Generation

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The Crown Estate has confirmed the five areas in the Celtic Sea it has earmarked for the development of 4GW of floating offshore wind projects by 2035. The five broad ‘areas of search’ are located off the Welsh and Cornish coats and have been identified following technical analysis and engagement between The Crown Estate, the UK and Welsh governments and key agencies, as well as specialist stakeholders.
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The government will be unable to achieve its goal of decarbonising the electricity sector by 2035 unless it pushes ahead with reform of the wholesale market, an influential think tank has argued. In a new report, the centre-right think tank Onward warned that if the government’s fails to follow through on the Review of Electricity Markets Arrangements recently unveiled in the British Energy Security Strategy, the UK will miss its targets for the deployment of offshore wind farms and nuclear power stations, leaving customers exposed to international gas prices for longer.
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The environment secretary has accused planners of disregarding or failing to understand government policy by consenting solar farms on good quality agricultural land that should be safeguarded for food production. Giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Wednesday (29 June), George Eustice was pressed on a spate of applications seen over recent months for large solar projects on good quality farmland.
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The inaugural UK Utilities Risk Report, from Utility Week and Marsh, highlights the key issues keeping sector leaders awake at night. From cybersecurity to policy and regulatory blockers, extreme weather and price volatility, this report presents a snapshot of the key concerns for utilities.
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Much of the focus on the UK’s transition to green energy has centred on generation. Headline-grabbing investments in green hydrogen or how we deliver enough wind and solar generation to meet rising energy demand will always be key to our journey to net-zero. But the infrastructure and integration of this technology will be equally critical in reducing the overall carbon intensity of the grid.
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Latest in Generation

Renewables generator RWE and gas distribution network SGN have agreed to explore the potential for heating domestic properties in Scotland with green hydrogen. A memorandum of understanding will see the companies investigate the development of electrolysers powered by RWE’s 10 onshore windfarms, with a combined capacity of 213MW, to supply green hydrogen gas networks across Scotland that are not connected to the main grid.
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Eon UK chief executive Michael Lewis has told Utility Week he backs reform of the wholesale electricity market but has warned "designing a system that works well, keeps the light on, incentivises people to build and maintain plants is not straightforward".
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SP Energy Networks (SPEN) has successfully led a trial with Octopus Energy which saw more than 20MWh of demand shift across the local network. The Flexibility Demand Shift Trial, which took place in Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire, saw SPEN notify Octopus when periods of high renewable generation were forecast and Octopus would in turn alert its customers. The demand shift during the trial windows, it said, equates to roughly the output from an average commercial onshore wind farm.  
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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has proposed two temporary rule changes to improve liquidity in the next round of Capacity Market auctions. The proposals were prompted by concerns there may otherwise be insufficient capacity to meet the procurement target for the year-ahead (T-1) auction, increasing cost to consumers and jeopardising the security of supply.
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Extending the government’s windfall tax to electricity generators risks pushing more suppliers into collapse, Energy UK has warned. In a new paper, the trade body said it would also "jeopardise" the accomplishment of the government's 2050 net zero emissions target, lowering the "pace and scale" of investment in the low-carbon infrastructure needed to reduce the country's exposure to "expensive and volatile" international gas prices.
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The total cost of switching off wind farms to manage constraints on the power grid hit a record high of £507 million in 2021, according to analysis by LCP, up from £299 million the year before. In a new report, the consultancy said the more than £200 million increase, which occurred despite 2020 holding the record for curtailment volumes, was the result of higher costs for turning up gas generation to replace the lost wind output.
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EDF Renewables has announced it is seeking academic partners to conduct research into the potential environmental benefits of solar farms. The research will focus on EDF and Padero Solar’s proposed Longfield Solar Farm in Essex and will tie into their existing plans and commitments to deliver “substantial biodiversity enhancements” through habitat restoration and management.
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The government should not go back to the drawing board with its mooted electricity market review, SSE has argued, whilst warning that introducing locational wholesale pricing will "significantly increase uncertainty" for investors in large-scale energy projects. In an updated response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee's ongoing inquiry into energy supply and investment, the company raised concerns about the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements, which was announced in the government’s recently published energy security strategy.
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A new task force has been launched to ensure the UK maximises the benefits of floating offshore wind and becomes a “superpower” of the burgeoning technology. Renewable UK and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult have worked with central government, as well as the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, to create the Floating Offshore Wind Task Force.
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The Treasury is looking at rolling out Irish-style "one stop shops" for energy efficiency to boost flagging home upgrade efforts, and will unveil the extension of its windfall tax on energy profits to electricity generators within weeks, Rishi Sunak has said. The chancellor of the exchequer, whose department has often been portrayed as a block on energy efficiency because of concerns about the costs of such programmes, said relatively cheap measures could deliver "significant returns".
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The Crown Estate has committed a further £25 million to its programme to harness data to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind generation. The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme aims to bring together key stakeholders to gather and share evidence that can facilitate the growth of the offshore wind sector in a way that protects and enhances the environment.
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