Bryt Energy Market Updates
Commodity Updates
REGO Updates
New standards proposed to enhance energy flexibility
British Industry Supercharger launched to cut costs for energy-intensive industries
UK’s Energy Security Strategy still has a long way to go
Spotlight on Renewables
News in Brief
Spotlight on Statkraft

This month’s edition of Bryt Insight sees some good news for the UK’s move to a net zero energy system, as plans are announced to support greater flexibility on the grid. The National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) has also stated that it feels confident in its ability to operate the grid without fossil fuels for short periods by 2025, following the share of electricity generated from coal and gas over a half-hour period reaching a record low of 2.4% in April.

Additionally, whilst reports note that project delivery delays and policy gaps may be slowing progress on the UK’s Energy Security Strategy, studies show that public support for net zero remains strong.

From the UK’s lead in corporate electric vehicles, to the launch of new initiatives aimed at reducing costs for energy intensive industries, here’s what you need to know this month:

Bryt Energy Market Updates

In last month’s edition of Bryt Insight, we took a look back at the electricity market movements over the first quarter of the year. Many of our readers found our analysis useful, so for this month’s edition, we went back to our market experts to understand a few more key trends and highlights:

Commodity UPDATES
  • Electricity prices overview

Tensions in the Middle East led to an increase in electricity prices in the first half of April. Although prices began to gradually decrease in the second half of the month, in part due to reduced demand forecasts and lower gas prices, there is still a risk of increased market volatility if tensions in the Middle East escalate.

In the UK, renewable generation was strong in the first half of April, with increased wind generation causing a number of negative prices for day-ahead periods. Prices were also reduced by lower-cost electricity imported from interconnectors from France and Belgium, but this was partly countered by lower wind generation towards the end of April, as well as outages at Norwegian gas fields.

Moving into May, wind generation in the UK was low, which contributed to prices increasing. However, with better weather in the UK leading to more solar generation, prices have started to decrease again. In the short term, if May’s good weather continues, electricity prices are expected to continue on a downwards trend.

  • National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) anticipates lower levels of market volatility this summer

National Grid ESO has released its 2024 Summer Outlook report, anticipating lower levels of volatility in the energy market for Summer 20241. Although ESO foresees electricity supply will meet demand in the UK throughout the summer months, its report also suggests that the UK is expecting to rely on imports from continental Europe, driven by higher forward-looking prices relative to those on the mainland. Interconnectors such as the Viking Link are anticipated to play a crucial role in facilitating these imports, while new battery storage projects have helped to provide the grid with the flexibility to navigate peak demand scenarios.

The Summer Outlook Report also anticipates that minimum electricity demand will be similar to last summer. Peak demand periods on the transmission network, however, are expected to be slightly lower than they were last summer, due to more solar generation being connected to distribution networks.

You can learn more by reading National Grid ESO’s Summer Outlook 2024 report, here.

REGO UPDATES
  • Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) prices continue to decrease

The latest eREGO auction, which was held in April and allows generators to sell REGO certificates for every MWh of renewable electricity they produce, saw a decrease in prices for REGO certificates generated by renewable energy sources that are ‘unfuelled’ – such as solar, wind and hydro. However, there was a slight increase in prices for REGO certificates generated by renewable energy sources that are ‘fuelled’, such as biomass and anaerobic digestion, closing the price gap between the two. This price gap, which was around £1/MWh in March’s eREGO auction, has now halved, with REGO prices returning to levels seen in November and December of last year, before prices increased in January.

New standards proposed to enhance energy flexibility

The UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has proposed introducing new consumer protection requirements for providers of smart or flexible energy services, to support end-users contributing to grid balancing efforts2.

By increasing the uptake of small-scale smart energy devices such as electric vehicle (EV) charging points and heat pumps – which are capable of adjusting electricity consumption in response to grid needs – DESNZ’s proposed measures aim to support businesses and households in reducing their consumption during high-demand periods.

Greater demand flexibility will be crucial in supporting the integration of more renewable electricity into the UK’s grid power mix, enabling the transition to a net zero energy system. By supporting businesses as they shift their electricity usage to off-peak times when electricity costs are generally lower, and the grid is less carbon-intensive, the new measures will help match electricity consumption with the availability of renewable generation, reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.

To do this, the ‘Smart Secure Electricity Systems Programme’ consultation seeks views on new consumer protection measures including:

  • Transparent pricing for easier customer comparison
  • Stricter marketing standards
  • Customer complaints and service processes
  • Universally compatible smart products that are easy to use – including standardised EV charging points

It’s encouraging to see that DESNZ are looking at how they can unlock more demand flexibility through these proposed changes, making it easier for businesses to support the UK’s electricity system on its journey to net zero by 2035.

If you’d like to respond to DESNZ’s consultation, you can do so here until it closes on June 11th, 2024.

To learn more about how your business can navigate the net zero energy transition, you can also access our series of e-guides by clicking here.

British Industry Supercharger launched to cut costs for energy-intensive industries

The UK Government’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has launched the British Industry Supercharger, an initiative aimed at reducing electricity costs for energy-intensive industries3. First proposed last year to build on the Government’s Energy Security Strategy, the measures aim to enhance the competitiveness of Britain’s heavy industries by aligning electricity costs with those in other major economies – supporting UK businesses in sectors such as steel, chemicals, cement and glass.

Eligible firms will benefit from exemptions from certain costs linked to renewable electricity policies, and additionally, these businesses will receive a 60% reduction in network charges, lowering their overall electricity expenses4.

The initiative is projected to save around £24-£31 per MWh for around 370 businesses across the UK, with the most electricity-intensive industries, such as steel, benefiting the most. In total, the DBT expects the support to offer savings of up to £410 million a year for energy-intensive industries.

To learn more about the British Industry Supercharger or to find out if you are eligible for support, you can read the UK Government’s press release, here.

UK’s Energy Security Strategy still has a long way to go

A new report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has suggested that the UK Government has ‘gone backwards’ on energy security in the past two years, highlighting policy gaps and project delivery delays5. According to the ECIU, despite the initial positive reaction to the Government’s Energy Security Strategy in April 2022, only three of the ten policy aims included in the Strategy were ranked as being partly delivered.

The report acknowledges that the Government has delivered notable successes – including establishing the National Energy System Operator (NESO), as well as introducing the low-carbon hydrogen standard, which will aid the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors such as the UK’s steel industry – where it is particularly difficult to reduce emissions. However, the report highlights that many of the Government’s targets to improve energy efficiency have been missed, and renewable energy projects are not being deployed fast enough – for example, delivered no new offshore wind projects.

Despite these delays, public support for net zero efforts remains strong; a recent Britain Talks Climate survey found that the British public overwhelmingly supports stronger climate leadership from politicians, and over two thirds of respondents believe there’s still time for the Government to implement policies to tackle climate change6.

A report from Exeter University’s Environmental Intelligence Centre and Friends of the Earth illustrates that not only is stronger climate action wanted, but it’s also possible, with the UK having significant opportunities to transition to renewable energy sources. Its analysis identified vast areas of land suitable for onshore wind and solar farms, showing that England could see a 13-fold surge in renewable energy production with the right policy support7. In fact, using only 3% of the UK’s land, the areas identified in the report could support over 130,000 GWh of solar power and 95,000 GWh of onshore wind energy per year – all whilst avoiding national parks and higher-grade agricultural land.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read the ECIU’s analysis here, and Exeter University’s Environmental Intelligence Centre and Friends of the Earth’s report here. You can also learn more about Climate Outreach’s ‘Britain Talks Climate’ report by clicking here.

Spotlight on Renewables

UK Government selects two ports to help advance floating offshore wind projects

The UK Government has announced that Port Talbot in Wales and the Port of Cromarty Firth in Scotland will receive investments into critical port infrastructure to help support the UK’s floating offshore wind targets8.

The Government’s Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) includes £160 million of funding to support both ports in becoming manufacturing hubs for components of floating offshore wind projects. These new developments are encouraging, paving a faster route for the UK to reach its target of 5GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2030.

To learn more about the UK Government’s FLOWMIS scheme, click here.

 

New tool unveiled to facilitate wind and solar projects mapping

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has unveiled a new tool that will assist 133 local authorities across London, the East, and South-East England in identifying optimal locations for community-owned wind and solar farms9. This comes after DESNZ launched an initiative to encourage local communities to embrace onshore wind projects, providing detailed case studies highlighting community benefit,s so that communities can participate in decision-making around new onshore wind developments.

You can learn more about solar and wind mapping by visiting UKPN’s website here.

 

Britain achieves new record-low for fossil fuel generation

This month, the National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) has stated it feels confident in its ability to, for the first time ever, run the country’s electricity network without fossil fuels for short periods by 202510. April saw the share of electricity generated from coal and gas over a half-hour period reaching a record low of 2.4%, and so far this year, we’ve seen a record of 75 half-hour periods where fossil fuels generated less than 5% of Great Britain’s electricity demand.

To learn more about this milestone, you can read Carbon Brief’s analysis here.

News in Brief

UK leads corporate EV deployment globally

A new report has revealed that the UK has the highest total deployment of corporate EVs globally – with 23,136 cars across the nation, including 7,459 new adoptions in the last 12 months11. These numbers are encouraging, showing a willingness among British businesses to take action towards net zero by electrifying their fleets.

You can learn more about EV adoption by reading The Climate Group’s ‘Charging the EV Transition’ report, here.

 

Transition Plan Taskforce launches sector-specific guidance for businesses

The UK Government’s Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) has unveiled new sector-specific guidance to support businesses in developing robust transition plans for their operations and existing assets, to support achieving net zero by 205012. The new guidance follows the launch of the TPT’s ‘gold standard’ climate disclosure framework for businesses last year, and is tailored to support specific sectors – including banking, asset management, power generation and electric utilities – to build comprehensive transition plans that align with wider reporting regulations.

You can find the TPT’s latest transition plan resources by clicking here.

 

‘Clean’ energy propelled global economy in 2023

New research has revealed that ‘clean’ energy initiatives contributed $320 billion to the global economy in 2023 alone – equating to 10% of the overall global GDP growth13. The report, published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), focused on the manufacturing and deployment of ‘clean’ energy technologies, such as solar panels and battery storage systems, as well as sales of technologies like electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps. These numbers demonstrate not only increasing demand for a move to a more sustainable electricity system, but also how renewables can have a positive impact on the global economy – aligning with the IEA’s previous declaration that the energy transition is “unstoppable”.

You can learn more by reading the IEA’s report, here.

 

Weather-related insurance claims exceeded £1 billion in UK

Last year, weather-related insurance claims from UK homes and businesses together exceeded £1 billion for the first time, emphasising a clear need for urgent and robust climate action14. This rise in insurance claims was driven by various storms in Autumn 2023, including Babet, Ciaran and Debi – which are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change – and echoes a previous report from the IMF that suggested that the economic benefits of the net zero transition would outweigh the costs of doing nothing.

You can learn more about weather-related insurance claims from Climate Action’s website, here.

Spotlight on Statkraft

Statkraft announces new initiative to improve wind energy supply chains

Our parent company, Statkraft, have announced the launch of the Wind Energy Initiative in collaboration with four other wind energy industry leaders and EcoVadis. The initiative aims to support the industry in identifying and adopting practices that support Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, encouraging collaboration between trading partners to have positive impacts on their supply chains15. This includes efforts to:

  • Maintain biodiversity on wind farms
  • Ensure the well-being of individuals involved in the wind energy supply chains
  • Prioritise carbon emissions by emphasising the integration of renewable energy and embracing circular practices.

As Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, it’s exciting to see Statkraft collaborating with other leaders within the wind energy industry to ensure sustainable production practices.

You can learn more about the Wind Energy Initiative from WindEurope’s website, here.

You can also read about Statkraft’s onshore wind power development in the UK, here.

 

Latest progress for Statkraft’s solar farm and battery storage project in Yorkshire

Statkraft’s Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park in East Yorkshire has entered the second phase of its development, which includes the installation of an energy storage system16. Battery storage will play a key role in supporting the UK’s net zero energy transition and the Greener Grid Park will ensure renewable generation can be fully utilised by the UK’s electricity system.

The third and final phase of Statkraft’s project will develop the solar farm on the same site, which will provide almost 50MW of new renewable electricity capacity17. The project, which aims to be fully operational by 2026, will also enhance the biodiversity value of the site by 134%, as well as bring opportunities for community benefits with new funding to support the local area.

You can learn more about Statkraft’s Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park, 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.nationalgrideso.com/research-and-publications/summer-outlook
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/delivering-a-smart-and-secure-electricity-system-implementation
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/huge-boost-for-uk-industry-as-government-supercharger-rolls-out
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/huge-boost-for-uk-industry-as-government-supercharger-rolls-out
  5. https://eciu.net/analysis/reports/2024/uk-going-backwards-governments-energy-security-strategy-scores-3-10
  6. https://pressreleasehub.pa.media/article/british-public-backs-stronger-climate-and-nature-leadership-new-study-16510.html
  7. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/mapping-england-could-produce-13-times-more-clean-energy
  8. https://www.current-news.co.uk/uk-government-selects-two-ports-to-advance-floating-offshore-wind/
  9. https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/news/powerful-partnership-puts-solar-and-wind-projects-on-the-map
  10. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-fossil-fuels-fall-to-record-low-2-4-of-british-electricity/
  11. https://www.theclimategroup.org/our-work/press/charging-ev-transition
  12. https://transitiontaskforce.net/latest-transition-plan-resources-published-today/
  13. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/clean-energy-is-boosting-economic-growth
  14. https://www.climateaction.org/news/weather-related-insurance-claims-from-uk-homes-and-businesses-reaches-all-t
  15. https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/ecovadis-windeurope-and-leading-wind-industry-organisations-launch-wind-energy-initiative/
  16. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/2024/community-fund-for-projects-in-the-east-riding-of-yorkshire/
  17. https://projects.statkraft.co.uk/soay/
Bryt Energy Market Updates
New investments into renewable technologies announced in Spring Budget
£10 billion pledged for new battery storage projects in the UK
National Grid ESO proposes £58bn investment to improve the UK’s electricity network
New opportunities for wave and tidal power in the UK
Spotlight on Renewables
News in Brief
Spotlight on Statkraft

This month, we’ve seen more progress on the UK’s journey to net zero – including new funding for solar and offshore wind as part of the Government’s Spring Budget. From plans for a record £10 billion investment into battery storage projects to new recommendations for upgrading the electricity grid, it’s encouraging to see action being taken to support the UK’s energy transition. Here’s what you need to know this month:

Bryt Energy Market Updates

In this month’s edition of Bryt Insight, we’re taking a look back at the electricity market over the first quarter of 2024, speaking to our market experts for a roundup of the key trends and highlights that your business needs to know:

  • Wholesale prices decreased:

In December 2023, wholesale energy prices declined steadily, though there was a slight increase in day-ahead prices in January, which was influenced by lower wind generation early in the month. Despite this, overall forward-looking prices have continued to decrease this quarter. This reflects the decline in gas prices, with UK gas storage levels remaining high, and the increased supply certainty for Winter 2024, as a result of overall strong French nuclear generation (despite some uncertainty regarding facility cracks) and improved interconnector flows from Europe.

  • Increased market volatility:

March 2024 saw some increased volatility in the energy market. Despite strong gas storage levels for Winter 2024, the discovery of more cracks within French nuclear reactor facilities has led to some concerns within the market over impacts on supply availability. Additionally, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, heightened after the recent Moscow attack, has added to price uncertainties as traders become more concerned over supply. Meanwhile, liquified natural gas (LNG) ships have also continued to avoid the Red Sea due to the conflict in the area, resulting in delays in deliveries, which has further impacted market volatility.

 

Alongside these trends, our team noted a couple of other key updates within the energy market that may impact businesses:

  • Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificate prices decrease:

Overall, REGO market prices for the upcoming year (April 24-March 25) have decreased. The latest monthly e-REGO auction (held in March) was its busiest yet, and REGO prices did increase throughout March slightly, however overall these prices were still lower than the February auction.

To find out more about REGOs, read out FAQs here.

  • Some energy costs become more certain, as others increase or remain volatile

The beginning of the year marked a busy period for Non-Commodity Costs (NCC) – the non-energy costs found within businesses’ energy bills. Final tariffs for many of these have now been published, providing businesses with more certainty of their cost structures. These include:

  • Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges, effective from April 2025 onwards, announced by Distribution Network Operators (DNOs)
  • Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges, from April 2024
  • Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) Winter 2024 charges, announced by National Grid ESO
  • Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme charges for April 2024 onwards, announced by Ofgem.

However, Contract for Difference (CfD) rates have continued to be volatile, influenced by ongoing movements in the wholesale market, while costs for the Capacity Market (CM) – which ensures the security of electricity supply by providing payments for reliable sources of capacity – have increased following recent auction results.

  • Important reviews of the electricity market are ongoing

In other news, the UK Government has launched a second consultation on the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA)1. REMA seeks to address long-standing inefficiencies in the design of the energy market, focusing on aspects like the Balancing Mechanism, ancillary services, Capacity Market (CM) and the CfD scheme. This newly announced consultation provides stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute their insights and feedback. If you’d like to have your say on REMA, you can do so here until May 7th, 2024.

New investments into renewable technologies announced in Spring Budget

While the UK Government’s Spring Budget includes a wide array of fiscal policies for the year ahead, in this edition we’re focusing on new announcements on renewable energy and sustainability – including new investments into renewable technologies to help the UK reach its net zero goals.

The budget includes the allocation of over £1 billion for the Government’s 2024 Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction – which supports investment for new renewable energy generation by guaranteeing a minimum price per unit of electricity generated2. In doing so, the scheme provides the financial certainty needed for developers and investors to commit to renewable projects.

£800 million of this funding has been allocated to offshore wind projects – four times the budget available in previous rounds – a decision which follows an increase in the maximum price for offshore and floating wind in November 20233. With this record-breaking allocation for the CfD Auction Round 6 (AR6), which is scheduled to open later this year, the funding will support the UK Government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. The remaining CfD funding, totalling £225 million, will be made available to other renewable technology groups, including onshore wind and solar.

