Cancel Fullscreen

National Energy Research Network


NERN Newsletter

Welcome to the National Energy Research Network newsletter, which is published weekly and aims to provide relevant information to energy researchers. Extra content is always welcome - if you would like something added please contact the editor, Dr Mike Weston. You can view previous NERN newsletters in the archive.

Newsletter 289 - 18/07/14

UKERC Twitter feed

Interesting developments


Jobs and opportunities


Events and Conferences

NERN blog

UKERC Twitter feed

Return to top

Interesting developments

Britain urges deeper EU carbon market reforms than proposed

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 11:08 BST - (9 Reads)

According to reports in Reuters Britain is seeking deeper reforms to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) than those proposed by the European Commission and Germany, favouring cancelling hundreds of millions of carbon permits over launching a tool to regulate market supply.

The European Commission has proposed launching a so-called market stability reserve (MSR) from 2021 to regulate the supply of allowances in the ETS, the bloc’s main weapon to combat climate change. As the only legislative proposal so far among wider recommendations to extend energy and climate goals to 2030, the MSR aims to expedite the shrinking of a surplus of more than two billion permits, which has knocked EU carbon prices to around 6 euros per tonne from more than 30 euros in 2008.

Britain has not formally backed the MSR but has pointed out that the sooner reform takes place, the sooner the ETS can be restored as an effective policy. A spokeswoman for Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has suggested that ‘the MSR can potentially help but it is not the comprehensive change we urgently need to tackle the surplus’. Instead, Britain has indicated it wants to cancel permanently a “significant number” of the surplus permits, without specifying a figure or range.

The spokeswoman said the government is also weighing a separate proposal from Germany to start the MSR in 2017, some four years earlier than proposed by the European Commission. Germany wants the 900 million allowances delayed from sale under the EU’s so-called backloading initiative to be put directly into the reserve, rather than gradually reintroducing them to the market as proposed by the Commission.

For more information please go here.


Germany wins other international competition

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 10:55 BST - (37 Reads)

Germany is the world's most energy efficient country with strong codes on buildings while China is quickly stepping up its own efforts, according to a study ofmajor economies by the Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

In this second edition of the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, they analysed the world’s 16 largest economies, comprising more than 81% of global gross domestic product and about 71% of global electricity consumption. They looked at 31 metrics, divided roughly in half between policies and quantifiable performance, to evaluate how efficiently these economies use energy.

Their results indicate that some countries are significantly outperforming others, but the more important finding is that there are substantial opportunities for improvement in all the economies analysed. The conditions required for a perfect score are currently achievable and in practice somewhere on the globe. For every metric, at least one country (and often several) received full points. However, every country also has serious weaknesses, and the average score was just 50 points.

The council gave Germany the top score as it credited Europe's largest economy for its mandatory codes on residential and commercial buildings as it works to meet a goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020 from 2008 levels.

The study ranked Italy second, pointing to its efficiency in transportation, and ranked the European Union as a whole third. China and France were tied for fourth place, followed by Britain and Japan. The report found that China used less energy per square foot than any other country, even if enforcement of building codes is not always rigorous.

The study found a "clear backward trend" in Australia, where prime minister, Tony Abbott, is sceptical about the science on climate change. On Thursday, Australia abolished a controversial carbon tax. Australia was ranked 10th, with the council praising the country's efforts on building construction and manufacturing but placing it last on energy efficiency in transportation.

The study ranked the United States in 13th place, saying that the world's largest economy has made progress but on a national level still wastes a "tremendous" amount of energy.

For more information please go here.


Offshore accounts

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 10:42 BST - (8 Reads)

Scottish Government announces £2.2 million to cut costs for offshore wind - The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme, a joint industry and government scheme, brings together nine offshore wind developers with over 72% (31GW) of the UK’s licensed capacity.

The project aims to deliver the 10% reduction in time for offshore wind developments in Scottish waters with partners working together to identify technological challenges and prioritising those with the most significant savings potential, before developing innovative solutions.

