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Over the past decade renewable energy sources have grown from occupying a niche corner in the European energy market to becoming a cornerstone of the power sector. Between 2007 to 2017, the European Union increased its volume of renewable energy produced by 64 percent and last year alone, European investment into clean energy capacity totaled $54.6 billion.

Undoubtedly, 2020 has already been a significant year for the renewable energy market. In the first few months the power generated by renewable energy sources overtook fossil fuels for the first time ever in the UK.

With renewables now on an exponential growth path, we take a look at four of the most innovative companies that are working to revolutionize how we generate, store and distribute clean energy.

ITM Power

ITM Power is a clean energy company based in Yorkshire that has set up the world’s largest carbon free renewable hydrogen production facility. Whilst hydrogen is already an established renewable energy source ITM Power creates ‘green hydrogen’ by using electricity produced by solar or wind power in its hydrogen production facilities.

In a joint venture with Cadent, ITM Power is already driving the first live pilot project that injects zero-carbon hydrogen into a gas network, working to help heat British homes and businesses.

The future potential for ‘green hydrogen’ is vast and hydrogen blending could significantly help to meet climate change targets as there is no need to change any of the existing pipework, or domestic appliances. This means that customers can easily embrace the clean energy solution within their homes at no extra cost or disruption.

Ryse

Ryse is another UK based clean energy company spearheading the rise of ‘green hydrogen’. Tackling the same issue, Ryse uses excess power from wind farms to run a network of electrolysers to make ‘green hydrogen’ for vehicles in the UK.

The potential for hydrogen as a zero-carbon alternative to fossil fuels is growing rapidly and Ryse has focused on its application to power transport systems. For example, Ryse has recently been awarded a contract to supply hydrogen to 20 buses in London operated by TFL the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker buses. Ryse also intend to supply hydrogen for other modes of transport including taxis and trains.

VoltStorage

VoltStorage is a German based smart battery company that is facilitating a boom in solar energy storage for private households.

The potential for solar power is vast. However, whilst many solar panels generate energy during the day, if you don’t use it, you will lost it. To tackle this issue, VoltStorage have developed a cost-effective solar storage system based on the eco-friendly Redox Flow Technology, enabling you to store extra solar energy to use as and when you need it.

By putting control back in the hands of the customer, VoltStorage is enabling households to run efficiently on climate friendly solar power, independent of the weather and around the clock.

Kitemill AS

Earlier this year, the Norwegian airborne wind energy company, Kitemill AS, acquired the intellectual property assets of the Scottish based Kite Power Systems. Kitemill AS are now continuing development in Norway where they plan to set up the first kite energy demonstration farm by 2021.

Exploring a new method of ‘green energy’ generation, the principal idea is that two kites are attached to a turbine. When the wind blows, one kite rises in a figure of eight movement which pulls a tether that turns a winch at its base, generating power. When the kite reaches its maximum height, it falls and is replaced by the second kite, so energy can be produced constantly.

If you’d like to find out how we can support your energy, utilities or renewables company please get in touch with our team today.

The European companies spearheading the ‘green energy’ boom

In a bid to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the British government has announced a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2035. With an influx of electric cars on our roads, drivers need innovative, reliable and practical charging solutions at home and on the go. We take a look at some of the most forward-thinking EV charging companies in the UK.

Connected Kerb

Connected Kerb aims to provide easy access to EV chargers and enable smart city connectivity. The chargers include revolutionary technology that provides real-time data analysis on air quality, traffic and weather. This can help local authorities better understand where to focus improvement efforts in their regions. Connected Kerb also offers a range of sustainable, environmentally-friendly chargers such as The Armadillo, which is made from recycled vehicle tyres.

Wallbox

Wallbox has created the first bi-directional charger for home use, the Quasar charger. It allows for energy to flow two ways, meaning an EV’s charge can be sent back onto the National Grid to power homes when demand is high. This advanced vehicle-to-grid technology allows drivers to be paid when their car’s energy returns to the grid. As EV adoption increases, demand for electricity during peak times will drastically increase, putting the National Grid under strain so this ground-breaking technology will help stagger usage to ease the peak-time burden.

Ubitricity

Local authorities across the country play a huge role in improving charging networks by ensuring residents have easy access to convenient, high speed chargers. Ubitricity works with these authorities to offer an affordable, easily implementable charging solution. The charging technology, which was created in Germany, integrates with every day outside structures such as public lamp posts, making it easy to install. Ubitricity is creating a reality where EV chargers are easily accessible in all local areas.

