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Octopus Energy Group has added £3.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects to its portfolio with the acquisition of sister company Octopus Renewables. From June the large retailer will manage Octopus Renewables’ European portfolio of more than 300 green assets under new business arm Octopus Energy Generation. Chris Hulatt, co-founder of Octopus Group, the parent company of both businesses, said he hoped the move would unlock a “multitude of new investment opportunities”.
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Crown Estate Scotland has raised the maximum option fees for its ScotWind offshore wind leasing round by ten-fold to £100,000/km². The decision follows a review of the arrangements that was launched after the winners in the Crown Estate’s fourth offshore wind leasing round for England and Wales agreed to pay option fees initially worth £879 million per year for almost 8GW of capacity its first competitive bidding process.
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The government has confirmed the fourth Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round will open to applications in December 2021, saying the announcement would “provide further clarity to prospective participants”. Alongside the announcement, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy also published its response to a consultation on changes to supply chain plans and contract terms.
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The pipeline of renewable energy and storage projects either in development or under construction across Great Britain now stands at 86.4GW, analysis by Cornwall Insight has revealed. The consultancy said there has been a significant increase in the number of early-stage projects due to the offshore wind leasing rounds being undertaken by the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.
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Great Britain’s power grid saw its “greenest ever” moment on Easter Monday as low demand over the holiday weekend, combined with sunny spells and strong winds, allowed renewables to dominate the energy mix. National Grid Electricity System Operator said the carbon intensity of the power grid dropped to a new record low of 39gCO2/kWh at 1pm, with zero carbon sources providing nearly four fifths of electricity.
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The UK’s green economy suffered a slump in 2019, erasing most of the gains made over the preceding years, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed. The ONS estimated the number of full-time equivalent jobs in the low-carbon and renewable energy sectors at 202,100 – a 6 per cent reduction on the previous year’s estimate of 215,800.
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Problems with solar panels and insultation were the most complained about issues over a three-year period, Citizens Advice has revealed. A report titled Home Truths, examines three years of contacts to Citizens Advice’s consumer service from people who need help with installing low carbon technologies or making energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
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The next phase of the net zero transition will require strong public engagement and consent. However, new reports from Citizens Advice highlight that consumer markets are not ready for the change. Gillian Cooper, the charity's head of energy policy, says if the sector does not make it easier for people to upgrade their homes, the transition will be unsuccessful.
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EDF Renewables has acquired two 49.9MW solar projects in England and Wales – one at Burwell in Cambridgeshire from AGR and another at Porth Wen in Anglesey from Countryside Renewables. Both projects have already secured planning permission, while the second also has consent for a battery storage unit.
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Three of EDF’s nuclear units – one each at the Dungeness B, Heysham 2 and Torness power stations – have dropped out of the latest four-year-ahead (T-4) Capacity Market auction before it cleared at an annual price £18/kW. Meanwhile, agreements have been secured by three new open-cycle gas turbines being developed by Drax.
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Building out the current pipeline of 14GW of new combined-cycle gas turbines risks stranding £9 billion of assets, Carbon Tracker has claimed in a new report. The climate change think tank said the 15GW of coal and nuclear plants that are due to close by 2025 could already be replaced more cheaply with a portfolio of clean energy technologies and the savings are set to grow substantially over the coming years as costs continue to fall.
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Net zero is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system. This high-level report, in association with Microsoft and Accenture, explores how digital technology and partnership working can help the sector accelerate and scale up to deliver the transition affordably.
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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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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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