Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How to charge your iPhone in 60 seconds http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/how-to-charge-your-iphone-in-60-seconds/

A firm based in Israel claims it has invented technology that can charge a smartphone in mere seconds and an electric car in minutes. This breakthrough could dramatically change two of the worlds most dynamic consumer industries.StoreDot, based in Tel-Aviv, says it has used nano-technology to develop a battery that acts like a sponge, soaking up power and retaining it. This means it can store a much higher charge more rapidly.The current prototype of the device is too large for proper commercial energy use but the company believes that it will be able to place a design on the market by 2016. They plan on making a slimmer version that will be able to deliver a day’s worth of battery life into a phone in just 30 seconds.The new design is based around something created by StoreDot known as “nanodots”. These are bio-organic peptide molecules that allow the rapid uptake, and most importantly, storage of power.

via How to charge your iPhone in 60 seconds.

How to charge your iPhone in 60 seconds

Thursday, 18 December 2014

5 Solar Technologies to Watch in 2015 http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/5-solar-technologies-to-watch-in-2015/

A new year full of exciting new discoveries in the field of commercial energy lies ahead, and after making plenty of headlines in Germany, Australia and the United States in 2014, it looks like there will be little to slow solar down in 2015.Whilst subsidies might be being tailed off for solar commercial energy generation here in the UK, there are dozens of exciting new developments in the field waiting to break through over the next twelve months.We’ve picked five of the solar technologies we think are going to prove to be game changers – or at the very least, get people talking – by this time next year.

via 5 Solar Technologies to Watch in 2015.

5 Solar Technologies to Watch in 2015

Monday, 15 December 2014

Tiny Batteries Spark Green Revolution http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/tiny-batteries-spark-green-revolution/

When it comes to batteries, reducing the size is almost as important as increasing the storage capacity.

Now, scientists have come up with a new nanosize battery that is 80,000 thinner than a human hair. The impact on industries such as green energy, which currently requires huge batteries to store the energy for when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind does blow, and electric vehicles, that have limit range due to battery capacity, could be huge.

The latest breakthrough in reducing battery size is known as a “nanopore”. It is a microscopic hole in a ceramic sheet that is about as thick as a grain of salt. This sheet contains all the components required for a working battery and for electric current production. One billion of these holes could fit into the size of a postage stamp.

via Tiny Batteries Spark Green Revolution.

Tiny Batteries Spark Green Revolution

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Air conditioning could be replaced with mirrors http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/air-conditioning-could-be-replaced-with-mirrors/

Scientists have developed a mirror that could see air conditioning units becoming obsolete. Placed on the roof of buildings, the mirrors are designed to reflect light and heat back into the subzero temperatures of space.The researchers believe that the mirrors could dramatically reduce the amount of commercial energy used by business and shopping centres to keep their buildings cool.In the US, around 15% of energy used in commercial buildings goes towards air conditioning, but the scientists are optimistic that in some cases the mirrors could completely remove the need for additional cooling.

via Air conditioning could be replaced with mirrors.

Air conditioning could be replaced with mirrors

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Yesterdays Laptop Battery or Tomorrow’s Power Source http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/yesterdays-laptop-battery-or-tomorrows-power-source/

Anyone with a laptop more than a year old, knows that the battery in most units can barely run Microsoft Excel and a web browser for than 40 mins without demanding a charge – so it might come as a surprise to find out that most old laptop batteries could soon be powering communities in the developing world.

Computer hardware giants IBM have this week released a study that says old lithium-ion batteries such as those found in laptop computers could have enough life in them to power homes in rural slums.

The study found that 70% of laptop batteries tested were capable of keeping an LED light array on in a home for as much as 4 hours per day for an entire year.

via Yesterdays Laptop Battery or Tomorrow’s Power Source.

Yesterdays Laptop Battery or Tomorrow’s Power Source

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Climate change won't be solved by renewable energy http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/climate-change-wont-be-solved-by-renewable-energy/

A new report by two Google engineers, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, claims that climate change cannot be solved by renewable energy technologies like wind and solar energy.

The two engineers had previously worked on an ambitious renewable energy project for Google known as “RE<C”. The project failed however, and prompted them to release their claims that renewable energy is too costly to combat climate change.

Sceptics say the release of the paper shows that the promise of green energy has been overstated.

“The promise of green technology is often so great that it becomes almost an emotional dream, yet engineers, who are tasked with making dreams a reality, often run into… reality. This is one of those cases,” Anthony Watts, owner of a high profile climate site, told FoxNews.com.

via Climate change won’t be solved by renewable energy.

