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Website launched to help businesses prepare for Birmingham Clean Air Zone

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Element Energy have worked in collaboration with Clevercherry, a Birmingham-based creative agency, to develop Business Breathes – a website dedicated to helping businesses get to grips with the Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will be launched in Birmingham city centre next year.

Business Breathes is the one-stop, go-to site for fleet managers and self-employed drivers that need to prepare for the introduction of CAZ in January 2020.

Element Energy produced the website content which provides visitors with information on low-emission vehicles that will comply with the CAZ requirements, grants and incentives that will be available if their business needs to upgrade their vehicles to avoid the charges, as well as recharging and refuelling points.

Business Breathes also has a host of handy features, such as a postcode checker to see if a business or location is within the CAZ zone and a ready reckoner to demonstrate how much money a low-emission option – such as an electric, gas or hydrogen vehicle – could save companies compared to a petrol or diesel model that does not comply with CAZ requirements.

This website has been launched as part of Brum Breathes, Birmingham City Council’s air quality campaign to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and particulate matter that cause poor air quality and associated health problems and it aims to encourage businesses to move over to cleaner vehicles.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “The Clean Air Zone will represent a significant change in terms of the way people travel around the city, so it is important that those who rely on the use of vehicles for their business are able to make the necessary preparations and access the relevant support ahead of its implementation in January 2020.

“The Business Breathes website provides a valuable one-stop shop for fleet managers and self-employed drivers to access the information they need to make the switch to greener, cleaner transport options, ensuring Birmingham stays open for business while also helping the city achieve cleaner air for those who live and work here.”

Posted in Transport

Element Energy studies informed the UK government’s CCUS Action Plan

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Two of Element Energy’s recent studies, on Industrial Carbon Capture Business Models and CO2 shipping, have now been published by BEIS and the evidence provided has supported the UK CCUS Action Plan.

The Industrial carbon capture (ICC) business models study assessed potential business models to cost-effectively incentivise ICC deployment in the short and medium term; the analysis considered the acceptability of potential policies and business models to both industry and the public sector.

The CO2 shipping study estimated the costs and potential for CO2 shipping between terminals in the UK and abroad, as well as to storage sites. It also identified the opportunities CO2 shipping brings to the UK, as well as the current barriers which must be overcome.

For more information on these studies please contact Emrah Durusut: emrah.durusut@element-energy.co.uk.

Posted in CCUS & Industrial Decarbonisation

What’s in store for the future of clean public transport?

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Zero Emission Bus Conference 2018 brings together battery and hydrogen buses to find solutions for zero emission society

On November 27th and 28th the second Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Conference took place in Cologne. In light of the zero emission regulations on local, national and European level for public transport, the German city was the perfect setting as it is one of the European leaders in decarbonising bus fleets. The ZEB conference aims to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles by sharing information and experiences and offering guidance in procurement and financing of new fleets.

The Zero Emission Bus Conference brought together 370+ policy makers, bus operators and industry experts to drive forward the realisation of zero emission public transport for Europe. During the two days, European bus manufacturers showcased the readiness level of their zero emission bus options and attendees were able to deep dive into the world of battery and hydrogen electric buses. Big announcements in the public transport sector took place during the two-day event, e.g. Nel Hydrogen announced the deployment of 600 buses in Europe in the in the framework of the H2Bus Europe project; Transdev and the Transport Region of Amsterdam (VRA) also announced plans to upscale their zero emission fleets in the upcoming years.

During the conference Mayor Reker of Cologne took the opportunity to sign the Declaration of Intent on promoting large-scale deployment of clean, alternatively fuelled buses in Europe and ceremoniously handed the signed declaration over to Maja Bakran Marcich, Deputy Director General of Mobility & Transport for the European Commission. Ms Bakran commented on the signing: “We warmly welcome the City of Cologne signing the Clean Buses Declaration. We need to move fast if we want to have cleaner and healthier cities for the European citizens. Cities and local authorities have a key role to play to achieve a decarbonised Europe”.

Christoph Dammermann, State Secretary of Economy, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, also emphasised the importance of clean public transport in his speech: “Zeroemission buses help us achieve our long-term goals and commitment to the Paris Agreement. Zeroemission public transport is not just a matter of drive, but also active change management. It is also a question of the operating concept; the regional energy supply, and the occupancy rate of the vehicle.”

