New project sees Silvercrest Energy roll out a new Social Energy utility contract in partnership with UKPN (UK power Networks)
Green energy supplier Silvercrest Energy Ltd along with Social Energy, the utility supplier is launching a new project today to spur the development of a smart energy grid in southern England, working with electricity distributor UK Power Networks to enable around 100 homes to return stored energy back to the grid.
Energy customers participating in the programme will have a battery installed in their homes that will be used by the energy network to send extra power to the National grid at times of peak demand, as part of UK Power Networks’ flexibility services programme.
The project seeks to help deliver a smart grid which is better prepared for an anticipated increase in demand fuelled by zero-carbon technologies like electric vehicles and electric heating, alongside the gird’s increased reliance on variable renewables.
The project will provide a glimpse into a future in which network operators buy ‘flexibility’ from companies like Silvercrest Energy who use a Social Energy artificial intelligence software, which will work with customers to balance supply and demand by using storage capacity to move demand up and down in response to levels of supply on the network. During specific periods, customer Home energy storage systems will also be available to discharge their stored energy, which will first be used to power the homeowners’ electrical appliances, with any extra being exported from the house to the grid.
Homeowners in parts of south London, Hertfordshire, and Kent will receive an annual payment of £125 for the next four years, totalling £500 in return for their participation in the project, this is alongside the extra returns a grid trading enabled home storage system already brings.
Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy.
Progress towards developing smart energy solutions was also made this week in the context of access to data, with south west-based electricity distributor Western Power Distribution releasing the first wave of electricity distribution network data gathered using an innovative approach known as the Common Information Model (CIM).
The CIM standardises network asset data sharing to make it more accessible, bringing together a huge range of datasets from different types of energy network infrastructure equipment, including transformers, circuit breakers, wires, and cables. The aim is to provide public access to key asset information, which stakeholders and researchers can draw on when developing smart energy technologies.
The company said low carbon technology developers could use the data to easily map WPD’s network for areas with the capacity for additional solar or wind generation or to identify neighbourhoods which could benefit from additional flexibility through battery storage systems.
The CIM data released so far covers the South West, but plans are already in place to have the entire WPD network covered by the end of 2020, the firm said. Users will be able to access the data through WPD’s Data Hub.
A young Portuguese startup, planless.io, founded by Grégory STOOS a French entrepreneur, has just launched a new “intelligent” project management and collaboration platform offering, to companies all over the world, a disruptive new technology that will change the way companies and teams organize their work.
The project management space is flooded with tools, each one offering its unique way of managing projects and all competing for the best user experience. All these tools offer great ways to organize tasks, centralize information, and collaborate efficiently.
It is a very difficult task for any business to choose the right solution and it is years now that this space has not seen something brand new that could change the way teams organize and manage their work.
Planless.io created a tool that leverages Artificial intelligence to automatically plan work, allocate resources, and manage people’s workload. It is capable to find out, within millions or more possibilities, the best organization in a matter of milliseconds and to recalculate it at any change.
Until today, planning, tasks assignment, and workload management have all been managed manually and are very time-consuming and unoptimized. The rise of Agile methodologies aims to counter-balance these issues with more or less success.
The technological breakthrough proposed by planless.io will not only save a lot of time, make teams more productive, and allow them to focus on working the plan instead of planning the work; it also offers new possibilities in terms of work management that could see the emergence of new methodologies or improve actual ones.
The founder Gregory STOOS mentioned: “I’am excited and looking forward to witness the impact and changes with what we’ve created. The feedback we have from Beta users and our first customers are pretty impressive. They see on average a 30% increase in productivity and efficiency on their work if they were using other tools before and 65% on average for the ones new to project management tools. We’re very excited!”
The company is based in Lisbon, Portugal, and is actively looking for the right investors.
Grégory STOOS: “We are 100% bootstrapped and created this from our sweat and own funds in the last two and a half years. We are now looking to find the right partners to expand globally and put in place all the resources and support needed to help millions of companies benefit from what we have to offer”.
