A battle over whether oil, coal and nuclear fuel can classify as “green” is expected to begin on Wednesday when EU states and lawmakers begin talks on sustainable investment rules.
Brussels proposed the law as part of a plan to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050 but also to widen the market in green bonds and securities.
Any delay on introducing eco-labels on financial investments could deter investors from eco-friendly assets.
The negotiations, due to finish in December, will pit the more conservative European Union countries against a European Parliament, where Green parties have a louder voice.
The European Commission first proposed legislation in May 2018 to tackle “greenwashing”, where banks and other companies claim undeserved environmental credentials for investments.
The European Council, which is made up of the bloc’s 28 member states, generally supports the Commission’s proposals.
But EU lawmakers want to go further by making clear distinctions between what is sustainable and what is not. The parliament has singled out financing of solid fossil fuels such as coal, saying these cannot be called “sustainable”.
The market for green bonds is mostly denominated in euros, unlike many other assets which are priced in dollars, something which some bankers say offers an opportunity for the currency.
The Council and Commission want a more wide-ranging law, that would not have a specific list of green investments, leaving the door open for nuclear energy, for example, to be considered sustainable.
“For the time being, our objective is to exchange best practice between the members and observers to the platform,” a Commission spokesperson told Reuters.
“For those members who are willing, we will progressively move towards developing common approaches.”
Both the Council and parliament hope the regulations and a general law can be established by the end of 2021 and come into force by the end of 2022.
But without a specific list of what is a green investment and what is not, lawmakers say the process could delay the law’s implementation.
The market for green bonds is mostly denominated in euros, unlike many other assets which are priced in dollars, something which some bankers say offers an opportunity for the currency.
Last week, the EU launched new rules and standards for trillions of dollars of private and public “green” investment, together with China, India and other countries.
Source: Reporting by Jonas Ekblom; editing by Philip Blenkinsop, Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith, Reuters Connect
Ian Smyth, Director, UK Power Networks Services
Higher energy costs and congestion on the networks delivering energy to customers are an ever-increasing challenge for UK industry. Embracing new energy networks, technologies and solutions such as EV infrastructure, battery storage systems and microgrids can support UK companies to reduce energy costs, increase resilience and achieve net zero targets.
Power outages represent some of the most serious financial, productivity and customer experience challenges that can affect a business. For example, a two-millisecond interruption can affect an airport’s operations for days because power outage not only means resetting the airport’s systems but also requires all the passenger luggage on the conveyers to be rescanned and put through the system again. This can mean passengers flying to locations across the globe without their bags and it can take the airport up to four days to unite the last customer with the last bag. The consequences are severe reputational and customer satisfaction issues for the airport, the airline and its handling partners. This is only one example of how transport companies can be affected by power outages. The details are different, but the effects are the same across the UK’s commercial and industrial sector.
The fourth industrial revolution brings physical, cyber and biological systems together, challenging our traditional attitude to asset ownership. If we can buy services when and where we need them, instead of buying assets we only use occasionally, we can reduce costs. Taking a taxi is cheaper than owning a car. If we can improve the flexibility and availability of taxis, we don’t need a car sitting on the driveway, remaining unproductive for long periods.
Energy is the same. If we can buy energy infrastructure as a service, we can support the industry to move to an economic environment where energy bills are close to zero marginal cost. To achieve this, we need electricity systems that are dynamic, local and decentralised, and that produce energy that represents a fraction of the total cost of our activities.
If we can buy energy infrastructure as a service, we can support the industry to move to an economic environment where energy bills are close to zero marginal cost.
At UK Power Networks Services, we seek to understand the strategic imperatives, growth plans and financial drivers of our clients. We are then able to reframe the way we look at electricity infrastructure, take advantage of smart energy systems and employ technologies such as battery storage, photovoltaics and electric vehicles to enable our clients to effectively address the three challenges they face – to improve productivity, reduce the cost of electricity and cut emissions.
Thinking about electricity in a holistic and strategic manner allows us to find ways to optimise the flexibility of the energy system and deliver the twin benefits of reduced costs and potential new revenue streams. For example, by generating and storing that electricity, businesses can shift peak demand and avoid high electricity costs, and also reduce overall consumption from the grid. That flexibility becomes more than just the characteristic of the system, it becomes a tradable product that can be sold to others.
