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Critical that UK remains aligned to European energy market post-Brexit

23/06/2017

The UK must remain as closely aligned as possible to the wider European energy market after it exits the European Union, a leading trade association has warned.

The UK remains closely connected to the EU through a series of interconnectors, highlighted by National Grid as crucial to balancing the country's transmission network. On top of existing connectors to Ireland, France and Germany, future interconnectors are planned for others nations including Norway.

Eurlectic, which represents Europe's power industry, has today issued a stern warning to all parties currently negotiating the terms of the UK's departure from the EU that energy must be a key feature in those discussions.

It's new report, dubbed "Brexit: Maintaining free and fair trade of electricity and gas in Europe", highlights the benefits of the IEM in the cross-border sharing of energy to reduce costs, improve security of supply and more efficently integrate wider deployment of renewable generators.

Read more: www.cleanenergynews.co.uk 

How air conditioning changed the world

26/07/2017

Since the invention of air conditioning, we have been able to control the weather inside, and that has had some far-reaching and unexpected effects.

Ever since our ancestors mastered fired, humans have been able to warm themselves. Cooling down when it's hot has been more challenging.

The eccentric Roman emperor Elagabulus sent slaves to bring snow down from the mountains and pile it in the garden, when the breezes would carry the cooler air inside.

Studies show that it lowers mortality during heat waves. In offices, air conditioning makes us more productive: according to one early study, it made US government typists do 24% more work.

Air conditioning technology is getting cleaner and greener.

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39735802

How beer prices define 'REAL' cost of living

19/07/2017

A report has looked at the cost of living in the world's major cities and re-examined which are the most expensive to live in (and buy a beer) when tax is taken into account.

It therefore took the example of buying a pint of beer in Los Angeles as opposed to the capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town.

A pint may cost $10 in LA but if the local income tax is 50% then one would have to be earning $20 in order to afford it in the first place.

Anyone who has ever had to buy a beer will no doubt be unsurprised by these findings.

Read more; http://thedrinksbusiness.com

Overheating

21/06/2017

Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature is vital to ensuring our general wellbeing and productivity. With heatwaves expected to occur in most summers by the 2050s, we face significant risks to our health and comfort.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) 2017 hightlighted the future risks of overheating in hospitals, care homes, schools and offices.

Read more:www.arc-network.org.uk

The coolest packaging - chilled and frozen food

14/06/2017

Research shows that the frozen food generates 47% less food waste compared to ambient and chilled food consumed in the home. It also found that households who include more frozen foods in their weekly meal planning could save around £250 per year.

The BFFF's Frozen Food Report II, released last year, said the value of frozen food sold in the UK was in excess of £8bn.

According to the Chilled Food Association, The UK's chilled prepared food market continues to grow year on year and reached £11.7bn in 2016.

Read more: http://packaging news.co.uk

'Spectacular' drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost

07/06/2017

Falling solar and wind priceshave led to new power deals across the world despite nvestment in renewables falling.

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a marketedly lower cost, according to new global data-although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.

New solar power provided the biggest boost - half of all new capacity - followed by wind power at a third and hydropower at 15%. It is the first year that the new solar capacity added has been greater than any electricity-producing technology.

"A global energy transition is well under way, with record new additions of installed renewable energy capacity, rapidly falling costs and the decoupling of economic growth and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for the third year running," said Arthourous Zervos, chair of REN21.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/06

Did BA system overheat in the warm weather?

01/06/2017

Poor maintenance and recent warm weather may have triggered the disastrous Bank Holiday meltdown in the British Airways computer system.

As a result, some 75,000 people had their flights cancelled and many more suffered long delays.

The company faces a compensation and refund bill that could reach £150 million.

Spanish chief executive Alex Cruz has blamed a power surge at a Heathrow data centre - essentially an air-conditioned warehouse holding banks of computers - for the collapse of the IT system on Saturday morning.

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4556640

UK manufacturing records fastest growth for for three years, figures show

26/05/2017

April data records strong demand at home and abroad that will calm concerns about a Brexit slump in the economy.

Britain's factories enjoyed their fastest growth for three years last month on the back of strong demand at home and abroad, according to a survey that will temper worries about a Brexit-driven economic slowdown this year.

The manufacturing sector, which makes up about a tenth of the UK economy, enjoyed the strongest pick-ip in new work since the start of 2014 and smashed expectations in April. Firms also took on new workers at a faster pace and ramped up production.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business

Tesco has announced it will run 100 per cent on renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland this year

17/05/2017

It said in the past 10 years it had spent more than £700m in energy efficiency, reducing its carbon emissions by 41 per cent and also cutting its electricity bill by £200m a year.

In addition to buying green electricity, Tesco also plan to generate its own.

In its statement, Tesco said: " As a food retailer, our supply chain and long-term business success depend on the natural environment."

This will challenge their competitors to follow, resulting in huge demand for renewable energy together with technical advances in the market. It is very exciting times and great news for the environment.

Read more: www.independent.co.uk

A Danish brewery has made a beer using urine from a music festival

10/05/2017

A Danish brewery has made a new beer using barley fertilised with 50,000 litres of urine from a music festival.

Norrebro Bryghus says the final product won't contain any human waste.

A machine that turns urine into beer actually exists.

The contraption, developed by a team of scientists at a Belgian university, turns human waste into drinkable water and fertilzer using solar energy.

"We call it from sewer to brewer" said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39817245

Cooling fails 66% of data centres

04/05/2017

UK: With 39% of data centre outages said to be caused by thermal issues, a new survey claims that 66% of installed cooling equipment is not actually delivering active cooling benefits.

Nottingham-based thermal risk experts EkkoSense claims that it's survey of 128 UK data centre halls and over 16,500 racks is the largest and most accurate survey ever conducted into data centre cooling.

Based on the survey results, EkkoSense maintains that UK data centres collectively achieve poor levels of cooling utilisation with an average 66% of installed cooling equipment not actually delivering any active cooling benefits,

Given that UK data centre operators continue to invest significantly in expensive cooling equipment, EkkoSense suggests that the roots cause of poot thermal compliance across data centres in not actually the lack of cooling capacity but the continued poor management of airflow and a failure to actively monitor and report rack temperatures.

