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Catalyst is one of the leading providers of utility purchasing and contract negotiation services to the commercial sector. With over 15 years’ experience in this dynamic market, our team of energy market professionals provide a full options appraisal for your utility contract needs. Having a balance between technical expertise and the commercial reality of our clients’ requirements, we provide a blend of management and energy consultancy services that is rare in our industry. With the largest supplier panel in the UK, and a full range of business energy procurement solutions that match your exact purchasing requirements from fixed priced products, pass through and flexible energy purchasing solutions. Our monthly market reports then help you to understand the key drivers influencing your utility costs.
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Under lockdown, electricity was “cheaper, cleaner, but harder to control”, power company Drax found in its most recent Electric Insights report. Published on 31 August, it found that the share of renewables’ was up 32% year-on-year as biomass, wind and solar set new generation records in Q220. Wholesale power prices declined by 42% from the same quarter last year as demand plummeted during lockdown.
The rebrand reflects what has always been the companies long term goal: to become a multi-faceted energy consultancy using automatic, integrated, agile data driven systems to empower both customers and themselves alike to drive more efficient, collaborative and accurate outcomes. The new brand truly represents Catalyst’s position as a Digital leader in what feels like at times an analogue energy market.
Time of use tariff changes as part of the network charges make up around a fifth of the total power bill. Larger businesses tend to be settled on a half hourly basis, and have advanced metering to support that. Their network charges have generally been banded into red, amber and green periods with red the most expensive and green the cheapest. These vary by region and distribution network operator (DNO).
The EC said the deal, shown in Figure 1, provides a roadmap to move to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution. The EC will present the first ‘European Climate Law’ by March 2020. It will also present the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the new Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan, the Farm to Fork Strategy for sustainable food and proposals for pollution-free Europe.
The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) published a report on 7 December, in preparation for the now-postponed Commons vote on the Brexit deal, predicting that a hard Brexit could add £270mn a year to the UK electricity bill. Titled Elecxit: The Cost of Bilaterally Uncoupling British-EU Electricity Trade, the report said that a “hard elecxit”
In system operator National Grid’s Winter Outlook Report 2018-19, released on 11 October, the UK’s winter energy supply was confirmed to be secure. Electricity and gas demand Even in the event of another cold snap this winter, National Grid said it will be able to meet demand. The system operator has predicted that electricity demand
On 22 June, the government announced that it was consulting on widening the eligibility criteria for energy intensive industries scheme (EIIs) to be made exempt from the indirect costs of renewable support schemes. These include the Renewable Obligation (RO), the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes. BEIS called for evidence of current
Analysis conducted by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has flagged a growing trend globally and in the UK for companies to source renewable power, either through a purchase agreement or through self-generating. Growing Renewable Energy Trend As of early 2018, companies sourced renewable electricity in 75 countries either through power purchase agreements (PPAs), utility green
National Grid has revealed that it is expecting to have more than enough available gas and electricity supplies to meet demand over the summer period. The announcement came in the latest edition of National Grid’s annual Summer Outlook report, published on 10 April. National Grid uses this report to set out its view of the
The government has welcomed the results of its Capacity Market auctions which have secured future energy supplies at record low prices for homes and businesses. The T-1 Capacity Market auction, for delivery in 2018-19, cleared in line with expectations at £6.00/kW. This was followed by the T-4 Capacity Market auction, for delivery in 2021-22, which
Energy intensive industries (EII) will be made exempt from the costs of the Renewables Obligation (RO) from 1 April 2018, after the government published a revised RO for 2018-19. Published on 18 December, the revised RO is to be set at 0.468 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs)/ MWh of electricity produced from April 2018. The RO
A new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on energy storage has claimed that the deployment of 12GW of battery storage is achievable by the end of 2021, while it can also support post-Brexit growth. It explained that the battery storage sector can grow from 60MW in 2016 to 12GW by 2021 if
E.ON will have the difficult task of notifying their commercial customers over the coming weeks that they will need to unlock their current fixed price contracts in order to add an additional charge that wasn’t forecast when the contract was originally signed. This additional charge will also cover customers that are potentially no longer with
Projects, such as Shams 1 and Noor 1, are aiding the solar industry’s evolution. North Africa, specifically the Mena region, and the Middle East are hoping to supply Europe with reliable electricity. To achieve this, the two regions need a solar energy system that is virtually infallible: continues to provide electricity when it’s cloudy and
Alphabet Inc., formerly known as Google, has an innovative solution for renewable energy storage. The promising new project, dubbed Malta, uses a combination of salt and antifreeze to store energy. Malta is being developed by Alphabet’s somewhat secret research and development facility. The research lab, simply named X, was also responsible for developing Google’s driverless
Energy network companies have been told to brace themselves for a “tougher” round of price controls from 2021 by the energy regulator. Ofgem explained it had seen “clear evidence” the cost of investment required in networks was “significantly lower” than previously assumed, and warned the new “RIIO-2” price control would reflect this. The warning followed
Ofgem to assess case for mandatory half hourly settlement for smaller consumers Launching its significant code review (SCR) on electricity settlement reform, Ofgem has said it will assess the case for a mandatory half hourly electricity settlement (HHS) process for domestic and smaller non-domestic customers. Through use of smart and advanced meters, customers’ half-hourly consumption
Estimated annual increase on average bills by affected users in Great Britain, 2016 prices, non-discounted, over 2017-18 – 2027-28 Energy intensive industries (EIIs) are to be made exempt from the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme, lowering electricity costs for some of the country’s biggest energy users. While EIIs, such as major manufacturers
National Grid has predicted up to a 9.9% surplus of commercial electricity generating capacity in its Winter Review and Consultation for 2017-18, compared to 6.6% in winter 2016-17. The assessment compares the de-rated capacity, which considers the likelihood that each technology will be generating during peak demand periods, against the expected peak demand during the
Easily charge your phone while travelling, without the need of a charger. One of the most common concerns a traveller faces while en route to a destination is how to charge their phones. Chargifi seeks to alleviate the anxiety associated with draining your mobile phone’s battery. Chargifi, originating on Chancery Lane, London, is working on
According to the latest report from the Energy Efficiency Verification Specialists, or eeVS, confidence in the UK’s energy efficiency market is growing. The latest eeVS Insight report attributes the steady growth to an increase in customer satisfaction, order books, and tolerance for government policy. EEVS generated the results by surveying customers and energy efficiency suppliers.
Citizens Advice has found that only six in 10 (63%) microbusinesses are aware that businesses will be getting a smart meter as well as domestic consumers. Citizens Advice’s Smart Choices report, published on 28 April, analysed interest in and understanding of smart meters in the microbusiness segment of the market. Interest and understanding It found
Two-thirds (65%) of UK businesses are concerned over the cyber risks associated with new energy technology, according to a new survey conducted by professional services firm PwC. The research, from the latest PwC B2B Energy Survey, was issued on 8 May and found that half (51%) of businesses were worried that their client data was
Eaton, US power firm, has partnered with Nissan to create home energy storage systems. Nissan is recycling electric car batteries to create energy storage units. Nissan, a Japanese carmaker, will be repurposing the batteries to offer them at a lower rate. Each energy storage unit will be assembled in Morocco and manufactured at Nissan’s Sunderland
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Catalyst has been shortlisted for the ‘Energy Management Champion’ award at this years TELCA 2017 (Energy Live Consultancy Awards). On Monday 22 May 2017, the Energy Live News team announced its shortlist for the Energy Live Consultancy Awards 2017 (TELCA). This year, Catalyst was named as a finalist
The Latest Advances in Solar Panel Technology: Printable and Spray on. Novel solar panel technology appears to be a game changer for the renewable energy market. Researchers are currently developing new film technologies for the solar panel industry. The innovative thin film materials would transform the traditional renewable energy panels into a spray on or
Greater flexibility will be needed over the course of summer 2017 to balance the electricity system during periods of low demand, and increased supply and demand variability, according to National Grid. In its Summer Outlook Report 2017, published on 6 April, National Grid explained that, due to falling demand on the British electricity system, it
Ofgem’s annual survey of small and micro-business engagement in the energy market has found that just 21% of businesses switched supplier in 2016, down from 25% in 2015. Despite the drop in switching the research, which was published on 7 April, found two-thirds (66%) of businesses had some degree of engagement with the energy market
The startup company, Hydrostor, has an energy storage scheme that appears to be cost-effective. Hydrostor has created an energy storage system that utilises compressed air to generate commercial electricity. Hydrostor, an energy storage company based in Canada, has claimed that the new system will cost substantially less than regular battery storage, while producing as much
A new scheme is being deployed by National Grid that pays business users to use more energy during times of high generation. The concept behind the plan is to encourage businesses to utilise the excess energy that will be generated this coming summer from renewable energy sources such as solar PV and wind turbines. The
A start-up company in Sydney is set to unveil the Chemical Looping Energy on Demand System, or CLES. If the new energy system lives up to its name, the device will outperform many of the current energy storage systems available on the market, including the duration of time it takes to pay for itself. Collaborators
The UK’s climate watchdog – the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – has said that the government’s low-carbon policies will put a significant upward pressure on businesses’ costs in the years ahead. The finding came in an assessment of the impact of green policies on business energy bills, released by the CCC on 16 March.
