Low-carbon generation

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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.
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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 Low-carbon generation

Octopus Energy is partnering with Severn Trent to develop renewable energy assets on land owned by the water supplier. Speaking to Utility Week Zoisa North-Bond, chief executive of Octopus Energy Generation, said the goal was to develop “direct wire” assets for Severn Trent sites, where power is generated close to where it is consumed.
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Ofgem should give energy tariffs “Olympic medal-style” ratings of gold, silver and bronze to prevent “greenwashing” by energy suppliers, a thinktank has urged in a new report. The Social Market Foundation said the current arrangements for certifying the green credentials of energy tariffs are outdated and confusing to customers, leaving them unsure over suppliers’ claims.
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The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) has announced plans to issue tens of millions of new ordinary shares to repay loans taken out to finance investments earlier this year. As well repaying £141 million of outstanding debts amassed under its revolving credit facility, the proceeds of the share issuance will also be used to make further investments currently under consideration.
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So Energy’s new chief executive has said she believes the vertically integrated model for energy retail is vital in the transition to net zero, adding that key players need “fingers in all pies”. Monica Collings was speaking to Utility Week following the announcement that Irish utility ESB had acquired a more than 75 per cent stake in the UK disruptor brand, merging it with ESB’s GB energy retail arm.
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A fully renewable grid, purely reliant on wind and solar generation, could require hundreds of terrawatt hours of storage capacity to correct seasonal and multi-year imbalances between the supply and demand of electricity, according to research by Birmingham University and Dr Keith MacLean. Utility Week spoke to MacLean to find out more.
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SSE Renewables has announced plans to invest £50 million repowering the Tummel Bridge hydro plant in the Scottish highlands over the next two years. The company said the refurbishment programme, which is due to begin in spring 2022, will extend the facility’s operational life by at least 40 years.
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Chinese firm MingYang Smart Energy has launched what is set to become the world’s largest and most powerful with offshore wind turbine. As indicated by the name, the MySE 16.0-242 will have a generation capacity of 16MW and a rotor diameter of 242 metres. Each blade will be 118 metres long.
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Centrica Energy Trading has secured three long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a total capacity of more than 266MW. The 10-year deal with Helsinki-based renewable fund manager and developer, Taaleri Energia, is for three windfarms across Finland and Sweden.
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Sizewell B nuclear power station has come back online following an extended maintenance outage. Planned refuelling and maintenance work on the EDF-owned site was extended by three months after steel components were found to be wearing out more quickly than expected.
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A more supportive planning framework for renewables has been included in Scotland’s new programme for government, which has been unveiled following the Green Party’s landmark decision to enter the Holyrood administration.
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