Bryt Insight June 2024

Bryt Energy
| 12th June 2024 | Bryt Insight
Bryt Energy Market Updates
Electricity Prices Overview
REGO updates
National Grid ESO releases the Winter Outlook 2024/25: Early View
Millions allocated to decarbonisation efforts for public buildings
Streamlined sustainability reporting and policy clarity for businesses
Spotlight on renewables
News in brief
Spotlight on Statkraft

June’s Bryt Insight focuses on progress in energy and sustainability news, including significant funding allocated for energy-efficient upgrades to public buildings, as well as efforts to simplify sustainability reporting standards for businesses.

Additionally, we’ve rounded up some exciting advancements in low carbon technologies, from record levels of public EV chargers in the UK, to solar and battery manufacturing being poised to meet net zero demand. Here’s what you need to know this month:

Bryt Energy Market Updates
Electricity Prices Overview

Electricity prices in the wholesale market have been climbing throughout the past month, particularly towards the end of May, culminating in prices increasing by approximately 20%, reaching the highest seen in 2024 so far.

Lower electricity demand at the start of the month tempered the upward push in prices from geopolitical tensions, after the EU increased exports to Ukraine following damage to their generation and transmission systems. Increased prices were also a result of low renewable generation in the UK (with wind output down by 40% compared to average) and French nuclear constraints, with sites late coming back from maintenance.

The notable price rises towards the end of May have been driven by wholesale gas prices, which still have a large effect on UK electricity prices. These have raised significantly due to competition with Asia for LNG (liquefied natural gas) and uncertainty over Russian supply into Europe.

Moving into June, we have seen prices ease by 7% after a peak at the start of the month, mainly due to high wind generation, as well as gas storage across Europe being at its highest level since February.

REGO updates

There were 2 eREGO auctions in May; the first auction saw an increase in the cost of REGO certificates back to levels seen in February and March. REGO certificates generated by renewable energy sources that are ‘unfuelled’ – such as wind, solar and hydro – increased more than the REGO certificates generated by renewable energy sources that are ‘fuelled’ – such as biomass and anaerobic digestion – and reopened the gap between the prices of the two types of REGO certificates to £1/MWh, as seen in March.

The second auction saw a much larger increase on all REGO certificates, with them almost returning to the prices last seen in January, and the gap between ‘fuelled’ and ‘unfuelled’ certificates almost completely disappeared (at 10p/MWh), which hasn’t happened since the peak of the prices back in October 23.

National Grid ESO releases the Winter Outlook 2024/25: Early View

National Grid has released its ‘Winter Outlook 2024/25: Early View’ on the 6th June, to support the energy industry’s preparations for the next winter period. There were three key messages to be taken from this:

1) The capacity margin – the extra generation capacity above anticipated usage – going into the winter is higher than last year (and 2022/23) and is just under 10% of expected peak demand. This means it is very unlikely that there will be power cuts due to lack of generation this winter.

2) The stabilisation of global energy markets has reduced the risk of gas shortages for power generation in the UK and increased the resilience of interconnector imports; This is increasing the security of supply in the UK.

3) National Grid ESO is looking to evolve its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). It aims to enable more businesses and households to provide flexibility to the grid, helping to reduce peak demand, ensure security of supply, and support a net zero, sustainable electricity system. More information on this will be coming in the next few days.

You can learn more by reading National Grid ESO’s Early View of Winter 2024/205, here.

Millions allocated to decarbonisation efforts for public buildings

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has released details of grant recipients from the latest phase (Phase 3C) of its Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme1. The initiative supports the adoption of energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy solutions across public sector entities – including schools, hospitals, leisure centres and council buildings. These upgrades include heat pumps, solar panels, improved insulation and energy-efficient lighting to help decarbonisation efforts across the public sector.

The Phase 3C grants cover 2024-2025 and allocate a pot of £530 million to 189 public sector organisations for 222 heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency projects. Notable recipients include the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, which has been awarded over £21 million to decarbonise three of its buildings, and Loughborough University, which will replace the gas-fired boilers currently heating its Olympic-sized swimming pools with heat pumps.

