Energiesprong Energy Efficiency Retrofit on BBC East Midlands Today

Regular readers may remember the “SOLCER House” video demonstrating how to build an energy efficent house from the ground up? Not so very long ago I attended a seminar on the Energiesprong technique for retro-fitting energy efficiency to existing housing, and now an Energiesprong UK project in Nottingham has been featured on BBC News! Take a look:

Energiesprong UK BBC News December 17 from Energiesprong UK on Vimeo.

If you listen carefully you will note that the presenters explain that:

Ten houses in Nottingham have become the first in the UK to pilot what’s been described as a revolutionary energy saving makeover, which should mean that residents enjoy warmer homes and reduce their bills.

The new approach comes from The Netherlands. Improvements can be installed within days whilst people still live in their homes, and the scheme is designed to pay for itself.

The Dutch call it Energiesprong, which means “Energy Leap”.

Here’s how that first UK pilot looks:


Shell Agrees To Buy First Utility

It’s all go here in the United Kingdom as Christmas rapidly approaches. We’ve mentioned their name recently in the context of electric vehicle charging, and evidently Shell aren’t going to wait for the January sales to make their next purchase. In a press release yesterday they announced that:

The Shell Petroleum Company Limited (Shell) has signed an agreement to buy 100% of First Utility, a leading independent UK household energy and broadband provider. The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to complete in early 2018.

The Shell group’s energy supply, trading and marketing expertise, combined with First Utility’s experience in serving around 825,000 homes in the UK, will enable First Utility to grow and develop more innovative services for customers. Expanding our energy supply business from commercial and industrial customers into the residential sector through First Utility allows us to bring our products and services to more customers every day.

According to Shell’s Executive Vice President of New Energies, Mark Gainsborough:

The supply and demand of residential energy is rapidly changing, driven by new technologies that enable householders to better manage their energy use, and the need for a low-carbon energy system. This combination will enable Shell to enter a new part of the energy market in the UK and to improve choice for customers by delivering innovative services at competitive prices. We believe that the time is right to build upon our strong relationship with First Utility by investing to grow its business.

Shell’s press release also takes the trouble to point out that:

  • First Utility is one of the largest independent UK household energy and broadband suppliers, with a 3% share of the UK residential energy market. First Utility’s 100%-owned subsidiary in Germany, First Utility GmbH, is also included in the deal.
  • Shell sees a new electricity value chain emerging in the UK, in which customers play an increasingly important role – managing their use and selling some power back to the grid.
  • This agreement complements the Shell group’s growing network of forecourt charging points and our recent acquisition of NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest vehicle charging providers, which gives customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go.

I don’t know about you, but all of that seems to me to imply a fourth bullet point that includes the three letter acronym du jour. V2G.

Scotland Announces New Energy Strategy

Hot on the heels of the UK Government’s new Clean Growth Strategy and Industrial Strategy the Scottish Government announced today its first ever Energy Strategy! Needless to say the first thing we did was to scan the document for any mention of the phrase “electric vehicle”, and sure enough EVs get a mention in Paul Wheelhouse’s ministerial statement:

We are well on the road to fully decarbonising our electricity system in Scotland. The challenge facing us now is to ensure a similar decarbonisation of our energy requirements for sustainable transport – and to deliver a well-balanced system capable of providing secure and affordable energy to meet Scotland’s needs.

Scotland is taking a leading role in promoting electric and other low-emission vehicles – with an ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. This is as much an energy system ambition as a transport one. We will need to develop and manage the necessary charging and other network infrastructure, while building awareness and confidence on the part of consumers. The challenges here are more than matched by the economic opportunity and environmental benefits which success will bring.

Yes Minister! Precisely so.


Moving on to the body of the document we are informed that:

More of us are turning to electric vehicles (EVs). At the end of June 2016, there were 3,575 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland (eligible for the UK Government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes), compared to 2,050 at the end of June 2015. 78 More EVs were sold in Scotland in 2015 than the previous four years combined, with 2016 sales expected to have risen further. Our ChargePlace Scotland network has expanded to over 600 publicly available EV charging points, equating to over 1,200 charging bays. This includes over 150 ‘rapid’ charging points, one of the most comprehensive networks in Europe.

