23 January 2010

Tioga Energy uses @RISK from Palisade to predict financial savings on solar energy agreements in California

Tioga Energy (www.tiogaenergy.com), a leading supplier of renewable energy services to commercial, government, and non-profit institutions, is using @RISK from Palisade to illustrate to customers in California the potential financial benefits of signing up to a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Tioga provides project financing through its SurePathSM Solar (PPAs), and maintains and operates solar systems on behalf of its customers. Tioga’s offering delivers predictably priced power and enables organisations to to both 'green' their operations and reduce energy costs. In order to illustrate the benefits of solar, Tioga needs to estimate future electricity prices and make comparisons by showing the savings from a new solar system.

To forecast possible price increases, Tioga Energy inputs California's historical electricity rate data into a model developed using Palisade's risk analysis software, @RISK. This generates a probability distribution for electricity rate rises over the 20-year PPA period, which shows that there is a 25 percent likelihood that price increases will be less than 4.8 percent, and a 25 percent chance that rate rises would be more than 8.7 percent.

The @RISK model therefore helps Tioga Energy evaluate the likelihood that a customer will save money for a variety of PPA scenarios (i.e. the rate at which electricity would initially be charged and the amount by which it would then increase each year). It also calculates the magnitude of savings for the different combinations of first year costs and subsequent rises. Consumers are therefore able to better understand the pricing and make an informed decision about whether to sign up for a PPA.

“Using historical data and @RISK's modelling capacity, we can offer consumers a robust view of the potential benefits of a solar PPA. This enables them to hedge against rising electricity rates, as well as feel confident that they are playing a part in tackling global warming,” explains Kristian Hanelt, VP Project Finance for Tioga Energy.

Hanelt confirms: “@RISK is a flexible and technically adept tool that, in addition to enabling in-depth analysis, makes it easy for us to present relatively complex ideas in an easy-to-understand graphical format. As a result, it plays a key role in helping Tioga Energy to differentiate itself from its competitors.”

Tioga Energy's full report on its study, 'Hedging Against Utility Rate Fluctuations with a Solar PPA' is available to download here: http://www.tiogaenergy.com/tioga-energy-reports.php

21 January 2010

Greentech investment leading to career opportunities say Altium

Waste management and recycling is fast losing its rough and ready image. Many of the businesses that grew from roots in haulage and scrap metal have now developed to be sophisticated companies with professional management teams that can hold their own in any sphere. Many are now successful public companies.

Cleantech generally is becoming sexy. Recent figures from the Cleantech Group and Deloitte show that the venture capital community invested over £5bn in the sector in 2009, with 557 firms receiving fresh venture capital funding. As global environmental imperatives making the sector look like a good long term career bet, the cream of finance, management and technology professionals are being drawn to this sector.

As executive recruiters who operate exclusively in this area, Altium Associates are particularly aware of the increase in demand for the best. Altium was formed by a group of experienced executive search and HR specialists to work primarily with early stage and fast growth businesses in Cleantech. Our clients include venture capital backed businesses in renewable energy, recycling and nanotechnology. Over the past year we have been asked to recruit a raft of senior talent, equipped with the skills to make these companies global players. This is partly due to the fact that ‘Green’ investment is perceived as sexy and that there is a queue of Cleantech businesses waiting to IPO. So whilst these businesses are the brain-children of technologists and entrepreneurs, backers are insisting that they beef up the management teams with impressive, high-calibre finance and operational managers to wow brokers and entice new investors.

Some of these hires come from other industries, particularly those that have similar business models or KPIs. For example, operations managers with a heavy manufacturing or chemical engineering background can adapt to the recycling sector and managers from conventional energy businesses can establish themselves in renewable energy companies without breaking sweat. Generally however, the most sought after candidates possess both sector experience and first class management credentials. Even in the recently troubled venture capital and investment banking industry, investment professionals who have the ability to combine the skills and knowledge to evaluate cleantech prospects technically as well as financially are attractive recruitment targets. Make no mistake, Cleantech will continue to offer hot employment opportunities in 2010.

7 January 2010

Baxi welcomes boiler scrappage scheme details

Baxi welcomes announcement by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband that they are supporting the boiler scrappage scheme as details of how the scheme will work are revealed. The scheme, announced by the Chancellor in his December Pre-Budget Report, will help to improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty by offering £400 for up to 125,000 households to upgrade their old boilers to the latest efficient models.

Mark Kelly, CEO Baxi Group UK and Ireland, said: “The boiler scrappage scheme gives a real opportunity for households to upgrade their current boiler to the most efficient available. Whilst considerably lowering the carbon footprint of each household it will also save families over £200 per year in fuel costs.

“Baxi is pleased with the timing of this announcement as we have just launched a high efficiency version of the old Baxi Bermuda back boiler, which is one of the G band boilers. Previously, a replacement meant re-siting the boiler, re-routing all the pipe work and redecorating; the new high efficiency model is a genuine, simple replacement which fits into the same place with minimum disruption.”

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will administer the scheme. The grant will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and will be payable directly to the homeowner. Details of the scheme and how to apply can be found on the EST website http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Home-improvements-and-products/Heating-and-hot-water/Boiler-scrappage-scheme

According to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), there are approximately 4.5 million SEDBUK Band G rated boilers still in use in the UK, each working at less than 70 per cent efficiency. Changing to a Band A high efficiency boiler could save you around £235 a year in energy bills, as well as reducing your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a staggering 1.2 tonnes.

It is worth checking to see if you are eligible for the grant if you have a back boiler, your boiler has permanent pilot ignition or if it was installed before 2005 when legislation was changed to ensure all new boilers were high efficiency, condensing boilers.

You can find an easy to use guide on the Baxi website www.baxi.co.uk/boiler-scrappage-scheme to help you identify whether you have a G rated appliance. We have also included a simple product comparison so you can see at a glance which A-rated boiler to consider as a direct replacement.

Baxi has a range of SEDBUK Band A rated boilers suitable for every application. The Baxi Duo-tec Combi HE was voted CORGI Boiler of the Year 2008 by installers and was awarded Best Buy by Which? in 2007, when it achieved 5-star ratings for efficiency, low NOx emissions (Nitrogen Oxide), features and installing. Baxi has also introduced the brand new Baxi Bermuda BBU HE, the only A-rated appliance on the market suitable for use as a direct replacement.

And you can also find your nearest Baxi installer on the website. Simply type in your postcode and hit the Find an Installer button for a map showing the 10 closest Gas Safe Registered Baxi Installers, along with their names, addresses and Gas Safe registration numbers.