Reinventing Energy: Advancing Renewables & Smarter Energy With Machine Intelligence

By 2020, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar will be cheap and easy to manage. Technological advances, environmental concerns and political backing will drive their adoption around the world.

Renewable energy is entering a virtuous circle, with rising investment (over £15.2bn in the UK last year alone) and greater deployment bringing down costs. There is no better evidence of that than the Paris Agreement clinched in December.

Fossil fuels, in contrast, appear locked in a downward spiral, in which financial and political misfortune feed off each other.

Against this backdrop of rapid change and innovation across the energy landscape, New Scientist and RE•WORK are hosting a 1 day Reinventing Energy Summit on 25 November, with over 200 attendees coming together to discover rapidly advancing technologies impacting energy from thought leaders in the field.

 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Neal Coady, Head of Innovation, British Gas
  • Manish Naik, Senior Technology Associate, BP
  • Sara Bell, CEO & Founder, Tempus Energy
  • Arthur Kay, CEO, bio-bean
  • Andrew Haslett, Chief Engineer, Energy Technologies Institute
  • Molly Webb, Founder, Energy Unlocked
  • Simon Roberts, Chief Executive, Centre for Sustainable Energy
  • Howard Porter, CEO, BEAMA

The event is a unique opportunity to meet the business leaders, data scientists, engineers, government and entrepreneurs progressing renewable energy generation and integration all in the same room.

Companies attending include: National Grid, Centrica, Imperial College London, Mercuria, BBC, Enzen, Open Energi, Ofgem and T&M Services.

Agenda topics will include:

  • Machine Learning
  • Internet of Things
  • Smart Energy Storage
  • Smart Grid
  • Next-Generation Battery Storage
  • Renewables
  • Computational Sustainability
  • Intelligent Automated Systems

View the full schedule here.

As IEA executive director Fatih Birol put it, on the eve of the Paris climate talks:

There should be no energy company in the world who would believe that climate policies will not affect their businesses. If any company believes that climate policies are [just] the issue of the NGOs and think tanks, they are making a grave mistake.

If the last five years saw rapid change, the next five hold even more radical changes in store which is why the Reinventing Energy Summit is a must attend date in any energy customer’s diary.

 

Tickets & Registration

For further information and to register.

Wholesale Prices rocket again

Oil is up by 1.57% this morning, along with Gas Front Month offers up 3.019% this morning also.

Electricity Front Month offers closed yesterday at 54.57 £/MWh – its highest level since 06/12/2013.

We have already received notification of 2 supplier pricebooks being withdrawn today so please be aware that other suppliers may follow although we have received no definitive confirmation.

 

Brexit and Carbon Energy

Brexit and Carbon Energy

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has caused a ripple of uncertainty across the globe. One area that could see a big shakeup is the UK’s position on carbon energy. Legal news site Lexology states that the UK was considered one of the more ambitious proponents of energy regulation, but that its role in energy policy has diminished worldwide after the vote. This is due to the potential renegotiation of treaties and ties with Europe concerning climate change. Yet there are positive outlooks for the renewable energy industry with the price of coal and gas falling.

Brexit

Despite the decision to leave the European Union taking place on June 23, the UK still hasn’t formally started the negotiations. Prominent investing experts FXCM suggest in their post ‘Will a Brexit Actually Happen?’ that there are questions over whether the result of the vote was binding and if it will actually be implemented. This has caused concern and confusion across the markets. The energy sector is facing years of uncertainly as the carbon market battles with falling prices.

Power

Business and market news site Bloomberg writes that there is a financial incentive for a shift away from fossil fuels due to the falling prices. It states that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has robbed the fossil fuel market of one of its biggest supporters forcing prices down after an 80% slide since 2011. The article goes on to state that the UK should follow Denmark and the Netherlands’s wind farm policy, with the government taking more control choosing locations. This would cut risks for investors in the UK who have to seek permits and fight against rival bids.

wind farms

Many experts hope that Brexit will lead to a rethink in UK carbon pricing. The Energy Collective writes that the UK played a large role in establishing the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which is the EU’s flagship climate policy. The UK has been a leading voice in tightening the cap on carbon trading and prices. Brexit has made the UK’s role in this policy uncertain and there is a strong possibility that the UK will withdraw. The site hopes that if the UK does change its carbon-pricing policy it will establish its own carbon-pricing scheme. This would allow tax from carbon energies to flow to low carbon investments rather than to the EU-ETS.

Unfortunately given the current political climate and a worldwide move to the right there might be very little political will to move toward carbon reducing polices. News site Salon believe that the historic Paris December treaty could be threatened by Brexit. Europe, as a union that included the UK, ratified the treaty and now that the UK is out it this that could potentially “kick the EU ratification of the Paris Agreement into the long grass.” Like all industries the energy sector is going to have to wait and find out the ultimate result of the EU result. At the moment the industry is on a knife-edge between leaning towards renewable energy or towards an increase in carbon energy.

Companies get paid to use electricity this summer

A dozen British firms will be paid to use power under a scheme National Grid will start next month intended at balancing the system in summer, when production is high from green energy sources such as wind and solar.

National Grid declared 12 companies have obtained contracts for the Demand Turn Up scheme which will operate from May until September. Under the scheme, companies will run several operations at night or at midday when there is a lot of electricity production from wind farms and solar power plants.

