The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The pipeline of battery storage projects across the UK jumped by two-thirds last year; The Government’s climate strategy has been dealt a legal blow; A project is launched to tackle grid bottlenecks and enable more renewable power. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.


  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    The UK Government’s strategy and policy statement for energy policy in Great Britain has now come into force.

    Scottish Renewables has published its response to a consultation on Energy Code Reform: Code Manager Licensing and Secondary Legislation.

    The latest monthly data on the number of certificates issued for generation under the Renewables Obligation has been published.

    Ofgem has published details of the Renewables Obligation Quarter 3 Mutualisation payment distribution for 2021-22.

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

  • Battery storage pipeline surges

    The capacity of battery storage projects in the pipeline across the UK has surged by two-thirds over the last year, according to new figures.

    RenewableUK’s latest EnergyPulse Energy Storage report shows the total pipeline of projects, including operational, under construction, consented or being planned, has increased from 57.1GW to 95.6GW.

    Operational capacity has grown to 4.4GW, and those under construction has reached 4.3GW. A further 30.4GW has been consented, 26GW has been submitted in the planning system and 30.4GW is at an early stage of development.

    RenewableUK’s Director of Future Electricity Systems Barnaby Wharton said the figures show appetite among investors remains “enormous”.

    However, he cautioned that the UK is still “a long way” from delivering the 55GW of short-term flexibility by 2035 that the Government says is needed.

    “We have the potential to move much faster by speeding up the process of consenting and connecting vital energy storage projects to the grid,” he said.

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  • Government climate strategy again ruled unlawful

    The High Court has again found the UK government’s climate strategy to be unlawful following legal challenges by environmental groups.

    The judgment, which followed challenges by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project, found the Government had breached the Climate Change Act when it adopted the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan. The pressure groups argued the plan provided inadequate evidence of feasibility.

    The Government is now expected to have to draw up a revised plan within 12 months. It is the second time in less than 2 years that the High Court has found the strategy to be unlawful.

    Friends of the Earth lawyer, Katie de Kauwe, said: “We’ve all been badly let down by a government that’s failed, not once but twice, to deliver a climate plan that ensures both our legally binding national targets and our international commitment to cut emissions by over two thirds by 2030 are met.”

    A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: "The claims in this case were largely about process and the judgment contains no criticism of the detailed plans we have in place.

    "We do not believe a court case about process represents the best way of driving progress towards our shared goal of reaching net zero."

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  • Grid project aims to tackle bottlenecks

    An innovation project has been launched in a bid to reduce network congestion and maximise the potential of existing power infrastructure.

    National Grid is working with Smart Wires on the project to make better use of grid enhancing technologies such as advanced power flow controllers.

    These can help resolve bottlenecks by intelligently pushing and pulling power across circuits in real-time and routing it to where capacity is available, freeing up electricity flow.

    Gary Stockdale, net zero innovation manager at National Grid Electricity Transmission, said: “This project will give us better insight to fully exploit the potential of grid enhancing technologies on our network, and boost the volume of clean power our circuits can carry around the country.”

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  • Clean energy projects see connection offers accelerated

    A total of 7.8GW of clean energy projects have had their connection offer dates brought forward by up to 10 years.

    The Technical Limits programme, which enables projects to connect to lower voltage distribution networks prior to reinforcement of the high voltage transmission network, has seen networks send offers to 203 projects with an average connection acceleration of 6.5 years.

    The Technical Limits project, involving National Grid Electricity Transmission, Energy Networks Association, the Electricity System Operator and the Distribution Network Operators, is part of efforts to speed up and reform connections to the grid.

    Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Justin Tomlinson said: “We are delivering the biggest reforms to the network since the 1950s – allowing us to hook more renewables up to the grid so households and businesses can benefit from cleaner, cheaper electricity."

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  • Offshore wind now makes up 17% of UK power

    The UK’s offshore wind sector produced enough electricity last year to power the equivalent of 50% of UK homes.

    The Crown Estate’s latest annual review of the sector found the pipeline of UK projects also grow by a further 10GW in 2023 to 93GW, cementing its position as the second largest offshore wind market in the world.

    UK offshore wind energy now makes up 17% of total UK electricity generated, up from 14% in 2022.

    Although the Crown Estate said the sector has made “exceptional progress” but achieving the Government’s growth targets for offshore wind required a more coordinated approach to seabed management and the delivery of transmission infrastructure.

    A number of measures are being taken to help accelerate growth including work to digitally map seabed space and joint action by The Crown Estate and the Electricity System Operator to develop a plan setting out what needs to be built, where and when, to deliver on 2035 targets. 

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