Though many of the results we produce for our clients are confidential, those results we can share with the world, we gladly do. In addition we publish some non-client reports, most notably our annual Fuel Cell Industry Review.

If you have any questions about reproducing parts of our reports (e.g. graphs) and how to reference them correctly, as well as enquiries regarding the use of the E4tech logo, please contact Kalon Richfield.

The E4tech logo may not be used for any commercial purpose without our express written consent. Copyright for the reports available from this website lies with E4tech, unless otherwise stated.


Bioenergy for Sustainable Energy Access in Africa – A scoping study of the opportunities and challenges of bioenergy replication across Sub-Saharan Africa

These two reports were the results of a one year scoping study undertaken by E4tech, in collaboration with LTS International and the University of Edinburgh, to identify and evaluate barriers and opportunities for the replication of modern bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Executive Summary of the Handover and Project Completion report summarises our approach and also the main findings of the three key stages of the project; Literature Review and Stakeholder mapping, Technology Value Chain Prioritisation, and the Technology Country Case Studies. The published report also outlines the next steps as part of the larger Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme. In the first stage we prioritised Anaerobic Digestion (AD), Gasification and combustion to steam turbine, from an initial list of 27 technologies based on a multi-criteria analysis. Based on this analysis, the research conducted during the second stage generated a database of existing project examples in SSA of these three technologies. Based on existing deployment we prioritised AD and gasification projects as basis for the Technology Country Case Study stage.

Project Completion & Handover Report

The Technology Country Case Study report describes research opportunities for replication of biogas that DFID-supported research could address and leverage. The analysis also identified key barriers for the replication of biogas and gasification and is based on 18 project visits (12 biogas plants and 6 gasifiers) in seven countries in East-, West- and Southern Africa. Three of the profiled biogas projects are technically and commercially successful; they suggest that viable ventures can be developed and operated in SSA under the right conditions.

The barriers experienced by biogas developers fall into the following six categories:
1. Unreliable feedstock supply
2. Costly and insufficiently adapted technology
3. Limited operator technical capacity
4. Lack of viable business models
5. Unfavourable policy and regulation
6. Limited access to manufacturer support and spare parts

In contrast to anaerobic digestion, the developers of all six profiled gasification projects have encountered significant barriers that make replication very challenging. The four community-based plants have been mothballed due to poor commercial viability or technical problems. The fifth is dormant due to lack of feedstock, and the sixth has yet to be commissioned due to gas cleaning problems.

As barriers encountered for gasification were so wide-ranging there is no realistic opportunity for research to boost replication potential and we recommended focusing future research efforts on anaerobic digestion. Through targeted research, DFID could add impetus to the growing commercial investment in SSA’s anaerobic digestion sector. We recommended targeted research themes in each of the six identified barriers to support the replication of anaerobic digestion in SSA. Opportunities for replication of anaerobic digestion in SSA exist in particular due to the large number of agri-businesses with concentrated on-site feedstock availability, existing successful project examples to build upon, and the potential to reduce capital cost and increase productivity through innovation, therefore achieving commercial viability.

Technology Country Case Study Report

Low carbon fossil fuels sustainability risks and accounting methodology

This study for the UK Department for Transport reviews the potential sustainability impacts of low carbon fossil fuels, and develops a methodology for assessing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This GHG assessment needs to account for where the carbon would otherwise have been destined, had it not been used to make a new fuel product. Adopting this approach, this research illustrates that lifecycle carbon impacts of alternative fossil fuels range from significantly higher, to significantly lower emissions than conventional fossil petrol and diesel. The report also identifies a range of broader sustainability risks relating to air quality impacts, encouraging the production of more wastes, and of making an inefficient use of resources, for example, through contravening the waste hierarchy. If low carbon fossil fuels are given policy support, the study suggests that robust sustainability criteria should be in place to mitigate these risks.

Final report

Research on Realising the Potential of Demand Side Response

Research was commissioned by BEIS into realising the potential of DSR to 2025 to improve the evidence base on the potential of small-scale DSR and inform policy development targeted at a smarter energy system. The research uses an evidence review (a Rapid Evidence Assessment) and country case studies, both covering four research areas: policy interventions, business strategies, DSR products and services, and consumer engagement and participation.

