Generation

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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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The government has revealed details of the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, including its £265 million budget. While the bulk of subsidies will go towards offshore wind, £24 million has been ringfenced for floating offshore projects. Established technologies will share £10 million, with a cap of 5GW of capacity.
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Gas and power prices reached new record highs over the last few days as concerns over gas stocks for the coming winter fed through to the power market and amplified price spikes due to unusually low wind generation. An analyst for price reporting firm ICIS said the surge in gas prices seen over recent weeks and months is like nothing the company has ever witnessed in nearly three decades covering the market.
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As water companies publish their strategies to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2030, this Utility Week Insight Report in association with Mott MacDonald delves into the challenges they face in cutting emissions from energy whilst reducing bills and boosting resilience. We examine their different approaches to renewable generation, the difficulties of striking Power Purchase Agreements to deliver cheaper green power, and their concerns that new rules from Ofgem could scupper their decarbonisation plans.
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Changes to energy consumption patterns and the increasing prevalence of renewables will require more agile transmission and distribution infrastructure. Matt Brough of Burns & McDonnell looks at the role modular substations can play in this mix.
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Latest in Generation

Kwasi Kwarteng has postponed a decision on plans for a controversial new electricity interconnector with France. The secretary of state for business and energy has extended the statutory deadline to 21 October.
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In our latest appointment round-up, SSE Renewables has announced a new managing director will replace the retiring Jim Smith early next year. Elsewhere in the sector Ovo has appointed a new chief product and technology officer while Ofgem has announced the appointment of a new chair for the Electricity System Operator (ESO) Performance Panel.
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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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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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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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As wholesale power prices continue to soar to new record levels, one academic has predicted even large suppliers will be under extreme pressure. Average prices in the day-ahead market for Tuesday (14 September) hit £461/MWh on the EPEX market and £380/MWh on Nordpool. Jeff Hardy, a senior research fellow at Imperial College London, warned “if you haven’t got anything that de-risks your exposure to wholesale prices as a supplier, then I think you are going to be in deep trouble”.
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In our latest review of sector coverage in the national newspapers, there is analysis of last week’s surge in power prices. Meanwhile, UK ministers have been criticised over the number of meetings they have carried out with fossil fuel and biomass energy producers, and concern is raised about lack of investment in green infrastructure and jobs.
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Ofgem has approved a modification to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) to bring in new settlement arrangements for virtual lead parties to ensure they are correctly compensated for delivering balancing services. P376 will introduce a new optional process for establishing the baseline level of generation or demand at a site which can then be used to calculate the amount of deviation delivered by a virtual lead party when instructed to change its output by National Grid Electricity System Operator.
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Nova Innovation has secured a £6.4 million investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank to fund the manufacturing and distribution of its tidal turbines. The Edinburgh-based company’s 100kW turbines have been operation in Shetland since 2016.
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Wholesale power prices hit a new high over the weekend after low wind output, summer maintenance outages and high gas and carbon prices combined to create a “perfect storm.” In an occurrence that has become increasingly rare outside of the winter season, a number of coal units were switched on to help keep up with demand on Monday. EnAppSys director Phil Hewitt talked to Utility Week about the reasons behind the surging power prices and what to expect next.
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