The ZEB conference showed that zero emission buses are ready for mass market deployment. The ZEB conference calls on Europe, European manufacturers, cities and operators to take action and lead the global zero emission bus market.

For more information about the Zero Emission Bus Conference and to keep up to date about the next edition please visit: www.zebconference.com/eu.

For more information about Element Energy’s involvement in the Zero Emission Bus Conference please contact: Madeline.Ojakovoh@element-energy.co.uk

Acknowledgements: The conference is organised by Element Energy and Hydrogen Europe in the framework of the JIVE 2 project. The JIVE 2 project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 779563. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

About the JIVE and JIVE 2 projects: The JIVE and JIVE2 projects, which started in January 2017 and January 2018, will deploy nearly 300 zero emission fuel cell buses and associated infrastructure (under the MEHRLIN project) in 20 cities across Europe by early 2020s – the largest deployment in Europe to date.

The buses will be deployed in cities in Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Posted in Transport

Element Energy to lead study of a new on-street charging solution – from commercial case to customer acceptance

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A new on-street charging solution will be studied in 2019Q1 with a view to deploying from 2019Q3. The Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) project involves the testing and evaluation of Trojan Energy’s innovative on-street charging solution – a flush connection where the chargepoint is slotted into the ground. The charger aims to help solve the issue for those without access to off-street parking, which is currently a major barrier for electric vehicle (EV) uptake. A key advantage of the technology is no permanent footprint or major street clutter, as there is only equipment at the pavement edge when the vehicle is charging.

Trojan Energy eventually plan on fitting entire streets with the technology, so that no matter where a consumer parks on the street, they will be able to charge their EV. Up to 20 connectors can run in parallel, requiring only one network connection. This will in turn create opportunities for demand aggregation and related revenues to make the cost of owning and running EVs cheaper.

Element Energy will lead the feasibility study. Other collaborators in the STEP project are:

  • Trojan Energy – the technology developer, already have a patent for the system
  • Two local authorities: London Borough of Brent and Birmingham City Council
  • UK Power Networks – the Distribution Network Operator of South East England, including Brent.

The STEP project is part of the Electric vehicle charging for public spaces: feasibility studies competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “In Birmingham, increased use of electric vehicles will play a key role in our work to reduce harmful emissions on our city’s streets, but in order to do this we need to make sure that electric vehicle charging points are accessible to as many people as possible, including those who live in terraced houses or blocks of flats.

“I can speak from personal experience on this issue as I live in a terraced house and was looking to purchase an electric car, only to be told that charging could present problems, so I am delighted that we are now in a position where we can carry out a feasibility study to see if this innovative ‘pull-up-out-of-the-ground’ charging point scheme can provide a much-needed solution.”

As a first phase of an innovation funding programme worth c£40m, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the application and impact of innovative technologies for EV charging.

Among these, 18 studies will focus on how a well-design, well integrated EV charging infrastructure in public spaces can help facilitate the adoption of EVs among local residents without access to home charging due to lack of off-street parking.

These projects will define feasibility and sustainable models to maximise effectiveness and impact of infrastructure deployment. The wide variety of technologies and business models analysed in these studies will help implement a charging infrastructure that is affordable, dependable, and fair for all road users, and making owning an EV an attractive proposition for all.

In a subsequent phase of the funding round, the best projects will be competing for funding for implementation of real-world demonstrators.


For more information, contact: sarah.clements@element-energy.co.uk

For the full press release, click here


Posted in Transport

What are the barriers preventing hydrogen heating in our homes?

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Element Energy worked with researchers at Madano on a project commissioned by the CCC, to understand public acceptability of two alternative low carbon heating technologies for heating homes in the UK – hydrogen for heating and heat pumps. Bringing our deep expertise in the low carbon heating sector, we provided the technical guidance for Madano’s research, which consisted of a number of focus groups and a nationally representative survey.

The research found that over three quarters (76%) of respondents stated that they are concerned about climate change, with the same number (76%) believing it is important for UK homes to switch to alternative low carbon energy sources for heating their homes. However, there is limited awareness about the need to switch over from natural gas, as over half of those surveyed (57%) have never heard of the need to, or know very little about it.

