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1st MPU

BAE Systems, HS2 and Creagh Concrete join the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator

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Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, has welcomed eight new participants to the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator, which seeks to improve resource and energy efficiency in UK manufacturing.

Working with BAE Systems, HS2 and Creagh Concrete, the participating companies will receive support from innovation experts at Digital Catapult to co-develop solutions that will establish a more sustainable industrial future.

Delivered by Digital Catapult, the programme is funded by Made Smarter and Innovate UK, to build on the success of the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator, which paired UK manufacturers with technology companies to adapt and improve their approach to industrial innovation.

The new programme will foster deeper strategic collaborations between tech innovators and industrial pioneers to advance sustainable manufacturing initiatives, including the application of digital twin technologies.

BAE Systems, which provides some of the world’s most advanced defence, aerospace and security assets, will work with Digica Solutions Ltd to develop a digital twin of its Factory of the Future research centre. Digica’s solution will demonstrate how environmental factors affect manufacturing operations, while Quaisr Ltd will combine physics-based models with data-driven machine learning tools to increase operational efficiency, whilst reducing energy consumption and resource waste.

HS2 is constructing Britain’s new high-speed railway, comprising 140-miles of track, four new, state-of-the art stations, two depots, 32 miles of tunnel, and 179 bridges. Construction is based at over 350 active sites between West Midlands and London, most of which will be converted to green sites in the coming years, with Infinitive Group Ltd and Material Index seeking to improve the sustainability of this work by optimising the planned deconstruction process. Both startups will develop digital software tools to integrate and analyse deconstruction-related data effectively to support informed decision making about material recapture and reuse, ensuring that when sites are no longer needed, they are sustainably deconstructed.

One of the UK’s largest producers of concrete products, Northern Ireland-based Creagh Concrete, will collaborate with DataFlowIQ, Linearworks, Kinsetsu and Coraledge Ltd to gain accurate, comprehensive insight into its production process. Optimising and digitalising the manufacturing process, while improving energy and operational efficiency, will enable Creagh Concrete to maintain its competitive edge and achieve its sustainability goals.

The programme will offer participants support in the form of sustainability masterclasses, technical monitoring, innovation expertise and peer-to-peer support, to grow each company’s capabilities. The programme will play a critical role in advancing industrial sustainability through the adoption of deep technology, and comes as it was announced that the country is halfway to net zero, with emissions cut by 53% between 1990 and 2023.

Participating startups and SMEs will each receive £75,000 funding to develop a proof of concept and a further £100,000 will be available for up to four companies to progress to phase two. Phase two will support the successful companies to develop pilot prototypes, culminating in a showcase in early 2025 to pitch their solutions to investors and industry leaders.

DATA COLLECTION MONTH: The secrets of powering up your insights with trusted vendors

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For senior energy management professionals, navigating the path towards a more sustainable future hinges on accurate and insightful data. Whether you’re in the public or private sector, robust data collection solutions are essential to identify inefficiencies, optimise energy use, and achieve cost savings. However, with a multitude of options available, selecting the right tools can be a challenge. Here are some top tips to help you source trusted energy data collection solutions for your organisation…

Know Your Data Needs:

  • Define Your Goals: Start by clearly outlining your energy management goals. Are you aiming for carbon neutrality,reducing peak demand charges, or improving equipment efficiency? Knowing your objectives will guide your data collection needs.
  • Identify Key Metrics: Determine the specific energy metrics you need to track. This might include real-time energy consumption, power factor, temperature readings, or equipment performance data.
  • Consider Integration: Ensure the chosen solution integrates seamlessly with your existing building management systems (BMS) or other relevant software. This ensures a centralised platform for all your energy data.

Research and Evaluate Solutions:

  • Go Beyond Features: Don’t be swayed by flashy features alone. Focus on solutions that offer reliable data collection, secure data storage, and user-friendly reporting functionalities.
  • Free Trials and Demos: Many vendors offer free trials or demos. Utilize these to test the user interface, explore reporting features, and assess the solution’s compatibility with your existing infrastructure.
  • Talk to Existing Users: Seek out references from existing customers of the solutions you’re considering. Their real-world experience can provide valuable insights into the system’s effectiveness, data accuracy, and customer support.

Focus on Security and Scalability:

  • Data Security is Critical: Energy data can be sensitive. Ensure the vendor prioritizes data security with robust encryption protocols and adherence to relevant UK regulations like GDPR.
  • Scalability for Future Growth: Choose a solution that can scale with your organisation’s needs. Will it accommodate additional buildings, meters, or changing data requirements in the future?
  • Future-Proof Technology: The energy landscape is constantly evolving. Look for solutions that are adaptable and integrate with emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Beyond Technology: Building a Partnership:

  • Seek a Collaborative Partner: Sourcing data collection solutions is just the first step. Look for a vendor who offers ongoing support, training on the system, and collaboration to optimize data analysis and action plans.
  • Industry Expertise: Consider partnering with a vendor who offers domain expertise in your specific sector. Their understanding of industry benchmarks and best practices can provide valuable guidance in interpreting your energy data.
  • Transparent Communication: Open communication is key. Choose a vendor who is transparent about data collection limitations, system updates, and potential cybersecurity risks.

Investing in trusted energy data collection solutions empowers energy management professionals to make informed decisions. By following these top tips, you can navigate the market with confidence, select the right partner, and unlock the power of data to drive energy efficiency, cost savings, and a more sustainable future for your organisation. Remember,data is only valuable if it’s accurate, accessible, and actionable. So, choose wisely and empower yourself to be a leader in the UK’s energy transition.

Are you searching for Energy Data Collection Solutions for your organisation? The Energy Management Summit can help!

