Supplier hub ‘not fit for purpose’ in future energy landscape

Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that technological changes mean the UK’s ‘supplier hub’ arrangements will no longer be appropriate as the power market develops.

The term ‘supplier hub’ refers to the fact that currently the supplier is positioned as the primary intermediary between consumers and the energy system.

In its response to last November’s call for evidence on the topic, the watchdog considered barriers to innovation, default supply arrangements for consumers that do not engage in...

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Energy networks launch major consultation on smart grid future

Five “future world” scenarios have been outlined by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) for how grid operators can deliver a more flexible and decentralised power system.

The trade body’s options include distributed energy resource (DER) coordinated by:

● distribution system operators (DSOs) on a local level;

● National Grid in its role as electricity system operator (ESO) on a national basis;

● DSOs and the ESO in partnership;

● new national or regional “flexibility coordinators”;

● or ...

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MPs ‘unaware’ energy bills are falling – poll

Anger over energy price rises is obscuring evidence that energy bills are falling over the longer term and clouding MPs’ judgment, according to the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

A poll commissioned by the unit and conducted by YouGov found that just 1% of MPs knew that energy consumptions and average bills are both falling.

Nearly two-thirds of parliamentarians believe that both figures are rising.

The ECIU said the average bill shrank by £6 last year due to measures to cut...

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07/08/2018 - Sector Round Up

Ofgem fines npower over metering

German-owned energy company npower has been hit with a £2.4 million penalty from the regulator after missing a smart meter deadline.

The company was supposed to install 200 smart meters by April 2014 but fitted traditional meters instead.

Ofgem said that business customers had missed out on benefits.

> See Ofgem's statement

 

Royal College of GPs to divest from fossil fuels

A body representing more than 52,000 family doctors is to sell its investments...

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Renewable energy hits new milestone

Renewables provided a record 29.3% of the UK’s electricity during 2017 thanks to increased capacity and higher wind speeds.

The share of power provided by renewable energy rose by 4.8 percentage points year-on-year, with generation capacity soaring by 13.6% to 40.6GW.

Generation from onshore and offshore wind increased by 39% and 27% respectively to new records, while solar rose by 11% and hydro climbed by 10%.

Low carbon’s share of generation – which combines renewables with nuclear – hit a ...

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Ofgem price control changes move ahead

Ofgem has set out its plans to bring in tougher price controls with lower expected returns for network companies.

The regulator has confirmed that the default length of the next price controls which set the revenue network owners can earn from charges to consumers from 2021 will be cut to five years.

The reduction from eight years is part of Ofgem’s plans to deliver savings of over £5bn to consumers through tougher price controls for energy networks.

There is no update to the 3%-5% cost of...

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MPs overestimate onshore wind opposition – survey

A new poll by YouGov’s Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has found that MPs are overestimating public opposition to onshore wind farms.

The survey accused politicians of being unaware of the low cost of wind energy and its popularity with the public.

Only 8% of MPs knew wind was the cheapest form of energy, with 12% believing nuclear was cheaper.

Just 9% of elected members think public opposition to wind farms is below 5%, with more than half believing opposition to be running at ...

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Smart meter rollout costs £1bn higher than expected

A report from the British Infrastructure Group of Parliamentarians has warned that the roll out of smart meters could cost £1 billion more than previously estimated due to delays.

The paper said savings for dual-fuel customers could be as low as £26 a year and that the rollout was “almost certain” to miss its 2020 deadline.

“Mismanagement of programme developments and costs, exploitative commercial agreements, and a lack of their own installation capacity have left suppliers struggling to...

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UK leads on offshore wind but lags on onshore – report

A total of 911MW of offshore wind capacity was added in UK waters during the opening six months of the year, according to a new report from industry body WindEurope.

The UK accounted for the lion’s share of Europe’s 1.1GW of added offshore capacity, with Belgium chalking up 175MW and Denmark 28MW.

Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer at WindEurope, said: “In offshore wind, Europe is too dependent on the UK, which is striding ahead in current installations and in committing to future volumes.

...

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Corbyn attacks subsidy cuts

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed his party’s industrial strategy will help to build solar farms, wind farms and tidal lagoons.

In a speech at the EEF Technology Hub, the leader of the opposition attacked the UK Government’s record on renewable energy, including support mechanisms.

“British solar firms were hit by cuts to subsidies in 2015 and 2016 and changes to business rates for buildings with rooftop panels,” Corbyn said.

“Why did the government do this? To save a few pounds in the ...

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