21 October, 2020 – DNV GL has reported that a global effort and investment is needed to increase the uptake of energy-efficient measures. Energy efficiency is often a forgotten step in a company’s decarbonisation journey, although it is the easiest way to cut emissions. Energy-efficient measures should be remembered as another pillar to help reach emission reduction goals. If you are interested in helping your company become more energy-efficient, contact OnGen for a demo of our new software, OnEfficiency.
21 October, 2020 – Vattenfall’s ornithological study in Kilm Wind Farm, Denmark has found that birds are able to avoid the rotor blades of wind turbines far easier than previously thought. The study demonstrated that 99% of the short-billed geese and cranes that flew within the Kilm Wind Farm area were able to avoid the blades of the wind turbines. The results of this study are highly positive for the installation of wind turbines, especially as the studied area is also within an important natural area.
20 October, 2020 – Engie are helping local authorities and housing associations reduce their emissions to meet net-zero goals by releasing a new low carbon housing retrofit service. The retrofit service aims to make homes more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. The new services include the installation of solar PV, standalone battery storage and housing retrofit. With over half of the UK housing market having an EPC rating of D or less, this initiative is a great start to help the housing market be greener. Our new software OnEfficiency can help you increase your company’s EPC rating by becoming more energy efficient. Contact OnGen for a demo.
20 October, 2020 – Cornwall Insight estimate a 1.3GW increase in installed capacity of onshore wind this winter in the UK. The increase in capacity would result in a 5% increase in total capacity to 25.4GW. This rise in onshore wind is the result of this technology being included within the Contracts for Difference scheme which allows for this technology to be even more financially feasible. However, the National Grid ESO’s report estimates that a faster installation rate is needed to meet the UK’s net-zero goal.
19 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie’s latest report highlights that an increase in module efficiency rates and the power class of solar PV will significantly reduce the cost of solar energy during the next decade. The capex cost of a solar project is expected to reduce by 3-9% during this period as solar module technology rapidly evolves, with modules with small wafer sizes eventually being phased out of the market as large modules become more cost-efficient.
16 October, 2020 – Plans to build the first British hydro scheme within 30 years have been consented by the Scottish Government. The 1,500MW hydro storage scheme will be located at Coire Glas in the Scottish Highlands and, if the project goes ahead, will be extremely beneficial for meeting the UK’s net-zero target. The project is awaiting commercial approval before building can commence but consent from the Scottish Government is a big step in the right direction.
16 October, 2020 – Solar Trade Association (STA) chief executive, Chris Hewett, is urging the UK government to increase their solar and battery storage ambition. Hewett estimates that the UK will have to triple its solar capacity within the next 10 years to have a chance at meeting the net-zero goal. The STA chief executive wishes to see a similar boost in solar that has previously been seen with wind.
15 October, 2020 – The Cheshire Energy Hub has been awarded over £700,000 of government funding to build the first smart energy blueprint in the UK. The aim of the project is to create a local, low carbon, smart energy system for the Energy Innovation District in a port in Cheshire, which is made up of an array of businesses. The project will be used to explore energy generation potential with onsite renewables and hydrogen fuel.
14 October, 2020 – A 45% decrease in the ordering of wind turbines has been found globally for Q2 2020 when compared to Q2 2019. Wood Mackenzie estimated a total of 17GW was ordered globally, which would have cost £12.2bn. The percentage drop is thought to be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest decrease in wind turbine ordering was seen in the USA and China, while countries such as the UK, Netherlands and France decided to increase their ordering after having a surge in offshore wind demand.
13 October, 2020 – The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report highlighted a promising future for renewables, while fossil fuels such as coal have a more gloomy outlook and may never return again to pre-pandemic consumption levels. IEA predict that solar could reshape the future of energy by becoming the leader of electricity due to record levels of deployment expected. The report also demonstrated that as a result of current policy commitments, renewable deployment should continue to grow, meeting up to 80% of projected growth.
13 October, 2020 – Aggreko has announced their new global rental scheme for solar panels. The company are allowing customers to rent up to 1MW of solar panels with the deployment of the rental technology taking place within just 4 months. The contract duration begins at 5 years and the solar panels can be co-located with a battery storage system to make the system even more energy-efficient. If you are interested in the potential of onsite solar, contact OnGen today for a desk-based feasibility assessment.
9 October, 2020 – The City of London Corporation has announced plans to reach net-zero by 2040. Plans include changing planning regulations for more energy-efficient buildings and creating extra pedestrian space. A total of £68m has already been set aside to begin working towards this target, with 800 green jobs planning on being made.
9 October, 2020 – Carbon Trust’s annual survey has highlighted that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have placed more importance on sustainability. The survey involved 453 interviews from different companies across Europe, Mexico and Singapore and found that 63% of the interviewees reported that the sustainability budget of the company is planned to increase in 2020. The number of dedicated sustainability professionals will also increase by 4% compared to 2019.
7 October, 2020 – The South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (SYPA) have set the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. SYPA aim to have an action plan to achieve this goal within the next 6-months and will work with Border to Coast Pensions Partnership to help reach this carbon neutral target. The SYPA is not the first pension organisation to announce a net-zero goal, with NEST, Aviva and BT’s pension fund previously announcing net-zero targets.
