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Industry News Roundup June 2020

Tuesday 30/06 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a major speech, promised major economic investment in the UK to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Companies that applied to the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive before 29 June will have an extra 14 months to get their installations up and running, the government announces.

Monday 29/06 – The government announces £80mn in funding towards reducing carbon emissions from industry and home. The Committee on Fuel Poverty urges the government to amend the Warm Home Discount scheme to be more focused on providing automatic energy bill discounts to fuel poor households. Final proposals intended to support prepayment meter customers at risk of self-disconnection and self-rationing are published by Ofgem.

Friday 26/06 – UK production of natural gas increased by 3.6% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same quarter of 2019, government statistics show.

Thursday 25/06 – The Committee on Climate Change calls for large-scale building retrofits, heating decarbonisation and electricity network strengthening in its Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress Report to Parliament. Government statistics show that renewables’ share of electricity generation hit 47% in Q120.

Wednesday 24/06 – Drax announces that it is launching a new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage pilot facility at Drax Power Station in the autumn. Combined cycle gas turbine operator Calon Energy appoints KPMG as administrators.

Tuesday 23/06 – The government launches an expression of interest on designing an auction to install energy efficiency measures in small and medium-sized businesses. Ofgem approves Workgroup Alternative CUSC Modification (WACM) 2 of CMP345 Defer the Additional COVID-19 BSUoS Costs. Ofgem also approves UNC726 COVID-19 Liquidity Relief Scheme for Shippers that will allow shippers to defer payments of some gas transportation invoices related to gas transmission and distribution charges for July, August and September.

Monday 22/06 – Businesses can now apply for a share of £15mn to support the development of zero emission vehicle technologies and a supporting supply chain, Innovate UK announces. Energy UK publishes a new report on the role the energy sector could play in the UK’s green recovery.

Friday 19/06 – BEIS is consulting on whether to increase the six-month extension for the accreditation deadlines to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme.

Thursday 18/06 – Following consultation, the government has announced it is extending the smart meter rollout’s All Reasonable Steps obligation on suppliers by six months to 30 June 2021. The government is consulting on Smart Energy GB’s objectives and broader activities, together with their governance and funding arrangements, as set out in energy supply licences. National Grid publishes its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2020, predicting a £400mn underlying operating profit impact from COVID-19.

Wednesday 17/06 – The Environmental Audit Committee published a new report which concluded that the NHS needs to do more to reduce emissions. SSE publishes its full year preliminary results for 2019-20, announcing adjusted operating profit up 37% to £1,488.4mn as it “recovered from a challenging 2018-19”, and reported operating profit down 40% to £963.4mn.

Tuesday 16/06 – The Solar Trade Association has urged the government to commit to 40GW of solar capacity by 2030. On moving into a new phase in responding to COVID-19, Ofgem sets out that from 1 July suppliers should continue the current direction of travel towards a new normal, while working hard to minimise disruption or harm to customers.

Monday 15/06 – The Social Market Foundation thinktank calls for pension “superfunds” to be created to invest in infrastructure for the UK’s green recovery. Electricity switching figures published by Energy UK show that over 410,000 customers in the UK switched supplier in May – down by 15% on May last year.

Friday 12/06 – The Scottish government announces a £62mn support package for the energy sector, to help it recover from the dual economic impacts of COVID-19 and the oil and gas price crash. National Energy Action warns of what it calls a “gathering storm” of household utility debt.

Thursday 11/06 – The Local Government Association publishes a report claiming that over 1mn new green jobs could be created by 2050, with nearly 700,000 created by 2030. Centrica announces significant management and board level restructuring, with 5,000 job losses.

Wednesday 10/06 – Conservative Peter Aldous brings a Bill to the Commons to enable electricity generators to become local electricity suppliers. Up to £133mn could have been saved on electricity grid costs during lockdown if electric vehicle smart charging and smart, flexible tech were more wide scale, a cleantech group has claimed.

Tuesday 09/06 – Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership launches its 2020-2025 Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy, putting forward proposals for filling the 277,000 additional jobs it said will be needed in the energy sector over the next 10 years. CMP345 Defer the Additional COVID-19 BSUoS Costs was issued for its code administrator consultation on Tuesday 9 June. The urgent modification, raised by SSE Generation, seeks to defer £500mn of Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) costs from summer 2020 to instead be recovered over 2021.

Monday 08/06 – The BBC reports that BP is to cut 10,000 jobs due to the global drop in oil demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Friday 05/06 – Business Secretary Alok Sharma announces the launch of the Race to Zero on World Environment Day. Labour launches a consultation on how the UK can achieve a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Thursday 04/06 – BEIS announces it will protect suppliers from 80% of the increase in suppliers’ obligations (up to the maximum loan amount of £100mn) for the Contracts for Difference scheme in Q220. The BEIS Committee hears that many prepayment meter customers are not aware of the support measures on offer to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Wednesday 03/06 – Bristol City Council Cabinet agrees to sell the local authority owned company, Bristol Energy. The percentage of women occupying board and executive board seats in the UK energy sector has increased since last year – to 21% and 13%, respectively.

Tuesday 02/06 – Vattenfall’s proposed Thanet Extension offshore wind farm development is rejected by Business Secretary Alok Sharma. At Ofgem’s request, network companies bring forward proposals to allow most monthly network charges to be paid at a later date, with no additional security cover required, in order to support suppliers and shippers facing cashflow challenges due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Monday 01/06 – The government publishes proposals for a new UK-wide Emissions Trading System. National Grid ESO issues the workgroup consultation for CMP345 Defer the Additional COVID-19 Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) Costs.

Written By Graham Paul


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