat pump and roof mounted solar. The museum has previously reduced emissions by installing energy efficient improvements. If you are interested in reducing emissions at your site, onsite renewables and energy efficiency improvements could be a good fit for your property. Get in touch with OnGen today.

Pressure mounts on government to reform ‘critically out of date’ TNUoS charges

16 November, 2021 – Scottish Renewables is requesting that Ofgem and the government find a solution for the high cost of Transmission Network use of System charges (TNUoS) in Scotland. The high cost of TNUoS charges in Scotland is impacting the Scottish Renewable sector, as it costs more money to connect electricity in Scotland to the grid than in other parts of the UK. The difference in TNUoS costs is acting as a barrier for companies considering installing renewables in Scotland.

‘Energy certificates overestimate carbon impacts by 60%’

16 November, 2021 – A report by Ingleton Woods has found that EPCs are misleading for zero-carbon buildings. When a building is heated by electricity, the EPC is found to suggest that carbon emissions are 60% higher than the current emissions for electricity, resulting in these buildings having a higher EPC. The discrepancy in the carbon emissions is due to EPCs using carbon factors for building regulations set in 2013. Since 2013, the electricity grid has significantly reduced its carbon emissions. For EPCs to continue being useful at helping buildings with electric heating decarbonise, the EPC must consider updated carbon factors.

Wholesale energy prices hit second highest level in at least three years

15 November, 2021 – Wholesale energy prices reached the second highest price seen in the past three years. Due to low wind speeds on Monday, wholesale energy prices were above £2,000 per megawatt hour. The price surge is thought to result in more energy suppliers struggling to pay these high costs. The low wind speeds resulted in wind turbines producing just 4% of the UK’s energy, compared to an average of 21%. Gas-fired power plants had to meet the demand and produce an additional 15% of the UK’s energy.

Second Cop26 draft text: Coal phaseout remains in but some language softened

12 November, 2021 – As the COP26 conference draws to a close, a second draft of an agreement has been produced. The agreement includes aims for countries to phase out coal power and cut subsidies for fossil fuels, among others. Countries will also be required to revise their nationally determined contributions. However, the draft has been criticised for having soft wording changes from the original draft, which will allow countries to have more leeway in meeting the agreement.

Renewable energy: Customer-owned wind turbine to be built

11 November, 2021 – A wind turbine that is owned by 907 people is being installed in Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf. A total of £2.2 million has been crowdfunded to cover the cost of the wind turbine and its installation. The wind turbine will be run by Ripple Energy and it is the first project of its kind in the UK. The wind turbine will not directly power each owner’s properties. Instead, the generated electricity will be sold to Co-operative Energy who will supply the owners with discounted energy in return. It is estimated that each wind turbine owner’s electricity bills will reduce by 25%.

Scottish wind powers COP26 with 100% traceable renewable energy

11 November, 2021 – The blue zone at COP26 is being powered by traceable renewable energy supplied by SSE. The electricity supplied to the site has been traced back to Griffin Wind Farm in Perthshire. The campus has been powered by green electricity since 2020 as part of the venue’s sustainability strategy. Powering COP26 with green energy highlights how easy it is for buildings to switch to a green energy supply.

Pupils told to wear warm clothes as school limits its heating use in light of soaring gas prices

10 November, 2021 – Schools across the UK are feeling the impact of the rising electricity and gas bills. The Labour Party’s latest report predicted that schools across the UK could see a combined energy price increase of up to £80 million during the winter period. Schools within the Bristol City Council have been reportedly asking pupils to increase the number of layers worn to reduce heating bills. Making energy efficient improvements and installing onsite renewables are the best ways to lower energy costs at schools. OnGen can help you identify energy saving changes at your site. Get in touch for more info.

Private wire Brynwhillach solar farm linked with Welsh hospital goes live

9 November, 2021 – Brynwhillach Solar Farm is the first solar farm to export electricity to a hospital in Wales. The 4MW solar farm will provide electricity to Morriston Hospital in Swansea. The installation is made up of 10,000 panels and is expected to reduce Morriston Hospital’s electricity bills by £439,000 per annum. The project was installed by Vital Energi and has a 3-kilometre private wire network to connect the hospital to the solar farm. Ground mounted solar installations are a great way to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. Interested in finding out if a solar installation is suitable for your site? Get in touch with OnGen today.

Octopus targets £4bn of renewable projects with expansion of Fan Club model

9 November, 2021 – Octopus Energy Group is planning to expand its ‘Fan Club’ tariff model to other regions within the UK to offer cheaper electricity rates. The energy supplier aims to gain £4 billion to help support the expansion of this tariff. The ‘Fan Club’ tariff currently benefits two UK communities that live close to onshore wind turbines by offering a discounted energy tariff when the wind turbines are generating electricity. If Octopus Energy raises the required funds, the scheme will be spread across the UK in the next few years.

HSBC UK launches £500m green fund for SMEs

5 November, 2021 – UK banking giant, HSBC, has launched a new £500m green funding initiative to help small and medium-sized businesses decarbonise and invest in green initiatives. The new Green SME Fund is available for businesses with a turnover of less than £25m and offers 1% cashback on loans, starting at £1,000. The bank wants SMEs to invest in green solutions and initiatives.

COP26: 190 nations, regions and organisations commit to major coal power and financing phase-outs

4 November, 2021 – A coalition of the world's major economies, financial institutions and organisations have come together to accelerate efforts to phase-out coal generating capacity and financing of new fossil fuel projects at COP26. It is believed the new commitments could signal the end of more than 40GW of coal across 20 countries.

