Generation

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Low-carbon generation fell year on year in the last quarter, on the back of widespread nuclear outages and a “relatively small” increase in renewable output, according to new government statistics.
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Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have published an open letter announcing the next steps in their joint review of the offshore transmission regime. The review will be split into three main workstreams covering “early opportunities”, the “pathway to 2030” and the “enduring regime”, as well as a fourth cross-cutting workstream on multi-purpose interconnectors.
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The government may need to provide “more direct support” for testbed low-carbon technologies, according to the Treasury’s interim Net Zero Review. The report says the government will also need to consider how to recoup lost tax revenues on the consumption of fossil fuels and from emissions-intensive industries, including the move from petrol to electric vehicles.
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The publication of the Energy White Paper this week capped a whirlwind of policy updates on how the UK will hit its 2050 net-zero goal. Among these, the Climate Change Committee’s substantial Sixth Carbon Budget stood out, setting a clear vision and hard deadlines for decarbonisation. David Blackman looks at how it is likely to influence the government’s evolving net-zero strategy.
Analysis
Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created - many in poorer areas that need them most - by taking a decentralised approach to energy investment, Stephen Fitzpatrick has said. The Ovo Group founder wants the government to shift its decarbonisation focus away from large-scale infrastructure and instead encourage private capital towards energy efficiency and decarbonised distributed infrastructure.
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Latest in Generation

Renewable developer Anesco has agreed to build a 200MW subsidy-free solar portfolio for investment firm Gresham House, with the “shovel-ready” sites ranging in size from 20MW to 50MW. Engineering, procurement and construction will all be handled by Anesco, which will also provide long-term operations and maintenance for the solar farms once they are powered up. Utility Week speaks to Anesco chief executive Mark Futyan.
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In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, Eon has had to lock some online accounts after a security breach. Meanwhile, Hitachi has rejected pleas from unions to keep its Welsh nuclear power project alive; there are calls for Britain to build gigafactories to accelerate the electric vehicle transition and Schneider Electric has topped a global league of green firms
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The surprise twist in the Energy White Paper was its embrace of the idea of auto-switching. David Blackman looks at how this and other key planks of the paper landed with the sector, and why it came out of the blue.
Analysis
The Court of Appeal has upheld the government’s decision to grant planning permission to Drax to convert two of the coal units at its power station in North Yorkshire into combined-cycle gas turbines. The judgement is the outcome of an appeal by the environmental law firm Client Earth, which had already lost one legal challenge in the High Court against the decision by the secretary of state for energy to grant a development consent order in 2019.
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The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has issued a call for evidence on greenhouse gas removal technologies, specifically direct air carbon capture and storage and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage which it considers to be the most developed options. It said natural solutions such as the use of forests as “carbon sinks” will play an important role in the UK’s climate change strategy and reducing emissions but will fall outside of the scope of the study.
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Heat pumps will become the principal low-carbon heating technology in new homes, the government has said. The claim is included in the response to a consultation on the Future Homes Standard that will govern new residential development from 2025. It also confirms a ban on the installation of natural gas boilers in new homes from the middle of the decade. The government has come under fire for not pushing for a 2023 phase-out date.
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Energy companies paid out almost £49 million in penalties and redress in 2019/20, more than the previous three years combined, Ofgem’s Enforcement Decision Panel (EDP) has revealed.
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Kwasi Kwarteng has said the government will legislate this summer to adopt a target to cut emissions to nearly 80 per cent of their 1990 level within the next 15 years. The newly promoted energy secretary was also quizzed on whether the government’s target to decarbonise the power sector by 2050 is insufficiently ambitious.
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Flexitricity has partnered with ev.energy with the aim of forming the first aggregated balancing mechanism unit comprised of domestic electric vehicles (EVs). The aggregator will use its automated trading software to sell flexibility in the balancing mechanism from the roughly 10,000 EVs connected to ev.energy’s smart charging platform.
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Octopus Energy has launched a new time-of-use tariff that is only available to people living nearby to two wind turbines bought by the company and enables them to receive cheaper electricity when it is windy. The 500kW turbines, located at Caerphilly in South Wales and Market Weighton in Yorkshire, are the first to be acquired by the supplier and each produce enough power annually to meet the needs of around 400 homes.
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In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, EDF is said to be drawing up plans for a stock market flotation of EV charging infrastructure specialist, Pod Point. Meanwhile, scientists have hit back at claims carbon capture represents a risky approach to decarbonisation and the government is expected to crack down on oil and gas companies’ plans to cut emissions.
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