As a part of the tender, firms were demanded to demonstrate they need to complete such operations and that the electricity would not be unexploited. The scheme was also open to small scale power generators that can also cut their output at short notice, such as combined heat and power units, which produce electricity as a by-product of heating.

The firms will be paid 1.5 pounds per megawatt hour (MWh) for taking part in the scheme. They will be paid an extra 60-75 pounds/MWh if called upon to perform. British spot power prices presently trade approximately 37 pounds/MWh.

In 2014 National Grid paid 10 million pounds ($14.43 million) to wind power producers to halt output when electricity demand was low to guarantee the system was not oversupplied. National Grid predicts electricity demand will attain a record low this summer. Meanwhile green electricity production Britain is increasing. It represented a record 25 percent of the nation’s generation in 2015.

Budget 2016 – £730 for Offshore Wind

£730m support for offshore wind and other less established renewable technologies this parliament.

Government will auction Contracts for Difference of up to £730 million this Parliament for up to 4 GW of offshore wind and other less established renewables, with a first auction of £290 million. Support for offshore wind will be capped initially at £105/MWh (in 2011-12 prices), falling to £85/MWh for projects commissioning by 2026.

Budget 2016 – Carbon Price Freeze

  • One year extension of the Carbon Price Support freeze with further details on the Carbon Price Floor to be announced at the Autumn Statement in 2016.

As previously announced, the government will continue to cap Carbon Price Support (CPS) rates at £18/tCO2 to 2019-20. For 2020-21, the cap will be maintained in real terms and set at £18/tCO2 plus RPI.

– An additional 9GW of electricity interconnection and full Government support for the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on energy.

– £50 million allocated for innovation in energy storage, demand-side response and other smart technologies over the next 5 years Budget 2016.

– Ofgem will consult on opening up the £100 million Network Innovation Competition to better enable innovation by non-licensed companies from 2017.

– the government has increased its ambition for greater electricity interconnection by 80%, now supporting at least an additional 9GW of interconnection.

Budget 2016 – CRC Changes

Reform of the business energy efficiency tax landscape and plans to consult in 2016 on a simplified energy and carbon reporting framework for introduction by April 2019.

Abolish the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme with effect from the end of the 2018-19 compliance year. Businesses will be required to surrender allowances for the final time in October 2019. Increase the main rates of Climate Change Levy (CCL) from 1 April 2019, to cover the cost of CRC abolition in a fiscally-neutral reform and incentivise energy efficiency in CCL-paying businesses.

Energy Solutions’ Nick Grogan features in 2016 energy predictions article

Energy Solutions was recently asked to feature in an article by McGinley Support Services, who are recruitment experts in the energy industry. The article Energy 2016: predictions for the industry rounds up what has happened in the energy industry so far in 2015 and looks to 2016 with opinions from industry experts.

Energy Solutions’ Nick Grogan was asked to contribute to the piece, appearing alongside representatives from NIA UK, the Nuclear AMRC, McGinley and more. Nick provided a summary of what he thinks the energy industry will be characterised by in 2016. From his perspective as a broker, he discussed what businesses looking to save money need to consider in 2016.

2015 saw a big year of change in the energy industry, with energy production heavily leaning towards renewables and away from UK dependency on imports. Plans by the government show that the future they envision will involve support for fracking and nuclear, with renewable energy ready to “stand on its own two feet” according to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd. Nick predicts that the new government focus away from renewables and towards gas won’t change much in 2016 in terms of production, but will have an effect in later years.

Nick’s full quote reads, “Energy producers will face many challenges in 2016. The ever-increasing supply of Green energy from solar, wind and tidal sources will mean that the utilisation rates for traditional coal and natural gas power plants will fall; driving up the average cost of generation. This means that many natural gas-fired power plants will not be able to operate profitably despite their high efficiency. This, combined with the potential volatility of gas prices, suggests continued hard times in the traditional generation sector.

“For businesses looking to save money in 2016, the continued pressure of rising electricity prices driven by green levies and the increasing cost of network upgrades means that energy efficiency remains at the top of many facilities managers’ agendas. We are also expecting the use of demand management to increase further, especially among mid-market clients. Any 2016 renewals should be looked at early in the year for the best prices.”

Ukraine costing UK businesses thousands

With the tensions between Russia and Ukraine are at an all-time high and currently there are no signs of a solution, certainly not in the immediate future. All news sources are pointing towards war, only this morning the BBC have said that Ukraine troops have entered Kramatorsk ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27045534 ) with Putin warning that Ukraine is ‘on the verge of civil war’.

How does this affect British businesses? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26987082 Unpaid gas gills by the Ukraine have meant that Russia has threatened to shut off the gas supply to the Ukraine. Much of the EU gas supply is pumped through the Ukraine and therefore we could see a knock on affect Western Europe (currently 1/3 of the EU gets gas from Russia, and 50% of this is via Ukraine).  While we do not rely on Russian gas through the Ukraine, the sudden drop in supply to other countries will results in added pressure on alternative gas sources, in short, supply has dropped but demand is just as high – suddenly we are looking at increased gas prices across the board. http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/04/15/dont-dismiss-putin-energy-threat-says-davey

We have seen prices jump over the course of the week by 0.2p per kw/h, for a 1 gig site this equated to £2000 extra for the customer.