The OWA will receive £200,000 in 2014/15 and £2,000,000 in 2015/16 by the Scottish Government to -

  • encourage international collaboration between the world’s leading offshore wind developers to address cost reduction challenges in Scottish waters
  • share knowledge on foundations and installations, operations and maintenance, the best wind farm layouts, electrical systems and cable installation
  • support the commercialisation of floating offshore wind turbines for Scottish waters

Carbon Trust awards funding to cut offshore wind costs by up to £100m per year- The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has awarded contracts to three cable manufacturers to help commercialise the development of 66kV offshore wind farm intra-array cables. It is providing funding of £400k (£133k to each cable manufacturer) to accelerate the time to market of the cables for use in the large scale UK Round 3 offshore wind farms. Testing of two of the new cable designs is due to be completed as early as the end of 2015.

The Carbon Trust has calculated that a move to 66kV cables could cut the cost of offshore wind energy by 1.5% which equates to a Round 3 cost of energy saving by up to £100m per year.  Cost saving benefits of 66kV will be achieved through increasing the availability of turbines by optimising the intra array cable layout of offshore wind farms.

The Carbon Trust has awarded funding to the three cable manufacturers to qualify 3 different cost effective cable designs, as well as share the results from the qualification of a fourth cable. These are:

  • JDR: will qualify a 3-core 630mm2, copper conductor, wet design, 66kV cable.
  • Nexans: will qualify a 3-core 630mm2 aluminium conductor, dry design, 66kV cable, as well as share findings from their qualification of a 3-core 630mm2, copper conductor, dry design, 66kV cable.
  • Prysmian: will qualify a 3-core 800mm2, aluminium conductor, 66kV cable.

Crown Estate unlocks further UK wave and tidal current opportunities - The Crown Estate as manager of the UK seabed have recently announced new agreements regarding seabed rights:

  • for six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones, which for the first time will enable locally-based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers.
  • for five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The locations for the demonstration zones and project sites include three off the coast of England, four off the coast of Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and three off the coast of Wales.


The Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) pilot launched.

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 10:30 BST - (5 Reads)


The objectives of the EDR pilot are to examine the viability of EDR in the Capacity Market and to learn lessons for government and stakeholders on the delivery of EDR schemes.Under the pilot, businesses and other organisations which install measures that deliver verifiable reductions in electricity demand will be able to bid for a financial incentive. More efficient motors, air conditioning and lighting are examples of the kinds of measures that could receive support.

At a recent announcement Ed Davey set out the details of the first £10 million Electricity Demand Reduction auction from a £20 million budget for the full pilot. Businesses will compete for funding for projects that reduce electricity demand, where projects would not have happened without the funding. The projects will save businesses money on electricity bills as well as cutting carbon emissions and demand on the National Grid. Expressions of interest open on 29 July.

Electrical efficiency could mean savings equivalent to 9% of total demand by 2030 – reducing the need for new power stations. The Government is testing whether projects that deliver lasting electricity savings at peak times, like replacing old light bulbs with LEDs or improving motors and pumps, could compete with generation, demand side response (DSR) and storage in the UK Capacity Market.

Over 300 organisations as diverse as hospitals, airports and supermarket chains have already come forward to indicate they are considering participating in the auction.

For more information please go here.


Delivering UK Energy Investment

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 10:25 BST - (7 Reads)

The recently published Delivering UK Energy Investment 2014 report outlines the scale of the UK’s energy investment challenge and shows the investment opportunities and government’s progress to date. The report shows that energy projects make up around 60% of the UK’s total infrastructure project pipeline – worth around £200 billion in its entirety. The UK remains one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in renewable energy, according to Ernst and Young, and is the best place in the world to in invest in offshore wind and marine power. Fifteen per cent of Britain’s electricity now comes from renewable sources.

The UK has one of the most secure energy systems in the world – ranked 4th by the US Chamber of Commerce. To further improve energy security and to deal with the problem of tightening electricity margins up to 2018, the Government has announced safeguards to ensure more electricity is available at peak times and to allow mothballed plants to be used if necessary.

