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The government has said it is ready to implement a “special administrator” in the event of a large energy supplier exiting the market. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issued a statement last night following talks with senior energy executives over the impact of soaring wholesale power prices. Secretary of state, Kwasi Kwarteng, is to meet Ofgem this morning “to discuss the issues raised by the industry in more detail” before convening a roundtable “to plan a way forward”.
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Brexit has pushed the UK to the “back of the queue” for developing interconnectors, Sir Ed Davey has claimed. The former energy and climate change secretary of state said that he “never found any European rules that got in the way” of the UK’s renewable energy push.
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One of the major price comparison services has halted energy comparisons after soaring wholesale costs resulted in suppliers restricted the number of tariffs available. Elsewhere other comparison services are offering a severely limited number of deals, with only a handful of suppliers listed on their sites.
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Kaluza and Flexitricity have teamed up to offer a new combined grid flexibility service in the Balancing Mechanism. The Ovo-owned energy platform and the aggregator will offer demand response by optimising electric vehicle (EV) and domestic battery storage, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) for the first time.
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Ofgem has been urged to make “bold decisions” to prioritise reinforcement of the grid in areas with a high potential renewable energy yield and ensure transmission charges are equally shared across the UK.
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Ecotricity has reiterated its ambitions to take over green rival Good Energy, making a new £53 million offer for the shares it does not already own in the company. The board of the latter has described Ecotricity as an "unfit" owner.
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The third energy minister in nine months has been unveiled, with Greg Hands taking over the brief from Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Utility Week's policy correspondent David Blackman looks at why the appointment will probably be greeted with less disquiet in the sector than that of his predecessor.
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National Grid has confirmed that the 1GW of the IFA interconnector, which was damaged by fire this week, will be unavailable until 27 March 2022. In more positive news, Britain and Norway have signed a bilateral treaty on electricity interconnection, ahead of the expected commissioning of the 1.4GW North Sea Link between the two countries next month.
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Anne-Marie Trevelyan has left the energy portfolio in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle of the Cabinet. However, No 10 Downing Street confirmed Kwasi Kwarteng and George Eustice retain their roles as secretaries of state for respectively Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
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Average power prices over the past two weeks have been eight times higher than the average in 2019, according to data from EnAppSys. Phil Hewitt, director of the energy market analyst, told Utility Week further supplier failures were inevitable and that retailers should be lobbying Ofgem to give them some relief from the price cap. He said many suppliers had been far too relaxed about actively trading in the intraday and advanced markets.
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A customer service expert has warned utilities they cannot get away with blaming poor performance on Covid or Brexit. Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, pointed to evidence that after an initial wave of high satisfaction across sectors, consumers were now becoming more demanding and less likely to be pacified when they encounter problems.
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A large fire at a National Grid interconnector in Kent is continuing to disrupt electricity supplies being imported from France. The interconnector, also known as Cross-Channel, is a 2GW high voltage direct current link between the UK and the continent. Data from National Grid shows power flows for the interconnector are currently at zero.
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The long-awaited Water Centre of Excellence has come to life with the launch of Spring - an online hub for innovators, companies, academia and stakeholders to collaborate and share results of ongoing trials and projects. Spring will go fully live in December as a subsidiary of UKWIR
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Avro Energy has been ordered to immediately provide Ofgem with financial information or face enforcement action from the regulator. Ofgem said the supplier had failed to respond to two requests for information last month.
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