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Element Energy awarded BEIS funding to develop a non-domestic smart energy management software tool

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Element Energy has been awarded funding as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Non-Domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition, to develop a smart energy management software tool for non-domestic customers in the retail, hospitality, and schools sectors.

Smart meters are being rolled out across small non-domestic customers in GB, but there is currently a lack of energy management products and services building on these smart meters to help small non-domestic customers to engage with and reduce their electricity consumption. To help address this market gap, Element Energy will develop an online (and mobile friendly) tool providing energy management services including real-time comparative feedback on consumption (i.e. relative to similar organisations in the same sector and of a similar size), provision of a range of customer-specific energy saving analysis and advice, and a direct demand-side response (DSR) engagement facility.

This tool will build on an existing online tool that Element Energy has developed providing comparative consumption feedback, customised energy saving advice and DSR facilitation in the domestic context. The outputs of this project will include an operational prototype online tool providing real-time comparative consumption feedback, energy saving analysis and advice and DSR functionality to non-domestic customers in the retail, hospitality and schools sectors. This innovative project will be the first time that these comparative feedback and DSR aspects have been provided to small non-domestic customers in real time.

The full competition announcement by BEIS can be found here.

For more information about this project, please contact Mark Hughes.

Posted in Energy Networks

Element Energy analysis for the National Infrastructure Commission on the cost of decarbonising UK heat – published this week

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Element Energy led a study with partners E4tech for the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to examine the costs associated with different pathways to decarbonising heat in the UK. These pathways included electrification (heat pumps, electric storage heating), decarbonisation of gas (hydrogen networks, biomethane) and hybrid gas-electric approaches, supported by the deployment of energy efficiency, heat networks and biomass combustion. The cost analysis considers all levels of the energy system, including the building level consumer costs, the cost to the electricity and gas distribution and transmission networks, the cost of CO2 transport and offshore storage and the generation and raw resource costs.  This study provides a clear and transparent comparison of the likely costs of decarbonising UK heat using different pathways, whilst highlighting the impact of uncertainties and practical barriers to implementation.

The work demonstrates that while the cost of heating is likely to rise in the UK, the costs are manageable and heating is expected to represent a smaller share of GDP in 2050 than today. However, the study indicates that any decarbonisation pathway will require a much-increased level of ambition relative to current policy. While there are low regrets options in the short term, including cost-effective energy efficiency measures and deployment of heat networks in certain areas, the various pathways for heat decarbonisation in the UK diverge clearly from the mid-2020s and important decisions on the future of the UK’s energy and heat infrastructure will need to be taken in advance of that date.

The findings suggest that significant uncertainties remain regarding the cost of the different long-term pathways, and that there is no clear winner at this stage. However, under stated assumptions regarding the development of the required component technologies, it is found that decarbonisation of the gas grid with hydrogen has the potential to be the lowest cost option and should be taken seriously as an alternative to deep electrification.

The project report is available on the NIC website: https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/cost-analysis-of-future-heat-infrastructure/. The work informed the NIC’s National Infrastructure Assessment published in July 2018.

For more information on this study and our work in sustainable heat networks, please contact Sam Foster.

Posted in Buildings, Policy and strategy

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is necessary for a 2°C scenario, but won’t work without public-private collaboration

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A new report released today shows that improving the dialogue and collaboration between public and private stakeholders would be crucial in supporting the deployment of Carbon, Capture & Storage (CCS), a key technology for many deep decarbonisation trajectories. The report was prepared by Element Energy and Vivid Economics on request by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI).

A common finding across technical and modelling studies such as IPCC AR5 and the IEA CCS scenarios is that CCS is vital to reducing emissions at lowest cost. However, both public and private sector stakeholders are hesitant to commit the resources necessary to scale-up and roll-out deployment of the technology.

Emrah Durusut, of Element Energy, said: “By recognising that CCS deployment is a shared beneficial endeavour, public and private sectors can collaborate to achieve scale-up. Unfortunately, momentum in CCS deployment is currently low. A principal cause is that the dialogue between stakeholders has articulated the costs of CCS, without sufficiently articulating its value.”

The report suggests that CCS technology is technically available but all market participants must become familiar with the technology and the contractual arrangements supporting its deployment. The scale-up phase proposed in the report comprises a limited number of full-scale projects, focussed on improving cost certainty and proving deliverability globally in key application sectors.

