The Camelford Air Quality Action Plan Consultation

Regular readers will be aware that here at V2G UK we are concerned about the effect of internal combustion engine emissions on human health, particularly in the town of Camelford just down the road from us here in (Silic)Inny Valley. For more background please read on below the fold, but here is our urgent message of the day.

The Cornwall County Council consultation on their so called Air Quality Action Plan for Camelford closes on April 2nd 2018. If you want to have your say please complete the online questionnaire at:

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/environmental-protection/environmental-protection-air-quality/camelford-air-quality/

at your earliest convenience by clicking the big green button towards the bottom of that page that looks like this:

Camelford-AQMA-Consultation

Continue reading

The Davy Initiative, Cornish Lithium and V2G

Yesterday I “raced” down the A30 to the Tremough Campus of the University of Exeter in Cornwall to discover more about what was billed on the Cornwall New Energy web site as “The Davy Initiative – Electrochemistry in Cornwall”. CNE point out that:

Humphry Davy (1778–1829), the son of an impoverished Cornish woodcarver, rose meteorically to help spearhead the reformed chemistry movement of the late 18th century and became a pioneer of electrochemistry. He discovered several new elements, including magnesium, calcium, strontium, and barium and in the course of his career was involved in many practical projects e,g. the application of chemistry to agriculture and designing a miner’s lamp which reduced spontaneous combustion!

Today, with the explosion in battery technologies, electrochemistry finds itself at the forefront of a wave of innovation again – an enabling technology relevant to a vast variety of industries and applications. It is also an area of increasing focus for government led funding opportunities such as Innovate UK calls and The Faraday Challenge.

What’s more, Cornwall finds itself leading the way again, one example being PV3 Technologies in Launceston who provide electrochemical materials, contract electrochemistry R&D and sub-contract manufacturing of electrochemical and nanomaterials to clients across the globe.

Obviously an event not to be missed by yours truly, but I’m afraid I arrived slightly late. My pathetic excuse is the 40 mph speed limit amidst the long lines of traffic cones currently gracing the new dual carriageway across Bodmin Moor. Once safely ensconced in my seat I learned all sorts of interesting things. Sticking with the science and technology for today, one of the presentations was given by Jeremy Wrathall of Cornish Lithium, who I mentioned almost a year ago in a previous article. After lunch Jeremy led some of us upstairs in the Tremough Innovation Centre to visit Cornish Lithium’s office, where I learnt a few more interesting things. My apologies for the quality of the image, but perhaps this will give you a flavour?

2018-02-01_13-16-45_258

Cornish Lithium are currently hard at work correlating the outputs of assorted “cutting edge” technologies with records from the heyday of the Cornish mining industry in order to identify “hot prospects” for sources of lithium and a variety of other useful materials. A couple of examples of 21st century data mentioned were Landsat satellite imagery and the Tellus geophysical survey of South West England. Here’s an example highlighting copper concentrations in streams in the Penryn area of Cornwall:

Tellus-Cu-Penryn

Personally I find the European Sentinel data easier to work with than Landsat, so here’s the Sentinel 2 visualisation of vegetation in the Penryn area:

S2-Vegetation-Tremough

Jeremy didn’t mention another recent related announcement, which is that Keith Russ has completed his 25 year mission to build a 3D model of all Cornwall’s old mines. Here’s the South Crofty area:

KeithRuss-SouthCrofty

Make sure to click through to Keith’s Facebook page where a variety of “mine fly through” animations are available.

As a result of all this high tech wizardry perhaps the production of electric vehicle battery packs in Cornwall will become a reality in the not too distant future? Which does of course bring me back to distributed energy storage! According to Jim Wrigley of the Isles of Scilly Smart Energy Islands project the “low carbon transport” part of the project will include V2G technology:

IoS-SIP

According to the project’s latest newsletter:

The Islands have seen an upward trend in car ownership, and by 2014, the number of vehicles on the islands had grown to 1,253, almost one car per two people. Travel distances remain low with the average resident’s commute estimated at 1km (about a half mile). The relatively short travel distances and potential for shared ownership make electric vehicles a very suitable way to get around. Furthermore, using their batteries to
both store and supply locally-generated electricity could pioneer, in the long term, a zero-carbon transport system.

