Energy weekly highlights - 5 April 2019

A round up of key developments in the energy sector covered by LexisPSL Energy. This week’s edition of Energy highlights includes analysis of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal (the Sector Deal), the split of the system operator (SO) and transmission owner (TO) roles previously held by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (NGET) and an updated charging scheme for the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Electricity and gas market regulation and licensing

National Grid Electricity System Operator becomes separate entity within National Grid Group

The National Grid has announced that as of 1 April 2019, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) became a separate legal entity within the National Grid Group, separating the system operator (SO) and transmission owner (TO) roles previously held by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (NGET). NGESO takes on the role of SO, while NGET will continue to act as TO. See: LNB News 03/04/2019 16.

SSE pays £700,000 for missing gas smart meter roll-out target in 2018

SEE Energy Services, SSE’s domestic retail business, has agreed to pay £700,000 to Ofgem’s consumer redress fund—administered by the Energy Savings Trust—after missing gas smart meter roll-out targets in 2018. Suppliers are required by law to take all reasonable action to roll-out smart meters by the end of 2020. SSE met its electricity smart meter 2018 target but missed its gas target by two months. Ofgem will not be taking formal action against SSE due to the steps it has taken. See: LNB News 03/04/2019 15.

Renewable energy

Offshore Wind Sector Deal—building sustainability

Energy analysis: Scott McCallum, partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, discusses the background to the government’s recently announced Offshore Wind Sector Deal (the Sector Deal) and assesses the commitments it makes, what it means for the UK offshore sector, and its likely impact. See News Analysis: Offshore Wind Sector Deal—building sustainability.

Nuclear energy

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority publishes 2019–2022 Business Plan

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has published its 2019 to 2022 business plan. The plan sets out future activities and current progress for all 17 nuclear sites under the NDA. This follows a consultation—which ran from 3 December 2018 to 4 February 2019—on the proposed plan that resulted in minor changes being made. See: LNB News 01/04/2019 103.

Air emissions, efficiency and climate change

Charging scheme published for the EU Emissions Trading System

The Environment Agency has published a legal document for its charging scheme for the EU Emissions Trading System. The document covers charges for installation and aircraft operators, registry users and for applications in respect of the Kyoto protocol project activities. See: LNB News 01/04/2019 105.

European Parliament adopts text of proposed low carbon benchmarks regulation

The European Parliament has adopted on first reading the text of a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on low carbon benchmarks and positive carbon impact benchmarks, amending the Benchmark Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/1011) (COM(2018)0355—C8-0209/2018—2018/0180(COD)). There were 579 votes in favour, 40 against and 42 abstentions. See: LNB News 28/03/2019 91.

New CO2 targets aim to lower car emissions by 37.5% in the EU

The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament’s decision to adopt new CO2 emission standards for new cars and vans after 2020. The Commission said it is a significant step towards decarbonising and modernising the European mobility sector and has put the EU on track to reduce pollution, improve air quality and become climate neutral. From 2030, emissions from new cars will have to be 37.5% lower and new van emissions 31% lower, compared to 2021. See: LNB News 28/03/2019 27.

Tenth annual statement of emissions published

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has disclosed the tenth annual statement of emissions, as required under section 16 of the Climate Change Act 2008. The document sets out the steps taken to calculate the ‘net UK carbon account’ in respect of 2017. This is then compared against the carbon budgets to determine whether they are being met. See: LNB News 28/03/2019 119.


Temporary EU exit regulations published for radioactive materials and waste

The Environment Agency has published temporary EU exit regulatory position statements (EU exit RPS) for the regulation of radioactive materials and waste. The guidance aims to help minimise risks to the environment where compliance with certain regulatory requirements is not possible due to the circumstances of Brexit. The EU exit RPS does not absolve companies from complying with environmental regulation but if the specific conditions and requirements concerning pollution and harm to human health of the EU exit RPS are met—the Environment Agency will not normally be taken in these circumstances. See: LNB News 02/04/2019 34.

Guidance updated on civil nuclear regulation in no deal Brexit

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has updated its guidance on the regulation of nuclear material in a no-deal Brexit to reflect new measures and legislation put in place to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU. The changes cover management of radioactive waste, shipment notifications and other areas. See: LNB News 03/04/2019 75.


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