Decerna grows Life Cycle Assessment team

Jonathan Forbes - part of the Decerna LCA teamJonathan Forbes – part of the Decerna LCA team

Blyth based Decerna (previously known as Narec Distributed Energy) has added a new member to the Life Cycle Assessment team.

This team within Decerna undertake LCA studies following the principles of ISO 14040/44, in order to understand a wide range of environmental impacts within the life cycle of products and identify environmental hotspots within those lifecycles.

The new member of the team, Jonathan Forbes, recently graduated from Newcastle University, completing a masters in sustainable chemical engineering. During his studies, he gained an interest and enthusiasm for the concept and completion of Life Cycle Assessments. Jonathan’s area of expertise surrounds the utilisation of microorganisms within chemical engineering. His dissertation was completed around the subject of wastewater treatment with algae.

Decerna is currently a partner within the Horizon Europe REALM project, in which the organisation in undertaking the LCA of a range of microalgae products, and competitor products. Jonathan is a core part of the team working on this project, with his study of chemical engineering, his knowledge of processes will be his key strength during his time in the LCA group.

This appointment signifies the beginning of a rapid growth and capacity of Decerna’s LCA team. This expansion will allow Decerna to help a wide range of clients reduce the environmental impacts of their products, and thus make a significant impact on combatting the climate crisis.

For any Life Cycle Assessment enquiries please call 01670 543 009 or email

Fighting water pollution and shortage with algae

In the REALM concept, raceway systems are built next to greenhouses. In these open ponds, microalgae can be cultivated in a cost-effective way. Photo by Biorizon Biotech.In the REALM concept, raceway systems are built next to greenhouses. In these open ponds, microalgae can be cultivated in a cost-effective way. Photo by Biorizon Biotech.

New research will grow microalgae in drain water from greenhouses for cleaner water and lower microalgae production costs

Freshwater supplies are declining worldwide, a situation intensified by global warming. Greenhouses and microalgae production, like many other industries, need to reduce their freshwater demand. By growing microalgae in the drain water of greenhouses, the overall fresh water usage can be reduced, and the water becomes cleaner. This approach can also result in new microalgal-based products for agriculture and aquaculture, generating extra income; in essence, transforming waste into value. A new research project aims to test this concept by developing new low-cost cultivation systems expected to cut the production costs of microalgae in half.

Faro, 02.08.22 – The United Nations forecasts that the global freshwater resources will decline by fourty percent until 2030. This will lead to a strain on fresh water supplies in Europe too. Southern countries, such as Portugal, Spain and Italy, are already experiencing water shortages, which are exacerbated by droughts as seen in the past months. Due to global warming, such extreme weather events will become even more frequent.

This urges the re-design of agricultural and industrial processes, which often require high amounts of fresh water. Growing one kilogram of tomatoes in greenhouses – although more resource-efficient than cultivation on fields – needs between four to twenty liters of fresh water. However, direct reuse of the drain water can spread plant diseases and destroy entire harvests. As of today, high-tech disinfection and recycling systems are still costly.

Run-off from greenhouses or improperly treated drain water can cause environmental problems. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients added to the irrigation water for fast and healthy plant growth can be washed into rivers and lakes. Due to the high nutrient load in these waters, wild plants and algae grow excessively and quickly deteriorate the water quality. Dead zones arise in which only little oxygen is freely available to fish and other aquatic creatures – too little for them to survive.

Microalgae can help combat both of these problems. Instead of using pure fresh water, microalgae can be cultivated in drain water from greenhouses. This frees up fresh water for other purposes like crop irrigation or the production of drinking water. As the microalgae grow in the drain water, they remove the nitrogen and phosphorus therein. This prevents the accumulation of these nutrients in the environment, keeping clean fresh water bodies clean.

European microalgae researchers, agricultural producers and technology experts connected the dots and initiated the new research project REALMReusing Effluents from Agriculture to unLock the potential of Microalgae. They plan to join greenhouse farmers with microalgae producers in the most economical way.

“Recycling irrigation water is a cost. With microalgae, this cost can be turned into revenue,” explains microalgae specialist Alexandre Rodrigues from Necton, the company that coordinates REALM. “By having microalgae production facilities close to the greenhouses, microalgae producers will be getting free water and nutrients. They will clean that water and transform it into valuable microalgae, which can be used in innovative products to grow plants faster or to grow fish healthier.”

Microalgae are rich in essential nutrients and produce compounds that can boost the health of plants and animals. Together, greenhouse farmers and microalgae producers can grow microalgae to manufacture aquaculture feed or agrichemicals like bio-pesticides and bio-stimulants. As microalgae only need sunlight, CO2, water, and nutrients, their growth is highly environmentally friendly.