At UK Power Networks Services, we are experts in distributed energy solutions and power distribution, integrating decentralised energy resources and new emerging technologies. We provide holistic energy solutions that include energy technology consulting, asset financing, project delivery, design and build, operations and maintenance and asset management. As we are a client-led business, with a technology-agnostic approach to our solutions, we are able to provide the most suitable solution to businesses’ energy requirements that aligns to their energy strategy and operational aims, coupled with the financing required to successfully deliver the projects. Our clients trust us to provide safe, reliable and innovative bespoke energy infrastructure strategy and solutions.
Renewable power has become mainstream, but political barriers and fossil fuel subsidies still slow down the wide deployment of renewables across all sectors.
After years of steady growth, renewable energy has become a fully mainstream option in the power sector. Rapidly falling costs, namely in solar and wind (the world’s fastest-growing sources of new electricity), have helped lead renewables to occupy nearly two-thirds of power capacity additions in 2018 – the fourth consecutive year where more solar, wind and hydropower capacity was added than net coal, gas, oil and nuclear capacity combined. Having grown tenfold since 2000, more than 26 per cent of global electricity production now comes from renewable energy. Today, almost everywhere in the world, solar photovoltaics and wind energy represent the least-cost option of new power generation, and even outcompete existing coal generation in some locations.
Many power systems are adapting to rising shares of variable wind and solar by extending power grids, revising market design and employing digital tools for cost-efficient operation of the power systems. All these factors are leading to higher shares of low-cost renewables in power systems. In 2018, more than 90 countries had installed at least 1 GW of generating capacity, while at least 30 countries exceeded 10 GW of capacity. Nine countries generated more than 20 per cent of their electricity from wind and solar.
The private sector is also getting involved. Renewable power sourced by corporations through power purchase agreements more than doubled in 2018 compared with the previous year. Around the world, corporations including technology multinationals and manufacturers in energy-intensive industries, such as aluminium, cement, steel and even mining, are buying renewable energy and making commitments to power 100 per cent of their operations with renewables. For example, over 190 multinational companies have committed to 100 per cent renewable power through RE100.
The increasing cost-competitiveness of renewable electricity and the predictability of energy costs has been repeatedly cited as the main driver for corporations’ interest in renewables. But there is also a growing concern that the centralised generation from fossil fuels and nuclear, which are more vulnerable to intense weather events including temperatures and storms, poses a real business risk. Fossil fuel and nuclear power plants that have been disabled due to adverse weather conditions in places such as Argentina, Australia, Canada and Germany, attest to this. As these climate-related weather events intensify, the possibility of a disrupted electricity supply will only grow.
Although the steady transition underway in the power sector is what catches headlines, it is not the whole story. Renewable energy continues to struggle to gain shares in the heating, cooling and transport sectors. Currently, renewables supply just under 10 per cent and just over 3 per cent of energy demand in the heating and cooling and transport sectors respectively. These shares barely increase annually even though these sectors account for over 80 per cent of final energy demand worldwide. Widespread deployment of renewable energy, however, is also crucial in these sectors for energy security and decarbonisation reasons.
Costs of new solar and wind are now on a par with fossil fuel prices in many areas, yet global subsidies for fossil fuels grew by around 33 per cent in 2018 to $400 billion.
Electrification of heating, cooling and transport is progressing and will certainly play a role in increasing renewable shares. There is also a wide range of renewable solutions that exist for heating including bioenergy, solar thermal and geothermal heat. In the transport sector, sustainable biofuels and electro-fuels (e.g. hydrogen) produced from renewable electricity will enable more renewable energy usage in road transport, as well as in shipping and aviation. A diverse portfolio of solutions is key to securing a rapid and cost-effective transition to a renewable energy future.
So why is the transition not happening in all sectors? One reason is the persistent policy imbalance that prioritises the power sector over the heating, cooling and transport sectors. One hundred and thirty-five countries have regulatory policies for renewable energy in the power sector, while only 70 currently have policies in transport sector and 20 countries have policies in the heating sector. There is a clear correlation between advances made by renewables in the power sector and implementation of ambitious and comprehensive regulatory policies. As such, more policies in heating, cooling and transport are needed to integrate renewable energy solutions into these sectors and transform the entire energy system.
An additional hurdle to renewable energy penetration is an uneven playing field, where fossil fuel prices are kept artificially low. Costs of new solar and wind are now on a par with fossil fuel prices in many areas, yet global subsidies for fossil fuels grew by around 33 per cent in 2018 to $400 billion. This compares with 2018’s total investment in renewable power of $289 billion. Fossil fuel subsidies remained in place in at least 115 countries in 2017, with at least 73 countries providing subsidies of over $100 million each year.
