Over 440 conference presentations and academic posters given at the 19th All-Energy and the inaugural Dcarbonise 2019 held at Glasgow’s SEC on 15 and 16 May, are now available to download free of charge. The duo of events – the first concentrating on renewable and low carbon generation and the second on low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport – attracted total attendance of 7,871, an increase of 12% from 2018, 250 exhibiting companies from home and overseas, and some 600 speakers in panel discussions, ‘presentation-style’ conference sessions and in rolling seminar sessions on the exhibition show floor.
“This is a record number of presentations to have available for people to download,” explains Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of Reed Exhibitions. “They are useful for those who were there and want to re-live the experience; for those who perhaps missed a particular session in favour of another, and even those who were not able to get to us this year. Our statistics show that there were 6,439 conference and seminar visits over the two days; and our post-show visitor survey shows that 75% of visitors attended the conference with an equally high satisfaction level.
“We hope they are extensively used throughout the coming months and will inspire people to submit ideas and abstracts once the Call for Papers for next year’s events (13-14 May 2020 again at SEC, Glasgow) opens in the Autumn.
“We also hope the presentations they will encourage speakers, exhibitors and tall with interesting opinions to consider contributing to our blog which is kept alive throughout the year.”
The presentations can be downloaded from www.all-energy.co.uk/Conference/Download-2019-Presentations/
Packed conference hall for the All-Energy/Dcarbonise 2019 opening plenary session
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP speaking at All-Energy Dcarbonise 2019
Notes to Editors:
All-Energy, the history: All-Energy, the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy and clean growth exhibition and conference has been held annually since 2001; the first SUMS was held in 2017. The first 14 All-Energy events were held in Aberdeen; the show moved to Glasgow in 2015. Dcarbonise, sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland was held for the first time in 2019 – it features low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport.
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See below for the full All-Energy & Dcarbonise speech from Keith Anderson, CEO, Scottish Power
I am very pleased to be here today opening the 2019 All Energy Conference, and chairing the session with a great range of speakers
This year we reached a tipping point. Extinction Rebellion, School Strikes, the Attenborough documentary and the Climate Change Committee report. Political parties falling over themselves to declare ‘climate emergencies’.The tipping point is about the urgent need to act now. People in Britain want to take action now to prevent climate disaster in the near future.
Recent polling shows that in March 2019, 80% of the British public is concerned about climate change, 6% higher than previous.
The Climate Change Committee report published this month couldn’t be clearer in its recommendations
The UK has to be Carbon Net Zero by 2050; Scotland by 2045
To meet this target, renewable energy capacity has to quadruple and secondly, as the economy decarbonises, overall electricity generation capacity has to double
This is a stark challenge. It’s comparable to the post-war reconstruction of our national infrastructure
But this is the right response to a climate emergency
And the CCC is clear: we can do all of it, hit all of these targets using technology that exists today and in doing so, be the first major economy to decarbonise
Some commentators have reacted to this negatively by focusing on what we will have to stop or give up
This is wrong. This is the most important opportunity of our age.
The prize is cleaner air, healthier lives and a world-leading all-electric economy which in turn can and should become an example to the rest of the world.
The technology – that we’ve worked hard to prove, develop, implement and scale – is already there.
You see it up at Whitelee just a few miles away. You see it with the closure of Longannet and the creation of world-leading renewable energy skills and expertise.
There is nothing to stop us doing this right now.
But first, we have to get real about how we meet this challenge
We need to have an honest conversation about how we decarbonise
An honest conversation about renewables, electric vehicles and the grid that will support them both
For ScottishPower our role is clear. We need to continue to decarbonise generation, build smarter grids and enable the electrification of transport and heat
This year we became the first integrated energy company to only generate 100% green electricity
This is the culmination of 20 years of hard work, working with our supply chain to innovate and drive down the cost of renewable energy
Today all the electricity we generate for our customers comes from nearly 40 onshore and offshore wind farms across the UK
But we need to build more if we are to quadruple renewable generation by 2050
Offshore wind is cheaper than ever before – through efficiencies, and in particular our work with
our offshore project – East Anglia One.
We have driven down the cost and cut the price of contracts for Offshore Windfarms in half.
This year we will complete East Anglia One and start work on East Anglia Three
Offshore wind continues to make excellent progress.
However onshore wind is the foundation on which our success in delivering Net Zero will be built
Over the last three years, I have made the economic case for onshore wind, detailed public
support and called for immediate action to provide a viable route to market
Simply, onshore wind works. It is cheap, it can be built quickly, it supports jobs, it is popular and
it is secure.
Onshore wind has to be brought back into the fold if we are serious about delivering Net Zero
And of course, the switch to electric vehicles only makes sense if the cars are powered by
The alternative is that clean, low emission cars are running silently and efficiently on our roads,
but we’re just moving that air pollution and carbon fuel further away to the coal and gas power
plants that are generating their electricity. We can’t allow this to happen.
Acknowledging Scotland’s progress in decarbonisation, the CCC has set this country the most
challenging target, to become Net Zero by 2045
Like everyone in this room I know this will be tough but something Scotland will be proud to
And if Scotland is to succeed as a country, then Glasgow it’s biggest city- has to be even more
ambitious and progressive in meeting the challenge
But I’m confident that Glasgow can do this. And I’ll tell you why.
Glasgow is a no-nonsense city and it’s our home
Across the city, you can see Whitelee the UK’s largest onshore windfarm that we built ten years
Whitelee is directly connected to the city by the grid that we own and operate
The grid that will be at the heart of decarbonising the city
You will be hearing from Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council shortly, Glasgow City
Council hasn’t hung about, as they announced the first Low Emissions Zone outside of London
We applaud this ambition and will fully support Susan Aitken’s team in making it work
To match the city’s ambitions we will have to use the grid in ways that have not been considered
Over 70% of Glaswegians live in flats – multi-residency properties – with no personal off street
parking, building a charging system to support EVs across this city will be tricky but we are ready
to take on the challenge to make electric vehicles work for Glaswegians
This way of living is engrained in the culture of Glasgow. It’s not going to change and there’s no
reason why it should change. But there’s also no reason why those without a driveway shouldn’t
benefit from the decarbonisation of transport
Together with the City Council, we are going to develop an EV charging system that will be the
template for urban charging across the UK and the rest of the world
That’s why today we announce that we will together make Glasgow the UK’s first Net Zero city
It is our hope that this declaration kick starts a race to zero with other ambitious cities, like
Edinburgh, because then we will all be winners.
The prize is the future of our country and our planet
So what are we going to do?
Starting in Glasgow, ScottishPower will invest in systems behind the plug to help people move
to electric transport easier and quicker
We can’t do any of this without the grid being at the heart of the energy system so it is vital we
continue to build a smarter network to enable Scotland’s move to decarbonised transport
We are already helping domestic customers with our end-to-end home charging system –
providing a seamless journey to customers who are making the transition to an electric car, with
peace of mind each step of the way
But we are now looking at the wider issue of workplace and public charging – one that is yet to
We are working on a basis where people can charge away from the home, quicker than they
imagine, so there are no delays or restrictions to owning an electric vehicle wherever you live,
work or travel.
