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Industry News Roundup November 2018

Friday 30/11 – Tesco partners with Volkswagen, planning to install almost 2,500 charging bays at up to 600 stores by 2020, with the partnership effectively creating a “new, sponsorship-based business model for EV charging”. Wind output is reported by RenewableUK as hitting a 14.9GW high on 28 November, beating a previous record of 14.5GW.

Thursday 29/11 – An energy efficiency service to help small and medium-sized businesses launches in Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland. OVO Energy Chief Executive Stephen Fitzpatrick argues for tougher supplier entry checks after confirming the total bill for Spark’s debts to be shared out to consumers after the supplier’s failure could be as much as £50mn.

Wednesday 28/11 – The government publishes its action plan for carbon capture and storage deployment pathway, planning for the first project in the mid-2020s. The European Commission adopts a strategic long-term vision targeting net zero emissions by 2050.

Tuesday 27/11 – A letter by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leader’s Group calls for the government to pursue a net zero target by at least 2050. National Grid ESO warns of network issues capacity over the next decade due to new additions such as wind generation.

Monday 26/11 – Environment Secretary Michael Gove announces new policies to mitigate and combat the effects of climate change. Pivot Power confirms successful installation of a 2MW lithium-ion battery storage system at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.

Friday 23/11 – Local power grid operator Western Power Distribution extends the call for flexibility providers in Exeter, Rugeley, South Hams and Plymouth to help it balance demand. An amendment is made to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme by the government, clarifying that businesses currently in the EU carbon market will not come under the CRC after the UK leaves following Brexit.
Thursday 22/11 – The Committee on Climate Change finds hydrogen can help decarbonise the UK’s energy system but that it requires early government commitment. Ofgem announces new guaranteed standards for switching suppliers will be introduced next year. The Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit finds that a smart grid powered by wind and solar energy would be able to meet electricity demand, even during a three-week “wind lull” in winter. A WWF report urges the government to implement more ambitious climate and energy policies to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Wednesday 21/11 – Ofgem launches its much-expected consultation on protections against poor customer service and financial instability from suppliers. The regulator also announces that supplier Extra Energy has ceased trading and its 21,000 business and 108,000 household customers are to be subject to the supplier of last resort process, where energy suppliers compete to take over a failed competitor’s customers.

Tuesday 20/11 – Claire Perry suggests that that government could reverse its decision to close the Feed-in Tariff export tariff. The export tariff is a payment for every kWh of surplus electricity a small-scale solar generator exports to the National Grid. The government had previously signalled that it was going to end the export tariff, citing its expense. A Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy report finds the UK power grid to be at growing risk of cyber-attack.

Monday 19/11 – Energy Minister Claire Perry states that the government is seeking “immediate” state aid approval to cover a T-1 Capacity Market auction that will cover winter 2019-20, to ensure that electricity supplies will be secure. The Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee announces an inquiry into government progress on delivering energy efficiency improvements in buildings in line with government Clean Growth Strategy targets.

Friday 16/11 – New research by YouGov on behalf of npower Business Solutions finds that 69% of senior staff responsible for managing energy resources are not aware of what demand-side response (DSR) is. The Energy Intensive Users Group responded to Greg Clark’s speech, saying it was “dismayed” that the government “still doesn’t have any immediate plan to reform the UK’s expensive electricity system”, adding that the government needed to address UK industrial electricity costs being 90% above the EU average. However, the Renewable Energy Association says that it found it reassuring that Clark talked about the importance of the UK power sector and the part that renewables would play in the future.

Thursday 15/11 – Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark delivers the government’s response to the review by Dieter Helm and promises a new Energy White Paper for 2019. The General Court of the European Court of Justice rules that the UK’s Capacity Market (CM) – a subsidy to guarantee future power supply – has breached State Aid rules. This caused the government to immediately suspend the scheme’s auctions and payments processes.

Wednesday 14/11 – The draft Withdrawal Agreement and the Outline Political Declaration for the UK’s future relationship with the EU are published, including information on future co-operation between network operators and on carbon pricing. The Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee seeks further answers from Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry on the implications for energy of a no deal Brexit.

Tuesday 13/11 – The Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission John Armitt describes the government policy to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 as a “draconian step”. Supplier Tonik Energy and solar panel installer The Phoenix Works launch an electric vehicle (EV) charging service for commercial premises.

Monday 12/11 – Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark reaffirms strong support for new nuclear power in the Commons in the wake of Toshiba withdrawing from its Moorside project. Online flexibility platform provider Piclo reports a rise in the number of demand-side response (DSR) providers signing up to the platform. DSR is when energy consumers increase or reduce their demand in response to time-variable prices or incentive prices in order to save money or even generate revenue.

Friday 09/11 – Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry, responds to a letter from climate action group Plan B and says that the UK’s planned carbon budgets, which limit the amount of greenhouse gases the UK can emit over a five year period, could be changed in the future if the government and Parliament decide to do so.

Thursday 08/11 – Toshiba confirms it will wind up NuGen after failing to find a buyer for the Moorside project, saying the "economically rational” decision is to withdraw from UK nuclear power plant construction. Labour’s Shadow BEIS Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey says the move is “hugely concerning for the future of the sector and the thousands of jobs it would bring to Cumbria.” Think tank E3G makes recommendations to the EU about how it can use its next budget to transition to net zero. The green light is given by National Grid for the plan to build the Viking Link interconnector between the UK and Denmark.

Wednesday 07/11 – Research from Prospect finds a potential 30% reduction in UK generating capacity by 2030. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that the global energy storage market will see a $1.2tr investment boom.

Tuesday 06/11 – Drilling for UK’s first ever geothermal energy project begins in Cornwall, with the two holes expected to be 1.6 and 2.8 miles deep. Shadow BEIS Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey says a lack of government action on renewables is “throwing away an opportunity to rebuild our manufacturing towns, create hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs and bring down energy costs for households and business.”

Monday 05/11 – The government’s statutory energy security report says it believes the GB’s energy supplies to be resilient, even in the face of Brexit. Renewable UK data shows a substantial increase in planning applications for battery storage capacity in recent years, from 2MW in 2012 to 7GW in 2018. Integrated and local energy advocacy group the Association for Decentralised Energy publishes a voluntary code of conduct to set common standards for those aggregating demand-side response for businesses.

Friday 02/11 – The UK will need to install 133GW of low-carbon power by 2050 if it is to meet legally-binding carbon targets in the Climate Change Act, according to Aurora Energy Research.

Thursday 01/11 – A proposal put forward by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) to make climate-related financial disclosures mandatory for businesses was rejected by the government. The UK’s network operator, National Grid, announced that a no deal Brexit would not lead to legal barriers to continued cross-border electricity trading.

Written By Graham Paul


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