Additionally, £27.5 million from the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund – which helps businesses with high energy use to cut their bills and emissions – have been allocated to 19 projects. These include plans to replace a paper mill’s steam boiler with one that can run on green hydrogen, a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel gas that can be produced using renewable electricity.

DESNZ projects that total investments from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will translate into a 75% reduction in emissions from public sector buildings in England by 2037 (compared to the baseline of 2017), with annual energy cost savings amounting to £650 million.

Additional funding will be allocated through Phase 3C in the coming weeks as final award offers are made. If you’re an eligible organisation looking to apply for the next round of funding, further details about Phase 4 of the scheme are due to be published in the summer. To learn more about the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, visit the UK Government’s website, or for more information on the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, click here.

Streamlined sustainability reporting and policy clarity for businesses

This past month has seen some clarity for businesses asking for simplified standards and clearer Government support for sustainability reporting and decarbonisation efforts.

The Government has appointed a taskforce of 15 sustainable business specialists to oversee the UK’s adoption of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) corporate reporting standards2. The new standards were developed to provide a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related financial reporting criteria, to help make disclosing simpler and more streamlined. The new taskforce, named the ‘Sustainability Disclosure Technical Advisory Committee’, will consider options for endorsing the standards in the UK. It is hoped doing so will make UK businesses more attractive to investors, who will be able to rely on a globally consistent approach when considering a business’ sustainability practices into their decisions. No specific decisions (or timeline for them) have been made yet by the committee. You can find out more about the committee and its members here.

The timing of this announcement has coincided with the publication of survey results that have reinforced the need for streamlined reporting standards3. The research indicates that businesses feel the administrative resources needed to comply with different reporting regulations is having an impact on some company’s ability to spend time on delivering wider sustainability-related actions.

Simplifying reporting can free up valuable time and resources for sustainability initiatives, something that UK businesses seem very keen to do, according to a new survey by the British Standards Institute (BSI)4. Four-fifths (83%) of senior decision-makers surveyed expressed a desire to achieve the UK’s net zero emissions target, but called for greater Government support to achieve their sustainability targets. In fact, the survey found that cost (50%) and uncertainty surrounding Government policies (38%) are the main hurdles. We have seen an increase in our own customers wanting to better understand their renewable electricity supply as part of their reporting efforts – we hope the UK’s adoption of more streamlined reporting standards will help sustainability professionals to report on their progress in a more efficient and transparent manner. You can read more on BSI’s survey, here.

Spotlight on renewables

Solar and battery manufacturing poised to meet net zero demand

Global manufacturing capacity for solar PV is already on track to help meet the 2030 net zero emissions scenario set out by the International Energy Agency (IEA)5. In its ‘Advancing Clean Technology Manufacturing’ report, the IEA revealed that battery manufacturing capacity is also at 90% of the level needed to meet the world’s net zero demand by the end of the decade.

The report also shows spending on solar PV manufacturing more than doubled in the past year, while investment in battery manufacturing saw an increase of approximately 60%.

These promising developments highlight that the technology and solutions needed to support the net zero energy transition are already available, but that it will be critical to deploy these technologies at the necessary scale and speed. This reinforces what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) already announced in a report from last year, where it warned that viable options to reduce emissions are available now, but need to be implemented rapidly.

 

Experts expect decline in global electricity emissions

Renewables accounted for a record 30% of global electricity generation last year, according to energy and climate think tank Ember’s Global Electricity Review6. Analysts believe this marks a significant milestone, meaning emissions from electricity generation will now begin to decline. Additionally, the report highlights a 23% year-on-year increase in solar electricity generation and a 10% increase in wind generation for 2023, highlighting the continued progress towards decarbonising electricity grids worldwide. You can read the report here.

 

Innovation in wind turbine technology

The world’s first wooden wind turbine blades have been installed in Germany7. Made from laminated veneer lumber, these blades offer enhanced recycling capabilities and reduced production costs compared to traditional materials, like fibreglass and epoxy resin. It is hoped that further innovations like this will continue to improve the sustainability of the wind energy sector.