This week National Grid announced the three Triad periods for winter 2016/2017. Triads are the three half hour settlement periods with the highest average demand between the months of November and February, separated by at least ten full days. Despite a perceived surge in energy intensive users working hard to avoid winter peak period costs,
Around half (48%) of firms surveyed in a new report said that they had not budgeted for the impact of a new policy scheme – the capacity market – that will add to their electricity bills next winter. The finding came as part of the Directors’ Energy Report, published on 24 February by The Energyst.
The cost of integrating intermittent energy sources into the electricity system will be much higher than necessary unless more flexible technologies are deployed, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has warned. On 21 February, researchers at UKERC unveiled an update on their review, published in 2006, of the costs of incorporating “intermittent” generation onto the
This spring the UK government intends to make structural changes to the energy market, which will benefit energy storage. The UK government contacted major players in the electricity industry last autumn, for suggestions on how to alter the power grid. If new legislation is enacted in the spring based on this information, many industry observers
Catalyst was in attendance at the official opening of the new 880MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station in Carrington near Greater Manchester this week. As Energy Minister Jesse Norman officially marked the opening of the new £710 million development at Carrington, which has the capacity to provide power to more than one million
The Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom recently confirmed that the UK retail water market will open as planned on 1st April 2017. This means that the UK commercial water industry will be the first in the world to operate a competitive open market that encourages competition. Overnight some 1.2 million eligible businesses, charities and public sector
A Catalyst guide to the new MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) for developers, investors, landlords and lenders. Starting in April 2018, a new legal standard will apply to rented commercial buildings. The MEES, or (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard), brings a challenging opportunity for many property owners, developers, lenders and freehold investors. This guide reviews how
DCP161 is quite simply a new mechanism for DNO’s (Distribution Network Operators) to charge half-hourly metered customers a financial penalty when half-hourly metered sites exceed their agreed capacity. Following on from our recent article on DCP228 (Changes to DUoS Charges), From 1st April 2018, DCP161 will also be in force. Ofgem have introduced this new
DCP228 is a major change to the DUoS (Distribution Use of System) charges which is covered as part of the CDCM (Common Distribution Charging Methodology) which has been recently approved by Ofgem on the 8th September 2016, and with the new regulatory charges associated with DCP228 coming into effect from the 1st April 2018. Energy
The government has secured over 52GW of electricity supplies for 2020-21, following the conclusion of its latest capacity market auction. The auctions, introduced by the coalition government in the previous parliament, seek to ensure that the UK’s power supplies remain secure as it transitions away from old fossil fuel plants and towards cleaner sources of
A flexible energy contract is a strong enabler for taking advantage of volatility in the energy marketplace, and in so doing, achieving optimal energy costs. When a commodity is purchased in advance, the supplier will charge a higher price for this. This price includes what is known as a Risk Premium. This premium is designed to
Developing a smarter power grid could result in households saving up to £8bn a year collectively by 2030, according to a new report by the Policy Exchange think tank. The group published its Power 2.0 report on 7 November. It outlined how the rapid expansion of renewables was creating challenges in terms of managing the
Solar panels are to be fitted onto stretches of our roads next year in the UK. Doing so will provide clean energy to various businesses and homes that are connected to them. These photovoltaic panels are a quarter of an inch thick and can be glued onto the road’s surface. Engineers that are developing the
A team of scientists have found a way to use nuclear waste as an energy source, by converting radioactive gas into artificial diamonds. These gems would be able to generate their own electrical current for several centuries and could be used as batteries. This amazing feat is feasible due to the enduring half-life of the
A new energy efficient engine has been invented, that generates electricity from waste hot water. This new machine has the potential to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions for thousands of businesses, ranging from cargo shipping companies through to data centers. This solution comes from a firm based in Dublin, Ireland called Exergyn, who intends
In order to deliver reliable, clean and cheap power, the energy system is experiencing intense technological innovation, according to Secretary Greg Clark – Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). BEIS’s secretary highlighted the UK’s commitment to new energy technologies at the Energy UK conference in London this past week. He cited
System operator National Grid has confirmed that the risk of winter power blackouts has fallen, with more electricity supplies available than had earlier been anticipated. The company published its annual Winter Outlook report on 14 October. It suggested that Britain’s capacity margin – the extent to which the supply of electricity on the system would
The application sales engineer at PDC Machines, Nihad Kaiseruddin, demonstrates the SimpleFuel device. This prototype powers electric fuel-cell vehicles with high-purity hydrogen derived from a combination of water and electricity. Some may call this magic, however, it’s no parlor trick. Inside this 8-foot-tall steel box, water is being converted into clean hydrogen motor fuel at
The UK has dropped down to 14th place in EY’s quarterly index of the most attractive locations for renewables investment – its lowest position to date. The report, issued on 26 October, explained that European countries had become increasingly attractive to renewables investors in recent months, having lost pace with emerging markets earlier in the
New Parliamentary Committee Reports That The UK Needs to Incentivise Energy Storage The UK Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee has requested the nation’s government to provide an incentive for innovative energy storage, and demand side response (DSR) technologies. An incredible opportunity exists for the UK, to become a world leader in disruptive technologies, a
The renewable energy industry in the UK has denied the validity of a new economic analysis, suggesting that it is altering the facts. The report in question claims that using biomass power may cause more carbon pollution than natural gas or burning coal. These domes are Drax’s biomass storage units. They are able to hold
New nuclear reactors are emerging in the US, providing a safer and cheaper alternative to traditional nuclear power plants. A traditional nuclear reactor, being cooled with water to lower temperatures. Smaller nuclear reactors are being built with a new technology to passively keep things cool. The nuclear industry may have a new outlook in the
The Stored Energy in the Sea (StEnSEA) project is a new pumped storage system aimed at large-scale marine storage of electrical energy. There is currently a lack of storage within the UK grid system and but it is expected that storage levels will triple worldwide by 2030, while installed capacity is expected to multiply more
Battery storage will, for the first time, play an important role in balancing supply and demand on the power system, after several projects were awarded key contracts by National Grid. In order to effectively balance supply and demand, National Grid must ensure that the frequency of the electricity system is maintained at 50Hz. But the
Lodge Farm in north Wales generates 150 kilowatt hours per day for the grid, and does so in an interesting manner. The power comes from the slurry of 300 brown Swiss and Norwegian red cattle, mixed in with chicken litter that cannot be fed to animals and waste from the local Kellog’s factory. Beginning in
Ofgem’s mandatory move to half-hourly settlements for all consumers extended Ofgem’s huge project to switch to half-hourly electricity settlement (HHS) for almost all customers has been plaguing the business energy world for months. Now the remaining customers, including smaller businesses and domestic consumers, are being told they will have to adopt it as well. Up
Germany has approved a law that bans fracking after years of dispute over the controversial technology which releases oil and commercial gas trapped deep underground. The law does not cover conventional drilling for oil and gas, so state governments are given the right to decide on these individual cases. Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, which
Retail chain Marks & Spencer is using crowdfunding to source the money for installation of solar panels on its shops. In partnership with Energy4All, a non-profit group that helps community groups begin energy co-ops, the chain is aiming to raise £1.23m in order to put panels on nine of its larger stores, including sites in
Business groups have welcomed the announcement of reforms to the energy market, following an investigation by the UK’s competition watchdog. Consumers Disengaged On 24 June the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the final report of its investigation into the energy industry. The investigation was launched two years ago, after the sector’s regulator, Ofgem, expressed
A new survey has shown that businesses have an increasingly positive view of the process for switching between electricity and gas suppliers. On 25 May, energy regulator Ofgem published research, prepared by analyst BMG, on Micro and Small Business Engagement in Energy Markets. It was based on 1,500 telephone interviews with businesses between October-December last
The two sides of the debate on the UK’s future EU membership have clashed over how the energy sector will be impacted by this month’s vote. Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd had suggested earlier this year that a vote to leave the EU could see energy bills for UK consumers rise by £500mn/
Portugal has achieved a huge clean energy milestone by managing to keep its lights on for four consecutive days using renewable energy only, data analysis of national energy network figures has revealed. Consumption of commercial electricity was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power for a groundbreaking 107 hours, beginning at 6.45am on Saturday
Energy storage company Camborne has announced a collaboration with major infrastructure fund manager Equitix and Building Services Contractor FES Group. This strategic joining of forces will mean Equitix and FES Group supporting the delivery of Camborne’s large energy storage projects in the UK. Although currently rather small, the UK market for battery energy storage is
On Monday 16 May 2016, the Energy Live News team announced its shortlist for the Energy Live Consultancy Awards (TELCA). This year, Catalyst were named as a finalist for Consultancy of the Year, Energy Management Champion, and Best Customer Service. Kiran Jutti, a senior energy consultant at Catalyst, has also been shortlisted for the Unsung
The UK will share in savings of up to €40bn a year by 2030 if the EU’s electricity market is fully integrated, an assessment by the Treasury has found. Published on 18 April, the report said that the integrated market would allow the free flow of energy across the continent, removing regulatory and technical barriers.
