The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The system operator said it expects to be able to meet power demand this winter; Industry leaders urge politicians to look at the benefits of accelerating the Net Zero push; A report highlights the role offshore wind will play in keeping costs down in the years ahead. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has extended the closing date for a consultation seeking views on new standards for energy smart appliances and organisations which provide demand side response services or can remotely control electrical load. The new deadline is 21 June.

    National Grid ESO has published its Early View of its Winter Outlook report, including an operational margin which outlines the expected availability of excess generation above the electricity needed to meet demand and the reserves held.

    Ofgem has published the latest Feed-in Tariff (FIT) levelisation report covering the January to March period.

    The Government has published the latest energy trends data on electricity generation, supply, consumption and fuel use for generation.

  • ESO confident on meeting winter demand

    Increased interconnector and battery storage capacity means the system operator expects to be able to meet electricity demand this winter.

    In its early view of its Winter Outlook report, National Grid ESO said the de-rated margin in its base case scenario is 5.6 GW (9.4%), higher than the 4.4GW (7.4%) in last year’s outlook.

    “As with previous winters, there may be some tight days where we need to use our standard operational tools, including the use of system notices,” it pointed out.

    Although it said energy markets “show signs of stability” it added that uncertainties remain.

    “We will continue to meet the challenge of reliably operating a changing electricity system as new technologies, and diverse forms of capacity, contribute to security of supply,” it said.

    The ESO also said it was engaging with industry stakeholders to consider how its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) service could evolve and will be publishing more information in the near future.

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  • Industry leaders highlight Net Zero’s economic boost

    Political leaders have been urged to consider the economic benefits of an accelerated transition to Net Zero as the nation prepares to go to the polls.

    With party manifestos being launched this week, industry body Energy UK highlighted analysis showing how a faster transition could boost the UK’s economy by £240 billion more than current trajectories, equivalent to the UK’s entire manufacturing sector.

    Under the most ambitious scenario, the GDP of each area of the UK would be 5.4%-7.5% greater in 2050 than under the current trajectory – which would amount to a boost of £141 billion for regions outside London and the South-East.

    Emma Pinchbeck, CEO of Energy UK, said: “This is the economic opportunity of a generation, and the UK has the chance to lead the world in technologies like hydrogen, CCUS and floating offshore wind. But global competition is increasing and urgency is needed to reap the rewards of a globally leading energy sector.”

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  • Offshore wind key to keeping costs low in future years

    The lowest cost electricity system which future governments could build by 2035 is one dominated by offshore wind, according to new analysis.

    The report by RenewableUK also calculated that scrapping the UK’s net zero ambitions in favour of unabated gas would leave consumers at least £39 a year worse, and possibly over £133 worse off amid sustained high gas prices.

    Analysis by Aurora Energy Research found that billpayers would be around £68 a year better off by 2035 with an electricity system dominated by offshore wind, compared to a scenario in which a government did not proactively encourage investment in clean power.

    RenewableUK is now calling for a consensus among all political parties on the need to focus on maximising private investment in renewables in every CfD auction for new contracts to generate clean power.

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  • Green investment to be double that of fossil fuels this year

    Global investment in clean energy is set to reach almost double the amount going to fossil fuels this year.

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) said improving supply chains and lower costs were fuelling huge investment in clean technologies and infrastructure.

    Total energy investment worldwide is expected to exceed $3 trillion in 2024 for the first time, with some $2 trillion set to go toward clean technologies – including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps.

    The remainder, slightly over $1 trillion, is going to coal, gas and oil.

    The report warns however that there are still major imbalances and shortfalls in energy investment flows in many parts of the world and highlights the low level of clean energy spending in emerging and developing economies.

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  • Many MPs at odds with voters over energy security

    Many MPs are at odds with voters over how to ensure the UK’s energy security, according to a new survey.

    Polling by YouGov for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) found almost two-thirds (62%) of the public believe the best way to achieve energy security is to reduce the use of fossil fuels and expand the use of renewable energy.

    But less than half of MPs (48%) thought renewables will provide more energy security than fossil fuels and more Conservative MPs (43%) thought the UK would be better to increase its supply of oil and gas instead of renewables (28%).

    Alasdair Johnstone at ECIU said: “Many MPs appear to be informed more by parts of the Westminster bubble than the facts and are at odds with voters.”

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