Despite this, there are continued positive signals. More than 1,000 organisations, managing around $8 trillion in managed financial assets, have committed to divest their assets from fossil fuel production and use. Cities and sub-national governments are increasingly setting far more ambitious targets than their national counterparts.
A transformation to a renewables-based energy system is underway despite persistent support for fossil fuels and a lack of effective policies. Many in the private sector have already identified renewable energy as the most sustainable, modern and cost-effective option to decarbonise their operations. This increasing corporate interest in renewables demonstrates that they can be the fuel of tomorrow, meeting cost requirements and energy security needs for sustained business development.
What if liquid fuel – the kind used by planes, ships and cars – could be produced out of thin air?
On the roof of their laboratory at ETH Zurich, scientists have built a solar mini-refinery to demonstrate a new technology that could spell the end of fossil fuels as we know them. They’ve patented a thermo-chemical process whereby CO2 and water extracted from ambient air are being injected into a solar reactor and blasted with concentrated solar heat to split up the molecules into hydrogen and carbon monoxide; otherwise known as syngas.
Project lead Aldo Steinfeld, Professor of Renewable Energy Carriers at ETH Zurich, said concentrating the sun’s rays gives high enough temperatures for fast thermo-chemical reactions, speeding up syngas production. “This reaction is highly endothermic, requiring very high temperature. And we are providing this energy by concentrating solar radiation by a factor of three thousand,” Steinfeld told Reuters.
Syngas can be easily processed into kerosene, methanol or other hydrocarbons – drop-in fuels ready for use in the existing global transport infrastructure. When used, these synthetic, liquid fuels release as much CO2 when used as they previously absorbed from the air.
“These fuels are carbon neutral,” added Steinfeld.
“Their combustion release is exactly as much CO2 as we originally extracted from the air for their production.”
The mini-refinery in Zurich produces about one decilitre (100 millilitres) of fuel per day. But the team is in the process of expanding with a large-scale test of their solar reactor in a solar tower near Madrid, as part of the EU-backed solar fuels project SUN-to-LIQUID. The solar field in Madrid has hundreds of heliostats reflecting sunlight onto a solar tower, and will demonstrate the production of much more syngas.
Philipp Furler, a former doctoral student in Steinfeld’s group, is now director of spin-off Synhelion, which aims to scale up the solar-fuel production technology up to industrial levels. “Our goal is that by 2025 to have the first full scale commercial solar fuels plant in operation with a production capacity of around 10 million litres of methanol per year,” said Furler, adding that a plant the size of one square kilometre could produce 20,000 litres of kerosene a day. Theoretically, he says, a plant the size of Switzerland – or a third of the Californian Mojave Desert – could cover the kerosene needs of the entire aviation industry.
Source: Thomson Reuters
Turbine Efficiency Group combines capabilities & delivers a world-class service on IGT’s (SGT-100, SGT-200, SGT-300, TA, Saturn, Centaur), servicing new and existing customers from overhaul facilities in the UK and US, with regional offices in Aberdeen and Dubai. Whatever your needs, from refurbished or new installations, maintenance and overhaul capabilities, individual parts, or supply and repairs, we will work with you to provide precise, value-added solutions to fit your individual operations.
As the leading independent provider of gas turbine overhaul and repair services, TEG offers a range of light industrial gas turbine equipment solutions for the power, oil and gas, and industrial markets, with a one-stop-shop service, with a staff of more than 80 of the industry’s most enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who have more than 300 combined years of OEM experience. Our field service team is made up of highly skilled professionals – providing an array of solutions, they are supported by a network of in-house crews of mechanical and electrical engineers and customer support. This combined with the prompt service of our expert technical team means we are strongly placed to minimise our customers’ scheduled and non-scheduled site activities.
When you choose our in-house repair and maintenance service, you’re receiving a repair solution proudly tailor-made for you. Our coatings and repair centre offers a service not only for our house customers with the SGT Lincoln range, but for all small industrial gas turbine users. The service is second to none with unbeatable support, and positioned to deliver an all-inclusive package. Whether it be the whole engine or individual components, our team of experts will support you from the beginning to return to service.
The technology and processes we use breathe new life into expired blades, by realigning the molecular structure of a metal blade to reset to an “as-new” condition. This can offer at least one new life-cycle of use.
Our coatings and repair centre specialises in component repair and refurbishment of Siemens (Ruston TA, TB) SGT100, 200 & 300 engine components, including flame tunes and nozzle guide vanes, and are also experienced in other engine ranges such as Dresser Rand, Rolls Royce, GE and Solar®.