Searching further for any mention of static and/or mobile storage technology we learn that:

Combining storage with wind and solar assets presents a valuable solution for the energy system as a whole, offering the potential for demand to be managed locally. This kind of flexibility and control will be important as electric vehicles become an integral part of the transport system.

not to mention:

More ULEVs will mean higher electricity demand, creating particular pressures for local distribution networks as drivers look to connect and charge their vehicles. We are already discussing these issues with Scotland’s grid operators, and starting to consider different options and approaches.

There will be big challenges here – but opportunities too, for example, in developing solutions such as smart chargers, and interfaces which can manage and reduce pressure on electricity networks. The development and use of innovative software can reduce the need for investment in more expensive and disruptive “hardware”, in the form of grid upgrades. There is a big innovation opportunity here for Scottish businesses, and a chance to develop and export the necessary technology and solutions. Initiatives such as the “My Electric Avenue” project have already looked at some of these issues, and others are underway. A report by Transport Scotland and Urban Foresight published in 2016 concluded that large numbers of EVs across Scotland can help support ‘whole-system’ energy solutions by:

  • providing significant and distributed energy storage capacity, able to absorb intermittent loads from renewable generation;
  • helping to integrate more micro-generation;
  • increasing overall energy efficiency; and
  • potentially providing a source of grid power input when required.

which is vehicle-to-grid technology in all but name!

Finally, for the moment at least, here’s video of the proceedings in the Scottish Parliament earlier today:

We’ve set it to start where the Ministerial Statement mentions:

New commitments on electric and other low emission vehicles, and our intention to support up to £60 million of new innovation funding under the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, setting Scotland apart as a country at the vanguard of the global move to low carbon energy systems.

MRH Announces a Partnership with IONITY

MRH say they are the:

UK’s leading independent service station operator by number of sites, serving 2.5 million customers every week at our 491 sites across the country.

Following in the footsteps of Shell at the end of last month they announced today that:

MRH, the leading independent forecourt trader, today announces a partnership with IONITY : a joint venture formed by leading car manufacturers which develops and implements a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. The joint venture between BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, will build 400 fast charging stations across Europe by 2020.

MRH will be responsible for a significant number of sites across the UK by that time. The network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems. Each station will offer a capacity of 350 kilowatts, greater than the input capacity on any EV today. The current industry standard is just 50kW.

According to IONITY’s chief executive officer, Michael Hajesch:

We are excited to welcome MRH in the IONITY network. The partnership with MRH is key for us to leave a significant footprint in the United Kingdom as one of the major EV markets in Europe. It’s great to see how we are getting closer to our goal of enabling EV travel throughout Europe.

I’ll get excited once there’s a 350 kW EV charging station installed somewhere this side of Exeter!

Nissan Start European Production of 2018 LEAF

In a press release earlier today Nissan announced that:

Production of the all-new Nissan LEAF, the next generation of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, is officially underway for European customers.

With the first new LEAFs now rolling off the line at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK, the countdown has now started to the first customers receiving their vehicles in February.

Embodying Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision and already winning international awards for innovation and technology, this new model has been reinvented to offer greater range, dynamic design, advanced driver assistance technologies and enhanced connectivity.

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

According to Nissan Europe’s Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing, Kevin Fitzpatrick:

Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving.

We’re excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan LEAF to European markets from February.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF production line in Sunderland

The 2018 Nissan LEAF production line in Sunderland

The press release continues with a list of the new features of the 2018 LEAF, then concludes:

The Nissan LEAF has been in production in the UK since 2013 for European markets, with more than 85,000 units sold in Europe since 2011, when the first deliveries began from Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan. Following an initial investment of £420m, the introduction of the new Nissan LEAF has been supported by a further £36m investment in Nissan Sunderland Plant, supporting more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in the UK supply chain.

Nissan's Sunderland Plant

Nissan’s Sunderland Plant

The start of production follows the new Nissan LEAF’s first major international awards last month, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) annual CES Unveiled ceremony in New York, presented by the Consumer Technology Association. LEAF was awarded:

  • CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology, and
  • CES honoree for Tech for a Better World

Here’s a video of the 2018 LEAF production line in Sunderland in action:

Here at V2G UK we cannot now help but wonder when the first 2018 model year e-NV200 van will become available here in the United Kingdom?