The operator of Britain’s commercial electricity system has said that firms will be given the opportunity to assist in ensuring supply matches demand this summer. In its annual Summer Outlook report, issued on 7 April, National Grid explained that it was becoming increasingly challenging to operate the system during periods when demand from consumers was
Chancellor George Osborne used the Budget on 16 March to announce major reforms to the energy tax landscape for businesses. The changes are intended to ease the administrative burden that businesses face from the current system, which includes a number of taxes and schemes – often with overlapping requirements. A streamlined framework Osborne confirmed that
Utilising technologies like battery storage and demand response could save consumers £8bn a year, according to the government’s new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). The NIC is the government’s new advisory body on infrastucture. Its Smart Power report, released on 4 March, examined how the UK’s commercial electricity network could be made more flexible in facing
Established water companies will be delighted to hear that Ofwat has decided to remove the in-area trading ban (IATB) from April onwards, allowing businesses to consolidate their in-area and out-of-area customers before the commercial water market opens in 2017. This isn’t such good news for businesses looking to enter the market however, many of whom
Stoke-based water supplier United Utilities is teaming up with the Coventry-based Severn Trent to form a joint venture aimed at capitalising on the official opening up of the commercial water market in April next year. The opening of the commercial water market will give 1.2 million businesses the freedom to choose their supplier and this
A business lobbyist has told the government that energy costs must not be allowed to undermine the UK’s international competitiveness. On 15 February the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) submitted to the government its view on the upcoming Budget, which will be announced by the chancellor later this month. It said the government needed to
Director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network Jill Cainey said: “It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs – but we don’t have the same system for commercial electricity.” This may well change in 2016 however, as industry professionals predict a breakthrough year for energy storage, something considered vital to the
According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers the government’s plan to close all coal-fired power stations and ageing nuclear plants by 2025 could result in the UK facing a 40-55% commercial electricity supply gap. In their report, titled the Engineering of the UK Electricity Gap, the ImechE called plans to plug the gap with combined
Sweeping reforms designed to begin a new era in sewage and business water rates trading will also encompass household water bills, according to UK water regulator Ofwat. Consumers will see a £1 billion benefit if the 18 supply firms based in the UK increase the amount of water they trade. Human sludge will also be
The government opened a consultation on 15 January on whether regulation in the commercial energy markets is allowing innovation to flourish. A Balanced Approach Innovation is a key driver of technological development in the energy sector, so is regarded as vital for delivering lower costs, greater reliability and an effective decarbonisation process. However, the government
A short and surprise announcement from the government will have far-reaching implications for the water sector over the next 5-10 years. According to the Treasury, “Building on opening up the non-household retail market to competition, the government wants to extend choice to households. Ofwat will provide an assessment by summer 2016 of the costs and
The government’s Energy Bill has been approved in its first key vote in the Commons, and its provisions will now be closely scrutinised by MPs. The bill, which has already been approved in the House of Lords, has two key components: it will establish a new regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), for the
Over half of the UK’s water companies reported rising levels of commercial water leakage this year, according to the Consumer Council for Water. CC Water has called on the industry to do more to tackle the problem. The report by CC Water, titled “Delving into Water”, showed that consumer confidence in water companies is on
In a study published on 18 January, Consultants Eunomia examined the potential of battery electricity storage in the UK. Storage systems allow commercial electricity to be stored so that it can used at a later time. There are a wide range of storage measures – but at present the technology’s role in the power sector
An investigation has been launched by the European commission into the UK’s plans to convert part of its Drax coal power plant to biomass. The commission wants to make sure that Drax plans are in line with EU state aid rules, after giving the go ahead to a similar conversion taking place in Lynemouth for
Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW) has applied for a licence to extend its service into the Scottish business retail market in order to prepare for the business water market opening to non-household customers in England in April 2017. The company said it hopes to gain “invaluable experience” in the existing competitive market. SESW said
2015 proved to be a record year for wind power in the UK, with wind farms supplying enough energy to power 8.25 million homes, over 30% of the nation. Wind energy also contributed to a huge 11% of the UK’s annual commercial electricity demand last year, an increase of 1.5% from 2014. In December 2015
Business Energy Consultants Catalyst Acquires Aqua House to Boost Commercial Water Division Catalyst Commercial Services Limited, a UK market leading utility consultant who provides utility procurement services, sustainability and environmental services, is pleased to announce that it has today completed the acquisition of Aqua House Limited for an undisclosed sum. Aqua House is a specialist
The government is facing demands for an urgent investigation into the fact that companies were given more than £175m in subsidies to build heavily polluting “diesel farms” in order to provide back-up power for the UK. Critics of the decision say that the money is rewarding intensive carbon dioxide emitters, just as Britain has promised
Under current EU legislation, businesses must demonstrate that they have made a compliant Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) assessment on or before 5th December 2015 to avoid being subject to a maximum penalty of £185,000. The Environment Agency (EA), which administers ESOS on the Government’s behalf, estimates that from the 14,000 enterprises that fall under
Chancellor George Osborne’s plans could put the UK at the heart of the new global mini-nuclear reactor industry, reactors that are trucked into towns to provide hot water, or shipped to foreign countries to be plugged into their electrical grid. On Wednesday the Chancellor revealed that by 2020 at least £250 million will be spent
The boss of Aston Martin has announced plans for an electric car with between 800 and 1,000 horsepower, ideal for a new zero-emissions 007. Andy Palmer said the move of all carmakers towards electric motors is inevitable and said his 102-year-old company is ready to make the switch instead of trying to meet ever-decreasing emissions
A small business that has created the UK’s largest “virtual power plant” says it will be capable of powering the cities of Birmingham and Leeds in three years time. Called Limejump, the plant collects supply from small generators, such as from farmers that have solar panels or are producing biogas. However, the business also pays
An ambitious project conceived by an Icelandic economist aims to connect Iceland and the UK with an undersea power cable, exporting electricity to Britain. The idea has been in the works for many years but has had its fair share of logistical problems. Both Prime Minister David Cameron and Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
The chance of an electricity blackout has risen to its highest in a decade and the National Grid has admitted that it is more likely to draw power from additional sources to try to keep the country’s electricity flowing. The operator said it had enlisted power stations to provide extra capacity and has asked companies
Following the Chancellors announcement of the Summer Budget, in which he said energy policies and regulations would be subject to review, HM Treasury has launched a consultation to seek opinions on its proposals to reform the business energy efficiency tax landscape. The government is looking for feedback about what data should be collected and made
Dale Vince, a pioneer of the UK renewable energy industry and founder of green energy company Ecotricity, has accused the British government of corrupting the market in an attempt to scupper green energy in favour of fossil fuels and nuclear power. The criticism comes as RenewableUK, the industry’s trade association, announced that 25.3% of the
A factory that makes the traditional British dish of pie and mash has become the first factory in the world to be run entirely on power generated by potatoes. Power is generated for the Cavaghan and Gray ready-meals plant in Carlisle, Cumbria, through a bio-refinery that converts leftover potatoes and peelings into electricity and steam.
