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Sustainability and energy experts from a range of firms came together to discuss the potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges in renewables deployment

The renewables roundtable: Unlocking the next phase of the clean energy revolution

How can businesses reap the rewards of renewable energy against an ever-changing backdrop? To answer this crucial question, a group of energy and sustainability managers recently convened for an exclusive roundtable discussion in London, hosted by edie and SmartestEnergy.

Mission Possible Workshops report: 8 key sustainable business challenges, and how to solve them

This edie insight report, produced in association with E.ON, showcases the outputs of eight interlinked workshop discussions which saw groups of sustainability and energy professionals solve key challenges that they face on their respective missions to achieve a sustainable future.

Network Rail has written to 150 retail brands that are based in its 20 managed stations to outline collaborative plans to phase-out the single-use plastic items

Network Rail targets plastics, cups and coffee grounds in latest waste drive

Network Rail has unveiled sweeping plans to reduce waste across the country's busiest rail stations, by implementing a ban on plastic cutlery and expanding recycling schemes for disposable cups and waste coffee grounds.

L-R: Jason Shipstone, Head of R&D, Drax Group; Caspar Schoolderman, Director of Engineering, C-Capture Ltd; Andy Koss, CEO Drax Power; Prof Christopher Rayner, Technical Director, C-Capture Ltd; Carl Clayton, Research and Innovation Engineer, Drax Group.

Drax launches Europe's first bioenergy carbon capture project

Energy group Drax has announced today (21 May) that it will lead the first bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project in Europe during a trial of new technology at its north Yorkshire power station.

Sector insight: The state of sustainability 2018

This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business in the UK.

Separate collection for municipal biowaste will become mandatory across the European Union as of 2023 under the EU’s revised waste framework directive

Worries mount over waste incineration as 'renewable energy'

A coalition of green NGOs and industries in the business of recycling, chemicals, forestry and the bio-based economy wrote to policymakers on Thursday (3 May), urging them to prevent incineration of unrecyclable waste from being counted as renewable energy.

The Supply Chain Sustainability Handbook

This handbook outlines eight essential opportunities that businesses can seize upon now to drive supply chain sustainability. Each page of the handbook provides an overview of the opportunity, supplemented by top tips, ‘in action’ case studies and expert comments from businesses that will be represented at edie’s Sustainable Supply Chains 2018 conference in June.

NatWest purchases 100% of its energy from renewable sources

NatWest delivers £3.5bn low-carbon lending in three years

Banking giant NatWest has pledged to deliver of £10bn lending to UK renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by 2020, having provided £3.5bn over the past three years.

More than 78% of the packaging on all Tesco-branded products is recyclable Image: Tesco

Tesco supports deposit return scheme for plastic packaging

Following Theresa May's declaration that all avoidable plastic waste will be eliminated in the next 25 years, UK supermarket retailer Tesco has announced its support for a "cost-effective" deposit return scheme on packaging.

edie Explains: The green office

The purpose of a green office programme is to enable a business to improve the efficiency of its everyday operations by taking practical steps to reduce office resource consumption and implement more sustainable practices that benefit both the organisation and its employees.

Towards a sustainable economy

CISL and its recently formed Rewiring the Economy Inquiry Group published its latest report ‘Towards a sustainable economy’, to identify new business approaches that can drive progress towards the SDGs.

To date, 868 tonnes of coffee has been collected through the initiative to be transformed into biomass pellets

In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds

Striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power.

The Waterside campus will have 100% of its heating and hot water needs served by the new energy centre by using woodchip biomass and gas

In practice: University of Northampton's onsite biomass energy centre

A state-of-the-art new campus at the University of Northampton has embraced a renewable energy solution through a £6.5m energy centre which incorporates woodchip biomass boilers and a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

Drax has previously suggested that the biomass conversion of three of its power plant units will cut 12mtCO2e per year from the power station's operations

Drax eyes battery storage to accompany gas and biomass conversions

UK power station operator Drax plans to complement its ongoing biomass conversions with gas and battery storage options at two coal power units, although new research that wind and solar are a more cost-effective solution has reignited the debate over biomass use.

Stora Enso expects two-thirds of energy consumption at its mills to come from biomass derived from burning wood bark

In practice: Stora Enso's cost-effective move to champion cross laminated timber

A new multi-million-euro investment looks set to transform packaging firm Stora Enso into a renewable materials company and the largest global producer of a low environmental impact timber solution to replace steel and concrete in construction projects.

It’s getting hot in here: how to create warmth without burning fossil fuels

As the UK continues to battle its way to an 80% reduction of its carbon emissions by 2050, a sinking feeling has begun to set in for those who are aware of and involved with decarbonising the UK. Our current infrastructure and policies do not provide the right basis required to transition to a low-carbon economy at speed.