PodPoint

Pod Point has manufactured and sold more than 69,000 charging points across the UK and Norway. The company offers  EV charging points for drivers at-home, at commercial location and at work . Pod Point has worked with businesses like Tesco, Lidl, and Center Parcs to build a network of more than 3,000 charging points for drivers on the go. It also works with property developers such as Savills to build the chargers into new homes. Pod Point is really driving (pun intended!) an accessible network of chargers across the country and helping to make at-home chargers the norm for new-builds.

Char.gy

Char.gy’s mission is to make charging your vehicle as simple as charging your phone. Char.gy uses existing infrastructure to provide convenient, local lamppost charging in England and Northern Ireland. Drivers can use the Char.gy app to find their closest charger and, unlike other charging networks, can sign up through the app and charge immediately. The convenience of lamppost charging in busy cities like London, along with the ability to sign up and charge on the spot, makes char.gy a convenient and appealing option for drivers.

The PHA Group has extensive experience delivering excellent coverage for electric vehicles, renewable energy and driving companies. If you are an EV charging company that wants to secure more exposure in the media, get in touch today.

Five of the most exciting electric vehicle charging companies

The tweeted response from Argos to a customer making a complaint in written ‘street slang’ worked like a charm – although it was a risk.

In case you haven’t heard the story, a customer called Imran Bugti tweeted the high street store’s official Twitter feed moaning about the lack of PlayStation 4 consoles for sale.

His message read:

Rather than send a perfectly structured, corporate tweet in reply, Argos decided to talk Imran’s language and replied with:

The strategy was not a safe route. Far from it. It could have quite easily back-fired.

The customer could have seen it as an insult, or even worse. The mainstream media could have seen it as offensive. It could have come back to haunt Argos.

It didn’t.

One newspaper described it as: “Argos in tweet win.”
The messages were retweeted thousands of times, while even Imran replied: “Respect. Sick guy.”

Had it gone wrong, the person who sanctioned the tweet would have been answerable to the Head of PR or Marketing, and quite possibly, the CEO and board.

But it’s a great example of how dealing with a complaint or negative ‘coverage’ can win the day in the PR stakes.

We hear a great deal of the #PRfails that are made, so it is time to focus on the successes – Argos are not the only example of some smart PR thinking recently.

When Wolves fan Richard John Gough spotted a club shirt on sale at a knockdown price, he wasn’t expecting it to arrive with the famous badge printed the wrong way around.

Like Imran, he took to Twitter to complain.

The Wolves response was simply hilarious – a letter of apology printed upside down on headed paper, just to show they had a sense of humour.

Part of the letter read: “Although we’ve been riding the crest of a wave recently in terms of results, we pride ourselves on the quality of our shirts and we certainly don’t get a badge of honour this time.”

This response was backed up with the offer of two match tickets to round off the customer service.

The result of Wolves response was a slew of positive coverage with other media praising the Wolves press office.

It’s not just social media where this smart PR technique can be deployed. The German football club, Schalke 04 recently had cause to respond to a claim in The Times that Adolf Hitler was a fan of the Gelsenkirchen-based outfit.

Gerd Voss, the head of the club’s Media and PR team, chose to respond by letter. The correspondence was later despatched via social media.

Instead of going in two-footed, Gerd made a gentle play on the prejudice that Germans have a poor sense of humour, saying: “So we checked and double-checked whether club board between 1933 and 1945 had named a stand the “Fuhrer Stand”, for example, and we watched every episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo in a bid to find a clue. Nothing.”

It ends with the paragraph: “To conclude Hitler was a fan of Schalke 04 because they won most of the titles during his regime must make Margaret Thatcher a Liverpool fan. Funnily enough, she didn’t make the list.”

While this was a criticism and not a response to a problem, the benefit to Schalke 04 was dealing with a potentially very sensitive issue for German people in a way no one expected, whilst still pulling no punches. It turned the bad into some positive PR for the club.

The point of all examples that humour, with a self-deprecating, calm tone, can win the day.

Not all situations are right and the response must be careful not to mock or make light.

Ultimately, it must absolutely address the problem, and be well-researched. It should offer a solution and get to the heart of the matter rather than having no direction.

The response should always be bounced off a colleague to gauge an initial reaction.

Although humorous, deploying similar responses should be taken very seriously.

A smart PR response can go a long way – even when your company is under-fire