Energy weekly highlights—3 May 2019

Energy weekly highlights—3 May 2019

This week’s edition of Energy highlights includes the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem) announcement that customers will automatically receive compensation from 1 May 2019 if they are mistakenly switched and not returned to the correct supplier; Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation’s announcement of a £30m fund available to help develop designs for smart local energy systems and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched its second consultation on the future of small-scale low carbon generation. Also this week, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has published its new corporate plan which endeavours to ‘add an additional three billion barrels of production by 2035’ and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has invited experts to apply to become an expert reviewer for the first order draft of the IPCC Working Group I, Sixth Assessment Report. We also include details of our new and updated content, including our new Brexit Toolkit.

Electricity and gas market regulation and licensing

Customers will receive compensation if switched to different energy supplier

Ofgem has announced that customers will automatically receive compensation from 1 May 2019 if they are mistakenly switched and not returned to the correct supplier—as well as if there is a delay in refunding credit balances of customers who have switched away. Customers will receive at least £30 in compensation as new requirements from Ofgem aim to increase consumer protection and confidence in the switching process. Ofgem will also introduce compensation for delayed switches and late final bills later in 2019. See: LNB News 30/04/2019 72.

Renewable energy

Consultation on changes to introduce Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) opened

BEIS has launched its second consultation on the future of small-scale low carbon generation. This consultation seeks views on proposals to modify electricity supply licence conditions for introducing SEG. The closing date for submissions is 27 May 2019. See: LNB News 29/04/2019 47.

£30m in funding announced for smart local energy systems

Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation have announced that UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £30m to help develop designs for smart local energy systems. The funding aims to make the best use of innovative technologies that include cheaper renewables, energy storage, low carbon heat and digital infrastructure. The funding comes as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that aims to support industry, academia, public bodies and local communities in providing new and innovative energy systems in the UK. See: LNB News 30/04/2019 29.

Oil and gas

OGA's new corporate plan looks at data digitalisation

OGA has unveiled its new corporate plan, which outlines the regulator’s priorities for the next five years. The plan is in line with the OGA’s Vision 2035, which endeavours to ‘add an additional three billion barrels of production by 2035 and to grow supply chain turnover by being a world leader in specific sub-sectors, doubling the UK’s share of service sector exports.’ According to the regulator, ‘key to unlocking these and other future opportunities are data and digitalisation.’ The OGA in 2019 launched the UK’s first National Data Repository, which the regulator hopes ‘will encourage innovation and potentially help unlock significant additional value—particularly if industry can fully embrace digitalisation across the asset lifecycle.’ See: LNB News 26/04/2019 14.

Conventional power, waste to energy, biomass and combined heat and power projects

Government told to give clear policy direction on carbon capture technology

BEIS has urged the government to give a clear policy direction on carbon capture technology to ensure that ‘the UK seizes the industrial and decarbonisation benefits of carbon capture usage and storage’. See: LNB News 25/04/2019 4.

Air emissions, efficiency and climate change

Call for expert reviewers on climate change draft report

BEIS has announced that the IPCC has invited experts to apply to become an expert reviewer for the first order draft of the IPCC Working Group I, Sixth Assessment Report. The report is available for expert review from 29 April 2019 to 23 June 2019 and registration closes on 15 June 2019 at 11:59 pm. See: LNB News 30/04/2019 15.

Government ensures that British Steel company complies with EU environmental obligations

The Secretary of BEIS, Greg Clark MP has stated that the government has entered into a short-term bridge facility worth approximately £120m with British Steel in order to allow the company to meet its 2018 legal obligations under the EU Emissions Trading scheme (ETS). The absence of the expected 2019 free ETS allowance for British Steel—gifted to companies that are the most exposed to international competition—due to the Withdrawal Agreement not yet being ratified, meant that without the £120m provided by the government, British Steel would not have met its 2018 obligations. This would have led to an ‘immediate and unremovable fine’ of £500m, had the government not provided the funds. See: LNB News 01/05/2019 91.

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