Powering Past Coal and upping energy efficiency: 7 things you need to know from Energy Day at COP26

4 November, 2021 – Following on from Finance Day at COP26 was Energy Day, during which international agreements were reached on coal and just transition principles. Here, edie rounds up seven key headlines from the day.

‘Nearly half of energy suppliers have left the market this year’

4 November, 2021 – As a natural gas crunch in Europe has transformed into a worldwide energy crisis, the UK energy market seems to be in turmoil, seeing almost half of the energy suppliers folding this year. New research by Cornwall Insight suggests only 25 suppliers remain in the market from 47 domestic suppliers at the start of the year. The analysis finds that 2021 holds the record of the most supplier exits in one year.

COP26: Half of the UK’s largest businesses pledge to net zero by 2050

4 November, 2021 – More than half of the UK’s largest businesses have pledged to stop their contributions to climate change by 2050 at COP26. The 60 FTSE100 companies make up a total market capital of more than £1.2 trillion and have a combined annual turnover of £700 billion. They have become signatories of the UN’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign and have thus committed to achieving net zero by 2050. This move means that net zero pledges from UK businesses have more than quadrupled in the last year. Globally, more than 5,200 companies have become a part of the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign.

National Grid ESO to reveal carbon intensity of balancing actions on new dashboard

2 November, 2021 – National Grid ESO has announced plans to publish the carbon intensity of its balancing actions in coordination with its new electricity system dashboard. The dashboard shows the live electricity mix and carbon emissions of power sources, as well as historic carbon intensity. It has been launched to coincide with the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, highlighting the progress made in decarbonising the country's power supply so far.

CfD clause amendment will enable solar and storage co-location for the first time

28 October, 2021 – For the first time, it will be possible to include co-located storage within a Contract for Difference (CfD) contract, the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) have unveiled. Speaking at a webinar hosted by Solar Media and Sponsored by the LCCC, the LCCC’s head of strategy, stakeholders and business development, Gordon Edge, and head of scheme management, Nick Blair, detailed the welcome amendment to the upcoming auction round four (AR4) set for the 13 December.

Marwell Wildlife tropical animal house heated by 'zoo poo'

28 October, 2021 – Faecal waste from endangered species including zebra, oryx, and wild ass is being used to heat buildings at a zoo. Marwell Zoo is generating the renewable energy using biomass technology. The initiative is heating a large tropical house at the Hampshire site, saving an estimated 220 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year. Head of sustainability, Dr Duncan East, said "using heat in this way from our own animals is unique in the UK and as far as we know across the world."

COP26: Renewable heat targets missed by Scottish Government days before climate summit

27 October, 2021 - Targets set by the Scottish Government aimed for the equivalent of 11 percent of heating fuels other than electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. However, figures published show the figure has dropped from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent when comparing 2019 to 2020, with the total amount of “useful heat output” generated by renewable technologies dropping by 2.6 percent in 2020.

Rooftop solar installations hit record 97MW high in last quarter

27 October, 2021 – Rooftop solar installations hit a record high in the third quarter of this year, with 97MW installed on homes and businesses across the country. That makes up more than 90% of the total solar photovoltaic (PV) deployed in the last quarter, with 107MW overall. This is according to new research figures from Solar Media, which found that during the last two quarters, 104MW of commercial rooftop solar was deployed, a record for the industry.

Heat pumps could cost 40% less by 2030

27 October, 2021 – As the UK readies to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions through its Heat and Buildings Strategy, new research predicts that the cost of heat pumps could fall by as much as 40% in the next ten years. The report from the energy research and consulting company Delta-EE suggests nearly 20% of that cost reduction is driven by the competition that will make companies lower their prices.

Barratt Developments unveils flagship zero carbon home, 'Z House'

26 October, 2021 - Barratt Developments has unveiled a flagship zero carbon home concepted dubbed the Z House, developed alongside partners including Eco2Solar, Lightsource Labs and Octopus Energy. It will be the first new home built by a major developer in the UK to deliver a carbon reduction of 125%, going beyond the Future Homes Standard.

TotalEnergies accused of downplaying climate risks

21 October, 2021 – Researchers have claimed that French oil company, TotalEnergies knew at least 50 years ago about a link between burning fossil fuels and global warming. An article from 1971 in the company’s magazine, Total Information, mentioned partial melting of ice caps, researchers found. It also predicted the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The company denied it had concealed climate risk and added that since 2015 it had focussed on renewable energy. The research, which follows similar studies about US oil giant ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch, was carried out by three historians and published on Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Global Environment Change.

Climate change: Action on green power 'needed now'

21 October, 2021 – The director of Wales’ largest renewable energy trade body has warned immediate action is needed to capitalise on green opportunities in the nation’s north. RenewableUK Cymru director, Rhys Wyn Jones, claimed there was “huge” potential to capitalise on water, wind and other power sources. He said: that “if we don’t move ahead with things quickly, then we can expect them to move ahead elsewhere.” The UK government said Wales was “pivotal” in reaching net-zero by 2050.

Survey: Three-quarters of UK SMEs without credible plans to reduce emissions

20 October, 2021 – A new survey states that UK-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will need far more support to decarbonise, otherwise the UK risks missing its net-zero target. 1,200 decision-makers at SMEs were polled on their approach to reducing emissions and it showed the majority (76%) of respondents’ businesses are yet to implement comprehensive decarbonisation strategies. While 44% of the businesses have taken some action to improve in-house knowledge on sustainability, only 3% have measured their carbon footprint in the past five years and used this measurement to calculate an appropriate target to reduce emissions.

