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EU and Egypt to collaborate on COP27 energy transition goals

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The EU and Egypt will join efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and ensure ambitious outcomes at COP27, which takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

The joint statement commits both parties to work together on a global just energy transition, on improving adaptation capacity, mitigating loss and damage due to climate change, and on increasing climate finance to respond to the needs of developing countries.

The cooperation will have a particular focus on renewable energy sources, hydrogen, and energy efficiency. The EU and Egypt will develop a Mediterranean Hydrogen Partnership to promote investments in renewable electricity generation, strengthening and extension of electricity grids, including trans-Mediterranean interconnectors, the production of renewables and low carbon hydrogen, and the construction of storage, transport and distribution infrastructure.

In light of the new geopolitical and energy market reality after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in line with the REPowerEU plan, the EU and Egypt will accelerate and intensify their energy partnership. Security of gas supply is a common concern. Today in Cairo, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, together with Minister El Molla and Minister Elharrar signed a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the EU, Egypt and Israel for the export of natural gas to Europe.

The three parties will work together on the stable delivery of natural gas, in a way that is consistent with long-term decarbonisation objectives and based on market-oriented pricing. Natural gas from Israel, Egypt and other sources in the Eastern Mediterranean region will be shipped to Europe via Egypt’s LNG export infrastructure.

The parties will promote the reduction of methane leakage, and in particular examine new technologies for reducing venting and flaring and explore possibilities for the utilisation of captured methane throughout the entire supply chain. They will also endeavour to ensure that future investments will not cause pollution of the marine or land environment.

President von der Leyen said: “We are starting to tap into the full potential of EU-Egypt relations, by putting the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change at the heart of our partnership. I look forward to working with Egypt as COP27 Presidency to build on the good momentum from last year in Glasgow. Egypt is also a crucial partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels and towards more reliable suppliers.”

Routes to deliver net zero

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By David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy

Businesses have complicated energy needs, particularly those that use a lot of thermal energy such as for steam or ovens.  Achieving net zero is going to require elements of re-engineering, re-thinking business processes, adopting new technology and changing energy purchasing strategy. But is it even possible in the current climate when those decisions will also directly affect the P&L through changed operating costs.

The main routes to net zero most businesses consider are:

  • Buy green tariffs – and hope they won’t be looked-through as “green-washing”. SECR reporting is starting to highlight energy intensity (how many kWh of energy your company uses to produce 1 kg of product) – which will aim direct comparison with competitors
  • Electrification – and hope the Government will make good on its promises to decarbonise the electricity grid
  • Await Hydrogen to move off gas – another big “if”. When or will it be commercially viable and available ?
  • Invest in energy efficiency

The problem with approaches (1) – (3)  is they will have failed to deliver the change that your customers are looking for anytime up to at least 2030. That could put your business at a competitive disadvantage. Also you are fully exposed to market volatility with these routes.

We believe the right path is option (4), to invest in reducing your energy intensity and also consider low-carbon generation solutions.  This way you reduce your CO2 footprint, reduce your exposure to the grid and are in control of your costs. Also bear in mind that the third round of ESOS is less than 2 years away, and its likely to be mandatory to enact the recommendations of the auditor.  In that ESOS round there is going to be an even greater focus on action on energy efficiency.

The challenge is keeping operating costs under control whilst achieving progress towards decarbonising and deciding when to adopt new technologies.  With a recession looking likely, capital availability may also become more difficult.  We can help deliver measures without any capex from you, using our zero-capex energy partnership solution.

If you would like to discuss how to be more energy efficient and accelerate your net zero strategy, please contact David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy on 0151 271 0037 or email  david@on-site.energy (www.on-site.energy).

Choose ISO 50001 to simplify compliance and set course for net zero carbon

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By Mehmet Olgun, Head of Net Zero Compliance, EQUANS

Businesses face mounting legislative pressure to achieve energy and carbon savings, and to comply with multiple compliance regulations, including ESOS, SECR, CCA and UK ETS. That’s why it’s important to find the most efficient and manageable ways to gather data, manage energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions in order to meet your regulatory obligations.

One of the most effective ways to fulfil all of these requirements is to gain accreditation to ISO 50001 – the internationally recognised standard for energy management systems (EnMS). ISO 50001 provides the foundation for compliance with all environmental regulations and also delivers a framework for creating a net zero carbon roadmap to meet your carbon-reduction objectives.

