Birmingham biogas trade event to show the way on Bio-LNG
UK Cities ramp up the fight against air pollution; bio-LNG gains traction as a solution to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles; prototype methane-fuelled tractor on display at UK AD and World Biogas Expo; and global outlook for biomethane and infrastructure development key topic at co-located World Biogas Summit.
Ban Diesel Cars From Cities by 2040
Bristol City Mayor Martin Rees announced on Thursday last week a consultation on proposals to ban diesel cars from the city to tackle air pollution, which is now a bigger killer than tobacco and three times larger than Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.The UK government has said it will ban the sale of diesel cars from 2040. It would seem that if you own a diesel, having been encouraged to own a diesel by the government, you have been left in a no-win situation. Not so. Most diesel engines can be converted to run on liquid natural gas (LNG) – preferably carbon neutral bio-LNG from anaerobic digestion. It will cost a couple of thousand pounds, but you’ll soon recover that at the pump over 12 to 18 months (or 10,000 miles).
20 Million LNG Cars in The Global Fleet
There are over 20 million LNG cars in the global fleet and, for HGVs, bio-LNG is rapidly gaining traction as fuel – as it reduces CO2 emissions by over 85%, NOx emissions by 50 to 70%, and almost zero particulate matter. It has been found that fleet operators who switch to renewable natural gas (biomethane) more than exceed what is required under the benchmark minimum standard for emissions. Fuel savings are notable too. With costs that are typically 33% less – and in some instances, as much as 50% less – operators can see that biogas makes commercial sense. It means that the filling-station infrastructure is emerging too.
Clean Air Zones
The shift makes economic sense. London and Norwich have been taking the lead on the introduction of what are known either as Low Emissions Zones or Clean Air Zones with another 30 cities and local authorities across the UK set to introduce similar measures. Under these schemes buses and HGVs failing to meet minimum standards face charges for entering the zones of £200 a day. Such zones are commonplace in cities across mainland Europe.
Meanwhile biomethane as fuel for transport has been boosted by an EU directive requiring Member states to ensure a sufficient number of publicly accessible refuelling points to allow the circulation of CNG vehicles both in urban and sub-urban areas and on the TeN-T core network, ideally every 150 km, to be built by end-2025. Furthermore, the government’s Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation has increased the biofuels volume target, including biomethane, from the current 4.75 to 9.75% in 2020, and 12.4% in 2032.
The Future of Bio-LNG
The future of Bio-LNG will be a key theme at both UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019 and its co-located thought-leadership forum World Biogas Summit on 3–4 July in Birmingham. CNHi Industrial will display its IVECO Stralis Natural Power truck and latest FPT Industrial Natural Gas engines, whilst New Holland will showcase the innovative Methane-Powered Concept Tractor, combining visionary design with advanced and sustainable biomethane combustion, a key element in the Energy Independent Farm™ concept, which sees farmers producing fuel from waste products.
Bio Methane, Transport Fuel and Infrastructure
Alongside the Expo, conference sessions at the Summit will look at the global potential of biomethane in transport fuel and the infrastructure developments. The line-up of eminent speakers included Giulia Catini, Institutional Relations and Representative Office to the EU in Brussels, CNH Industrial, Oscar Baroncelli, Head of Global Product Marketing, Strategy and Digital, FPT Industrial, Jorge Asensio Lopez – Alternative Fuels Business Development and TCO Manager, IVECO, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the Natural Gas Vehicle Network and Yann Pierre, Commercial Director of Prodeval.
Boris Johnson, who supported the target when asked on the campaign trail but made little specific mention of his plans to tackle climate change, today promised the UK would become a global leader in the low-carbon transition. “Our Kingdom in 2050… will no longer make any contribution whatsoever to the destruction of our precious planet brought about by carbon emissions,” he said. “Because we will have led the world in delivering that net zero target.”
Such an explicit message of support for the ambitious target will be greeted with relief by environmentalists, who have been wary that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may prioritise cutting green regulations and rolling back environmental standards to boost post-Brexit growth.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson Supports Electric Vehicle (EV) Industry
Carmakers including Jaguar Land Rover, which earlier this month confirmed plans to build the all-electric Jaguar XJ in the UK, have called for the UK to develop a gigascale plant capable of producing battery cells at scale and securing the UK’s position as a leading destination for EV manufacturers.
Yet meeting the net zero target will require an extensive policy overhaul across all areas of government, not just transport, particularly given the UK is not currently on track to meet its medium-term carbon reduction targets that are still based on the previous 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 target.
Responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Boris Johnson to respond to the “climate emergency” with urgent policy action. “Will he ban fracking, will he back real ingenuity like the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, will he increase investment in carbon capture and storage, will he back our solar industry and onshore wind, so devastated over the last nine years?” he asked. “Will he set out a credible plan to reach net zero?”
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Joining Andrea Leadsom at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is Kwasi Kwarteng, who has been appointed Minister of State for Energy at the Department.
Like his predecessor Claire Perry, Kwarteng will also attend cabinet, but there is no mention of Kwarteng assuming Perry’s clean growth brief, previously part of the ministerial job title. A spokesperson for BEIS was unable to confirm why ‘clean growth’ is not listed as part of Kwarteng’s job title, or whether he will lead on the Department’s climate responsibilities.
Perry relinquished her position as Energy and Clean Growth Minister to take up the role of COP26 President yesterday.
At BEIS, Kwarteng will be responsible for overseeing the UK’s continued transition to a cleaner electricity system, which has to date seen low carbon sources make up around half of the UK’s power needs.