“The production of microalgae can be very sustainable. In REALM, we will use the drain water as a source of both water and nutrients. We will use the sun as the main energy source, and we will try to validate a direct air capture system that concentrates CO2 from the air. Because microalgae perform photosynthesis and transform CO2 into oxygen,” says biotechnologist Mariana Carneiro from Necton. “Microalgae can be a natural and sustainable source of interesting compounds, which is why we should keep exploring its potential and improving its production.”

Last month, the interdisciplinary team started working to make the REALM concept a reality. Within the next four years, they want to establish automatic, low-cost open pond systems that grow microalgae next to greenhouses. Sensors in the system will monitor the growth of the microalgae and the removal of nitrogen. The researchers anticipate to decrease the nitrate content in the drain water to below the EU limit, which is currently set at 50 milligrams per liter.

At the same time, the system is expected to reduce the costs of growing microalgae by up to fifty percent. According to the team, a production price of less than 10 Euros per kilogram (dry weight) is plausible. This is an important step forward for the industry. Reduced production costs can help microalgae producers reach more sectors and lower price markets. This can boost entrepreneurship to fully seize the potential of microalgae for biofuels, sustainable food and feed or medicine. Microalgae products are currently only available in niche markets. Today one can find microalgae in several day-to-day products such as smoothies and chocolate bars, but also in natural cosmetics. However, microalgae can contribute to healthier lives far beyond their current uses.

When greenhouse farmers and microalgae producers adopt the REALM concept, they can help each other overcome some of the biggest challenges they face today. Additionally, the liaison can increase their competitiveness in a sustainable way – for a better future in which freshwater is not a luxury item.

REALM is a European research project funded by Horizon Europe with 8 554 800.75 Euro (grant agreement number 101060991). It started in July 2022 and will run for four years. Centred around the European Green Deal, the focus is to unlock the potential of microalgae by growing them in drain water from greenhouses. This will reduce the environmental burden of greenhouses and the costs of microalgae production. A cheaper production price of microalgae increases the competitiveness of microalgae products and is going to boost new innovations based on microalgae.
The name “REALM” is an acronym that stands for “Reusing Effluents from Agriculture to unLock the potential of Microalgae”.

Belgium: Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum
Finland: Turun Yliopisto
Germany: ESCI
Netherlands: Wageningen University, University of Twente, Stichting Imec Nederland
Portugal: Necton (coordinator), GreenCoLab, S2AquaCoLab, Hubel Verde
Spain: Biorizon Biotech, University of Cadiz, University of Almeria, Grupo Empresarial La Caña
UK: Phycoworks LTD, Decerna Limited

For technical enquiries contact:
Alexandre Rodrigues – Necton – 
Mariana Carneiro – Necton –
+351 289 093 209

For media enquiries contact:
Melanie Maria Obermeier – European Science Communication Institute gGmbH (ESCI)

Narec Distributed Energy rebrands as Decerna


Narec Distributed Energy, a company focussed on ensuring real carbon savings across multiple sectors, has this week rebranded as Decerna, in order to better represent their activities and ambition.

It is now ten years since the company was created as a spin out from the Distributed Energy department of what was at the time known as Narec. With the company expanding, the new brand is intended to show that Decerna has moved long past simply being a spin out company, and now is a serious player in ensuring that Net-Zero happens in the UK and beyond.

This year, the company will be opening a new HQ, embarking on a number of projects to develop their own renewable energy infrastructure, and delivering projects across the UK and Europe.

Existing projects are delivering real carbon savings, with the company supporting hundreds of SMEs across the North East in decarbonisation, whilst at the same time undertaking major projects in developing renewable energy sites, and expanding the consultancy offering of Decerna.

Over the coming months, we will be releasing press releases on a number of exciting new developments and projects, as we continue to grow and help make a real difference in combatting climate change.

Decerna expands the grid team with two new staff members

photo of staff

Decerna has expanded the Grid and Utility scale team with two new appointments.

Harvey Potter has come from Siemens, after completing a higher apprenticeship providing him with detailed knowledge and experience of the grid infrastructure across the UK, having worked on the commissioning of six different Extra High Voltage (EHV) substations for National Grid and SSE. He has knowledge of the electrical grid connection of utility scale wind, solar PV, and battery energy storage systems (BESS).

Shreya Kulkarni graduated from Newcastle University with an MSc in renewable energy , and recently worked with Solar Energy UK on their “Lighting the way” report, which focused on policy interventions the UK government could introduce to support greater solar deployment. She brings expertise in financial modelling and policy, and during her Masters undertook her dissertation at Decerna, producing a report on the optimization of hybrid parks including onshore wind, solar PV and BESS.