More on all that on another day!

BP invests in EV charging company FreeWire

Following in Shell’s illustrious footsteps BP announced today that:

Its venturing business has invested $5 million in FreeWire Technologies Inc. (FreeWire), a US-based manufacturer of mobile electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging systems, and plans to roll out FreeWire’s Mobi Charger units for use at selected BP retail sites in the UK and Europe during 2018.

BP-Freewire

However BP/FreeWire’s rapid charging system is rather different to Shell’s, since as you can see it’s mobile. According to FreeWire’s Mobi Charger web page that means:

The Mobi Charger DCF offers Level 3, DC fast charging, without any construction. Charge up to 10 vehicles in a day. Mobi Chargers simply recharges from a wall outlet.

    • Supports CHAdeMO or Tesla standards
    • Delivering 50kW
    • Adds 200 miles in 1 hour
    • Tops off 4-10 EVs in one charge
    • Energy Buffer Chemistry: Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) Prismatic Cells
    • Energy Buffer Capacity: 48kWh (nominal)

According to BP Downstream’s chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic:

Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future. EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business, but customer demand and the technologies available are still evolving.

Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.

Note that BP also point out that:

BP is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy through focusing on reducing its own operational emissions, improving its products to enable customers to lower their emissions and creating low carbon businesses. BP Ventures supports each of these areas by identifying emerging trends and businesses, making strategic investments and testing technologies and solutions for their scalability. The investment in FreeWire is an example of how BP Ventures is working alongside BP’s Downstream business.

Nissan Announce 1000 V2G Installations in the UK

Since it mentions “1000 V2G installations” and comes with a nice picture of a 2018 LEAF plugged in to a V2G charging station Nissan’s announcement of its “e4Future” project’s successful entry in the recent Innovate UK V2G funding competition deserves an article of its very own:

2018-LEAF-V2G

Whilst it is certainly connected to the vehicle the charging station doesn’t seem to be connected to the grid! Regarding their successful bid Nissan say that:

Nissan and its partners welcome the announcement by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy minister Richard Harrington to award £9.8m for a Vehicle-to-Grid demonstrator project.

The project foundation is for a large-scale demonstrator targeting 1000 Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) installations that will evaluate a commercial offer to electric vehicle fleet customers. The chargers will be controlled by an aggregator and data will be collected to understand the technical characteristics of vehicle to grid charging for both the vehicles and the electricity networks.

A consortium, led by Nissan, will bring expertise from across the whole Vehicle-to-Grid value chain: V2G infrastructure/aggregator provider Nuvve, the energy community represented by National Grid, two Distribution Network Operators (DNOs); UK Power Networks and Northern Powergrid, with varied grid infrastructure. The research and analysis activities will be supported by Newcastle University and Imperial College London.

Vehicle-to-Grid technology and this project will leverage Nissan’s brand commitment to Nissan Intelligent Mobility to transform the way people drive and live, creating a more exciting and sustainable future.

Once again V2G charging station manufacturers are conspicuous by their absence from the list of Nissan’s collaborators, and there is no label on the white charging station displayed above. Nissan also provide the following bullet points summarising the e4Future project:

  • In January 2018, OLEV and BEIS announced that 21 projects (8 feasibility studies, 5 collaborative research and development projects, and 8 real-world V2G trial projects) were to receive funding of £30m to develop the business proposition and core technology around V2G, and demonstrate those with large scale trials. The projects involve more than 50 industrial partners and research organisations from both the Energy and Automotive sector, marking the largest and most diverse activities on V2G in the world, and trialling more than 2700 vehicles across UK.
  • The V2G projects represent a significant step towards the transition to a low carbon transportation and a smart energy system. Allowing EVs to return energy to the Power Grid when parked and plugged for charging, will increase Grid resilience, allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners, leading to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.

Amongst other things Nissan’s Managing Director of Nissan Energy at Nissan Europe, Francisco Carranza, said that:

Our EVs can be plugged into the grid and support the transmission and distribution companies in making the UK grid more sustainable and more stable. The increase of electric vehicles penetration, the introduction of more and more distributed generation and storage and the overall increase in renewable energy penetration should be done smartly.

