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Industry News Roundup December 2018

Monday 31/12 – The government invests £26.6mn in a project to develop robots that can repair pipes and limit disruption from repairing utilities infrastructure. Brent crude oil falls $1.06/bl to $53.82/bl, as concerns of an over-supplied market remain for 2019.

Friday 14/12 – DfT confirms that the £500 grant to install electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints at workplaces and homes will be maintained. Additionally, the DfT announced that all government-funded chargepoints for EVs must use smart technology from July 2019.

Thursday 13/12 – All six of Great Britain’s distribution network operators (DNOs) commit to developing flexibility systems to enable consumers to take advantage of cheaper electricity or earn revenue for changing consumption behaviour. DNO Electricity North West (ENW) confirms that it will be partnering with energy technology provider GridBeyond to offer flexibility services to over 900 businesses in the North West.

Wednesday 12/12 – The Greater London Authority comes forward with its zero-carbon action plan for London to help the city reach its decarbonisation targets. The Scottish government’s draft 2019-20 Budget reaffirms low-carbon spending commitments.

Tuesday 11/12 – Ofgem – the regulator for Great Britain’s electricity and gas markets – has published a document that sets out guidance for companies who want to add energy storage to renewable installations that are supported under the Renewables Obligation (RO) and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy schemes. Western Power Distribution (WPD) has published a forecast of monthly availability and usage for registered flexibility providers to give participants, like businesses, a clear understanding of short-term flexibility needs, when their assets will be used and what they could earn from providing the service. 

Monday 10/12 – A group of global investors managing $32trn (£25trn) warn delegates at the UN Climate Summit, COP24, that climate change could result in a financial crash several times worse than in 2008. Media sources indicate Hitachi is considering cancelling its 2.9GW Wylfa nuclear project.

Friday 07/12 – A UKERC report suggests that a hard Brexit could add as much as £270mn to electricity bills as a result of “less efficient” electricity trading. A proposal is raised to use existing industry systems to collect supplier payments during the Capacity Market standstill period.

Thursday 06/12 – Business Secretary Greg Clark gives a high-profile speech to mark the first anniversary of the Industrial Strategy and announces two new sector deals, for aerospace and rail. BEIS issues an update on the current state of the Capacity Market and timings regarding the regaining of State Aid clearance, confirming the Commission will formally commence the process for state aid clearance in early 2019. Labour’s Alan Whitehead responds that the government “appear to have made no preparations”.

Wednesday 05/12 – Flexibility provider Piclo announces it has signed up all distribution network operators (DNOs) to its Piclo Flex marketplace, having signed up Western Power Distribution (WPD). National Grid confirms that the 1GW UK-Belgian electricity interconnector Nemo Link is to begin operation in early 2019.

Tuesday 04/12 – Union GMB highlights a new report on the importance of coal and gas in ensuring short-term energy security in the event of a power system crash, urging the government to heed warnings about blackouts. The International Energy Agency releases statistics showing that the five-year trend of falling carbon emissions from advanced economies has stopped, with a rise reported in 2018. The publication of Energy Efficiency Trends by EEVS Insight and BloombergNEF shows that business energy efficiency spending declined in Q3 2018 compared with Q2.

Monday 03/12 – The COP24 UN Climate Change Summit opens in Poland, with the CBI calling on the UK government to adopt net zero by 2050 as its new target. The World Bank announces it is to double the amount of money available for climate action for 2021-2025 from $100bn (£79bn) to $200bn (£157bn).

Written By Graham Paul


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