Energy supply – A global, national and personal perspective


Energy supply – A global, national and personal perspective


Energy supply hit the headlines again last week as the "Beast from the East" saw natural gas prices leap 130 per cent. National Grid, which owns the UK's grid infrastructure, warned some industrial users that they might need to reduce consumption, as demand was expected to outstrip supply. We've all seen this sort of headline before and I'm sure I wasn't alone in my thinking about our long-term solution to energy supply and how we compare against what others are doing. recently reported how more than 100 global cities are now sourcing at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources; Auckland, Nairobi, Seattle and Vancouver now get the majority of their electricity needs from renewables such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. 100 cities show a good level of ambition and commitment across the board to help meet the goals of the Paris agreement; back in 2015, 42 cities were reportedly powered by at least 70 per cent clean energy.


Much more is still needed though. What can we learn from those who are leading the pack?

Iceland is famous for its breath-taking scenery, geysers and its Blue Lagoon - and for sitting astride the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Iceland is also well known for generating 100 per cent of its electricity through renewables: 75 per cent of that from large hydro, and 25 per cent from geothermal. Equally significant, Iceland provides 87 per cent of its demand for hot water and heat with geothermal energy, primarily through an extensive district heating system.

Closer to home, there are signs of the UK increasing its commitment to clean energy; The UK100 network of local government leaders, which seeks to devise and implement plans for the transition to clean energy, have announced that 85 UK towns and cities (including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow) have already committed to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050 and more are signing up.


What can we do as individuals?

Energy use is a hot topic in my house at the moment. As a new homeowner, I'm juggling my naivety of heating a larger space, on top of the freak chill and confusion that the 'Beast from the East' brought me! More positively, it's the first time I've had free reign in choosing an energy supplier and I wanted to pick one who could offer cost savings but could also show steps they're taking to help the UK move towards a cleaner energy supply.


London startup Bulb is a green energy supplier, with all of its electricity and 10 per cent of its gas coming from renewable sources. They have 70,000 customers and I'm one of their newest!

Bulb have direct relationships with renewable generators to purchase their output and purchase renewable electricity in the wholesale market to cover any shortfall from the generators. Their renewable gas source is biomethane (gas produced from organic matter like sewage and manure).

Not only do Bulb supply 100 per cent renewable electricity, but they also donate £2 per switch to Trees For Cities. Great minds think alike - Did you know that here at Mattinson Partnership we plant a tree for every referred candidate we place and every temporary contract filled? 

I'm only one month in, so no I'm not yet saving the world, but it's a great feeling to know that I am helping work towards our UK cleaner energy goals!


RuthI have a First Class Honours Degree in BSc Environmental Biogeoscience and 4 years consultancy experience with Hyder Consulting. I joined the Mattinson Partnership team in 2011 to head up our environment desk and now support our Director David with the management and growth of our recruitment teams in London and Glasgow.

I kicked off my consultancy career with 2 years on the London 2012 Olympic site working as the Enabling Works CEEQUAL assessor, before signing up for a secondment to Crossrail. I also had an EIA coordination role, coordinating technical inputs from the environmental disciplines that I now recruit for; Ecology, Air Quality, Acoustics, Archaeology and Contaminated Land. My key achievements in consultancy were winning Hyder's Graduate of the Year award and flying to visit colleagues in Australia as part of my prize.

As an active member of the Butterfly Conservation and the South London Botanical Institute, I'm passionate about nature. I love travelling to new places and experiencing different environments and, my ultimate favourite thing is scuba diving. I completed the London Marathon in 2015 and try to keep up with the running, but that's really so I can enjoy as many of London's culinary delights as possible!


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London Wildlife Trust.

We are proud partners of The London Wildlife Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting the wildlife and wild spaces of London by driving environmental projects throughout the city. Our team often get involved at ground level in Wild Workdays by helping to maintain and restore treasured spaces and land… we love to get our hands dirty! We also run multiple interactive workshops, providing their conservation trainees with invaluable career advice and insights into the environmental sector to prepare them for employment. Most recently, we worked with young people taking part in their Keeping it Wild programme, which engages young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in nature conservation.

Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI represents planning professionals in the UK and Ireland and aims to encourage the development of vibrant and prosperous places and communities. Our Senior Consultant Freddie enthusiastically attends the annual Planning Convention, and we host several events throughout the year to show our support, including drinks networking and a literal pub quiz. We also keep in close contact with our friends down under, at the Planning Institute Australia and New Zealand Planning Institute. In addition, we sponsor the London Planning Summit, an event designed to address the biggest challenges facing the industry. This is our opportunity to stay on top of the latest changes in town planning by meeting with other key professionals in the sector, while celebrating our achievements.

Land Securities Group Plc.

One of our clients, LandSec, are the clever people behind Girls Can Do It Too, an initiative designed to encourage girls to consider a career in construction. Currently, only 11% of the construction workforce are female, and LandSec are attempting to increase this number by providing education and engagement projects and workshops for girls aged 11-13. Featuring workshops on demolition and tower building, as well as challenging the girls to design a planning project of their own (with a focus on budgeting and environmental considerations), LandSec have proven their dedication to addressing the need for diversity in this very male dominated industry. Ruth assists the project by sharing her fascinating insights into the industry and is even on the project judging panel!

Urban Land Institute.

In partnership with Urban Land Institute we are able to play an imperative role in creating a larger and more diverse pool of candidates within the planning & property professions. Working in schools we take part in the Urban Plan Educational workshops programme, which has now reached more than 2,500 pupils in 100 schools since its launch. Alongside more than 200 industry volunteers engaged across the country, we provide invaluable industry & careers advice to students while guiding them through their workshops and helping judge their presentations.

Carbon Footprint.

Carbon FootprintTM works to help organisations offset their CO2 through tree planting and community projects worldwide. By partnering with Carbon FootprintTM, we have planted native trees and shrubs such as Whitebeam, Hazel, Field Maple, Silver Birch, Rowan, Beech, Blackthorn, Holly and Dog Rose to create a Mattinson Forest that spreads across South East England. Carbon FootprintTM work in conjunction with the Florestal Santa Maria Project (FSM-Redd Project), designed to reduce deforestation in the Amazonian Rainforest. So, for every tree we plant in the UK we guarantee a tonne of CO₂ offset in Brazil too. Carbon FootprintTM have allowed us to not only do our bit for the environment but also commemorate moments of growth for our clients and candidates.