So we are beyond the tipping point now, people are clear – they want us to just get on with it
The CCC have given us a clear target and what we urgently need from Government is a clear
road map of how to get there
We know what the prize is – cleaner air, healthier lives and a world leading all-electric economy
We know all the technology is there, we have everything we need within our grasp
And we know how to make it work – we can make it efficient and low cost – we have that in our
That is why the white paper that is due in summer is absolutely crucial and fundamental to our
I can’t stress its importance
The white paper will be the most important piece of Government legislation on Climate Change
in recent times
We need it to clearly outline a medium-term road map of how we get to net zero – it has to
focus on real delivery with the technology we already have
The 2020s are key – what we do over the next ten years will determine whether we meet this
target or not
So we need to start now, and that’s what I mean by getting real about climate change
See below for the full speech of Mr Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, given at All-Energy & Dcarbonise 2019.
I am delighted to be here today, at one of the biggest dates in the energy calendar in Scotland. I would like to thank Judith Patten once again for putting on a fantastic conference, which has grown not both in size and importance in recent years. And this year is arguably the most important yet.
Many of you will have heard the First Minister address the conference yesterday, and will be aware that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change made a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday about Scotland’s response to the Climate Emergency. This is against the backdrop of the latest advice from the Committee on Climate Change, which is absolutely pivotal to our approach.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that we will do everything in our power to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change within a generation. This will mean difficult decisions, and extensive changes across the economy – changes that will affect and involve the people of Scotland more deeply and directly than ever before. The Scottish and UK energy sectors have a significant role to play in this.
Scotland’s Energy Strategy, published in December 2017, was developed in conjunction with the existing Climate Change Plan using the TIMES economic model.
Both documents underlined the need to transform how we generate and use Energy in Scotland – and emphasised the sector’s importance as one of the key sectors of our economy.
We already knew that meeting even Scotland’s existing climate change targets would require the near complete decarbonisation of our energy system by 2050, with renewable energy meeting a significant share of our needs.
However, achieving net zero emissions by 2045 across our economy will mean we need to go even further than assumed on energy.
It will require a genuine partnership approach between the public and private sectors, and with individuals and communities.
However, because Scotland’s Energy Strategy targets are compatible with our existing climate change targets, they give us the flexibility to respond to changes in the energy sector in years to come, and pursue the right low or zero carbon options.
We have committed to reviewing our existing energy targets once the Climate Change Bill has passed, alongside a wider review of targets and policies across each of the key sectors of the economy.
We will do all that we can, using the powers that we have, to steer a sustainable path towards a carbon neutral economy.
Yesterday the First Minister called for greater ambition and co-operative action from the UK Government – especially on the decarbonisation of heat, and the need for fast, evidence-based decisions around the future of the gas network.
We believe that the UK Government must also rethink the extent and focus of support for renewable and low carbon technologies across the UK. I, frankly, think it is inexcusable that we do not have a price stabilisation mechanism for either onshore wind, the lowest cost generation technology at scale, nor for new pumped hydro capacity which can provide an essential balancing and storage function, again at scale, on the grid.
I also have said before and will say again today that the removal of the feed-in tariff scheme will be hugely damaging for small scale projects and technologies such as community hydro power projects. The failure to provide a minimum, as was promised by former Prime Minister David Cameron, in 2015, is also inexcusable.
For a supportive investor environment , largely in the gift of UK Ministers, is essential to unlock critical investment, and deliver the transformational change in renewable electricity generation, as we have seen, and this will also be essential for the renewable and low carbon heat sector, where thankfully we have more ability to be masters of our own fate.
Notwithstanding my concerns about the lack of appropriate support for key technologies, The Scottish Government shares much common ground with the UK and especially so with other devolved governments; and we intend to work collaboratively and constructively to help deliver outcomes consistent with our ambitions.
Achieving our goals will almost certainly be influenced by the effects of the UK Government’s proposed Exit from the European Union. We, as you know, disagree profoundly with the UK Government on their Brexit policy, but are working to manage the significant risks that this presents for the Scottish economy, energy sector and consumers.
We have always recognised the benefit and importance of collective international efforts in energy and climate change, and will continue to cooperate with our EU partners, under any scenario.
So yes, we face challenges here. But I want to focus this morning on the enormous opportunities which faster decarbonisation represents.
The transition can bring great benefits to the Scottish economy. We must create the right conditions for inward investment, maximise the economic value of energy generation and supply in Scotland, and grow exports.
And that transition is now well underway in the energy sector, with the proportion of Scotland’s electricity generation fuelled by fossil fuels having dropped from 57.3% in 2006 to just 10.5% in 2017 and the
carbon intensity of generation having fallen from 389.8 gCO2e/kWh in 2000 to just 54.4 gCO2e/kWh in 2016.
Scotland is renowned for its innovation, invention and its people. We are small, but we continue to punch well above our weight internationally. Scots have played a major role in developing the modern world; that includes our contribution to the global energy sector.
Let me spotlight briefly some of the Scottish energy sector’s strengths and wider achievements:
- Our low carbon and renewable energy sector supported over 46,000 jobs, and generated over £11 billion in turnover in 2017.
- Installed renewables capacity reached a record of 10.9GW by the end of 2018, within the region of a further 12.6GW at various stages of the pipeline, including almost 5GW of offshore wind.
- Renewables generated the equivalent of 74.6% of Scottish electricity consumption last year, with 20% of our energy consumption coming from renewables in 2017 – putting Scotland above the EU average of 17.5% and well above the UK at 10.2 %.
- Scotland has increased its performance by 12.5% points since 2009, compared with just a 4.9% increase for Europe and a 6.9% increase across the UK.
- Scotland is home to the world’s first floating windfarm, Hywind Scotland, with a second project, at Kincardine, currently under construction.
- The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney remains a global centre of excellence. More wave and tidal energy devices have been tested at EMEC than at any other site in the world.
- In January 2019, our internationally recognised Wave Energy Scotland programme announced details of two Scottish wave energy prototypes that will be deployed in Orkney next year.
- The MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth will be the world’s largest tidal stream array, Orbital Marine Power has deployed the world’s most powerful tidal stream turbine in Orkney, and Nova Innovation, which completed the World’s first tidal array, has added Tesla’s battery storage to its Shetland Tidal Array.
- Scotland’s oil and gas sector was worth an estimated £16.2 billion to Scotland’s economy in 2018, supporting approximately 110,000 jobs.
- It is a highly-regulated industry, with some of the most advanced and comparatively least polluting methods in the world, and a decommissioning market that is forecast to reach £15 billion to 2025.
- Scotland’s established industries are hosting a number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects, positioning Scotland as the best-placed country in Europe to realise CCUS on a commercial scale.
- ChargePlace Scotland is now one of Europe’s most comprehensive Electric Vehicle charge point networks, while Scotland saw 39% growth in the number of registrations of ultra-low emission cars in 2018.