The UK Government has also announced an additional £120 million of funding for its ‘Green Industries Growth Accelerator’, which aims to support the development and expansion of low carbon manufacturing supply chains. You can learn more about the ‘Green Industries Growth Accelerator’ in last December’s edition of Bryt Insight, here.

The Budget also confirmed that the UK Government would regulate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) ratings, which act as a metric for investors to assess a company’s performance under these three areas4. The Government aims to incentivise more investment into sustainable products and services by requiring ESG rating providers to be transparent with their methodologies, and that they are clear on the implications of their rating for businesses and investors.

Beyond this, the Spring Budget confirmed the extension of the Government’s Energy Profit Levy (EPL) until 20295. Initially introduced in May 2022, the EPL imposed a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas companies – a rate later increased to 35% effective from January 2023 – with funds raised going to supporting households with their rising energy bills. The Government has not specified how new funds raised by the extended tax will be spent, but critics have been quick to point out the missed opportunity of not spending these funds to help deliver the UK’s plan for net zero6. Additionally, the Budget includes provisions to abolish the tax earlier than the 2029 date if market prices return to normal for an extended period.

However, despite the extension of the EPL, the Government continues to support new oil and gas licensing opportunities in the North Sea. This has been criticised by many as undermining investments into the net zero energy transition7.

Despite the continued focus on fossil fuels, the Spring Budget still contains some encouraging steps in the right direction. Investment into the energy transition continues with new funding for renewable technologies and supply chains, but more Government support is needed to achieve a fully decarbonised energy system, faster.

You can learn more about the Spring Budget from the UK Government’s website, here.

£10 billion pledged for new battery storage projects in the UK

New plans have been unveiled for a £10 billion investment into what could become the largest battery storage project portfolio in the UK, and play a major role in decarbonising the UK’s power grid8.

The investment from NatPower, a UK-based renewable energy developer, is anticipated to deliver 60GWh of battery storage capacity by 2040 – representing over 13 times the UK’s current battery storage capacity, which reached 4.6GWh in January this year9.

Battery storage technology is key in facilitating the net zero energy transition: by storing electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar, battery storage technologies can ensure a stable supply of electricity during periods of low wind or sunlight, providing energy security as the grid transitions to a low carbon system.

Through this substantial investment, the project hopes to address grid bottlenecks and maximise the use of renewable energy resources. The company intends to submit planning applications for three ‘gigaparks’ which will be strategically located across the UK, with an additional ten in line for development in the coming year.

This announcement comes as recent research forecasts a surge in large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity across Europe, with the UK emerging as a frontrunner in investment and development10. In fact, projections from Aurora Energy Research’s latest ‘Battery Markets Attractiveness Report,’ suggest that, by 2030, the UK will increase its energy storage capacity by up to five times.

As part of this, the UK aims to further enhance its energy storage portfolio by embracing long-duration energy storage (LDES) solutions – which are designed to store and release renewable electricity over a period of at least six hours. A recent Government consultation outlined proposals for increasing investment in LDES, including the introduction of a cap-and-floor mechanism11– which will guarantee investors a minimum level of revenue – to help address the financial challenge of deploying LDES at scale. You can read more about LDES from February’s edition of Bryt Insight, here.

To learn more about the role of battery storage in a net zero future, read Part 3 of our e-guide series ‘Navigating the Net Zero energy transition’, here.

You can read more about Natpower’s plans, here.

National Grid ESO proposes £58bn investment to improve the UK’s electricity network

National Grid Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) has released its ‘Beyond 2030’ report, which recommends a comprehensive set of network upgrades – totalling £58 billion in direct investment – to prepare the UK’s electricity grid for a net zero future12.

The plan focuses on expanding grid transmission capabilities, recommending a stronger North-to-South electricity transmission route that would facilitate efficient energy distribution from North East Scotland to North West England. With this increased connectivity, National Grid ESO is aiming to improve energy security by making renewable electricity accessible across the country, regardless of where it is generated.

As well as new onshore routes, the report also proposes the construction of over three times the amount of undersea cabling currently available in order to connect the planned 21GW of additional offshore wind capacity to the grid. If this recommended transmission and offshore wind infrastructure can be delivered under the timeframes set out in the UK Government’s Transmission Acceleration Action Plan (TAAP), National Grid ESO predicts that the UK could achieve its target of a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035.

Having released their report, National Grid ESO’s recommendations will be reviewed by Ofgem and key industry stakeholders, before they can be developed through a Detailed Network Design Phase. If approved by Ofgem, these grid improvements will play a major role in shaping a more efficient, low carbon energy system, paving a faster route to net zero in the UK.

To read National Grid ESO’s full list of recommendations, you can find its Beyond 2030 report here.

New opportunities for wave and tidal power in the UK

A recent report has suggested that integrating 27GW of wave energy capacity into the UK’s energy system by 2050 could offer the most cost-effective path to achieving net zero13. The study, conducted by Finland’s LUT University, highlighted the potential of combining wave energy with other renewables like solar and wind to aid the net zero energy transition.

The report emphasises the need for a supportive framework to unlock the benefits of wave energy, highlighting the importance of establishing clear routes to market for wave energy projects. Alongside this, the Marine Energy Council – a trade group that represents the UK’s tidal and wave energy industries – has called for ambitious deployment targets by 203514.

Both wave and tidal power offer a predictable form of renewable electricity generation, which can be used alongside more intermittent renewable sources to support grid stability during the UK’s energy transition.

The UK is seeing promising new developments in tidal power, including the beginning of a formal planning process for The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s (LCRCA) Mersey Tidal Power project15. The project, which plans to leverage tidal flows at the mouth of the river Mersey to generate reliable renewable electricity, could, according to the LCRCA, become the world’s largest tidal scheme. The current preferred option for the project is a barrage between the Wirral and Liverpool, an approach which will also address future flooding risks exacerbated by climate change, as well as bringing Liverpool closer to its 2040 net zero target.

It’s encouraging to see such developments in tidal and wave energy, which could offer opportunities to bring more renewables onto the grid and support the UK in its net zero energy transition.

To learn more about the Mersey Tidal Power project, you can read the LCRCA’s press release here.

You can learn more about LTU University’s report on wave energy, here.

Spotlight on Renewables

UK surpasses 15GW milestone in onshore wind capacity

The UK has achieved a new milestone, surpassing 15GW of fully operational onshore wind capacity, spanning over 2,600 projects nationwide16. The accomplishment was reached as the West Benhar onshore wind farm, which has a capacity of 30.1MW spread across seven turbines, became fully operational.

With onshore wind now accounting for over 10% of the UK’s annual electricity generation, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has emphasised the need for continued expansion, recommending a target of 35GW of installed onshore wind capacity by 2035 to align with the UK’s net zero targets. Following the lifting of the effective ban on new onshore wind developments in England, we hope to see the development of more onshore wind projects in the future.

To learn more about this milestone, you can visit RenewableUK’s website here.

 

Welsh Government greenlights first floating offshore windfarm

The Welsh Government has granted planning consent for Wales’s first floating windfarm, Project Erebus, which will be situated 40km off the coast of Pembrokeshire17.

Comprising of seven turbines, each with a capacity of 14MW, Project Erebus represents the first phase of a larger renewable energy initiative in the Celtic Sea. Further phases of the development, the Welsh Government suggests, could unlock an additional 20GW of renewable energy potential – helping to support the wider UK as it transitions to a net zero electricity system.

You can learn more by visiting the Welsh Government’s website, here.

 

Scotland opens world’s first floating offshore wind innovation centre

Scotland has opened its new National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), representing the world’s first facility dedicated to developing floating offshore wind technology18.

FLOWIC aims to accelerate the development of floating offshore wind technology in the UK by offering state-of-the-art facilities for research and development. By hosting a space for collaboration and innovation, the new centre will help support the UK to achieve its wider goal of 50GW of offshore wind – including 5GW of floating technology – by 2030.

To learn more about FLOWIC, visit its website here.

News in Brief

UK net zero economy continues to grow

A recent report has revealed that the UK’s ‘net zero economy’ experienced a 9% growth in 202319. This increase is encouraging considering the slower growth of the wider UK economy, which only grew by 0.1% in 2023 – suggesting growing demand among British businesses looking for renewable electricity and low carbon technology.

Alongside this, new figures show that net zero industries are creating more than enough new jobs to counteract the shrinking of the oil and gas sector. Although there were around 8,500 fewer jobs in the fossil fuel industry in 2023, over 40,000 roles were generated in low carbon and renewable energy sectors – showing that there is an opportunity for reskilling to ensure that the net zero energy transition is fair for everyone20. CBI Economics has, however, warned that sustained growth relies on continued investment into renewable energy sources, as well as policy support from the UK Government.

You can learn more about CBI Economics’ report by clicking here.

 

UK carbon intensity falls to lowest level in a year

The UK has achieved another milestone in its renewable energy journey; in February, the carbon intensity of the UK’s electricity generation fell to 133g CO2/kWh on average, marking the lowest recorded level in the past year21. This represents a significant decrease from 2010 levels, where the carbon intensity of the UK’s electricity generation averaged 457gCO2/kWh22.

Renewable sources also generated over half of the UK’s electricity mix in February, with most of its electricity generated by wind – which accounted for almost 35%. It’s encouraging to see steps in the right direction on the UK’s journey to reducing its emissions by 78% by 203523.

You can read more about this on National Grid ESO’s website, here.

Spotlight on Statkraft

Statkraft release their 2023 annual report

Our parent company, Statkraft, have released their 2023 annual report, highlighting the company’s significant achievements across the energy sector this year24. In a year marked by success, Statkraft generated almost 60TWh of renewable power worldwide, installed an estimated 556MW of new renewable capacity, and signed a record number of PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) to purchase power from independent renewable generators.

Notably in the UK, Statkraft have also successfully developed and brought online a second Greener Grid Park, which will provide stability to help maximise the amount of renewable electricity that can be distributed through the grid25. They’ve also expanded Europe’s renewable energy generating infrastructure, completing the construction of six solar farms in Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland.

With 36 projects currently under development and construction in the UK – including solar, wind and another nine Greener Grid projects – Statkraft’s progress this year takes them closer to their global goal of developing at least 4GW of new renewable energy generation and grid services annually by 2030. More information about Statkraft’s UK projects can be found here.

You read Statkraft’s full 2023 annual report by visiting their website, here.

 

Statkraft appoints new CEO 

In exciting news, Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal has recently been appointed as the new CEO of Statkraft!  With an extensive background in the company – including leading their largest business area, the Nordics, as well as overseeing the development of wind and solar power across Europe – Vartdal brings a wealth of experience in renewable energy to her new role26.

Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal will succeed Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, who decided to step down after dedicating 14 years of service in driving Statkraft’s vision of renewing the way the world is powered.

To learn more, you can read Statkraft’s press release 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.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-electricity-market-arrangements-rema-second-consultation
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-1-billion-budget-for-renewable-energy-auction
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-offshore-wind-as-government-raises-maximum-prices-in-renewable-energy-auction
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-regulatory-regime-for-environmental-social-and-governance-esg-ratings-providers
  5. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-delivers-lower-taxes-more-investment-and-better-public-services-in-budget-for-long-term-growth
  6. https://www.carbonbrief.org/uk-spring-budget-2024-key-climate-and-energy-announcements/
  7. https://www.e3g.org/news/no-credible-plan-for-growth-in-the-uk-
  8. https://eandt.theiet.org/2024/03/07/natpower-allocates-ps10bn-massively-expand-uks-grid-scale-battery-storage
  9. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/q4-2023-sees-largest-quarterly-increase-in-battery-energy-storage/
  10. https://auroraer.com/market-reports/european-battery-markets-attractiveness-report-3rd-edition-1/
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/long-duration-electricity-storage-proposals-to-enable-investment
  12. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/eso-publishes-beyond-2030-ps58bn-investment-plan-future-britains-energy-system
  13. https://corpowerocean.com/wave-energy-to-have-a-key-role-in-realising-the-uks-net-zero-ambitions/
  14. https://www.marineenergycouncil.co.uk/news/wave-energy-to-have-a-key-role-in-realising-the-uk-s-net-zero-ambitions-according-to-new-report
  15. https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/news/plans-progress-to-build-worlds-largest-tidal-scheme-on-the-banks-of-the-river-mersey
  16. https://www.renewableuk.com/news/666925/UK-reaches-major-new-clean-energy-milestone-15-gigawatts-of-onshore-wind-
  17. https://www.gov.wales/consent-granted-for-wales-first-floating-windfarm
  18. https://ore.catapult.org.uk/press-releases/scotlands-first-minister-opens-worlds-first-floating-wind-innovation-centre-in-aberdeen/
  19. https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2024/cbi-economics-uk-net-zero-economy-grows-9-hotspots-in-electoral-battlegrounds
  20. https://www.edie.net/uk-adding-more-than-enough-green-jobs-to-counteract-shrinking-of-oil-and-gas-sector/19
  21. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/electricity-explained/electricity-and-me/great-britains-monthly-electricity-stats
  22. https://interactive.carbonbrief.org/how-uk-transformed-electricity-supply-decade/
  23. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-enshrines-new-target-in-law-to-slash-emissions-by-78-by-2035
  24. https://www.statkraft.com/IR/results-reports-and-presentations/
  25. https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/national-grid-connects-trail-blazing-new-green-tech-liverpool-boost-system-stability
  26. https://www.statkraft.com/newsroom/news-and-stories/2024/birgitte-ringstad-vartdal-appointed-president-and-ceo-of-statkraft/
Global warming breaches 1.5°C limit
New legislation implemented to improve biodiversity
New record achieved in solar efficiency
NEWS IN BRIEF
SPOTLIGHT ON RENEWABLES

In Bryt Insight, we usually like to begin each edition with the positive news in sustainability and renewable energy. This month, unfortunately, we need to start by letting you know that global temperatures across the last year have reached 1.52°C above pre-industrial levels – exceeding the temperature limit set by world leaders under the Paris Agreement. The Agreement intends to prevent and reduce the worst impacts of climate change, and exceeding this temperature limit is a clear signal that more urgent and ambitious action is needed.

Whilst this stark warning is a cause for concern, this month’s other news stories show that many businesses are firmly committed to change. From the halving of the UK’s carbon emissions since 1990, to Wales achieving record-breaking growth in heat pumps and solar panels, we are still seeing progress towards a more sustainable energy future.

Here’s what you need to know this month:

Global warming breaches 1.5°C limit

Global temperatures were on average 1.52°C warmer than pre-industrial levels from February 2023 to January 2024, representing the first year-long period that the 1.5°C limit – set by world leaders in 2015 under the Paris Agreement – has been exceeded1.

In this year-long period, we continued to witness frequent extreme weather events, including floods, droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires across the globe. An additional 0.5°C increase would significantly amplify the chances of crossing critical tipping points, leading to potentially irreversible changes in the climate system.

Although this record-breaking year doesn’t breach the Paris Agreement, which looks at average temperatures over a longer period of time, it’s a clear signal that more urgent effort is needed to ensure further warming is limited. Scientists emphasise that by taking immediate action to cut carbon emissions, we can still reduce the effects of climate change.

“Crossing the 1.5°C global warming limit shows that even more wide-scale, immediate action is required to combat the effects of climate change. Here at Bryt Energy, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they have a positive impact on the world they’re operating in. Many low carbon technologies required to reduce emissions in energy are not only currently available, but are becoming increasingly affordable and more widely accessible – allowing many businesses to get started on a path to net zero, now.” – Ian Brothwell, Managing Director at Bryt Energy.

What’s next?

Encouragingly, widespread awareness and support for climate action is growing across the world; a recent survey found that around two-thirds of the global population would contribute 1% of their income to help combat climate change, while almost 90% demand more climate action from their Government2.

What’s more, we are increasingly seeing action towards net zero goals. This month, for instance, the UK Government officially withdrew from the international Energy Charter Treaty – which allowed fossil fuel firms to legally challenge Governments over policies to reduce carbon emissions3. Concerns over the treaty’s alignment with modern net zero goals have led several nations, including the UK, to seek a more progressive approach.

Official statistics also show that annual carbon emissions generated in the UK have halved from 1990 to 20224. The increased uptake of renewable energy sources and the phasing out of coal, as well as the offshoring of carbon emissions from manufacturing processes, can be credited for this shift. In fact, in the early 2010s, only 7% of the electricity generated by the UK came from renewable sources like wind and solar – now, renewables make up over a third of electricity on the grid.

Meaningful progress continues towards a net zero, renewable energy future, but it’s clear that more must be done to prevent further increases in global temperatures. To learn more about the world’s first year-long breach of the key warming limit, you can click here.

New legislation implemented to improve biodiversity

The UK Government has launched its new Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) policy, which mandates that all new major development sites in England, such as solar farms, must achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity5.

The BNG policy marks the first time that biodiversity enhancement has been a planning condition, with land developers required to counteract the direct losses caused by construction activities, and ensure that their biodiversity gains are maintained for a minimum of 30 years.

The new legislation is positioned to enhance the environmental benefits tied to renewable infrastructure projects like onshore wind and solar farms, which can co-exist with wildlife under good management. In a new report looking at the environmental impact of renewable energy developments, the think tank REN21 demonstrates that healthy biodiversity can co-exist with the rapid scale-up and deployment of renewable energy sources, and concludes that the benefits of renewables significantly outweigh their potential negative impacts6.

There is also evidence that well-managed renewable infrastructure projects can even result in more or better natural habitats than before; a separate survey found that well-managed solar farms can support biodiversity and bird species that are in decline7. In fact, Statkraft, our parent company, are currently developing a new solar site that will utilise 10 hectares of new meadow grassland and over 3.5 hectares of woodland, alongside integrating other measures such as hedgehog homes and birdboxes, to enhance biodiversity at the site by 141%8.

To learn more about renewable energy and its relationship with biodiversity, you can read our fuel mix blog, here. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to comply with the new BNG legislation, a step-by-step guide is available on the UK Government’s website here.

To read REN21’s full report on the benefits of renewable projects, you can also click here.

New record achieved in solar efficiency

This month has seen a significant milestone in renewable technology, with a new global record set for the world’s most efficient solar panel9.

