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Tempus Energy & The Dodgy Characters Behind Latest Challenge To Capacity Market

March 7, 2019

By Paul Homewood


Last year, it was reported that the ECJ had blocked the UK’s Capacity Market mechanism on the basis that it constituted illegal state aid.

The decision in fact was not against the UK per se, but against the EU Commission, which, according to the ECJ, had failed to launch a proper investigation into the UK’s capacity market when it cleared the scheme for state aid approval in 2014.

The ball is now back in the Commission’s court to either challenge or do a proper investigation.

In the meantime though, a tiny outfit called Tempus Energy has launched new legal action against the BEIS, to cancel the Capacity Market in its tracks.

From The Energyst:



Tempus has launched legal action intended to force the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to cancel a planned Capacity Market auction that would ‘top up’ capacity levels for next year’s winter (so-called ‘T -1′ auction) and return payments made relating to two auctions held in 2016 and 2017.

In a claim for judicial review against BEIS, Tempus argues that under State Aid laws BEIS cannot operate the Capacity Market while it waits for State Aid approval to be reconsidered. Tempus wants UK courts to order BEIS to recoup payments made under the Transitional Arrangements auctions (held in January 2016 and March 2017) as these were made under the annulled State Aid approval. Tempus also wants the court to halt the replacement T-1 auction planned for this summer and stop BEIS from enforcing existing capacity agreements during the standstill period.

Tempus Energy CEO, Sara Bell

In a blog post, Tempus chief executive Sara Bell said, “The ruling in November created a ‘standstill period’ on the Capacity Market, and during this standstill the UK government has a legal duty to stop the scheme and recover the subsidies (aid) already paid out.” She added, “Payments currently being relied on by the fossil fuel industry are unlawful and will never be made. Investors should take separate legal advice and not rely on statements from the government.”

BEIS said payments related to the Supplementary Capacity Auction held in January 2017 are unaffected as the State aid approval for these has not been annulled.

The business department said, “We will robustly defend this challenge. We continue to believe in the Capacity Market as a mechanism for guaranteeing security of supply and that it was right for the European Commission to approve our State aid notification for the scheme in 2014. We welcome the Commission appealing the Court’s judgment – an appeal in which the UK is intervening to support the Commission.

“We remain confident in the steps we are taking to reinstate the Capacity Market and operate the scheme to the fullest extent possible during the standstill period (within State aid constraints). The actions we have taken are in accordance with the UK’s standstill obligations imposed by the judgment. We have been in frequent contact with the European Commission to discuss the measures we have taken during the standstill period, including rescheduling the T-1 auction and deferred payments.”

As part of the judicial review process, Tempus will serve its claim on all current capacity agreement holders and those capacity providers that received payments under the Transitional Arrangements auctions, as they are directly affected parties.


It was Tempus who started the original challenge to the ECJ back in 2014 and they have some dodgy characters on board.

According to their website:

We are revolutionising electricity systems with our unique software that unlocks demand flexibility in connected customers.

Our technology uses AI and smart algorithms to control and optimise when flexible assets use energy. By predicting volatility in carbon intensity and market prices we allow customers to reduce their energy costs – while simultaneously enhancing their use of renewables.

In other words, they want to make money out of a power grid that is inherently unstable. In contrast, there would be no demand for their products with a grid that could reliably supply power as and when needed – in other words, what we have been used to.

Everybody wants to make money, but it gets much worse when you see who is behind all of this.


Sarah Bell is CEO and founder, and Tempus give her profile:

Sara founded Tempus Energy in 2012. Her background combines a financial markets systems risk career with energy system innovation. She is a Director of the Association of Decentralised Energy, a member of the High Level Group of i24C, the Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness initiative, a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Energy for the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council and an Innovation Ambassador for Innovate UK.

Although she no doubt has some bright ideas, she also clearly has a bee in her bonnet about decentralising energy.

Non exec director is Molly Webb:

Molly has 10+ years of market acceleration and advocacy for global innovation in tech, climate change, smart cities and energy, working in partnership with companies and cities at The Climate Group and multiple UK think tank demos. She is also a Green Innovation Strategy adviser for Skype-founder’s Zennström Philanthropies; a jury member for numerous cleanweb and cleantech awards; and she holds MSc in Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics.

To which all I can say is – heaven help us all.

The third member of the team is banker, Garry Sharp.

The Advisory Board is no better.