The newly acquired GTA provides overhaul, repair and testing services for a longstanding customer base, primarily operating within the upstream and midstream sector, from its facility in Calera, Oklahoma in the US. This is all delivered from a 16,000ft2 workshop, which includes a Saturn and Centaur test facility as well as a fully equipped machine shop. The workshop has two overhead cranes with up to seven tonnes of capability) and build stands for both the Saturn and Centaur engines.
GTA provides a competitively priced overhaul of all Solar®, Saturn & Centaur products. Each turbine is disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired, balanced and assembled to the highest quality standards. Most overhaul and repair operations are performed in-house on our machines to high quality standards.
No matter what you subscribe to, with Turbine Efficiency Group we deliver exceptional results all over the globe.
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Amisha Patel, Head of Power, Nuclear & Renewables and Public Affairs at the Energy Industries Council, explores the rise of green hydrogen.
With global energy demand increasing, coupled with the urgent need to decarbonise the current energy mix, using hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels has catapulted to the forefront of the debate.
Having played an important role in Britain’s transition to a low-carbon future, the UK’s Committee on Climate Change anticipates hydrogen playing a central role in achieving a net-zero economy.
Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in meeting the need for clean fuel for both energy storage and transport purposes – a key element of a proposed hydrogen economy, in addition to increasing the energy efficiency of electricity production.
Advocates argue that it is an essential counterpart to renewable generation, providing a means of storing energy to overcome intermittency and balance supply with demand.
Being the most abundant element in the universe, proponents argue that it is the perfect solution to existing needs across the entire energy spectrum.
However, developing a hydrogen-based energy system is without its challenges. Several technical, policy and investment steps are still needed to evolve the hydrogen industry, alongside the continued rapid growth of renewables. Lack of infrastructure requirements and high costs still need addressing.
Currently most hydrogen is made from natural gas, through steam reforming which causes the release of CO2.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the hydrogen economy is the way is it produced. Currently most hydrogen is made from natural gas, through steam reforming which causes the release of CO2.
That said, most experts anticipate the economic feasibility of producing hydrogen from water via electrolysis, using renewable electricity. However, for this to be widely deployed costs will need to fall significantly and with greater efficiency in the process itself, which at present consumes more energy than it produces. Next generation electrolysis promises much higher efficiency gains. Could this mean that, powered by renewable energy, the costs of hydrogen production will fall?
Globally we are seeing cost-competitive intermittent renewables such as solar and wind being widely deployed, arguably making the case for using large amounts of hydrogen to balance electricity systems stronger.
“Power to gas” – the use of surplus electricity produced from intermittent technologies being repurposed to produce hydrogen to store for periods when renewable electricity supplies are interrupted or reduced – would reduce curtailed renewables, thereby decreasing costs and linking the gas and power markets (or “sector coupling”).
In order to scale up production and reduce costs, the hydrogen and fuel cell industry need a mass market – in addition to a secure future pipeline, which is a potentially a key enabler of a wholly renewables-based energy system.
“To achieve the targets by 2050, the UK needs to develop hydrogen production capacity of comparable size to the UK’s current fleet of gas-fired power stations, with a combined capacity of around 32GW,” it has been reported. In Brussels, there is consensus that the EU needs carbon-free gas to deliver a net-zero emissions economy in 2050. The points of contention are how much is needed, where it will be used, and how to realise it?
In terms of industrial policy, the European Commission recommends developing a power-to-gas sector. The issue here again is economics. It is currently more economic to use a battery or demand response solutions to deal with these fluctuations in supply. Of course, hydrogen is competing with proponents of other technologies – for example, energy storage technologies such as low-cost lithium-ion batteries, which are not only being increasingly used in stationary storage applications but also in electric vehicles.
Nevertheless, policy makers in the EU are keen to get things moving. Germany and Japan are already leading the way on hydrogen as a result of their conducive industrial policies.
Currently, some of the challenges facing the use of hydrogen look significant, but the renewables market has shown that extraordinary commercial progress is achievable. Can this success be replicated?
The Energy Industries Council will be exploring these challenges and their huge potential at a hydrogen showcase, organised in partnership with Mott McDonald on 7 November. If you are interested in attending please visit www.the-eic.com or contact Caitlin Henderson.
by Amisha Patel, Head of Power, Nuclear & Renewables and Public Affairs, Energy Industries Council
The need to tackle climate change and reduce pollution has never been more important. Much recent focus has been on road vehicles but, with around 90 per cent of the world’s trade in goods transported by ships, it’s increasingly evident that tackling maritime emissions is essential, particularly in international waters, where no single country has jurisdiction.