Power Cuts in SW England from Stormin’ Noname

Following in the footsteps of Storm Caroline a couple of days ago, another storm is now putting some people’s lights out here in South West England. This one doesn’t have an official name, but nonetheless here is the United Kingdom Met Office’s recent forecast:

Whilst areas further north have an “amber” warning for snow, here is the Met Office’s official “yellow” wind warning for Southern England this morning:


A spell of strong winds is expected to spread eastwards across the far south of the UK. Gusts of 50 mph are likely quite widely, with 60 mph gusts in places and close to 70 mph at times in the most exposed coastal locations. The highest gusts and strongest winds are expected Bristol Channel coastal areas during Sunday morning. High winds will also be accompanied by heavy showers, with a chance of hail and thunder, in parts of south Wales and southwest England.

Those “strongest winds in Bristol Channel coastal areas” have certainly done some damage to Western Power Distribution’s electricity distribution grid this morning. It looks as though the snow and ice across the Midlands has had an effect too:



As has been our recent custom, here too is UK plc’s current electricity generation mix courtesy of Gridwatch:


and here is a graph of UK plc’s carbon intensity so far today:



[Edit – December 11th 10:00]

STOP PRESS! We had a brief power cut here at V2G Towers in Tremail this morning. It only lasted for a couple of minutes, and is presumably related to this problem just up the road in Davidstow:



[Edit – December 11th 17:45]

Suppy has now been restored to the remaining 15 properties in the Davidstow area that have been without mains electricity for most of today.


Whilst the number of properties without power across WPD’s network has been reducing today there are still a little under 4,000 remaining, largely in the West Midlands:


Earlier today WPD issued a press release concerning the effects of Storm Caroline on their distribution network:

Over the weekend we restored just over 99,500 customers, 70,000 of those were in the West Midlands and 15,000 in South Wales which have been the two worst affected areas.

We do not anticipate any further disruption to be caused by the weather conditions based on the latest forecasts we have received.

Since first light this morning, additional resources from other areas have been drafted into the West Midlands to aid with outstanding restorations and repairs.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday the Contact Centre handled over 20,000 calls with an average speed of response of 7 seconds. 94% of calls were answered in twenty seconds or under. Extra staff worked in both Centres with Ramp Up Rooms opened in our Bristol and Plymouth offices in addition to homeworkers being logged in as well. The transport team also assisted in getting staff into the Contact Centres who were struggling due to the adverse weather conditions.

The British Red Cross were activated twice but were also offered to multiple customers in addition to this who turned down the offer of the support. 969 proactive calls were also made to registered vulnerable customers offering support and advising them when their power supply would be restored.

Below is a snapshot of our performance and associated information covering Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December.



[Edit – December 11th 23:55]

An intriguing carbon intensity graph for the coldest night of the winter so far:


Coal fired generation is working quite hard at the moment!



[Edit – December 12th 11:00]

UK plc’s carbon intensity reached a peak of over 480 gCO₂/kWh overnight:


Meanwhile WPD’s power cut map has finally reverted to something approaching normality:


Jeremy Clarkson on a Grand Tour to Save the World!

We’re currently planning a Grand Tour in an electric vehicle ourselves at the moment, heading to Italy via Switzerland. We were therefore both surprised and delighted to discover that ex Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May had revealed how to approach the challenge of charging an EV in Switzerland in the very first episode of the second series of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour” series!

In the boys supercar tour around Switzerland Jeremy was driving a Lamborghini Aventador S ICE, James was behind the wheel of a Honda NSX hybrid and Richard was piloting a Rimac Concept One all battery electric vehicle! Here’s a brief extract of some of Jeremy’s words of wisdom from the preview of the new series:

Here too is a sample of some of today’s other Grand Tour related Tweets:

It’s great to hear the Grand Tour team singing the praises of a 100% electric vehicle. However it looks to us as if Jeremy et al’s researchers didn’t do their due diligence desperately doggedly. By way of one example, the episode was cut to suggest that Richard needed to go to the Swiss Museum of Transport on the edge of Lucerne in order to charge his Concept One. However in actual fact the ultra rapid EVTEC charger shown is located on the other side of Lucerne in Kriens. Here it is in all its glory in a photo on EVTEC’s web site:


As you can see, the supercar fast charges via a CCS connector. Which leads us on to another example of The Grand Tour’s undue lack of diligence, since here is Chargemap.com‘s current map of CCS rapid chargers en route from Lucerne to Hemberg:


As you can see, there was really no need for Richard to drive the Rimac to Hemberg on the back of a truck, since there are any number of eminently suitable rapid chargers en route. I guess we’ll just have to put that down to dramatic licence on behalf of The Grand Tour’s producers?

