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Industry News Roundup September 2019

Monday 30/09 – EDF Energy confirms that Cottam coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire has closed down, leaving the UK with six coal-fired power stations. Major power company RWE reveals its intention of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.

Friday 27/09 – Andrea Leadsom delivers her statement to the Commons as Business Secretary, speaking on international climate action. The US Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2019 is published, projecting a near 50% rise in world energy usage by 2050.

Thursday 26/09 – BEIS’s latest Energy Trends and Energy Prices quarterly publications reveal that renewables’ share of electricity hit a record high for Q2. Between Q218 and Q219, average electricity prices in cash terms (excluding the climate change levy) for businesses rose by 4.6%.

Wednesday 25/09 – Scotland commits to net zero emissions by 2045. EDF Energy announces that the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is expected to cost £1.9-2.9bn more than the previous estimate. Citizens Advice publishes its energy star rating table, ranking the customer service of energy suppliers, including business energy suppliers. Breeze, SSE and Igloo rank at the top, whereas TOTO, Utilita and Nabuh Energy all rank at the bottom.

Tuesday 24/09 – Government launches £1mn fund for low-carbon transport start-ups. Labour passes a motion at its conference, committing the party to a 2030 net zero emissions target if it came to power. Labour would also commit to a seven-fold increase in the number of offshore wind turbines. The Committee on Climate Change urges the government to include international shipping and aviation emissions in the net zero 2050 target.

Monday 23/09 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces at the UN Climate Conference that the UK will provide £1bn for scientists to help tackle climate change. Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey announces at the Labour Party conference that the next Labour government would call on all business car fleets to go 100% electric by 2025. To support them in the transition, Labour will introduce a range of incentives, including removing the £320 Vehicle Excise Duty surcharge on electric vehicles purchased for private fleet use above £40,000 for two years. Labour would also expand the UK’s EV charging networks.


Friday 20/09 – The results for the Contracts for Difference (CfD) Auction Round 3 are released, with a total of 5,774.82MW of capacity across 12 projects offered contracts at clearing prices (in 2011-2012 money) of £39.65/MWh for Delivery Year 2023-24 and £41.61/MWh for Delivery Year 2024-25. The CfD is an auction that supports the generation of low-carbon electricity and the low price achieved could result in lower bills for consumers. The BEIS Committee criticises the government for lack of specific policy targets and action on carbon, capture, usage and storage.

Thursday 19/09 – Energy supplier OVO reveals plans to transform its business and commit to reaching net zero emissions across its operations and supply chain by 2030. Current reports that electric vehicle charging network operators NewMotion and ChargePoint have signed a roaming partnership for the UK and Europe, allowing customers of both networks to access each one without the need for a new account.

Wednesday 18/09 – Utility Week reports that renewable energy developer Anesco has called for tax relief on renewables and batteries to improve uptake and investment in these technologies. A YouGov poll finds that three in five people say that addressing climate change requires a ‘high’ or ‘extremely high’ level of urgency.

Tuesday 17/09 – The Welsh government presses the UK government to assess the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on increased energy prices on households, particularly vulnerable groups and public services. The Liberal Democrats pass a motion at their conference committing to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the current UK target.

Monday 16/09 – The Energy Networks Association launches its annual Network Innovation Competition. Run by Ofgem, network companies and their partners will compete for £20mn funding for the development and demonstration of new energy technologies that will help run energy network infrastructure in a smarter, cleaner and more flexible way, potentially leading to reduced bills. The Committee on Fuel Poverty releases a response to BEIS’s Consultation on Fuel Poverty Strategy, warning that progress on improving housing stock energy efficiency is too slow, with recommendations for landlords to do more to improve their properties.

Friday 13/09 – SSE announces that it has entered into an agreement to sell its SSE Energy Services business to OVO Energy, at a value of £500mn. Overnight in to Saturday drone attacks on two major facilities run by state-owned company Aramco cut Saudi Arabian oil and gas production following by half.

Thursday 12/09 – BEIS consults on changes to the Smart Energy Code and the DCC Licence to facilitate the enrolment of SMETS1 meters into the DCC network. First Minster for Wales Mark Drakeford announces £12mn of EU funding for a full-scale prototype of Marine Power Systems’ WaveSub project.

Wednesday 11/09 – The government’s Operation Yellowhammer report on the consequences of a worst scenario no deal Brexit states, “demand for electricity will be met and there will be no disruption to electricity of gas interconnectors.” The Scottish government proposes all public sector bodies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero and publish annual updates on their progress. The GMB union criticises the government’s approach to the zero carbon economy as “negligent at best, vindictive and cruel at its worst” and calls for a green revolution to create jobs and transform “blighted” communities.

Tuesday 10/09 – Wholesale energy prices in the GB market and across Europe surge amid a series of adverse developments affecting production and flows across the Continent. Ofgem releases National Grid ESO’s technical findings report concerning 9 August’s transmission outage. The Treasury unveils over £400mn investment in green technologies to support its net zero ambitions. 24 of the largest electrotechnical manufacturing companies in the UK announced a major commitment to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050.

Monday 09/09 – The government publishes its response to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s Third Report of Session 2017 – 2019 on the suspension of work on Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station. BEIS confirms that it is working alongside EDF Energy and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to consider how cost-effective decommissioning of EDF Energy’s stations can be planned for and delivered. The government announces that it is to reschedule its Green Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) campaign.

Friday 06/09 – Chair of the Science and Technology Committee Norman Lamb calls for the Government to develop a strategy for decarbonising heating. Small supplier Eversmart Energy ceases to trade. Ofgem releases its first working paper on the Network Access and Forward-Looking Charges review, covering options for access rights for distribution and transmission, alongside options for improving the locational accuracy of distribution charges.

Thursday 05/09 – The Renewable Energy Association launches the final instalment of its Industry-led Bioenergy Strategy, which delivers a comprehensive list of policy actions needed to meet the UK’s climate goals. Ofgem announces that ENGIE Global Markets has been fined over £2.1mn for engaging in the manipulation of the wholesale markets.
Wednesday 04/09 – Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid delivers 2019’s Spending Round to Parliament with BEIS receiving an extra £30mn to accelerate progress on developing decarbonisation schemes. The Environmental Audit Committee holds the first evidence session of its Net Zero Government inquiry to focus on how the UK government sets and performs against its own targets. Day-ahead gas prices fall below 20p/th for the first time in 10 years. Winter 2019 touches two-year lows below 45p/th. Wholesale power prices also reach multi-year lows.

Tuesday 03/09 – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tables a Programme for Government that sets out the Scottish government’s next steps to tackle climate change. Research by the Grantham Research Institute states that the government has an opportunity to show true commitment to achieving net zero by tackling transport sector emissions. Ørsted officially opens its Hornsea Two Offshore Construction Base (HTOCB) at Humberside Airport.

Monday 02/09 – In a media interview National Grid CEO John Pettigrew states that holding 2,000MW of additional power in reserve, rather than 1,000MW “could have prevented” the recent power cut but would “cost up to an additional £1bn a year to achieve.” Muirhall Energy confirms plans to partner with WWS Renewables to develop the 46MW Crossdykes Wind Farm in Dumfries and Galloway in a potential subsidy-free development. The University of Aberdeen announces ambitions to create a new Centre for Energy Transition.

Written By Graham Paul


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