Bryt Insight November 2023

Bryt Energy
| 27th November 2023 | Bryt Insight
Transition Plan Taskforce Unveils ‘Gold Standard’ Climate Disclosure Frameworks for Businesses
Views Sought on Reporting of Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the UK
The Global Clean Energy Transition is “Unstoppable”
Google and Microsoft Lead the Way in Data Centre Decarbonisation
Spotlight on renewables
News in brief

This month has marked another pivotal moment in the UK’s journey to net zero. We’ve seen the International Energy Agency (IEA) declare the global clean energy transition “unstoppable”, alongside significant milestones for the UK’s offshore wind industry. It’s increasingly clear that we are moving towards a low carbon energy future, but it’s equally clear that more work must be done to realise its full potential.

From changes in sustainability reporting standards to decarbonising data centres, continue reading for an update on how these recent developments might impact your business:

Transition Plan Taskforce Unveils ‘Gold Standard’ Climate Disclosure Frameworks for Businesses

The Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) – a UK Government body designed to guide and develop private sector net zero transition plans – has unveiled its “gold standard” Disclosure Framework and Implementation Guidance1. The TPT’s new disclosure framework is designed to align seamlessly with internationally recognised reporting frameworks and standards, and will provide clear guidance for organisations to support their long-term emission reduction objectives. It will encourage businesses to adopt holistic strategies for their transition plans, critically evaluating their climate-related impacts across their value chains.

The TPT is expected to release more information on when climate transition plans will become mandatory, with the expectation that organisations will be required to begin accounting in January 2025 for reporting to start in 2026.

This comes as The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), an international initiative providing recommendations to governments, have recently finalised 14 new recommended disclosures, with a focus on mitigating the effect businesses have on biodiversity, climate change and human rights2. These will encourage businesses to engage in comprehensive environmental reporting, and to integrate nature-related considerations, risks and dependencies into their corporate decisions.

Although currently voluntary, there’s a possibility that these TNFD recommendations could become mandatory – similar to the way that the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) requires large UK businesses to disclose their climate-related data. Because of that, it’s worth keeping your business up to date with the latest reporting requirements and how this will impact current and future environmental strategies. The TNFD’s new recommendations and the TPT’s “gold standard” Disclosure Framework will both present opportunities for UK businesses to enhance the quality of their sustainability reporting and better align with broader climate goals.

To learn more about The TPT’s “gold standard” Disclosure Framework and Implementation Guidance, you can visit their website. If you’d like to read the TNFD’s new recommended disclosures, you can click here.

Views Sought on Reporting of Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the UK

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has announced an open call for evidence, inviting opinions from UK businesses of all sizes on the reporting of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions3. This follows the recent Government decision to adopt the newly released International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) framework, which includes requirements for business entities to report on their Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.

The UK’s Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) guidance – which covers 12,000 of the country’s largest organisations – currently only mandates the disclosure of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in their annual reports, with Scope 3 reporting being voluntary.

DESNZ is calling for insight from interested stakeholders into the costs, benefits and practicalities of requiring UK companies to report Scope 3 emissions, helping to inform the Government’s decision.

If you would like to provide your feedback on Scope 3 emissions reporting, you can do so here until the 14th of December.

The Global Clean Energy Transition is “Unstoppable”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has declared the global renewable energy transition “unstoppable”, projecting an impressive 40% increase in annual renewable energy investments in 2023 compared to 20204.

This comes alongside the IEA’s statement that carbon emissions from the global electricity sector are set to peak in the present year, with a plateau observed during the first half of 20235. This milestone is predominantly attributed to the surge in wind and solar power generation, which combined now constitute 14.3% of global electricity. The IEA also forecasts the installation of more than 500GW of renewable capacity this year – emphasising the role of solar power, which sees over $1 billion invested daily.

Despite this progress, the IEA states that current global energy commitments from policymakers do not align with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. To achieve the desired trajectory of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, they’ve emphasised five critical priorities for policymakers worldwide:

  • Tripling global renewable energy capacity
  • Modernising electricity grids
  • Expanding energy storage solutions
  • Proposing large-scale financing mechanisms for clean energy investments in emerging economies
  • Implementing a goal to double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements.

 

You can read IEA’s report here, or you can read our series of e-guides to learn more about how your business can navigate the net zero energy transition.

Google and Microsoft Lead the Way in Data Centre Decarbonisation

A new Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centres has been launched, with founding partners including Google and Microsoft. The initiative will engage a spectrum of stakeholders in a collaborative effort to address the sustainability challenge posed by energy-intensive data centres6.

With the growth of internet usage, the past few years have seen an exponential increase in demand for energy among data centres. The world’s data centres were using more than the UK’s annual electricity consumption as far back as 2016, and by some estimates, they could account for 3.2% of global annual emissions in 2025, increasing to 14% by 20407.

The Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centres is aligning its goals with the EU’s targets for data centres to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, providing a space for collaboration between industry experts, from regulators and researchers to operators and network service providers. Some projects in its scope range from alternatives to diesel generation and harnessing excess heat for emission reduction, to exploring renewable electricity solutions to power data centres.

The development of this new initiative is encouraging. We’re seeing the commitment of major industry players to confront the challenges posed by energy-intensive data centres, reinforcing the significance of collaboration and innovation in charting a sustainable path towards the UK’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

You can learn more by visiting the Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centres’ website.