Once the Rimac was unloaded from the back of the lorry, presumably with a fully charged battery pack, Richard managed to successfully negotiate the hill climb course. Here is what happened next:

Somehow I don’t think that was in the original script, do you?

BEAMA Recommends “Electrification by Design”

We’ve previously looked at the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association’s “Guide to Electric Vehicle Infrastructure“. Now they have released a new report which looks at electric vehicles in the context of the “transformation of our energy system”.

BEAMA summarise their “Electrification by Design” report with 6 “market design imperatives”:

Electrification by Design explores simple policy mechanisms and regional structure options to promote wide scale deployment of low to zero carbon electric systems.

  1. Electrification is a national need, but optimised, flexible energy systems will be delivered by regions and zones empowered to identify the most appropriate paths.

  2. Integrated and innovative finance packages are essential for market transformation.

  3. The supply chain must have sufficient capacity to promote sustainable growth.

  4. Consumers need confidence that services, systems and devices form part of a structured consumer journey. We need to navigate a critical path to electrification and decarbonisation.

  5. Demand Side Response needs concurrent and planned development of regulation, technology and markets.

  6. New and innovative ways of purchasing and providing energy services will emerge.


We wholeheartedly agree with BEAMA’s recommendation that:

The first priority is the energy efficiency of buildings

NegaWatts not MegaWatts” has long been a mantra of ours! Other recommendations regarding transport, energy storage, buildings and energy markets include:

  • Implement a mix of smart solutions such as managed charging, reinforcement and infrastructure upgrades to facilitate consumer uptake of EVs
  • Future proof the house building programme
  • Focus on the value of intelligent control and enable platforms that support interoperable services, systems and devices
  • Design markets so that all participants can engage with price signals and allow for market evolution as improved technology emerges
  • Keep the market open to new entrants to expand the range of service propositions to consumers
  • Co-locate storage, generation and charging at key large charging locations

Looking more closely at the section of the report devoted to electric vehicles, BEAMA have this to say:

A flexible and optimised energy system will balance the introduction of new technologies into buildings with the challenges these new loads can place on the network. This is particularly relevant to the sharp increase in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Technology that can perform load management or response functions can be connected to the network or deployed in the home, electric vehicles can be sold to the consumer and charging points installed, but without markets that allow providers to stack revenues and build their consumer propositions the potential value of this technology will never be realised.

I couldn’t have said it better myself! The UK Government is committed to a rapid electrification of road transport, but current energy markets represent a significant barrier to realising the potential of the technology. BEAMA add:

As the rollout of new technology and services continues without the right market conditions, their value is eroded or delayed. This is even without considering the lost upstream value and savings that these services could be providing to other market participants such as focused and planned infrastructure spending and energy management supported by Demand Side Response.

EVs are mentioned once again in the section of the report that discusses “passive consumers”:

Electric vehicle sales are rising rapidly and a well-functioning flexible energy system will reduce the impact of the ‘all electric’ switch to as little as a 5GW peak rise in electricity demand (8%), but only if we have the required level of engagement from consumers; in turn, this means getting the consumer proposition right.

Moving on to the “Transport” section of the report, our views begin to diverge from BEAMA’s slightly. They reiterate their 6th bullet point above:

Technology is likely to enable faster and faster charging rates, and reducing charging times to 5-10 minutes (similar to the time it takes to refuel a petrol or diesel car) could mark a tipping point for consumer interest. Another may be when ongoing innovation in battery technologies allows for a range similar to what is currently available from a tank of petrol or diesel.

Such technological development and deployment could also change the way consumers charge their vehicles, moving to centralised and co-located fast charging alongside or instead of slow charging. This could allow infrastructure investment to be better targeted. Centralising or co-locating the charging infrastructure with generation and storage can alleviate the pressure on local domestic low voltage networks.

