‘Energy efficiency has been forgotten as the easiest way to cut emissions’

21 October, 2020 – DNV GL has reported that a global effort and investment is needed to increase the uptake of energy-efficient measures. Energy efficiency is often a forgotten step in a company’s decarbonisation journey, although it is the easiest way to cut emissions. Energy-efficient measures should be remembered as another pillar to help reach emission reduction goals. If you are interested in helping your company become more energy-efficient, contact OnGen for a demo of our new software, OnEfficiency.

Birds can avoid rotor blades Vattenfall study finds

21 October, 2020 – Vattenfall’s ornithological study in Kilm Wind Farm, Denmark has found that birds are able to avoid the rotor blades of wind turbines far easier than previously thought. The study demonstrated that 99% of the short-billed geese and cranes that flew within the Kilm Wind Farm area were able to avoid the blades of the wind turbines. The results of this study are highly positive for the installation of wind turbines, especially as the studied area is also within an important natural area.

'Decentralise, digitalise, and decarbonise': Engie UK debuts low carbon housing retrofit solution

20 October, 2020 – Engie are helping local authorities and housing associations reduce their emissions to meet net-zero goals by releasing a new low carbon housing retrofit service. The retrofit service aims to make homes more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. The new services include the installation of solar PV, standalone battery storage and housing retrofit. With over half of the UK housing market having an EPC rating of D or less, this initiative is a great start to help the housing market be greener. Our new software OnEfficiency can help you increase your company’s EPC rating by becoming more energy efficient. Contact OnGen for a demo.

This winter could see 1.3GW of new wind come online

20 October, 2020 – Cornwall Insight estimate a 1.3GW increase in installed capacity of onshore wind this winter in the UK. The increase in capacity would result in a 5% increase in total capacity to 25.4GW. This rise in onshore wind is the result of this technology being included within the Contracts for Difference scheme which allows for this technology to be even more financially feasible. However, the National Grid ESO’s report estimates that a faster installation rate is needed to meet the UK’s net-zero goal.

Wood Mackenzie reports on the future of solar

19 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest report highlights that an increase in module efficiency rates and the power class of solar PV will significantly reduce the cost of solar energy during the next decade. The capex cost of a solar project is expected to reduce by 3-9% during this period as solar module technology rapidly evolves, with modules with small wafer sizes eventually being phased out of the market as large modules become more cost-efficient.

SSE gains green light for 1.5GW Scots pumped hydro

16 October, 2020 – Plans to build the first British hydro scheme within 30 years have been consented by the Scottish Government. The 1,500MW hydro storage scheme will be located at Coire Glas in the Scottish Highlands and, if the project goes ahead, will be extremely beneficial for meeting the UK’s net-zero target. The project is awaiting commercial approval before building can commence but consent from the Scottish Government is a big step in the right direction.  

UK urged to show more ambition with solar

16 October, 2020 – Solar Trade Association (STA) chief executive, Chris Hewett, is urging the UK government to increase their solar and battery storage ambition. Hewett estimates that the UK will have to triple its solar capacity within the next 10 years to have a chance at meeting the net-zero goal. The STA chief executive wishes to see a similar boost in solar that has previously been seen with wind.

Government awards £700k for UK’s first smart energy blueprint

15 October, 2020 – The Cheshire Energy Hub has been awarded over £700,000 of government funding to build the first smart energy blueprint in the UK. The aim of the project is to create a local, low carbon, smart energy system for the Energy Innovation District in a port in Cheshire, which is made up of an array of businesses. The project will be used to explore energy generation potential with onsite renewables and hydrogen fuel.

Wind turbine orders 'down 45% in Q2'

14 October, 2020 – A 45% decrease in the ordering of wind turbines has been found globally for Q2 2020 when compared to Q2 2019. Wood Mackenzie estimated a total of 17GW was ordered globally, which would have cost £12.2bn. The percentage drop is thought to be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest decrease in wind turbine ordering was seen in the USA and China, while countries such as the UK, Netherlands and France decided to increase their ordering after having a surge in offshore wind demand.

IEA signals peak oil in next decade as renewables take upper hand

13 October, 2020 – The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report highlighted a promising future for renewables, while fossil fuels such as coal have a more gloomy outlook and may never return again to pre-pandemic consumption levels. IEA predict that solar could reshape the future of energy by becoming the leader of electricity due to record levels of deployment expected. The report also demonstrated that as a result of current policy commitments, renewable deployment should continue to grow, meeting up to 80% of projected growth.

Aggreko launches solar power rental scheme

13 October, 2020 – Aggreko has announced their new global rental scheme for solar panels. The company are allowing customers to rent up to 1MW of solar panels with the deployment of the rental technology taking place within just 4 months. The contract duration begins at 5 years and the solar panels can be co-located with a battery storage system to make the system even more energy-efficient. If you are interested in the potential of onsite solar, contact OnGen today for a desk-based feasibility assessment.

City of London Corporation vows to achieve net zero emissions by 2040

9 October, 2020 – The City of London Corporation has announced plans to reach net-zero by 2040. Plans include changing planning regulations for more energy-efficient buildings and creating extra pedestrian space. A total of £68m has already been set aside to begin working towards this target, with 800 green jobs planning on being made.

Survey: Businesses place higher importance on sustainability after Covid-19

9 October, 2020 – Carbon Trust’s annual survey has highlighted that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have placed more importance on sustainability. The survey involved 453 interviews from different companies across Europe, Mexico and Singapore and found that 63% of the interviewees reported that the sustainability budget of the company is planned to increase in 2020. The number of dedicated sustainability professionals will also increase by 4% compared to 2019.

South Yorkshire scheme updates RI policies with 2030 carbon neutral target

7 October, 2020 – The South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (SYPA) have set the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. SYPA aim to have an action plan to achieve this goal within the next 6-months and will work with Border to Coast Pensions Partnership to help reach this carbon neutral target. The SYPA is not the first pension organisation to announce a net-zero goal, with NEST, Aviva and BT’s pension fund previously announcing net-zero targets.

Boris Johnson’s pledge to power all UK homes with offshore wind power by 2030 is ‘ambitious, but achievable’

6 October, 2020 – The Prime Minister pledged for offshore wind to have the capacity to power all homes within the UK by 2030. Johnson aims to increase the offshore wind capacity from the current 10GW to 40GW by 2030. It has been questioned if this target is realistic, with Aurora Energy Research calculating that £50bn of investment would be required to reach this goal, while the pace of installation would also need to be ramped up. With the needed investment, the industry is confident that they can achieve this goal.

'Tech unicorn' Octopus Energy to create 1,000 new UK jobs

5 October, 2020 – Octopus Energy have announced plans to generate 1,000 more technology jobs with an aim to make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of energy.” These jobs will be created in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, along with plans to create a tech hub in Manchester. This initiative has been praised as a great opportunity for employment during the planned green recovery.

Ofgem says seven suppliers owe £34m in RO and FiT fees

2 October, 2020 – Ofgem announced that seven energy suppliers owe a total of £34 million for the Renewables Obligations (RO) and Feed-in Tariff levelisation payments. The levelisation payment will be used to provide the owner of onsite renewable energy a payment. If these suppliers do not attempt to pay these payments, Ofgem may remove their energy licence.

Amazon unveils largest solar rooftop installation in Europe

2 October, 2020 – The largest roof mounted solar site in Europe, which is operated by Amazon, has started generating energy at a warehouse in Essex. The installation comprises over 11,500 solar panels and covers the size of 28 football pitches. This project is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge programme to help the company be powered completely by renewable energy by 2025. If you are interested in utilising the roof space of your organisation’s buildings for solar generation, contact OnGen for a site feasibility assessment.

Energy storage: Global capacity predicted to surge by a third every year in 2020s

2 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie have predicted that the energy storage capacity will continue to grow by one-third every year within the decade to reach 741GWh by 2030. The US are expected to dominate the growth over this period to make up around half of the worldwide capacity by 2030, while China will also greatly contribute to the energy storage increase. Europe are expected to contribute less to the energy storage capacity because of slower market growth.

RWE launches research into the salty storage of green electricity

2 October, 2020 – RWE Gas Storage West GmbH and CMBlu Energy AG have announced plans for research into the storage of renewable electricity within underground salt caverns. These caverns are currently being used for gas storage, but it is thought that they could be used as an organic battery. RWE plan to fill the caverns with an organic electrolyte solution, which would be used as the main energy source for the battery storage.

£2bn Green Homes Grant and £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme open for applications

1 October, 2020 – The £2bn Green Homes Grant and £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme have been officially launched by BEIS and are ready for applicants. The funds were first announced at the government’s Summer Economic Update and aim to help the economy recover by creating new jobs, while also working towards a greener future. The schemes together hope to support 130,000 jobs. Interested in claiming this funding but don’t know which project is best for your site? Get in touch. 

NHS becomes world's first health system to commit to net zero

1 October, 2020 – The NHS announced plans to be the first health system in the world with a net zero target. The NHS aim to firstly reduce direct emissions by 2040 and then have their wider supply chain in line with reaching net zero by 2045. Plans to reach this target include electric vehicles, reducing single-use products and building more energy efficient buildings. Our software suite is suited to help organisations like the NHS meet their net-zero targets. Contact us today on how to get started.

Solar Is Biggest Job Creator In Global Renewable Energy, Says IRENA

29 September, 2020 – IRENA’s annual report highlighted that 498,000 full time roles have been created globally in 2019 within the renewable sector. This new addition of jobs in 2019 brings the total number of renewable energy jobs up to 11.5 million. The largest increase in roles over 2019 was found within the bioenergy sector, while solar made up one-third of the total renewable energy occupations. IRENA forecast that COVID-19 will have a positive impact on the sector due to the green energy transition.

More than 80% of UK oil workers consider leaving the industry, finds climate group report

29 September, 2020 – Recent survey results conducted by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Scotland have found that over half of offshore workers would consider a job within the renewable and offshore wind industry. The survey also found that 81% of oil and gas workers would consider a job outwith the oil and gas industry, as COVID-19 has resulted in job insecurity within the sector. We hope this is a promising move towards a greener economy.

Government opens £6.9m fund for energy efficiency skills training

24 September, 2020 – The UK government announced a further £6.9m of funding for energy efficiency skills training in preparation of the Green Homes Grant Scheme. This funding is open to organisations that currently offer low carbon retrofit training, with an aim to get the workforce ready for the expected increase of up to 100,000 jobs within the construction sector as the new scheme comes into place in England.

Climate technology investments growing five times faster than average market rates

24 September, 2020 – PwC’s latest report highlights that venture capital investment into climate-related technology is increasing five times quicker than the average rate of all other industry investments. PwC have found that, in 2019, $16bn has been invested into this sector. The growth within green technology is likely to be driven by corporate requirements to meet climate targets, with over 300 companies committing to a net-zero future.

Renewables secure bigger slice of UK energy mix in Q2

24 September, 2020 – BEIS announced that during the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, the contribution of renewables to the UK’s electricity output had increased by 9% in comparison to the same period in 2019. The production of coal and other solid fuels fell by 29% when compared to the 2019 Q2 timeframe. It is thought that this large change from 2019 is a result of electricity consumption dropping during Q2 as a consequence of COVID-19.

Consortium to build ‘world’s first’ 100% recyclable wind turbine

24 September, 2020 – Plans for the first 100% recyclable wind turbine have been announced as part of a collaboration project headed by the Zero Waste Blade Research project. LM Wind Power will be building the prototype blades for this project using Elium, which is a fully recyclable thermoplastic resin. Further research is taking place to understand the best method to recycle the Elium material.

World’s most powerful turbine to anchor largest offshore wind farm

22 September, 2020 – Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind project, has announced that it will be powered by the new 13MW Haliade-X turbine, which is the most powerful wind turbine available globally. This site will be the first in the world to install these turbines, which are 107 metres in height. As these turbines are so powerful, fewer wind turbines will be required at the site, which will help lower the operation costs and improve efficiency.

Green Gas Levy: Government to fund green gas plants with CO2 tax on gas suppliers

22 September, 2020 – The UK government has launched plans to introduce a carbon tax on UK gas suppliers. This new levy will help provide subsides for the building of more biomethane production plants, allowing for an increase in the decarbonisation of heating. It is expected this new levy will rise consumer gas bills by approximately 11p per month and will help the UK reach the net-zero goal.

Construction begins on Kent’s zero-carbon neighbourhood

18 September, 2020 – The UK’s most energy-efficient housing scheme has started undergoing construction in Kent. Each home will be carbon neutral by roof-mounted solar PV being established for electricity generation and an air source heat pump being installed for hot water and heating. Interested in going carbon neutral? Contact us today to find out more about the potential of onsite renewable and low carbon technologies at your site.

Solar the pacesetter with renewable energy on road to 1.4TW big boom: Fitch

17 September, 2020 – Fitch Solutions announced their latest renewable energy forecasts up until 2029. Fitch expects that the global renewable capacity will increase by over 1.4TW by 2029 and the capacity of solar PV will overtake wind as soon as 2021. The growing installation of solar PV is thought to be related to the variety of ways it can be deployed, from domestic roof-mounted solar to large-scale ground-mounted solar PV.

Plan set out for Scottish hydrogen network

17 September, 2020 – The ‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ plans have been released in partnership with Scottish Power Renewables, BOC and ITM Power. The project aims to increase hydrogen production facilities across Scotland, which would allow hydrogen fuel to power large vehicles. The process of creating hydrogen fuel will be powered by wind and solar energy to make the process fully sustainable.

Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce: UK experts bid to overcome barriers to greener buildings

17 September, 2020 – A Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce has been launched this week, made up of industry experts in energy, construction and finance, to research zero-carbon heating alternatives for domestic heating. It is hoped that the work that the taskforce completes will help increase investment and knowledge within this sector.

Renewables players call for 'ambitious' CfD4

16 September, 2020 – Calls for the UK government to increase the size of the next CfD auction in order for the different renewable technologies to be able to equally participate. Industry experts from the solar, offshore wind and tidal energy sectors are calling for a boost in capacity and financial support from the government. The final details of the next CfD auction have yet to be announced but it is hoped that it will keep the UK keep on track to meet the 2050 net-zero target.