One member is Dimitri Zenghelis. According to his profile:

Dimitri Zenghelis is Co-Head Policy at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. In 2014 he was Acting Chief Economist for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. While he headed the Stern Review Team at the Office of Climate Change in London, he was one of the authors of the Stern Review report on the Economics of Climate Change

Am I the only one to worry, when I see links with Grantham and Stern?

Also on the Board is Bryony Worthington, who did her best to wreck the UK, when she wrote the Climate Change Act for Ed Miliband.

Quite why we should trust any of this lot to have the best interests of the UK at heart is a mystery.


Tempus’ own blog account of the latest appeal makes clear the real reason for their action:


They have zero interest in energy security or consumers, only their extremist views on climate.

To even mention the fraudulent report about spending over €12 billion per annum on fossil fuel subsidies, proves how dishonest and untrustworthy they are. The link they give is to the Guardian report, which clearly states “A significant part of the UK fossil fuel subsidies identified by the commission is the 5% rate of VAT on domestic gas and electricity, cut from the standard 20%”.

While Tempus play silly semantic games, they are evidently also keen to see ordinary householders’ energy bills rising by 15%.


There is one further question. Who actually paid for this legal action to be taken in the first place?

When the action started in 2014, Tempus was little more than a year old. According to its Annual Accounts, it still has little in the way of tangible assets.

It is unbelievable that Tempus would have committed to a legal case at that time, that could potentially cost tens, and maybe even hundreds, of thousands of pounds.

Which begs the question – who put them up to it?

  1. Adam Gallon permalink
    March 7, 2019 7:03 pm

    Looking at Sara Bell’s LinkedIn profile.

    14+ years experience in climate change and clean technology – driving market change to enable a low carbon future. Passionate about creating and incentivising electricity demand flexibility. Excited about blockchain and tokenisation of value as a means of driving decarbonisation. 10+ years experience in financial market risk management for range of Investment Banks. Combines ideas with mathematical structure to capitalise on business opportunities.

    Member of the Strategic Advisory Council for Energy for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    Director of the Association of Decentralised Energy
    Director of the UK Demand Response Association
    Trustee of Sustainability First
    Member of National Physical Laboratory Centre for Carbon Measurement Stakeholder Group
    Regular speaker at conferences and industry events.

    •Detailed knowledge of UK and international energy & climate change policy
    •Deep understanding of business implications of climate change
    •Electricity market disruptive thinker
    •Creatively building demand response opportunities
    •Strong relationships in the energy & climate change space

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 8, 2019 2:10 pm

      Doubtless she has keenly followed the antics in South Australia and Victoria, where the power cuts that were required during peak summer demand because too much coal capacity had been shut, and wind was barely contributing anything at all were imposed on those constituencies that had not voted for the green governments in those states. Power cuts for anyone who disagrees with her!

  2. March 7, 2019 7:45 pm

    Completely off-topic but I thought you’d like to know that you’ve been judged unreliable by a Dutch student in his Master’s thesis in American studies:

    p55: Homewood and his weblog NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat are not directly mentioned on SourceWatch. However, like Heller, Homewood publishes contrarian ideas on WattsUpWithThat. This disqualifies Homewood as a reliable source.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      March 7, 2019 8:35 pm

      Sue the pants off of him.

    • March 7, 2019 8:38 pm

      I remember my English Literature teachers answer to any topic in regards to interpretations to his course material, its a point of view. You don’t in a normal thesis start with a presumptive derogation description given to non believers unless you are sure of straight A’s at a liberal university, the descriptive language of his subjects used also would not be acceptable, you write in the 3rd party without an opinion , normally the title would be considered inflammatory language, which is also used on the subjects of the thesis – by and large his sources should get zero marks in that they are all URL’s and this is normally prohibited.

      There are no papers referenced only online media fact the references should have included images referencing source page and preferably paragraph which should have been included from a source repository such as the university library or the British Library, URL’s cannot be used from printed media which is what happens to a thesis for it to be marked, the pdf’s change go dead or the original articles are edited., This limits the scope of the quote to archives only where in fact it should be. This particular university allows it, by and large it shows its standard’s are pretty low, I have looked at its masters requirements, I went to Manchester Met and even with a former Poly I would have had the thing rejected at my old school. As it is it relies on Breitbart keeping a repository of its own articles in pristine form and by and large how the articles are viewed is colored by the descriptive language used describing the persons rather than that they have a point of view with reference to conflicting evidence and to show balance….

    • March 8, 2019 11:37 pm

      However, like Heller, Homewood publishes contrarian ideas on WattsUpWithThat. This disqualifies Homewood as a reliable source.