Surpassing the capabilities of traditional panels, British-based solar technology firm Oxford PV have developed a new solar panel with a 25% conversion efficiency; better efficiency ensures increased power generation from the same surface area, lowering the cost of electricity output and making solar energy more accessible.

The breakthrough also makes solar technology more appealing to investors and developers, helping to accelerate the COP28 goal of tripling global renewable capacity by 2030 and aiding the transition away from fossil fuels.

Solar panels have become nearly 60% more efficient since 201010, and Oxford PV envisions even greater advancements in the future – anticipating a potential maximum efficiency exceeding 43%.

With continued improvements, it’s clear that solar panels – which are becoming both more efficient and affordable over time – are playing a vital role in the ongoing global shift towards more cost-effective renewable energy.

To learn more about why solar panel technologies are important in driving the UK’s journey to net zero, you can read part three of our series of guides on ‘Navigating the Net Zero energy transition and what it means for your business’, by clicking here.

To learn more about this milestone in solar efficiency, visit here.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Premier League football clubs embrace sustainability

Premier League football clubs in England have committed to taking action on environmental issues, pledging to develop robust environmental sustainability policies by the end of the 2025/26 season11. Under new rules, clubs will need to establish comprehensive reporting of their direct and indirect carbon emissions, and collaborate in creating a standardised approach to tackling pressing sustainability issues in football, such as carbon emissions from short-haul flights.

It’s encouraging to see sustainability reporting becoming prominent across a range of sectors, with more awareness helping to drive the UK closer to its net zero ambitions.

To learn more, you can visit the Premier League’s website by clicking here.

 

West Midlands allocates £1.2 billion to propel net zero transition

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), representing 18 local councils across the West Midlands, have approved £1.2 billion of funding to help fast-track progress towards achieving net zero in the region by 204112. The budget includes funding to improve sustainable transportation systems, including a £111 million investment in tram extensions and £41 million dedicated to ‘Clean Bus’ services, as well as £200 million to upskill the local workforce. With our office located in the heart of Birmingham, it’s encouraging to see investments in more sustainable transport options across the region, helping to propel the wider transition to net zero.

For more information, visit the West Midlands Combined Authority website.

 

Financial benefits of circular economy practices for businesses

A new study has revealed that large office-based businesses in the UK can achieve substantial financial benefits by embracing simple circular economy approaches such as recycling, reducing their waste disposal costs by up to 70%13. The research found that by implementing stricter segregation practices to prevent contamination across dry mixed recyclable waste (including paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and aluminium drinks), businesses could cut their costs significantly.

In fact, the report focused on a 32-storey office in London, where identifying these interventions led to average savings of £24,000 annually. These findings reinforce not just the environmental benefits of sustainable business operations, but also the financial benefits.

If you’d like to read Bywaters’ full Circular Economy report, you can click here.

SPOTLIGHT ON RENEWABLES

Wales achieves record-breaking growth in renewable installations

MCS (The Microgeneration Certification Scheme) has reported 20,000 certified renewable installations across Welsh businesses and homes in 2023, more than doubling the installations of the previous year14. Solar panels accounted for 14,730 installations, while heat pumps saw a remarkable 147% increase from the previous year with 5,853 new installations. This record-breaking level of renewable installation is encouraging, showing a wider adoption of the low carbon technologies that will help drive the UK to a net zero future.

To learn more, you can read more in the MCS press release by clicking here.

 

Statkraft receives green light for new 50MW battery energy storage system

Statkraft, our parent company, has recently secured planning permission for its Coylton Greener Grid Park in East Ayrshire, which will work to enhance grid stability in the region15. Greener Grid Parks directly support the transition to a net zero energy system by helping to increase the amount of renewable electricity transmitted through the grid. Statkraft’s Coylton Greener Grid Park will use a 50MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to help maintain a stable voltage and frequency in the electricity grid, and support a consistent and reliable supply of renewable electricity.

You can learn more about Greener Grid Parks from Statkraft’s website, here.

 

UK Government launches initiative to boost community understanding of onshore wind projects

The UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has published the outcome of a consultation which considered improvements to the current system of community engagement and benefits of onshore wind projects in England – with an aim to reduce misconceptions and prevent delays in the development of new onshore wind projects16.

DESNZ concluded that by providing local communities with detailed case studies that showcase the community benefits of onshore wind, as well as embedding more local engagement into official planning guidance, they can encourage communities to embrace new onshore wind projects. By more actively involving communities in decision-making processes, we hope that DENSZ’s findings will support further development of onshore wind, helping the UK on its transition to net zero.

For more information on the outcome of its consultation, you can visit the Government’s website 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://climate.copernicus.eu/warmest-january-record-12-month-average-over-15degc-above-preindustrial
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-024-01925-3
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-departs-energy-charter-treaty
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-first-major-economy-to-halve-emissions
  5. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/biodiversity-net-gain
  6. https://www.ren21.net/renewable-energy-and-sustainability-report-2024/
  7. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/national_survey_finds_that_well_managed_solar_farms_can_address_loss_of_bio/
  8. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/about-statkraft-uk/where-we-operate/Locations/stargoosesolar/
  9. https://www.oxfordpv.com/news/oxford-pv-sets-new-solar-panel-efficiency-world-record-0
  10. https://www.iea.org/reports/solar-pv-global-supply-chains/executive-summary
  11. https://www.premierleague.com/news/3886937 
  12. https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/1-2bn-wmca-budget-to-help-cut-carbon-and-deliver-new-homes-jobs-and-economic-growth/
  13. https://www.bywaters.co.uk/sustainability/circular-economy-office-report
  14. https://mcsfoundation.org.uk/news/record-year-for-welsh-heat-pumps-and-solar-panels/
  15. https://projects.statkraft.co.uk/coylton/
  16. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/developing-local-partnerships-for-onshore-wind-in-england
More funds made available from UK Government for industrial decarbonisation
New consultation launched to enhance long duration energy storage investment
Report highlights benefits of diverting wasted wind energy to green hydrogen production
Spotlight on Renewables
News in Brief

This month has seen a range of developments in industrial decarbonisation, including funds available to support businesses in reducing their carbon emissions, as well as innovative ways to harness existing renewable power to help sectors that may be more challenging to decarbonise.

We’ve also seen increased Government ambition to implement long duration energy storage technologies across the UK, which could help provide the grid with much needed flexibility and support the UK’s transition to net zero.

Here’s what you need to know this month:

More funds made available from UK Government for industrial decarbonisation

The UK Government has launched the third phase of its Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), which will provide an additional £185 million between 2024 and 2028 to encourage energy-intensive businesses to invest in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies1.

The IETF works as a competition, awarding funds to winning organisations across three categories:

  • Funding for feasibility and engineering studies, helping businesses to explore energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects before deciding to invest in them.
  • Funding to make industrial processes more energy efficient by implementing new technologies.
  • Funding to deploy technologies aimed at reducing emissions from industrial activities, for instance retrofitting equipment to use low carbon hydrogen in industrial processes.

As well as already being eligible to businesses such as manufacturers, during its third phase, the IETF will be accessible to a broader range of sectors, including industrial laundries and textile renting facilities. Businesses can submit proposals to one or more of the funding categories, with applications for the next round of funding open until April 24th. For more information on applying to the IETF, you can find the Government’s website here.

The Government has also recently announced the twelve winners of its Local Industrial Decarbonisation Plan (LIDP) competition. Differing from the IETF, the Government’s LIDP fund is specifically designed to assist the decarbonisation efforts of industrial manufacturers who are not located in existing industrial clusters, with winning organisations set to share up to £6 million to develop plans to reduce their carbon emissions. Winners will also benefit from the Government’s technical support, helping them to replace inefficient equipment, transition to renewable energy sources and adopt low-carbon technologies. To see the full list winners, you can click here.

For more information on both the LIPD and IETF, you can visit the Government’s website.

New consultation launched to enhance long duration energy storage investment

The UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has estimated that deploying 20GW of new energy storage capacity between 2030 and 2050 could lead to savings of up to £24 billion for the UK’s energy system2. To meet these ambitions, they have announced a new consultation aimed at promoting investment into long duration energy storage (LDES)3.

LDES refers to a type of energy storage technology designed to store and release renewable electricity over a period of at least six hours. The scope of proposed financial support includes ‘novel’ technologies such as Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), which stores energy by compressing and storing air, ready to be released to generate electricity when demand is high. It also includes established LDES technologies such as pumped hydro storage, which works in a similar way, releasing stored water through a hydro turbine to generate renewable electricity. LDES technologies such as these are likely to play a crucial role in the UK’s transition to net zero, providing the grid with flexibility to support the integration of more renewable energy into the power mix. Despite clear benefits, the UK currently hosts just 2.8GW of active LDES capacity across four pumped hydro plants, the most recent of which was commissioned in the 1980s. This is due to the financial challenge of deploying LDES at scale – with high upfront costs and no existing revenue guarantees – which has led to a lack of long-term investments into storage technologies.

Addressing this, DESNZ has proposed to implement a cap and floor mechanism which will guarantee investors a minimum level of revenue, open to all storage projects capable of supplying a minimum of six hours of electricity (excluding lithium-ion batteries). It is proposing two streams through which projects can apply – one for established technologies, and one for novel ones. To help design this mechanism, the consultation is seeking input from all interested stakeholders, including LDES project developers, investors and network operators.

DESNZ’s consultation will be open until March 5th, 2024. If you’d like to have your say, you can learn more here.

Report highlights benefits of diverting wasted wind energy to green hydrogen production

A new report by the think tank Policy Exchange has highlighted the economic impact of wasted offshore wind power, costing the UK over £1 billion annually4.

Limitations imposed by grid capacity – primarily attributed to grid congestion and the slow deployment of storage technologies – mean that at times wind power must be curtailed or ‘turned off’, with potential renewable electricity going unused.

Despite upgrades underway to enhance grid capacity, Policy Exchange expects they could be outpaced by the development of new power sources. Instead, it suggests diverting curtailed wind power into the production of green hydrogen – a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel gas that can be produced using renewable electricity.

As a solution, Policy Exchange is recommending greater investment into electrolysers across heavily curtailed areas such as Scotland. Their research reveals that the volume of wasted wind generation in 2022 alone could have produced over 118,000 tonnes of green hydrogen. Looking ahead, that potential rises to 455,000 tonnes by 2029.

The solution has potential to aid the decarbonisation of hard to abate sectors, such as the UK’s steel manufacturing industry and, as the UK aims to expand its installed offshore wind capacity to 50GW by 2030, could help mitigate the impact of grid limitations – ensuring that wind generation does not have to be curtailed.

You can read Policy Exchange’s report here, or to learn more about new low-carbon technologies like green hydrogen that could be key to the net zero energy transition, you can read our latest e-guide by clicking here.

Spotlight on Renewables

UK sees record-breaking year for installation of rooftop solar panels

The demand for rooftop solar panels by businesses and households across the UK has reached a 12-year high5. Last year, over 180,000 installations took place, while the number of installed heat pumps increased by 25% compared to 2022, signalling growing awareness and commitment to the adoption of sustainable technologies as the UK transitions to net zero.

You can find more information here.

 

Growth in global renewable capacity increases by almost 50% in 2023

In its Renewables 2023 report, the IEA has revealed rapid expansion among solar, wind and other renewable energy sources over the past year. Last year, the world increased construction of renewable capacity by almost 50% to nearly 510GW, marking a new record for growth. This has prompted the IEA to increase its prediction for the growth of renewable capacity over the next five years – an encouraging sign of worldwide progress towards the COP28 goal of tripling global renewable energy capacity by 20306.

To learn more, you can read the IEA’s Renewables 2023 report by clicking here.

 

New consultation launched on proposed expansions to CfD scheme

The UK Government has published a new consultation seeking views on changes to its Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which supports investment into renewable electricity by guaranteeing a price per unit of electricity generated. Proposals for Allocation Round 7 (AR7) include expanding the scope of CfD to co-located generation projects, as well as repowering projects, which are aimed at recommissioning and upgrading onshore wind infrastructure7. The Government’s consultation is open to all interested stakeholders until March 7th, 2024.

To learn more about proposed changes to CfD, or to respond to the Government’s consultation, click here.

News in Brief

National Grid celebrates new grid connections in 2023

National Grid is celebrating the milestone grid connections it delivered in 2023, with notable projects including our parent company, Statkraft’s, Greener Grid Park – which will provide essential stability to help maximise the amount of renewable electricity that can be distributed through the grid8. Other milestones include connecting Dogger Bank – which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm – as well as upgrading key infrastructure to enable the electrification of trains in Wales. The connection of over 3GW of ‘clean’ electricity projects paves the way to integrate more renewables onto the grid, faster, and marks continued progress in helping the UK meet its net zero ambitions.

You can read about more of National Grid’s key connections on its website.

 

New report predicts that AI will play a greater role in corporate decarbonisation

A new report, based on a survey of 100 business sustainability leaders, predicts that developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), alongside other measures including circular procurement strategies and increased fleet electrification, will be key to corporate decarbonisation efforts this year9. Mitie, the facilities management and professional services company, have emphasised the potential significance of AI in enabling businesses to gather more frequent and efficient data on carbon emissions, facilitating faster and more effective decisions to enhance energy efficiency.

To learn more, you can read Mitie’s Net Zero Navigator 2024 report by clicking 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.gov.uk/government/news/more-support-for-industry-to-cut-emissions-and-energy-bills
  2. https://www.edie.net/long-duration-energy-storage-could-cut-24bn-from-uk-power-system-costs/
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/long-duration-electricity-storage-proposals-to-enable-investment
  4. https://policyexchange.org.uk/publication/turning-wasted-wind-into-clean-hydrogen/
  5. https://mcscertified.com/2023-a-record-breaking-year-for-mcs-and-small-scale-renewables/
  6. https://www.iea.org/reports/renewables-2023
  7. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-amendments-to-contracts-for-difference-for-allocation-round-7-and-future-rounds
  8. https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/what-we-plugged-during-2023-year-clean-energy-connections
  9. https://news.mitie.com/news/mities-net-zero-navigator-reveals-decarbonisation-predictions-for-2024
UK Government launches new consultation on Future Homes and Buildings Standards
UK Government to extend its UK Emissions Trading Scheme to 2050
Government report reveals UK manufacturing sector faces energy efficiency challenges
Spotlight on Renewables
News in Brief

In our first edition of Bryt Insight this year, we look at how the UK is continuing its journey towards net zero. From expanding and improving the UK Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme, to new standards aimed at decarbonising buildings, here’s what you need to know this month:

UK Government launches new consultation on Future Homes and Buildings Standards

The UK Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities has launched a new consultation setting out plans for achieving the Future Homes and Buildings Standards, which aim to improve the energy efficiency of new homes and non-domestic buildings1. Its proposals include a mandate to install low-carbon heat pumps and use highly insulating fabrics in the construction of all new buildings, ensuring they are ‘net zero ready’ by 2025.

The UK’s buildings, from offices to homes, contribute to around 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – making them the second largest carbon emitter behind transport2. By improving the energy efficiency of buildings, the Government hopes to reduce this overall energy usage, supporting the UK’s ongoing net zero transition. Higher building standards should also help lower heating costs, as well as creating more comfortable spaces across the UK that are easier to keep warm or cool. The consultation proposes a transitional period, granting the industry 6-12 months to adapt before new building standards take effect in 2025.

The Future Homes and Buildings Standards is also set to offer economic benefits for UK supply chains, including investments in UK heat pump manufacturing and new heating engineer jobs, potentially making the UK Europe’s largest market for heat pumps by the end of this decade.

Reforming Energy Performance Certificates

Alongside this, a recent report by Energy Systems Catapult – an independent research and technology organisation – has called for reform of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which are currently used to rate the energy efficiency of buildings3.

The report suggests that current rating metrics aren’t aligned with aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings. The EPC rating currently focuses on energy usage and running costs, favouring properties using energy efficient but carbon-intensive options – such as gas boilers – which will soon need replacing as the UK transitions towards low-carbon heating. On the other hand, similar properties with lower carbon alternatives – such as air source heat pumps – can often have a worse EPC rating. Despite this, the Government requires all non-domestic buildings to achieve EPC B rating by 2030, meaning a potential misalignment of targets.

The report recommends a shift to new metrics, including a ‘climate impact metric’ that offers a clear view of energy-related carbon emissions. The report also suggests complementing the EPC with a Smart Building Rating (SBR), which rates a building’s capacity to offer flexibility to the grid, helping to support the transition to a net zero electricity system.

To read Energy Systems Catapult’s report on EPCs, click here.

The UK Government’s consultation on its Future Homes and Buildings Standard is open to all stakeholders, and if you’d like to contribute, you can do so here until March 6th, 2024.

UK Government to extend its UK Emissions Trading Scheme to 2050

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has confirmed that the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be extended to 2050 and has released a set of proposals intending to optimise the scheme and support energy-intensive businesses to decarbonise4.

The Government’s ETS scheme acts as a cap-and-trade scheme that allocates carbon allowances to businesses, and caps the total level of greenhouse gas emissions a business can emit. This creates a market for businesses to trade and sell excess carbon allowances, which incentivises industries to limit their emissions and invest in decarbonisation initiatives. The Government has launched two consultations on proposed improvements to the scheme, which aim to promote market stability and ensure it is fit for purpose in supporting businesses in the net zero transition.

If you’d like to have your say on the Government’s ETS scheme, you can access their consultation here until March 11th, 2024.

For more updates about the Government’s ETS scheme, you can read our previous edition of Bryt Insight.

Government report reveals UK manufacturing sector faces energy efficiency challenges

A recently published report, first commissioned in 2021 by the UK Government, has suggested that costs and technical issues are key barriers hindering progress in energy efficiency across the UK’s manufacturing sector5.

Drawing insights from surveys conducted with over 1,000 UK firms, the report reveals that only 36% of manufacturing businesses monitor their energy usage, while just 11% of firms consistently monitor both their energy usage and energy efficiency. However, the report also found that 99% of large manufacturers monitor their energy usage, compared to 37% of micro manufacturers.