New figures released by National Grid last month show that Britain is heading towards a serious energy capacity issue. Demand is increasing, power generation spare capacity is decreasing, and this leads to an increased likelihood of the lights going out. The main cause of this power problem is the UK’s Soviet-era energy infrastructure. The National
According to a new report from National Grid, the risk of blackouts this winter has increased due to the closure of power stations. The electricity system surplus will be just 1.2% this winter, the lowest level in a decade, the gas and electricity operator said. In order to try and negate this issue, National Grid
The ability to store solar power for use when the sun isn’t shining would be a dream come true for home owners who have invested in solar panels. Many thousands of houses are now using hi-tech blackboxes to store solar energy for use at night. At the moment, solar panels provide “free” energy to households
It has been discovered that subsidies being granted on household energy bills have caused a boom in polluting “diesel farms” across the UK so the grid can meet periods of high electricity demand. One programme for the National Grid has almost a quarter of Britain’s back-up power provided by tiny fossil fuel power stations –
The increase in the UK’s solar PV generation has contributed to the National Grid forecasting its “lowest ever” peak level demand this summer. At 37.5GW, the National Grid’s estimate of peak demand, published in their summer outlook, is 900MW lower than the same figure for last year. The rise in solar PV generation capacity within
Last month the UK and Norway signed an agreement to build what will become the world’s longest interconnector from the town of Kvilldal, in southwest Norway, to Blyth, in northeast England. The document, which was signed at the British Embassy in Oslo by representatives from National Grid, the power grid operator in Great Britain, and
Using the same technology inside their electric cars, Tesla is working towards developing lithium-ion batteries for the home, according to a statement from CEO Elon Musk. The batteries would be used to store excess commercial energy collected from solar panels of homes and businesses, and then drawn from over night when the panels are idle.
As part of a high profile renovation project, one of the most iconic sites in the world has become the latest venue to embrace renewable energy as two vertical axis wind turbines are installed on the Eiffel tower. US-based renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced that it has fitted the two turbines and that
Over the past few years the negative effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and global warming have become common topics of discussion, and so has the technology that plays a role in reducing emissions, such as electric vehicles and smart devices in homes and offices that reduce energy consumption. Computer giant Microsoft has recently been
With less than 10-months left until the deadline for complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) legislation. Market leading energy consultants Catalyst have warned that many large UK businesses may be missing out on over £250 million in energy savings. Recent figures released by the Department for Climate Change (DECC) show that savings of
THEMA1, a think tank in Berlin, has announced that Britain will have a thriving solar power sector without the need for subsidies by 2020, based on the falling cost of parts and vast improvements in the supply chain in the industry. Using evidence from the German market, such as price signals and business activity, the
The Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has published recommendations to avoid failure of the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) and to make it more effective. A study carried out on energy efficiency suppliers indicated that a lack of publicity could lead to the top 10,000 UK companies failing the ESOS audit, as well as
Scientists have discovered a new form of carbon graphite – the material in pencil lead – that had unexpected properties that could cause a revolution in the production of green energy and electric vehicles. The scientists discovered that graphene allows positively charged hydrogen atoms to pass through it despite the fact that it is impenetrable
With wholesale energy prices currently in a lull, E.On has become the first of the big six commercial energy companies (the others being British Gas, SSE, ScottishPower, EDF Energy and npower) to announce it will pass these lower costs on to their customers. News from the German-owned energy supplier said that the price cut would
Whilst many articles seem to buy into the myth that renewable energy in the UK is still in it’s infancy, new data following the end of the year has been published, revealing that the UK homes are operating on as much as 25% power from wind. Renewable UK published a report based on newly-released data
A firm based in Israel claims it has invented technology that can charge a smartphone in mere seconds and an electric car in minutes. This breakthrough could dramatically change two of the worlds most dynamic consumer industries. StoreDot, based in Tel-Aviv, says it has used nano-technology to develop a battery that acts like a sponge,
A new year full of exciting new discoveries in the field of commercial energy lies ahead, and after making plenty of headlines in Germany, Australia and the United States in 2014, it looks like there will be little to slow solar down in 2015. Whilst subsidies might be being tailed off for solar commercial energy
When it comes to batteries, reducing the size is almost as important as increasing the storage capacity. Now, scientists have come up with a new nanosize battery that is 80,000 thinner than a human hair. The impact on industries such as green energy, which currently requires huge batteries to store the energy for when the
Scientists have developed a mirror that could see air conditioning units becoming obsolete. Placed on the roof of buildings, the mirrors are designed to reflect light and heat back into the subzero temperatures of space. The researchers believe that the mirrors could dramatically reduce the amount of commercial energy used by business and shopping centres
Anyone with a laptop more than a year old, knows that the battery in most units can barely run Microsoft Excel and a web browser for than 40 mins without demanding a charge – so it might come as a surprise to find out that most old laptop batteries could soon be powering communities in
A new report by two Google engineers, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, claims that climate change cannot be solved by renewable energy technologies like wind and solar energy. The two engineers had previously worked on an ambitious renewable energy project for Google known as “RE<C”. The project failed however, and prompted
Certification body BM TRADA has warned that a “significant proportion” of the largest companies in Britain do not know about the government’s Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS). Whilst registration is not required, Companies must determine if they meet the criteria on the 31st December 2014 and therefore comply under ESOS requirments. Companies then have up
Dutch researchers are hoping to add a new kind of renewable energy to the market by opening a new “Blue Energy” test facility. Blue energy produces commercial electricity by taking advantage of the difference in salt concentration between fresh water and sea water. Rik Siebers, of REDstack BV, said the aim was to improve the
Facebook has opened a new data centre in Altoona, Iowa to deal with the traffic from its more than 1 billion users. However, like their other centres in the United States, the whole thing is run entirely on renewable energy. Not only are the servers cooled by outside air instead of the traditional air condition
Around the globe, mass energy storage and distribution is becoming of greater and greater interest as the world moves more towards renewable but more intermittent forms of energy production, such as wind and solar. By finding a way to store large amounts of energy, the UK could move from the current supply-must-meet-demand system to one
New “black box” device manages household energy usage to reduce cost A new device has been developed that is said to cut energy bills by a fifth each month. The new device, dubbed the “black box”, will turn household appliances off and on throughout the day in response to fluctuations in the cost of electricity.
