Category Archives: Industry News

UK Government doubles funding for on-street electric car charging

  • Transport Secretary announces extra £2.5 million for chargepoints on residential streets
  • extra funding means people who don’t have their own off-street parking will have better access to charging infrastructure near home
  • investment in charging infrastructure will support UK’s move towards net zero emissions by 2050 and efforts to further improve air quality

Owning and charging an electric vehicle is set to become more convenient than ever thanks to an additional £2.5 million to fund the installation of over 1,000 new chargepoints, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (Monday 12 August 2019).

The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, launched in 2017, which helps people access charging infrastructure near their homes when they don’t have off-street parking. It will go towards helping local authorities to install these chargepoints, which can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts. The scheme aims to encourage even more people to choose an electric vehicle by making it easier to charge their cars near home, following a 158% increase in battery electric vehicle sales compared to July last year.

The scheme has already seen 16 local authorities prepared to install 1,200 chargepoints this year. The Transport Secretary is now doubling funding for the popular scheme to meet demand and accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles as the UK moves towards net zero emissions by 2050 and further improve air quality.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle chargepoints than petrol stations, but we want to do much more.

It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.

That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution – right across the country.

The allocation of funding for on-street residential chargepoints is part of the £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy consists of one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world, supporting the move towards a cleaner, greener, accessible and reliable UK transport network.

As part of this, the government is also investing £37 million into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking and put the UK on the map as the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle.

Innovations to receive investment include underground charging systems, solar powered charging forecourts and wireless charging projects. Much like current mobile phone technology, wireless charging could mean an end to needing to plug your electric vehicle in.

Electric car chargepoints to be installed in all future homes in world first

All new-build homes could soon be fitted with an electric car chargepoint, the government has outlined today (15 July 2019) in a public consultation on changing building regulations in England. The consultation comes alongside a package of announcements to support electric vehicle drivers and improve the experience of charging.

The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric chargepoint, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.

The legislation would be a world first, and complements wider investment and measures the government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy.

The government has also set out today that it wants to see all newly installed rapid and higher powered chargepoints provide debit or credit card payment by Spring 2020.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport.

Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers – you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.

The government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 off the costs of installing a chargepoint at home.

Having supported the installation of almost 100,000 domestic chargepoints through grant support schemes, the government has also announced that it is consulting on requirements that all new private chargepoints use ‘smart’ technology.

This means an electric vehicle would charge at different times of the day in response to signals, such as electricity tariff information. This would encourage off-peak charging, keeping costs down for consumers.

The consultation proposes using powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act to require most new chargepoints to have smart functionality and meet minimum standards. It also launches a call for evidence on the longer-term options for smart charging.

For more information on electric vehicles and chargepoints, visit www.goultralow.com.

Cyient Selected by UK Power Networks to Develop an Outage Planning Portal

Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, digital, and operations management solutions to global industry leaders, will execute a project for UK Power Networks, the UK’s largest electricity distribution network operator. As part of the innovation project, called “Network Vision”, Cyient will develop an online outage planning and tracking integration portal that will help optimize distributed energy generation performance and deliver cost savings of as much as £1 million per year.

Planning network downtime is a complex process that involves balancing competing factors, making it necessary to interrupt power supplies on parts of the electricity network so engineers can undertake maintenance, upgrades and other tasks safely.

Cyient’s solution development team is working in collaboration with UK Power Networks to design and build the outage planning and tracking portal from the ground up. This will allow UK Power Networks to automate current processes and streamline how upgrades and maintenance tasks are scheduled.

Network Vision will give local energy generators – including renewable generation – visibility of planned work so they have the option to coordinate their own maintenance at the same time as the electricity network’s maintenance operations, and so minimize downtime.

Reducing downtime helps maximise the potential of renewable energy to feed into local electricity networks and could enable an extra 1080 MWh of renewable generation per year, saving 344 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent effect of planting 172,000 trees (a forest 2.5 times the size of the City of London) every year.

John Renard, President of Utilities and Geospatial, and President of EMEA, Cyient said, “We are excited to be working with UK Power Networks on this innovative and revolutionary project that will enable utilities to change the way they manage their networks.”

