As the global economy improves, the sustainability jobs market is growing and we are delighted to be expanding our teams to meet this increased demand for recruitment across; Environment, Corporate Sustainability, Energy Services and Renewable Energy.
Ross Courtney joins the Energy and Building Services Group, utilising his skills acquired across multiple roles whilst running his own consultancy and service provision company for 19 years. Ross brings with him significant experience and market knowledge, with wide experience within; Renewables, Energy Efficiency, Low Carbon products and IT & project management.
Tom Herbert & Ed Goddard join the Environment & Sustainability Group, as part of Allen & York’s graduate trainee scheme and are proving to be invaluable members of this busy team. Their focus is; CR & Sustainability and Environmental Consultancy (incl. EIA, Contaminated Land, Ecology and EMS)
Jack Dawkins & Greg Murphy join our Renewable Energy Group, swelling the ranks of this market leading team. A&Y have developed strong relationships and a reputation for delivery of results for challenging roles with leading; Utilities, Energy Providers and Energy Developers across the UK & Europe, Jack and Greg will be important in enhancing our service delivery across the renewable energy jobs market, focusing specifically on; Onshore & Offshore Wind, Solar & Thermal, BioEnergy and Transmission & Distribution.
Reflecting strong growth within this dynamic marketplace, Allen & York will continue to deliver outstanding technical talent to our partners throughout the UK and internationally.
Paul Gosling, Allen & York’s MD UK & Europe comments; “I’ve really enjoyed working with our new recruits who have already demonstrated the enthusiasm, skills and abilities we expect from A&Y consultants. For the last 21 years our business has been built on the quality of our people and under the guidance of our existing team of experienced consultants I’m confident that these individuals will add to our capacity to deliver world class services.”
Allen & York are a leading international sustainability recruitment consultancy, with offices in UK, Australia & UAE. We source outstanding talent across; Environment, Energy, Health & Safety, Planning & Waste. Current opportunities include;
Energy Manager – Retail
Senior Electrical Engineer – Offshore Wind
Allen & York’s Middle East team take pleasure in supporting a number of small entrepreneurial businesses as well as the large international conglomerates.
One such business making big steps forward in the UAE Green Building industry is Alpin, for whom Allen & York recruited a new Head of Sustainability earlier this year.
More information on the challenges facing such a business have recently been highlighted in local newspaper; The National, in which Alpin highlight the challenges facing green entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
Jourdan Younis left his job in Abu Dhabi two-and-a-half years ago to set up his own company that provides green building consultancy services in the UAE. The 31-year-old from California is the managing director of Masdar-based Alpin. He says the demand for green buildings is growing enough to keep the start-up busy and expand. Mike Pidgeon, Alpin’s Head of Sustainability, and Mr Younis talk about the market in the region.
Allen & York are international sustainability recruiters, with offices in the UAE, Australia and UK. Visit our website for current job opportunities in the middle east.
Renewable energy continues growing its share of new electricity generation in the U.S.
According to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar and wind energy constituted more than half of the new generating capacity in the country for the first half of 2014. Solar and wind energy combined for 1.83 gigawatts (GW) of the total 3.53 GW installed from January to June.
Natural gas constituted much of the remainder of installed capacity with about 1.56 GW. Coal and nuclear energy came to a complete half with zero projects and zero capacity. Last year, coal had two new units during the same time period. Since then, the Obama Administration issued a proposal for U.S. power plants to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent compared to 2005 level. Coal plants account for nearly half of the country’s carbon emissions.
Solar and wind combined for 120 of the 180 projects in the first half of the year. That figure is slightly down from the 137 projects during this period last year. Installed capacity was also higher by this point last year at about 2.16 GW.
Still, natural gas suffered a much larger fall from the 41 units for nearly 4.5 GW during the first six months of 2013.
In 2013, renewable energy projects tripled the amount of new coal, oil and nuclear projects. Natural gas accounted for more than half the installed capacity for all of last year.
Here are a few renewable energy highlights from the first half of the year:
- First Wind’s 14 MW Warren Solar project in Worcester County, MA is online. The power generated is sold to National Grid USA under long-term contract.
- NRG Solar Community I LLC’s 6 MW Community Solar 1 project in Imperial County, CA is online. The power generated is sold to Imperial Irrigation District under a long-term contract.