Read more: www.coolingpost.com

The UK's construction sector grew by 38% in the first quarter of 2017

19/04/2017

Constrruction is one of 12 industrial sectors tracked by the quarterly Creditsafe Watchdog Report.

The latest report shows that total sales across the construction industry reached just over £380bn in Q1 2017, an increase of 38% from Q4 2016 where total sales stood a little over £275bn.

The report also says that more than 16,000 new companies were established in the sector between January and March 2017. This resulted in a 1% rise in employment numbers, with total jobs across the sector reaching 863,776.

UK clean energy projects receive £24m to keep towns warm

10/04/2017

New government funding to help develop clean and efficient heating systems has been awarded to 13 local authorities across England.

The £24 million is speread across projects from Sheffield to Somers Town, which will soon help warm homes and businesses with low-carbon energy.

This is the first round of funding froma £320 million pot set aside to support heat networks, which have been dubbed 'central heating for cities' and have the potential to reduce heating costs in some cases by more than 30%.

Read more: www.bioenergy-news.com

Air Source Heat Pump Demand to Exceed $2 Billion in 2021

29/03/2017

Demand for air source heat pumps is forecast to increase 2.5 percent per year through 2021 to $2.1 billion. Air source heat pumps comprise a significant amount of total heat pump demand, largely due to the easier installation requirements and lower initial costs than geothermal heat pumps. Air source heat pumps also compete more directly with other HVAC equipment and are a viable heating and cooling option in most buildings.

Read more: www.achrnews.com

94% of world's 19,000+ breweries are craft, says new survey from The Brewers Journal and Alltech

22/03/2017

U.S. leads the world in number of craft breweries: 4,750

The U.K. has the most breweries per capita: 25 per million people

According to a new survey released by Alltech and The Brewers Journal, the number of breweries worldwide has surpassed 19,000, representing 209 countries and territories surveyed. Some 1,732, or 94%, of these breweries can be defined as craft beer producers. For the purpose of the survey, a craft brewery is defined as having fewer than 30 staff or producing less than 5,000 hectolitres per year or more than 50% of the brewery is privately owned.

Read more: www.newfoodmagazine.com

The risks of cooling without a Blast Chiller

15/03/2017

In commercial kitchens, there is a need to cool down cooked food quickly in order to safely store it for use at a later date. It used to be thought that chilling it down to room temperature, followed be storage in a fridge was sufficient for most food applications. However we now know that the temperature of foods needs to be reduced in a much more controlled manner. The only safe way to comply with the food safety regulations governing the chilling and freezing of cooked food is to use a blast chiller or blast freezer.

Reasons why not to use a standard fridge are:

1. A traditional fridge doesn't chill the food quick enough

2. Your food will be more open to germs and bacteria

3. The food quality will suffer

4. The refrigeration system will be overworked

5. Other food in the fridge will be endangered 

Renewable Energy To Solve 2030 Emission Reduction Targets

02/03/2017

The International Renewable Energy Agency has revealed that increasing renewables to 36 percent of the global energy mix by 2030 would generate about half the emissions reductions needed to prevent global warming rising above 2 degrees celsius.

Following the UN Climate Change Summit in Paris last year, ambitious targets were set by the international community in efforts to combat climate change on a global scale.

At a meeting in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) revealed that increasing wind and solar power sources to 36 percent would bring the goal of reducing greenhouse gases significantly closer.

Read more: www.renewableenergyworld.com

CPA predicts slowing growth this year

16/02/2017

Growth in the construction market is expected to slow down from the middle of this year as new contracts tail off amidst post-referendum uncertainty and cost rises, the CPA has predicted.

Overall, it predicts construction output will grow by 0.8% this year, then dip slightly to 0.7% in 2018 before rebounding to 2.2% in 2019.

But the forecast points to widespread variation across the industry.

Growth to 2019 is expected to be primarily driven by a 28% increase in infrastructure activity on the back of big ticket projects like HS2 and Hinckley Point C nuclear power plant.

Expansion will also be buoyed by a steady 2% per annum increase in private house building over the next three years to 2019, according to the CPA.

Read more: http://building.co.uk

Britain is embracing the brave new world of free trade

19/01/2017

When Britain voted to leave the European Union, it was not symptom of insularity, nor a call for protectionism. Rather, it represented a desire to return to our roots as a global nation, a small island with a mighty economy, selling our goods from Los Angeles to Lahore and all points in between.

This is a country brimming with innovation and ambition, and as the Prime Minister set out on Tuesday, it is time for Britain to fully embrace the opportunities of global trade.

Read more: www.telegraph.co.uk/news

Government drops plans to remove solar thermal from RHI

13/01/2017

Following a concerted effort by the Solar Trade Association (STA) the Government has dropped plans to remove solar thermal from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The STA provided clear evidence and galvanized strong stakeholder opposition to the proposals during a consultation launched in March;92% of respondents opposed the changes. The internationally proven technology will now remain in the RHI for domestic systems with no change from the current level of 19.74p/kWh of support over seven years. Applications of solar thermal in industry up to 200kW in size will also continue to be supported.

Read more: www.installeronline.co.uk

 

Green light for Aston Martin St Athan site

21/12/2016

In February 2016, Aston Martin announced that it had chosen St Athan from 20 potential global locations as its second manufacturing facility as part of a £200m investment in new products and facilities.

A recruitment drive this summer began the search for up to 750 new Aston Martin employees who will work at the new facility, a number of whom  have begun their training, building the new DB11 at its Gaydon Headquarters.

In April 2017 Aston Martin will gain access to the three Ministry of Defence 'Super Hangars' that will house the new manufacturing facility.

Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, said: "Aston Martin choosing Wales sends a clear message to leading global companies around the world that Wales is open for business"

Read more: www.themanufacturer.com

CBI manufacturing:orders hit 20-month high

16/12/2016

The CBI's industrial trends survey paints a better than expected picture of the UK manufacturing sector in December.