The report provides -

  • the first comprehensive assessment from the government of the investment picture and pipeline in the UK energy sector
  • a detailed look ahead at the investment challenge in the years and decades to come
  • a technology breakdown showcasing the progress that government has made to date and the
  • opportunities that exist for further investment in each technology

For more information please go here.


Return to top


This week's reports

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 18 August 2014 11:57 BST - (13 Reads)

Return to top

Jobs and opportunities

Research Associate/Fellow, Energy & Sustainability, University of Nottingham

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 22 August 2014 09:56 BST - (15 Reads)

Applications are invited for the above post within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. This role is linked to the EPSRC-funded project Intelligent MicroGrids with Appropriate Storage for Energy (IMASE), a joint UK-India project working in collaboration with researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. As part of this larger research project, the successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Develop specifications for UK microgrid scenarios through consultation with industrial stakeholders
  • Create analytical models capable of assessing the technical and financial performance of various energy storage technologies for power quality, daily storage, and seasonal storage timescales
  • Assess resource sustainability implications of energy storage technologies from a life cycle perspective
  • Integrate analytical approaches to identify optimal storage technologies that balance technical, financial, and sustainability parameters.

Candidates must have (or be about to obtain) a PhD or equivalent in a relevant area, together with relevant research skills, knowledge, and publication record in the field of energy systems. Some practical experience of energy storage technologies in addition to assessing the technical, financial, and/or environmental implications of energy storage systems is advantageous.

This full time position will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 24 months, available to start immediately. The position will involve travel to India and limited research stays at our partner institution.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 22nd August 2014.


Lead Research Fellow - Electricity Research, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 10 September 2015 09:51 BST - (15 Reads)

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) (a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford) proposes to appoint a lead Research Fellow to guide the expansion of OIES’s electricity research. OIES is currently expanding its programme of research on electricity.

The lead researcher will be expected to guide expansion, commission research papers and seek research funding, they will be expected to work closely with senior research fellows already engaged in electricity research at OIES. The post requires an excellent track record in the social sciences (in economics or a related discipline) with a strong interest in energy issues related, but not limited to, electricity. Applicants will have completed a postgraduate degree or have equivalent experience, and will possess strong analytical and networking skills.

The post requires an excellent track record in the social sciences (in economics or a related discipline) and a strong interest in energy issues related but not limited to electricity.

Applicants will have completed a postgraduate degree or have equivalent experience, and will possess strong analytical and networking skills. 

For further details on OIES electricity research and information on how to apply please contact Kate Teasdale at OIES, 57 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6FA, (tel: 01865 889136, email: to whom all applications should be made, enclosing a letter addressing the criteria, a curriculum vitae and the names of two referees.

For more information please go here. It is intended that the post would be held from 1 November 2014, the closing date for applications is 10th September 2014.


Professor and Director of the Centre for Energy Policy Unit, Strathclyde International Public Policy Institute (SIPPI)

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 31 July 2014 09:40 BST - (18 Reads)

The University of Strathclyde is making a major investment in the Strathclyde International Public Policy Institute, to effect a step change in the level and extent of policy engagement. The focus of the Institute is firmly on the major global challenges that we will face over coming decades.

As part of this initiative, the University is establishing a Centre for Energy Policy to pursue multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange, research, and education in energy policy by drawing on the significant strengths that already exist at Strathclyde. The Department of Economics and the Fraser of Allander Institute, for example, have an extensive portfolio of policy-relevant, externally-funded research and knowledge exchange activity including its successful MSc in Global Energy Management. Significant strengths also exist in risk analyses of energy technologies within Management Science, and legal aspects of energy issues within the Law School (which is part of the Humanities and Social Science faculty at Strathclyde). The extensive expertise in a wide range of energy technologies within our Engineering faculty will form a cornerstone of the Centre, identifying the critical global challenges and future directions with which policy must engage.

