Householders vital to net-zero transition, says ADE
Policy makers should put the energy needs and aspirations of households at the centre of their thinking on achieving a net zero energy system, according to a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
Ofgem’s RIIO-1 electricity framework too lax, says NAO
Consumers paid too much for their electricity during the RIIO-1 price control period after Ofgem set performance targets for the network companies too low and allowed them over-generous cost budgets, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
Ofgem to review 600 MW Shetland HVDC link plan
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission) has resubmitted its investment case for a new transmission link for Shetland to energy regulator Ofgem, in a similar proposal to the submission that was put on ice last October.
RIIO-2 business plans fail on net-zero, says Ofgem panel
Ofgem's RIIO-2 Challenge Group has criticised most of the energy companies that submitted their business plans in December for lacking strategic vision on reaching net-zero, although National Grid ESO was given an honourable mention.
Logan’s hydrogen refuelling station to power Belfast buses
Logan Energy, an Edinburgh based specialist in hydrogen energy systems, has been contracted to supply and maintain a hydrogen refuelling station in Belfast that will support three new hydrogen-fuelled double decker buses in the city.
People & Skills
SP Energy Networks puts Glasgow charity on low carbon road
SP Energy Networks and Community Transport Glasgow have unveiled Glasgow's first ever all-electric minibuses, fully funded by the Distribution Network Operator to support vulnerable, disadvantaged and elderly people across the city.
National Grid: 400,000 needed for ‘Net Zero Workforce’
The energy sector will have to step up on recruitment, training and communications with potential staff to fill 400,000 roles needed to meet the operational requirements of a net-zero energy system by 2050, according to a new report from National Grid.
Hydrogen must benefit UK more than offshore wind, say businesses
The government needs to set a policy framework that means the economic advantages of the hydrogen transition benefit businesses and jobs growth in the UK, constrasting with the experience in the offshore wind farm sector, an event heard.
SSEN awarded £343k to model networks’ social impact
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured £340,000 in funding from Ofgem's Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) for a project to support knowledge sharing between network operators and stakeholders in the energy system.
ENA to publish DSO implementation plan summer 2020
The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched an eight week consultation on the draft 2020 Work Plan for the Open Networks Project, the cross-sector collaboration that is laying the groundwork for the network operators' transition to become Distribution System Operators (DSO).
Strategy & Management
UKRI funds £20m academic centre for industrial net-zero
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which is running the £170 Industrial Strategy Challenge fund to promote strategies to reduce emissions in industrial clusters, is funding Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University to develop plans for a new academic centre geared to industrial decarbonisation.
IDNO Leep Utilities wins ‘dark kitchen’ contract
Leep Utilities, a licensed independent distribution network operator (IDNO), has won the contract to operate the electricity networks for six sites operated by commercial kitchen company FoodStars.
UKPN line removal rejuvenates Norfolk marsh
UK Power Networks has removed twin tracks of overhead power lines and 24 poles that have been standing in marshland in the Norfolk Broads area since 1966, in a project it says has been a "spectacular success".
Kaluza and WPD deliver first domestic battery flex service
Intelligent energy platform Kaluza has delivered the first service to offer flexibility to a distribution network operator (DNO) from a portfolio of domestic properties, in a contract with Western Power Distribution (WPD) in Lincolnshire.
People & Skills
Network Awards 2020 finalists!
The Network Awards 2020 Finalists have been announced! Now in its third year, the Network Awards are back with 12 categories, recognising network operators, the supply chain, contractors and local authorities who are involved in shaping the energy system.
SSEN turns to Just Eat for power cut customers
Households in the southern England licence area operated by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will be able to order meals on the Just Eat app and website if they experience a blackout, after the network operator signed up to a new partnership.
Germany to switch on more coal-fired power despite 2038 exit
Climate activists in Germany are calling on power plant operator Uniper to abandon plans to add a new coal-fired power station to the German grid in July - a move that comes despite a political agreement finalised this week to phase out all coal and lignite generation by 2038.
Low carbon jobs and revenue in growth, says ONS
New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirm that the UK's low carbon and renewable energy sector grew steadily and created new jobs in the period from 2015 to 2018, although the comparison with 2014 looks less positive.
Honda and Moixa convert Islington to smart EVs
Islington Council, Honda and smart battery electric vehicle charging specialist Moixa are collaborating on a smart EV charging project to switch the council's fleet to electric vehicles and create "vehicle to grid" (V2G) flexibility capacity.
Campaign to accelerate EVs and ‘smart’ charging urged
Drivers and consumers will need more support, advice and protection from government and Ofgem to be confident that driving an electric vehicle will be a positive experience, according to recommendations in the government's Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET) report.
Policy & Regulation
Expert team to advise Citizens’ Assembly on climate change
Three groups of experts have been appointed to advise the soon-to-be-established Citizens Assembly on climate change, an initiative that has been jointly commissioned by cross-party MPs on six parliamentary committees.
Cadent launches Norfolk solar farm to power its own sites
Gas distribution network Cadent is generating renewable electricity with its first solar farm, sited on one of its installations in Brisley, north Norfolk.
Electricity North West signs £400m maintenance deal
Electricity North West has awarded contracts for an eight year, £400m deal to maintain and upgrade its underground power network to Network Plus Services and O'Connor Utilities.
WPD launches largest ever flex auction for 334MW
Western Power Distribution (WPD) is to procure 334MW of flexibility across its network through channels including the Piclo platform, the Cornwall Local Energy Market and WPD's own Flexible Power brand.
First live hydrogen trials on campus ‘living lab’
Keele University campus has become the site of the UK's first live trial to inject hydrogen into a gas network, in the first of a series of demonstrations by the HyDeploy consortium.
Power companies pay £10.5m for 9 August black out
Ofgem's investigation into the 9 August power outages has led to £4.5m pay outs by the owners of two generators - Hornsea One and Little Barford - that lost connection to the grid, as well as £1.5m from UK Power Networks for reconnecting customers too soon.
Queen’s Speech promises net-zero policies in 2020 budget
The Queen's Speech from the new Conservative government this week reaffirmed its commitment to achieving net-zero and investing in renewable energy, but contained little in the way of detail, promising instead that the first budget will prioritise a range of net-zero enablers.
Ofgem sets ‘tough but fair’ ground rules for RIIO-ED2
Ofgem has laid out the underlying framework for the RIIO-ED2 price control period for electricity, ahead of further consultation from the regulator next year to define the specific methodologies.
Contract signed on 32.5km London Power Tunnel Phase 2
National Grid is pressing ahead with phase two of its London Power Tunnels project, by awarding a six-year, £400m contract to construct new tunnels and shaft work in south London.
Council’s ‘pioneer’ subsidy free solar farm goes live
Renewable energy company Gridserve has completed and handed over a subsidy free 34.7 MW solar farm in York to Warrington Borough Council, a project that it says is the UK's most advanced solar farm to date.
Technology & Operations
Lithium-ion batteries in spotlight over cobalt claim
A lawsuit brought by the families of 14 child miners killed or injured in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo has put the spotlight on the sustainability and ethics of mining cobalt, a mineral widely used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.