At a glance: All the key announcements in the Net-Zero Strategy

20 October, 2021 – The UK Government has published its Net-Zero Strategy, a complete breakdown of how the country will decarbonise in a way that “transforms every sector of the global economy.” However, some green groups don’t believe the steps outlined in the Strategy can mobilise action to deliver net-zero by 2050.

Government places heat pump grants at centre of Heat and Buildings Strategy

19 October, 2021 – The UK government is set to offer grants of £5,000 for the installation of heat pumps from April 2022 as part of a new £450 million plan to improve domestic heating infrastructure. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is one of the significant commitments presented in the Heat and Buildings Strategy, published earlier this week, which also described the government’s strategy to work with industry to allow heat pumps to cost the same to buy and run as fossil fuel boilers by 2030. Price decreases between 25-50% by 2025 are anticipated as the market expands and the technology develops.

Energy price cap: Welsh firms want soaring bills protection

15 October, 2021 – Businesses in Wales fear rising energy bills as a result of non-domestic buildings not being protected by Ofgem’s energy price cap. A steelworks organisation based in Wales has reported that its electricity costs have risen by 50% since May 2021. Another engineering firm in Wales is expecting a 30% increase when its fixed contract ends. Businesses are calling for a price cap to be introduced to protect them from rising energy costs. Generating energy through onsite renewables is a great way to gain resilience from the rising costs of energy bills. Get in touch with OnGen to find out what onsite renewables are suitable for your organisation.

National Grid expands use of innovative tech unlocking more capacity for renewables

15 October, 2021 – The National Grid Electricity Transmission has been testing innovative technologies to help prepare the grid for a renewable-heavy generation mix. The intermittency of renewable generation will result in circuits being unequally loaded within the grid. However, a new flow control technology called SmartValve is helping re-route power towards the circuits that have available capacity. The pilot project, which was installed in five circuits in the north of England, allowed for an additional 1.5GW of network capacity. Due to the success of this pilot, National Grid Electricity Transmission is planning to expand the technology to create a further 500MW of network capacity.

RenewableUK publishes onshore wind plan

13 October, 2021 – RenewableUK has released an onshore wind plan for the UK to help maximise onshore wind installation. The plan has been offered to the UK Government as part of a partnership and suggests doubling onshore wind capacity to 30GW by 2030. As onshore wind is the cheapest energy currently available, RenewableUK suggests that increasing onshore wind capacity would reduce consumers’ bills by £16.3 billion. The increase of onshore wind capacity would also create 27,000 full-time jobs in the UK.

IEA: “Countries must triple renewable energy investment by 2030 to fight climate change”

13 October, 2021 – IEA’s latest report suggests that investment in renewables must triple to £2.9 trillion for the world to be on track to be aligned with Paris Agreement. The report explained that renewable energy growth is too slow to meet climate goals. IEA suggests that the most cost-effective ways to reach net-zero are by doubling wind and solar installations and having an increasing focus on energy efficiency measures. OnGen’s software suite can help you find suitable energy efficiency measures and onsite renewables. Interested in finding out more? Get in touch today.

Make hydrogen in summer to power Britain in winter, networks say

12 October, 2021 – A new report by the Energy Network Association has suggested that producing green hydrogen from excess renewable energy in the summer could be used to meet increasing energy demands in the winter. It is thought that by generating green hydrogen in the summer when there is excess renewable energy, a smaller capacity of other renewables would be required, as the high demand winter could be met by hydrogen. It has been proposed that the green hydrogen generated in the summer could be stored in old oil and gas fields and used during periods when there is a high energy demand.

UK reiterates 2035 grid decarbonisation pledge

11 October, 2021 – The UK Government’s pledge for the electricity grid to be decarbonised by 2035 has been confirmed by Boris Johnson and Kwasi Kwarteng. This commitment is 15 years ahead of the UK Government’s overall net-zero pledge and highlights a stronger ambition by the country. By having a decarbonised grid, none of the UK’s electricity will be produced by fossil fuels. An expansion of solar and wind are promised, along with increasing nuclear generation. Clear policies for how the UK aim to reach this goal will be required within the next few months.

Renewable energy’s role in economic recovery driving 1TWh of energy storage demand by 2030

7 October, 2021 – Consultancy firm, Wood Mackenzie, states that total demand for energy storage between 2021 and 2030 could be close to 1TWh worldwide. This arises from recent analysis predicting that the energy storage market this year will see 12GW / 28GWh of deployments, almost triple 2020 figures in GWh terms. Rapid growth is predicted for China, largely as a result of a 30GW by 2025 energy storage policy target announced in April.

Heat and Buildings Strategy: Scotland sets out investments to deliver net-zero built environment

7 October, 2021 – To transform the nation’s building portfolio to net-zero by 2045, the Scottish Government has revealed its intent to reduce emissions from infrastructure by 68% by 2030 via a £1.8 billion domestic heat and buildings investment strategy. The plan features overarching commitments to eradicate fuel poverty and set up a Green Heat Finance Taskforce to finance the transition to zero-emissions heat networks for buildings. If successful, the strategy would set the nation up to reach its domestic net-zero target of 2045, which is five years ahead of the wider UK target. However, the Scottish Government believes it cannot fully outline these steps until the UK Government publishes its wider Heat and Buildings Strategy, which was originally due for release in August 2021.

