The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Over 2.2m businesses and homes have signed up for the Demand Flexibility Service; Changes to the way constraint management is handled are needed to boost renewables; The Government has announced plans for a new wave of support to help businesses across the UK to cut their emissions and energy bills; Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.


  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published a consultation seeking views on potential support arrangements to facilitate the transition of large-scale biomass electricity generation to power BECCS.

    Scottish Renewables has published analysis of the expected pipeline of new onshore wind projects, extensions to existing projects, life extensions and re-powering projects expected between 2023 and 2030.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published an update to planning guidance for developers of nationally significant electricity network infrastructure projects.

    Ofgem has published a summary of the stakeholder responses received to its Open Letter on connections reform.

    The Government has published latest the Energy Trends: UK renewables report providing data including capacity, electricity generation and liquid biofuels consumption for December.

  • ESO sees growing demand for flexibility service

    Over 2.2 million businesses and households have now signed up to take part in the Demand Flexibility Service, National Grid ESO has revealed.

    With 43 providers also taking part in the scheme to boost security of supply, the system operator said participation levels at this stage are ahead of last year.

    Across the 8 DFS events held in 2023, a total of 2,507MWh was saved, enough to power over 7.5m households during the events, some 27% of GB households.

    Claire Dykta, ESO Director of Markets, said the figures show the service continues to grow from strength to strength.

    “Households and businesses up and down the country are demonstrating their continued interest and commitment to electricity flexibility and are reaping the rewards for their participation.”

    Read more

  • Shake-up of constraint management system urged

    A major revamp of the constraint management system in the UK is needed to maximise the potential of renewables and deliver best value for consumers, according to a new report.

    The study by The Energy Landscape and commissioned by Scottish Renewables said the cost of constraints has grown significantly in recent years mainly driven by increases in the cost of turning up large gas power stations in England and Wales.

    With the volume of constraints expected to continue rising this decade, it said the current management system leaves consumers exposed to significant risks from future energy price crises and delays to new transmission capacity.

    The report’s key recommendations include better access to the forecasts of future constraints and a portfolio approach to constraint management with a collection of tools which allows the FSO to act over a range of timescales and to ensure all potential providers can support constraint management.

    Read more

  • £190m package to help businesses cut bills

    The Government has announced plans for a new wave of support to help businesses across the UK to cut their emissions and energy bills.

    The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund is being backed with £185m to help companies transform their operations with measures such as replacing inefficient equipment, installing electric furnaces and switching to hydrogen.

    The funding is aimed at ensuring businesses are supported in the transition to net zero, in a sustainable way and cost-effective way, securing green industrial jobs for the future.

    Sectors including manufacturing, recycling and industrial laundries will be among those eligible for apply for the new support.

    Read more

  • Business leaders warn on green skills bottleneck

    Rapid progress to a lower carbon economy is under threat from the failure of companies to develop and source sufficient green skills, new research suggests.

    A report by Economist Impact, supported by Iberdrola, found that despite an overwhelming majority (79%) of business leaders agreeing that skills will be the most important driver of the green transition, just 55% are implementing or planning to implement relevant programmes to create these for their workforce.

    The report warns this leaves a large proportion of the workforce without training in the skills necessary for a greener economy. Some 62% of global business leaders say shortages in green skills will create bottlenecks that will delay the green transition.

    However, the survey found that the green transition is expected to have a net-positive impact on job creation, with particular benefits seen in clean energy, electrification, energy efficiency and research and development.

    Read more

  • Low energy build rate threatens Net Zero

    Slow progress on building new energy generation capacity in the UK is putting targets on decarbonisation and energy security at risk.

    A report by AtkinsRéalis predicts the UK must connect 15.5GW of new generating capacity each year to 2035 to meet system goals. However, just 4.5GW was connected to the national electricity grid in 2022.

    It warns of the compound effect that will stem from continued shortfalls in build rate. If the UK achieves a 15% increase in build rate year-on-year, the peak build rate would be 25GW/year by 2035 . However, if the build rate increases by just 10%, the required peak build rate would jump to 40GW/year– the equivalent of 30 of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms in one year alone.

    Sarah Long, Market Director for Net Zero Energy at AtkinsRéalis, said: “The scale of the challenge becomes greater each year: we must urgently shift from scenarios into delivery.

    “The UK must maintain a laser-like focus on deployment and delivery of net zero generation and the energy infrastructure required to support it.”

    Read more