CfD rule changes to cost consumers £1.5bn says audit watchdog

Changing the rules for the 2017 Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction pushed up the cost to consumers by £1.5 billion over 15 years, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

Dame Margaret Hodge had asked the NAO to investigate whether the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS’s) decision to introduce a 150MW cap for dedicated biomass with combined heat and power, anaerobic digestion and advanced conversion technology had pushed up the price for consumers.

The...

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Wind power beats nuclear over quarter for first time

Wind farms produced more electricity than nuclear power stations for the first time during the opening three months of the year.

Analysis by researchers at Imperial College London found wind turbines produced a record 15.6TWh of electricity – 30GWh more than nuclear plants.

A combination of wind and solar had overtaken nuclear during the final quarter of last year, but now wind has achieved the landmark on its own.

Wind power’s peak output reached a record 14GW on 17 March, according to the...

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EU to target net zero emissions

The European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy has confirmed that the European Union (EU) will aim for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Writing in a blog post, Miguel Arias Canete said a public consultation will be launched in the coming weeks.

The previous target was an 80-95% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

The commission is due to publish its long-term strategy in January 2019.

Energy efficiency measures

Canete said: “We are very close to achieving our self-imposed...

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Ofgem launches National Grid investigation

Ofgem has launched an investigation into National Grid Electricity Transmission’s (NGET) demand forecasting for the UK electricity market.

The investigation will examine whether “NGET breached rules relating to its duty to operate the system in an economic and efficient manner”.

“This includes but is not limited to producing and publishing appropriate forecasts of demand,” said a brief statement by the regulator.
Ofgem stressed that the opening of the investigation “does not imply that we have...

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22/05/2018 - Sector Round-Up

Anesco plans ramp-up of battery portfolio

Battery provider Anesco’s order book has swelled to 380MW, with all the extra capacity due to come online over the next three years.

The company has already provided 76 batteries to 29 sites since 2014, with a combined capacity of 87MW.

Executive Chairman Steve Shine said: “Since introducing the country’s first utility scale unit, we’ve not only focused on making the technology a commercially-viable proposition, but have invested in research and...

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Industry body highlights energy challenges

Creating a level playing field for the growing number of participants in the energy market is one of the key challenges facing the sector in the years ahead, according to a new report.

Trade body Energy UK has launched its “Future of Energy” vision document, which outlines what opportunities lie ahead for the power sector between now and 2028, 20 years after the Climate Change Act was passed.

Decarbonising the transport sector was highlighted as a major challenge, with the document emphasising...

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Excess renewables could be used to create hydrogen

Storing energy in the form of hydrogen gas could help to decarbonise the UK’s power grid and make it more efficient, a new report has said.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) said power-to-gas projects could take excess renewable energy from solar panels and wind turbines and turn it into hydrogen via electrolysis.

Hydrogen could then be used to heat homes or power vehicles, or injected in small quantities into the gas grid.

The report suggests the method could be more efficient...

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Global renewable energy jobs now top 10 million

New figures have revealed that more than 10 million people are now employed in the renewable energy industry around the world.

The International Renewable Energy Association’s (IRENA’s) annual review revealed that more than 500,000 renewables jobs were created in 2017, up 5.3% on 2016’s total.

More than 70% of the jobs are in China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan.

Some 60% of all renewables jobs – including large-scale hydro-electric projects – are in Asia.

28 million jobs...

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Concerns over waste incineration ‘renewables’

Burning rubbish shouldn’t be counted as “renewable energy”, according to a letter signed by industrial groups and environmental charities.

The group called on European Union member states to phase out subsidies for the incineration of mixed waste.

The letter said such subsidies had “distorted waste markets and thus discourage the separate collection of organics and other recyclables that do not receive subsidies”.

It added that the European Commission’s previous communication on waste-to-energy ...

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Heat networks ‘should be regulated’

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) thinks that heat networks need to be regulated in order to give consumers more protection.

Following an inquiry that began in December, the competition watchdog has reached its provisional conclusions and is consulting over the next step.

It believes some heat network operators have a “monopoly of supply” because users can’t switch to an alternative form of heating if they have complaints over prices or levels of service.

Customers who move into...

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