Financial constraints were indicated as the main barrier to enhancing site energy efficiency, with 51% of businesses surveyed citing costs hindering the implementation of necessary measures.

The Government also published a report exploring how international policies aimed at improving industrial energy efficiency should inform UK policy. It suggested that prioritising the implementation of energy efficiency measures, rather than energy consumption targets, is a more effective way to aid broader decarbonisation objectives6.

By understanding their operational data and monitoring their usage, businesses can identify opportunities for efficiencies, helping them reduce their consumption and costs whilst supporting a net zero future.

To learn more, you can read the Government’s report on energy efficiency in the UK manufacturing sector, as well as its report detailing insights from international industrial energy policy.

Spotlight on Renewables
  • Statkraft, our parent company, has acquired the Loch Ness pumped storage hydro project, which has a renewable capacity of 450MW7. When built, the hydro project will function like a battery, capturing and storing surplus renewable energy until it is needed during times of high demand. This will help to ensure stability and supply security in the UK, supporting the electricity system as it transitions away from fossil fuels. You can read Statkraft’s press release to learn more.

 

  • In 2023, electricity from fossil fuels fell to its lowest level since 1957, contributing just 35% of Britain’s total electricity production8. While only 104TWh was generated from fossil fuels, renewable sources generated 135TWh – increasing almost six-fold from the 23TWh generated in 2008 – indicating continuous progress towards decarbonising the UK’s electricity system. If you’re interested in learning more, visit Carbon Brief’s website.

 

News in Brief
  • A new forecast by the IMF has suggested that the economic benefits of the net zero transition would outweigh the costs of doing nothing10. Accelerating policies to mitigate climate change, and therefore avoiding the costs of extreme weather impacts, has been found to potentially increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 7%. To learn more, visit IMF’s blog.

 

  • The UK’s energy network operators have unveiled proposals to speed up the connection of renewable generation and storage projects to the grid, committing to deliver an additional 139GW of capacity in 202411. This is a significant target as, according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the UK must install a total of 225GW of new capacity to decarbonise its electricity grid by 203512. For more information, we dive deeper into ways to reduce grid connection delays in December’s edition of Bryt Insight.

 

  • The UK Government has unveiled plans for a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will place a carbon price on emissions-intensive goods imported to the UK. This aims to support the domestic competitiveness of UK industry and incentivise global decarbonisation efforts, particularly in countries that are currently lacking carbon pricing standards13. By 2027, imported products from sectors such as iron, steel, aluminium and cement will carry a comparable carbon price to domestically produced goods, supporting UK business while addressing carbon emissions in international trade. To learn more, visit the UK Government’s website.

 

  • A recent report has revealed a substantial increase in the UK’s energy storage project pipeline – from 50.3GW in 2022 to 84.8GW in 202314. Energy storage solutions play a vital role in the UK’s net zero energy transition, improving resilience and contributing to building a flexible grid system powered by renewables. We look at energy storage solutions, alongside other low-carbon technologies needed for a net zero future, in Part 3 of our e-guide series – ‘Navigating the Net Zero Energy Transition’ – which you can access here.

 

  • National Grid has begun to power the UK with electricity from its Viking Link, the world’s longest land and subsea electricity interconnector spanning 475 miles between the UK and Denmark15. The link will have 1.4GW of capacity by 2024, helping to hit the UK’s target for 18GW of interconnection capacity by 2030. Viking Link is set to offer significant benefits to UK consumers, including increased energy security and £500 million of cumulative savings over the next decade. Interconnectors like this will be key in the net zero energy transition, helping to balance supply and demand by enabling the efficient exchange of excess renewable energy among neighbouring countries. To learn more, visit National Grid’s website.
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.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-homes-and-buildings-standards-2023-consultation
  2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/657731b00467eb001355f50f/Future_Buildings_Standard_consultation_stage_impact_assessment.pdf
  3. https://es.catapult.org.uk/news/epcs-undermining-decarbonisation-efforts/
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-emissions-trading-scheme-long-term-pathway/the-long-term-pathway-for-the-uk-emissions-trading-scheme
  5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-efficiency-in-the-uk-manufacturing-sector
  6. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-industrial-energy-efficiency-policy-insights-for-the-uk
  7. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/2023/statkraft-to-acquire-major-loch-ness-pumped-storage-hydro-project/
  8. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-electricity-from-fossil-fuels-drops-to-lowest-level-since-1957/
  9. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/electricity-explained/electricity-and-me/great-britains-monthly-electricity-stats
  10. https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2023/12/05/benefits-of-accelerating-the-climate-transition-outweigh-the-costs
  11. https://theenergyst.com/operators-pledge-139-gw-next-year-towards-speeded-up-grid-decarbonisation/
  12. https://www.energynetworks.org/newsroom/rising-to-britains-net-zero-challenge-report
  13. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-uk-levy-to-level-carbon-pricing.
  14. https://www.renewableuk.com/news/660775/Pipeline-of-UK-energy-storage-projects-grows-by-two-thirds-over-last-12-months.htm
  15. https://www.nationalgrid.com/national-grid-announces-commercial-operations-viking-link-worlds-longest-land-and-subsea
Spotlight on COP28
DESNZ and Ofgem unveil new Grid Connections Action Plan to reduce grid connection delays
Government extends Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) for businesses and proposes new scheme for 2025
UK Government Increases Offshore Wind and Solar CfD Strike Prices
News in brief

As the year draws to a close, we’ve seen a number of energy announcements made by the UK Government, from new measures to reduce grid connection delays to an extension to the Climate Change Agreements, which reduces bills for energy-intensive industries. We’ve also been closely following developments at the 28th annual climate change summit – COP28 – which recently took place in Dubai.

Here’s what you need to know this month:

Spotlight on COP28

COP28 – the annual Conference of the Parties global climate summit – has come to a close. Following a tense fortnight of negotiations, nearly 200 nations have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels1. The Global Stocktake, which was agreed to as part of the Paris Agreement, documents the progress of countries cutting emissions and adapting to climate change, and is scheduled to be released every five years going forward. The newly agreed text, which is the first time fossil fuels have been officially acknowledged and agreed to be transitioned away from, will act as a guide for countries as they update their own commitments towards limiting the effects of climate change.

The official text calls for nations to contribute to the transition “away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science”2. Part of this agreement was a call for countries to triple renewable energy capacity globally and double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

While considered a breakthrough and a victory for the “High Ambition Coalition of Nations”, some have expressed concerns regarding the agreement’s sole focus on “energy systems”, emphasising this as a potential loophole that could be exploited by fossil fuel developers3. Critiques also highlight the agreement’s shortcomings in delivering adequate finance to facilitate decarbonisation and adaptation in developing countries.

Before the start of COP28, the Global Stocktake found that national climate action plans that were agreed to as part of the Paris Agreement remained insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C4. However, it’s hoped that the outcomes from the last few days will represent a positive step towards more urgent action and a commitment to move away from fossil fuels.

Here are some of the key outcomes from COP28:

  • Countries have agreed to contribute to the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and to take more action to address non-CO2 emissions, including methane.
  • An agreement to accelerate the investment in transitional technologies, such as low-carbon hydrogen.
  • The tripling of renewable energy will see global installed capacity reach 11,000GW by 2030 and the doubling of the global average annual rate of energy efficiency will reach 4% every year until 2030.
  • UK announcements included an £11 billion investment into Dogger Bank wind farm (planned to be the largest offshore wind farm in the world) and a £1.6 billion commitment to international climate finance projects5.
  • A “loss and damage” fund has been established to support developing countries facing the worst impacts of climate change6. Currently over $700m has been pledged to the fund.
  • Over 60 nations have signed a new voluntary “Global Cooling Pledge”, which aims to enhance the efficiency of cooling appliances and increasing access to sustainable cooling.

You can learn more about COP28 from its official website.

DESNZ and Ofgem unveil new Grid Connections Action Plan to reduce grid connection delays

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and Ofgem have unveiled their Grid Connections Action Plan, which includes plans to significantly reduce connection delays7.

As part of this plan, Ofgem have given National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) new powers to remove speculative projects lacking land rights or planning consent, unclogging the congested Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) register.

They aim to speed up connection times for more viable renewable energy projects, which will help the UK to achieve its targets of installing 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 70GW from solar by 2035.

The challenge of prolonged grid connection delays – some extending beyond a decade – affects both large and small renewable projects. By assessing 144 projects for potential delays, covering 29GW of capacity due for grid connection in the next two years, National Grid ESO are aiming to cut the average wait time from five years to only six months.

Alongside this, Ofgem have revealed a new strategy to introduce 13 Regional Energy Strategic Planners (RESPs) across the UK, aiming to accelerate the transition to net zero by improving local energy planning8. These RESPs will take a localised approach, collaborating with local Government bodies and energy networks to create roadmaps for regional energy systems that will help advance the energy transition on a local level.

To learn more about DESNZ and Ofgem’s Grid Connections Action Plan, you can read their joint press release here.

You can also click here if you’d like to learn more about Ofgem’s plan to introduce RESPs across the UK.

Government extends Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) for businesses and proposes new scheme for 2025

Following industry feedback that strongly favoured the continuation of Climate Change Agreements (CCAs), the UK Government has confirmed the extension of the CCA scheme for an additional two years9.

The scheme offers businesses in specific energy intensive sectors the opportunity to access reduced rates of Climate Change Levy (CCL), in exchange for commitments to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Under the current CCA scheme, companies engaging in ‘eligible processes’ to invest in and implement energy efficiency measures can claim up to 92% relief for the CCL element of their electricity bills, as well as 83% for gas.

Following this year’s Autumn Statement, DESNZ has also launched a consultation seeking input on a proposed separate six-year Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme, which will build upon the existing one. You can respond to this consultation until February 14th 2024, here.

To learn more about the UK Government’s CCAs, click here.

UK Government Increases Offshore Wind and Solar CfD Strike Prices

Following discussion with sector leaders across the renewable electricity industry, the UK Government has increased the maximum strike prices for offshore wind projects within its Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction scheme to £73 per MWh10.

CfD auctions are one of the Government’s main regulatory mechanisms to support investment in new renewable energy generation; they guarantee a minimum price per unit of electricity generated, providing the financial certainty needed by developers and investors.

The move aims to address concerns raised after the last CfD auction failed to attract any offshore wind bids, attributed mainly to rising supply chain costs. Following this, DESNZ conducted a review resulting in this increase for strike prices. Floating offshore wind projects will also see a rise to £176 per MWh, while the strike price for solar power has increased to £47/MWh, making solar the cheapest power source in the UK11.

Under new Government proposals, developers could also be incentivised to provide wider socio-economic benefits beyond low-cost renewable energy generation, marking a shift toward ‘non-price factors’ in CfD considerations. These will be effective from 2025, and encompass investments in local job creation, supply chain development, and sustainable manufacturing processes.

Industry experts have cautiously welcomed the changes, acknowledging their potential to restore investor confidence in the UK’s offshore wind market12.

To learn more, you can read the UK Government’s official press release here, or to respond to proposals on introducing non-price factors to the CfD scheme, click here.

News in Brief

UK Government announces £960 million investment to support ‘clean’ energy manufacturing

The UK Government has revealed a £4.5 billion financial injection aimed at empowering British manufacturers across eight sectors, including £960 million for a ‘Green Industries Growth Accelerator13. This includes investment for businesses involved in producing components for renewable electricity networks, with funding set for availability starting in 2025. Its plans aim to support the development of sustainable energy supply chains, bolstering industries such as hydrogen and offshore wind across the UK.

To learn more, you can read the UK Government’s announcement here.

 

UK Government funds new initiative to keep buildings warm using waste heat from data centres

The UK Government has awarded funding under the latest round of the Green Heat Network Fund, an initiative which will provide £65 million of funding to develop 5 new ‘green heating’ projects across England14. One of these projects, backed by a £36 million investment, will recycle waste heat from data centres into low-cost heating for over 10,000 homes and 250,000 square meters of local commercial space in London’s Hammersmith and Fulham boroughs.

The first of its kind in the UK, this initiative is an encouraging step to tackle the significant sustainability challenge posed by energy-intensive data centres. It follows last month’s launch of a new Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centres – an initiative which is engaging a spectrum of stakeholders in a collaborative effort to address this challenge. To learn more about the Green Heat Network Fund and the other projects receiving funding, you can visit the UK Government’s website.

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://unfccc.int/news/cop28-agreement-signals-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-fossil-fuel-era
  2. https://www.edie.net/cop28-new-overnight-draft-updates-wording-on-fossil-fuels-and-adaptation-as-presidency-aims-for-deal-today/
  3. https://www.carbonbrief.org/cop28-key-outcomes-agreed-at-the-un-climate-talks-in-dubai/
  4. https://unfccc.int/news/new-analysis-of-national-climate-plans-insufficient-progress-made-cop28-must-set-stage-for-immediate
  5. https://www.edie.net/cop28-rishi-sunak-unveils-plans-for-1-6bn-international-climate-spending/
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/05/countries-agree-key-measures-to-fund-most-vulnerable-to-climate-breakdown
  7. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-announces-tough-new-policy-clear-zombie-projects-and-cut-waiting-time-energy-grid-connection
  8. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-green-lights-regional-energy-planning-roles-speed-net-zero-transition
  9. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/climate-change-agreements–2
  10. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-offshore-wind-as-government-raises-maximum-prices-in-renewable-energy-auction
  11. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/cfd-solar-strike-price-increases-by-30
  12. https://www.edie.net/uk-boosts-offshore-wind-strike-price-by-two-thirds-after-crisis-talks-with-renewables-industry/
  13. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billions-of-investment-for-british-manufacturing-to-boost-economic-growth
  14. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-homes-to-be-kept-warm-by-waste-heat-from-computer-data-centres-in-uk-first
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
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
Empowering business net zero plans
Record-breaking year for the flexibility market
UK adopts international climate disclosure standards
Call to halve UK grid connection delivery timeline
Spotlight on renewables
News in Brief

It’s been a summer of exceptional climate events – but this last month has seen encouraging steps and solutions that will help the UK and businesses towards net zero. From record-breaking flexibility market milestones and new international sustainability reporting standards, to key recommendations that could halve grid connection delivery time, there is lots to discuss. Keep reading to understand what these updates could mean for your business.

Empowering business net zero plans

The UK Government has launched its Business Climate Hub, a new website with actionable insights to help businesses with their net zero transition.

Offering valuable tools and advice on how companies can reduce energy costs and emissions, the website is backed by the Net Zero Council – made up of Ministers, business leaders and finance experts aimed at driving forward the UK industry’s transition to net zero. With business and industry accounting for around 25% of the UK’s emissions, the Business Climate Hub offers tangible support for companies across all sectors, with a particular emphasis on SMEs1.

The support provided includes a carbon calculator and a variety of resources to help measure, track and report on emissions. Detailed advice covers a range of energy-related topics, such as switching to electric vehicles (EVs), installing solar panels and low-carbon heating, as well as efficient lighting solutions and training for more fuel-efficient driving.

You can explore the resources on the UK Business Climate Hub here.

As well as the Business Climate Hub, the Net Zero Council, together with the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) published business sector roadmap guidelines for reducing emissions2. The guidelines provide a framework for different sectors to tackle their specific challenges and will help businesses create tailored action plans.

The guidelines call for roadmaps to include:

  • A credible pathway to net zero
  • Robust delivery plan
  • Mechanisms for collaboration
  • Independent assessment of roadmaps

Being business-led, the Net Zero Council hope the guidelines can address the challenges that different businesses face and collectively contribute to the UK’s net zero aspirations.

To find out more about the criteria for developing a business roadmap for net zero, click here.

This comes after polling continues to show the UK public supports the country’s 2050 net zero target. A new survey shows 70% of respondents support the UK’s target of becoming net zero by 2050, compared to just 18% who oppose the goal3.

 

Record-breaking year for the flexibility market

Last year marked a turning point for the UK’s flexibility markets, as the Energy Networks Association (ENA) revealed that electricity network companies – responsible for distributing energy from where it is generated to consumers – tendered a record 4.6GW of flexible energy capacity4.

According to ENA, these figures suggest the UK is one of the biggest flexibility markets in the world. The ENA also highlighted that local flexibility services allow for energy usage to be synchronised with the needs of the system, which is crucial in supporting the net zero transition and ensuring the country maximises the use of renewable power generation.

In fact, research by Cornwall Insight shows that by embracing flexible electricity usage nationwide, the UK would avoid the need to construct four additional gas-fired power stations in 20305. This would result in cost-savings of more than £2.5 billion while reducing the need for infrastructure upgrades, saving an additional £1 billion. And from reducing costs to accessing new revenue streams, there are financial benefits for businesses prepared to participate too.

For more information, our series of guides on “Navigating the net zero energy transition” covers key considerations for businesses navigating the energy transition, steps they can take to gain control of their energy usage, and the low-carbon technologies that can help in the process. Click here to download them.

Stuart Taylor, Head of Energy Transition, Bryt Energy, said: “This is an extremely encouraging sign that more organisations are adopting flexibility within their energy strategies, as the UK continues to be one of the biggest flexibility markets in the world. We believe flexibility through optimisation is something most businesses could achieve – some may not even know it. We encourage readers to take a look at our series of brand new e-guides to understand how they can reap the benefits of optimisation.”

UK adopts international climate disclosure standards

The UK’s Department for Business and Trade has announced business climate disclosures will be based on the newly released International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) guidelines6. These were originally announced at COP26 in 2021, with the goal of developing a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability reporting criteria.

The move, which will inform the creation of the UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards, will enable businesses and corporations to report on their climate-related activities with a simpler, more streamlined process. It is also hoped this framework will make the UK more attractive to investors, who will be able to rely on a globally consistent approach when factoring a business’ sustainability-related practices into their decisions.

The UK already requires its largest listed companies, as well as private businesses with more than 500 employees and a turnover of £500 million, to disclose information on climate-related financial risks and opportunities. Currently, this is done through the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures guidelines (TCFD), which the ISSB standards are built upon. The switch to ISSB comes as the European Union has also announced the new European Sustainability Reporting Standard, which will also see ISSB alignment.

