The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the spring budget last week and with it a number of policies which effect the energy industry. The UK will be making a transition into a low carbon economy, which will cost around £12.6bn by 2020 and the government plans to recover this money by increasing environmental taxes.
It has been announced that the UK will double the amount of electricity it receives from France after plans to build a £1.1 billion cross channel cable was given the go ahead. The cable will be privately funded and will run from near Portsmouth in the UK to Le Havre in France.
The company behind the investment have said that the cable will come online in 2021 and will supply the UK with up to 2 gigawatts of electricity, the equivalent of the power for up to four million homes.
Annual air pollution limits for 2017 in the city of London have been breached just 5 days into the year. The hourly levels of nitrogen oxide must not be higher than 200 micrograms per cubic meter more than 18 times in the year, which has already been broken this early into the year.
Last week saw OPEC, a group comprised of the world’s largest oil producers, agree to cut the amount of oil they produce from January 2017. The agreement sets a production target of 32.5 million barrels per day which could equate to each member cutting their production by 1.2 million barrels per day.
The past decade has seen a dramatic change in the makeup of energy charges, shifting from a cost primarily made up of the wholesale price of electricity to a cost primarily made up of various third party charges. Not only do these third party charges keep increasing in size, more of them are being introduced. The most recent being the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) charge which has been introduced in an attempt to mitigate further damage to energy intensive businesses such as the recent collapse of the steel industry in the UK.
The water market is finally opening up to competition for commercial customers in England from April 2017 and there will be a significant opportunity for savings to businesses of all sizes.
Whilst there will be welcome reductions in charges, exaggerated claims of the amounts available are no doubt inevitable. However, it is the provision of added value services where many of the potential savings may lie.
The National Grid has talked about a smart energy revolution in recent weeks, but what is smart energy and how will it have an affect on the UK’s energy system? In recent years technology advances in the energy industry have been accelerating dramatically and it is hoped that these advances will reduce the UK’s need to build more power stations.
What is smart energy?
Independent energy consultant, Square One Utilities has announced a contract with Jarrow-based electrical components manufacturer, HVR International Ltd to manage its energy supply services.
Square One Utilities acted for HVR International in 2015 and has now been put on a formal footing as a result of the relationship it has built with the firm.
Workers on Shell’s giant Brent oilfield platform have voted for strike action that could take place in the next couple of weeks. Workers and Unions are angry at proposed cuts to salaries and increased working hours. If the strike takes place it will be the first industrial action in the North Sea for a generation.
The trade union Unite says the proposals are unfair and that they break an agreement made just six months ago. With 99.1% of voters taking place in the ballot voting for strike action, it is clear that their member agree the proposals are unfair.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard that the UK voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum. The result of the referendum was quickly followed by the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron who said he did not want to be the leader that would take the UK down this path.
Throughout the referendum campaign trail we had heard a lot about the negative impacts Brexit would have on the UK economy and more specifically the UK’s energy industry. However, now the UK will definitely be leaving the EU, industry expects are reacting to the news.
Boldon-based independent energy consultancy, Square One Utilities is celebrating its second national award nomination in a year.
Members of the team will travel to London on 30 June where the company is shortlisted for the ‘Best Customer Service’ award - having been national finalists last year for ‘Most Trusted Consultant’ - in The Energy Live Consultancy Awards (TELCA), widely recognised as the energy industry’s most prestigious showcase.
The awards celebrate companies operating within the energy sector that are providing outstanding levels of service.
There were continued rises in the gas and electricity markets throughout May, which was supported by increasing oil and other commodity prices. Seasonal gas prices jumped 6.3% throughout the month and winter 16 gas prices rose by 6.9%. It is believed these increases were driven by much higher gas demand due to the UK energy mix being dominated by gas fired power stations.
Renewable energy sources such as wind farms, solar farms and hydropower sources were built at a record pace in 2015 according to a new report. The amount invested in Renewable Energy was also double what was spent on coal and gas power stations. The reports results were gathered prior to the climate change agreement in Paris at the end of 2015, an agreement which is expected to increase spending on renewable energy due to carbon emission targets being set.
The new Mayor of London has filed legal documents and will give evidence against the UK Government over air pollution in the capital. The case against the Government is due to their lack of action against air pollution and will be the second time environmental lawyers from ClientEarth have launched legal procedures.
London Mayor Sadiq Kahn has joined the battle because he believes the Government should have more incorporated into their Air Quality Plan (AQP) that would help the capital clean up its air.
You will know by now that Britain will be holding a referendum on the 23rd of June to decide whether to continue as a member of the European Union. This decision could have a huge impact on the cost of energy for businesses. The Government and more importantly the energy secretary Amber Rudd, have already backed the ‘stay’ campaign and numerous publications stating the impact of a Brexit have been released.
A new survey has revealed that over half of businesses in the UK feel more grants should be available to make their business more energy efficient. The same survey also found that only a small percentage of businesses believed that more information would be beneficial and an even smaller percentage believed that financial options such as loans would help.
Saudi Arabia has announced ambitious plans to end their ‘addiction’ to oil revenues this week after Prince Mohammad Bin Salman said the Kingdom would not allow their economy to be dictated by volatility in commodity markets.
The Carbon Trust has launched a new fund worth £7 million for SME’s in the UK. Small businesses in the UK can now apply for the money to improve the energy efficiency of equipment and will be available up to the value of £10,000. This can cover the costs of up to 15% of a project, which can also be changing a buildings lighting to a more energy efficient alternative such as LED’s.
A potential £52.6 billion worth of oil could be sitting under Gatwick and other areas of the South East according to a new report by UK Oil & Gas. The company who plans to extract oil from the Gatwick area have said that they believe there is a considerable amount of oil in the area, which will be a huge boost to the region.
A meeting between oil producing nations over the weekend to discuss a possible output freeze has ended without a deal. It was hoped that this meeting would finally see OPEC cut its production and force the price of oil up. However, the familiar issue of Saudi Arabia not wanting to loose market share to Iran forced the meeting to end without a deal being made.