Tag Archives: energy

myenergi awarded EcoVadis bronze medal for sustainability

Eco-smart home energy technology manufacturer myenergi has been awarded an EcoVadis bronze medal for its commitment to setting the standards in sustainable best practice. The prestigious accolade places the Stallingborough-based company within the top 35% of all companies assessed by the framework within the past 12 months.

EcoVadis is one of the world’s largest providers of business sustainability ratings, boasting a global network of more than 130,000 rated companies. Its certifications recognise and reward companies that go above and beyond to embrace sustainable practices.

The accreditation process requires businesses to submit documentation, examples and references for multiple sustainability proof points, with performance assessed against a bespoke methodology. myenergi scored well across each of the four performance themes analysed – environment; labour and human rights; ethics; and sustainable procurement.

Emma Brigginshaw, head of sustainability and ethics at myenergi, commented: “Being recognised by EcoVadis is a clear demonstration of our commitment to embracing sustainable best practice across the business. It affirms the robustness of our management systems and performance of our production processes.

“But while a positive endorsement of our work to date, this certification is just the start. As a leader in the design and manufacture of eco-smart home energy technologies, we’re committed to holding ourselves to account and really leading the way when it comes to setting the industry standards.

“We’re therefore already working hard in the background on numerous initiatives to further improve our environmental performance, each of which will be announced in due course. This bronze medal is a really valuable yardstick to fully understand where we’re already scoring highly, as Well as the areas that need additional focus moving forward.”

Best known for developing zappi, the world’s first solar-compatible electric vehicle charger, myenergi is a global leader in the home energy technology sector. The business manufactures a wide range of pioneering energy management devices, including the eddi power diverter and libbi battery storage system. Since its founding in 2016, the business has sold more than 600,000 units globally, while opening subsidiaries in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland along the way.

For more information about myenergi and its latest range of eco-smart home energy tech, visit www.myenergi.com.

250 new jobs created at Consumer Energy Solutions

SWANSEA-BASED energy efficiency firm Consumer Energy Solutions (CES) has recruited 250 new staff so far this year as it experiences growing demand for its products and services.

The recruitment drive follows the opening of two new offices in Swansea’s SA1 waterfront area at the end of 2023 as the company addresses those growing demands.

The fast-growing company now has a workforce of more than 700 people, supporting customers in energy-proofing their homes to reduce their carbon footprint, and ultimately, their energy bills.

The new hires span across various departments, including administration, customer service, finance, people services, heating, insulation, renewables and electrics.

Lewis John, Managing Director, Consumer Energy Solutions, said: “At CES, we are deeply committed to fostering economic growth and prosperity in the regions where we operate.

“Our investment in expanding our workforce underscores our belief in the potential of local talent and our commitment to providing meaningful employment opportunities.

“By nurturing a skilled and diverse team, of which we have massive ambitions to grow even further, we not only strengthen our ability to deliver exceptional service to our customers but also contribute to the vitality of the communities we serve.

“We firmly believe that by investing in people, we can drive positive change and make a lasting impact on both the environment and the economy.”

Established in 2016, Consumer Energy Solutions (CES) delivers money-saving energy efficiency improvements to homes across South Wales and the South West.

 

Current Consumer Energy Solutions career opportunities can be found here: https://careers.consumerenergysolutions.co.uk/

For more information, visit: https://www.consumerenergysolutions.co.uk/ 

 

Consumers need better protection against the cost of environmental regulations, say researchers

Tighter environmental regulations can boost industry profits and drive up costs for consumers, finds research from Aalto University School of Business.

Professor of Practice Iivo Vehviläinen at Aalto analysed data on 129 million bids in the Nordic electricity market to reveal the market impact of regulations that protect the biodiversity of river ecosystems but also reduce Finland’s capacity for generating hydropower electricity.

Meeting the EU Biodiversity Strategy target of restoring 25,000km of rivers to a free-flowing state by 2030 would mean closing at most 56 MW of hydropower generation in Finland, he says.

He calculates the cost of removing hydropower dams would lead to €62 million in welfare losses over time, not accounting for environmental benefits, while electricity market price rises would increase revenue for other electricity producers by €318 million over time.

This leaves much of the cost of implementing environmental protection regulations currently at the door of consumers.