- Orkney hosts the UK’s first smart grid, while the ‘Surf ‘n’ Turf’ project using hydrogen produced using electricity from tidal and onshore wind turbines, providing low carbon heat, power and transport.
Scotland’s Energy Strategy marked an important milestone in our transition to a carbon neutral economy.
Yesterday the First Minister launched our first Annual Energy Statement. This highlights the key developments in the sector, our progress to date, and our plans for the coming year and beyond.
It allows us to reflect not only on the significant progress that has been made but also to review our priorities and plans in the face of the changes continuing to take place around us.
9I don’t intend to take you through the Statement in great detail. However, I would like to briefly summarise some of its highlights.
Scotland’s Energy Strategy put consumers’ interests at the heart of our transition to a carbon neutral economy.
Our Energy Consumer Action Plan, also formally launched yesterday by the First Minister, sets out the steps we will take to deliver this.
We will be establishing an independent Energy Consumers Commission for Scotland. The Commission will strengthen the collective influence of existing citizen and community groups, giving people in Scotland a more powerful voice.
I want to take this opportunity to invite you personally to get involved as we work to realise our vision for a flourishing energy sector delivering secure, affordable, clean energy with consumers at its heart.
We also continue to make progress towards establishing a Public Energy Company, designed to offer energy at a fair price and tackle issues such as fuel poverty, as well as potentially contributing to economic development. Through the development of the outline business case, we are engaging with our local authority partners to deliver this ambition.
The First Minister launched our Energy Efficient Scotland Routemap at this conference last year, and we continue work towards transforming Scotland’s buildings so that they are warmer, greener and more efficient by 2040.
We are on track to deliver our commitment to make £500 million available over the 4 years to 2021 to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency.
And over the course of this year, we will set out further details on regulation and minimum standards for energy efficiency. We are currently consulting on the impact of bringing forward the target date for the programme; where we can move faster in support of a Just Transition to a low carbon economy then we will do so.
2018 was another record year for renewable electricity in Scotland – with, the aforementioned 74.6% of Scotland’s electricity demand being capable of being met from renewable sources. This compares very favourably with all other EU nations, as shown in the Annual Compendium of Scottish Energy Statistics that we published alongside yesterday’s Annual Energy Statement, and compares with just 28.1% for the UK as a whole in 2017 when Scotland had a comparable figure of 70.3%.
And, particularly in 2018 and the first half of this year, the offshore wind industry (fixed and floating) in Scotland has made major steps forward in terms of build-out, with the announcement of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal. This commits the industry to 60% UK content, identifying the supply chain gaps to grow existing capacity and identify new entrants. This has the potential to benefit Scotland’s supply chain.
We have launched a Call for Evidence to identify the best and most sensible solutions to decarbonise heat in areas away from the gas network. We need transformative change in this area which matches what we’ve seen in the electricity sector.
That is why over the next year, using the evidence gathered through the call for evidence, the lessons learned from our past and current schemes, as well as the expertise of the sector, we will develop a new Heat Decarbonisation Policy Statement and Action Plan. (which we will publish next summer).
This will require decisive and accelerated action at a UK level about the future of the gas network – planned for the early 2020s, but clearly in our
view the climate emergency demands swifter action – albeit a process and outcome which the Scottish Government is determined to influence and support.
Earlier this year, I launched our £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to drive innovation and investment in the Scottish tidal energy sector – I am very optimistic that some exciting projects will be supported by the Fund.
We also plan to publish a Local Energy Systems Policy Statement and a Bioenergy Action Plan later this year, as well as continuing to work with our local government partners to trial and test Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies which will provide a strategic framework for heat decarbonisation over the long-term.
The third Contracts for Difference auction takes place in just under two weeks’ time, and represents a huge opportunity for Scottish developers. I have every faith and belief in their ability to compete well and successfully, and every intention to continue supporting them in their efforts to do so.
But the current design needs to evolve. The Committee on Climate Change has reinforced the urgency and extent of the emissions
reductions we need to achieve, and the role of renewable and decarbonised energy in delivering these.
That means using existing and new support mechanisms to enable and de-risk investment in the lowest cost technologies like onshore wind and solar, as well as to support offshore and remote island wind.
It also means bolder and more creative steps to ensure that technologies like wave and tidal power – where Scotland and the UK has a huge natural resource and competitive advantage – can compete effectively and start to secure the cost reductions and scale achieved elsewhere.
Our message to the UK Government in this area is simple and very clear – accept the scale and reality of the challenge, and raise your game and your sights to help meet it. I respect my counterparts, and I know they have a difficult job to do, but they simply must not become the barrier to tackling climate change and Scotland achieving her potential.
We know that some are sceptical about the ability of a low carbon and renewable energy system to operate securely and reliably. We addressed these questions in Scotland’s Energy Strategy, and in more detail in our Networks Vision Statement.
Yes, a low carbon network creates new and different challenges, especially across our electricity system. But we believe that sustainable security of supply is an achievable goal and one that we are now working to achieve.
We are not alone; the UK electricity system operator, National Grid, has said that it will be possible to operate the electricity system ‘zero carbon’ by the middle of the next decade. We want to work with National Grid, Scotland’s electricity network owners, the UK Government and others to help realise this goal.
That means doing more to establish how renewable power can help provide services and stability to the electricity system. I am therefore delighted to confirm today that the Scottish Government is awarding half a million pounds to a project designed to do just that.
Our funding will help Scottish Power Renewables deliver a “Grid Forming Algorithm Pilot”. This will demonstrate and prove the ways in which its wind farm at Dersalloch can provide vital system services to the system operator, National Grid – enhancing the stability and security of the whole electricity system.
We believe that this project will be a world first – a clear statement of the role that renewables can play in maintaining a secure power system, and the Scottish Government’s determination to support this.
Another key factor here is regulation and the extent to which it must acknowledge and support the energy transition.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the way in which Ofgem and its representatives continue to engage with me, my officials and other Scottish stakeholders in these areas, and the knowledge and professionalism which they bring to these conversations.
But I continue to question whether the confines of the approach being used to address questions such as the delivery of new connections to Scotland’s islands, and to the reviews of network charges and access, are flexible enough to acknowledge and respond to the realities and urgency of the decarbonisation agenda.
This is an issue which we intend to continue exploring, with Ofgem and with the UK Government, for it is essential that both reflect the aspirations of Scotland to develop a decentralised and decarbonised energy system and that neither Ofgem, unintentionally, nor UK Ministers, intentionally or
otherwise, become barriers to Scotland playing our full and ambitious part in helping to prevent damaging climate change.
In the meantime, we continue to work and engage with key stakeholders to reinforce the case for delivering these new transmission links to Scotland’s island groups – investments which can unlock the islands’ vast renewable energy potential and the associated economic benefits.
Of course, we also need to be honest about our current dependency, alongside other Northern European economies, on hydrocarbons. Scotland’s oil and gas sector is integral to today’s energy system. But more than that, I believe that this industry can deploy its resources to help unlock the full potential of new industrial opportunities in Scotland and to help exploit low carbon technologies, with the skills, knowledge, and assets developed over decades of production in the North Sea proving invaluable as we move towards the next stage of our transition.