E.ON, Germany’s biggest utility company, has announced that plans to split the firm in two and sell off most of it’s power generating units due to what their CEO has described as ‘dramatically altered global energy markets’. Germany – on paper one of the most progressive countries in terms of commercial energy – is often
On its second anniversary the UK Green Investment Bank has been congratulated by British Prime Minister David Cameron for contributing more than £5 billion to new green energy infrastructure projects. The bank is the first of its kind and raises money for the development of the country’s green energy industry. Since it was created two
Research by the New York Times has suggested a new era in energy has started to dawn for energy in the United States as renewables are finally equaling conventional fossil fuels in price. Following a trend over the last five years, the last twelve months have seen the cost of providing electricity from wind and
A British company has successfully undertaken first-stage tests to bring wave power closer to fruition in the UK. Named Searaser and created by renewable energy innovators Ecotricity, the device will potentially re-invent the electricity sector, pushing it into greener and more eco-friendly territory. The idea behind the creation of the device is to give Britain
A new wave of ‘nano batteries’ could be leading a cavalry charge to help increase viability for green commercial energy sources, as researchers in the US say they have “ultimate miniaturization of energy storage”. The team, based at the University of Maryland, have already created a working model of a ‘simple’ nano-battery concept designed to
After revealing plans to build the World’s largest offshore wind farm this summer, the UK government has approved another significantly-sized installation earlier this week. Consent has been given for Danish company Dong Energy A/S to install a new off-shore wind farm 19km west of the Cumbrian coast, close tot he existing ‘Walney I’ and ‘Walney
This week a new study has indicated that businesses here in the UK could save a collective £5 billion in commercial energy spend by switching to rooftop solar photovoltaic panels. Kingspan Energy might just happen to be one of the UK’s longest-running providers of ‘high performance insulation, building fabric, and solar integrated building envelopes’, but
A new style of boiler which contains the capability to produce energy as well as heated water is set to be handed out by it’s British developer for ‘free’ in the hopes of kick-starting a new era of self-supplying homes and businesses – and built upon a surprising business model. Dubbed a ‘Game-changer’ already by
It might look like something from a sci-fi film, but this huge floating device is actually set to provide green electricity and Wi-Fi to residents of the remote city of Fairbanks, Alaska. Designed and constructed by MIT startup Altaeros Energies, this futuristic floating marvel is a new type of airborne wind turbine dubbed the BAT
A new report conducted on behalf of the European commission has declared wind as the cheapest source of commercial energy – but only when ‘external’ factors are brought in to consideration. Revealed earlier this week, the data – written for the European commission by the Ecofys consultancy – revealed that onshore wind is cheaper than
A fresh call for an expanded energy efficiency target from environmentalists claims that the UK could boost the British economy by £62bn. At a time where the 20% by 2020 targets are looming large over the heads of the government – in which the UK and other members of the European Union have committed to
One of the biggest names in computing technology, IBM, have teamed up with Swiss company Airlight Energy to give the tradition solar panel a drastic redesign after revealing an all-new ‘sunflower’ prototype. In comparison to giant wind turbines and colossal solar steam arrays, the average solar panel is hardly space-consuming or an eye-sore, but the
The Australian Coalition Government has unveiled their plans to make their country a new “energy superpower” with a fresh strategy that relies heavily on fossil fuels. Whilst Australia has hit the headlines for it’s use of renewables – including record solar energy production and a new surge in interest in tidal energy – Ian Macfarlane,
We already knew the uptake by the public was less than expected, and last week we heard how small businesses were also shirking away from it, and now a parliamentary committee has dubbed the government’s Green Deal a ‘disappointing failure’. A group of MPs was called upon to evaluate the loan scheme, which was designed
A new survey carried out by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has found that almost a third of it’s members said the cost of energy was a barrier to growth for their company. Carried out across the 8,000 FSB members, the survey revealed that the cost of electricity, water and gas for their business
Following on from last month’s news that Wales would be testing a UK-first tidal wave generator as part of a new commercial energy development, Scotland are building what they are already calling the ‘World’s Biggest’ tidal array. Currently in the midst of an ongoing independence debate, Scotland have been dragging up the UK’s renewable energy
The great solar conundrum is one that can divide even the greenest of eco-advocates; businesses and homeowners want the clean, affordable commercial energy that comes with solar power, but many don’t want (or can’t have, due to planning regulations) the large photo voltaic cells required to create it. But what if every window were a
It seems we can’t go a week without talking about strides being made or patents being filed for a new style of solar cell or increases in wind power capacity. But, as we’ve reported before, many commercial energy developers are all at sea when it comes to tidal power. But this week a new wave
The scientific technique of singlet fission was first observed in glowing crystals nearly half a century ago, but now scientists are looking at it once again as a way to improve the efficiency of modern solar cells. The process allows a single photon of light to release two electrons instead of the usual one, and
France’s largest supplier of commercial energy – EDF – have shut down four of it’s UK-based reactors after discovering a fault in a boiler unit. A statement from the company says it found a potentially-dangerous defect in a boiler spine at the Heysham-1 plant in Lancashire back in June, and following on from that discovery
Tim Yeo, chairman of the Energy Committee, has said that an ongoing investigation into the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy companies should extend into looking at commercial gas prices, too. A senior figure in Westminster, Yeo has taken umbrage with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the organisation tasked with running the inquiry, and their approach
Hydraulic fracturing – more commonly known as ‘fracking’ – has hit the headlines to no small amount of controversy as the coalition government invited commercial energy companies to first onshore bid on the oil and gas licences in six years this past week. Having raised plenty of issues in the US, where horror stories of
Software giants Microsoft have announced a new deal with an Illinois-based wind farm project to power it’s Chicago datacentre. The makers of Windows will purchase 175 megawatts of commercial wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project as part of a 20-year agreement announced this week.
Investment bank UBS has predicted that solar power could be powering entire cities by 2018 in it’s latest forecast for commercial renewable energy projects. The Swiss-based financial powerhouse has predicted that more and more homes and businesses could be putting power back into the grid by the end of the decade, thanks to the rise
With subsidies for solar panels one of the first cuts to be made under the Coalition government’s ‘Energy Bill’ in 2013, one of the best things that could happen to solar energy in the commercial energy sector is for the cost of producing panels to suddenly be made cheaper. And whilst we’ve had no shortage
Commercial energy watchdog Ofgem will unveil plans for the largest ever investigation into the energy market next week, with potentially huge knock-on effects. Public anger over increasing bills and complicated invoicing has led Ofgem to lay out plans for an eighteen-month long inquiry into claims of profiteering and coordination between suppliers to decrease competition. A
With so much talk about the energy market in the United Kingdom since the start of 2014, it seems that everyone has developed an opinion on how best to tackle businesses with rising commercial energy costs and homes descending into fuel poverty. The issue is – and will likely always be finding something that works
Early indications for the UK Government’s ‘Green Deal’ suggested a low uptake rate amongst the public, so much is being made of the second round of loans by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who has labelled the scheme as ‘very generous’ this week. Conceived as an alternative to having commercial energy companies foot the costs of
A team at the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology has set an exciting new benchmark for the commercial solar power market by improving the efficiency of a new type of solar-cell, known as a ‘Quantum Dot’ cell. Whilst solar power has seen the one of the more widely-spread and favorable uptakes out of the renewable
An announcement this weekend made by a collective of Dutch rail carriers could see all of the electric trains in the Netherlands run on renewable power by as soon as 2018. A newly-formed co-operative of Dutch train companies called VIVENS (Verenigd Inkoop en Verbruik van Energie op het Nederlandse S) has just put pen-to-paper with
Solar power and wind power are well-established forms of renewable energy; but how about solar wind power? A new prototype in the United States has just been green-lit and might well provide an exciting new way to produce energy in the future.
Britain has ‘Already Approved’ Enough Renewable Energy to Meet EU Goals New analysis of the renewable energy projects currently in development concludes that the UK has enough renewable energy in development to meet it’s European Union-set obligations.
Tidal Energy has made headlines this week for all the wrong reasons as a high-profile project in the United States was scrapped this month, calling into question the prospects of wave power. Created by Ocean Power Technologies over two years ago, a huge, 260 tonne buoy was destined to supply power to 100 homes in
Private and commercial energy customers have been promised a reduced switching time when changing energy companies by the end of the year. After a push from Energy & Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, the UK’s energy companies will now offer a two-and-a-half week switching time when changing energy providers – half of the current standard
The United Nations has to called on world leaders to triple the planet’s use of renewable energy in a new report on climate change this month. Titled “Mitigation of Climate Change” by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the report – revealed on Sunday – highlights the increased carbon emissions produced in the
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union have released their long-awaited publication on renewable energy consumption in the twenty-eight EU member states for 2012. Revealed at the end of last month, this new report takes the full calendar year of 2012 into account, producing a fascinating insight into the commercial energy market for Europe,
Innovation is the byword in the lighting industry over the last decade or so. Hardly any time has passed since every build seemed to use a filament, before making way to eco-friendly options and more-recently, LEDs. Most recently, the discussion has shifted to OLEDs. Now, fans of the smartphone and high-end television market know that
Solar panels have always been referred to as solar cells, but cells of a different kind have been making waves in the solar commercial energy industry at the start of 2014 thanks to some bold new experiments taking place in labs across the world. Most prominently, labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has this week pushed energy providers to start including QR codes on all bills, with the intention of allowing commercial energy and domestic customers a more interactive bill that will allow them to see where they’re spending money on their energy. Secretary Davey has out lined the plans to enforce QR
Three years after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe Japan has revealed that it still considers nuclear power as a vital source of commercial energy and will look to it for power in the future. In the country’s first energy policy since 2011, Japan’s government have said it is still a ‘key’ course of electricity for
When it comes to companies we love to revisit, Google has to be top of the list. The Search Engine giant has quietly been investing huge amounts in both self-serving renewable energy projects and investments into ongoing reseach over the last decade. The California-based company have previously invested huge sums on wind farms in Scandinavia
Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo work on a relatively simple premise; someone with the idea for a product or service turns to the masses on the internet to gain the means, with each ‘backer’ promised something in return for their investment.
New documents submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) by one of its advisory bodies have shown that the government could be considering building as many as 50 new nuclear power stations. The figure, ten times the number the DECC was believed to be considering, will likely cause much turbulence in the
With four of the UK’s big six energy firms stalling on administering the £50 reduction to domestic and commercial energy consumers, and threats of blackouts next winter, it looks like the heated debate over energy prices is set to continue well into 2014. Having negotiated a £50 reduction to energy bills and chipped away at
UK Chancellor George Osbourne has stated he is “absolutely insistent” that customers will see reductions on their energy bills should the government bow to pressure from energy companies to make further cuts to green levies.