Boris Johnson’s pledge to power all UK homes with offshore wind power by 2030 is ‘ambitious, but achievable’
6 October, 2020 – The Prime Minister pledged for offshore wind to have the capacity to power all homes within the UK by 2030. Johnson aims to increase the offshore wind capacity from the current 10GW to 40GW by 2030. It has been questioned if this target is realistic, with Aurora Energy Research calculating that £50bn of investment would be required to reach this goal, while the pace of installation would also need to be ramped up. With the needed investment, the industry is confident that they can achieve this goal.
5 October, 2020 – Octopus Energy have announced plans to generate 1,000 more technology jobs with an aim to make the UK the ‘Silicon Valley of energy.” These jobs will be created in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, along with plans to create a tech hub in Manchester. This initiative has been praised as a great opportunity for employment during the planned green recovery.
2 October, 2020 – Ofgem announced that seven energy suppliers owe a total of £34 million for the Renewables Obligations (RO) and Feed-in Tariff levelisation payments. The levelisation payment will be used to provide the owner of onsite renewable energy a payment. If these suppliers do not attempt to pay these payments, Ofgem may remove their energy licence.
2 October, 2020 – The largest roof mounted solar site in Europe, which is operated by Amazon, has started generating energy at a warehouse in Essex. The installation comprises over 11,500 solar panels and covers the size of 28 football pitches. This project is part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge programme to help the company be powered completely by renewable energy by 2025. If you are interested in utilising the roof space of your organisation’s buildings for solar generation, contact OnGen for a site feasibility assessment.
2 October, 2020 – Wood Mackenzie have predicted that the energy storage capacity will continue to grow by one-third every year within the decade to reach 741GWh by 2030. The US are expected to dominate the growth over this period to make up around half of the worldwide capacity by 2030, while China will also greatly contribute to the energy storage increase. Europe are expected to contribute less to the energy storage capacity because of slower market growth.
2 October, 2020 – RWE Gas Storage West GmbH and CMBlu Energy AG have announced plans for research into the storage of renewable electricity within underground salt caverns. These caverns are currently being used for gas storage, but it is thought that they could be used as an organic battery. RWE plan to fill the caverns with an organic electrolyte solution, which would be used as the main energy source for the battery storage.
1 October, 2020 – The £2bn Green Homes Grant and £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme have been officially launched by BEIS and are ready for applicants. The funds were first announced at the government’s Summer Economic Update and aim to help the economy recover by creating new jobs, while also working towards a greener future. The schemes together hope to support 130,000 jobs. Interested in claiming this funding but don’t know which project is best for your site? Get in touch.
1 October, 2020 – The NHS announced plans to be the first health system in the world with a net zero target. The NHS aim to firstly reduce direct emissions by 2040 and then have their wider supply chain in line with reaching net zero by 2045. Plans to reach this target include electric vehicles, reducing single-use products and building more energy efficient buildings. Our software suite is suited to help organisations like the NHS meet their net-zero targets. Contact us today on how to get started.
29 September, 2020 – IRENA’s annual report highlighted that 498,000 full time roles have been created globally in 2019 within the renewable sector. This new addition of jobs in 2019 brings the total number of renewable energy jobs up to 11.5 million. The largest increase in roles over 2019 was found within the bioenergy sector, while solar made up one-third of the total renewable energy occupations. IRENA forecast that COVID-19 will have a positive impact on the sector due to the green energy transition.
29 September, 2020 – Recent survey results conducted by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Scotland have found that over half of offshore workers would consider a job within the renewable and offshore wind industry. The survey also found that 81% of oil and gas workers would consider a job outwith the oil and gas industry, as COVID-19 has resulted in job insecurity within the sector. We hope this is a promising move towards a greener economy.
24 September, 2020 – The UK government announced a further £6.9m of funding for energy efficiency skills training in preparation of the Green Homes Grant Scheme. This funding is open to organisations that currently offer low carbon retrofit training, with an aim to get the workforce ready for the expected increase of up to 100,000 jobs within the construction sector as the new scheme comes into place in England.
24 September, 2020 – PwC’s latest report highlights that venture capital investment into climate-related technology is increasing five times quicker than the average rate of all other industry investments. PwC have found that, in 2019, $16bn has been invested into this sector. The growth within green technology is likely to be driven by corporate requirements to meet climate targets, with over 300 companies committing to a net-zero future.
24 September, 2020 – BEIS announced that during the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, the contribution of renewables to the UK’s electricity output had increased by 9% in comparison to the same period in 2019. The production of coal and other solid fuels fell by 29% when compared to the 2019 Q2 timeframe. It is thought that this large change from 2019 is a result of electricity consumption dropping during Q2 as a consequence of COVID-19.
24 September, 2020 – Plans for the first 100% recyclable wind turbine have been announced as part of a collaboration project headed by the Zero Waste Blade Research project. LM Wind Power will be building the prototype blades for this project using Elium, which is a fully recyclable thermoplastic resin. Further research is taking place to understand the best method to recycle the Elium material.