I met last week with oil and gas leaders at the Industry Leadership Group which I co-chair, and I was greatly encouraged by the desire to see how such an aspiration for a role in the low carbon transition can dovetail with the industry’s “Vision 2035”, and to making explicit the sector’s recognition of its role in supporting Scotland’s energy transition.
We have also seen greater energy productivity and reduced emissions in the Energy Intensive Industries sector since 2005. We are working with stakeholders to increase investment in industrial decarbonisation and energy efficiency, recognising the substantial socio-economic benefits and potential contribution to emissions reduction across the economy.
There are also huge opportunities presented by the development of a role for hydrogen and the establishment of CCUS in Scotland, given the competitive advantage we have over other nations in these areas.
Hydrogen has huge potential across the whole energy system – as a means of decarbonising heat and transport, and providing storage to help balance Scotland’s growing renewable electricity generation.
I was delighted to visit the hydrogen exhibitors yesterday, including seeing the prototype of Alexander Dennis’ new hydrogen double decker.
Hydrogen could emerge as a major decarbonising agent across a number of sectors. This is especially true for heat – hydrogen could potentially be carried through our established gas network, providing low carbon heat at scale.
Hydrogen is extremely flexible and can also be used as a zero-carbon fuel for heavier road vehicles, trains and even shipping.
We have provided funding for a number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects – £6.3 million for the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, and £1.3 million for Orkney’s Surf N Turf Project.
I see that the next session here today will discuss the hydrogen economy and its potential in more detail. This is an area which is developing quickly, and one which we are determined to capitalise on.
We are already exploring further opportunities for low carbon hydrogen, and we will continue to work with our stakeholders on a range of hydrogen initiatives.
We have already begun work on an interactive mapping tool which will chart hydrogen activity and potential on a region by region basis across Scotland.
The St. Fergus terminal near Peterhead is a highly promising location to host demonstrations and learning about the potential for linking hydrogen, Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage, and gas network infrastructure. The ACORN CCS project at St. Fergus, which we are supporting aims to deliver a demonstrator combining these three technologies early in the next decade, but I believe this could potentially happen far faster if the UK Government prioritise this.
We will be working with stakeholders over the coming year on the potential economic, social and strategic value of hydrogen to Scotland. We will conduct a detailed assessment of hydrogen projects in Scotland to date, and the lessons to be learned from broader UK and international experience.
We will also explore the opportunities and challenges of further deployment, and build a stronger evidence base on the potential roles for hydrogen in the energy transition.
We are also absolutely committed to establishing Carbon Capture and Storage in Scotland at a commercial scale.
The Committee on Climate Change now says that “Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage is a necessity not an option”. This was emphasised yesterday by Chris Stark in his excellent speech. The CCC has said that progress has been too slow and that government must
ensure that the necessary infrastructure is put in place to enable its deployment.
The Scottish Government are more than willing to play our part, and we have consistently made clear our support for CCS – but it is now undeniable that this is a technology which must be deployed globally if we are to address the climate emergency.
We are continuing to make the case for greater investment in CCS. Scotland has the offshore expertise – and the carbon storage potential – to be a natural centre for that new technology. But we need commitment from the UK Government – through a supportive policy framework and investment environment – to realise that potential.
We are part of the UK’s Carbon Capture Utilisation Storage (CCUS) Council, and playing a part in meeting the commitments in the UK Government CCUS Deployment Action Plan. We have also established a Scottish CCUS Group to help raise awareness of CCUS and realise the deployment of CCUS systems in Scotland.
We continue to support the Acorn Project with direct funding of £100,000 and an additional £175,000 alongside the UK Government and Total, match funded by EU funding.
There is also work underway in Scotland on aligning CCUS with the production of hydrogen. We believe that these two technologies should be considered together as part of a strong and efficient system of decarbonisation.
I know that I have covered a lot of ground today, and yet I have still barely scratched the surface when it comes to the many things that are happening in our energy sector right now, as well as the enormous challenges and opportunities in front of us.
One thing remains certain, and that is that these are going to be extremely interesting times. We all have an obligation to respond to the climate emergency; however, I believe that we here in Scotland also have an opportunity to lead from the front, and to be a catalyst for change across all corners of the world.
Thank you for all that you are doing and thank you to Judith Patten and her team for inviting me to address you today and I wish Judith, her team and all who are here today the most successful event and year ahead.
Below is the keynote speech from First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP at All-Energy & Dcarbonise 2019.
I’m delighted to welcome you all to Glasgow. The All Energy Conference is always a hugely important event.
However – given the context in which we meet – this year’s conference is perhaps especially significant. In the last few months, we have seen an unprecedented level of climate change activism – here in the UK, and in countries around the world.
We’ve also seen the publication of two major international reports – the IPCC report last year, and the UN report about the loss of biodiversity on the planet.
And of course, earlier this month, the UK Committee on Climate Change published its advice on UK emissions.
Their report is – in my view – one of the most important documents that will be published in the UK this year. It reflects the latest scientific evidence. And it demonstrates that a rapid decarbonisation of our economy is both environmentally essential, and practically achievable. I want to thank Chris Stark, and everyone from the Committee, for the work that went into it.
The Committee recommends that Scotland should achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. That’s a faster rate than is proposed for any other part of the UK.
The Scottish Government fully accepts the Committee’s advice – we’re the first country in the UK to do so. That’s why we have updated our Climate Change Bill. It already contained the world’s toughest statutory targets for emissions. They will soon be even tougher.
As a result, Scotland is not just maintaining our status as world leaders – we are redefining what it means to be world leaders.
And today’s announcement from Scottish Power and Glasgow City Council – that they aim to make Glasgow the U.K.’s first net-zero city – shows that some parts of Scotland may show even greater ambition. I congratulate Keith [Anderson] and Eva [Bolander] on their initiative.
Annual Energy Statement
Now, the Annual Energy Statement – which the Scottish Government is publishing today – helps to illustrate the progress we’ve already made.
For example, it shows that in 2017, 1/5 of Scotland’s energy needs – for electricity, transport and heat – were met by renewable sources. In 2016, it was less than 1/6. That’s doesn’t sound like a massive increase – but if we sustain it, in the long term, it will become very significant.
Renewable sources generate 75% of our electricity demand. That’s a record high.
We are also making steady – if more modest – progress in reducing transport emissions. In 2018, registrations for ultra-low emission cars in Scotland were up 39% on the previous year.
Alongside electricity and transport, we are also taking steps to decarbonise heat. For example, we are investing heavily in district heating schemes.
In addition, we’re stepping up our efforts to reduce overall energy use. At last year’s conference, I set out our plan to ensure that – by 2040 – all Scottish homes have a good energy efficiency rating. We’re currently consulting on the impact of bringing that target date forward.
