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Industry News Roundup August 2019

Friday 30/08 – The Solar Trade Association criticises BEIS’s renewables statistics for not capturing significant growth in the rooftop solar market. A report by the Energy Technologies Institute recommends hybrid technology as a means to start decarbonising HGVs. The Parkmead Group purchases Pitreadie Farm Limited in Scotland for development for renewables.

Thursday 29/08 – Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy announce a partnership, with the latter taking on responsibility for the management and supply of energy to more than 300,000 customers. BEIS reports 1mn smart meters and 7MW solar capacity were added in Q219 alongside a 12% year-on-year rise in wind energy. Portsmouth City Council-owned energy business Victory Energy is set to close after efforts to find a buyer failed.

Wednesday 28/08 – The Crown Estate confirms that 2.85GW of new capacity across seven offshore projects will now progress to the award of rights stage. BEIS launches an Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps in homes.

Tuesday 27/08 – After activity is suspended by Cuadrilla at its Preston New Road site, Labour writes to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom calling on the government to “immediately ban fracking.” Trade bodies including the Renewable Energy Association and the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association call on the government to eliminate “a stop-start approach of endless consultation, coupled with regulatory decisions that contradict stated policy, which has made the UK less attractive for investors in renewable energy infrastructure.” The Carbon Trust launches Stage 2 of its Offshore Renewable Joint Industry Project to reduce consenting risk, project maturation time, cost and the environmental impact of existing and future offshore wind farms.

Monday 26/08 – Ahead of the G7 session on climate change and the environment, Prime Minister Boris Johnson commits the UK to doubling its contribution to the International Green Climate Fund over the next four years. The Scottish Climate Emergency Response Group issues a 12-point plan of action for the Scottish government to counteract the impact of climate change. The Scottish government itself awards £3.4mn of its £10mn Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to Orbital Marine Power to help build the “world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine.”

Friday 16/08 – National Grid submits its initial report on the 9 August blackout to Ofgem. Ofgem announces that it has appointed EDF Energy to take on failed supplier Solarplicity’s customers.

Thursday 15/08 – Banks Renewables confirms that it is the company behind the judicial review against the CfD over the government’s “present discrimination in favour of offshore wind at the expense of onshore wind and other renewable energy technologies”. Kwasi Kwarteng is confirmed as Energy and Clean Growth Minister and Lord Duncan of Springbank is appointed as Minister for Climate Change. The government confirms its support for fracking.

Wednesday 14/08 – The government confirms that the Contracts for Difference (CfD) – the government’s low-carbon generation auction scheme – is facing a legal challenge which will delay the latest round. The government sets out the scope of its review into the actions of the National Grid Electricity System Operator during the blackout of 9 August. The Liberal Democrats call for 80% of UK power generation to come from renewables by 2030. Over 150 MPs from various parties sign a letter to Prime Minster Boris Johnson urging his government to support onshore wind through policy change.

Tuesday 13/08 – Energy industry trade association Energy UK announces that Lawrence Slade would be stepping down as Chief Executive of Energy UK at the end of the year after nine years with Energy UK and its predecessor bodies. Energy regulator Ofgem announces that energy supplier Solarplicity, which had 500 business customers, has ceased to trade.

Monday 12/08 – CEO of National Grid Group John Pettigrew welcomes the government’s investigation into the power cuts which affected much of the country on 9 August. Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) announced on Monday 12 August that it has entered an agreement with Iberdrola’s ScottishPower Renewables to acquire a 40% stake in the 714MW East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

Friday 09/08 – A transmission system outage following the “almost simultaneous loss of two large generators, one gas and one offshore wind, at 16:54” causes the disconnection of “selected demand across GB”. All demand is reconnected within the hour, National Grid reports, but transport disruption continues into the weekend. The government confirms Glasgow as the host city of next year’s Conference of the Parties (COP26) summit. COP26 is a global climate conference.

Thursday 08/08 – Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt urges the government to make climate-proofing the UK’s infrastructure a priority. He calls for an additional £43bn of funding, claiming that that the new cabinet’s credibility on climate change “will soon be under the spotlight”. Committee on Climate Change Chairman Lord Deben writes a letter to Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, setting out key recommendations about the future of carbon pricing. Carbon pricing is a system which is designed to lower carbon emissions through putting a price, or tax, on carbon emissions for large emitters.

Wednesday 07/08 – Government Europa reports on fresh fruit distributor Fruit 4 London’s use of vehicle-to-grid technology, which enables its electric vehicle fleet to sell energy back to the grid when not in use. The Welsh government consults on a draft National Development Framework including priority areas for renewables generation.

Tuesday 06/08 – Solar Power Portal reports that a new paper from asset manager BNP Paribas has claimed that solar power combined with electric vehicles will trigger a “relentless and irreversible decline” for oil. Renewz.biz reports that the global energy storage market is set to reach $500bn by 2025.

Monday 05/08 – The Committee on Climate Change urges the new Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ministerial team to up its response to climate change, following the damage to the Whaley Bridge dam in Derbyshire. A coalition of companies and organisations calls for new Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng to support the development of the onshore wind sector to lower electricity prices.

Friday 02/08 – Responding to the government’s consultation on the future of carbon pricing, the London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute publishes research claiming that creating a separate UK emissions trading scheme would be the “worst outcome” of the available options for carbon pricing systems. As reported by Current News, think tank the Aldersgate Group, a collection of some of the UK’s largest businesses, urges the government to create “ambitious and stable” policies to accelerate emission reductions across the economy.

Thursday 01/08 – The Institute for Public Policy publishes a paper calling for the government to introduce a Sustainable Economy Act. Power company RWE confirms plans to close the 1,560MW Aberthaw B coal fired power station, citing challenging market conditions. The closure will leave the UK with just four functioning coal-fired power stations.

Written By Graham Paul


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