22 September, 2020 – Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind project, has announced that it will be powered by the new 13MW Haliade-X turbine, which is the most powerful wind turbine available globally. This site will be the first in the world to install these turbines, which are 107 metres in height. As these turbines are so powerful, fewer wind turbines will be required at the site, which will help lower the operation costs and improve efficiency.
22 September, 2020 – The UK government has launched plans to introduce a carbon tax on UK gas suppliers. This new levy will help provide subsides for the building of more biomethane production plants, allowing for an increase in the decarbonisation of heating. It is expected this new levy will rise consumer gas bills by approximately 11p per month and will help the UK reach the net-zero goal.
18 September, 2020 – The UK’s most energy-efficient housing scheme has started undergoing construction in Kent. Each home will be carbon neutral by roof-mounted solar PV being established for electricity generation and an air source heat pump being installed for hot water and heating. Interested in going carbon neutral? Contact us today to find out more about the potential of onsite renewable and low carbon technologies at your site.
17 September, 2020 – Fitch Solutions announced their latest renewable energy forecasts up until 2029. Fitch expects that the global renewable capacity will increase by over 1.4TW by 2029 and the capacity of solar PV will overtake wind as soon as 2021. The growing installation of solar PV is thought to be related to the variety of ways it can be deployed, from domestic roof-mounted solar to large-scale ground-mounted solar PV.
17 September, 2020 – The ‘Green Hydrogen for Scotland’ plans have been released in partnership with Scottish Power Renewables, BOC and ITM Power. The project aims to increase hydrogen production facilities across Scotland, which would allow hydrogen fuel to power large vehicles. The process of creating hydrogen fuel will be powered by wind and solar energy to make the process fully sustainable.
17 September, 2020 – A Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce has been launched this week, made up of industry experts in energy, construction and finance, to research zero-carbon heating alternatives for domestic heating. It is hoped that the work that the taskforce completes will help increase investment and knowledge within this sector.
16 September, 2020 – Calls for the UK government to increase the size of the next CfD auction in order for the different renewable technologies to be able to equally participate. Industry experts from the solar, offshore wind and tidal energy sectors are calling for a boost in capacity and financial support from the government. The final details of the next CfD auction have yet to be announced but it is hoped that it will keep the UK keep on track to meet the 2050 net-zero target.
16 September, 2020 – The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) latest report, which is backed by 40 large energy company leaders, highlights the best pathway to globally reach net-zero by 2050. ETC claims that only 0.5% of the world’s GDP is required to meet global net-zero by 2050. The report also outlines guidance for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, including recommending that no more new coal-fired power capacities should be built.
11 September, 2020 – Solar Trade Association, TechUk and Renewable UK have issued a joint declaration to promote a green recovery. The partnership will be promoting long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) within the tech industry to help increase onsite renewables and examine the impact that technology can have in advancing the renewable sector.
10 September, 2020 – Climate Assembly UK have reported that the UK’s citizens assembly are in strong favour of the deployment of wind and solar renewable technologies to meet the net-zero target. Offshore wind scored 95% in public favour, while solar power received 81%, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is largely accepted as the way forward for a low carbon future.
8 September, 2020 – Over five million second-generation smart meters have been installed within the UK, helping UK residents keep track of their energy use. The large volume of installation of these smart metres highlights that Britain is concerned about their carbon impact and are taking steps towards a greener future.
8 September, 2020 – An Atkins report highlights that the UK is behind in the build rate required to meet the country’s net-zero target. The deployment of over 6,520 wind turbines and 80GW of solar PV is still needed to be built, along with a wealth of other technologies to help generate enough clean energy to meet the 2050 goal.
7 September, 2020 – A new battery storage rental option for the vanadium electrolyte has been recently announced by battery provider Invinity. This innovative idea will allow for the cost of battery storage to be spread over the course of a project to help make batteries more affordable.
6 September, 2020 – Moray Council have published an initial action plan to meet their ambitious 2030 net-zero goal. Actions include deploying onsite renewables at council-owned buildings, eliminating single-use plastics and supporting local renewable energy schemes. OnGen can help councils meet their net-zero targets through onsite renewables. Contact us today to kickstart your renewable journey.
4 September, 2020 – The first completely domestic weekly Firm Frequency Response deal was won by Social Energy, who offer domestic battery storage systems with an artificial intelligence platform. It is hoped that this trial deal will help balance the electricity demand on the national grid while reducing customers’ energy costs.
4 September, 2020 – Cornwall Insight report shows that during the Covid-19 outbreak in March, the demand for power in the UK was 15% lower than 2019 levels. As Britain returns to work and school, the electricity rates have risen back to 2019 levels over the summer months and are expected to remain at higher levels. Are you interested in reducing your organisation’s grid energy consumption? Contact OnGen to see how onsite renewables could help your organisation.
31 August, 2020 – Recent Drax Report finds that the UK renewables generation for the second quarter of 2020 has increased by 32% when compared to 2019. The large increase in renewable electricity generation (up to 70% of the UK’s total electricity demand) is the result of new generation records being reached for biomass, wind, and solar, as well as a decrease in demand.
