The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: The new Labour government is lifting the de facto ban on new onshore wind; Energy Secretary Ed Miliband sets out his priorities; Record levels of capacity were tendered on local flexibility markets last year. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.

  • Regulatory news and consultations round-up

    The Renewable Energy Association has published a policy briefing on deep geothermal in the UK and key policy recommendations.

    Energy UK has published its response to the Barriers to Community Energy Projects consultation.

    Elexon has implemented a modification to the Balancing and Settlement Code to help the system operator with security of supply.

    The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has a consultation on proposed approach for siting fusion energy facilities. The consultation closes on 17 July.

    NationalGrid ESO has published an insight into the Solar NowCasting project which explores how to increase the amount of solar generation the grid can handle on its way to a zero-carbon electricity system.

  • Onshore wind ban lifted by new Labour government

    The new Labour government is to lift the effective ban on new onshore wind developments in England.

    Chancellor Rachel Reeves announced the removal of two restrictive planning policy tests that set a higher bar for local consent to onshore wind than for other forms of development.

    RenewableUK chief executive Dan McGrail welcomed the “long overdue” move which he said showed the new government is “determined to act fact” in tackling barriers to developing clean energy infrastructure. The news came just days after Labour won the General Election in a landslide victory.

    Energy UK’s chief executive Emma Pinchbeck said the poll results demonstrate support for ambitious action on clean energy and climate change, but added the “hard work starts now to deliver on this huge opportunity”.

    Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director Areeba Hamid said: “This landslide victory has buried Sunak’s divisive anti-green agenda once and for all and is a powerful call for change.”

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  • Miliband sets out priorities

    Boosting energy independence and leading on international climate action are among the priorities set out by new Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.

    Miliband, who previously served as Energy Secretary in Gordon Brown’s Government between 2008-10, also highlighted the need for action to cut energy bills.

    “In an unstable world, the only way to guarantee our energy security and cut bills permanently is to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and towards homegrown clean energy,” he said.

    Campaign group Britain Remade’s chief executive Sam Richards said Miliband’s appointment shows “a clear message of intent” from Labour leader Starmer and his newly-formed government.

    “Ed has been a strong champion for the necessary planning reforms needed to build the new sources of clean energy,” he added.

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  • Record levels of flexibility on GB networks

    Network operators tendered a record 6.4GW of capacity on local flexibility markets last year, new figures reveal.

    The latest figures, compiled by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), show that for a second year in a row approximately 75% of the 4GW of contracted flexibility is made up of low-carbon technologies, such as stored energy, solar and biofuel.

    The ENA said local flexibility services are an important component of the UK’s decarbonisation journey, optimising the use of network capacity and accelerate the connection of more low-carbon technology.

    Dr Avi Aithal, Head of Open Networks at ENA, said: “This is a great achievement for the UK’s energy networks and it’s a clear testament to their commitment to deliver best value to consumers.”

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  • BSC change to protect security of supply

    A modification to the Balancing and Settlement Code has been implemented to help ensure security of supply.

    The P467 change aims to mitigate the risk to the system in the unlikely event that a gas deficit emergency (GDE) occurs.

    The modification means that load shedding instructions during a GDE would still be treated as electricity bid but would be removed from Elexon’s imbalance price calculations. Elexon said this will help ensure that the correct signals are sent to the market.

    Peter Stanley, Elexon’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Imbalance prices need to send strong signals to the market to manage supply and demand, and implementation of P467 will increase the ability of NGESO to manoeuvre through the management of emergency situations.”

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  • UK investors plan to increase spending on onshore wind

    Major UK investors are planning to increase their spending on onshore wind in the next five years, according to a new report.

    The poll of UK pension funds and insurers, commissioned by investment manager AlphaReal, found that 30% of respondents expect to make significant increases in their onshore wind investments, with a further 57% planning modest increases.

    Battery energy storage systems (BESS), in which 63% of UK pension funds and insurers responding to the survey currently invest, will also see significant increases from more than half (57%) of investors in the next five years, while one-quarter of respondents will make only slight increases.

    The majority of respondents (85%) say they look for exposure to multiple technologies while only 15% prefer to invest in a single renewable energy technology.

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