Warning over ‘gaping hole’ in energy security

The cancellation of three nuclear projects and the withdrawal of support for onshore wind and Swansea’s tidal lagoon have left 20 million homes “at risk” of losing their power supplies, according to the Labour party.

Shadow Energy Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said Hitachi’s decision to suspend its nuclear plans for Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire and Toshiba’s cancellation of its Moorside project in Cumbria left “severe energy gaps looming” when existing stations close...

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Urgent start needed for heat decarbonisation

Ten million of the UK’s 28 million homes could need some form of retrofitting if the country is to shift to low-carbon heating, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has calculated.

The ETI’s new The Journey to Smarter Heat report said work must start “almost immediately” due to the scale and complexity of the transition.

It highlighted that providing domestic, industrial and commercial heat is the UK’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The report brings to an end the first phase of the...

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Global wind capacity to grow dramatically over next decade

Enough turbines to generate an additional 723GW of wind power are expected to be erected around the world between now and 2028, analysts at Wood Mackenzie have predicted.

In their latest Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update, researchers said 50.2GW of power were added during 2018, a 4% year-on-year increase.

Luke Lewandowski, Wood Mackenzie’s Power & Renewables Research Director, said: “This significant level of investment seen last year was largely driven by a resurgence in China.

“The...

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Academics help investors back energy transition

Imperial College and Impax Asset Management have developed a tool to help investors capitalise on the low-carbon transition without sacrificing financial returns.

The Smart Carbon Portfolios model allocates assets based on the potential impact of carbon pricing on shares in fossil fuel companies.

Ian Simm, Chief Executive at Impax Asset Management, said: “Companies and investors are under increasing pressure to use forward-looking scenario analysis to assess their climate change risks."

“This...

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Regulators must show effective response to concerns – NAO

The National Audit Office (NAO) has said energy regulator Ofgem that it needs to prove it is protecting consumers.

The warning came alongside criticism for three other regulators – water watchdog Ofwat, communications body Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The NAO said regulators need to measure their own performance.

Auditors said the biggest problem facing consumers was debt caused by rising prices, with gas up 28% and electricity up 37% in real terms since 2007.

Not specific...

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Coal generation unit to close

SSE has announced plans to shut down one of the four generating units at its Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station at Warrington in Cheshire.

The closure will take the station’s capacity down from 1.9GW to 1.5GW.

As the plant only has permission to feed 1.4GW into the grid, SSE said the decision will have a “negligible” impact on the network.

The three other units at the station hold capacity mechanism contracts.

SSE said: “The UK Government has committed to phasing out coal power stations...

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26/03/2018 - Sector Round Up

John Lewis targets net zero emissions

The John Lewis Partnership – which owns the eponymous department store chain and Waitrose supermarkets – has unveiled plans to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

The pledge covers its shops, distribution centres, head office and all other UK premises.

It also wants to make its transport fleet zero carbon by 2045.

> Read John Lewis's announcement

 

UK-China offshore wind research centre opens

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) has opened ...

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Business energy efficiency push could save £2.5bn a year

Business could save up to £2.5 billion a year by improving their energy efficiency under a series of proposals outlined by the UK Government.

Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed plans for a new business energy efficiency scheme as part of his spring statement which included a raft of environmental measures.

"As with the challenge of adapting to the digital age, the challenge of shaping a carbon-neutral economy of the future is pressing," Hammond said.

"We must apply the creativity of the...

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Green gas pledge welcomed by industry

The UK Government’s pledge to use more green gas in Britain’s grid has been welcomed by the anaerobic digestion industry.

In an announcement, the Government said that meeting climate targets required the reducing of the country’s dependence on burning natural gas and said it is looking at “accelerating the decarbonisation of our gas supplies by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid.”

“The government will consult on the appropriate mechanism to deliver this commitment later this...

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RO buyout fund shortfall put at more than £40m

Analysts believe energy companies will have to pay an extra £43.8 million to cover a shortfall in the Renewables Obligation (RO) buyout fund.

Consultancy Cornwall Insight made the prediction following the collapse of 14 suppliers since the beginning of last year.

The RO requires energy companies to either buy a set amount of power from renewable sources or instead pay into a buyout fund.

If suppliers don’t pay into the fund then the shortfall is spread out or “mutualised” across all...

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