With the fire at Didcot Power Station, warnings of winter power outages and fracking all in the news, an audience of over a 100 executives from the energy sector and met at Brunel on Tuesday 28th October for the launch of an exciting new initiative to promote innovation in the supply of – and more sustainable use of – energy.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd MP gave the keynote address, welcoming the launch and spirit of innovation represented by the Energy Innovation Hub, together with outlining how policy initiatives are already leading to the UK being one of the most energy efficient countries in Europe. In addition, Mary McLeod, the MP for Brentford and Isleworth and Small Business Ambassador for London was also present at the event.
The Energy Innovation Hub concept was created by energy consultancy Buy Energy Online (BEO) who’s Managing Director, Derek Myers outlined the emerging context for ‘Smart’ energy buying and collaboration. West London is strongly placed to be a beacon for innovative practice in the UK and beyond, with George Osborne quoted as saying “West London is the second largest energy business provider in the UK”. The development of localised ‘Smart Grids’ will enable the ‘Trilemma’ of affordability, security of supply and the low carbon agenda to be tackled. For example through businesses and organisations ‘self generating’ solar, wind and mini gas turbine power; ‘micro grids’ to locally distribute heat and power; local power storage batteries and hydrogen cells and the roll-out of smart meters, smart sensors and other Internet of Things products and services.
Mike Chan, Sales Director at BEO highlighted the Energy Innovation Hub experts including London based FTSE companies: Capita, Worley Parsons, Mace, SIG and other supporting partners including Hounslow, West London, Park Royal, Surrey and Hillingdon Chambers of Commerce, (joint hosts with BEO and Brunel), to the West London Business Community.
The idea of the Energy Innovation Hub as a dynamic support network to tackle the ‘Trilemma’ is complimented by Brunel’s newly structured research expertise within the Institute of Energy Futures; impressively outlined by Institute Director, Professor Savvas Tassou. All four of the Institute’s research themes relate directly to the contexts and opportunities described. Andrew Ward, Brunel’s Director of corporate relations, welcomed the guests and thanked the main event sponsor, BEO; and as Co-Innovate Director, outlined the additional support Co-innovate can provide for supporting SMEs in the region to access the research and innovation resources within Brunel. The Energy Innovation Hub is a working example of the considerable potential for Brunel to contribute to addressing society’s challenges through collaboration.