Energy 2017, sponsored by g2 Energy, returned to Birmingham’s NEC on 10-12 October for a third successful year as part of UK Construction Week, which attracted an 11% increase in visitor numbers compared to last year’s show.
UK Construction Week consists of nine trade shows dedicated to the built environment and this year attracted a total of 33,697 of the construction industry’s experts over the course of its three days.
The incredible progress being made in the energy sector was clearly evident on the showfloor with exhibitors demonstrating some truly ground-breaking technology, such as Solisco’s Solar EV-Port Systems, and Certas Energy’s range of fuel management solutions. QED launched its new Energy Vault DC Distributed Battery System, which allows businesses to store electricity from either the National Grid or renewable sources, while Solecco Solar used the show to officially launch its new Solar Tile to the industry. The Solar Tiles are designed to be fitted in place of standard roof tiles and allow homeowners and developers to embrace solar technology and save on energy costs.
g2 Energy, headline sponsor for Energy 2017, showcased one of its containerised substations, which can be fully designed and built in-house by the company’s own experienced design engineers.
Vital information was also available on many of the stands, with nPower Business Solutions offering guidance on how to manage your energy consumption better, and Power Solutions providing advice on how to get the best value contracts on your business gas, electricity and water.
Matt Philp, QED Product Development Director, was delighted with how the show went for his company, which was exhibiting for the first time. He said: “As a first show, we set realistic targets of success. We achieved this early on the first day and it was overwhelming how well our product was received. The standard of clientele was outstanding, with a constant flow of visitors to the stand. Next year, we will include more members of the QED team to help with the demand.”
Parveen Begum, Director of Solisco, also enjoyed the experience, saying: “For a first exhibition for startup company Solisco, exhibiting at UK Construction Week Energy 2017 was indeed a great success. The show was diverse in attracting people from different backgrounds; domestic, commercial and public.”
Brian Worrall, Director of Corporate Affairs at Certas Energy, commented: “This year was the first time we’ve showcased our total fuel and lubricant management solutions for the construction industry at a major industry event and it was a great opportunity for the Certas Energy team to talk to visitors about their fuel requirements, as well as their biggest challenges when it comes to keeping their sites moving.
“With a heavy reliance on ‘dirty diesel’ the construction industry is under pressure to clean up its act and some of the most interesting conversations we had were around the benefits of alternative fuels, such as Shell GTL, to reducing emissions. We’re looking forward to following up on conversations at the event and working with customers to fuel this vibrant and innovative industry.”
This year, Energy 2017 partnered with LowCVP to run its seventh Low Carbon Champions Awards, which was hosted by Formula E racing presenter Nicki Shields. Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner while awards were presented to companies who have accelerated the promotion of lower carbon vehicles and fuels and reducing road transport emissions.
Andy Eastlake, Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, commented: “The association between Energy 2017 and the LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards reflects the growing cross-over between energy use in buildings and that used by transport. The growth in electric vehicles, domestic renewables and home energy storage means that the sectors are becoming increasingly interlinked.”
Transport for London, BYD (bus manufacturer) and Go-Ahead London (operator) jointly won the ‘Grand Prix’ – or winner-of-winners – award for their effective partnership in delivering the vehicles, operational capacity and infrastructure to begin running London’s first two all-electric bus routes (507 and 521).
Andy Eastlake added: “The association with Energy 2017 and the wider Construction Week event raised awareness of the low carbon transport agenda to a new audience. The afternoon series of seminars – The EV revolution and implications for the powergrid – was well attended and provided the opportunity to investigate the growing interactions between energy used in buildings and for transport.”
As well as the exhibition and awards, Energy 2017 had plenty of informative talk and debate, boasting two seminar hubs. The REA Theatre, sponsored by WELink Group, covered topics such as the UK’s energy policy post-Brexit, smart battery storage and electric vehicles, plus a panel discussion on sustainable and affordable modular solutions to the UK housing crisis.
Over at the Energy Hub, Pauline Op de Beeck of The Carbon Trust addressed the drivers of carbon emissions in the construction industry supply chain, Ehab Sayed of Biohm examined the impact of ‘living buildings’ on our wellbeing, and Navdeep-Singh Kalon of Cadent considered how we will be heating our homes in 2050.
The show also provided an excellent and fun networking opportunity as visitor numbers to the Beer & Ale Festival – offering over 15 beers, a selection of hot food available, live music and entertainment – swelled towards the end of each day.
With over 40% of this year’s exhibitors already rebooked, Energy 2018 will return to Birmingham NEC as part of UK Construction Week next year. In addition to a host of event favourites, visitors to Energy 2018 can look forward to a larger focus on renewables, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy storage.
UK Construction Week 2018 will take place on 9-11 October 2018.