      I sense the authotarian streak is strong in this one.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 7, 2019 9:55 pm

    1 “we allow customers to reduce their energy costs” – Hah! Only by reducing their energy usage!

    I’m left to wonder if anyone her can find a link between Perry and Bell. They seem to speak the same language.

  4. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 8, 2019 3:52 am

    Wealth re-distribution at its finest.
    Please, someone — follow the money.

    • jack broughton permalink
      March 8, 2019 10:53 am

      The old capitalist principle of “Trickle-down” making the poor better-off has reversed in the UK and France and is now “trickle-up”. Wealth redistribution (e,g, GINI index) is deteriorating annually. Never though that I’d say it but, we need a Trump!

  5. Athelstan. permalink
    March 8, 2019 7:49 am

    “who put them up to it”?

    The likelihood is that, we’ll never, ever know.

    I’ve a few ideas but in these litigious days and on a site which is not mine – Paul’s I couldn’t possibly comment. But only say, that, I’d be quite surprised if and by somehow at the back of this is the UN-EU and some billionaire, hedger or other, and maybe financial input from sources linked to Gulf agencies and sovereign funds.

    Whosoever it is, they do not have UK consumers best interests, erm the very last thing on their minds would be the wishes, requirements, cares and needs of, UK electricity/gas domestic users.

    In the end though, it has to be noted that, across the UK political class and indeed the whole administration, courts too are, quite probably insofar as the UK energy policy and ‘we the consumers;’ are concerned, the enemy.

    This benighted made septic isle, a third world like energy intermittency of supply and blackouts are the only road for us now.

    • dave permalink
      March 8, 2019 9:03 am

      March 29 SHOULD see the abolition of the legal concept of ‘illegal state aid.’ Of course, with the present Establishment, who knows?

      • dave permalink
        March 8, 2019 9:17 am

        If the UK leaves under WTO rules, these include a concept similar to improper state aid, but there would be NO WAY a private trouble-maker could apply to our domestic courts. The only remedies are ‘state-to-state’ discussions.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 8, 2019 2:02 pm

        We call this ‘the double coffin lid’. Given the high level of ignorance about the EU it is no surprise that the majority do not know that the EU facilitates a lot of international regulation. The bonehead Brexiteers will find that the rules on government contract tendering also originate from the WTO. Analysis of the Single Market regulations show that of 80% of these originate above the EU.

      • David Kendrick permalink
        March 9, 2019 4:21 am

        Gerry, well over 52% of the population voted leave, Brexit was a word coined by May as a negative psycological definition of the word Exit in a public announcement Brexit means Brexit – when we are leavers, as you are remain. That was to silence the majority in the press, here and everywhere else but it was a Fake News damp squib and came out of the same think tank, peaople started naming their kids Brexit. Another word was coined by the same group in the mid 1990’s when the majority refused to swallow the Global Warming scam, Denier. Same means method and victims, notice that all the derogatives have came from your minority faction who have desperately tried to keep well not very much really. As for regulation, if you need instructions to operate a toilet go to the EU, frankly the vast majority of all technology, trade and science was done pre 1992 and all the EU has done is lockstep 11+ nations into the old Roman republic with added bells and whistles, if thats your thing and you really want it we should pay for your passage – some people like whips and chains.

        However your factions behaviour in the MSM, Parliament and the streets of Britain publically and incompetantly showing our political process has been hijacked by a minority of neo socialist’s and facist corporatists(Socialism for the masses Facism for the elite) who we never purged from Europe post 1945 has done wonders for the awakening British Democracy movement which died a death in 1830, thank you and keep up the good work on these boards.

  6. dave permalink
    March 8, 2019 9:49 am

    If the UK leaves under WTO rules, there will still be the equivalent concept of wrongful ‘dumping,’ but a private trouble maker will have no ability to ask a domestic court to do anything.

    In general, the present EU rules do not say state aid is wrong because it discriminates between one industry and another (which would give rise to a right for the aggrieved industry to sue) but only when the aid is different in one state as compared to another. You can have a playing field which is not level, so long as all countries have the same tilt.

