The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Industry leaders warn that communities won’t be able to reap the benefits of wind projects without planning reforms; A series of no-regrets options to improve wholesale power market liquidity are proposed; A consultation opens on proposed changes to the electricity generation licence; Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    Energy UK has published its response to Ofgem’s Call for Input on Power Market Liquidity.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published the outcome of its consultation on developing local partnerships for onshore wind in England.

    Ofgem has published its decision on modifications to the standard and special conditions of the Electricity Distribution Licence.

    Ofgem has published details of its rejection of two Capacity Market Rule Change Proposals without Consultation: CP365 and CP366.

    Energy UK has published its response to a consultation on strengthening the economic regulation of the energy, water, and telecoms sectors.

  • Warning over steps to boost onshore wind benefits

    Industry leaders have warned that steps to boost new onshore wind by improving community benefits won’t be effective unless planning barriers are tackled.

    The Government has published the outcome of a consultation on developing partnerships with communities to host onshore wind in England and said the majority of respondents supported its proposals on updating the community benefits protocol.

    Minister for Nuclear and Renewables Andrew Bowie said the measures would ensure communities are properly rewarded for hosting the turbines that power homes and businesses with clean electricity.

    Although RenewableUK said it was pleased to be working with the Government on updating the protocol, it warned that communities will not be able to benefit from the funds unless there is significant planning reform.

    “Communities in England can’t benefit from a wind farm proposal that’s never put to them because the planning system is too difficult for developers to navigate,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director of Policy Ana Musat.

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  • ‘No regrets’ options for improving liquidity proposed

    Industry body Energy UK has set out a series of ‘no regrets’ options for boosting liquidity in Great Britain’s wholesale electricity market.

    Ofgem has recently published a call for input on power market liquidity and Energy UK has responded with a “high-level industry view” on the issues.

    It said its members across generation and supply agree that liquidity has decreased in recent years blamed on factors including Brexit, Covid-19, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Energy UK said both Ofgem and the Government should consider a number of no-regrets options aimed at improving liquidity.

    They include looking at how cross-border trading with neighbouring markets can contribute most effectively to liquidity, re-coupling the GB Power Exchanges and improving Ofgem’s price cap methodology.

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  • Consultation opens on electricity generation licence

    Ofgem has launched a consultation on potential changes to the electricity generation licence.

    The regulator said the move was aimed at ensuring the licence is fit for purpose for assets which have been classed as generation but which provide network services such as synchronous condensers.

    Ofgem is currently undertaking a review of the regulatory treatment of ancillary service assets, including synchronous condensers, and is assessing policy options following a call for evidence on the matter.

    In an open letter it has set out a view that as synchronous condensers store energy to provide system stability services and are not ‘final demand’, they were eligible to apply for generation licences.

    The consultation closes on 10 March.

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  • UK strengthens collaboration on energy security

    The UK Government has signed what it described as a landmark agreement with Canada to bring the possibility of developing a near limitless source of clean energy a step closer.

    Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho signed a new partnership to improve collaboration on fusion research and development, harmonise the approach to regulation, and develop the workforce and skills base.

    Coutinho also met with European allies to discuss plans to transition away from Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) following the UK’s lead.

    The Memorandum of Understanding with Canada on fusion energy will strengthen cooperation between two countries to support the deployment of fusion worldwide and support the UK’s £650m fusion programme.

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  • Domestic energy bills set to fall

    The impact of a mild winter is expected to see domestic energy bills fall by an average of 15%. Analysis by Cornwall Insight said high gas storage levels would help energy bills from April to June drop to £1,635 a year for the typical user.

    Cornwall Insight is forecasting the cap will continue to decline in July, with a small rise in October. However, the latest projections indicate that the cap will stay below the current level until the end of the year.

    However, the consultancy cautioned that despite the positive outlook, the UK’s strong reliance on imported LNG means geopolitical insecurities remain a threat to energy supplies and therefore consumer bills.

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