Climate change won't be solved by renewable energy

Monday, 8 December 2014

Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme Looming Deadline http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/energy-saving-opportunities-scheme-looming-deadline/

Certification body BM TRADA has warned that a “significant proportion” of the largest companies in Britain do not know about the government’s Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme ESOS and therefore risk the £50,000 penalty for not having registered in time.BM TRADA also pointed out that ESOS is mandatory and requires businesses to carry out energy assessments of their industry, transportation, and buildings to see if improvements need to be made.The scheme applies only to large businesses with over 250 employees or 50 million euros or more in turnover per year.Companies that fail to register can receive fines between £500 and £50,000 and also risk being shamed by the Environmental Agency.

via Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme Looming Deadline.

Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme Looming Deadline

Thursday, 4 December 2014

New “black box” Energy device said to cut energy bills http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/new-black-box-energy-device-said-to-cut-energy-bills/

New “black box” device manages household energy usage to reduce cost

A new device has been developed that is said to cut energy bills by a fifth each month. The new device, dubbed the “black box”, will turn household appliances off and on throughout the day in response to fluctuations in the cost of electricity.

The devices are to be sold to home owners starting next month and are produced by the firm Tempus Energy, which claims that the boxes will help people save 20 percent on their electricity bills using what they call “demand response” technology that manages home appliances remotely.

When installed, the black boxes communicate with “smart” products in the owner’s home, such as dishwashers, fridges and storage heaters. The box receives instructions on when to switch off or turn on the appliances from energy companies, who use complex methods to work out energy cost throughout the day.

via New “black box” Energy device said to cut energy bills.

New “black box” Energy device said to cut energy bills

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

£5 Billion UK Green Investment Bank Landmark http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/5-billion-uk-green-investment-bank-landmark/

On its second anniversary the UK Green Investment Bank has been congratulated by British Prime Minister David Cameron for contributing more than £5 billion to new green energy infrastructure projects.

The bank is the first of its kind and raises money for the development of the country’s green energy industry. Since it was created two years ago, it has benefited over 200 UK communities as well as raising the £5 billion it directed to the UK’s green energy sector.

via £5 Billion UK Green Investment Bank Landmark.

£5 Billion UK Green Investment Bank Landmark

Business Energy Market Brief December 2014 http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/business-energy-market-brief-december-2014/

Low commodity prices continue to influence

Oil prices saw further declines through November as OPEC nations continued to keep supply volumes high – despite forecasts indicating lower demand for 2014-15. The resulting oversupply in the global market pulled oil prices to a new four-year low of $78.1/bl and filtered through into long-term UK gas and power prices.

via Catalyst Business Energy Market Brief December 2014.

Business Energy Market Brief December 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Renewable Energy Starts to Win Price War http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/renewable-energy-starts-to-win-price-war/

Research by the New York Times has suggested a new era in energy has started to dawn for energy in the United States as renewables are finally equaling conventional fossil fuels in price.

Following a trend over the last five years, the last twelve months have seen the cost of providing electricity from wind and solar plummet – so much so that in some markets renewables are now cheaper than more conventional sources such as oil or gas.

The harbinger of these lower costs has been new power purchase agreements being signed arose the country, but particularly in central and southwestern states like Texas and Oklahoma. This April saw a deal for 20 years of output from a solar farm at less than 5 cents a kilowatt-hour in Austin, whilst the Grand River Dam Authority in Oklahoma saw a similarly competitive deal arranged with a wind farm due online next year.

via Renewable Energy Starts to Win Price War.

Renewable Energy Starts to Win Price War

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nano-Batteries: Renewable Energy’s ‘Nick-of-Time’ Solution http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/nano-batteries-renewable-energys-nick-of-time-solution/

A new wave of ‘nano batteries’ could be leading a cavalry charge to help increase viability for green commercial energy sources, as researchers in the US say they have “ultimate miniaturization of energy storage”.

The team, based at the University of Maryland, have already created a working model of a ‘simple’ nano-battery concept designed to offer up a storage solution for energy created by solar panels, wind turbines and more.

How does it work? The team explained that the concept to science journal Nature as a ‘nanopore’ battery; stamped on to a ceramic cerface, identical holes (the nanopores) use transition metal ruthenium and vanadium oxide to turn each tiny dip in the surface into a a super-miniature battery, with the added elements acting as electrolyte, anode and cathode.

via Nano-Batteries: Renewable Energy’s ‘Nick-of-Time’ Solution.