- Two Dot Wind Farm LLC’s 9.7 MW Two Dot Wind Farm project in Wheatland County, MT is online. The power generated is sold to Northwestern Energy Montana under a long term contract.
While the rest of spent much of the past month watching the World Cup, hoping our fandom would help push the U.S. to a better outcome, one nonprofit was busy ranking the world’s top energy efficiency performers.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has unveiled the top 16 countries in terms of energy efficiency policies and programs. The U.S. finished near the bottom, placing at No. 13. The country scored a 42 out of a possible 100 on its scorecard, which is based on four categories: Buildings, industry, transportation and national effort.
Meanwhile, Germany mirrored its World Cup performance, edging the competition to take home the energy efficiency championship. Here are the full rankings:
ACEEE didn’t just give its country the bad news and bail. The group also provided a few suggestions on how the U.S. can improve its ranking next time.
“There’s really no excuse for the U.S. lagging behind other nations on energy efficiency,” U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) told USA Today regarding the rankings. “There’s bipartisan common ground on this issue in Congress.”
When the idea of high oil prices comes to mind, one quickly recalls the hot months of 2008, when crude prices of nearly $150 a barrel had summer drivers rethinking the cost vs. benefit equation of road trips. But one silver lining of the global financial crisis and economic slowdown was that it brought prices back down below $50 a barrel in November of that same year. And here we are again: Last month, the five-year rolling average price of Brent crude topped $100 a barrel for the first time ever. Worse yet, Credit Suisse energy commodity analyst Jan Stuart doesn’t think another reprieve is in the cards. He calls the current price level “a new normal.”
How did we get back here so quickly and why are prices likely to stay put?
On the demand side, it’s quite simple. Both the global economy as well as global population continue to grow, and along with them demand for fossil fuels. Global oil demand has fallen only two times in the past two decades: the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Global consumption should increase by 1.4 million barrels a day, or 1.5 percent, to a record 92.7 billion a day in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency, which raised its forecast in March as the economic recovery gained momentum.
For its part, supply is not keeping up with demand. While U.S. production has grown substantially thanks to shale drilling, the U.S. is the only major non-OPEC nation posting significant production increases. All-in, last year’s oil consumption grew by 1.4 million barrels a day, while production only increased 560,000 barrels a day, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy.
As has been the case since the start, the main threat to oil supply is geopolitics. Increasing sectarian violence in Iraq, for example, has once again put the 150 billion barrels of proven oil reserves of OPEC’s second-largest producer into question, in the process helping to push the price of Brent to a high of $115.19 on June 19. Back in 2009, expectations were high: New investment by foreign oil companies was going to double Iraq’s output to 5 million barrels a day by 2013 and further increase it to 8 million by 2019. And that, in turn, would account for some 60 percent of OPEC’s overall production increase through decade’s end. Yet we’re nearly halfway through the decade and production is around 3.2 million barrels a day. Brent prices have dipped back below $110, and the current spasm of violence hasn’t reached the oil producing south, but companies including ExxonMobil and BP have begun evacuating employees, and investors are worried that continued violence could render even more modest production forecasts a pipe dream.
Iraq is just one example of many. The wave of political uprising exuberantly (and prematurely) coined the “Arab Spring” has left oil supply problems in its wake nearly everywhere it has rolled through. Protests that began last summer in Libya, which holds Africa’s largest reserves, cut output to around 350,000 barrels a day from the 1.4 million barrels a day the country was producing last year, although the country recently restarted production at its El Sharara field, which will hopefully bring between 300,000 and 340,000 barrels a day back online after a four-month strike by protesters. In South Sudan, fighting between the president and his former deputy has cut output by roughly one-third to around 160,000 barrels a day since December. Conflicts in Syria and Yemen have also cut output. “The instability in the Middle East and North Africa is so fundamental that it’s going to take a very long time for it to become a stable place for the oil industry,” says Stuart. In the meantime, production has fallen by a total of between 3 million and 3.5 million barrels a day since February 2011, according to Credit Suisse.
So let’s get back to this ‘new normal.’ Last month, Credit Suisse raised its forecast for average Brent prices in 2014 and 2015 to $110.64 and $102.50 from $107.03 and $97.50, respectively. And these things do not happen in a vacuum. Every $10 a barrel increase in oil prices reduces real U.S. income growth by as much as 0.4 percent, according to Credit Suisse estimates. “We are worried about the political events in the Middle East,” says James Sweeney, chief economist for Credit Suisse’s investment bank. “A meaningful shock in oil could really disturb a lot of our cyclical outlook.”