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Dogger Bank D wind farm scoping report proposals submitted

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SSE and Equinor, co-developers of the proposed Dogger Bank D fourth phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, have submitted a Scoping Report for the project to The Planning Inspectorate.

This follows publication in March 2024 by National Grid ESO of the Transitional Centralised Strategic Network Plan (tCSNP2) which included confirmation that Dogger Bank D will connect into Birkhill Wood, a proposed new 400kV substation located in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Developed as a 50/50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor, Dogger Bank D would, if consented and approved for delivery, have an installed capacity of up to 2GW and be located in the North Sea around 210km off the northeast coast at its closest point to shore. Project development has been made possible by the opportunity to maximise the capacity from the eastern part of the current Dogger Bank C site. Dogger Bank D is working closely with The Crown Estate, who manage the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland to agree the progression of Dogger Bank D.

The existing 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm was granted development consent in 2015 and is currently under construction in the North Sea across three build-out phases, Dogger Bank A, B and C. Once complete, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm in operation.
The proposed fourth phase of the wind farm, Dogger Bank D, has been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) of more than 100MW of generating capacity. As a result, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for the project to be able to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) application.

The purpose of the Scoping Report is to request a formal EIA Scoping Opinion from the Planning Inspectorate which would outline the topics to be assessed in the EIA.

Rob Cussons, Project Director for Dogger Bank D at SSE Renewables, said: “The Scoping Report is an important milestone for Dogger Bank D and is a key part of the development of an offshore wind farm. The report lays out the scope of the project proposals and identifies key environmental factors. We look forward to receiving a Scoping Opinion from the Planning Inspectorate and input from consultees which will help inform our development proposals.”

A further round of public consultation on the proposals for Dogger Bank D will take place in Autumn 2024.

EUDR ‘could cost EU consumers up to $1.5 billion’, say analysts

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A new study has explored the impact of EU Sustainability Regulations and the implications of the new EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) for global commodity supply chains and consumer markets.

The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which comes into force at the end of the year, is the latest round of EU sustainability regulation which attempts to influence global regulatory policy and value-chain practices as part of the bloc’s effort to achieve key aims of The European Green Deal such as no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

The EUDR is arguably one of the most far reaching and impactful pieces of EU sustainability regulation, targeting commodities linked to deforestation, which includes cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, soya, and wood as well as some of their derived products, such as paper/paperboard, leather, shampoo, chocolate, tyres, and furniture.

Under the EUDR companies that trade in these commodities and their derived products in the EU market or who export them from the EU will need to follow mandatory due diligence reporting of the goods and supply chains they wish to trade in and demonstrate that their products are not linked to deforestation, or to forest degradation through, for example, the expansion of agricultural land. The regulation will require companies and industries in countries that supply the EU to transition to a sustainable, deforestation-free supply chain and legal agricultural value chain if they wish to trade in the EU.

Agribusiness Consultants at GlobalData a leading data and analytics company estimate that EUDR compliance premiums for companies operating in the supply chain for just two of the targeted commodities, oil palm products and their derivatives (such as crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (KPO)), and rubber could be in excess of $1.5 billion alone. Whilst companies operating in these supply chains will be able to absorb some of the costs themselves a good proportion of these compliance premiums are likely to be passed onto EU consumers in the form of food and drinks and product price increases.

GlobalData Food & Beverages Consultants’ new study: ‘EU Sustainability Regulations: How the EUDR and other Sustainability Regulations will impact consumer markets’, explores some of the EUs key sustainability regulations focusing on the aims of the EUDR and the compliance challenges ahead for farmers, companies, and manufacturers trading in the commodities targeted by the regulation.

The study also looks at what the EUDR could mean for the global supply chain of the target commodities, the potential impact on consumer markets and pricing within the EU and how the EUDR could affect the bloc’s future competitiveness with China.

With the EUDR coming into full force on 30th December 2024 for large companies (2025 for SME’s), the new study is also a timely reminder for large companies operating in the Food & Beverages, Foodservice, Retail and Packaging sectors to finalise their EUDR compliance strategy over the next six months to avoid being late in aligning their operations with the new EUDR rules.

It could be argued that the EU aims to use the ‘Brussels effect’ to direct global policy on sustainability. This is the idea that the global landscape responds to the EU ‘externalizing’ its laws because the bloc is such a significant global consumer market. According to **Eurostat, the EU has a population of over 448.7 million people, one of the biggest consumer markets in the world.

The European Investment Bank predicts that the EUs various climate actions could result in a potential hit to EU-wide GDP of -0.4% by 2030, taking into account all of the EUs sustainability initiatives, but says the costs of not acting would be greater.

Fred Diamond Senior Food & Beverages Consultant and Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The aims of the EUDR are understandable and cutting greenhouse gas emissions and protecting biodiversity is essential. However, there could be some disruption ahead. The extra demands of the EUDR could lead some commodity suppliers in what the EU terms ‘third countries’ to move away from the EU and increase trade with countries that impose fewer regulatory requirements such as China. Some food categories, such as plant-based meat, may have to reformulate and switch to other protein sources, such as pea protein if the result of the EUDR is an increase in the price of soya for food production.

“The gap between big and small companies could get wider as larger companies are more able to shoulder the additional regulatory burden. The exact impact on consumers will depend on a variety of factors, including how companies choose to respond to the regulation, the extent to which the regulation is enforced, and how much assistance EU member states are willing to give to supplier countries to help them align with the new rules. However, with recent news reports confirming that the world’s top climate scientists expect global heating to go well beyond the current 1.5C target, sustainability regulation associated with cutting greenhouse gas emissions, such as the EUDR which targets deforestation, remains an urgent priority for the planet.”