Together, they bring a range of hands-on technical expertise, financial modelling, and policy knowledge to allow Decerna to continue expanding into the development of a range of utility scale systems, including batteries, solar farms, and new grid balancing technologies

NDE exists to support the transition to a Net Zero society. We are currently undertaking a range of projects, all of which are making a real difference and helping decarbonise the UK.

The company is currently recruiting for more staff, and job openings are available at


Decerna is a commercial spin off from what was National Renewable Energy Centre Limited

We provide support in four main areas;

  1. Utility scale BESS, solar farms and wind farms
  2. Energy efficiency and renewable energy within the built environment
  3. Field trials of novel technologies
  4. Life Cycle Assessment and carbon accounting

Decerna is located in Blyth, Northumberland, a core area for the development and commercial application of the technologies necessary for Net-Zero.

For more information, please call 01670 543 009 or email


Decerna supports battery roll out

Adobe Stock 313785321: Concept of energy storage unit consisting of multiple connected containersAdobe Stock 313785321: Concept of energy storage unit consisting of multiple connected containers

Decerna has supported 24 Power Limited in the creation of a suite of spade ready Battery Energy Storage (BESS) sites across the north of England, which are currently being sold to developers.

Decerna have carried out the technical applications for each BESS site using the G99 grid connection process and have been involved in negotiations with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) at every stage of the process. This has ensured as smooth a transition as possible when dealing with the local DNO, Northern Powergrid. We have assisted our client by attending meetings, site visits and with all technical aspects of a BESS grid connection. This has included gathering data on National Grid conductor ground clearance, cable routing across third party land, rise of earth potential issues and diverting existing Northern Powergrid 11kV assets.

BESS is vital for the UK to achieve Net Zero, in order to balance variable output from wind and solar against the varying loads from domestic homes and industry. Currently, the UK has 1.3GW of BESS, but according to National Grid this needs to increase to 13GW for Net Zero. The work by Decerna means the UK is further along this path.

Decerna exists to support the transition to a Net Zero society. We are currently undertaking a range of projects, all of which are making a real difference and helping decarbonise the UK.

Decerna expands with two new graduates

Louise and Nina at their desks at DecernaLouise and Nina at their desks at Decerna (socially distanced)

Decerna has expanded, taking on two new members of staff, Nina Dungworth and Louise Austin.

The two new starters are working on the BEST project, in which Decerna is supporting SMEs within the North East, helping them save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The two new staff will also be working on a range of different energy audit related projects.

Louise Austin is a recent graduate from the University of Glasgow with an MSc in Sustainable Energy, whilst Nina Dungworth is a recent graduate from the University of Sheffield with an MEng in Chemical Engineering. Both their technical backgrounds and their passion for the low carbon sector make them both real assets to Decerna and they have already become an essential part of the team.

In spite of the recent difficulties faced by all sectors, 2020 and 2021 have been very good years for Decerna, with a range of new large-scale projects starting. With this success set to continue over the coming months and years we expect to further expand the team in the near future.

Decerna is still fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photovoltaic array Photovoltaic array

We’d like to let all of our clients know that Decerna is still fully operational during these challenging times.

We are following the advice and guidance from the government, as well as using our own detailed risk assessments and policies, in order to keep ourselves, our clients, and wider society safe from COVID-19.

We are undertaking site visits, following our own strict policies. Staff are using PPE where appropriate, and maintaining social distancing.

Unless it is absolutely necessary to use the office, our staff are all working from home; however, all landlines are redirected to our mobile phones. We are open from 8.30am every weekday, and ready to support your renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency and LCA projects.

If you have any enquiries, please call 01670 543 009 or email Or, you can send an enquiry through our contact form on

Hopefully all of this chaos will end soon, and till then, stay safe.

Decerna Team.

Energy grant helps firm design money saving future

BEST Project - JMF recieve cheque from council for heat pump systemBEST Project – JMF receive cheque from council for a heat pump system

A North East business has been the first to receive grant from The Business Energy Saving Team to help cut their fuel bills by becoming more energy efficient.

JMF Group Ltd, a print and design company based in Swalwell, received a grant of £7765 to purchase and install new equipment to make energy efficiency changes.

The Gateshead business used the grant to assist their purchase of an air to air heat pump, a low carbon air source that can provide three times as much energy compared to a standard electrical heater. The new equipment will produce an annual greenhouse gas saving of 7.2tCO2e.