The shipping industry is responsible for around 14 per cent of the world’s sulphur emissions – the main factor in acid rain – and it’s estimated that air pollution from ships will contribute to more than 570,000 premature deaths over the next five years if not tackled, according to a report submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by the Finnish government.
It’s this which has led the IMO to introduce new regulations, coming into force in 2020, which will overhaul the industry and how it operates. From 1 January 2020, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used by ships operating outside designated emission control areas will fall to 0.50 per cent m/m (mass by mass), from the current limit of 3.5 per cent, requiring most ships to reduce their sulphur oxide emissions by up to 85 per cent. Nitrogen oxide emissions will also need to fall by up to 80 per cent. Penalties for non-compliance will be tough, with captains and chief officers risking jail terms and heavy fines and ships liable to banning orders preventing them from sailing.
Up to now, options for ship owners to reduce sulphur emissions have been limited. One is to switch to fuel with a lower sulphur content, but this is expensive. According to Goldman Sachs, the increase in fuel cost for the global fleet will be around $250 billion a year, and it’s expected that prices for compliant fuel will rise as demand increases. Availability of fuel is also likely to be an issue, and it’s possible some ship owners will initially find themselves unable to comply if they cannot source suitable fuel.
Some firms have turned to open-loop scrubber systems as a solution. This involves installing exhaust gas cleaning systems to remove sulphur oxides from the engine and boiler exhaust gases, meaning ships can continue to use heavy fuel oil.
Availability of fuel is also likely to be an issue, and it’s possible some ship owners will initially find themselves unable to comply if they cannot source suitable fuel.
But this has attracted criticism as the process results in waste water containing pollutants being discharged directly into the ocean where a lack of UV light means these pollutants are unable to break down, leading many ports to ban the practice in their waters.
Another option for the mid-term is to invest in new models with engines which use sulphur-free fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Now, though, a new solution is available which enables ship owners to significantly cut down on harmful emissions and comply with the new IMO regulations, while ensuring their legacy fleets can continue to use more economical heavy fuel oils.
SulPure, created by Lausanne-based Daphne Technology, extracts nitrogen and sulphur oxide emissions by passing exhaust fumes through a number of stages. First, a pre-conditioning unit removes particulate matters, reducing carbon monoxide emissions by 99 per cent. Next, a purification unit generates reactive species that reduce sulphur emissions by 99.3 per cent and nitrogen emissions by 85 per cent.
The nitrogen extracted from the process is released harmlessly into the atmosphere, while the sulphur is collected and made into ammonia sulphate – an agricultural fertiliser which can be sold by ship owners to farmers, creating an additional income. “It’s exactly the same as you find in normal centralised production of fertiliser,” says Mario Michan, the company’s CEO. “There’s no waste or toxic pollutants going into the ocean or the earth. Quiet simply it removes the sulphur and does something beneficial with it.”
The process of fitting the SulPure system is also significantly shorter than implementing an open-loop scrubber, taking between four and seven days. It requires only access to the chimney, rather than the engine room, and does not involve water, meaning the ship does not need to be taken into a dry dock.
Installation cost is around 50 per cent lower than typical scrubber systems, adds Michan, and the return on investment is around 12 months as a result of anticipated lower fuel costs. In fact, Daphne Technologies believes that if every vessel affected by the new regulations were fitted with SulPure, the billion cost referenced earlier would fall to around $20 billion.
Daphne Technologies is currently developing a prototype which will be tested and then submitted for certification, but has already lined up a number of pilot agreements with vessels in the Baltic.
Michan believes the new technology will bring about a feasible and relatively low-cost and low-hassle solution to the challenges posed by the new IMO regulations, and do so in a genuinely environmentally friendly way. “Ship owners really care about sustainability and we offer a full closed-loop solution which adheres to IMO 2020, and is financially attractive,” he says. “We’ve put a lot of effort into looking at the end-of-life cycle of our components. That’s the only way to create a sustainable fleet, and ultimately a viable industry in the long-term.”
In January 2019, Daphne Technologies attracted funding from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), the corporate investment arm of integrated energy and chemicals company Saudi Aramco. SAEV invests in early-stage and high-growth companies in markets such as upstream and downstream oil and gas, petrochemicals, renewables, energy efficiency and water.