Nano-Batteries: Renewable Energy’s ‘Nick-of-Time’ Solution

Monday, 17 November 2014

UK Seeks More Off-Shore Wind Power http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/uk-seeks-more-off-shore-wind-power/

After revealing plans to build the World’s largest offshore wind farm this summer, the UK government has approved another significantly-sized installation earlier this week.

Consent has been given for Danish company Dong Energy A/S to install a new off-shore wind farm 19km west of the Cumbrian coast, close tot he existing ‘Walney I’ and ‘Walney II’ facilities.

Dong said it expects to put in 207 new turbines, with a projected yield of around 660 megawatts – enough to power as many as a half-million homes in conjunction with the existing two sites.

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “Another large wind farm is now closer to being built – and each one gives us more home-grown, clean and secure energy supplies.”

“This decision to grant development consent now clears the way for the company to make a final investment decision on the project,” Benj Sykes, vice president of U.K. wind for Dong, added.

via UK Seeks More Off-Shore Wind Power.

UK Seeks More Off-Shore Wind Power

£14m fund to address energy ‘trilemma’ http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/14m-fund-to-address-energy-trilemma/

Funding worth £14 million to help find solutions to address the energy ‘trilemma’ has been announced.

Innovate UK has opened the second round of the Energy Catalyst competition to provide investment to businesses and researches that can address the challenges of reducing emissions and cost and improving security of supply.

Funding is available for three stages of technology development: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage – depending on which cycle the specific technology sits.

Total project costs can be up to £300,000 for early-stage, up to £3 million for mid-stage and up to £10 million for late-stage.

via Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy – £14m fund to address energy ‘trilemma’.

£14m fund to address energy ‘trilemma’

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Energy in spotlight during conference season - November 2014 http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/energy-in-spotlight-during-conference-season-november-2014/

Energy in spotlight during conference seasonThe UK’s three major political parties have used their autumn conferences to set out their visions for the future of the energy sector.Changing the rulesSpeaking at the Labour Party conference on 23 September, leader Ed Miliband said that a Labour government would ensure Britain maintained its position as “a world leader in the green economy” as a means to unlock business investment. He detailed plans to set a decarbonisation target for the power sector, to give the Green Investment Bank full borrowing powers, to make energy efficiency a national priority.

via Catalyst Business Energy Market Brief November 2014.

Energy in spotlight during conference season - November 2014

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Business Energy Market Brief November 2014 - Spot contracts surge to five-month highs http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/business-energy-market-brief-november-2014-spot-contracts-surge-to-five-month-highs/

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in four years on concerns that global supply is outstripping demand. These reductions in oil had a knock on effect on gas and power prices in the UK and were compounded by a recent report by the International Energy Agency claiming that global oil demand is set to increase more slowly than previously estimated.Long-term contract follow oil reductionsReductions in oil and other commodities fed into gas and power prices. Long-term gas contracts fell in October. Summer 15 gas dropped 4.2% to average 53.1p/th and the contract ended trading 16% below levels seen at the start of 2014. Long-term power prices also dropped in October, with the summer 15 power contract losing 2.3% to average £48.5/MWh.

via Energy Market Reports | Catalyst Commercial Energy Brokers.

Business Energy Market Brief November 2014 - Spot contracts surge to five-month highs

Ofgem plans supplier-linked Code of Practice for TPIs http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/ofgem-plans-supplier-linked-code-of-practice-for-tpis/

Suppliers will only be able to work with third party intermediaries (TPIs) and energy brokers if they are signed up to a new Code of Practice, under plans unveiled by the energy regulator Ofgem.

Concerning trends

TPIs and brokers are an important route to market for non-domestic consumers as the majority of energy contracts are negotiated through them. These organisations help businesses by facilitating energy purchasing contracts between supplier and consumer; many independent or new entrant suppliers use them almost exclusively to reach new customers. But concerns have been raised that some of these TPIs use high-pressure sales tactics or give misleading information.

via Energy Market Reports | Catalyst Commercial Energy Brokers.

Ofgem plans supplier-linked Code of Practice for TPIs

Dubbed the ‘Game-changer’ Flow Energy's Home Generator http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/dubbed-the-game-changer-flow-energys-home-generator/

A new style of boiler which contains the capability to produce energy as well as heated water is set to be handed out by it’s British developer for ‘free’ in the hopes of kick-starting a new era of self-supplying homes and businesses – and built upon a surprising business model.