Cllr Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and investment at Newcastle City Council said:

“It is extremely positive to see local businesses benefiting from the services this great project offers.
Rising energy bills are one of the biggest spends for businesses and this project helps those businesses to cut energy costs and save money whilst making a valuable contribution to reducing harmful carbon emissions.
I encourage all eligible businesses to take advantage of the advice and funding being offered by the five local authorities and use this opportunity to make positive changes.”

Michael Foggin, Chairman of JFM Group Ltd, said:

“I would like to thank Newcastle City Council for helping us through the grant procedure.
The process was made simple and hassle free and staff were always on hand to assist with any problems or extra needs.
This heating system has allowed us to move one step closer in reducing our carbon footprint and becoming a zero emissions company.

Up to 250 small and medium sized enterprises in Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland are also eligible for a free energy efficiency audit to help identify ways to save energy in day-to-day operations.

The project aims to achieve a local reduction of 1000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been made possible with £670,000 from England’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme for 2014-2020.
For more information about BEST and an eligibility check, businesses can go to:

Notes to editors

In the first part of the scheme, Decerna will research energy-saving alternatives and make detailed recommendations, along with costings and potential savings on energy costs. If the business wishes to invest in any of the recommendations, they can apply for a grant towards 33% of the costs.

European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £670,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

North East Energy Firm Gets Battery Innovation Boost

Connected Energy's E-STOR battery system, utilising recycled Renault electric vehicle (EV) batteriesConnected Energy’s E-STOR battery system, utilising recycled Renault electric vehicle (EV) batteries

Newcastle-based Connected Energy’s innovative battery storage system has been given a competitive boost after receiving specialist input from a support programme designed to help north east companies to develop electricity grid-related technology.

Connected Energy worked with UK grid experts Decerna to achieve the latest G99 compliance for its innovative E-STOR battery system. The support came as part of the Grid Connection Support Series, a programme run by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult designed to provide business support for companies seeking to grow and innovate across grid-related products and services.

With more renewable energy power entering the grid, combined with the phasing out of old generators, companies with technologies that meets the latest standards are better prepared for the complex requirements of the modern grid. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the free-to-access Grid Connection Support Series will run until 2020, providing masterclasses, innovation challenges and direct business support to better prepare the UK supply chain for future grid connection challenges.

William Hair of Connected Energy said:

“The help from the Grid Connection Support Series was invaluable. It has allowed us to access world-leading knowledge in the UK grid, which ensures our products comply with all of the latest regulations as the UK electricity grid transitions from G59 to G99.”

Bryan Dixon of Decerna said:

“Supporting battery manufacturers is vital, the UK electricity grid requires significant amounts of storage to ensure that the UK can transition to 100% renewables. Connected Energy are one of the few UK-based battery manufacturers of this scale, and it is incredibly important to us to support UK innovation in renewables and storage.”

Ravneet Kaur, Innovation Manager at ORE Catapult said:

“This is a great example of the Grid Connection Support Series delivering for a UK SME, enabling them to become more competitive as a result. The Series provides great opportunities for companies to advance low carbon technology, research and innovation and I’d like to see more businesses take advantage of this opportunity.”

For more information on the Grid Connection Support Series, visit

For more information on Decerna’s G99/100 support and grid connection work, visit



Notes to Editors

About the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

ORE Catapult was established in 2013 by the UK Government and is one of a network of Catapults set up by Innovate UK in high growth industries. It is the UK’s leading innovation centre for offshore renewable energy and helps to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy, supporting the growth of the industry and creating UK benefit.

eGrid project

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is upgrading its research infrastructure through the installation of a grid emulation system, named ‘eGrid’, located at the National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland. The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

As a result, the Grid Connection Support Series, incorporating the Future of Energy Systems Masterclasses, is offering business support services and assistance to UK SMEs seeking to grow and innovate in grid connection products and services, at no cost to participating companies.


Decerna is an organisation specialises in providing technical consultancy and training within the areas of grid connection, battery energy storage technologies, energy efficiency and onshore renewable energy.

Connected Energy

A developer and supplier of energy storage systems which are now active across Europe, Connected Energy is unique in having a world leading technology using second life electric vehicle batteries – a sustainable solution with global applications.

European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020

The project allows for an upgrade of research infrastructure by the installation of an electric power converter system, eGrid. eGrid provides a platform for electrical power quality research and testing in a controlled environment in Blyth.

For more information contact:


NDE to support 250 companies across the north east reduce their carbon footprint

NDE have secured a contract with five North East local authorities to identify energy efficiency solutions that will help over 250 SMEs across the region cut energy costs.

NDE will be delivering the Business Energy Savings Team (BEST) project to support SMEs across Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, North Tyneside and Sunderland identify and implement energy saving improvements.