The orders balance was 0, as 21% of businesses reported orders were above normal and 21% said they were below. That was better than the -5% predicted by economists, and the highest level in 20 months.

Growth in output was the strongest since mid-2014, the business lobby group said. Production fell in just four out of 18 sectors.

Read more:https://www.theguardian.com/business

What Donald Trump's victory means for post-Brexit Britain

16/11/2016

There is a wider point about what President Trump will do to the American economy as a whole - Still the largest in the world, and which represents more than a quarter of all the economic activity on the planet.

We export north of £30bn worth of goods and services to the US, a little ahead of what we sell to Germany and about four times what the UK sends to China. It is a market that matters, however we get access to it.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk

How the Great British Bake Off changed Britain

27/10/2016

Back in business

Britain is, quite literally, baking it's way out of recession. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of independent bakeries increased by five percent between 2011 and 2012. Simple Business Insurance received 2,000 quote requests from cake entrepreneurs last year: an increase of 325 per cent since Bake Off began.

read more; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodand drink

Number of breweries rises as craft beer shows no signs of going flat

20/10/2016

The number of UK breweries has risen by 8% to around 1,700 over the past year as the surge in popularity of craft beers continues, research shows.

The environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, said: "Our food and drink is renowned the world over and for most of us there's nothing more quintessentially British than enjoying a pulled pint of ale in a classic English pub.

"Thanks to the popularity of our pint we're now seeing a record number of microbreweries opening up across the country, bringing quality beer to communities across the nation and creating countless jobs and opportunities for our economy."

Read more: https://www.the guardian.com/business

UN moves to ban 'fastest growing' greenhouse gases

13/10/2016

Cooling chemicals that play a key role in refrigeration and air conditioning are likely to be rapidly phased out if delegates can reach agreement in Rwanda this week.

Around 150 countries are meeting in Kigali to try and agree a speedy ban on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases.

HFCs were introduced to limit damage to the ozone layer, but cause much greater levels of global warming than CO2.

Found in hairsprays, refrigeration and air conditioning, CFCs were ultimately replaced by factory-made hydrofluorocarbons, which essentially do the same job but without the damage to the Earth's protective layer.

There is also a hope that newer coolants will also spark more efficient cooling devices.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science

UK Forecast to Miss Renewable Heating Target

27/09/2016

A report published by the UK Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) forecasts that "on its current course" the UK will fail to achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets."

The targets in question are those set through the European Union's 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, stipulating that by 2020 the UK achieves and overarching 15 percent renewable energy (RE) in total energy consumption via RE providing 30 percent of electricity, 12 percent of heat, and 10 percent of transport fuels.

In mainland Europe, about 89 percent of all renewable heating is bioenergy-based; but the UK Government expects 80 percent of heating through electricity. This requirement would place considerable new demands on the electricity grid, and incur huge costs in terms of transitioning to appropriate technologies and systems.

Read more:www.renewableenergyworld.com

Can British product manufacturers benefit from Brexit

21/09/2016

Since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the price of imported products is starting to rise: according to experts, construction costs could increase by up to 12%. However, as imports are becoming less competitive, Purplex Marketing's Andrew Scott argues that British manufacturers could benefit.

British-manufactured products often achieve a higher grade; thus, they are more expensive than what the local construction market are willing to pay. According to a recent Barclays study, the 'Made in Britain' label commands premium overseas rates.

Can local manufacturers benefit?

Purplex predicts that, as the cost gaps between imports and exports begin to close, the UK construction market will start to utilise the local manufacturing sector. Through effective branding and positioning, building product companies will be able to acquire more market share.

Whilst many British building product manufacturers will continue to import raw materials and components, Andrew believes that, the industry will see more companies bringing more stages of their production back to the UK, and sourcing their materials more locally.

Read more: http://www.buildingtalk.com

Solar just made more than coal in the UK for the first month ever

01/09/2016

Solar generated more electricity than coal in the UK for the first month on record in May.

Solar generated around 1,336 gigawatt hours (GEh) of electricity in May, 50 per cent more than the 893GWh generated by coal, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. Carbon brief  had previously said that solar power beat two "largely symbolic" milestones in May when it beat coal for the first day on April 9 and for the first week on May 3.

The increase in solar-powered electricity comes as the amount of coal in the national grid fell to zero several times in May, thought to be the first time this has happened for more than 100 years.

Solar made up 6 per cent of the UK's electricity in May 2016.

Read more; http://www.independent.co.uk/news

British beer sales up 31 million pints in Q2"

11/08/2016

Buoyant British beer sales in Q2 shows signs of reversing a long period of decline, with sales up 1.5 per cent, it has been announced today. The rise means Britons enjoyed 31 million extra pints from April to June, compared with the same period in 2015. The figures are published in the British Beer & Pub Associations Quarterly Beer Barometer.

Buoyant off-trade sales during the European Football Championships were a big source of the boost, with sales rising by 4.8 per cent. On-Trade sales (pubs, bars and restaurants) fared less well, slipping by 1.9 per cent, although this was one of the lowest Q2 drops for the on-trade in recent years.

Increased confidence in the sector has been accompanied by greater investment and campaigns, such as 'There's a beer for That', which promotes the beer category as a whole, with widespread backing throughout the industry, through 'Britain's beer Alliance'.

Read more:http://craftbeerworld.co.uk/british-beer-sales-31-million-pints-q2-49726

CIBSE has published new guidance on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration

27/07/2016

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published new guidance.

The new edition is bigger and includes revision on noise and vibration control, and new legislation.

The CIBSE Guide B was last updated in 2005 and is one of the organisation's main publications. The guide provides practical help for designing HVAC systems.

Chair of the Guide B Steering Committee, Roger Hitchin said:

"We are delighted to be able to release this comprehensive update to Guide B, which has required years of stringent work as one of CIBSE's most important guides to one of it's core areas of expertise.

