Energy weekly highlights—11 July 2019

This week’s edition of Energy highlights includes analysis of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem) recent regulatory changes to the market entry requirements for new suppliers arising from its wider Supplier Licensing Review, the launch of the European Commission’s consultation on the list of candidate Projects of Common Interest in oil infrastructure and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) publication of its national policy statement (NPS) for geological disposal infrastructure. Also this week, Ofgem launches a consultation on proposed changes to the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) Ltd electricity transmission licence to ensure it is fit for purpose in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

Electricity and gas market regulation and licensing

Ofgem supplier licensing review—changes to the market entry requirements for new suppliers
Although few experts disagree with the proposition that the UK energy market has been problematically dominated by a half dozen companies known as the ‘Big Six’, the transition towards a more competitive and open structure has not been without its hurdles. Simone Goligorsky, senior associate and Prajakt Samant, partner, both at Reed Smith, give the overview and their thoughts on Ofgem’s supplier licensing review, and how it intends to shore-up the market against under-resourced new entrants. See News Analysis: Ofgem supplier licensing review—changes to the market entry requirements for new suppliers.
 
Green Star Energy agrees to compensate over 1,800 tenants following failings
Green Star Energy has agreed to pay £350,000 for failing to update their records and issue welcome packs to over 1,800 new tenants, resulting in the customers being unable to access their accounts and move to cheaper tariffs. Green Star Energy failed to address the issue and did not self-report to Ofgem after they had been made aware of their failings. After Ofgem addressed the issues, Green Star Energy has reviewed their systems and addressed their deficiencies. See: LNB News 04/07/2019 37.
 

Renewable energy

Big Six companies pledge to replace fossil-fuelled vehicle fleet by 2030
Two of the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, Centrica and SSE have committed to replace the entirety of their fossil fuel fleet with electric vehicles by 2030. Facilities services company Mitie has also joined the global EV100 initiative, a bid by non-profit The Climate Group to make electric transport ‘the new normal’. Head of environment at Norton Rose Fulbright, Caroline May, says the announcement is indicative of a change of attitude in the industry, with companies now committing to contribute towards a net-zero economy. See: LNB News 08/07/2019 56.
 

Oil and gas

EU consults on candidate Projects of Common Interest in oil infrastructure
The European Commission has opened a consultation on the list of candidate Projects of Common Interest in oil infrastructure. The consultation will aid the EU in preparing the fourth Union list of Projects of Common Interest in energy. The consultation will close on 26 September 2019. See: LNB News 04/07/2019 30.
 

Nuclear

Geological disposal infrastructure framework sets out how government can deliver
BEIS has published its NPS for geological disposal infrastructure, which is a framework document that highlights the need for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in relation to the geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste in England and ways in which the government can deliver those projects. Additionally, the NPS includes planning guidance for developers of NSIPs on geological disposal infrastructure. The NPS will be utilised by the Examining Authority and the Secretary of State when considering development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure under sections 14(1)(q) and 30A of the Planning Act 2008. See: LNB News 04/07/2019 82.
 

Air emissions, efficiency and climate change

Decision on the position with regard to the extension of the Terms of Reference for the IPEEC published in the Official Journal
Council Decision (EU) 2019/1133 of 25 June 2019 on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) with regard to the extension of the Terms of Reference for the IPEEC for the period from 24 May until 31 December 2019, has been published in the Official Journal. See: LNB News 04/07/2019 64.
 
Government seeks comment on proposed changes to energy scheme

BEIS has released a consultation on the Energy Company Obligation scheme and is seeking comment proposed changes to it. The consultation closes on 6 August 2019. See: LNB News 09/07/2019 21.

Parliament opens inquiry into government’s net zero emission strategy

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced that it has launched an inquiry into the net zero government which will focus on the sustainability of the government’s estate and procurement processes and how to achieve the net zero emissions target by 2050. The EAC welcomes written submissions of no more than 3,000 words by 15 August 2019. See: LNB News 04/07/2019 28.

Brexit

Potential changes to ESO licence in no-deal

Ofgem has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the National Grid ESO Ltd electricity transmission licence to ensure it is fit for purpose in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The proposed amendments, which include changes to wording and references to the UK’s relationship with the EU, will only be applied in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The consultation closes on 2 August 2019. See: LNB News 05/07/2019 13.

 

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