The UK’s day-ahead prices fell this week due to much higher temperatures than seasonal norms, which increased the amount of electricity generated by solar power. This also caused a drop in peak power demand, which pushed prices even lower. The wholesale cost of electricity is now fast approaching the lows seen in January after a downward trend over the last couple of months.
Plans for the UK’s Green Investment Bank to be privatised have been slammed by a number of pro green Conservatives, who feel it would be a step in the wrong direction for the conservatives green policies. The Green Investment bank was set up by the coalition government as an organisation which invested public money into renewable energy projects. It was viewed by many as a huge success, and one of the only green energy policies that actually worked under the coalition government.
The UK’s Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed that the government will again hold an auction for power capacity delivery for 2019-2020. This will be the second time this has happened after the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition did the same last year.
The announcement was made after a letter was sent to the national grid by Amber Rudd, outlining the governments plans for the auction. The auction parameters will be published closer to the auction date on the 1st of September.
Ofcom have announced that they will be following the NHS and the Police in introducing a 3 number hotline to report none emergency’s. The service will be available from April 2016 and can be used by people wanting to report a power cut and find out an estimated length of time before the problem is fixed. People will simply have to dial 105 to get in touch with their electricity operator.
A recent report has found that switching to more efficient vehicles could save businesses up to £20 billion throughout the EU. The findings of the report outlined the importance of driving economically, with road traffic accounting for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. A change in road habits to a more economic way of driving could save businesses money on fuel costs.
A recent report has revealed that Scotland has failed to hit its carbon emission reduction targets for the fourth year in a row. The Scottish Climate Change Act requires emissions to be cut by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. These targets are based on cuts made from 1990 levels of carbon emissions.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has claimed that the European Commission needs more powers to ensure that its members meet the 27% renewable energy pledge by 2030. The paper released by EWEA claimed that the European Commission must be hard on those states that were not pulling their own weight, and instead expected other countries to go beyond the target and make up for their short fall.
China is close to hitting its peak emission levels and will start to see a decline within the next 10 years. China, who are the world biggest investor in solar and wind power, have a particular vulnerability to an increase in global temperatures.
Unexplained low demand for gas in Asia is set to cause global oversupply which will push prices down to levels not seen in over a decade. Prices of gas in Asia are usually very closely linked to oil prices, which dropped by almost 50% in the final two quarters of 2014. When the oil prices fell, the gas prices followed suit which prompted experts to predict increased demand due to the low prices, however, the demand has not picked up.
During May the price of gas and electricity fell despite oil and coal rising. Day-ahead electricity contracts were down from an average of £43.9/MWh in April to £41.9/MWh in May due to an increase in supply and a lower demand than usual. A healthy supply also pushed gas prices down with day-ahead prices falling by 5.6% from April to average 44.2p/th.
With oil prices down by almost half over the past year, OPEC currently have a split camp on what to do with supply levels, although one side is a lot more influential. On one side sits Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, who can all produce oil very cheap and can afford the war on price with the US and Russia. This is the most influential side for the simple fact that they have Saudi Arabia in their camp, who sit on the worlds largest supply of oil.
With the December 2015 Paris climate talks looming, the United Stated have launched a number of green energy initiatives aimed as decreasing carbon emissions and accelerating investment in green technology.
The US are aiming to double their renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro electric by 2030, and the US Energy Secretary Ernist Moniz has met with global leaders to discuss this at The Six Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6) and The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).
Following on from our post which compared the electricity production in France to the UK, which showed the huge investment France has put into nuclear power, this month we have compared the United Kingdom with the United States, and they are almost identical.
Putting aside that the United States produces a lot more electricity than the United Kingdom, due to it being a larger country, the percentages of both country’s electricity production portfolio are very similar. Both countries have a huge emphasis of coal and gas, showing they are still very dependant on fossil fuels.
Ikea has announced that it has hit its target to use 100% renewable energy across all of their Nordic operations by 2015, and remain on course to produce as much renewable energy as they use worldwide by 2020.
Energy leaders around the world have called for a global emissions target to be set. Recently countries such as the US and the UK have set targets for emissions, with the United States pledging to cut its emissions by 26%-28% by 2025, however, energy leaders state this is not enough and a global target must be set.
This comes amidst an expected huge increase in emissions from countries such as India, Brazil and China, who will use more and more energy, transferring into more emissions.
A recent study by the Federation of Small Businesses has found that 90% of small businesses want to be more energy efficient. Two reason came on top for wanting to save the energy with making savings leading the way and saving the environment coming second.
A recent study has found that 60% of companies have not budgeted for ESOS, this comes five months after a report found that a majority of companies who needed to comply had not even heard of the scheme. The ESOS scheme requires companies that have more than 250 employees or a revenue greater than £42.5 million a year to complete an energy audit by December this year. It is expected to apply to around 7,000 businesses across the UK.
Saudi Arabia’s attempt to keep their dominant market position has resulted in them exporting their highest amount of oil for over 10 years. Recent pressure from the Unites States shale oil boom boosted supplies in the market, which was one of the causes of the recent fall in prices.
Experts had stated that the Saudi’s had deliberately aloud the price of oil to fall to slow down the amount of shale oil produced in the United States, due to the high production cost of fracking.
It has been announced by SSE that they will close their Ferrbridge Coal Power Plant by March 2016, after in was confirmed the companies profits had remained flat over the last 12 months. SSE have blamed the flat profits on competition from smaller companies in the market, with them loosing 500,000 customers in the period.
The UK has peen praised by the Colombian Vice Minster of Finance for it energy policies, who stated that they have based their energy policy model on the UK’s. This comes in the same week that David Cameron declared the UK’s Green Investment bank as a world leader.
25 years ago the Colombians took the UK model and made it work for the South American country whose energy make-up was a lot different to the UK’s. Colombia produces 85% of its electricity from water, which is a lot different to the UK’s.