A fellow Eton graduate like the PM, Kwarteng moves to BEIS after having served as Under-Secretary in the Department for Exiting the EU since November. Commenting on his appointment this morning, Kwarteng said he was “honoured and delighted” to be joining BEIS.
All-Energy 2019 the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference. Takes place at Glasgow’s SEC on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 May 2019. Meet Powersystems UK Renewable Team exhibiting this year on stand F51.
All-Energy 2018 was a fantastic success. The two-day conference and exhibition was attended by over 7,000 from the UK and overseas. Coming together to forge business relationships and share knowledge that will ultimately chart the future direction of the UK’s clean and renewable energy success story.
In 2019 representatives from Powersystems 70-strong specialist renewable energy team, will be there in force over the two days to provide commercial updates on; renewable energy technology, (Solar, Wind, Bio Mass and Anaerobic Digestion plants), Renewable Energy Storage, STOR, electric vehicle infrastructure and grid connections. We will meet clients and new contacts and share our 44 year, market-leading renewable power expertise for all your project needs.
Renewable Onshore Wind and Offshore Wind
The announcement of a new Offshore Wind Sector Deal on 7 March which will not only deliver at least 30GW by 2030, but also seek to employ more than 33% women by the same date, more than double the current figure, it’s great news for our industry. And all this whilst helping pave the way to a cleaner, sustainable renewable energy model at a time when the effects of climate change are in the headlines on a daily basis putting the sector center stage in the UK Government’s wider Industrial Strategy – the new deal is a huge boost for developers, existing and prospective supply chain and for the UK economy at large. Speak with Powersystems renewable team about your Infrastructure and connection solution for your onshore needs and offshore projects.
Emerging Renewable Solar Energy Technologies
Research and development continue to improve existing solar renewable energy technologies while identifying emerging innovations; such as photosynthetic-based solar energy technologies and solar enhanced fuels. Innovations and developments in solar renewable energy technology and enhanced fuels will benefit everyone by making affordable and reliable renewable energy more accessible to more UK businesses and households.
There has been a large uptake in the number of solar parks being granted planning consent in the UK. Powersystems has been involved with many of these providing grid connection schemes at 11kV & 33kV. Each scheme is designed by our team of engineers and covers the requirements of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) substation, site wide earthing and cabling to the point of connection. The whole process is managed, from initial connection application to final energisation and adoption. In the South West alonePowersystems has connected in excess of 100MW of solar farms Photovoltaic ElectricityGenerating Facilities, Solar Photovoltaic Panels and associated electrical infrastructure.
Renewable Energy Storage Growth
Energy Storage is poised for significant growth in the UK. This is due to a resurgence in confidence for renewable energy, making it the cheapest most sustainable power available. Opportunities in energy storage are aplenty. Storage is overcoming the limiting issue of intermittent renewable energy and is widely understood as the missing piece in the puzzle. According to experts the many opportunities presented require careful consideration. There generally isn’t one revenue stream that storage can use to create a viable business model – it’s more about tapping into multiple revenue streams and being creative about how you make the most of your asset.
Energy Storage Insights Discuss with Powersystems Renewable Team on Stand 51
Discuss you STOR project
Hybrid storage getting the best of both worlds
On the grid understanding the regulations, capacity and infrastructure
Applying battery systems to existing renewable energy schemes
The integration of batteries for EV charging points and other smart systems
Grid Connection – From Application to Energisation
As an Independent Connection Provider (ICP), Powersystems have been providing grid connections across all of the distribution areas of the UK. We have carried out a large number of grid connections for a varied clientele, ranging from Data Centres, Industrial Customers, Formula One Racing Teams, Health Trusts, Water Industry, Major Film Studio/Visitor Attraction and the Renewable Energy Sector. Under our full scope of National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) accreditation we are able to undertake connection design work, cable installation, cable jointing, substation design and construction, switchgear and transformer installation and testing and commissioning services.
We have civil construction capability which enables us to offer clients a ‘turnkey’ connection service to include trenching works, directional drilling, substation building, construction and design from small 11kV substations up to 132kV primary substations. We also offer a grid connection ENA application and feasibility study service through our engineering administration department, where Powersystems will deal with all aspects of your application and liaise with the DNO on your behalf.
All associated civil engineering works including excavation, cable laying and back-filling.
Powersystems Anaerobic Digestion (AD) – Turning Waste Into Renewable Energy
Anaerobic Digestion can play an important role as a means of dealing with organic waste. And avoiding, by more efficient capture and treatment, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are associated with its disposal to landfill. AD also offers other benefits, such as recovering energy and producing valuable biofertilisers. The biogas can be used to generate heat and electricity, converted into biofuels or cleaned and injected into the gas grid.
Anaerobic Digestion a Renewable Energy Technology
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is one of a number of renewable energy technologies that have become commercially available to agriculture and industrial sectors. A key attribute of AD is that it offers multiple environmental and economic benefits, particularly for UK dairy and livestock farms. Alongside their potential to deliver low carbon energy, on-farm AD plants also appear to be the most promising mitigation measure for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from manures and slurries. Take a look at a Powersystems Anaerobic Digestion Plant Case Study
Electric Vehicles (EV), grid technology and battery storage
The global market opportunity in electric vehicles is predicted to top over $500 billion between now and 2025. This potential for transformative change creates huge opportunities for both new and existing players in the automotive sector. Speak with Powersystems Renewable EV Infrastructure team to identify how local grid technologies, battery storage and V2G systems can come together to make this happen.