"The inclusion of Part 0 to the new Guide has been driven by changes we have seen in the industry, which has seen more and more engineers join building services from other disciplines or more general engineering degrees. The intention is to make this transition easier and to make their future work more effective by helping them to understand the issues created by different contexts, and their relevance to HVAC design" 

Read more: http://www.acrjournal.co.uk

Leave vote makes UK's transition to clean energy harder, says experts

29/06/2016

Analyst say Brexit will create uncertainty for energy sector, which could hit 20bn investment a year needed to replace ageing, dirty power plants.

The UK's challenge to build a clean, secure and affordable energy system has become significantly harder amid the political and economic turmoil following the nation's vote to leave the European Union.

Higher customer bills and delayed or cancelled projects are expected by experts, the most pessimistic of whom warn of the lights going out. The optimists argue that the global rush towards clean energy and strong domestic UK climate change targets can keep the transition to clean, green energy moving forward.

Prof Rob Gross, at Imperial College London, said one thing was certain:"What seems incontrovertible is that in the green arena, as in so many parts of the economy which was exposed to external trade, victory for Leave creates uncertainty, risks instability, weakens the UK's negotiating position and, at least in the short term discourages investment."

Read more; http://wwwtheguardian.com/enviroment

It's Brexit: UK votes to leave EU in historic decision

24/06/2016

Food and drink manufacturers are coming to terms with the decision to leave the EU, after voters decided decisively in favour of Brexit, ending the nation's 43 year membership to the union.

More than 30M voted in yesterday's historic EU referendum, with 51.9% voting to leave the union and 48.1% opting to remain. The 72% turnout was the highest in a national poll sine 1992. 17.4M people voted in favour of Brexit.

"It's inevitable in the light of those results that the majority of FDF members will regard this as disappointing result for the food and drink industry.

"Now, FDF will work on behalf of our members and all across our industry to find a way through this very challenging period that we face.

"We'll focus on working with the government to understand what this means for trading, market access and regulation to secure the best outcome for British food and drink manufacturing businesses and their customers."

Read more:http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk

Workplace Air Conditioning

09/06/2016

A new survey by the Office of National Statistics - www.statistiscs.go.uk reveals that a massive 92% of office workers waste up to an hours a day due to overheated offices - costing British employers a combined £19.3 million in lost productivity throughout the summer months.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis, conducted a unique experiment into workers productivity in overheated offices, the heat causes concentration to falter, the mistakes we make multiply and our problem solving ability nosedives.

"If we are too hot, our metabolic rate decreases, causing us to slow down mentally and physically. It is remarkable how little time it takes brains to go into meltdown when the temperature is increased," he said. What are your workers' rights if it gets too hott this summer?

The British Safety Council concludes that when people experience temperatures in excess of 24C the propensity for accidents increases and work productivity diminishes.

Read more: http://www.airconditioner.me.uk

UK slips to all-time low in EY renewables ranking

24/05/2016

The UK's attractiveness as a destination for renewable energy investment has reached an all-time low according to analysts at EY.

In a regular EY ranking of the best countries for renewable investment, the UK is now 13th out of 40, behind Germany, France, Canada and Australia.

The US (1), China (2) and India (3) held their positions at the top of the index with the size and scale of renewables activity surpassing other countries. Notwithstanding uncertainty over its Clean Power Plan, The US held its position following the five-year extension of federal tax credits for wind and solar. 

Ambitious targets and low pricing alone will not be enough to promise investment attractiveness, however. The ability of markets to climb, or stay in, the Index will depend on projects being built, and commercial viability enabling the supply of affordable energy in a competitive environment.

Read more http://www.powerengineeringint.com

Strong public support for solar soars to new highs

05/05/2016

The percentage of the public in 'strong support' of solar has soared to new highs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change's latest public attitudes tracker.

DECC surveyed more than 2,000 members of the public in late March and asked them a series of questions related to the wider energy market, including the public support for renewables questions asked every other survey.

The latest wave of the survey showed that 44% of those surveyed said they were in 'strong support' of solar as a source of renewable energy, higher than the previous wave. General support for solar also remained high with 84% of respondents indicating their support.

Read more; http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk

What is Geothermal? Geothermal in the UK

13/04/2016

Ambitious targets

The UK has set ambitious targets for renewable energy production: it expects 15% of its energy to come from renewable resources by 2020. In 2010, just 3.3% of its energy came from renewable resources.

Strong potential

Heat makes up 47% of the UK's energy consumption. With almost 80% of people in the UK living in an urban area, it is an ideal location for geothermal heat generation and supply.

The UK has a potential heat output of 100GW of geothermal energy, up to 2.2GW of which could be developed by 2030

This represents about 15% of the UK's 2020 renewable heat target.

Renewable heat incentive

The UK government has acted. In 2011, it introduced the Renewable Heat Initiative, the world's first incentive for renewable heat. Anyone who installs a qualifying renewable heat system will be eligible for the initative.

Job creation

The development of geothermal energy towards 2030 would require an investment of more than UK£3 billion. It would create thousands of jobs in construction, civil engineering, drilling, operation and maintenance, making the UK the global leader in geothermal heat development.

Read more: http://wwwgtenergy.net

Protects starts in February 6% higher than a year ago

30/03/2016

Project starts in February are 6% higher than a year ago, despite overall the value of new work starting on site falling by 23% in the three month period to the end of last month.

Commenting on this month's figures, Allan Wilen, Glenigan's Economics Director, said: " The rise in February starts is encouraging, with the industry beginning to press on with projects delayed by the atrocious weather conditions seen at the turn of the year".

Furthermore the progressive rise in projects securing detailed planning approval over the last year has ensured that the industry has a strengthening pipeline of potential work, especially from the private sector."

Accordingly while the impending vote is likely to dampen project starts in the near term, the second half of 2016 could see sharp rise in activity as private investors press ahead with projects once the issue of EU memberships has been resolves."

Projects starts strengthened across the east and south of the country during February as ground conditions improved. Midlands and Northern English regions are outperforming. The South east saw the sharpest rise in project stats during the month, being 91% up on a year ago, but there were also strong monthly increases in London, The East of England and Yorkshire & the Humber.

