Energy Manager Magazine Nov/Dec 2020

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There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to de-carbonising domestic heating






Power Factor Correction: Fit it but don’t forget it!

Maximize power reliability, while reducing emissions and costs

Engineering considerations for hospital standby power

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There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to de-carbonising domestic heating See page 16


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horn Lighting has launched the Energy Service Solution to help customers achieve the maximum benefits of energy efficient solutions. Rising energy costs and increasing pressures to reduce energy consumption are making the need to become energy efficient more of a strategic necessity than an option for the environmentally conscious. Dedicated to auditing, designing, supplying, installing, and maintaining energy efficient lighting systems as a full turnkey package, Energy Service Solutions is a comprehensive, and hassle-free service for customers across all industry sectors. Energy Service Solutions will help improve energy efficiency and ensure companies

reap the rewards in terms of both sustainability and the financial benefits it has to offer. Planning a lighting scheme and incorporating the most energy efficient products, can yield significant savings, reduced maintenance intervals and minimal interruption for the foreseeable future. An optimised correctly adapted lighting control system could help you reduce your energy consumption by up to 82% by the efficient application with

the use of a daylight, presence and time-based lighting control system. More information can be found on Thorn’s website



ew research has revealed that the amount of ‘carbon jargon’ - different ways of describing emissions reduction targets, strategies and measurement - could be seriously hampering business progress towards net zero. The report from leading energy consultant Inspired Energy has revealed that 86% of organisations believe ‘net zero’ could become a meaningless term unless there’s a more coherent approach to how it is interpreted and measured. The ‘Cutting the Carbon Jargon’ report canvassed the views of over 100 energy professionals across sectors including manufacturing, retail, professional services and the public sector. While many are being proactive in setting ambitious carbon reduction targets – 9 in 10 (88%) are working towards new strategies, rising to 97% among manufacturers and dropping to 79% for retailers – only half (53%) said that they ‘fully understand’ the term ‘net zero’. However, even among those businesses, the research revealed the way it is interpreted varies significantly. Over twothirds of energy professionals admitted that they’re confused by the sheer amount of terms used to describe carbon reduction, and when asked to define the meaning of net zero, energy professionals mentioned carbon offsetting (42%),


carbon or emission elimination (36%) and carbon emission reduction (17%). The report sets out key issues that need to be addressed, from the lack of a single reference point for businesses to ensure clarity and consistency to the need for a Net Zero roadmap to allow businesses to plan and adapt their operations. The report also examined whether energy professionals felt under pressure to deliver ambitious carbon reduction targets, with almost a quarter saying the most pressure was coming from their organisation’s board or CEO. However, almost two-thirds of businesses expressed concern that their organisation’s carbon reduction targets could be seen as ‘greenwashing’ or ‘jumping on the net zero bandwagon’. Where organisations are working towards new targets, delivery plans focus heavily on investment in green technology, and working collaboratively with colleagues and departments across the organisation to drive change. 60% of respondents supported green strings being attached to any Government incentives or bailouts that support businesses with post-Covid recovery. Crowe from Inspired Energy concludes: “It’s clear from our research that businesses are engaged with net zero and striving to play their part in helping the UK to reach its 2050 target. The


vast majority of businesses we spoke to were working towards new carbon reduction targets, and board support for sustainability seems to be increasing, which are really encouraging signs. “It’s therefore vital that the carbon jargon surrounding net zero doesn’t prevent businesses from planning, measuring, and making progress on decarbonisation – only by working together can we make net zero by 2050 a reality. Supporting businesses to improve their sustainability credentials through consistent definitions, a clear mandate and a framework in which to operate, could boost UK businesses and ensure that organisations of all shapes and sizes are well placed to benefit from decarbonisation as well as avoid any company being left behind.” Inspired Energy is already working with businesses to support them in their net zero ambitions, working through a structured framework to set Science Based Targets, explore and implement carbon reduction strategies and technologies, and put in place robust measurement and reporting tools to monitor progress. For more information about Inspired Energy’s net zero services or to download a copy of the Cutting the Carbon Jargon report, visit:




he Heat Pump Association has released a ground-breaking report outlining the steps that the UK Government must take to shape future policy and decarbonise the heating industry. The report aims to substantially shake up the existing frameworks and introduce regulatory, impactful, and meaningful changes in the heating sector, paving the way for mass deployment of low carbon heating. The aims of the report are to: 1. Promote changes to establish infrastructure in existing homes for low carbon heating 2. Build and develop installer skills for the recommended changes 3. Lower fuel bills for existing heating systems 4. Lower carbon emissions for existing heating systems These aims are comprehensive, providing enough detail to influence civil servants and policy makers on the benefits of implementing these changes as well communicating the benefits to the industry.

The report sets out to ‘level the playing field’ across all heating types, encouraging best practice and low carbon heating for all installations, regardless of technology type. This will ensure the smooth transformation of the domestic heating market from fossil fuels to low carbon over the next decade, reducing fuel bills and carbon emissions from homes. The recommendations can be neatly summarised into three key points: 1. Introduce a maximum flow temperature of 55° in Building Regulations to be applied to replacement heating systems from 2026. 2. Introduce in Building Regulations for Heat Loss Calculations to be carried out for all replacement heating systems from 2026. 3. All heating installers to have a Low Temperature Heating and Hot Water Qualification[i], or equivalent, as part of accreditation scheme refresher courses. The implementation of these recommendations will establish the heating infrastructure in homes, and

skills amongst the installer base, needed for low carbon heating installations, by ‘laying the groundwork’ for wider heat pump adoption. Heat pumps being an established technology, recognised by the Committee on Climate change as the backbone to the decarbonisation of heat. Chairman of the HPA, Graham Wright commented - ‘This report could not come at a more pertinent time. The push for a Green Recovery from COVID-19 has put the UK in a unique position to be able to develop new and innovative policy that works to tackle the negative effects of the pandemic whilst working towards net zero. The regulations suggested in this paper undoubtably offer the Government a road to recovery for the heating industry that is green and saves energy and money for the UK.’ Email:

Sutton Housing Partnership enlists ENGIE for net zero carbon retrofit pilot


eading energy and services specialist, ENGIE, has been appointed by Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP), in London to design, build and deliver a programme, which will transform existing properties across the borough into low maintenance, net zero carbon homes. ENGIE will utilise its recently launched whole house retrofit model – ENGIE Zero – to deliver a pilot project to an initial eight homes in one of the first schemes of its type within the London boundary, which is part of Mayor of London’s Energy Leap Initiative. SHP has received capital funding to allow the homes to undergo a programme of works; which will result in energy savings far exceeding standard retrofit approaches – with a 30 year performance guarantee. Additional support has been provided through the Mayor of London’s Retrofit Accelerator – Homes programme, with SHP keen to roll out the approach

to additional homes next year. ENGIE Zero offers a one stop shop for local authorities, housing associations and registered providers to decentralise, digitalise and decarbonise homes in a way that is derived from the Energiesprong performance standard. Energy efficiency measures delivered by ENGIE for SHP will include an air tight wrap to the eight selected properties, as well as installing a pre-fabricated super insulated facade and roof system with intergrated solar PV panels to generate electricity at the point of use. New high performance windows and doors will replace older models and air source heat pumps will also introduce renewable heating. These works coupled with a real time monitoring and maintenance programme will ensure occupant satisfaction and building energy performance. ENGIE Zero can show savings against a ‘Business as Usual’ scenario for Clients’ planned and responsive

investment budgets and deployed patient capital. These savings are combined with other revenue streams and government incentives to finance the upfront costs of the works. James Cook, Divisional Director for ENGIE UK & Ireland, said: “Our principal goal as an organisation, is to support our partners across both the public and private sector to meet their net zero ambitions and offer viable solutions which will support them in achieving this. This is why we brought the ENGIE Zero offer to market. We have utilised the Energiesprong model for other clients in the UK and delivered some of the country’s first zero carbon homes.” The initial eight pilot units have the potential to pave the way for zero energy retrofitting at scale, radically changing the approach to energy efficiency and helping eradicate fuel poverty. Planning approval has been granted and ENGIE will deliver the initial construction works over the coming months. For further information on ENGIE, visit






wo leading energy providers have come together to help reduce emissions from heating in UK homes and other buildings, which are currently responsible for around 37%1 of the UK’s carbon emissions. Low carbon heating provider Vattenfall will work with one of the UK’s biggest recycling and energy recovery companies, Viridor, to capture heat from Viridor’s energy recovery facilities (ERFs) across the UK. Vattenfall and Viridor are now beginning the exciting journey to develop potential heat off-take projects together. The heat will then be delivered through pipes developed and operated by Vattenfall to homes and businesses in the area, providing clean, affordable heat. The waste collected from the community will be recycled into clean heat for the same community, creating a local closed-loop energy system. Viridor operates a fleet of ERFs up and down the UK and is continuing to expand its operations in new locations. These include plants near areas of urban regeneration which present great opportunities for new-build and existing properties to be served by district heating networks in the coming years. This exciting collaboration is common in Europe, where Vattenfall already works with ERF owners and operators. The approach being taken by Viridor and Vattenfall

aligns well with UK Government, Scottish Government and Welsh Government policies that support the roll out of district heating in urban areas. The Government’s successful flagship Heat Networks Investment Programme and the proposed Green Heat Networks Fund specifically target collaborations between waste heat sources and heat network operators. Viridor and Vattenfall believe that heat captured from energy recovery facilities present huge opportunities for local authorities to address fuel poverty, improve energy security and, by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, reduce emissions and improve air quality. Large scale heat network projects also have significant local economic benefits, creating jobs through the life of the project from concept and construction through to operation and servicing. Mike Reynolds, Managing Director at Vattenfall Heat UK commented: “It made perfect sense for one of the market leaders in energy recovery facilities to collaborate with one of the market leaders in delivering clean heat to customers across Europe. This type of cooperation is important to Vattenfall as we build out our business in conjunction with key players in the UK energy landscape. We have a shared vision of serving our communities with clean, efficient and lowcost services. Together we will be able to really inspire bolder and braver thinking and ultimately faster decarbonisation.”

Noah Nkonge, Head of Partnerships at Vattenfall Heat UK added “To reach net zero the UK has to crack the problem of emissions from heat, which currently make up one third of the UK’s total emissions. Working together with Viridor, we’re looking to bring all the right people and organisations to the table so we can reduce emissions and provide reliable, affordable heating for homes and businesses in cities across the country.” Richard Pennells, Viridor’s Managing Director of Energy, said: “This announcement underlines Viridor’s commitment to ensuring that all waste becomes a useful resource which contributes to the UK economy. Our ERFs put non-recyclable waste to work within sophisticated combined heat and power plants. We are excited about this new collaboration with Vattenfall which combines two leading businesses in their sector to create meaningful change in towns and cities across the UK.”

Designing low carbon buildings: Swansea team’s know-how gathered in new toolkit for others to use


he team that designed and built two low carbon buildings at Swansea University, which generate their own energy, is publishing a toolkit of the design principles that they used. The aim is to encourage others to construct these “Active Buildings” as it would drastically cut the UK’s carbon footprint; currently 40% of our emissions come from heating and powering our buildings. The Active Building design principle was pioneered by researchers at Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre. It combines renewable energy technologies in one intelligent system, all integrated into the building, providing occupants with low carbon energy for heat, power and transport. It has been proven to work in two awardwinning buildings at Swansea University’s Bay Campus – the Active Classroom and the Active Office – which have now been


in operation for over two years. Both buildings can generate and store enough solar energy to meet their own needs, plus have enough left over to charge up electric vehicles or share with other buildings. The toolkit has been written to share the principles used in the Active Buildings and the learning from them, with the aim of encouraging others to adopt or improve on them and to support wider uptake of low carbon designs. Its release during SPECIFIC’s ‘Heat Week’, raising awareness about the challenge of low carbon heating in buildings, also coincides with Wales Climate Week. Author Joanna Clarke, architect of the Active Classroom and Active Office, said “The way we heat and power our buildings accounts for 40% of UK carbon emissions, and that has to change. 85% of UK homes use gas boilers for heating, but they will be banned in new homes


from 2025. The Welsh Government has gone a step further by declaring that new homes must be both heated and powered from clean energy sources by then. That’s just five years away. Are we ready?” The toolkit is available at what-are-active-buildings/#toolkit. The author also runs workshops with architect practices and other organisations. Please contact




he postgraduate university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management has been a leader in energy and power for over 20 years. Not only is the university innovating in solar technology, it is also tackling some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Cranfield recently created low-cost ventilators that serve two patients at once to avoid cross-air contamination. For this project, Cranfield looked to reap the benefits of solar power to help reduce its estate’s carbon emissions by half by 2020, against 2005 baseline figures. It has been publicised that many higher education institutions could struggle to meet Government targets, but Cranfield has used funding from Salix Finance to stay on track, aiming to surpass the Government’s 30 per cent reduction target for the public sector and meet their own, more challenging target of 50 per cent by the end of July 2021. The solar farm project completed in 2018 and since then, has continued to deliver substantial energy savings. With April and May 2020 being one of the warmest on record, Cranfield saw a drastic increase in energy produced by

the solar farm, surpassing the amount of energy produced in the peak of summer in 2019 and seeing them well on their way to achieving 50 per cent. Cranfield University secured interestfree finance from Salix to the value of £1.6 million over five years. The loan was used to install a 1 Megawatt solar farm at the university and replace existing fluorescent lighting with more efficient LED in five main buildings and 11 halls of residence across the campus. This project is the latest venture in a longstanding partnership between Cranfield and Salix, which includes a ring-fenced recycling fund which began in 2009, where financial savings are reinvested year-onyear to fund energy-efficiency projects. The solar project has delivered huge benefits to Cranfield, decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions and reducing its reliance on the National Grid. The farm generates five per cent of the electricity needed for its Bedfordshire campus and is estimated to have saved the university more than £300,000 a year. It has contributed to the university cutting its carbon emission by half and looks on track to beat Government targets.

