Coal-free summers on horizon

Coal-free summers on horizon

Great Britain could soon make it through a whole summer without burning any coal to fuel its power stations, according to a new report.

The latest Electric Insights paper – commissioned by power station operator Drax and compiled by academics at Imperial College London – revealed that coal was used to generate less than 1% of the country’s electricity during June, the first time the landmark was achieved. For 12 days, no coal was used at power stations.

“Spurred on by the beginnings of an...

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Most businesses lack energy strategy finds survey

Only 29% of companies in the UK and Ireland have an energy strategy, a new survey has found.

Far fewer have specific targets or budgets in place to support their ambitions, with only 18% having targets for how much back-up power they’d need if their connection to the grid was lost.

The poll also found that 77% of businesses think they will generate one quarter of their power onsite by 2025.

Some 26% of businesses have already invested in solar and combined heat and power.

Firms need...

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Plans to unlock renewable potential of Scottish islands put forward

Scottish & Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) has unveiled plans to lay cables capable of carrying 600MW of power from the Western Isles to the Scottish mainland.

The grid connection is needed to allow more wind farms to be erected in the Outer Hebrides, which have “some of Scotland’s greatest wind resource”.

Under plans submitted to energy regulator Ofgem, SSEN would lay a cable from Arnish on the Isle of Lewis to Dundonnell on the mainland, with underground cables then connecting the link...

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Battery storage project achieves UK first

A battery storage system has become the first to supply electricity from renewable sources to the National Grid’s Balancing Mechanism

Anesco’s Breach Farm, a 10 megawatt (MW) battery storage site in Derbyshire, has participated in the scheme used to balance supply and demand on the system as part of a virtual power plant.

Anesco’s chairman, Steve Shine, said he believes it represents a major step forward for the renewables sectors.

“By entering our storage assets into the Balancing...

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EU carbon price hits 10-year high

The price of permits on the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has reached €18 (£16) per tonne, triple its cost a year ago and marking a 10-year high.

Around 12,000 power stations and factories use the ETS, on which the price of permits has normally sat at around €5 per tonne.

The price has risen ahead of EU reforms, which will remove some of the over-supply of permits from the system.

Warmer weather – which has promoted increased electricity generation for air conditioning...

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Carbon floor price should be scrapped, argues former minister

Former Conservative Leader Iain Duncan Smith has called for the carbon floor price to be scrapped once the UK leaves the European Union (EU).

Writing in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the former Work & Pensions Secretary said: “Outside the EU, and unencumbered by EU rules, the UK could, for example, decide how to reform emissions trading, and wider climate change policy.

“Abolition of the damaging carbon price floor mechanism would be a good way to start.

“Such a policy could release...

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21/08/2018 - Sector Round Up

Innogy partners with Japanese firms for Triton Knoll

J-Power and Kansai Electric Power have bought stakes in the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm from developer Innogy.

The two Japanese firms have bought 25% and 16% stakes respectively.

The 860MW wind farm off the coast of Lincolnshire is expected to begin operating in 2021.

> View Innogy's announcement

Green Investment Group in Asian deal

Green Investment Group, the former Green Investment Bank that is now owned by Australian...

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Capacity Market could open up to renewables

Renewable energy generators could be allowed to compete for Capacity Market contracts as part of a review of the mechanism launched by the UK Government.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has opened a “call for evidence” (CfE) to gauge the industry’s views on the idea.

BEIS suggests that wind or solar farms combined with battery storage – not necessarily on the same site – could be allowed to compete for contracts under the Capacity Market which was...

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Labour pledges more sustainable energy system

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey has committed the Labour party to sourcing 60% of the UK’s electricity from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030.

In a speech at wind turbine makers Hutchinson Engineering in Widnes, Bailey said the next Labour government would invest in green infrastructure in the regions to rebalance the economy away from the financial sector.

She reiterated the opposition party’s pledge to nationalise energy companies to deliver renewable energy and...

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Government and trade body defend smart meter project

Ministers and industry leaders have responded to accusations that the rollout of smart meters won’t deliver the benefits it has promised.

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of trade body Energy UK, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have each issued defences of the project.

Writing in a blog on his organisation’s website, Slade said: “Inaccurate billing is by far the number one driver of complaints in the energy sector and smart meters get rid of that at a...

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