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Industry News Roundup February 2021

Friday 26/02 – The Warm Home Discount is to maintain the current rebate amount of £140, the Core and Broader Group eligibility criteria and the energy supplier participation thresholds for the one-year extension of the scheme. BEIS launches an open consultation which sets out proposals for the closure of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to new applications on 31 March 2022.

Thursday 25/02 – Drax CEO Will Gardiner announces that the company will not develop new gas fired power. Centrica announces plans to accelerate its commitment to be net zero by 2045, five years ahead of its previous target and the UK deadline.

Wednesday 24/02 – Nearly 20 organisations write to the government calling for it keep the Green Homes Grant scheme going, responding to rumours that it could close early on 31 March 2021 and that the £320mn of the funding allocated for 2021-22 may be recalled. Ofgem’s Independent System Operator proposal receives support from former CEO of National Grid UK and Europe Nick Winser, who said the net zero target, the System Operator’s (SO) role in this target and the potential conflict of interest between the Transmission Operator and SO’s objectives mean this would be the best option.

Tuesday 23/02 – The Renewable Energy Association publishes its Strategy for Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies, setting out a pathway forward including, by the end of 2022, more than 50% of electricity generation being provided by renewables, reaching 100% by 2032. Scottish Parliament passes Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill.

Monday 22/02 – Leaders from across the North West come together to set out a vision for net zero by 2040 for the region. Investment management firm, Downing LLP announces plans to build “one of the largest utility-scale battery assets in the UK”.

Friday 19/02 – BEIS publishes the Q420 update to its Renewable Energy Planning Database.

Thursday 18/02 – A four point plan to “fix” the troubled Green Homes Grant scheme is published by four industry associations. National Grid Electricity System Operator raises a proposal to introduce a fixed Balancing Services Use of System tariff from April 2023.

Wednesday 17/02 – The Commons Environmental Audit Committee makes a series of recommendations for the government to focus on in securing a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Energy UK publishes its latest electricity switching figures, showing a year-on-year drop in switches in January.

Tuesday 16/02 – The government announces the development of hydrogen trial homes. The Housing Ombudsman publishes a report finding a disproportionately high number of complaints from heat network customers.

Monday 15/02 –SSEN Transmission publishes a discussion paper on transmission charges, calling for views on the current Transmission Network Use of System charging regime. 2020 was a record year for renewables in GB with biomass, hydro, solar and wind power generating more power (41.6%) than fossil fuels (39.6%) for the first time, Drax’s latest Electric Insights report finds.

Friday 12/02 – The National Audit Office publishes a report concluding that HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs have a “limited understanding” of how far the tax system supports government’s environmental objectives. The Commons BEIS Committee holds an evidence session discussing the available technologies to deliver heat decarbonisation and the barriers to scaling up low carbon heating across the UK.

Thursday 11/02 – The government updates the definition for fuel poverty in its new strategy for England. The government updates the guidance for those looking to participate in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, announcing that it will have a transitional Auction Reserve Price of £22.

Wednesday 10/02 – BEIS launches a consultation setting out a potential approach to cluster sequencing for carbon capture, usage and storage. SMS plc, commences construction of a 50MW battery storage development in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.

Tuesday 09/02 – The Welsh government sets out its legal commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 but is pushing to “get there sooner” as it prepares for COP26 in November. More than £88mn could have been missed out on last winter by people in later life who are eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme, according to analysis published by Independent Age.

Monday 08/02 – A group of 20 organisations write to the Chancellor to urge him to use the new National Infrastructure Bank to drive low carbon investment. The Crown Estate announces six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales.

Friday 05/02 – Ofgem announces that it is increasing the level of the default tariff price cap by £96 to £1,138 for a typical default tariff customer and by £87 to £1,156 for a typical prepayment customer. The Commons BEIS Committee publishes the details of the first evidence session of its decarbonising heat in homes inquiry.

Thursday 04/02 – Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan launches the latest round of the government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, inviting entrepreneurs to bid for the latest £11mn in funding to develop technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.

Wednesday 03/02 – The Public Accounts Committee releases new report claiming the government’s progress towards its environmental goals is “disappointing”. The government increases the Renewables Obligation mutualisation threshold to round £62mn in 2021-22.

Tuesday 02/02 – Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces £20mn funding to increase the number of electric vehicle charge points. Ofgem issues its decision to provide an additional allowance in the default tariff cap of £23.69 for a typical dual fuel customer for April to September 2021.

Monday 01/02 – The Commons Public Accounts Committee announces plans to launch an inquiry into the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Inquiries are launched into environmental taxation and low emissions cars.

Written By Graham Paul


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