Alex Kazaglis, of Vivid Economics, stated that “The scale-up phase reduces costs but still carries significant risks that make it challenging to finance. Once multiple projects have been successful, the roll-out phase focuses on standardisation. The different purposes of these two phases, risk reduction followed by efficiency, demand distinct policy treatments, with a greater role for governments earlier on.”

This study also provides a timeline and comprehensive policy roadmap for the successful scale up and deployment of CCS, detailing the roles of government and business, and how policies may differ across regions. Policy options with a potential of achieving successful outcomes include:

  • Obligation with CCS certificates: Emitters or fuel suppliers are obligated by law to ensure a certain amount of CO2 is captured and stored. Certificates are awarded for storage and can be used to meet the obligation and traded freely.
  • Emission performance standards (EPS) with CCS certificates: An EPS sets minimum emission standards by which emitters must abide. The tradeable certificates function similarly to the obligation scheme and can be used to meet the standard.
  • Public procurement, including contract for difference (CFD), entails the government directly procuring CCS. It does not imply the government necessarily funds CCS.
  • Tax credits are reductions in the tax liability of firms if they perform CCS. Credits can be provided for stored carbon but also for capital investment.
  • Other options, such as carbon price (with the exception of Norway) have been insufficient to deliver CCS commercially to date.

Policy instruments should be tailored according to global regions where the specific political, legal and cultural contexts are considered. Secondly, a policy instrument should not be solely focussed on providing revenue for stored carbon but also needs to incentivise efficient investment in CO2 network infrastructure. Finally, all parties will have to contribute to the scale-up costs of CCS: governments in terms of tax breaks or investment, the private sector via investment measures or certificates and end users via levies (e.g. fuel consumers).

For more information on this project and our work in CCS, please contact Emrah Durusut.

Posted in CCS

The future of the fleet vehicle: ZEFER project launches to demonstrate the benefits of zero emission fuel cell cars for large urban fleets

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The commercialisation of the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) edges closer to reality with the launch of the €26 million pan-European ZEFER (Zero Emission Fleet vehicles for European Roll-out) project. Co-ordinated by Element Energy, this ground-breaking initiative will deploy 180 hydrogen fueled vehicles into a combination of taxi, private hire and police fleets across Paris, Brussels and London. With the cars being used every day over long distances these vehicles, and their supporting infrastructure, will be pushed to their limits to highlight the technological merit of hydrogen transport and the promising business case for future fleet FCEV adoption.

ZEFER will provide a key catalyst to the real market adoption of hydrogen cars across European cities. By deploying captive fleets of FCEVs, a steady demand for hydrogen fuel can be created and the economics of operating a hydrogen refueling station improved. This could prove to be a key transition point for hydrogen fuel cell cars as the daily costs of running a vehicle becomes more accessible to the wider commercial market. Additionally, with stricter air quality regulations being introduced by many cities and municipalities, the ZEFER project will highlight the viability of FCEVs to provide a zero emission alternative for diesel vehicles in inner city areas.

Ben Madden, Director at Element Energy, said: “We are delighted to be leading this major project which will demonstrate commercially viable use cases for hydrogen fuelled vehicles in high mileage urban fleets. The increasingly widespread hydrogen infrastructure network in leading European cities as well as new FCEV models from manufacturers are beginning to drive real market adoption. We are excited to see first large-scale users starting to take up the technology in large fleets to do the day to day work of vehicles which operate in urban centres.”

Additional detail is provided in the project press release and on the project website (zefer.eu). For further information please contact lisa.ruf@element-energy.co.uk.

Posted in Transport

Multimillion pound Government support for hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure

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A consortium managed by Element Energy and including ITM Power, Shell, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai has won £8.8 million in funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to expand and improve the UK network of hydrogen refuelling stations.
The project will deliver four new hydrogen refuelling stations and upgrade five existing hydrogen refuelling stations to increase capacity. The increase in available hydrogen will support the deployment of nearly 200 new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) across high mileage sectors such as taxis, emergency services and car hire. This project is the largest expansion of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure undertaken in the UK to date. Further funding support for the project has also been secured from the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
The DfT announcement can be read in full here.
For more information about the project and Element Energy’s work in FCEVs, please contact Ben Madden.

Posted in Transport

Element Energy leads world class energy and transport stakeholders on Vehicle-to-Grid study for Great Britain

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Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies are expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of Britain’s transport and energy systems. Connecting millions of EVs and coordinating their charging and discharging would minimise the costs of EV charging while allowing the grid to integrate high levels of variable renewable energy sources.