This huge reduction in carbon emissions equates to a lifetime annual saving of over £7 million, with the project set to pay for itself in just five years. The project has been completed slightly ahead of time and to budget, with no changes to the original business case and no reported change in costs. In addition to several ongoing behaviour campaigns, Cranfield University is undertaking further energy-efficiency projects, including the delivery of an LED lighting upgrade programme, upgrades to a building energy management system, and works to replace old housing from an existing RAF base building, delivering more modern and efficiently heated accommodation blocks for students.

Kaifa integrates Acklio’s solutions to introduce the first DLMS smart electricity meters running over LoRaWAN®


fter water and gas meters, LoRaWAN® is now available for smart electricity meters. This is made possible thanks to SCHC compression and fragmentation (IETF RFC 8724). This new standard technology initiated by the co-founders of Acklio is central to their software offering. SCHC allows the communication of devices using IP-based protocols over LPWAN networks. It thus enables high value-added use cases on constrained IoT networks. Among them is DLMS/COSEM (IEC 62056, EN137571), the global standard for smart energy

metering which new profile for LoRaWAN leverages SCHC as an adaptation layer. As an outcome of its collaboration with Acklio, Kaifa introduces the first electricity meters running over the LoRaWAN protocol available on the market. By doing so, it completes the bundle of connectivities already available to the range of meters 1500m (M-BUS, PLC, NB-IoT, PSTN/GSM, GPRS, 3G, 4G...). Low-power, low-cost, and easy to deploy, LoRaWAN is emerging as an excellent connectivity option for the advanced metering infrastructures (AMI) to provide utility companies with real-time data about power consumption. A global market representing millions of smart meters with LoRaWAN deployed by 2025, and with enormous growth potential in emerging markets in the short term. LeTao He, Vice President of Kaifa: “Utilities are beginning to look at LoRaWAN, primarily to fill in gaps in

coverage of existing deployments, and later to provide the primary connectivity to an entire network of meters. We chose Acklio to ensure full compliance with the new standard communication profile. It guarantees our meters with full interoperability with the global ecosystem of DLMS/COSEM solutions. Moreover, by completing the integration in just few weeks, working with Acklio allowed us to bring the product to market in record time!” Acklio’s SCHC stack allows the conversion of existing DLMS meters in just a few days. This gives meter manufacturers the unique opportunity to migrate their product lines to LoRaWAN in record time. In addition, the SCHC implementation by Acklio also benefits network management. It allows to increase the density of meters on a network, while using the security mechanisms of DLMS at scale - reducing the total cost of ownership while ensuring reliability.




SP Energy Networks trials world first’s technology which will maintain system stability and support increase of renewable generation


new project set to revolutionise the UK’s electricity network has been installed in East Renfrewshire – helping to smooth the transition from traditional energy generation to renewable power. SP Energy Networks will be trialling its ‘Project Phoenix’ initiative over the next 12 months at Neilston substation and plans to roll out the technology across further locations once complete. Maintaining stability in the system as we facilitate the transition to cleaner, greener electricity generation sources is a key challenge within the UK transmission network. As traditional fossil fuel generation is replaced by more and more renewable energy such as wind farms, the network system needs to be fit for purpose to provide the stability and resilience needed. SP Energy Networks’ pioneering Phoenix project, will help address these system issues to ensure customers receive

an uninterrupted and stable supply of electricity as we move to sustainable and net zero energy system. The project will provide an innovative solution to help ensure a robust and resilient energy system that can adapt to meet the needs of customers both now and well into the future. The Phoenix Project is expected to reduce network operating costs by between £53m to £66m, helping to reduce customer’s bills while also minimising carbon footprint – saving over 62,000 tonnes of carbon, which is equivalent to the electricity use of over 6,000 homes. SP Energy Networks has worked with partners, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, National Grid ESO, The University of Strathclyde and The Technical University of Denmark on the project and will analyse the live trial data to prove the concept before validating the commercial mechanisms in order to roll the technology out wider. SP Energy Networks already has plans to roll out this

technology within the RIIO T2 Price Control. Phoenix will aid with the transition to a future transmission network that can benefit from clean energy resources without compromising the security and quality of supply to the customers. Through innovative solutions like Phoenix, SP Energy Networks is leading the way in the transition to more renewable energy solutions and is committed to supporting local communities to achieve a better future, quicker. Email:

New Solar and Tesla Batteries help to make Portsmouth Greener


new large 250 kilo-watt (kW) solar system has been installed on the roofs of Portsmouth City Council’s Hilsea Industrial Estate. This complements the existing 50kW system and completes the biggest single solar and battery installation for the council to date. It marks another important step towards the council’s target of net zero carbon by 2030, with solar and batteries being identified as one of the key technologies to deliver the renewable power needed. This ground-breaking project uses batteries as a key component of the installation; installed alongside 738 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The ten-unit battery system, is the largest operational Powerwall installation in the UK. The system can store 135 kWh of electricity at any one time; enough to power an average domestic homes for 2 weeks. As well as capturing more of the solar power generated on the site, the batteries are also able to take advantage of storing power at night, when electricity is cheaper. Stored energy is then used during mornings and early evenings when electricity costs are more expensive. Combined, the solar PV and storage will


reduce the site’s reliance on grid-bought electricity by almost 50%; despite there being many energy-hungry processes at the industrial estate. The system will reduce carbon emissions by 69 tonnes a year, and reduce the running costs of the site significantly. During the summer months, virtually all of the power required to run the site will be coming from either the panels or batteries. Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member of Environment and Climate Change said: “It’s fantastic to see Portsmouth City Council leading the way when it comes to innovative projects like the one at Hilsea Industrial Estate. Not only are we producing and using our own renewable energy but projects like this dramatically reduce the Council’s ongoing energy costs. The Council has been clear in setting out its plans in tackling climate emergency and it’s fantastic to see projects like acting out these plans.” The work was carried out by one of Portsmouth City Council’s Solar PV framework contractors, Evo Energy and project managed by the City Council’s in-house Energy Team. The council has already used its


framework to install Tesla Powerwalls in 13 housing blocks, with a further 20 on the way. However, this is the first time that such a large number of the units have been used in a single installation. Where batteries have been installed previously, up to 98% of the sites’ electricity demand has been met through the batteries and accompanying solar. Energy storage through the use of batteries is set to become a key technology for Portsmouth City Council and their ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2030; as they strive to take every opportunity to harness renewable energy opportunities. Email: kyle.mattison@




ogether with WPD, Kiwi Power implemented a grid management program - Flexible Power which utilises distributed energy resources to alleviate local grid congestion and constraints and better manage maintenance outages. As more customers look to a lower carbon future and invest more in electricity generation, an increasing number of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar photovoltaic panels and wind farms, are being connected to distribution networks. This growth is putting an increased strain on DNOs’ networks, with an increase in demand, generation and storage requirements, all of which requires them to become smarter, more active, and more flexible. An increase in the number of requests for DER connections on WPD’s network meant it needed to find ways of managing the accompanying additional constraints, as well as better managing outages and network recovery. The traditional approach to addressing such constraints is for DNOs to reinforce their network. However, the EU Clean Energy Package mandates that all DNOs should consider flexibility services first. In line with this, UK industry bodies, including the Energy Networks Association (ENA), urged Ofgem to incorporate a “flexibility first” approach in its RIIO-2 price controls regime, on which it consulted in 2018. In common with the overall market, the company ran a series of increasingly larger procurement rounds for flexibility services. But with different contracts,

payment terms, and procurement terms for every programme, linking to flexibility markets proved challenging. In an effort to address the challenges they faced, WPD decided to build its own flexibility programme that would allow them to procure the right amount of flexibility when and where it was needed. In 2017, WPD launched Flexible Power, a customer-facing portal for the procurement and operation of flexibility services from businesses with the potential to shift demand away from peak periods or the ability to switch their consumption to on-site generation. Once contracted, providers are given access to the Flexible Power Portal where they are able to declare their flexible assets’ availability, receive dispatch signals, and view performance and settlement reports. Having worked with Kiwi on an innovation project in the past, WPD was aware of the company’s more than ten years’ experience as an operator, asset manager, and battery energy storage developer, its work with DNOs and its technological capabilities, and therefore felt confident in selecting them to create the platform software. A combination of Kiwi’s expertise and the ability of its technology team to adapt the solution to meet WDP’s needs made it the ideal partner with which to develop Flexible Power as a platform that fits perfectly into the standardisation approach the UK is now leading on. WPD’s innovation has been a success. A map on the Flexible Power site shows 54 local grid zones for which WPD requests flexibility services - and this number

is growing. As of October 2020, it had contracted flexibility totalling 439MW. The company has started signposting, too, showing customers where future requirements will lie, and thereby assuring a greater sense of certainty. But it doesn’t stop there. Also in October 2020, it was announced that three new DNOs were to join the programme. SP Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, and Northern Powergrid will shortly add their own zones as they collaborate with WPD and each other to signpost and operate all of their flexibility requirements. For the first time ever, flexibility providers will be able to view flexibility locations, requirement data, procurement notices and documentation published by all four DNOs on a single, joint website. The DNOs intend to work in partnership to further develop the Flexible Power brand and develop the portal functionality to enable interface capability with other flexibility platforms so wider market participation options can increasingly be made available to providers. For more information, visit



upporting the expansion of its suite of services, TEAM Energy, the UK’s leading energy and sustainability management solutions provider, has become a supplier on the Heat Networks and Electricity Generation Asset (HELGA) Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to offer organisations in the public sector products and services that help them reach their energy and carbon emissions goals. Organisations within the public sector looking to advance their energy efficiency and sustainability strategy can use the HELGA DPS to access TEAM’s suite of advanced energy management products and services. These include their range of consultancy services, their innovative Sigma energy management and tenant

billing solutions, and Bureau service. The HELGA DPS provides public sector organisations the opportunity to set out their requirements with potential suppliers, so they may find the right energy management partner for them through a more cost effective and efficient procurement process. In addition to becoming suppliers on the HELGA DPS, the company has recently been awarded a place on the CCS G-Cloud 12 Framework, to offer their cloud-based services to the public sector. G-Cloud 12 allows organisations to procure digital services costeffectively via the digital marketplace. Public sector organisations seeking to procure TEAM’s products and services will benefit from their 35 years’ experience

in the energy sector, as well as first class design and project management, and ongoing training and support. HELGA is part of the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) which provides public sector customers with an alternative route to procuring energy management services. The CCS can help organisations save money and time through simple and easy purchasing processes, and provides access to a wide range of suppliers. Providing organisations in the public sector with an opportunity to gain end-to-end energy management support to ensure they are able to meet their compliance and certification needs and build a successful and optimised energy management service.






ith battery storage able to provide a unique role in balancing a renewable electricity grid, Toby Gill, CEO of Intelligent Power Generation, asks could innovations in green hydrogen and biofuel technologies contribute to a more optimised and economical energy mix? The growth of global industrialisation, increasing demand on energy resources and rising carbon emissions are deepening the need for energy infrastructure that is increasingly green, distributed, flexible, and resilient. As our world becomes more connected, more electrified, and more renewable, not only are we increasing the demand on our energy systems, but we are also fundamentally changing the way they operate. We are transitioning from a demand-led energy system, where power generation can be easily turned on and off to match demand, to one that is led by supply from variable and inflexible sources. As a result, grid balancing is now becoming more complex, whilst resilience and reliability all the more important. The challenge, now, is in establishing a renewable energy mix that can effectively and economically balance supply and demand season-by-season, week-by-week, hour-by-hour and second-by-second.

LOCALISED BALANCING IS NOT A NEW PROBLEM Grid balancing and resilience is not a challenge borne out of our transition to a net-zero carbon economy. It is, however, a challenge that is being made all the greater as we continue to decentralise power generation with more distributed, variable and inflexible sources, such as wind and solar. Grid balancing is about ensuring electricity supply meets demand second-by-second, by regulating properties including power, voltage and frequency. This is to ensure that electricity is always there to safely power everything from industrial plants to the wall sockets in our homes and offices. For grid operators, the macro trends in power demand can be easy to predict, and therefore easier to balance. For example, demand will often increase when is it raining


or peak during half time of a national televised sporting event. But what is difficult to predict is the localised and short-term variations in this projected demand. This is why balancing mechanisms are used to match supply from the centralised power sources with consumption at a local scale. This varying demand on the electricity grid is managed by different balancing mechanisms, with some more suited to specific changes in demand than others. One example is diesel and natural gas generators, that are plugged into local transformers. These “dispatchable” forms of power generation can respond to changes in demand in as little as 5 minutes, making them suited to balance those difficult-to-predict peaks.