Onsite generation can help businesses save money on energy bills and even generate income by selling surplus energy back into the grid

edie publishes free business guide to onsite energy generation

Organisations and professionals with an interest in producing and consuming energy at a particular location away from the grid now have access to a free, comprehensive 'edie explains' guide which answers all of the key questions surrounding onsite generation.

edie explains: Onsite generation

This edie explains business guide, produced in association with E.ON, provides an in- depth summary of onsite generation, which allows businesses to make and use their own energy at a particular location, rather than buying that energy through the grid.

ETI argues that delivery of energy crops must be balanced with the demand for land use from other agricultural sectors

ETI: UK-grown biomass can support farmers and deliver carbon savings

Planting 1.4m hectares of non-food crops dedicated to the production of bioenergy can deliver "genuine" emissions savings and provide a degree of income security for UK farmers, according to new research from ETI.

The UK is the biggest importer of wood pellets in the European Union (EU), shipping in more than seven million tonnes from the US and Canada in 2015

UK's biomass ambition: Low-cost solution or forest full of loopholes?

A new report has outlined that using waste and biomass for gasification can help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets at a lower cost to the economy, on the same day that research condemned a biomass standard used by Drax, E.ON and DONG as a "forest of loopholes".

Wind energy output peaked at 9.5GW on Wednesday 7 June

Windy weather brings new renewable energy record

Windy weather brought with it a new renewable record on Wednesday lunchtime as output from wind, solar, biomass and hydro peaked at 19.3GW - more than half of all demand.

While poultry litter biomass has received a boost across the country, using ground coffee waste for a similar purpose is expanding outside of London

Coffee grounds and poultry litter proving a viable biomass option in the UK

As innovative waste coffee recycling firm bio-beans expands its collection service across the University of Birmingham, the UK Government has revealed that Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants using poultry litter will receive the highest tariffs under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Building Management System or caretaker: which route to energy savings?

If you listen to manufacturers, Building Management Systems (BMS) are technology's solution to the energy manager's need to reduce wastage in building services. They are often rated as saving up to 30% of energy consumption in heating and cooling for investment purposes and by the company providing the finance. However, they save absolutely nothing unless expert hands manipulate them.

Energy Transitions Commission: Better energy, greater prosperity

The Energy Transitions Commission’s flagship report sets out achievable pathways to limit global warming to well below 2C while stimulating economic development and social progress.

Compost, degrade, recycle: the truth about plastic bags

There is obviously a lot of confusion around the materials plastic shopping bags are made from and the compostability, biodegradability and recyclability of them.

The risks and rewards of brokers

As the non-domestic retail water market opens on April 1, brokers are anticipating a boom in business. edie sister title Utility Week has provided an in-depth guide to the utility broker market as it stands, and considers how it is likely to change after market opening.

SDGs mean business: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 Agenda

This new report published by WWF and ISEAL indicates how businesses can contribute strongly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and unlock new market opportunities by using credible voluntary sustainability standards to transform entire sectors and supply chains.

The UK is the biggest importer of wood pellets in the European Union (EU), shipping in more than seven million tonnes from the US and Canada in 2015

Biomass 'carbon neutrality' debate continues to divide opinion

Using biomass, specifically energy derived from burning wood, as a crux in the UK's effort to transition towards a low-carbon economy has come under scrutiny again, after the former secretary for energy and climate change and his ex-special advisor clashed over its use.

Getting ahead of the curve on energy efficiency

Energy management isn't a matter of life and death - it's the only way we'll save the planet.

10 top tips to drive engagement with your CSR report

What are the key components required to produce a sustainability report which drives engagement on a range of CSR issues among key stakeholders? edie brings you the secrets to sustainability reporting success with this latest top-tips guide for businesses.

Warwickshire's Upton House is now fuelled by two wood-pellet boilers, saving £6,000 a year on energy bills and 55 tonnes of carbon emissions. Photo: National Trust

National Trust champions on-site solutions in renewables revolution

EXCLUSIVE: The National Trust is continuing its march towards self-sufficient energy generation, having produced 12% of its heat from on-site renewable energy sources in 2016 – four years ahead of Britain's national renewable heat targets.

First Mile's chief commercial officer Joe Allen (left) and Caffè Nero's commercial director Matt Spencer (right) are pleased by the success of the ongoing partnership

Caffé Nero reports coffee-waste-to-biofuel success, plans expansion

Italian-style coffee shop chain Caffé Nero is looking to extend an innovative coffee-to-biofuel recycling scheme beyond greater London after a successful partnership with recycling company First Mile and technology firm Bio-Bean.