The announcement follows results of Workiva’s 2023 Global ESG Practitioner Survey, showing a growing number of sustainability managers and other professionals believe reporting will play a prominent role in driving competitiveness for their organisation7. It found 90% of respondents believe having a strong ESG reporting programme will give their organisations a competitive advantage in the next two years.

You can find out more about the survey results at this link.

Call to halve UK grid connection delivery timeline

A new report by Nick Winser, the UK’s Electricity Networks Commissioner, shows how the UK could halve the time required to build grid infrastructure8. Based on his engagement with stakeholders across the electricity transmission network between July 2022 and 2023, the report investigates how the UK can accelerate the deployment of strategic electricity transmission infrastructure to allow new renewable energy projects to connect to the grid faster.

The amount of renewable energy being generated in the UK has increased in recent years, but grid infrastructure development has not kept up. As a result, renewable generation projects can struggle to connect to the grid. This has seen more than 230GW of renewable generation projects in the connection queue, compared to around 80GW currently connected to the grid and supplying electricity across the UK.

The recommendations centre around the speedy creation of the Future System Operator (FSO) to forecast energy supply and demand. Other recommendations include establishing clear guidelines on what the benefits that communities affected by new transmission lines should receive, as well as a major review of UK engineering and technician jobs and skills.

The report’s 18 recommendations aim at speeding up connection times by initially three years, and ultimately halve it to around seven years. The findings have been welcomed by those in the wind industry, as the current delays for grid connection negatively affect the construction and operation of new wind farms.

To see what else the report recommends, click here.

Spotlight on renewables

The UK Government’s 2023 Electricity Generation Costs report has forecast that producing electricity from renewables will be 61% cheaper than using gas in 20259. This offers further evidence of the business case for renewable energy generation, highlighting the cost benefits compared to generating energy from fossil fuels.

The study forecasts that in 2025:

  • Gas prices will rise to £114 per MWh
  • Offshore and onshore wind prices will fall to £44 per MWh
  • Solar will fall to £41 per MWh.

What’s more, the parallel increase in gas prices and fall in renewable costs is set to continue over the next two decades, with solar expected to become 83% cheaper than gas by 2040.

The figures, which are the first estimates on the costs of generation published by the Government since 2020, have been welcomed by industry trade bodies, including Solar Energy UK. Its Chief Executive, Chris Hewett, said the findings were “further justification” for the Government’s target to reach 70GW of solar capacity by 203510.

To read the Electricity Generation Costs report, click here.

News in Brief
  • The UK Space Agency has announced £15 million to enhance satellite Earth Observation (EO) technologies11. These specifically target ecological services, such as meteorology, climate monitoring, and environmental management, which will look at better managing resources, responding to humanitarian disasters and protecting our environment.

 

  • A report from reinsurance group Swiss Re. revealed that natural disasters cost insurers £39 billion in losses during the first half of 202312, with a series of severe storms in the USA alone accounting for 68% of that global loss. Climate change is causing a higher frequency and intensity of severe weather events, and these figures further highlight the importance of action to reduce carbon emissions and the major cost benefits of climate adaptation.
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.gov.uk/government/news/one-stop-shop-to-help-businesses-save-money-and-go-green
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-business-sector-roadmap-guidelines
  3. https://eciu.net/analysis/polling-cards/public-embarrassed-by-politicians-that-renege-on-climate-pledges
  4. https://www.energynetworks.org/newsroom/great-britain-reaches-new-record-in-contracted-flexibility
  5. https://www.cornwall-insight.com/off-peak-electricity-use-and-home-generation-could-cut-billions-off-energy-costs/
  6. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-sustainability-disclosure-standards
  7. https://www.workiva.com/resources/2023-global-esg-practitioner-survey
  8. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-welcomes-report-on-electricity-networks-as-critical-to-britains-energy-security
  9. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electricity-generation-costs-2023
  10. https://solarenergyuk.org/news/large-scale-solar-provides-cheapest-power-says-government-report/
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-space-agency-funding-for-technologies-to-monitor-the-earth
  12. https://www.swissre.com/press-release/Severe-thunderstorms-account-for-up-to-70-of-all-insured-natural-catastrophe-losses-in-first-half-of-2023-Swiss-Re-Institute-estimates/
Businesses benefit from net zero Government funding
UK Government awarding new oil and gas licenses
Net zero transition more cost effective than relying on gas, says OBR
Resource efficiency key to ‘clean energy’ transition
UK nature’s recovery campaign
Spotlight on renewables

This summer, the impacts of climate change have been clear for us all to see. Southern Europe, China and the US have all experienced extreme heat waves, devastating wildfires have broken out across several countries, and record-breaking global temperatures have resulted in the hottest July on record1. In our oceans, the average global temperature record has been beaten for each of the last three months, and Antarctic sea ice is at a record low. Scientists have warned of the impacts the scale and pace of these changes could have on wildlife, food production, homes and health.

The unprecedented intensity of these events highlight the need for more urgent action. With the world’s media focused on the consequences of climate change, it’s time to use this attention to drive solutions forward. This month we take a look at some of the more encouraging news for business and beyond, in the world of energy and sustainability. Here’s what you need to know:

Businesses benefit from net zero Government funding

In the last month, the UK Government has awarded £80 million in funding for businesses to help them decarbonise and switch to low-carbon energy sources2. The funding supports projects across a range of industries, including food and drink, manufacturing and energy. It will see exciting innovations receive backing, including a hydrogen-heated cereal production process, thermal energy storage for low-carbon whisky distillation and renewable electricity-powered biscuit manufacturing.

Awards were given from across three separate schemes from the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP). Set up in 2021, NZIP is a £1 billion fund with 10 pots of funding for Government priority areas, including offshore wind and new technologies, which will help the UK accelerate its journey towards net zero.

In the latest funding to be announced from the NZIP projects:

  • 13 businesses in heavy-industry sectors have received a total of £52.5 million from the Industrial Fuel Switching competition. This will support development of solutions to replace fossil fuel use with alternatives such as hydrogen or biofuels.
  • Five firms have been awarded a total of £21.2 million during phase 2 of the Hydrogen BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) Innovation Programme. The projects selected help produce hydrogen from biomass and waste, such as sewage, with carbon capture.
  • 11 projects were given a total of £9.2 million through the Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) Innovation 2.0 competition, with proposals such as recycling carbon for fertiliser production.

Over the coming years, NZIP projects are set to move from concept stages to prototypes of winning projects and technologies. To find a list of NZIP schemes, including funding your business may be able to apply for, click here.

The good news continues, with UK energy regulator Ofgem approving £95.3 million funding for 10 energy network projects3 as part of its Strategic Innovation Fund. The programme has been set up to find and support innovative technologies which could accelerate the low-carbon transformation of gas and electricity networks.

Ofgem says the latest initiatives to receive backing have the “potential to be widely adopted” and cover:

  • Energy system integration, from flexibility services to better management of offshore wind generation
  • AI (artificial intelligence), which will help predict and prevent risks and faults in energy networks.

To find out more about the projects, click here.

The funding comes as 86% of organisations globally have said they plan to boost their investments in sustainability initiatives within the next year4. Honeywell’s Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) also shows nearly three-quarters of respondents cited sustainability as their top priority – an encouraging sign, with so many businesses taking action to cut their emissions. You can download the report here.

UK Government awarding new oil and gas licenses

Another key story this month was the announcement that the UK Government will be awarding more than 100 new oil and gas licenses. Despite this being a push for energy independence, the United Nations, the International Energy Agency, and the Government’s own climate advisors (CCC)5 argue that investing in new oil and gas is incompatible with reaching net zero emissions.

For more commentary on this development, visit here.

Net zero transition more cost effective than relying on gas, says OBR

Completing the transition to net zero would be cheaper in the long run for the UK than continuing its dependence on gas at the current level, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)6.

The OBR, which provides independent economic forecasts and analysis of public finances to the UK Government, says the UK is more exposed to sudden changes in global gas prices because it’s one of the most gas-dependent economies in Europe. Its latest Fiscal Risks and Sustainability report estimates that if reliance on gas remains unchanged, it could cost the UK between 2–3% of GDP annually. This would add 13% of GDP to public debt by 2050, over double the cost of completing the net zero transition by that year.

The report should help address concerns over the financial impact of the UK’s net zero policies. On top of this, the transition to renewables will also bring benefits such as improved air quality and fewer emissions compared to remaining reliant on gas.

Click here to read the full OBR report.

Resource efficiency key to ‘clean energy’ transition

The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) has published a new report on the natural resources and materials needed to meet the needs of the energy transition7.

Findings show that, under a new net zero energy system, the water needed would account for only about 2% of total global annual water consumption. For context, the figure is similar for fossil fuel extraction and power generation, and far lower than the 70% currently used for agriculture.

The ETC report also covers how the mining of raw materials would look in a future system, saying recycling will be key and will help reduce pressures on supply chains. While the energy transition will increase demand for some critical raw materials, the good news is that there are enough resources available and 95% of the materials needed (steel, aluminium and copper) can be easily recycled. And with advancing technology, recycling rates could reach up to 60% for those materials. It is hoped such innovations will also improve efficiency and ease-of-recycling for other key transition materials. such as lithium and copper.

Find out more by downloading the ETC report here.

UK nature’s recovery campaign

A coalition of 80 UK nature charities has called on all political parties to include a “five-point plan” to restore nature in their general election manifestos8. The report says the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and no political party currently has an adequate recovery plan.

Charities leading the Nature 2030 campaign include the National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the Woodland Trust. The five points call for parties to commit to:

  • Doubling the annual budget for nature-friendly farming and land management to £6 billion a year. Nature-friendly farming uses practices such as conserving water and protecting biodiversity in farming, while still producing food.
  • Introducing a ‘nature recovery obligation‘ for major economic sectors to help finance nature recovery.
  • Fulfilling the UK’s Global Biodiversity Framework 30×30 commitments to protect 30% of Earth’s lands and oceans, coastal areas and inland waters by 2030.
  • Establishing a National Nature Service, offering on-the-job training for “green” skills and investing in nature recovery projects.
  • Making access to a “clean and healthy environment” a human right, as part of an “Environmental Rights Bill”.

You can read the Nature 2030 report here.

Meanwhile, an independent audit shows UK solar farms can have a positive impact on biodiversity9. The assessments revealed 9 out of 10 farms showed positive results. Five of those achieve a biodiversity net gain when compared with the pre-existing habitat, with one recording a 280% improvement. The results show solar farms can have a positive impact on the natural environment when biodiversity is considered throughout the entire project, and comes ahead of changes to UK law. From November 2023, all projects granted planning permission in England must deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG).

The findings come after another study from Solar Energy UK, reported in June’s Bryt Insight, found that well-managed solar farms can help address the loss of biodiversity in the UK.

Spotlight on renewables

Proposals for what will be the UK’s second largest offshore wind farm has received the go-ahead from the UK Government10. Once completed, the wind farm off the Yorkshire coast will contain 180 turbines and generate 2.6GW of renewable electricity.

This positive news comes in contrast to that of another major offshore wind project, which has been paused11. The decision regarding the 1.4GW farm off the coast of Norfolk was reportedly down to pressures on supply chains and cost increases facing the offshore wind industry. Previously-announced reform plans of Contracts for Difference (CfD), a Government auction scheme which supports renewable electricity generation, could see factors such as supply chains, skills gaps and grid flexibility become part of the bids. These proposed changes add hope for the continued growth of the sector, as the UK aims to grow offshore wind capacity to 50GW by 2030.

Looking beyond the UK, renewables are expected to exceed one-third of global electricity generation for the first time by 202512. The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s latest Electricity Market Report Update shows renewable energy generation is expected to grow by 11% next year. The report also says this is enough to cover all additional electricity demand, which the IEA expects to be over 3% in 2024. In more good news, the report expects the use of fossil fuels for power generation to decline by 1.2% in the same year. To read the IEA report, click 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.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/08/july-2023-worlds-hottest-month-climate-crisis-scientists-confirm
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/80-million-boost-to-help-uk-businesses-tackle-carbon-emissions
  3. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ten-trailblazing-projects-secure-investment-ofgems-strategic-innovation-fund-sif-part-drive-decarbonise-energy-system-lowest-cost-consumers
  4. https://www.honeywell.com/us/en/company/sustainability/environmental-sustainability-index
  5. https://www.edie.net/rishi-sunak-to-give-the-go-ahead-for-100-north-sea-oil-and-gas-licences/
  6. https://obr.uk/frs/fiscal-risks-and-sustainability-july-2023/
  7. https://www.energy-transitions.org/new-report-scale-up-of-critical-materials-and-resources-required-for-energy-transition/
  8. https://www.wcl.org.uk/nature2030.asp
  9. https://www.wsp.com/en-gb/news/2023/independent-wsp-audit-of-lightsource-bp-solar-farms-shows-biodiversity-boost-around-uk-sites
  10. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hornsea-project-four-offshore-wind-farm-development-consent-order-planning-act-2008
  11. https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/vattenfall-halts-project-warns-uk-offshore-wind-targets-doubt-2023-07-20/
  12. https://www.iea.org/reports/electricity-market-report-update-2023
Rooftops can unlock UK’s solar potential
Climate Change Committee urges Government to accelerate net zero progress
Ofgem will be required to take net zero responsibility
Spotlight on renewables
News in brief

As we reach the height of the summer season, we will shine a spotlight on some of this month’s recommendations, breakthroughs and success stories for UK solar energy. We’ll also look at the stark results from the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) report to Parliament on progress towards net zero, and what they might mean for businesses. Here’s what you need to know this month:

Rooftops can unlock UK’s solar potential

The UK Government’s newly formed Solar Taskforce is urging organisations to embrace solar energy installations on sites such as offices, schools, warehouses, and car parks1. The Taskforce believes the “untapped potential” of rooftop solar installations could play a pivotal role in meeting the UK’s solar targets.

The Taskforce was set up by the Government earlier this year to help reach the UK’s target of increasing solar capacity by almost five times to 70GW by 2035. At its first meeting, the Taskforce discussed how to drive more rooftop installations, and agreed that reducing costs for businesses and households looking to install solar panels will be a priority.

Also on the agenda was the plan to publish a solar roadmap next year to outline how to reach the Government’s 2035 target. This includes plans to upskill and grow the UK’s solar workforce and secure resilient supply chains. The latter is particularly significant for UK businesses, with the Taskforce envisioning opportunities to showcase their expertise and drive innovation on the international market.

A recent study conducted by the CPRE, the Countryside Charity, also looks at the untapped potential for UK solar. The findings show the installation of solar panels on unutilised rooftops and covered car parks could unlock at least 40GW of renewable energy in England by 2035, a figure the CPRE calls for the Government to adopt as a national target2.

The CPRE report finds that, with the right investment, this potential could reach up to 117GW by 2050. Its report makes recommendations to the Government such as amending planning rules to require all new suitable buildings to have solar panels. This would involve updating regulations so that solar capacity becomes a requirement of planning permission for major refurbishments and new residential, commercial and industrial buildings. For more details, the report can be found here.

While the Solar Taskforce and CPRE are bringing attention to the potential for more rooftop installations, the UK Government has granted consent for the construction of what will be one of the country’s largest ground-mounted solar farms3. Located near Terling in Essex, Longfield Solar Farm will boast a generating capacity of up to 500MW and will incorporate battery storage and grid connection infrastructure.

It is likely that deploying both of these approaches will give the UK the best chance of reaching its 2035 target. To learn more, read the latest from the Solar Taskforce here, or read the CPRE’s report, here.

Climate Change Committee urges Government to accelerate net zero progress

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) – the Government’s independent advisor on climate change – has published its 2023 Progress Report to Parliament4, warning the UK is off-track to meet its 2050 net zero target.

The annual report gives an overview to Parliament of how prepared the Government is to reduce emissions and deliver the UK’s legally-binding net zero target based on its current policies. This year’s publication outlines a general “lack of urgency” and highlights specific areas of concern within sectors making slower progress. For example, it warned that policies for the surface transport sector – which includes road and rail – meets just 38% of the required emissions reductions needed by the mid-2030s.

The report made a total of 300 recommendations to accelerate progress, including 27 priorities which address areas such as industry, energy supply and buildings. Key recommendations that might be of interest to businesses include:

  • Providing adequate support to accelerate industrial decarbonisation.
  • Ensuring net zero is consistently prioritised through the planning system to facilitate the uptake of low-carbon infrastructure.
  • Supporting existing energy efficiency programmes with long-term guarantees or suitable replacements. For example, although the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme has been extended by two years to 2027, its longer-term future is still uncertain.
  • Publishing guidance for businesses on what activities it is appropriate to use carbon credits to offset, specifying that they can only do so to claim net zero once all possible emissions are reduced. Guidance should also encourage companies to disclose why carbon credits are used.

Kat Wilton, Head of Marketing & Sustainability, Bryt Energy, said: “The latest CCC Progress Report to Parliament is a stark reminder that more needs to be done if the UK is to keep pace with its net zero targets. The good news is the solutions and low carbon technology needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not only widely available but are also becoming increasingly affordable. What we need now is rapid action across all sectors and systems to accelerate the transition to net zero.”

Further guidance for businesses and Government has also been released with the CCC’s The Power of Partnership report. The CCC has recommended that businesses and Government collaborate to follow the “Five I’s” framework, which involves measuring emissions, investing and implementing low carbon solutions, piloting emerging technology and helping to engage and influence public action on net zero. These five business actions, under the headings of Integrity, Investment, Implementation, Innovation and Influence, should be enabled and supported through Government policy and a “net zero business partnership”5.

To find out more about the recent CCC publications, read the Progress Report to Parliament here, and the Power of Partnership report here.

Ofgem will be required to take net zero responsibility

The Energy Bill currently going through Parliament will now require energy regulator Ofgem to consider and prioritise the UK’s 2050 net zero target when making decisions. This will help ensure the UK’s energy system is aligned with the 2050 goal – for example when approving new energy projects, Ofgem could prioritise low-carbon schemes. The amendment was adopted by the Government, having been put forward following growing calls from environmental groups and businesses. Ofgem has welcomed the amendment, saying it sends “a clear message” that the UK must end its “historic dependency” on fossil fuels6. The regulator added that the move showed that net zero was the “best option” for achieving greater energy security and lower costs.