OUR GRID IS CHANGING, AND SO MUST THE WAY WE OPERATE IT So how is our grid changing, given our drive towards renewable power generation and the decarbonisation of our energy systems? Increasingly, wind and solar are replacing fossil fuels as our principle source of energy. They not only afford us some of the cheapest energy we can produce but also a route to the lowcarbon power necessary to achieving global decarbonisation targets. These renewable energy sources, however, are fundamentally distinct from our traditional forms of power generation. The power outputs of wind and solar are intermittent, fluctuating according to real-time availability, whilst infrastructure must be built in specific locations. This creates an energy system more variable and more distributed than we’ve previously operated. We are no longer working with an energy system that can be led only by predictions in demand, but one that needs to establish a new set of mechanisms that can effectively and economically balance this demand uncertainty with a newfound uncertainty in supply.


WHAT ARE THE MECHANISMS WE NEED TO BALANCE A RENEWABLE GRID? 100% WIND AND SOLAR IS NOT FEASIBLE ON ITS OWN There is more than sufficient wind and solar power potential to exceed demand. In Europe, for example, on- and off-shore wind energy potential is estimated to be ten times greater than the annual demand.1 It is argued, therefore, that with this power potential, we can create enough excess in wind and solar power that the statistical likelihood of not having the power supply to match demand is effectively zero. However, wind and solar generation is location specific, and it is not as simple as transmitting wind power from Scotland to power homes in London. With the yearly average of wind power in the UK at around 30% of power potential,2 at first glance, it may seem we only need 3-4 times as much infrastructure to ensure we have the minimum power requirement for the nation. But, if you look a specific areas in the UK, take London, the daily wind power output could be far lower, and therefore the need will not be 3-4 times, but far greater. In this scenario, therefore, we would have to vastly oversize our wind and solar infrastructure to ensure we can deliver the absolute minimum power requirement for those worst case scenarios.

1 Swart, R. J., et al. Europe’s onshore and offshore wind energy potential, an assessment of environmental and economic constraints. No. 6/2009. European Environment Agency, 2009. 2 Renewable UK, Wind Energy Statistics Explained, available at: https:// UKWEDExplained#:~:text=The%20load%20 factor%20is%20calculated,onshore%20 wind%3A%2026.62%25, accessed 12th November, 2020


BATTERY STORAGE CAN OPTIMISE THE ENERGY MIX, BUT IS ALSO LIMITED We are all becoming increasingly familiar with the narrative that, energy storage is the solution for balancing a distributed and renewable grid, therefore reducing the need for vastly oversized infrastructure. Batteries are one mechanism for doing this, as they store power, when wind and solar generation outstrips demand, and use this to balance the grid when demand outweighs supply. They also have the unique ability to discharge power within the millisecond, and effectively balance the second-bysecond variations in output. A fuel-based generator cannot turn on quick enough to respond to these types of changes. But, to solve the week-by-week or season-by-season variations with batteries is to follow the same route as a 100% wind and solar powered grid. Again, to scale battery storage to store the weeks and weeks of power needed to balance the grid in those situations would result in huge infrastructure requirements. Therefore, in the scenario above, batteries enable you to significantly reduce the oversizing of wind and solar infrastructure, whilst ensuring the minimum power requirement. But in those longer timeframes and locations farther from energy sources, the question becomes: is a system that only has wind, solar and battery

storage the most optimised and economical one we can create?

HYDROGEN AND BIOFUELS OFFER ANOTHER FORM OF RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE TO FURTHER OPTIMISED OUR ENERGY SYSTEM Wind, solar and battery storage are not the most optimised solution, not when we have a route to netzero, demand-responsive power with fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels. These renewable fuels can be a more energy dense and more costeffective energy storage medium for balancing supply and demand not just in those longer timeframes, but across the spectrum of intermittency. The challenge in using renewable fuels today is twofold. Firstly, the timelines to the abundant availability of renewable fuels that are economical to produce and environmentally sustainable is uncertain. This creates risk around investing in fuel infrastructure today that could become redundant tomorrow. Equally, any technology currently available, for burning these renewable fuels, uses a flame during the combustion process, producing the pollutant emissions that are harmful to human health. We need, therefore, technologies and solutions that offer fuel-flexibility in order to de-risk the transition to renewable fuels, as well as ones that do not compromise our clean air ambitions. Hydrogen fuel cells go some way to answering these challenges, but

breakthroughs in flameless combustion and low-cost, high-temperature ceramics offer an alternative solution. We can, then, continue to use the localised dispatchable power generation that we have always used but do so with renewable fuels. As with batteries, renewable fuel-based power offers a further opportunity to optimise our energy system and reduce the total amount of infrastructure needed.

A HYBRID SYSTEM OF WIND, SOLAR, BATTERIES AND RENEWABLE FUEL-BASED POWER IS THE SOLUTION FOR A RESILIENT, OPTIMISED AND STABLE ENERGY SYSTEM As the world strives to decarbonise and mitigate our climate impact, one of our key goals is to ensure sustainable, secure and affordable energy. Renewable fuels, and innovations in the technologies that operate them, offer a road map to reinventing fuel-based power generation to help achieve this future. An energy system that uses wind, solar, battery storage and renewable fuel-based power is not only more optimised and stable, but one that is decarbonised and affordable too. Let us not, therefore, discard fuel-based power as a tool of the past, but one that can evolve to help us achieve a resilient and secure net-zero future.



Improving Energy Management on Traveller Sites West Sussex County Council

Case Study

Control, monitor and manage energy better than ever. West Sussex County Council has 10 traveller sites with 113 pitches across the county, ranging in capacity from three to 23 caravans. Each site provides hard standing areas for caravans next to brick-built utility blocks containing a toilet, shower, electricity points and meters for water and electricity.

The majority of residents stay for years at a time and take great pride in their homes and gardens. Many caravans have little or no insulation, so travellers are often heavy users of electricity as a result of heating their homes, as well as for power washing machines, tumble driers and so on.

West Sussex County Council’s traveller sites have a very low turnover rate of approximately five per cent, so there is often a waiting list for would-be tenants.

A reliable and accurately metered electricity supply is therefore a vital part of the service that the council provides.

❝ Working with Energy Controls, we have introduced a new cashless prepayment system at our traveller sites, which is more convenient for residents and gives them greater privacy than before. Since the introduction of PayPoint it has made the process even easier. The service is safe and secure, and income rates have increased to cover actual consumption costs accurately. Residents feel they have more control over their electricity usage and staff time has been freed up, enabling them to work more with the residents.

KEY FACTS System benefits

Products and services

● Accurate meter readings

● Prepayment SMART meter

● Prepayment of energy

● Online payments

● Rapid remote tariff updates ● Remote disconnection

with FREE App

● Full service, from supply and installation to maintenance

● 24/7 access to web portal

Esther Quarm, Gypsy and Traveller Team Manager West Sussex County Council

0345 230 4535 12


Metering, Measuring and Managing Resources






POWER FACTOR CORRECTION: FIT IT BUT DON’T FORGET IT! Power factor correction is essential if you want to ensure that you only pay for energy that you actually use – but that doesn’t mean it’s something you can simply fit and forget, cautions Julian Grant of Chauvin Arnoux.


n this series of articles, we’ve already discussed power correction but there’s one aspect we haven’t covered in any detail: the importance of ensuring that your power factor correction system will continue to operate correctly – and safely – when you install additional plant or update existing plant. This is a key topic: get it wrong and you could end up with costly equipment failures as well as unnecessarily high energy bills. Before explaining further, let’s quickly recap what power factor is all about. Electric motors and many other types of load draw both active and reactive power from the supply system. You pay for both types of power, but it’s only the active power that does useful work by driving a motor for example. Reactive power does nothing useful at all, so by paying for it, you are simply wasting money. Reactive power can be either ‘lagging’, which is associated with loads that, like motors, are predominantly inductive, or ‘leading’ which is associated with loads that are predominantly capacitive. Lagging and leading reactive currents cancel each other out but, in almost all installations, lagging currents predominate. Power factor correction systems compensate for this by adding capacitors, and if they’re properly designed, they can reduce reactive power to almost zero. Power factor correction can be fitted on a load-by-load basis, but a far more common solution is to fit a single power factor correction system serving a whole site or a whole department. Many factories and commercial sites have these systems installed and, because they need only minimal maintenance, they’re often almost forgotten. This is bad news, because capacitors can lose capacitance over time, which means they’re no longer able to provide the expected level of correction. As a result, reactive power goes up and so do the energy bills. This is bad enough, but there are potentially far more serious issues that arise if you are installing new plant or updating existing plant. This is because the new or updated plant is very likely to incorporate non-linear loads, like variable speed drives and switch-mode power supplies, and non-linear loads produce harmonics. These may be well suppressed within the load


itself – as many variable speed drives are carefully designed to minimise harmonic production – but this suppression isn’t always completely effective and it’s not at all unusual for harmonics to find their way into a factory distribution system. But what does that have to do with power factor correction? To answer that question, remember first of all that harmonics are currents and voltages at whole-number multiples of the supply frequency – 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 Hz and so on – for a 50 Hz supply. Then consider that power factor correction relies on capacitors but is always used in circuits where inductance is also present. Finally, remember that when capacitance and inductance are present in a circuit, it will, at some frequency, be resonant. If the resonant frequency of the power factor correction system happens to be the same as the frequency of one of the harmonics, there’s trouble ahead! Large currents will flow in the capacitors leading to heating and, in the worst cases, to their failure and even destruction. This is by no means a theoretical issue; cases of this type are becoming increasingly common as businesses update older plant that used simple starters, such as direct-on-line and star-delta types, by fitting variable speed drives that, in many applications, are much more energy efficient. What’s the solution? The crucial part of the answer is never to forget about your power factor correction installation. Even if you are not extending or modifying your plant, check it regularly, using a portable energy logger, to make sure that it’s still working effectively. And, if you are carrying out work on your plant, be sure to carefully monitor harmonic levels before and after you make the changes, along with the currents that are being drawn from the supply system. You should also ensure that your power factor correction system is ‘detuned’ which means that it has been designed so that the resonances


created by its capacitive and inductive components do not coincide with any of the harmonic frequencies. This will probably be the case when the system was new, but don’t forget that, as capacitors age, they tend to lose capacitance and it’s possible that this may shift the resonances so that they become problematic. So even if you haven’t made changes to your plant, ageing capacitors in your power factor correction installation can lead to excessive harmonic currents – regular checking is important! A good portable energy logger, such as the Chauvin Arnoux PEL103, will tell you all you need to know about harmonics in your supply system. The best types are easy to use and, in many cases, can be connected without the need to turn off the power. Note that it’s a good idea to leave the PEL in place for at least a typical working day, and if possible, longer, to be sure that data relating to all the operating conditions of your plant have been captured. Should you find that harmonic currents are exceeding acceptable values, additional harmonic mitigation measures will be needed, but these will be a lot less costly and lot less disruptive than failure of your power factor correction system. Power factor correction is an essential requirement for every energyconscious business. It is important, however, to check from time to time that the power factor correction system is still doing its job and it’s absolutely essential to make sure that it is capable of operating reliably and safely when any major plant modifications or extensions are carried out. Investing in a modern PEL will make it easy to meet these requirements but, should you need further advice or guidance, the technical experts at Chauvin Arnoux will be pleased to help.

PEL 103

Power & Energy Logger

Bridge the energy gap between today and tomorrow. Increase energy efficiency and reduce your costs. Our future energy needs are changing and businesses need to improve their energy efficiency. You can reduce required power generation, save money and increase productivity. Gain a competitive advantage now with the PEL 103.

The key to a reduced carbon footprint & improved energy efficiency. Measure and monitor power usage. Identify inefficiencies and out of hours use. Discover power factor, phase balance and harmonic issues.

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CHAUVIN ARNOUX UK Ltd 125 YEARS IN BUSINESS 30 YEARS IN THE UK 1 Flagship Square | Shaw Cross Business Park | Dewsbury WF12 7TH | T: 01924 460494 | E:




ndustrial cogeneration is the ideal choice for the combined production of electrical and thermal energy in many sectors, in particular for “energy-intensive” companies that require a significant production of heat on an continual basis, and use a considerable amount of electricity. Industrial cogeneration levers the benefits of the simultaneous production of these two energy carriers, starting from a single source – natural gas, and in an integrated system: the cogeneration plant. The benefits CHP can provide to businesses are several: significant primary energy savings, up to 30% (and in some cases even more!), which mean cheaper bills, predictable costs, security of supply, a reduced carbon footprint and an additional income streams such a Capacity Market payments, Gas Peaking Plants or through DSR. For the adventurous, there are further income streams to be had from frequency response. If the plant qualifies for CHPQA, it’s possibile to get a beneficial treatment under the CCL. The natural gas cogeneration plants developed by AB are ideal for many industrial scenarios. In fact they meet the expectations and specific needs of various companies in the manufacturing and commercial sectors, and they can be defined as a “taylor-made CHP plants”. The design and engineering of products take into account specific customer needs, organising the module parts to obtain an ideal plant engineering configuration. The first step is a free feasibility study, going through the check of available funding support mechanisms, analysis of technical performance of existing equipments and further additional income opportunities, in order to define a certain payback time. The CHP solution developed by AB is called ECOMAX® and offers the following benefits: it’s compact, versatile and capable of delivering a high performance and the utmost reliability. It’s an industrial product ready to plug, with a rapid installation and startup, it requires no building permit and it’s also relocatable, flexible and scalable. The ECOMAX® solutions may even be configured for installations within buildings through integrations with site installations or with the implementation of a completely new technological lay-out. AB has the skills and solutions dedicated to tailor-made installations inside buildings without the need of the module.