Rising energy costs are a significant issue for businesses of all sizes, operating in all sectors. The BEST project will provide a fully-funded energy audit, designed to identify ways to save energy in day to day business operations, saving money and cutting carbon. A grant fund for around 100 SMEs will also be available to help cover the costs of improvements. The project aims to achieve reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from SMEs of 1,000 tonnes CO2e.

Speaking about the contract award, Adam Stewart, Senior Project Manager at NDE said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract by Newcastle City Council and are very much looking forward to working with hundreds of SMEs across the region to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions.”

Formed as an independent company in 2012 – following a spin out from the UK National Renewable Energy Centre – Decerna has since carved a reputation as an industry leader in renewable energy, grid connection and training.

Based in Blyth, Decerna specialise in a range of renewable energy and grid connection activities including bespoke training, strategic consultancy, feasibility and design services. The company was formed with the aims of reducing carbon emissions, alleviating fuel poverty, improving energy security and stimulating economic growth.


For further information, visit or contact Adam Stewart on or 01670 357335

Decerna is a commercial renewable energy/energy efficiency/energy storage company based in Blyth (

The BEST project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the project partners Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council and Sunderland City Council.

What is the Export Tariff?

Is the Export Tariff the same as the Feed in Tariff?


In the Export Tariff funded by taxes?

No, it is included with people’s bills

So, is the Export Tariff a subsidy?

No, it is a method for people with solar to sell electricity to the grid at market rates (when you include the losses in transmission)

So, what does the government want to do?

The Export tariff will end on the 29th March 2019. This means that any electricity exported from a new domestic solar PV array will be given to the grid for free, and then the energy companies sell this electricity back at a profit

I need a metaphor to understand this

Imagine you grow your own food, and grow too much for yourself. You are banned from selling it, but someone from Sainsbury’s comes in to your garden, steals your food and sells it to your neighbours. Unfair, right? Well that’s what the government is doing to solar

Is that legal?

Under EU rules, probably not, so it depends on the Brexit deal as to if the government is allowed to do this.

But doesn’t this only effect rich homeowners? I heard on BBC File on Four people get a 12% rate of return on solar installation investments.

That’s not true, the highest rate of return was 11% in 2011. Since then, the rate of return has substantially decreased. Also, that’s talking about the Feed in Tariff, not the Export Tariff

But still, it only effects rich homeowners with cash to spare right?

No, the solar industry in 2015 employed 36,000 hard working people. Since various anti-solar policies came in, this has dropped to maybe 15,000 people. These are direct jobs, there are additional jobs supported, such as scaffolds. The loss of the Export Tariff will result in thousands more job losses.

Also, as well as supporting many small British companies, solar is used by social housing landlords, hospitals, schools, community energy projects and a range of other organisations.

But the government is supporting solar in other ways?

No, from the “solar tax” element of business rates, making the grid connection process more complex, reducing the Feed in Tariff by random large amounts (sometimes illegally), and also removing rules to have renewables on new build, the solar industry has not had a positive experience of government policy.

But the UK is really dark anyway, surely solar doesn’t make much electricity?

In 2018, on a sunny summer day at midday solar generated up to 27% of UK electricity. The UK has 12GW of solar.

Why is the Export Tariff removal happening?

We don’t know

Can I do anything about this?


  1. First, sign this petition:
  2. If you run a company, sign this letter:
  3. Then, write to your MP through this link: (or write independently)
  4. Next, go and see your MP, find their details from:

More info at:

Opportunity for companies to receive world class support in connection of renewables and storage to the grid

Electricity pylonElectricity pylon

Leading renewable energy specialist, Decerna (Decerna), is working with the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) to host a free workshop focused on providing expertise on connecting renewable energy and battery technologies to the electricity grid.

Taking place on Thursday 20th September at ORE Catapult’s world class testing facilities in Blyth, the workshop is open to businesses, SMEs, sole traders and researchers operating in the field of storage, smart grids and renewables.

The event is designed to help delegates understand and avoid various problems related to connecting various systems to the grid, and is primarily designed as a Q&A session. Delegates are encouraged to bring questions with them based on problems they are experiencing within their own schemes. Topics to be covered include grid codes and the coming changes next year, common issues and the best ways to work with Distribution Network Operators.

One of Decerna’s major specialities is in the grid connection of wind, solar and battery farms, and it has provided services for a range of SMEs, large companies and local authorities over the past seven years. Currently, Decerna is working on the grid connection of several >50MW battery farms.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Bryan Dixon, Senior Electrical Design Engineer at Decerna, who will be speaking at the event, said:

“We’re proud to be offering this workshop alongside ORE Catapult. We know about the common issues that can arise when trying to connect to the grid and are we always looking to share our expertise with businesses working in the industry.”