What does ISO 50001 accreditation involve?

ISO 50001 helps establish best practices for energy management. It involves implementing policies on everything from purchasing and energy efficiency to staff training and data reporting. It helps organisations to manage, monitor and improve energy performance by controlling  energy consumption and enhancing operational efficiency. It enables you to embed processes, measurements, behaviours and responsibilities within your organisation that help to achieve consistent energy and carbon savings.

Once achieved, the accreditation is initially awarded for three years. Certified businesses will have to go through an annual audit each year, to ensure they are maintaining the IS0 50001 requirements. 

The benefits of ISO 50001 accreditation

As well as enabling easy compliance with ESOS and other regulations, accreditation to ISO 50001:

  • Improves profitability and operational efficiency through continuous energy savings and cost reductions.
  • Builds robust operational and energy management processes and behaviours into a business and creates creating a leaner and more agile operation.
  • Provides a strong foundation for creating a net zero carbon roadmap and supports the delivery of your net zero strategy.
  • Helps you stay ahead of regulatory changes and new compliance requirements by instilling bast practice into your business.
  • Strengthens employee motivation by engaging people in improving environmental performance
  • Enhances brand reputation by demonstrating your commitment to sustainable development

Start your journey to ISO 50001 accreditation 

With so many competing priorities, dedicating time and resources to reaching ISO 50001 accreditation may seem challenging. Partners like EQUANS can help by providing end-to-end support for achieving ISO 50001 accreditation. At EQUANS we help you develop your policies and set appropriate targets and objectives. We identify energy consumption hotspots and associated energy-saving opportunities, as well as introducing monitoring and measurement processes to evaluate your performance. Our specialists will also guide you through the annual audit process required to maintain your accreditation.

Find out more about ISO 50001 accreditation and how EQUANS can support your business here.

Maximise your carbon reduction & cost savings

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By David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy Ltd

Whilst the news that Governments’ net zero plans remain intact as a result of the invasion of  Ukraine, current energy prices are at unprecedented levels and are a matter of survival for some businesses.

The good news is that by focusing on energy efficiency and onsite energy generation the likelihood is that you will both save money and carbon emissions. Energy savings and carbon reductions go hand-in-hand.

To develop a carbon reduction plan, you first need to understand your current performance whether that is in lighting, motor loads, chilling, heating or the other main uses you have.

This can then be compared to “best in class” performance.  Knowing what the result of implementing best in class solutions is a good start to formulating a plan and to building a business case for investment.  It will also tell you how close to net zero, so the remaining gap can be considered.

Minimising your exposure to the grid by reducing consumption and generating power onsite is the best way to mitigate the risk from volatile grid costs.  On-Site Energy can help with understanding your current carbon and energy performance, identifying the opportunities for efficiency and energy generation, and then delivering them.

We can also help unlock the opportunities by funding them on a zero-capex basis where some of the savings are used to fund the measures.  Your business benefits from lower costs and the full carbon reduction savings, without needing to spend anything.

If you would like to discuss how to implement energy efficiency measures, onsite generation or develop and roll-out a carbon management plan for your business, please contact David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy Ltd on 0151 271 0037 or email  david@on-site.energy (www.on-site.energy).

UK ranks third amongst the countries that have reduced emissions the most

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The United Kingdom is one of the few countries that managed to actually reduce their CO2 emissions in the last 60 years.
The report by Utility Bidder analyses various countries’ emissions from 1959 and 2019, to reveal who has made the most cuts to their emissions, and predict who will be the worst offenders for co2 emissions in 2032.
Top five countries that have cut emissions the most

Rank

Country

1959 emissions (MtCO2)

2019 emissions (MtCO2)

Annual change

Estimated 2032 emissions (MtCO2)

1

Curaçao

11.0

3.7

-1.78%

2.8

2

Moldova

11.0

7.3

-0.66%

6.7

3

the United Kingdom

545.9

370.1

-0.64%

339.5

4

Ukraine

256.5

223.5

-0.23%

217.0

5

Germany

754.8

703.5

-0.12%

692.9

Only five of the 93 nations saw their emissions decrease in the last 60 years, with the Caribbean island of Curaçao achieving the biggest decrease at -1.78% per year.
Moldova’s emissions have fallen by an average of 0.66% over the last 60 years. if they continue to do so at the same rate, they’ll have fallen to 6.7 MtCO2 by 2032.
Whilst still being one of the countries with the highest emissions, the UK has seen its emissions fall in the last 60 years, from 545.9 MtCO2 in 1959 to 370.1 MtCO2 in 2019.
The countries with the biggest emissions increase 