The Future Is Renewable Energy
There are some fantastic opportunities for industries wanting to future-proof and to drive change. The Powersystems renewable energy team see their role to educate and share information on how this is likely to be applied practically over the next five years and beyond.
How is electricity generated from renewable energy?
There are many, many ways that people make renewable energy all over the world. Renewable energy is any energy we use that comes from renewable, natural sources. Renewable means that it’s naturally replenished, so can’t run out. Things like the sun will never run out, same with trees, because although we can cut them down to make biomass energy, we can still replant them, so it’s a renewable source.
Sunlight, water, air and heat from the earth are all renewable sources that we can use to make solar, tidal, wind and geothermal energy. Sometimes renewable energy is also called green or eco energy.
In a dramatic shift of national energy policy, the 2008-2009 Renewable Energy Strategy November 2008 proposed a massive increase in the contribution of renewables from 2% in 2009 to 15% by 2020. Powersystems asks the question – Where are we now with renewable energy, climate change and policy?
Climate Change Act 2008
Renewable energy is needed to meet decarbonisation and climate change targets. The Climate Change Act 2008 set in legislation the UK’s approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It introduced the UK’s long-term legally binding 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels. It also introduced ‘carbon budgets’ which cap emissions over successive 5-year periods and must be set 12 years in advance.
Clean Growth Strategy October 2017
In October 2017, the UK Government published its Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) setting out ambitious policies and proposals, through to 2032 and beyond, to reduce emissions across the economy and promote clean growth for climate change. Clean growth means growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. It will increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people right across the country, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend.
Modern Industrial Strategy November 2017
In November 2017 the UK published its modern Industrial Strategy, which includes a Clean Growth Grand Challenge. The Grand Challenge aims to put the UK at the forefront of industries of the future, by maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to low carbon and achieving climate change targets.
25 Year Environment Plan
Building on the proposals set out in the CGS, the UK outlined its plans to improve the environment and climate change in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The 25 Year Environment Plan was published in January 2018 and sets out the UK’s approach to deliver on our ambition to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited, and to fully seize the opportunities of clean growth.
Climate Change Driving Policy
Climate change is driving policy and regulations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at international, national and regional level. Challenging European targets have also been set for renewable energy, and a number of policy measures implemented in the UK for renewable electricity, heat and transport fuels.
Strategies and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Energy policy is mainly devolved to Northern Ireland and partly devolved to Wales and Scotland. Climate change policy is devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the UK Government retains control over many energy policy areas and also some other important policy areas which deliver emissions reductions.
In Northern Ireland energy policy and the independent regulation of energy companies are devolved matters. Northern Ireland’s current energy strategy is set out in the Strategic Energy Framework (SEF) for the period 2010-2020. Northern Ireland’s future energy strategy is likely to concentrate on a more consumer-led decentralised energy system and decarbonisation in areas such as electricity, heat and transport. The Department for Economy NI is currently preparing a public engagement exercise to help shape proposals for a new energy strategy that will positively relate to climate change.
The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR)
Is responsible for regulating the electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has operated a single wholesale electricity market called the Single Electricity Market (SEM) with the Republic of Ireland since November 2007. The SEM has been undergoing extensive redesign to comply with the EU Target Model for the harmonisation of arrangements for trading electricity across Member States. The new arrangements are being progressed under the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) programme. Reforms to the SEM went live on 1 October 2018. They are designed to introduce efficiencies of interconnector flows, encourage new investment in the market, apply downward pressure on prices, and create enhanced trading opportunities and options through the introduction of continuous trading in the intra-day, day-ahead, forwards, and balancing timeframes. The first auction took place at the end of 2017; further auctions are taking place later this year and in March 2019.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires Scottish Ministers to reduce emissions in Scotland by at least 80% by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020 and annual targets for each year to 2050.
A new Climate Change Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2018, with increased targets in response to the UN Paris Agreement. The Bill increases Scotland’s 2050 target to a 90% reduction in emissions of all greenhouse gases, which means net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide. In other words, the Bill means that Scotland would be carbon neutral by 2050.
The Climate Change Plan published in February 2018 sets out the Scottish Government’s comprehensive package of policies and proposals for meeting emissions reduction targets over the period to 2018 – 2032.
Scotland Energy Strategy December 2017
The Scottish Government also published an Energy Strategy in December 2017 which sets out a vision for the future of energy in Scotland to 2050. The Energy Strategy is fully consistent with the aims of the Climate Change Plan, taking a wider view of the long-term transformational change which will be required in the energy sector. Together the Energy Strategy and the Climate Change Plan provide the strategic framework for Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy – reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst maximising the social and economic opportunities. The framework covers reserved areas as well as devolved, focusing action on those areas which the Scottish Government can directly affect.
The Environment (Wales) Act 201610 requires Welsh Ministers to reduce emissions in Wales by at least 80% by 2050. This Act also requires Welsh Ministers to set interim emissions reduction targets for the years 2020, 2030 and 2040, and establish a system of carbon budgeting that together create an emissions reduction pathway to the 2050 target.
Since the Environment (Wales) Act was passed, the Welsh Government has focused on establishing a regulatory and policy framework to meet the statutory commitment, based on significant stakeholder engagement and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. Following consultation, the Welsh Government has publish its plan for achieving the first carbon budget in March 2019. Prosperity for all: A Low Carbon Wales
Five dimensions of the Energy Union
The UK’s ambitious energy and climate legislation and strategies support the five dimensions of the Energy Union.