Spotlight on renewables
  • In a significant milestone for the UK’s offshore wind industry, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, has commenced power generation with the commissioning of its first turbine. Located 70 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, Dogger Bank is set to have a total installed generation capacity of 3.6GW when it reaches full operational capacity in 20268. To learn more, you can visit Dogger Bank’s website.

 

  • In more good news for UK offshore wind, Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, Seagreen, has achieved full operational status. Situated in the North Sea’s Firth of Forth, the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm has a capacity of 1.1GW and has been projected to displace over two million tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually9. While the UK already operates the second largest offshore wind capacity globally, this milestone goes towards meeting the UK Government’s aim to triple its offshore wind capacity to 50GW by 2030. For more information, you can visit Seagreen’s website.

 

  • According to a report released by RenewableUK, the global pipeline of floating offshore wind projects has experienced an impressive expansion of 32% over the past year10. The UK represents the second-largest global contributor, totalling 14% of the global capacity across two projects. It is projected that floating offshore wind will represent over 50% of offshore wind generation in the UK by 2050, generating an estimated £43.6 billion in economic value and creating more than 29,000 jobs. To learn more about floating offshore wind in the UK, you can visit RenewableUK’s website.

 

  • A recent report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has outlined the economic potential of expanding the UK’s supply chain for offshore wind, suggesting it could contribute a remarkable £92 billion to the UK’s economy by 204011. To learn more, you can read the Offshore Wind Industry Council’s official press release.

 

  • Britain holds the potential to meet its entire electricity demand from wind and solar power, according to a recent policy brief from the University of Oxford12. It’s estimated that offshore wind could generate over 2,100TWh annually – surpassing the highest electricity demand forecast for Britain in 2050, which is projected to be around 1,500TWh per year. When combined with solar power, these two renewable energy technologies could collectively produce nearly ten times the current UK electricity demand, which stands at 299TWh per year.

To achieve such a transition, the brief emphasised the need for significant grid upgrades and the scaling of battery storage solutions. It also highlighted the importance of Government and industry collaboration, emphasising the key role policymakers play. If you’d like to read the full policy brief, you can do so here.

News in Brief
  • In a new move towards achieving its 2050 net zero target, the UK Government is set to enact significant reductions in carbon allowances allocated to energy-intensive industries as part of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)13. In 2024, it will reduce the number of carbon permits auctioned by 12.4% compared to 2023, with further reductions planned up to 2030.

The release of the 2024 UK ETS auction calendar will help drive industries to invest in decarbonisation initiatives, and is seen as a step in the right direction. To find out more about how this may impact your business, visit the UK Government’s website.

 

  • The UK Government has added £230 million of funding to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, an initiative designed to support the adoption of energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy solutions across public sector entities – including schools, hospitals, leisure centres, and council buildings14. The Government projects that these investments 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. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit the UK Government’s website.

 

  • The UK Government has announced a new Network Charging Compensation (NCC) scheme – an initiative designed to aid Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) by offering them partial compensation for their electricity network charges15. A component of the Government’s British Industry Supercharger package, the NCC scheme is scheduled for implementation in 2025, and will provide EIIs with up to 60% compensation on eligible network charging costs. This funding will be sourced from the EII Support Levy (ESL) and will help reduce bills for energy intensive companies. You can read the UK Government’s official announcement for more information.

 

  • The UK is experiencing a surge in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, with the number of EV charging hubs doubling in the span of a year16. Recent data has revealed a 123% year-on-year increase, with the count rising from 88 in September 2022 to a substantial 196 charging hubs by September 2023. This trend is promising – the expansion of the EV charging network increases the accessibility of electric cars and can encourage more consumers to embrace EVs and reduce their travel emissions.
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://transitiontaskforce.net/huge-welcome-for-launch-of-gold-standard-tpt-disclosure-framework/
  2. https://tnfd.global/final-tnfd-recommendations-on-nature-related-issues-published-andcorporates-and-financial-institutions-begin-adopting/
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/calls-for-evidence/uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reporting-scope-3-emissions#:~:text=We’re%20seeking%20views%20on%3A,Implementation%20Review%20of%20the%20policy
  4. https://www.iea.org/news/the-energy-world-is-set-to-change-significantly-by-2030-based-on-today-s-policy-settings-alone
  5. https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2023
  6. https://www.datacenter-forum.com/danish-data-center-industry/danfoss-google-microsoft-and-schneider-electric-join-forces-in-new-innovation-hub-to-accelerate-green-transition-of-data-centers
  7. https://illuminem.com/illuminemvoices/the-future-of-data-centres-how-esg-data-and-analytics-are-revolutionizing-sustainability-it
  8. https://doggerbank.com/
  9. https://www.energyvoice.com/renewables-energy-transition/wind/539148/seagreen-wind-farm-now-fully-operational/
  10. https://www.current-news.co.uk/global-floating-offshore-wind-pipeline-increases-to-244gw/
  11. https://owgp.org.uk/offshore-wind-supply-chain-has-92-billion-potential-for-uk-economy-by-2040/
  12. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2023-09-26-wind-and-solar-power-could-significantly-exceed-britain-s-energy-needs
  13. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/emissions-scheme-to-reduce-sale-of-carbon-allowances-on-path-to-net-zero
  14. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-funding-to-schools-hospitals-and-public-buildings-to-lower-energy-use-and-save-on-bills-and-cut-carbon-emissions
  15. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/british-industry-supercharger-network-charging-compensation-scheme/outcome/government-response-british-industry-supercharger-network-charging-compensation-scheme
  16. https://www.zap-map.com/news/uk-charging-hubs-double

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