Sep 20, 2016

New energy platform lets consumers ‘power one another’

2 min
‘Disruption’ is a bona fide buzzword in the tech sector — but it could soon be applied to developments in renewable energy which ch...

‘Disruption’ is a bona fide buzzword in the tech sector — but it could soon be applied to developments in renewable energy which challenge traditional utility-consumer energy markets.

The venture capital arm of RWE, Germany’s largest energy producer, recently unveiled ‘shine’, a platform designed to let consumers power their own homes and trade the renewable energy they produce. The Essen-based utilities company worked alongside London’s Market Gravity, a proposition design consultancy, to create the technology.

Shine’s software boasts a home energy management system which allows users to optimise their use of their own solar energy and connect to others for the purpose of sharing, buying and selling green energy generated in their communities. Market Gravity claims shine is one of the first shared solar power energy systems to be launched worldwide. At present, it is only available in Germany, though the company has its eye on a UK launch.

Julia Lynch-Williams, the Managing Director for shine at RWE said: “We’ve have had positive feedback on shine from existing and new customers as well as from industry peers. Our vision is about ‘people powering people’ – helping consumers use more locally-generated renewable energy and this has really been brought to life with this launch.”

Germany is currently the world leader in micro-solar generation, though some industry experts have predicted that the UK will be named Europe’s top solar market by the end of this year.

Heidi O’Leary, Principal Consultant from Market Gravity, led the project for RWE. She said: “shine is such an innovative concept for the energy sector and it was great to be a part of creating one of the first consumer to consumer energy sharing platforms in the market. We took a collaborative approach and worked closely with the RWE team in Germany to understand the challenges and customer frustrations and the insights we derived allowed us to simplify the concept and turn it into a consumer-friendly, appealing offering.

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Jun 23, 2021

HyNet North West and InterGen to build Zero Carbon plant

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Expected to open in the mid-2020s, the partnership could reduce the CO2 emissions from the Runcorn power station by over 150,000 tonnes each year

HyNet North West and InterGen are to create a low carbon power station at the independent power producer's Rocksavage Power plant in Liverpool City region.  

Expected to begin in the mid-2020s, the partnership could reduce the CO2 emissions from the Runcorn power station by over 150,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road every year.

Situated across one of the UK’s largest industrial areas which supports the highest number of manufacturing jobs of any UK region, HyNet North West will bring clean growth to safeguard jobs, and create thousands of new employment opportunities.

Following a commitment of £72 million in funding, HyNet North West will transform the North West into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster, playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the global fight against climate change.

HyNet North West will begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales region from 2025, replacing fossil fuels currently used for electricity generation, industry, heating homes and transportation with clean hydrogen. The project will also capture and lock up carbon which is currently emitted into the atmosphere.

It anticipates that by 2028, Rocksavage will have enough hydrogen produced by HyNet to move towards a 100% net zero power generation power station as the Gas Turbine technology becomes available. 

InterGen’s Rocksavage Plant Manager Dan Fosberg said Rocksavage has been safely generating energy to power the north west for nearly 25 years, but in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, traditional generation needs to adapt.

"HyNet North West will allow us to pivot our operations as we transition to a low-carbon world. The proximity of the Rocksavage Power Plant to the HyNet North West hydrogen network provides us with an exciting and unique opportunity," he said.

As soon as the first stage of the hydrogen network is available at Runcorn, InterGen intends to modify the existing generating plant to consume a blend of hydrogen with natural gas and start to reduce our emissions.

The HyNet North West project milestones mean that Rocksavage could be the first plant in the UK to blend Hydrogen with natural gas, a step forward for the industry in the target for net-zero. Once the gas turbine technology becomes available, it will explore options with HyNet North West to create a zero emissions power station using 100% hydrogen. 

The project will play a big part in supporting Liverpool City Region in its commitment to reach zero carbon by 2040 and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050. 

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Putting the Liverpool City Region at the heart of the Green Industrial Revolution is one of my top priorities. With our existing strengths in green energy, we have the potential to become the UK’s renewable energy coast. 

“I am committed to doubling the number of green jobs in our region and exciting projects like HyNet will be a key part of that. We’re going to lead the way, not only in doing our bit to tackle climate change, but in pioneering new and innovative technology that in turn attracts more jobs and investment to our region.”

David Parkin, HyNet North West Project Director, said HyNet North West will play a big part in tackling climate change regionally. "It will ensure the region remains an attractive location for investment and for companies to grow through the establishment of a clean economy, protection of skilled jobs and creation of thousands of new long-term employment opportunities.

“Our partnership with InterGen at Rocksavage shows just how great an impact HyNet will have on the region – decarbonising homes, workplaces, travel and industry.”

HyNet North West is a low carbon energy project at the forefront of the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future, being developed by a consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Cadent, Essar, Inovyn, Eni, University of Chester, CF Fertilisers and Hanson.

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