To ensure Nissan plays a wider role in the advancement and protection of our cities, our electric V2G-ready vehicles will be used as clean mobile energy units.

Nissan has also reiterated its bold mission to offer customers free power for their EVs. V2G introduction will change the rules of the game and make energy cheaper for everyone.

The press release also contains a long list of quotes from Nissan’s collaborators on the project. Let’s take a look at this one from Myriam Neaimeh of Newcastle University:

The Government’s announcement will be a real game changer as we move towards decarbonising the grid.

This will be the first, large scale demonstration of vehicle to grid technology anywhere in the world and crucially, this project brings together all the key players for the first time – a giant of the automotive industry with energy providers, infrastructure experts and academics – so we can work together to really make this happen. It’s a really exciting time and fantastic that Newcastle University has been involved right from the beginning.

I still cannot help but wonder who will be manufacturing the all important V2G capable charging stations that will be installed as part of the e4Future project, and what de facto or international standards they will comply with?

Are EV Charging Station Standards Patentable?

Regular readers of the V2G UK blog will be aware that I have just returned from a visit to Rome. I hasten to add that this was for business, not pleasure! However I am happy to be able to report that the venue for day 1 of the IEC 63110 standard committee meeting that I attended was Enel‘s fairly pleasurable Villa Lazzaroni, situated on the banks of the River Tiber:

2018-01-23_12-44-51_897

What was discussed inside the villa is of course currently confidential. However one issue raised is already in the public domain. In a press release on December 15th 2017 ChargePoint, Inc. announced that:

ChargePoint today filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SemaConnect, a manufacturer of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, alleging the infringement of four patents focused on networked electric vehicle charging. The complaint was filed in the District of Maryland and seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.

ChargePoint has invested substantial resources over the years to create EV charging solutions designed with drivers and businesses in mind. With an industry leading patent portfolio, ChargePoint is committed to leading the way in developing the world’s most comprehensive suite of charging technologies that support the transformation to electric mobility. ChargePoint invented networked EV charging and holds the patents related to the technology. A hallmark of the company’s technology portfolio, networked charging is a significant piece of ChargePoint’s offering and a critical ingredient to its business. As with any company, protecting vital IP is imperative to the future success of the organization and its contribution to the marketplace.

The back story to the court case can be perused over at Lexology:

ChargePoint, Inc., a leading provider of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, appears to have lost a bid to provide charging stations to Electrify America and promptly sued the winning bidder for patent infringement. In a lawsuit filed December 15, 2017, in federal court in Maryland, ChargePoint accused SemaConnect, Inc. of infringing four patents directed to networked charging station technology.

Electrify America is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America (VW). Electrify America was established as part of VW’s diesel emissions settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the settlement, VW agreed to spend $2 billion over ten years on Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure and education programs. Electrify America announced plans last spring to partner with EV charging station companies to install and maintain at least 2,800 charging stations at more than 500 locations across the country.

From court documents it appears that Electrify America put out a request for EV charging station partners, and whittled the bids it received down to four finalists. After additional scrutiny, Electrify America selected three partners: SemaConnect, Greenlots, and EV Connect. ChargePoint, which may have been named as one of the four finalists, was not selected as a partner. SemaConnect’s portion of the partnership agreement includes the installation and maintenance of more than 1,400 charging stations.

According to the associated documents courtesy of the Free Law Projects‘s “Court Listener” web site SemaConnect’s attorneys aren’t going to take ChargePoint’s allegations lying down:

A party cannot infringe an invalid patent. Since each Asserted Patent is invalid, SemaConnect does not infringe any Asserted Patent. As explained in SemaConnect’s Motion to Dismiss filed concurrently, the Asserted Patents are invalid under § 101 because they are directed to an abstract idea (turning a switch “on” and “off”) and doing so using a conventional and known “remote server” is not an inventive concept sufficient to confer patent eligibility onto that abstract idea.

