The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The Government launches Great British Nuclear to spearhead a revival of the technology; An industry body calls for a robust response after rising costs are blamed for work being halted on an offshore project; Construction gets underway on the first UK-Germany power link; Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Government hails revival of nuclear power

    New nuclear power plants will be built at “unprecedented scale and pace” according to the Government as part of a revival of the technology. Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said the launch of Great British Nuclear (GBN) will boost UK energy security, reduce dependence on volatile fossil fuel imports, create more affordable power and grow the economy. Companies can now sign up to a competition to secure funding support to drive the development of small modular reactor (SMR) projects in the UK. Unlike conventional reactors that are built on site, SMRs are smaller, can be made in factories and could transform how power stations are built by making construction faster, and less expensive. As well as supporting SMRs, the Government stressed it remains committed to the mega projects of Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C. Shapps said: “By rapidly boosting our homegrown supply of nuclear and other clean, reliable, and abundant energy, we will drive down bills for British homes and make sure the UK is never held to energy ransom by tyrants like Putin.” Read more

  • Action urged after work on major offshore wind project halted

    Industry leaders have urged the Government to ensure the UK remains attractive for offshore wind investment after work on a major project was halted. Swedish energy giant Vattenfall said cost rises meant the Norfolk Boreas site, off the Norfolk coast, no longer made financial sense. Two other sites, Vanguard East and Vanguard West, will also be reviewed. Industry body RenewableUK said international competition for skills and supply chain resources is continuing to intensify, with the US and EU setting attractive incentives to try to lure renewable energy companies away from the UK and lead the global market. “The Government needs to step up with a robust response to enable industrial growth throughout Britain,” said Chief Executive Dan McGrail. “Whilst it’s very disappointing when any renewable energy project is put on hold, Britain’s offshore wind industry still has a strong track record of building vital new energy infrastructure as fast as economic and political conditions allow.” Read more

  • Work underway on first UK-Germany energy link

    Construction has started on a £2.4bn energy link between the UK and Germany. The NeuConnect project will see 725km of land and subsea cables laid to enable up to 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction. The project is led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO. NeuConnect, which is the first direct power connection between the two countries, is expected to be operational by 2028. UK Minister for Investment, Lord Johnson said: “This £2.4bn project doesn’t just demonstrate continued global investor confidence in the UK, but also the successful work we are doing with our European neighbours to drive investment and deliver vital new infrastructure. “The first spade in the ground is a significant milestone on a project of national importance.” Read more

  • Supplier pays £1.8m for financial reporting failures

    Energy supplier Outfox The Market is to pay £1.8 million for failing to provide adequate financial data and other information to Ofgem. The regulator requested details of financial income, outgoings and capital reserves as part of a ‘stress test’ process to assess the resilience of a supplier to absorb sudden changes in market conditions. The company was also asked to provide information as part of Ofgem’s recent series of ‘deep dive’ market compliance reviews. Ofgem said the supplier, which has around 100,000 energy customers in the UK, repeatedly failed to report an appropriate level of detail within the timescale required. The company has agreed to make the payment to Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund. Cathryn Scott, Director of Enforcement and Emerging Issues for Ofgem, said: “Lessons from the past make it clear that the financial resilience of suppliers is key to a sustainable and competitive market for consumers. “To ensure this, Ofgem regularly takes the pulse of every supplier’s financial health and it is vital that we are provided with accurate information on time”. Read more

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published a letter setting out the Capacity Market auction parameters for the T-1 auction for 2024/2025 delivery year, and the T-4 auction for 2027/2028 delivery year. A call for evidence into enabling industrial electrification has been issued by The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. It is aimed at understanding how to enable industry to switch away from fossil fuels to electricity. The closing date is 20 October. Energy UK has published a report into how low carbon energy investment can transform the UK. National Grid ESO has published its latest Future Energy Scenarios report, exploring different pathways to decarbonise the energy system. Ofgem has published the latest timetable for expected publication of decisions around code modification/modification proposals.