The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Fossil-fuel generated electricity in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 66 years; The latest interconnector between the UK and Denmark has opened for business; The UK is investing £300m as part of its plans to boost nuclear power; A round-up of the latest updates from Govt departments and energy regulators.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    National Grid ESO has published details of the BSUoS Fixed Tariff for 4 Oct 2024 - Mar 2025 and the Draft Tariff for 5 Apr 2025 – Sep 2025.

    Ofgem has published a decision to approve the CUSC Modification Proposal CMP298, specifically WACM3, and the System Operator Transmission Owner Code (STC) Modification Proposal CM080. The changes introduce a new Transmission Impact Assessment (TIA) process as an alternative to the Statement of Works process.

    Statistics on Renewables Obligation certificates and generation for September 2023 have been published.

    Scottish Renewables has published its response to the Capacity Market 2023 phase 2 proposals and 10 year review.

    The Government is asking for views on proposed changes to the UK Emissions Trading Scheme to support progress to net zero. The consultations will run until 11 March.

  • Fossil-fuel power in UK falls to lowest in 66 years

    The amount of UK electricity generated from fossil fuels fell by 22% last year to the lowest level in 66 years.

    Data from the Carbon Brief website showed electricity from fossil fuels has now fallen by two-thirds since peaking in 2008. Coal has dropped by 97% and gas by 45%. The declines have been caused by the rapid expansion of renewable energy - up six-fold since 2008 - and by lower electricity demand, down 21%.

    As a result, fossil fuels made up just 33% of UK electricity supplies in 2023 – their lowest ever share – of which gas was 31%, coal just over 1% and oil just below 1%.

    However, Carbon Brief pointed out this remains a long way from the Government’s ambition for 95% low-carbon power by 2030 and a fully decarbonised grid by 2035.

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  • UK-Denmark power link opens for business

    The UK’s latest power link with Europe has begun commercial operations.

    The £1.7bn Viking Link, the world’s longest land and subsea interconnector, is a joint venture between National Grid and Danish System Operator, Energinet.

    It has the capacity to transport enough electricity for up to 2.5 million homes, bringing over £500m of cumulative savings for UK consumers over the next decade due to cheaper imported power from Denmark.

    Initially, Viking Link will be operating at a capacity of 800MW before increasing up over time to 1.4GW. National Grid and Energinet will be working together to bring the asset up to full capacity over the coming year.

    President of National Grid Ventures Katie Jackson said: “As we deploy more wind power to meet our climate and energy security targets, connections to our neighbouring countries will play a vital role increasing security of supply and reducing prices for consumers.”

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  • UK invests £300m to boost nuclear power

    The Government has announced a £300m investment in nuclear fuel development to strengthen supply for new energy generation projects.

    The funding will support domestic production of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), the specialist fuel required to power the next generation of nuclear reactors. Most advanced reactors require the fuel that is currently only commercially produced in Russia.

    The investment is part of plans to help deliver up to 24GW of clean, reliable nuclear power by 2050 - a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs.

    An additional £10m will be provided to develop the skills and sites to produce other advanced nuclear fuels in the UK, which the Government said would help to secure long term domestic nuclear fuel supply and support international allies.

    Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, said: “Britain gave the world its first operational nuclear power plant, and now we will be the first nation in Europe outside of Russia to produce advanced nuclear fuel.

    “This will be critical for energy security at home and abroad and builds on Britain’s historic competitive advantages.”

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  • Councils block 4.4GW of green energy projects

    A new study has found that 70 local councils have collectively opposed planning applications for 4.4GW worth of renewable energy projects.

    Analysis by the Britain Remade lobby group said that although over 350 councils have passed motions to help tackle climate change, receiving planning permission remains one of the most difficult aspects of installing renewable energy assets.

    Sam Richards, founder of Britain Remade, said it was “absurd” for local councils to declare a climate emergency and yet stand in the way of progression.

    “Across the country there is huge support for clean energy projects both large and small. But when these plans become part of the planning system, councils tend to hear from the most motivated voices – which unfortunately, tends to be the minority of people who are against a particular project,” he said Richards.

    “If we are to hit our 2050 net zero target and provide secure sources of clean energy that will help cut the energy bills of millions of people, local councils must match words with deeds.”

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  • Former minister resigns over oil and gas licences

    A former Conservative minister is resigning as an MP in protest over the Government’s plans for new oil and gas drilling licences.

    Chris Skidmore said a bill to guarantee annual licensing rounds would send a "global signal that the UK is rowing ever further back from its climate commitments".

    However, in an interview with the BBC Chanceller Jeremy Hunt said he profoundly disagreed with Skidmore’s view and said the annual licensing programme will help improve the UK's energy security.

    "The independent panel for climate change that we have in this country are very clear that even when we reach net zero in 2050, we will still get a significant proportion of our energy from fossil fuels, and domestic oil and gas is four times cleaner than imported oil and gas,” he said.

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