Jaguar Land Rover has announced a huge investment to build electric cars in the UK.
The investment will be centred around the Coventry car maker’s plant in Castle Bromwich, the home of Jaguar, but other plants will also benefit.
Dr Ralph Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The future of mobility is electric and as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK.”We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, electronic drive units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
The news was welcomed by the Government and the trade union Unite.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in the UK automotive industry – protecting thousands of skilled jobs.
“It reflects our determination for the UK to be at the forefront of the development and manufacturing of the next generation of electric vehicles.” Our sister website BusinessLive is running a live blog on Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement today You can find it. He added: “JLR’s announcement recognises the strength of the excellent workforce at Castle Bromwich and acknowledges the efforts of many parties, including the government and the Mayor Andy Street, to invest and build a sustainable future in the region for advanced manufacturing, safeguarding jobs and skills.”
The investment, which was revealed in the media earlier this week , marks the run-out of the existing XJ, which was made at Castle Bromwich.
It comes in the wake of an agreement by employees to work a four-day week at the Birmingham site.
The agreement was drafted between the company and Unite and hailed as a deal that would secure the future of the Castle Bromwich plant and pave the way for future investment. Employees will still work a 37-hour week.
Huge electric investment, what the credit rating downgrade means, Slovakia update and F-Type spy shots – your Jaguar Land Rover digest Unite’s assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “Today’s trailblazing announcement by Jaguar Land Rover is testament to the skill and hard work of Unite members and shop stewards.
“Once again they have pulled out all the stops to secure the new investment needed for this new model which will be the first UK built all-electric executive saloon.
“Not only is it a fantastic boost to the UK car industry, but it ensures that Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich site remains a powerhouse of the regional economy providing a living for thousands of workers and supporting many more in the supply chain.
“This is a proud day for our members and Jaguar Land Rover.
“The Government and Theresa May’s replacement as prime minister must make sure it is not the last for the UK’s world beating car workers and their families. ”
The Castle Bromwich plant, near Junction 5 of the M6, employs around 2,500 workers.
It produces the XE, XF, XF Sportbrake, F-Type and the current XJ models.
Jaguar Land Rover said the transformation of Castle Bromwich will be “the most significant in the plant’s history”.
The new electric vehicles will be based on the company’s Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA).
Mr Speth said: Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle.
“Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad.
“The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”
Jaguar Land Rover was the Jaguar I-Pace, which is made under contract by Magna Steyr in Austria.
Batteries for new electric vehicles will be made at a new factory being built in Hams Hall in Warwickshire, while the electric motors will be manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s engine plant near Wolverhampton.
The news of investment will come as a welcome shot in the arm for Jaguar Land Rover, as the firm battles the triple woes of falling sales in China, declining demand for diesel vehicles and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.
Earlier this year the company announced plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs and later posted losses of £358m (or £3.6 billion if a writedown on the value of assets was taken into account) for the 2018/19 financial year.
Rumours have persisted of a tie-up with, or takeover by, French car maker PSA Group, though Jaguar Land Rover has recently signed a partnership deal with BMW to produce electric drive units (EDUs) for the next generation of electric vehicles.
Powersystems UK Ltd are a specialist High Voltage electrical engineering company established in 1977. Our head office is located in Yate, Bristol. Our current turnover to December 2018 is in excess of £27 million, in 2019 we celebrate our 42nd year of trading.
Powersystems have grown by reputation to become a major force in the design and installation of high voltage infrastructure across the whole of the United Kingdom.
As one of the first Lloyds National Electricity Registration Scheme ‘s accredited Independent Connection Providers we are capable of delivering contestable grid connections at voltages up to 132kV.
We have supported and delivered projects for diverse clientele; this includes:
Dyson Hullavigton, electric vehicle research and development facility for UK electric vehicle production
Millbrook Proving Ground, electric vehicle testing facility
EV infrastructure, for bus transportation projects UK wide
Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio, London
Rolls Royce Aero Engines and Airbus
Jaguar Land Rover
Formula One Race Teams (Mercedes Petronas, Williams F1 and Red Bull Technologies)
Public Sector – Ministry of Defence, Universities, NHS Trusts UK wide, Schools, Water Utilities.
Bristol, Newport and Southampton Port Authorities
Powersystems UK Ltd. is an Employee Owned Business and as such has a keen interest in the well-being of all its employees. We encourage and empower you to be imaginative, share great ideas and be involved in the success of our business.
Latest employee ownership sector shows positive growth in top 50 report
Employee ownership businesses enjoy higher levels of productivity. In the latest publication of the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) annual 2018 Top 50 Report, shows positive growth for the employee ownership sector. With a combined sales value of nearly £20bn, five new entries to the Top 50 and an almost 10% median increase in operating profits.
