EU unveils new green finance strategy

The European Commission is to create labels so investors can identify green or low-carbon products as part of its new sustainable finance action plan.

The strategy aims to help raise the €180 billion needed for the European Union to hit its 2030 targets, including a 40% cut to greenhouse gas emissions.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "Global investments hold the key to fighting climate change, with trillions already invested in solutions such as...

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13/03/2018 - Sector Round Up

SSE submits Orkney link proposals

Network operator SSE has submitted the “final needs case” to Ofgem for a connection between the Orkney islands and the Scottish mainland.

The cable is needed so Orkney can export its renewable energy to Great Britain’s grid.

Under the proposals, the first 220kV cable would be laid in October 2022.

> See SSE's statement


London mayor supports community solar

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has awarded £150,000 to 13 community energy schemes in the UK...

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May seeks ‘broad energy co-operation’ with EU

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will want to secure “broad energy co-operation with the EU" after Brexit.

In a speech on the UK's future economic relationship with the EU, May such co-operation “includes protecting the single electricity market across Ireland and Northern Ireland - and exploring options for the UK's continued participation in the EU's internal energy market”.

“We also believe it is of benefit to both sides for the UK to have a close association with Euratom,” she...

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Freak weather raises energy security concerns

The UK Government has been urged to review its winter planning after heavy snow raised fears over the security of gas supplies.

National Grid last week issued its first gas deficit warning in eight years, saying it might not have enough gas to meet demand.

An unplanned outage at South Hook liquified natural gas terminal and a reduction in supplies from Norway to the St Fergus terminal had prompted the warning to be issued.

The warning was designed to stimulate further supplies being brought...

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100 cities now sourcing most of their energy from renewables

Renewable energy is now providing more than 70% of the power to over 100 cities spread across the globe, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

In total, 189 cities are using wind energy in their electricity mix, while a further 184 are using solar.

The CDP said that city governments were more nimble than national administrations and so were moving faster to capitalise on the falling cost of renewables.

The charity has produced a map showing which cities are making the most of...

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RHI poor value for money says audit watchdogs

The National Audit Office (NAO) has branded the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) as not achieving “value for money”.

In its report into the incentive, the auditor said that the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) “does not have a reliable estimate of the amount it has overpaid to participants that have not complied with the regulations, nor the impact of participants gaming them, which could accumulate to reduce the scheme’s value significantly”.

Ofgem has suggested ...

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Ofgem hails record number of customers for smaller suppliers

The market share held by small and medium-sized energy suppliers has reached a record high, according to the latest figures from the energy regulator.

Ofgem said the “Big Six’s” market share had now hit a record low.

Smaller companies now supply 21% of all customers with electricity and 22% with gas, up from 4.7% and 5% respectively in 2013.

Last year, 5.1 million electricity consumers and 4.1 million gas consumers in total switched supplier, the highest number for almost a decade.


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Renewables a key plank of Scotland’s new climate plan

The Scottish Government has outlined its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032.

Publishing its latest climate change plan, the administration said half of Scotland’s power requirements would be met by renewable energy by 2030.

Scottish Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This new Climate Change Plan is designed to build on the successes we have achieved so far, by paving the way for further positive, transformational change in a wide range of areas

“We have...

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06/03/2018 - Sector Round Up

Scottish wind project underway after power purchase deal signed

Construction has begun on one of only a handful of onshore wind energy projects to have secured support through the UK Government’s Contract for Difference subsidy scheme for renewable energy generation.

Work on the Achlachan project in the far north of Scotland started after developer Whirlwind Renewables signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SmartestEnergy.

The 10MW, five turbine project - 17 miles from John...

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Renewables by far fastest-growing energy source

Oil giant BP has predicted that renewable power will be the fastest-growing source of power between now and 2040.

In its latest Energy Outlook report, the company presented an “evolving transition” scenario, which assumed that government policies, technologies and societal preferences evolve in a manner and speed similar to the recent past.

Under this scenario, BP forecast that renewables will be “by far the fastest-growing fuel source”, increasing five-fold and providing around 14% of...

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