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Energy

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...

An end to the Warm Home Discount exemption?

The Government may be forced to revise its policy of exempting smaller suppliers from providing the Warm Home Discount, which provides a £140 rebate on energy bills for fuel poor pensioners.[1] MPs and charities have started a campaign claiming up to 200,000 pensioners are losing out because of this exemption.[2] With limited scope to demonstrate its commitment to helping bill payers after the imposition of a price cap, the Government might be persuaded to act to show it is committed to helping vulnerable consumers. Capping energy prices was designed to help vulnerable consumers While the Government’s cap on default energy tariffs is being introduced to help everyone,...

Five notable developments in nuclear this week

1. The Government appointed new board members to the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Shrinivas Hornap, Sue Scane and Professor Sir Adrian Smith were appointed as new non-executive board members for three years from April 2018.(UK Atomic Energy Authority, News Story, 23 April 2018, link)  2.  Wood secured a contract to provide the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with specialist technical assistance. This contract is for two years with a potential two year extension. Wood will consult, provide technical advice, and undertake research for the NDA.(Nuclear Industry Association, Member News, 26 April 2018, link)  3. The Low Level Waste Repository published its National Waste Programme Quarterly Report. This report tracked the progress of all...

Five notable developments in nuclear this week

1. Lorraine Baldry OBE was announced as the new Chair of Sellafield Ltd. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority announced Lorraine Baldry OBE, currently Chair of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Council, will become the new Chair of Sellafield, effective 1 May.(Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, News, 20 April 2018, link)  2.  Richard Harrington, Minister for Business and Industry, gave notice of BEIS’ intention to seek an advance from the Contingencies Fund to provide financial cover for the Office for Nuclear Regulation. In his written statement, the Minister noted the cash advance was ‘to ensure the UK can have a domestic nuclear safeguards regime that meets international nuclear safeguard standards in place from...

Government opens consultation into first generation smart meters

On 17 April 2018 the Government opened a consultation into the interoperability of first generation smart meters. At present around half of these meters, known as SMETS1, can fail to maintain their smart meter functions when customers switch suppliers.[1] Consumers do not face this obstacle with newer SMETS2 meters. In practice, this means anyone with a SMETS1 meter that wishes to retain its benefits faces an obstacle to switching suppliers: If they want to retain control of their energy they may think twice about shopping around for a cheaper deal. Failure to address this will undermine government’s goal to increase switching in the energy market,...

Five notable developments in nuclear this week

1. Lord Henley, the Lords lead on BEIS issues, confirmed in a written answer that no formal meetings have yet taken place on the nature of the future relationship with Euratom but that the European Commission is aware that the UK’s objective is to achieve a close association with Euratom. Lord Henley confirmed ‘the Government has ensured that the European Commission is aware of the Government’s January Ministerial Statement setting out the UK’s objective of close association on Euratom and what this would cover.’(Lord Henley, Written Question HL6602, 9 April 2018, link)  2.  Stuart Andrew MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, visited the Trawsfynydd power station and said...

Five notable developments in nuclear this week

1. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority released its Business Plan for 2018 to 2021, announcing Sellafield’s THORP reprocessing is on track to finish in 2018. Magnox’s reprocessing is due to be complete by 2020. The NDA provided status updates and future projections for its decommissioning programmes across its sites.(Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Business Plan 2018 – 2021, 29 March 2018, link)  2. Sellafield has up to £850,000 to invest in innovative ways of equipping and supporting nuclear decommissioning operations. The competition, announced by Innovate UK, opens on 23 April and closes on 15 June 2018.(Innovate UK, News Story, 4 April 2018, link)  3. Kate Ellis, the Commercial Director of the NDA, was confirmed as...

Five notable developments in nuclear this week

1. Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, announced the UK will ‘continue to seek a close association with Euratom, including the possibility of future co-operation on nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards.’ This was announced in a written statement to Parliament on Euratom.(Greg Clark MP, Energy Policy: Written Statement – HCWS586, 26 March 2018, link)  2. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said ‘substantial progress has been made in relation to Euratom as part of the “separation issues” (phase 1) negotiations with the European Union.’ The Department’s first quarterly update on the UK’s exit from the Euratom Treaty covers ‘overall progress on Government’s implementation...

Wasting an energy opportunity?

Energy from waste can help to address two of the Government’s complimentary objectives: clean growth and the circular economy. It could therefore prove to be a profitable and worthy focus for investors in UK PLC. However, to fully maximise the opportunity, companies need to make sure future policy is well informed. Failure to engage with policymakers could see the waste of a prime opportunity to receive greater support. Government has highlighted the role of waste as an energy resource The UK Government is committed to using energy policy to reduce carbon emissions, which provides an opportunity for energy from waste. The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy re-iterated the...