Just 0.5% of global GDP needed to reach net-zero by 2050, report finds

16 September, 2020 – The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) latest report, which is backed by 40 large energy company leaders, highlights the best pathway to globally reach net-zero by 2050. ETC claims that only 0.5% of the world’s GDP is required to meet global net-zero by 2050. The report also outlines guidance for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, including recommending that no more new coal-fired power capacities should be built.

Industry bodies unite to promote tech-enabled renewables-powered future

11 September, 2020 – Solar Trade Association, TechUk and Renewable UK have issued a joint declaration to promote a green recovery. The partnership will be promoting long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) within the tech industry to help increase onsite renewables and examine the impact that technology can have in advancing the renewable sector.

UK citizens back wind and solar to hit net zero

10 September, 2020 – Climate Assembly UK have reported that the UK’s citizens assembly are in strong favour of the deployment of wind and solar renewable technologies to meet the net-zero target. Offshore wind scored 95% in public favour, while solar power received 81%, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is largely accepted as the way forward for a low carbon future.

Second generation smart meters hit five million mark

8 September, 2020 – Over five million second-generation smart meters have been installed within the UK, helping UK residents keep track of their energy use. The large volume of installation of these smart metres highlights that Britain is concerned about their carbon impact and are taking steps towards a greener future.

UK slipping behind on build rate required for net-zero target

8 September, 2020 – An Atkins report highlights that the UK is behind in the build rate required to meet the country’s net-zero target. The deployment of over 6,520 wind turbines and 80GW of solar PV is still needed to be built, along with a wealth of other technologies to help generate enough clean energy to meet the 2050 goal.

Battery trends: Innovative rent model for vanadium electrolyte

7 September, 2020 – A new battery storage rental option for the vanadium electrolyte has been recently announced by battery provider Invinity. This innovative idea will allow for the cost of battery storage to be spread over the course of a project to help make batteries more affordable.

Blueprint published by Moray Council to fulfill aim of being carbon neutral by 2030

6 September, 2020 – Moray Council have published an initial action plan to meet their ambitious 2030 net-zero goal. Actions include deploying onsite renewables at council-owned buildings, eliminating single-use plastics and supporting local renewable energy schemes. OnGen can help councils meet their net-zero targets through onsite renewables. Contact us today to kickstart your renewable journey.

UK residential battery company Social Energy wins firm frequency response grid services contract

4 September, 2020 – The first completely domestic weekly Firm Frequency Response deal was won by Social Energy, who offer domestic battery storage systems with an artificial intelligence platform. It is hoped that this trial deal will help balance the electricity demand on the national grid while reducing customers’ energy costs.

Britain's electricity demand returns to 2019 levels as lockdown lifts

4 September, 2020 – Cornwall Insight report shows that during the Covid-19 outbreak in March, the demand for power in the UK was 15% lower than 2019 levels. As Britain returns to work and school, the electricity rates have risen back to 2019 levels over the summer months and are expected to remain at higher levels. Are you interested in reducing your organisation’s grid energy consumption? Contact OnGen to see how onsite renewables could help your organisation.

Renewables set UK power generation records in 1H 2020

31 August, 2020 – Recent Drax Report finds that the UK renewables generation for the second quarter of 2020 has increased by 32% when compared to 2019. The large increase in renewable electricity generation (up to 70% of the UK’s total electricity demand) is the result of new generation records being reached for biomass, wind, and solar, as well as a decrease in demand.

GE Renewable Energy chosen to deliver 25MW DC-coupled energy storage system

28 August, 2020 – A new collaboration between GE Renewable Energy and Wykes will allow for the UK’s first DC-coupled battery storage system to be developed. The new battery system will be combined with the 60MW ground-mounted solar PV site located at Chelveston Renewable Energy Park.

UK remains ‘world’s biggest offshore wind market’ in first half of 2020

28 August, 2020 – World Forum Offshore Wind report findings highlight that the UK continues to remain the largest global offshore wind market for the first half of 2020. In the last six months, the UK has added an installed capacity of 714MW. China is a strong contender in this race, with its offshore wind market dramatically growing, with 1.4GW installed over the six-month period.

August sees wind blast UK records

27 August, 2020 – August has been a record-breaking month for wind power generation in the UK, with wind power meeting approximately 60% of the total power demand on two separate instances. This record-breaking generation is thought to help wind power gain further investment and increase the number of jobs in the field.

Going solar increases average house prices in the UK by £32,459 finds solar panel specialists

19 August, 2020 – New research by solar panel specialists has found that installing panels on properties can increase house prices across the UK by £32,459 on average, an increase of 14%. The highest increase was seen in London, followed by Bristol and Edinburgh. The ability to sell surplus generation to the grid and the reduced energy bills makes solar extremely desirable for home buyers. 

Non-domestic RHI projects impacted by COVID-19 granted six-month extension

18 August, 2020 – The government has announced a six-month extension for applications to the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in the wake of coronavirus. The decision postpones the scheme’s planned closure in March 2021 to September 2021. The move is only an extension for projects already under development and those that have not benefited from recent extensions to tariff guarantees. 

BEIS eyes CfD model to help scale-up UK's green hydrogen economy

18 August, 2020 – According to a report by Frontier Economics, support for green hydrogen through the CfD mechanism would give investors more certainty than providing regulated returns. Frontier Economics state the worst option would be an obligation scheme guaranteeing purchases, which could expose business and domestic consumers to paying high payments. 

Engie offers fixed-price PPAs in the UK

14 August, 2020 – Engie is offering fixed-price long-term power purchase agreements that are tailored to fit the individual requirements of developers and funders. These PPAs will provide guaranteed income that is often needed to secure funding. Developers can choose PPAs of any length up to 10 years. 

Wind lifts UK renewables Q1 output by 30%

13 August, 2020 – Compared with the same period in 2019, offshore wind helped the UK’s renewable generation increase by 30% in the first quarter of 2020. Wind generation increased significantly for both offshore (53%) and onshore (29%). However, solar generation decreased by 11% in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. 

Schools across England ‘wasting more than £326m each year on inefficient lighting’

12 August, 2020 – Schools across England waste more than £326 million each year on inefficient lighting, which generates more than 572,000 tonnes of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions annually. Many state schools are tied down by procurement rules preventing them from upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment.

Britain urged to hit 65% renewables by 2030

11 August, 2020 – The National Infrastructure Commission has advised the UK to increase its renewable electricity target from 50% to 65% by 2030. New research shows this can be delivered at the same cost as meeting only half of the total demand. The commission recommends a refreshed pipeline of contracts for difference auctions to accelerate more offshore and onshore wind, as well as solar power projects. 

UK Government announces plans to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030

7 August, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced a review of current energy infrastructure at sea, focusing on improving the cabling and transmission network to reduce costs and impacts of connecting new wind farms to the onshore grid. The announcement follows an Oil and Gas Authority report which found that offshore renewables could account for 30% of the emissions reductions needed by 2050. 

Lincolnshire LEP lays groundwork for Humber wind hub

7 August, 2020 – The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has agreed to finance a land preparation project that will prepare a site for the development of a wind hub. The project is one of seven to secure backing from the LEP’s £25.8 million Getting Building Fund. Plans include 1,270 metres of heavy duty quays and an 80-hectare marshalling area.

Bank of England accused of 'missing significant green recovery opportunity'

7 August, 2020 – The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Reports have shown that the Bank has been offering support packages to large companies without environmental conditions, going against their stated prioritisation of low-carbon finance. The Bank’s Corporate Bond Purchase Programme has invested £11.4bn of the total £20bn in energy-intensive and high emitting sectors. 

Climate crisis: World’s largest coal mine sees value slashed by £1.4bn amid surge in demand for renewables

6 August, 2020 – The world’s largest coal mine, North Antelope Rochelle, has reported a loss of £1.17bn for the second quarter of this year, owing to cheap gas and increasing wind capacity coming online. Mine production has decreased by over 50% since 2014, which can be attributed to increased demand for clean energy. 

Scots call for onshore wind consent overhaul

6 August, 2020 – Industry figures are calling for the Scottish government to set fixed timelines for each stage of the planning and decision-making process for onshore wind. It was also stated that excessive weight had been given to landscape in the planning system, potentially inhibiting the drive for green infrastructure.  

University of Surrey set to start work on battery that can capture carbon dioxide emissions

5 August, 2020 – The University of Surrey is set to start developing a battery that captures carbon dioxide emissions. This project aims to position the UK as a leader in portable energy storage through breakthroughs in efficient carbon dioxide fixation.

Iberdrola to build ‘world’s largest’ onsite self-consumption solar system

5 August, 2020 – Iberdrola has announced it will build and operate the world’s largest onsite self-consumption solar power system in Spain. The 100MW array will create up to 500 jobs during construction and will provide green electricity to SABIC’s industrial plant, making the industrial complex the first large-scale chemical production facility to operate fully on renewable electricity. 

Google owner issues largest corporate sustainability bond in history

4 August, 2020 – Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, has issued £4.4bn in sustainability bonds, which is the largest sustainability bond issued by a corporation to date. Projects that can receive support from the bond include energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as well as those addressing racial equality and circular economy. 

‘UK’s first-ever heat pump tariff’ set to be launched this autumn

27 July, 2020 – Good Energy has announced a new heat pump tariff, which is set to offer cheaper rates when the grid is greener and experiencing lower demand. The tariff thus aims to make greener heating more cost-effective for UK households. After Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the Green Homes scheme, where homeowners can claim up to £10,000 for heat pumps, this tariff is a welcome additional push to help heat pump deployment increase. 

UK power sector 'could have negative emissions by 2033'

27 July, 2020 – The expansion of offshore wind, bioenergy and carbon capture and storage could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033. Demand-side response and storage will also contribute to this net zero projection. However, to achieve this, we need immediate action across key technologies and policy areas, most notably in the transport, heating and energy efficiency sectors. 

Climate crisis: Offshore wind power ‘so cheap it could return money to consumers’

27 July, 2020 – Renewable energy is likely to become the cheapest kind of power to produce in the UK, meaning that consumers may benefit from cheaper energy bills. With the UK is dominating the global offshore wind market, offshore wind may become cheaper than fossil-fuelled power stations. Rapid technology development, allowing larger turbines to be built further out at sea, has allowed for this decrease in price. 

YouGov poll finds that only 23 percent of British citizens believe burning wood from forests should be classed as ‘renewable energy’

24 July, 2020 – A YouGov poll found that only 23% of British citizens think biomass should be classified as renewable energy, while 55% oppose continued Government subsidies for this technology. Research has shown that large-scale biomass use can release more carbon than a coal plant, especially when including the emissions from importing biomass overseas. 

UK Treasury Committee relaunches green finance probe

24 July, 2020 – The Treasury Committee is relaunching an inquiry to examine whether the UK’s response to coronavirus should take net zero targets into account. Specifically, the committee wants to address whether support packages should distinguish between companies based on their pollution levels. Without green conditions on financial assistance, public money will be used to support businesses whose efforts do not align with net zero targets. 

Boris Johnson outlines £750m green spending for heavy industry and aviation

22 July, 2020 – The UK government has announced a suite of funding that targets emissions reduction in the heavy industry sector. Investments will be used to help decarbonise aviation, construction and transport, as well as bring CCS technologies online and at scale. Although this helps address important areas of reduction, carbon pricing, as well as stricter mandates on embodied carbon and energy efficiency will likely be needed. 

Can a hydrogen boom fuel a green recovery for Britain?

19 July, 2020 – The potential for green hydrogen production in the UK is immense, owing to high winds from the North Sea. The UK has all the ingredients to make hydrogen successful, but significant government intervention is needed. Successful expansion of hydrogen will reduce emissions, provide real export opportunities and boost job prospects in regions suffering most from the impact of coronavirus. 

London Underground plots PPA revolution

17 July, 2020 –Transport for London (TfL) is aiming to source all its electricity requirements from zero-carbon sources by 2030 through power purchase agreements. As TfL is one of the largest electricity consumers in the UK, this will act as a significant step to reaching the UK’s net zero target. The plans will also explore the potential for meeting the Greater London Authority group’s wider demand for renewable electricity. 

Onshore renewables ‘could pump £28.9bn into UK economy by 2035’

16 July, 2020 – A new analysis by Thrive Renewables suggests that onshore renewables could pump £38.9bn into the UK economy by 2035 and save energy users up to £1.5bn a year. This would require building 5.5GW of onshore renewable capacity annually between now and 2035. The report suggests that policy stability and the removal of planning difficulties will be needed for onshore renewables to reach their full potential. 

BEIS launches offshore wind transmission review

15 July, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng launched a review into the existing offshore transmission regime to address the barriers it creates for future offshore deployment. The review will see a focus on projects due online before 2025 and will consider how to give developers the flexibility to test new ways of bringing power to shore. It will also look further into the future, seeking to create a long-term regime that helps limit environmental, social and economic costs. 

Green hydrogen production ‘could become cost-competitive by 2030’

15 July, 2020 – A new analysis by IHS Markit Hydrogen and Renewable Gas Forum states that green hydrogen production could become cost-competitive by 2030, owing to increased scale and standardised manufacturing. The study suggests that hydrogen will be used increasingly to decarbonise the transport, heating, industry and power generation sectors. 

Energy storage planning regulations eased in bid to spur net-zero transition

15 July, 2020 – BEIS ministers voted to enable storage projects above 50MW and have altered local planning frameworks to shorten the application process.  BEIS believes that this will help more renewable generation come online and balance the grid, as well as boost the economy after lockdown. These changes are a welcome step on our way to net zero.  

Offshore wind energy investment quadruples despite Covid-19 slump

13 July, 2020 – Despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, global offshore wind investment more than quadrupled in the first half of 2020. BNEF believes this can be attributed to falling capital costs. The growth in offshore wind powered a 5% rise in total renewable energy investment to $132.4bn, despite a slump in onshore wind and solar projects. 

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust unveils solar power plan to cut emissions

13 July, 2020 – East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has released a plan to power half of Margate’s Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital with 1,200 solar panels. Plans also include the deployment of LED lighting and the upgrade of heating systems. This project is expected to save more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and £1.2m per year. Interested in cost and carbon savings? Contact us today. 

Work begins in Lincolnshire on world's longest subsea power cable

13 July, 2020 – Construction has begun on the world’s longest subsea power cable, which will transport renewable energy between Britain and Denmark. This ‘Viking Link’ project aims to increase Britain’s access to green power and help prevent homegrown renewable energy from going to waste when generation is too high. The cable is set to be operational in 2023. 