Here at V2G UK we agree that “faster and faster charging rates” along major trunk routes are highly desirable, but we also believe that there is a place for the sort of technology summarised in the “artist’s impression” in our banner above. Alleviating the pressure on local domestic low voltage networks through the use of distributed generation and storage co-located with what BEAMA refers to as “slow charging rates”. Having renewable generation and energy storage located at your home or small business provides advantages that having similar, albeit larger and faster, facilities located on the nearest Shell forecourt does not! Particularly if you’re intent on the electrification of heating as well as transport, a topic which BEAMA also discuss at length in their new report.

As you have hopefully gathered by now, realising that vision will require a radical change to the UK’s energy markets, possibly even going beyond the significant changes recommended by BEAMA.

Storm Caroline Power Cuts

Yesterday the UK Met Office issued an amber warning for strong winds caused by Caroline, the third named storm of the winter in this part of the world:

With up to 90 mph gusts expected in the north of Scotland the Met Office pointed out that:

Flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life. Some damage to buildings is possible, such as tiles blowing off roofs. Longer journey times and cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected. There is a good chance that power cuts may also occur. Large waves are expected and beach material may be thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

Sticking with those power cuts for the moment, here are the lunchtime maps from the assorted Distribution Network Operators spread across the west and north of the British Isles:




Scottish and Southern Energy Networks:

Scottish Power Energy Networks don’t provide an overview map of the area covered by their network, but they do issue severe weather updates from time to time. Today’s currently states that:

The MET Office has issued a yellow/amber warnings for Thursday 7th December 2017 to much of Scotland. Storm Caroline is expected to bring a spell of very windy weather reaching up to speeds of 80mph over the higher grounds.

Moving into Friday 8th and Saturday 9th, the yellow Met Office warning is still in place and it now covers Scotland, North Wales and Northwest Midlands. The yellow warning continues to bring strong winds but also frequent snow showers of 2-5cm, with 10-20cm in some places.

Icy surfaces are also likely to be an additional hazard, especially overnight. The heaviest and most frequent snow showers will progressively become confined to northeast Scotland during Saturday.

We have not yet seen any impact of Storm Caroline on our Network and as such we are presently working as business as usual, however, we will continue to monitor the weather situation closely.

Scottish and Southern do however provide timely news updates. The lunchtime edition reports that:

As forecast, gale-force winds reached the Western Isles from the early hours of this morning, with wind gusts in excess of 85mph recorded. SSEN’s network has stood up well to the initial impact and power has been safely restored to over 3,900 customers, mainly on the Western Isles and north-west Highlands, with around 780 homes currently without power as of 12pm today.

The full impact of Storm Caroline has not yet been felt across much of SSEN’s network region and it is expected there will be further faults throughout the day as the weather front continues to track across the north Highlands, into the Moray Firth and up to Orkney. Winds are expected to peak between midday and 6pm this evening with gusts of 70 -95mph forecast. Shetland is expected to feel the full force of Storm Caroline from midnight tonight through to lunchtime on Friday.

With snow and falling temperatures forecast for Friday, there is also a risk of line icing, where snow accumulates and freezes on the overhead electricity network, which can result in damage due to the sheer weight of accumulated snow and ice. Infrequent lightning also remains a risk.


[Edit – December 7th 18:00]

Firstly here are the tea time power cut maps:





SPEN still haven’t updated their “Severe weather update” from yesterday.

SSEN have issued a 4 PM update, which reads as follows:


As forecast, gale-force winds have tracked slowly across SSEN’s network region, starting in the Western Isles in the early hours of the morning with the storm moving from west to east throughout the day. Wind gusts of 95mph have been recorded at Burgar Hill in Orkney, with widespread gusts in excess of 80mph observed across the north of Scotland.

SSEN’s network continues to stand up well to the impact of Storm Caroline and power has been safely restored to over 11,500 customers. The main areas affected have been the Western Isles, north-west Highlands, Caithness, Moray, north-east Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland.

As of 4pm, around 4,600 homes remain without power, mainly in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. All faults are resourced with teams working to restore power, where it is safe to do so.

Wind speeds are forecast to subside for most parts from around 6pm this evening, with the exception of Shetland which is expected to continue to feel the effects of Storm Caroline through to tomorrow morning.

With snow and falling temperatures forecast for Friday, SSEN will remain on Yellow Alert due to the risk of line icing, where snow accumulates and freezes on the overhead electricity network, which can result in damage due to the sheer weight of accumulated snow and ice. A risk of lightning also remains.