Birmingham Town Hall. A series of workshops will provide Midlands businesses with specialist expertise about advanced thermal technologies and biological conversion processes

UK businesses to accelerate bioenergy opportunities through EU grant

A European Union (EU) funded project is set to support firms across the West Midlands to reap the economic and environmental benefits from bioenergy and thermal technologies.

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2017: meet the winners!

Welcome to the winners report for the 2017 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Organised by edie, these awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovation, from stakeholder engagement and CSR initiatives to the people making it happen.

The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action

This new report is one of the first key deliverables of the New Plastics Economy initiative.It represents a logical next step to the 2016 report: from rethinking the future of plastics to catalysing action.

While low in emissions intensity, sugary food and drink products are relatively resource-intensive at every stage in the supply chain

Sweet success? How the sugar tax will impact Britain's low-carbon commitments

Many of us will have made a healthy New Year's resolution, often tailored to running off a Christmas dinner or two and reducing the amount of sugar in our diets. In light of the UK's upcoming sugar tax, what impact could a sugar-reduced diet have on the environment and the sustainability of big food retailers?

Bio-bean became the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee into biofuel in 2012

Costa partners with Bio-bean to convert 3,000 tonnes of coffee waste to biofuel

The UK's largest coffee chain Costa has entered into a partnership with biomass recycling firm Bio-bean, which will see 3,000 tonnes of Costa's waste coffee grounds used as biofuel.

The RHI consultation had attracted criticism for proposing to slash tariffs for biomass heat by 45%, which was projected by the Government to lead to a 98% drop in installations

Solar thermal remains part of renewable heat reforms

The Government has today (14 December) set out new proposals for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). All four currently-supported technologies will remain part of the scheme.

The fuel is believed to be the world’s first of its kind produced from forest wood

Alaska Airlines flies first commercial jet powered by forest biomass

Alaska Airline passengers have taken to the skies in a "world-first" commercial flight running on sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals from the Pacific Northwest.

Can we re-develop old power stations for the new world?

Driving home from a ride around some local woods, I passed the now-closed Longannet Power Station on the River Forth. For those not familiar with this particular power station, it was one of Scotland's main electricity generating stations until it was closed down due to restrictions on the burning of coal.

Heat networks can deliver significant carbon savings, but just 2% of the UK's heat is currently supplied by such systems, leaving the nation far behind other European countries

BEIS compromises on renewable heat support, announces new heat network funding

The UK Government is seemingly beginning to take heed of advice to focus on delivering low-carbon heating systems, with two new announcements which could effectively reduce emissions from heating demand in towns and cities and begin to restore investor confidence in the neglected sector.

Drax’s biomass storage domes, which hold 300,000 tonnes of compressed wood pellets between them - enough to power Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool for more than 12 days. Photo: Drax

Britain's biomass generation carries big emissions risk, report claims

The UK's renewable energy industry has hit back at new economic analysis which finds that biomass power could be causing more carbon pollution than burning coal or natural gas, claiming it is "distorting the facts".

An artists' impression of the new Waterside campus, which is expected to be opened in 2018 and will serve more than 15,000 students

University of Northampton goes green with new Waterside campus

Students at the University of Northampton will soon have their heating and hot water generated by a CO2-saving on-site energy centre, incorporating woodchip biomass boilers and a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

The data forms another example of the UK’s ever-changing energy mix, and to summarise the latest trends edie round’s up six notable factors found within the crux of the data

What next for the UK as coal hits all time low but renewables falter?

On Thursday (29 September) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released UK energy statistics for the second quarter of 2016, but with coal and renewables generation both falling, does the Government need to adjust its energy policy?

The energy generated will be used to power the new processing plant and provide heat for the North Terminal

Gatwick to build world's first airport energy-from-waste facility

Gatwick will become the first airport in the world to generate energy from Category 1 waste, when it launches an onsite processing plant in November.

Sustainable energy – what is it and how do we measure it?

Energy is the underlying currency behind everything we do. It's a requirement for all human activity, commercial or otherwise, whether it needs calories, kilowatts or is an embedded component of the goods or raw materials we buy.

More than 30 combined heat and power projects are impacted by the surprise change made in secondary legislation on Renewable Heat Incentive payments

BEIS under fire for sudden withdrawal of renewable heat support

The newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is being urged to reverse a cut to renewable energy subsidy support which was initiated by its governmental predecessor the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Ford hopes that the research project will streamline the production of reduced-weight vehicles which would also lower energy consumption

Ford turns to tequila to explore new bio-materials

Automotive giant Ford Motor Company has announced a new collaborative research approach with the world's biggest tequila producer Jose Cuervo, that will explore the potential of bio-materials made from the by-products of tequila production.

