Policy & regulation

Latest updates and analysis on how government and regulators' decisions will impact the sector 

Editor's picks

Plans to interconnect clusters of offshore windfarms by strengthening legal clarity over the licensing of multi-purpose interconnectors have been confirmed by the government. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Transmission Network Review is exploring how to take a more strategic approach to windfarm development, including how best to facilitate MPIs.
News
Ofgem is considering introducing independent distribution system operators (IDSOs) as a way of meeting the needs of the future energy system. The proposal is one of four solutions the regulator is currently considering as part of its review into local energy system operation.
News
Support for the UK’s 2050 emissions eradication drive has increased since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, according to new polling, which also shows that working class Tory voters are more likely than average to back the net zero policy.
News

Featured

“Truly horrific” is how Scottish Power’s chief executive recently described the looming winter energy bill crisis. As such it’s time for a massive shift in policy and approach. Writing for Utility Week Keith Anderson says with the Queen’s Speech due in a few weeks’ time, the government must consider how to introduce a social tariff to protect those most in need.
Opinion
The government’s energy security strategy contained bold new targets on nuclear and offshore wind but critics argue it does little to address immediate concerns. Experts tell David Blackman there are question marks about how the headline targets will be achieved and dismay at opportunities wasted in areas such as onshore wind and energy efficiency.
News
Consumer research shows water companies are increasingly being seen as the primary culprits when it comes to river pollution, yet public awareness of the work they are doing to mitigate these impacts is actually dropping. Ruth Williams asks why the water sector has struggled to make its voice heard.
Comment

Latest in Policy & regulation

The government has announced it will start selecting the new wave of nuclear projects it will support next year, whilst opening bidding for its £120 million fund to kickstart the programme. The Future Nuclear Enabling Fund was launched by business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Thursday (12 May) on a visit to the Wylfa nuclear plant in Anglesey.
News
The Department for Transport has announced plans to hold a £200 million programme of competitions to demonstrate and compare zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and gather evidence on the future requirements for refuelling and recharging infrastructure. The three-year programme will allow manufacturers, energy providers and fleet and infrastructure operators to demonstrate their technologies on UK roads and will start later this year with initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell HGVs.
News
The gas crisis that began in autumn last year and deepened with Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has “fundamentally changed” the economics of energy, according to Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley. Speaking at a conference on Wednesday (11 May), Brearley said the massive increase in gas prices since then has brought an end to the old idea of an energy trilemma, whereby the objectives of decarbonisation, affordability and security of supply are in tension with each other.
News
Schools are being forced to choose between paying heating bills and keeping classroom teachers, the chair of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has warned. Dame Meg Hillier was one of a number of MPs who queued up to raise concerns about energy costs during the debate on the Queen's speech on Tuesday, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer describing the new Energy Security Bill announced in the speech as "the latest chapter in a pathetic response to the cost of living crisis.”
News
Incoming Ofwat chair Iain Coucher has outlined his four priorities for his tenure that include addressing river water quality in rivers and boosting water companies' financial resilience by ensuring boards and executives take responsibility. He will succeed Jonson Cox who is set to step down at the end of June after 10 years as chair of the regulator.
News
National Grid Ventures has agreed to repay £200 million of excess interconnector revenues ahead of schedule to help bring down energy bills over the next two years. The repayments will cover the IFA2 interconnector to France, the Nemo link to Belgium and the North Sea link to Norway, all of which operate under Ofgem’s Cap and Floor regime.
News
Ofgem is proceeding will plans to establish a new advisory group as part of reforms to the rule change process for the Capacity Market. The regulator said new arrangements will enable the process to become “more dynamic and adaptive to changing market conditions, whilst also increasing transparency and promoting collaboration”.
News
The price cap on default tariffs is expected to remain above £2,200 for at least the next three periods up to and including the winter of 2023/24, according to Cornwall Insight. The consultancy predicted that the cap would rise to £2,595 for the next period beginning in October, split between £1,086 for electricity and £1,509 for gas.
News
The government has confirmed that the retail price cap will be extended beyond 2023 in the first energy bill for nearly a decade, which also contains emergency powers to ensure resilience and continuity of fuel supplies. The Energy Security Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech in Tuesday (10 May), will contain powers to enable the extension of the price cap , which the government described as the "best safety net for millions".
News
A new regulatory framework is required to help finance the upfront grid investment seen as key for cost effective delivery of net zero, while protecting consumers, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has argued. Responding to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s ongoing inquiry into grid capacity in Wales, the ESO said this would help to solve a “chicken and egg” concerning investment in new generation and transmission capacity.
News
More than 50GW of demand-side flexibility from energy storage, electrolysers and interconnectors will needed by 2030 to soak up surplus renewable and nuclear power, LCP has forecast. The figure was derived from modelling of the government’s energy security strategy, which contained new targets for 24GW of new nuclear and 50GW of offshore wind generation by the end of the current decade.
News
This week's roundup of national news coverage includes reports of households resorting to ‘buy now pay later’ loans to cover bills amid reports that a windfall tax on energy giants would not harm UK pension pots, but separately that such a tax would fail to deliver the desired relief to billpayers. Scottish Power’s Keith Anderson warned of a ‘horrific winter’ for customers if the government does not majorly intervene and elsewhere delays in renewables projects threaten the pace of net zero.
News
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