Further, three overarching factors were identified as influencing negative views on the heating technologies:
• Negative perceptions of the installation burden
• The lack of familiarity with a new technology and how it works with current habits and perceptions
• How well the technologies would meet modern heating needs (quieter, faster, more concealed technologies).

Therefore, the research found that while the public understands the ultimate need to switch from natural gas, there remain challenges for the public to accept the alternatives. The study concludes that greater emphasis on education about the heating technologies, and how the household will benefit from switching heating technology, will be required to secure public acceptability.

A summary of the findings is available on Madano’s website:

The report was published on 22nd November and is available at the following link:

For more information, please contact Sam Foster (Built Environment team lead).

Posted in Buildings, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Success at FCH JU in Brussels

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Hydrogen fuel cell technology is ready and set to power Europe’s sustainable development, it was revealed last week at a high-profile Awards Ceremony in Brussels, as the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) rewarded its top projects for innovation excellence.

Power to the people: hydrogen energy to households and small businesses
Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, received the FCH JU Success Story Award for strong results in two ground-breaking projects: ene.field and PACE. “Power to the people describes the very essence of our projects which demonstrate the value of hydrogen energy to households and businesses. Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration transforms European energy consumers into active ‘prosumers’, creating a decentralised energy system with a reduced carbon footprint, improved local air quality and lower energy bills” said Korteweg.

Element Energy’s contributions to the ene.field and PACE projects
Element Energy wrote the successful proposals for both projects and is involved in the delivery of the projects as technical coordinator overseeing the trial activities and analysis partner conducting the customer survey analysis and modelling business cases.

The Press Release can be found here: https://fch.europa.eu/news/stakeholder-forum-2018-hydrogen-ready-and-set-power-europe


Posted in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Project Management, Transport

Element Energy awarded BEIS funding for non-domestic smart energy management trial

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Element Energy has been awarded funding for Phase 2 of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Non-Domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition. This follows on from a successful Phase 1 project in which we developed the Energy Comparison & Advice Tool (E-CAT), a smart energy management software tool for non-domestic customers (see the Phase 1 press release here).

Phase 2 is running between now and January 2019. We are partnering with Octopus Energy to trial E-CAT with a small number of customers (around 20). Trial activities will include developing data monitoring and processing approaches and conducting user testing and using the feedback to update and improve E-CAT.

E-CAT is an easy-to-use online tool which uses customers’ smart meter data to provide real-time (half-hourly resolution) comparative feedback on their electricity usage (i.e. comparing customers’ usage to  organisations of the same sector, size, etc.) and tailored, actionable energy efficiency advice. It also includes a range of other features such as comparison within chains, historic comparison, identifying background power levels, tariff switching (same supplier) and DSR engagement, with more features in the pipeline. It has been developed for small non-domestic customers in the retail, hospitality and schools sectors, and it requires only a smart meter data feed to provide significant benefits. See below for example E-CAT screenshots.

If you are interested in getting involved in future large-scale trials of E-CAT, or for more information about this project, please contact Mark Hughes or Jonathan Stokeld.


Posted in Energy Networks

Element Energy investigates conversion of industrial appliances to 100% hydrogen

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Element Energy, along with partners Jacobs and Cardiff University, have been commissioned by BEIS to complete analysis on the potential use of full hydrogen for heat in industry, as part of the Hy4Heat Programme.

Hy4Heat is a feasibility study, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to establish if it is technically possible and safe to replace natural gas with full hydrogen in buildings and gas appliances, in order to decarbonise the heat sector. The aim of this study, Work Package 6: Understanding Industrial Appliances, is to investigate the potential future conversion of industrial heating appliances to hydrogen.

Our study will involve developing a comprehensive understanding of applications of hydrogen for heat in industry, including costs, technical and commercial requirements, timeframes, safety considerations, barriers and opportunities. It will also be critical to build a strong, clear picture of current and future natural gas heating processes and appliances across the industrial subsectors. Modelling work will provide an evidence base for the Hy4Heat Programme and inform future government decisions regarding potential energy pathways. The study will also document remaining knowledge gaps and outline the kind of hydrogen trials and appliance development work required, ahead of any potential decisions around conversion to hydrogen. The findings will be applicable to a broad audience, including industry, policy makers, project developers, equipment suppliers and other government officials.

For more information on the Hy4Heat programme please visit http://www.hy4heat.info/

For more information on Element Energy’s study please contact Emrah Durusut.