Rank

Country

1959 emissions (MtCO2)

2019 emissions (MtCO2)

Annual change

Estimated 2032 emissions (MtCO2)

1

Saudi Arabia

3.7

582.6

8.66%

1,238.8

2

Thailand

3.7

289.5

7.43%

568.9

3

Malaysia

3.7

249.2

7.16%

481.1
Saudi Arabia’s emissions grew by  578.9 MtCO2 over the last 60 years, and the annual change is estimated at 8.66%. This increase is expected given the country’s role as the leader in the world’s petroleum industry.
Thailand Increased its emissions by 285.8 MtCO2 since 1959, so it could hit 568.9 MtCO2 by 2032. It is largely due to the simultaneous economy and population growth that the country experienced over the last 60 years.
Malaysia Increased its emissions by 245.5 MtCO2, meaning it could hit 481.1 MtCO2 by 2032.
Further findings: 
The countries with the lowest estimated 2032 emissions:
  • As well as being the country that has cut its emissions the most since 1959, Curaçao is also the nation that has the lowest predicted emissions by 2032, at just 2.8 MtCO2.

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo is at the second-lowest estimated emissions, reaching 3.7 MtCO2 by 2032. The DRC is also home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, which acts as a carbon sink.

  • Moldova has the third-lowest estimated emissions for 2032, with 6.7 MtCO2.

UK and Scottish governments unveil Green Freeports plan

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A landmark deal has been agreed between the UK and Scottish governments to collaborate and deliver two Green Freeports in Scotland.

The new hubs will ‘support the regeneration of communities across Scotland, will bring jobs and prosperity, and support UK government work to level-up all four corners of the United Kingdom’, according to a joint statement.

The Green Freeports will have net-zero targets at the heart as prospective bidders will have to make a pledge to reach Net Zero by 2045.

The bidding process will open in spring, closing in summer, after which the bids will be assessed, and successful locations announced. It’s hoped that the new sites will be operational by spring 2023.

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply. They are centred around one or more air, rail, or seaport, but can extend up to 45km beyond the port(s).

Officials from the UK and Scottish governments will jointly assess the prospective bids to ensure they meet their shared goals and ministers will have an equal say on the final selection of the locations.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes said: ‘I am pleased we have been able to reach an agreement on a joint approach that recognises the distinct needs of Scotland and enshrines the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero and embedding fair work practices through public investment.

“Scotland has a rich history of innovative manufacturers and so as we look to grasp the many opportunities of achieving net-zero, the establishment of Green Freeports will help us create new green jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.”

No time to waste on Net Zero

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We need less “Blah, Blah Blah” and more action on Net Zero, according to Greta Thunberg.

What are you waiting for? Get moving on your net zero journey to benefit both planet and profits.

You can get ahead of regulatory changes and surging carbon and energy prices to balance both your financial and environmental goals.

Read our new report to find out how green business leaders are delivering on their net zero goals. Discover the most cost effective ways to improve your sustainable energy performance.

Download your report: Why wait to pursue net zero?

UN urges G20 countries to invest in nature-based climate change solutions

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A new report, titled The State of Finance for Nature in the G20, stresses the urgency of increasing net-zero and nature-positive investments if the world is to adequately close the climate finance gap.

The report is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Economic Forum, the Economics of Land Degradation, hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit in collaboration with Vivid Economics.

It further amplifies the findings from the global report State of Finance for Nature – Tripling Investments in Nature-based Solutions by 2030, released last year, which calls for closing a $4.1 trillion financing gap in nature-based solutions.

The new report reveals that the spending gap in non-G20 countries is larger and more difficult to bridge than in G20 countries, but only 2% of the G20’s $120 billion investment has been directed towards official development assistance (ODA). Similarly, private sector investments remain small, at 11% or $14 billion a year, even though the private sector contributes 60% of the total national GDP in most G20 countries. Thus, the business and investment case for nature needs to be stronger.

