SQ Newsletter: Cleantech clusters a boost for local economies

There is general consensus that clustering specific types of economic activity in one location provides economic benefits. In this context, a cluster is a geographical location where enough resources and competences reach a critical threshold, giving it a key position in a given economic branch of activity, and with a decisive sustainable competitive advantage over other locations. Clustering is thought to strengthen the competitive position by increasing the productivity of the companies in the cluster, by driving innovation in the field, and by stimulating the start-up of new businesses in the field. 

SQ Consult assessed the potential impact of Cleantech clustering on local or regional economies for Imperial College London, which aims to catalyse the formation of a Cleantech cluster in the greater London area.

SQ Consult get-together in Berlin

Mark van Wees is associate consultant with SQ Consult. SQ Consult is an international consultancy, fully dedicated to supporting its clients in achieving sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient development. The network of experts provide technical, legal, regulatory, policy, economic and financial expertise. The annual get-to-gether of all SQ Consult associates was held in Berlin.

Project Energy efficient communities in Armenia

The project "EU for Civil Society“ is funded by the EU Delegation to Armenia (total budget is more than €370 000 with funding from EU Delegation of €335 000. 40 Mio AMD will be targeted to support small community initiatives only) with the aim of raising awareness on energy efficiency among the citizens of Armenia and implementing practical measures to improve energy utilization pattern, increase quality of life and reduce energy bills. The coordinator of the project is ASBA (the National Social Housing Association of Armenia) and project partners include Seven7, the energy efficiency centre (Czech Republic), EnergieU (the Netherlands) and IWO (Germany). The project is running until the end of 2019. Mark van Wees represents Energy U in this project.

Market study smart heated carpets


Carpets fulfil many purposes in buildings: interior, design, comfort, acoustics, and health. A new generation heated carpets could combine all these services with providing heating comfort. In addition, smart controls could personalise the thermal comfort services to individual needs of office workers and household members. The project “Composing the New Carpet” acknowledged the potential of this concept (with working product name Cos-e). A market study was carried out as a final step in the project to complement the design  phase.

  • Cos-e is suited as a supplementary heating system to complement heating  and climate systems in  houses, offices and other utility buildings.
  • In open office spaces, Cos-e can be used to provide individual office workers with personal thermal comfort at the work place.
  • In care homes and hospitality, personal and individual thermal comfort requirements differ strongly. Cos-e can meet these.


The project was managed by EWW Consultants

Stronger consideration of energy poverty in energy efficiency policy

In order to make more effective the fight against energy poverty in low-income households, it is proposed to consider this target group more strongly in energy efficiency policy. See the Newsletter of SQ Consult    

Bottlenecks for Energy Storage in the European electricity system

Energy storage can contribute to Energy Union goals such as decarbonisation, energy security, energy market integration and increased competitiveness. But its deployment is hindered by existing regulations that do not provide a level playing field. This article is based on a report ‘Energy storage, which market designs and regulatory incentives are needed?’ written by SQ Consult, in cooperation with Fraunhofer ISI and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, for the European Parliament, ITRE Committee, supporting Committee discussions on the Energy Union. Read the SQ Consult newsletter.

Mark van Wees drafts project proposals and tender documentation

Mark van Wees has developed, coordinated and drafted technical proposals on a range of topics and countries in recent months: energy efficiency, urban climate finance in Asia, and on mainstreaming climate and environment in EU development cooperation. For both EuropeAid and ADB tenders.

SQ Consult Newsletter on the Urdenda climate court case

In a recent verdict, a civil court in the Netherlands ordered the Dutch government to strengthen its actions to reduce national GHG emissions in 2020 as its current actions are ‘inadequate and negligent’ towards its citizens. SQ Consult’s Machtelt Oudenes (Environmental lawyer) and Dian Phylipsen (Senior associate climate change) highlight the positive messages from this extraordinary verdict for national and international climate change efforts. They also discuss some issues related to the rule of law and the mandate of democratically elected governments and what this might mean for the case chances on appeal, and its wider applicability in other countries.

Mark van Wees lectures on climate finance

Mark van Wees is lecturer on climate finance in a two-week course on climate change issues for Taiwanese public officials. The course is organised by the College of Europe in Brussels and Bruges in July 2015.

Policy Instruments and Co-Regulation for the Sustainability of Value Chains

SQ Consult is proud to present its research book “Policy Instruments and Co-Regulation for the Sustainability of Value Chains” written by SQ Consult co-founder Sergio Ugarte and SQ Consult Associate Vincent Swinkels. The book is published by ASME Press in theirTechnologies for Sustainable Life – Concise Monograph SeriesASME is the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, promoting the art, science & practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe.

The book underlines the growing importance of sustainability aspects in the value chain of products and shows possible ways to manage (for companies) and regulate (for governments) these aspects. Because of the international nature of value chains and the limited possibilities for national governments to effectively regulate international value chains, experiences with co-regulation are analyzed and presented. In co-regulation, national policies build upon international private initiatives to monitor and control sustainability aspects of international value chains. The research shows that co-regulation has a lot of potential, but requires careful attention for design details, implementation and constant monitoring. A set of recommendations for policy makers, companies and promoters of private sustainability initiatives is given.