‘Britain will face tighter electricity supplies this winter’, National Grid boss warns

7 October, 2021 – John Pettigrew, National Grid Chief Executive, claims the UK is on track to see far tighter electricity supplies compared to recent years as we head into the winter. The National Grid CEO also warned that households and businesses across the UK will most likely face little respite from the impact of gas price hikes, which have already put pressure on Britain’s energy sector.

Cornwall Insight warns energy supply market 'on edge' for further consolidation, predicts £1,660 price cap

7 October, 2021 – Research from Cornwall Insight suggests the Summer 2022 default tariff price cap could now rise to around £1,660, a 30% increase on the record level seen for Winter 2021-22. This would be a result of wholesale gas and electricity prices also continuing to reach new record highs. With this increase, higher power prices and numerous recent supplier exits, the UK energy market remains “primed for volatility and further consolidation,” Cornwall Insight stated.

‘UK must triple pace of wind installations to meet net zero’

6 October, 2021 – To meet its targets, the UK must install 112GW of renewable wind by 2030 according to Wärtsilä, a Finnish smart tech and sustainability company. This figure is more than double the 40GW currently planned and stresses the importance of increasing wind installations if the UK is to hit its target of a 78% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035.

COP26 engagement lead Nick Baker: Businesses are 'key lever' to delivering Paris Agreement

5 October, 2021 – Nick Baker, the UK’s COP26 deputy director for engagement, has encouraged businesses to improve their environmental commitments and collaborate together to reduce carbon ahead of the global conference. Baker exclaimed that “much of the action needed is going to be taken and delivered by businesses” and that “people relate much more to the tangible, concrete actions businesses are taking.” Additionally, he stated that businesses often have “masses of influence” in engaging other non-state actors or, when action is taken collaboratively, national governments. Ready to start reducing your business’ environmental impact? Get in touch today.

Could Scotland's unwanted wind turbines be turned into playparks?

1 October, 2021 – Fred Olsen Renewables has announced plans to recycle wind turbines from the Windy Standard wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway. This wind farm is nearing the end of life and the owners of the site want to ensure that the wind turbine does not get wasted. Fred Olsen Renewables’ ideas to recycle the wind turbines include creating skate parks, glamping pods, playparks and wildlife hides. This project could lead the way in showing the prospects of wind turbine recycling as other wind turbines in Scotland retire and are replaced with modern turbines.

UK’s fossil fuel generation increased by 36% in second quarter

1 October, 2021 – BEIS’ quarterly publication has highlighted that electricity generation by fossil fuels during the last quarter has increased by 36% compared to the same period in 2020. The increase in fossil fuel electricity generation is due to wind generation being 14% lower than previous years due to low wind speeds. The results for this quarter demonstrate the need for the UK to have a more varied renewable energy mix to not rely on a single renewable energy source.

First Project Prometheus solar installation officially opened

30 September, 2021 – The first solar farm has been opened as part of the British Army’s Project Prometheus. The 2.3MW installation is situated at The Defence School of Transport in Leconfield as one of four pilot sites. The installation is planned to slash electricity bills at the site by a third annually. A total of 80 solar farms are to be installed within the Army’s estate over the next decade. Installing ground-mounted solar could be perfect for your site. Contact OnGen today to find out more.

Ministers consider shifting green levies from electricity to gas

30 September, 2021 – The Financial Times has reported that UK ministers are planning to propose moving green levies from electricity to gas. Currently, environmental and social levies make up 2% of gas prices, compared to electricity prices at 23%. As electricity is becoming greener, with a significant number of renewables being installed, more needs to be done to help energy users switch to a green heating source. By increasing the levies for gas while lowering the levies for electricity, the cost of running heat pumps with electricity would be significantly lower, aiding with the uptake of this technology.

UK’s home gas boilers emit twice as much CO2 as all power stations – study

29 September, 2021 – Latest findings from the climate charity, Possible, have indicated that the millions of gas boilers installed in homes in the UK produce double the carbon emissions of all the gas-fired power stations combined. Furthermore, all home gas boilers installed nationwide in the UK produce eight times as much NO2 than the gas-fired power plants. These findings highlight the need for the UK to switch to renewable heat sources by installing heat pumps. Interested in installing a heat pump at your site? Get in touch with OnGen and we’ll help you understand if its suitable for your site.

Glasgow City Council has set out a £30bn portfolio of investment projects designed to aid the city’s ambition of becoming net-zero by 2030.

25 September, 2021 – Glasgow City Council has unveiled a £30 billion portfolio of different projects that will aid the city in reaching its net-zero 2030 target. Many projects have been proposed by the council, including a home retrofit program that will involve fitting insulation and trialling renewables. Building a district heating network that generates heat from a water source heat pump in the River Clyde is another featured project. These proposed projects are hoped to make Glasgow a greener city.

£12bn for offshore wind and £1bn for hydrogen: Flurry of low-carbon tech investments for UK

23 September 2021 – The past week has seen a spell of low carbon investments in the UK, a trend that does not look like it will cease. Ørsted revealed plans to spend £12bn with Scottish firms on offshore wind, while Ineos confirmed a £1bn hydrogen investment. Furthermore, the UK Government opened a new fund to help high-carbon businesses decarbonise. To find the best return on investment from an array of onsite renewable technologies, get in contact with OnGen today and begin your journey to net-zero.