SAEV’s investment in Daphne Technologies is part of a wider commitment to being an active participant in the energy transition by supporting early-stage technology companies that develop solutions reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
“The shipping industry is a lifeline of global trade,” says Hans Middelthon, Managing Director of SAEV Europe Ltd. “However, shipping is a major pollutant contributing to climate change. We are working to help the industry reverse this trend, and through our investment in Daphne Technologies, we are supporting a young company seeking to address this global and imminent challenge head on.”
A fast-growing global energy and technology consultancy has developed ground-breaking new technology to help businesses monitor and manage their energy usage more effectively.
Global Procurement Group (GPG) has developed an innovative new technology which provides real-time data that helps companies determine how much energy their assets use at a given point in time. The technology has been developed by the company’s tech arm, ClearVUE Systems, and Energy Lab – based in Malta and India respectively.
The innovative technology allows businesses to accurately measure usage and proactively manage it, helping them to reduce costs and carbon, in the drive towards the UK government’s 2050 zero net economy.
ClearVUE’s Alpha.Lite energy software as a service (e-SaaS) is the first of its kind – a cloud-based, low-cost monitoring and targeting platform that requires no expensive hardware or site visits. It provides businesses with valuable insight into their energy consumption, identifying inefficiencies and helping them reduce energy costs and waste.
Alpha.PRO is a next-generation, cloud-connected monitoring and targeting system offering businesses the opportunity to live-stream energy data down to a one-second granularity, which provides the opportunity for instant action. Businesses gain a 360-degree view of their energy fundamentals, from a single circuit to multiple assets across the globe. It instantly shows them where energy efficiency can be improved and energy waste reduced, saving costs and cutting carbon emissions.
The company launched its technology at its annual conference on 4 October in Newcastle to an audience of more than 450, including colleagues, customers, business energy suppliers and global media.
Fokhrul Islam, GPG CEO and founder of Northern Gas and Power, part of GPG, said: “From talking to our customers we understand there’s a real demand for change. But the utilities sector needs not only a change of attitude, it also needs a change of technology.
“There is the opportunity to totally transform how businesses use and manage energy, as we move towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. People want change – businesses tell us they want to become more eco-friendly, but technology has limited their ability. We know there is a real demand for change in people’s behaviours and we need to drive that through technology.”
The company’s technology is used by Alnwick Garden, a leading attraction in Northumberland with 360,000 visitors per year. The Duchess of Northumberland’s venue boasts the largest treehouse in Europe and a stunning water fountain display.
Mark Brassell, Alnwick Garden director, said: “This partnership has put the power back in our hands, giving the team access to plan ahead. It’s all about avoiding high energy costs and reducing waste. Sustainability is high on our list.”
Not only does the technology transform how businesses manage their energy portfolio, it also underpins GPG’s future growth. Founded in 2012 by Fokhrul Islam and headquartered in Gateshead, UK, Northern Gas and Power employed 75 people by 2016/17, growing to 228 the following year and currently at 550 globally. In 2018 revenues reached £29 million and are on track for £40 million by the end of 2019, with projected GPG revenues to reach £62 million by 2020.
In addition to new technology, the company has also launched two energy price comparison sites – Business Energy Quotes and Energie SuperMarché. Targeted to the UK and French markets, these are the fastest and easiest low-cost, online business energy prices comparison sites available in their respective markets. With just a business name and a postcode, customers can generate a comprehensive range of competitive tariffs from a variety of suppliers.
Germany’s BASF will likely pick Germany as the site for its next plant to produce chemicals for batteries used in electric cars, the group’s CEO told Manager Magazin.
BASF is building a factory to make cathode materials for batteries in Harjavalta, Finland, close to a nickel and cobalt refinery of raw materials partner Norilsk Nickel.
This is part of a larger 400 million euro (£345 million) investment plan to serve the European market for batteries that go into electric and hybrid vehicles.
BASF has said it was assessing several European locations for follow-up investments, including Schwarzheide in eastern Germany, under that plan.
“We will likely erect the second production step in the value chain … in Germany, but this decision has not been taken yet,” Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller told the monthly magazine in an interview published on Thursday.
He also said that BASF expects the overall market for cathode materials to be worth between 25 billion euros and 30 billion by 2025.
BASF is competing with Europe’s Umicore and Johnson Matthey as well as with a range of Chinese suppliers including Beijing Easpring and Ningbo Shanshan.
Earlier on Thursday, Brudermueller said on a conference call on third-quarter earnings that the company would publish further details on its battery chemical investment plans in Europe later this year or early 2020.
Source: Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Holmes, Thomson Reuters