28 August, 2020 – A new collaboration between GE Renewable Energy and Wykes will allow for the UK’s first DC-coupled battery storage system to be developed. The new battery system will be combined with the 60MW ground-mounted solar PV site located at Chelveston Renewable Energy Park.
28 August, 2020 – World Forum Offshore Wind report findings highlight that the UK continues to remain the largest global offshore wind market for the first half of 2020. In the last six months, the UK has added an installed capacity of 714MW. China is a strong contender in this race, with its offshore wind market dramatically growing, with 1.4GW installed over the six-month period.
19 August, 2020 – New research by solar panel specialists has found that installing panels on properties can increase house prices across the UK by £32,459 on average, an increase of 14%. The highest increase was seen in London, followed by Bristol and Edinburgh. The ability to sell surplus generation to the grid and the reduced energy bills makes solar extremely desirable for home buyers.
18 August, 2020 – The government has announced a six-month extension for applications to the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in the wake of coronavirus. The decision postpones the scheme’s planned closure in March 2021 to September 2021. The move is only an extension for projects already under development and those that have not benefited from recent extensions to tariff guarantees.
18 August, 2020 – According to a report by Frontier Economics, support for green hydrogen through the CfD mechanism would give investors more certainty than providing regulated returns. Frontier Economics state the worst option would be an obligation scheme guaranteeing purchases, which could expose business and domestic consumers to paying high payments.
14 August, 2020 – Engie is offering fixed-price long-term power purchase agreements that are tailored to fit the individual requirements of developers and funders. These PPAs will provide guaranteed income that is often needed to secure funding. Developers can choose PPAs of any length up to 10 years.
13 August, 2020 – Compared with the same period in 2019, offshore wind helped the UK’s renewable generation increase by 30% in the first quarter of 2020. Wind generation increased significantly for both offshore (53%) and onshore (29%). However, solar generation decreased by 11% in the first quarter of this year compared to last year.
12 August, 2020 – Schools across England waste more than £326 million each year on inefficient lighting, which generates more than 572,000 tonnes of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions annually. Many state schools are tied down by procurement rules preventing them from upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment.
11 August, 2020 – The National Infrastructure Commission has advised the UK to increase its renewable electricity target from 50% to 65% by 2030. New research shows this can be delivered at the same cost as meeting only half of the total demand. The commission recommends a refreshed pipeline of contracts for difference auctions to accelerate more offshore and onshore wind, as well as solar power projects.
7 August, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced a review of current energy infrastructure at sea, focusing on improving the cabling and transmission network to reduce costs and impacts of connecting new wind farms to the onshore grid. The announcement follows an Oil and Gas Authority report which found that offshore renewables could account for 30% of the emissions reductions needed by 2050.
7 August, 2020 – The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has agreed to finance a land preparation project that will prepare a site for the development of a wind hub. The project is one of seven to secure backing from the LEP’s £25.8 million Getting Building Fund. Plans include 1,270 metres of heavy duty quays and an 80-hectare marshalling area.
7 August, 2020 – The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Reports have shown that the Bank has been offering support packages to large companies without environmental conditions, going against their stated prioritisation of low-carbon finance. The Bank’s Corporate Bond Purchase Programme has invested £11.4bn of the total £20bn in energy-intensive and high emitting sectors.
Climate crisis: World’s largest coal mine sees value slashed by £1.4bn amid surge in demand for renewables
6 August, 2020 – The world’s largest coal mine, North Antelope Rochelle, has reported a loss of £1.17bn for the second quarter of this year, owing to cheap gas and increasing wind capacity coming online. Mine production has decreased by over 50% since 2014, which can be attributed to increased demand for clean energy.
6 August, 2020 – Industry figures are calling for the Scottish government to set fixed timelines for each stage of the planning and decision-making process for onshore wind. It was also stated that excessive weight had been given to landscape in the planning system, potentially inhibiting the drive for green infrastructure.
5 August, 2020 – The University of Surrey is set to start developing a battery that captures carbon dioxide emissions. This project aims to position the UK as a leader in portable energy storage through breakthroughs in efficient carbon dioxide fixation.
5 August, 2020 – Iberdrola has announced it will build and operate the world’s largest onsite self-consumption solar power system in Spain. The 100MW array will create up to 500 jobs during construction and will provide green electricity to SABIC’s industrial plant, making the industrial complex the first large-scale chemical production facility to operate fully on renewable electricity.
4 August, 2020 – Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, has issued £4.4bn in sustainability bonds, which is the largest sustainability bond issued by a corporation to date. Projects that can receive support from the bond include energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as well as those addressing racial equality and circular economy.
27 July, 2020 – Good Energy has announced a new heat pump tariff, which is set to offer cheaper rates when the grid is greener and experiencing lower demand. The tariff thus aims to make greener heating more cost-effective for UK households. After Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the Green Homes scheme, where homeowners can claim up to £10,000 for heat pumps, this tariff is a welcome additional push to help heat pump deployment increase.
27 July, 2020 – The expansion of offshore wind, bioenergy and carbon capture and storage could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033. Demand-side response and storage will also contribute to this net zero projection. However, to achieve this, we need immediate action across key technologies and policy areas, most notably in the transport, heating and energy efficiency sectors.