The report also discloses that G20 investments represent 92% of all global investments in nature-based solutions in 2020. Furthermore, the vast majority of these G20 investments, 87% or $105 billion, were distributed to domestic government programmes.

Annual G20 investments in nature-based solutions need to increase by at least 140% to meet all agreed biodiversity, land restoration and climate targets by 2050, which means an additional $165 billion a year, especially in ODA and private sector spending. To put this into perspective, more than $14.6 trillion was spent by 50 leading economies in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, of which only $368 billion, or 2%, was considered “green” by a 2021 UNEP report.

Globally, future investment in nature-based solutions needs to increase fourfold by 2050, equating to an annual investment of over $536 billion a year. The future investment needs for G20 countries account for approximately 40% of this total global investment in 2050. G20 countries have the capacity to meet this investment need as they carry out most of the global economic and financial activity with fiscal leeway.

Justin Adams, Director for Nature-Based Solutions, World Economic Forum, said: “The climate and nature crisis are two sides of the same coin, and we can’t turn things around unless we transform our economic models and market systems to take nature’s full value into account.”

The new report also calls for G20 member states to seize opportunities to increase investment in non-G20 countries, which can often be more cost-effective and efficient than investing in similar nature-based solutions internally.

Nina Bisom, Coordinator of Economics for the Land Degradation Initiative, said: “In many instances, G20 countries can improve economic efficiency in nature-based solutions spending by targeting investments in non-G20 countries. For example, the average cost of converting land from other uses to nature-based solutions in G20 countries is $2,600 per hectare, while the same costs are only $2,100 per hectare for non-G20 regions.”

Ivo Mulder, Head of UNEP’s Climate Finance Unit, said: “To scale up private finance, governments can boost the investment case for nature, for instance, by creating stable and predictable markets for ecosystem services like agriculture, forestry or by employing concessional financing.”

He added: “Systemic changes are needed at all levels, including consumers paying the true price of food, taking into account its environmental footprint. Companies and financial institutions should fully disclose climate- and nature-related financial risks, and governments need to repurpose agricultural fiscal policies and trade-related tariffs.”

The report concludes that governments need to truly “build back better” following the pandemic. Many developed countries can borrow cheaply in international capital markets. Thus, they need to tie in “nature and climate conditions” when providing fiscal stimulus to sectors across their economies, as well as creating more favourable regulatory, fiscal and trade policies to transition economies so that international biodiversity, climate and land degradation targets are met. G20 nations have the ability and means to lead by example.

5 Minutes With… Robert Brown from ENGIE Impact

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As part of our energy management executive interview series, we sat down with Robert Brown, a Director of Sustainable Resource Management at ENGIE Impact, a global consultancy company accelerating sustainability transformation for businesses, cities and governments. The discussion shed light on energy management challenges, goal setting, and the roles of digital tools and data in reaching decarbonisation objectives…

What have been the biggest challenges the Energy Management industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Many organisations have been caught out by record energy price rises this year. Wholesale gas prices have risen by an average of 250% across the world and businesses are now facing unbudgeted bills for natural gas and electricity this year . At the same time, the pressure to progress with a sustainability transformation strategy contributes to the challenges for effective energy management. As announced at this year’s COP26, 60 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign, showing that more and more businesses are now realising the full potential of an integrated sustainability strategy.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

I like to think that every challenge unveils an opportunity. This surge in global market energy pricing was an alarming call to those who haven’t conducted a holistic risk assessment, and who haven’t taken into account potential factors beyond daily business operations that could  affect the company’s bottom line and ultimate viability. For those who haven’t already, now is the time for organisations to review their strategy, and consider emerging energy buying options.

Business leaders have benefitted and are benefitting from integrating more renewables into their energy mix, which has dovetailed with their zero-carbon strategy to achieve a commercial advantage whilst accelerating the achievement of sustainability goals.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

2025 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. I think that we will be discussing our progress in decarbonisation and the achievements to date of this “Decade to Deliver”. The UK has set a goal to achieve 51% emissions reduction by 2025, compared to 1990 levels. Governments and businesses are partnering towards this objective, and although we are on the right track, we still have a long way to go, especially as the UK has pledged a new target of 78% emissions reduction by 2035.