  7. March 8, 2019 10:25 am

    \\ Tempus Energy .. Industry/sector: Cleantech .. founded: 2011
    Recognising a market that relentlessly exploits customers without regard for the environment, Sarah Bell set up Tempus Energy to remove the complexity surrounding energy pricing and reduce costs for consumers.
    …. uses mathematical algorithms and other technologies to ensure customers get the most cost-effective energy source possible.
    It installs devices into premises which communicate with installed electrical appliances, switching them on at times when energy is at its cheapest. //

  8. March 8, 2019 11:19 am

    Who actually finances Tempus ?
    We have seen in the past, that a person has been used as a front by their spouse or family
    ..or maybe she’s a rich heiress or something.
    Her Twitter timeline is full of the same PR BS people we have often see

  9. March 8, 2019 11:33 am

    Does Tempus even have a UK business ?
    \\ At the end of last year we made the hard decision to shut down our UK supply business. Our goal has always been, and remains, to create a fairer, greener electricity system for the benefit of customers. Due to several factors, which I’ll detail below, our focus now has to be on improving and implementing the technology at the heart of Tempus Energy
    … Having closed our UK supply business, we are now focused on countries with transparent and open wholesale markets where the economic principals of supply and demand ensure that the full value from flexibility is accessible by customers. We have set up a business in South Australia //
    see how that blog post url is set as August 2017, yet the date is written “April” on the page

  10. March 8, 2019 11:38 am

    Feb 2018
    \Maybe one day Tempus will supply some good news – but not yet. A £500k loss for YE June 17 has replaced their projected Crowdcube £6.5m profit. //

    Feb 2017
    \\ Tempus raised over £600k on Crowdcube in 2015. Recent accounts show them galaxies off course and the crew have abandoned ship.

    The Crowdcube vetted projections for this company showed them making a very healthy profit of over £800k for their last financial year. As ever, the real story is rather different. They filed a loss of over £600k for the period. Next year’s chasm should be even better with expected profits of £6.5m.

    Worse news for shareholders is the fact that of the 6 Directors who made up the power team that would drive these exceptional profits on the Crowdcube pitch – all have resigned apart from the founder.//

  11. March 8, 2019 11:47 am

    So hang on there is another sidekick firm involved in the legal action
    “Tempus Energy Technology Limited”
    Oct 2018 “Tempus is a clean-tech company that uses AI and data science to control and optimize when energy is used”
    “Right now, the technology is being trialled by Origin Energy with several of their large business customers in Australia — the first time this technology has been used in this way by a large electricity retailer.” *

    “n another initiative, Tempus will be using the FLEX Token through a Eurostars-funded project”
    View at

    * Origin page has fluffy PRspeak

    • A C Osborn permalink
      March 8, 2019 1:31 pm

      Stew, great sluething, interesting that they have shifted their base to Australia, where there are even more gullible policos.

    • March 8, 2019 2:00 pm

      I gather TETL own most of the shares in Tempus Energy

      See Annual Return

      • David Kendrick permalink
        March 9, 2019 4:59 am

        3 Wesley Gate Reading is a mailbox for scam companies this one was originally Alectrona Grid services ltd, what happens is a unit is rented and an extra address is registered with royal mail(some got away with registering the extra address and a PO box at the Post Office at £50 per month). There is only a No 1 & 2 units at Wesley Gate with 8 companies registered at a no 3, in the process of being struck off( all of which are dissolved etc. It is the old mailbox scam and it has been around since the late 1980’s, rent location, host companies, rip off customers, liquidate, move on. rinse & repeat. You will find that a name change is £15 and possibly much cheaper if the person has dual or multiple nationalities since we have been in the EU since 1992 it facilitates shareholder multiple identities and free movement of criminals which in combination has meant fraud investigation became the fraud helpline a 2-3 year wait for a reply and a nice email stating the matter is under investigation, been there done that. Once upon a time you needed a character reference from at least a squire, your vicar, a guarantor and your bank to create a full company with a pernament UK address in a real location and there was no such thing as limited liability, Now it is an online form.

  12. matthew dalby permalink
    March 8, 2019 11:58 am

    If the capacity market stops doesn’t it mean that the government won’t be able to subsidize coal plants that are only needed when the wind doesn’t blow. This would lead to massive problems next winter, but might finally force home the reality that renewables can’t be relied on and eventually lead to the likes of Claire Perry getting back in touch with reality so that we finally get a sensible energy policy. Coal fired power stations wouldn’t need subsidies if they could sell their electricity 24/7.

  13. dennisambler permalink
    March 8, 2019 12:39 pm

    “Also on the Board is Bryony Worthington, who did her best to wreck the UK”

    And still is. She is European Director for US Environmental Defense Fund, whose CEO is on the Grantham Advisory Board. Wonder where the money is coming from for this?
    Mr Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund

    This has Grantham all over it.