The BREEAM Outstanding rating was given, in large, due to the use of the biomass energy centre

UK's first True Zero Carbon student campus given green light

The UK's first True Zero Carbon accredited student accommodation sites looks set to open later this year, after the University of Hertfordshire secured a BREEAM Outstanding rating for a new £120m campus building.

Do we really need an electricity grid?

Electricity generation is being increasingly localised and a large electricity grid wastes energy in transmission over distance - so do we need a national electricity grid?

Jude Hughes (centre) collects her E&E Award from host Andrew Ryan (far left) and the Energy Institute's Sarah Beacock

Meet the E&E Award-winner: Energy Manager of the Year - Jude Hughes, NIBSC

Over the past seven years in her role as energy manager at NIBSC, Jude Hughes has achieved the following headline figures for this large and energy-intensive government research centre: a 17% reduction in carbon footprint, a 12% reduction in electricity consumption, a 20% reduction in gas consumption, and utilities cost savings amounting to £746,000. Meet the Energy Manager of the Year...

The Government has proposed significant reductions in financial incentives provided through the RHI scheme, which supports growth in the biomass heat industry

Biomass sector urges Decc to 'quickly re-examine' RHI reforms

The biomass industry has called on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to re-examine its proposed reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) set out last month.

Your Starter for 10

A little about me and what I mean by "sustainability"

“I’m using a Biomass Boiler I’m one of the Environmental Good Guys”

Well possibly you're not. If you consider carefully there may be reasons why you are continuing to damage the ecosystem

What have we done to upset HMG?

Is it possible that one of the minor provisions of the latest Budget will fall foul of the 'Law of Unintended Consequences' and actually increase carbon emissions and climate change?

Coca-Cola has trialled its plant-based bottles with Heinz and is currently in discussions with carmaker Ford to see how bioethanol can be used for car interiors

Coca-Cola calls on policymakers to take circular economy 'leap of faith'

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has called on global governments and regulators to ignite a 'cultural shift' towards closed-loop business models - a transition that will only be possible if policymakers take a 'leap of faith' to back the circular economy.

The new plant will use HRS Energy’s innovative combustion, heat recovery and power module technology to produce electricity from biomass

Biomass boost for Hull as sector enters period of RHI uncertainty

A £35m biomass plant is set to provide clean energy to more than 11,000 homes in Hull when it becomes operational next year, using 'best available technology' (BAT).

The proposed reforms of the Renewable Heat Incentive come as the UK remains way behind a self-imposed target of generating 12% renewable heat by 2020

Government proposes major RHI reform with removal of support for solar thermal

Another day, another shock green policy proposal from the UK Government, this time in the form of a consultation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which would see a 98% reduction in the deployment of non-domestic biomass boilers and an end to support for solar water heating systems.

Ignis Biomass intends to roll out four new smaller-scale, standalone CHP systems for major heat users across the region of Caithness

GIB delivers boost to Scottish district heating scheme as it goes up for sale

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced plans to upgrade a district heating scheme in the north of Scotland, providing a major renewables boost to the region of Caithness.

Researchers believe that mimicking the enzymes found in cows would allow renewable energy generation to bypass the extensive costs of pre-treatment

How a cow's digestive system could revolutionise renewable energy

A group of scientists believe that the key to effective biomass conversion lies in the stomachs of cows and elephants, with new research revealing that mimicking the digestive systems of these animals could create a streamlined and cost-effective biomass generator.

Steam billowing from Drax power station, which has converted two of six units to run on biomass

Opening up CfDs 'could save £2bn'

Opening up future contracts for difference (CfD) to a wider array of technologies and reforming the auction process to better reflect their true costs, could save consumers around £2bn, according to research commissioned by Drax.

Former Shell chairman Lord Bearsted gifted the Upton House estate and its extensive art and porcelain collections to the National Trust in 1948. Photo: National Trust

Former home of oil tycoon given green makeover by National Trust

A country house in Warwickshire that was once powered by 25,000 litres of oil every year is now fuelled by two wood-pellet boilers, saving £6,000 a year on energy bills and 55 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The conservation fund aims to protect around six million acres of US forest

World's largest wood pellet producer embarks on sustainable forestry project

US firm Enviva - the world's largest producer of wood pellets - has announced the establishment of a new $5m, 10-year forest conservation project in North Carolina and Virginia.

Will policy changes ignite an energy shortfall in the UK?

The news agenda has been awash with stories about the heightened risk of blackouts this winter. Recent energy policy announcements, which have shaken up support for the renewable sector, have put further pressure on the UK's future capacity margins. Here, Anna Nicols, head of risk management and research at Utilyx, argues that tightening margins could also have an impact on pushing up prices for businesses in the years ahead.


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