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A report by Carbon Brief found that electricity generated by renewable sources overtook fossil fuels in Q3 2019, the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Increased wind capacity was largely to thank for the increase.
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Residents of a block of flats in Brixton are to offer flexibility services to UK Power Networks as part of a ground-breaking trial. The scheme will build upon the existing CommUNITY project run by EDF Energy and Repowering London, which enabled the occupants of Elmore House to trade electricity generated on site through a peer-to-peer energy market.
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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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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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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
Challenger energy retailer Social Energy has begun its global expansion, launching to customers in Australia. The company, which began supplying UK customers last year, says it is offering customers in the Southern Hemisphere a green energy package and an exclusive Duracell home solar battery system.
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Centrica has completed a £16.7 million three-year energy market trial in Cornwall that saw local and national network operators simultaneously buy flexibility for the first time. Participants in the trial, which included 200 homes and businesses, successfully traded 310MWh of flexibility over its course.
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The government’s plans to prevent future Contracts for Difference winners from receiving top-up payments when power prices fall below zero may have “significant unintended consequences”, Frontier Economics has warned. The consultancy said the use of the day-ahead market as a reference price would create an artificial incentive for generators to sell their power on the intraday and balancing markets. Utility Week speaks to the report's co-author Dan Roberts.
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A new renewables fund managed by the investment firm Downing has announced plans to raise up to £200 million as part of an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange. The company and other funds it manages will provide around £20 million of cornerstone investment, whilst its existing clients have pledged a further £10 million.
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A coalition of property and retail bodies has united to warn Chancellor Rishi Sunak that the government’s business rate regime “disincentivises” companies from deploying rooftop solar panels which could deliver up to 30GW of renewable generation.
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The energy industry has laid the foundations for net zero but it is the next generation of sector leaders that will be responsible for ensuring the 2050 target is achieved. In the first of a series of articles, Utility Week talks to the five winners of the Young Energy Professionals Awards 2020 to gauge their views on everything from decarbonisation to diversity. We start with how young people perceive the energy sector and how this is changing.
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Regina Finn, Ofwat’s first chief executive and now chair of the Low Carbon Contracts Company, talks to Utility Week about her career and the future of Contracts for Difference. She discusses the role of auctions for emerging technologies, starting with next year’s bumper round and whether they could extend beyond the power sector. She also gives her view on how regulation should reflect the net-zero journey.
Interviews
The triumph of offshore wind has shown how long-term policy and price signals can rapidly drive technology forward – and even Boris Johnson is full on behind its expansion. But can the same model work for other renewables, or is it time for a new set of energy market reforms?
Analysis
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