Countdown to COP

Our new campaign plots the course to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November and looks at the key topics for utilities.

Editor's picks

As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Charles Tsai, chief executive of Power Assets Holdings, which together with sister company CKI Infrastructure owns Northern Gas Networks, UK Power Networks and Wales & West Utilities. He discusses the need for a clear investment mechanism to unleash the funding required to reach net zero and for the UK government to make commitments on decarbonisation of heat and transport.
News
There is a common consensus around the need for greater public value creation within utilities. But, as Sustainability First’s Martin Hurst sets out, this requires a much more supportive culture from regulators, founded on endorsement and encouragement from policymakers.
Opinion
Our new campaign – to run over the next nine months – will seek to present a pan-utilities road map to net zero. We will explore the sector’s achievements to date and ask what needs to be done to unleash its full potential to drive forward the decarbonisation agenda. James Wallin sets out what the series will cover and how Utility Week members can get involved.
News

Latest in Countdown to COP

Local authorities are facing the dual pressures of boosting investment and decreasing emissions. However, these goals are not mutually exclusive. As part of our Countdown to COP series, SSE’s Stephen Stead looks at how forward-thinking councils are seeking to use the post-Covid economic recovery to modernise their energy infrastructure.
Opinion
The ability to navigate the peaks and troughs of an increasingly intermittent energy system requires long-term thinking about storage and flexibility. But, as experts tell David Blackman for the latest feature in our Countdown to COP series, substantial work is still needed to introduce the right market structures.
Analysis
As part of Utility Week's Countdown to COP campaign, former Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan highlights three things the government should consider in balancing the need for a rapid transformation of the energy system alongside the responsibility to keep costs down for consumers.
Opinion
The Easter weekend was the greenest bank holiday on record as far as power generation is concerned, but there is still a lot of work to do before net zero can become a reality. Ed Reid, head of strategy at Centrica Business Solutions, writes as part of Utility Week's Countdown to COP campaign about the importance of real progress on local flexibility markets.
Opinion
Local elections have meant a further delay to the publication of the keenly anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy. Energy UK’s Charles Wood discusses what could, and should, be included when the strategy is finally revealed.
Opinion
Great Britain’s power grid saw its “greenest ever” moment on Easter Monday as low demand over the holiday weekend, combined with sunny spells and strong winds, allowed renewables to dominate the energy mix. National Grid Electricity System Operator said the carbon intensity of the power grid dropped to a new record low of 39gCO2/kWh at 1pm, with zero carbon sources providing nearly four fifths of electricity.
News
Energy UK has expressed concern about “negative rhetoric” towards the Contracts for Difference scheme in a recent government paper.
News
New research commissioned by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has shown that just one in five Brits believe that we can meet the UK’s net carbon zero target by 2050, but that there is also a strong public appetite for a greener future. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, chief executive Mark Horsley shares his views on how the gas sector must win hearts and minds as 2050 draws nearer.
Opinion
The government’s attempt to bury the news that it was axing the Green Homes Grant was emblematic of a muddled approach throughout what should have been a flagship green recovery plan, writes David Blackman.
Comment
Debt markets have a key role to play in supporting decarbonisation projects but lender mindsets still need to shift further towards a holistic view of overall project risks rather than applying specific pre-determined credit criteria. Stuart Cook and Sophie Burgis, of Cyan Finance, give their views as part of Utility Week’s Countdown to COP series.
Opinion
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