“The range of industry experts and academia speaking at the event will provide important information to the companies attending. The question and answer section of the event will be especially beneficial as it will allow us to really go into detail about the issues most businesses face when it comes to grid connection. I would recommend that people attending come prepared with questions that they would like addressed to really make the most of this free session.”

This workshop is being run as part of the eGrid project, a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project that has enabled ORE Catapult to install one of the world’s most advanced Grid Emulation Systems at its centre in Blyth.

Speaking about the opportunities on offer at the event, Stephanie Mann, Innovation Manager at ORE Catapult said:

“We’re pleased to be hosting this event with Decerna to provide local companies with the opportunity to improve their knowledge about connecting to the grid. We will be introducing our state-of-the-art eGrid system discussing the opportunities for local companies to get involved. It is a great opportunity for companies to gain knowledge of our world-class facilities, expert business support services and technical specialists.”

To register for the event, visit

Fully Funded Renewable Energy Training Available (2018)

One of the North East’s leading renewable energy specialists, Decerna (Decerna), will be providing full funded accredited training to electricians, plumbers and heating engineers on Solar PV, solar thermal and heat pumps to enable installers to meet requirements set out in the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) throughout 2018.

Based in Northumberland, Decerna is the only company in a 100-mile radius to provide the nationally accredited courses, educating installers on how to safely and efficiently install low carbon technologies. The company is providing free training, on behalf of New College Durham, fully funded by the European Social Fund to help companies and individuals adhere to industry standards.

Taking place at Decerna’s renewable energy training centre in Blyth the training courses are available to sole traders and SMEs. Set up like a concept house, each room has a different type of renewable energy technology – such as Solar PV, Solar Thermal and Heat Pumps – giving trainees a real hands on training experience.

The courses cover regulations, principles of the technologies and the installation and maintenance of renewable energy technologies, allowing any suitably qualified electrician, plumber or heating engineer to diversify into low carbon technologies.

Speaking about the invaluable experience and training courses, Hayley Corney, Renewable Energy Training Coordinator said:

“We are delighted to be offering our many years of expertise in the renewables industry to enable more companies to embrace new technologies and in return reap the benefits whilst also playing a role in helping to build a sustainable environment.

“One of the courses we offer is the heat pump training which we think will be of particular interest as the increasing demand in the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme offered by the government has led to a skill shortage in the industry.”

Offering training services for seven years, Decernas specialist courses are accredited by LOGIC and EAL, giving those who complete the course an industry recognized qualification. These certified qualifications are accepted by the nationally recognized quality assurance scheme, MCS. The technical courses on offer have been developed in compliance to both LOGIC and MCS requirements. The MCS is an eligibility requirement to receive green energy financial incentives offered by the government such as the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Hayley said:

“Our courses are available to individuals and small companies whether they are trying to meet their green energy goals or qualify for government-funded energy schemes. Training can be tailored to suit individual or business goals and relevant accreditations will be awarded in recognition of this. Our passion for the renewable energy industry inspired us to provide these courses to increase the use of renewable energy throughout the UK and build a better and more sustainable future.”

Established in 2012, Narec Distribution Energy was started by the UK National Renewable Energy Centre. Decerna is an organisation that offer strategic, technical and training services within the renewable and low carbon sectors, focusing on the built environment. The purpose of the work is to reduce carbon emissions, alleviate fuel poverty, improve energy security, stimulate economic growth and educate energy users about renewables.

Decerna sign open letter to government on the photovoltaic export tariff

Decerna have joined 200 organisations in signing a letter from the Solar Trade Association to the Minister of State for Energy & Clean Growth, to ask for the export tariff for solar photovoltaics to remain.

Current government plans will remove the export tariff, which currently pays homeowners 5.77p/kWh that they are estimated to have exported. Under the new rules, this electricity will still be exported to the grid but homeowners will not be paid. Essentially, homes with PV installed after the 29th of March 2019 will be giving their electricity away for free to energy companies.

We believe this is a bad deal for homeowners, and will damage the already significantly contracted photovoltaic market within the UK. Photovoltaics offer a way to quickly install large amounts of clean generation within the UK, and there is already 12GW of capacity now installed. 

Other organisations to sign the letter include Nissan Energy Storage, Logic Certification, Ovo Energy, and Huawei Solar Europe.

The letter can be viewed here:

A successful NE Expo for Decerna!

Decerna have had a successful NE Expo this year as their fabulous ‘Desk Gardens’ went down a storm!