Planless.io not only offers its algorithm to plan work but proposes an all-in-one project management and collaboration platform that enables teams and companies to get their businesses to the next level.
Experienced RIBA Architect Bob Trimble explains how you can use an architect to help you with your building project.
Outside of very simple building work, you should speak to a qualified architect before you begin planning your project.
The advice offered by an architect will help you foresee potential problems and avoid unnecessary costs.
An architect will offer guidance on all aspects of the project from costs and design through to planning and construction.
WHY DO I NEED AN ARCHITECT?
1. Using an architect means that in almost every instance, you will end with a better outcome
2. A fully trained architect can see the bigger picture. They will have the experience to offer advice on how the designs will effect the mood, style and limitations of the new building.
3. Your architect will help you to make sure that all aspects of the work are completed by professionals. All parts will be encouraged to meet building control and be approved by a structural engineer if needed
4. An architect will have a great eye for detail. They will have years of experience to help them foresee potential problems that can be overlooked.
5. You can work with your architect to project manage the build to ensure that it comes within budget. As a project manager, they can also represent your best interests with local authorities and builders.
6. An architect is usually able to help you find the best builder for your project.
7. A qualified architect is subject to a statutory code of practice and will have Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect the interest of their clients.
HOW TO USE AN ARCHITECT
An architect will generally offer a full service for projects that have a budget of over £50,000. However, you can still get advice on smaller projects for a small fee.
The most common services offered by an architect are one-off consultations to provide useful information to help with your building design and construction. This offers a valuable insight into the work required and the process involved.
In general, you will not be charged for the first meeting with your architect. However, there is no obligation for an architect to offer their time for free.
Your initial meeting will usually be a short discussion of the ideas that you have for the project and what you hope to achieve.
The architect will let you know if they are able to complete this work for you.
You will not receive design advice or any further information as these are the services that you will be expected to pay for.
Writing a brief:
Writing a brief for a building project is one of the most important tasks in the success of the completed work.
The quality of the brief is essential in getting the best results from your architect. You will need to offer your architect everything required to plan your building work.
Your brief needs to specify all of the management and operation methods that you propose to use, along with the functions and requirements of the completed building.
The brief should include the following information for your architect:
– project aims – project budget – design style requirements – intended activities for the completed building – who is the decision-maker during the work – general expectations of the completed build
Before submitting the brief, you will need to consider whether your new build is to be a contemporary style or does it need to fit in with an existing architectural look?
What are you looking to use the building for when it is finished? What activities do you expect to be using the space for? Are there any special requirements that should feature in the building to fulfil its desired purpose?
Consider the ultimate goal of the project. Are you hoping to improve the available space, increase light, make your building more flexible?
HELP WITH PLANNING PERMISSION
If you require planning permission for a building project, it is usually the case that you will need help from an architect.
Planning your project with a qualified architect from the beginning will help you avoid problems down the line such as planning applications being rejected.
Your architect will be able to let you know about all of the planning approvals that will be necessary to complete your build.
The rules about building regulations and development limits are different to all building projects.
Whether you are planning an extension or loft conversion, a self-build home or a block of flats, you will need to be aware of the particular planning permissions required.
An architect can be an invaluable asset when it comes to navigating the local planning authority.
If you have a planning application that is refused, you may be able to work with your architect to overcome the rejection.
There are a number of reasons why your planning application has been rejected:
– The completed build will overshadow the homes of neighbours and they experience a loss of privacy – The build causes a loss of light on a neighbouring property – The proposed building work is out of character with the existing architecture – There are environmental concerns related to the building
If any of the issues listed above are the cause of your planning application being rejected, then, with the help of an architect you can work to resolve these issues.
There may be ways that you can modify the plans to avoid further objections from the local authority. Once you have completed the modified plans, you can re-submit the application free of charge within 12 months.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ARCHITECT
All qualified architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Alongside this, many architects are also RIBA members.
The legal use of the title ‘architect’ is protected by law (Architects Act 1997). This means that the only people that are permitted to call themselves an architect need to be fully qualified and trained to a high standard.
