Clarke Energy Q&A with Alan Beech Sales director for the UK market
- Tell us a bit about you and the business you work for
Clarke Energy are the sole authorised distributor for Jenbacher engines in the UK and 26 other territories around the globe.
Traditionally we have been involved in gas powered generation with a broad selection of green related gases such as those derived from landfill, anaerobic digestion from various feedstocks — including but not limited to agricultural waste, domestic waste, animal/human sewage, industrial process gases which would otherwise be discharged to atmosphere and, finally, natural gas supporting the renewable generation stack.
We do this by either:
- Feeding the grid with long duration electrical energy during extended low wind and/or cloudless periods
- By the efficient use of input fuel through the provision of electrical and thermal generation i.e. Combined Cooling / Heat & Power (CCHP) with the option of Carbon Capture & Utilisation technology.
We also have an extended portfolio of energy related services. These include gas to grid technology, energy storage etc, with the ability to combine some or all with a micro-grid solution.
2. What attracted you to join the DGA?
It was important that we engaged in the decarbonised grid solution to help educate and influence government together with other prominent bodies. It was also important as a means to share additional knowledge with our customer base. Many had already written off anything related to gas due to awareness as to the wide variety of gases that can be sourced and used in the future.
- What part does your organisation play in the decarbonised gas value chain?
We’re an enabler of renewable technology, providing cost-effective and strategically located long duration energy production at times of low availability via other means (eg. wind/solar etc). Through the provision of CCHP we support high energy users such as hospitals, district heating schemes, industrial plants etc, in fulfilling their CO2 reduction aspirations.
- What do you see as the main challenge in reaching the UK’s emissions targets?
A lack of clarity and direction at government and business levels, especially with regard to current technologies which are not being used at a level anywhere near their full potential.
Some examples of technologies which could be utilised more effectively include:
- Green gas production from waste collection through anaerobic digestion
- CO2 savings from deploying highly efficient CCHP
Often, organisations see the word gas and fear what it might look like, rather than exploring the positive impact that it can create both today and in the future.
- You’re given 15 minutes with a parliamentary official, who would it be and why?
Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) — for the reasons explained within this piece.
With 15-minutes of uninterrupted time I’d make a strong case for the viability of gas as a pathway to helping the UK to reach its net zero ambitions. After the 15 minutes was over, it’d also be great to hear from him on what proposals BEIS has for encouraging investment and development in decarbonising the gas grid and carbon capture & utilisation within the decentralised energy sector.
- In your opinion, what is the UK doing particularly well when it comes to achieving its ambition to reach net zero?
It’s recognising the problem and sending the right signals to the market, although the strategies are currently not all joined up. For example, the electrification of the economy is at odds with the current network constraints and amount of curtailment of existing wind generation despite the ever-increasing targets in this area.
- Name one way that we can all make an impact as we move towards a greener society.
As a general society, eat less meat — perhaps a reduction of 20% per person. Meat production is one of the biggest global polluters of all.
From a business perspective, eliminate energy waste and seek increased efficiency wherever possible (e.g. LED lighting, CCHP, inverter drives etc). It not only saves CO2, but lots of money too.