Photo: Iraqi laborers work at the Rumaila oil refinery near the city of Basra. (Courtesy of Associated Press)
Source; EnergyNews Live 7 July 2014
An ambitious programme of insulating buildings and producing more energy directly from buildings could save the UK around £12 billion every year until 2050.
That’s the conclusion of a new report published by industry group Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), which represents a number of energy efficiency and technology providers.
The figure would be equivalent to “savings of £189 a year, every year, for every UK citizen”, which was calculated using the Government’s own energy calculator.
The SEA is calling on all major political parties to adopt a renewed approach to energy policy, focusing on “an energy in buildings strategy”, the use of smart technologies in buildings as well as a major infrastructure-based energy refurbishment of the nation’s buildings.
Chief Executive Dave Sowden said: “We have known for a long time that energy measures in buildings are cheaper in the long-run. Now the Government’s own tools and assumptions yield the same answer.
“There is a compelling case here to create a much stronger focus in energy policies on buildings. This will reduce waste, enhance energy security, reduce imported fossil fuels, lower people’s fuel bills and make a huge contribution to the UK economy. It is win/win all round.”
Allen & York are a leading Energy Recruitment Consultancy. Current energy job opportunities include;
Oil prices are soaring again—this time due to uncertainty over the fate of major producers like Russia and Iraq. Expect to pay more at the gas pump and the grocery store in the months ahead, since everything from transportation to manufacturing to our petroleum-intensive agricultural system is a puppet flailing upon the strings of this volatile commodity.
Haven’t we been through this drill before? A crisis—usually in the Middle East—causes oil prices to rise. Inflation increases and economic growth shrinks. At which point, we hear renewed calls for energy independence.
This is the message that I was hearing when I visited Barbados last month. I was surprised to see solar panels and water heaters sprouting from government buildings, hospitals, police stations, bus shelters as well as thousands of gaily colored private homes throughout the Caribbean island. I should not have been surprised. Conventional electricity prices in the Caribbean are more than four times what we pay in the U.S., due in part to high shipping costs for the Venezuelan crude that fuels the region’s power plants.
For Barbadian’s, the cost savings from solar are becoming too obvious to miss. A thermal water heater, which retails for $2,300. U.S., pays for itself in lower electricity bills in less than two years.
It is not just consumers who are noticing what a great deal solar energy is becoming. Industries like the island’s only desalinization plant are installing large photovoltaic arrays to help defray their own electricity costs. Solar advocate and advisor to the Barbados government William Hinds told me that there are already enough private investors who want to produce solar in Barbados, that the country would shift to 100 percent solar in less than ten years, even without government subsidies, if the free market were left to its own devices.
The free market, however, is rarely left to its own devices. Even in Barbados, industries are restricted in the amount of solar energy that they can produce, due to admittedly legitimate concerns about the stability of the power grid. There are real technical challenges in integrating intermittent power sources like wind and solar into the grid, while still maintaining the stability of the system that need to be worked out.
In an address marking the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) World Environment Day in Bridgetown’s Independence Square in June, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart pledged that the island nation would produce 29 percent of its energy from renewables by the end of the next decade.
That goal won’t be hard to reach. Not only is the island blessed by abundant sunshine, but it has year-round trade winds to run wind turbines. The Barbados government is also looking into harnessing the energy of the tides, as well as introducing ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), a technology which employs the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer shallow sea waters to generate electricity. The Barbados government commissioned aGreen Economy Scoping Study, prepared in partnership with UNEP and released last month in Bridgetown, which includes recommendations on how to make the island’s agriculture, fisheries, transportation and energy systems more sustainable.
Barbados is going relatively slowly on its path toward a green economy in order to play it safe. But the U.S. is going even slower. The challenges of integrating wind and solar energy into the grid are often cited by the utility and fossil fuel industries in the U.S. as reasons not to develop fully our renewable energy potential. Are we to believe that a country which sent a man to the moon and created the internet can’t figure out how to integrate alternative power sources into the power grid?