Posted in CCUS & Industrial Decarbonisation, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Element Energy study recommends urgent action to drive decarbonisation of London’s energy system

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Meeting the targets committed to in the Paris Agreement will require deep decarbonisation of all sectors of energy use to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Cities such as London have a pivotal role to play in achieving these objectives and must develop robust climate action plans.

Element Energy was commissioned by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to undertake an analysis of decarbonisation scenarios to inform London’s strategy on energy and climate. The study employs detailed modelling of London’s buildings, vehicles and energy supply to provide insight into the technology options available for low-carbon heating and transport. It aims to give a clear analysis of the infrastructure required to support the four potential scenarios (summarised in Figures 1-3 below) to reduce London’s emissions, including the electricity and gas grid, heat networks, electric vehicle recharging and building-level infrastructure. The analysis includes the carbon and cost implications for each scenario, as well as highlighting the challenges and uncertainties associated with them. The results have informed London’s five-year carbon budgets and will support energy policy decisions, highlighting key decision milestones.

There are several policy actions that could be taken immediately, either locally or nationally, to support technologies at the minimum levels present in all scenarios and to enable a decision on the preferred scenario in the late 2020s. These low regrets actions entail significant activity from 2020, meaning that decisions by local and national government on the form of the supporting policy need to be made in 2018-19.

Low regrets actions

  • Energy efficiency bringing 70% of London’s buildings to EPC C or above by 2030
  • Rollout of heat networks to an additional 70,000 homes by 2025
  • Deployment of heat pumps in more than 300,000 buildings by 2025
  • New-build regulations mandating high efficiency and low carbon heating
  • Coordination of EV charging infrastructure deployment

Key decision points

Beyond the low regrets actions, planning needs to start now in order to ensure that decisions on the longer term decarbonisation scenario can be made by the mid-2020s, when the various scenarios considered diverge more clearly. Each scenario focuses the greatest policy effort in a single area (district heating, heat pumps, or full hydrogen grid conversion) to reflect approximately equivalent levels of policy ambition. Figure 4 below presents a timeline of the actions and decisions proposed.

The Executive Summary and the full report and findings can be found at the following web link:


For more information on this study and our work on decarbonisation pathways, please contact Sam Foster.


Figure 1: Scenario narratives and principles

Figure 2: Heat demand met by each technology in 2050 in the scenarios

Figure 3: Transport energy demand met by each technology in 2050 in the scenarios

Figure 4: Low regrets actions and key decision points to decarbonise London’s energy system


Posted in Buildings, Transport

The Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) project, coordinated by Element Energy, demonstrates the need to be more ambitious about hydrogen mobility

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As the European Union and member states discuss reducing CO2 emissions from cars and vans, today’s Hydrogen Mobility Roundtable highlighted that local authorities, large industrial companies, and global vehicle OEMs are prepared to deploy zero emission mobility as an economically attractive solution requiring no compromise to operational requirements.

Hosted by Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) in partnership with the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and Hydrogen Europe, the roundtable event comes the day after the European Parliament voted on setting tougher carbon dioxide emissions limits for cars and vans, in line with the policy aim of driving the adoption of low and zero emission vehicles. As part of the legislation, the EC will treat both hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as zero emission vehicles.

The roundtable highlights that today’s technological advancements can support Europe to become an ambitious leader in zero emission mobility, underlining the inherent potential of hydrogen to deliver global emission reductions whilst meeting our future energy needs. The H2ME project is playing a critical role in creating the world’s largest network of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). 49 stations will be funded under the H2ME project, of which 15 are already in operation .

At the event, representatives from the initiative met with local municipalities and regional government representatives from across Europe to discuss real-world experiences, best practice and proven business models for the increased roll-out of FCEV vehicles and cross-border hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Under the H2ME project 360 vehicles have already been delivered to end users and have been driven for close to 2 million kilometres. Attractive ownership models are developing in use cases such as taxis, captive fleets, and in cities with strict environmental targets.

Interest in FCEVs is increasing across Europe, with national governments in Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany, amongst others, all supporting greater adoption. However, municipalities are waiting for greater direction from EU legislation to provide them with clear guidelines before rolling-out hydrogen fuelling stations and fuel cell fleets.

See the full H2ME press release for further information.

For more information about this project please contact Lisa Ruf

Posted in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Project Management
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