The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: A record low has been set for the share of GB power coming from fossil fuels; Measures are urged to encourage more co-location of storage with green energy; The G7 needs to triple its renewable capacity for climate targets to remain on track. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    Ofgem has issued guidance for generators on co-location of electricity storage and hydrogen production under the RO, FIT, REGO and SEG.

    Energy UK has published its response to the ESNZ Committee inquiry on Economics of the energy sector.

    Scottish Renewables has published its latest annual Supply Chain Impact Statement 2023/24 of businesses working in Scotland’s renewable energy industry.

    National Grid ESO has announced a number of new appointments to its Operational Executive Team.

    Elexon is consulting on P463 which seeks to introduce a new change process into the BSC arrangements that would allow for certain changes to be implemented without following the existing Change Proposal or Modification procedures.

  • Fossil fuel share of GB power hits record low

    A new record low has been set for the share of electricity in Great Britain generated from burning coal and gas as renewable capacity continues to grow.

    Analysis by Carbon Brief show the proportion fell to 2.4% one day earlier this month and there have so far been a record 75 half-hour periods in 2024 when fossil fuels met less than 5% of demand. There were only five such periods during the whole of 2022 – and just 16 last year.

    Carbon Brief said the data shows that National Grid ESO is closing in on its target of running the country’s electricity network without fossil fuels, for short periods, by 2025.

    However, Carbon Brief said its analysis also illustrates some of the challenges ahead in meeting the Government’s target of a fully decarbonised electricity grid by 2035.

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  • Reforms urged for more co-location projects

    Reforms of the planning system and new financial support mechanisms are needed to encourage more battery storage and green hydrogen projects to co-locate at renewable generation sites, a report has argued.

    The RenewableUK report said that building storage projects alongside onshore wind and solar farms reduces electricity system costs and benefits billpayers.

    It also said that storage projects are vital in providing flexibility in the energy system to ensure it continues to meet electricity demand at all times, especially as demand is set to grow with the take-up of technologies such as electric vehicles.

    Measures put forward in the report to encourage more investment include providing new streamlined guidance for planning authorities to bring forward projects, and resourcing planning bodies better to enable decisions to be taken more swiftly.

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  • G7 needs to triple renewables by 2030

    The G7 powerhouse economies need to triple their renewable energy capacity for the world to meet emissions targets.

    Although the countries, including the UK, signed a global commitment to triple renewables at COP28, the collective G7 targets would only currently deliver a doubling.

    Climate think-tank Ember said that Germany, the UK, and Italy, this year’s host of the G7, are leading the way with 2030 targets that are more than a doubling of 2022 capacity. However, France and Japan are lagging behind their G7 partners with targets well below a tripling. The US and Canada do not have explicit targets.

    The report calls for the G7 to commit to a goal of tripling G7 renewable capacity from 0.9 TW in 2022 to 2.7 TW in 2030. It also urges the G7 to do more to help to unlock renewable growth in emerging countries.

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  • Energy storage needs six-fold growth to meet targets

    Batteries need to lead a six-fold increase in global energy storage to enable the world to meet 2030 targets, according to a new report.

    Growth in batteries outpaced almost all other clean energy technologies in 2023 thanks to factors including falling costs and technology improvements.

    But the IEA report said much more growth will be needed for delivering the climate and energy targets outlined at the COP28 climate conference.

    To keep on track with climate goals, overall energy storage capacity needs to increase six-fold by 2030 worldwide, with batteries accounting for 90% of the increase and pumped hydropower for most of the rest.

    IEA Director Fatih Birol said batteries will play an invaluable role in scaling up renewables. “The combination of solar PV and batteries is today competitive with new coal plants in India. And just in the next few years, it will be cheaper than new coal in China and gas-fired power in the United States. Batteries are changing the game before our eyes.”

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  • UK-Morocco power link secures major boost

    A project to export solar power from Morocco to the UK has moved a step closer after an £11m investment deal.

    Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is backing the XLink First project which aims to harness the power from 11.5GW of solar and wind plant and an onsite 22.5GWh/5GW battery. The new electricity generation and battery facilities in Morocco will be connected to Great Britain via a 4,000km HVDC sub-sea cable.

    James Humfrey, CEO of Xlinks First, said: “Securing AFC as an investor is a significant step forward in the development of the project.”

    Other investors in Xlinks First include the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TotalEnergies and Octopus Energy.

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