£35bn green energy overhaul to prepare UK for zero-carbon electricity system – and makes bills cheaper

9 July, 2020 – Ofgem has proposed a £35bn overhaul of the energy network, making it greener and more resilient. The money will be invested in new wind and solar farms, as well as network upgrades to deal with the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Further changes will include the addition of hydrogen into the grid to help decarbonise heat. 

Huge Flywheel Project to Aid UK's Renewable Energy Uptake

8 July, 2020 – A flywheel project in north-east Scotland aims to be operational by winter of 2021 and will help stabilise the grid’s electrical frequency, removing the need for carbon-emitting spinning turbines. This project will allow the grid to use more renewable energy and help prevent future blackouts, like that seen in August 2019. 

‘Renewable energy can provide 12,000 jobs and £20bn of new investment to the UK’

8 July, 2020 – According to RenewableUK, renewable energy can provide 12,000 new jobs and £20bn of new investments to the UK. If policymakers lift capacity caps for the renewable energy auction in 2021, 11GW of new onshore and offshore wind could be secured. Further boosting of the development of renewable infrastructure would support faster decarbonisation of the transport and domestic heating sectors.

UK's first eco-powered greenspace created in Edinburgh

8 July, 2020 – Edinburgh’s Saughton Park has become the UK’s first fully eco-powered greenspace. Its micro-hydro technology generates electricity for all the park’s needs, including the running of two ground source heat pump systems, which heat the buildings. Over 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide and £19,000 will be saved annually

Exeter City Council builds its first solar and battery storage project

8 July, 2020 – Exeter City Council has announced plans to build a 1.2MW solar array co-located with a 1MW battery. This scheme will help the city reach its net zero by 2030 target. Interested in becoming a world-leading green city? Contact us to see how onsite renewables can reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions while saving money on energy bills. 

REA brands green recovery funding 'drop in the ocean'

8 July, 2020 – The Renewable Energy Association has described the £3bn of green recovery offered by the UK Government as a “drop in the ocean.” With no mention of renewables, the plans have been criticised as uncomprehensive. Although money will contribute to energy efficiency improvements and a drive on green job creation, £3bn is not in the right ballpark for a world-leading green recovery. 

Government approves Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm

2 July, 2020 – The UK government has granted consent to the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project, which would provide electricity for nearly two million homes. Located 30 miles offshore, the farm will consist of 90-180 turbines and will provide 400 jobs during the construction phase. This project will boost the government’s chances of delivering 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. 

‘Improving energy efficiency of UK homes could save the NHS £1bn’

30 June, 2020 – Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes by increasing insulation could create 8,000 jobs, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, save on household energy bills and help protect the NHS. Increased physical and mental health benefits will prevent excess winter deaths and could save the NHS £63 million in the first year of roll-out. 

Renewable Heat Incentive business applicants land 14-month extension due to coronavirus

30 June, 2020 – Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) applicants have been given a 14-month extension to complete projects delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. This extension will provide certainty and security to those in the renewable heat industry, helping stop 108 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted and providing new green-collar jobs. 

Boris Johnson promises to “build build build” to help UK recover from coronavirus crisis

30 June, 2020 – Boris Johnson has committed to plant more than 30,000 hectares of trees per year and spend £40 million on local conservation projects. He said he would step up investments in technologies like net zero planes and renewables, however, he made no mention of improving home insulation. We need to retrofit and renovate to meet net zero, as, by 2050, 80% of UK families will still be living in homes that have already been built today.

Yorkshire Water plans solar surge

29 June, 2020 – Yorkshire Water hs opened a tender for an agreement that covers the development of solar arrays across 150 of their sites. The generated electricity will be purchased by the water company under a PPA, with all surplus exported to the grid. Once operational, 6000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved per year, energy costs will be reduced and biodiversity will be enhanced. We can help companies like Yorkshire Water meet their net zero goals through onsite renewables. Contact us to get started today. 

COVID-19: UK grid balancing costs deferred

26 June, 2020 – Ofgem, the UK energy regular, has deferred extra grid balancing costs arising from the impact of the pandemic. National Grid will recover excess charges equally across 2021-22 instead. BSUoS charges being capped at £15/MWh should avoid generators and suppliers going bust. 

Clean energy trade bodies call to Chancellor to put renewables at heart of green recovery

25 June, 2020 – A consortium of trade associations related to the renewables industry has sent an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for renewables to be embedded in the UK’s recovery package. The letter highlights the value of developing a circular economy to help meet net zero targets and provide a return on investment, as well as millions of jobs and energy security.

Renewable energy breaks UK record in first quarter of 2020

25 June, 2020 – In the first quarter of 2020, 47% of the UK’s electricity generation was provided by renewable generation, surpassing the previous record of 39%. The increase seen was driven by growth in solar and wind generation, with a notable increase of 53% in offshore wind power generation since last year. 

Hydrogen 'could provide half of the UK's net-zero energy demand'

24 June, 2020 – The latest Aurora Energy Research report suggests that hydrogen could provide around half of the energy needed to power the UK’s industrial sector. For this to happen, policy and industry will need to collaborate at a rapid scale and will require a collective investment of £450bn. Hydrogen doesn’t only present a great path to net zero, but it is suggested that 55,000 jobs will be safeguarded.  

Brighton Council to install solar panels in hundreds of homes to slash energy bills

22 June, 2020 – Brighton Council plans to install solar panels on 500 households, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tonnes per year. Set to finish by 2023, the scheme will have a significant impact on meeting their carbon-neutral by 2030 target. At OnGen, we have helped several local authorities meet their targets through onsite renewables. Contact us to kickstart your journey today.

How can an electrician help make your home energy efficient?

22 June, 2020 – The benefits from solar, LED lights and ground source heat pumps are immense; from energy security to cost savings, the consumer is likely to benefit in more ways than one. Interested in transforming your energy consumption? Contact us to find out what renewable and energy efficiency options are right for your site. 

Government sets out plans to ramp up smart meter installations

18 June, 2020 – The UK government has rolled out plans to increase smart meter installation through increased publicity. Smart meters can save consumers up to £250 on their bills and can slash carbon dioxide emissions by 45 million tonnes. Smart meters can, therefore, help the UK reach its important net zero target. 

Climate emission killer: construction begins on world’s biggest liquid air battery

18 June, 2020 – Construction near Manchester is beginning on the world’s largest liquid air battery, which will store renewable electricity. The system will use spare green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it to be later released into a gas to power a turbine. This project, set to be operational in 2022, will be able to power 200,000 homes for 5 hours.

Shetland plans for UK's biggest onshore wind farm to proceed

17 June, 2020 – SSE Renewables has plans to press ahead with the UK’s biggest onshore wind farm, a 443MW project on Shetland. It is hoped that the project will be completed in 2024 and would create about 400 jobs at peak construction. This project will help Shetland harness its renewable potential, securing its electricity supplies and decarbonising its energy source. 

More than 27,000 global green jobs lost during May

17 June, 2020 – More than 27,000 clean energy jobs were lost in May, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, it is suggested that over 620,500 clean energy workers have become unemployed. Through a green recovery, we hope this number bounces back and green jobs are prioritised to deliver a clean and green future. 

UK urged to set 40GW PV goal for 2030

16 June, 2020 – In a new letter to the Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, the Solar Trade Association states that the UK government should commit to a 40GW solar capacity target. The government should also implement green tax reform to ensure sustainable growth of rooftop solar and battery storage. Green finance should be available for solar installations through grants or zero-interest loans. 

Domestic renewable energy installs rise 37% in ‘early signs’ of recovery

16 June, 2020 – As coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to ease, there are early signs that domestic renewable energy installations are recovering. The average number of solar installations in May rose by 37% compared to April, as caution eases and the supply chain begins to be restored. Interested in solar? Assess the feasibility on your site using the OnGen Expert. Contact us for more information. 

Scotland launches £62m energy recovery fund

12 June, 2020 – The Scottish Government has launched a £62m fund to help the energy sector recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This Energy Transition Fund will support businesses grow and diversify, ultimately helping Scotland meet its ambitious net zero targets. Projects that are being considered for funding include a hydrogen hub and an energy transition zone. 

Coronavirus: Home insulation 'could create cheap jobs'

11 June, 2020 – Jobs insulating homes can be created at a fraction of the cost of other construction jobs and help cut local pollution and energy bills. 700,000 direct jobs could be created in England’s low-carbon and renewable energy economy by 2030, with 46% of those related directly to clean electricity generation and 21% involved in energy efficiency product installation. 

Scots Crown launches 10GW ScotWind lease round

10 June, 2020 – Crown Estate Scotland has launched a leasing round for up to 10GW of offshore wind, the first in Scottish waters for a decade. Agreements can lead to leases for offshore wind farm development, forming a large part of Scotland’s green recovery. Total investment could surpass £8 billion and deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household. 

How will the CSR community respond to the Black Lives Matter movement?

10 June, 2020 – Think tank Policy Exchange found that environmental professionals were the second-least diverse profession in the UK, with only 3% of professionals identifying as non-white minorities. Companies listed at the top of racial and ethnic diversity parameters are 35% more likely to deliver financial returns. Everyone must talk about racism more, call out instances of racism and take action to rectify them. Black Lives Matter. 

Why your business should consider generating its own renewable electricity

9 June, 2020 – Reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during the lockdown are likely to be temporary unless we make real changes. Onsite renewables can help take pressure off the grid, improve energy security and save money on energy bills. Interested in joining the collective fight against climate change through installing onsite renewables? Contact us today to get started. 

Five key questions about energy after Covid-19

9 June, 2020 – The lockdown caused by the pandemic has the potential to change the energy industry long term. Wholesale electricity prices went negative, causing grid operators to pay their customers to use power and nuclear plants provided nearly half of the low carbon electricity used in Europe; how will the energy sector look following the pandemic? 

Alok Sharma announces green recovery working group

8 June, 2020 – Business secretary Alok Sharma has launched a recovery round table to examine ways of stimulating economic growth through a green transition. The round table acts to increase efforts to listen to the business and academic communities to ensure a green economic bounce-back. The work from the round table will feed directly into how the government structures their economic recovery. 

COVID-19: BEIS outlines changes to CfD obligations

4 June, 2020 – BEIS plans to protect suppliers from 80% of the increase in suppliers’ obligations under the CfD, owing to the impact of the pandemic. CfD regulations will also be amended to defer an increase in obligations by an additional quarter, pushing to the second quarter of 2021. Proposals are now going to parliament for approval, which is predicted before 9 July. 

EU, UK trade groups call for ‘efficient future energy relations’

3 June, 2020 – WindEurope and other trade groups are calling on the UK and the EU to work towards net zero emissions in tandem. Trade groups state that linkages and cooperation are needed to preserve the current system functioning and enable the evolution of future systems. Specific focus was placed on the benefits of efficient and cost-effective trading over interconnectors and the importance of continued collaboration. 

UK unveils emissions trading plans

2 June, 2020 – The UK has unveiled plans for a country-wide emissions trading scheme to replace the European Union’s version. This new scheme would increase the emissions cap by 5% as compared to the current EU system, with further amendments predicted in future to align the cap with the net zero emissions target. The new scheme aims to have enough similarities to ensure a seamless transition after Brexit. 

UK electricity coal free for first month ever

2 June, 2020 – May was the UK’s “greenest” month since the Industrial Revolution, running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month. Wind and solar made 28% of May’s energy mix and gas contributed 30%. The collapse in energy demand due to the coronavirus lockdown, as well as the unseasonably sunny weather, contributed to this dramatic change in the energy mix. 

UPDATE: BEIS refuses 340MW Thanet extension

2 June, 2020 – The UK Government has refused planning permission for Vattenfall’s up to 340MW offshore wind farm due to potential impacts on commercial shipping routes. This expansion was thought to be an important development for the local area and the road to net zero. To achieve the 40GW capacity by 2030 target, new projects will need to be progressed.

Make Covid-19 recovery green, say business leaders

1 June, 2020 – More than 200 top UK firms and investors, including Asda and Siemens, have signed a letter calling on the government to deliver a green recovery plan. The key proposals include driving investment in low carbon innovation, focusing support on environmental sectors and ensuring bailout cash is well aligned with climate goals. 

UK gives go-ahead for 350MW mega-solar

28 May, 2020 – The UK Secretary for BEIS, Alok Sharma, has approved a 350MW solar farm in Kent, which will generate enough energy to power 91,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 68,000 tonnes annually. The solar farm will also include energy storage and will significantly contribute to the net-zero agenda.

Surplus wind energy could heat Scottish homes

28 May, 2020 – National Grid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are exploring using surplus wind energy to heat Scottish homes to prevent wind curtailment. There are currently 380,000 homes in Scotland that could benefit from electric heating solutions such as ground source heat pumps. Interested in ground source heat? Contact us to see if it’s the right option for your site. 

Record drop in energy investment, warns International Energy Agency

27 May, 2020 – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, global energy investment is predicted to fall by 20%, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA also warns that fossil fuels are likely to rebound following the crisis, leading to a spike in carbon emissions. The plunge in investment also means the loss of jobs and economic opportunities, as well as a loss of energy supply that may be needed urgently in future. 

COP26 to be delayed until November 2021

27 May, 2020 – COP26 has been further postponed to November 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic having placed restrictions on events and public gatherings. The delay is notable due to the US elections scheduled for later this year, which would either enable Trump to fully withdraw from the Paris Agreement or allow Biden to rejoin the agreement. Further, the UK has yet to unveil a clear roadmap to net-zero; this additional time should allow the UK to lead the way with a green recovery. 

NextEnergy to build subsidy-free UK solar plants

26 May, 2020 – NextEnergy Capital has secured £100m debt financing with Santander to built two subsidy-free solar plants. Llanwern solar farm in Wales will be the largest subsidy-free plant, as well as the largest solar farm in the UK to date. The intention is to move the two farms to a new subsidy-free private fund, which will target new-build solar projects in the UK. 

UK power emissions 'fall to record low'

25 May, 2020 – On 23 May, the carbon intensity of the grid fell to a record low of 61 gCO2/kWh due to increased solar and wind generation. The lowest grid carbon moment reported on the 23rd was as low as 33 gCO2/kWh. As lifestyles shift and demand patterns change, we hope the grid continues to decarbonise at a fast rate. 