“UK Power Networks has listened to what its stakeholders in the distributed energy community have said and responded with this project as a direct solution to their requests. It will give customers the ability to harmonize their plans with the network and ensure greater efficiency on network capacity.”

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “The rapid growth of renewable energy in recent years means that our customers are changing and want us to respond to the needs they highlighted at our Distributed Generation Forums. We’re excited to improve the service we offer them and to share our learnings so that all networks can also benefit.”

Offshore wind energy revolution to provide a third of all UK electricity by 2030

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry announced today the launch of the new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

  • Industry to invest £250 million including new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to develop the UK supply chain as global exports are set to increase fivefold to £2.6 billion by 2030
  • a third of British electricity set to be produced by offshore wind power by 2030
  • part of the government’s ambition to make the UK a global leader in renewables with more investment potential than any other country in the world as part of the modern Industrial Strategy

Clean, green offshore wind is set to power more than 30% of British electricity by 2030, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry announced today (7 March 2018) with the launch of the new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

This deal will mean for the first time in UK history there will be more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels, with 70% of British electricity predicted to be from low carbon sources by 2030 and over £40 billion of infrastructure investment in the UK.

This is the tenth Sector Deal from the modern Industrial Strategy signed by Business Secretary Greg Clark. It is backed by UK renewables companies and marks a revolution in the offshore wind industry, which 20 years ago was only in its infancy. It could see the number of jobs triple to 27,000 by 2030.

The deal will also:

  • increase the sector target for the amount of UK content in homegrown offshore wind projects to 60%, making sure that the £557 million pledged by the government in July 2018 for further clean power auctions over the next ten years will directly benefit local communities from Wick to the Isle of Wight
  • spearhead a new £250 million Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to make sure UK companies in areas like the North East, East Anglia, Humber and the Solent and continue to be competitive and are leaders internationally in the next generation of offshore wind innovations in areas such as robotics, advanced manufacturing, new materials, floating wind and larger turbines
  • boost global exports to areas like Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States fivefold to £2.6 billion per year by 2030 through partnership between the Department of Trade and industry to support smaller supply chain companies to export for the first time
  • reduce the cost of projects in the 2020s and overall system costs, so projects commissioning in 2030 will cost consumers less as we move towards a subsidy free world
  • see Crown Estate & Crown Estate Scotland release new seabed land from 2019 for new offshore wind developments
  • UK government alongside the deal will provide over £4 million pounds for British business to share expertise globally and open new markets for UK industry through a technical assistance programme to help countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines skip dirty coal power and develop their own offshore wind projects

Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister said:

This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.

By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.

The Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, Benj Sykes, said:

Now that we’ve sealed this transformative deal with our partners in government, as a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, offshore wind is set to take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future.

This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities from Wick in the northern Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The Sector Deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only on here, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30 billion a year by 2030.

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, said:

ScottishPower is proof that offshore wind works, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring down costs and, having transitioned to 100% renewable energy, will be building more windfarms to help the UK shift to a clearer electric economy. Two of our offshore windfarms in the East Anglia will replace all of the old thermal generation we’ve sold and we are ready to invest more by actively pursuing future offshore projects both north and south of the border.

We have a fantastic supply chain already in place in the UK, from businesses in and around East Anglia to across England, across Scotland as well as Northern Ireland. The Sector Deal will attract even more businesses in the UK to join the offshore wind supply chain and we are excited to see the transformative impact this will have on our projects.

In addition, the deal will:

  • challenge the sector to more than double the number of women entering the industry to at least 33% by 2030, with the ambition of reaching 40% – up from 16% today
  • create an Offshore Energy Passport, recognised outside of the UK, will be developed for offshore wind workers to transfer their skills and expertise to other offshore renewable and oil and gas industries – allowing employees to work seamlessly across different offshore sectors
  • see further work with further education institutions to develop a sector-wide curriculum to deliver a skilled and diverse workforce across the country and facilitate skills transfer within the industry
  • prompt new targets for increasing the number of apprentices in the sector later this year

The cost of new offshore wind contracts has already outstripped projections and fallen by over 50% over the last two years, and today’s further investment will boost this trajectory, with offshore wind projects expected to be cheaper to build than fossil fuel plants by 2020. The Deal will see UK continuing as the largest European market for offshore wind, with 30GW of clean wind power being built by 2030 – the UK making up a fifth of global wind capacity.