This is because, in a competitive market, if consumer demand remains static despite price changes, tighter regulations will raise prices so industry profits increase and consumers end up paying for lost production and additional industry gains, says Vehviläinen.

The findings suggest that instead of lobbying against environmental regulation, agreeing to industry-wide implementation could be beneficial for both corporations and biodiversity.

However, regulators and policymakers should consider how to balance the costs and benefits of improving the ecological status of rivers between consumers and producers before introducing such policies.

“Higher prices may reduce political acceptance of regulations and have equity implications if the economic burden is higher for low-income households. This is especially true for electricity and other necessity goods that face multiple pressures from climate change mitigation to biodiversity protection and to other policy areas,” says Vehviläinen.

This research was published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Duckhams celebrates 125 years of winning

The original British motor oil, Duckhams, celebrates its remarkable 125th anniversary in 2024. Founded in 1899 by the visionary Alexander Duckham, his enduring legacy, marked by a relentless winning spirit, has captivated engineers and enthusiasts for 125 years. Deeply rooted in the pioneering spirit of its founder, Duckhams exemplifies British ingenuity on a global scale—a legacy that continues to guide the brand today.

Duckhams has been inseparable from the very essence of engine oil throughout the 20th century. Breaking boundaries in the skies and on the ground, in 1909, Alexander Duckham achieved the first powered cross-Channel flight alongside Louis Blériot. In 1949, Duckhams powered Goldie Gardner’s MG to break the world land speed record.

In 1933, Duckhams introduced the industry’s first Synchromesh Gearbox oil, and in 1951, Duckhams launched the first multi-grade oil—the iconic green Q 20W-50, which transformed lubrication technology.

From conquering the British Motorcycle Championship in 1955 to recent triumphs at the OR BRIC Superbikes Championship in Thailand and the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain in 2023, Duckhams continues to earn accolades in motorsports, showcasing the pioneering spirit that defines the brand.

Duckhams’ new Global CEO, Mike Bewsey, said, “As we celebrate our illustrious history, our commitment to advancing our groundbreaking legacy remains unwavering. Since the brand’s successful relaunch in 2018, Duckhams has received strong support from distributors and partners across the UK and developed its global network, with products now available in twenty-seven countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Together with our partners, we’ll continue to lead with innovation and victories for the next 125 years.”

Businesses urged to revisit energy options amid Red Sea conflict

Following a spate of attacks impacting shipping routes in the Red Sea, commercial energy and sustainability consultancy Advantage Utilities has urged businesses to revisit other energy options in light of additional costs and delays. 

With freight companies sailing around Africa to avoid turmoil throughout the region, businesses should explore their energy options including optimisation technology to reduce energy consumption, and also consider flexible procurement methods or longer term energy contracts. These can minimise exposure to surges in wholesale energy price and increase sustainability where consumption is reduced via more efficient practices and equipment.

Last month, wholesale markets experienced a sizeable price jump in the price of oil and gas, following attacks orchestrated by the Houthis. Q1-24 gas recently jumped by 13% at one point, whilst Brent Crude rose by nearly 5%.

Advantage Utilities CEO Andrew Grover, cautioned that further price increases may still occur in the current bearish energy market, stating: “Should the ongoing conflict escalate further, the negative bearing on world energy prices could be significant. Disruption lasting for two more weeks could increase prices further. This is at the forefront of our outlook as we head into 2024. Businesses should consider how they would react if further disruption does occur, and exploring the benefit of securing longer term or flexible traded contracts should be considered as a means of mitigating further volatility in future.”

In addition to disruption in the Red Sea, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to be a source of uncertainty for energy markets. Following recent escalation in December, the effect on markets would ordinarily have been one of shock. But with much of Europe already using alternative provisions, the impact of the conflict has been somewhat limited, with above-average EU gas stock fullness cushioning potential price increases.

However, uncertainty remains an ongoing issue for markets, with the unpredictable developments in several conflicts continuing to cause spikes in wholesale energy market prices.

“To mitigate ongoing uncertainty, businesses can better prepare for unforeseen wholesale price increases by exploring options including voltage optimisation, energy efficient equipment and heat pumps. This is in addition to onsite generation and flexible procurement methods and, where appropriate, through longer term energy contracts,” Grover adds.