27 July, 2020 – Renewable energy is likely to become the cheapest kind of power to produce in the UK, meaning that consumers may benefit from cheaper energy bills. With the UK is dominating the global offshore wind market, offshore wind may become cheaper than fossil-fuelled power stations. Rapid technology development, allowing larger turbines to be built further out at sea, has allowed for this decrease in price.
YouGov poll finds that only 23 percent of British citizens believe burning wood from forests should be classed as ‘renewable energy’
24 July, 2020 – A YouGov poll found that only 23% of British citizens think biomass should be classified as renewable energy, while 55% oppose continued Government subsidies for this technology. Research has shown that large-scale biomass use can release more carbon than a coal plant, especially when including the emissions from importing biomass overseas.
24 July, 2020 – The Treasury Committee is relaunching an inquiry to examine whether the UK’s response to coronavirus should take net zero targets into account. Specifically, the committee wants to address whether support packages should distinguish between companies based on their pollution levels. Without green conditions on financial assistance, public money will be used to support businesses whose efforts do not align with net zero targets.
22 July, 2020 – The UK government has announced a suite of funding that targets emissions reduction in the heavy industry sector. Investments will be used to help decarbonise aviation, construction and transport, as well as bring CCS technologies online and at scale. Although this helps address important areas of reduction, carbon pricing, as well as stricter mandates on embodied carbon and energy efficiency will likely be needed.
19 July, 2020 – The potential for green hydrogen production in the UK is immense, owing to high winds from the North Sea. The UK has all the ingredients to make hydrogen successful, but significant government intervention is needed. Successful expansion of hydrogen will reduce emissions, provide real export opportunities and boost job prospects in regions suffering most from the impact of coronavirus.
17 July, 2020 –Transport for London (TfL) is aiming to source all its electricity requirements from zero-carbon sources by 2030 through power purchase agreements. As TfL is one of the largest electricity consumers in the UK, this will act as a significant step to reaching the UK’s net zero target. The plans will also explore the potential for meeting the Greater London Authority group’s wider demand for renewable electricity.
16 July, 2020 – A new analysis by Thrive Renewables suggests that onshore renewables could pump £38.9bn into the UK economy by 2035 and save energy users up to £1.5bn a year. This would require building 5.5GW of onshore renewable capacity annually between now and 2035. The report suggests that policy stability and the removal of planning difficulties will be needed for onshore renewables to reach their full potential.
15 July, 2020 – Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng launched a review into the existing offshore transmission regime to address the barriers it creates for future offshore deployment. The review will see a focus on projects due online before 2025 and will consider how to give developers the flexibility to test new ways of bringing power to shore. It will also look further into the future, seeking to create a long-term regime that helps limit environmental, social and economic costs.
15 July, 2020 – A new analysis by IHS Markit Hydrogen and Renewable Gas Forum states that green hydrogen production could become cost-competitive by 2030, owing to increased scale and standardised manufacturing. The study suggests that hydrogen will be used increasingly to decarbonise the transport, heating, industry and power generation sectors.
15 July, 2020 – BEIS ministers voted to enable storage projects above 50MW and have altered local planning frameworks to shorten the application process. BEIS believes that this will help more renewable generation come online and balance the grid, as well as boost the economy after lockdown. These changes are a welcome step on our way to net zero.
13 July, 2020 – Despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, global offshore wind investment more than quadrupled in the first half of 2020. BNEF believes this can be attributed to falling capital costs. The growth in offshore wind powered a 5% rise in total renewable energy investment to $132.4bn, despite a slump in onshore wind and solar projects.
13 July, 2020 – East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has released a plan to power half of Margate’s Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital with 1,200 solar panels. Plans also include the deployment of LED lighting and the upgrade of heating systems. This project is expected to save more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and £1.2m per year. Interested in cost and carbon savings? Contact us today.
13 July, 2020 – Construction has begun on the world’s longest subsea power cable, which will transport renewable energy between Britain and Denmark. This ‘Viking Link’ project aims to increase Britain’s access to green power and help prevent homegrown renewable energy from going to waste when generation is too high. The cable is set to be operational in 2023.
£35bn green energy overhaul to prepare UK for zero-carbon electricity system – and makes bills cheaper
9 July, 2020 – Ofgem has proposed a £35bn overhaul of the energy network, making it greener and more resilient. The money will be invested in new wind and solar farms, as well as network upgrades to deal with the intermittent nature of renewable energy. Further changes will include the addition of hydrogen into the grid to help decarbonise heat.
8 July, 2020 – A flywheel project in north-east Scotland aims to be operational by winter of 2021 and will help stabilise the grid’s electrical frequency, removing the need for carbon-emitting spinning turbines. This project will allow the grid to use more renewable energy and help prevent future blackouts, like that seen in August 2019.
8 July, 2020 – According to RenewableUK, renewable energy can provide 12,000 new jobs and £20bn of new investments to the UK. If policymakers lift capacity caps for the renewable energy auction in 2021, 11GW of new onshore and offshore wind could be secured. Further boosting of the development of renewable infrastructure would support faster decarbonisation of the transport and domestic heating sectors.