If you hear a company that describe their services as ‘architectural designers’ of using words other than ‘architect’ this is a sign that they are not qualified to practice.
If a business provides architectural services and is not registered with ARB or members of the RIBA, then they are likely to be an unregulated operation. This means that you will have no guarantee about the quality of the work or their ability to provide the services you require.
You can check the RIBA directory if you want to verify the membership of any RIBA architect.
Benefits of using a RIBA Chartered Practice:
Members of the RIBA must meet strict eligibility criteria before they can become registered. All registered practices of the RIBA will:
– have a required number of RIBA Chartered Architects employed – be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance – use a Quality Management system – follow strict Health and Safety and Environmental policies – will conduct their services according to a Code of Practice
Members of the RIBA are fully committed to providing a service that meets high customer service and design excellence.
Musicline launches a free-to-join, collaborative, online project for children all over the world.
Steve Titford, writer for Musicline School Musicals, has composed and produced a brand new song called “Back Together (IRL)” (IRL meaning In Real Life, of course!). It is an isolation escape anthem about lasting friendship, bringing folks together regardless of distance. Powerful, positive, fun.
Steve and Musicline want to make a global recording with as many singers as possible, along with an awesome music video. Solo spots will be available in the video for the best performances.
All children need is a smartphone, tablet or computer along with parent/carer permission. All children need to do is video themselves performing the song to the best of their ability and send it to Musicline.
Musicline have created an online portal to make signing up, granting permission and uploading submissions as quick and easy as possible. This can be found at https://www.musiclinedirect.com/online. Here children will also find lots of resources to assist in learning, practising, and recording their performance. Musicline have provided:
MP3 downloads of the song with Steve’s demo vocal
MP3 of just backing track music
“Karaoke Style” learning aid called “Sing it!”
PDF downloads of the lyrics and music notation
Tuition videos – Steve has also uploaded several tuition videos with lots of great hints and tips on how to get the best performance possible.
Steve and Musicline have tried to provide everything, so all children need to concentrate on is their performance and having fun!
Musicline Managing Director Mike Smith said: “As schools all over the world have been closed due to Covid-19, we thought the best use of our time would be to create a project that children can be creative with without leaving their homes. Performing Arts is incredibly important for children’s confidence and mental health. It’s also a great way to ‘connect’ with old friends and new. It’s a great way to blow of steam and have some fun during this difficult time. ”
Notes to Editor:
Steve Titford, most known for his debut school musical “Shakespeare Rocks!”, writes and produces regularly for Musicline. He lives in Caleta De Fuste on Fuerteventura, whilst Musicline is based in Birmingham, UK, so they know a thing or two about online collaboration.
Musicline is a family-run business which has been publishing children’s musicals for more than 30 years. They pride themselves on producing musicals trusted and loved by thousands of young people and educators.
A Webster, Massachusetts woman and her daughter set out on a mission to conduct a fun, yet useful science project and it has blossomed into a thriving home business.
Erin Peloso is a first year homeschool teacher for her daughter Tessa. The duo have had a marvelous year this year and have dabbled in the sciences with respect to inertia, matter and more. At the start of the global pandemic that we are all in the middle of however, Erin decided to start a project with Tessa to take both of their minds off the grim news. “I knew that this was bad. So I sought out a simple yet fun project that we could do together that would incorporate the sciences and math for her [Tessa]” said Erin. “A few years ago we did a DIY Christmas, and I made soaps, so I said oh my! We could do that!” It has grown into a power house of a small home business since then she says.
Erin explains that as Tessa loved the project, the two decided to do a little more here and there, then friends and family really started to take notice and ask for some. “When I took on the homeschooling my husband was a Police Officer and the sole income, so I wanted to do my part to help, so I thought I could start out a small home business and still teach Tessa her math. We work on fractions, measurements, volume… it’s so much fun!” said Erin.
