The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Industry leaders warn investment is at risk after significant changes to Net Zero policies; A wind industry deal for Scotland is seen as a blueprint for the whole of the UK; A new low carbon record has been achieved for the GB grid; Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Investment warning over Net Zero rollback

    The energy industry has warned that a Government rollback on Net Zero policies will damage the investment needed to fund the transition.

    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures including pushing back the deadline for a ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars and the phasing out of gas boilers. He said he remained committed to the 2050 Net Zero target but with a “more pragmatic, proportionate and realistic approach”.

    Energy UK’s chief executive, Emma Pinchbeck, responded: “Sudden changes to policies and targets like this are damaging to the very investment we need to fund the move towards Net Zero and jeopardise the economic benefits and opportunities this transformation could bring in terms of jobs, growth and greater prosperity to all parts of the country.”

    RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said the announcements will “undoubtedly knock investor confidence”, and that many green technology leaders are now nervous about the increasing uncertainty around policies in the UK.

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  • Onshore wind deal seen as blueprint for sector

    The wind industry has hailed a new deal with the Scottish Government as a potential blueprint for UK-wide co-operation.

    The Onshore Wind Sector Deal sets out a series of key measures which will support the Scottish Government in reaching its target of 20GW onshore wind by 2030 - more than double Scotland’s current operational capacity of 9.3GW.

    These measures include ensuring the time onshore wind farms take to go through planning is halved to only 12 months and engaging with local communities at the earliest opportunity to agree a package of community benefits.

    Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “An incredible amount of hard work has gone in to making this deal happen and it is a real benefit to the industry knowing that the time onshore wind farms take to go through planning will be halved to only 12 months.”

    RenewableUK described it as an “excellent blueprint which could be replicated throughout the UK to drive down electricity bills and boost our energy security”.

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  • Grid sets new low carbon record

    The electricity grid has achieved a new low carbon intensity record thanks to strong wind conditions.

    Data released by National Grid ESO shows GB saw an intensity of 27g/kWh was reached on Monday 18 September. The figure compares to the previous record set earlier this year on 10 April, which stood at 33 g/kWh.

    Wind contributed 48% of the electricity supply on the day, followed by nuclear with 18.9%, gas at 14.5%, and solar at 4.3%.

    Carbon intensity figures are available through an app built in partnership with the WWF, Environmental Defense Fund Europe and the University of Oxford department of Computer Science.

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  • Investment partners sought for Sizewell C

    Investors are being invited to register their interest in providing financial backing for the Sizewell C nuclear power station.

    Companies with “substantial experience in the delivery of major infrastructure projects” are being sought for the project.

    Sizewell C is expected to house two of the most powerful nuclear reactors in the world. It will generate reliable, low-carbon power for up to 6 million homes over 60 years, avoiding 9 million tonnes of carbon each year. At peak construction, it is expected to support 10,000 jobs across the country.

    Minister for Nuclear and Networks, Andrew Bowie, said: “Sizewell C is at the heart of the UK’s nuclear revival and our ambition to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050.

    “I look forward to seeing strong and competitive bids from potential investors to bring new expertise and experience into the company to help deliver this critical piece of national infrastructure.”

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  • UK pledges £160m for global transition

    The UK Government has announced a £160m funding package to support developing countries to reduce carbon emissions.

    The support will help energy-intensive industries in developing and emerging economies to decarbonise, with backing for measures ranging from deploying clean hydrogen-based fuels for steel production to the creation of biomass-powered refrigeration.

    Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho said: “We in the UK only account for 1% of global emissions, so we must work together with other countries around the world if we are to achieve our ambition of Net Zero.

    “This funding will help decarbonise key industrial sectors in the developing world, support new industries and create long-term jobs.”

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  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    Ofgem has issued its response to the CMA’s ruling on RIIO-ED2 electricity distribution price control appeals.

    Ofgem has opened a consultation on two proposed draft licences which would be held by the Future System Operator (FSO) - an Electricity System Operator (ESO) licence and Gas System Planner (GSP) licence.

    The Government has published the latest decisions on energy infrastructure development applications.

    The Government has launched an open consultation to further assess the case for hydrogen blending into GB gas distribution networks. It closes on 27 October.