Decerna (NDE), a Blyth based organisation that carries out a wide range of work within the renewable and low carbon sectors brought a new, 100% renewable marketing tool to the NE Expo on Wednesday 2nd May!

People visiting the exhibition were intrigued by the little logo’d aluminium pots on the Decerna stand and played a guessing game as to what they actually contained.

Guesses from visitors were amusing and brought about some interesting conversations at the stand.

The 100% renewable pots were in fact little ‘desk gardens’ containing soil and mint seeds which, over the period of 21-28 days will grow and bring happiness as well as mint for tea for people working at their desks (either at home or at work).

Most people at the NE Expo took away their little desk garden with a skip and a smile on their face along with the promise to upload their very own photos when the seeds start to grow.

Hayley Corney, from NDE said;

We were over the moon that the little desk gardens were a success! They fitted in nicely with our ethos of renewables and gave a great talking point for all the visitors to the Expo.

NDE are now looking forward to exhibiting at the Federation of Master Builders on 29th June.

For more information about the FMB event visit HERE

Follow Decerna on Social Media via:

Decerna LinkedIn
Decerna Facebook
Decerna Twitter

NDE offering new courses to complement current offer

Decerna are pleased to announce we are now offering complementary courses to our current offer in the following:

We can also now offer group bookings in the following courses….

  • Asbestos Awareness 
  • Asbestos Awareness for Architects and Designers 
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health COSHH
  • Manual Handling 
  • Data Protection in the Workplace 
  • Basic Fire Safety Awareness 
  • Fire Extinguisher 
  • Time Management 
  • Working Safely 
  • Working at Height 
  • Safeguarding Children 
  • Prevent Duty 

Contact: or call 01670 357638 for further information.

Decerna to accept SolarCoin cryptocurrency

SolarCoin logo and Decerna solar PV systemSolarCoin logo and Decerna solar PV system

UK based renewable energy firm, Decerna (NDE), has announced it will now accept the renewable energy based SolarCoin cryptocurrency as payments for solar training courses.

SolarCoin is a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, but given to providers of electricity from solar. For every MWh of energy generated, The SolarCoin Foundation give the generator 1 SolarCoin (§1). As opposed to Bitcoin, SolarCoin also has a far lower energy footprint. The idea behind SolarCoin is to support the production of solar electricity globally

There are two purposes behind NDE’s decision to accept SolarCoin, the first is that anyone who generates solar electricity may have SolarCoins, the second is that by accepting SolarCoin, this helps establish the cryptocurrency, hopefully helping the value stabilise. NDE’s acceptance of SolarCoin follows on from the ACWA Power’s recent announcement they have registered to receive SolarCoins.

The course provided by NDE which can be paid for with SolarCoin is the LOGIC accredited Level 3 Solar PV Installation and Maintenance. This course fulfils part of the requirements for Microgeneration Certification Scheme registration, and is open only to qualified electricians.

Currently, the value of SolarCoin is too low to make a meaningful impact on the economics of solar, but a modest increase from the current value of £0.36 to a value of £50/MWh could have major implications for the economics of solar. NDE will accept the equivalent in SolarCoins on the day of payment as the cost of the course in GBP. At the time of writing this means a course will currently cost over a thousand SolarCoins. Hopefully with future increases in SolarCoin the cost of the courses in SolarCoins will decrease.

Hayley Corney, the NDE Renewable Energy Training Manager said:

“At NDE we are always looking to involve ourselves in new developments within the renewable energy industry, and by accepting SolarCoins, this enables us to provide training to the staff of developers who can claim the cryptocurrency”

The training courses are run whenever there is demand for them, people interested in attending courses should contact NDE on or 01670 357 638.

NDE will accept SolarCoins from the 14th February onwards.

Funded training to upskill North East heating engineers into heat pump installers

dismantled heat pump at Decerna training centredismantled heat pump at Decerna training centre

Decerna (NDE) is offering 100% funded accredited heat pump training courses to North East based heating engineers, training them to install and maintain this renewable energy heating system.

NDE is an independent company based in Blyth, Northumberland. The training courses available include the aforementioned installation of heat pumps, heat metering and some of the plumbing prerequisite courses. As well as heat pumps, other courses on offer include solar thermal heating, and photovoltaics.

With the forthcoming increase within the Renewable Heat Incentive, it is expected that there will soon be a skills shortage in qualified heat pump engineers, and this is an ideal time for North East companies to take advantage of funded training to gain a foothold in this new market.

Pete McNaughton, Renewables Sales Manager from Mitsubushi Electric said:

The Air Source Heat Pump industry has never been stronger with the increase in RHI looming along with increased oil prices and public awareness constantly growing. The appetite to be less reliant on fossil fuels and become greener is a big factor in home owners and landlords moving towards Air Source Heat Pumps, even in what traditionally would be classed as “on gas” areas. Financially it makes perfect sense to switch which is seeing the market grow at a healthy rate. The bottleneck to this growth will be trained engineers qualified to install products.