Ramp up of lignocellulosic ethanol in Europe to 2030

The cellulosic ethanol industry is at a critical development stage: there are technology developers who are taking stock of the lessons learnt during the development of their first plants, and several more are constructing or planning their first plant.

This report develops two deployment scenarios for the EU based on detailed bottom up assumptions on the number of technology developers, plant development timelines, plant capacity, utilisation rates, the rate at which new projects can be initiated, and takes into consideration the availability of project finance. It also considers at what cost cellulosic ethanol could be produced.

The two scenarios (which assume a favourable policy environment) see total EU production capacity for cellulosic ethanol increase from 31 million litres in 2017 to 2.75 billion litres in 2030 in the central scenario, and 3.8 billion litres in the more ambitious scenario. Depending on EU energy demand in 2030, this could equate to a 4-5.6% blend of cellulosic ethanol in gasoline, by volume, in 2030, and 0.6-0.8% of road and rail transport energy demand in 2030.

Download the report here.



Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Opportunities for Growth – A Roadmap for the UK

Hydrogen could bring significant benefits to the UK’s energy system: heating homes and businesses, powering vehicles, and balancing intermittent renewables. This new roadmap provides an industrial strategy for hydrogen and fuel cells to play a greater role in the UK’s energy mix. In developing the roadmap, E4tech and Element Energy conducted detailed analysis and a series of workshops and bilateral discussions with stakeholders. This allowed us to produce ‘mini-roadmaps’ addressing 11 sectors in detail, and to bring together the most important aspects into an overarching document with four themes:

Hydrogen as a major component of a future low carbon energy system, where it can bring significant benefits as a low carbon route to energy supply, and through providing services to energy networks. The gas network could be converted to hydrogen, to provide low carbon heating. Hydrogen could enable more widespread penetration of renewable electricity. When combined with carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production can provide a route to low or even negative greenhouse gas emissions. None of these options are yet available at the scale required to deliver major energy system benefits, and so the actions recommended here are to prepare the UK to take advantage of these potential solutions.

Hydrogen in transport, and how it can help to improve air quality and contribute to decarbonisation. While application in cars is important, hydrogen is also well suited to heavier vehicles operating daily duty cycles. The UK could benefit from a focus on developing larger buses, trucks, vans and even boats, where there is already significant industrial strength. The main action here is to support UK companies producing these vehicles and their components,  complemented by actions to prepare the UK market for the introduction of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles of all types.

Fuel cell CHP, improving the efficiency of energy use today. These systems can run on natural gas cleanly and efficiently in the short term, and bio-based gases or hydrogen longer term. Actions here include supporting UK companies in validating and introducing small scale fuel cell CHP, creating a fair playing field within regulations, and developing business models that capture some of the wider benefits of fuel cell CHP systems.

Fuel cells used in products that bring functionality benefits in their own right. Portable power, remote power using portable fuels and unmanned aerial vehicles each have a potentially important role to play in commercialising hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Actions are concentrated around showcasing the products, awareness-raising amongst potential buyers, as well as removing unnecessary barriers.

hfcpr02The graphic shows how the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in our energy system could be developed. The period to 2020 focuses on expanding the use of technologies available today, such as vehicles, fuel cell CHP and portable and specialist fuel cells, whilst planning and preparing for a greater role for hydrogen in the energy system. In 2020-2025 activity ramps up, with construction of systems needed for conversion of the gas grid to hydrogen, use of hydrogen in a wider range of vehicles, and multiple projects bringing regional benefits through production and use of hydrogen. After 2025 widespread use of hydrogen in heating, transport and industry is enabled by staged conversion of the gas grid, with low carbon hydrogen produced by routes including CCS.