8 July, 2020 – Edinburgh’s Saughton Park has become the UK’s first fully eco-powered greenspace. Its micro-hydro technology generates electricity for all the park’s needs, including the running of two ground source heat pump systems, which heat the buildings. Over 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide and £19,000 will be saved annually
8 July, 2020 – Exeter City Council has announced plans to build a 1.2MW solar array co-located with a 1MW battery. This scheme will help the city reach its net zero by 2030 target. Interested in becoming a world-leading green city? Contact us to see how onsite renewables can reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions while saving money on energy bills.
8 July, 2020 – The Renewable Energy Association has described the £3bn of green recovery offered by the UK Government as a “drop in the ocean.” With no mention of renewables, the plans have been criticised as uncomprehensive. Although money will contribute to energy efficiency improvements and a drive on green job creation, £3bn is not in the right ballpark for a world-leading green recovery.
2 July, 2020 – The UK government has granted consent to the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project, which would provide electricity for nearly two million homes. Located 30 miles offshore, the farm will consist of 90-180 turbines and will provide 400 jobs during the construction phase. This project will boost the government’s chances of delivering 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.
30 June, 2020 – Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes by increasing insulation could create 8,000 jobs, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, save on household energy bills and help protect the NHS. Increased physical and mental health benefits will prevent excess winter deaths and could save the NHS £63 million in the first year of roll-out.
30 June, 2020 – Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) applicants have been given a 14-month extension to complete projects delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. This extension will provide certainty and security to those in the renewable heat industry, helping stop 108 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted and providing new green-collar jobs.
30 June, 2020 – Boris Johnson has committed to plant more than 30,000 hectares of trees per year and spend £40 million on local conservation projects. He said he would step up investments in technologies like net zero planes and renewables, however, he made no mention of improving home insulation. We need to retrofit and renovate to meet net zero, as, by 2050, 80% of UK families will still be living in homes that have already been built today.
29 June, 2020 – Yorkshire Water hs opened a tender for an agreement that covers the development of solar arrays across 150 of their sites. The generated electricity will be purchased by the water company under a PPA, with all surplus exported to the grid. Once operational, 6000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved per year, energy costs will be reduced and biodiversity will be enhanced. We can help companies like Yorkshire Water meet their net zero goals through onsite renewables. Contact us to get started today.
26 June, 2020 – Ofgem, the UK energy regular, has deferred extra grid balancing costs arising from the impact of the pandemic. National Grid will recover excess charges equally across 2021-22 instead. BSUoS charges being capped at £15/MWh should avoid generators and suppliers going bust.
25 June, 2020 – A consortium of trade associations related to the renewables industry has sent an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for renewables to be embedded in the UK’s recovery package. The letter highlights the value of developing a circular economy to help meet net zero targets and provide a return on investment, as well as millions of jobs and energy security.
25 June, 2020 – In the first quarter of 2020, 47% of the UK’s electricity generation was provided by renewable generation, surpassing the previous record of 39%. The increase seen was driven by growth in solar and wind generation, with a notable increase of 53% in offshore wind power generation since last year.
24 June, 2020 – The latest Aurora Energy Research report suggests that hydrogen could provide around half of the energy needed to power the UK’s industrial sector. For this to happen, policy and industry will need to collaborate at a rapid scale and will require a collective investment of £450bn. Hydrogen doesn’t only present a great path to net zero, but it is suggested that 55,000 jobs will be safeguarded.
22 June, 2020 – Brighton Council plans to install solar panels on 500 households, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tonnes per year. Set to finish by 2023, the scheme will have a significant impact on meeting their carbon-neutral by 2030 target. At OnGen, we have helped several local authorities meet their targets through onsite renewables. Contact us to kickstart your journey today.
22 June, 2020 – The benefits from solar, LED lights and ground source heat pumps are immense; from energy security to cost savings, the consumer is likely to benefit in more ways than one. Interested in transforming your energy consumption? Contact us to find out what renewable and energy efficiency options are right for your site.
18 June, 2020 – The UK government has rolled out plans to increase smart meter installation through increased publicity. Smart meters can save consumers up to £250 on their bills and can slash carbon dioxide emissions by 45 million tonnes. Smart meters can, therefore, help the UK reach its important net zero target.
18 June, 2020 – Construction near Manchester is beginning on the world’s largest liquid air battery, which will store renewable electricity. The system will use spare green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it to be later released into a gas to power a turbine. This project, set to be operational in 2022, will be able to power 200,000 homes for 5 hours.
17 June, 2020 – SSE Renewables has plans to press ahead with the UK’s biggest onshore wind farm, a 443MW project on Shetland. It is hoped that the project will be completed in 2024 and would create about 400 jobs at peak construction. This project will help Shetland harness its renewable potential, securing its electricity supplies and decarbonising its energy source.
17 June, 2020 – More than 27,000 clean energy jobs were lost in May, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, it is suggested that over 620,500 clean energy workers have become unemployed. Through a green recovery, we hope this number bounces back and green jobs are prioritised to deliver a clean and green future.
