Jaguar Land Rover installs ‘largest’ workplace EV charging centre

Image: Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has partnered with Shell-owned EV charging operator NewMotion to install 166 smart charge points at one of its sites.

The chargers have been installed at Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon Engineering Centre, with the network being billed as the largest of its kind in the UK.

The 7kW chargers were supplied by NewMotion and are integrated with NewMotion’s public network, allowing JLR employees to charge at any of the operator’s 100,000 charge points across Europe with a single card.

Charge points will also be installed in the visitor’s car park, with further chargers be installed at other UK sites in the future.

Jaguar Land Rover sources 100% renewable energy for its UK facilities, with the charge points providing a “carbon-free” commute to their employees.

Mick Cameron, head of e-Mobility at JLR, said that he hopes the charge points will encourage employees to switch to electric vehicles, with every new Jaguar and Land Rover model line to be electrified from 2020.

The 2025 Gas Heating Ban. What you need to know…

It’s official; every new build property from 2025 will be banned from installing Gas powered heating systems. MP Philip Hammond has pointed towards Heat Pumps and ‘world leading insulation’ as the solution to fill the gap left by Gas systems and, as you can imagine, Freedom Heat Pumps are over the moon.

So why has Philip Hammond pointed to this technology? And what was the catalyst that finally led to a deadline for Gas systems?

Why Air Source Heat Pumps?

The answer here is simple; they are the greenest way of providing heating for your home. An Air Source Heat Pump literally uses fresh air and inverts it to make heat for your home. When coupled with well insulated and designed properties it provides the most cost-efficient and green energy solution available.

Freedom have over 50 years combined experience in the sector and are constantly pushing boundaries with their service:

Why the deadline for Gas Systems?

Pressure has been building on the government to act quickly for climate change. Recently children have been protesting, Greenpeace have added further pressure by releasing several petitions and highlighting “Issues like the shoddy state of our existing housing stock.” Mel Evans, Greenpeace. All in all climate change, together with the use of single-use plastics has monopolised the green agenda for a number of groups including Greenpeace.

If you would like more information on how you can become an Infinity Air Source Heat Pump customer or anything to do with our green technology, the Renewable Heat Incentive or our bespoke Heat Loss Calculator then please contact us.

When Will Fossil Fuels Run Out?

When Will Fossil Fuels Run Out?

When it comes to environmental health and doing our bit to help Planet Earth, we’re more educated than we’ve ever been before. Not a week goes by without a headline about global warming, or an article about some emerging renewable technology that might save the planet we live on.

It’s the same with fossil fuels. We know that they’re dangerous, and yet they’re still the conventional means of generating energy for our homes and businesses. We know they’re dangerous.

We also know that fossil fuels are a depleting resource. One day, we’ll have none left. But when? Will it be in the not-too-distant-future, or will it be way beyond our time? We went in search of the most definitive answers possible.

The problem of demand

Before we get into it, let’s have a quick look at the current energy landscape. Being part of the renewable movement, we think that D-Day cannot come soon enough. The sooner fossil fuels run out, the better.

However, this is the staunch environmentalists in us talking. The eco-warriors. There’s a bigger picture to consider: the simple expiry of fossil fuels is not sustainable because the fact remains that we absolutely depend on them. At the moment.

Worldwide demand is high and rising: only last year, the Energy and CO2 Status Report showed that demand for energy worldwide rose by 2.1%. This has more than doubled since the last report in 2016!

So, demand for fossil fuels continues to grow, and that demand is met by oil, coal, and natural gas. In fact, figures from 2017 show that 70% of the growth of global demand was catered for by the same fossil fuel resources.

Fortunately, renewable energy isn’t too far behind. Stats from the same Status Report show that renewables experienced the highest growth of all energy sources last year, with China and the United States leading a rate of growth never before seen for renewables. So, that’s something!

But when will fossil fuels end?

Now we’ve got an idea of the playing field, let’s get down it.

It’s a difficult question. Although fossil fuels have been around for millions of years, we’ve only been using them for around two centuries. In that relatively short space of time, though, we’ve consumed a massive amount and it continues unabated.

So, if we continue at our current rate, it is estimated that all of our fossil fuels will be depleted by 2060. If we keep on mining the earth in such a damaging way, we might find new reserves that will push that date back. Of course, we don’t want that to happen.

The expiry date differs with each resource, so now we’re going to look at each fuel-group separately.

When will we run out of oil?