Whilst the far north of Scotland may be experiencing very strong winds, further south wind turbines across the nation will be spinning furiously, so lets now take a look at the mix of UK electricity generation at the moment, courtesy of Gridwatch:


We’re currently experiencing the usual early evening peak in demand and we’re also experiencing a bit of a cold snap at the moment:

Hence there’s also an “amber warning” for electricity demand this evening, with wind contributing almost 9 GW of the required 47.17 GW. Here’s how that looks expressed as UK plc’s “Carbon intensity“:



[Edit – December 7th 22:30]

Our suite of power cut maps reveal that the worst effects of Storm Caroline are now confined to the far north east of Scotland, including Orkney and Shetland:





Scottish and Southern have issued another updates:


From the early hours of this morning, gale-force winds have battered the north of Scotland, tracking slowly across SSEN’s network region from west to east throughout the course of the day. Over the last few hours, Shetland has borne the brunt of Storm Caroline, with wind gusts of over 100mph recorded at Gremista.

Power has been safely restored to over 13,000 customers across SSEN’s network, the main areas affected being the Western Isles, north-west Highlands, Caithness, Moray, north-east Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland. With wind speeds now starting to subside for most areas it is anticipated the vast majority of customers will be restored this evening. As of 7pm, there are currently 3,000 customers still off supply, 1,300 of which are in Shetland.

Due to the continued severity of the wind speeds experienced in Shetland, which are forecast to continue through to tomorrow morning, and access issues affecting a small number of customers on Orkney, it is likely that some homes will remain off supply overnight. SSEN’s teams remain on standby and will carry out repairs as soon as it is safe to do so.

As the evening has progressed UK electricity demand has dropped as forecast, and the generation mix now looks like this:



[Edit – December 8th 07:00]

There’s still a wind warning in place for the Northern Isles:

Consequently Scottish and Southern’s map of power cuts in the area still looks like this at the moment:


Scottish and Southern issued a further update on Storm Caroline late last night:

Following the impact of Storm Caroline, which has seen prolonged gale force winds affecting many areas across the north of Scotland, SSEN has now successfully reconnected the vast majority of homes affected, with power safely restored to over 14,000 customers. The main areas affected have been the Western Isles, north-west Highlands, Caithness, Moray, north-east Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland.

Due to the persistent and severe nature of wind speeds still being felt across parts of Caithness, Orkney and Shetland, coupled with difficulty gaining access to faults, as of 10pm this evening SSEN has taken the decision to stand down its field based teams in these locations for safety reasons and around 500 customers will remain off supply overnight.

Here’s the UK’s generation mix this morning:


and here’s the final UK plc carbon intensity graph for yesterday:


plus today’s thus far:



[Edit – December 8th 15:00]

Scottish and Southern’s map of power cuts still shows several outages this afternoon:


In their latest bulletin they say that:

SSEN’s teams continue to make good progress to restore power to the last remaining customers affected by the impact of Storm Caroline, which brought sustained gale force winds to many areas across the north of Scotland. Throughout the course of the event, SSEN has successfully reconnected power to over 18,000 homes. The main areas affected have been the Western Isles, north-west Highlands, Caithness, Moray, north-east Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland.

As of 2.30pm, just 250 homes remain off supply, with the main areas still affected being Orkney and Shetland. All faults have been resourced and SSEN anticipates all homes will have power restored by this evening.

To support efforts to restore power to those homes who remained off supply overnight, SSEN has moved additional teams to the areas affected and is also working closely with its resilience partners to help overcome challenges with gaining access to faults as a result of cancellations to local ferry services and road closures due to snow. This includes working in coordination with the RNLI, who are providing a helicopter to get additional teams and resource to South Ronaldsay, Orkney.

Here’s the current generation mix:



[Edit – December 8th 18:15]

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks say they:

Have now returned to business as usual but we will continue to monitor conditions and are well prepared to respond to whatever other challenges the Scottish weather has in store for us this winter.

Their current power cut map confirms that:


Much like yesterday, this evening’s demand is back up in the amber zone:



[Edit – December 9th]

Here is the final UK plc carbon intensity graph for yesterday:


Honda Research V2G Technology in Europe

Honda have just announced in a press release that:

Honda has invested in advanced bi-directional charging technology at its European R&D site in Offenbach, Germany, which is helping to balance demand and store energy more efficiently across the facility. The new charging system incorporates renewable energy generation, and is a test bed for hardware that will be available to private households in the future.