REA: ‘Energy crisis shows energy must diversify and decarbonise’

22 September, 2021 – The Association for Renewable Technology and Clean Technology (REA) claim that recent gas price increases are a result of the energy sector’s lack of flexibility, labelling its current outfit “one-dimensional.” The statement follows the hike in prices of 70% since August and 250% since January. Contact OnGen to discover how deploying onsite renewables and improving the energy efficiency of your property can protect you from market volatility.

CMA publishes new law to crack down on greenwashing

21 September, 2021 – Next year has been set as the deadline for companies to ensure their environmental claims are in accordance with the law. This arises after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published a new green claims code to keep companies who greenwash in check. If you want to guarantee your energy is coming from 100% renewable sources, get in contact with OnGen today. Our software suite is designed to help users choose suppliers and renewable technologies that are great for them and the environment.

E.On boss: Remove green levies to cut energy bills

17 September, 2021 – E.On CEO, Michael Lewis, has released a statement arguing that rising energy bills need to be cut and that the best way to achieve this is by eliminating levies funding renewable energy. Mr Lewis’ alternative is to fund the renewable energy subsidies through tax instead. This argument comes in light of regulator warnings that consumer energy bills are set to rise exponentially this winter, with fossil fuel prices increasing globally. It is hoped that Mr Lewis’ strategy would ensure these costs are funded more progressively and the ‘playing field’ of paying for cleaner heating is levelled.

Electricity demand from EVs could reach 71.6TWh by 2040: Cornwall Insight

16 September, 2021 – Cornwall Insight, a professional energy market analyst, has added to the discussion that the influence of electric vehicles (EVs) on the grid should not be underestimated. Put into numbers, they warn EVs could add 71.6TWh of electricity demand in the UK by 2040. It will be interesting to see how the UK government and National Grid ESO collaborate to map national coverage and identify areas that require further storage for this demand increase.

Just one country on course to meet 1.5C target, new research warns

15 September, 2021 – New research from Climate Action Tracker warns that progress on global climate targets has stalled. Only one country remains on track to fulfil its 1.5C pathway commitments made in coordination with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – Gambia. However, there is hope, with Climate Action Tracker also naming seven countries, including the UK, who are close to maintaining their commitments if they implement “moderate improvements.”

Lack of awareness a key barrier to EV energy tariff adoption

15 September, 2021 – A recent survey has discovered unawareness regarding the potential savings to be made from Electric Vehicle (EV) tariffs. EV and price comparison company, Love my EV, revealed a fifth of EV drivers weren’t aware of energy tariffs applicable to their chosen mode of transport. Even the majority of those aware of the potential saving schemes had not actually signed up for one. This highlights the advertisement work necessary if the UK government is truly committed to encouraging EV use.

‘UK is nowhere near reaching net zero by 2050’

14 September, 2021 – A new report suggests there is little coordination between the UK’s net-zero aims and actual climate policies. Thinktank, Green Alliance, has drawn attention to the fact that policies implemented from the start of the current government fail to account for 985 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the fifth carbon budget era (2028-2032). Commentators argue that this gap has to be rectified before COP26 later this year.

Utility Point and People’s Energy go bust

14 September, 2021 – Now being referred to as the ‘energy market’s domino effect,’ nearly 570,000 customers are expected to be impacted by the closure of Utility Point and People’s Energy only a week after PfP Energy and MoneyPlus Energy also closed for business. Customers face an anxious wait until OfGem appoints a company to take the leftover reigns. Hopefully, and in accordance with OfGem’s press release, all assets and customer memberships will be transitioned smoothly as possible.

All new homes and offices in England to be fitted with EV charge points

10 September, 2021 – It has been revealed that the UK Government plan to add new legislation that will result in all new-build houses and commercial buildings in England requiring an electric car charge point. These charging points would charge vehicles when the UK energy demand is low. England would lead the way by being the first country in the world to have this law in place.

Tesla batteries to bring more renewables to West Sussex grid

9 September, 2021 – A 34MW battery has been connected to the grid at Burgess Hill, West Sussex by UK Power Networks. The installation is made up of 28 Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, which fill an area equivalent to a football pitch. If you are interested in installing battery storage at your site, get in touch with OnGen to find out how our software, the OnGen Expert, can help you find the best battery for your site.

Two UK energy suppliers collapse amid record surge in prices

8 September, 2021 – Smaller suppliers are starting to feel the pressure after a record jump in energy prices for both gas and electricity. PfP and MoneyPlus are the first energy suppliers to shut, with multiple suppliers predicted to follow. Gas has reached a record high price and the price of electricity has sky-rocked to its highest level since 2004. Due to the high cost of gas, coal plants have increased electricity production this week to meet 5% of the UK’s electricity demands to take some of the strain off gas, significantly lowering decarbonisation efforts. Installing onsite renewables is a great option to lower your reliance on the grid. Get in touch for more information.

Businesses want tax-based incentives to reach net-zero, survey finds

8 September, 2021 – A report by npower Business Solutions has highlighted that businesses would be more interested in reaching net-zero targets if there were more government incentives. The survey, which involved 60 different businesses, has found that 75% of respondents do not believe that the current policies and schemes provided by the government offer enough support for them to invest in measures that reduce carbon. However, of the surveyed businesses, 66% agree that the super-deduction tax incentive that was part of the Spring Budget is worth applying to.