Spotlight on renewables

In further good news for solar this month, a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found solar investments are set to surpass those in oil production for the first time in history7. The “World Energy Investment 2023” report says $382 billion is set to be allocated to solar this year, versus $371 billion for oil production. In total, more than $1.7 trillion is expected to be invested in “clean energy technologies” in 2023, which includes renewables, electric vehicles, storage and heat pumps. It comes as the IEA reports in a separate study that global oil demand will reach its peak in 2028, with demand then set to decrease8. The report attributes these changes to a range of factors, including the global switch to low carbon energy sources and the increased emphasis on energy efficiency improvements. For more information, download the World Energy Investment report here, and the IEA’s Oil 2023 report here.

Despite increasing global competition, the UK has maintained its position as the fourth most attractive country for renewable energy investment, according to EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI)9. Recent positive developments have contributed to the UK holding its ranking, including:

  • an increase in the allocation for the Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round to £205 million, with the inclusion of onshore wind for the first time
  • the target of hosting 10GW of green and blue hydrogen generation capacity by 2030, with at least half being green hydrogen (a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel gas, which is made using water and an electrolyser powered by renewable electricity)
  • the proposed creation of a globally-recognised green hydrogen certification scheme by early 2025.
News in brief
  • At the IEA’s Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, policy makers from around the world endorsed the goal of doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 203010. The IEA said achieving the goal would be key to both reaching net zero emissions and meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Doubling the rate of energy efficiency investments could see benefits such as reduced energy bills and lower levels of air pollution. Global leaders hope the public sector could be a role model for improving energy efficiency and thereby encourage other sectors such as industry, service, buildings, transport and agriculture to follow suit.
  • LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report 2023 shows 33% of postings in the past year on its UK site were “green jobs” – representing the highest proportion of postings globally11. LinkedIn’s definition of “green jobs” includes roles in low-carbon sectors such as renewable energy and EV manufacturing, as well as corporate sustainability positions. Despite the positive demand, LinkedIn’s report also revealed just one in eight workers globally possess “green skills”, highlighting a need for rapid upskilling in this area. You can read the report here.
  • The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) have released figures showing that almost half of electricity in quarter one of 2023 came from renewable sources. The record share of 47.8% of total electricity generation is 2.4% higher than the same period last year, and a momentous increase from the same period in 2010 when the proportion of electricity from renewables was just 5.8%12.
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.gov.uk/government/news/untapped-potential-of-commercial-buildings-could-revolutionise-uk-solar-power

 

2. https://www.cpre.org.uk/news/rooftops-can-provide-over-half-our-solar-energy-targets-report-shows/

 

3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/longfield-solar-farm-development-consent-decision-announced

 

4. https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/2023-progress-report-to-parliament/

 

5. https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/the-power-of-partnership-unlocking-business-action-on-net-zero-expert-advisory-group/

 

6. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-welcomes-proposed-legal-mandate-prioritise-uks-2050-net-zero-target

 

7. https://www.iea.org/news/clean-energy-investment-is-extending-its-lead-over-fossil-fuels-boosted-by-energy-security-strengths

 

8. https://www.iea.org/reports/oil-2023/executive-summary

 

9. https://www.ey.com/en_gl/recai/will-local-ambition-fast-track-or-frustrate-the-global-energy-transition

 

10. https://www.iea.org/news/at-iea-conference-45-governments-endorse-goal-of-doubling-global-energy-efficiency-progress-by-2030

 

11. https://economicgraph.linkedin.com/research/global-green-skills-report

 

12. https://www.current-news.co.uk/renewables-accounted-for-almost-half-of-electricity-in-q1-2023/

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/
The latest on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme
One step closer to a net zero electricity system
World’s largest cross-border power line announced to connect wind farms to the UK
Decarbonising UK power system and heavy industries requires major low carbon energy investment
Impact of climate change on UK businesses outlined in study
Renewables in brief
News in brief

As the UK continues on its net zero journey, National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) has reached a major milestone in its aim to decarbonise the electricity transition network with its Stability Pathfinder project. Meanwhile, the announcement of a cross-border power line, which will connect the UK and Netherlands to wind farms in the North Sea, is just one of the many good news stories for renewables this month. More information on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) has also recently been released – here’s what you need to know:

The latest on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme

More details about the Energy Bills Discount Scheme have recently been announced by the UK Government.

If your business is looking to apply for the additional ‘Energy and Trade Intensive Industries’ (ETII) discount or ‘Qualifying Heating Suppliers’ discount, the Government portal to submit your applications is now live. Businesses have until 25th July 2023 to apply for these additional discounts, and can now contact support@ebds.beis.gov.uk for any support regarding the application process.

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

One step closer to a net zero electricity system

National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) has reached a major milestone on the path towards decarbonising the transmission network, with the completion of phase one of its Stability Pathfinder project1.

The project is focused on finding cost-effective ways to address stability issues in the electricity system, including tackling the loss of “inertia”, as the UK looks to reduce its reliance on gas and coal-fired power plants. Inertia is inherent in these fossil fuel-based facilities, where kinetic energy from turbines is converted into electricity; These large turbines store enough inertia to dampen the effects of sudden fluctuations of power, making it vital for the stability of the grid. As the UK aims to move away from fossil fuel power stations with this type of ‘built-in stability’ and towards renewables where there is a lack of inertia, ESO is trialling other ways to keep the grid frequency stable.

During phase one of the Stability Pathfinder project, work was completed on 12 “synchronous compensator” units; these are rotating stabilisers, capable of providing inertia to the grid in place of fossil fuelled power stations. Over their lifetime, National Grid ESO expects the 12 units to reduce CO2 emissions by around 6 million tonnes and save energy users £128 million1.

As National Grid ESO explain, “By separating inertia generation from the process of generating electricity we can also improve the flexibility of the network, allowing more renewables to operate at any given time”.

Statkraft, our parent company and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has been part of phase one, supporting National Grid ESO’s decarbonisation targets with the development of two Greener Grid Parks, in Liverpool and Moray in Scotland.

Statkraft’s Head of Greener Grid Parks, Guy Nicholson, said: “Achieving a renewable powered net-zero electricity system is now within our reach, and with five further grid stability projects under development in England, Scotland and Wales, Statkraft will continue to play a leading role in making it happen.”

You can find out more about Statkraft’s Greener Grid Parks by clicking here.

World’s largest cross-border power line announced to connect wind farms to the UK

Ministers in the UK and the Netherlands have announced a multi-purpose interconnector (MPI) that will enable 1.8GW of renewable electricity to be carried between wind farms in the North Sea and the two countries2.

The power line, called LionLink, will connect the UK and Netherlands to each other and at the same time to offshore wind farms in the North Sea. It aims to provide a reliable, affordable and secure source of power for businesses and homes, as well as help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets by increasing access to renewable energy.

The project is being developed by the National Grid and Dutch electricity network TenneT, and plans to be operational by the early 2030s.

This new project comes after separate announcements from the National Grid and the Government offshore wind champion, Tim Pick, to improve grid connections and infrastructure. In its “Great Grid Upgrade”, National Grid said it was aiming to build significant new infrastructure across England and Wales, which will move more renewable energy from “where it is generated to where it is needed”3. It called the plans “the largest overhaul of the grid in generations”, adding it would help the UK meet its net zero ambitions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. More information about the plans can be found here.

Government offshore wind champion, Tim Pick, has also called for accelerated grid upgrades and improved connection times to achieve the full potential of the UK’s wind sector4. His independent report, “Seizing our Opportunities”, recommends several measures, including reforming the connections queue process, accelerating work to increase the grid’s physical capacity, and giving energy regulator Ofgem powers to support the UK’s net zero transition.

To read the report, click here.

Decarbonising UK power system and heavy industries requires major low carbon energy investment

A predicted 200GW of low carbon energy infrastructure must be invested in within the next 12 years to decarbonise power and end heavy industry’s reliance on costly fossil fuels, according to a new report5.

The report has been published by the Aldersgate Group – a multi-stakeholder alliance which champions a competitive and environmentally sustainable economy. It warns that current policy delivery is not moving at the pace required to meet the UK’s target of decarbonising the power system by 2035 – but does offer hope.

The report emphasises how substantial decarbonisation of heavy-industrial sectors such as cement, glass, steel and chemicals, is an essential part of both meeting the target and remaining internationally competitive.

It also makes 15 recommendations to the Government on policy priorities for both power system decarbonisation and industrial electrification, including:

  • Making it quicker and easier to connect low carbon energy projects to the grid, including upgrades to industrial networks.
  • Developing the regulatory framework to enhance investment in network capacity.
  • Collaborating across heavy industry, with Government and Ofgem part of the process, to efficiently construct necessary grid infrastructure.
  • Simplifying the planning process for low-carbon projects and scaling up workforce to manage the increased demand.
  • Extending and improving the Contracts for Difference scheme to support greater diversity in renewable energy.

The report says the actions would give the Government the opportunity to create a long-term future for more sustainable heavy industry sectors, as well as accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

You can read the Aldersgate Group report here.

Impact of climate change on UK businesses outlined in study

In a study of more than 1,500 UK business decision makers, half say their companies have already been impacted by the effects of climate change, and nearly three quarters are concerned about its impact over the next decade.

The research6 shows four in 10 respondents had spent money on taking steps towards mitigating the impact of climate change, and encouragingly, more than half planned to over the next two years.

The most common actions of businesses planning to protect themselves against climate change include:

  • Committing to reduce carbon emissions
  • Reviewing their insurance policies
  • Setting a net zero target
  • Investing in low-carbon technologies

The study also showed the approaches businesses are already taking to reduce their wider impact, such as reducing paper use, using renewable energy, and switching to automatic lighting and LED bulbs.

Read more about the report and reactions from businesses, here.

Renewables in brief

The UK recorded a 23% increase in wind generation capacity last year, according to the latest Global Electricity Review by energy think-tank Ember7. This led to a year-on-year rise of 15TWh, described in the report as a “significant increase”. Wind power now accounts for a quarter of generation in the UK – an encouraging step towards the UK’s net zero target.

It’s also been a good-news month for Scottish renewables, as Scottish Water has switched on nearly 8,500 ground-mounted solar panels8. The £5 million installation at its East Dunbartonshire site will provide 19% of the site’s electricity needs, generating 4.45 GWh of energy every year. Scottish Water says the investment will save around 1,100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, a positive movement towards Scotland’s net zero target for 2045, which is five years before the rest of the UK.

Meanwhile, another project that will go towards this target is Scotland’s first floating solar array, set to be installed later this year9 after receiving a £6.4 million grant from the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our parent company, Statkraft, is also developing floating solar panels at the Banja hydropower plant in Albania10. In addition to generating renewable energy, this research and development project also serves to help understand the potential benefits of this technology.

News in brief
  • Businesses are being urged to report their plastic production and use for the first time through CDP’s (Carbon Disclosure Project’s) global environmental disclosure system11. CDP, which assesses companies on a number of environmental factors, is encouraging companies in packaging, fashion and food industries to be the first to use the function. It requires companies to categorise their plastics use into packaging, polymers, and durable plastics categories. It’s hoped the move will encourage businesses to better understand how they contribute to plastic pollution. For more information, including tools to support businesses with plastic disclosure, click here.

 

  • Energy regulator Ofgem could be legally required to assist in delivering net zero, after members of the House of Lords passed an amendment during its third reading of the Energy Security Bill12. The amendment was put forward after energy trade associations expressed concerns over the extent of powers Ofgem has to deliver net zero. It will be considered by MPs in the Commons this month.

 

  • As leaders prepare to meet at the G7 Summit in Japan this month, the We Mean Business Coalition of business leaders has written to G7 ministers calling on them to deliver commitments to phase out coal fired power by 2030 and decarbonised power grids by 203513. The letter says businesses are ready to deploy solutions needed for the energy transition, but need supportive policies, investments and timelines to do so at the speed required. The coalition also called for G7 leaders to rapidly scale up renewable generation and make sure that by 2035 all new vehicle sales are zero emissions. They also want to see that the 2016 G7 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 is being delivered.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/first-phase-stability-pathfinders-delivered
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/worlds-largest-of-its-kind-power-line-to-deliver-clean-power-to-18m-uk-homes-and-boost-energy-security
  3. https://www.nationalgrid.com/national-grid-launches-largest-overhaul-grid-generations
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accelerating-deployment-of-offshore-wind-farms-uk-offshore-wind-champion-recommendations
  5. https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/publications/post/a-zero-carbon-power-grid-and-the-electrification-of-heavy-industry-how-to-deliver-on-a-twin-challenge/?origin=/publication/type/reports-and-briefings/
  6. https://www.ajg.com/uk/news-and-insights/2023/april/half-of-uk-businesses-already-impacted-by-climate-change/
  7. https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/global-electricity-review-2023/
  8. https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/About-Us/News-and-Views/2023/04/260423-Solar-Giant-Switched-on-in-East-Dunbartonshire
  9. https://www.gov.scot/news/floating-solar-panels-ready-in-first-for-scotland/
  10. https://www.statkraft.com/newsroom/news-and-stories/2023/statkraft-completes-construction-of-first-rd-floating-solar-plant-in-albania/
  11. https://www.cdp.net/en/articles/media/cdps-environmental-disclosure-system-opens-for-reporting-on-plastics-for-first-time-at-request-of-investors-with-us130-trillion-in-assets
  12. https://www.current-news.co.uk/energy-bill-amendment-grants-ofgem-net-zero-mandate/
  13. https://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/blog/we-mean-business-coalition-letter-to-g7-ministers/
The latest on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme
Call for urgent action in latest IPCC report
UK Government announces “Powering Up Britain” and Budget plans
Spotlight on Renewables
News in brief

We’ve now had time to digest a range of major climate and energy announcements made during the last month. This edition of Bryt Insight looks at what your business needs to know from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s summary report, as well as the UK Government’s Spring Budget and Powering Up Britain policy announcements on energy security and net zero. The headlines are stark, and require swift and robust action to reduce the impacts of climate change – but there is hope, with solutions already widely available. We also look at the latest updates on the Government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme – here’s what it all means for businesses:

The latest on the Energy Bills Discount Scheme

The UK Government has recently released more details around the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS). Set to come into effect on 26th April 2023, EBDS will (retrospectively) run from 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024, to help support businesses with the cost of wholesale energy for an additional 12 months.

The scheme also includes additional support through the ‘Energy and Trade Intensive Industries’ and ‘Qualifying Heating Suppliers’ discounts. Take a read of everything we know so far about the scheme, and what it could mean for your business, in our latest blog.

You can also find our comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions about EBDS on our website, here.

Call for urgent action in latest IPCC report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its latest summary report, with scientists warning “there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity” to “secure a liveable and sustainable future for all1. Some of the impacts of global warming are now unavoidable, with every temperature increment increase leading to more extreme climate changes. The report says the world is not yet on track to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting warming to 1.5°C, or well below 2°C, above pre-industrial levels.

Although the warnings are stark, scientists make clear that “multiple, feasible and effective options” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are “available now” and increasingly affordable, but rapid action across all sectors and systems is needed.

The report pulls together key findings from recent IPCC assessments and presents policymakers around the world with updated recommendations. These findings include:

  • The global temperature has already increased by 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. It is now likely to reach and exceed 1.5°C between 2030 and 2035, but it is possible for temperatures to fall below this again with immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Calls for widespread adoption of innovative low-carbon technologies – such as wind turbines, solar panels, and carbon capture and storage. These solutions are not only widely available but in many cases, are also rapidly falling in cost. As well as helping individual businesses with their own energy transition, these solutions will contribute to the required large-scale investment and deployment of renewable energy.
  • Calls for a “substantial” reduction in the overall use of fossil fuels, as well as a shift in how we use energy. This should include decreasing our energy demand as well as optimising what we do use to become more efficient. The report also emphasises the need for greater integration across the energy system, which would see players across the industry working more closely together on the planning and operation of the system as a whole.
  • More ambitious pledges and swifter action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with UN Secretary General, António Guterres, calling on all countries to bring their net zero plans forward by a decade.

Although the findings and recommendations are largely aimed at Governments, action involves everyone, from businesses to individuals.

“At Bryt Energy, we echo the sentiments of the report – that it is not too late to act. The report makes clear that a massive increase in renewable energy investment is critical to tackling the climate crisis. What’s more, the solutions and low carbon technologies needed to reduce emissions are already available and becoming increasingly affordable for businesses who want to accelerate their net zero journey, now.” – Ian Brothwell, Managing Director at Bryt Energy.

Our parent company, Statkraft, also reacted to the report, saying: “The report gives a bleak picture of the consequences from climate change and the state of global climate action, but it also gives room for hope as we have the technologies and the know-how needed for rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.” – Barbara Flesche, Executive Vice President for Europe, Statkraft.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has published its Delivering a reliable decarbonised power system report, outlining the steps needed to support the energy industry’s journey to net zero2. Like the IPCC summary report, the CCC makes its own clear warning that the UK is not currently on track to meet its climate commitments. It does, however, say the UK can build a resilient decarbonised energy system by 2035 if policymakers act now to accelerate the delivery and deployment of renewable generation and infrastructure. Launching the report, Committee Chair Lord Deben said the offer of cheap, decarbonised electricity was now within reach for every business and that renewables were “cost effective, reliable and secure”.

Both the IPCC and the CCC reports detail that – despite the need for rapid Government-level intervention – tools and technologies are available now to enable businesses to play their part in the energy transition.

For full details, you can read the IPCC report here and the CCC report here.

