Project Archive | 2016

How can a sector respond to the need to meet 1.5/2°C climate change targets?

Many scenarios show the huge challenge that the world faces in changing our energy system to reduce emissions and limit warming to well below 2°C, in particular increasing end-use efficiency, deploying renewables and CCS. A sector industry association asked for E4tech’s help to identify the actions that they as an organisation could take to drive emissions reduction, and explain how these would fit within a 2°C world. We first set out in detail the savings that the IEA’s World Energy Outlook and Energy Technology Perspectives scenarios project to be possible from each technology across the energy sector. Given the capabilities of the sector in question, we then assessed the contribution that they would be able to make to development and deployment of the technologies. By comparing these two factors, we identified high priority areas for the organisation, and suggested actions that they could take to enhance their existing programmes, and develop new ones. The analysis and results were well received, and have contributed to the organisation’s strategy and external communications.

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Current research in batteries for residential storage and innovations in battery manufacturing and management systems

Our client, a global energy major was interested in understanding the most promising early stage developments in the area of residential battery storage. To enable prioritisation of the most relevant research directions, we developed a taxonomy of battery technologies and an overview of research families. In close collaboration with the client, we developed a set of criteria to identify research groups of particular interest. In a second phase of the study we also summarized innovative concepts in battery manufacturing techniques and battery management systems. The results of the study have directed the client’s technology scouting activities.

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Realising the Potential of Demand-Side Response

To inform the UK Government’s smart energy policy, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) contracted E4tech to undertake a comprehensive evidence assessment of small-scale Demand-Side Response (DSR). The study focused on drawing out findings relevant to Great Britain, drawing on a wide range of UK and international evidence. The objective was to identify the market, policy, commercial, and consumer factors that enable successful DSR at small scale and thereby build a robust evidence base for DSR policy. Supported by an academic consortium, E4tech conducted a comprehensive and structured literature review of existing evidence and conducted interviews with 30 industry experts in Finland, Norway, Germany, Illinois and Texas. The study provided novel insights to the various factors leading to successful DSR markets.

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Strategy development for energy systems analysis

The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) aims to help UK businesses to develop products and services to serve future energy systems. ESC asked E4tech for support with the strategy for its Whole Systems Strategy Analysis function, through identifying how scenario modelling has translated into roadmap development for different energy sectors and technologies in the UK. To do this, we reviewed over 150 scenarios, transition pathways, and roadmaps in the UK energy sector to identify common themes, approaches, actors, as well as any gaps in coverage of the sector. We then explored how this type of information could be used in identifying areas for investment, and informing policy decisions.

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Landscape study of demand-side-response and vehicle-to-grid applications in Europe

Our client, a global automotive manufacturer, approached us to better understand the challenges and business opportunities in the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and demand-side response markets in Europe. We provided them with an overview of relevant actors, policies and competing technologies. We also conducted an in-depth assessment of the returns available to vehicle owners participating in frequency response services to National Grid and in arbitrage via vehicle-to-home. To this end we analysed second-by-second grid frequency data in SQL and created an arbitrage model taking into account the state of charge and size of the vehicle battery pack. The project provided our client with valuable insights that helped shape their commercial strategy in the V2G and demand-side response market.

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Success and failure in cleantech investment, and the prospects for a new energy investment approach

Although considerable venture capital investment has been made in cleantech since the early 1990s, the performance of the vast majority of these funds has been extremely poor. Early-stage capital has now become much scarcer in the sector, such that early-stage companies are finding it hard to raise finance, even with apparently compelling technologies and markets. Our client, a regional clean energy organisation wanted to understand better the underlying reasons  for this market failure, with a view to proposing a new approach to providing such funding in the future. E4tech interviewed fifteen investors from our international network of contacts in the cleantech investment space, including VC practitioners, investment advisors, and early-stage company supporters. We also reviewed data and literature on the performance and priorities of previous investments.  We brought this information together to draw out conclusions on the weaknesses of current approaches for cleantech investment, and alternative new approaches to investment vehicles that could overcome them.

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The contribution of the bioeconomy to the UK and the prospects for growth and increased productivity.

BBSRC and BEIS (the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) commissioned an evidence based review of the contribution of the bioeconomy to the UK and the prospects for growth and increased productivity in these sectors. E4tech analysed the sustainability of the UK bioeconomy in terms of both current and future feedstock availability, potential sustainability issues of feedstocks and barriers to their exploitation. We provided detailed and insightful analysis on the prospects and barriers to growth for the biofuels, bioenergy, bioplastics and bio-based chemicals industries in the UK. We also used our in-depth knowledge of the bioeconomy to assess the relative position of the UK compared to that of other countries, in particular in terms of government policies. The final report brought together all elements of the UK bioeconomy and provided the client with a comprehensive overview and in-depth understanding of the individual sectors and linkages between them. The report is available from the BBSRC website.

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Advanced drop-in biofuels – UK production capacity outlook to 2030

As noted by the UK Department for Transport (DfT), advanced biofuels are likely to be key in meeting UK climate change targets for transport, and drop-in molecules which are able to substitute jet, diesel and heavy fuel oil without infrastructure or vehicle changes are particularly attractive to transport segments with few alternatives such as aviation, heavy goods vehicles and shipping. The aim of this study for DfT was to evaluate the UK potential for production of advanced drop-in biofuels to 2030, recommending changes in policy and incentives to best support development and investment in UK production plants. This analysis was based on a wide range of both published and interview-based evidence, including technology development and barriers, minimum fuel sale prices, the availability of finance, policy support and regulation, plus likely commercialisation and scale-up timelines. The  Department for Transport have used this study alongside industry evidence collected during the 2016/2017 consultation on changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation to inform their thinking in the sector. The study is available from the DfT website.

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Development of a roadmap for hydrogen and fuel cells in the UK to 2025 and beyond

E4tech led a public-private roadmapping exercise to drive sustainable economic growth in the UK hydrogen and fuel cell industry in the period to 2025 and beyond. Our clients were Innovate UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Transport Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UKHFCA), Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA), and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). E4tech, working with Element Energy, developed 11 mini roadmaps covering different applications for hydrogen and fuel cells, analysing their potential by 2025, role to 2050, and benefits to the UK. We consulted on these widely, running ten workshops around the UK, and through multiple stakeholder interviews. We brought the mini-roadmaps together into an overall national roadmap highlighting actions needed between now and 2025 to realise benefits from early deployment, and to provide the evidence needed to underpin decisions needed on UK energy systems to 2050.

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UK Capabilities and Opportunities in Low Carbon Propulsion

Client: UK Advanced Propulsion Centre

The APC (the delivery arm of the UK Automotive Council), commissioned a thorough review of the automotive sector’s low carbon propulsion technology requirements and the UK’s ability to serve these needs.  This important report informed UK industrial policy as well as guiding the innovation efforts of many UK companies. The work identified new technology-led opportunities for the UK automotive industry across all market segments, also recognising areas where UK lacks competitive advantage. Working very closely with Ricardo, E4tech’s primary tasks included developing and running an industry-wide survey (with global reach), conducting in-depth stakeholder interviews and playing a major part in the strategic analysis and synthesis of findings.

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