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Industry News Roundup July 2021

Friday 30/07 – The Energy Networks Association announces that GB networks has contracted a record amount of flexibility in 2021 – the 1.6GW contracted is 45% more than in all of 2020. The GMB union calls on the government to announce if it will be blocking China’s involvement in the Sizewell C nuclear project, and to announce who will be paying for the project if it is blocked.

Thursday 29/07 – New government statistics show that renewables’ share of power generation reached a record 43.1% in 2020, outpacing for the first time annual fossil fuel generation. Energy UK announces that 26 suppliers, covering 90% of domestic customers, have agreed to new commitments to help households over winter.

Wednesday 28/07 – The Commons Transport Committee publishes its Zero emission vehicles report detailing a set of recommendations to government to boost the production and purchase of electric vehicles. The union for gas workers and boilermakers, GMB, calls for increased hydrogen support from the government.

Tuesday 27/07 – In a blog, Ofgem Chief Executive Johnathan Brearley warns customers that the global increase in fossil fuel prices will have a knock-on effect for energy bills in the UK. The Crown Estate confirms 300MW of new floating offshore wind projects, identified through its Test and Demonstration leasing opportunity.

Monday 26/07 – The government launches a call for evidence on the Capacity Market (CM) to seek views on improving delivery assurance and early actions to align the scheme with net zero. The government releases its official response to its call for evidence on Enabling a high renewables, net zero electricity system, which examined how the government could maintain growth in renewable deployment to meet net zero targets.

Friday 23/07 – The government publishes a consultation on proposals for opt-in and testing opt-out switching for disengaged customers. It also publishes its retail market strategy for the 2020s and announces in an open letter that legislation is to be introduced (subject to parliamentary time and approval) to allow extensions of the default tariff (price) cap beyond 2023.

Thursday 22/07 – National Grid Electricity System Operator says there may be some “tight” margins this winter and that it may need to use tools such as Electricity Margin Notices to help balance supply and demand, but it is confident there will be enough electricity. Centrica’s H121 results show EBITDA of £682mn for H121, down 9% on H120’s £750mn. Crown Estate Scotland announces that the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round has received 74 applications.

Wednesday 21/07 – Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tells the BEIS Committee that the delay of the Heat and Buildings Strategy is due to other documents such as the Hydrogen Strategy not having come out yet. Iberdrola publishes its financial results for H121, reporting revenue of €2,384.8mn (£2,054mn) and EBIT of €25.8mn (£22.2mn) for Scottish Power’s liberalised business.

Tuesday 20/07 – The government publishes a series of consultations and policy papers on issues such as proposals for an independent Future System Operator, an Energy Digitalisation Strategy and energy code governance reforms.

Monday 19/07 – Consumers are supportive of the goal of net zero emissions by 2045 but are ‘in the dark’ over the challenges it will pose in their own lives, according to a new briefing from Citizens Advice Scotland.

Friday 16/07 – Responding to media reports that the Heat and Buildings Strategy will be delayed to the autumn, the Renewable Energy Association expresses disappointment and calls for more urgency.

Thursday 15/07 –Shell announces that its 100MW battery power storage project – consisting of two 50MW batteries located in Minety, Wiltshire – has become fully operational. Ofgem publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2020-21.

Wednesday 14/07 – Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces the launch of the UK’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which sets out a pathway for the transport sector to reach net zero by 2050. The government consults on the removal of the 300MW minimum capacity threshold from the carbon capture readiness requirement.

Tuesday 13/07 – Following on from the June announcement of an inquiry into National Grid’s acquisition of Western Power Distribution, the Competition and Markets Authority confirms the launch of the inquiry.

Monday 12/07 – National Grid Electricity System Operator releases its Future Energy Scenarios 2021. MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee heard that the funding landscape for home energy efficiency retrofit schemes is “inconsistent”.

Friday 09/07 – The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a report on the energy efficiency of the English housing stock.

Thursday 08/07 –The BEIS Committee releases a report, Climate Assembly UK: where are we now?, calling for the government to follow the principles set out by Climate Assembly UK and ensure fairness underpins the transition to net zero. The government sets out the parameters for the T-1 and T-4 Capacity Market auctions planned for February 2022.

Wednesday 07/07 – The Office for Budget Responsibility publishes its latest annual report, which identifies risks to public finances from climate change, including a range of scenarios illustrating the fiscal impact of ways to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Tuesday 06/07 – Energy and Clean Growth Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told MPs that the government is “committed to investing £9bn in improving the energy efficiency of buildings while creating thousands of new green jobs”. BEIS consults on expanding the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme to include medium-sized businesses.

Monday 05/07 – The Treasury announces that the VAT zero rate is to apply to UK ETS trading scheme allowances.

Friday 02/07 – The Committee on Fuel Poverty releases an interim report assessing the progress made towards delivering the government’s 2025 fuel poverty Band D milestone and 2030 Band C target.

Thursday 01/07 –The new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) launches in an interim form. Nissan unveils a £1bn electric vehicle gigafactory.

Written By Graham Paul


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