Renewables to account for three-quarters of UK's power demand by 2050

22 May, 2020 – According to a report by RenewableUK, the UK could source 76% of its power demand from renewables by 2050. Overall wind capacity could grow by 66 GW by 2030 to provide more than half of the UK’s power demand. With a large renewable capacity, the UK could also produce hydrogen using renewables, helping hydrogen become competitive quickly and helping it decarbonise the grid.

Renewable energy may be switched off as demand plummets

22 May, 2020 – Hundreds of renewable energy projects may be asked to turn off this bank holiday weekend to avoid overloading the grid, as electricity demand in the UK plummets to new lows. Sunny weather is expected to generate more electricity than needed, threatening to overwhelm the energy system. Small wind turbines and solar installations, therefore, will be paid to stop generating by a new Nation Grid scheme. 

National Grid ESO integrates wind for frequency response

20 May, 2020 – National Grid has launched a new signal for wind generators, providing live data on the potential maximum power output of wind farms while comparing the data to actual output. National Grid can then calculate the response and reserve capability held by each wind generator, helping boost the potential for involvement in real-time frequency response. 

UK Government publishes Capacity Market response

20 May, 2020 – The UK Government has published its Capacity Market response, with plans to reduce the minimum capacity threshold for participating generators from 2MW to 1MW. Other changes include reporting and verification mechanisms for the introduction of carbon dioxide emission limits in the Capacity Market. These, alongside the other changes, will help cutting-edge clean technologies compete. 

How renewable energy could power Britain's economic recovery

19 May, 2020 – Analysts, economists and environmentalists argue that renewable energy should help power a green economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown. After the last financial crisis, the UK’s green economy supported tens of thousands of jobs and helped contribute to fiscal growth. The Social Market Foundation predicts that clean energy could provide 1.4 million new jobs with little risk, as renewable energy technology costs plummet.

London launches plans to become ‘one of the largest car-free zones in the world’

15 May, 2020 – After the lockdown, London has plans to turn itself into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city. Places like Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge will be restricted to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. The Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone will be reintroduced on 18 May, with propositions to increase the charge and hours of operation. 

UK’s largest battery to help keep the nation’s lights on

15 May, 2020 – Edinburgh-based Flexitricity will optimise revenue and help balance supply and demand for Europe’s largest battery. The lithium-ion battery storage site will be monitored from Flexitricity’s 24/7 control room and Flexitricity will dynamically move the asset between different markets. Investment in batteries will help decarbonise the grid and transition to a renewables-led electricity market. 

Green energy firms on track to deliver multibillion-pound windfarms

13 May, 2020 – Scottish Power has unveiled plans to repower Scotland’s oldest windfarm as part of a £150m scheme to deliver 100,000 homes with green electricity in central Scotland. This windfarm is expected to create 600 jobs at its peak and 280 long-term jobs. Similarly, SSE and Equinor have plans to use the Port of Tyne for the world’s largest offshore wind development, creating 200 permanent jobs. These projects, alongside others, will help boost the economy when the pandemic ends. 

COVID-19: BEIS proposes changes to CfD obligations

13 May, 2020 – Due to the impact of coronavirus, the UK government is seeking views on a proposal to defer raises to electricity suppliers’ obligations under CfD rules. Owing to the decrease in electricity demand and higher payments to CfD generators because of lower wholesale electricity prices, suppliers would have faced an unexpected increase in their obligations. BEIS later extended the closing date for the fourth CfD consultation by a week to ensure interested parties have ample time to respond. 

CCS technologies ‘must form a key part of developing climate-neutral economies’

13 May, 2020 – A report by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute suggests the CCS technologies must form a key part of delivering net-zero emissions by 2050. CCS will help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate industrial sectors and help decarbonise hydrogen production. The institute predicts that more than 2,000 CCS facilities will be needed by 2050, a large increase compared to the 19 large-scale facilities that are currently operating. 

UK project seeks 'flexible' approach to net zero

12 May, 2020 – The Flexibility in Great Britain project, led by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, will investigate how flexibility in the heat and power sectors can reduce consumers’ costs and explore how an integrated flexible system can be delivered. Findings will be published in 2021 and will inform the rapid transition towards net zero and low emission transport options through new flexibility. The project consortium includes organisations like EDF Energy and the Greater London Authority, as well as the engagement with BEIS and the CCC. 

Remote working ‘could shrink employee-generated emissions by 28%’

11 May, 2020 – According to research by Longevity Intelligence, the average UK employee could emit 28% fewer carbon emissions through continuing remote working. Research states that office occupancy will decrease by roughly 50% due to the prolongation of home working to ensure employees’ safety. We hope this helps some businesses achieve net zero at a quicker rate. Does your business still have offices? Why not reach net zero emissions through onsite renewables? Contact us for more information. 

Drax Launches New Biomass Carbon Calculator

7 May, 2020 – Drax has launched a Biomass Carbon Calculator to measure emissions in the supply chain to ensure the sustainability of biomass supply. This comes after Drax announced they will become carbon negative by 2030. This carbon accounting tool will consider possible emissions in the production and transportation of the biomass pellets through the use of supply chain data.

Renewables win 82% of public support in UK poll

7 May, 2020 – Latest figures from the Public Attitudes Tracker show 82% of people support the use of renewable energy. 76% of people also said they were concerned about climate change. These figures show the importance of including investment in new renewables in economic recovery packages, as they will stimulate growth and employment, as well as help meet our net zero emissions target, which are all key issues in the public’s eye.

CCC: Reducing emissions and adapting to climate change ‘integral to UK’s recovery from coronavirus’

6 May, 2020 – The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has written letters to urge UK leaders to include climate investments to support economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. The CCC highlights that the government can lead the way to new social norms that reduce emissions by adopting habits seen in quarantine, such as home-working and remote medical consultations. Recovery should not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions through the support for carbon-intensive sectors.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust ‘to save £1.4m a year’ with green upgrades

6 May, 2020 – Optimisation of energy use in the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will generate financial savings of £1.4 million per year and cut carbon emissions by 7.7 tonnes annually. Key improvements will include the installation of LED lights and a new combined heat and power plant, as well as boiler upgrades. Interested in achieving carbon reductions while saving money on your energy bills? Contact us at OnGen to find out how you can achieve your renewable energy goals like the United Lincolnshire Hospitals.

Tyneside abandoned coal mines to be transformed into multimillion-pound renewable energy system

5 May, 2020 – A £7 million heating scheme will tap into geothermal energy from the underground pits of the Hebburn Colliery to heat South Tyneside Council buildings. The scheme is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 319 tonnes per year and help upgrade the energy performance of fuel-poor homes. The mine water heating system will be powered with local solar panels and a water-source heat pump will extract the heat from the mine water to distribute it across the heat network.

IEA: Coronavirus lockdown to see global emissions fall by record 8%

30 April, 2020 – According to the International Energy Agency, local emissions are set to fall by 8% owing to the coronavirus lockdown. Reductions in energy demands have lifted the share of renewables in the energy mix and caused global coal demand to shrink. The impact of coronavirus on energy demand is set to be seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. There is a small silver lining for renewables, who are predicted to get preferential access to many power systems in future.

Covid-19 crisis will wipe out demand for fossil fuels, says IEA

30 April, 2020 – The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable technologies will be the only source resilient to the global energy shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Renewable generation is expected to grow by 5% this year to make up 30% of the world’s lessening electricity demand. In recovery periods, fossil fuel companies may shift towards renewable generation as governments hopefully include clean energy in economic stimulus packages.

UK Government seeks views on future low carbon heat support beyond the RHI

29 April, 2020 – BEIS has launched a consultation to explore support for low carbon heat beyond the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI is expected to be extended to 2022 amid the current pandemic. The consultation backs the future replacement of the RHI with a new Clean Heat Grant, which will provide financial support for heat pumps and biomass boilers. A Green Gas Support Scheme will also aim to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid through biomethane injection.

Solar surge pushes coal from UK energy mix

28 April, 2020 – Optimal conditions for solar efficiency have delivered a record coal-free period for the UK, with coal power being offline since midnight 10 April. Solar, if prioritised in recovery packages, can continue to become a greater part of the energy mix and provide quality green jobs and growth at short notice. Alongside other low-cost renewables like onshore wind, innovative renewable technologies like hydrogen and battery storage can help accelerate the transition to net zero.

£320m deal allows wind farm project to proceed

27 April, 2020 – A £320 million deal will allow a 50-turbine wind farm to be built on the border between East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. Set to be operational by 2023, the wind farm will provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 170,000 homes. Construction will commence as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Countries need to 'step up clean power support'

27 April, 2020 – In an online video conference with key stakeholders, UK BEIS Secretary Alok Sharma called for technical assistance and policy support to make clean power the most attractive option for all countries. He noted that collaboration between countries, businesses and civil society is key to a just transition away from coal. We must not lose sight of the huge challenges climate change presents and commit to the scaling up of cheap, clean power and battery technology.

Renewables ‘could stimulate economic growth while benefiting the environment’

23 April, 2020 – According to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the transition to a green economy would require an investment of £106 trillion which would provide socio-economic gains of more than £79 trillion within the next 30 years, and generate 42 million jobs. The IREA highlight the need to align short-term recovery actions with the medium to long-term objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Energy Superhub Oxford kickstarts EV revolution

23 April, 2020 – As part of Energy Superhub Oxford, Oxford City Council has added 6 new EVs, with an aim to deliver a further 27 in the next 4 months and 25% electrification by 2023. Additionally, Pivot Power is installing a charging network that delivers 25MW of power throughout the city, connecting public charging facilities directly to the transmission network. The world’s largest hybrid energy storage system, comprising of a 50MW lithium-ion battery and a 2MW vanadium redox flow battery, will also share this connection. It is great to see a continued commitment to driving decarbonisation.

Surge in community renewables projects

22 April, 2020 – Despite huge subsidy cuts from UK Government, the number of solar panel projects has tripled in the past 8 years. It is great to see Scotland taking advantage of renewables to decrease their carbon footprint and increase their energy cost savings. Interested in benefiting from onsite renewables? Contact us at OnGen to find out more.

Proximity to offshore wind could make Humberside a green hydrogen hub

22 April, 2020 – The Green Hydrogen for Humberside project, powered by ITM Power and Element Energy, will lead the production of renewable hydrogen in the industrial Humberside region. This region is the UK’s largest cluster by industrial emissions and has access to offshore wind in the North Sea. This project is an important part of meeting net zero by enabling bulk scale supply of zero-carbon fuel.

Solar market ‘significantly hit’ by coronavirus crisis

21 April, 2020 – A report from GlobalData suggests that there was a 31% drop in corporate funding in the solar PV sector between January and March compared to last year. The drop in funding levels can be attributed to the pandemic bringing the global economy to a halt, causing minimal activity in the solar PV market. Once the pandemic is over, we hope the solar PV market will get back on track.

Oil price explained: What negative prices mean for climate change and greenhouse gas emissions

21 April, 2020 – On 20 April, oil prices fell negative for the first time in history as demand dropped due to coronavirus lockdowns across the world. Low oil prices present a good opportunity to introduce a tax on fossil fuels and increased investment in renewables. However, if governments don’t use this price decrease to push forward a green agenda, it is likely the world will return to ‘business as usual.’ We hope this marks an important turning point for our green future.

UK smashes record solar peak

21 April, 2020 – The UK has surpassed its all-time peak solar generation record with a peak of 9.68GW on 20 April. This resulted in solar meeting almost 30% of UK electricity demand. We thank solar for reducing pollution and helping keep our lights on during this difficult time. Interested in benefiting from solar directly? Try our onsite renewable energy feasibility assessment tool to find out if solar is right for your site. Contact us for more information.

Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

20 April, 2020 – The International Renewable Energy Agency found that accelerating investment in renewable energy could power economic recovery from the pandemic, with GDP gains of almost £80 trillion between now and 2050. It would also quadruple the number of green jobs available and improve global health and welfare scores. We hope that governments commit to this transition on a large scale to enable these benefits, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70% across the energy industry.

‘Clapping for NHS led to 950MW spike in electricity demand’

17 April, 2020 – The clapping for the NHS and key workers has created new patterns of consumption, resulting in a 950 MW spike in electricity demand. This is known as the ‘pick up’ effect, where everyone went inside to switch on the kettle. It is likely that our new ways of life will result in different energy consumption trends as daily commutes are replaced with outdoor exercise.

COVID-19: UK wind farms could be 'switched off'

17 April, 2020 – With the COVID-19 pandemic decreasing energy demand, National Grid has warned that UK power plants, including wind farms, may be asked to switch off. In recent weeks, the UK has seen a 10% drop in power demand, which is predicted to rise to as much as 20% in summer months if lockdown continues. Curtailment via the Balancing Mechanism or direct trade may, therefore, be needed to maintaining grid safety.

Coronavirus: New UK wind capacity to fall 20% this year

16 April, 2020 – New comments from GlobalData suggest that UK’s anticipated installations of new wind capacity could be downgraded by 20% due to the coronavirus lockdown. Supply chain breakdowns, travel bans and deferred maintenance also mean that the output of existing wind farms could significantly decrease. Solar capacity is also set to fall 16% compared to previous estimates, which could lead to the first year in more than 30 years that solar installations fall below levels recorded the year prior.

Net-zero: Is the UK's gas grid ready to go green?

16 April, 2020 – A new Gas Goes Green project, partnering the UK’s leading gas operators, aims to deliver the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid to help meet the broader net zero by 2050 target in a cost-effective way. The project will aim to boost existing infrastructure with new technologies like hydrogen and biomethane. Capturing waste heat is also important to make efficient systems and has become key to low carbon farming.

Climate crisis: UK aid money funnelled into fossil fuel companies

15 April, 2020 – Despite a legislated net zero target, over £623 million has been invested by the government’s development finance institution into oil and gas projects in Africa and Asia. This money should instead be used to support a transition towards renewables, especially ahead of hosting COP26 next year. We must lead by example and enable other countries to do the same, rather than facilitating fossil fuel dependency.