I won’t pre-empt that consultation, but it is interesting that – just one year on from a previous announcement – we are already considering whether an even more ambitious target is possible.
It’s actually an example of something we’re seeing a lot these days – the momentum for change is allowing us to set our ambitions higher than previously seemed possible.
Just last week, it was announced that – for the first time since 1882 – Britain had gone a week without using coal to generate electricity. For most of the last century, that idea would have been unthinkable. But now, coal-free electricity is becoming a reality.
We need to see a similar transformation now – across our economy and our society. And of course, we need to ensure that they happen far more rapidly than the move away from coal.
The exhibits on display at this event show why our ambitions are realistic. From offshore wind to marine renewables to bioenergy, the businesses and organisations represented here today are at the forefront of global energy technology.
Many of you will play a part – not just in helping Scotland to meet new emissions targets – but in helping the world to tackle the most important issue of our age. That’s a fact that should inspire all of us. Scotland and Glasgow helped to lead the world into the industrial age – we now have an obligation and an opportunity to lead the world into the zero-emissions age.
Meeting Future Ambitions
However, as the Committee on Climate Change has made very clear, Scotland’s ability to achieve these transformations is not entirely in our own hands. It will also depend on the actions of the UK Government.
Brexit is one part of that. I don’t intend to dwell on this too much. But as all of you know, single market membership has helped the sector to attract significant investment. We also benefit hugely from international collaboration on research projects.
For that and many other reasons, the Scottish Government believes the issue of Brexit should now be put back to the people – with an option to remain in the EU.
In addition to Brexit, Scotland is also critically affected by the UK Government’s wider climate change policies.
The Committee on Climate Change was clear in its report that for Scotland to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, the UK Government must play its part. We believe it should set a target of net zero emissions for the UK by 2050 and urgently put in place the policies that will deliver that target.
An important example of this is in carbon capture and storage. For me, that was a very striking part of the Committee’s report. It was absolutely unequivocal that to achieve net zero emissions, ‘CCS is a necessity, not an option’.
Scotland has the offshore expertise – and the carbon storage potential – to be a natural centre for this new technology. In fact, this is one of several areas where the existence of a strong oil and gas sector can help us in the transition to a zero-emissions economy. But the Scottish Government cannot support the sector on our own.
In addition, when the UK Government publishes its Energy White Paper, we believe that it should significantly expand its support for renewable and low carbon technologies. The Offshore Wind Sector Deal is a step in that direction. We’d like to see a similar approach taken – for wave, tidal, solar, and hydrogen. And we also want to see support reintroduced for onshore wind.
The Committee’s report made it clear that to reach net zero, we need further major expansion of renewably generated electricity. Support for those technologies continues to be crucial.
Of course, as we provide that support, it is vital that our people and our communities see clear benefits.
There are two specific aspects of that, which I want to talk about today.
The first relates to economic opportunities and employment. We want more and more people to share in Scotland’s energy success.
If you stand outside this building and look south, you can see the turbines of Whitelee Wind Farm. It’s the largest onshore wind farm in the UK – and one of the largest in Europe.
Scotland is home to the world’s first floating offshore wind farm; the world’s most powerful tidal turbine; and the world’s largest planned tidal array. We also have huge capabilities in wave, hydro, and solar.
At the moment, our low carbon and renewables sector accounts for 46,000 jobs. However, we believe that with Scotland’s combination of strengths – not just in electricity generation, but in areas such as smart grids, renewable heat, battery storage and energy efficiency – our supply chain should be doing even better.
That’s one of the reasons why we welcomed the Offshore Wind Sector Deal – and the commitment to 60% UK content in offshore wind projects. And it’s why, earlier this month, the Scottish Government convened a summit – involving developers, manufacturers and the UK government – to discuss how that target will be met.
But of course, this is not just an issue for offshore wind. Across the energy sector, we want to see a much stronger focus on capitalising on the strengths of Scotland’s supply chain.
Now, we recognise that firms here in Scotland need to play their part – by making the necessary investments to win – and deliver on – contracts. But within the sector, project developers have to do more – to use the talent and expertise Scotland has to offer.
For many years, the Scottish Government has demonstrated our support for the sector. We need to be able to demonstrate the benefits of that support, to the people of Scotland.
Consumer Action Plan
That’s true of the second area I want to talk about.
As the energy market continues to evolve, we need to ensure that it is more responsive to people’s needs and interests.
We know – at the moment – too many consumers feel that they have little understanding of the energy market – and no say in how it works. As an MSP, that’s a message I hear regularly from my constituents. And it’s one we need to address.
If we are to influence consumer behaviour in the future, we need to build trust – and ensure that the system put people first.
That’s why today, the Scottish Government is publishing our Energy Consumer Action Plan. It sets out what we will do to ensure better outcomes for consumers, in our energy market.
For example, we will create a new fund – to explore solutions to the common problems consumers face. It could – for instance – find new ways for people to switch energy provider, as a group.
We will also place a new statutory duty on Scotland’s public bodies – so that consumers’ interests are placed at the heart of our decision-making – on energy, and every other issue.
In addition, we are committing to work with industry, consumer groups and Ofgem to produce an Energy Consumers Charter. The Charter will set out clearly what people can expect from their energy provider – and the energy market.
These are just a few examples. Taken together, the actions we’re setting out will help to empower consumers. They will create a common understanding of how our energy system should work. And crucially, they will help to ensure that – as that market evolves – the interests of people and communities are paramount.
That underlying principle – that the transformation of our energy system must benefit everyone – is also at the heart of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission. Professor Karen Turner – who we’ll hear from a little later – is one of the Commission members.
I grew up in Ayrshire in the 70s and 80s. I remember vividly the devastating impacts of deindustrialisation. The fear of unemployment was pervasive. Lasting scars were left in so many communities like mine. And of course, elements of that legacy are still with us today.
The decarbonisation of Scotland’s economy must be handled better.
That’s why we appointed the Just Transition Commission. It’s also why I was glad to see that the Committee on Climate Change placed such an emphasis on fairness its report. We have to ensure that the zero-emissions age doesn’t just make Scotland a greener nation – although it will. It should also make us a healthier, wealthier and fairer nation.
I mentioned at the start the unprecedented level of climate change activism that we’ve seen.
Later today I’ll meet some of the young campaigners in Scotland – who have gone on strike from their schools, on Friday afternoons.
Their message is an urgent and pressing one. But the Commission on Climate Change has pointed the way towards a response which is urgent and also achievable. We need to ensure that Scotland is a zero emissions economy by the time they are in their early 40s.
Decarbonising our economy presents significant challenges. But it also presents major opportunities – to create jobs and prosperity; to improve people’s quality of life; and – in doing so – to build a stronger society and a better world.
So my pledge to you is that the Scottish Government will play our part. We will do everything we can to support the low carbon and renewables sector. And – working with you – we will take the action necessary to make Scotland a net zero emissions country.
In doing so, we will ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of the fight against climate change. And we will ensure a better future for generations to come.
So thank you for the role you are playing, in that effort. I wish you all of you all the best, for a very successful conference. And I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.