The bottom line is that alternative energies already cost a lot less (when their hidden costs are factored in) than conventionally produced power. That this reality is not yet reflected in the real world price for energy is the fault of a political system which favors a dirty and dangerous technology of the past over the clean energy future which is already here. And here to stay.
A new study reported that in 2016 Uruguay will obtain 33% of its energy from wind power, making it the country with the highest penetration of wind energy in the world. No mean feat considering that 7 years ago had no wind capacity whatsoever. The country has gone from the end 2007: producing 1 MW to the end 2013: producing 59 MW (source: The Wind Power Net, 01/04/2014)
The consulting firm behind a recent report highlighting the surge in Wind Power across the country, SEG Ingeniería, found that if the wind farms that are currently under development become operational in the next two years, Uruguay will be generating 1.2 gigawatts of energy with wind power by the end of 2016.
Denmark, which is currently the world leader in this category, will likely have 28% wind power penetration in the same timeframe, while Portugal’s wind penetration will be around 18%. (source: America Economía, 6/16/2014)
In 2007, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in conjunction with the UNDP and the National Energy Directorate, embarked on a three-year mission to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by implementing large-scale, grid-connected wind energy systems in Uruguay.
Through the Uruguay Wind Energy Programme (UWEP), the GEF allocated $950,000 and co-financed $6.01 million with the UNDP for the development of a system, including wind farms, such as the Caracoles Wind Farm in the Caracoles hills of Uruguay.
Today, as the programme is nearing its completion date, it is possible to see its successes in Uruguay by visiting the Caracoles Wind Farm in Sierra de los Caracoles, where Uruguay’s first-large scale newest generation wind farm was designed, built, and commissioned with support from GEF funds.
Uruguay is a small country, but it has big plans. This can be seen from the officially forecast for installed wind capacity. This year started with 50MW and is set to end with 500MW, an increase of 900%.
In a recent interview, National Director of Energy Ramón Méndez said; “Wind is the most mature technology, has reasonable costs and a clearly important potential in Uruguay.” “The introduction of renewable energy in our country, far from increasing energy prices, as has happened in Europe, has reduced costs. And all this transformation is allowing us to lower our power generation costs by 30%,” (source; Wind Power Monthly, 28/04/2014)
Allen & York are a leading specialist Renewable Energy recruitment consultancy, with global opportunities including many across South America. Current vacancies include;
Project Director EPC
Business Developer PROYECTOS ERNC
Salary: 50k EUR
Please visit our website for more Renewable Energy Jobs
A cheaper and cleaner energy source is something every homeowner and business owner desires, and Norwegian startup GasDecEngine Technology AS (GDE) has developed a product to meet the demand. GDE’s micro-combined heat and power (micro CHP) steam engines provide efficient energy on location with fewer emissions. GDE has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $150,000 by August 3 to combine with a $180,000 government grant to build a market prototype.
The revolutionary design of the micro CHP will allow small businesses and homes to lower their energy costs, as well as their emissions and even enable them to generate a profit from the energy they produce. “We will serve an international market with our two design patents,” said CEO and Cofounder Heiko Beilfuss. “Micro CHPs are perfect substitutes for the millions of boilers Europe replaces each year.”
Rather than piping energy through electrical grids, which lose energy during transference, micro CHPs are placed on location and both create energy and capture their own exhaust to use as a heat source. “Our generators use fossil fuels 30 percent more efficiently than our competitors,” said Beilfuss. “We are the hybrid vehicle – the Toyota Prius – of energy generators.” In addition to creating energy efficiently, micro CHPs also produce excess electricity, which can be sold back to electricity providers in many markets.
The crowdfunding campaign will help build a demo CHP expected to be ready for public presentation by June 2015, and contributors will receive perks. Contributors giving $249 will receive parts needed to build a miniature mechanism of the CHP engine. Those giving $789 will receive three-dimensional and two-dimensional drawings and a license to build their own CHP engine. Those giving $4,479 will be considered an early adopter and receive a complete set of parts to build their own GDE micro-CHP engine and the rights to use the engine however they wish.
Contributors giving $9,200 will receive a fully assembled engine based on the prototype, which has the capacity to three kilowatts of electrical power and 17 kilowatts of heat. Supporters giving $25,000 will receive a copy of the fully functional and tested micro-CHP.