A £4bn off-shore wind farm project has been axed by German ‘big six’ energy company RWE npower dealing an untimely blow to Britian’s renewable energy plans. The Atlantic Array of off-shore turbines was set to create thousands of jobs in the business electricity sector and provide power to around 1 million homes. RWE npower has
When you’re the city that never sleeps, it’s important to keep the lights on – but as well all know, leaving the lights on isn’t the epitome of energy efficiency. Which is why thew City of New York will be transitioning it’s street lights to more energy-friendly LEDs over the next four years. Speaking last
Whilst the focus on commercial Energy companies and price rises has been very much a British issue these last few weeks as three of the big six revealed plans to push up the cost of their tariffs, new research from Reuters has revealed that it is a similar story across Europe.
Ofgem’s latest findings have brought more criticism onto some of the UK’s largest energy companies in a week where the ‘Big Six’ are already being held to account by a government committee over pricing. Ofgem claim that energy companies have seen wholesale electricity costs fall over the last three years whilst putting up prices for
The Energy and Climate Change Committee has called the heads of the UK’s biggest six commercial energy firms before MPs today to give evidence to support the recent spate of prices rises across the industry. Sir Robert Smith, Chairman of the committee of MPs, has called upon bosses of the ‘big six’ to Parliament after
On the day that British Gas hiked prices by 9.2%, with the average customer’s annual bill rising more than £120, they decided to do a Twitter chat on the same day with their Customer Service Director, Bert Pijls, answering your questions. The result was inevitable with the #askBG hashtag taken Twitter by storm followed by
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today announced the UK energy sector is close to securing “tens of billions of pounds” in investment from the Far East. Secretary Davey said China, Japan and Korea were set pour a ‘massive’ investment into nuclear energy as well as other technology, pointing to a close-to-final dealt build new reactors
Labour leader Ed Milliband has targeted energy lobbyists who deal with government ministers as part of a drive for transparency in Government. Speaking to The Independent, Mr Milliband cited that ministers have met with lobbyists from the ‘Big Six’ commercial energy providers five times more often than consumer groups, accusing ministers of being ‘too close’
The biggest commercial energy providers in the UK have entered last-minute negotiations with the British Government in an attempt to delay the commencement date of a new scheme.
Earlier this week figures from a new study revealed that it is now less costly to get electricity from solar panels and wind turbines that from traditional coal-powered power plants for the first time in the US. Thanks to tax-breaks for ‘green’ power and taxes to help offset climate change the Journal of Environmental Studies
Consumer group Which? has made several damning criticisms of the energy market in a new statement, going as far as to call the sector ‘broken’. Towards the end of 2012, the government aimed to simplify the energy market for consumers with the introduction of the The Energy Bill. The long-discussed legislature aimed to simplify the
Nine of the biggest commercial energy companies in Europe have banded together in an attempt to have the EU reconsider it’s energy policies, which they say are potting the whole continent’s power supplies at risk. Gerard Mestrallet, chief executive of GDF Suez and Paolo Scaroni, head of Italian oil group Eni, are both set to
Germany’s huge focus on renewable energy after the decision to shut down it’s nuclear power plants looks set to pay dividends sooner than expected as internal figures show the whole country could be running on renewable energy by 2050. Speaking as part of a panel at an event hosted by the World Policy Institute Jochen
The British-born entrepreneur behind one of the US’s most rapidly-rising solar panel companies has weighed in to the debate over Parliament’s plans to rely on nuclear power for the UK’s commercial energy needs. Andrew Birch, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, is currently chief executive of Sungevity – one of the fastest growing names in solar panel
Work will begin on installing solar panels to one of the most famous addresses in the world this week, as the White House will have photovoltaic panels installed on its roof. The culmination of a three-year old promise by the President, the installation of solar panels at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue represents a commitment by the
In a rare public display of opposition to a flagship government scheme by a senior energy executive, the CE of industry giant Centrica has branded the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) as too complicated and too expensive. Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw has voiced vocal opposition to the Eco programme in an interview with the Financial Times
Britain’s Members of Parliament face a race against time to decide on the future of UK energy, after mixed calls from MPs have cast doubt over a unified strategy. The December introduction of ‘The Energy Bill’ was designed to be a the keystone of the United Kingdom’s energy infrastructure – thrashed out between the major
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) earlier this week issued new planning guidance for local councils and authorities, aiming to help them pit renewable energy projects against other environmental concerns in their jurisdiction.
Local councils are set to lose their say on whether controversial shale gas harvesting goes on in their area as new planning guidelines were published last week. After allegedly causing unusual seismic activity in the United States, campaigners have vehemently opposed exploiting shales gas reserves in the British countryside, and so far have been able
Appliance giants GE revealed an exciting innovation this week with the official announcement of it’s next generation wind turbines, bringing a huge leap forward in efficiency and storage.
The renewable energy sector in the UK received a shot in the arm late last week as the world’s largest offshore wind farm was opened on July 4th. None other than Prime Minister David Cameron was on hand to cut the ribbon at the London Array, a flagship renewable energy development that the government hopes
After being outed earlier this year as burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, China are taking a proactive approach to cutting down on their coal usage, according to new reports. As many other countries aim to ‘kick their coal habit’, China has seen their usage of fossil fuels increase
The plea comes amid confusion between energy suppliers, high-profile consumers and the government themselves over where the UK’s energy will come from over the next 10 years. 20% of the UK’s energy generating capacity will be retired by 2023 to satisfy stringent EU laws on environmental standards – meaning that much of the closing stations will be fossil fuel powered.
12 months have passed since launching the Pelamis P2 wave energy machine off the coast of Orkney in Scotland, and it’s owners have heralded it’s ‘encouraging’ results after a full year in use. One of the first of it’s kind, the Pelamis P2 is a wave energy converter owned by ScottishPower Renewables, who have posted
Shale oil is ‘reshaping the commercial energy industry’ according to a statement released by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday. The North American shale energy industry has created a ‘supply shock’ according to Maria van der Hoeven, IEA executive director, that could have decade-long repercussions. The agency said that US shale oil will help meet
Increasing Costs & Simplified Plans Drive Up Prices Across UK Energy Market A triple-header of bad news for the energy market has come to light this week as three separate reports seem to signal another energy price increase in energy prices across the UK.
The way in which hydrogen is procured in the energy market could be changed forever thanks to a team of researchers from Virginia Tech, who have achieved a means of extracting the gas from any plant. Associate professor of biological systems engineering Y.H. Percival Zhang, at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and
After it’s reveal at the end of last year, the Energy Bill has come in for no shortage of criticism from opponents who believe the coalition government’s roadmap to a sustainable future for Britain’s commercial energy interests is heading down the wrong path.
With the coalition government subtly pushing England towards nuclear power as a short-term gap as we head towards a less carbon-dependent future, more and more researchers are looking into ways that nuclear power can be made safer, environmentally-friendly and generally more efficient.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Catalyst has been shortlisted in the ‘SME Consultancy of the Year’ at the Energy Live Consultancy Awards. This is set to be the largest awards programme in the UK, created to reward the best companies in the UK energy sector. Recognised by consumers and energy professionals throughout the
I attended the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) spring road show this week in Birmingham, and I thought I would share some of the interesting topics that were discussed during the day. The event was hosted by Mr. Andrew Buckley the Director General of the MEUC and featured a range of leading energy experts from
Whilst the long-touted ‘hydrogen economy’ seems to have been touted for as long as it has been in development, problems with handling and transport of the fuel have proven problematic. Recently, an international team of researchers has published a new method for low-temperature generation of the fuel from methanol, that can be used to produce
It’s the frustration every father has felt, right up to the point of parody – you walk into a room to find the lamp on, the TV blaring and the Playstation on pause – but the kids have all got bored and gone to different rooms. Well, one Kildrum dad decided that enough is enough,
Following on from our Top 10 Amazing Energy Saving Apps, In this week’s article we bring you 5 of the best energy efficiency apps for Smartphone’s. With them you will be able to control your household energy costs by reducing electricity usage, surveying home appliances and even help you change light bulbs.
Want to be more energy efficient, there’s and app for that with our 10 amazing energy apps for the iPhone and iPad
There’s an app for being more energy efficient, and we have put together our ten energy apps. These iPhone and iPad apps range from offering general sustainability hints and tips to measuring your monthly energy costs. A lot of apps now focus on offering general tips and everyday actions that you can take to help save energy or measure what you use more efficiently.