The UK is committed to ensuring there are secure supplies for consumers, regardless of the energy mix, and the CGS sets out actions to enhance energy security by delivering a more diverse and reliable energy mix. The UK is supporting smarter, flexible networks thereby enabling the integration of clean generation.
To meet the UK’s 2050 climate change target (to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels), emissions from buildings will need to be near zero, coupled with action on industrial processes. This requires improving energy efficiency and energy management, and decarbonising nearly all heating and cooling of buildings. To achieve this, the UK is taking a range of actions including addressing barriers to energy efficiency and low carbon investment, such as supporting organisations to access finance.
The CGS provides a framework for driving UK policy on energy efficiency. Some recent policies and measures on energy efficiency that have already been implemented include commitments to fund energy efficiency improvements in the public sector, industry, business and homes – for example, through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Northern Ireland contributes to the UK’s energy efficiency targets with the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) delivering up to 200GWh per year of energy savings as required by Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Northern Ireland is currently developing a Northern Ireland energy efficiency action plan as part of a wider Energy Strategy, which aims to ensure co-ordinated and effective delivery of energy efficiency policies and programmes across Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, the Energy Efficient Scotland Routemap and Transition Programme was launched in May 2018. This ambitious 20-year programme contains a set of actions to make Scotland’s buildings near zero carbon wherever feasible by 2040 and to do so in a way that is socially and economically sustainable. The Programme will see around £10-12 billion of public and private sector investment in energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation over the 20-year period generating economic opportunity across the whole of Scotland. Energy Efficient Scotland has two main objectives: to remove poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more energy efficient buildings and decarbonising Scotland’s heat supply.
In Wales, the Welsh Government has invested more than £240 million since 2011 to improve the energy efficiency of more than 45,000 homes of those on low incomes or living in the most disadvantaged areas of Wales. The Welsh Government is investing a further £104 million in the Warm Homes programme for the period 2017-2021, improving up to 25,000 homes and leveraging up to £24 million of EU funding.
Through the Climate Change Act, the UK has established in law the first five carbon budgets covering the period from 2008-2032, with the sixth carbon budget due to be set in 2021. The UK has outperformed the target emissions reduction of its first carbon budget (2008 to 2012) and is projected to outperform against the second and third budgets (2013 to 2022). The CGS sets out ambitious policies across all sectors of the economy to deliver the fourth and fifth carbon budgets (covering the periods 2023-2027 and 2028-2032).
Scotland has met its annual emissions reduction targets for each of the three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). Actual emissions from Scotland have been reduced by almost half (49%) between the 1990 baseline and 2016. Emissions in Wales have been reduced by 14% in the same period, with fluctuation throughout the time series.
Internal energy market
The UK Government recognises a range of benefits that interconnection can provide and strongly supports greater electricity trading with our European partners. The electricity system in Great Britain is currently connected to north-west Europe via 3GW of interconnector capacity. 1GW of interconnection also links GB with the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland. Further interconnection projects are currently under construction (4.4GW) or seeking regulatory approval (4GW) and, as set out in our CGS, project assessments indicate the potential for a further 9.5GW interconnection beyond this in the early to mid-2020s. This is expected to increase our level of interconnection by 2030.
The UK continues to be a lead actor in the transformation of climate change and the energy markets and has strongly supported the EU’s direction in this area, most recently during the Clean Energy Package negotiations, to deliver open, transparent and competitive markets. We continue to support developing liberalised markets and successfully using competition to drive down energy prices. We are embracing the opportunity to increase renewable generation, decarbonise the economy and maintain affordability. We are implementing rules for a well-functioning internal energy market and our recent Electricity Market Reform introduced measures on, for example, Contracts for Difference and wholesale market liquidity. The CGS outlines the UK’s commitment to move towards a more dynamic market, empowering the consumer and realising the potential of renewables, small scale generation, greater flexibility, smart metering and the digital revolution.
Research, innovation and competitiveness
The UK’s early action on climate change and clean growth means that it has nurtured a broad range of low carbon industries, including some sectors in which we have world leading positions. This success is built upon wider strengths – the UK’s scientific research base, expertise in high-value service and financial industries, and a regulatory framework that provides long-term direction and support for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacturing of leading-edge technology.
This progress has been aided by the falling costs of many low carbon technologies: renewable power sources like solar and wind are comparable in cost to coal and gas in many countries; energy efficient light bulbs are over 80% cheaper today than in 2010; and the cost of electric vehicle battery packs has tumbled by over 70% in this time. As a result of this technological innovation, new high value jobs, industries and companies have been created. This is driving a new, technologically innovative, high growth and high value ‘low carbon’ sector of the UK economy.
Due to the UK’s world leading expertise in technologies such as offshore wind, power electronics for low carbon vehicles and electric motors, and global leadership in green finance, we are successfully exporting goods and services around the world. For example, in 2017, 1 in every 8 battery electric cars driven in Europe was built in the UK This progress means there are nearly 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, employing people in locations across the country.
Capturing part of the global opportunity while continuing to drive down carbon emissions from our own activities provides a huge economic opportunity for the UK. By one estimate, the UK low carbon economy could grow by an estimated 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – 4 times faster than the rest of the economy – and could deliver between £60 billion and £170 billion of export sales of goods and services by 203. This means that clean growth can play a central part in our Industrial Strategy – building on our strengths to drive economic growth and boost earning power across the country.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Holds the responsibility for strategic oversight of climate change and energy science and innovation across UK Government, promoting and protecting the UK Government’s policy interests. Its Science and Innovation for Climate Change and Energy Directorate (SICE) provides the science and engineering evidence and data to support, constructively challenge and enable development and delivery of national energy policy.
