EDW Technology Logo
Phone us on:
+44 (0)8448 802 489

Industry News Roundup March 2020

Tuesday 31/03 – Energy UK said it is in contact with the government, Ofgem and Citizens Advice on what actions, protections and practical steps suppliers can take to support customers. The Energy Networks Association publishes its updated innovation strategies for gas and electricity networks and new 'whole systems' Energy Networks Innovation Strategy. Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station in Warrington, Cheshire closes following nearly 50 years of generation. The British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) sets out a series of recommendations for future-proofing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Monday 30/03 – Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng lays The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 before Parliament. National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) publishes its Forward Work Plan 2020-21, setting out the priorities for its various roles. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) merges with the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association (EVSE) to provide a robust and coherent representation of the sector.

Friday 27/03 – Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley reiterates that the regulator’s priority is to protect consumers, especially the vulnerable, and to maintain supply, in the face of Covid-19. Ofgem publishes an information page which includes guidance for critical workers, official guidance from the Energy Networks Association and Citizens Advice.

Thursday 26/03 – Renewables’ share of electricity generation hit a record 36.9% in 2019, new BEIS statistics indicate. The Department for Transport publishes a policy paper detailing the current challenges and steps to be taken when developing its transport decarbonisation plan.

Wednesday 25/03 – A cross-party group of MPs sign a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak calling for a moratorium on VAT on energy bills during the Covid-19 outbreak. ElectraLink half hourly I&C consumption data has found a drop in electricity consumption amongst I&C sites as many workers work from home and non-essential industries temporarily reduce their operations. MeyGen is awarded £1.5mn to develop subsea tidal turbine connection hub. Ørsted launches its Corporate Crisis Management Organisation.

Tuesday 24/03 – Ofgem announces it is to “temporarily pause” the publication of new information on its website, except for releases that are legally required or relate to the Covid-19 outbreak. EDF Energy announces it is reducing the number of workers at the Hinkley Point C site to around 2,000. The Energy Networks Association outlines its approach to looking after customers and colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic. Birmingham City Council urges government to delay the launch of its Clean Air Zone.

Monday 23/03 – Businesses are now able to access government-backed loans to help them during the Covid-19 outbreak, the government announces. New statistics released by Defra show that the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked at 977mn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007, falling 21% by 2017.

Friday 20/03 – The planned Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) State of the Competition report is postponed until next year, in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc completes the acquisition of a 100% interest in a portfolio of solar photovoltaic (PV) assets located throughout the UK for an initial cash consideration of £144.3mn

Thursday 19/03 – New measures are introduced by the government to protect prepayment meter (PPM) customers during the Covid-19 outbreak. Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley directs companies to protect consumers from immediate harm, particularly vulnerable customers or customers who are at risk of going off supply. Companies are expected to keep Ofgem informed of the challenges they face, as they arise via a special mailbox: covid19@ofgem.gov.uk. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reveals that the global offshore wind industry added 6.1GW of offshore wind capacity in 2019, a record year for the industry and an impressive 35.5% increase on the previous year. Limejump announced that the Minety battery storage project in Wiltshire is being extended by 50MW to a total of 150MW.

Wednesday 18/03 – Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma meet as part of a new Committee to address the economic and business issues presented by Covid-19. Ofgem gives notice that gas and electricity supplier Gnergy has ceased to trade.

Tuesday 17/03 – Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £330bn to protect business and workers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The government announces that four new implementation committees focusing on health, public sector preparedness, economy and international response, will feed into a new daily Covid-19 meeting, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Centrica announces that Iain Conn is to step down as CEO and from the Board. The company says Chris O’Shea, currently Group Chief Financial Officer, will become Interim Group CEO. Vattenfall announces that it is set to transfer ownership of its electric vehicle (EV) business in the UK to Statkraft.

Monday 16/03 – The Banks Renewables Judicial Review against the Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 3 (AR3) has been withdrawn, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says. WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson announces that delays in the development of new wind farm projects will be likely, advising governments to be flexible on how they apply their auction system rules following the Coronavirus outbreak. He also commented that vehicle and vessel manufacturers, solar PV panel and battery producers are being similarly affected by the pandemic.

Friday 13/03 – In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Energy Networks Association releases a notice saying that energy networks are implementing “robust measures to protect control rooms, where the networks are run from, along with their contact centres”.

Thursday 12/03 – During a debate in the Lords on the Green Economy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at BEIS Lord Callahan says the government would publish a series of policy plans in the run up to the COP26 climate conference. New analysis from Carbon Tracker finds coal developers “risk wasting more than $600bn” because it is cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables than from new coal plants in all major markets.

Wednesday 11/03 – Chancellor Rishi Sunak presents the 2020 Budget, with the accompanying document announcing the government is raising the Climate Change Levy (CCL) on gas in 2022-23 and 2023-24 (whilst freezing the rate on electricity). Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey responds: “By ducking the bold measures needed to tackle the climate emergency, the Chancellor has blown the biggest opportunity for national renewal since the post-war era, betraying current and future generations.”

Tuesday 10/03 – The Welsh government announces that landlords in Wales will need to ensure private rental properties meet tougher minimum energy efficiency standards from 1 April. A new report by Energy Systems Catapult has found that the UK achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is possible if innovation and scale-up across low carbon technology, land use and lifestyle changes are supported. National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) introduces its evolving framework for the Future Energy Scenarios (FES) for 2020, ahead of the release of FES later this year.

Monday 09/03 – In his last pre-Budget speech as Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell criticises the government’s “warm words” in prioritising the environment in the Budget, and stated that “there is little evidence that the seriousness and the imminence of the climate emergency has penetrated government thinking.” London School of Economics publishes two articles on how the government could implement a carbon tax.

Friday 06/03 – The Commons Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee announces that it is launching an inquiry into COP26 and net zero, holding its first evidence session on 25 March. Analysis published by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Net Zero: Opportunities for the power sector suggests that increased investment in new technologies, such as low carbon hydrogen generation could be the best way to deliver low cost power to UK consumers while also helping reach net zero by 2050.

Thursday 05/03 – Five House of Lord committees announce they will examine some of the ways climate change will affect specific policy areas, and what action the government is taking to prepare for the COP26 climate conference. The government announces new technology to ensure future windfarms will not affect the UK’s Air Defence radar system will be developed as part of a £2mn innovation competition.

Wednesday 04/03 – Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces the government is consulting on the introduction of E10, a lower carbon fuel made with up to 10% ethanol, to be the standard grade of petrol at UK filling stations from 2021. Business Secretary Alok Sharma announces £36.7mn investment to design, test and manufacture electric machines in some of the UK’s most polluting industries. The European Commission presents a proposal to legislate for the commitment to be climate neutral by 2050.

Tuesday 03/03 – National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), National Grid Electricity Transmission (ET) and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) confirm plans to undertake an initiative to unlock the potential of smaller, regionally-connected power resources developed on Great Britain’s south coast. O2 commits to becoming the UK’s first net zero mobile network.

Monday 02/03 – BEIS consults on including onshore wind and solar PV generation in the Contracts for Difference low carbon generation scheme’s next round. A UK Hydrogen Taskforce – a cross-industry coalition of leading organisations focused on conveying a unified voice to UK government – is launched in Parliament. The Renewable Energy Association launches the Electric Vehicle Consumer Code.

Written By Graham Paul


EDW House
Radian Court
Milton Keynes
Tel: +44 (0)8448 802 489
Email: info@edwtech.com

Contact Us