Bryt Insight October 2023

Bryt Energy
| 13th October 2023 | Bryt Insight
New hope for wave and tidal power
National Grid Electricity Distribution unveils plans to accelerate grid connections
UK businesses keen to decarbonise, despite economic conditions
Spotlight on renewables
News in Brief

With UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing a major update to the Government’s net zero policies, businesses are assessing what the announcement might mean for them. From delaying the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to slowing down the phase out of gas boilers, these delays are disappointing and, as the Climate Change Committee (CCC) reports, likely to take the UK further away from its net zero targets1. Whilst there has been plenty of criticism of these changes from across the political spectrum and business sectors, there was some positive news for the Renewable Energy sector, as Sunak also announced a new approach to grid connections, with a fast track to help eligible renewable energy projects to connect to the grid faster2.

More details are likely to be announced by the Government in the coming months. For now, however, it’s important to not lose sight of the progress that has been made, and to acknowledge those organisations and individuals who are working to bring the UK one step closer to a net zero future.

As this month’s Bryt Insight shows, there is plenty of encouraging news in the renewable energy and sustainability space. Here’s what your business needs to know:

New hope for wave and tidal power

This month, we’ve seen key developments in generating renewable electricity by utilising power from the sea, including wave and tidal technologies. An Edinburgh-based energy company secured £3 million in EU funding from the EuropeWave research and development programme. The financial support will be used to advance and deploy a 250kW wave machine in Orkney, which will be built in 2025. It is hoped the project could then pave the way for a small wave farm to deliver 1-2MW of low carbon electricity by 20303.

We’ve also seen tidal energy firmly on the UK Government’s radar as a promising emerging technology that can support net zero plans. Auction Round 5 (AR5) of the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme introduced for the first time a ringfence of £10 million per annual auction round for tidal power. The Government scheme, which supports new renewable electricity generation, dedicated around 4% of the total available budget to the 11 winning tidal stream projects, totalling around 50MW of capacity4.

Despite the relatively small scale of projects to date, the funding for these projects will go towards further developing and increasing the viability of wave and tidal technologies, which harness the reliable and renewable energy from the sea.

For more information around wave and tidal power in the UK’s future energy mix, visit here.

National Grid Electricity Distribution unveils plans to accelerate grid connections

To accelerate grid connections for renewable energy projects and reduce the existing bottlenecks, National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) has reached an agreement with National Grid Electricity Distribution – a regional distribution network operator covering East and West Midlands, South West and Wales. Thanks to this agreement, National Grid Electricity Distribution is planning to release 10GW for new renewable energy projects – such as solar farms, onshore wind and battery storage5.

This follows the report published by Nick Winser, the UK’s Electricity Networks Commissioner, which shows how the UK could halve the time required to build grid infrastructure6. More details on the report can be found in our September edition of Bryt Insight.

In exchange for an earlier connection, the renewable projects might experience an increased risk of ‘curtailment’ – the planned powering down of renewable projects when there is excess generation, such as the windiest and sunniest days, and low demand. However, the risk of curtailment is expected to decrease as more permanent improvements to the network infrastructure are made.

You can find further information on the agreement here.

UK businesses keen to decarbonise, despite economic conditions

A survey of more than 1,200 large organisations on the impacts of the UK’s ongoing energy crisis has shown that, despite a majority believing it will delay their decarbonisation journeys, business leaders do remain committed to net zero7. The survey, conducted by Schneider Electric, highlights that business leaders are aware of the importance of sticking to their net zero commitments. This message has been reinforced by a separate study, which found that global corporations intend to invest 22% more year-on-year on achieving net zero – with UK firms planning the largest increase in spending (36%)8.

The different pace and budget allocated to net zero initiatives by UK businesses suggests that, while many may delay decarbonisation plans as a result of volatile energy costs, others still see the transition to net zero as a long-term priority and an opportunity to regain control of their energy spend.

“It’s good news that the will and desire to achieve net zero and decarbonise is high on the agenda of UK business leaders. At Bryt Energy, we believe that navigating the energy transition doesn’t require a significant investment or complete operations overhaul – in fact, businesses may already have all they need. That’s why we’ve produced a series of e-guides which cover key considerations for businesses navigating the net zero energy transition, including advice to gain control of their energy usage and how to choose and implement the best low-carbon technologies.” Stuart Taylor, Head of Energy Transition at Bryt Energy.