Government slammed over lack of engagement with installers on ‘over-ambitious’ Green Homes Grant

8 September, 2021 – The National Audit Office (NAO) has analysed the process of the Green Homes Grant (GHG), which was a green recovery funding opportunity for households that closed earlier this year. The NAO has found issues with the UK Government’s organisation of the fund, including the lack of consultation with installers, that may have resulted in the project being unsuccessful. It is hoped that the feedback from the NAO will help the UK Government design a more successful funding scheme in the future.

Wind turbine giant Siemens Gamesa claims world-first in blade recycling

7 September, 2021 – Siemens Gamesa has released its new wind turbine, RecyclableBlades, which is thought to be the world’s first fully recyclable wind turbine. These wind turbines are ready to be installed offshore and will be piloted at Kaskasi Offshore Wind Farm in Germany. Siemens Energy is also currently in conversation with EDF to install these recyclable wind turbines at multiple other wind farms. If the pilot is successful, this turbine could be a game-changer for the industry by allowing there to be no waste when it comes to installing wind turbines.

UK imported more than half its gas in first three months of 2021

1 September, 2021 – The Oil and Gas UK’s annual economic report has highlighted that 56% of the gas that has been required by the UK was imported from abroad from January to March. The large percentage of imported gas is thought to be due to a rise in gas demand while the UK lowered production. These findings communicate the need for the UK to switch to a green heating fuel to help support the UK economy while lowering carbon emissions.

‘Simpler and stricter’ EU energy labels for lighting products come into effect

1 September, 2021 – The EU will release a new stricter energy label system that will help more energy efficient light bulbs stand out from the crowd. The new scale will shift light bulbs that are currently achieving A and B ratings to further down the scale to C and D, allowing room for new, more energy efficient light bulbs to enter the market. The labels of light bulbs currently on the market will need to be updated with a new energy efficiency rating as part of the update. If you are interested in making your property more energy efficient, get in touch with OnGen today.

Ofgem launches £450m fund to help homes and businesses go green

31 August, 2021 – Ofgem has announced a £450 million fund for green energy projects. The fund will be available for energy network companies that have ideas for helping businesses and homes become more eco-friendly. The fund, available for the next five years, will support projects related to heating and transport, among others. It is hoped that the fund will help inspire innovative ideas to assist the UK in reaching net-zero emissions.

Solar PV rolled out on new council homes in Perth

27 August, 2021 – New social housing being built within Perth & Kinross Council has been fitted with roof-mounted solar PV. A total of 70 homes have been fitted with solar PV within the region after the local council invested £9.2 million in the project. The new project will lower the cost of electricity bills for tenants, while also reducing carbon emissions. By lowering the cost of electricity bills, the scheme will help tackle fuel poverty in the region.

Berenberg Green Energy Junior Debt Fund and Elgin Energy enter agreement to finance late-stage development of Elgin’s 1.36 GWp solar portfolio

25 August, 2021 – A joint partnership with Elgin Energy and Berenberg Green Energy Junior Debt Fund will help install 1.36GWp of solar within the UK and Ireland. A total of 50 separate solar PV projects will be deployed between 2022 and 2025 by Elgin Energy as part of this project. By 2025, Elgin Energy is aiming for 5GW of solar as part of its portfolio.

UK government unveils new biomass backing

25 August, 2021 – Innovative biomass projects located in the UK are to receive funding from the UK Government to explore new ways to produce biomass energy. 24 projects will be funded by the scheme, with ideas to create biomass ranging from farming seaweed to scaling-up willow crops. It is hoped that the findings from these different projects will help the UK find the best approach for sourcing more sustainable biomass fuel while supporting projects in rural communities.

Report: 55% of commercial property firms recorded increased demand for 'green' buildings amid Covid-19

25 August, 2021 – A survey that is part of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) annual sustainability report has found that 55% of the 4,000 people surveyed agree that there has been a global increase in the demand for sustainable buildings. The survey included individuals within the commercial property sector and construction sector. The highest area where demand for green buildings has risen was Europe, where an increase of 69% was reported. The survey also highlighted that half of the surveyed respondents found that the rise in demand for eco-friendly buildings is impacting rent prices, with a 10% premium in rent prices for energy efficient buildings.

Scottish Government draws up plan for green recovery from Covid-19

23 August, 2021 – A draft policy programme has been published outlining the Scottish Government’s plan for a green economic recovery. The agreement includes £1.8 billion of funding for investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy within Scotland. Furthermore, the framework for support for offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors will also be further investigated, with the aim to strengthen support for these sectors. Additional funding will be used to increase the protection of nature.

UK unlocks £160m energy efficiency package for social houses

23 August, 2021 – The UK Government has announced £160 million of funding will be available for improving energy efficiency in social housing. It is expected that 38,000 UK homes will benefit from the funding. The scheme is aimed at helping make improvements within the least energy efficient households in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills. This funding will also create additional jobs within the energy efficiency sector. Improvements are expected to include installing LED light bulbs and fitting insulation.

Prisons set to cut carbon as well as crime

19 August, 2021 – The Ministry of Justice has announced plans to install over 16,000 solar panels across 19 prisons throughout England and Wales. This project is expected to save £800,000 per year and up to 1,300 tonnes of carbon emissions by supplying approximately 20% of each prison’s electricity consumption. These solar installations were originally scoped by the Ministry of Justice using OnGen’s software, the OnGen Expert. If you want to find out the potential of onsite renewables at your site, get in touch today.