All-Energy 2019, the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference and the co-located Dcarbonise 2019 held at Glasgow’s SEC last week (15 and 16 May) attracted total attendance of 7,871 an increase of 12% from 2018, 250 exhibiting companies from home and overseas, well over 500 speakers, and plaudits in plenty.
The First Minister of Scotland, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands delivered keynote speeches on consecutive days and both toured the show, starting their tours in Dcarbonise, the Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland-sponsored event which has low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport as its three vital components.
“The two co-located events complemented each other showcasing their core values in the exhibition and in conference and seminar programmes,” explained Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of Reed Exhibitions who own and organise the annual event. “All-Energy has been serving the needs of the renewable and low carbon energy sectors since 2001, and now we have Dcarbonise championing the end-user in need of cost-effective energy efficiency and low carbon heat solutions in line with the Scottish Government’s ‘Energy Efficient Scotland’ programme.
“Low carbon transport also fitted under the Dcarbonise ‘banner’ and included a hydrogen-powered double-decker bus from Alexander Dennis, a range of low carbon and electric vehicles, a fuel cell range extender, the Shell-sponsored area featuring two of its eco-Marathon teams, our ‘Arrive and Drive’ feature, and in the conference with five 90-minute sessions.
Ministerial addresses – and more
“We were delighted to welcome both the First Minister and Minister Wheelhouse to the show. They made compelling, far-ranging and highly topical keynote addresses, as did other members of our plenary session line-ups, and what they said added to the very tangible mood of optimism and positivity throughout the two days in all areas of the show.
“On Day 1, following the Civic Welcome by The Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, who also chaired the session, spoke of the need to ‘get real about climate change’, announcing that ScottishPower and Glasgow City Council have combined to transform the city into the UK’s first to deliver net zero carbon emissions. He explained that he was optimistic that the announcement would stimulate a competition between UK cities, for then everyone would be the winner.
“Chris Stark, CEO of the Committee on Climate Change urged policymakers to exhibit huge ambition if the UK is to meet the CCC’s 2050 net zero emissions target, as outlined in the Committee’s report on 2 May. Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council spoke of her city’s achievements and plans, and was followed by Professor Karen Turner, Director of the Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) at Strathclyde University highlighting new research findings that reveal electric vehicle system investment could fuel more than 3,000 new jobs. They spoke to over 600 people in the packed Lomond Auditorium.
“On the second day, following Mr Wheelhouse’s address and Q&A period chaired by Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, a strong panel of speakers – Matthew Knight, Head of Business Development, Power and Gas, Siemens, who chaired the session; Keith MacLean OBE, Managing Director, Providence Policy; Joanna Coleman OBE, UK Energy Transition Manager, Shell UK; and Angus McIntosh, Director of Energy Futures, SGN – discussed ‘Why might the hydrogen economy finally have its day?’
“This year’s features included the ‘Meet the Developer’ with 1-2-1 meetings for those eager to expand their role in the supply chain; a POWERful Women lunch, sponsored by ScottishPower; six show floor theatres (compared to three in the past) with rolling programmes including the Research Hub enabling academics from eight programmes to present their findings. There was more involvement than ever before from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Innovate UK including eight conference/seminar sessions, a strong presence on the exhibition show floor and an Investor Breakfast; and much more…..including our traditional, and highly enjoyable, Civic Reception and Giant Networking Evening held courtesy of the Rt Hon Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow.
“We are surveying attendees to gather feedback, but it is always a delight to be on the receiving end of post-event emails bringing with them compliments as well as suggestions for areas to be looked at in the future. These include comments such as the following from exhibitors and conference speakers:
- Great networking and conversations were had
- Overall, a great platform for the energy sector
- The exhibition floor was as vibrant as any international conference I’ve been to
- Superb, lively networking space. The key players were all in attendance
- Good plenary sessions, and a wide variety of up-to-the-moment technical talks
- The trade show was easy to navigate – with themed districts co-located
- The Dcarbonise ‘event within an event’ was very effective in providing some much-needed focus to heat/energy efficiency (and transport)
- A great networking opportunity and forum for tackling the great challenges we face
- A great range of topics
- That was such an amazing two days…… that really was the best yet!
“We look forward to continuing feedback from exhibitors, speakers and visitors and to welcoming all of them to the 20th All-Energy and 2nd Dcarbonise on 13 and 14 May at the SEC next year.”
Shepherd and Wedderburn was All-Energy’s headline sponsor (other All-Energy sponsors included ScottishPower, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, SP Energy Networks, Black & Veatch, CSWind, Natural Power, Shell, Dieselec Thistle Generators, and Schneider Electric). All-Energy is supported by a long list of trade associations, government departments, professional bodies and learned societies, and is held in association with the Renewable Energy Association; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Scottish Enterprise; UKRI and Innovate UK; Sustainable Glasgow; and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), with Glasgow as its Host City, and the Society for Underwater Technology as Learned Society Patron.
Dcarbonise was sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland, with E.ON as its seminar theatre sponsor.
Information on all aspects of All-Energy and Dcarbonise 2019 is at www.all-energy.co.uk and www.decarbonise.com as is information on exhibiting in 2020. Conference presentations will be online within two weeks enabling those wanting to recapture what they heard, or who missed a session, to catch up free of charge.
- The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon delivers her keynote address
- The First Minister behind the wheel of the Alexander Dennis double decker hydrogen-powered bus
- Seeing things up close is what exhibitions are all about
Notes to Editors:
All-Energy, the history: All-Energy, the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy and clean growth exhibition and conference has been held annually since 2001; the first SUMS was held in 2017. The first 14 All-Energy events were held in Aberdeen; the show moved to Glasgow in 2015. Dcarbonise, sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland was held for the first time in 2019 – it features low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport.
Need photographs from 2019?
Interested in becoming a Media Partner for 2020?
Please contact All-Energy/Dcarbonise Marketing Manager Gavin Watson – email@example.com
Starting a community energy project can often feel like an impossible mission. That’s why Thrive Renewables’ award-winning funding model is working to bridge the gap between vision and reality. The Community Funding Bridge provides people with the initial resources to progress a community energy project, raise funds and secure ownership.
One of the most successful projects backed by Thrive’s Community Funding Bridge is Mean Moor, a community-owned three-turbine wind farm situated on the outskirts of the idyllic lake district in Cumbria.
With investment and support from the Thrive Bridge, Mean Moor was acquired in 2017 by three community energy co-operatives, High Winds Community Energy Society, Baywind Energy and Energy Prospects. The transfer of the wind farm from a commercial developer to complete community ownership was hailed the first of its kind in the country, pioneering a blueprint for future community-ownership renewable energy projects.
Through the Community Bridge, Thrive provided expert advice, community liaison and all-important finances to help the community get the ball rolling. This gave each group the time and support needed for two rounds of fundraising, attracting over 700 investors and raising £4 million in just a few weeks.
