The solar energy industry has seen an extremely rapid development in the past decade. In 2019 alone, we saw over 140 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity installed, leading to the total global PV power generation capacity of 583.5 GW (580.1 GW on-grid and 3.4 GW of off-grid ) at the end of 2019. This means more than one fifth of renewable energy in the world today is generated by PV technology.However, whilst it is only in recent years that we have witnessed a dramatic improvement of the technical and economic feasibilities of PV power generation, it should be remembered that such improvement is an achievement enabled by nearly two centuries of technical and commercial development.
Insights: Eco & Sustainability
Increasing focus is being directed to developing Li-ion battery technology, particularly in view of the expected surge in uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the near to short term. It is not hard to imagine a future where battery powered EVs have replaced many, if not all, of the internal combustion engines on our roads. However, a number of concerns arise when looking towards this battery powered future, and highlight the need for robust recycling practices and technologies.
Automotive Round Table: The EV landscape promises a bright shiny future – but there will be bumps in the road?
The Automotive Group at Reddie & Grose recently held a virtual round-table with a select group of experts in the industry. We had representatives from an electric vehicle start-up, an energy services company, an automotive funding platform, an energy and sustainability strategy consultancy, the IMechE’s Powertrains and Fuels group, and a barrister who is a specialist in the law of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles.We set ourselves the ambitious agenda of discussing the likely key technologies to emerge in the next 10 years in powertrains, energy storage and delivery, autonomy, and sustainability, and whether there would be any legal challenges to overcome, IP or otherwise. With the long list of discussion topics in mind, we jumped off from the UK government’s proposal to end the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, or even 2032. What would that mean for the industry, and would it be effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The conversation flowed from there …
On-demand, rental electric scooters are seen as a way of easing the pressure on public transport systems during the COVID-19 crisis. Although e-scooters have been in the UK for some time now, e-scooter rentals only became legal on UK roads on 4 July 2020. Up until 4 July 2020, it was illegal to use e-scooters on any public road or footpath in the UK. Even with the change in the law, it is still illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on a public road or a footpath in the UK. This article takes a look at the patent portfolios of some of the major players in e-scooter rentals.
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. However, while the world has experienced events such as threats of war, bush fires and a global pandemic among many others, Great Britain quietly passed a significant milestone last month. On 16th June 2020, Great Britain went more than two whole months without coal power with a total of 67-days, 22-hours and 55-minutes coal-free.
On July 20th, 2020, Innovate UK opened a first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), designed to help businesses with high energy use to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions through investing in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies. The IETF is managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is a joint sponsor. This first phase consists of a funding competition offering a total share of up to £30 million, divided into two competition strands and open to any business registered, and planning to carry out the project work, in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The project submission deadline for both strands is on October 28th, 2020. A second phase will launch in 2021 with up to £269 million of funding.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large amount of government backed funding made available in the UK to promote UK based innovation. In particular, various schemes, competitions, grants and loans have been announced with the aim of helping UK SMEs involved in technology and R&D grow as the Covid-19 disruption dies down. We have reported on a number of these recently. An area that is important for achieving this aim, but is perhaps at risk of being overlooked during this period of widespread disruption and uncertainty, is intellectual property.
The UK government has announced a number of funding and support packages aimed at helping innovative firms through the Covid-19 pandemic. We have reported on a number of these schemes in recent weeks, including the recently announced Automotive Transformation Fund. A further recently announced fund is the Sustainable Innovation Fund, which is a fund of almost £200 million to help UK companies recover from the impact of Covid-19. The stated aim of the fund is to support “companies across all parts of the UK who need urgent financial support to keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive”.