UK Government announces “Powering Up Britain” and Budget plans

A wide range of new and updated plans to increase energy security, lower energy costs and reach net zero emissions have been announced by the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero3. The “Powering Up Britain” policy paper includes both net zero growth and energy security plans. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • The Government intends to increase its solar power capacity fivefold to 70GW by 2035. The Government will set up a taskforce to deliver this ambition, accepting the recommendations from the net zero review published earlier this year by Chris Skidmore, covered in February’s Insight.
  • A review of the planning process will take place to encourage more onshore wind farms and speed up the building of offshore wind and solar infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) has also been announced. This will provide £160 million to kick start investment in port infrastructure projects needed to deliver the floating offshore wind ambitions.
  • Support for businesses to invest and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles – with the specific details of this help to follow. Meanwhile, local authorities will receive £380 million funding to boost EV charging points and infrastructure across the country.
  • A £30 million Heat Pump Investment Accelerator will help leverage up to £270 million of private investment to boost UK manufacturing and support the commitment to install more than 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. Additionally, financial support will be extended to 2028 to facilitate the continued growth of low carbon heat networks, including £220 million for the Heat Network Transformation Programme.
  • Confirmation of £240 million funding for the first winners of the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. This aims to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production projects this decade. Our parent company, Statkraft, is one of the companies to have been awarded funding, which will go towards its Trecwn Green Energy Hub, that will produce green hydrogen in Pembrokeshire, Wales4.

Meanwhile, in his first Spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made some important announcements for energy and renewables that will be of interest to businesses5, including:

  • The Extension of the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme for two years. This means businesses who qualify for the scheme will continue to be eligible for a discount on the Climate Change Levy, a tax added to energy bills, if they meet agreed efficiency or emission reduction targets.
  • The announcement of capital allowances. One is a “full expensing” allowance, enabling businesses to deduct 100% of the costs on qualifying plant and machinery from their profits before paying tax. This is to encourage investment in new, generally more energy and water-efficient technology and equipment. This includes computers, vans, lorries and tractors, warehouse and construction equipment, and tools. Another is a 50% “first-year allowance” has also been announced for special rate and long-life assets – equipment with an expected business life of 25+ years. 
  • A £20 billion support package for the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
Spotlight on Renewables

In other news, a proposed 1.5GW pumped hydro storage facility in Scotland has received a £100 million boost6. Coire Glas, on the shores of Loch Lochy, would more than double Britain’s existing electricity storage capacity. The project received planning permission from the Scottish Government three years ago but is expected to require a £1.6 billion capital investment to construct and would require final approval. The latest investment is seen as a significant milestone on the journey to delivering the project.

Following on from last month’s Bryt Insight, there has been more progress on sustainable wind turbine blades – which have previously been difficult to recycle or reuse. The UK offshore wind project, which is being built off the North East coast, will deploy recyclable blades on nearly half of its turbines to begin with7. The agreement with manufacturer Siemens Gamesa will see 132 individual recyclable blades installed at the 1.4GW wind farm.

News in brief
  • Responses to the UK Government’s Review of Electricity Market Arrangement (REMA) consultation show 80% of businesses from across the energy industry feel the current energy market is not fit for purpose8. The Government will now move on to a second consultation later this year to investigate options for reforming market arrangements in the UK. These include how to support the “significant investment” needed in new low carbon electricity generation, as well as how to deliver flexibility technologies.

 

  • After 10 years of negotiations, the United Nations has reached an agreement to protect 30% of the world’s high seas by 20309. Before the “High Seas Treaty” was agreed in New York, just 1% of international waters were protected, leaving marine species at risk. The treaty will therefore safeguard biodiversity and also help achieve the global goal of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 – a goal agreed at the COP15 biodiversity conference.

 

  • A new campaign has been launched by the Government to help UK businesses become more energy efficient and reduce costs10. Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in particular, the campaign will offer guidance on simple measures organisations can put into place that could make significant savings in both energy usage and costs. You can access the energy efficiency advice 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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-cycle/

2: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/delivering-a-reliable-decarbonised-power-system/

3: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shapps-sets-out-plans-to-drive-multi-billion-pound-investment-in-energy-revolution

4: https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/2023/trecwn-green-hydrogen-project-awarded-funding-from-uk-government/

5: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spring-budget-2023/spring-budget-2023-html

6: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-65015217

7: https://www.rwe.com/en/press/rwe-offshore-wind-gmbh/2023-03-09-rwes-sofia-offshore-wind-farm-to-use-recyclable-blades/

8: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-electricity-market-arrangements

9: https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/03/1134157

10: https://businessenergyefficiency.campaign.gov.uk/

Energy Market Update
Business priorities for newly-created energy department
Taskforce launched to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings and industry
Energy storage vital for renewable future
Guides launched to boost sustainability knowledge
Spotlight on renewables
Companies leading the way on net zero contributing £71 billion to UK economy
News in brief

From the UK Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) ending in March, to changes from the Targeted Charging Review coming into effect alongside the removal of Guarantee of Origin certificates (GoOs) from April, there’s a lot happening in the energy industry. We’ve summarised the main things you and your business need to know, to help you navigate these changes.

Read on to learn more about the changing energy market, as well as the latest in the world of renewables and sustainability.

Energy Market Update

Energy Bills Discount Scheme

With the UK Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) coming to an end in March, it is important to begin planning ahead. The Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) will replace the scheme, running from 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024, to help support businesses with the cost of wholesale energy for an additional 12 months.

Eligible non-domestic consumers will receive a per-unit discount to their electricity bills during the 12-month period, subject to a maximum discount, and those in energy and trade intensive sectors are set to receive a higher level of support.

However, it should be noted that there will be a reduction in the level of support for businesses facing high energy costs, and for many eligible businesses the discount looks likely to fall below 2p per kWh.

The full details are yet to be announced, but we’ll be updating customers when we can. In the meantime, we’ll be sharing any further information on our website.

 

The Targeted Charging Review

April will also see changes related to Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR) come into effect. The TCR has established a new system by which network owners charge energy customers for the use of the electricity networks in the UK, replacing a Triad consumption-based system for a banding-based daily charging system.

Changes to the Distribution Use of System (DUoS) tariffs went live in April 2022 and, following some delays, changes to the Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) tariffs will come into effect from April 2023.

We look at how upcoming changes to the TNUoS charges could impact businesses, especially Bryt Energy customers, in our latest article.

 

Guarantees of Origin Certificates

Another change to be aware of is that, from April 1st 2023, the UK will no longer recognise EU Guarantees of Origin (GoO) certificates.

European GoOs are certificates purchased by electricity suppliers as proof that the electricity supplied to their customers has been matched with verified, renewable sources. With GoOs no longer being recognised from this April, we discuss what this change could mean to your business, and how we’ve prepared to support our customers, in our blog.

Business priorities for newly-created energy department

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, launched last month, has published its list of “priority outcomes”1. Echoed by Secretary Grant Shapps in a recent speech2, the priorities signal a clear focus on decarbonisation, energy independence and economic growth.  The list includes:

  • Ensuring energy supply security to help bring down energy bills
  • Making sure the UK is on track to meet its net zero commitments by accelerating the delivery of network infrastructure and domestic energy production
  • Improving the energy efficiency of non-domestic buildings and homes, to help meet the 15% national demand reduction target
  • Developing options for long-term reform to improve how the electricity market works
  • Seizing the economic benefits of net zero – including jobs and growth in “green industries”
  • Passing the Energy Security Bill to support the hydrogen sector and new carbon capture technologies, as well as reducing the time taken to approve offshore wind.

The department will also be charged with delivering current schemes, such as the EBDS discussed above.

In last month’s Bryt Insight we discussed the net zero review, which contained 129 recommendations to help the UK Government deliver a “pro-business” pathway to net zero. The new department will be responsible for reviewing and implementing these recommendations. These include creating a roadmap for net zero technology as well as reviewing the tax system to see how it could better incentivise decarbonisation.

Taskforce launched to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings and industry

Measures to help businesses use less energy will be one of the key focuses of the UK Government’s newly-launched Energy Efficiency Taskforce3.

The Taskforce was announced last November at the Autumn Statement and launched last month. It has been tasked with finding ways to reduce national energy consumption by 15% from 2021 levels by 2030 across industrial processes, as well as commercial and residential buildings. Its brief includes contributing to the design and allocation of future funding schemes.

NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose will co-chair the Taskforce with Lord Callanan, who is currently Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Energy storage vital for renewable future

The case for wider energy storage and optimisation has been strengthened after figures showed the UK had 1.35TWh of excess wind capacity curtailed between October 2022 and January this year4.

The additional wind energy would have been enough to power 1.2 million homes and coincided with a winter period in which the UK imported more than £60 billion of gas. This shows just how much of an impact nationwide energy storage and optimisation could have on the UK’s energy use and mix.

Meanwhile, the importance of battery storage to the energy transition was also recognised with a strong set of results in the UK’s capacity auctions for 2023.

The UK’s Capacity Market, which incentivises providers through payments set at auctions to keep electricity resources ready to help meet the country’s security of electricity supply, concluded its 2023 auctions late last month. In the T-4 (four years ahead) auction, battery storage won 1.29GW of the 46.03GW of total awarded contracts5. It followed the T-1 (one year ahead) auction where battery storage secured 627MW out of the total 5.78GW awarded6.

Both auctions saw year-on-year increases in contracts awarded to battery storage – a huge vote of confidence in its importance to the UK’s net zero transition.

Guides launched to boost sustainability knowledge

A suite of introductory-level learning resources, designed by the UK Green Building Council to build business knowledge and confidence on sustainability topics, has been launched7.

The bitesize guides cover topics such as Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Net Zero Carbon Buildings and Infrastructure. Although some topics are tailored for property and construction sector workers, the explainers are useful for all professionals looking to play their part in the net zero transition. You can access the guides here.

Spotlight on renewables

Last year saw the record for new UK offshore wind capacity “smashed”, according to new research published by RenewableUK8. It says three major offshore wind projects went fully operational in 2022, adding 3.2GW of new capacity – enough to power 3.2 million homes. This broke the previous annual record of 2.1GW set in 2018, and was significantly higher than the 48MW commissioned in 2021.

There is also more good news for UK offshore wind, with the pipeline of projects at all stages of development about to hit 100GW9, according to RenewableUK’s Energy Pulse. It added that the UK retains the second largest offshore wind pipeline globally, accounting for 8.5% of the world’s 1,174GW total.

In other positive news for wind, turbine blades could be reused instead of ending up in landfill, thanks to a new solution unveiled by manufacturer Vestas10. A newly discovered chemical technology, which breaks down hard-to-recycle epoxy resin used in blades, can be applied to those currently in operation, meaning they can be disassembled and reused. It’s encouraging to see sustainability options now available and a huge boost to the industry, which had been searching for a solution to avoid thousands of epoxy-based blades from ending up in landfill.

Companies leading the way on net zero contributing £71 billion to UK economy

Almost 20,000 UK businesses are operating within the net zero economy and adding £71 billion (3.7%) to UK gross value added (GVA) – a measure of the value of goods and services produced11.

The report by CBI Economics and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), Mapping the net zero economy, adds that these businesses are also supporting 840,000 jobs.

These figures demonstrate the potential value of the net zero transition, and its benefits to the UK economy as a whole.

News in brief
  • The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) remained below pre-pandemic levels in 2021 according to official figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)12. However, the 427 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) was up 5% on the 2020 figure – with the Government saying the easing of COVID-19 restrictions had a significant impact. The rise illustrates that there is still work to be done for businesses coming out of the pandemic to re-evaluate their energy usage and optimise their operations. For more information about the benefits of optimisation to your business, click here.

 

  • The Government has awarded £12.4 million to 22 projects across energy-intensive industries to help them cut their emissions – something which will be vital to hitting the UK’s net zero 2050 target13. The latest round of grants from the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) have been awarded to businesses across a range of key sub-sectors, including companies producing tarmac, lightweight vehicles and food. You can find out more about the IETF application process, by clicking here.

 

  • Employees would leave businesses that fail to showcase strong social and environmental values, according to research from former Unilever chief executive Paul Polman. The Net Positive Employee Barometer14, launched last month, surveyed more than 4,000 workers across the UK and USA. It found 68% of UK employees are not currently satisfied with corporate efforts to improve societal wellbeing and the environment. The report also described an era of “conscious quitting”, finding 45% of respondents would consider resigning if the company’s values did not align with their own, and 35% had resigned from another job for this reason. It shows most people want to work in companies that have a positive impact on the world – a belief we share. Our 2022 Bryt by Nature report shows how we work to make Bryt Energy a positive, diverse and inclusive place to work, including initiatives such as paying a Living Wage and offering sustainable travel polices to staff. And we are seeing the impact of these initiatives, with 98% of our employees saying they are committed to our sustainability journey in our 2022 employee survey.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-government-deliver-for-the-british-people/making-government-deliver-for-the-british-people-html
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chatham-house-speech-on-greater-energy-independence
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/alison-rose-appointed-to-help-accelerate-energy-efficiency
  4. https://electricalreview.co.uk/2023/02/09/uks-lack-of-energy-storage-meant-1-35twh-of-renewable-energy-was-lost/
  5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capacity-market-auction-auction-monitor-report-for-t-4-auction-for-2026-to-2027
  6. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capacity-market-auction-auction-monitor-report-for-t-1-auction-for-2023-to-2024
  7. https://www.ukgbc.org/news/ukgbc-launches-new-series-of-bitesize-learning-resources-to-accelerate-sustainability-knowledge/
  8. https://www.renewableuk.com/news/630636/Only-two-turbines-installed-in-England-last-year-while-new-UK-offshore-wind-capacity-hit-new-record.htm
  9. https://www.renewableuk.com/news/632004/UK-offshore-wind-pipeline-reaches-nearly-100-gigawatts—while-global-pipeline-hits-over-1100GW-.htm
  10. https://www.vestas.com/en/media/company-news/2023/vestas-unveils-circularity-solution-to-end-landfill-for-c3710818
  11. https://eciu.net/analysis/reports/2023/mapping-the-uk-net-zero-economy
  12. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-1990-to-2021
  13. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/energy-intensive-industries-given-12-million-boost-to-cut-emissions-and-costs
  14. https://www.paulpolman.com/conscious-quitting-has-arrived/
Recommendations for a “pro-business” net zero transition
Have your say on energy supply security proposals
Potential of EV smart charging to be unlocked
First live Demand Flexibility Service event a success
Spotlight on renewables
News in brief

As the UK continues to work towards reaching net zero by 2050, an independent review has been published looking into the opportunities the transition could bring to businesses. In this extended edition of Bryt Insight, we take a look at what the review’s recommendations mean for your business.

The last month has also seen progress towards the UK’s renewable ambitions, as well as a historic first live event for the Demand Flexibility Service. Here’s what you need to know: 

Recommendations for a “pro-business” net zero transition

The independent net zero review, Mission Zero, has been published by MP Chris Skidmore, to explore the best ways to maximise business and economic growth whilst working towards the net zero target. 

Commissioned last September, the review involved engaging with businesses, the public and climate experts and resulted in 129 recommendations for the Government1. 

From this, Mr Skidmore urged ministers to grasp the “historic opportunity” that net zero presents, saying that the UK should be proud of the lead it has taken in tackling climate change. The review however states the importance of the Government supporting businesses, describing them as “critical” to the net zero transition. He adds that “their investment and innovation will bring low carbon technology to the mass market. They will drive many of the benefits we will all experience from net zero, not least economic growth”. 

The review is split into two parts – with the first explaining the opportunity and benefits to business, individuals and the economy as a whole, and the second outlining how this can be achieved. 

The review recommends the Government should consider the following to support businesses: 

  • Reviewing business incentives to invest in decarbonisation 

The Government should review how the Treasury incentivises businesses to invest in decarbonisation and improve energy efficiency. This could be through the tax system, business rate reform or capital allowances, helping to remove potential financial barriers to adopting carbon reduction programmes. 

 

  • Providing clarity on the future of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) 

The review recognises that the UK’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – a cap and trade scheme which caps the total level of greenhouse gas emissions a business can emit – provides a clear incentive for businesses to invest in decarbonisation. The review points out that the cap only runs until 2030, and having no plan for beyond that date is contributing to delays in investments. It says the UK Government should work with the rest of the ETS Authority – which also includes the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – to develop a pathway for the scheme to 2040. This would provide clarity and certainty to businesses’ future decarbonisation strategies.  

 

  • Building the skills needed for the net zero transition 

The delivery of previous Government recommendations and commitments set out in the Green Jobs Taskforce and the 2021 Net Zero Strategy should be driven forward, with regular reporting on progress made. These included targets, training and provisions for “green” skills and jobs. 

The report also recommends further support for businesses taking on apprentices, and suggests training courses related to net zero should be accelerated to rapidly upskill and retrain the existing workforce. 

For small and medium-sized businesses, a Help to Grow Green campaign should be launched to offer information resources and vouchers to help them plan and invest in the net zero transition. 

 

  • Recognising businesses’ sustainability efforts 

A “Net zero charter mark” is proposed to recognise the efforts of businesses that are decarbonising their operations and supply chains. Not only would this promote a firm’s carbon credentials, it would also give investors and other stakeholders confidence in how a business is progressing towards net zero.  

 

  • Protecting industrial businesses from environmental undercutting 

Progress should be made on the Government consultation on a range of ‘carbon leakage’ mitigation options. Carbon leakage occurs when operations – and their associated emissions – are transferred across jurisdictions to countries with less ambitious carbon policies, which can lead to a net increase in global emissions. As the UK’s generally more ambitious climate targets and policies can often bring higher carbon prices, the Government is looking at measures such as a carbon border adjustment mechanism which could help level the playing field for British industry against their international counterparts. For energy-intensive businesses, this could reverse the risk that carbon leakage currently poses to growth in the UK, preventing the ‘offshoring’ of production and jobs. 

 

These are just some of the review’s 129 recommendations, which shows the scale of the opportunity the Government and businesses have. To learn more, you can read the full review here. 

Ian Brothwell, Managing Director at Bryt Energy, said: “This review is a comprehensive action plan for the Government to take notice of. It reflects the fact businesses are absolutely critical in driving the net zero transition and, by working collaboratively with the right support, this goal is firmly within our grasp. We join the report’s authors in urging ministers to grab the ‘historic opportunity’ offered by net zero, and to use the UK’s leading position in tackling climate change to its full potential.” 

Have your say on energy supply security proposals

Businesses are being given the opportunity to comment on plans to modernise the Capacity Market – a key aspect of the UK’s electricity security – which would see the mechanism strengthened and provide greater alignment with the net zero transition2.

