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European Commission takes UK to court over VAT on energy-saving products

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.

The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.

In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."

The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.

Stationary fuel cell developer ACAL Energy appoints new CEO

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.

McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.

ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.

After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.

MEMS Power Generation to keep power running at London Uni

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

A major London university contracted MEMS Power Generation to provide temporary power for the continuation of medical research and experiments during maintenance work.

MEMS supplied a total of 4100kVA to six buildings on the university site that house 20 years of experiments that cannot be affected by ongoing site maintenance.

Engineers installed two 800kVA generators, that will work in parallel redundancy, and 2600kg of cabling for total resilience. This was followed by two 1250kVA generators, which will work in parallel to power the site’s main building.

MEMS Power Generation, commented: “The University is renowned for carrying out a vast amount of medical research, so the temporary power we supplied needed to ensure that experiments and testing could carry on as normal during the maintenance period. If power had been lost, potentially 20 yeas of experiments could have been lost.

"Our aim was to ensure that the buildings never lost power for more than 15 minutes on installation of the temporary equipment and on reinstatement of the mains supply.”

Oz energy firm offer $10 000 in grants

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Australia’s biggest energy retailer, Origin, is offering AUS$10 000 in grants to encourage customers to install energy saving devices. The programme is intended to raise awareness of where energy savings can be made at household and business level.

The programme, called Origin Local Savers, is open to households, businesses and community groups in Ballarat, Victoria, with five grants being given out in total.

"We hope that Origin Local Savers will help Ballarat residents become more aware of the simple things that can be done around the office, home or in the community," said Amy Stockfield, Origin Consumer Media and Partnerships Manager.

The grant money can be used to upgrade electrical appliances, install eco-friendly lamps or set up timer switches to reduce the use of standby power.

New CEO at ACAL Energy to raise funds

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK-based ACAL Energy has appointed a new Chief Executive. Greg McCray will lead the hydrogen fuel cell company as it continues fundraising and trialing products in the automotive and stationary power industries.

ACAL is now ready to license its technology - a smaller, more durable fuel cell designed with 80% less platinum to keep costs low.

McCray said: “The clean power sector is on the crest of a new wave of technology innovation. Hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of that wave and commercialising hydrogen power will mean we break our reliance on fossil fuels. The future looks very exciting as auto-makers and power-hungry industries, such as manufacturing, explore hydrogen as an alternative fuel source.”

ACAL has spent eight years developing what it calls a revolutionary approach to fuel cell technology that is ready to progress from trial deployments to licensing to car manufacturers.

McCray joins ACAL from Antenova Ltd, a global wireless components company, which he transformed into a fast-growing antenna business backed by venture capitalists worldwide. This experience will be utilised to mass-market the ACAL fuel cell, via licensing agreements, into the automotive industry.

Energy storage for commercial buildings set to grow $4bn over next decade

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Global revenue for commercial building energy systems will grow from $3.9bn in 2013 to more than $7.5bn in 2022, according to a new report by Pike Research.

Commercial building energy systemThe commercial buildings market is currently the largest source of revenue for stationary energy storage companies, primarily due to a robust UPS industry, which requires an energy storage component. Pike Research says that segment alone is estimated to generate $3.7bn in global sales in 2013.

In addition, there is a relatively healthy market for thermal energy systems, which use thermal mass - either ice or ceramic brick - to store energy for later use in climate control in a building. That market is estimated to be worth $89.6m in 2013.

Finally, an emerging segment of electrical energy storage systems is beginning to be established in some parts of the world.

Cummins India sees 15-20% price rise on new emissions regulations

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Cummins India expects a 15-20% price rise in the cost of its genset engines once new emissions control regulations are introduced.

Cummins generatorCPCB (Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB ) II emissions control regulations apply to genset engines below 800 kVA.  CPCB II was due to be introduced in July 2013, but the CPCB is yet to notify engine manufacturers of the new standards.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 in India, chief financial officer Rajiv Batra said: “So far the CPCB II norms have not been notified and after notification there is a cooling period, which the law stipulates as one year. But there could be a 15-20% price increase in the cost of the engine.”

The company said last year that engines would cost 10-15% higher while gensets would cost 5-7% higher (up to 800 kVA) once CPCB II is implemented.

Enersys and Ioxus partnership to share expertise

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Enersys and Ioxus have entered a joint agreement to develop and market new products incorporating the core experience of both companies. The benefits will combine Enersys’s knowledge of batteries with Ioxus’s expertise in the ultracapacitor market.

The partnership will focus on bringing to market products related to regenerative braking and energy recovery in the material handling market markets, UPS bridge to generator markets, automotive and heavy truck critical and cold start markets, as well as energy storage/power conditioning markets.

“The combination of Enersys battery technology with Ioxus ultracapacitor technology will benefit many vertical markets in need of high-performance, extended energy storage life under harsh environmental conditions, including select automotive markets,” said Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus.

John Gagge, Vice President of Enersys America's Reserve Power Sales and Service, said Enersys is pleased to be working with Ioxus to bring better solutions to its customer base. The joining of ultracapacitors with Enersys’s product portfolio will expand the markets for both companies and Enersys hopes to bring benefits to users in both stand-alone and hybrid applications.

Flow-Rite welcomes new members to its team

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Flow-Rite has two new members of staff coming to work at the company. Sara McMurray joins Flow-Rite as the Central Regional Manager and Tanya Jones has been announced as the Quality Manager.

McMurray has a background in thermal processing and brings this experience to the role. She will be working with new and existing distributors as well as developing new business with national accounts. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sara," says Todd Hart, Sales Director for Flow-Rite. "As a talented, technical sales professional with an emphasis on customer service, Sara is a great addition to our team.”

Jones has worked in quality processing from suppliers to OEMs and has experience implementing quality management systems. “We are extremely pleased that Tanya has joined the Flow-Rite team,” says Mike Semm, General Manager for Flow-Rite. “With Tanya’s experience as a Quality Engineer and in supplier development, she will offer a fresh perspective to our organisation and bolster our efforts on continuous improvement.”

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