The UK is already home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Walney Extension off the Cumbrian Coast, and construction is well underway on projects nearly double the size. Around 7,200 jobs have been created in this growing industry over the last 20 years, with a welcome surge in opportunities in everything from sea bedrock testing to expert blade production.

The Deal will look to seize on the opportunities presented by the UK’s 7,000 miles of coastline, as the industry continues to be a coastal catalyst for many of the UK’s former fishing villages and ports. Increased exports and strengthened supply chain networks will secure economic security for towns and cities across the UK.

The government has already invested in growing the offshore wind sector by:

  • confirming that clean electricity auctions will be held in 2019 and every two years from then into the 2020s, signalling support worth up to £557 million for industry
  • supporting Local Enterprise Partnerships such as the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership to invest in skills and business support to maximise opportunities in the offshore wind sector
  • supporting local communities to create new regional clusters and build on their science and innovation strengths with the £115 million Strength in Places Fund to develop stronger local networks
Off shore wind farm

BP Buys UK’s Leading EV Charging Company

BP has announced it is to buy the UK’s largest EV charging company, Chargemaster, which operates over 6,500 charging points across the country

On completion of the deal, the company will be renamed BP Chargemaster, combining Chargemaster’s extensive EV charging network with BP’s 1,200 service stations, in a move that will widen access to electric vehicle charging in the UK.

Under its new name, BP Chargemaster will rollout ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150 kW chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes.

BP’s UK customers can expect to see BP Chargemaster chargers appearing on forecourts over the next 12 months.

Ultra-fast charging

Downstream chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic said: “At BP we believe that fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles.

“Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s complementary expertise, experience and assets is an important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites across the UK and to BP becoming the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home,” he said.

Founded in 2008, Chargemaster is involved in the development of EV charging points from design and build to sales and operation and runs POLAR, the largest public charging network in the UK used by 40,000 customers.

Chief executive of Chargemaster David Martell, said “The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK.

“I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP, which will help us maintain our market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network to support the large range of exciting new electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next couple of years.”

The biggest challenge for the team is….

Wayth says: The biggest challenge my team and I face is determining where to focus our efforts. We are basing our choices on seeking the right business models, which create value, are scalable and play to our capabilities and overlaps with the rest of BP.

The biggest challenge for the team is….

Wayth says: The biggest challenge my team and I face is determining where to focus our efforts. We are basing our choices on seeking the right business models, which create value, are scalable and play to our capabilities and overlaps with the rest of BP.




Energy transition

The acquisition adds to the growing number of investments by BP in electric vehicle technology and infrastructure and builds on plans to extend the range of fuels on offer for its customers changing needs.“A key part of BP’s strategy to advance the energy transition is to develop new offers to meet changing customer demand and grow new businesses that support customers to reduce their emissions,” said Erginbilgic.

The biggest challenge for the team is….

Wayth says: The biggest challenge my team and I face is determining where to focus our efforts. We are basing our choices on seeking the right business models, which create value, are scalable and play to our capabilities and overlaps with the rest of BP.

The biggest challenge for the team is….

Wayth says: The biggest challenge my team and I face is determining where to focus our efforts. We are basing our choices on seeking the right business models, which create value, are scalable and play to our capabilities and overlaps with the rest of BP.

The number of electric vehicles on the road is anticipated to increase rapidly in coming decades. Figures from BP’s Energy Outlook 2018 estimates there will be twelve million electric vehicles on the UK roads by 2040.

UK consumers have shown a strong appetite for electric vehicles which for BP represents a strong test-bed for possible replication in markets in Europe and worldwide.

Upon completion of the transaction Chargemaster employees will continue to be employed by BP Chargemaster, a wholly owned BP entity.

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