The Director of the Centre for Energy Policy is a permanent post at the professorial level. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to high level, multi-disciplinary, policy-relevant energy research and show evidence of being able to: publish in leading refereed journals; attract external funding from prestigious sources; lead a team of researchers based across all of our faculties and be committed to high-level, high-impact and pro-active knowledge exchange. Applicants from any relevant discipline will be considered.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 31st July 2014


Analyst , Delta Energy & Environment, Edinburgh, UK

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 06 August 2014 09:35 BST - (23 Reads)


Based in Edinburgh, Delta-ee is a rapidly growing research and consulting company. They provide our clients with commercial insight on international markets for distributed energy & heat products and services. They are increasingly recognised as the leading provider of independent expertise in our market.

Delta-ee is seeking an Analyst who can play a key role in delivering their consultancy and research services while supporting their future expansion and development. This is a substantial opportunity to:

  • Become an international expert in specific distributed energy sectors and low carbon markets.
  • Advise decision makers on how to exploit opportunities in these markets.
  • Work in a stimulating, supportive and rewarding environment.
  • Take growing levels of responsibility as Delta-ee expands.

The main responsibilities for the role will include:

  • Researching and delivering consultancy assignments and membership-based research services.
  • Building relationships with industry contacts, developing client relationships and contributing to the development of new business.
  • The confidence and initiative to apply a variety of research methods, including face-to-face and telephone discussion with industry experts and other professionals.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 6th August 2014.


Research Associate, School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 12 August 2014 12:00 BST - (13 Reads)

An experienced and motivated researcher is required to work on the Design4Energy EU funded project. Within Design4Energy 17 partners from 11 countries covering all building life cycle stages will develop an innovative Integrated Evolutionary Design Methodology that can allow the stakeholders to predict the current and future energy efficiency of buildings (both at individual level and neighbourhood level) and make better informed decision in optimising the energy performance at building life cycle level, including operation and maintenance.

The successful candidate will contribute to the research activities related to the development of an operation and maintenance decision support tool for improved energy efficiency in buildings and their integration with neighbourhoods.

A first degree and / or Masters in Building Energy, Engineering, ICT or a related field together with knowledge and / or experience in building energy research, ICT for energy efficiency and BIM (Building Information Modelling) is essential. Experience and / or knowledge in the development of decision support tools and understanding Architects' practices during the design stage and the key decisions affecting energy performance are advantageous.

The post is fixed-term for 30 Months commencing 1 October 2014

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 12th August 2014   


Visit the jobs webpage for more opportunities and as ever if you know of any jobs, please let me know.

Return to top


GE GHG ecomagination Innovation Challenge: Energy Efficiency Solutions for Canada's Oil Sands

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 30 September 2014 11:20 BST - (9 Reads)

GE Canada invites the best global minds to take the GHG ecomagination Innovation Challenge. Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, 97% or approximately 168 billion barrels of oil are located in Alberta's oil sands. Interest in the oil sands dates back to the late 1800's, with the first significant production occurring in the 1960's.

The key challenge of oil sands relates to the separation of bitumen (heavy oil that is too thick to flow without heat or dilution) from a mixture of sand, clay and water. Technology has helped oil sands producers overcome this challenge, and today the oil sands produces approximately 1.9 billion barrels of oil each year, which is expected to grow to 3.8 billion barrels by 2022. In recent years, the oil sands industry has come under increasing scrutiny regarding GHG emissions and environmental impact.

This challenge seeks to address two of the biggest opportunities to reduce GHG emissions in Canada's oil sands: higher value use of low grade heat and improved efficiency of steam generation. They will be awarding a total of CAD $1 million in development grants and cash prizes to develop and commercialize proposed solutions and participants will be eligible to become a supplier or contractor to GE on ongoing projects.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 30th September 2014.


Scottish Enterprise: consultancy services Nuclear Supply Chain Phase II

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 29 July 2014 11:27 BST - (11 Reads)

Scottish Enterprise are seeking to identify a suitably qualified and experienced company capable of delivering a three year programme of support and development to Scottish companies to raise awareness of suitable supply chain opportunities and ensure they are in a position to compete for contracts (domestically and internationally) as well as providing linkages to those organisations responsible for procurement activities e.g. Site Licence Companies and Tier 2 contractors. It is anticipated this will be done through delivery of market intelligence, business support and mentoring, brokerage service, technology/knowledge transfer, support for internationalisation.