A new study will assess the long-term viability of V2G in a changing energy system in Britain as well as the early opportunities in British energy markets using the consortium’s expertise drawn from a variety of key project partners and access to operational data on EV charging. Pathways for scaling up a V2G business to play a full role in a flexible energy system in Britain will be explored.

Element Energy will be leading a strong consortium of stakeholders from the transport and energy sectors, representing the complete value chain of V2G technologies. Nissan’s European Technical Centre, as part of Renault-Nissan Alliance research activities, and distribution network operator Western Power Distribution have been at the forefront of research and development exploring the potential benefits of EVs to electricity networks. Transmission system operator National Grid is recognised as one of the most innovative grid operators facing the challenge of integrating intermittent renewable energy into an islanded electricity grid, whilst aggregator Moixa has developed innovative software solutions to combine multitudes of batteries to a virtual power plant (VPP), which is able to support the stability of the power grid.

Consultancy Cenex and the Energy Systems Catapult, a leading technology and innovation centre set up by the government to help the UK navigate the transformation of our energy system, will support the study with their analytical modelling.

V2G – technology at the centre of a modern industrial revolution?

The feasibility study V2GBVehicle to Grid Britain is part of the Vehicle-to-Grid competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Innovate UK.

In January 2018, the winners were announced at an event at the Royal Society in London. BEIS Minister Richard Harrington made clear the ambition of the Government for the UK to be at the forefront of the development of energy storage and electric vehicles: “We can’t aim low. I believe, that this country can be at the basis of the modern industrial revolution – hopefully to the benefit of everybody who lives here and the rest of the world beyond.”

OLEV and BEIS announced that 21 projects (8 feasibility studies, 5 collaborative research and development projects, and 8 real-world V2G trial projects) were to receive funding of c£30m to develop the business proposition and core technology around V2G, and demonstrate those with large-scale trials. The projects involve more than 50 industrial partners and research organisations from both the energy and automotive sectors, marking the largest and most diverse activities on V2G in the world, and trialling more than 2,700 vehicles across UK.

The V2G projects represent a significant step towards the transition to a low carbon transportation and a smart energy system. Allowing EVs to return energy to the electricity networks when parked and plugged for charging will increase network resilience, allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners, leading to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.

For more information about this project, please contact Shane Slater or Lisa Ruf.

Posted in Smart Energy Systems, Transport

Fuelling the Future: a transition to e-mobility will result in significant benefits to Europe’s economy

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By 2030, Europe could improve its net GDP, create 206,000 additional jobs and reduce spending on oil imports by €49 billion through the transition to e-mobility. This will have the added benefit of reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars by 88% by 2050 and significantly cutting air pollution, currently causing 467,000 premature deaths in Europe every year.

These are some of the conclusions of a new report – Fuelling Europe’s Future: How the transition from oil strengthens the economy – released by a consortium of stakeholders in the European mobility sector, including leading car manufacturers, industry associations, trade unions, consumer groups and civil society, convened by the European Climate Foundation.

Element Energy worked alongside Cambridge Econometrics to carry out the analysis which covered the technical, economic and environmental issues associated with the deployment of low carbon technologies and the shift from imported oil to domestically produced electricity and hydrogen

Key findings of the report are:

  • Europe could cut its spending on oil imports by €49 billion in 2030, according to the report’s central scenario. At present, the European Union imports 89% of its crude oil, the vast majority of which is used for transport fuel. Replacing imported oil with domestically produced energy will keep many billions of euros re-circulating in the European economy.
  • The European economy will be strengthened: In all three of the scenarios explored, the transition to e-mobility leads to an increase in GDP resulting from a reduction in consumer spending on fuel and reduction in foreign imports.
  • By 2030, e-mobility could help create 206,000 net additional jobs in Europe. However, efforts must be made to ensure workers who are currently producing legacy technologies are retrained for quality jobs in producing the technologies of the future. The report finds that from 2030 onwards, the location of future battery manufacturing will have a significant economic impact.
  • Health: In the central scenario CO2 emissions from cars are reduced by 88% by 2050. NOx and particulate matter emissions are also cut significantly with NOx emissions from cars forecast to be reduced from 1.3 million tonnes per year in 2017 to 70,000 tonnes per year in 2050. This dramatic reduction in air pollution will have important health impacts – currently there are 467,000 premature deaths a year in Europe as a result of air quality issues.
  • Impact on consumers: The purchasing cost of Zero emissions vehicles and diesel/gasoline cars will converge by 2030. By 2030 the price difference will be narrowed as diesel and gasoline cars become more expensive due to regulatory limits and as ZEVs achieve economies of scale. There is a convergence in costs in our central case, especially when considered on a 4-year total cost of ownership basis.
  • Investment in Grids and Chargers: Significant infrastructure investments are needed but benefits are likely to outweigh the costs. Up to around €23 billion of cumulative investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure could be required in Europe by 2030, of which €9 billion would cover publicly accessible chargers. While electricity grids will need modernisation, the implementation of smart charging could be used to mitigate the costs. This will have the effect of reducing the increase in peak demand to just 3 GW (from 21 GW in a worst-case scenario). The costs of implementing smart charging can be more than offset by the value created by connected electric vehicles providing services to the network operator. By 2030, the smart-charging benefits per electric vehicles are expected to be around €100 per year.