The design and realization of these plants makes evident the engineering know-how of AB in determining the optimum configurations and dimension. Skills to which is add the professionalism in managing the installation phase, even in the most complex conditions. If the right choice of the most suitable tecnology is very important, the choice of the right partner is even more crucial. Since 1981, AB has been at the side of companies seeking to improve their own competitiveness, saving energy and limiting environmental emissions. We build relationships with our customers and partners based on openness and mutual trust: we manufacture, install and manage systems as if they were our own. Over 40 years of work, we have developed a know-how and a production capacity without equal on a world-wide level, which ensure the excellence of the plants, the maximum quality of both the installation and after-sales service. AB is the only manufacturer, with an industrial process able to internally manage the entire production cycle of the cogeneration plant. AB pursues the highest degree of innovation with determination, gathering knowledge, experience and technologies, in order to respond with advanced solutions to a primary need of mankind: energy. Contributing to the creation of a better future in the direction of an eco-sustainable system. The principal production and engineering research activities are concentrated in a modern industrial hub with its head offices


in Orzinuovi (BS) Italy, spread over about 34,000 mq of connected buildings, where the production facility, engineering offices, service centre and management are located. To guarantee the plant best performance, AB offers the largest network of specialized technicians around the world: AB Service is in fact completely dedicated to the assistance and maintenance of AB installations. Over 90% of plants installed have a “Full Service” 24 hour assistance, 365 days a year, which provides remote monitoring of the plant and original replacement parts. The plant may be constantly kept under control with the activation of the diagnostic and remote assistance service, by telephone or web, thanks to the monitoring systems, that allows also to choose the best operating set-up, verify the operating conditions, determine the daily profitability of the plant. Our local technicians, in close contact with customer personnel, intervene in a timely and decisive manner. The benefits to our customers are: machine stoppages reduced to a minimum, a guaranteed payback time and maximum reliability. A strategic choice which gives certainty in payback on the investment.


Lower Ground Floor, One George Yard, EC3V 9DF London (UK) Gary Collins - - +44 7584 354380




eing able to see what you are looking at is becoming ever more relevant for heat networks, not least with the recent update to the Heat Networks Metering & Billing regulations which should encourage more retro fitting of heat meters in existing networks. Metering individual dwelling consumptions is crucial for monitoring of overall energy usage and to encourage residents to be mindful of their consumptions. What is often still missing though is the real time visibility and the logging of instantaneous loads. To improve heat network performance two of the most important things are to be able to see what the HIUs are doing right now, and what the instantaneous peak load looked like (to prevent future networks from being over-sized). This was highlighted to us during a recent review of an old project, where a combined return temperature from the heat network at the bulk meter was surprisingly high, especially as it’s known that return temperatures from individual HIUs are significantly lower. This can indeed be a result of factors external to the HIU’s, such as bypasses in the system, low loss headers or poor pump modulation, however having the capability of being able to gather a large number of data points from all individual HIUs Evinox decided to investigate this further. The findings were rather astonishing. It was apparent that the total volume returned from the 797 HIUs was 18,811 litres per hour, and that the volume weighted aggregate return temperature from all units was at 43.6°C. What was evident from the data, shown in Table 1, was that whilst almost all the units were performing perfectly and as expected, the total return

temperature was considerably affected by only four of HIUs misbehaving. Had these four units not been causing issues, the volume weighted aggregate return temperature would have been 35.2°C, 8.4°C lower: Due to Evinox’s ability to measure, log and analyse the data captured in real time, these four units were fixed, leading to a substantial improvement, as demonstrated in Table 2. Being able to see the performance of each and every unit in that exact moment, rather than a collation of consumption readings, enabled the quick identification and rectification of the problem. Without this real time information, Evinox would have had to send engineers to site, wasting valuable time and resource, to essentially find a needle in a haystack. In this instance, engineers knew to fix specific issues with specific units, which in this case all were related to actuator heads having been removed from the PICV’s. This highlights the undeniable importance of connectivity to all consumer points on the heat network. Higher mean operating temperatures will increase the heat loss from the pipe network, this in combination with low efficiency boilers can increase to the cost of energy to the resident. An example from another project, shows gas being purchased for the main plantroom at 4p / kWh, and having to be sold to the resident at 10p/kWh due to inefficiencies. The plant room lost 20% of the energy it consumed, whilst the pipework losses contributed to a further 53% of heat losses, working out at a total energy loss of 62%. A well-functioning heat network is expected to have a boiler efficiency of 95% and pipework heat losses up to a maximum of 15%, and under this ideal scenario

Table 1

Table 2



the selling price would have been half of that in the example above, i.e. 5p/kWh. The updated Heat Network Metering & Billing guide will support the industry’s mission to reduce energy consumptions and carbon emissions, whilst also reducing residents’ costs. However, whilst collection of consumption is a great start, there is still a long way to go if meters are not remotely accessible and logging instantaneous data. The added benefit of having connected HIUs, is the ability to carry out continuous commissioning remotely, where hot water, heating and keep warm settings can be fine-tuned during the handover period and beyond, tying in conveniently with Soft Landings. As manufacturers and suppliers of Heat Interface Units (HIU’s), Evinox Energy specialises in Communal and District Heating solutions, covering projects for both private and social housing schemes, and providing bespoke HIU’s, metering and billing and service and maintenance. For further information, please contact Evinox Energy on 01372 722277, email them on, or visit their website

Choose the ‘Smart’ HIU! Designed for modern, energy efficient heat networks, and independently tested with proof performance, the ModuSat® XR HIU delivers high performance at low primary flow temperatures, in-line with new GLA planning guidance. Units come as standard with full remote connectivity, which allows for diagnostics, commissioning, aftercare support and meter data to be accessed over the internet.

Features  Extra compact and ideal for tight installation constraints

 Electronic Control  Optional Energy Display Device  Fast and responsive DHW performance

Designed for Efficiency  BESA tested (Model Tested: MTP4R-1R-TL1/1B)  Programmable Keep-Warm function  High performance at low primary flow temps as per GLA planning requirement

Metering & Billing  Inbuilt MID approved heat meter  Integrated Pre-payment technology – Ready to go!  Open protocol data access

 Low DHW return temperature, as per CIBSE CP1

Remote Connectivity

Selecting the best ModuSat® XR HIU for your next project couldn’t be easier, use our online sizing & network calculations tool today!

 Remote configuration and commissioning  SmartTalk® Pro web portal for aftercare during defects liability period

Discover how Evinox Energy can deliver the best Heat Interface Unit solution for your next new build or refurbishment heat network project at, email or call 01372 722277.




he importance of flexibility in enabling the decarbonisation of our energy system is well understood. Grid operators value sources of flexibility because they can call on it to help balance supply and demand. Furthermore, flexible capacity is the key to deploying more renewable energy; it gives grid operators more control over the energy system when the output from distributed renewable assets is determined by the variability of the wind and sun. The role that CHP – or cogeneration plant – can play in delivering flexibility, and the benefits available for that flexibility, is perhaps less familiar to energy managers.

DOES YOUR CHP HAVE SPARE CAPACITY? Research carried out by Enel X found that four out of every five CHP assets in the UK were commissioned three or more years ago, and one in three were specified to meet the site’s past energy needs. Energy managers who optimised their CHP to meet the site’s past needs may now find themselves with power capacity to spare, especially where energy efficiency measures have reduced demand. This spare capacity – or flexibility – can be traded in a number of ‘flexibility’ markets, which can be a source of revenue for the organisation. A challenge for many energy managers, especially those operating small to mediumsized CHP assets, typically up to 10MW, is that they may not have a specialist resource responsible for optimising the CHP or the in-house capabilities to trade this flexibility. By automating the CHP’s operating schedule, organisations can maximise the return on their investment by fully utilising all of the capabilities of the assets. This approach enables new streams of revenue from trading excess capacity; benefits previously only available to larger teams.

IMPLEMENTING DYNAMIC OPERATING SCHEDULES CHP units that haven’t been optimised to serve variable site loads typically operate at sub-optimal performance and therefore deliver worse economic returns. Generating heat and electricity that will be surplus to requirements simply wastes energy, reduces site efficiency and is bad for the environment.


By retrofitting intelligent software controls to automate management of a CHP plant, energy managers can both improve the efficiency of their CHP units as well as trading surplus capacity. Compared with deploying a static operating schedule, using software to control the CHP unit dynamically minimises energy waste and maximises the value of flexible capacity (Figure 1).

MONETISING FLEXIBLE CAPACITY Today’s energy markets offer multiple value opportunities to trade flexible capacity. These include trading in the capacity market, ancillary market, spot energy markets and balancing mechanism. As grid operators continue to deploy more renewable energy, they will also need more flexible capacity in order to balance supply and demand. According to Aurora Energy Research, revenue for flexible technologies is forecast to grow by 13% CAGR to create a £2.3 billion market by 2030. The GB electricity system has seen a number of price spikes over recent months in response to low levels of wind generation. In September, for example, prices peaked at over £500/MWh due to a combination of low levels of wind generation and high demand. While these events are relatively uncommon, they do demonstrate the need for grid operators to maintain sufficient capacity to achieve a safe operating margin. Such events are an opportunity for organisations to realise the value of their flexibility capacity.

SMART RUNNING SCHEDULES Using smart automated controls can maximise the flexible capacity of CHP assets while meeting site needs in the most economical way. Such an approach further optimises asset operation to maximise cost savings and creates additional revenues from energy markets. Deploying dynamic management can increase control and monitoring over the whole CHP system. This enhanced level of visibility provides clarity over site energy costs; helps energy managers to understand and accommodate technical and contractual constraints; and minimises energy costs


Figure 1: Static and dynamic operating schedules The static schedule shows two CHPs – a 3.6MWe CHP unit in yellow and a 6MWe unit in orange, alongside the power price (blue line). The 3.6MWe CHP operates at 100% output 24x7, while the 6MWe unit operates at 100% during business hours. The dynamic operating schedule shows how the same units would respond to changes in power prices. The 3.6MWe CHP operates at 100% during business hours (8am – 8pm) but reduces output midday on 2/04 and 2/05 reacting to a dip in power price. The 6MWe CHP operates at 100% during business hours but shuts off completely midday 2/04 and 2/05 reacting to the dip in power price.

by reducing waste and inefficiencies. Using software algorithms to combine knowledge of operating parameters with grid signals and market indicators, such as energy market price information, it’s possible to create the best running schedule for the CHP plant. This approach enables operators to identify when it’s best to plan maintenance to minimise revenue loss and provides insight into how to size new CHP plants to maximise profitable operation. The algorithms can then identify opportunities to trade any flexible capacity in the most appropriate markets. CHP asset participation in the markets can also be automated. Dispatch communication can be sent to CHP assets by interfacing with SCADA or local control rooms, making it possible to realise revenue from the markets in real-time.

THE PATH TO GOOD GRID CITIZENSHIP As Britain continues on its net-zero journey, the country will require more and more distributed assets to provide much-needed flexibility to enable the grid operator to balance supply and demand. CHP operators now have an opportunity to become ‘good grid citizens’ by making flexible capacity available to the grid. By optimising the operation of their plant and participating in grid services, energy managers can reduce waste and inefficiencies as well as generate additional revenue through market trading.