Further guidance on energy developments and solutions can be found within Advantage Utilities’ most recent report here.

For more information on Advantage Utilities, visit www.advantageutilities.com

Scaffolding company opens new US and Asia bases following significant growth and investment

A GLOBALLY RENOWNED scaffolding company opened a new US base and secured contracts on the country’s first two offshore windfarm sub-stations.

BGB Renewables and BGB New Energy Taiwan – part of the larger BGB Scaffolding Group based in Chester and Port of Mostyn, Flintshire – added Providence in Rhode Island and Taichung City in Taiwan to its growing list of international sites.

Now employing up to 100 staff, last year saw them start on the construction phase of the first two offshore substations in the USA, as well as completing the construction phase of the first large scale far shore offshore windfarm in Taiwan and the world’s largest operational single wind farm, Ørsted’s Hornsea 2, which helps to power more than 1.4 million homes in the UK.

They secured contracts and framework agreements which will enable the planned growth and development of the business for the foreseeable future.

Managing Director Ben Badham says a focus on developing apprentices in partnership with education providers is pivotal to them moving forward, giving young men and women in the region an opportunity to learn key skills while working on the international stage.

Having also trained scaffolders in America – upskilling local labour and supporting the economy – he is keen to continue giving back to communities while providing employment opportunities in Wales and eventually Taiwan and beyond.

As BGB’s partnership with multi-national renewable energy giant Ørsted goes from strength to strength, Ben says the firm’s position as a leader in the global green revolution will help the UK Government achieve its pledge for 30% of green electricity to be provided via offshore energy by 2030.

“Our growth, both in the UK and overseas is in line with government targets and reflects our commitment to training the next generation of multi-disciplined technicians – particularly for offshore renewable energy contracts – and upskilling local workers while improving infrastructure in the areas we are based in,” he added.

“America is a notable area of expansion for us, and we are delighted to be involved with the Vineyard and Ørsted’s South Fork commercial-scale offshore wind farms, the first two to be constructed there.”

A multi-disciplinary operation, Ben’s plans for the business to double in size has come to fruition over the last 18 months.

But paramount to him is not profits, it’s giving apprentices a platform to make their way in the sector.

“We have young lads who started out with us in North Wales now working in Taiwan and the US on major offshore energy schemes,” he said.

“That’s something we want to capitalise on, and we would like to see more females in the industry, so an academy-style further education qualification or training programme is something we are exploring.

“Business is busier than ever, and the world is heading towards cleaner energy as countries target net zero and work to lower their carbon footprints, so we are seeing an increase in the number of offshore wind farms across Europe and further afield.”

BGB Project Manager Charmaine Papasarafi added: “There are opportunities out there and we are committed to working with our partners to offer a range of high-quality, highly safe services that support the development of long-term infrastructure of the Clean Energy Industry in the US and Taiwan – where we are delighted to now be based – and worldwide.”

One of those to benefit from the culture of training and development at BGB was Jamie Hargrave, who, like Ben, hails from Rhyl.

Jamie has already spent five years with the organisation and believes “anything is possible” if you have the support behind you.

He said: “My time at BGB has been great, there are endless possibilities, and they really push you and help you to achieve your goals.

“I started on an apprenticeship scheme before moving on to Part 2 of a Scaffolding qualification, in addition to Global Wind Organisation (GWO) courses.

“For more than two years I’ve been based in Taiwan, an amazing experience which demonstrated that if you show commitment to your profession BGB will show their commitment to you and train and develop your skillset.

“I would definitely encourage others to look at opportunities with the company, because you won’t regret it.”

For information and support on offshore, marine, bridges or land-based projects, email info@bgbscaffolding.co.uk. Alternatively, visit the website www.bgbscaffolding.co.uk or call 01745 339755.

PTC’s technology plays key role in Nuclear Fusion breakthrough

One of the UK’s leading digital transformation experts has played a key role in the recent Nuclear Fusion reaction breakthrough that generated more energy than it consumed.

PTC, which has its technical and sales office in Reading, has announced that its Creo® computer-aided design (CAD) and Windchill® product lifecycle management (PLM) technology was used by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) throughout the development of the National Ignition Facility (NIF).

