Energy efficiency research steps up

Just days ago a new project was announced, to deliver new technologies to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, following a £1.65m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Reported in Environmental Journal, researchers from the Universities of Nottingham, Loughborough and Exeter will develop new optical components that can be built into conventional double glazing to brighten daylight levels inside buildings.

The scientists believe this could reduce annual energy consumption from artificial lighting, heating and cooling by over 30 per cent.

Lead researcher Dr Yupeng Wu said: “We’re delighted to receive this grant, which we are using to adopt a holistic approach to developing advanced facade technologies to achieve building energy reduction goals.”

Energys Managing Director Kevin Cox commented:  “We are always interested to hear about new work that seeks to hasten our low carbon transition and deliver better, more efficient buildings in the UK.

“I await the results of this research with interest.”

Environment eclipses price as key energy investment concern

A vital new survey has been released by PwC. The PwC & Energy UK B2B Survey seeks to understand how businesses will manage their energy needs in future years.

Commenting on the survey, Business Green said it showed environmental sustainability has become the top priority for many UK businesses when making energy investment decisions, according to the new research on corporate energy sourcing habits.

A third of respondents cited environmental and sustainability issues as a top priority when drawing up their energy strategy. As such, sustainability emerged as the top ranked issue, beating energy prices which were selected as the top priority by 27 per cent of respondents.

The findings point to significant opportunities for providers that offer their customers a broad range of solutions, including energy efficiency advice, onsite back-up, and renewable generation, according to Steve Jennings, PwC’s UK energy leader.

“While we tend to lay the obligation for change at the door of suppliers, regulators or legislators, it’s important to remember the power that business customers have in this energy transition,” Jennings said.

“By focusing on their procurement and consumption habits, they not only have the capacity to choose more sustainable sources or providers of energy, but to apply pressure on their suppliers to offer energy efficiency solutions and accelerate the low carbon transition.”

Lawrence Slade, CEO of Energy UK, is quoted within the report as saying: “As a country, we need to make energy efficiency a top priority for business and the UK energy industry has a key role in working to achieve this.”

The report notes that 53% of today’s UK business energy strategies include an energy efficiency target.

And finally…

Renews is reporting that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is seeking innovators and entrepreneurs in the smart energy space to compete for a share of £30m in funding.

The Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge fund aims to support industry, academia, public bodies and local communities in developing a smart local energy systems in the UK.

UKRI said such systems will help support solutions that make the best use of both energy efficiency and other technologies.

UKRI Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge director Rob Saunders said: “Smart local energy systems can intelligently link supply, storage and use of power, heat and transport in new ways that dramatically improve efficiency and work better for people.”

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