MPs voice concern over green investment fall

MPs voice concern over green investment fall

Ministers must publish a plan giving details of how they plan to secure the investment needed to meet the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets, a group of MPs has warned.

The Environmental Audit Committee blamed policy changes made in 2015 – including closing the Renewables Obligation, reducing the Feed-in Tariff and extending the Climate Change Levy to renewables – for a “dramatic and worrying collapse” in low-carbon investment.

Annual investment in renewables is now at its lowest since 2008, ...

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Renewable heat incentive fails to meet objectives says report

Taxpayers are expected to pay £23 billion to fund the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in Great Britain, yet the scheme has failed to meet its objectives, according to MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee said ministers’ forecasts of take-up were “wildly over-optimistic”, just as they had been with the Green Deal.

Only 60,000 renewable appliances were installed under the domestic RHI in the space of four years, compared with 6.2 million gas boilers during the same period.

“The RHI simply does...

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CfD rule changes to cost consumers £1.5bn says audit watchdog

Changing the rules for the 2017 Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction pushed up the cost to consumers by £1.5 billion over 15 years, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

Dame Margaret Hodge had asked the NAO to investigate whether the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS’s) decision to introduce a 150MW cap for dedicated biomass with combined heat and power, anaerobic digestion and advanced conversion technology had pushed up the price for consumers.

The ...

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Wind power beats nuclear over quarter for first time

Wind farms produced more electricity than nuclear power stations for the first time during the opening three months of the year.

Analysis by researchers at Imperial College London found wind turbines produced a record 15.6TWh of electricity – 30GWh more than nuclear plants.

A combination of wind and solar had overtaken nuclear during the final quarter of last year, but now wind has achieved the landmark on its own.

Wind power’s peak output reached a record 14GW on 17 March, according to the...

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EU to target net zero emissions

The European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy has confirmed that the European Union (EU) will aim for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Writing in a blog post, Miguel Arias Canete said a public consultation will be launched in the coming weeks.

The previous target was an 80-95% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

The commission is due to publish its long-term strategy in January 2019.

Energy efficiency measures

Canete said: “We are very close to achieving our...

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Ofgem launches National Grid investigation

Ofgem has launched an investigation into National Grid Electricity Transmission’s (NGET) demand forecasting for the UK electricity market.

The investigation will examine whether “NGET breached rules relating to its duty to operate the system in an economic and efficient manner”.

“This includes but is not limited to producing and publishing appropriate forecasts of demand,” said a brief statement by the regulator.
Ofgem stressed that the opening of the investigation “does not imply that we...

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22/05/2018 - Sector Round-Up

Anesco plans ramp-up of battery portfolio

Battery provider Anesco’s order book has swelled to 380MW, with all the extra capacity due to come online over the next three years.

The company has already provided 76 batteries to 29 sites since 2014, with a combined capacity of 87MW.

Executive Chairman Steve Shine said: “Since introducing the country’s first utility scale unit, we’ve not only focused on making the technology a commercially-viable proposition, but have invested in research and...

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Industry body highlights energy challenges

Creating a level playing field for the growing number of participants in the energy market is one of the key challenges facing the sector in the years ahead, according to a new report.

Trade body Energy UK has launched its “Future of Energy” vision document, which outlines what opportunities lie ahead for the power sector between now and 2028, 20 years after the Climate Change Act was passed.

Decarbonising the transport sector was highlighted as a major challenge, with the document...

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Excess renewables could be used to create hydrogen

Storing energy in the form of hydrogen gas could help to decarbonise the UK’s power grid and make it more efficient, a new report has said.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) said power-to-gas projects could take excess renewable energy from solar panels and wind turbines and turn it into hydrogen via electrolysis.

Hydrogen could then be used to heat homes or power vehicles, or injected in small quantities into the gas grid.

The report suggests the method could be more...

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Global renewable energy jobs now top 10 million

New figures have revealed that more than 10 million people are now employed in the renewable energy industry around the world.

The International Renewable Energy Association’s (IRENA’s) annual review revealed that more than 500,000 renewables jobs were created in 2017, up 5.3% on 2016’s total.

More than 70% of the jobs are in China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan.

Some 60% of all renewables jobs – including large-scale hydro-electric projects – are in Asia.

28 million...

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