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Industry News Roundup April 2018

Friday 27/04 – The World Bank predicts oil prices will average $65/ barrel this year. Diamond Transmission Partners becomes the offshore transmission owner of the £193.9mn Burbo Bank extension offshore windfarm grid link.Swedish energy giant Vatenfall confirms plans to sell renewable power from 165MW wind farm direct to business customers.

Thursday 26/04 – Government statistics show a 28% year-on-year decline in the use of coal by major power producers in Q1 2018. A study by academics at Imperial College London finds linking heat, transport and electricity into one fully integrated energy system could be a cost-effective way to decarbonise. Regen research for Devon County Council finds community energy organisations have installed 12.3MW of capacity through 62 community-owned renewable projects. 

Wednesday 25/04 – Hearings on the Judicial Review of Ofgem’s decision to cut triad embedded benefits begins. Carbon Tracker research shows the EU’s carbon prices could double by 2021 and quadruple by 2030 if the European Commission legislates to align the bloc’s emissions targets with the Paris Agreement. The Scottish Affairs Committee launches a new inquiry into the challenges facing the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Tuesday 24/04 – A study by ITM Power examining the potential deployment of large-scale power-to-gas energy storage finds four suitable locations in northern England. Great Britain goes 76 hours without burning coal, breaking a national record set just five days beforehand.

Monday 23/04 – A coalition of 21 major energy companies and top investors call on Britain and the EU to maintain close links on energy and climate policy after the UK leaves the bloc.
The Foresight Group adds 83MW of UK wind generation to its portfolio, which comes in addition to the company obtaining five UK solar parks. GE Renewable Energy and the ORE Catapult sign a five-year R&D agreement to advance offshore wind technologies in the UK, including testing a prototype 12MW turbine.

Friday 20/04 – Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks enters into a partnership with Open Utility, to learn from and participate in its smart grid platform. Research shows the UK’s 5.7mn businesses could significantly slash their yearly energy spend of £29.1bn by implementing a number of “easy and cost-effective” efficiency measures. Engineering consultancy Arup releases a study examining business model roadmaps for the energy sector to 2035.

Thursday 19/04 – The GB transmission system sees the first 48-hour period where coal met 0% of demand, with a new record set at 54 hours. In response to a Lords Select Committee report, Claire Perry states that the government is exploring options to remain in the EU Internal Energy Market post-Brexit. A report by former Defence Secretary and Energy Minister Sir Michael Fallon recommends the government establish a new 60% UK content target for British offshore wind projects.

Wednesday 18/04 – Cardiff Council discusses plans for energy produced by a waste incinerator to heat public and commercial buildings in the city. British Solar Renewables agrees a deal with Mongoose Energy to manage its 50MW community solar portfolio spanning 14 solar parks. SSE seeks permission to increase the generating capacity of its planned Coire Glas pumped storage hydro-electric project to 1.5GW.

Tuesday 17/04 – Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry indicates that the UK could implement a target to reduce emissions to “net zero” by 2050. The government opens two consultations on proposals to address the current interoperability challenges of early smart meters. The European Parliament gives final approval on the revised Energy Performance of Buildings directive to make buildings “smarter” and more energy efficient.

Monday 16/04 – The Crown Estate reports that offshore wind energy accounted for 6.2% of UK electricity generated in 2017 and is on course to meet 10% by 2020. The UK joins the International Solar Alliance. BP confirms that it will cap its greenhouse gas emissions until 2025. Retailer the Co-op reports it has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 54% since 2006.

Friday 13/04 – The DfT confirms new biofuel targets coming into force on Sunday that will double the use of renewable fuels in the UK transport sector within 15 years. London-based machine learning start-up Verv completes the UK's first physical trade of energy on its blockchain platform.

Thursday 12/04 – BEIS releases a series of research reports on heat decarbonisation, including Frontier Economics analysis on market models and regulatory frameworks. DfT statistics show over 50,000 ULEVs were registered in the UK in 2017, up 27% year-on-year, making up 1.7% of all new vehicle registrations.

Wednesday 11/04 –  The government confirms £320mn of funding for heat networks will be opened for bids in the Autumn. BP commits to two new North Sea developments, Alligin and Vorlich, which are expected to produce 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at peak production. The CBI argues that aligning with EU energy and climate change rules after Brexit will help to achieve secure, affordable and low-carbon energy for UK consumers.

Tuesday 10/04 – National Grid and the Danish transmission network operator Energinet delay the final investment decision on the proposed 1.4GW Viking Link interconnector. National Grid’s Summer Outlook finds that lower overall electricity demand, combined with increased renewable generation, is expected to result in less need for gas-fired electricity generation. Apple announces its global operations are now powered entirely by renewable energy.

Monday 09/04 –  National Grid data shows the first three months of 2018 saw Scotland’s onshore wind turbines provide 5,353GWh of power to the National Grid, an increase of 44% on the same period last year. Global renewable energy generation capacity has increased for the seventh consecutive year, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Drax and SSE join the Powering Past Coal Alliance.

Friday 06/04 –Northumbrian Water signs a deal with Orsted to power its 1,858 sites using renewable electricity for the next four years. For the second time since the 1880s, the UK electricity network operates for 24 hours without coal generation

Thursday 05/04 – The Energy Networks Association launches its gas and electricity Network Innovation Strategies. Oil and Gas Authority research finds 70% of North Sea operators are not investing in R&D and are entirely reliant on the supply chain for their technology needs. The UN reports 98GW of solar power capacity was installed globally in 2017.

Wednesday 04/04 – EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi warns that the company may stop work on its proposed Sizewell nuclear power station unless the government guarantees that a viable funding model is available this year. Scottish Enterprise awards Aggreko UK a £1.5mn research and development grant for three power generation projects, including solar-diesel hybrid energy storage and waste heat products which will see the company invest £33mn in its Dumbarton facility.

Tuesday 03//04 – Cuadrilla successfully completes the first horizontal shale gas well in the UK at its Preston New Road site. Project developer innogy confirms the 353MW Galloper Offshore Wind Farm’s 56 turbines are all now generating electricity. Data shows emissions covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading System rose for the first time in seven years during 2017. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks announces it has connected the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre located in Aberdeen Bay to the transmission network.

Monday 02/04 – Stakeholders welcome the launch of the government’s consultations on proposed reforms to both the Energy Company Obligation and Warm Home Discount schemes. Media reports indicate the company behind the £1.3bn Swansea tidal lagoon scheme is preparing for significant job cuts if UK and Welsh government talks on the project fail to yield a breakthrough.

Written By Graham Paul


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