Category Archives: Energy News

Getting Smart Energy Technology Into Homes And Businesses

As part of the Industrial Strategy the Government and Ofgem set out plans to upgrade the energy system, putting consumers in control.  Here is the plans for smart energy :-

A plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use and support innovative new technologies, as part of the Industrial Strategy, was set out by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark today (24 July 2017).

The innovative plan will transform how homes and businesses store and use energy. It will deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system by removing barriers to smart and battery technology, reducing costs for consumers. The report, ‘Upgrading our energy system’ describes how the UK energy system is changing and how it can ensure economic benefits for businesses and households. Over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is being generated through renewables such as wind and solar, much of it located close to homes and businesses. New technologies that help store and manage energy are emerging and the costs are falling.

These changes provide an opportunity to create new businesses and jobs in the UK. At the same time new smart technologies like smart meters – and appliances you can control from your mobile phone – along with other improvements to manage the energy system will help the country save up to £40 billion on energy costs over decades to come.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy. A smarter energy system will create opportunities to reduce energy costs, increase productivity and put UK businesses in a leading position to export smart energy technology and services to the rest of the world.

By rolling out smart meters, enabling suppliers to offer lower tariffs and making it easier for firms to develop smart appliances and gadgets, the plan will help consumers use energy when it is cheapest or get rewarded for returning it to the grid when it is needed.



The plan also recognises the role that energy storage can play in a smart energy grid and the opportunities presented by falling costs of battery technologies designed to store surplus energy. To allow industry to exploit these new technologies government and Ofgem have committed to removing barriers to the introduction of this technology into our power network.

Andrew Wright, Senior Partner, Energy Systems, Ofgem, said:

The way we are generating and using energy in Britain is changing rapidly. Today’s plan sets out how Ofgem, government and the industry will work together to modernise the energy system and make sure consumers get the benefits of the changes.

We want to open the door to new technologies and services so that they can help to reduce bills for consumers in the long term. It is vital that we get the changes in place as there is potential for a smarter system to save consumers billions between now and 2050.

The plan will also make it easier for new businesses to help customers that are interested in reducing, or increasing, their energy use at certain times, which can help balance the calls on the electricity network.

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the government has committed to modernising the UK’s energy system and developing a business environment where new entrants to the market can compete. This will also allow industry to develop innovative new products and services, creating thousands of jobs.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

Upgrading our energy systems is vital if we are to have clean, affordable and secure supply for the long-term and meet our targets for reducing carbon emissions.

This plan is a clear step forward, and was one of the 12 key infrastructure decisions we said needed to be made as a matter of urgency. I’m particularly pleased that many of the 29 points listed today directly follow recommendations in our Smart Power report.

Our study demonstrated the revolution our energy sector is going through, and the real benefits we can get from that in terms of greater efficiency, flexibility and value for money for customers. The measures announced today will lead to exciting innovations in the industry to help make that happen.

The full implementation of the plan to move to a smarter energy system alongside other changes could help save the country up to £40 billion over the coming decades, according to research conducted for BEIS by Imperial College and the Carbon Trust..

Case study

British company Moixa offers residential battery systems which can help manage energy demands across the electricity network, make better use of energy generated by rooftop solar panels, and enable suppliers to reward consumers who charge their batteries during periods of low demand, when prices are lower. These systems have been deployed in nearly 1,000 homes across the UK, and Moixa calculate that they could help consumers save up to 60% on their electricity bills.

Simon Daniel, CEO of Moixa Energy Holdings said:

Moixa welcomes this plan which recognises the central importance of energy storage in upgrading the UK Energy System – and the potential to save £40 billion off future customer bills. The regulatory improvements proposed and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will help storage providers like Moixa participate better in energy markets, and enable our Utility partners to deliver smart tariffs to customers. The actions will make the UK a global leader for new smart technologies and accelerate the transition to a cost-effective, resilient and low carbon energy system.

Pioneering Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Windfarm Gets Switched On

Burbo Bank Extension, a new offshore windfarm capable of meeting the electricity demand of well over 230,000 homes, has been officially opened at a ceremony in Liverpool.