Using Fossil Fuels to Heat New Social Homes Ends in Wales

19 August, 2021 – The Welsh Government has banned the use of fossil fuels to heat new social housing from the 1 of October. New social housing will instead be heated by renewable energy and cutting-edge technologies. New social housing will also have the highest energy efficiency standard to ensure a low heating demand. The Welsh Government has committed to building a further 20,000 social houses within the next 5 years.

Energy efficiency on annual leave for London offices!

18 August, 2021 – As the minimum efficiency rating of buildings is set to be increased in 2023, a new study by Colliers has found that nearly 10% of offices in London will need to increase their energy efficiency rating or may face closure. Buildings with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of F or G will have to become more energy efficient over the next few months to remain open. Are you wanting to increase your business’ EPC rating? Get in touch with OnGen to see how our software, OnEfficiency, can help your site become more energy efficient.

EU solar hits record peak

18 August, 2021 – Record levels of electricity have been generated by solar PV in the European Union from June to July 2021. A total of 39 TWh has been generated, which is an 11TWh increase from the same period in 2018. Solar has generated 10% of the total electricity within the EU during this period this year. The rise in solar generation is a result of an increase in solar installations throughout the EU, with an average of 14TWh of solar generation being added each year. However, this value is still far lower than the predicted 30TWh that is required each year for the EU to reach its 2030 climate targets.

Sadiq Khan tours ‘nation’s largest’ water source heat pump project

17 August, 2021 – A 3MW water source heat pump is under construction in Bristol, which will generate heat and hot water for the city residents in a bid to decarbonise the city’s heat generation. When this water source heat pump has been fully constructed, it will be the largest in England. The heat pump will provide heat to the Bristol Heat Network, which heats 10,000 homes. It is hoped that this pioneering project will lead the way for future large scale heat pump projects throughout the UK.

Government plans crackdown on greenwashing claims from energy providers

16 August, 2021 – The UK Government will review the criteria for energy providers to claim that they supply environmentally friendly energy. This review is necessary, as many energy providers claim to be green but overstate the green benefits. Currently, there is a loophole that results in energy firms being able to class their tariffs as green renewable energy, despite some of the energy mix being supplied by fossil fuels, though purchasing Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates. It is thought that a more transparent system is needed to be able to understand where the generated energy is sourced from so that consumers can pick a genuine green supplier.

Newcastle International Airport announces 16MW solar farm plans

13 August, 2021 – A ground-mounted solar PV array is planned to be installed onsite at Newcastle International Airport. The solar PV will be built on the eastern end of the airport runway, with construction beginning in 2022. The proposed installation is expected to be 16MW in size and co-located with battery storage. This project is part of Newcastle International Airport’s goal to reach net-zero by 2035. Installing onsite renewables is a great way to reach your company’s net-zero goal. Interested in finding out more? Contact OnGen to see how we can help.

Heat pumps and energy efficiency: Mitie plots path to net-zero buildings by 2025

12 August, 2021 – Mitie has released a roadmap on how the company will reach net-zero emissions in buildings by 2025. Multiple buildings owned by Mitie will be prioritised for reducing emissions across the UK, with heat pumps planning to be installed. Energy efficiency measures including switching to LED light bulbs and installing insulation will also help the company reduce its energy consumption. Are you wanting to make energy efficiency improvements but do not know where to start? OnGen’s software, OnEfficiency, helps you find the most suitable energy efficiency improvements for your site.

National Grid ESO road tests new forecast method

11 August, 2021 – The National Grid Electricity System Operator is piloting a new project that allows for better forecasting of day-ahead electricity reserve requirements. The project is in partnership with the Smith Institute and is funded by Ofgem. Currently, the National Grid ESO prepares energy reserve levels by looking at historical generation, forecasting errors and forecasting renewable generation. The new energy reserve forecasting system that is being trialled in this project will consider the weather forecast and the effect of the predicted weather impacting the renewable generation.

Household bills jump by at least £139 under new energy price cap

6 August, 2021 – Ofgem has announced that domestic energy prices will soar to a record high in October, as a result of the rising cost of wholesale prices. The rise in price is due to a 50% increase in wholesale energy costs during 2021, while gas prices will increase due to an inflation jump. The rise in domestic energy prices is expected to increase electricity and gas bills by approximately £150 per household per year. If you are interested in reducing your organisation’s energy costs, get in touch with OnGen. OnGen can find the best energy solution for your site, from energy efficiency improvements to installing onsite renewables.

UK solar homes claim REGO certificates

6 August, 2021 – Social Energy residential customers have been able to claim Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates for renewable energy that is generated onsite. This pilot project with Ofgem will allow for small-scale domestic PV installations to receive REGO certificates and highlight that a consumer can efficiently generate, use and share renewable energy. Social Energy has also released a new export tariff for customers that are part of its virtual power plant scheme at 20p/kWh and 6p/kWh, after producing an initial 1000kWh per annum.

Smart meter network ‘doubled in last year’

5 August, 2021 – The Data Communications Company’s (DCC) annual report has communicated that the number of smart meter networks installed has doubled over the past 12 months. A total of 6.7 million smart meters are now connected to the DCC’s network. The daily installation rate is reaching pre-pandemic levels, at approximately 20,000 installs each day. The installation of smart meters is helping energy consumers be more aware of their energy usage, helping save the UK over 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

Worcestershire slashes street lighting emissions by 56% since 2009

4 August, 2021– Worcestershire County Council has installed a significant number of LED street lighting, which has resulted in carbon emissions reducing by 56% when compared to 2009 levels. The local council reduced carbon emissions by installing a total of 27,700 LED streetlights, along with switching to LED traffic lights. This switch is helping Worcestershire County Council reduce carbon emissions to reach its 2050 net-zero goal. Energy efficiency measures are a great way to reduce energy consumption. Interested in reducing energy consumption? Get in touch with OnGen to see how our software, OnEfficiency, can help your organisation reduce energy usage.