Cooling and heating at heart of strategy for Europe's energy future

10/03/2016

The European Commission's groundbreaking strategy to tackle vast use of energy in the cooling and heating sector across the continent.

The strategy includes plans to boost the energy efficiency of buildings, improve linkages between electricity systems and district heating systems, which aims to greatly increase the use  of renewable energy, and encourage reuse of waste heat and cold generated by industry. Long term, Europe wants to decarbonise its building stock by 2050.

It is estimated that industry could reduce it's energy consumption by 4 to 5 per cent by 2030 and 8 to 10 per cent in 2050 just by implementing commercially viable and available solutions.

The share of renewable energies would reach 30 per cent and breakthrough technologies would help industries to decarbonise while making production processes 30 to 50 per cent less energy intensive.

HVAC market value £47.5bn by 2020

15/02/2016

The global HVAC market is predicted to grow 4.34 per cent CAGR from 2016, generating a value of £47.5bn by 2020, according to a new report.

Globally, the demand for HVAC products is mainly driven by factors such by rising  population, revival in the housing markets, and increase in consumer income levels in emerging markets, development of reliable energy resources, growing commercial and industrial units among others.

As is clear from the figures, in 2015, global HVAC market volume was highest for split air conditioners. The high demand is mainly anticipated to come from rising residential developments taking place around the world which prompted consumers to install energy efficient split units in homes, apartments and high/low end buildings, among others.

In terms of value too, Asia-Pacific region is leading the HVAC market followed closely by the Americas.

Read more: http://wwwresearchandmarkets.com

 

Global refrigerant market to reach $15.7 billion by 2018

03/02/2016

 

A new report on the global refrigerants market by Marketsandmarkets forecasts that refrigerant consumption will grow from an estimated $10.5 billion in 2012 to $15.7 billion by 2018.

Global refrigerant demand is anticipated to grow by 5.2% to reach 1.6 million metric tons by 2018. Gains will be fuelled by increasing production of refrigerator and cooling products/equipment, economic growth of developing nations, increasing standard of living, and rising global temperatures.

The market is very mature with a high degree of competition. In this scenario, companies are coming up with new and more environment friendly products.

The report forecast volume and revenue of the global refrigerant market and it's various sub-markets with respect to main regions such as:

Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World

Major countries such as US, China, India, Japan, Germany and UK etc. were analysed.

Read more: www.fridgehub.com

£1bn biomass plant to bring 1,700 jobs to Anglesey

29/01/2016

The large biomass plant and eco park will be built near Holyhead after the company behind it, Orthios, bought the former Anglesey Aluminium site.

The plant will process waste wood to create power, with heat generated used to farm prawns and grow vegetables.

It is expected to generate 299MW of electricity, which is enough to power about 300,000 homes.

The idea is for a biomass power plant generating electricity with spare hear being used to warm indoor ponds for king prawn farming. The UK currently imports king prawns.

Waste from the prawns can be used as fertiliser to grow crops.

Read more; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales

Anger over threat of VAT hike on renewable energy

10/12/2015

The government has shocked the renewable energy industry by proposing a massive hike in VAT on solar panels and wind turbines from next summer.

HMRC blamed the planned increase in VAT from 5-20% on the European commission ruling covering energy saving materials used in the construction trade and the EC decision had been upheld by the court of justice of the EU.

'As countries are racing to secure the new global climate agreement, the UK has just proposed quadrupling VAT on solar installations for people's homes to 20%, while oil heating, coal and gas remains on 5%. The International Energy Agency is in Paris right now calling for an end to fossil fuels subsides just as the Treasury proposes tilting the playing field here away from clean power for British households,"

Critics want to know why some technologies such as insulation, draft-proofing, central heating and biomass boilers will not be affected by the change and yet wind and solar seem to be singled out.

A government spokesman said " The government remains committed to improving UK homes to help tackle fuel poverty and keep energy bills low. Despite the EU's ruling, we will continue to help the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, with the installation of energy saving materials, by retaining the vast majority of the relief on energy saving materials."  

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/

Severe winter weather guidance published by BIFM to support FM professionals with business risk and continuity

03/12/2015

This latest guide covers all aspects of winter maintenance from creating a plan and reducing risk to scheduling interior and exterior maintenance, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and driving safely.

Top tips from BIFM's Winter Maintenance God Practice Guide include:

Understand your duty of care when it comes to making a site safe for staff and customers

Planning and advance preparation to keep facilities as safe as possible during a harsh winter

Ensuring the winter maintenance plan is robust through a recognised health and safety management system such as OHSAS1800

Appointing a senior 'champion' of the winter maintenance plan for top level support

Documenting the winter maintenance plan and service activity, fully investigating accidents, and recording all details

Ensuring the winter maintenance plan is based on real time accurate weather data and agreed action triggers for service

Carrying out detailed bespoke site surveys and specifications within hazardous areas

Reviewing winter maintenance plans and policies on a regular basis: at least bi-annually

Using planned preventative maintenance and condition based monitoring to help with severe weather events

Sharing winter risk plans with the company's broker/insurer

Read more: http://www.bifm.org.uk

The Health benefits of Air Conditioning

18/11/2015

Air conditioning doesn't have the best reputation. You only have to Google something like "health risks air conditioning' to see an awful lot of scare mongering from various sections of the press on the subject, much of it unfounded or at least misinterpreted. 

Air conditioners help respiratory conditions

Asthma is an unpleasant condition to say the least:often uncomfortable, sometimes life-threatening, and unfortunately permanent. Sufferers of asthma and similar respiratory conditions can find their symptoms relived by a well maintained air conditioning system, which regularly removes from the air the kind of contaminants and pollutants that aggravate the condition, from pollen to dust mites.

Consistent temperature is healthy

Many people underestimate the pernicious effect that a too-hot, too cold or frequently fluctuating temperature can have on their health. Being overly warm or cold can quickly use up a person's energy, leaving them chronically fatigued and running down their immune system. An AC system maintains a constant pleasant room temperature which puts the body on an even keel and makes a person better equipped to fight off infection.

