Bryt Insight June 2023

Bryt Energy
| 15th June 2023 | Bryt Insight
Still chance to apply for additional Energy Bills Discount Scheme discounts
UK could see £70 billion economic benefits from going ‘beyond net zero’
Demand Flexibility Service cut more than 3.3GWh of peak electricity use over winter
Call for businesses and nations to accelerate climate action after stark warming predictions
Spotlight on renewables
News in brief

We’re not yet halfway through 2023 and the UK has sadly already passed Earth Overshoot Day1 (May 19th). This is the day on which, if every country used the world’s resources at the same rate as the UK currently does, we would have used more than the Earth can replenish in one year. Compare this to the global Earth Overshoot Day of August 2nd and it’s clear to see that the UK must use its resources in a more sustainable way. This month’s Bryt Insight also features some significant updates on the UK’s journey towards net zero, and the opportunities and challenges businesses face, as well as the latest good news for UK renewables. Here’s what you need to know:

Still chance to apply for additional Energy Bills Discount Scheme discounts

With the application deadlines for the additional ‘Energy and Trade Intensive Industries’ and ‘Qualifying Heat Suppliers’ discounts approaching, we’d recommend anyone that thinks they may be eligible to apply. These discounts are extra to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) and could see eligible businesses receiving a higher level of support until 31st March 2024. 

You have until the 25th July 2023 to apply via the Government portal, where the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (ESNZ) will then determine whether your business qualifies. 

To check whether you are eligible, you can review the applicable SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes, here.    

If you cannot apply online, or have any questions about the discount, please get in touch with ESNZ’s EBDS customer support team on support@ebds.beis.gov.uk or on 030 0400 5251. 

To learn more about EBDS and how these additional discounts work, read our up-to-date blog or visit our range of FAQs. 

UK could see £70 billion economic benefits from going ‘beyond net zero’

A new report has found that the UK could see more than £70bn in economic benefits and export £17bn of renewable energy annually if it goes “beyond net zero”2.

The “Sustainability Superpower UK” report has been produced by the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development in conjunction with Inspired Energy. To go “beyond net zero”, also referred to as becoming “climate positive”, would require the UK to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than is emitted.

The report says the UK is uniquely well positioned to benefit from going beyond net zero, due to its strong competitive advantages in renewable and low carbon energy generation. It also says that the achievement would create an additional 279,000 jobs and turn the country from a net importer to an exporter of renewable energy. To learn more about the benefits of going ‘beyond net zero’, you can read the full report, here.

Currently, the UK Government is taking steps to reach its target of net zero by 2050. As part of its strategy, it has set up the Net Zero Council which had its first meeting in May3. The group brings business leaders to the table with Government Ministers to discuss progress on the UK’s 2050 target and identify challenges.

The council’s key objectives include; ensuring that businesses have a pathway to net zero, identifying barriers to reducing their carbon footprint, and supporting their energy transition. It will also review financing challenges and how to address them.

Going forward, the Council will meet four times a year, making sure businesses are a key part of the UK’s path to net zero. To find out more, click here.

Demand Flexibility Service cut more than 3.3GWh of peak electricity use over winter

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) – a National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) pilot that ran from November 2022 to March 2023 – successfully delivered more than 3.3GWh of electricity savings across the UK4. The DFS trials saw consumers and businesses reduce their electricity demand at peak times in return for financial incentives – in total, 1.6 million businesses and households participated.

The scheme gave those who took part the opportunity to shift their electricity use away from specific time periods – providing the first service to successfully deliver consumer demand flexibility at scale in Britain. It enabled participants to play a more active role in managing the electricity network by optimising their usage to support the grid.

National Grid ESO says it is now reviewing the DFS alongside participants to see how it could be improved in the future. Full results of the review will be published later this year before a decision is made on the next steps of the scheme.

To find out more about the Demand Flexibility Service, visit the National Grid ESO website. Or to learn more about the benefits of optimisation to both businesses and the grid, you can read our dedicated blog here.

Call for businesses and nations to accelerate climate action after stark warming predictions

A new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)5 has warned that global average temperatures are likely to exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within the next four years, surpassing the limit set out in the Paris Agreement.

The report found that while there is a 66% chance of this happening, exceeding 1.5°C is likely to be a temporary breach. It’s a warning, however, of the urgent need for businesses and nations to help slow and halt temperature rises. Additionally, to adapt to a warming planet, the World Meteorological Organisation has officially recognised early warning systems as a priority, with their aim to ensure “everyone on Earth is protected against hazardous weather” that is made more likely by climate change6.

This story comes as the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest climate change insights data for 20237, revealing this year has, so far, been “warmer than average. According to the ONS, UK provisional mean temperatures for January and February 2023 were 1.7°C above the 1991–2020 average. Figures also show that in the most recent decade, the UK experienced a 26% rise in the average number of days that surpass 25°C.