Several announcements have been made by the UK Government about a ban on selling new petrol, diesel, or hybrid cars after 2035. This comes after realising the deadline for the 2050 Net-Zero target is not far away. Electrification of transport is a must if we are to cut as much as 33% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions, but what are the main considerations of such ambitious plans?


he waters are still rather murky as to who is responsible for what, with a fine line defining what the private and the public sector are each responsible for. On one hand, rolling out charging infrastructure in public spaces seems to fall in both courts; on the other, there is still need for both clearer policy and government funding and investment. However, despite these difficulties, the market is facing a boom in both EV sales and partnerships. EV sales increased by 200% from last year and, only last week, the UK’s five biggest vehicle fleet operators – Centrica, Royal Mail, BT, DPD UK and Openreach – joined the call for a 2030 ban as part of the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. These are some of the most recent developments in the EV world, as reported by Current ± this week. But what does this mean from a practical perspective for those businesses involved in providing infrastructure and software to support this growth? The EV market is still emerging, posing both risks and rewards to the stakeholders involved. There is also an immediate need for professionals who can support the market. But, due to the modernity of the sector and the consequential lack of experienced individuals, finding the right people can be challenging. In our experience, succeeding in any emerging market is all about recognising which skills are transferable from other sectors, as well as engaging with the relevantly experienced individuals you can identify and attract. At Climate17, we have been working in the Clean Energy markets as recruitment partners to those who

have been sector pioneers since their inceptions. Renewable Energy was a concept that seemed far-off only fifteen years ago and was scoffed at by many working in Oil & Gas. Today, more than 30% of the UK’s electricity comes from renewable energy, and we have been progressively inundated with Oil & Gas industry professionals (as well as many from other sectors) looking to move across. Climate 17 believe that, in the same way that the Renewable Energy sector (particularly Offshore Wind) needed to utilise Oil & Gas skillsets, the EV sector will also benefit from equally transferrable skills. To support the EV sector, we have recently appointed Lucy Hoyle as a Senior Consultant, who will be leading on the expansion of our EV outreach, supporting companies at the frontline of EV growth. Lucy will be working with software companies, EV infrastructure installers and engineering design and advisory firms, helping them to build their core teams from the ground up. Lucy is an experienced recruiter with over 10 years’ recruitment experience, working across the Marine, Aerospace, Defence and Energy sectors. She has strong engineering technical knowledge, and can quickly identify key skills transferrable to the EV sector, for which she has a genuine passion. Lucy is looking forward to contributing to the growth of this key sector. Climate17 are pleased to announce our growing presence in this new and exciting space, and are looking forward to supporting the many companies who are already in or are going to join the venture.






y the time this article is published, the USA will have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement. This departure leaves the remaining 186 participants to continue their endeavours to strengthen the global climate effort without the support of the world’s largest economy and the second biggest producer of GHG emissions. This is a horrendous consequence of the election of President Trump in 2016 but a move that is not irreversible – it all hangs on the outcome of the US presidential elections. In the meantime, and notwithstanding the actions of other nations, the UK has committed to a 100% reduction in carbon emissions relative to the levels in 1990, to be achieved by 2050. Thanks to this commitment, and also in no small part to the passion and eloquence of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, the race to achieve Net Zero emissions has gained traction and has rocketed up the agenda of many organisations in the UK. The United Nation’s Race to Zero initiative, launched in October is helping to increase momentum. There is, sadly, however, the inevitable ‘greenwashing’ by some organisations that claim to have already achieved Net Zero, or to be well on the way. These claims make headlines but on further analysis, it seems that the strategies, plans and ambitions of these organisations focus on scopes 1 and 2 and conveniently place scope 3 emissions ‘out of scope’. I am reminded here of FIFA’s commitment in February this year to make the 2022 world cup carbon-neutral across the event’s operations. It’s not the first time they’ve captured the headlines with such a commitment. FIFA first promised a carbonneutral World Cup for the 2006 tournament. Since then, the event’s footprint has grown considerably – the 2018 World Cup in Russia generated 2.17 million tonnes of emissions, of which 98.6% were classed within Scope 3.

JUST TO BE CLEAR, NET ZERO MEANS INCLUDING SCOPES 1, 2 AND 3 IE: Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of


purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain. Whilst Scope 3 is always going to be the most challenging aspect of achieving Net Zero, supply chain mapping is critical to de-risking and future-proofing operations and the sooner you start the better. By engaging companies and suppliers to document the exact source of every material, every process and every shipment involved in bringing goods to market, organisations will get greater visibility over their supply chains than ever before, and will thus be able to identify areas for improvement and greater efficiency, reduce the chances of disruption and stay competitive. Rather than seeing supply chain mapping as a business cost in order to achieve Net Zero, organisations should see this process as a vital part of their business resilience strategy. There are likely to be considerable benefits that far outweigh any costs e.g. preparedness for a global pandemic. Literally mapping out, analysing and managing the organisation’s supply chain risks and opportunities by engaging more deeply with suppliers is to everyone’s benefit. It’s very likely that this will reveal good news stories about technological innovations and community initiatives that can become part of an organisation’s USP, adding value for partners and customers. Equally, it will uncover hitherto unknown socio-economic and environmental risks that need addressing. For example, some low carbon materials, goods and services may be associated with harmful impacts on water resources that in turn affect local communities’ way of life and health. Such risks are especially relevant for consumer goods retailers and manufacturers but also for the office-based service industry. For example, what’s the story behind the IT devices and mobiles the organisation uses in relation to source locations for rare earths used in circuit boards, wages and


working conditions in factories in developing countries where units are made? Do working conditions disadvantage women? Office catering contracts need to take into account ethical and environmental issues down the food and drink sector’s supply web. Getting to grips with scope 3 means de-risking the organisation’s operations and improving its resilience into the future in ways that should benefit the bottom-line. There is a lot of excellent guidance and tools freely available to begin starting to map out scope 3 impacts and opportunities, such as the GHG Protocol, the Carbon Disclosure Project and sector specific organisations like the Cool Farm Alliance. For manufacturing, both WRAP and the Ellen McArthur Foundation have useful case studies and sector-specific reports to help organisations fully embrace the circular economy. Scope 3 requires a ‘whole organisation approach’; it should be driven by the senior management team and involve procurement, sales and marketing, energy and estate management, HR, etc across all divisions and teams. It shouldn’t be assigned solely to the Environment Manager working with a post-graduate intern. Getting started can be daunting and sometimes there isn’t enough knowledge or resources available in-house to create the action plan and see it through. Investing in bringing in external expertise is well worth the cost because it means activity can be fast-tracked with confidence, using professional support to effectively close gaps. JRP’s approach is to create a programme that links scope 1 and scope 2 savings with improvements in wider resource efficiency towards zero waste as part of scope 3. Behaviour change is a critical part of the approach as it invariably leads to substantive operational improvements for maximising returns. For more information about any aspect of Net Zero, contact info@ or call 0800 6127 567.


HEAT NETWORKS: THE HUGE LOW CARBON TECHNOLOGY THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT Samantha Crichton Senior Consultant at Ecuity Consulting LLP, part of Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management delivering the Heat Networks Investment Project


here is an attitude amongst the general public that, in terms of mitigating the climate crisis, an individual cannot make a significant difference. This attitude is understandable. As a singular being amongst 7.8 billion others, it might seem incomprehensible that a decision to make the effort to live a low carbon life has any impact. However, recent studies are finding that it is the lack of public understanding that is the biggest inhibitor in fighting climate change and transitioning to low carbon solutions. A new report by the Garfield Weston Foundation surveyed 68 environmental organisations across the UK and found that almost half of environmental charities say the lack of public understanding is their biggest challenge when it comes to solving important issues. This is particularly acute when we consider heat decarbonisation. The Committee on Climate Change has impressed in its reports the urgency of tackling the climate crisis and the Government’s response to this has been positive - starting with the first global legal commitment of a country to net zero by 2050 with local authorities following suit and even setting more ambitious targets. We have now been joined by 120 other countries. So, it is essential that we continue to lead the way but how can we ensure that the public is brought along with us. When asked about addressing climate change, heat networks are probably not the first thing that would come to mind. Underground pipes are not often visible unless you walk past the construction site and the energy centres are not as aesthetically pleasing as electric vehicles or as trendy as switching to a vegan lifestyle. However, heat actually accounts for 37% of UK emissions. Some architects

are working hard to change this as shown by the impressive Manchester Tower of Light (below) which is actually flue tower for the combined heat and power plant. Local artists are also being brought onboard to develop eye-catching artwork, such as the Leeds PIPES heat network, delivered by Vital Energi. These projects highlight the import role that heat networks are playing in decarbonisation efforts whilst increasing awareness. If you are surprised by this, you are not alone. A report published by the Department for business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) explored knowledge and attitudes in Great Britain towards a transition to low-carbon heat. It found that, although the general public were consistently supportive of policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, awareness of low carbon heating technologies was especially low. This was further emphasized by a study by the Social Market Foundation which found that awareness of community heating was only around 10%. With only a minority of people understanding the low-carbon heating technologies available, the transition to a low carbon economy may seem out of reach. However, there is a positive attitude towards low carbon heating technology and in particular recognition of the role for heat networks. The Climate Citizens Assembly, which convened between January and May 2020, showed great support for heat networks with 66% of people stating that district heating should be enforced with 17% selecting this as their top choice for policy intervention to help the UK get to net zero. There are currently over 14,000 heat networks of varying sizes and ages in the UK. The pipeline of future projects continues to grow and investor interest in the market is high. Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) funding that has been awarded to

date will allow for more than 35,000 new residential and non-residential customers to connect to a heat network. Through utilizing waste heat, low carbon energy source and efficient distribution pipes, HNIP funded schemes are expected to deliver substantial carbon savings across whole communities, contributing to achieving our climate change aspirations. Although the responsibility lies primarily on the Government to provide the right regulatory framework and financial support to drive the development of a self-sustaining heat networks market, this will ultimately not be successful without public uptake and acceptance. Recent consultations on the future Green Heat Network Fund and the Market Framework combined with discussions on heat network zoning are a welcome necessary step to enable this sector to meet its potential. It is however equally important that individuals understand the key role they must play on the road to net zero. It appears many already appreciate this with 80% of the Assembly agreeing that there is a role for individual responsibility in decarbonising heat yet many do not know what this really means for them. Advocating and promoting heat networks to consumers, local government and policy makers will be crucial as we consider how to meet our net zero aspirations. The heat networks sector must continue to share success stories and highlight the essential contribution heat networks make in reducing our emissions to raise awareness of this technology agnostic, localised low carbon heating solution. The £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project is still open for applications from local authorities, private sector companies and communities and we welcome the opportunity to hear more about projects old and new so please get in touch and help us showcase the important work you do.




WILL WE EVER RUN OUT OF FRESH WATER SOURCES? Covering nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface, water seems to be the most renewable of all the planet’s resources. But could it ever run out?


ell, most of the earth’s water resources are inaccessible and unevenly distributed. In addition, 97.5% of earth’s water is seawater, unfit for human consumption. And what about England running out of water? The very idea may seem preposterous – until it happens. According to the chief executive of the UK’s Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, parts of England are set to run out of potable water within the next two or three decades.

WHAT ARE THE FACTS? • The UK’s population will continue to rise from 67 million now to 75 million by 2050. • By 2050, the amount of water available for abstraction could be 10%-15% lower. • A larger population means more roads, houses, food, workplaces and energy, all of which require more water use. • At the same time, the impacts of climate change include less predictable rainfall along with hotter and drier summers. • Pollution is growing, both of freshwater supplies and underground aquifers.

BUT BRITAIN GETS SO MUCH RAIN! Well, some parts do. Much of the UK’s rain falls mainly on specific areas, with the highlands of Scotland, Wales and Northern England making up the bulk of the UK’s annual average rainfall. By contrast, South East England gets less average rainfall than South Sudan! It is these startling facts that put into contrast the wet and windy weather we have recently been experiencing.

THE NEXT WORLD WAR WILL BE FOUGHT OVER WATER Much of the world’s population still lack adequate access to clean, affordable water. Some people believe that increasing water shortages around the world will lead to war. Syria is cited as an example. Between 2007-2010, Syria experienced one of the


worst droughts in history. This decimated rural communities, driving people into cities where they found themselves marginalised. • The global demand for water is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050, driven by development and the need to feed a growing population. • Many of the world’s major aquifers are receding. • The water table is dropping all over the world, and our freshwater sources are being drained faster than they are being replenished. Simply put, there’s not an infinite supply of water.


Collected and filtered rainwater can be used for showering and toilet flushing.

PUTTING A PRICE ON WATER Over half of UK households are still able to use as much water as they like for a flat monthly fee. Bringing in compulsory water meters would help cut wasteful usage and incentivise investment in new, more efficient water infrastructure.

CUT LEAKAGE Good water efficiency starts with detecting and fixing leaks. There are currently three billion litres leaking out of aged pipes in the UK a day. This amount is equivalent to the water used each day by 20 million people. Fixing leaks could go a long way in preventing unnecessary water wastage.



Desalination involves turning seawater into potable drinking water. This has been done successfully in Israel, where over half of the country’s water comes from desalination. The catch? The energy footprint and expenses associated with desalination are significant. The UK’s first desalination plant of its kind in Beckton opened in 2010 and provides up to 150 million litres a day. However, it uses a lot of pricey electricity.

A high percentage of the world’s water is used for agriculture. But some methods of irrigation are highly inefficient. For example, in hot countries, water sprayed on crops can evaporate before it even reaches the roots. We need to take advantage of new smart technology to irrigate more efficiently. For example, field sensors can be used to monitor the moisture content in the soil. This lets farmers know whether irrigation is needed and allows them to calibrate their irrigation more accurately.

RECYCLING Israel is also a leader in terms of water recycling. Its water treatment systems recapture 86% of the water that goes down the drain.

RAINWATER CAPTURE Rainwater capture is a simple and cheap solution for collecting freshwater. Singapore meets up to 30% of its water needs through a rainwater capture system.


WATER-SAVING STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESSES Using the services of a water consultant can help your business identify how to become more efficient and less wasteful with your water usage. They may also be able to help you lower your water bills by setting you up with a cheaper supplier.