Expect the legal eagle’s fees on this one to rise faster than the current US EV charging point predictions!

UK Spends £30 million on V2G Technology

As we reported back in the summer:

The United Kingdom Government… pledged to pump £20 million into vehicle-to-grid technology.

After an apparently interminable wait it was announced on Twitter yesterday that:

Today a plethora of press releases have added some flesh to those bare bones. According to UK Power Networks:

UK Power Networks is part of a consortium that has won £11m government funding for four electric vehicle demonstration projects as part of a series of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) innovation bids.

Vehicle to Grid technology enables energy stored in an electric vehicle’s battery to be fed back into the electricity network at times of peak demand. By recharging when demand is low and putting energy into the electricity network when it is high, V2G helps manage the peaks and troughs, balance the network and make it more efficient.

The government is to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040, and it sees a smarter and more flexible electricity system as a major benefit to consumers and a key enabler to transport’s future growth.

UK Power Networks currently has more than 30,000 electric vehicles connected to our networks and by 2030 we anticipate that figure will rise to between 1.2-1.9m. Many of these electric vehicles will be V2G capable and could be used to support delivering electricity reliably and at the lowest possible cost.

The competition is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and is delivered by Innovate UK.

The four V2G projects that UK Power Networks will be taking part in are:

  • Bus2Grid: Supporting a project to turn a 30-bus garage into the first of its kind in the UK Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bus garage.
  • e4Future: A trial on 1,000 V2G fleet vehicles
  • Beating Home: Domestic customer V2G trial involving customers in specific areas.
  • V2Street: Public charging networks with a local authority and a charge point provider. Targeted at the 60-70% of Londoners without off-street charging capability.

Note that the £20 million on offer last August has been increased to £30 million today! Perhaps that’s at least a partial explanation for the delay in the appearance of the announcement? UKPN don’t provide much detail on the four out of twenty one projects revealed so far, so let’s look a bit further afield shall we? Heading back to Twitter there’s an announcement of a new product offering and a new EV web site from Octopus Energy unsurprisingly entitled Octopus Electric Vehicles:

which was swiftly followed by another Tweet explaining that:

which put us on the trail of this press release from ChargePoint Services:

Octopus Energy today launched a new consortium to develop the first large-scale domestic trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging in the UK, following a £3 million funding injection by BEIS and OLEV delivered by InnovateUK.

Comprising Octopus Energy, Octopus Electric Vehicles, UK Power Networks, ChargePoint Services, Open Energi, Energy Saving Trust and Navigant, the consortium will roll out vehicle-to-grid charging technology to UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers this year.

The £7million project will install 135 V2G chargers in a ‘cluster’ delivery model that will facilitate research into the impact of widespread EV rollout on the UK’s electricity grid. The project will demonstrate the benefits of using domestic electric vehicle batteries to provide grid flexibility, cheaper transport and energy to homeowners, and faster decarbonisation of the UK’s power and transport sectors.

Customers will be able to discover electric vehicles, take them for a test drive and access a special V2G bundle, Octopus PowerLoop, when leasing a V2G compatible car. A two-way charger will enable the driver to charge their vehicle intelligently, using their vehicle battery to power their home during peak times or selling spare power back to the grid – creating value for the driver.

The technology could revolutionise the energy system by enabling electric vehicles to act as battery packs for the grid, helping to solve the challenge of how to harness the full potential of renewable energy whilst making sure that it is always available on demand. Evidence also shows that V2G use has the potential to increase battery life.

The ChargePoint announcement goes on to quote Octopus Electric Vehicles CEO Fiona Howarth:

Octopus Energy was founded to drive down the cost of energy to customers and the planet, and Octopus Electric Vehicles is the next phase in that mission.

There has been a lot of talk from the sidelines about how vehicle-to-grid technology will change the face of energy, but with this consortium we will be the first in the UK to actually deliver it to hundreds of households. We’re delighted to be working with this consortium of visionary companies, and proud to be backed by Innovate UK.