To download our series of e-guides, click here.

Spotlight on renewables
  • In September, leaders of the G20 countries met in New Delhi and signed a joint declaration agreeing to collaborate and encourage efforts to triple global renewable energy capacity. The declaration also includes a commitment to “facilitating access to low-cost financing for developing countries, for existing as well as new and emerging clean and sustainable energy technologies9.” The joint declaration also recognises the importance of phasing down unabated coal power – coal power generated without CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage). To read the full G20 declaration click here.

 

  • Looking closer to home, Great Britain achieved a new renewable electricity milestone. Data from Imperial College London revealed that in June 2023, Great Britain’s installed wind capacity surpassed gas generation capacity for the first time. The installed wind capacity reached 27.9GW, as opposed to 27.7GW for gas – marking a major step towards a decarbonised electricity system10.

 

  • Another related success for the country’s net zero targets is that at 2pm on September 18th, the UK’s electricity grid achieved a new low-carbon intensity record of 27g/kWh, with wind generating the majority of Britain’s energy (48%), while gas only generated 14.5%11.
News in Brief
  • A new study published by the academic journal Science Advances warns that six out of nine planetary boundaries have been exceeded. The planetary boundaries are the thresholds beyond which key global systems – such as climate, water and biodiversity – are damaged to the point that their ability to maintain a healthy planet declines. The study’s authors suggest that the Earth is now “well outside of the safe operating space for humanity12”. The new planetary boundaries assessment provides a basis for more systematic efforts to try and rebuild Earth’s resilience; According to the latest IPCC report, scientists have made it clear that we have the solutions available to do this, but rapid implementation is needed. To read the full study, click here.

 

  • The UK’s decarbonisation efforts will be enhanced by a new agreement with Ireland. The ‘Cooperation in the Energy Transition, Offshore Renewables and Electricity Interconnection’ agreement aims to facilitate cooperation for developing offshore renewables and explore new opportunities for electricity interconnectors between the countries13.

 

  • Conservative MP Chris Skidmore – who led the UK’s Net Zero Review published earlier this year – has launched his Westminster Declaration at the New York Climate Week14. This 16-point announcement aims to unite politicians in a cross-party commitment to phase out fossil fuels, invest in renewable energy and have “every part of society” commit to tackling climate change. Coverage of Skidmore’s Westminster Declaration can be found 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 01217267575 or at heretohelp@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://www.theccc.org.uk/2023/10/12/ccc-assessment-of-recent-announcements-and-developments-on-net-zero/
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-recommits-uk-to-net-zero-by-2050-and-pledges-a-fairer-path-to-achieving-target-to-ease-the-financial-burden-on-british-families
  3. https://www.emec.org.uk/mocean-energy-secures-europewave-funding-for-wave-energy-demo-at-emec/
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contracts-for-difference-cfd-allocation-round-5-results
  5. https://www.nationalgrid.co.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/national-grid-identifies-10gw-of-distribution-capacity-for-customers-with-shovel-ready-projects
  6. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accelerating-electricity-transmission-network-deployment-electricity-network-commissioners-recommendations
  7. https://www.se.com/uk/en/about-us/newsroom/news/press-releases/business-net-zero-plans-blown-off-track-by-the-energy-crisis-64e40d09997af24b9c0852c8
  8. https://impactandinfluence.global/foresights-news/29-surge-in-net-zero-spending-planned-by-world%E2%80%99s-largest-companies.html
  9. https://www.g20.org/en/media-resources/documents/doc-outcomes/
  10. https://www.current-news.co.uk/wind-capacity-overtakes-gas-generation-for-first-time-in-gb-drax-says/
  11. https://twitter.com/NationalGridESO/status/1704420575974695252
  12. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adh2458
  13. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-transition-uk-ireland-memorandum-of-understanding
  14. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/chris-skidmore-cop28-dubai-bristol-un-general-assembly-b2413562.html

Back to the knowledge hub
Categories
All
Energy
Renewables
Optimisation
Bryt Insight
Sustainability
Relevant NEWS
Bryt Insight May 2024
Bryt Insight May 2024
Read
Bryt Insight April 2024
Bryt Insight April 2024
Read
Smart Meters Myth Busting Q&A with Yasir Choudhry, Metering and Settlements Manager
Smart Meters Myth Busting Q&A with Yasir Choudhry, Metering and Settlements Manager
Read