News in brief
  • Businesses are being urged to participate in a new census aimed at gauging progress towards the UK’s net zero goals8. Led by the UK Business Climate Hub, the census seeks to identify barriers to net zero and is supported by major organisations like the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and IoD (Institute of Directors). It is hoped that the results will help create a richer dataset for informed decision-making as we transition to a low carbon economy. The survey is open to all UK-based businesses, and you can take part here.

 

  • The UK has now surpassed a significant milestone with over 60,000 public electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the country, including charging points from Mer, who are also part of the Statkraft group9. These statistics, published by Zapmap, show the installation rate surged in the first four months of 2024, with an average of over 1,900 chargers installed monthly. The study also reveals nearly 5,000 “ultra-rapid” charging devices have been deployed across the UK. Zapmap says at the current installation rate, the UK could reach 100,000 public charging devices by August 2025. This record number of chargers marks a great step in making EV facilities more accessible to drivers, whilst supporting the electrification and decarbonisation of transport along the way.

 

  • Huge strides have been made in workplace volunteering post-pandemic, with over 50% of employers that were surveyed now facilitating volunteering opportunities for their staff, compared to just 10% pre-pandemic10. While this surge reflects a growing commitment to social responsibility, there’s an overwhelming appetite for even more support. Works4U’s latest report shows 90% of employees are eager for additional volunteering initiatives. At Bryt Energy, we also recognise this impact, which is why we offer our employees ‘helping hands’ days to allow them to give back to their communities. To learn more about how we empower our people to do so, take a read of the ‘Passionate by Nature’ section of our sustainable business report – Bryt by Nature – here.

 

  • DESNZ says the UK overachieved in meeting its third carbon budget, surpassing emission reduction targets by 15% between 2018-202211. The carbon budget is a cap on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted in the UK over a five-year period. With emissions standing at 2,153MtCO2e, notably below the allocated cap, DESNZ has said it will not carry over any surplus to future budgets.
Spotlight on Statkraft

As part of the Statkraft Group, we’re sharing a few of their key updates this month:

  • Our parent company, Statkraft, has recently completed the acquisition of Spanish renewables company, Enerfin. The completion adds 1.5GW of wind and solar power projects in operation and under construction to their portfolio, as well as a pipeline of projects under development, and welcomes an additional 170 employees to the team12. Find out more on how Statkraft are accelerating the development of solar and wind in Europe, here.

 

  • Statkraft’s Mossy Hill project – a 12-turbine wind farm and substation in Shetland – has been granted an energy generation license by Ofgem. The wind farm has an installed capacity of approximately 48MW which, according to Statkraft, will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of over 34,000 homes and help Scotland to meet its Net Zero target by 204513. To learn more about this project, visit here.
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 0330 053 8620 or at heretohelp@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/557-million-for-public-buildings-to-switch-to-cleaner-heating-and-save-on-energy-bills
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/sally-duckworth-appointed-as-new-chair-of-technical-advisory-committee–2
  3. https://www.mitie.com/insights-news/news/legislation-lethargy-hits-uk-organisations-as-volume-and-intensity-of-sustainability-reporting-increases/
  4. https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/insights-and-media/media-centre/press-releases/2024/may/nine-in-ten-of-uk-businesses-urge-politicians-for-greater-support-in-reaching-net-zero-by-2050/
  5. https://www.iea.org/news/surging-investment-in-manufacturing-of-clean-energy-technologies-is-supporting-economic-growth#
  6. https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/global-electricity-review-2024/
  7. https://voodin-blades.com
  8. https://netzerocensus.co.uk
  9. https://www.zap-map.com/news/60000-public-charging-points-uk
  10. https://www.works-4u.com/uk-ev-2022-23-report
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-statement-for-the-third-carbon-budget-period/final-statement-for-the-third-carbon-budget
  12. https://www.statkraft.com/newsroom/news-and-stories/2024/statkraft-concludes-enerfin-transaction/
  13. https://www.current-news.co.uk/ofgem-grants-electricity-generation-licence-for-statkrafts-mossy-hill/

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