“These latest releases show global warming will only continue in the next decade and beyond. It is a stark reminder to businesses of all sizes to both adapt to a changing planet and act to slow down warming. The technology that can help businesses do this not only exists right now, but is becoming more cost effective and easily available – and many already have what they need to get started on their net zero journey, right away.” – Ian Brothwell, Managing Director, Bryt Energy

Spotlight on renewables

A new report has found that six proposed pumped storage hydro projects in Scotland could see a major boost for the UK economy, jobs and renewables8.

The report, by Scottish Renewables, said the projects could create up to 15,000 jobs and generate up to £5.8 billion for the UK economy by 2035. It also found the projects would increase pumped storage hydro capacity by 4.9GW – with the UK expected to need 15GW by 2050. Pumped storage hydro systems work in principle like a battery – when there is an excess of electricity on the grid, water is pumped up and stored. When electricity demand is high, the water is released through the hydro turbine, generating renewable electricity.

The findings of this report come after the announcement of a significant £100 million boost for a proposed 1.5GW pumped hydro facility on the shores of Loch Lochy, as featured in our previous edition of Bryt Insight.

Meanwhile, yet another positive record has been broken for wind power, which generated more electricity than gas in the UK in the first quarter of 20239. More than 32% of the UK’s electricity was supplied by wind power between January and March, with gas delivering 31.7%.

It’s hoped this trend can continue, with the UK’s offshore wind industry continuing to grow – generating 45TWh of electricity in 202210. In total, the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind farms in the UK last year was up from 37TWh in 2021 and saw a sixfold increase over the past 10 years. Offshore wind is now on track to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of nearly half of UK homes by the end of this year.

A new study from Solar Energy UK has found that well-managed solar farms can help address the loss of biodiversity in the UK11. The low intensity of management required makes them an ideal place for a variety of invertebrate species to thrive. These species go on to support other species – either as food, or pollinators that can benefit local agriculture. The study found several declining bird species such as the Linnet, Yellowhammer and Skylark are present at half of the solar farms which took part in the survey. It’s hoped the study’s sites could provide useful case studies for best practice for improving biodiversity alongside the generation of renewable electricity.

Further away from home, the European Space Agency (ESA) has signed contracts for two concept studies focused on commercial-scale space-based solar power plants12. The trials will guide future research and development, with the aim of creating power plants capable of generating solar energy in Earth’s orbit and transmitting it wirelessly back to help meet energy demand. Results will inform a decision by 2025 on a full development programme.

News in brief
  • The Government has awarded £24.3 million to help UK businesses with high energy use cut their carbon emissions through energy efficiency and new technology projects13. The funding comes from the second phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF). Applications for the second phase of the scheme have closed but the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (ESNZ) will be opening phase three, worth £185 million, early next year. More information about the fund can be found on the Government’s website.

 

  • Climate champion Nigel Topping has said he is looking forward to supporting businesses in the net zero transition after being appointed as the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) business champion14. The committee is the UK Government’s independent advisor on climate change, and with his new role, Nigel Topping has said he will use his position to push for policies that “support and encourage businesses to lead the charge” towards net zero.
TALK TO OUR TEAM

If you have any questions on how any of the updates might affect your business, our team of experts is on hand to answer them. You can get in touch with us on 01217267575 or at heretohelp@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/country-overshoot-days/

 

  1. https://ukbcsd.co.uk/report2023/

 

  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-holds-first-net-zero-council

 

  1. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/demand-flexibility-service-delivers-electricity-power-10-million-households

 

  1. https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/global-temperatures-set-reach-new-records-next-five-years

 

  1. https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/early-warnings-all-officially-becomes-wmo%E2%80%99s-top-priority

 

  1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/climatechangeinsightsuk/may2023

 

  1. https://www.scottishrenewables.com/news/1295-six-pumped-storage-hydro-projects-to-create-up-to-14800-uk-jobs-new-report-finds

 

  1. https://www.current-news.co.uk/wind-generates-more-electricity-than-gas-in-britain-for-first-time/

 

  1. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/media-and-insights/news/the-crown-estate-launches-offshore-wind-report-2022/

 

  1. https://solarenergyuk.org/news/solar-farms-can-be-wildlife-havens/

 

  1. https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Engineering_Technology/SOLARIS/ESA_developing_Space-Based_Solar_Power_plant_plans

 

  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-energy-transformation-fund-ietf-competition-winners/ietf-phase-2-spring-2022-competition-winners

 

  1. https://www.theccc.org.uk/2023/05/16/ministers-appoint-new-business-champion-to-the-ccc/

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