When asked about the project, Tessa explains her favorite part is cutting the soap! “I love cutting the soap and stirring the scents into the candle wax” said Tessa. The two have launched their website for the business which has now taken on the name “Tranquility & Co.” and they haven’t stopped since! “Within an hour of the website going live, we had over $200.00 in sales! My jaw dropped!” said Erin. The duo explained that they plan to release further “tranquil” products as time carries on.
Erin finished by stating that she“enjoys that their love of a craft can be passed on to others to love in their home”.
The digital database of the Russian “Memory road” project, dedicated to the victory over fascism, contains more than 1 million photos of people who fought in the Second world war. Museums, Military-Patriotic organizations and residents of Europe, whose relatives in particular fought against Nazism in the Soviet army (the Normandy-Neman aviation regiment, units of emigrants from Spain, and others), and other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition are invited to participate in the project.
The collected images will be shown in the “Memory Road” gallery, which is to open on the territory of the “Patriot” military park in Moscow region. The length of the gallery will be 1418 meters which coincides with the number of days the Russian Great Patriotic war lasted for.
This historical project involves both residents of Russia and other countries – the Netherlands, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Estonia. And this is understandable – not only the USSR, but also the countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and both Americas fought against Nazi Germany and its allies. To counter fascists, a coalition was consisting of the USSR, Great Britain, and the United States was created. The fighting took place all over the world, so the Russian project is ready to perpetuate the memory of all the fighters for a common future. Regardless of where they fought: in Europe, North Africa, or in the Pacific. By the time hostilities in Japan ended, more than 50 States had
already been at war with the countries of the Nazi bloc. Therefore, all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, museums, historical and veteran organizations of Europe and the world can participate in the project “Memory road” in order to preserve the memory of their heroes. In 2020, the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the victory in World war II.
“Memory road” is an accessible digital database portal, where anyone can upload a photo of a combatant (the photo must first be digitized). In addition to images, the site contains information about the family history, the feat of a war hero, and his or her letters. Sergey Shoigu, Russian Minister of defence, took part in this project by contributing information about his relatives who fought during WWII.
The “Memory road” project is apolitical. It is about people, soldiers, many of whom gave their lives for peace in their countries. Such a social project is being implemented only in Russia – there is no any other media platform on which full-fledged data about all war combatants can be found.
At the same time, advancement in technology makes it possible to combine all European museums, historical and veteran organizations into a single database to create an international portal about heroes of the WWII.
MadPax is pleased to announce we are supporting Mary’s Meals – Backpack Project!
Recycling never felt this good! The Backpack Project helps children receiving Mary’s Meals in Malawi get the most out of their learning – and it’s a great way to recycle your school bag and P.E. kits.
MadPax is asking it’s customers to send their old backpacks to: Mary’s Meals Mary’s Meals Warehouse, 25 Glentanar Rd, Glasgow , G22 7SF to help Children in Malawi get the most out of their education. You could also fill your old backpacks up with items as detailed below.
Mary’s Meals is a registered Charity providing daily meals in school for hungry children in some of the world’s poorest communities. To find out how you can help, visit: www.marysmeals.org.uk
Items to fill your old backpack with: Notepads, pencils, crayons, eraser, sharpener, ruler, pencil case, towel, shorts or skirt, t-shirt or dress, flip-flops or sandals, small ball (e.g. tennis ball), soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, spoon.
Handy Hints: Don’t buy new, recycle where you can! We encourage you to send schoolbags and backpacks in good condition. Please don’t send drawstring gym bags. Clothing for children between four and 12 years is suitable. Please label filled bags for boy/girl and age e.g. girl, 8. Don’t be tempted to put in toys or sweets. This can cause problems during delivery.
Following plans to establish the Viking Link Interconnector Project, which will see to the provision of energy from Denmark to Great Britain, the construction and civil engineering company Balfour Beatty has been appointed to a £90M, four-year contract to deliver civil engineering and installation works.
As part of the Viking Link Interconnector Project, Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the installation of 68km of cabling in Lincolnshire at will connect Denmark to Great Britain via the National Grid’s Bicker Fen substation, with the total project requiring the installation of 765km of cabling in Denmark, Britain, and across the North Sea.