Download the full report

Download the appendices

Fuel cell market opportunities for emergency power systems up to 100 kW



This report is the result of a study conducted on behalf of Clean Power Net (CPN) entitled “Sichere Stromversorgung für die digitale Gesellschaft – Untersuchung des europäischen Marktes für Netzersatzanlagen bis 100 kW Leistung” (Secure supply of electricity for the digital society – examination of the European market for emergency power systems up to 100kW) which evaluated the market opportunities of fuel cell systems in special markets. It discusses the sales potential of conventional stationary Emergency Power Systems (EPS) up to 100kW  in nine selected European countries as well as on the Cape Verde islands. EPS applications considered include: BOS (public authority and emergency services) radio base stations; telecommunications infrastructure; rail infrastructure; power supply network operations; data centres; and road weather stations.

Download the full report (only available in German)

Low Carbon Automotive Propulsion Technologies

The low carbon and air quality agendas are driving rapid technological change in transport propulsion systems, creating new opportunities, whilst simultaneously threatening established supply chain positions.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre, along with E4tech and Ricardo, conducted a study on behalf of the Automotive Council to identify the technology-led disruptions to established automotive supply chains that could provide the opportunity to grow and sustain low carbon propulsion-related strategic capabilities in the UK.

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Policies for Storing Renewable Energy – A scoping study of policy considerations for energy storage (RE-STORAGE)


Energy storage is sometimes seen as essential to integrating large shares of renewables into the energy system. But its specific characteristics, and its possible role in linking different sectors of the energy system, pose challenges to policy makers. IEA-RETD commissioned E4tech to identify the most important challenges and propose “no regrets” policy recommendations to meet those challenges.

Our report describes the potential role of storage in an evolving energy system, considering likely new flexibility requirements. It discusses the services that storage can provide to deliver this flexibility and analyses relevant policy, regulation and market design from different perspectives:

  1. The importance of system approaches in energy transition policies: Energy transition policies sometimes fail to consider wider system impacts and the need for enabling technology such as storage. Neither demand nor generation, and sometimes linking sectors, storage is often affected by broad energy system policy – sometimes with unintended negative consequences. Conversely, policies often fail to take advantage of the potential benefits of enabling technologies, like storage.
  2. Storage deployment in the legacy framework: the current framework emerged from a system dominated by large scale thermal generators. Storage, like other novel technologies, is poorly suited to this long-term and relatively rigid framework. Moreover, part of the value of storage technologies is not considered by the current markets and regulations. This can impede storage deployment.
  3. Uncertainty about the performance of storage technologies: Many storage technologies are not well understood by stakeholders. Harmonisation of codes, standards, regulation and testing could make the technologies more comparable and approachable. Uncertainties in the market and policy framework further hamper investment in storage.
  4. The privileged position of system operators: Only system operators can assess the actual bottlenecks and local needs in the electricity grid. As much of the value of individual storage assets lies in the removal of local bottlenecks, system operators have a unique perspective on the real value of and need for storage. However, restrictions on the ownership of storage limits their involvement in storage deployment.

The study provides recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders to engage in energy storage deployment, ensuring it is aligned with wider system needs.

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Scenarios for deployment of hydrogen in meeting carbon budgets

This report describes two scenarios for the use of hydrogen across the UK energy sector to 2050. E4tech developed the scenarios for the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) to help them advise the UK government on policy options for decarbonisation. The scenarios consider the technology developments, infrastructure requirements, business model needs and energy systems implications of conversion to hydrogen, and were informed by modelling by UCL using the UKTM energy systems model, and Kiwa Gastec’s practical experience in hydrogen projects.

In the Critical Path scenario, hydrogen makes a significant contribution to decarbonisation in 2050 but is not dominant, while in Full Contribution scenario hydrogen makes a central contribution to meeting 2050 targets, including through conversion of the natural gas grid to 100% hydrogen. The report concludes that hydrogen could help the UK decarbonise by 2050, but would require strong support, starting now. The modelling also highlights areas for consideration in developing strategies for hydrogen roll-out, and actions that are required in both the short and medium term to support the two scenarios.

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Liquid air on the European highway

E4tech were closely involved in the analysis underlying this report, which analyses the economic and environmental impact of zero-emission transport refrigeration. The report outlines the extensive use of transport refrigeration in today’s society, and the pollution that these vehicles cause, proposing liquid air-fuelled transport refrigeration units as a preferable alternative. The costs, environmental benefits and infrastructure impacts of using liquid air transport refrigeration units are modelled in detail.

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