This is unique. It’s estimated that known oil-deposits will run out by 2052. Realistically, we may never run out of oil because, given the depth of the Earth’s core, there will be new wells to discover.

That said, it’s highly likely that the practice of mining such depths will become economically unviable. Prices for fuel will rise – as they have always done – and ultimately we will look for alternative, cheaper means of producing energy.

The price of oil will increase due to heightened labour costs, while the supply itself will wane. This will have a knock-on effect, whereby homeowners will realise that renewables are far cheaper than fossil fuels.

We are hurtling towards this scenario. According to the Oil Market Report, which was commissioned by the International Energy Agency, demand has slowed in the last quarter after a significant uptick throughout 2016 and 2017. This means that it’s due another surge, and this should be even higher than previous years.

And let’s also remember that the worldwide transport industry is driven (no pun intended) solely by oil, which means that it’s being consumed at a far quicker rate than other fossil fuels.

When will we run out of coal?

According to the World Coal Association, there are an estimated 1.1 trillion tonnes of coal reserves across the world. At our current rates of production and consumption, there is enough coal to last us 150 years. By around 2168, coal will be no more (unless we discover new deposits which push that date back). It all relies on the rate of demand, which, for coal, grew considerably last year. Construction and industry are responsible for 80% of the rise in global demand, and China accounted for a third of its growth in 2017.

Coal is by far the most polluting fossil fuel still in production. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), this dirty resource is the culprit for some of our worst environmental crimes.

The good news is that we’re turning our backs on it, slowly: just last year, the UK spent three days without coal power – the first time we’ve gone without coal since the 19th century.

When will we run out of gas?

According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, we have 193.5 trillion cubic metres of gas left, which will last anywhere between 90 and 120 years. The number will always vary: as we’ve seen already, it depends on the annual rate of consumption, which has risen steadily from a relative low of 3 trillion cubic metres to more than 3.5 trillion (BP Statistical Review).

Choose solar

There you have it. We’ve given you the best answers we could find. Although the depletion of fossil fuels won’t likely happen in our lifetime, it may well happen in your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes.

Oxford PV lands £31 million funding for perovskite commercialisation push

Image: Oxford PV.

UK-based perovskite specialist Oxford PV has raised £31 million in a Series D funding round which included participation from a host of global energy companies.

In the first portion of its Series D funding, the company saw “major” new investment from Chinese renewables firm Goldwind as well as new funding from Equinor and Legal & General.

The funding is to be used to help commercialise Oxford PV’s technology, with the company claiming it to be well positioned to do so after a productive year.

The past 12 months has seen Oxford PV’s perovskite-on-silicon cell set a new world record for efficiency, and its technology passed reliability tests associated with the IEC 61215 protocol.

Furthermore the company’s pilot line is producing commercial-sized tandem solar cells which are being validated by Oxford PV’s development partner, an as-yet-unnamed major silicon solar cell and module manufacturer.

Frank Averdung, chief executive at Oxford PV, said the investment demonstrated its partners’ continued confidence in both the technology and its “commercial readiness”.

“We are delighted to have investors that recognise the capability of our perovskite solar cell technology to transform the performance of silicon-based photovoltaics and the role it will play in the global transition to a clean energy future,” he said.

Spring Statement: Industry mixed over ‘world-leading’ energy efficiency pledge

Chancellor Philip Hammond has received mixed feedback from the green economy for his Spring Statement, which included proposals for a new ‘Future Home Standard’.

While specific details on the standard have yet to be disclosed, Hammond said it would ensure all new homes are built without fossil fuel heating and to a “world-leading” energy efficiency standard by 2025.

Rumours had circulated in the build up to the statement that a proposal with similarities to the abandoned Zero Carbon Homes standard was to be unveiled, attracting ire from an industry which has repeatedly rounded on the government’s 2015 decision to cancel the policy.

The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s emissions watchdog, has repeatedly called for more action to tackle carbon reduction in the built environment and yesterday welcomed the announcement, with chief executive Chris Stark saying they represented a “genuine step forward”.

The domestic energy efficiency sector also, predictably, responded well to the news. Both Moixa and PassivSystems welcomed the policy, arguing it to be a step in the right direction for domestic emissions reductions.

But some critiqued the chancellor’s statement for not going anywhere far enough. Maria Connolly, partner at law firm TLT, drew stark parallels between the Future Home Standard and the looming policy gap for domestic renewables, created by the closure of the feed-in tariff with no replacement scheme in place.