Do you know precisely what your water supply company charges you for? Would you have any idea if they were billing you correctly based on your actual water use, or whether you were being overcharged?

Commercial water bills can be complex. The more water your business uses, especially across many different processes and multiple sites, the more complex they become. Many charges are hidden or obscure, making it difficult for clients to keep tabs on whether they are being billed accurately or fairly. Our water bill validation service helps remove the complexity so you get clear sight of what you are actually paying for. With years of experience dealing with water supply companies, our specialist consultants can spot mistakes and discrepancies quickly and have a proven track record1 saving companies thousands of pounds in reduced costs and refunds. WHAT IS WATER BILL VALIDATION? Water bill validation is part of our acclaimed water audit process2. By comparing historical billing with water use, we ensure that you pay what you should for your water and no more. Water bill validation can be broken down into three parts: •

Checking previous bills are accurate and that you have not been overcharged

Identifying ways to save money on future bills

Ongoing monitoring of bills to ensure you never pay more than you should.


HOW DOES WATER BILL VALIDATION WORK Should you opt for our water bill validation service, our professional consultants become an interim between you and your water supplier. You don’t need to enter into a long contract. You will be able to access via email information on any water or waste water issue you may have as well as details of your billing history, past and present. This reduces time and effort spent digging through filings of old paper copies. Ongoing water bill validation A crucial part of our water bill validation service is that we will keep monitoring and managing your bills over time. Our consultants will examine your water bills3 before you receive them, checking and validating them before approving payment and passing them on to you. This gives you the peace of mind that the fees you pay are correct every time, while any issues will be dealt with prior to payment authorisation, taking the burden from the client. Read about how we have saved McDonalds £250,0004 to date through long term monitoring of the surface water charges levied for all of their UK restaurants.


• Opportunities to save money identified on an ongoing basis •

Refunds arranged for historic overcharging

Client’s past and present billing history emailed on demand, saving you time, effort and space on billing administration

Billing errors dealt with prior to payment authorisation, ensuring you are confident that the bill is correct

Spikes in water usage can be spotted quickly and efficiently, helping to tackle issues like water leaks and eliminating high water charges

Clients can access information on any water and waste water issue as and when required.

1. 2. water-audits/ 3. 4. mcdonalds/

Our track record speaks for itself. Our track record for reducing costs on water bills is second to none. With unrivalled attention to detail and an innovative approach, we give our customers exactly what they want - a fair, flexible, professional service that delivers outstanding results. Here are just a few of our Blue Chip clients who we have collectively saved over £3.5m. We hope you will agree that the results we achieve are staggering!

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e-carbonising heating is high on the agenda for many social landlords and housing developers. As well as playing a vital role in tackling climate change, increasing the energy-efficiency of housing is essential to reduce the ever-increasing fuel bills for residents. According to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2019 report on UK housing, “the quality, design and use of homes across the UK must be improved now to address the challenges of climate change. Doing so will also improve health, wellbeing and comfort, including


for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those living with chronic illnesses.” Government funding initiatives, such as the SHDF (Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund) and the Green Homes Grant tend to favour a ‘fabricfirst approach’. The established view is that the best way to decarbonise domestic heating is to invest heavily in insulation, and then install a low carbon heating system, such as an air-source heat pump. Whilst this approach can work in many situations, it will not always be the most costeffective way to achieve the end goal. In some cases, it is not even practical or possible to retrofit homes in this way. Housing developers and social housing landlords must therefore urgently


consider alternative approaches.

A CHANGE OF MINDSET For many years, gas has been the go-to solution for domestic heating and hot water. However, as part of its commitment to decarbonising energy, the UK government has declared that from 2025, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid. While some hold out hopes that clean hydrogen gas may be available by then, it is not currently an option. Housing developers must now look for the most efficient way to heat homes using electricity as a source of energy. With gas being so much part of the current mindset, it’s hardly surprising that air source heat pumps – which rely


on a familiar set up of pipes, thermostats and radiators – are currently the most popular way to electrify domestic heating and hot water. But while air-source heat pumps do have a lot to recommend them, they are not necessarily the best option in every case. Heat pumps rely on a ‘low and slow’ approach – drawing heat from the environment to gently but steadily heat homes. This works well if homes are extremely well insulated and the outside temperatures are not too low. Otherwise, either the heat is lost too quickly, or the system needs to operate well outside its margins of efficiency. Air-source heat pumps are particularly unsuitable for retrofitting properties, as upgrading insulation to sufficient levels pushes the overall costs up significantly. On top of the cost of extra insulation, air-source heat pumps are an expensive retrofit. The old central heating system needs to be completely replaced with an external compressor unit, a new central hot water immersion tank, heating water clusters and more. The radiators also need to be bigger to compensate for the lower running temperature. There are also some situations where fitting a heat pump externally is simply not viable – for example in high-rise buildings. There is another option out there, however, that takes a radically different approach.

AN ENERGY SOLUTION FOR THE DIGITAL AGE Manchester City Council recently explored a different approach to electrifying domestic heating in a newbuild development in West Gorton, Greater Manchester. The affordable houses were equipped with modern digital and renewable energy solutions that can deliver reductions to energy bills of up to 90% for tenants. The mews-style three-bedroom homes, built in partnership with Manchester City Council, are fitted with solar PV and battery storage. But what makes them unique is the

intelligent solution that ties these elements together. The self-learning system, designed by Wondrwall, automatically adapts heating, lighting, security and energy consumption according to the behaviour of the occupants, environmental conditions and wholesale energy costs. A combination of electric underfloor heating and infrared panels can quickly provide warmth when needed, and the intelligent, partitioned, hot-water cylinder heats water only when needed. A system comprising solar panels, inverter and battery storage provides free electricity from the sun and enables the tenants to take advantage of hourly fluctuations in energy costs. For new and old properties, the cost of installing this ‘smart and agile’ solution compares favourably with wet heating systems, heat pumps and high levels of insulation.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN INTELLIGENT HOME The key to the effectiveness of the system, is its ability to learn and adapt to the information in real time. The system will begin a typical day by checking the weather forecast shortly after midnight. Combining this information with what it knows about the behaviour of the occupants and the performance of the solar panels, it will predict how much electricity it needs to draw from the grid to meet the family’s needs for the day. The system then analyses time-of-

use tariffs for the day and determines the most cost-effective time to charge the domestic batteries. If there is an unexpected energy requirement during the day, the system might respond by supplying energy from the battery and importing energy from the grid. Conversely, if there is a spike in energy from the PV solar panels, the system will export energy back to the grid. During the evening, when energy prices are at their peak the system powers the house entirely from energy stored in the battery. After midnight, the system processes the day’s data, adjusts its algorithm accordingly, and the cycle begins again.

A SMARTER APPROACH TO ALLOCATING RESOURCES When faced with a big task and a limited budget, it makes sense to allocate resources where they will be most effective – even when that means questioning our assumptions. It’s clear from the West Gorton project that ‘fabric first’ is not the only way to decarbonise domestic heating. A smart and agile approach may be a better fit in many situations. Social housing landlords and housing developers should therefore evaluate projects on a case by case basis when choosing the right approach to decarbonise domestic heating, rather than putting their faith in a one-size-fitsall approach.




DECARBONISING HEAT PRESENTS A HUGE CHALLENGE FOR THE UK Large scale transformation in the way in which energy is generated, distributed, and consumed is paramount for the UK to hit its net zero commitment says Daniel Collins, Consultant, avieco.


echnology alone is not enough. If we are to decarbonise heat and convince 30 million homes to switch to low carbon heating, we require a combination of innovation, investment and incentives policies to expand on the current uptake and provide consumers with the confidence that new technologies can be as efficient, cost-effective and reliable as traditional heating systems. While lockdown has brought about a significant drop in carbon emissions as well as a clearer London skyline, the economical and societal impacts of Covid-19 have served to amplify the urgent need to build resilience to climate change. We may not yet have been afforded an insight into the government’s proposed ‘green recovery’ to the pandemic, but the energy sector will unquestionably be at the epicentre of such plans. The UK’s commitment to net zero carbon by 2050 requires a large-scale transformation in the way in which energy is generated, distributed, and consumed. The past decade has seen considerable advances in decarbonising the power sector. The closure of coalfired power stations and the increased proportion of renewable electricity in the grid (both large-scale schemes and


the greatest challenge the UK faces to become a net zero carbon economy.


individual buildings and developments) have contributed to the plunge in electricity carbon intensity, which is predicted to be as low as 50g CO2e/ kWh by 2030 and must be less than 20g CO2e/kWh at net zero. However, heating remains the largest source of our greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and progress towards its decarbonisation has flattered to deceive. At 37%, heating accounts for the largest proportion of UK greenhouse gas emissions we must act now before the challenge magnifies even more. “Heating is central to our lives. In our homes, we rely on it for comfort, cooking and washing. Businesses need heating and cooling for productive workplaces and heat is integral to many industrial processes. It is the biggest reason we consume energy in our society.” - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Fossil fuels deliver most of the heating in our buildings and industries; and natural gas remains the predominant heating source for most customers connected to the grid. At the current rate, it is estimated that it would take 1,500 years to decarbonise the heat sector. While the scale of the challenge may appear daunting, the time for action is now. The decarbonisation of heat is


Scale of the challenge - Around 85% of the 28 million UK households are connected to the gas grid. Only about 5% of homes currently have low carbon heating – mainly comprising electric heat pumps, wood burners and biomass boilers. We need to be converting 20,000 homes a week (1 million annually) by 2025 to hit our 2050 targets. No silver bullet solution – As is so often the case, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to decarbonising heat. Moreover, estimates suggest that a top-down solution such as all-electric is projected to cost 2-3.5% more than a tailored approach looking at solutions at an individual building level. Poor energy efficiency – The UK building stock is generally of poor thermal efficiency. Retrofitting low carbon heating poses a challenge as technologies operate most effectively in conjunction with energy efficiency upgrades. This has led to increased demands for new standards for zero carbon homes and commercial properties. Current heat decarbonisation policies are not working – Policies like the renewable heat incentive (RHI) and the ECO scheme have failed to have the desired effect. Simply put, the high upfront cost of renewable heating systems reduces the viability for most households. Over nearly four years, only 60,000 renewable appliances were installed under the Domestic RHI, compared to 6.2m gas boilers. As a result, other policies are having to work harder to enable the government to meet its legal obligations. Resistance to Change – Unlike the power sector, heat decarbonisation has a direct effect on consumers as it often involves upgrading technologies within the home. About 90% of UK homes still use gas boilers, many


of whom are opposed to removing a technology which has long been accepted as a comparatively efficient and convenient heating source.

HOW CAN WE MAKE ZERO CARBON BUILDINGS? • Heat pumps are the most efficient way of using electricity to heat your home. They offer a modern, low-carbon solution to provide space heating and domestic hot water. Heat pumps are particularly appropriate in countries which have both high heating requirements (in winter) and cooling requirements (in summer). Manufacturers offer either air-source and ground-source heat pumps, which sit outside a building and extract warmth from the air or ground to heat water for radiators. • District Heating involves a system of highly insulated pipes delivering heated water to radiators in numerous homes and buildings. Heat is generated from a central boiler plant or other heat source, such as a biomass or gas-powered ‘combined heat and power plant’ or local waste heat from industry. • Other prospects to help achieve net zero in buildings include

hydrogen boilers and Heat as a Service, although these remain in the early stages of development. But technology alone is not enough. If we are to convince 30 million homes to switch to low carbon heating, we require a combination of innovation, investment and incentives policies to expand on the current uptake and provide consumers with the confidence that new technologies can be as efficient, cost-effective and reliable as the traditional systems. Government targets and increasing public awareness of the immediate action required to combat the effects of climate change have thrust heat decarbonisation to the forefront at a national and local level. With multiple stakeholders comes the urgent need for leadership and a clear path to net zero if we are to meet our targets for 2050 and beyond.

HOW CAN WE HELP? Feasibility studies from Avieco, funded by the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), will give you a compelling case for viable renewables projects to benefit your community – at no cost to you. We have worked with RCEF fund administrators across the country and know what makes a strong RCEF

funding application. We have completed multiple RCEF feasibility studies, and many of those communities have gone on to complete a variety of renewables projects. Our recent success stories include supporting Swaffham Prior in implementing UK’s first “retrofit” heat network, identifying the best solution for onsite renewables for Cuxton Parish Council and many more. Our “Community-led heat projects” guide aims to support communities who want to explore the potential for local heat networks where they live. The guide originates from our experience in supporting communities in planning for and installing heat projects, and has been produced by Avieco and the Swaffham Prior community heat project board, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. As well as delivering RCEF-compliant feasibility studies, we work with companies on the journey to net zero, and how heat decarbonisation can play a central role in such plans. Head over to our case studies to know more about our work.

