The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The main political parties have set out their proposals on energy and climate change; Plans for a demand flexibility service to support the grid all-year round are announced; GB has been named one of the top markets for co-located renewables. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    Ofgem has approved a modification to the Connection and Use of System Code (CMP428) around defining liabilities for generators connected via onshore transmission.

    Scottish Renewables has published an update to its Scotland onshore wind pipeline analysis 2024-2030.

    National Grid ESO has set out the initial design for the future of its Demand Flexibility Service.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has extended the closing date for a consultation on the implementation of the expansion of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme to energy from waste and waste incineration. This consultation now closes on 2 August.

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

  • Parties set out energy plans in election manifestos

    The main political parties have set out their plans for energy and the climate in their manifestos ahead of next month’s General Election.

    The Conservatives have pledged backing for technologies including offshore wind, solar and nuclear and retrofitting gas-fired power stations with carbon capture to decarbonise the power grid by 2035. They will also maintain the windfall tax unless oil prices fall sharply.

    Labour said they would decarbonise the electricity grid by 2030, helped by the creation of green investment vehicle Great British Energy and a national wealth fund.

    The Lib Dems would launch an emergency programme of home insulation and heat pump installation, and have a 90% renewable power target by 2030.

    The Green Party want to reach Net Zero by 2040 at the latest, phase out nuclear power, and invest heavily in wind and solar power. Reform said it would scrap Net Zero targets and £10bn of renewable energy subsidies but invest heavily in small nuclear reactors.

    The Renewable Energy Association has called on an incoming government to hit the ground running and set out a comprehensive policy platform for Net Zero.

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  • Demand flexibility service could provide year-round support

    The system operator has unveiled plans for its Demand Flexibility Service to provide support for high demand periods all year round.

    National Grid ESO said that as its early view of winter forecast the de-rated margin to be higher than last year, the requirement for the service to be used as a winter contingency has been reduced.

    Changes to the service will allow it to compete against the other commercial tools available to the ESO control room and providers and their customers would for the first time also be able to stack the service with other revenue streams, ensuring greater opportunities to realise value from using electricity flexibly.

    The evolved design for the service will be consulted with industry over the summer, before a final design is submitted to Ofgem for approval ahead of a planned winter go live.

    Kayte O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer at the ESO, said: “We look forward to working closely with industry over the coming months to deliver a service that makes flexibility part of everyday life and that can unlock the benefits for participating consumers and society at large.”

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  • GB one of Europe’s top markets for co-location

    Great Britain has been named as one of Europe’s leading markets for renewable investment.

    Aurora Energy Research’s European Renewables Co-location Report highlighted favourable regulation granting co-located assets access to multiple markets and offering faster grid access as key factors.

    Aurora predicts an additional 421 GW of intermittent renewable capacity across Europe by 2030 but said challenges over co-location pose significant risks including cannibalisation of capture prices, increasing curtailment, and rising imbalance costs.

    Rebecca McManus, Senior Research Associate at Aurora Energy Research, said: “With intermittent renewables playing an ever more important role in the European energy landscape and the recent uptake of batteries, co-located projects will soon become an essential part of developers’ work. However, each asset type is challenging to navigate on its own and managing the interplay of both asset classes and how to operate them together, will remain an obstacle.”

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  • Small businesses urge more help for green investments

    Greater political leadership would inspire small businesses to invest in green growth and help the UK get to net zero.

    The Small Business Britain campaign has urged a future government to increase sustainability support for SMEs and provide better access to funding.

    The Green Growth research report found four in five (80%) business owners want to reduce their emissions, but less than 2% said they had the sustainability resources at their disposal to do so, and two thirds wanted more support.

    “Leadership from government and big business is urgently needed to solve the major challenges that small businesses, and the wider world, are going to face as a result of climate change,” said Small Business Britain founder Michelle Ovens CBE.

    “There is a clear opportunity for the next government to take the lead in driving a positive shift towards greener growth – through greater clarity, connection, and engagement with small businesses.

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  • Hydropower needs to double for Net Zero

    Around double the amount of hydropower that is currently installed is needed to achieve Net Zero by 2050, according to new analysis.

    The latest outlook report published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), shows that in 2023 hydropower capacity grew by 13.5GW to 1,412GW. Pumped storage hydropower’s share grew by 6.5GW to 182GW.

    Up to 2030 about 25GW per year is required for hydropower to contribute to the ‘tripling up’ objective agreed at COP28. After that, if net zero is to be achieved, delivery needs to more than double and this rate needs to be sustained until 2050.

    Malcolm Turnbull, IHA President, said: “The more variable power that is developed through solar and wind, the more hydropower will be required to provide balance and flexibility when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine.”

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