Almost half of UK drivers ‘consider EV switch in the wake of Covid-19’

15 April, 2020 – According to a poll by Venson Automotive Solutions, 45% of UK drivers claim they would consider swapping to an electric vehicle in the wake of the pandemic. This is attributed to the lockdown causing radical air quality improvement, thus positively impacting people’s awareness of environmental benefits. The public would also like to see more done by the government to help expedite the uptake of electric vehicles following recovery from the pandemic.

SSE warns UK government over 40GW offshore wind policy

15 April, 2020 – SSE Renewables warns that a business as usual approach will not deliver 40GW of offshore wind installed capacity by 2030 and is, therefore, calling for increased capabilities and cooperation across government departments. In their published nine-point action plan, SSE Renewables asks for more regular and increased seabed leasing volumes, the removal of barriers to the consenting process and new market design to help develop grid infrastructure, among other aspects.

Edinburgh firm OnGen rolls out innovative energy saving tool

11 April, 2020 – Chris Trigg, OnGen’s founder, was recently interviewed by The Scotsman regarding our innovative tool, the OnGen Expert. “It makes sense for the environment and financially. Being an online service means our clients can keep working with us during this Covid-19 crisis and be ready to act on climate change when it ends” (Chris Trigg). Time to arm your company with renewable energy feasibility assessments so you have a clear starting point after we overcome the pandemic. Contact us to find out more.

No Covid-19 delay to offshore wind power auction delivery, UK Gov says

9 April, 2020 – BEIS has announced that the consultation deadline for the Contracts for Difference auction, which is due to close of 22 May, will not be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The certainty that the auction is continuing as planned is vital for helping secure the new renewable energy capacity needed to meet net zero quickly. We look forward to the climate and consumers benefiting from cheap and clean power as fast as possible.

From 2050, carbon sinks ‘could see reduced capacity under warmer climate conditions’

8 April, 2020 – Nothern peatlands may lose their carbon sink capacity by 2050 owing to increased soil mineralisation and permafrost thawing if the climate continues warming. Currently, peatlands are capable of storing five times more carbon dioxide than forests. It is therefore vital that we reduce carbon emissions – interested in reducing your organisation’s emissions through onsite renewables? Contact us for more information.

UK first: Renewables overtook coal in Q1 2020, partly thanks to COVID-19

7 April, 2020 – In the UK, renewables generated more electricity than any other power source during the first quarter of 2020 through the help of the COVID-19 lockdown and extreme weather conditions. A drop in demand also allowed renewables to overtake total fossil fuel generation by 36%. Although weather patterns are likely to return to normal, the continued build of on and offshore wind farms will help increase renewable generation levels.

In charts: How coronavirus is impacting sustainability professionals across the UK

7 April, 2020 – A new survey of environmental professionals has shown that investment in sustainability and energy projects has been paused by many, with many organisations halting sustainability-related announcements. However, net-zero remains the top green policy priority, which we hope is reflected in the UK’s green transition progress. To set your organisation up for green energy deployment, why not try our renewable energy feasibility assessment tool? Contact us for more information.

Clean hydrogen ‘could cut emissions by 34% by 2050’

7 April, 2020 – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) project global greenhouse emissions could be cut by 34% by 2050 through a switch to clean hydrogen. While it could be the way forward, storage and transportation would require an investment of £520 billion by 2050 to provide a fuel like natural gas. Governmental subsidies are therefore a necessity for rolling out this technology on a large scale.

Households to be paid for daytime green electricity use during lockdown

5 April, 2020 – As demand decreases and wind and solar projects surge in energy production, thousands of British homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time. These negative electricity prices were previously only seen overnight when demand is typically lowest. but the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and spring weather means households can earn money by consuming clean energy during the day.

Hackney Council powered by 100% renewable electricity

3 April, 2020 – Hackney Council is sourcing 100% of its electricity through rooftop solar systems, a stepping stone towards meeting their net-zero by 2040 goal. The council is also looking to install EV charging points and convert all streetlamps to LED bulbs. At OnGen, we can help local councils realise their net-zero goals through onsite renewable generation. Contact us for more information and to kickstart your renewable energy journey today.

Goodbye renewables. Enter cheap oil

3 April, 2020 – Oil prices have crashed amid the coronavirus outbreak due to decreased energy demands, potentially placing pressure on the economics of renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, if low crude prices last, internal combustion engine vehicles may become competitive against electric cars. We hope, instead, that low oil prices will push oil and gas companies to invest in renewables at faster rates.

COVID-19: COP26 climate summit postponed

2 April, 2020 – COP26, the UN’s conference of climate negotiations, has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This delay will ensure all parties can focus on the issues presented at this conference in a safe manner. UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa states that “COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.” Want to help drive the fight against climate change? Transition to renewable energy by installing onsite renewables. Contact us for more information.

One year on: How has the solar feed-in-tariff closure impacted renewables in the UK?

31 March, 2020 – As of 31 March 2019, the UK’s Feed-in-Tariff, which provided payments to owners of small-scale renewable generators, closed. As a result, 43% fewer small-scale PV installations were made in February 2020 than in February 2019. However, as capital costs continue to fall and there is increased focus placed on the climate crisis, it is expected that installations will increase in future.

Increase in virtual events ‘sees 99% reduction in emissions’

30 March, 2020 – Virtual events, due to the COVID-19 crisis, have led to a 99% reduction in related emissions, owing to a decrease in travel, overnight hotel stays and catering. V-Ex, a virtual exhibition platform, states a virtual exhibition will create less than 1% of the carbon emissions of a live event. Virtual conferences are a great way to achieve our climate-related goals amid this global crisis.

UK slashes CO2 emissions by 41% since 1990

30 March, 2020 – UK carbon emissions have decreased by 41% since 1990 levels, as a result of a shift away from coal and move towards renewable energy sources. We are pleased to see the positive impacts of the transition to renewables. Interested in transitioning? Use our onsite renewable feasibility assessment tool to find the best renewable option for your site. Contact us for more information.

Power demand in Lockdown – Initial COVID 19 impact on the power market

27 March, 2020 – On Monday 23 March, before UK lockdown, electricity demand was down 9% versus an average March Monday in 2019. Decreases are expected to increase as lockdown continues due to a decrease in industrial and commercial load. Low demand has led to lower energy prices, pushing the day-ahead price for Wednesday 25 March down 39% compared to an average March Wednesday in 2019. Lower demand means there is less space to operate large synchronous generators, potentially causing wind power to be constrained to keep thermal plants such as gas or coal running.

UK greenhouse gas emissions fall for seventh year in a row

26 March, 2020 – The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell for a seventh consecutive year in 2019. The outbreak of Covid-19 has already dented energy demand by roughly 7%, owing to the steep drop in demand at factories, construction sites and offices. With shutdowns ongoing and renewable generation continuing to rise, emissions are predicted to be lower in 2020.

Climate change: Green energy plant threat to wilderness areas

25 March, 2020 – Researchers say wind, solar and hydropower installations pose a threat to conservation areas, as around 17% of renewable facilities globally are located in protected regions or key areas of biodiversity. Researchers indicate that the number of active renewable energy facilities built on important conservation lands could increase by 42% over the next 8 years as demand increases across Africa and Asia. It is vital that greater care is taken when planning and permitting renewable facilities, which is why we consider landscape designations in our renewable energy feasibility assessments.

Oxford postpones zero emission zone launch due to coronavirus

24 March, 2020 – Oxford postpones zero-emission zone launch as all focus shifts to managing coronavirus impacts. The council plans to resume consultation in late 2020, with a view of implementing the scheme in the summer of 2021. Other councils, including Birmingham, have made similar changes. It is pertinent that resources are placed on coronavirus mitigation, but it is important to consider that the climate crisis will not wait for us. We must still devote efforts to mitigate against climate change, as it will and already has, impacted the lives and health of people around the world.

Coronavirus: Now is not the time for environmental grandstanding

20 March, 2020 – Sarah George, senior editor for edie, raises important thoughts to consider on how sustainability relates to the coronavirus crisis. George states that it’s not likely that any related emissions reductions will stick following the end of the pandemic, as businesses will try to ‘make-up’ for lost productivity and changes made are not economically or socially sustainable for the majority of adults; households living on the breadline will feel the negative impacts of rapid shifts the most. We, therefore, need to create transitions which are socially just to create permanent change at scale.

COVID-19: Electricity sector ‘critical’ to UK virus response

20 March, 2020 – The UK now classifies the electricity industry as a ‘critical sector’ amid the COVID-19 crisis. This designation means workers can continue their duties and their children will be prioritised for childcare and education. Power is essential to keep our country running during this pandemic and we give thanks to all those working to keep our lights on. Want to secure your supply by generating electricity onsite? Contact us at OnGen to find out more.

CfD set to make a big difference for UK renewables sector

20 March, 2020 – The inclusion of onshore wind in the next CfD auction will make a significant difference to the viability of many projects, ensuring that onshore wind can make a bigger contribution to the UK’s climate change targets, says Claire Wallis of CMS. However, there will be rising challenges in obtaining planning permissions, with the additional documentation and negotiations with landowners needed. It is still predicted that the changes to the CfD are positive and likely ones that will increase activity and promote healthy competition.

Green light for 150MW UK battery giant

19 March, 2020 – Penso Power has gained approval to install a 150MW battery in south-west England, the largest project of its kind in Europe. This project, aiming to be operational in 2021, shows the importance that storage will play in the UK energy market in future. Inspired by batteries? Why not see if one is suitable for your site through our feasibility assessment software. Contact us to find out more.

Tracking COVID-19: A look at the UK energy sector’s response

19 March, 2020 – Solar Power Portal reviewed the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy sector. Although grid security does not appear to be at risk, it is recommended to resort to short-term PPAs for price certainty and protection for renewables. Solar demand is also forecast to be lower in 2020 due to the pandemic. In any case, COVID-19 should not derail the green energy shift the world needs in the long run. Contact us to find out how you can continue the fight against climate change today.

COVID-19: 'Give energy staff key worker status'

19 March, 2020 – The Unite union, which includes thousands of staff employed by energy and utilities, has asked the BEIS secretary to class such employees as ‘key workers’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This would mean their children would be provided access to otherwise shut down schools, allowing power, gas and water supplies to keep running smoothly. As the NHS is one of the key dependents of such services, we hope to see this change soon.

Council buildings to be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy by next Spring

17 March, 2020 – By April 2021, council buildings in Bradford will use 100% renewable electricity. In addition, more electric charging points will be installed and there will a cut down on single-use plastic. Bradford Council, along with other local councils, needs the support of businesses to facilitate a green energy transition. Here at OnGen, we can help local authorities maximise their benefit from onsite renewables. Contact us to kickstart your renewable journey today.

Planning applications for UK clean energy projects hit new high

16 March, 2020 – Last year in the UK, the number of new renewable energy projects applying for planning permissions reached a four-year high, 75% higher than three years prior. Fueled by a growing appetite among companies aiming to reach the UK’s climate goals, now renewable energy can be seen as a lucrative investment. As onshore wind is now able to participate in CfD auctions, we hope to see this number rise even further in 2020. We need to use climate policies and economic stimulus packages to continue the rollout of clean energy, despite the global health crisis we have entered. Contact us to start your renewable journey today.

More than a million outdated smart meters installed as roll-out slowed

13 March, 2020 – Nearly one million out-of-date smart meters were fitted in the year after firms were supposed to switch to the newer version. The total number of devices installed also decreased in the last year, raising fears that the Government’s target it have a complete roll-out by 2024 will be missed. 29% of domestic meters are now operating in “smart mode,” meaning they are tracking energy and sending readings automatically to suppliers. Want to make the most out of your wealth of data? Assess your onsite renewable potential with OnGen today.

UK Budget 2020: What do energy stakeholders think?

12 March, 2020 – Rishi Sunak delivered the UK Government’s 2020 Budget, including his plans for the energy sector. The largest reform introduced was an increase in taxation on polluting energy industries starting April 2022. The Climate Change Levy will be frozen on electricity and increased on gas. £270 million will be allocated to encourage heat networks to adopt low-carbon heat sources, as well as build carbon capture and storage facilities. The budget is criticised for the lack of urgency in reducing emissions and it is suggested that additional support will be needed to meet zero targets.

Budget 2020: Solar industry ‘disappointed’ as much-anticipated ‘green’ Budget falls short

12 March, 2020 – With the 2020 budget came funding for EV infrastructure and carbon capture and storage. However, solar technology was only mentioned once, leaving the solar industry with a lukewarm response. This article outlines key the key views of the solar industry and what is needed moving forward to achieve net zero targets.

Scottish ‘green’ ice cream scoops away CO2

11 March, 2020 – A £4 million investment at Mackie’s ice cream of Scotland will fund the installation of a freezer powered by onsite biomass boilers. The biomass boilers will produce ammonia, providing low carbon, efficient power to freezing equipment. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 90%, with energy cost savings of up to 80%. This project is a great example of what can be achieved by transitioning to onsite solutions. Contact us at OnGen to find out more.

UK 'needs renewables ramp up to hit net zero'

10 March, 2020 – According to a new report by Energy Systems Catapult, the UK could need 90 GW of wind energy and 80 GW of solar power to meet the 2050 net zero carbon target. Additionally, major innovation and deployment in electric and heat storage technologies will be needed to manage intermittent generation. Carbon capture and storage will be essential in capturing industrial emissions and offsetting lifestyle emissions from air travel and livestock.

Coronavirus likely to see oil demands decline throughout 2020

9 March, 2020 – The first drop in global oil demand since 2009, with one million barrels per day less than this time last year, was recorded in the latest oil market forecast. This is owing to disruptions in international travel and the spread of Coronavirus. However, if the virus is contained within the next three months, demand will rise to more than 2019 levels. It is predicted that oil demand will rebound sharply in 2021, but then will slow through to 2025 whereby transport fuel consumption will begin to plateau.

UK water sector targets renewables and efficiency improvements for net-zero 2030 goal

5 March, 2020 – In December 2019, the UK’s major water companies launched a project to help the sector achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 through onsite renewables, energy efficiency measures and moving towards electric vehicles. The water industry has collectively reduced operational emissions by 43% since 2011 and has increased onsite electricity generation by more than 40% in the same period. OnGen is working with water companies to help achieve their net zero goals; contact us to get involved.