Wider prioritisation of activity, research and innovation spending on energy is co-ordinated through the UK Government’s Energy Innovation Board (EIB), with SICE providing the secretariat for this. There is currently no separate energy research and innovation strategy, prioritisation decisions are informed by the Industrial Strategy and the CGS.
The Electric Vehicle Revolution, Transportation and Environment
To understand the electric vehicle revolution, it helps to look at the key elements driving it today.
Consumer tastes and preferences are changing. The driver to these behavioural changes can almost be linked to technological innovation.
Technology is one part of a three-pronged phenomenon that’s behind the electric vehicle revolution. The other two key drivers are environmental awareness and political policy changes.
Awakening environmental consciousness
Air pollution – reducing emissions
Air pollution, particularly in cities is not a new problem. In the Middle Ages the use of coal in cities such as London began to escalate. The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th century was centred around the use of coal. Burning coal for domestic and industrial uses, meant that air pollution reached very high levels.
Following the clean air act of 1956 and 1968, air quality improvements continued through the 1970s. Further regulations were introduced through the 1974 Control of Air Pollution Act. This included the regulations for the composition of motor fuel and limits for the sulphur content of industrial fuel.
Today, the UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. For this to happen, the UK economy needs to transform while ensuring secure, low-carbon energy supplies to 2050.
Growth in cars, trucks and buses
During the early 1980s, the number of motor vehicles became more prevalent. The early focus was on the effect of lead pollution on human health. By the early 1990s, the effects of other vehicle pollutants became a major concern.
Today, cars, trucks and buses powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution. As well as being a leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The transport sector is responsible for a large proportion of urban air pollution.
The automotive sector contributes somewhere between 12 and 70 percent of particulate air pollution. Another transport-related air pollutant that harms health includes ground level ozone (O3) a key factor in chronic respiratory disease such as asthma. Some of the precursors of O3 include nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Automotive sector is responsible for a large amount of polluting emissions
Cars, trucks and buses produce air pollution throughout their lifecycle. This includes pollution emitted during vehicle operation and fuel production. Extra emissions are associated with refining and distribution of fuels and to a lesser extent, manufacturing and disposal of the vehicle.
Air pollution from cars, trucks and buses splits into primary and secondary pollution. Primary pollution emits into the atmosphere. Secondary pollution results from chemical reactions between pollutants in the atmosphere. These pollutants, now concentrated at their highest levels in the Earth’s atmosphere in the last 650,000 years, are now linked to climate change.
Environmental studies around the impact of climate change suggest, that the Earth’s temperature will rise far more than two degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Unless significant changes are made to global manufacturing, energy supply, and consumer practices. At the same time, these pollutants have created smog and local pollution, creating health problems and choking major cities.
Key observers of the UK diesel-fuelled air pollution crisis, advised that the government decision to incentivise diesel vehicles, which produced less climate-warming dioxide, sparked the initial problems. The heart of the disaster a giant broken promise: the motor industry said it would clean up diesel but instead bypassed the rules for years. What of course actually happened was that diesel emissions limits were not met on the road. Motor manufactures could not manage the problem.
Bordering the edge of sharp practice
Since 2000 The European Union set tough emissions standards for Nitrogen Dioxide, which could have kept levels down. But rather than deliver cars that met these limits in everyday driving, manufacturers created vehicles that could pass the tests. Yet these vehicles emitted pollutants at higher levels once out of the test center.
This sharp practice motivated by the opportunity to shave costs and avoid the inconvenience of drivers needing to top up pollution-busting chemicals more than once a year. By the mid-2000s, it was clear to air-pollution experts that something was very wrong. Nitrogen dioxide levels were rising in cities not falling. And on-the-road testing was starting to show that diesel vehicles were producing more pollution then they were supposed to.
Following the VW ‘dieselgate’ scandal, and glimpses at backroom dealing done by national governments to protect car makers from greener regulations. It was no accident, as large-scale public outcry in response to this trend was starting to build. Auto manufacturers began marketing alternative-powered vehicles that produced lower emissions. They did this by augmenting internal combustion engines with electric motors.
It may be the replacement of diesel, not cleaning them up, that finally clears the air.
Electric vehicle revolution early history
The invention of the first model electric vehicle is attributed to various people.
1828 a Hungarian, Anyos Jedlik invented an early type of electric motor, he then created a small model car powered by this motor
1834, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport, built a contraption which operated on a short, circular electrified track
1834, Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, the Netherlands and his assistant Christopher Becker created a small-scale electric car, powered by non-rechargeable primary cells
1859 Rechargeable batteries for storing electricity on board a vehicle with the invention of the lead acid battery by French physicist Gaston Plante
1881 Camille Alphonse Faure, French Scientist improved the design of the battery increasing the capacity which led to their manufacture on an industrial scale
1884 Thomas Parker an English electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist. Was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground, overhead tramways in Liverpool and Birmingham. Thomas Parker built the first production electric car in London using his own speciality designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries. His interest with the construction of motor fuel-efficient vehicles led him to experiment with electric vehicles
Thomas Parker built the first production electric car in London using his own speciality designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries.