Dubbed a ‘Game-changer’ already by some outlets, a new style of boiler by British start up Flow Energy is set to hit the market this November with a goal of changing the way British homes contribute to the energy economy.

As solar panels become a more frequent sight up and down the country, it seems more and more people are coming around to the idea of having the home cover the cost of it’s own energy. But Flow’s new style of boiler aims to open up this idea to homeowners who can’t accommodate a worthwhile solar panel.

Looking for all intents and purposes like any other boiler, Flow’s innovation contains one key difference; it houses a generator.

Traditional boilers use gas to heat water which is then pumped around pipes and radiators to heat your home. The Flow boiler instead uses a more dense coolant, which is evaporated by the heat from the gas source to spin a scroll expander – creating a mini generator within the housing.

via Dubbed the ‘Game-changer’ Flow Energy’s Home Generator.

Dubbed the ‘Game-changer’ Flow Energy's Home Generator

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Flow Energy set to launch a boiler that generates its own electricity http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/flow-energy-set-to-launch-a-boiler-that-generates-its-own-electricity/

Could a boiler that generates its own electricity be the answer to cutting household energy bills?

A British company is set to launch the new appliances later this year and claims they will generate around 40 per cent of a household’s energy needs.

Flow Energy, which has been developing the technology for ten years, will hand the boilers over to customers with no upfront cost because it says the savings made will easily cover the cost of the boiler.

Just 20,000 will be available in the first year – but Flow says it has plans to expand very quickly.

via Flow Energy set to launch a boiler that generates its own electricity | This is Money.

Flow Energy set to launch a boiler that generates its own electricity

Monday, 27 October 2014

Wind farms can 'never' be relied upon to deliver UK energy security http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/wind-farms-can-never-be-relied-upon-to-deliver-uk-energy-security/

Wind farms can never be relied upon to keep the lights on in Britain because there are long periods each winter in which they produce barely any power, according to a new report by the Adam Smith Institute.

The huge variation in wind farms’ power output means they cannot be counted on to produce energy when needed, and an equivalent amount of generation from traditional fossil fuel plants will be needed as back-up, the study finds.

Wind farm proponents often claim that the intermittent technology can be relied upon because the wind is always blowing somewhere in the UK.

But the report finds that a 10GW fleet of wind farms across the UK could “guarantee” to provide less than two per cent of its maximum output, because “long gaps in significant wind production occur in all seasons”.

Modelling the likely output from the 10GW fleet found that for 20 weeks in a typical year the wind farms would generate less than a fifth (2GW) of their maximum power, and for nine weeks it would be less than a tenth (1GW).




Wind farms can 'never' be relied upon to deliver UK energy security

Friday, 24 October 2014

UK gas prices continue to rise http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/uk-gas-prices-continue-to-rise/

British wholesale natural gas prices were firmer on Wednesday 22 October on increasing demand, which was forecast to exceed supply, Reuters has reported.The price rises were down to an undersupplied system, it said. Britain’s gas demand was expected to be 202.7 million cubic metres mcm on Tuesday, broadly in line with the seasonal norm, but with supplies seen at just 193.2 mcm, the system was left around 10 mcm undersupplied, implying a need for higher imports or storage withdrawals.Today in London, the chief executives of influential businesses and charities came together to launch The Big Energy Vision, a new long-term campaign to empower UK households to take control of rising energy bills.The growing partnership committing to The Big Energy Vision included Kingfisher, John Lewis, the Home Retail Group, the National Trust, Citizens Advice, Calor, uSwitch, the Energy Saving Trust, TrustMark, Energy UK, the UK Green Building Council, Global Action Plan, Willmott Dixon, and Groundwork.

via UK gas prices continue to rise | News | Heating and Ventilation News.

UK gas prices continue to rise

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Amazing Flying Wind Turbine to Begin Trial Period http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/amazing-flying-wind-turbine-to-begin-trial-period/

It might look like something from a sci-fi film, but this huge floating device is actually set to provide green electricity and Wi-Fi to residents of the remote city of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Designed and constructed by MIT startup Altaeros Energies, this futuristic floating marvel is a new type of airborne wind turbine dubbed the BAT – or Buoyant Airborne Turbine, if you prefer.

We’ve covered several varieties of airborne turbine in the past, including the Highest Wind power station, which works on a glider-and-tether system, and the Makani Power winged turbine, which was bought outright by Google around a year ago.

However, both of those designs seemed years away. Altaeros Energies are confident that the BAT is a green commercial energy source that’s ready for now.

via Amazing Flying Wind Turbine to Begin Trial Period.