The total commission value is estimated to be between £232,882 and £332,688, and the project will take place between October 2014 and October 2017.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 29th July 2014.


Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 24 November 2014 11:32 GMT - (16 Reads)

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme will shortly be inviting proposals for its main project proposals call. The official opening of the call is subject to final approval of the programme by the European Commission.

This call aims to help generate vibrant, competitive and sustainable communities by harnessing innovation, expanding the capacity for entrepreneurship and seizing the unique growth initiatives and opportunities of the northern and arctic regions in a resource efficient way. Funding has previously supported projects addressing the following priorities:

  • using innovation to maintain and develop robust and competitive communities;
  • promoting entrepreneurship to realise the potential of the programme area’s competitive advantage;
  • fostering energy-secure communities through promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • protecting, promoting and developing cultural and natural heritage.

Partners may be located in set regions of Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway. To a lesser degree, partners located in EU countries outside the programme area may also receive some funding.

For more information please go here. The call will be announced on 30 September with a deadline of 24 November 2014



New ways of working research programme, District Councils’ Network, GB

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 25 July 2014 11:38 BST - (9 Reads)

The District Councils’ Network invites tenders for its new ways of working research project. This aims to investigate the potential range of new governance and delivery models which could be established from a district council level. The research should explore the likely circumstances and attributes that should be present for new models to flourish and the factors that if present could lead to their failure. In addition, proposals should aim to explore the differing options open to district councils to maximise both operational and strategic outcomes, outline their strengths and weaknesses in differing circumstances, and the factors which contribute to the success of joined-up working in this area.

The investigation should take into account the latest academic research in this field as well as case studies, and it should examine the case for clustering across geographical boundaries, the cost efficiencies of doing so and identify the point when the desired economies of scale are optimised to deliver valued and efficient services. Ideally, proposals should highlight the district offer both in terms of practical delivery scale and the retail offer that districts have in bringing services and agencies together.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 25th July 2014.


Visit the funding webpage for more opportunities and if you hear of any funding opportunities, please let me know.

Return to top

Events and Conferences

International Conference on Ocean Energy

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 06 November 2014 10:04 GMT - (10 Reads)

4-6 November 2014, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada




4th International Workshop on Integration of Solar Power into Power Systems

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 11 November 2014 10:05 GMT - (9 Reads)

10 - 11 November 2014, Berlin, Germany



Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 13 November 2014 10:06 GMT - (42 Reads)

10-13 November 2014, Los Angeles, USA



The 13th International Wind Integration Workshop

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 13 November 2014 10:06 GMT - (12 Reads)

11-13 November 2014, Berlin, Germany



EMEX The Energy Management Exhibition

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 08:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 20 November 2014 10:07 GMT - (12 Reads)

19-20 Nov 2014, London



European Electric Vehicle Congress

Published At: Fri 18 July 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 05 December 2014 10:08 GMT - (15 Reads)

2-5 December 2014, Brussels




Visit the events webpage for more opportunities and if you would like to advertise an event please let me know.

Return to top


I’m afraid that it’s another mini blog from me this week as between closing out the summer school for the year and the continuing summer heat I’ve barely the energy to drag my sticky body out of bed, squeeze into distinctly unprofessional shorts and undertake the baking march to the office. Descending into the tube on days like this is generally unthinkable and recent protests, however justifiable, haven’t made it any more enticing.

Apologies if I’ve left any of you with unpleasant images following the first paragraph. This wasn’t my intention as my main thrust this week was to thank all those who followed the Energy Islands exercise throughout the week of the Summer School and participated in our first live web broadcast from the event. Thanks to the energy and commitment of the attendees the week was a great success and while some of this can be seen in the recording of the final presentation  I don’t think our efforts to emulate the BBC really did it justice. It was an interesting experiment and I think we’ve learned a lot about the process of web broadcasting and should be able to raise our game for next year’s summer school.

It’s definitely our intention to run the summer school again next year although we’ve a lot of work to do before we can commit to dates. In the meantime if you’d be interested in attending, supporting or partnering with us for next year’s event please drop me a line.

Have a good weekend,


Return to top