25% UK-Registered companies are under employee ownership
The Top 50 list, covers independent UK-registered companies that are at least 25% owned by their employees on a broad basis. And UK subsidiaries of non-UK companies that are more than 75% employee owned. Nigel Mason, Director of the RM2 Partnership said: “It’s been a challenging year for UK businesses. Especially for those on the high street, but total sales for companies on this year’s Top 50 list are up 6.5% on a like-for-like* basis. A figure that shows resilience and sustained high growth in the employee owned sector.
250 Companies transitioned to employee ownership since 2014
“More than 250 businesses including Aardman Animations and Riverford Organic Farmers have transitioned to an EOT since 2014. Many of them below the Top 50, which has helped the sector diversify in size. As more businesses realise the benefits of this business model. We will continue our conversations with government about support for employee ownership. We are very confident that the sector will continue to grow.” 2018 has been a particularly interesting year for the EOA. It enjoyed significant attention in the national media, which generated new levels of interest and engagement in the sector. In addition, the three main political parties in the UK directly consulted with the EOA to incorporate elements of employee ownership into their manifestos.
The top findings from the employee ownership report include:
£19.8bn combined sales of Top 50 employee-owned companies (up 6.5% on like-for-like basis)
9.2% median increase in operation profits
7.3% increase in productivity year-on-year (Compared to UK productivity which fell by 0.1% Q1 2017 to Q1 2018)
171,000 combined employees (down 1% on a like-for-like basis)
54% of companies with no net debt
For the first time in five years, there has been a decrease in the combined sales of the Top 50. This is because of tough trading conditions in the retail sector. Mainly due to the demise of wholesaler Palmer and Harvey. Meanwhile, there was a fall in profits and head count for the Top-50’s number one John Lewis & Partners, which still fared better than many of its high street counterparts.
Employee owned businesses securing future business values
Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “It is an exciting time for the sector with founders of big British brands such as Riverford, Aardman and Sawday’s choosing employee ownership. In order to secure the future of the business’ values and ethos while rooting the jobs and associated value to the region in the UK indefinitely. “A tough time for retail in 2018 has had an impact on the total sales of the Top 50. This shows that no business is immune to market pressures. However, like-for-like total sales are up by 6.5%, and our sector has seen a continuing rise in productivity bucking the national trend. Findings that only add weight to the evidence and recommendations of the Ownership Dividend. Evidence shows that the independent nature of EO business and the structures they adopt to engage their employees allow for growth over the longer term and have a huge, positive impact on business performance.”
The ownership dividend report
This year The Ownership Dividend report was published. Chaired by Baroness Sharon Bowles, the inquiry Report contains the most comprehensive, robust and compelling evidence about employee ownership in the UK to date. This report shows how the employee ownership sector can provide the positive solutions needed to face many of the challenges currently facing the UK economy.
The employee-owned sector counts for over £30 billion contribution to UK GDP and is growing by a rate of 10% a year. Despite this, the sector’s profile is comparatively low and its potential contribution to the economy is under-exploited as a result.
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.
Powersystems were invited to attend the houses of parliament this week with the Conservative Environment Network (CEN), Vattenfall UK and 10:10 Climate Action group to bring constituents and supply chain businesses to talk to MPs about the cheapest source of electricity generation: onshore wind.
The event was opened by Simon Clarke MP and other speakers included Luke Graham MP and Sam Richards of CEN.
Powersystems advised, that they were responsible for the electrical installation on over 25% of onshore wind farms in the UK and were the trusted supply partner and best placed to speak with MP’s about the important role wind generation plays in keeping the lights on, reducing bills and its significance in fighting climate change.
Sam Richards, Director of the Conservative Environment Network said, “we know that we need more renewables to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change. Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy, and we should make sure we utilise it where communities want it.”
Ellie Roberts from climate change charity 10:10 Climate Action said, “we had over one hundred constituents in Parliament calling on their MPs to bring back onshore wind – and tens of thousands of people from across the UK have written to the government stating their support. Over three quarters of the British public back onshore – we’re here to make sure MPs realise it.”
Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager at Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company said, “Low-cost, popular, reliable, jobs-boosting onshore wind, free from fossil fuels, deserves the support of the UK Government. It offers a great deal for the British consumer and the economy and investors like us are determined to deliver on the sector’s great potential.”
There is currently 5GW of onshore wind projects with planning consent ready to be built and the key message was that by excluding onshore windfarm from future Contracts for Difference auctions this pipeline is unlikely to be realised.
A fantastic turnout of 40 MP’s showing there is a real interest in making a difference. The event also presented a great opportunity for Powersystems to speak with like-minded people on the importance of onshore wind in the UK. We would like to thank our local MP Luke Hall for dropping in to lend his support.
Did you know that 66% of onshore wind investment stays in the UK economy – therefore supporting it could create 18,000 construction jobs and a further 8,500 long-term O&M jobs!