1888 Electric Construction Corporation was formed and had the monopoly on the British electric car markets.
1899 Electric vehicles also held may speed and distance records. Among the most notable of these records was the breaking of the 100/km/h (62mph) speed barrier by Camille Jenatzy, a Belgian race car driver with his rocket shaped electric vehicle 29 April
Electric vehicle revolution the golden age
In the late 1890s and early 1900s interest in motor vehicles increased. Electric battery-powered taxis became available at the end of the 19th century.
In London, Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of such cabs and introduced them to the streets of London in 1897. Nicknamed ‘Hummingbirds’ due to the humming noise they made.
Electric vehicles had many advantages over their early-1900s competitors. They did not have the vibrations, smell and noise associated with gasoline cars. They also did not need gear changes. The electric vehicles were also preferred because they did not need a manual effort to start, as did gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine.
Electric vehicles revolution and city cars
Used as city cars, electric cars found popularity among well-heeled customers who used them where their limited range proved to be even less of a disadvantage. Electric cars were often marketed as suitable vehicles for women drivers due to their ease of operation; in fact, early electric cars were stigmatised by the perception that they were “women’s cars”, leading some companies to affix radiators to the front to disguise the car’s propulsion system.
Electric vehicle Infrastructure
Acceptance of electric cars was hampered by a lack of power infrastructure.
By 1912, many homes were wired for electricity, enabling a surge in the popularity of the cars.
A total of 33,842 electric cars were registered in the United States. And the U.S. became the country where electric cars had gained the most acceptance.
Most early electric vehicles were massive, ornate carriages. Designed for the upper-class customers that made them popular. They featured luxurious interiors and were replete with expensive materials.
Sales of electric cars peaked in the early 1910s.
In order to overcome the limited operating range of electric vehicles, and the lack of recharging infrastructure, an exchangeable battery service was first proposed as early as 1896.
The concept was first put into practice by Hartford Electric Light Company and the GeVeCo battery service and available for electric trucks.
The vehicle owner purchased the vehicle from General Vehicle Company (GVC, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company) without a battery and the electricity was purchased from Hartford Electric through an exchangeable battery.
The owner paid a variable per-mile charge and a monthly service fee to cover maintenance and storage of the truck.
Both vehicles and batteries were modified to ease a fast battery exchange.
The service was provided between 1910 and 1924 and during that period covered more than 6 million miles.
Beginning in 1917 a similar successful service was operated in Chicago for owners of Milburn Wagon Company cars who also could buy the vehicle without the batteries.
The decline of the electric vehicle revolution
By the 1920s an improved road infrastructure required a vehicle with a greater range than offered by electric cars.
With the affordability of fuel as well as; cars becoming even easier to operate, coupled with the invention of the electric starter and finally the initiation of mass production vehicles from Henry Ford, the electric car began to lose its position in the automobile market.
By 1912, an electric car sold for almost double the prices of a fuel car. Most electric car makers stopped production in the 1910s. Electric vehicles-maintained popularity for certain applications where their limited range did not pose major problems.
Fork lift trucks were electrically powered. For most of the 20th century the majority of the world’s battery electric road vehicles were British milk floats. Electric golf carts were produced as early as 1954.
Years passed without a major revival in the use of electric cars. Electric vehicle technology stagnated.
In the late 1950s, Henney Coachworks and the National Union Electric Company, makers of Exide batteries, formed a joint venture to produce a new electric car, the Henney Kilowatt, based on the French Renault Dauphine.
The car was produced in 36- volt and 72-volt configurations; the 72-volt models had a top speed approaching 96 km/h (60 mph) and could travel for an hour on a single charge.
Despite the Kilowatt’s improved performance with respect to previous electric cars, consumers found it too expensive compared to fuel cars of the time, and production ended in 1961.
Electric vehicle revolution and the revival of interest
In 1959, American Motors Corporation (AMC) and Sonotone Corporation announced a joint research effort to consider producing an electric car powered by a “self-charging” battery. That same year, Nu-Way Industries showed an experimental electric car with a one-piece plastic body that was to begin production in early 1960
In 1967, AMC partnered with Gulton Industries to develop a new battery based on lithium and a speed controller designed by Victor Wouk
1971, 31 July an electric car received the unique distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to drive on the Moon; that car was the Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission. The “Moon buggy” was developed by Boeing and GM subsidiary Delco Electronics (co-founded by Kettering) featured a DC drive motor in each wheel, and a pair of 36-volt silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries
• 1971, 31 July an electric car received the unique distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to drive on the Moon; that car was the Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission.
1970s and 1980s energy crisis brought about renewed interest in the perceived independence electric cars had from the fluctuations of the hydrocarbon energy market. General Motors created a concept car of another of their gasoline cars, the Electrovette (1976)
1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors president Roger Smith unveiled the GM Impact electric concept car, along with the announcement that GM would build electric cars for sale to the public
Throughout the 1990s, interest in fuel-efficient or environment friendly cars declined among consumers in the United States. Instead they favoured sport utility vehicles, which were affordable to operate despite their poor fuel efficiency thanks to lower fuel prices. Domestic U.S. automakers chose to focus their product lines around the truck-based vehicles, which enjoyed larger profit margins than the smaller cars which were preferred in places like Europe or Japan
2004 California electric car maker Tesla Motors began development on the Tesla Roadster. The Roadster was the first road legal serial production all electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles) per charge
2010 The Nissan Leaf introduced in Japan and the United States became the first modern all-electric, zero tailpipe emission five door family hatchback to be produced for the mass market from a major manufacturer. As of January 2013, the Leaf is also available in Australia, Canada and 17 European countries
2014, there were over 500,000 plug-in electric passenger cars and utility vans in the world. The U.S leading plug-in electric car sales with 45% share of global sales. The world’s top selling all-electric cars in 2014 were the Nissan Leaf (61,507), Tesla Model S (31,655), BMW i3 (16,052), and the Renault Zoe (11,323). Accounting for plug-in hybrids, the Leaf and the Model S also ranked first and second among the world’s top 10 selling plug-in electric cars
2016, Norway became the first country where 5% of all registered cars was a plug-in electric vehicle
2018, December starts to see the rise of the electric vehicle revolution the global stock of plug-in electric cars reached 5.1 million units, consisting of 3.3 million all-electric cars (65%) and 1.8 million plug-in hybrid cars (35%). Despite the rapid growth experienced, the plug-in electric car segment represents about 1 out of every 250 motor vehicles on the world’s roads at the end of 2018
Source: Reuters Graphics and U.S. Department of Energy
Types of electric vehicles
Conventional vehicles – Use internal combustion engines. Fuel is injected into the engine, mixing with air before being ignited to start the engine.