What is the biggest priority for the Energy Management industry in  2022? What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

Given the recent rise in energy cost and the increasing urgency around climate change, it is important to keep in mind a business’ bottom line while implementing sustainable practices. We are now in an era full of evolution and dominance of digital tools, and energy management is no exception to this trend. Digital platforms are being used to leverage data intelligence and pinpoint optimisation opportunities through a holistic view of energy consumption data.

However, having the right data is not enough. Applying advanced analytics to data can deliver real value to an organisation as long as it is consistent and timely. This is something industry leaders like Tesla, Kraft Heinz, NatWest, DHL, Unilever and DS Smith have already started investing in.

This approach to energy management allows for granular sustainability reporting. Just as financial reporting supports a business in determining budgets, evaluating investment and minimising financial risk, sustainability reporting with meaningful and accurate data allows for transparency, effective decision-making and minimising environmental risk.

At ENGIE Impact, we recently launched ENGIE Ellipse: Zero Carbon Platform – a dynamic intelligence tool to accelerate decarbonisation. This scalable digital platform enables companies to measure their carbon footprint, set targets and design roadmaps, track progress and investments, and optimise performance.

How can your business help energy managers address these challenges?

ENGIE Impact supports businesses to mature their energy efficiency programmes across their portfolio of sites. By collecting the right data at the right time, we help our customers to understand their energy consumption and grasp opportunities for optimisation, as well as customise strategies tailored to their business goals and priorities. Our teams don’t just supply a plan; we are there at every step of the journey from initial concept through to full execution and post-project monitoring. From measuring results, to reporting on progress, we fuel continuous enhancement in energy management strategy for our clients.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Meeting with peer leaders in sustainability and energy management, and helping them in their decarbonisation journey and future proofing their organization. This is a professional driver for me and it’s really meaningful to see the positive impact to the bottom line competitiveness and sustainable progress that our collaborations bring.

And what’s the most challenging?

Sustainability is easier said than done. Unpredictable external factors, such as the extreme spike in energy prices this year and the effects that the pandemic has had on wider resource availability, can make it more challenging for businesses to reach their goals as efforts focus on financial survival in the short-term.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Energy requires a robust strategic approach. Doing nothing is a conscious decision.  The time to act is NOW and arming the right stakeholders with the right timely information and data to be able to act on is incredibly powerful so measure what matters.

Businesses will then gain competitive advantage and progress towards their energy efficiency and zero/neutral carbon ambitions in their daily operations.

Connect with Rob: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-brown-miet/

ScottishPower makes major UK solar play with acquisitions

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Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower has signed two deals to acquire 17 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the UK, with a combined capacity of more than 800 MW. The contracts have been concluded separately with Elgin Energy, which owns 12 projects, and Lightsource BP, which controls the rest.

Both companies are experienced developers with a long track record in renewable energy.

The projects, across England, Scotland and Wales, are in advanced stages of development and will be operational by 2025 with a total investment of approximately £500 million (around €600 million). This portfolio of solar sites will add enough clean energy to power over 220,000 homes.

ScottishPower claims it is now at the forefront of the UK’s solar industry, with its market share rising from 2% to 9%, confirming the company’s commitment to growing the renewables market across the UK, where it is the only 100% green integrated utility. The deals will also contribute towards reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland in 2045 and in the United Kingdom by 2050.

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Moving into 2022, we are continuing to push forward our plans at ScottishPower to support the transition to Net Zero.  This boost to our solar generation pipeline complements our existing growth plans for wind and storage.

“With plans to invest close to £4 billion by 2025, doubling the volume of renewable electricity we produce, we are taking action every day to deliver on our commitment to deploy more renewables – at scale and at speed – to electrify how we live, work and travel. This addition to our portfolio will help accelerate that journey and play an important role in tackling the climate emergency.”

As of September 2021, Iberdrola has almost 3GW of installed PV worldwide, an increase of 89% compared to 2019. Of this capacity, 2,028MW are in Spain, 642MW in Mexico, 191MW in the US, 4MW in the UK and 31 MW in other countries. It also has 31 GW of solar projects under development in Spain, US, Mexico, UK, Portugal and Italy. The company’s investment plan for 2020-2025 sets to double its current PV capacity to 6GW by the end of 2022, and to have 14 GW installed by 2025.