Amber Rudd, MP and Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), visited SETsquared‘s Bath Innovation Centre this week to discover how the South West is leading innovation in low carbon development.
Amber Rudd, MP (pictured second from the right), attended a breakfast discussion with local businesses and academics hosted by Low Carbon South West and SETsquared to hear first-hand how the South West has become a global leader in low carbon development and to meet the people behind some of the companies.
Low carbon technology centre
The SETsquared Centre in Bath hosts a significant number of the UK’s low carbon tech companies in fields as diverse as aerospace technology, solar energy, defence and waste-water management.
SETsquared, recently ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world https://www.techspark.co/bristol-based-tech-incubator-setsquared-voted-1st-in-europe-and-2nd-best-in-the-world/ is an enterprise and innovation programme run in collaboration by the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It supports a number of these companies through its business incubation programme, giving entrepreneurship training, mentoring and access to finance through its investor events.
- You may like: Interview: Simon Bond, Innovation Director at business incubator SETsquared Partnership
The roundtable event discussed innovation in energy use, production, and efficiency. Participants shared their experiences of sustainable business development, both as examples of good practice and potential models for national replication in line with the UK’s targets of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Innovation is essential
Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said “Innovative technologies are essential for the growth of the UK’s low carbon economy and we have schemes in place to help support entrepreneurs across the nation. There are a range of exciting projects underway here in the South West and it’s great to hear first-hand how businesses are embracing the opportunities on offer.”
“There are a range of exciting projects underway here in the South West and it’s great to hear first-hand how businesses are embracing the opportunities on offer”
Some of the companies showing off the technologies they have developed at the event included:
The Zenex GasSaver represents one of the most practical and sensible ways for homeowners to become energy efficient.
Most boilers, even high efficiency SEDBUK “A” rated condensing boilers, still lose a substantial amount of heat through the flue outlet. The GasSaver captures this heat and uses it to help generate hot water for domestic use. The result is a typical annual saving of 37% of energy required to deliver hot water.
Zenec’s GasSaver technology delivers more usable hot water than a typical solar hot water system, just by extracting all the energy from the gas that you have already paid for.
Green Running is a cutting-edge energy monitoring and management systems using Artificial Intelligence for the domestic and commercial sectors.
By recognizing the energy profile of each of your electrical devices, you know what is costing you money, allowing you to save money on your energy bills and help the environment. It provides real-time second by second data which will help you save money and lower your carbon footprint.
Green Running, based in Bath, Sheffield and London, also rent out the technology to industries, allowing them to do an energy-usage spot-check on the appliances they are using.
Xsilon, based in Wiltshire, has developed Hanadu a connectivity technology that has been specifically designed to connect up the Internet of Things within the home.
It uses powerline technology rather than radio – transmitting data through the electrical wiring in your home – for energy measurement and control. This means it can reach into the difficult-to-connect parts of every type of home.
As such, it is the first machine to machine (M2M) solution that has been aimed at mass market deployments in the domestic environment.
Based at the University of Bath Innovation Centre, Industrial Phycology are developing ways of using algae to utilise the nutrients and minerals found in waste water.
As algae naturally consume these nutrients and minerals, as well as absorbing harmful CO2 to enable the algae to grow and reproduce, it can be recycled and used as fertiliser or as bio energy source.
In addition to this, the algae is removing the harmful substances in waste water, proving itself as more environmentally friendly way to treat waste water and reduce carbon emissions.
- You may like: Interview: Dan Murray from Industrial Phycology – changing waste water into energy and livestock feed
South West is Low Carbon global leader
Amy Robinson, Network Director of Low Carbon South West, www.lowcarbonsouthwest.co.uk the membership organisation for the low carbon sector said: “The South West continues to be a global leader in sustainability technology, because it knows how to develop and nurture innovative organisations and ideas.”
“The South West continues to be a global leader in sustainability technology, because it knows how to develop and nurture innovative organisations and ideas”
She added: “Having Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd and her DECC team here to discuss the needs of established and developing businesses through Low Carbon South West, and innovative new start-up businesses through SETsquared, is a great opportunity.”
“What is important is to give these innovative start-ups the support they need to turn their ideas and innovations into profitable businesses”
Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, added: “I am immensely proud of the way the South West is leading the UK’s low carbon sector. What is important is to give these innovative start-ups the support they need to turn their ideas and innovations into profitable businesses that contribute to the local and national economy. SETsquared and Low Carbon South West are doing just that and today was a fantastic opportunity to share our success stories with Amber Rudd MP.”