It sounds as though the Octopus Group are intent on competing head on with OVO Energy who previously “embraced” V2G technology:

We’re hurtling towards a place where ‘two-way’ electric car chargers can enable homeowners with electric cars to sell their energy back to the national network. It’s a smart idea when you consider that over 90% of cars are parked at any one time – which is a lot of energy just sitting there doing nothing. This technology will give you the opportunity to manage your energy your way, and potentially become energy self-sufficient, reducing everyone’s reliance on energy companies. Get solar panels fitted, then adopt vehicle to grid technology and your home could become a private mini-power station!

There are a number of other quotes too. Mark Thompson, Senior Innovation Lead at Innovate UK added:

Vehicle-to-Grid is one of the most iconic parts of the electric vehicle domain, and one that represents a great opportunity for engaging society with the energy system for win-win benefit. The Octopus V2G project is part of a creative, diverse and ambitious group of V2G projects announced today that are way ahead of anything being done currently world-wide, and give the UK a genuine competitive edge in the electrification of transport.

Alex Bamberg, Managing Director, ChargePoint Services, said:

ChargePoint Services’ GeniePoint Network continues to be at the cutting edge of delivering the smartest and most reliable electric vehicle charging network in the UK. With this consortium, we join with existing partners to enable us to provide real benefits to the end user both in terms of efficiency and reduced cost. Our investment in the GeniePoint Network and its class leading reliability is further enhanced, whilst at the same time ensuring protection and flexibility of the UK’s energy Grid.

Ian Cameron, Head of Innovation at UK Power Networks said:

Electric vehicles are effectively energy sources on wheels, so there are tremendous opportunities to explore how electricity networks can use any spare capacity in those batteries to benefit our customers.

In the future you could use your car battery to power your house or earn money by selling its spare energy back into the network at peak times, and all of this whilst ensuring you have enough energy for your next day’s commute. We’re innovating to keep our customers moving at the lowest possible cost.

Dagoberto Cedillos, Strategy and Innovation Lead at Open Energi said:

Smart charging solutions that align the needs of drivers and the electricity grid are fundamental to the future of sustainable energy and transport. In partnership with our fellow consortium members, we’re applying cutting-edge tech to help realise the enormous opportunity that is domestic V2G charging in the UK, and internationally.

That is of course all very good news, but it raises one big question, in my mind at least. For some strange reason the Beating Home/PowerLoop (depending on which press release you prefer) consortium doesn’t seem to include a bi-directional electric vehicle charging point manufacturer and none of the assorted news releases and quotations mentions that rather essential piece of hardware, or indeed shows a picture of such equipment in action. To right that particular wrong, here’s one I prepared earlier:

A Exeter Nissan e-NV200 plugged in to the V2G charging station at EBRI

There’s also no mention of the activity that I’m currently engaged in. Developing international standards for the protocols that ChargePoint Services’s charging station management system (CSMS for short) might one day use to communicate with the unnamed electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE for short) OEM’s V2G capable hardware installed in 135 Great British homes:

Nissan launches “Nissan Energy Solar” for the UK

In a press release today Nissan announced “Nissan Energy Solar“:

Nissan Energy Solar is the all-in-one solution that combines world-class residential solar panels with energy storage system to make the most of UK homes.

The solution has been designed to allow UK homeowners to reduce their energy bills and get more independence from the grid, allowing them to live more sustainably.

Traditionally, solar energy has been used to power home appliances during the day, but now with Nissan Energy Solar householders can collect and store the excess energy from their solar panels and use it during the night – even to charge their Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 – and on cloudy days.

Nissan launches Nissan Energy Solar: the ultimate all-in-one energy solution for UK homes

Nissan launches Nissan Energy Solar: the ultimate all-in-one energy solution for UK homes

The accompanying image shows an xStorage static battery on the garage wall, but no electric vehicle is to be seen. No mention is made of discharging said absent electric vehicle, so Nissan’s new offering only delivers part of the functionality implied by our artist’s impression of our SaMDES project displayed at the top of the page.

The press release continues:

Francisco Carranza, Managing Director, Nissan Energy, Nissan Europe says ‘Solar panels have become the world’s fastest growing source of new energy and we’re thrilled to launch Nissan Energy Solar in the UK. Over 880,000 UK homes already have solar panels installed and they are seeing the benefits every day, from decreasing electricity bills to increasing property values.’

