UK coal-free generation record broken again

Great Britain’s electricity network has run for more than two days without any power generated from coal for the first time in 136 years.

The grid ran for 54 hours and 50 minutes without using any electricity from coal-fired power stations between the night of Monday 16 April and the early hours of the morning of Thursday 19 April.

The previous record of 40.5 hours was set last October over a weekend.

The UK Government announced in 2016 that it would phase out the use of coal by 2025,...

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More than 100 businesses have science-based targets approved

The number of companies that have had their carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has broken through the 100-mark.

A total of 103 businesses have now had their plans verified by the organisation.

Electrolux and L’Oréal are among the latest firms to sign-up to the scheme, while Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel has become the first Indian company to take part.

Managing Director Uday Gupta said: “While we are responsible for playing...

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Gravity-based storage could be cheaper than batteries says report

Research from Imperial College London has concluded that suspending weights in disused mine shafts could be a cheaper way of storing energy for frequency response than using batteries.

Projects on the drawing board propose connecting weights of up to 2,000 tonnes to winches.

When there is a surplus of energy in the grid – on windy or sunny days – then the winches will pull the weights to the top of the shafts.

When the power is needed, the weights can then be released quickly to generate a...

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UK to consider ‘net zero’ target

Climate Minister Claire Perry has announced that the UK Government will introduce legislation aimed at limiting the country’s carbon dioxide emissions to “net-zero”.

The UK has already committed to reducing its emissions by 80% by 2050, but critics argue this target is now out-dated following the Paris Agreement and needs strengthening.

A “net-zero” target would involve cutting emissions and off-setting or capturing any remaining emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...

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European wind power investment hit €51bn last year

Wind power projects in Europe attracted €51.2 billion (£44.3bn) of investment last year, up 9% on the previous 12 months, according to trade body Wind Europe’s latest report.

Some 200 projects reached the stage of their final investment decision during 2017, with the UK and Germany accounting for more than half of the total.

Together, the projects would add a further 11.5GW to Europe’s wind power capacity.

The cost of investing in wind continued to fall, with the amount spent on...

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24/04/2018 - Sector Round Up

Deal to manage community solar projects

Mongoose Energy, the UK’s largest manager of community-owned renewable energy assets, has chosen British Solar Renewables (BSR) to manage 14 solar farms that together have a 50MW capacity.

The contract was hailed as the first operations and maintenance (O&M) deal to span multiple community power projects.

The deal means BSR now manages 64 sites with a total capacity of 586MW.

> Read BSR's announcement


Foresight in wind and solar acquisition ...

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National Grid expects low electricity demand this summer

Major power stations may have to reduce their output during the summer after National Grid predicted lower demand for electricity.

The system operator expects an increase in generation from small-scale renewables connected to the distribution network will result in less power being needed from gas and coal-fired plants.

National Grid has forecast peak transmission system demand of 33.7GW, down from 34.3GW last year. Minimum summer demand is expected to sit at 17GW, 600MW lower than in 2017.


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CBI urges alignment with EU energy and climate change rules

One of the UK’s biggest business bodies has called for the UK to maintain alignment with the European Union’s (EU’s) energy and climate change regulations following Brexit.

In a new report, the CBI warned that the cost of deviating from EU rules would be much higher than any benefits.

While opportunities exist within agriculture, shipping and tourism that could benefit the British economy and consumers, the paper said those benefits would be “vastly” outweighed by the costs of deviating from...

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Energy prices rises criticised by Government

Energy Minister Claire Perry has described price rises from British Gas-owner Centrica as “unjustified”.

The UK’s largest energy supplier is increasing the cost of both gas and electricity by 5.5%, pushing up the cost of an average dual-fuel bill by £60 a year to £1,161.

The price rise will affect 4.1 million customers and comes after last year’s 12.5% rise in electricity prices.

Centrica blamed rising wholesale costs and government policies such as smart meters and support for renewable...

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Power groups call for support for energy transformation

Governments must support the “profound transformation” occurring across the world’s power networks, according to a joint statement from four trade bodies.

The Canadian Electricity Association, the Edison Electric Institute in the United States, Eurelectric in European and the Japanese Federation of Electric Power Companies have stressed the importance of policy and regulatory support.

At the International Electricity Summit in the US, the four electricity associations pledged to work more...

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