Ofgem to review financial tests for energy suppliers

Ofgem to review financial tests for energy suppliers

Energy regulator Ofgem could introduce stricter financial tests for companies that want to become electricity and gas suppliers.
It is planning to review its approach to awarding supply licenses and the financial tests involved.

The moves come just weeks after the collapse of GB Energy Supply. Around 160,000 customers were transferred to Co-operative Energy under Ofgem’s “supplier of last resort” mechanism.

Ofgem is also considering a system of “stress tests” to calculate if existing suppliers...

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Government needs to spell out benefits of low carbon spending say MPs

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called on the UK Government to do more to demonstrate the value for money of consumer-funded low carbon energy schemes.

In a report into the Levy Control Framework – which is designed to help control the costs of Contracts for Difference, Feed-in Tariffs and the Renewables Obligation, the three government schemes to support low-carbon generation – MPs accused the former Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) of having a “culture...

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Renewables ‘reaching parity’ with fossil fuels

Power generated from renewable sources is now seen as reaching cost parity with that produced using coal and gas, according to a new survey.

A poll by Lloyd’s Register found that 70% of respondents believe renewables are reaching parity with fossil fuels.

Alasdair Buchanan, Energy Director of Lloyd’s Register, said: “We are very encouraged by the findings, which highlight not only a growing optimism across the industry but a vigorous and intelligent debate about the pathways to decarbonisation.

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Business rates review could hit small-scale renewables

Smaller renewable energy schemes are facing increases in business rates of up to 650%, according to trade body Scottish Renewables.

A relief scheme that was introduced by the Scottish Government to assist generators ended in 2015 and a replacement has not been introduced.

Hannah Smith, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “We acknowledge that business rates are a normal part of any company’s expenditure, but the leap in costs is causing many of our members significant concern.

“It is...

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Europe sees 12.5GW of wind installed in 2016

Wind turbines capable of generating a combined 12.5GW of power were erected across the European Union’s (EU’s) 28 member states during 2016.

Figures released by trade body Wind Europe showed 10.9GW of onshore capacity was added, along with 1.6GW from offshore wind farms.

Total wind capacity in Europe now stands at 153.7GW, with wind energy covering 10.4% of Europe’s electricity needs last year.

Germany installed the most wind turbines, accounting for 44% of the EU total.
Wind is ‘mainstream’


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Shadow business and energy secretary Lewis quits

Clive Lewis has resigned as Labour’s shadow business and energy secretary.

Lewis, who is the MP for Norwich South, disagreed with Labour’s support for the Conservative government’s Bill to trigger Article 50, the process for the UK leaving the European Union.

In an exclusive interview, Lewis told the Eastern Daily Press newspaper that he had no plans to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour party.

“I have been in parliament for just over two years, I still have a lot to learn,...

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Sector Round Up - 14/02/2017

Lords becomes first 100% renewable cricket ground

Lord’s has become the first cricket ground to be entirely powered by renewable energy.

The Marylebone Cricket Club installed solar panels on the roof of its Warner stand, which will open in April.

News of the achievement came as figures from the England & Wales Cricket Board revealed that extreme weather in December 2015 linked to climate change caused more than £3.5 million-worth of damage across 57 cricket clubs.

> Read the announcement...

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Government to keep Brexit energy options open

Ministers are keeping all their options open regarding Europe’s internal energy market when the UK exits the European Union (EU).

In its 75-page white paper outlining its plans for Brexit, the UK Government highlighted the importance of Great Britain’s existing interconnectors with Belgium, France and the Netherlands, and the importance of proposed links with other countries.

“These coordinated energy trading arrangements help to ensure lower prices and improved security of supply for both the UK ...

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Latest Capacity Auction good value for billpayers says Government

The UK Government said the outcome of the latest round of the Capacity Market ensured guaranteed electricity capacity at a low cost to bill payers.

The auction saw provisional agreements to provide capacity from the start of winter 2017 to the beginning of winter 2018.

It closed at a final price of £6.95kW with the biggest share – over 40 per cent - of the provisional agreements going to existing gas power stations with coal, or co-firing coal and biomass plants, also securing 19 per cent.


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Cheaper renewables to stop coal and oil growth by 2020

The falling cost of solar panels and electric vehicles could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020, according to a new report.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London concluded that big energy companies are seriously underestimating low-carbon advances.

They calculated that the growth in electric vehicles usage alone could lead to two million barrels of oil per day being displaced by 2025, the same volume that caused the oil price...

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