Dave Noble, managing director of Midas, reveals how European Union Stage V emissions regulations will transform the temporary power model

Introduced in January this year, European Union Stage V emissions regulations will transform the temporary power model – starting with London and other big cities first, then across the country. And it’s Brexit-proof.

A telling step on from Stage 3A, in technical parlance, the new standard establishes limits for engines of non-road mobile machinery’s “gaseous and particulate pollutants”. It affects products marketed from January 1 but provides for a “transition” period, in which equipment with engines manufactured in 2018, so not Stage V-approved, may be sold.

A woolly timeline then, but everyone wants cleaner air, everyone talks about doing the right thing and here’s how it’s actually going to happen, in terms of powering live events at least. And the difference between 3A engines and Stage V is quantum.

The complexity of this next chapter might be enormous but, ultimately, it will change the market. Stage V compliant kit is relatively hard to use – the machines are bigger, more expensive and it will take generator supply back 15 or 20 years to when it was seen as a skilled job.

True, if you want to buy Stage V machines now, with a pocket full of dollars, it would be spring 2020 before you take delivery, but the edge of the impact shadow is easy to see. And pile ‘em high/sell ‘em cheap companies are sure to be considering their options.

A lot of suppliers, to events and construction, forward bought Stage 3A engines to try and get by for the next couple of years and then catch up – one pricey means to a middle not an end – while others focused on the longer term.

Yanmar, which manufactures for Himoinsa, took a step back, did its research, and is now well around the corner in terms of developing next generation machines. A quick Google tells me there are at least a couple of other companies taking similar steps and we should tip our hats to these fresh heirs.

With its Ultra Low Emission Zone, London events will be policed hardest/fastest. Certainly, construction companies in the capital have been hit for not using 3A compliant engines, but Glasgow, York and Leeds are in the loop with at least another 10 cities set to follow.

There will be cost implications too, that underlines the message, so be prepared! Find out what your power supplier is doing to get ready for Stage V. Too many people are content turning little circles, shouting about changing the world but doing very little about it, while truly revolutionary legislation like this whistles past their window.