Removing fumes and odours is a good thing

A bad smell is unpleasant enough by itself, but it's often also an indicator of a deeper and more serious problem- stale air, fumes, carelessly stored cleaning chemicals. All of these things can have an effect on health if they permeate the air and it is allowed to become stagnant. An efficient AC system will deal with this as a matter of course.

High or low humidity affects health

Much like temperature, relative air humidity is something that should be kept at the "Goldilocks" level - not too high, not too low. An environment with overly high humidity becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and potentially harmful micro-organisms, while excessively low humidity creates dry air that aggravates dry skin conditions and can dry out the sinuses. An AC system keeps humidity steady and within the healthy range.

Read more:http://www.acrjournal.co.uk/

Regulations set to boost global natural refrigerants market

15/10/2015

The market for natural refrigerants is estimated to grow due to the environmental regulations for regulating emissions and for improving energy efficiency, according to a report.

Growth in Europe is attributed to the stringency in environmental legislation that have restricted the use of HFC and HCFC refrigerants and has increased the demand for natural refrigerants.

Europe is also projected to be the fastest-growing region in the market due to the high rate of natural refrigerant adoption by the end users in the region.

Asia-Pacific is the second-largest market for natural refrigerants.

North America has been lagging behind in terms of natural refrigerants but recently proposed legislation and environmental concerns are expected to propel the growth of natural refrigerants in the region.

The natural refrigerants market is projected to register a CAGR of 11.5% between 2015 and 2020 to reach USD 1,419.19 million in 2020 from USD 821.74 million in 2015.

Industrial refrigeration is the major application for the natural refrigerants market and has been estimated to witness a steady growth till 2020. 

Construction activity rebounds as output hits seven-month high

02/10/2015

Construction output hit a seven-month high in September, led be the fastest rise in residential activity for a year.

The purchasing managers' index now stands at 59.9 in September, up from last month's 57.3 and significantly ahead of the long-running average of 54.7.

Septembers growth was the fastest recorded since February 2015.

The residential market was the strongest performing of the three sectors, posting it's fastest growth for 12 x months, while civil engineering saw activity increase for the fifth consecutive month.

"There remains variation across the sector as a whole. residential is still blazing a trail, evidenced by the presence of four house-builders in the current FTSE 100, while commercial and civil engineering are slightly less buoyant.

The firms coping best in this consistently challenging environment are those that continue to diversify away from core UK project work - for example, by developing their support services divisions or securing work in overseas marketing"

According to forecasts from consultancy Leading Edge, construction output will grow by 1.6 per cent in 2015, followed by an increase of 3.3 per cent in 2016.

Read more: http://www.cnplus.co.uk

Renewable energy outstrips coal for the first time in UK electricity mix

25/09/2015

UK electricity from wind rose by 65%, while solar more than doubled.

The high performance of renewable electricity between April and June, the latest period data is available for, was due to both more wind and sun and more turbines and solar panels having been installed, compared to the same period the year before, when renewables contributed 16.4% of electricity.

"The new statistics show that the UK is relying increasingly on dependable renewable sources to keep the country powered up, with onshore and offshore wind playing the leading roles in our clean energy mix," said RenewableUK's chief executive Maria McCaffrey.

The renewable surge was led by solar energy, which more than doubled between the second quarters of 2014 and 2015. Electricity from wind rose by 65%, helped by the expansion of several of several large-scale offshore wind farms, while electricity from biomass rose 26%, mainly due to a switch from coal to wood chips at a unit of Drax power station.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015

Next two years hottest, says Met Office

16/09/2015

The next two years could be the hottest on record globally, says research from the UK's Met Office.

It warns big changes could be under way in the climate system with greenhouse gases increasing the impact of natural trends.

The research shows that a major El Nino event is in play in the Pacific, which is expected to heat the world overall. But it it also reveals that summers in Europe might get cooler for a while as the rest of the globe warms.

Prof Adam Scaife from the Met Office  said: "It's an important turning point in the Earth's climate with so many big changes happening at once"

Two trends affecting weather patterns in the near and medium term are in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino happens when a Pacific current reverses on average every five years or so, bringing downpours where there is drought and drought where there is normally rain. El Nino tends to push world temperatures upwards.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment

Sign the petition to prompt parliamentary feed-in tariff debate

09/09/2015

Solar Power Portal is calling on it's readers to sign a parliamentary petition urging the Department for Energy and Climate Change to revisit feed-in tariff proposals.

The petition requests that DECC urgently review last week's proposals- derided as "absurd" and "hugely damaging" by the industry - and has been started with the aim of prompting a response from the government or the chance of a debate in the House of Commons.

The petition has six months - or until the end of February - and must receive 10,000 signatures for the government to respond and 100,000 for the matter to be considered for debate.

Those figures might sound daunting, but with more than 700,000 households having installed solar in the UK to date are more than achievable. All it would take is for one person from one in seven households with solar installed to take the debate into the Houses of Parliament.

With an estimated 30,000 jobs at risk because of the cuts meeting that target - ambitious as it might seem - should be well within UK solar's reach.

For more info: http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk

Number Of New Microbreweries is Accelerating

09/09/2015

The number of new microbreweries has accelerated in the last year, increasing by 24% from 291 in 2013-2014 to 361, in 2014-2015, according to national accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

The firm adds that the 24% increase in the number of new breweries opening in the last year outstripped the number of new breweries opened in the previous year, when there was an 8% rise, up from 269 in 2012-13.

UHY Hacker Young says that the number of applications to HMRC to launch breweries has nearly trebled in the last five years, up from 101 in 2009-10.

It explains that the rapid rise in the number of new microbreweries over the last five years has been driven by increasing number of start-ups eager to join one of the UK's food and beverage market.

The Government Small Breweries Relief Scheme, introduced in 2002, provides tax relief for brewers producing less than 10.6 million pints of beer a year. 

"The recent success of small brewers across the UK also offers encouragement to budding entrepreneurs and investors".