Solar farm plans for former open cast coal mine in Telford

3 August, 2021 – A planning application has been submitted to install ground-mounted solar at a former open cast coal mine in Telford. The proposed site is predicted to generate 28,500MWh per year, which is enough energy to power 8,650 homes. Along with the installation of solar panels, the project will have a promising ecological impact, with 3km of hedgerows to be planted along with wildflower meadows in the site area. The result of this planning application will be released later this year.

UK smashes annual grid flexibility record seven months into 2021

2 August, 2021 – The UK has already reached a record level of contracted and tendered grid flexibility technologies for 2021 when compared to previous years. The Energy Networks Association has released new figures that highlight that 1.6GW of grid flexibility solutions have been contracted in the first seven months of 2021. This capacity is a 45% increase in grid flexibility compared to 2020. It is predicted that contracted and tendered grid flexibility technologies will further increase during the second half of 2021.

Climate change: Green energy barriers 'threaten' net zero goal

29 July, 2021 – The Welsh Parliament’s Affairs Committee is demanding an action plan for Wales to increase the installation of renewable energy. Currently, only 26.9% of Wales’ overall electricity generation is made up of renewables, which is significantly lower than Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. The Welsh Government is seeking more support for installing renewables. The grid capacity in Wales is also restricted, which is further constraining the installation of renewables. It is hoped that Wales will receive more support from the UK government to step up its renewable generation.

Tesco to buy electricity at ScottishPower Highland wind farm

28 July, 2021 – Scottish Power has finished constructing the 15 turbine wind farm in Halsary, Caithness. The energy produced by the 30MW wind farm will be used to power Tesco supermarkets as part of the power purchase agreement between Tescos and Scottish Power. This wind farm is the first to be installed by Scottish Power that has not been supported by government funding. The newly installed wind farm is expected to generate enough energy for the equivalent of 20,000 homes. OnGen’s software, the OnGen Expert, can help you find out if installing a wind turbine would be suitable for powering your site. Get in touch today for more information.

Enerpower opens Ireland's 'largest' solar plant

28 July, 2021 – The biggest solar farm in the Republic of Ireland, installed by Enerpower, has begun operating. The 5.6MW solar farm, with a total of 12,600 solar panels, will be used to power the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s factory at its Dunderrow site in Kinsale. The solar PV is installed by a mix of ground mounted panels and panels installed on a ballasted frame.

Groundwater extraction first could decarbonise Inverness heating

27 July, 2021 – A water source heat pump project is to be installed in Inverness to heat the Glen Mhor Hotel. The water will be sourced from groundwater at a shallow depth and connected to the River Ness. The project has received funding from the Scottish Government and is expected to save 200 tonnes of carbon per annum. This hotel is the first to install a water source heat pump in Scotland and will be installed by local suppliers.

Shropshire Council to build first solar farm for businesses

26 July, 2021 – Shropshire Council is planning to build a solar farm which will generate electricity to power local businesses. The ground mounted solar array will be built on a disused landfill site in Oswestry. The installation is expected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 500 homes in the local area. If this project is successful, it will help Shropshire Council meet its aim of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. Interested in installing solar PV at your site? Get in touch with OnGen today.

Vodafone trials 'UK's first' smart electricity substation on road to net-zero

26 July, 2021 – A partnership between UK Power Networks and Vodafone has been established to test new methods for substations to become more energy efficient. During the project trial, computers with 5G provided by Vodafone will be installed in electricity substations. These computers will be able to share information related to electricity demand and the grid mix to help UK Power Networks have stronger metrics. This information should help better control energy storage and increase grid flexibility as renewables progressively make up more of the grid mix and allow better control of energy storage.

Scotland announces extra £9m to tackle fuel poverty this year

22 July, 2021 – The Scottish Government plans to step up its efforts to tackle fuel poverty by providing an additional £9 million of funding to contribute towards eco-friendly energy solutions. A total of £64 million will be used to increase insulation and install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps. Solar panels and battery storage will be installed in some properties to help lower the cost of powering the heat pumps. Improvements are expected to be made to over 500 houses in Scotland during 2021 and 2022.

Onsite renewables and EVs: Anglian Water outlines net-zero routemap for 2030

22 July, 2021 – Anglian Water has released its net-zero roadmap to help meet its 2030 goal. Anglian Water’s plan includes installing 240GWh of onsite solar PV and making energy efficiency improvements to help reduce energy consumption. Further improvements will include replacing the company fleet with EVs and switching gas oil heating to hydrotreated vegetable oils. Anglian Water also plans to offset remaining emissions by planting 50 hectares of woodland on the company’s site.

Pivot Power, Wartsila team unveil 100MW UK storage duo

21 July, 2021 – Pivot Power and Wartsila have partnered up to install two battery storage facilities in the UK, totalling a capacity of over 100MW. The grid-scale battery storage facilities are to be in Coventry and Sandwell as part of Pivot Power’s plan for delivering 2GW of battery storage in the UK. This battery project will provide enough storage to power 200,000 homes for two hours. Are you interested in installing standalone battery storage? Get in touch with OnGen to find out if battery storage is a suitable technology for your site.