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Industry News Roundup October 2019

Thursday 31/10 –SSE and the Renewable Energy Association publish statements urging political parties to focus on decarbonisation in the election campaign and once a government is formed. BEIS publishes energy trends and price statistics, showing that renewables consumption was up 39% for the June-August 2019 period, compared with the same period last year.

Wednesday 30/10 – The Commons BEIS Select Committee holds an evidence session on the smart meter rollout, with representatives from BEIS, Ofgem and the DCC questioned on progress. The Energy Networks Association publishes a report setting out a decarbonisation pathway for gas by 2050.

Tuesday 29/10 – Parliament votes for a General Election to take place on 12 December. New research from uSwitch reveals that up to 2.3mn households (8%) owe a total of £267mn to their energy suppliers, averaging at £115 each.

Monday 28/10 – The Environment Bill passes Second Reading in Parliament. The Environmental Audit Committee questions Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng about the decarbonisation of the government’s estate. EDF Renewables announces that it has signed three corporate power purchase agreements with Tesco.

Friday 25/10 – In open letters, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom confirms the European Commission’s decision to restart all Capacity Market functions. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid announces that the Budget will no longer be taking place on 6 November due to Parliament’s decision to delay the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Thursday 24/10 – The European Commission announces its decision to approve the GB Capacity Market (the scheme which guarantees the country’s security of electricity supply), following a several-month-long investigation. Labour publishes its decarbonisation plans.

Wednesday 23/10 – Progress in establishing a shale gas industry in England has been slower than the government planned, a report by the National Audit Office reveals. Ofgem announces that Toto Energy had ceased to trade. It said that the supplier had around 134,000 domestic customers, who will be protected under Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort process.

Tuesday 22/10 – The government seeks views on introducing green number plates for zero emissions cars. Ofgem announces new proposals for new financial tests and checks for existing suppliers. The proposals include new checks introduced for growing suppliers before they hit certain thresholds of customer numbers. Energy UK reveals that 603,400 customers, including non-domestic customers, moved to a new supplier in September – up 10% on September 2018.

Monday 21/10 – Analysis by the Office for National Statistics suggests that UK carbon emissions peaked in 2007 some 35 years later than previous estimates. New figures from the Mayor of London’s Office find that there are now 13,500 fewer polluting cars being driven into central London every day and a significant drop in air pollution since the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Friday 11/10 – The National Infrastructure Commission releases a report concluding that the UK will fail to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if regulators are not given new powers to ensure utility companies invest in sustainable infrastructure. The Renewable Energy Association publishes ElectraLink data showing that battery storage exports to GB distribution networks increases 600% between 2017and 2018.

Thursday 10/10 – The government launches a consultation on finalising the design of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (to help businesses with high energy bills increase their energy efficiency). The Scottish government launches a consultation on local energy systems. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn talks about the party’s net zero plans in a speech, highlighting a Green New Deal and a five-fold increase in the UK’s offshore wind capacity. The Environment Agency announces its intention to become net zero by 2030.

Wednesday 09/10 – National Grid ESO publishes the 2019-20 Winter Outlook Report, reporting that winter energy demand will be met. Scottish government launches green investment programme. ClientEarth reveals that it is considering legal action against the government’s decision to greenlight Drax’s application to convert its Selby coal-fired station to gas.

Tuesday 08/10 – Utility Week reports that a new survey commissioned by npower showed that only 18% of energy managers say reaching sustainability goals is their top business priority. The government extends the Hornsea Three offshore wind farm application decision deadline to March 2020.

Monday 07/10 – The government launches Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund. Scotland’s Climate Week begins. The Energy Consortium announces an aggregated power purchase agreement worth £50mn, delivering renewable power to twenty universities across the UK.

Friday 04/10 – BEIS publishes the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee (E3C) interim report on the 9 August power disruption, making a series of recommendations. The World Energy Council (WEC) publishes a ranking of countries by their energy trilemma score, with the UK (81.5) ranking fourth behind Denmark (84.7), Sweden (85.2) and Switzerland (85.8).

Thursday 03/10 – Ofgem releases its 2019 State of the Market Report, which finds that SMEs and microbusinesses also continue to pay higher prices than larger businesses. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom announces the government’s plans to commit £220mn to the conceptual design of a fusion power station, the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP), with the aim to turn this into a commercial technology to support global energy demand.

Wednesday 02/10 – The Energy Networks Association responds to BEIS and Ofgem’s open letter on the Open Networks Project. Ofgem appoints Jonathan Brearley as its new Chief Executive. Current Chief Executive Dermot Nolan will remain in the post until the end of February.

Tuesday 01/10 – Utility Week reports that Ombudsman Services has called for powers to assist more smaller businesses with complaints about their utility services. Ofgem orders four energy suppliers to pay £14mn in renewables support costs.

Written By Graham Paul


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