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Industry News Roundup July 2018

Tuesday 31/07 – The government launches a £15mn fund to drive innovation in carbon capture, use and storage. The UK Energy Research Centre urges the government not to delay long-term policy decisions on gas, especially in the context of the risks Brexit poses to supplies.

Monday 30/07 – Ofgem publishes its framework decision on the RIIO-2 price control, confirming that the price control period from 2021 will run for five years, compared to the current eight years. The Commons Environmental Audit Committee publishes the government’s response to its inquiry into green finance, criticising a lack of commitments in the government’s answers.

Friday 27/07 – Research from Imperial College London finds that through trading between countries with different weather patterns, wind and solar power could provide more than a third of Europe’s energy by 2030. The Crown Estate says a new offshore wind leasing round could release ~6GW of new projects.

Thursday 26/07 – Government figures reveal that low-carbon’s share of the generation mix in 2017 was just over 50%. WindEurope figures show the UK leads Europe in offshore wind deployment in H1 2018, but it was 16th in onshore wind installations. BEIS launches a consultation on the role of Energy Performance Certificates in buildings.

Wednesday 25/07 – Ofgem appoints Hudson Energy as the Supplier of Last Resort for small non-domestic supplier National Gas and Power. A poll for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit finds many MPs are unaware of both the popularity and low cost of onshore wind generation in Britain. Octopus Investments completes a £174mn refinancing of a 172MW biomass and landfill gas portfolio in the UK. 

Tuesday 24/07 – The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government publishes a revised National Planning Policy Framework, mandating that local authorities should support community-led initiatives for renewables and low-carbon projects. Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry consents Cuadrilla to undertake fracking at its Preston New Road site. Drax announces profits were down to £102mn in H1 2018, compared to £121mn for H1 2017, owing to unplanned outages.

Monday 23/07 – Ofgem states its intention to launch a Significant Code Review on network access and forward-looking charging arrangements to support electric vehicles, storage and other new technologies. The government confirms that the next Contracts for Difference auction round will take place in Spring 2019, with another following in 2021 and auctions every two years after that. The Commons Science and Technology Committee launches an inquiry into the technologies needed to meet the Clean Growth emissions reduction targets.

Friday 20/07 – Energy SRS and partners secure funding for a second phase development of gravity storage research project. A consultation has been launched by the government that seeks views on a package of measures to support businesses to improve their energy use.

Thursday 19/07 – The government seeks views on the future of small-scale low carbon electricity generation support. At the same time the department consults on the proposed closure of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme. The CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce delivers its report setting out the ideal pathway to enable the UK to have the option of deploying CCUS at scale during the 2030s.

Wednesday 18/07 – The government confirms its plans for non-domestic energy and carbon reporting, with it being mandatory for large companies to report CO2 emissions from April 2019. Government research also finds that from 2006-15 energy consumption by UK businesses decreased, with electricity use down 13% and gas down 16%. The Head of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association says the industry could be turning a corner as new Renewable Heat Incentive rates are applied.

Tuesday 17/07 – A coalition of industry representatives call on the government to incentivise network companies to unlock flexibility services. Policy Exchange research calls for an economy-wide carbon tax for the UK. The Treasury predicts a fall in revenues from fuel duty as vehicles switch from liquid fuels to electric power.

Monday 16/07 – BEIS publishes its annual report and accounts, showing £598mn of investment towards delivering the government’s Industrial Strategy. A poll for RenewableUK finds the majority of the British public, including Conservative voters, support the development of new onshore wind projects. Battery storage company Pivot Power announces that it plans to build a 50MW grid-scale battery and an electric vehicle charging hub on the edge of Southampton.

Friday 13/07 – Data from National Grid reveals that Britain has had more than 1,000 coal-free hours in 2018. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) urges government to increase public spending on green energy. Welsh government launches a consultation on reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy in Wales.

Thursday 12/07– In its Future Energy Scenarios, National Grid says peak electricity demand could soar above 85GW by 2050, from under 60GW today, driven by a shift towards electric heating technologies and EVs. The government releases its Brexit White Paper, confirming that the UK is still considering participation in the Internal Energy Market post-Brexit, and indicating a desire to stay within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. A survey by Ørsted reveals that 73% of UK consumers would choose products from companies that use renewable energy over those that don’t.

Wednesday 11/07 – Environmental groups and academics write to ministers calling on them to revise planning laws to block the development of new UK coal mines. UK Power Reserve begins the tendering process for 200MW of gas reciprocating engines. SNP Energy spokesperson at Westminster Drew Hendry warns that taxpayers alone shouldering the financial burden of safety breaches at Wylfa sets a dangerous precedent.

Tuesday 10/07 – The National Infrastructure Commission releases its National Infrastructure Assessment, cautioning the government against committing to investment in new nuclear as renewables could provide a cheaper path to system decarbonisation. Ofgem seeks views on its preferred option for access to half-hourly metered data. The Committee on Climate Change warns that the government’s Road to Zero Strategy falls short in a number of key areas.

Monday 09/07 – The government releases its Road to Zero Strategy, confirming a target for at least 50% of new car sales to be ultra-low emissions by 2030. A range of reactions, including from Energy UK and the RAC, urge the government to go further faster on the electric vehicle (EV) roll-out. National Grid issues its latest Electricity Market Reform Electricity Capacity Report, with the government confirming the parameters for the next Capacity Market auctions. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announces £500mn in energy efficiency funding for buildings across the capital.

Friday 06/07 – Ofgem confirms that the inclusion of renewables in the Capacity Market will be considered under the five-year scheme review. Energy UK warns that the uncertainty around whether the UK will remain in the European Emission Trading System is already having a “direct impact on the day-to-day business of energy companies”. Shell supports calls for the UK to bring forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel cars and accelerate the move to greener energy. 

Thursday 05/07 – Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announces new energy efficiency targets for the public sector. The department also confirms the level of support to be made available under its Industrial Heat Recovery Support programme, following a consultation. The Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee concludes its inquiry into fracking planning guidance.

Wednesday 04/07 – Foresight Solar Fund announces that it has raised over £48mn through a placing of new shares. Phase seven of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is opened by BEIS. Vodafone and Dell unveil an Internet of Things energy platform for businesses.

Tuesday 03/07 – BEIS consults on a revised final SMETS1 end date, saying it is the last time it will consider a delay. Professor Martin Cave, the government’s preferred candidate for Chair of Ofgem, is questioned by the BEIS Committee. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hydrogen has its inaugural meeting. National Grid’s Black Start Strategy and Procurement Methodology for 2018-19 is approved.

Monday 02/07 – Vattenfall confirms that the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay has generated its first power. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority confirms that Magnox will become a subsidiary.

Written By Graham Paul


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