Read more: http://www.beertoday.co.uk

Construction forecast to grow by 22% in the next four years

26/08/2015

Construction output is forecast to record growth of 4.9 per cent for 2015, with the boost to be driven by a 10 per cent rise in commercial construction.

According to Construction News, forecasts from the Construction Products Association point to output growth of 4.9 per cent this year, followed by an increase of 4.2 per cent in 2016.

Overall, construction output will increase 21.7 per cent by 2019.

Commercial office construction is forecast to rise by 10 per cent this year, followed by 7 per cent in 2016.

Similarly, industrial construction will see output increase 9.1 per cent in 2015 and 6.7 per cent for 2016.

Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis said: "Our forecast growth of 21.7 per cent by 2019 for construction has raised a key risk regarding the lack of skilled labor.

"Employment in the UK construction industry is now 390,000 lower than at its 2008 peak.

"So far, the lack of skilled labor has primarily affected the house building sector across the industry.

" As the wider industry activity picks up, however, this issue is likely to spread across the industry.

"In the short term, it is already putting upward pressure on costs. In the medium term, the forecast growth will not be possible without significant investment in skills," he added. 

Read more: http://www.racplus.com

TTIP: what does the transatlantic trade deal mean for renewable energy?

05/08/2015

Trade partnership between EU and US could remove barriers facing the green energy sector, but experts warn of potential dangers.

In July the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) came a step closer to reality. Formal talks have been ongoing for two years, but trying to create the world's biggest free trade zone is no mean feat. Essentially, if passed, the EU and US will be able to trade without each other's pesky tariffs or regulations getting in the way.

David Cameron is a big advocate, arguing it could add £10bn to the UK economy. Many others, meanwhile, criticise the undemocratic nature of the closed-door talks and sinister influence of powerful lobbyists.

But what would TTIP mean for renewable energy?

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com

 

The EWEA's Joy said: " The ability to trade technology for renewables freely, without the restriction of tariffs, is a fundamental part of nurturing growth in the wind industry in Europe and beyond. loosening restrictions on renewable technologies, which include key components used in generators and wind turbines, can help reduce the cost of wind energy by eliminating duties. It can also unshackle those industry manufacturers and investors who are currently deterred from cross-border ventures by tariffs."

Are air conditioning protocols biased against women? ASHRAE says no (it's down to clothing choice)

05/08/2015

ASHRAE said in a statement: "Keeping building occupants comfortable while minimising energy use is a balancing act for engineers who design HVAC&R systems and buildings. One way they can achieve this balance is through requirements in a standard from an international technical association. ASHRAE's Standard 55, specifies the combination of indoor thermal environmental factors and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to a majority of the occupants within the space.

Dr Olesen pointed out that this study would not be affected by difference in metabolic rates, as the Dutch researchers claim: "In the main studies, where they did the same sedentary work and wore the same type of clothing, there were no differences between the preferred temperature for men and women. So the researchers' finding of a lower metabolic rate for females will not influence the recommended temperatures in the existing standards."

If the new analysis can enable HVAC control specialists to develop protocols that are even more accurately matched to occupant comfort, then the result will be better energy efficiency, and happier occupants - both male and female.

Read more:http://www.raceplus.co/news

UK growth outlook brighter after new construction data

15/07/2015

Britain's economy grew faster than previously thought in the opening months of this year, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics, after it emerged that the construction sector had a better start to 2015 than feared.

The ONS now says construction was not such a big drag on the wider economy in the first quarter of 2015. As a result, economic growth was probably 0.4% rather than the 0.3% previously estimated, barring any changes to estimates for other sectors.

Read more: http//www.theguardian.com/business

Renewables to Beat Fossil Fuels With $3.7 Trillion Solar Boom

01/07/2015

Renewable energy will draw almost two-thirds of the spending on new power plants over the next 25 years, dwarfing spending on fossil fuels, as plunging costs make solar the first choice for consumers and the poorest nations.

Solar power will draw $3.7 trillion in investment through 2040, with a total of $8 trillion going towards clean energy. That's almost double the 4.1 trillion that will be spent on coal, natural gas and nuclear plants.

Read more: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/news/

Renewable Energy Responsible for First Ever Carbon Emissions Stabilization

23/06/2015

For the first time ever, the world's energy consumption has increased without causing an equivalent spike in carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon emissions in 2014 remained at the previous year's levels of 32.3 billion metric tons- a milestone that points to the impact worldwide renewable energy investment is having in the face of a 1.5 percent annual increase in global energy consumption, according to a new report from REN21. The tenth annual Renewables 2015 Global Status Report cites "increased penetration of renewable energy" and improvements in energy efficiency as the chief reasons for the noted emissions stabilization.

Read more: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles

Malta gets solar refrigeration technology

19/06/2015

Bakery in Malta installs solar system, supplied by refrigeration experts, Angelo Aquilina Refrigeration Supplies Ltd. It has been proven to be pivotal in industry due to the high energy savings.

Read more: http://www.racplus.com/news

Discounters and budget chains opening more than five stores per week

17/06/2015

While the big grocers cut back on their expansion plans, budget chains have opened 1,367 stores over the last five years- a growth of 48%-according to high street analysts the Local Data Company.

Read more: http://www.racplus.com/news

Renewable energy firms unveil plans for large solar farms

10/06/2015

Proposals have been submitted to create a solar farm capable of generating up to 5MW east of Sandhutton, near Thirsk.

Read more; http://www.hvnplus.co.uk/news

CBI predicts two year economic growth despite drop in forecast

10/06/2015

Businesses on the ground are seeing a pretty solid recovery. Business investment is making a strong contribution to growth.

Read more at: http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles

How a New Boom in Solar Is Just Beginning

28/05/2015

A new solar industry boom is upon us, and this one is here to stay.

Read more; http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/

Global renewable Energy Employment Surges 18 percent to 7.7 Million

28/05/2015

Ongoing growth in renewable energy investment and deployment is creating jobs worldwide-and lots of them. 

