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Author: Jake Ballantyne

A chance to shape the future of carbon pricing?

Last month, the EU carbon emissions price hit a 10-year high. As the price of carbon reached €18 per tonne[1] it prompted many to question what UK carbon pricing policy might look like post Brexit. This uncertainty presents a problem for both generators and suppliers as they attempt to forecast for the years ahead.  THE UK ALREADY ADOPTS A HYBRID APPROACH TO REDUCING EMISSIONS Carbon pricing within the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a key instrument of decarbonisation. The UK goes even further to support its legally-binding emissions targets. Under the Climate Change Levy (CCL) the Government has implemented the Carbon Price Floor which tops up...

Dataset agreement could be an important step in the evolution of a distribution system operator model

ElectraLink has signed a contract with National Grid which gives the Electricity System Operator (ESO) visibility of renewable generation within distribution networks.[1] This could be a key development in moving towards a Distribution System Operator (DSO) model. The ‘long-awaited’ agreement underlines the need for industry to press for reform to adapt to a changing business environment.  DATA SHARING IS CRITICAL As energy flows change, the need for greater visibility and transfer of data is critical to constructing a flexible energy system. In its 2018 Summer Outlook National Grid said that the growth of distributed renewables can create operability challenges because they make it more difficult to gauge...


1. The Government published guidance on nuclear research after Brexit if there is no deal The Department for Exiting the European Union published a planning paper on nuclear research.The document made clear that in a no deal scenario the UK will no longer be a member of the Euratom Research and Training programme and no longer be a member of Fusion for Energy.(Department for Exiting the European Union, Nuclear research if there’s no Brexit deal, 23 August 2018, link)  2. THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISHED GUIDANCE ON CIVIL NUCLEAR REGULATION AFTER BREXIT IF THERE IS NO DEAL The Department for Exiting the European Union published a planning paper on civil...

How might the National Infrastructure Assessment shape future energy policy?

Last week the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published its first National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA). The report advocates investment in renewable rather than nuclear energy. Among the core proposals are the recommendations that half the UK’s electricity is provided by renewables by 2030 and that no more than one nuclear contract is awarded before 2025.The assessment sets out the plan for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10–30 years. Importantly, government has committed to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.  The UK can reduce emissions at no extra cost The NIC’s analysis is that renewable energy sources are the most economical means of meeting future electricity demands whilst reducing...

Potential winds of change for the UK’s onshore wind sector?

The UK Government has relaxed its opposition to the development of subsidised onshore wind projects. The change, which could facilitate developments on ‘remote-islands,’ was outlined in a response to a consultation on Contracts for Difference (CfDs) for Renewable Electricity Generation[1]. This development could signal the beginning of wider policy changes for onshore wind support. Industry will want to act to ensure that momentum is not lost. Subtle reclassifications could lead to more significant shifts in policy By differentiating between ‘Remote Island Wind’ and other onshore wind projects, the government will allow island schemes of 5MW and above to compete for CfDs. This could be a significant change....

Should the Government re-evaluate policies to keep the lights on?

Last week Aurora Energy Research published a report that questions the UK’s reliance on interconnectors to secure its energy supply. The report called on policy-makers to improve their evaluation of the risks of relying on links with other networks in Europe. ‘Energy Security in An Interconnected Europe’[1] contends that interconnection can make a positive contribution to supply but only if the right policy framework is in place. Aurora has highlighted the difficulty of relying on interconnectors in a stress event The Capacity Market was created to ensure electricity continues to be delivered when it is needed whilst the UK replaces older power stations and introduces more intermittent...