16 June, 2020 – In a new letter to the Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, the Solar Trade Association states that the UK government should commit to a 40GW solar capacity target. The government should also implement green tax reform to ensure sustainable growth of rooftop solar and battery storage. Green finance should be available for solar installations through grants or zero-interest loans.
16 June, 2020 – As coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to ease, there are early signs that domestic renewable energy installations are recovering. The average number of solar installations in May rose by 37% compared to April, as caution eases and the supply chain begins to be restored. Interested in solar? Assess the feasibility on your site using the OnGen Expert. Contact us for more information.
12 June, 2020 – The Scottish Government has launched a £62m fund to help the energy sector recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This Energy Transition Fund will support businesses grow and diversify, ultimately helping Scotland meet its ambitious net zero targets. Projects that are being considered for funding include a hydrogen hub and an energy transition zone.
11 June, 2020 – Jobs insulating homes can be created at a fraction of the cost of other construction jobs and help cut local pollution and energy bills. 700,000 direct jobs could be created in England’s low-carbon and renewable energy economy by 2030, with 46% of those related directly to clean electricity generation and 21% involved in energy efficiency product installation.
10 June, 2020 – Crown Estate Scotland has launched a leasing round for up to 10GW of offshore wind, the first in Scottish waters for a decade. Agreements can lead to leases for offshore wind farm development, forming a large part of Scotland’s green recovery. Total investment could surpass £8 billion and deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household.
10 June, 2020 – Think tank Policy Exchange found that environmental professionals were the second-least diverse profession in the UK, with only 3% of professionals identifying as non-white minorities. Companies listed at the top of racial and ethnic diversity parameters are 35% more likely to deliver financial returns. Everyone must talk about racism more, call out instances of racism and take action to rectify them. Black Lives Matter.
9 June, 2020 – Reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during the lockdown are likely to be temporary unless we make real changes. Onsite renewables can help take pressure off the grid, improve energy security and save money on energy bills. Interested in joining the collective fight against climate change through installing onsite renewables? Contact us today to get started.
9 June, 2020 – The lockdown caused by the pandemic has the potential to change the energy industry long term. Wholesale electricity prices went negative, causing grid operators to pay their customers to use power and nuclear plants provided nearly half of the low carbon electricity used in Europe; how will the energy sector look following the pandemic?
8 June, 2020 – Business secretary Alok Sharma has launched a recovery round table to examine ways of stimulating economic growth through a green transition. The round table acts to increase efforts to listen to the business and academic communities to ensure a green economic bounce-back. The work from the round table will feed directly into how the government structures their economic recovery.
4 June, 2020 – BEIS plans to protect suppliers from 80% of the increase in suppliers’ obligations under the CfD, owing to the impact of the pandemic. CfD regulations will also be amended to defer an increase in obligations by an additional quarter, pushing to the second quarter of 2021. Proposals are now going to parliament for approval, which is predicted before 9 July.
3 June, 2020 – WindEurope and other trade groups are calling on the UK and the EU to work towards net zero emissions in tandem. Trade groups state that linkages and cooperation are needed to preserve the current system functioning and enable the evolution of future systems. Specific focus was placed on the benefits of efficient and cost-effective trading over interconnectors and the importance of continued collaboration.
2 June, 2020 – The UK has unveiled plans for a country-wide emissions trading scheme to replace the European Union’s version. This new scheme would increase the emissions cap by 5% as compared to the current EU system, with further amendments predicted in future to align the cap with the net zero emissions target. The new scheme aims to have enough similarities to ensure a seamless transition after Brexit.
2 June, 2020 – May was the UK’s “greenest” month since the Industrial Revolution, running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month. Wind and solar made 28% of May’s energy mix and gas contributed 30%. The collapse in energy demand due to the coronavirus lockdown, as well as the unseasonably sunny weather, contributed to this dramatic change in the energy mix.
2 June, 2020 – The UK Government has refused planning permission for Vattenfall’s up to 340MW offshore wind farm due to potential impacts on commercial shipping routes. This expansion was thought to be an important development for the local area and the road to net zero. To achieve the 40GW capacity by 2030 target, new projects will need to be progressed.
1 June, 2020 – More than 200 top UK firms and investors, including Asda and Siemens, have signed a letter calling on the government to deliver a green recovery plan. The key proposals include driving investment in low carbon innovation, focusing support on environmental sectors and ensuring bailout cash is well aligned with climate goals.
28 May, 2020 – The UK Secretary for BEIS, Alok Sharma, has approved a 350MW solar farm in Kent, which will generate enough energy to power 91,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 68,000 tonnes annually. The solar farm will also include energy storage and will significantly contribute to the net-zero agenda.
28 May, 2020 – National Grid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are exploring using surplus wind energy to heat Scottish homes to prevent wind curtailment. There are currently 380,000 homes in Scotland that could benefit from electric heating solutions such as ground source heat pumps. Interested in ground source heat? Contact us to see if it’s the right option for your site.
27 May, 2020 – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, global energy investment is predicted to fall by 20%, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA also warns that fossil fuels are likely to rebound following the crisis, leading to a spike in carbon emissions. The plunge in investment also means the loss of jobs and economic opportunities, as well as a loss of energy supply that may be needed urgently in future.