“The introduction of a Future Homes Standard by 2025 to ensure that new build homes are future-proofed with low-carbon heating and the highest levels of energy efficiency certainly looks to be a good proposal, but we should also be looking at how we can better incentivise new housing developments to incorporate clean energy technologies such as solar PV or wind turbines, combined with storage capacity,” she said.

Dave Timms, head of political affairs at Friends of the Earth, went one step further and accused the chancellor of “fiddling in the margins while the planet burns”.

“With the government enthusiastically backing more runways, more roads and fracking, it’s little wonder the UK is likely to miss future climate targets.

“The chancellor should have announced a massive programme of investment in home insulation and public transport, instead of pushing the false solution of carbon off-setting for aviation,” he said.

Spring Statement: Industry mixed over ‘world-leading’ energy efficiency pledge

Chancellor Philip Hammond has received mixed feedback from the green economy for his Spring Statement, which included proposals for a new ‘Future Home Standard’.

While specific details on the standard have yet to be disclosed, Hammond said it would ensure all new homes are built without fossil fuel heating and to a “world-leading” energy efficiency standard by 2025.

Rumours had circulated in the build up to the statement that a proposal with similarities to the abandoned Zero Carbon Homes standard was to be unveiled, attracting ire from an industry which has repeatedly rounded on the government’s 2015 decision to cancel the policy.

The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s emissions watchdog, has repeatedly called for more action to tackle carbon reduction in the built environment and yesterday welcomed the announcement, with chief executive Chris Stark saying they represented a “genuine step forward”.

The domestic energy efficiency sector also, predictably, responded well to the news. Both Moixa and PassivSystems welcomed the policy, arguing it to be a step in the right direction for domestic emissions reductions.

But some critiqued the chancellor’s statement for not going anywhere far enough. Maria Connolly, partner at law firm TLT, drew stark parallels between the Future Home Standard and the looming policy gap for domestic renewables, created by the closure of the feed-in tariff with no replacement scheme in place.

“The introduction of a Future Homes Standard by 2025 to ensure that new build homes are future-proofed with low-carbon heating and the highest levels of energy efficiency certainly looks to be a good proposal, but we should also be looking at how we can better incentivise new housing developments to incorporate clean energy technologies such as solar PV or wind turbines, combined with storage capacity,” she said.

Dave Timms, head of political affairs at Friends of the Earth, went one step further and accused the chancellor of “fiddling in the margins while the planet burns”.

“With the government enthusiastically backing more runways, more roads and fracking, it’s little wonder the UK is likely to miss future climate targets.

“The chancellor should have announced a massive programme of investment in home insulation and public transport, instead of pushing the false solution of carbon off-setting for aviation,” he said.

10 Big Reason to Go Solar

1 – Save Money

Solar energy helps you save money on electricity bills and protects against price rises imposed by the big utility companies. Since the turn of the century, the average energy bill has doubled and since Jan 1987 it has in fact trebled. The sources for the figures used is ‘The Office For National Statistics.’

About the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute for the UK. It is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels. It also conducts the census in England and Wales every ten years. ONS plays a leading role in national and international good practice in the production of official statistics.

It is the Executive office of the UK Statistics Authority and although they are separate, they are still closely related. We use the ONS; they are totally impartial
and give us the best opportunity to get our forecasts and predictions about what we think the likelihood of key revenue drivers, like inflation and the unit cost
of electricity will be based on the evidence of the past.

2 – Future Proof Against Energy Rises

3 – Join The Community

Solar is infectious. The number of solar panels installed in the UK keeps going up, there are now more than a million homes enjoying the benefits. And they’re not just going up on homes and offices – they’re on churches, train stations, tower blocks, farms and even bridges!

4 – Fit & Forget

A solar installation will give you years and years of trouble free service. Some of our products have lifetime warranties and require little or no maintenance.

5 – Receive A Bonus

As well as reducing your electricity bills, you can also generate some income from the government through a scheme known as the feed in tariff (FIT). This includes a generation tariff for the electricity you generate, and an export tariff for any extra electricity you don’t use, which is sold back to the grid. Please talk to us and we can explain this to you in full.

6 – Save The Planet

Cut your carbon footprint. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

Source Energy Saving Trust

7 – Help Power Britain

Power cuts in coming winters are always a possibility, as Britain’s ageing energy system struggles to cope with rising demand. By adding your own rooftop energy production, you are helping to keep the lights on in your own home and across the country.

