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Crown Estate Scotland has announced the results of its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round, awarding options agreements to 17 projects with a combined capacity of 24.8GW - around two-and-a-half times the UK's existing offshore wind fleet. They include ten floating offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 14.6GW.   
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Analysts at Investec have lowered their forecast for the price cap for the next period beginning in April by almost £100 but said some form intervention is still needed to help those struggling with bills. The investment firm said wholesale gas and electricity prices have eased since it predicted last month that the price cap would rise to £2,000 for the summer period.
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Electricity switching was effectively put back by five years in 2021, Electralink has revealed in its latest update. Switching in the final month of the year saw a new record low as high wholesale costs forced a plethora of suppliers out of the market, resulting in customers being transferred via the Supplier of Last Resort process.
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England could face a daily water deficit of 3,435 megalitres by 2050 - an extra 1,500 megalitres over the previous forecast from two years ago - if no action is taken to prevent the shortage, regional water resource groups have warned. Representatives of the groups said demand reduction will play a vital role in managing water resources across the country until major infrastructure projects can be completed.
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In our latest round-up of national newspaper coverage, questions are raised after Ovo Energy paid £21 million to a company owned by its founder, while soaring gas prices have led to calls for greater protections for customers using communal heating. Elsewhere, a council in Shropshire has promised to put pressure on water companies following the frequent discharge of sewage into its county waterways.
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The Energy Networks Associations has set out its plans for its Open Networks project in 2022, which will continue to focus on heavily standardising and coordinating flexibility services. The ENA said the industry initiative, which was launched in 2017 to accelerate the transition to a smart, flexible energy system, has enabled the UK to establish “world leading” local flexibility markets, with contracts for more than 3GW of flexibility being made available for tender in Great Britain last year.
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Talks between the government and industry over the ongoing energy crisis are not moving fast enough, the bosses of two suppliers have told Utility Week, with Ecotricity chief executive Dale Vince accusing ministers of being “in denial” over the extent of the issue. Vince said they are “hoping presumably that the problem will ease or go away but it isn’t going to.”
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Responsibility for improving water quality in rivers cannot be laid solely at the door of the water industry, the Environmental Audit Committee has said in its report following a year-long inquiry into the health of rivers in England. The committee said engagement is needed with farmers, landowners, housing developers and local authorities and called for a culture of “water citizenship” to make people better aware of the impacts of their behaviour.
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Good Energy offered Ecotricity the resignation of its chairman in return for dropping its opposition to Good Energy's plans to sell its renewable assets, Ecotricity's founder has told Utility Week. Dale Vince said Ecotricity refused the offer on Thursday, stating that Good Energy's plans to sell its entire renewables portfolio as part of a strategic shift towards energy services "makes no sense".
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Scottish Power has signed two deals to acquire 17 solar projects with a combined capacity of 800MW – 12 of them from Elgin Energy and five from Lightsource BP. The projects across England, Wales and Scotland, representing a total investment of around £500 million, will be operational by 2025.
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MOSL has set five key priorities for the coming year to improve services to customers in the non-household market by ensuring better quality data is available, smoothing interactions between wholesalers and retailers, and undertaking a strategic review of metering.
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Britain’s gas networks have released a new delivery plan setting out how they intend to make the grid ready to begin injecting natural gas blended with 20% hydrogen in 2023. The document published by the Energy Networks Association includes a timeline for necessary changes by government and regulatory bodies across five “market pillars”: legislation, regulation, codes, licences and safety.
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The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has expressed “serious concern” about reports that prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak have discussed moves to cut, postpone or even end the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme entirely. The trade body warned that curbing the scheme, which is due to deliver around £1 billion of investment per annum in energy efficiency and heating improvements in its fourth phase from April onwards, will derail the UK’s net zero progress.
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