Hybrid electric vehicles – Powered by both engine and electric motor. The battery is charged internally throughout the engine.
Plug-In Hybrid – Battery can be charged both internally and externally through outlets. Run on electric power before using the engine.
All-electric vehicles – Powered only by electric motor with no engine. Have large traction battery and must be plugged externally to charge.
Electric vehicle revolution and technology rises to the occasion
As consumer awareness continues to grow and governments around the world set rigorous new fuel economy standards, automotive technology has also upped its game. The electric Tesla Model S, introduced in 2012, has now sold more than 250,000 electric cars has set an entirely new standard of what was possible in an alternative-powered vehicle. Able to hurtle from 0-to-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, the four-door luxury sedan is the third fastest accelerating production car ever.
Suddenly environmentalists and enthusiasts alike can find something to get excited about in the burgeoning EV movement. Still, despite the rapid-fire growth coming from several different directions, just six countries – China, the U.S., Japan, Canada, Norway, and the UK – currently have EV market shares that are above one percent of total vehicle sales. That number is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years, though.
The key to that growth has been technological improvement in lithium-ion batteries. Technology improvements in this space are causing energy storage prices to drop precipitously.
Lithium batteries have seen an 89% reduction in price and a 73% increase in energy density.
Due to economies of scale, the price for the lithium-ion battery pack is dropping steadily by 15 percent every year and the energy density is increasing. This results in a longer range for the same price. When the range increases more, consumers will accept EVs and the adoption moves along a classic technology adoption curve: from early adopters to laggards. This market is no different from other tech markets.
With this development, EVs will sooner or later reach the price/quality ratios that make them competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives. When this happens, the market will tip into a new direction quickly.
Renewable energy for farms and agriculture set to become important sources of renewable fuel and energy
The Energy and Rural Business Show is a pioneering event. Which was attended by the Powersystems renewable energy team. The event showcased the latest opportunities for renewable energy for farms, land owners and rural businesses who are looking to maximise profitable and sustainable land use.
Powersystems UK attended the Energy and Rural Business Show. The event took place on the 6-7 February 2019 at the Telford International Centre.
Celebrating ten years of success, the show has been created to bring key areas together. These key areas are set to define farm businesses going forward. The Energy Now Expo, was joined by the Rural Business Expo and the Low-Emission Vehicles Expo.
Renewable energy for farms and storage technology
Over the next decade an ‘energy revolution’ is being predicted for the UK. As farmers and landowners look to invest in energy storage technology. Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, James Court, said ‘Around 2.5GW of subsidy-free solar and energy storage projects are set to be deployed in the UK over the next two years.’
Renewable energy for farms – energy storage
If a farmer has already invested in renewable technologies, energy storage would add extra value to their onsite generation. Historically, one of the drawbacks of renewable energy such as solar and wind, has been its production variability. However, battery technology could help to overcome these peaks and troughs.
Charging stations on farms and Time of Use tariffs
Renewable energy also opens up a range of future diversification opportunities, such as the prospect of hosting charging stations on-farm for electric vehicles. Time of Use tariffs are currently under consultation, but will allow farms to use electricity when it’s cheapest to do so, with the right control system in place.
Reducing the size and cost of technology
Developments in lithium ion batteries have also reduced the size and cost of the technology. This has led to more feasible behind the meter domestic storage and commercial-scale systems, which support existing grid infrastructure for wind and solar farms.
It’s been a busy year for energy storage on a policy framework level, which can be seen in the latest Government targets. The UK is currently one of the best places in the world for advancing this technology, and farmers are positioned to be at the forefront of these developments.
Localised renewable energy for farms
There is now a greater need for localised renewable energy for farms. If the government’s target to ban diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040 is to be met, we will need new sustainable refuelling infrastructure in rural areas.
Farms as key players in renewable infrastructure
Farms could become key players in the production and supply of renewable transport fuels.
There are a number of exciting developments in the agricultural sector. What’s key now, is understanding where the best opportunities lie for farmers in the immediate and longer-term future, so that provisions can be made.
Energy storage challenges and opportunities
The agri-renewables industry has previously been about mass generation of energy. Now the focus is on more smart and targeted use of power and heat. This includes storing energy for later use. Battery storage technology has moved on leaps and bounds, and suppliers are now focusing on developing more affordable solutions. Decreasing battery size paired with increased efficiency is a focus for this, and innovations in lead acid and heat battery technology, could help to make this a reality.