The wind farm is a joint venture between DONG Energy (50%) and its partners PKA (25%) and KIRKBI A/S, parent company of the LEGO Group (25%). It is the first offshore wind farm in the world to make commercial use of the MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines.

Just one of these wind turbines produces more energy than the whole of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore windfarm constructed by DONG Energy 25 years ago in Denmark.

Henrik Poulsen, DONG Energy Chief Executive, said: “Burbo Bank Extension showcases the rapid innovation in the offshore wind industry. Less than ten years ago at Burbo Bank, we were the first to install Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines and in this short time, the wind turbines have more than doubled in capacity.

“Pushing innovation in this way reduces the cost of electricity from offshore wind and will help to advance the offshore wind industry across the world.

“The project has also helped to develop the UK supply chain. It is the first offshore windfarm to use UK manufactured blades and the order for transition pieces was the first for Teesside factory Offshore Structures Britain.”

Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKA CEO, said: “Since our first investment in an offshore windfarm in 2011, PKA has focused its strategy on investing in renewables and divesting from coal and oil companies. Today, PKA has invested in four offshore windfarms that provide renewable energy to around a million households. We are proud to be able to provide a good return to the pension savers and at the same time make a positive difference.”

Bali Padda, CEO of the LEGO Group, said: “We work to leave a positive impact on the planet and I am truly excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm. This development means we have now reached the 100% renewable energy milestone three years ahead of target. Together with our partners, we intend to continue investing in renewable energy to help create a better future for the builders of tomorrow.”

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said: “The offshore wind industry has a huge contribution to make to the growing UK-based supply chain, and utilising our renewable energy sources is vital to ensuring the Liverpool City Region cements its position as a low carbon leader. DONG Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension places Merseyside and Halton as home to the largest turbines in the world – and we have a strong maritime history which can support this industry.”

DONG Energy is building a new multi-million pound operations facility in Merseyside that will serve both Burbo Bank Extension, and the existing wind farm in the area, Burbo Bank. Up to 75 jobs will be created during the construction of the facility, while around 45 people will be permanently employed at the site once it is operational, later this year.

DONG Energy is currently operating 17 offshore wind farms across the UK, Germany and Denmark and was recently the world’s first developer to reach the installation of 1,000 offshore wind turbines.

Photo – Dong Energy

New Energy Reforms Come Into Force

Homes across Great Britain will get extra support to make their homes cheaper and easier to keep warm thanks to new government reforms.

  • energy suppliers to focus help on vulnerable households
  • part of plan to improve energy efficiency of 1 million homes by 2020

Homes across Great Britain will get extra support to make their homes cheaper and easier to keep warm thanks to government reforms that have come into forcce on 1 April 2017.

Changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will make sure energy companies give support to people struggling to meet their heating bills, with plans to extend the scheme from April 2017 to September 2018 also confirmed.

Consumer Minister, Margot James said:

The big energy firms already have to help households save gas and electricity bills, by improving homes so they are easier and cheaper to keep warm.

We’re strengthening this obligation today and making sure they prioritise low income households as part of our plan to insulate 1 million homes by 2020.

The reforms, which were consulted on last year, will simplify the scheme, with energy companies required to provide struggling households with energy efficiency measures to make their homes warmer and bring their bills down.

As well as an increased focus on low income and vulnerable homes, eligibility will be extended to social housing tenants in Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) bands E, F and G, and local authorities will also be able to help match people with energy suppliers.

Suppliers will also be required to install a minimum 21,000 solid wall insulations per year, up from the earlier proposal of 17,000.

There will be continuing protection for the delivery of energy efficiency measures in rural areas, with a requirement that 15% of suppliers’ Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation be delivered in these areas.

ECO has proved a very effective delivery mechanism with around 2.2 million measures installed in around 1.7 million properties between 2013 and the end of January 2017.

The energy companies obligated are:

  • British Gas
  • The Co-operative
  • EDF Energy
  • EON Energy
  • First Utility
  • npower
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish power
  • SSE
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Extra Energy
  • Spark Energy
  • Flow Energy
  • Economy Energy