Low-carbon generation

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The classification from the London Stock Exchange recognises companies which significantly contribute to the green global economy. Companies are given greater visibility to investors who are interested in funding green economy activities.
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As more details emerge on the causes of last Friday’s power cut, the former head of engineering at National Grid argues the blackout should prompt a complete rethink of its strategy for dealing with outages and the growing volatility of the electricity system.
Analysis
Proposals for a new way to fund nuclear projects last month have provided some welcome positivity to a part of the market all too accustomed to criticism. David Blackman looks at how the use of the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model could impact nuclear’s role in the energy market.
Analysis
Among the many entertaining stories to emerge during Boris Johnson’s colourful leadership campaign was how our new PM once played God in his school play. Listening to his victorious speech on the steps of Downing Street, Suzanne Heneghan says it was pretty easy to see why
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Latest in Low-carbon generation

The government has confirmed key details of the fourth Contracts for Difference auctions, to open in late 2021. The auction’s capacity will increase from 5.8GW in 2019 to 12GW, with offshore wind moved to its own pot. Floating offshore wind projects will be able to bid for contracts for the first time, while onshore wind and solar will be allowed to compete once again. The government has also launched a consultation on a Supply Chain Plan, aimed at identifying “increasing the competitiveness of UK manufacturers”.
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In our latest industry appointment round-up Bulb poaches another EasyJet executive to bolster its senior team, while Octopus Energy has appointed a chief executive to launch its German division. Meanwhile, the Offshore Wind Industry Council has announced the appointment of a new co-chair.
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The Welsh Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into how the UK Government can best support the development of the principality’s renewable energy resources.
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An initiative has been launched to deliver hourly certificates to verify exactly where consumers’ energy comes from, helping them to understand their carbon emissions in real time. EnergyTag is made up of more than 60 companies including Ovo Energy, Microsoft and Google. Its council and advisory board are working together to define a set of guidelines that will form the basis of a market for energy certificates with a timestamp of one hour or less.
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EDF is seeking commercial partners to help develop two projects aimed at demonstrating the potential to use waste heat from nuclear generation to improve the efficiency of hydrogen production and the direct capture of carbon dioxide from atmosphere.  It hopes the pilots will prove the case for the construction of permanent large-scale facilities connected to its proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, which would together form a new low-carbon energy hub.
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In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, concern is expressed about whether homegrown supply chains will lose out in the UK’s spending boom in offshore wind. Details of Boris Johnson’s 10-point green plan are also explored, including regional disparities in the installation of electric car chargepoints. Meanwhile, a plan to export Scottish water to England to deal with shortages has been blocked by ministers north of the border.
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Utility Week’s policy correspondent David Blackman discusses the implications on the utilities sector of Boris Johnson’s plan for a “green industrial revolution”. He assesses the winners and losers from the speech, as well as the areas where question marks remain.
Analysis
EDF has announced it will stop generating power at its Hinkley Point B nuclear plant in Somerset and begin decommissioning the facility by 15 July 2022 – eight months earlier than was previously expected. The company attributed the advanced closure to deterioration in the graphite blocks that make up the cores of its two advanced gas-cooled reactors.
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Former Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan has told Utility Week that Boris Johnson’s green plan has “shone the spotlight even more brightly on RIIO-ED2”. He pointed to the move to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel car sales to 2030 as having major ramifications for DNO’s business plans for the next price control and said there will “inevitably be tensions” around the levels of investment required.
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The government has pledged to set out details next year of new mechanisms to help both its target to dramatically increase the uptake of heat pumps and the UK’s fledgling hydrogen and carbon capture industries. The details are included in a policy paper giving further clarity on the prime minister’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.
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SSE’s chief executive has told Utility Week the company is “moving forward” with a full or partial sale of its 33.3 per cent stake in gas distribution network SGN. Alistair Phillips-Davies was speaking on the back of the company’s half-year results.
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