Energy storage growth
Energy Storage is poised for significant growth in the UK. This is due to a resurgence in confidence for renewable energy, making it the cheapest most sustainable power available. Opportunities in energy storage are aplenty. Farmers are being urged to source sound advice, as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Storage is overcoming the limiting issue of intermittent renewable energy and is widely understood as the missing piece in the puzzle. According to experts speaking at the event, the many opportunities presented require careful consideration. There generally isn’t one revenue stream that storage can use to create a viable business model – it’s more about tapping into multiple revenue streams and being creative about how you make the most of your asset.
Energy storage – the below topics provided some great insights
What are the opportunities? A look at STOR and behind the meter options, including costs and income figures
Smart Systems & Flexibility: electricity storage policy focus
Hybrid storage – onsite use and export – getting the best of both worlds
On the grid session about understanding the regulations, innovations and opportunities available
Energy Storage, guidance on selecting the right size of battery system for your home and/or business
Applying battery systems to existing renewable energy schemes
Growth prospects and market outlook for energy storage
Flexible power programme
Taking advantage of market volatility
The integration of batteries for EV charging points and other smart systems
Low emission farm vehicles
Discussions at Government level indicate that a policy framework for energy storage as a sector is in the pipeline. They recently announced their ultimate goal of removing diesel vehicles.
This confirms that electric cars and therefore, battery storage is likely to be the future. Bearing in mind that the UK agricultural machinery market includes about 10,000 to 15,000 new tractor sales per year, these developments within the low emissions vehicle sector are incredibly exciting.
According to a new study of the opportunities and challenges of ‘vehicle to grid’ (V2G) technologies on farms and in other rural business and community situations. Farms could become key players in the generation, storage and supply of renewable transport electricity and fuel in rural areas. As well as supplying decentralised power networks.
Electric Vehicles (EV), grid technology and battery storage
Farmers and landowners wanting to find out how they could tap into the opportunities presented by electric vehicles (EV) and machinery, were invited to attend the event and learn more about electric and autonomous vehicles operating in farm and rural situations. And also identify how local grid technologies, battery storage and V2G systems can come together to make this happen.
Farm generated electricity and transport technology
Leading the initiative was the NFU, alongside Warwickshire transport specialist Greenwatt, working in association with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), to investigate the practicalities of linking farm-generated renewable electricity and innovative transport technologies.
They are exploring the opportunity for rural vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trials. This involves electric tractors and other off-road agricultural machinery. This has highlighted the potential challenges of vehicles charging from often weak rural electricity networks.
Farm machinery manufacturers, electric vehicle specialists and battery storage experts, as well as university and government research bodies, are all participating with the common purpose of adding value to farm-generated renewable electricity.
Renewable energy for farms are perfectly placed to be pivotal in the generation, storage and supply of renewable electricity
Mike Woollacott from Greenwatt Technology is a co-coordinator of the V2G Task and Finish group and is positive about the future. “Farms are perfectly placed to be pivotal in the generation, storage and supply of renewable electricity. Thus enabling much greater deployment of electric vehicles on our farms, horticultural and forestry businesses.
Smarter farming will mean the adoption of battery powered and sometimes driverless vehicles on our farms. “There is now a greater need for localised renewable energy. And in light of the government’s target to ban diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040, the need for new sustainable refuelling infrastructure in rural areas is more pressing than ever.
As the National Grid decentralises, we need to test and demonstrate the practicalities of integrating the generation, storage and use of renewable energy as a clean and locally accessible source of transport fuel for rural businesses and communities,” said Mike.
Progress through innovation
The farming industry has already made great progress. For example, John Deere promoted their Li-ion battery-powered electric tractor prototype, at SIMA earlier this year. And Landover has been busy hiring software engineers for their electric vehicle fleet. The NFU has also reported that they anticipate diesel-electric hybrid and battery-electric tractors will be widely available from 2020 onwards.
Powersystems, Electric Vehicles (EV) and the Top Gear trio
The BBC Top Gear’s new presenters filmed an item for the forthcoming series involving three Electric Vehicles (EVs) at the Energy and Rural Business Show. The move reflects advances in the EV market; with ‘substantial’ growth reported over the last 12 months and high expectation at new models launching this year.
EV Custom-made model
Each EV was a never seen before custom-made model. The show was the only place the vehicles were available to view until the Top Gear episode is aired later in the year. Speaking on Top Gear’s appearance, David Jacobmeyer, the event director, was enthused about the new addition. “Having Top Gear, including the new presenting trio of Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris at the show was testament to how far low emission vehicles have come.
This bodes well for the future of the sector, ‘transport is one of the most polluting sectors in the UK, this is why we have introduced the Low Emission Vehicles Expo at the event for the first time this year, and we were over the moon to have Top Gear in attendance.’
The future in renewable energy for farms
The next few years for farms appear challenging. There are some fantastic opportunities for rural businesses wanting to future-proof and to drive change. The event showcased the most innovative diversification options available in one space over two days.
In the future, Powersystems see opportunity for farmers with the right infrastructure to host charging stations for electric cars, or become sellers of biodiesel or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for low emission cars.
Feedback told us that the key focus for next year will be on the opportunities within energy storage and low emissions vehicles.
However, in the current climate, it’s also about making the most of what you’ve got on-farm, and maximising returns on current investments.
New developments are of course still achievable, but need to be carefully managed, with long-term planning and future opportunities in mind.
The Powersystems renewable energy team see their role to educate and share information on how this is likely to be applied practically over the next five years and beyond.