Forget wind turbines. Here's how we can meet Net Zero without derailing the economy

4 March, 2020 – Onshore wind may not be able to be produced at scale to meet increasing electricity demands, owing to the land area needed, as well as the large quantities of coal required for turbine production. Modular nuclear reactors may be able to produce power more reliably than intermittent sources, with each reactor providing the power equivalent of 150 onshore wind turbines. Additionally, CHP systems can cut costs and emissions simultaneously and ultimately help ease pressure on the distribution system. It is said that cutting edge techniques are needed to address the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

Coronavirus 1 – 0 Energy sector

3 March, 2020 – As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, production delays for wind turbines and solar panels will be felt throughout the year, as many of the provinces affected are at the heart of the industry. A decrease of as much as 50% in turbine installations is predicted across China, with many other countries expected to be similarly affected. Hubei province and the surrounding provinces are responsible for manufacturing nearly 60% of China’s batteries, which could have impacts across not only the renewable industry but into the mobile and computer sectors as well.

'A climate first': Ikea slashes global emissions as business growth continues

3 March, 2020 – IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3% in 2019, despite sales growing by 6.5% in the same year. IKEA has a 100% renewable energy target for 2030, with an interim aim of 100% renewable electricity by 2025. For electricity, IKEA uses onsite generation in the form of rooftop solar and, with their £171 million investment package in clean energy and nature restoration schemes, we are excited to see what they have planned next. It’s time for other businesses to progress in the same direction. Contact us at OnGen to help your business become a renewable leader.

UK’s carbon emissions ‘now at 1888 levels’

3 March, 2020 – In 2019, the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions fell to levels seen last in 1888, representing a 2.9% drop from 2018 and the seventh year of consecutive carbon cuts. Coal use was considerably reduced, with a 29% decrease driving the decline in emissions. To meet the UK’s carbon budgets, it is predicted that emissions would need to fall by another 31% by 2030. How can we do this? Onsite renewables provide a great opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and save money at the same time. Contact us at OnGen to start your renewable journey today.

Existing climate solutions, not innovations, crucial to meeting net-zero

3 March, 2020 – A new study suggests that it would be feasible to reach net zero emissions by 2050 without the use of technologies that don’t currently exist. In this case, key focuses are placed on scaling up renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, as well as transitioning to plant-based diets and shifting to low-carbon transport. However, this is only possible if political and business will is shown at scale. Otherwise, emissions could continue to rise annually through 2060 or later.

Taskforce targets hydrogen growth in the UK

2 March, 2020 – A group of ten organisations have launched a Hydrogen Taskforce to reach a collective position on the next steps needed to effectively use hydrogen to decarbonise and promote large-scale deployment across the UK. The action plan, as set out in their report ‘The Role of Hydrogen in Delivering Net Zero,’ includes the development of a Hydrogen Strategy within UK government, financial support development and amendments to the Gas Safety Management Regulations.

UK government lifts block on new onshore windfarm subsidies

2 March, 2020 – The UK government has permitted onshore wind to participate in the 2021 CfD auction after years of opposition to help meet net zero targets. Windfarm developers will have to comply with new proposals on community consent to qualify for the auction process. Following the year with the lowest level of new onshore wind projects, we hope onshore wind, the cheapest source of renewable energy, can begin to expand once again.

Confirmed: Low carbon generation delivers over half UK's power

28 February, 2020 – New government statistics show that renewable generation grew by 5% in 2019, while coal (14% decrease), gas and nuclear all experienced declines. As a result, low-carbon power generation accounted for over 50% of grid supplied energy for the first time. This transition is vital to meeting net zero; we look forward to seeing the continued increase of renewables in the grid mix.

Octopus launches new Panel Power tariffs for businesses with solar

27 February, 2020 – Octopus Energy for Business has launched 3 new tariffs for companies with their own solar power. Panel Power offers fixed single, Tri-band and Agile import tariffs, as well as a 4p/kWh export tariff. It is designed to support companies in their pursuit of green energy following the closure of the FiT, which has left businesses with financial uncertainty. Panel Power aims to provide simplicity by proving companies with a singular bill showing how much power they’ve generated, how much they’ve imported from the grid and how much they’ve sold back.

Going green: What ‘Net zero’ means for small businesses

27 February, 2020 – According to The Carbon Trust, companies with fewer than 250 employees account for almost 20% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Knowledge is vital to helping reduce emissions and as all small UK businesses are eligible to have smart meters installed by their energy company, it is time to make data-driven decisions! Onsite energy generation and storage can help businesses meet their needs independently of the grid, supporting carbon reduction and lower energy costs. Interested in starting your renewable energy journey today? Contact us to find the best way to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.

Westminster sets out EU energy agreement terms

27 February, 2020 – The UK has undertaken domestic preparations to enable electricity and gas trade over interconnectors to continue in 2021 without an energy agreement. An energy agreement could improve baseline arrangements by facilitating efficient cross-border trade and cooperation. Additionally, the UK government will establish a UK-based carbon pricing system, which would have potential links between the EU system. In any case, it is important that the focus remains on delivering low-carbon infrastructure at the lowest cost to consumers, enabling decarbonisation and meeting net zero targets.

Drax to end use of coal at UK’s biggest power plant 3 years early

27 February, 2020 – Drax will stop using coal by 2022, three years ahead of the UK’s deadline, as it seeks to become a carbon-negative energy business through the use of biomass fuel. However, the environmental friendliness of biomass is still heaving debated by some environmentalists who state that it can be more damaging than fossil fuels. As Drax moves towards biomass, they may implore further gas production to help with the transition. Expanding gas output has also caused environmental concern, as the transitional window is getting narrower by the second and a focus on renewable energy is pertinent.

World’s ‘largest, most ambitious’ energy flexibility market trials to launch in the UK

26 February, 2020 – Supported by BEIS, Project TraDER is a pilot programme that will allow generators to transact directly with flexible assets across the UK, with the aim of improving speed and simplicity in system operation. Renewables will be able to pay flexible assets to provide grid capacity, promoting new low-carbon generation to be brought online at lower cost. Piclo Flex, another pilot supported by BEIS, aims to launch a nationwide flexibility marketplace, allowing procurers of flexibility to be able to search for and bid into different products. Flexibility programmes like these are needed to allow further integration of low carbon sources into our energy system.

Peterborough unveils plans for UK's largest low-carbon 'smart-city' regeneration project

26 February, 2020 – A £2m scheme supported by the government will see solar and energy-from-waste generation capacity installed across Peterborough, with energy bills expected to be cut by up to 25% once completed in 2022. Battery storage, electric vehicles and heat pumps will also be integrated into this smart city. Peterborough hopes that their project will act as a blueprint to other local authorities as they work towards their own climate and energy commitments. At OnGen, we can help local authorities realise their renewable potential, helping find the solution with the best carbon and cost savings. Contact us to find out more.

UK 'urged' to deliver a more flexible future

26 February, 2020 – Flexibility services, like energy storage and demand side response, will play a critical role in reaching net zero, as they are key to allowing increased quantities of intermittent energy sources into the mix. Flexibility could also deliver savings of £8bn a year by the end of the decade and as much as £40bn a year by 2050. However, a new version of the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan is needed to set specific targets and collaborate to ensure their delivery. We need a market that rewards consumers for providing flexibility; industry and government to work together to find the optimised solution.

Scottish parks ‘could warm homes with low carbon energy’

24 February, 2020 – The amount of heat that could be supplied from ground source heat pump systems located in green spaces across Scotland represents 5.5% of non-electrical heat demand. This heat transition would reduce Scotland’s total emissions by 1.4%. If solar was installed, this would equate to 0.4% of Scotland’s annual electricity consumption. Communities and governmental bodies should facilitate the use of such green spaces in meeting net zero targets. OnGen can help unlock the benefits of these technologies on a site-specific basis. Contact us to find out more.

Biggest battery in Europe set to land on British shores

21 February, 2020 – Shell has plans for a 100-megawatt grid storage battery, which will be the biggest battery in Europe once completed. The battery will store enough energy to power 100,000 homes for a day and will be vital for balancing the UK’s electricity demand and supply as wind and solar become an even larger part of our energy mix. On a smaller scale, buildings with onsite solar can benefit from storing their generated energy and using it at peak times. Want to look into installing a battery? Contact us at OnGen to get started today.

Gas heating to be banned in Scotland's castles

20 February, 2020 – Gas heating will be eliminated from all of over 300 Historic Environment Scotland properties, including Edinburgh Castle, by 2032. On some sites, low-carbon district heating systems will be used, where energy is released as heat and transferred through highly insulated pipes. Alongside this change, Historic Environment Scotland will also move away from taxis and move towards electric vehicles and increased cycling infrastructure. This transition acts as an important model for other public organisations.

Wandsworth Council takes 'massive step' towards carbon neutrality thanks to clean energy approval

20 February, 2020 – Wandsworth Council in London will transition to 100% zero carbon energy through solar panels and renewable energy procurement. Wandsworth Council is projected to be carbon neutral by 2030 due to the effectiveness of their renewable energy measures. Wandsworth acts as a great model for what can be achieved, setting an example for other councils in London and beyond. At OnGen, we can help with the first stage feasibility assessment to help realise your carbon and cost savings potential. Contact us to find out more.

Can flexible workspaces help businesses reduce their carbon footprint?

18 February, 2020 – The average flexible working centre can save 118 metric tonnes of carbon savings by 2029 due to reduced commuting distance. By working closer to home in a local office space, workers will also save an average of 411,000 of commuting days per year by 2029. This new market could add more than £12 billion to local economies over the next decade, as well as provide 231 more jobs per community. Here at OnGen, we benefit from all being withing 15 minutes walk of our incubator space, where we are also surrounded by other young and flourishing startups.

Renewables barely feature in building programme for 500 schools

18 February, 2020 – Hackbridge Primary in Sutton has become England’s first zero-carbon school through its installation of solar panels, heat pumps and highly energy efficient design. However, only a handful of the new schools being built are installing renewable energy, as the Department for Education’s recommended designs have no mention of onsite generation. Hackbridge’s new building was instead subsidised by Sutton council as part of their environmental strategy. We cannot afford to ignore the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, especially on new buildings. Set an example, like Hackbridge Primary, by installing onsite renewable generation; OnGen is here to help you on your journey.

Greencoat Capital launches €333m clean energy fund

18 February, 2020 – Greencoat Capital has launched a new private markets fund, Greencoat Renewable Income, that has already secured £277 million of commitments from Brunel and SAUL, UK pension investors. Investments will largely focus on solar, wind, bioenergy and renewable heat that deliver predictable cashflows. The fund has already allocated £120 million to a share of the Templeborough biomass power plant and two large low carbon greenhouses.

Government focuses on hydrogen in £90m industrial decarbonisation funding

18 February, 2020 – The UK government has announced £90 million in funding to cut emissions from industrial processes and the built environment through low-carbon hydrogen production plants and local smart energy projects. Industrial emissions account for around 20% of the UK’s total emissions and hydrogen could help reduce this. As hydrogen is not yet a sophisticated technology, why not start reducing emissions through onsite renewable generation? Find out how your company can reduce emissions and save money by contacting us at OnGen.

ScottishPower unveils green tariff powered by wind

17 February, 2020 – All ScottishPower domestic fixed price tariffs will be supplied by 100% green electricity, generated by their own wind farms. Money made from these tariffs will be reinvested into new renewable generation to meet future demands. ScottishPower aims to prevent users from being ‘greenwashed’ through increased confidence that their electricity comes from renewable sources, as it is not uncommon that suppliers will claim their electricity is renewable when, in fact, it is not.

UK’s renewable adoption rate ‘has driven fastest decarbonisation in world’

17 February, 2020 – The UK is decarbonising at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world, attributed to a move towards renewable energy and a 13% reduction in power demand in the last decade. However, as heat and transport sectors are electrified, this demand decrease may be reversed. We therefore need to continue deployment of renewables – why not help with installing onsite renewable generation? Contact us at OnGen to find out more.

Call for communities to be ‘unleashed’ on climate change

14 February, 2020 – Community-owned solar panels and wind turbines could provide renewable energy to 2.2 million homes by 2030 and reduce household energy bills by £150 million. Additional benefits include a £1.8 billion boost to local economies and the creation of over 8000 jobs. For this to be achieved, government support is necessary. In the meantime, onsite renewables are feasible without governmental help. Contact us to find out how to kickstart your renewable journey today.

'A landmark moment': NHS to boost renewable energy sourcing

14 February, 2020 – More than 11% of the NHS’s estate will be switched to 100% renewable energy this spring. Along with this, there will be a move to low-carbon heating and use of LED lighting. These changes will reduce emissions by more than 40,000 tonnes. We look forward to see the continued success of the NHS as it decarbonises and hope to provide help with not only renewables, but energy security through onsite generation. Please contact us at OnGen for more information.

Climate change ‘could cost global economy nearly $10tn by 2050’

13 February, 2020 – According to WWF, the Global Trade Analysis Project and the Natural Capital Project, climate change could cost the global economy £7.6 trillion by 2050 if environmental damage is not reversed. Poorer countries would bear the brunt of the costs and the agricultural sector would be hit the hardest by lost natural benefits. Now more than ever it is vital that we focus all our efforts on combating climate change.

Alok Sharma: What we know about the COP26 President's views on climate change

13 February, 2020 – Alok Sharma is named the new COP26 president, replacing Claire O’Neill. Sharma was part of the UK delegation that attended the UN Climate Summit last year and his work on climate mitigation and adaption in developing countries may be of use during COP26 negotiations. However, he has predominantly voted against climate change legislation, voting positively on only 2 of 13 climate-related votes. We hope COP26 can still provide the necessary outcomes needed to secure net zero and our planet.

Ofgem reviews green potential of UK grid setup

13 February, 2020 – Ofgem is set to review the UK’s electrical system operation model in the spring to see if it needs to be changed to facilitate renewables growth. Ofgem states they want to help deliver net zero at the lowest cost to consumers and grid operation plays a large part. As renewables become a larger part of the energy mix, it is vital that the grid can cope without hindering the energy producer or consumer.

Cabinet reshuffle: All the key personnel changes that will impact the green economy

13 February, 2020 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has fired BEIS and Defra secretaries, as well as the COP26 president in first major cabinet reshuffle, all of which were important female leaders in climate-related positions. To meet net zero targets, we need government leaders to help pave the way, which does not seem likely with this new cabinet. We hope to be wrong, but either way, we must remember that renewables can be feasible with or without government support. Contact us for more details.