Furthermore, the Viking Link Project itself is a joint venture between the British National Grid and the Danish energy provider Energinet, with the purpose of the project being to assist Great Britain in achieving its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission and Distribution Business, Ian Currie stated: “We are delighted to be contributing to this landmark project which will support the Government’s carbon reduction target and provide numerous homes across Great Britain with access to sustainable electricity.
“Our expert teams have years of experience and in-depth knowledge in delivering complex high voltage cabling projects and we look forward to providing National Grid and Energinet with a comprehensive solution which will ensure safe and efficient delivery.”
The Viking Link Project Director for National Grid Ventures, Mike Elmer added: “This contract is a major milestone in the next part of the project. We’re pleased to be working with Balfour Beatty, who will deliver the onshore cable installation section of the Viking Link Interconnector between landfall site at Sandilands and the Converter Station at Bicker Fen.
“Viking Link will enable Great Britain to import and export electricity; provide a secure supply of affordable electricity and play a vital role in helping to decarbonise the UK’s power supply on our journey to a net zero carbon energy system.”
Most Korean insurers are already implementing IFRS 17 systems but many are struggling in a number of areas. The most difficult part of the IFRS 17 implementation for Korean insurers is the construction of the cash flow engine because performing complex calculations on a regular and timely basis is almost impossible with most existing actuarial solutions.
The complexity of the calculations combined with the desired granularity of results has meant many insurers with their existing actuarial solutions having to invest, at a huge cost, in high specification hardware in order to produce their IFRS 17 results in their required timeframe.
Already aware of the difficulties of deploying an enterprise level IFRS 17 solution, RNA Analytics’ software development and actuarial consulting teams have been working for several years analyzing all the requirements for IFRS 17 to spearhead large-scale developments in R³S, RNA Analytics’ actuarial modeling solution, that implement the new features required to meet client requirements.
Almost all the requirements needed by IFRS 17, from the calculation of new accounting concepts such as the risk adjustment and contractual service margin, to the most complex modeling of Korean insurance products as well as the linkage with reinsurance, various embedded option value calculations, new payment plans, dynamic decision-making, and large database processing functions were considered when designing the new features. The most recent developments in the R³S software have enabled insurers to optimize the structure of their models, thereby dramatically reducing the cost of hardware, while still meeting the new requirements.
In particular, the IFRS 17 implementation project at Orange Life, is considered to be the most successful project in the industry. Almost all of the requirements had already been implemented in the R³S solution as a result of previous IFRS 17 project implementations. The K-Insurance Capital Standard (K-ICS) and dynamic ALM models were also built in R³S to implement an enterprise-wide business model within Orange Life.
With the new functionality within the software, users have the ability to directly load large result sets into databases such as Oracle. This removes the requirement to purchase additional ETL software and reduces the storage space required as results do not need to be staged prior to being loaded into the reporting system. This results in the establishment of a highly efficient and automated system from a ROI perspective.
“Through this project, we were able to proactively respond to system changes such as IFRS 17, and establish a systematic basis for conducting an actuarial valuation and strategic analysis” Seokho Woo, Managing Director – Orange Life.
“As a result of this project, Orange Life has built the industry-leading actuarial infrastructure system to provide timely settlement reports and various company reports. Thus providing a foundation for rapid response to the accounting and regulatory requirements of IFRS 17, in addition supporting management decisions and responding to changes in management processes required under the new accounting system” Harry Kim, CEO – RNA Analytics.
About RNA Analytics RNA Analytics is a company formed around a product team that has been working together for over 20 years. RNA Analytics offers insurance firms a comprehensive actuarial modeling solution that provides essential risk and regulatory metrics to help meet the needs of an existing global client base. This solution supports the modeling of insurance portfolios across a spectrum of risk-based regulatory regimes such as Solvency II and IFRS. It helps meet the business needs of insurers for more realistic and complex modeling to enable critical risk-informed decision support for growth.