Biomass

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Emissions reductions targets for both Scotland and the UK will not be met unless the government intervenes to reform Ofgem’s network charging regime, a renewable energy developer has warned. RES said Ofgem’s transmission network charging methodology was one of the “defining reasons” for not proceeding with two recent projects in Scotland.
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Payments made to generators to manage constraints on the transmission network are forecast to rise to between £1 billion and £2.5 billion per year by the mid-2020s, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO). The ESO said the costs, which currently amount to around £0.5 billion per year, are then expected fall back down to similar levels by the end of the decade as major new transmission projects come online.
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Two Tory former energy secretaries have backed calls for offshore windfarm operators to pay compensation to communities scarred by the new transmission infrastructure required to deliver their projects.
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A webinar to explore priorities for digital innovation in the utilities sector as the race for net zero picks up pace. Join for research insights and expert industry views.
Webinars
As the UK ramps up its efforts to achieve its decarbonisation aims, the energy and utilities sector is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Carl Haigney, global vice president and head of retail utilities subsector at Capgemini, outlines several challenges both the sector and the government must overcome in order to set the nation on the right track towards decarbonisation. For Haigney, cutting red tape and providing the right incentives will be key.
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Latest in Biomass

Workers at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire have been voting this week in a ballot for strike action over 230 proposed redundancies, the Unite Union has revealed. Unite has accused Drax of backtracking on a verbal pledge made last year that there would be no compulsory redundancies among the 600-strong workforce, a claim Drax denies.
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The UK could secure two thirds of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 at no extra cost to meeting half of total demand. This is according to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), which cites the plunging cost of solar and wind power in recent years as a spur to go “further, faster without hitting consumers in the pocket”.
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Renewables’ share of the electricity generation rose by 4 percentage points during 2019 to reach a new record of 37.1 per cent, according to the latest edition of the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics. Wind alone accounted for a fifth of all generation – 10 per cent each from onshore and offshore – another new record.
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Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) has revealed it is exploring options to build data centres within the Uskmouth power station development site in Newport. The company has also announced that due to disruption caused by Covid, the Uskmouth project will now be developed in two phases.
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Drax has announced plans to hold a second trial of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage under a partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). A new pilot facility will be installed at its Yorkshire power station and used to test whether two of MHI’s proprietary solvents are suitable to extract carbon dioxide from the biomass flue gases.
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Biomass fuel supplier Stobart Energy has announced it has appointed a new chief executive amidst a series of changes to its board. Elsewhere in the sector, South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water has appointed a former Pennon executive director has its new managing director.
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A question mark remains over the long-term availability of bioenergy supplies in the UK, with fresh analysis recquired to establish whether feedstocks can continue being imported out to 2050. National Grid Electricity System Operator gave the warning in a new report examining several of the key uncertainties identified in its Future Energy Scenarios for 2019.
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Onshore wind and solar projects will be allowed to bid for Contracts for Difference for the first time in many years after the government confirmed plans to hold an auction for more established pot 1 technologies in 2021. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also proposed a series of other changes to the scheme, including the creation of a separate pot for offshore wind.
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The boss of Drax has confirmed the group may not go ahead with the replacement of its coal units with new gas turbines, saying "the lifetime of gas is probably getting shorter”. Chief executive Will Gardiner was speaking to Utility Week after the company announced plans to cease generation from its two remaining coal units from March 2021.
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