The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The Government’s climate change advisor calls for more transparency on how the UK will meet Net Zero; Labour pledges to unlock £200bn of energy investment and rewire Britain if it gets elected; A £230m decarbonisation funding pot opens for public sector bodies; Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Climate advisor urges more transparency on Net Zero

    The Government’s advisory body on climate change has urged more transparency on how it expects to meet its Net Zero targets in the wake of major policy changes.

    The Climate Change Committee said although there had been “tangible positive policy progress” in some key areas, the recent relaxation of measures to decarbonise buildings and transport had countered that.

    “We remain concerned about the likelihood of achieving the UK’s future targets, especially the substantial policy gap to the UK’s 2030 goal,” it said.

    “Recent policy announcements were not accompanied by estimates of their effect on future emissions, nor evidence to back the Government’s assurance that the UK’s targets will still be met.”

    The CCC said it was important for the Government to restate “strong British leadership” on climate change before the next COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

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  • Labour pledges to rewire Britain and unlock £200bn investment

    Labour has set out its vision to ‘rewire Britain’ in a move it said would unlock £200bn of private investment.

    At its party conference it said an incoming Labour Government would make it easier, cheaper and quicker to build the infrastructure need to grow the economy, cut bills and boost energy security.

    It pledged to remove the barriers to facilitate the largest upgrade to national transmission infrastructure in a generation, bringing cheaper, cleaner power, energy security, and jobs to every corner of the country.

    “By unlocking long overdue barriers to investment, Labour’s plan will unlock £200bn of private investment, and will support over 220,000 jobs each year between 2024-2035 across the country,” the party said.

    “British businesses such as the steel industry, new electric car battery factories, ceramics manufacturers, and other forms of energy intensive industries will benefit significantly, ending delays to infrastructure upgrades.”

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  • Decarbonisation funding opens for public sector

    Public sector organisations across England can bid for a share of up to £230m of funding to support decarbonisation measures.

    The UK Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme aims to help fund low-carbon energy upgrades to buildings, ranging from heat pumps and solar panels to insulation and low-energy lighting.

    The funding pot is the latest phase of the scheme which has so far allocated more than £2bn to almost 1,000 public sector organisations across England, helping them reduce energy bills and carbon emissions in the long term.

    Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “We are a world-leader when it comes to reducing carbon emissions - and for us to reach our goal of net zero by 2050, we want to help public bodies like schools and hospitals to do their bit.

    “We’ve made fantastic progress so far, helping more than 1,000 schools, hospitals and leisure centres. Today’s funding will now help even more organisations across England bring their bills down, while also cutting their emissions.”

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  • Ofgem proposes £23.6m fine on generator

    Ofgem intends to require an electricity generator to pay £23.6m for breaching its generation licence.

    The regulator said the enforcement action “sends another strong signal” to all generators that they must put in place controls to ensure they set their bid prices to ensure they do not obtain excessive benefits during transmission constraint periods.

    Following a detailed investigation, Ofgem said it had concluded that generator EPSHB breached its licence by submitting excessive bid prices at its South Humber Bank gas-fired power station during periods when the ESO needed it to lower its output.

    It is the third action that Ofgem has taken against electricity generation companies this year in relation to breaches.

    Written representations or objections to Ofgem’s proposal must be received no later than 10 November before it reaches its final decision on the penalty.

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  • Marubeni signs deal over £10bn UK clean energy investment

    Marubeni, parent company of SmartestEnergy, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK Government to co-operate on major clean energy projects including offshore wind and green hydrogen businesses.

    The signing of the agreement came after the announcement by the Japanese business earlier this year that it plans to invest around £10bn with its partners in clean energy projects in the UK over the next decade.

    Marubeni said it will leverage its collaboration with the UK government and local governments to promote clean energy projects and contribute to the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero.

    It will also feed back the knowledge and experience gained through its UK operations to Japan, contributing to Japan’s decarbonisation efforts.

    At the time of the initial investment announcements by Marubeni and other Japanese firms Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described them as a “massive vote of confidence in the UK’s dynamic economy”.

    “Working with the Government and British industry they will create the kind of high-quality, reliable jobs and transformative local investment we are delivering around the country,” he said.

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  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    Ofgem has published an open letter setting out its intention to allow the Market Stabilisation Charge to expire at the end of its current extension period in March 2024.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is inviting applications for the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition which provides grant funding of up to £15m per project for major investments in the manufacture of heat pumps and strategically important components.

    The latest monthly data on the UK’s renewables sector, including capacity, electricity generation and liquid biofuels consumption has been published by National Statistics.

    National Grid ESO has received investment from Ofgem and Innovate UK’s Strategic Innovation Fund to progress two projects designed to accelerate decarbonisation and improve the resilience of Great Britain’s energy system.