Scottish Budget announces £1.8bn of investment in low carbon infrastructure

7 February, 2020 – Scotland has announced £1.8 billion of investment in low carbon infrastructure, along with a new £120 million Heat Transition Deal and £151 million in energy efficiency measures. Along with investment in rail and bus services as well as habitat restoration, this budget is set to help Scotland achieve its ambitious climate targets.

Climate change: Clean tech 'won't solve warming in time'

6 February, 2020 – Carbon capture and hydrogen cannot be relied on to meet the UK’s climate targets, as neither are predicted to be running at scale by 2050. Relying on breakthrough technologies is risky and delays action and instead, it is suggested to focus on achievable alternatives such as renewable energy and behaviour change (e.g. diet, travel). Want to make a difference and start your renewable journey now? Contact us at OnGen for more information.

Britain Has Left Europe. What Does That Mean For Green Energy?

5 February, 2020 – Renewable energy could be hit harder than other industries as the UK leaves the EU, due to the reliance on materials and expertise from Europe. Although the UK is a world leader in renewable energy, onshore wind installations fell by nearly 80% in 2018 and in 2019, there was a 94% reduction in domestic solar installations. With 11 months to reach an agreement, it is vital that we continue to work together across Europe and the UK to meet net zero targets.

Households 'misled' by energy tariffs which pretend to be green, says regulator

4 February, 2020 – Industry regulator Ofgem says they can take action against firms who “greenwash” their deals through purchasing Regos, which allow them to claim their energy produced by fossil fuels is green. Consumers have the right to know where their energy comes from and what better way of knowing than producing it yourself? Start your onsite renewables journey today with the help of OnGen. Contact us for more information.

Ofgem sets out planned pathway for UK decarbonisation

3 February, 2020 – Ofgem has launched a new Decarbonisation Action Plan to ensure energy networks are ready to deliver net zero through decarbonised heat and transport, as well as low carbon innovation. Commitments outlined in the plan include a new regulatory fund for innovative climate solutions, as well as a pledge to coordinate the rapid expansion of an offshore energy grid. This forward-thinking plan begs the question of why such little importance is placed on onsite renewables, notably through the dismantling of the Feed-in-Tariff and the lacklustre implementation of the Smart Export Guarantee.

Business leaders join forces to launch net zero infrastructure taskforce

28 January, 2020 – The Association for Consultancy and Engineering and the Environmental Industries Commission have formed the Net Zero Taskforce, which aims to launch 2 reports during COP26 in Glasgow later this year. One will identify how organisations can help meet net zero targets, while the other will support SMEs needing to adjust to the new working environment.

Sainsbury's commits £1bn to become net-zero by 2040

28 January, 2020 – Sainsbury’s supermarket retailer has pledged to invest £1 billion over the next 20 years to become net zero by 2040. With targets to increase renewable energy use, halve plastic packaging and food waste, become 100% lit by LED and source nearly 100% sustainable seafood and palm oil, Sainsbury’s is setting a great example to other large retailers. Want to be at the forefront of the climate change fight like Sainsbury’s? Contact us at OnGen to start your onsite renewable energy journey now.

The road to net zero

27 January, 2020 – The UK has a target of net zero emissions by 2050, with an aim to meet this through the use of alternative fuels or carbon capture technology. But why has this only become a target as of 2019? Starting with the Kyoto Protocol in the 1990s, this article gives a complete run through the environmental legislation that led to where we are today.

NHS writes out prescription to tackle climate change

27 January, 2020 – The English health and care system is currently responsible for 4-5% of the country’s total carbon footprint, contributing to climate change and harmful air pollution. The NHS has therefore announced it is to step up action to tackle climate change and in doing so, reduce rates of asthma, heart attacks and strokes. The NHS has stated they aim to source more energy from renewable generators, but why not become energy producers? The NHS would benefit from the resilience and cost-effectiveness of onsite generation and storage.

Carbon emissions: Scale of UK fossil fuel support 'staggering'

23 January, 2020 – UK Export Finance, a government agency, is financially supporting overseas fossil fuel projects, spending billions of pounds despite a government commitment to decrease carbon emissions. When complete, these projects will emit 69 tonnes of carbon per year, nearly a sixth of the UK’s total annual emissions. The government will need to solve UKEF’s funding discrepancies ahead of COP26, which is set to be held in Glasgow in November.

Planting trees cannot offset burning wood, warn experts after government advisers recommend it as renewable fuel

23 January, 2020 – Counter to the Committee on Climate Change, Duncan Brack, energy specialist at Chatham House, says that cutting down forests for renewable energy is counterproductive. Biomass provides the second most successful source of renewable energy after wind, providing 12% of the UK’s electricity in 2019. Brack states that most models do not consider that older trees absorb carbon faster and therefore simply replacing trees cut does not create a carbon neutral system. It is instead suggested that grassland crops and short rotation coppice are used instead of wood, presenting a much greener alternative.

Energy wasted by City of London offices ‘could power more than 65,000 homes’

22 January, 2020 – Energy wasted by London offices could power more than 65,000 homes. Thinktank Green Alliance says corporate energy waste can be seen across the country, with thousands of office buildings wasting enough power to supply more than 100,000 homes, costing businesses £60 million in unnecessary bills. How can businesses avoid this? Onsite generation and storage that is effectively sized to meet the building’s demand. Please contact us at OnGen for information on how to get started.

New solar power source and storage developed

21 January, 2020 – A new form of thin solar sheets with energy storage is being developed for the UK with the aim to power buildings or charge vehicles off-grid. The layered film, developed by Solivus, can be bent into curved surfaces so damage to building integrity is prevented. This technology will give greater access for individuals and businesses to own their power supply, helping the UK towards its net zero targets. OnGen is excited to follow the progression of this technology.

Octopus Energy snaps up ENGIE UK's domestic supply business

20 January, 2020 – Octopus Energy has confirmed a deal to purchase the domestic supply arm of ENGIE UK, adding 70,000 domestic UK customers to their 1.4 million customer base. ENGIE UK state this move is in line with its strategy to focus on the net zero transition for businesses and local authorities, whereas Octopus looks forward to bringing their new customers renowned service, pricing and technology.

Is Scotland leading the way on climate change?

18 January, 2020 – With COP26 happening this December in Glasgow, is Scotland really leading the way on tackling climate change? Greenhouse gas emissions are half of what they were 30 years ago, however the hardest changes lie ahead. With a target of net zero by 2045, it is vital that Scotland shows the world the progress we are capable of. Want to make a difference? Why not consider onsite renewables for your home or business. Contact OnGen to start your renewable journey today.

Latest Government figures spark fears that UK's green economy is 'stagnating'

17 January, 2020 – The annual turnover in the UK’s low-carbon economy increased by only £6.2 billion between 2015 and 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In this time, there as been an overall slight decrease in employment in the sector, attributed to cuts to solar power subsidies and the exclusion of onshore wind projects from the Contracts for Difference auction process. The green economy needs to be urgently embedded within the UK if we are to avoid an existential threat from the climate catastrophe.

SSE clears way for renewables with completion of £500m deal with Ovo Energy

15 January, 2020 – Ovo Energy confirmed its purchase of SSE’s household energy and services arm for £500 million. All 8,000 SSE staff will transfer to OVO, totalling to 10,000 employees overall. OVO aims for this acquisition to allow millions more people to access zero carbon living. Becoming an OVO customer? Why not benefit from their Smart Export Guarantee through installing onsite renewables. Contact us at OnGen to find out how you can kickstart your renewable energy journey today.

National Trust commits to net zero carbon by 2030

14 January, 2020 – The National Trust has planned to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 through planting 20 million new trees, capturing 300,000 tonnes of carbon or the equivalent of 370,000 homes’ annual electricity output. The Trust also will invest in renewable energy and help people connect to the natural environment through a year-long campaign. Pledges like these are vital to mitigate the impacts of the climate emergency; we look forward to other organisations following suit.

TCR: Triads and tribulations for large energy users

10 January, 2020 – Chris Hurcombe, director of third party intermediary Catalyst Commercial, outlines key considerations regarding Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review. From fixed prices hitting heavy power consumers the hardest to no TRIAD avoidance perks, the financial outlook for large companies doesn’t look positive. The best way to mitigate the impacts of these changes is to rely less on grid supply by installing onsite renewables. Contact us at OnGen to take the first step towards energy and cost savings.

Global energy use projected to nearly double by 2050

8 January, 2020 – Energy consumption is projected to increase by 50% worldwide between 2018 and 2050, led by growth in Asia and other regions where strong economic growth is driving demand. Demand increases will need to be met by supply, with a 79% increase in electricity generation needed. To tackle the climate emergency, renewables must be at the forefront of this increase. Take the first steps towards securing our future and start your renewable journey now through OnGen’s onsite renewable feasibility assessment software to find out what’s right for you.

Welsh solar farm to power residents and profit locally with Gower Power and Bristol Energy

7 January, 2020 – A community-owned solar farm is now giving access to 100% renewable energy for 300 residents and business in the Swansea area. The Gower Power Solar Storage scheme enables households and businesses to know where their energy is coming from and keeps profits in the local area when they choose the bespoke tariff developed by Gower Power and Bristol Energy. Funding from the Welsh Government has secured the addition of a Tesla battery, which will allow the farm to store and distribute green electricity. At OnGen, we can help communities take their first steps towards renewable generation and storage – contact us to start your renewable journey.

UK first: Hydrogen injected into gas grid as landmark trial gets underway

6 January, 2020 – A pilot project to inject zero carbon hydrogen into Keele University’s gas network is now live. Keele University’s gas network, connected to 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings, was seen as a perfect pilot option, as it could be safely isolated from the wider UK network. Developers believe that a 20% hydrogen blend rolled out across the UK could save six million tonnes of carbon emissions every year – the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off of the road.

UK's first net-zero offices certified in Manchester and Liverpool

6 January, 2020 – 11 office properties across Manchester and Liverpool have been declared as net-zero. Net-zero standards were met through building to BREEAM requirements, investing in energy efficiency and offsetting any remaining emissions through tree planting. Alongside this, Neath Port Talbot council has granted planning permission for a net-zero housing development equipped with onsite solar, battery storage and ground source heat pumps. Interested in net-zero? Contact OnGen to find out how you can kick-start your renewable journey today.

New rules for low carbon heating in Scots homes

5 January, 2020 – By 2024, new rules in Scotland will ensure all new homes will use renewable or low-carbon heating. This project will run alongside a £30 million investment in renewable heat plans. For each home, it is important that the correct renewable system is chosen and sized to meet the home’s forecast demand, which is where OnGen comes in. Our onsite feasibility assessment software can help inform which system and size unlock the highest carbon and monetary savings. Please contact us for more information.

Shell updates SEG to 3.5p/kWh days after scheme’s introduction

3 January, 2020 – Shell Energy has replaced their 0.001 p/kWh export tariff with 3.5 p/kWh days after the Smart Export Guarantee scheme introduction. Shell claim that their initial tariff was aimed to test the process. A tariff of 3.5 p/kWh places Shell firmly in the middle, within the company of SSE and EDF.

Social Energy comes out on top as Shell issues 0.001p/kWh SEG

2 January, 2020 – The UK Government’s Smart Export Guarantee came into effect on 1 January 2020, making energy suppliers with over 150,000 domestic customers required to release an export tariff above 0 p/kWh. Social Energy topped the list, with a tariff of 5.6 p/kWh, while Shell Energy came firmly at the bottom, only offering 0.001 p/kWh. Newer suppliers are leading the way – it is up to the Big Six and other large suppliers to follow in suit.

From smart meters to suppliers going bust - it's been an eventful decade for the energy industry: where are prices and production heading next?

31 December, 2019 – From Ofgem’s price cap to growth in renewables and the introduction of smart meters, this decade has seen large progressions in the energy market. Highlights include coal production has decreasing over 40%, 15 energy suppliers going bust and the Big Six losing their hold on the market. This article provides a complete rundown on where the market has come from and where it is headed next.

Renewables should be high on new UK government’s agenda as climate conference beckons – SSE

30 December, 2019 – On the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, Managing Director of SSE, Jim Smith, calls on the UK government to shape the fight on climate change. COP26 will be an turning point for our climate, with the opportunity to pave the road to net zero five years after the 2015 Paris Agreement. Smith depicts a need for government to accelerate decarbonisation through industry and government collaborations, CfD auctions and addressing grid constraints to meet net zero targets.

Solar-storage hybrid feeds UK council

19 December, 2019 – Gridserve has completed a 34.7 MW solar farm combined with a 20 MWh battery storage system for Warrington Borough Council. The electricity will be sold on the open market, bringing millions of pounds into delivering vital council services. In addition, the council is also buying a 25.7 MW solar farm to supply the area directly, which will make it England’s first local authority to produce all its own electricity. This truly sets the bar for other local authorities, as we strive to tackle the climate emergency. At OnGen, we can help local authorities take their first steps towards renewable generation – contact us to start your renewable journey now.

UK renewables outperform gas

19 December, 2019 – UK Government figures show that from July to September this year, renewables outperformed gas for the first quarter ever, generating 38.9% and 38.8% of the UK’s energy mix respectively. Generation increases were seen across all categories of renewables, with wind and solar up by 22% and hydro up by 58%. This historic tipping point is great news for the net zero emissions targets, but will need to be sped up to effectively transition to clean power.

Biomass delivers ‘questionable carbon savings’, says new report

18 December, 2019 – Environmental thinktank Sandbag has published a new report calling for policymakers to support energy sources that allow near-immediate carbon and cost savings, stating that biomass doesn’t fall into this category. The lack of carbon savings can be attributed to the vast quantity of forest that is cut down to supply the fuel, Sandbag states. However, the jury is still out, as the Renewable Energy Association expresses that biomass power is an important part of keeping fossil fuels out of our energy mix.

Winter temperatures ‘could cost households an additional £12.9bn’

17 December, 2019 – Falling temperatures could see each household spending an average of £448 more this winter compared to the spring-summer period. 11% of people admit to being confused about how to heat their homes efficiently, so we need to shift to using our heating in a way that keeps us warm, while saving money and energy. A good way to achieve savings is by using onsite renewable heat, such as ground source heat or a combined heat and power system. Want to learn more? Contact OnGen to see which renewables are feasible for your site.