Amazing Flying Wind Turbine to Begin Trial Period

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Is Fusion Power Closer Than We Thought? http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/is-fusion-power-closer-than-we-thought/

The promise of generating energy with nuclear fusion is tantalizing because it would be free of toxic emissions and nuclear waste, and would have a virtually infinite fuel supply. On the downside, though, it is extremely costly compared with fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.

via Is Fusion Power Closer Than We Thought?.

Is Fusion Power Closer Than We Thought?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Could a New Energy Efficiency Target Give the UK a £62bn Boost? http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/could-a-new-energy-efficiency-target-give-the-uk-a-62bn-boost/

A fresh call for an expanded energy efficiency target from environmentalists claims that the UK could boost the British economy by £62bn.

At a time where the 20% by 2020 targets are looming large over the heads of the government – in which the UK and other members of the European Union have committed to a 20% market share for renewables and 20% emissions cut by the end of the decade – the WWF has claimed that UK should be setting the bar even higher, and could see significant financial rewards for doing so.

WWF gained access to an unpublished EU study carried out by independent consultants Cambridge Econometrics, thanks to an access to information request.

In the study, figures serve to highlight the benefits of, not just bringing in renewable commercial energy sources, but the huge potential gain by engineering the economy itself to use less energy.

via Could a New Energy Efficiency Target Give the UK a £62bn Boost?.

Could a New Energy Efficiency Target Give the UK a £62bn Boost?

New Free Tool - Compare Business Gas and Electricity Prices Online http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/new-free-tool-compare-business-gas-and-electricity-prices-online/

Use our FREE, impartial service to Compare Business Gas and Electricity Prices Online with our simple online energy comparison tool. Find out how much you could save on your business gas and business electricity and compare a large range of leading energy suppliers and contract lengths instantly.

Businesses can instantly save money with our online comparison tool by cutting overheads on your commercial energy spending.

You can get instant access to a range of quotes for your commercial gas and electricity with a minimum of fuss by comparing prices quickly online.

With a full range of the UK’s leading energy suppliers to choose from, you can easily compare different suppliers offers and even switch online instantly to a new supplier.

With a huge choice of 1,2,3 or even 4 year prices, you can select the right product for your own business requirements in your own time without the hassle.

via Compare Business Gas and Electricity Prices Online.

New Free Tool - Compare Business Gas and Electricity Prices Online

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Light energy stored in a battery at last http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/light-energy-stored-in-a-battery-at-last/

The problem with solar power is storing it. Unless you use connection to an electricity grid, the power has to be used immediately in your watch or a road sign. Now the chemists of Ohio State University have produced the first solar battery. A solar panel allows air to enter the device through a mesh so that a titanium dioxide gauze photoelectrode can combine with an oxygen electrode to charge a lithium-oxygen battery.

A triiodide/iodide shuttle is coupled with the electrodes to produce triiodide ions on the photelectrode which oxidise lithium peroxide. This means that in layman terms, the lithium-oxygen battery’s problem of overpotential is overcome at last by chemical oxidisation. Of course the aim has also been to cut costs, and this has been achieved, so far by 25%. Normally there is also a loss of energy (electrons) in the transition from solar cells to external batteries. By including the battery in the cell, almost 100% of the electrons make it to the battery and recharge it.

This is a breathing battery, according to Professor Wu, the professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the university. It even breathes out when it breaks down lithium peroxide into the metal. The titanium gauze has 200 micrometre holes with rods of titanium dioxide grown across them like grass b lades. Oxygen from the air can easily pass through. The lithium part of the battery is a thin plate, underneath a porous carbon sheet and layers of iodide electrolyte.

via Light energy stored in a battery at last | Energy | The Earth Times.

Light energy stored in a battery at last

Monday, 29 September 2014

New Confidence Code ‘stamp’ for energy comparison sites http://www.energy-broker.co.uk/new-confidence-code-stamp-for-energy-comparison-sites/

Energy comparison websites that “make the grade” can now display a Confidence Code ‘badge’ which tells consumers they can trust the sites’ advice.

Ofgem proposed making the changes to the voluntary code of practice after its research found more consumers are using comparison sites to shop around for the best energy deals and switch suppliers.

It revealed 31% of people used a comparison service to move to a different energy company this year – up from 26% last year.

via Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy – Confidence Code ‘stamp’ for energy comparison sites.

New Confidence Code ‘stamp’ for energy comparison sites