8 – Batteries & Economy 7 Electricity

You can charge your batteries on an evening using low cost Economy 7 electricity and reduce your electricity costs maxing out your savings!

9 – Use Your Daylight

It doesn’t matter whether you live on the sunny Côte de Sussex or in rainy Cardiff (officially the rainiest city in the UK last year). If your roof has direct access to daylight, you can make electricity – solar PV panels work even better in cooler temperatures.

10 – It’s A Great Investment

Social Energy Explained

Social Energy Explained

Who, what, and why have we partnered with them?

Social Energy is a part of the revolution which is changing the way we use energy for the better. By using AI, battery storage and solar PV, consumers can take control of their energy.

WHO IS SOCIAL ENERGY

The company which is leading the energy supply shakeup

Social Energy is just like your current supplier in that they provide your property with energy for a price per unit. However, the source of the energy is from a network of domestic solar installations and batteries. In comparison, even though energy suppliers are under pressure to make green investments, most companies like the big six get their energy from fossil fuel sources in and outside of the UK.

By being a customer of Social Energy, you can benefit from several aspects of its network. The company has developed software with AI so it is constantly working to help you achieve the maximum savings and earnings possible. With an approved battery, Social Energy will provide you with fluctuating tariff rates (i.e. time-of-use tariff); the ability to sell to the grid when energy is needed; and to trade energy with other customers on the network for the best possible prices.

Built and developed over the past 5 years, Social Energy is licensed by Ofgem. It is also the first Home Energy Trading solution to be fully compliant with the National Grid’s dynamic frequency response service.

WHAT IS SOCIAL ENERGY AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Social Energy allows you to utilise your solar energy

Social Energy builds on the concept of grid-sharing which is a term that is being used more often when talking about battery storage. Grid-sharing is the idea of batteries with shared software sending energy between each other. This decentralises the grid, reduces reliance on suppliers and prevents waste of energy.

By using machine learning to predict household load and generation, Social Energy aims to use its software to export and import at the best prices. The battery comes with a grid monitoring box which constantly sends data and information to the Social Energy cloud.

The software is an intelligent digital technology, it creates a customer profile for you and records your usage pattern for the grid. It accurately anticipates your solar generation by incorporating the size of the system and accounting for weather forecasts 24 hours in advance. This allows you to use all of your free energy produced by the solar system at the best possible times maximising your savings. But it also means any energy you wouldn’t normally utilise can be drawn by Social Energy so you can earn too.

If you already have solar and have signed in on the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme, it may not be worth adopting Social Energy. This is because you will have to waive the Export Tariff to be eligible to trade energy through Social Energy’s platform. You would have to work out the difference so you can make an informed decision.

If you have a FIT registered solar system, you can still benefit from the installation of a battery. You can store any surplus energy produced by your panels and use this at times when the system isn’t producing. As well as this, you can switch to a time-of-use tariff offered by an energy supplier and also store cheap electricity from the grid.

As the number of renewables used in the grid increase, the need to balance our energy becomes more important. Battery storage allows for more flexibility so when energy is needed, properties a part of the Social Energy network will have the fastest reacting source of power.

These are the times it takes for each source of energy to react and provide power to the grid:

  • Wind & Solar: uncontrollable
  • Nuclear: 48 hours
  • Oil Fired: 12 hours
  • Coal Fired: 6 hours
  • CCGT: 12 hours
  • Gas Turbines: 2 minutes
  • Hydro: 10 seconds
  • Battery Storage: subsecond

By being fully automated, Social Energy can detect changes in the grid’s frequency and react the fastest to provide power. The National Grid will pay you for your energy when demand does increase and it needs more power.

The Social Energy trading platform allows you to buy and sell in the wholesale energy market. The wholesale price is the rate that energy suppliers will pay to obtain energy from sources of generation. These prices fluctuate with supply and demand every half hour.

This is similar to the stock market, for example. However, thanks to Social Energy’s AI, you don’t have to do anything. The software predicts when prices are high and low; the battery can then charge, store and discharge energy accordingly. This automated trading allows you to benefit from wholesale price changes which have never been possible before.

And finally, the battery has the ability to charge from the grid when prices are low. This can be stored for use at a more convenient time of the day, meaning you don’t have to rely on the grid when electricity prices are higher. This is similar to a time-of-use tariff which is being offered by more and more suppliers as the UK energy infrastructure changes. Time-of-use tariffs work in combination with smart meters; currently, the government policy is to offer a smart meter to every household and small business by 2020. There has already been an uptake of 14m+ units.