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n a report published in summer 2020 - ‘Net Zero: the road to low carbon heat’ - the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) outlined what it called the ‘colossal challenge of decarbonising heat in the UK’ and what this means for businesses. In it, it recommended thirteen actions covering ‘policy steps the government should take in the short, medium and long-term, the technological solutions that are currently available and the further innovation that will be needed going forward.’ With this need for greater innovation in the approach to heat decarbonisation, and with the government pledging to ‘Build Back Better’, the challenge of how to make the UK’s existing and future building stock more sustainable is now firmly centre stage. Therefore heat – and how to decarbonise it – is definitely one of the hottest topics. With the Heat and Buildings Strategy due later this year, energy managers are under increasing pressure to make costeffective changes that can bring down both bills and emissions. Here, we outline three key steps businesses can take now to minimise the carbon impact of their heating systems.

PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUEL HEATING According to the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, the installation of highcarbon, fossil-fuelled heating in both new and existing buildings will be phased out during the 2020s. In the housebuilding sector, this goes further, with the Future Homes Standard banning gas boilers in all new homes from 2025 onwards and setting a goal for new builds to have 75% to 80% fewer CO2 emissions than those built to current building regulations. Energy managers can take action now by investigating the best non-gas heating systems for their buildings.


For example, we recently conducted an independent assessment to review the performance of computercontrolled infrared technology against both traditional convection heating technologies and air source heat pumps. This revealed that the technology provides the same levels of comfort within a room, using 60% less energy than a standard electric convection system and 3% less than ASHPs. This reduced consumption rate means that carbon emissions are also more than 60% lower than traditional systems.

INVEST IN HIGHER PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS With many businesses setting ambitious carbon reduction targets, energy managers should review every element of their properties that could benefit from greater energy performance, from the fabric of their buildings to the technology they install within them, to maximise their energy efficiency as far as possible. However, while some sustainability measures can take time to show a return on investment, making the switch to a low-carbon heating system can yield almost immediate results. For example, CCIR’s processors and sensors give it the unique ability to adapt to the environment it is operating in and optimise heat settings accordingly, enabling users to benefit from high performance, sustainable and cost-effective heating. Compared to traditional convective systems that heat the air within a room, CCIR consumes less than half the energy needed to achieve the same levels of comfort by radiating to the floors, walls and surfaces of each room. What makes it different is that the software within each panel constantly monitors each individual room and adapts to the energy storage characteristics within it, adjusting its routine to maintain the ambient temperature, maximising its performance and using fewer units of energy than a traditional heating system.


FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BUILDING BY EXPLORING THE MARKET While many of the low-carbon heating technologies championed by current government policies may tick the sustainability box, not all meet the future-proof needs required to avoid costly upgrades further down the line. For energy managers, it is important to consider the longer term – for example, while some solutions could seem a ‘safe bet’ right now, it is likely they will be overtaken by newer and more effective systems in the not too distant future. Forward-thinking businesses wanting to avoid the pain of further upgrades should broaden the specification scope to include more innovative heating systems that can both deliver on reducing cost and carbon, and are longterm solutions. Doing so makes both economic and environmental sense.

PLANNING FOR A LOW CARBON FUTURE The future of heating is undoubtedly low-carbon. With fossil fuel heating systems being phased out over the next few years, forward thinking energy managers need to consider the best alternative for their business. Therefore, it is important to take time to understand and investigate all the low-carbon hearing alternatives – such as CCIR – to ensure that the benefits are not only felt in the short term but are also sustainable solutions for the longer term.



Dale Edwards, a Strategic Consultant in Green Energy with national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, shares his thoughts on the importance of the UK Government creating, developing, and implementing a clear green energy strategy for the future.


t a recent Conservative Party conference Boris Johnson claimed the UK would become a world leader in green energy by announcing £160m of investment in infrastructure to increase electricity generation from offshore wind. The ambition to increase offshore wind capacity significantly by 2030, along with new jobs creation and part of the UK levelling up agenda, is very welcome, but much more detail is needed. This promise, according to the Government, is the first stage of a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with more information to be communicated later in the year. It will be interesting to see what will be announced in the coming weeks and months to supplement the start of the green industrial revolution ambition and how it will be achieved along with the long-awaited energy white paper. In the days after the conference I asked a range of friends and business connections to describe what green energy means to them and what the other 9-points could include. Their responses were varied but the core of most of the answers focused on generating electricity from renewable sources, with wind and solar power dominating responses. Many who were asked did not automatically include generating power from alternative green sources such as nuclear, bioenergy, hydroelectric and district heating schemes, all established sources of low carbon energy generation. I learnt a valuable lesson; that just because I have been involved in green energy for a number of years, it does not mean that all are aware of what the sector consists

of currently and in the future, along with the value in terms of achieving NetZero, jobs and economic output. When talking about the future, there are many innovative ideas and solutions being brought forward including tidal, wave, hydrogen and fusion. Some have received increasing government interest and seed funding along with supply chain enthusiasm. It will be interesting to see if any of these will be part of the 10-point green industrial revolution, as potential solutions for the future could bring long term economic growth for the UK. Recently there has been a lot of talk about hydrogen being introduced to the green energy mix. Whilst significant work lies ahead, hydrogen has the potential of being a game changer in the battle with climate change. Already we have seen trials in the UK of using hydrogen as a form of power for trains and I look forward with interest to see how this will be scaled up to make a solid commercial and environmental case. EDF is exploring small scale production of hydrogen as part of its plans to build a new nuclear plant at Sizewell to kick start the hydrogen economy by powering an electrolyser, which could provide fuel for construction vehicles amongst other applications. Nuclear hydrogen production technologies have significant potential and benefits over other sources that might be considered for growing the hydrogen share as part of the UK green energy strategy, dependent on the type of the individual nuclear power plant. However, alternative use of hydrogen including busing, road haulage and developing district heating

schemes should not be forgotten. Therefore, there are two fundamental questions which need answering by the Government. Firstly, will we go for tried and tested green energy technologies or embrace the potential of the future? Secondly, what practical support including planning, funding, investment in skills and supply chains will the Government provide to enable the new green industrial revolution to take shape for the benefit of the environment and economy? Irrespective, it is great news that green energy is front and centre of the post Covid-19 recovery plans. Clarke Willmott’s nationally rated team of green energy specialist solicitors from a wide cross section of disciplines has extensive experience of delivering seamless, sector-focused advice on all aspects of energy generation and are excited in what the future could be. We have built longstanding relationships in the low carbon energy sector over the last 20 years working with landowners, developers, contractors and operators and are looking forward to supporting businesses with the green recovery. In the coming months we will be organising a series of insightful and engaging webinars in collaboration with partner businesses and organisations, discussing a range of green energy related topics to help greater understanding and develop new opportunities. Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. For more information visit





Kelly Jiang, Technology Strategy and Innovation Analyst for Centrica Business Solutions, explores the potential of hydrogen to deliver on the global decarbonisation challenge and help organisations along the energy pathway to their net-zero goals.


he future energy system will be very different. It will be almost fully decarbonised, digitalised, decentralised and distributed. Doing more of the same is no longer enough to access the opportunities this future brings. Innovative new solutions are required to tackle the climate crisis, control rising costs and improve energy security. Can hydrogen could provide an answer? Hydrogen produces no carbon emissions at the point of use and has the potential to be produced with low or zero emissions. As such it is seen as a versatile, long-term alternative to burning fossil fuels. There are 3 main methods of hydrogen generation. • Grey hydrogen is created by steam methane reforming (SMR); that is, combining steam (H2O) and methane (CH4) at a high temperature to create hydrogen (H2) gas. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is released as a waste product. This is the process by which most hydrogen is produced today. • Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis (electric splitting) of water. An electric current is run through water, separating it into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) gas. If the energy used to power this process is renewable, then the green hydrogen is emission-free. • Blue hydrogen is created by steam methane reforming


plus carbon capture. Carbon capture has the potential to reduce emissions from hydrogen production by 60-85% , but it does not yet exist commercially. Today, approximately 70m tonnes of hydrogen is produced globally across industry each year, used mainly in oil refining and the production of ammonia for fertilisers. But around 97% is created from fossil-fuels using the SMR process.

BUSINESS BENEFITS Blue and green hydrogen can play a pivotal role in accelerating decarbonisation through to 2030 and beyond. Recent analysis from Bloomberg NEF concluded that the large-scale, global deployment of renewable hydrogen across the energy, transport and industrial sectors could reduce their annual emissions by up to 34% by 2050. Hydrogen production via electrolysis is a promising option for increasing the utilisation of electricity from renewable resources in a world where we may often have surplus production of electricity from wind and solar. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can complement electrification by providing the flexibility required for power system balancing. This can reduce the need for peaking capacity and provide greater resilience. In its 2020 Future Energy Scenarios report, National Grid says that hydrogen’s role in providing zero carbon flexibility and peaking plant will be very important in all scenarios. Even its most cautious net zero scenario will require at least 15TWh of hydrogen storage by 2050.

COMMERCIAL USES FOR HYDROGEN Huge progress has been made in decarbonising power systems, but transport and heat have been left behind. Industrial heat emissions are particularly problematic. Hydrogen could make a contribution to sustainable heat, transport and power, by: • Replacing natural gas for industrial processes that are difficult to electrify due to high-grade heat requirements – estimated to account for around 10% of global CO2 emissions.


Replacing natural gas for heating, particularly for homes or businesses that are unsuitable for heat pumps, or without significant insulation, potentially in combination with heat pumps. Providing energy flexibility through use as longer term power storage – by converting power to hydrogen during excess supply and then converting back when demand increases or supply drops. Powering heavy duty transport, such as HGVs, shipping and aviation, where the longrange travel plus weight and volume considerations require a high energy density fuel.

GOVERNMENT POLICY Scaling-up and commercialising hydrogen production and deployment requires a strategic approach on a global level. It is critical that policy makers collaborate to prepare infrastructure and create the right market conditions to capitalise on the hydrogen opportunity and bring down costs. The UK government is expected to release a 2050 Heat Roadmap this year, which should provide some muchneeded clarity on government direction. The European Union Commission has signalled strong policy support for the sector, with the formation in July 2020 of its new hydrogen strategy and European Clean Hydrogen Alliance. One enabling step required by all countries will be the conversion of iron gas distribution pipelines to plastic, which will assist in preparing the hydrogen delivery infrastructure of the future.

COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL In Centrica’s view, hydrogen has significant potential to progress the energy transition, although practical obstacles mean that it is unlikely to reach large scale commercial usage in the near-term. Producing carbon-free hydrogen is currently expensive; today’s available hydrogen is produced in a way that is carbon intensive; existing infrastructure requires upgrading or replacement, and there are additional safety issues compared to using methane or shifting to electrification. We believe that Implementing

RENEWABLE ENERGY a rolling decarbonisation plan that utilises existing technologies, such as solar and heat pumps, but prepares for developing technologies such as hydrogen, is the best bet to transitioning to a net zero future.

TODAY’S OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESS While the wide-scale deployment of hydrogen could take time, there are opportunities to capitalise on this versatile technology today and help to accelerate commercialisation..

HYDROGEN BLENDING Hydrogen can be deployed speedily and cost effectively by blending it with natural gas. This could provide an easy win to decarbonise gas-powered end uses and serve as a market entry point for green or blue hydrogen. A mix of up to 20% hydrogen can be transported in the existing natural gas pipelines, without needing substantial upgrades. Technical feasibility has been proven and pilot projects announced in the UK and Germany, such as the ‘HyDeploy2’ project.

emissions reduction pathway in the long term. Below is our best-view of a possible roadmap of hydrogen developments of the next 10 years.



Blending hydrogen with natural gas opens opportunities to use hydrogen Combined heat and Power (CHP). This technology is ready now and provides an opportunity to decarbonise CHP and use this proven technology to enable energy system flexibility. Commercial, industrial equipment and generators that currently run on natural gas could be modified to be able to burn hydrogen, which would result in no carbon emissions at the point of use. This could provide a more commercially attractive alternative to the direct electrification of heat for high temperature heat users.

INDUSTRIAL HYDROGEN CLUSTERS There is also near-term potential for hydrogen clusters to develop around industrial sites, where there is demand for hard to decarbonise processes. This could work by organisations sharing infrastructure to deliver benefits, as wider infrastructure is developed nationally.

5-10 YEAR OUTLOOK For many end-uses that use fossil fuels today, particularly heating and industry, replacing this source with clean hydrogen is seen as the simplest

Continued use in industrial processes of grey (carbon intensive) hydrogen Green hydrogen likely to be limited to niche use cases Exploratory low carbon hydrogen pilots and research projects, backed by governments Strategic planning underway - e.g. formation of the European Commission’s new hydrogen strategy Conversion of iron gas distribution pipelines to plastic


Distributed green hydrogen becomes commercially available, but still high cost Limited adoption of industrial equipment and residential appliances that can burn hydrogen Low carbon hydrogen limited to niche projects focussed on highly energy intensive processes From 2025 to 2030, the European Commission aiming for at least 40GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers

10 + YEARS’ OUT •

• •

Blue and green hydrogen could play a major role in the low carbon economy after 2030. Most UK gas distribution pipelines converted to plastic Use of clean hydrogen at scale, dependent on level of regulatory and government support If governments support the technology and develop hydrogen

distribution sector, then: ○ Wide use of hydrogen boilers ○ Hydrogen transmission pipelines could supply homes and businesses ○ Blue hydrogen could become cost competitive to replace natural gas in power generation

PLANNING FOR HYDROGEN Although commercialisation is some way off and highly dependent on government support, all businesses should flexibly factor hydrogen into their energy pathway beyond 2030, which means doing some planning now. This means considering how your existing systems, such as CHP engines, might be adapted to run on hydrogen. Meanwhile, energy intensive industries should work with their energy partner to examine how they can use hydrogen to decarbonise heat in the near term. These industries must find medium-to long-term alternatives to fossil fuel heat, which makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand and almost one-fifth of global energy consumption. Hydrogen can resolve the hard to decarbonise challenges and plug the gaps that other technologies can’t yet reach; such as fuelling heavy transport; heating energy intensive industrial processes and providing long-term storage. It offers enormous potential, but it’s also the technology that is most challenging to roll-out at scale, due to complex infrastructure requirements and expense. There is much excitement about the decarbonising role of hydrogen, but its future will be highly dependent on regulatory support. Further information: www.