With more than 3.5 million components, comprised of 750,000 unique part designs, the highly engineered NIF “system of systems” machine is believed to be the largest Creo and Windchill assembly ever created and perhaps the largest assembly ever modelled in 3D CAD.

“The NIF represents an incredible feat of engineering, whose breakthrough could ultimately transform access to clean energy,” said Jim Heppelmann, President and CEO of PTC.

“We are thankful for the collaborative relationship we have enjoyed over the years with LLNL and the United States Department of Energy (DOE) more broadly. The use of PTC software solutions throughout the project’s development demonstrates the tremendous power of our technology.”

PTC has been supporting the NIF engineering team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a close partner for over 25 years, starting with its Pro/ENGINEER® CAD software (now known as Creo) and then adding Windchill to the solution as its data management needs grew and grew.

Over the years, the company’s product teams have had many collaborative discussions with the LLNL and broader DOE representatives, who have always challenged it to push the envelope for what its software must do in the advanced projects it is used in.

This included major advancements in 3D visualization technology that have subsequently gone on to be incorporated into the wider PTC suite of solutions.

Jim concluded: “Our goal is to enable our customers to make their existing products more sustainable and, of course, to enable them to design and manufacture new innovations that drive the clean energy revolution, ranging from solar panels to the National Ignition Facility.”

Pioneering AceOn scale up for global success

The boss of leading renewable energy and battery specialist AceOn says the company is ready to grow so that it can expand its customer base across the UK and around the world.

Mark Thompson, managing director of Telford-based AceOn Group, is taking part in a special Innovate UK Scale Up programme to position the company for growth as it continues to develop new products and patented solutions to respond to the climate crisis and the growing need for energy storage and non-diesel portable generators.

Mark says AceOn is fiercely proud of its role developing and manufacturing environmentally-responsible and sustainable products in the UK, establishing a solid supply chain from which goods are then exported across the globe.

With a particular interest in growing its portfolio of innovative Intellectual Property (IP), the company is currently working with battery cell manufacturer AMTE Power to develop ground-breaking Sodium ion batteries, which are more cost effective, safer and sustainable than lithium cells for renewable energy storage applications.  AceOn is also leading research into developing second life solutions for used electric car batteries and accelerating development work on a portable solar energy storage system already being trialled in Africa.

AceOn is also pioneering commercial and domestic renewable energy storage systems and is a UK leader in helping train installers and technicians in new solar and battery technologies.

“For the last year I have been part of a peer-to-peer networking group organised by the ScaleUp Institute which helps its members to grow their businesses through shared learning, networking and access to experts and inspirational speakers,” says Mark.

“It has been a terrific experience. I’ve been able to share my own experiences of running a rapidly growing operation, and from working with the group, we now have a wealth of ideas for how we can further grow AceOn over the coming years and accelerate the take up of the sustainable, renewable technology and the circular economy, which will be the only way this planet survives the climate challenge. 

“We are now developing the solutions and technology to help drive the changes we all need to make to reach Net Zero. One example of this in action is our campaign to encourage businesses to ‘dump the diesel’ by switching to our clean and green battery-powered off-grid products to power machines and equipment. This is putting us on the mainstage in the UK, but it’s now giving us export opportunities to share our vision with markets around the world.” 

Mark, who was appointed an Export Champion by the Department for International Trade earlier this year, said the UK brand was still highly sought after around the globe. 

“We know that technology developed and manufactured in the UK has a reputation for excellence all over the world and we want to play our part in this country’s economic future by exporting to all four corners of the globe.” 

John Morris, peer-to-peer ecosystem executive at the ScaleUp Institute, praised Mark for his input into the group. 

“I chair a peer group in the Midlands as part of Innovate UK EDGE’s commitment to help some of the UK’s most innovative, dynamic and international business address the issues, as well as opportunities, that come with fast growth. 

“Mark has been an integral and enthusiastic member of this group for the past 18 months, bringing a level of insight and energy that is valued by everyone involved. 

“Peer groups help people like Mark, and businesses like AceOn, get access to fresh perspectives from those from diverse industries, backgrounds and with different ways of looking at challenges and opportunities. The curation of new ideas and best practice that result from this enables bold and ambitious leaders like Mark to build and scale businesses we can all be proud of.” 