27 May, 2020 – COP26 has been further postponed to November 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic having placed restrictions on events and public gatherings. The delay is notable due to the US elections scheduled for later this year, which would either enable Trump to fully withdraw from the Paris Agreement or allow Biden to rejoin the agreement. Further, the UK has yet to unveil a clear roadmap to net-zero; this additional time should allow the UK to lead the way with a green recovery.
26 May, 2020 – NextEnergy Capital has secured £100m debt financing with Santander to built two subsidy-free solar plants. Llanwern solar farm in Wales will be the largest subsidy-free plant, as well as the largest solar farm in the UK to date. The intention is to move the two farms to a new subsidy-free private fund, which will target new-build solar projects in the UK.
25 May, 2020 – On 23 May, the carbon intensity of the grid fell to a record low of 61 gCO2/kWh due to increased solar and wind generation. The lowest grid carbon moment reported on the 23rd was as low as 33 gCO2/kWh. As lifestyles shift and demand patterns change, we hope the grid continues to decarbonise at a fast rate.
22 May, 2020 – According to a report by RenewableUK, the UK could source 76% of its power demand from renewables by 2050. Overall wind capacity could grow by 66 GW by 2030 to provide more than half of the UK’s power demand. With a large renewable capacity, the UK could also produce hydrogen using renewables, helping hydrogen become competitive quickly and helping it decarbonise the grid.
22 May, 2020 – Hundreds of renewable energy projects may be asked to turn off this bank holiday weekend to avoid overloading the grid, as electricity demand in the UK plummets to new lows. Sunny weather is expected to generate more electricity than needed, threatening to overwhelm the energy system. Small wind turbines and solar installations, therefore, will be paid to stop generating by a new Nation Grid scheme.
20 May, 2020 – National Grid has launched a new signal for wind generators, providing live data on the potential maximum power output of wind farms while comparing the data to actual output. National Grid can then calculate the response and reserve capability held by each wind generator, helping boost the potential for involvement in real-time frequency response.
20 May, 2020 – The UK Government has published its Capacity Market response, with plans to reduce the minimum capacity threshold for participating generators from 2MW to 1MW. Other changes include reporting and verification mechanisms for the introduction of carbon dioxide emission limits in the Capacity Market. These, alongside the other changes, will help cutting-edge clean technologies compete.
19 May, 2020 – Analysts, economists and environmentalists argue that renewable energy should help power a green economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown. After the last financial crisis, the UK’s green economy supported tens of thousands of jobs and helped contribute to fiscal growth. The Social Market Foundation predicts that clean energy could provide 1.4 million new jobs with little risk, as renewable energy technology costs plummet.
15 May, 2020 – After the lockdown, London has plans to turn itself into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city. Places like Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge will be restricted to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. The Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone will be reintroduced on 18 May, with propositions to increase the charge and hours of operation.
15 May, 2020 – Edinburgh-based Flexitricity will optimise revenue and help balance supply and demand for Europe’s largest battery. The lithium-ion battery storage site will be monitored from Flexitricity’s 24/7 control room and Flexitricity will dynamically move the asset between different markets. Investment in batteries will help decarbonise the grid and transition to a renewables-led electricity market.
13 May, 2020 – Scottish Power has unveiled plans to repower Scotland’s oldest windfarm as part of a £150m scheme to deliver 100,000 homes with green electricity in central Scotland. This windfarm is expected to create 600 jobs at its peak and 280 long-term jobs. Similarly, SSE and Equinor have plans to use the Port of Tyne for the world’s largest offshore wind development, creating 200 permanent jobs. These projects, alongside others, will help boost the economy when the pandemic ends.
13 May, 2020 – Due to the impact of coronavirus, the UK government is seeking views on a proposal to defer raises to electricity suppliers’ obligations under CfD rules. Owing to the decrease in electricity demand and higher payments to CfD generators because of lower wholesale electricity prices, suppliers would have faced an unexpected increase in their obligations. BEIS later extended the closing date for the fourth CfD consultation by a week to ensure interested parties have ample time to respond.
13 May, 2020 – A report by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute suggests the CCS technologies must form a key part of delivering net-zero emissions by 2050. CCS will help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate industrial sectors and help decarbonise hydrogen production. The institute predicts that more than 2,000 CCS facilities will be needed by 2050, a large increase compared to the 19 large-scale facilities that are currently operating.
12 May, 2020 – The Flexibility in Great Britain project, led by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, will investigate how flexibility in the heat and power sectors can reduce consumers’ costs and explore how an integrated flexible system can be delivered. Findings will be published in 2021 and will inform the rapid transition towards net zero and low emission transport options through new flexibility. The project consortium includes organisations like EDF Energy and the Greater London Authority, as well as the engagement with BEIS and the CCC.
11 May, 2020 – According to research by Longevity Intelligence, the average UK employee could emit 28% fewer carbon emissions through continuing remote working. Research states that office occupancy will decrease by roughly 50% due to the prolongation of home working to ensure employees’ safety. We hope this helps some businesses achieve net zero at a quicker rate. Does your business still have offices? Why not reach net zero emissions through onsite renewables? Contact us for more information.
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