Social Energy state that as a utility company they will offer rates per unit lower than the current big six.

WHY WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH SOCIAL ENERGY

It’s not a case of waiting anymore; the benefits of the future are here now

From everything mentioned above, Social Energy will help you achieve up to 70% cheaper electricity.

Globally, we are moving towards a planet that will be predominantly powered by renewable energy. As we reduce our dependence on both fossil fuels and actual gas heating, the electrified economy is going to expand. It is evident that the need for Social Energy will only increase in the future.

Renewable energy makes up nearly 90% of new EU capacity. The prices of renewable energy are forecasted to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. And as we pledge to close all coal powered plants by 2025 and stop the sale of ICE cars by 2040, we will need to adapt as a society.

Due to changing times and weather, renewables will cause our energy supply to become unpredictable. With the adoption of EVs, the demand for electricity is going to increase too. By providing an innovative solution like a network of batteries, power is returned from the corporations in the energy market to the people.

If consumers don’t choose to provide themselves with energy security, they will continue to see their energy prices rise. Data from The Office of National Statistics show that the average annual electricity bill increases by 6.92% annually. £1 of electricity today would cost you £2.73 in 15 years-time. By firstly protecting yourself with solar PV and battery storage, but also Social Energy, you can offset these price rises.

By using a combination of solar PV, battery storage and Social Energy you can future-proof your home.

Certi-fi sees ‘significant rise’ in interest for energy storage certification

Image: Duracell’s battery (attached_ was the first to be certified under the Certi-fi banner. Image: Duracell.

Certi-fi’s Manufacturer Electrical Energy Storage System (EESS) Scheme has seen a “significant rise” in manufacturers wanting to receive the certification.

The scheme was launched last year, with Duracell the first manufacturer to be certified and David Lindsay, the scheme’s director, says the rise in interest was to be expected.

“It’s no surprise that as domestic energy storage gains momentum, manufacturers are looking for a way of differentiating their product and evidencing to distributers, installers, tender opportunities, and consumers that their products are safe, carry the appropriate UK and European Standards and that they have the requisite factory protocols in place.

“Product safety notices and recall processes, as well as safe decommissioning and disposal, are a key part of the Scheme, and manufacturers have been working hard to ensure these are robust enough to meet our criteria.”

The scheme was in development for three years in response to demand from major manufacturers intending to target the market.

As the energy storage market grows certification schemes are increasing in number, with MCS recently unveiling an energy storage certification scheme to cover battery energy storage system installations.

Certi-fi said that an installation scheme for EESS is now close to completion.

Certi-fi’s manufacturer scheme has been tested by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) against the ISO/IEC 17065 Standard, a document outlining content and design for the creation of product certification schemes.

Lindsay also said that in addition to the testing, Certi-fi has improved the scheme “with significant input from other major stakeholders”.

China plans solar power station in space

China space solar power station
China intends to build the station by 2050

He continues on to say such a space station could reliably supply energy 99 per cent of the time, at six-times the intensity of solar farms on Earth.

The space agency is said to be currently building an experimental early model at a test site in the city of Chongqing. It will continue testing over the next 10 years with a view to begin building the station by 2030.

Energy needed for world’s growing population

The need to provide energy for an ever-increasing population is a problem facing governments and businesses worldwide.

Recent efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by multinational companies have included Apple’s switch to 100 per cent renewable energy including for its stores, offices and data centres last year.

Solar power is an important element of this, with a rooftop solar panel installation covering Apple’s distinctive ring-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, USA.

In a panel talk chaired by Dezeen at Dutch Design Week earlier this year, panellists called for “more science fiction” in our response to the threat of climate change and urged designers and policy makers to “keep dreaming big”.

Vision for space-based solar power is decades-old

The concept of space-based solar power has been floated for decades, and has at times been explored by NASA.

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency is also on a quest to take the solar power plant into space and has made strides in advancing the technology.

One of the main questions over space solar power is how the energy would be transmitted back down to earth. China’s researchers are said to be investigating using either a microwave or laser beam for the task.

A receiving system on earth would capture the transmissions and convert them to electrical energy to be put into the grid.

Another enduring question over the technology is how to get the station up there in the first place. The weight of China’s proposed plant would be approximately 1000 tonnes — more than double that of the International Space Station.

For that, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that China is exploring whether it can fabricate the station mostly in space, using robots and 3D printing. There has been rapid development of technologies in this field in the last few years, with NASA developing such a facility since 2013.