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 8, 2019 3:36 pm

    You know these people are crazy when you do some basic sums. I checked back on the amount of coal generation between 25th February and 6th March 2018 – roughly the period of the Beast from the East, although arguably I should have gone back and forward to periods of zero coal generation. It was 2,165,590MWh, which would have required generation of 25% more to charge the storage of 16,788 of Musk’s Big South Australian Batteries, each costing about A$90m or £50m, for a total of some £839.4bn.

    Looking at the half hourly data from BM Reports (B1620), we would have needed a wind fleet with 7.4 times its actual capacity in order to have replaced the coal generation without using storage, together with a massive expansion in transmission capacity and huge levels of curtailment when it was windy at night otherwise.

    I’m having a dose of the MacEnroes here

    You cannot be serious.

  15. ThinkingScientist permalink
    March 8, 2019 4:21 pm

    Scroll down the posts at the linked-in site that Sara Bell is involved in. Extraordinary level of green propaganda and announcements. Clearly professionally funded.

  16. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 8, 2019 5:36 pm

    Meanwhile OFGEM finds itself in the hot seat for its proposals on reallocating network charging – an increasingly important part of our bills. I almost expected to see the Tempus Energy name behind the protests that point out it is OFGEM’s duty to fix it for the renewables industry and batteries at the expense of consumers. Ed Miliband’s 2010 Energy Act, passed in haste with lack of proper consideration as “wash-up” business before the election strikes again.

    • David Kendrick permalink
      March 9, 2019 5:04 am

      One of the most important things to change post March is that government should govern by policy not law and most laws should be repealed, laws are about rectifying wrongs and as such they has multipled like rabbits as lawmakers have found wrongs in everything including wrinting and amending more laws to fix the laws. Government should ‘govern’ through policy which can and should change as required and as governments change.

  17. Athelstan. permalink
    March 9, 2019 7:43 am

    “We call this ‘the double coffin lid’. Given the high level of ignorance about the EU it is no surprise that the majority do not know that the EU facilitates a lot of international regulation. The bonehead Brexiteers will find that the rules on government contract tendering also originate from the WTO. Analysis of the Single Market regulations show that of 80% of these originate above the EU.”

    Said our ever helpful ‘gerry’.

    The point you miss it that Britain free from the shackles of the EU would be able to input on transnational read UN trash ‘rool’s’ which certainly China and India totally ignore.

    Mark well that, the EU is one of the biggest contributors to drafting international rools and because we are only a province of one of 28, Britain has no input and even if we try are ignored.
    A changin’ of the regime, what needs to happen gerry is for Britain to get out of the Berlin Empire the master race are on of the top rools writers – and next commence with the US and other associates Australia for one and in order the rewrite, efface the UN-EU inspired transnational rools and therein smash the coffin lids.

    • dave permalink
      March 9, 2019 2:33 pm

      What few people, including May, failed to notice in 2017, was that the directors of the EU project changed their minds about Brexit, after May’s clumsy electoral gamble failed. The rulers decided then simply to expel the UK (De Gaulle’s “Non!” was to be revived), and not allow it to slink back in with a BRINO – which was the original plan.

      It probably does not matter what anybody in the UK actually wants.

      • Athelstan. permalink
        March 9, 2019 2:51 pm

        dave, I dearly wish that you are correct mate – really, really do.

      • David Kendrick permalink
        March 9, 2019 4:11 pm

        It is a shame I cant upvote for todays most inspired truth.

      • dave permalink
        March 9, 2019 10:19 pm


        But still, any objective person must fear the awesome, historic ability of the British Establishment to spoil, for the silent majority, anything and everything.

      • dave permalink
        March 12, 2019 8:21 am

        It was always obvious that the EU would ‘concede’ something on the wording of the backstop, at the last moment; and that May would pretend that this was the only thing wrong with her BRINO.

        Then it will not be the ‘fault’ of either of these two pathetic parties if ‘mad Brexiteers’ hijack the process. A silly exercise in blame shifting.

        Will Parliament finally tear off its mask and show its full-on, quisling, nature today?

        Will it do any good for them, when they tell May to ask for an extension?

        I do not know.

      • dave permalink
        March 12, 2019 2:25 pm

        Contracts only work for short-term matters. As a control of long-run relations, they can not substitute for genuine trust or common interest. The whole nonsense about this, and that, and ‘backstops,’ and ‘comfort letters,’ and statements of intent, blah, blah…is just lawyer nonsense.

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