Southern Africa’s renewable energy fuel mix ‘puts the UK to shame’

16 December, 2019 – According to Business Electricity Prices, clean power only accounted for 11% of the UK’s final consumption, as opposed to the majority of Southern African nations, which are generating close to 100% renewable energy. Not only is the UK missing from the top 10 world ranking, but it only makes it to 59th position in terms of renewable generation. If we want to meet net zero targets, serious developments will need to be made. Luckily, OnGen are here to help businesses start their renewable energy journeys, so get in touch now!

Conservatives take the win – but what have they promised?

13 December, 2019 – The Conservative party won the UK General Election in a landslide, but what energy promises have they made? This article provides an overview of their key environmental policies. Their energy pledges include improving the energy efficiency of 2.2 disadvantaged homes, as well as the £1 billion Ayrton Fund, which will be used to develop affordable and accessible clean energy. Promises like these are proposed to help meet the net zero emissions by 2050 goal.

Four green policy concerns Boris Johnson must address immediately

13 December, 2019 – After delivering a Conservative Party majority, Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds the future of UK environmental legislation in his hands. This article provides an insightful outline of what should be at the top of Johnson’s green ‘to do’ list; from new environmental standards to fracking, Boris Johnson better get cracking.

Wind industry commits to greater gender diversity at industry events

12 December, 2019 – The Women in Wind Global Leadership Programme published a guide for ‘Best Practices for Gender Diversity at Industry Events,’ helping events address unconscious bias and unequal representation to promote greater gender diversity in the wind sector. To stay on-track for the Paris targets and UK’s own net zero targets, we need a larger renewables talent pool, which requires more female role models and positive gender norms in clean energy; increased diversity will raise our chances of meeting our climate targets.

Conservatives take £1m in election ‘dirty money’ from fossil fuel investors responsible for climate emergency, research finds

12 December, 2019 – The Conservative election campaign has received more than £1 million in ‘dirty money’ from fossil fuel investors. “The motives behind these donations are unknown, but there has to be suspicion about whether donors’ interests may shape the future government’s response to the climate crisis we’re in,” says Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s director of policy. We hope the government does not deviate from the net zero by 2050 target.

Drax pledges to be ‘world’s first’ carbon negative energy firm by 2030

10 December, 2019 – Drax pledged to be the world’s first carbon negative energy firm by 2030. Drax’s power plant, which already uses renewable fuel,  will burn wood pellets and use carbon capture technology to store the carbon emissions produced. Negative emissions technologies are an important aspect in meeting the UK’s net zero targets; we are excited to see Drax’s progress in meeting their targets.

Thousands were paid to use extra renewable electricity on windy weekend

9 December, 2019 – On the 8th of December, windfarms generated nearly 45% of the UK’s electricity, causing thousands of households with smart meter tariffs to be paid to use extra renewable electricity. Customers were told to set timers to take advantage of payments made during overnight use, with people earning between 1 to 5p per kWh used, rather than spending double this rate a few hours later. Sounds like a win-win to us!

'Win-win-win': Heat pumps under parks could warm five million homes

9 December, 2019 – Around 10% of the UK’s total peak heat demand could be supplied from heat pumps under public parks and green spaces, according to new research carried out by the climate charity Possible, the London Borough of Hackney and the social enterprise Scene. A third of all UK emissions comes from heating, so it is important to build our society on clean heat and this exciting research seems like the perfect start! Want to see if ground source heat would work in your area? Try our onsite renewable feasibility assessment, the OnGen Expert.

Wind turbine fears on horizon at Cairngorms

6 December, 2019 – The Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is investigating renewable energy options for Cairngorm mountain. To decide the appropriateness of different renewable technologies, they are procuring a contractor to carry out appraisal work. Assessing renewable feasibility is OnGen’s forte, considering aspects HIE noted such as scenery and environment. Our automated assessment software, the OnGen Expert, is an accessible and quick way to kickstart your renewable energy journey, so why not start now?

Labour plans will 'slow' climate change fight, says energy firm

5 December, 2019 – Interesting debate between what is best for meeting the net zero targets: nationalising or privatising the energy supply sector. Regardless of the election outcome, both private and public entities must work towards and focus on decarbonisation goals, leaving all potential political frustrations at the door.

Why ‘100% renewable energy’ pledges are not enough

2 December, 2019 – Although your business may say they are running on 100% renewable energy, if you are buying from the grid, this normally means that enough renewable energy is procured annually to offset all consumption. To truly be net zero, grid supplied fossil fuels must never be used. What better way of knowing where your electricity is coming from then by generating it yourself? Find out how to become your own supplier through our onsite renewable feasibility assessment software, the OnGen Expert.

Pointless emails: they’re not just irritating – they have a massive carbon footprint

26 November, 2019 – Research by OVO Energy indicates that 64 million unnecessary emails are sent every day in the UK, increasing our carbon footprint. If every adult in the UK sent one fewer ‘thank you’ email a day, over 16000 tonnes of carbon would be saved every year, equivalent to taking over 3000 diesel cars off the road. An interesting but important part of tackling the climate emergency – now we will think before we thank!

New York backs tech that cuts installation time for ground-source heat pumps

26 November, 2019 – Dandelion Energy claims its Sonic Drill Suite technology can reduce installation time for ground source heat pumps from up to one week to one day, lowering costs by up to 50%. Their mission to make geothermal energy available and affordable for everyone will help remove barriers to deployment, ultimately helping reduce harmful emissions. Interested in ground source heat? Why not check out our feasibility tool, the OnGen Expert, to see if it’s suitable for your site.

UK first: Solar power plant helps keep the lights on at night

25 November, 2019 – For the first time in the UK, a trial in East Sussex saw a solar farm successfully smooth voltage fluctuations at night. Reactive power voltage support was provided by these panels, which helps maintain voltage levels, allowing for more energy to be transported and increasing capacity. Innovative solutions like this are the key to addressing the UK’s future energy needs and we are excited to see how this project reshapes the sector.

Ofgem charges ahead with UK grid reforms

21 November, 2019 – Ofgem has released their final decision on the Targeting Charging Review, stating that fixed charges will be applied to all households and businesses in an attempt to fairly spread charges. Starting in 2021, generators will no longer receive payments for reducing their Transmission Demand Residual payments. Ofgem’s decision removes incentives for flexible technologies such as battery storage and risks damaging the UK’s ability to deploy cheap renewables quickly.

UK climbs world rankings for green energy attractiveness, EY says

20 November, 2019 – The UK has climbed the world rankings for investment in renewable energy, reaching 7th place. EY’s biannual renewable energy country attractiveness report states that the UK’s spending on renewables is picking up pace, despite national political uncertainty brought by Brexit. The drive towards net zero trumps domestic issues; there is no better time than the present to transform and decarbonise our energy sector.

Wind speeds are increasing worldwide in boost for renewables

19 November, 2019 – Average wind speeds rose 7% since 2010 in northern mid-latitude regions after a period of slowing following the late 1970s. If speed increase continues, wind power generation is predicted to increase by 37%, making it a great time to invest in wind. Interested in onshore wind? Why not try our onsite feasibility assessment tool, the OnGen Expert, to start your renewable journey now.

British Gas wins legal challenge against Ofgem over price cap calculations

13 November, 2019 – British Gas, supported by Npower, SSE, EDF, Eon and Scottish Power, won their appeal against Ofgem regarding the energy price cap, which Centrica claims cost their business £70 million. Ofgem sticks by their price cap, stating that it will remain in place to continue to protect households from unfair prices.

Thanks to sunflowers, solar panels could harvest 400% more energy

13 November, 2019 – Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles and Arizona State University have developed an innovative new type of solar technology that could harvest 400% more energy. The SUNbot, like sunflowers, can bend to the light to achieve optimal exposure to the sun. These novel technologies give us hope for the future.

Cheshire West & Chester Council to install solar plus storage

12 November, 2019 – Chesire West and Chester Council have announced their plans to install solar panels with battery storage across two estates at a total capacity of 250 kW. The council recognises that onsite renewables reduce their grid reliance, environmental impact and energy bills. Sounds like a win-win to us! Interested in starting your renewable energy journey? Why not try our onsite renewable feasibility assessment software, the OnGen Expert.

SSE looks to entice Aberdeen oil and gas contractors with offshore wind work

8 November, 2019 – Great transitions seen in our base country, Scotland, with employees being contracted from oil and gas work into offshore wind. It goes to show that renewable energy can both provide employment and protect the planet. We look forward to seeing the energy transition continue in Scotland and beyond.

Key milestones in generation transformation

4 November, 2019 – Helpful insights provided by Michelle Stephens on the current state of the UK’s energy market. Stephens outlines the benefits that onsite renewables bring to businesses: from lowered energy bills and heightened environmental credentials, the case for onsite renewables is clear. Want to find out how your company can start their renewables journey? Get in touch with us at OnGen and try our onsite renewables feasibility assessment software, the OnGen Expert.

Trump begins formal US withdrawal from Paris Agreement

4 November, 2019 – A deeply disheartening time as the US formally begins its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. There is still hope, as other countries continue to push climate change as a key issue in their agenda. The US will still be able to re-join in future, so let’s count on the new president!

Climate policies ‘could determine the UK’s next election’

30 October, 2019 – A new study by ClientEarth found that 63% of UK adults believe that global warming is the biggest issue humanity is facing, with 54% saying that climate change will influence the way they vote in the next general election. With the declared climate emergency, let’s be hopeful this issue stays pressing in the public’s minds!

Guest Blog: Stuart Reid – The road to decarbonisation – what steps should businesses be taking now?

28 October, 2019 – Stephen Reid, Managing Director at AMP Clean Energy, provides insight into the future of onsite renewables in a post-Brexit and TCR UK. He states a focus on renewable heat investment will help decarbonise without the potential ramifications from TCR. The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund provided by the government will also be launching next year – it is not the end for onsite generation!

Tesco unveils major green electricity project, including 187 onsite rooftop solar installs

28 October, 2019 – Tesco has just revealed their new green electricity project, which includes rooftop solar on 187 of their sites, as well as ground-mounted solar and onshore wind farms. Their new portfolio aims to provide 10% of electricity from onsite generation and contribute to their goal of 100% renewable electricity use by 2030. Want to see how your business can do the same? Check out the OnGen Expert, our tool to assess feasibility of onsite renewables.

Net Zero: UK should aim install 25 million EV chargers and 22 million heat pumps, report claims

24 October, 2019 – A new study finds that 25 million EV charging points and 22 million heat pumps will need to be installed to meet the UK’s net zero by 2050 goal. Heat pumps are powered by electricity to absorb heat from either the outside air or the ground. We look forward to contributing to the increased quantities of installations through our online feasibility platform, the OnGen Expert.

EU approves UK’s Capacity Market scheme

24 October, 2019 – This week, the European Commission approved the Capacity Market scheme after a suspension in November 2018. Chief Executive of Energy UK said this will help ensure supply security at the lowest cost at times of high demand. The Capacity Market is depicted as constantly evolving and hopefully will help drive a net zero economy.

How UK's disused mine shafts could be used to store renewable energy

21 October, 2019 – Great energy solutions provided by fellow Edinburgh based start-up, Gravitricity. We look forward to seeing your energy storage innovation deployed across mines.

Smart Export Guarantee: neither smart, nor much of a guarantee

16 October, 2019 – A helpful explanation of our future under the Smart Export Guarantee. A key point is made – although the level of subsidy is less as compared to the feed-in tariff, the energy bill savings from having onsite renewables are still high. With only exports accruing revenue, it is important to size the new renewables scheme to the site’s energy demand, which is precisely what the OnGen Expert can do.

Brexit uncertainty ‘is delaying hundreds of innovative energy projects’

15 October, 2019 – According to a study by Schneider Electric, 85% of business leaders feel torn between doing the right thing for society and doing the right thing for the performance of their business. Onsite renewables give you the benefit of doing both: save the planet and save money at the same time!

UK renewable energy generation tops oil and gas for first time, analysis suggests

14 October, 2019 -The months of July, August and September were the first quarterly period where renewables outpaced fossil fuels in UK history. This is exciting for not just the environment, but consumers who are benefiting from lower electricity prices. Hopefully, increased renewable use continues the fast action against climate change.

Undersea cable to restore renewable energy to Guernsey

10 October, 2019 – Guernsey will now be connected to renewable energy supplied by France thanks to a new undersea cable. This new connection means they are on the European grid, helping secure supply and enhance decarbonisation. We look forward to seeing the results once operational next month.

Five tips for success with renewable energy

10 October, 2019 – Great insight into how to be successful with a renewable energy project, from feasibility to installation stages. Farms are often a great location for solar due to the lack of shade. Interested in starting your renewable journey? Why not use our feasibility assessment, the OnGen Expert? Please contact us for more information!

To keep the lights on during California’s blackouts, people are using solar power

9 October, 2019 – An unprecedented blackout has left over a million Californians without power in an attempt to avoid the spread of wildfires. Onsite electricity generation and storage can reduce grid reliance at a time when, in some places, the grid cannot be relied upon. We hope power returns to California soon.

Ofgem: UK’s progress in cutting emissions has slowed

3 October, 2019 – In the UK, 2018 had the smallest reduction in cutting greenhouse gas emissions since 2012. After the declared climate emergency, investment in renewable technologies is increasingly important. Our software can assess onsite renewable energy feasibility for commercial and industrial properties. Try it now to not only see your carbon savings, but the financial payback.

Edinburgh Uni granted £1.12m for hydrogen storage research

2 October, 2019 – Congratulations to the team at Edinburgh University for receiving a grant regarding hydrogen storage research. It is great to see their continued investment in renewable technologies, especially after their use of the OnGen Expert.

Edinburgh University assessed their onsite renewable potential to meet their carbon neutral promise by 2040, ultimately uncovering 4000 tonnes of lifetime carbon savings.

Buying corporate renewable energy – a quick guide

26 September, 2019 – Informative guide to corporate renewable energy by Rasmus Nedergaard, explaining what needs to be tackled before a company begins their renewable journey. Our software, the OnGen Expert, addresses considerations Nedergaard raises, including planning and financial feasibility. Nedergaard states there’s a renewable solution for every company, why not find yours?