About GasDecEngine Technology AS
GasDecEngine Technology AS (GDE) is a Norwegian startup that develops, creates, and sells micro-combined heat and power (micro CHP) steam engines.The company’s patented technology makes its product at least 30 percent more mechanical efficient than its competitors. Its micro CHPs helps homeowners, businesses, and governments to reduce fuel costs, avoid high-emission technology taxes, and prevent climate change. For more information, visit www.GDETech.no. To contribute to the company’s crowdfunding campaign, visit igg.me/at/gdetech/x.
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Press Contact: Heiko Beilfuss
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Both documents were launched by Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning on June 23, 2014.
SPP, Scotland’s overarching policy framework, will guide how development plans, applications and appeals should be dealt with, while the NPF3 is the national spatial plan that sets out the government’s development priorities.
Experts said there had been little change in NPF3 since it was published in draft form in April last year, other than a closer alignment with SPP. But among the key changes to SPP is a new presumption in favour of sustainable development.
The document states: “Where relevant policies in a development plan are out-of-date or the plan does not contain policies relevant to the proposal, then the presumption in favour of development that contributes to sustainable development will be a significant material consideration.”
The presumption in favour of sustainable development
This will become a “significant material consideration” where development plan policies are out-of-date or not relevant to the proposal. The planning system should “support economically, environmentally and socially sustainable places by enabling development that balances the costs and benefits of a proposal over the longer term,” the document adds.
The final version introduces a policy on shale gas extraction. It says developers should propose a “buffer zone” between sites and communities and local planning authorities should decide whether it is adequate or not.
Prematurity was not mentioned in the draft and clarification was sought by planning lawyers, says Homes for Scotland’s Melville. The final version says that, where a plan is under review, “it may be appropriate in some circumstances to consider whether granting planning permission would prejudice the emerging plan”.
Wind farm separation distances
The draft SPP proposed extending the separation distance between wind farms and communities from 2 kilometres to 2.5 kilometres. The final version has reverted to the current 2 kilometres distance and said the “extent of the area will be determined by the planning authority”.
Blair Melville, head of planning strategy at housebuilding body Homes for Scotland, said he hoped it would have a similar impact to the presumption in favour of sustainable development in England’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
He said: “[The NPPF] was a wake-up call to councils saying: ‘There is a requirement for you to have an up-to-date development plan and a five-year housing land supply’.”
Melville said the short-term effect might be “planning by appeal”, but in the long-term, there would be an “incentive for the planning system to perform better”.
Allen & York are a leading Sustainability Recruitment Consultancy, specialising in Planning positions. Current opportunities include;
Senior/Associate Planner (Policy)
Location: South West
Can an aggressive push to improve the energy efficiency of an entire city neighborhood improve its economic development prospects? Portland State University (PSU) will investigate this question and many more with the help of a new $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The grant will support an ambitious district-wide energy efficiency upgrade in the SoMa (south of Market Street) neighborhood at the south end of downtown Portland. The three-phase project includes the upgrade of PSU’s West Heating Plant, which replaces an old boiler with a highly efficient upgrade. Later this year, experts will install next-generation energy metering software and corresponding meters for 18 Portland State buildings and three private buildings in the SoMa district that surrounds the campus. Finally, a visualization theater— seven 90-inch monitors paired with a high-powered computer—will be installed at Portland State, allowing students, staff, and energy officials the ability to model energy use scenarios for individual buildings and the district as a whole.
“This grant will position Portland State as a leader in energy efficiency research,” said Erin Flynn, associate vice president in PSU’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships. “We’ve always considered our campus a ‘Living Laboratory’ for sustainable practices, but this project pushes boundaries and will provide a model for other dense urban neighborhoods across the country.”
A the project is implemented over the next two years, PSU will strengthen its role as an anchor institution in SoMa, one of the original EcoDistricts designated by the city of Portland in 2010, and build partnerships with energy industry players throughout the region.
“This project investment is a significant win for SoMa and for the ecodistrict concept,” said Bob Naito, a Portland developer, co-chair of the SoMa board of directors, and owner of a building that will receive the upgraded metering system. “We know that having a robust district strategy for energy efficiency can be an attractor for business. This work will allow us to prove that theory while continuing to enhance the livability and sustainability of our neighborhood.”
Portland State has allocated $2.1 million for the project as part of the matching funds required by the EDA.
About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability, and sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum. (www.pdx.edu)