Learning & development
Insight services
Learning & development
Insight services

History of Cornwall Insight from small beginnings to global presence



  • Cornwall Insight is established and named after its founder Nigel Cornwall. Launched with three employees and based in a holiday cottage in the Norfolk countryside
  • The first retail energy market share survey is released and the first Energy supplier forum is held
  • Flagship publications Energy Spectrum and the Daily Bulletin are launched


  • Launched the training and market intelligence areas of the business


  • Created a service offering in the renewables market


  • First office opened in central Norwich


  • Office moves to Millennium Plain, Norwich, due to team growth
  • Began a long-term energy cost service offering


  • The company is bought into full staff ownership
  • The consultancy team is formed
  • Received the EDP’s Future 50 award


  • First insight paper released
  • A dedicated innovation hub is created
  • Cornwall Energy rebranded to Cornwall Insight


  • Gareth Miller made CEO
  • Secured backing from private equity firm BGF
  • Volker Beckers joins the board


  • Energy 2030 launched
  • Over 50 full-time people employed in GB
  • Cornwall Insight Ireland is established
  • Office moves to the Union Building, Norwich, due to team growth


  • Awarded the Financial Times UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2019
  • Cornwall Insight Australia is established
  • Received the Knowledge Pioneer award at the Norfolk Business Awards
  • Over 75 full-time people employed in GB, Ireland and Australia


  • Awarded the Financial Times UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2020
  • Fully virtual learning and development programme launched


  • Awarded the Financial Times UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2021
  • Energy Spectrum Europe launched

Newhurst Energy from Waste | February 2020

Cornwall Insight provided Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) tender support to allow financial close to be achieved on the 42MW Newhurst Energy-from-Waste facility (EfW) in Leicestershire, England. The project is a joint venture between Covanta Holdings Corporate (a global provider of sustainable waste and energy solutions), Biffa plc (the sustainable waste management business) and Macquarie's Green Investment Group (a specialist in green infrastructure principal investment). It will be a significant asset in the drive to decarbonise waste management in the UK.

The joint venture partners were required to obtain a suitable PPA to allow them to have sufficient financial certainty in relation to the project to allow them to make the relevant financial investment in the project. We provided a comprehensive end-to-end service over serval months to facilitate the tender and delivery of the PPA to support the investment process.

This service included the development of the PPA tender criteria in which the options available to the client were investigated, explained and agreed upon, and then conveyed to all the suppliers in the market who were likely to meet these requirements. The communications of the tender process were then managed, with Cornwall Insight answering queries associated with the tender process, including fielding queries from suppliers, providing guidance to the client and organising key administrative elements such as Non-Disclosure Agreements. The commercial and contracts aspects of the quotes PPAs were also determined, involving liaising with legal teams to assess terms of concern for the client and providing detailed analysis of the quoted prices. Finally, contract negotiation support was also provided, allowing for the successful completion of the tender process.

Zenobe | December 2019

Zenobe is a major owner and operator of battery storage in the UK. Cornwall Insight assisted Zenobe in securing debt facilities to develop further battery storage assets, with a value of £25m being secured from Santander Corporate and Commercial. We were part of the project team to assist in the debt facilitation process and provided market analysis and forecasting to allow Santander to be comfortable with the provision of debt.

We provided forecast revenues for battery storage assets in the UK market, utilising our in house battery storage optimisation modelling. As part of this process, we ran a number of sensitivity scenarios across several different price curves, allowing the client and the investor to have as robust a view as possible for long-term battery revenue streams, including Wholesale Day-ahead and Intraday trades, the Balancing Mechanism and the Capacity Market. As part of this process, an assessment was also given of the regulatory risks associated with developing a battery asset, and further price curves.

United Utilities | April - May 2021

United Utilities commissioned Cornwall Insight to provide research and analysis into the reporting of, and value associated with, accredited renewable electricity in the GB market over the period 2030 to 2050. Sector body Water UK announced its Net Zero 2030 Roadmap in December 2019 under which a pledge to deliver a net zero water supply for customers across the country, with United Utilities – along with the Water UK’s other members – having committed to this. As a result, the Company required research to inform investment decisions and emissions reporting considerations associated with the sector’s 2030 target.

Cornwall Insight’s review of existing policy examined both mandatory and voluntary aspects of emissions reporting, with a forward-looking assessment providing a view on potential changes to these frameworks between now and 2030, in addition to a longer-term outlook to 2050. Our analysis incorporated an evaluation of the potential implications of these areas, examined policy measures of relevance to the Company and its operations, and their applicability and relevance to carbon reporting.

United Utilities has already committed to a range of energy and emission reduction measures as part of its wider sustainability initiatives. These include investment in generation capacity, carbon offsetting and land restoration efforts and gas decarbonisation (through biomethane) and transport. Given these, Cornwall Insight provided its assessment of future options for renewable electricity purchasing and their suitability to the Company, doing so alongside a review of the approaches adopted by other water and wastewater companies in England and Wales to provide a sectoral context.

With the use of REGO-backed electricity tariffs increasingly mainstream in the non-domestic supply sector as a means by which to demonstrate the purchase of renewable power, the need to demonstrate additional commitments and actions is an important consideration for companies as part of their environmental policies. As well as providing a long-term forecast of Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO) values to the Company in conjunction with a view on the carbon intensity of the GB electricity grid from its quarterly ‘Benchmark power curve, Cornwall Insight examined a range of other options for United Utilities, including Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs), behind-the-meter investment, carbon offsetting/insetting and transport decarbonisation.

Each of the options was assessed against a range of criteria, including financial metrics (operating cost, capital cost, cost reduction potential, revenue generation potential), carbon emission considerations (emission reduction potential, speed, and duration of emission reductions) and practical factor (speed of implementation, ease of implementation, transparency from a reporting perspective) in addition to assessing regulatory and policy risk.

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