The technology installation in Germany follows the debut of the domestic Honda Power Manager Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The concept previewed a fully-integrated energy transfer, which takes power from the grid and can return stored energy from electric vehicle (EV) batteries – through ‘Vehicle-to-Grid’ or ‘V2G’ technology. This latest trial installation at Honda’s Offenbach site applies the same principles on a larger scale.

Here’s how Honda’s new bi-directional V2G capable charging station looks, albeit not in situ in Offenbach by the looks of it!

Honda installs new bi-directional charging technology at European R&D centre

Honda installs new bi-directional charging technology at European R&D centre

According to Jörg Böttcher, Vice President of Honda R&D Europe:

With the installation of the latest bi-directional charging technology at our R&D site in Germany, we are adding the next technology to our Smart Company project, which will further enhance our research activity in the field of zero-emission society and future mobility.

Here at V2G UK we have come to associate the word “Honda” with “hydrogen“, although Honda did take part in a V2G trial in the United States back in 2013. Here in Europe in 2017 they point out that:

With the help of the bi-directional hardware and with the technology of The Mobility House, Honda aims to optimise energy management at its European R&D campus, maximising the use of renewable solar power in particular. The project is testing the interaction, compatibility and power flow between specific electrical components, including the renewable energy cells and the EV batteries. The installation represents a collaboration between Honda R&D Europe, energy service provider The Mobility House and Swiss technology company EVTEC.

The investment in the bi-directional energy transfer technology further enhances the world’s most advanced public charging station for plug-in vehicles, which was launched at Honda R&D Europe in summer 2017. Its state-of-the-art 940V capability can deliver up to 150kW of energy, enabling as many as four vehicles to charge simultaneously with different types of connectors. Since its installation in June, the EV charging station has supplied power for 447 charge sessions and has saved 3.87 tonnes of CO2.

Here’s a video from The Mobility House explaining their vision of a future “V2G enabled” world:

There’s more information on that topic in a press release from EVTEC which doesn’t seem to be available online at the moment. In slightly stilted English the Swiss company explain that:

With the growing importance of electric mobility, the two worlds of energy and mobility are merging. The closer this connection becomes, the more importance gain intelligent technologies that ensure this development secures a sustainable future. Such a technology is Vehicle-to-Grid, in short “V2G”. What is behind this term, is the intelligent integration of electric vehicles in the energy system and markets.

This advantage is well known to Honda, where the V2G technology is already in use today: with the help of a bidirectional charging solution, the company aims to optimize energy management at its European R & D campus in Offenbach. Within the framework of a comprehensive project over the last 12 month, the interaction of various energy components – from vehicle battery to photovoltaic system – is being tested here.

According to EVTEC co-founder and CEO Markus Kramis:

A reliable, precise, and fast acting bi-directional charger is the necessary base for every V2G application, like peak shaving and energy optimization.

All in all that EVTEC charging station sounds like just the sort of thing we need to try out at V2G Towers over here in North Cornwall, located in a distant corner of sunny South West England amongst an impressive array of large scale solar PV and onshore wind “farms”!

The same may well apply to Honda’s Power Manager mentioned above, which was announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. According to a Honda press release once again:

Its all-new Power Manager Concept, a fully-integrated energy transfer system, is designed to incorporate electric vehicles into a smart power grid. It enables the collection and distribution of electricity between the grid, homes and businesses and electric vehicles, to intelligently balance demand and efficient storage of energy. Honda will apply its Power Manager technology as part of a smart grid pilot scheme in the west of France.


Power Manager Concept works by aggregating and distributing energy to and from the grid, solar panel-equipped homes or workplaces, and electric vehicles.

Electricity is received into the system from the grid or is generated by the solar panels and can be used to power and heat the building as well as to charge the EV. While the EV is plugged in, the energy can be stored and used at home or sold back to the grid, potentially generating value for EV owners.

The Power Manager Concept system can help to stabilise the grid at times of either short or surplus supply, as well as representing a revenue opportunity for EV owners.

That sounds like just the sort of thing that Western Power Distribution needs to help stabilise the electricity distribution grid in our neck of the woods, which is currently heavily “constrained”:


Do you suppose that we could possibly persuade Honda to apply its Power Manager technology as part of a smart grid pilot scheme here in the south west of England too?