Mean Moor is now 100% community owned and generates enough renewable electricity to meet the annual demand of 4,556 UK homes. With 6.9MW of capacity, it is one of the UK’s largest community-owned renewable energy projects. Last year’s Community Energy England State of Sector Report attributed 20% of the new community energy capacity added in 2017 to Mean Moor.
The project’s successful co-operative ownership hasn’t gone unnoticed in the renewable energy industry, with Mean Moor Wind Farm and Thrive Renewables winning the Finance Award at the Community Energy England Awards 2018. The award recognises community groups, funders and advisers who have achieved the most impact through innovative models of funding.
So far, Thrive Renewables has invested over £12 million in community-lead renewables projects throughout the UK, but they are not stopping there! If you have a renewable or sustainable energy project seeking investment from anywhere between £0.5m to £20m, then visit them at All-Energy, stand K72, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0117 428 1850 to find out how they could help.
— Portfolio of AWES contracts and staff acquired by RES in the UK —
Global renewable energy company RES has ramped up its strategy to grow in the renewable energy support services market by taking over O&M contracts for six wind farm sites from Ainscough Wind Energy Services (AWES), securing nine jobs in rural England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The announcement comes just weeks after RES announced the acquisition of REG Power Management’s (RPM) asset management business, and with its contracts to manage a portfolio of 43 operational wind and solar projects.
RES’ renewable energy support services portfolio now tops 5GW, with further growth expected throughout 2019.
Ian Hunter, Managing Director – Support Services from RES, said: “Growing our support services offering of asset management and O&M is central to our business strategy as we look to enhance asset performance and increase financial returns for our clients.
“Along with these five-year contracts we have acquired an excellent team of skilled technicians based in key areas around the UK. The team, along with our workshop which has the ability to re-engineer universal tools, allows us to offer a very competitive service to wind farm operators and asset owners.
“We plan to use this acquisition as a springboard to significantly grow our O&M business.”
Alongside onshore wind, solar and storage RES provides services to the offshore industry and is a leading provider of O&M for Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTO).
The wait is over… the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference; and the co-located Dcarbonise which concentrates on low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport open tomorrow.
With over 500 speakers, 250 exhibiting companies and expecting total attendance of some 7,000 the scene is set for two busy and stimulating at Glasgow’s SEC on 15 and 16 May.
Free registration for all with relevant business/professional interests – which range from offshore wind developers (and those involved with all forms of renewable energy development) to landlords eager to meet statutory energy efficiency targets by 1 April 2020; and from those keen to learn about low emission vehicles to decarbonising industry and finance and funding – more at www.all-energy.co.uk
Recent events have made this a particularly topical event:
- Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s visit to London (and her activities at home in Stockholm and elsewhere)
- The CCC Net Zero report on greenhouse gas emissions with a target of 2050 for the UK and 2045 for Scotland
- The UK Parliament becoming the first in the world to vote to declare an ‘environmental and climate emergency’
- Scotland’s First Minister’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ at the SNP conference and the fact that by 2 May amendments to Scotland’s Climate Change Bill had been lodged to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest, with Scotland becoming carbon neutral by 2040
- Edinburgh joining the Open Streets movement with certain roads closed on the first Sunday of every month
- Last week the Scottish government dropped controversial plans to cut its taxes on aviation ..
- The UK set yet another recent record for generating electricity without using any coal
- What’s next?
Following the Civic welcome by The Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, the day 1 opening session of All-Energy and Dcarbonise features keynote addresses by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland; Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower; Chris Stark, CEO of the Committee on Climate Change; Councillor Susan Aitken, the Leader of Glasgow City Council; and Professor Karen Turner, Director, Centre for Energy Policy, University of Strathclyde and Just Transition Commissioner, who will speak on ‘Beyond climate change mitigation: The role of low carbon initiatives in growing jobs and the economy’.
The Day 2 plenary session starts with ‘Meet the Minister’ featuring a keynote address and Q&A session by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands. Then hydrogen will be the focus of attention with an hour’s discussion on “Why might the hydrogen economy finally have its day?“ Then once again there is a rich diet of conference sessions; and busy show floor theatres in action.
The full ‘what’s on when’ grid at www.all-energy.co.uk (head to ‘conference’ and ‘conference grid’ on the pulldown menu) provides an overview of the entire conference and seminar programme with each session/stream having its own dedicated pages including biographies of speakers
The full exhibitor list and ‘what’s on’ (homing in on many features of the two shows) can be found at www.all-energy.co.uk; and www.dcarbonise.com.
Shepherd and Wedderburn is All-Energy’s headline sponsor (other All-Energy sponsors include ScottishPower, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, Black & Veatch, Natural Power, Shell, Dieselec Thistle Generators, and Schneider Electric). All-Energy is supported by a long list of trade associations, government departments, professional bodies and learned societies, and is held in association with the Renewable Energy Association; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Scottish Enterprise; Innovate UK; Sustainable Glasgow; and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), with Glasgow as its Host City, and the Society for Underwater Technology as Learned Society Patron.
Dcarbonise is sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland, with E.ON as its seminar theatre sponsor.
Full information on the exhibition, conference, Civic Reception and Giant Networking Evening, accommodation and travel is available on the show’s website at www.all-energy.co.uk and www.dcarbonise.com
Caption: Crowded aisles in a busy exhibition, and a sense of business being done are very much the order of the day at All-Energy
Notes to Editors:
Press registration is at: https://all-energy-2019-press.reg.buzz/
All-Energy, the history: All-Energy, the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy and clean growth exhibition and conference has been held annually since 2001; the first SUMS was held in 2017. The first 14 All-Energy events were held in Aberdeen; the show moved to Glasgow in 2015. Dcarbonise, sponsored by the Scottish Government, Energy saving Trust and Zero Waste Scotland is being held for the first time in 2019 – it features low carbon heat, energy efficiency and low carbon transport.
Following on from our recent article around the regulation of heat networks, this article looks at some of the government sponsored programmes in the UK that may assist in delivering heat networks. The two key programmes we will look at are:
- the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP) in England and Wales; and
- the Low Carbon Infrastructure Programme (LCITP) in Scotland.
Heat Networks in England and Wales
The UK government recently launched HNIP following a successful pilot of the scheme in 2016-2017. HNIP provides access to government funding, targeted specifically at increasing the number of heat networks being built with a view to delivering increased carbon savings and to stimulate a sustainable heat network market. It is intended to provide £320 million of capital funding on a gap funding basis and is open to both the public and the private sector.
Funding rounds for HNIP take place on a quarterly basis though applicants can apply to the pre-applications stage at any time. The first round opened for applications on 5 February and has now closed and the first projects are due to be announced in May/June 2019. The Scheme will close in March 2022.
A project must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to pass the pre-application stage. Following pre-application, a qualifying project can then progress to the full application for HNIP funding. The outcome of the full application is considered by the HNIP Investment committee who make the final decision on which applications will be awarded funding within that funding round. The application process is carried out on a competitive basis, so it is possible that even where a project meets all of the eligibility criteria, it may still not be awarded funding.
