E4tech is active across a range of energy topics from resource availability to energy use. Much of the work we do concerns the energy system as a whole, often linking our main themes of Vehicles, Fuels & Chemicals, and Heat & Power. Our Vehicles work is centred on the vehicle and its powertrain technology, but can also include, for example, infrastructure and fuelling. Fuels & Chemicals considers the energy carriers themselves, from resource extraction to end use. Heat & Power focuses on these energy sectors, their conversion technologies and surrounding environment. To allow us to address these broad topics coherently, we are organised into sectors.
Energy systems are changing. Previously well-segregated markets are starting to overlap, and unexpected business models emerging. Energy storage is an essential component of these evolving systems. We can assess the system impacts of emerging sustainable energy technologies and evaluate novel energy storage. We work across the spectrum of potential applications and storage technologies, from grid support to electric vehicles, from large scale to portable devices, and from flywheels to hydrogen. Leading car manufacturers, oil majors and investors have come to us for technology evaluation, due diligence support, strategy development, and policy advice.
Innovation is central to the energy sector. New technologies are constantly being developed and competing for a place in our energy systems. We advise governments on how best to stimulate innovation and growth, investors on where to invest in early stage companies, and technology developers on target markets based on our understanding of emerging energy technologies, many still in the laboratory or early in demonstration and commercialisation. We have particularly deep knowledge in our main focus areas: novel types of biofuels, innovative energy storage, or hydrogen production from solar energy and waste. But our strong team background in engineering, physical and biological sciences coupled with experience in technology assessment means we can work much more broadly – for example we have assessed the prospects for third generation photovoltaics, energy harvesting, and even nuclear fusion.
Policy has an enormous influence on whether new technologies succeed. We understand how energy systems operate, where market failures mean that policy interventions are needed, and the sort of policies that may help. We help companies, governments, NGOs and industry groups to assess available policy options, how their costs and impacts compare, and what strategic risks may lie ahead.
- Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Opportunities for Growth – A Roadmap for the UK
- Policies for Storing Renewable Energy – A scoping study of policy considerations for energy storage (RE-STORAGE)
- Securing the supply chain for wind and solar energy (RE-SUPPLY)
- What policies are effective at reducing carbon emissions from surface passenger transport?
Transport faces significant challenges to lower both carbon and pollutant emissions. Long-established propulsion systems and fuels are facing major change, creating risks and opportunities for our clients. In this uncertain environment, companies, investors and governments clients ask us to inform decisions and tackle market failures by working closely with them as a trusted advisor. E4tech offers informed, independent and insightful strategic advice, allowing them to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate risks. Our expertise in low carbon vehicles and adjacent energy supply domains stretches from fuel feedstocks to vehicle end of life. The services our clients often ask us to provide include strategic positioning, business planning, technology appraisals, market assessments and techno-economic analysis.
The biofuels sector is complex and contentious. E4tech’s highly skilled and experienced staff have a deep understanding of current and novel bioenergy technologies and related feedstocks, allowing us to identify and clarify issues, and understand the market segments in which bioenergy can be used. We work on the major challenges facing biofuels stakeholders across the entire value chain internationally. We understand policy and sustainability issues and how they can affect bioenergy uptake in different markets. Our work in biochemicals builds on our biofuels insights, allowing us to analyse sustainability issues and understand markets.
Biomass from agriculture, forestry and wastes could contribute significantly to future energy supplies and emissions reductions. However, this relies on development of sustainable feedstock supplies, reliable logistics and viable conversion technologies. E4tech’s work in Biomass Systems focuses on Biomass Heat, Power and Systems Modelling, alongside our work on Biofuels and Bio-based Chemicals. We work with both private and public-sector clients to accelerate the sustainable development of the biomass sector, identifying key risks and opportunities. E4tech has carried out a wide range of international assignments in Biomass Systems, assisting our clients in answering questions on biomass resources (assessing where supplies can be found, at what price, evaluating their environmental sustainability and the volumes available with competing uses); conversion technologies (reviewing options and their development status, analysing techno-economics, conducting due diligence for investors, along with market and policy assessments); and the future direction of the sector (developing growth strategies for companies, identifying key pathways using system optimisation modelling, creating multi-stakeholder roadmaps and regional action plans). Our clients value E4tech’s bespoke approach to addressing their needs, and our ability to generate new ideas and challenge assumptions. E4tech’s years of experience, existing datasets and expertise across the energy system help clients to develop the most appropriate business, investment and policy strategies.
- Review of Technologies for Gasification of Biomass and Wastes
- Bioenergy – a Sustainable and Reliable Energy Source
- Biomass prices in the heat and electricity sectors in the UK
- The potential for bioSNG production in the UK
- Bioenergy potential available to UK transport sector to 2050
- Firewood drying facility in Chile – phase I
Fuel cells have the potential to provide clean and efficient energy solutions in portable electronics, transport and stationary power generation. Different fuel cell technologies and fuel options could address different opportunities in many regions of the world. However, the technology is not yet mature and the competition is strong. Hydrogen could be one of the major clean energy carriers of the future. It may be coupled with renewable energy, used in fuel cells, and used to provide fuel for portable, stationary and transport technologies. However, the resources used to produce hydrogen, the technologies required, and the benefits and complications of using it in a particular situation vary dramatically.
At E4tech we have a deep understanding of the fuel cell sector and of the technologies that go into making a fuel cell system work, in addition to a clear view of competing technologies. Our exceptional network of experts has deep technology and applications expertise, and can provide insight into specific fuel cell issues. We also track movements in the fuel cell industry closely – see our Fuel Cell Industry Review.
We have insights into the technical potential of hydrogen energy, the complexities that surround it and the business and policy frameworks into which it may be introduced. We can provide technology, strategy and policy advice on hydrogen energy at any level.
- Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Opportunities for Growth – A Roadmap for the UK
- Fuel cell market opportunities for emergency power systems up to 100 kW
- Scenarios for deployment of hydrogen in meeting carbon budgets
- Swiss Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Activities: Opportunities, barriers and public support
- The Fuel Cell Industry Review
Industry, policy makers and NGOs are increasingly concerned with the broader environmental impacts of business, beyond just life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Contentious issues include water use and impacts of land use change. E4tech has been at the forefront of methodology and policy development, maintaining an independent, rigorous approach to sustainability assessment. Our work involves the development of carbon, LCA and novel sustainability assessments for products and processes, and explaining the sustainability issues associated with different resources. We help our clients to understand the developing regulatory and business context in which they operate, helping them to develop more sustainable operations or become thought leaders in new and evolving areas related to sustainable practice. Our work supports risk mitigation activities and regulatory compliance.
- Novel low carbon transport fuels and the RTFO: sustainability implications
- Environmental assessment of Braskem’s biobased PE resin – Summary of the life cycle assessment, land-use change and water footprint reports
- Modelling the GHG emissions associated with the indirect land use impacts of biofuels