The funding is being provided by the European Social Fund (ESF) and co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

To be eligible, a company must be based in the North East LEP area (Northumberland, County Durham or Tyne & Wear), be a sole trader or SME (under 250 employees and under £40 million turnover), and be undertaking the course for the first time.

Mick Broadbent, Renewable Energy Training Coordinator at NDE explained:

“Due to the nature of the installations, it is a natural progression for a fully qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineer to up-skill in this particular field, as well as gaining a recognised qualification in Heat Pump Installation you have the opportunity to increase workload and enhance your company profile. This can lead to gaining contracts from Local Authorities / and Private investors who require these Renewable technologies installed by Fully Qualified Engineers”

The first course is running on the 13th to 26th June 2017. Courses end on the 28th July


*** High resolution photography available on request ***


Tom Bradley

01670 357 685


Decerna is an independent renewable energy company, based in Blyth, which was incorporated in 2012. The website is

The European Social Fund (ESF) is the European Union’s main financial instrument for supporting employment in the member states of the European Union.

The courses are:

Installation Courses

Prerequisite Courses

General Courses


Fully funded renewable energy training for heating engineers and electricans

Photovoltaic system on the Decerna training centrePhotovoltaic system on the Decerna training centre

Decerna is once more offering fully funded accredited renewable energy related training courses at our training centre in Blyth, Northumberland. This will enable heating engineers and electricians, as well as existing renewable energy companies, to upskill their staff. Of particular interest for many is the heat pump training, as increases in the Renewable Heat Incentive are causing a skills shortage within this industry.

All installation and maintenance courses can be used by operatives or individuals looking to join the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

The courses are:

Installation and Maintenance Courses

  • Solar PV Installation and Maintenance Training – Logic Level 3 – 4 days
  • Solar Thermal Installation & Maintenance Training – Logic Level 3 – 4 days
  • Heat Pumps Installation & Maintenance Training – Logic Level 3 – 4 days

Short Courses

  • Principles of Metering for Renewable Heat Systems – Logic Level 2 – 1 day
  • Accredited Water Regulations Training Course (WRAS 1999) – 1 day
  • Energy Efficiency for Gas & Oil Fired DHW & Heating Training – Logic Level 3 – 1 day
  • Hot Water Systems & Safety (inc. Unvented hot water) – 1 day
  • Fundamental Principles of Environmental Technology Systems – Logic Level 3 – 1 day

To be eligible for the training, you must:

  1. Be a sole trader, or a company classified as an SME*
  2. Be undertaking this course for the first time

To enrol on a course, please contact Decerna on or 01670 357 638.

More course information is available at

Funding is provided through the European Social Fund, via New College Durham


* An SME is a company with less than 250 staff, an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.

Walk in session for plumbers and electricians as part of Solar Independence Day

Decerna solar thermal training rig in BlythDecerna solar thermal training rig in Blyth

Decerna are throwing open their doors to the public at their training centre, in Blyth on Friday 3 July from 13:00 to 15:00 as part of a UK-wide celebration of solar energy.

Local plumbers and electricians are welcome to come and see demonstration solar thermal and photovoltaic training rigs, and talk through how they could upskill to become solar installers, growing their businesses and helping others generate clean, home-grown electricity.

Decerna train hundreds of installers every year and recently trained 130 renewable energy installers under a funded project in Sunderland.

Ahead of the open day, Tom Bradley, Senior Project Engineer commented:

“Photovoltaics and solar thermal offer opportunities for existing plumbers and electricians to reskill, grow their businesses, and help their customers reduce their energy bills with clean energy”

A series of Solar Independence Day open days are taking place across the country on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 July, led by the Solar Trade Association. The open days include a housing estate in Northumberland, a farm building in Perthshire, a community solar farm in Hampshire  and a further education college in Edinburgh.

The theme of the event, solar independence, follows the Solar Trade Association’s publication just a few weeks ago of its ‘Solar Independence Plan for Britain’, which sets out how the new Conservative government can take steps to ensure that British solar can beat fossil fuels on price and without subsidy as soon as possible. The trade body’s analysis shows that by using funds more efficiently this government could double the amount of solar energy in 2020 for very little extra money.

Members of the public are welcome to register to attend the open day on the Solar Trade Association’s website.


  1.  To attend the event, please email Members of the press are welcome to attend.
  2.  For further information or to request an interview, please contact: 01670 543 009