Wind power has many amazing applications. These include offsetting carbon emissions, providing wind turbine jobs, appearing in adverts for energy companies to show how eco-friendly they are, and giving angry people something to complain about in local newspapers.
Today, every business has to deal with the fact that as electricity consumption is on the rise, and its cost can no longer be ignored as just a little overhead. The cost of half hourly energy is becoming a significant factor when it comes to investment in the business, and therefore, just like any other factor, this needs to be optimised as well.
A team of researchers at Ohio State University in the US claim to have discovered a new method of taking the energy from coal without actually burning it. The new method – called coal-direct chemical looping – has been pioneered by Professor Liang-Shih Fan and his team at Ohio State University, and is claimed to
The growing demand for commercial biomass boilers isn’t surprising when you look at the energy savings that can be achieved by using one, compared to traditional commercial boilers. The actual savings that can be achieved from installing a commercial biomass boiler will vary and is dependent on the existing type of fuel used. The biggest
The Chief Executive of energy watchdog Ofgem has warned that Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels is at the peak of it’s ‘roller-coaster’ this winter – and will plunge fast over the next few years. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan warned both public and business energy consumers to brace for higher energy
An Energy Services Company is a company that will develop, install, and finance energy projects that are designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce on-going operational and associated maintenance costs. These types of contract are known as an Energy Savings Contract or ESCO for short. Although the concept of ESCO contracts have been around for
Under new Ofgem rules insist that domestic and commercial energy suppliers must provide quarterly complaints data on their websites, the start of 2013 gives us a new insight into which of the major UK energy suppliers handle customer complaints the most effectively.
Despite their recently-confirmed standing as the number-one investors in eco-friendly commercial energy, new figures released this week show China is now burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. Whilst support from Beijing for clean energy investment – including a large-scale, economically viable solar panel production – and increased awareness over
Yesterday morning the government launched it’s new Green Deal scheme. Similar in purpose to the energy efficiency schemes that were used by local authorities and energy companies, the Green Deal aims to help people make their homes more energy efficient using government funding.
Green Deal – It’s finally been launched but can it help you save some money? There’s still some finalising that must be done on it and just two key energy providers have gotten on board with it. However, here’s the gist of the green deal:
For the initial stage of the wind farm in East Anglia, there will be the construction of two weather monitoring stations – one in Norfolk and one in Suffolk. Woods Construction, a Scottish company, will be building the stations for a price of €23 million and is set to be finished by next summer.
Despite 2012 proving to be a rich year for The Energy Bill, the development of new technologies and potentially game-changing projects in the UK, it seems investors worldwide weren’t quite as encouraged by news from the commercial energy sector as we were, as worldwide investment in green energy projects fell 11% last year.
Whilst 2012 ended on a high for solar power, with a number of innovative new technologies being developed across the globe, there was also plenty to cheer about for commercial electricity providers who rely on wind power.
Solar energy seems to have had a rough time as of late; government subsidies have been reduced, installations are down and it seems as though every other form of green energy has had some major innovation – leaving solar in the shade. But there have been a few rays of hope for, arguably, the most
If Chancellor George Osborne and fellow conservatives have their way, shale gas could see an increase in use with a substantial tax regime. The chancellor and fellow conservatives don’t like what they’ve seen in the renewable energy sector, which are lots of greens and subsidy junkies. He recently told the public that an initiative approach
In a truly international collaboration, a team of physicists, chemists and engineers from all corners of the globe have created the first ever fibre-optic solar cell. Thinner than a human hair, these man-made fibres and completely flexible and perfectly formable – and produce electricity, just as a solar panel would. Starting with optical fibres made
After weeks of writing, speculating and – in some quarters – dreading, the UK government finally unveiled it’s long-awaited Energy Bill last week. The Energy Bill is to act as both a road map and rulebook for both private and commercial energy in the UK for the foreseeable future, tackling such weighted topics as decarbonisation,
Ofgem, the UK’s industry regulator, expressed a warning that people could experience blackouts by 2015. At this time, there’s no chance for it. But, by 2015, it’s a one in 12 chance. The reason for the increase in possible blackouts is the decrease in operational power stations and the country’s spare generation capacity, which is
Whilst still officially unannounced the Coalition government’s Energy Bill has already begun to make waves amongst the commercial energy industry, after more of it’s details were made public this week. The Energy Bill is much-awaited by the entire energy market as it is set to lay out the way in which Britain will meet it’s
The Birmingham City Council chose Carillion Energy Services for its partner in the Green Deal property improvement work. By 2020, 60,000 homes around the city will have their properties outfitted with some kind of energy efficient measure like new boilers or insulation. It’s believed that the initial work will be around £600 million. However, an
Private and commercial energy companies look set to have to reduce the number of tariffs they offer under new proposals by the UK government revealed this week. A bid by the government to end the confusion over business gas, water and electricity bills the upcoming Energy Bill will also include a policy that will force
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a method of creating crude oil from algae that takes as little as only a minute. So-called ‘biocrude’ has become a hot property as the global energy economy looks for a way of weaning itself from oil-based products like petrol onto more renewable forms of energy.
In an unprecedented joint appeal, the leaders of Britain’s nuclear, wind and tidal energy industries urged ministers not to abandon the fight against climate change. As the government continues to send out mixed messages on it’s stance on green commercial energy issues, heads of the UK energy organisations – which altogether represent over 1,000 nuclear
Highest Wind Energy Glider Portable Power Station Following on from our feature two weeks ago on the Uprise Portable Wind Turbine, another challenger in the portable power stakes has appeared. Boasting a completely unique-looking gadget, Highest Wind energy say that their Highest Wind Energy Glider™ is able to be used in 35% more locations than
EDF Energy has become the latest of Britain’s “big six” utilities to increase its gas and electricity prices, adding to pressure on already hard pressed consumers. The decision to raise its energy prices by an average of 10.8% per cent comes just days after other suppliers have already increased there energy prices.
A British company has this week unveiled a revolutionary new form of technology that can create petrol from air around us. Based in the North of England, Air Fuel Synthesis describe themselves as a small company, but those around them are already heralding their invention as a potential thunderbolt to the commercial energy market. The
Whilst everyone wants to embrace the idea of renewable, clean commercial energy the reality is that there will be many occasions when it’s simply not realistic. The humble petrol generator, for example, is a mainstay in just about every venture outside of a settlement; from festivals to theme parks to less-pleasant uses such as military
Another 2.3 million households are facing higher energy bills after the 4th of the big six energy suppliers announces its prices will rise by an average 7% from the 3rd of December. This is the 4th time price increase announcements have been made in a matter of days prompting real concerns from consumer groups across
Following hard on the heels from British Gas that it would be putting its gas and electricity price up from November 16th, by an extra £80 on to its typical annual dual fuel bill, which is an average increase of 6% affecting some 8.5 million customers . Its rival npower followed with an average rise
Millions of families are facing another jump in household energy bills after it was reported today by the BBC that UK’s largest energy supplier British Gas plans to increase gas and electricity tariffs. Updated Friday 12th October – British gas has today confirmed that it has raised its charges for both gas and electricity by
As so much good news has surrounded the commercial energy industry of late, some bad news was never going to be far behind – and it’s a double blow as leading authorities are predicting a price rise from many leading providers, and investment in clean energy has taken a tumble this quarter.