HNIP funding can be awarded through a grant, a loan or a combination of both, though awards of funding must be less than 50% of the capital expenditure for the construction of the project. The HNIP guidance also states that, for local authority projects, where capex is in excess of £2.4 million, the project must be structured off of the national accounts, for example via a special purpose vehicle. There are a number of legal aspects to consider in the application process, and there is a particular emphasis on the fact that applicants are responsible for ensuring compliance with the State Aid rules. The HNIP guidance indicates that if an applicant is awarded funding, compliance with the State Aid rules will be a fundamental condition of the Funding Agreement the applicant will be required to enter into in order to secure the funding.
Heat Networks in Scotland
The Scottish Government has also indicated that decarbonising heat is essential to tackling climate change and published a Heat Policy Statement in 2015 which set out three objectives for decarbonising heat:
- reducing the need for heat;
- supplying heat efficiently and at the least cost to consumers; and
- using renewable and low carbon heat.
Projects in Scotland cannot apply for HNIP funding; however, the Scottish Government also has a number of programmes that may be helpful to parties considering investment in a heat project. The Scottish Government has noted that by 2020, its target is to have 11% of non-electrical heat demand met by renewable sources, and reiterated at the Scottish Renewables Low Carbon Heat Conference in April, that it is committed by 2032 to have 35% of heat for domestic buildings and 70% of heat and cooling for non-domestic buildings supplied using low carbon heat technologies.
The primary programme in Scotland is the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP). The Scottish Government originally launched LCITP in March 2015 together with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Futures Trust. LCITP is currently supported by European Structural and Investment Funds and European match funding, is guaranteed out to Autumn 2021. A key distinction between HNIP and LCITP is that LCITP supports various low carbon initiatives and is not targeted only at heat networks.
Generally applications can be made at three stages in the development of a low carbon project:-
- catalyst stage: feasibility work and outline business case development;
- development: final business case, investment options and investment propositions; and
- demonstrator: capital support may be available to demonstrate the commercial viability of a proven technology in the Scottish context
Similarly to HNIP, there is a detailed application process and full applications are considered by the LCITP assessment panel which meets at a monthly case conference.
Demonstrator funding is only available under an open call process, which is launched by the LCITP according to market demand. The most recent invitation issued was the Low Carbon Innovation Funding Invitation. The successful projects cover a range of low carbon technologies, including allocation of £68,250 to Dundee City Council for the Dighty heat corridor to develop an investment-grade business plan for a district heating network to social housing; and an allocation of £7.3 million to Midlothian Council for delivery of a district heat network from the Millerhill Energy from Waste Plant to the new Shawfair development.
From a climate change perspective, it is clear that both central government and the Scottish Government are committed to decarbonisation of heat. Heat networks will continue to increase in prominence going forward and programmes like HNIP and LCITP could prove helpful in terms of stimulating this market.
Euan Murray is a Legal Director in Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP’s Infrastructure Practice
Disruptive technology influences every area of our lives and the energy sector is likely to be one of those most affected in the short to medium term.
What is disruptive technology?
Disruptive technology typically starts out small scale and grows to replace the existing service by delivering it more quickly and cost-effectively. A prime example from the past is the mobile phone, which eliminated the need for telephone boxes for people on the move and provided effective communications coverage for large remote areas that did not previously have fixed-line telecommunication infrastructure.
Disruption in the Energy Sector
We are currently experiencing disruption within the energy sector on a massive scale and I have identified a few potential examples below. Disruptive technology has practical and legal implications for various parties throughout the energy supply chain. It is worth noting that renewable energy and low carbon solutions are, themselves, disruptive technology. This is evident from renewable energy’s profound impact on the conventional generation market. Renewable energy has become one of the primary means of energy generation across the world and decarbonisation is a major priority for governments.
- Artificial Intelligence and robotics are already making an impact on the sector. For example, drones can now be used to survey sites and to monitor or deliver components, cutting costs and improving health and safety. Meanwhile, AI will allow parties to change and optimise the way assets are utilised. However, aside from the practical impact, there are also legal implications to consider. Parties will need to think about the allocation of risk and liability for decisions made by AI when entering into their contracts. Who is responsible when AI makes an incorrect decision that causes loss? And, as digitalisation gathers pace in the energy sector, procuring organisations will need to make sure that they have appropriate access to all the relevant intellectual property rights and copyright data and ensure that it is in a format that can interface with their systems. If not, they may not be able to use the data and their systems effectively. Utilities will also need to consider the impact of proprietary technology on their supply chains and whether tying into to a particular system could create a future compliance risk from a procurement perspective.
- Local generation and distribution – small-scale generation technologies, such as solar energy, are becoming increasingly common and cost-effective thanks to digitalisation. This is likely to encourage local generation and distribution, which could have significant implications for grid infrastructure. Home and business owners are already able to harness this technology to meet their own energy needs and trade the excess. Such a model has material implications for distribution network operators (DNOs) and is likely to trigger a move towards a Distribution System Operator Model. This could have profound consequences for the transmission system and network charging.
- 3D printing and smart and off-site materials – 3D printing has continued to take significant strides forward as the cost of printing metals has fallen, which could yield efficiencies and benefits in terms of parts and components, specifically in the energy construction and SMA sectors. Greater use of smart materials, such as those that can ‘self-heal’, would also have a significant impact. From a legal perspective, parties would need to consider the impact on Service and Maintenance Agreements and defects provisions in all contracts, for example. Taken together with the rise of AI and robotics, such as using drones to service and repair components using smart materials, this could revolutionise the operations and maintenance (O&M) industry. There is also a general move within the construction sector towards off-site construction and greater use of technology in construction. One of the strategic outcomes that the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) highlighted in its recently published corporate plan for 2019 to 2024 is technology-enabled construction asset management and usage optimisation. Parties will need to consider the legal impact of off-site construction in terms of ownership and transfer of title to such materials and components, and to optimise the payment profile to guard against insolvency issues. In Scotland, an Off-site Materials Agreement may be required to ensure that the paying party has title to the goods, notwithstanding that the components have not been delivered to site and incorporated into the works.
Any commentary on disruptive technology would not be complete without a reference to Blockchain. Blockchain is effectively a digital ledger system where transactions are recorded using decentralised technology, and is the platform on which digital currencies operate. The ledger is public and cannot be altered retrospectively. It has many potential applications. Although itself a relatively new technology, the most interesting thing about blockchain is that it is likely to pave the way itself for a number of new disruptive technologies, which we don’t yet know of.
In summary, the next few years will be an interesting time for organisations the energy sector, which will need to adapt and react as new technologies come online and others evolve. Disruptive technology is a good thing, it can create efficiency and reduce health and safety risks; however, it does generate uncertainty for regulators and investors who will not want to progress or invest in something that could result in a stranded asset or investment. Increased use of technology also goes hand in hand with an increased requirement for cyber security. For those implementing and using new technology, it will be important to ensure that your contracts are robust and flexible enough to anticipate, adapt and react to these issues at the same time.
Euan Murray is a Legal Director in Shepherd and Wedderburn’s infrastructure team