ENGINEERING CONSIDERATIONS FOR HOSPITAL STANDBY POWER With UK hospitals experiencing year on year growth in patients – up 21 per cent from 2009 to 2019 – and 2020 as a year like no other, healthcare operators are thinking hard about their back up power. Here Bradley Morrissey, Bid Manager at Finning UK & Ireland, the region’s exclusive distributor of Cat® energy and transportation systems, explains the engineering considerations when upgrading hospital backup generators.


ealthcare power is mission critical – a continuous power source is necessary to power everything from mechanical ventilators in intensive care, to medical imaging equipment and even the lighting and lifts needed for safe movement around the building. Diesel generators are a popular choice for hospitals due to the reliability they offer. However, there are several engineering considerations at play dictating what equipment is suitable for a specific healthcare facility.


SIZE MATTERS Healthcare sites can consume over two million kWh of electricity a year, but this varies significantly from facility to facility. The first, and often most important, consideration is generator size – the backup generator must be able to provide enough power to keep all required equipment running. A genset package should be designed in line with the Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) regulations, which includes being correctly sized to meet performance requirements. There are also tools available to help with choosing the right genset size, including SpecSizer, a Caterpillar tool that allows the user to determine which generator best fits the performance requirements for the facility’s load. There are, however, multiple ways of achieving the same power output. In many facilities, a custom package is the best option, as healthcare operators can choose technology that achieves cost savings, is adapted to the available space and offers excellent performance. For example, if a facility is running multiple gensets, it could be more effective to run fewer at a different rating. A major factor in what size generator a facility can incorporate is the dimensions of the engine room, as many hospitals have limited space. There are ways of reducing the amount of


space a generator package takes, such as removing the radiators and putting them in a remote location. However, the most straightforward solution for hospitals with small engine rooms is to opt for a power dense engine. Power density is a measure of the size of a genset compared with its output and is the result of significant work by engine manufacturers. Standard hospital generators have increased from 2.5MVA to 3.0MVA, a considerable improvement. A specific example is the Cat 3516, which can now achieve over 3,000 kVA, compared with its previous 1,650 kVA, but from a similar footprint. Power dense solutions have an added benefit in that they require less ancillary equipment – they are cheaper to transport, install and maintain.

AIRFLOW Gensets are designed with two main cooling options – the most popular is a custom genset mounted radiator sized to suit the application and environment; the second is a remote radiator located separately, for example on the roof. However, the room must have enough ventilation to cool the engine down, to prevent overheating – maximum engine room temperature is around 50 degrees Celsius for a typical generator. Many hospitals have small plant rooms where air flow is a problem, making this an important consideration.

POWER GENERATION Our engineers will design a package that works well alongside existing equipment and in its surrounding environment. This may include altering the ventilation by adding extra fans or additional cooling mechanisms. If this isn’t feasible, the alternative is to redesign the engine package so that it requires less airflow. Hospital operators should check that their engine provider has considered this, and that ventilation is included in its quote, otherwise it may result in extra costs later on.

NOISE Engine noise can be a source of disturbance if not well managed. An acoustics specialist is best placed to perform a noise study and provide the details for acceptable noise levels to the engineering team. The engineers will then size the attenuators to make sure enough noise is absorbed. If required, lining the engine room with absorbing material as outlined by the design calculations will reduce the noise bouncing off the flat surfaces of the room. Hospital operators can enquire with their genset supplier, to see if it is able to do factory testing on the genset package, to check its performance before installing it.

ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT Hospitals must also consider the ancillary equipment needed to support their engine. For example, the HTM regulations lay out that the hospital must have at least 200 hours of continuous fuel supply on site, which will dictate the

size of fuel storage. Hospitals with limited space may require a custom design to be able to safely store this amount of fuel on site. It is also important to ensure that an appropriately sized fuel polishing system is included, to remove water, sediment and microbial contamination from the fuel and ensure that the generators are ready when they are needed. The genset provider should also secure a competitive, commercially viable and technically compliant generator packaging, including acoustics, enclosures and other plant room installations. The engineering team will also review the switchgear solution to check that it integrates with the wider site design and any legacy switchgear or equipment.

EMISSIONS Finally, the hospital must consider emissions to ensure that they are compliant with the necessary regulations. Hospitals with a combined output of between 1 MWth and 50 MWth must comply with the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD). If the addition of a new genset takes a facility up into this bracket, adaptations like selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology may be required for compliance, although standby generators are exempt under certain circumstances. Genset packages are a complex,

but vitally important, part of hospital infrastructure – as patient numbers rise and power demand increases, it is critical that all requirements and regulations are met. There is additional pressure to reduce costs, which a skilled engine provider can do, without compromising on quality. To benefit from our team’s engineering expertise in power systems for your mission critical application, visit https://www. power-systems-solutions.html.

The Public Sector Sustainability Association (PSSA) provides a professional association and network for all those working in the Public Sector who have a common interest in sustainability. The aim of the association is to bring together a wide group of people working across all areas of the Public Sector – to educate, train, support and connect as we work towards a more sustainable future.




THE ROLE OF LIGHTING IN SMART BUILDINGS Chris Irwin, VP Sales EMEA & VP Global Marketing at J2 Innovations



ighting plays a major role in the infrastructure of a building, and with advances in smart building technology, energy efficiency and lighting control is easier than ever. Whilst Building Automation Software (BAS) give facility managers the ability to set lighting schedules, dedicated lighting controls systems also enable dimming control and “daylight harvesting”; turning off lights near windows when the outside light level is high enough. These are the most common ways lighting in buildings is managed to save energy, but the role of lighting in a smart building doesn’t have to end there. IoT platforms such as Enlighted provide lighting controls that enable the building to sense occupancy patterns, and become more smartenabled. This new breed of lighting control features a small smart sensor that can be fitted into light fixtures and elsewhere. The sensor can track motion, power usage, ambient light and


temperature, and act as a Bluetooth beacon. Apart from the obvious benefit of saving energy, occupancy monitoring provides plenty more. If every light in your building had sensors, the data captured could help building managers make smarter decisions. Data from motion can show how often a space is used, typical pathways through the building, and how the ambient light and temperature changes throughout the day. It helps make an intelligent building more intelligent. How else can lighting technology such as Enlighted and a BAS be leveraged?

ASSET TRACKING Beacon technology can help track the way objects or people move within a space. In settings such as hospitals, nursing staff can spend a big part of their day trying to locate medical equipment; this can be significantly

LIGHTING reduced by use of Bluetooth transceivers embedded in the lighting controls, which enables the type and location of the assets to be tracked, so staff can be directed to the nearest required item.

COVID SOLUTIONS There are multiple use cases for smart-enabled lighting amidst the current pandemic. This type of technology can enable people get in and out of the building in a contactless way, help analyze patterns of movement, and show areas of congestion or paths frequently used. It could also enable contact tracing to track people anonymously. If someone who uses the building tests positive, the system can track back all the people the infected person was in contact with and then send them alerts to inform them of the potential risk so that they can be tested.

BUILDING MAINTENANCE Being able to track occupancy can save money on cleaning services. Instead of cleaning every desk at a set time, data collected from your lights could inform your janitorial staff of what desks or areas needed to be cleaned. This can be applied to restrooms as well; sending alerts to clean after a certain number of uses rather than according to a set-schedule.

OCCUPANT COMFORT Measuring, and improving control of various aspects of our indoor environments for the well-being of a building’s occupants is becoming a greater priority for building operators.

Occupant comfort is concerned with temperature, humidity, air quality, natural lighting, and during pandemic times, safety. Lighting controls that can detect temperature and ambient light levels can help create a more comfortable environment while also adjusting to circadian rhythms for a more biophilic environment (one that mimics nature). As noted earlier, these sensors can also help inform occupants about the activity around them so they can stay safely social distanced or know if they’ve been in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

BETTER INTEGRATION GIVES OPERATIONAL AND ENERGY-SAVING ADVANTAGES As with all the other building services installed in buildings, historically lighting and its control has been handled as separate contractual package in a “siloed” way, with little thought given to how it can integrate with other systems in the building. Even today many of the lighting control systems supplied for large commercial projects are quite proprietary but do at least now use a standard luminaire level protocol called DALI, and offer open standard protocol interface to the BMS; typically, BACnet IP. However, use of a single point interface between systems can create a bottleneck, and increases integration cost. In the case of lighting control there can be latency issues (a perceived delay between triggering an event, such as pushing a light switch, and the desired action happening). An alternative approach is to

integrate lighting control with HVAC at room level, such as is offered by Siemens DXR or Distech Eclypse controllers. This approach offers many advantages and avoids the single system gateway. Some lighting controls suppliers do offer more flexible integration options; in the case of Enlighted, their products support REST-based APIs that support GET, POST requests and XML, JSON responses as well as a BACnet integration. The value in tightly integrating lighting control is that the data provided by the PIR occupancy sensors and BLE beacons that are now almost standard on the smarter systems can then be used by the other building systems to inform their behaviour, with both operational and energy saving benefits.

BEYOND LIGHTING It would be a mistake to view lighting as purely a refurbishment project where lights are exchanged for more efficient LED ones. IoT sensors can deliver so much more. The future of lighting is more than automation, it’s expanding the role of the light fixture to be used as a means of communicating and collecting data. By leveraging light infrastructure and combining it with a powerful BAS, your building can become even more smart enabled, and your lights can bring more perception to the space within. In the future, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity will enable adaption of lighting to limitless applications and data capture requirements.

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GenComm, the Belfast Metropolitan College led European hydrogen project has welcomed the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric vehicle bus trials.


he Bus will be operated on different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December, albeit carrying limited passengers due to the current Covid restrictions. The zero emissions Caetano ‘H2. CityGold’ pre-production bus will run on green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland Ltd using renewable electricity and water. The fuel cell electric bus is refuelled in minutes, similar to a conventional bus and its electric motive power is obtained when the Hydrogen molecules from its fuel are combined with Oxygen molecules from the air in the Fuel Cell. At the launch of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus on the road, Hydrogen Mobility Ireland Chairman Mark Teevan (Toyota Ireland) said “This should be viewed as an important event, not because it’s the first H2 bus on the road; but because it is a first step into the future for Ireland, enabling us to begin to envisage the practical solutions that will allow us to fully decarbonise road transport. We are all very conscious of the Environmental challenge we face in meeting our 2030 targets and the need to find zeroemissions solutions that will satisfy the varying needs of different users; public transport, haulage, van delivery, taxi or private car. FCEV’s are Electric


Vehicles, providing specific benefits that include very quick refuelling, long range, and a particular suitability for heavy and long-distance requirements. We are delighted that Dublin has been selected to host the very first trial of the Caetano RHD prototype fuel cell bus. “ CaetanoBus, part of the Salvador Caetano Group and Mitsui & Co, is the most important manufacturer of buses and coaches in Portugal. In 2019, the Company presented its latest development, the H2.City Gold – the new hydrogen-powered Caetano electric bus. In the beginning of this year Caetano started its commercialisation phase and, in the 2nd, quarter-initiated fuel cell bus production plans. The trial will allow the partners to test this technology in everyday driving conditions and at a challenging time of the year in terms of weather, thereby gaining valuable information about the potential for large scale introduction of this technology in Ireland. DCU/CIE also intend to obtain insights and feedback from passengers on the bus. This weeks news will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority trial involving a number of Double Decker FCEV buses while in Northern Ireland HMI Member and GenComm partner Energia will shortly commence the


production of H2 for road transport at a windfarm in Co. Antrim which will be used as fuel for FCEV buses in Belfast. The increasing rate of developments is a visible confirmation that hydrogen for road transport is beginning to move into the delivery phase. Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, said: “I am delighted to welcome this Low Emission Trial of a H2.City Gold hydrogen fuel cell electric bus, with the assistance of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and CaetanoBus. The trial will provide us with real world insight into the operation, refuelling and environmental impact of this innovative technology as well as enabling comparisons with the previously tested bus technologies. Moving our urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities. Under the Government’s National Development Plan, Ireland has committed to stop buying dieselonly urban buses and to transition to lower-emission alternatives.”


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Corporate membership of the Public Sector Sustainability Association is available to any private sector organisation wishing to reach committed and influencial sustainability professionals in Government, Local Authorities, NHS, Education and Housing Associations. MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS • • • • • • • •

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