‘Nissan Energy Solar is just one step in supporting our commitment to investing in innovative energy solutions for a more sustainable future and intelligent way of living.’

The new product also includes a home energy management system that will allow users to control how and when they want to use their energy in real time as well as making the entire energy system more efficient and sustainable. The system reduces energy costs and carbon footprint for homeowners significantly, by automating energy flows, purposefully utilizing solar production peaks and storage capacities.

Nissan Energy Solar solution will start at £3881**.

Here’s the small print:

**Includes the supply and installation of a six panel solar system, Home Energy Management system, and VAT at 5%.

The xStorage unit shown in the garage obviously adds to that price, as would upgrading to the “most efficient” or “sleek integrated” solar PV panels. The product web site merely states “On sale soon” and provides no additional pricing information as yet.

The 40 kWh Nissan e-NV200: The LCV market game changer!

Nissan’s latest electric vehicle press release doesn’t include the exclamation mark in our title for today:

Nissan’s breakthrough e-NV200 100% electric van combines the features of the award-winning Nissan NV200 van with the market-leading New Nissan LEAF, offering businesses a zero-emission vehicle packed with innovative technology and functionality.

From spring 2018, Nissan will introduce in Europe its new zero-emissions van that goes further than ever on a single charge thanks to a new 40kWh battery. The Nissan e-NV200 now offers a 60% extended range with unchanged cargo capacity and single-shift transmission that makes driving easier and safer.

Nissan e-NV200 40 kWh (ab MY 2018)

With more than 15,000 vehicles on the roads since its introduction in Europe in 2014, this new generation of 100% electric Nissan e-NV200, embodying the company’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, now goes another step forward. The longer range provided by its bigger battery and a full new series of connectivity features makes the 100% electric e-NV200 a real game changer in the LCV market.

Regular readers will be aware that we wholeheartedly agree with that final sentence! Whilst it was a non-typical use case our mainly motorway road test of a 24 kWh equipped e-NV200 last summer would have been considerably swifter with an extra 60% range. Our local rural post lady assures us that her currently diesel powered round is about 50 miles. Absolutely no problem in the new e-NV200. Are you listening Royal Mail? According to Nissan once again:

As well as helping business customers enhance their green credentials, the van represents a key pillar in Nissan’s wider commitment to cutting the level of emissions in city centres caused by professional drivers making deliveries and/or collections, ranging from CO2 emissions to noise pollution. It can help make 100% electric last mile deliveries achievable for businesses and professional drivers everywhere, with customers now able to drive more than 100 km further on a single charge compared to the previous generation e-NV200 fitted with 24kWh battery.

No more range anxiety then, and Nissan Europe’s Director of Electric Vehicles, Gareth Dunsmore, makes a very important point:

Businesses have a huge impact on air quality and traffic congestion, especially in city centres, and the Nissan e-NV200 helps cut the level of CO2 emissions they create.

The photos accompanying the press release are of the white “Evalia” 7 seater people carrier version of the e-NV200 rather than a red parcel carrying van, and seem to have been shot in amongst some renewable generation on the isalnd of Tenerife:

Nissan e-NV200 40 kWh (ab MY 2018)

Whatever the colour or configuration, we’d love to try one out on some Great British roads in the not so Great British winter. It seems that we’ll have to wait until “spring” though.

Nissan further inform us that:

Using the same battery technology as the new Nissan LEAF just introduced in Europe, and with no increase in the size of the battery itself, e-NV200 customers face no compromise in load space. Crucially, it can help make 100% electric last miles delivery achievable for businesses and professional drivers everywhere.

At long last Nissan get around to the V2G bit:

The Nissan e-NV200 is also much more than just a 100% electric vehicle. It is a mobile power unit complete with unique bi-directional charging. This means it can give back energy to power the world around it by connecting to offices or business facilities. It can even return any excess charge to top up and stabilise the local energy grid thanks to Nissan’s innovative Vehicle to Grid technology.

We couldn’t agree more!

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:

Energiesprong-Notts-2017-12-17

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.