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and co-founded AceOn in 2010. He is a member of the UK Government’s national Faraday Battery Challenge Advisory Board and in 2012 was a winner of the UKTi Growth for Export competition when he designed and brought to market the world’s first four-pin AC solar generator with iPod sound system.  

AceOn has just enjoyed its most successful trading year to date. The company exports to several countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and has recently started talks with companies in South America and South Korea.

Electronics Firm Continues to Lead the Way In Renewable Energy

Renewable energy specialists Powerguard are continuing to lead the charge in the renewable energy stakes, which is now an increasingly important factor in a time of rising energy demand and skyrocketing costs.

The company specialises in the design and manufacture of state of the art power generation and management systems. To combat rising energy prices, the business develops solutions that offer cost-effective energy production, with products such as battery packs, solar panels, turbines and energy-efficient generators, all coming together in one system to create economical energy supplies.

Many Powerguard customers live off-grid, and either don’t have the means or the capital to be hooked up to the National Grid, and were generating power to their home using an older spec generator.

This was the case with one of Powerguard’s most recent customers Mark Freeman, who runs High House Farm in Cumbria. “We looked at connecting to the mains grid, but it was far too expensive with all the specifics we needed for such a large plot,” explains Mark.

Much of the surrounding land has been farmed for generations, and mains electricity is not widespread in much of the area, due to the expense and the terrain.

After discovering mains power was just too expensive, after being quoted upwards of £200,000, Mark sought alternative means to produce the power he needed.

Powerguard director Graham Chapman spoke to Mark and recommended an efficient diesel generator, battery bank and a solar panel system, the panels of which could be fitted to the stable block to make the most of the South/North facing sunlight.

Graham Chapman of Powerguard explains, “Mark specified that he had a blank canvas to work with in terms of infrastructure, and we recommended solar panels because of the large amount of space he had available to work with on the stable block, which also happened to be a fantastic spot for sun exposure for most of the day.”

“High House Farm now has an incredibly efficient Powerguard System 3 with 24 PV solar panels fitted to the stable block.”

Europe set to ration energy supplies this winter – The Smart Cube comments

Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia supplied gas to Europe at 100 per cent capacity, supporting around 40 per cent of the European natural imports. Following the start of the war, Russia reduced its gas supply – via its Nord Stream 1 pipeline – to Europe, accounting for only nine per cent of European natural gas imports. This has resulted in severe gas shortages across Europe, leading to high prices in the region.

With gas and electricity prices hitting all-time highs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments in Europe are likely to ration energy supplies for this winter and future ones. In fact, earlier this month, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU commission, called for cuts to electricity use across the bloc and windfall taxes on energy firms in order to tackle high prices.

What’s more, European governments have already begun to call for an increase in domestic production and decrease in consumption of natural gas. In September 2022, the German government extended the life of two of its remaining nuclear power plants – which were planned to be shut down by the end of 2022 – until April 2023. Elsewhere, the Netherlands has removed production caps from all coal-fired power plants, while in Norway, the government approved plans to increase gas production in six offshore natural gas fields to raise the country’s output.

Himanshu Bajaj, energy procurement specialist at The Smart Cube, comments on how companies can proactively take steps to mitigate soaring energy prices, as well as how they can prevent supply chain disruptions during such macroeconomic events:

“A multipronged strategy to address supply chain disruptions is the need of the hour. Firstly, it is vital for firms to map their suppliers on a tiered basis, so they can get a clear picture of critical raw materials that are at risk. Businesses must also evaluate the health of suppliers, both from a financial and supply stability perspective.

“As well as this, firms should engage in renewable energy agreements. As energy prices continue to rise, these agreements will become more attractive. For example, corporate solar power purchase agreements have already proven effective in providing savings, budget certainty and energy independence.

“Companies must also consider reducing their energy consumption during such periods of time. This can be achieved through locating energy efficiency levers to reduce consumption through LEDs, VFDs, HVAC, or other facility-related upgrades. As a result of this, energy consumption will decrease, reducing overall costs.

“Finally, businesses should also continuously monitor the situation as it develops, keeping across the restrictions being implemented and the impact that Europe’s rationing plans and other geopolitical events are having on supply chains.”