If you would like more information about the services Element Energy can offer in this area, please contact Celine Cluzel.

Posted in Transport

The Zero Emission Bus Conference is returning on 27th & 28th November 2018

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Element Energy & Hydrogen Europe invite you to save the date for the second edition of the Zero Emission Bus Conference.

After a successful London-based conference in 2016, attended by over 250 global stakeholders, this year’s conference will be held in Cologne on 27th & 28th November.

The conference will continue efforts to accelerate the roll out of a clean transport network in European cities and will again bring together the key stakeholders from industry, policy makers & operators to focus on the leading zero emission technologies for buses: fuel cell electric and battery electric. Sector experts will discuss the latest advances made by each technology and how to overcome the challenges currently preventing widespread uptake across Europe.

Further details and an agenda will follow shortly.

The Save the Date invitation can be found here.

For more information, please contact Madeline Ojakovoh

Follow the latest news and updates on social media by following @zebconference and the#ZEB2018 hashtag.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was a keynote speaker at the 2016 conference and is committed to the growth of zero emission buses in London.


Posted in Transport

Commercialisation of fuel cell buses moves one step closer with the launch of the JIVE 2 project

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The fuel cell bus sector in Europe has received a tremendous boost with the launch of the JIVE 2 project (Second Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) on 25th January.

Coordinated by Element Energy, and supported by a €25m grant from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the JIVE 2 project will deploy 152 fuel cell electric buses across 14 European cities throughout France, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. This will expand the network of cities trialling fuel cell buses in Europe, demonstrating a growing appetite for the technology.

The collaborative project is an expansion of the JIVE initiative which is now entering its second year of activity. Combined, the JIVE projects will deploy nearly 300 fuel cell buses in 22 cities across Europe by the early 2020s – the largest deployment in Europe to date.

Stricter air quality regulations being introduced by some cities and municipalities will see current diesel buses banned from many city centres over the next few years. Fuel cell electric buses represent a viable alternative for public transport authorities, offering the same operational flexibility as diesel buses but without the harmful tailpipe emissions. By the end of the project, JIVE 2 aims to prove the operational capacity of fuel cell buses and to lay the foundations for uptake on a large scale.

The increased scale of deployment through the JIVE initiatives creates the conditions for accelerated development of European bus manufacturers’ production capabilities by the early 2020s. This will enable them to achieve the economies of scale needed for mass roll out of fuel cell buses, positioning this technology to become a key zero emission public transport alternative in the coming years.

The full press release can be read here.

For more information about the JIVE 2 project and our work in hydrogen vehicles, contact Ben Madden.

Follow the latest fuel cell bus projects developments on @fuelcellbus

Posted in Transport

World’s Largest Hydrogen Electrolysis Plant to be Built at Rhineland Refinery

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Shell has announced its plans to build a new hydrogen electrolysis plant at its Rhineland refinery. The announcement comes after further funding for the project was secured by a European consortium comprising Shell, ITM Power, SINTEF, thinkstep and Element Energy. With a peak capacity of 10 megawatts, the plant will be the largest of its kind in the world.

The hydrogen will be used for the processing and upgrading of products at the refinery’s Wesseling site as well as testing the technology and exploring application in other sectors. If powered by renewable electricity, the hydrogen will help to reduce the carbon intensity of the site. Going forward, units such as this will help balance the supply of electricity to the grid from renewable sources.

The project secured 10 million euros from the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU), bringing the project’s total investment to approximately 20 million euros. Element Energy prepared the successful proposal to FCH JU, and will be participating in the project by conducting analysis of novel business models for electrolysers of this scale.

The full announcement by Shell can be found here.

For more information about the project and our work in the hydrogen sector, contact Ben Madden.

The Refhyne project will build the largest hydrogen electrolyser at Shell’s Rhineland refinery

Posted in Power Generation
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