Read more: www://renewableenergyworld.com

Central London office construction at near record level

20/05/2015

Total office space under construction in London has hit 9.5m sq ft with 31 new projects starting in the last six months alone. This is well ahead of the 10-year average of 19, and only just behind the 2007 record of 37.

Read more: http://www.racplus.com/news/central-london-office-construction-at-near-record-level/8683275.article?blocktitle=Latest-news&contentID=2332

NEW HOUSING REGISTRATIONS UP BY 18% IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2015

13/05/2015

New house building figures released by National House Building Council (NHBC) for Q1 2015 show that more than 40,000 new homes were registered in the UK during the first three months of the year, an increase of 18% on the same period last year.

Read more: http://www.hpmmag.com/news/7912

English bubbly booms as UK Vineyards toast production record

13/05/2015

Move over Moet, by-bye Bollinger. Long warm springs prompt another bumper crop of 6.3m bottles as English wine gets a nose for success.

Read more: http://www.the guardian.com/business/2015/may/11/english-bubbly-booms-as-uk-vineyards-toast-production-record

UK House prices rise by 1%, says Nationwide

30/04/2015

The price of an average UK home rose by 1% in April, the biggest increase since early Summer.

See more: http://www.the guardian.com/money/2015/apr/29/uk-house-price-rise-april-nationwide

MANUFACTURE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS REACHES 11 YEAR HIGH

20/04/2015

Record levels of milk production resulted in a 13% rise in the volume of milk used to manufacture dairy products in 2014. A total of 7,018 million litres of milk were used for manufacturing purposes in 2014, the highest seen since 2003.

Read more:http//www.dairyco.org.uk/news-articles/april-2015/manufacture-of-dairy-products-reaches-11-year-high/#.VTUcVfnF8ws

Construction confidence hits nine-year high

08/04/2015

Construction buyers are at their most bullish for more than nine years. And the outlook for business prospects for the next 12 months hit its highest level since February 2006

Read more: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2015/04/02/construction-confidence-hits-nine-year-high/

Solar power could provide up to 4% of the UK's electricity by the end of the decade, the government has said.

26/03/2015

"Solar power will do to energy what mobile phones did for communication and markets"

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32028809

Alstom scores UK biomass double

18/03/2015

French engineering giant Alstom has signed contracts with Danish power plant specialist Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor to supply steam turbines at two biomass projects.

Read more: http://renews.biz/85862/alstom-scores-uk-biomass-double/

New £250,000 renewable energy training voucher scheme launched

18/03/2015

Installation companies throughout the UK can benefit from a new renewable energy training voucher scheme offering up to £500 worth of training each for each installer at a company, up to £5,000.

Read more: http://www.hvpmag.co.uk/news/

Bio' a route to UK energy security

11/03/2015

Bioenergy has the potential to help secure UK energy supplies, mitigate climate change and create significant green growth opportunities if deployed effectively, a report claims.

Read more:http://renews.biz/85491/bio-a-route-to-uk-energy-security/

Majority Of UK Believe The Government Should Give More Support Renewable Energy

11/03/2015

Renewable energy market set to continue to grow. Mintel also forecasts renewable energy generation to show growth over the next five years.With the government remaining comitted to delivering 15 percent of the UK's energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

http://www.solar-uk.net/article/96378-Majority-of-UK-believe-the-government-should-give-more-support-renewable-energy.php

Construction activity grows at fastest rate for four months

04/03/2015

Construction activity rebounded in February following a dip towards the end of 2014, with expansion at its fastest since October 2014. The index for February registered at 60.1 in Fenruary, up from 59.1 in January.

Read more:http://www.racplus.com/news/construction-activity-grows-at-fastest-rate-for-for-months/8679401.article?blocktitle=LATEST-NEWS&contentID=2331

RHI opportunities in a growing sector

25/02/2015

NAPIT is advising installers to take advantage of the industry growth generated through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Predictions are suggesting that the low carbon heating market could treble by 2017. Latest research into the UK residential market for low carbon heating products shows that this market will grow from 30,000 installations in 2014 to 90,000 installations in 2017.

Read more: http://phpionline.co.uk/news/rhi-opportunities-in-a-growing-sector/

VSD market to grow by by 30%

05/02/2015

Global Variable Speed Drives (VSD) market to grow by almost 30 per cent, according to a report from BSRIA.

In 2013 the largest region was Europe with a total sales figure of $304.2 million.

Read more: http://www.racplus.com/new

Bruges to get underground beer pipeline

06/01/2015

In a bid to stop the city's roads being clogged up with beer lorries, Bruges is to re-route its beer underground, through 3km of pipeline capable of carrying 6,000 litres per hour.

See more at: www.independent.co.uk

UK watch: Tracking renewable energy investment trends

06/01/2015

With renewable energy set to be one of the key winners to emerge from the EU's new three-year, 250bn investment plan, 2015 could be a promising year for renewables.

Read more at:  www.renewableenergyfocus.com

Construction employment prospects reach seven-year high

17/12/2014

Employment prospects for the next quarter have reached their highest point since 2007, with construction now the second fastest growing industry in employment terms.

See more at: www.racplus.com

HVACR manufacturers optimistic about 2015 growth

11/12/2014

An ASRAE and AHR Expo survey sent to more than 1,000 HVACR manufacturers worldwide found there is growing optimism for improving business prospects in 2015.

See more at: www.racplus.com

Food & Service Management Sector Doubles Turnover

05/11/2014

The food and service management sector has doubled its turnover since 1993, says a report from the British Hospitality Association. The report shows that as well as doubling in size, in the past 20 years the sector has increasingly broadened its range of services to clients across commerce and communities. The industry employs nearly 132,000 people and generates >4.25 billion in turnover in the UK.

See more at:

www.fm-world.co.uk

Government claims £200M saving for UK Business

04/11/2014

The government claims its campaign to cut red tape emanating from Brussels has saved UK businesses >£200m. Business Minister Matthew Hancock said a third of recommendations put forward by a specially-created taskforce had saved UK firms around £100m a year, preventing further costs of £100m, and one-off savings of £40m.

See more at:

www.prw.com