Whilst there now seems to be countless ways of generating energy (biogas, wind, solar, nuclear, fossil and so on) one of the great challenges that faces emerging forms of energy generation is how to store it. Case in point; the electric car industry has quickly discovered that the dream of a ‘green’ car is tainted
Catalyst’s energy procurement services gives Adventure Mini Golf a competitive edge whilst helping lower and control energy costs Birmingham UK – 1st October 2012 – Adventure Mini Golf is the UK’s first indoor tropical adventure golf complex, featuring two themed 18-hole courses. For years they have struggled with understanding the complexities of the UK energy
In a news that could soon have repercussions for the business energy market, Tesla motors have revealed their first solar-powered fuel stations where consumers with electric cars can ‘fill up’ for free. Dubbed the Supercharger Network, the stations were constructed under strict secrecy by electric car manufacturer Tesla. Covering six locations in California, Nevada and
Whilst much of the focus on the commercial energy front is mostly on ‘green’ or renewable resources, one form of natural fuel that hasn’t yet been pushed to it’s potential is that of shale gas. Produced in pockets, the gas forms from air trapped in shale formations, and can be harvested to turn into energy
Two new studies published this week agree that the Earth has more than enough wind that could be harnessed to meet it’s energy demands, at least technically. Published on Sunday and Monday, the two studies from two separate US-based research teams have concluded that, if placed ideally, existing wind-turbine technology could be used to produce
The future of energy in the UK was meant to be in nuclear produced power, with 5 new UK nuclear plants set to be up and running by 2025. With each of the five UK nuclear plants packing two reactors a piece, new nuclear power plants would provide the cornerstone of the Goverment’s decarbonisation promise, capable
UK energy supplier E.ON announced to the public today that it’s reported underlying net income for the January to June period has hit £2.6bn – tripling last year’s figure of £706m. One of the so-called ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, E.ON meet the needs of over 6 million customers, 5 million of which are in the
As a leading UK energy broker, our clients often ask if we could offer them the same kind of independent energy service and energy comparison for themselves or their staff at home. We recognise that our strengths and specialist expertise, allows us to focus our resources on the UK business energy market place. But it
Will the Green Deal add £100 Million Boost for Commercial Energy Efforts – Ahead of it’s expected launch at the end of 2012, the UK government has announced it has assigned £100m for investment in commercial energy efficiency projects. The body set up to lay the foundations for the bank, UK Green Investments (UKGI) has
The power giant reported that the first 6 months of the year had seen them lower nuclear output, and offset that with growth in sources renewable energy used for private and commercial energy. State-controlled EDF also boasted an 8.2% jump in sales to €36.2 billion (£28.3 billion), and the net income for the period was €2.8bn (£2.2bn).
It’s important to make energy saving a team effort and our energy training sets out to focus staff on the cost of energy and how to help reduce consumption in the work place. By asking individuals involved in your organisation where they think energy is being wasted and encourage them to think about how they
When is an Energy Performance Certificate required, well an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC Certificate) sets out the energy efficiency grade of a commercial building. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required when a commercial building over 50m2 is built, sold or rented. There are two grades of buildings under the EPC requirements which relate to the
A Display Energy Certificates (DEC Certificates), is required for public buildings and those occupied by public authorities which have a total useful area greater than 1000m2 and provide a public service to a large number of people and are therefore frequently visited by those people (eg a school, hospital, government or local authority building). They
Climate Change Levy (CCL Reduction) is a tax on energy used by Industry, Commerce and the Public Sector introduced in 2001 as part of the UK Government’s Environmental Policy. Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) provide 80% rebate on Climate Change Levy for energy intensive sectors which agree to and meet targets for improving their energy efficiency.
Our on site energy survey is designed for companies that our looking to measure and manage their on site energy consumption in more detail. Book now for our new onsite business energy survey. We also provide an optional display energy certificate as standard, and you can also upgrade this report to include a full carbon
Starting in April 2010, the Carbon Reduction Commitment is the UK’s first mandatory carbon trading scheme. The initial phase of the Carbon Reduction Commitment will be compulsory for organisations that consume over 6,000 MWh (6,000,000 kWh) of half-hourly metered electricity during the period from January 2008 to December 2008. At today’s prices, this is roughly
Committee chairman Tim Yeo MP and his colleagues were tasked with evaluating the claims that the new draft Energy Bill is set to move Britain “to a secure, more efficient, low-carbon energy system in a cost-effective way” – but the MP for Suffolk South declared that it takes far too greater risk in doing the polar opposite.
Large-scale projects designed to improve the UK’s major gas and electricity grids will add another £15 to household bills within a decade, according to energy regulator Ofgem. A report filed yesterday shows that Ofgem believes around £22bn needs to be spent to improve the current energy systems across the UK, with a number of ‘critical infrastructure projects’ requiring action within the next decade.
A new report commissioned by environmental group ‘Friends of the Earth’ warns that the UK could be heading for an uncertain energy future, thanks to gaps in environmental policy. Despite encouraging results in Wales and a bright commercial energy structure in place in Scotland, fear is now rising over the barriers that are limiting investment in renewable energy.
When it comes to movement, we’re more used to expending energy than generating it. Petrol for cars, fuel for planes – even food for our bodies before and after exercise. However, researchers in the UK have designed a new device that could allow the humble act of walking to change the way we think about energy on the move and generate electricity from walking.
A Harvard-designed concept has taken the world of energy by storm, as five female students have produced a football that produces and captures energy whilst it’s being kicked. The Soccket – as it’s designers have named it – has already been given the thumbs-up by former President Bill Clinton, who has described the product as ‘extraordinary’.
Whilst all we’ve had to report over the past few weeks is Coalition-led cuts and restructuring to the incentives for renewable public and commercial energy in England, Scotland is set to becoming the leading location in the UK for attracting investment in renewable energy.
Solar power plants in Germany set a new World Record this past weekend when they produced 22 gigwatts of electricity per hour – a figure that matches 20 nuclear power stations operating at full capacity – according to the head of the Renewable Energy Institute.
After much hand-wringing and collar adjusting, the Coalition Government’s highly-anticipated new draft energy bill is set to be outlined by ministers this afternoon, and contains one or two surprises that could have huge knock-on effects in the commercial energy marketplace.
A team at the University of Sheffield this week have said they believe that the region’s famous steel plants could hold the key to a greener future for the South Yorkshire city. The experts at the University say that harnessing the waste energy created by the steel plants outside the city centre would produce an additional 20 MW of thermal energy.
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters which will play a key role in bringing our energy management into the 21st century. They will unlock huge benefits for consumers, giving us more control over how we use our energy at home and at work, helping us to cut energy consumption save money and reduce carbon emissions.
As we get ready to publish our latest UK energy market report the DECC released last year’s energy statistics. Even though figures did not match the predicted targets Renewable energy generation expanded significantly and carbon emissions fell in 2011.
As usual the annual Budget announcement was polemical. This time the biggest controversy was in the energy and environment sector where the announcements to support expansion of fossil fuels, especially gas, were not welcomed by environmentalists.
Safer, cleaner, sustainable and many times more effective than any other energy resource on Earth. Meet Thorium, a naturally occurring, slightly radioactive metal, capable of producing immense amount of energy, in a safe, environmentally friendly and very economic manner.
Weak demand and new gas-fired power plants coming on-stream by 2016 should keep the lights on in Britain for the rest of this decade. UK Power cuts predicted to the end of this decade will be avoided thanks to increased energy efficiency, the economic recession, renewable energy resources and a new generation of gas fired power plants.
UK businesses are wasting nearly 50% of their electricity powering equipment when their staff have left for the day. That is to say businesses are spending up to £1 in every £2 of their electricity bills outside working hours.
Chris Huhne, Britain’s Energy Secretary, has resigned from Cabinet to fight criminal accusations. On Friday morning (February 3) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that there was sufficient evidence to charge Britain’s Energy Secretary Chris Huhne for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice which forced him to resign.
Last week the Government published a unique report listing the risks and opportunities businesses and the country as a whole will face from climate change. Entitled Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) the report also calls for public responses.
Small Businesses (SME’s) account for 45 per cent of all the business energy usage in the UK and according to the Carbon Trust as well as reports from energy suppliers the vast majority are missing out on saving opportunities due to the lack of information on how to improve their business energy efficiency.
The six major energy suppliers known as the “Big Six” have announced either gas or electricity price cuts for their household consumers in recent days. Despite the fact that here at Catalyst our aim is to find the cheapest business gas and business electricity prices for our clients, we decided to investigate these cuts and find out if they will really make much difference to the average household energy bill.
Even though the fiscal only starts in April with the start of the new year many companies begin to revise their expenditures which includes their business gas and business electricity requirements. In today’s article we bring to you 5 ways to reduce business gas usage, therefore, its costs.
A recently announced solar power breakthrough in solar technology could change the way electricity is generated for good. Researchers have developed a new type of solar photovoltaic (PV) cell that uses a system similar to that employed by plants to capture solar energy.
Every week we bring you the latest UK energy and gas prices. These prices vary on a daily basis influenced by a series of factors that we talked about in our article: “Understanding the Fluctuation of UK Gas Prices”. As professional gas and energy brokers it is our job to stay on top of the news in order to find the best deals for our clients.
The man who revolutionised personal computing now wants to revolutionise the way we generate energy. After stepping down as the CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates has been investing millions of dollars to fight global warming; his ultimate goal is to find an energy source completely free of CO2 emissions.
How to find out if you have a half hourly meter So how do you know if you have a half hour electricity meter? It’s actually quite straight forward, and all you will need to find this out is a recent copy of your electricity bill. It doesn’t have to be the latest half hourly