The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Renewables reached a record 30% of global power generation last year; An industry body has called for more clarity for existing assets over the REMA reforms; A report finds grid capacity constraints added nearly £1bn of costs to electricity bills last year. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.



  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    EnergyUK has published its response to the second consultation on REMA.

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

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is seeking views on its proposed approach for siting fusion energy facilities as part of a new National Policy Statement.

    Ofgem has said it is unable to make a decision on Balancing and Settlement Code modification proposal P461 'Accurate Reporting of Customers Delivered Volumes to Suppliers' and has sent it back for further work.

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

  • Renewables now squeezing out fossil fuels

    Renewable power reached a record 30% of global electricity last year, marking a milestone in the transition away from fossil fuels.

    Climate change think-tank Ember said with booming construction of solar and wind in 2023, “a new era of falling fossil generation is imminent”.

    “The world is now at a turning point where solar and wind not only slow emissions growth, but actually start to push fossil generation into decline,” it said.

    The expansion of clean capacity would have been enough to deliver a fall in global power sector emissions in 2023. However, drought caused a five-year low in hydropower, which created a shortfall that was met in large part by coal.

    But Ember said the latest forecasts give confidence that 2024 will begin a new era of falling fossil generation, marking 2023 as the likely peak of power sector emissions.

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  • Industry body calls for clarity on REMA reforms

    Industry body Energy UK has called on the Government to clarify the process of grandfathering around the REMA reforms to provide confidence to investors.

    The organisation said full grandfathering is essential for all existing assets where investment decisions were made on the basis of national pricing and lacked certainty regarding the final reform package.

    “The Government must promptly clarify the process of grandfathering to uphold investor confidence,” it said.

    “This will provide a crucial signal to future project investors and is necessary for non-CfD generation in potential zonal pricing arrangements through effective financial transmission rights.”

    Energy UK stressed its members were committed to supporting the Government’s REMA programme to ensure that the UK’s electricity markets can support a more efficient system while attracting the scale of investment required.

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  • Wind curtailment costs added nearly £1bn to bills last year

    Grid capacity constraints added nearly £1bn of curtailment costs to electricity bills for businesses and homes last year, according to a report.

    Analysis by energy storage firm Field found that the majority of the cost was down to a single pinch point in the UK’s electricity grid on the Scottish/English border which meant abundant wind power from Scotland couldn’t be exported south when required.

    Field estimates this boundary alone could cause up to £2.2bn of curtailment costs by 2030 as the UK’s curtailment problem escalates. Overall UK curtailment costs could reach £3.5bn by that date.

    However, the report said the cost of curtailment could be trimmed by around 80% if existing technologies like battery storage are used more effectively on the current grid.

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  • New platform offers clearer view of network charges

    A new platform has been launched by National Grid aimed at providing customers with a simple view of the DUoS tariffs across its licence areas.

    The ‘clearviewcharge’ service aims to make it easier to review different charges across the National Grid network and how they vary over different time periods to help inform decision-making on where to connect assets and when to operate them.

    National Grid Electricity Distribution has developed the platform across its licence areas in the Midlands, South West England and South Wales.

    Cordi O’Hara, President of National Grid Electricity Distribution, said: “As we accelerate to connect more low carbon technologies to the network which will come with varying high-demand periods, our customers increasingly need to factor in different scenarios of demand to calculate the viability of their assets.

    “This new platform will allow them to operate their assets at the most optimised periods to ensure that the network is running smoothly, as well as cutting costs where possible.”

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  • AI-powered service to improve low-carbon connections

    A new AI-powered service has been launched to improve network connections for low-carbon technologies.

    The Energy Networks Association said its ENA Connect Direct platform can provided instant approvals for routine applications and will help the UK’s electricity network transition to a smarter, more flexible grid.

    As well as benefiting installers of low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) will get better visibility of installations to aid network design and operation.

    Dan Clarke, Head of Innovation at Energy Networks Association, said the platform should “massively speed up the application process”.

    “We hope it will allow installers to complete their projects faster, benefiting small and medium-sized businesses in the process. It will also support network operators in having a live overview of installations that they need to operate a smarter and more efficient network in the years ahead.”

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