Launched in 2014, the Capacity Market is used to ensure the security of electricity supply to meet the country’s demand. By payment through auctions, providers are incentivised to keep capacity resources ready to generate or reduce electricity when needed. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (we discuss their recent disbanding in our ‘News in brief’) has said the Capacity Market now needs reforming to reflect the changes seen in the UK’s energy mix since then, as well as to support future decarbonisation plans. 

Changes would provide greater clarity for investors around the net zero transition, prepare for the adoption of renewable energy technologies and significantly tighten the emissions limits on fossil fuel plants by the middle of the 2030s. 

If you are interested in having your say, you can take part in the consultation, which runs until March 3rd 2023, by clicking here. 

Potential of EV smart charging to be unlocked

The Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan has been published by the UK Government and watchdog Ofgem3, which would see a more efficient charging system widely implemented. 

The plan sets out steps being taken to provide more support for smart charging – which intelligently optimises the charging process, for example, to enable users to top-up Electric Vehicles (EVs) when electricity is cheaper or the carbon intensity of the grid is lower. The Government wants to make it the preferred method of long duration charging by 2025, and has also announced £16 million funding from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) for technologies that harness the potential of smart charging.  

The move has benefits for both businesses and the wider grid, with smart charging favouring renewable electricity. Investing in EV fleets and charging, with a strong EV strategy, is a good way for businesses to optimise their energy usage and support the grid.

Find out more about the new Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan, here.

First live Demand Flexibility Service event a success

National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) ran its first live Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) event on January 24th, which involved businesses optimising their usage to support the grid.

The operator outlined some of the benefits businesses have seen so far4, with one business having earned £1,726 by taking part in a single event. It also shared the example of a manufacturing business that had reduced its working day to take part and saw no impact on productivity – showing that optimising your energy usage doesn’t have to negatively impact your operations.

The first live event took place after months of successful tests which offer businesses and individual consumers a simple way to get involved with grid optimisation. If your business wants to learn more about optimisation, click here.

*please note Bryt Energy are not currently participating in this scheme.

Spotlight on renewables

Here’s what you need to know about UK renewables this month:

  • Renewables have generated more electricity than gas in the UK this winter5. New analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) shows between October 1st 2022 and February 10th 2023, renewables generated a combined 42TWh of electricity – reducing the need for 85TWh of gas over the same period.
  • Leases for six new offshore wind projects, with a potential capacity of 8GW, have been agreed by The Crown Estate6. The projects could be up and running and producing electricity by 2030, with enough power to supply more than 7 million homes. The six sites, in the Irish Sea and off Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, would push UK offshore wind leases beyond 40GW – which would achieve the UK’s 2030 offshore wind generation target7.
  • The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has provided an update on its proposed 100MW floating offshore wind test site. It now expects the project, in Orkney, Scotland, to generate £690 million for the UK economy and add 4,160 new jobs around the country, across its expected 25-year lifespan8.
News in brief
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently been disbanded and split into three new departments: the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology9. Grant Shapps, previously Secretary of State for BEIS, will head up the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
  • The Government has announced proposals to increase minimum energy performance standards for lighting in buildings. The new standards could see businesses save £2,000–£3,000 over the lifetime of a bulb. The report is available alongside a consultation which runs until April 4th. Businesses involved in the lighting sector or working towards net zero targets are encouraged to have their say10.
  • The search continues to find a lower-carbon alternative to red diesel – a fossil fuel used in industrial off-road vehicles and machinery. Used in UK industries including construction, mining and quarrying, in vehicles such as bulldozers, forklifts and cranes, lower-carbon options will be vital for enabling users in hard-to-abate sectors to decarbonise. And with the announcement of the second phase of the Government’s Red Diesel Replacement Competition, that solution is a step closer11. Learn more about the competition, here.
  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is the top trend that will drive investment this year, according to a survey of financial companies12. As part of its 2023 Global Innovation Report, financial services technology firm FIS asked 2,000 industry executives what their key areas of investment in 2023 were, with 84% of respondents listing ESG – emphasising the importance of these standards to businesses’ strategies.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/net-zero-review-uk-could-do-more-to-reap-economic-benefits-of-green-growth

2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/reforms-outlined-for-britains-capacity-market-to-secure-a-clean-energy-future

3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plan-for-smart-electric-vehicle-ev-charging-could-save-consumers-up-to-1000-a-year

4.  https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/world-first-demand-flexibility-service-exceeds-expectations

5. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/renewable-generation-cuts-85twh-of-the-uks-gas-consumption

6. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/media-and-insights/news/2023-the-crown-estate-seals-landmark-agreements-for-offshore-wind-energy-to-power-7-million-homes/

7. ​​https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-to-make-uk-world-leader-in-green-energy

8. https://www.emec.org.uk/emec-floating-wind-demo-site-offers-690-million-opportunity-to-uk/

9. https://www.edie.net/rishi-sunak-divides-beis-cabinet-reshuffle-energy-security-net-zero/

10. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leading-the-world-in-lighting-efficiency-lightens-the-load-on-energy-bills

11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-british-industry-in-cutting-fossil-fuels-with-325-million

12. https://www.fisglobal.com/en-gb/global-innovation-report

Energy Bills Discount Scheme
Demand reduction and savings achieved across successful tests
Corporate climate disclosure requests jump year-on-year
A happy new year for wind generation
COP15 biodiversity conference round-up
News in brief

With 2022 the UK’s hottest year on record, as we enter a new year, our actions to tackle climate change are more important than ever. There are already some positive signs heading into 2023, including record-breaking renewables and successful optimisation schemes. In this edition we’ll also look at the new ‘Energy Bills Discount Scheme’ recently announced by the Government. Here is our round-up of all you need to know: 

Energy Bills Discount Scheme

The UK Government has recently announced a new ‘Energy Bills Discount Scheme’, which will replace the current ‘Energy Bill Relief Scheme’ that ends in March 2023.

The new Energy Bills Discount Scheme will run from 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024, to help support businesses with the cost of wholesale energy for an additional 12 months.

Eligible non-domestic consumers will receive a per-unit discount to their electricity bills during the 12-month period, subject to a maximum discount, and those in energy intensive sectors are set to receive a higher level of support.

We will be contacting our customers once more details of the Government’s scheme are published, and we will continue to update our website and social channels with the latest information. In the meantime, you can learn more about the new scheme on the Government’s website, here.

Demand reduction and savings achieved across successful tests

The initial five Demand Flexibility Service tests have delivered more than 780MWh of demand reduction, according to National Grid ESO1.

The scheme, launched at the beginning of November, gives households and businesses 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 enables participants to optimise their usage to support the grid and make both cost and energy savings.

National Grid ESO described the tests so far as a success. Currently settlement data is only available for the first two tests, showing a total of 314.2 MWh was delivered.

More than 1 million businesses and households have now signed up to participate, with 26 electricity suppliers currently involved. Small and medium-sized businesses are still able to sign up for the service if their supplier is participating in the scheme*.

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

*please note Bryt Energy are not currently participating in this scheme.

Corporate climate disclosure requests jump year-on-year

Last year saw some encouraging steps forward for environmental transparency, with the number of businesses reporting under The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) increasing by 42%2.

The CDP runs the global environmental disclosure project, and assesses companies based on a number of factors, such as their environmental practices, performance and progress, and awareness of climate issues, and gives a score based on their Climate Change disclosure and environmental performance.

In 2022, more than 280 companies were ranked as “A-listers” on their corporate Climate Change disclosures, marking the year-on-year improvement.

The increase in reporting was despite more stringent scoring being implemented, which judged whether corporate emissions targets were aligned with keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and whether climate transition plans were robust and credible.

There is, however, still much room for improvement – with CDP noting that 30,000 large businesses did not respond to its disclosure requests. There’s more to be done in 2023, so to learn more about the CDP, what the benefits are for your business and how you can start reporting today, click here.

A happy new year for wind generation

The future for wind is looking bright, with 2023 already seeing a new UK energy generation record3. National Grid ESO has confirmed the record 21.6GW of electricity generated by wind in the 30-minute period between 6pm and 6:30pm on January 10th, providing 50.4% of Britain’s electricity. This beats the previous record set less than a month ago on December 30th last year, of 20.9GW, which itself was the third wind energy record set in 2022. That same day saw another record broken, with 87.2% of daily electricity coming from zero carbon sources. As the cheapest source of new electricity and the ability to reduce the UK’s use of fossil fuels and drive down energy bills, the continuous spell of record-breaking wind generation is good news for British businesses.

The UK currently has 15GW of installed onshore wind generation capacity, and the Government has been advised by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) that it must reach 35GW by 2035. With public support for renewables hitting new highs, it’s emerged that the development of 45GW of onshore wind farms (a target previously considered by the Government) would take up just 2.1% of the UK’s total land space, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU)4.

Meanwhile, UK onshore wind could see a boost on a policy level. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has published a consultation seeking views on its proposed update to the National Planning Policy Framework5. This includes changes to policy for onshore wind to provide local authorities with more flexibility to respond to the views of their communities. Changes would also put into practice commitments set out in the previously-announced British Energy Security Strategy to support the repowering of onshore wind and to review the barriers to installing energy efficiency measures.

Businesses can respond to the whole consultation by March 2nd. Click here to find out more.

COP15 biodiversity conference round-up

A major breakthrough for nature recovery has been achieved at the UN’s Biodiversity Conference.

COP15 took place in Montreal recently and ended with an agreement which has been deemed the “30×30” target, with nations agreeing to adopt four goals and 23 targets for 20306. These include protecting 30% of Earth’s lands, 30% of Earth’s oceans, coastal areas and inland waters, whilst also restoring 30% of degraded ecosystems through “effective conservation and management”. The agreement has also put in place targets to reduce public and private subsidies that harm biodiversity by $500 billion, and cut food waste in half by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, the Business for Nature group used the occasion to highlight its campaign to call for mandatory requirements for all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts on biodiversity as well as their dependencies on nature by 20307. More than 330 organisations from 56 countries have already joined the call.

News in brief
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced the Energy Intensive Industries Renewables Obligation (EII RO) exemption will remain at 85% throughout the 2023-24 obligation year8. The exemption helps energy intensive industries in the UK remain cost competitive by assisting them with the indirect costs of the RO.

 

  • Low-carbon energy sources have generated more than half of the UK’s electricity this winter, according to RenewableUK9. Renewables (40%) plus nuclear energy (14%) has provided 54% of the country’s power since the end of October. This has enabled the UK to reduce its gas imports by more than 3.5 billion m3, which would otherwise have cost UK bill payers £5.7 billion.

 

  • The UK Government has confirmed that geothermal power will be eligible for the fifth allocation round (AR5) of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme10. It’s expected new participants will be able to apply to the scheme from March. Projects in the geothermal category would come online in 2026/27 or 2027/2811. A letter from the Environmental Audit Committee also confirmed the Government is continuing to monitor geothermal heating technology development and how it could play a part in the UK’s future energy mix.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/demand-flexibility-service-delivers-mws-and-savings  

 

2: https://www.cdp.net/en/companies/companies-scores 

 

3: https://www.renewableuk.com/news/627829/Wind-generates-21-gigawatts-of-electricity–first-new-record-of-2023.htm 

 

4: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2022/wind-farms-would-affect-just-0-02-of-uk-land-3-400-times-less-than-farmed-land 

 

5: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/levelling-up-and-regeneration-bill-reforms-to-national-planning-policy/levelling-up-and-regeneration-bill-reforms-to-national-planning-policy

 

6: https://www.cbd.int/article/cop15-cbd-press-release-final-19dec2022 

 

7: https://www.businessfornature.org/cop15-business-statement  

 

8: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/renewables-obligation-level-calculations-2023-to-2024 

 

9: https://www.renewableuk.com/news/626598/Low-carbon-power-is-generating-most-of-Britains-electricity-this-winter-saving-consumers-billions-.htm 

 

10: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/62/environmental-audit-committee/news/175167/geothermal-technologies-considered-for-government-funding/ 

 

11: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contracts-for-difference-cfd-allocation-round-5-core-parameters

Key outcomes from COP27
Grid stability and decarbonisation
UK energy and renewables news
Have your say on net zero guidelines for businesses
News in brief

As the year draws to a close, we’ve seen a number of energy announcements made by the UK Government. Further afield, the 27th annual climate change summit – COP27 – recently took place in Sharm el-Sheikh. We have plenty to update you on, so here’s what you need to know:

Key outcomes from COP27

The main announcement from COP27 was the agreement of a ‘loss and damage’ fund to support the most vulnerable countries harmed by the impacts of the climate crisis1. The details of this are still yet to be decided but a committee is to make recommendations at COP28 in Dubai next year. In relation to this, the UN also launched a new action plan to create an early warning system to protect the global population from extreme weather events, which have increased in frequency, in part due to human-induced climate change.

Despite the positive focus on adaptation, there were key concerns that language around the phasing out of fossil fuels was weakened, with some arguing that the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is a goal that’s no longer alive. This has led businesses to try and step in, with hundreds of firms delivering a joint declaration of action to meeting 1.5°C, calling on nations to decide where they stand on raising ambitions in order to meet the target.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking in Sharm el-Sheikh, announced a new package of climate finance measures3. These included:

  • tripling the climate adaptation fund to £1.5bn
  • investing £90 million into supporting conservation projects in the Congo Basin – the world’s second-largest tropical forest
  • committing £65 million to support indigenous and local forest communities.
  • providing £65.5 million to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)’s ‘Clean Energy Innovation Facility’, which backs low-carbon technologies in developing nations.

The annual climate conference comes after the recently published UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annual report, which highlighted the emissions gap between promised and needed emission reductions, finding the international community was falling “far short” of the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels4.

Other key announcements included:

  • US Climate representative John Kerry announced a new Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) to finance low carbon energy deployment in developing countries whilst also decommissioning coal5.
  • New recommendations to help businesses avoid greenwashing have been launched by a UN body6.
  • The UN announced it is set to launch a new satellite system to detect methane hotspots – the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)7.
  • The Global Renewables Alliance was also launched, which combines industry bodies and organisations to accelerate the uptake of renewables. The Alliance will “act as a unified voice that represents renewables industries and technologies” such as solar, wind, hydropower, green hydrogen, geothermal and energy storage9.

Georgina from the Sustainability Team at Bryt Energy said “We’re pleased to see the various commitments made at COP27 to support global adaptation to the climate crisis, as well as the ground-breaking loss and damage fund that will go a long way to address the inequities of climate-related disasters. Although pledges to phase out fossil fuels were noticeably lacking, it is encouraging to see businesses still committed to limiting warming to 1.5°C, and at Bryt Energy we echo this, determined to do everything we can to mitigate further climate change.”

Grid stability and decarbonisation

Back in the UK, National Grid ESO has awarded new grid stability contracts which could deliver nearly £15 billion in savings over 10 years from 202510.

These new contracts have been allocated to six companies across England and Wales as part of a third phase of stability pathfinders to redefine how the network operates. Statkraft, our parent company and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, was awarded contracts to develop three further Greener Grid Parks. These will provide inertia to the grid and help replace coal or gas-powered turbines which are traditionally used to provide stability to the electricity system11.

For more information on this exciting new project, click here.

UK energy and renewables news

Meanwhile, the UK Government has extended its windfall tax to include low carbon and renewable electricity generators, as well as oil and gas companies12. The announcement in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement introduced the tax of 45% which will be levied on “extraordinary returns” from low-carbon UK electricity generation. The Energy Generator Levy will come into force on January 1st 2023 and comes alongside an expansion and extension to the Energy Profits Levy – the oil and gas windfall tax announced in May; This will be increased from 25% to 35% from January 1st 2023, and will now end in 2028, three years later than originally planned.

As expected, there has been criticism of this new tax, with trade body Renewable UK highlighting that “Unlike in oil and gas (Energy Profits Levy), companies which are making significant investments in renewables will get no tax relief and will be hit by a higher windfall rate”13, whilst Solar Energy UK argue that the levy could slow investment in renewable energy14.

In other news, the UK’s ‘renewable energy and clean tech sector’ is projected to more than double in size by 2035. That’s according to The Association For Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)’s annual Review22 report16. It projects the UK sector will increase from £22 billion to £46 billion in that time and employ more than 210,000 people, up from 140,000 currently. The report explains the renewable sector showed “great resilience and ingenuity” following the Covid-19 pandemic, with the forecasts showing promising signs for the future.

Have your say on net zero guidelines for businesses

UK businesses have received a first look at what corporate net zero transition plans should include in order for them to be considered the “gold standard”15. The UK’s Transition Plan Taskforce published its first proposals for the guidelines, which will include advice on when, where and how to transition to net zero and avoid greenwashing. Market participants and other stakeholders have been asked to provide comments which will inform the final version of the guidelines. The consultation survey will close on the 28th of February 2023 and you can have your say here.

News in brief
  • The Greater London Assembly has announced it will go ahead with plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to cover all Greater London. The move is part of plans to reach net zero carbon emissions by 203017. The ULEZ expansion will come into place from August 2023.
  • Europe’s largest battery energy storage facility has come online18. The 98MW/196MWh storage project “Pillswood”, just outside of Hull, is located at the connection point for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm – which, when completed, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. When the wind farm produces more electricity than the grid needs, batteries can store the excess energy and export it back to the grid during times of high demand. This project highlights the important relationship between renewables and storage technologies as the UK transitions to a net zero grid.
  • The UK Government has announced that £32.9 million in funding has been awarded to projects across the country to develop new long duration energy storage technologies19. The competition aims to support innovative new energy storage technologies that will increase the UK’s energy independence capabilities and play a key role in supporting a low carbon energy system.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://unfccc.int/news/cop27-reaches-breakthrough-agreement-on-new-loss-and-damage-fund-for-vulnerable-countries

 

2. https://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/cop27-all-in-for-one-point-five/

 

3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-major-new-package-of-climate-support-at-cop27

 

4. https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2022?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5I7D8pvY-wIVGOztCh3dAgBfEAAYASAAEgJP-vD_BwE

 

5. https://www.state.gov/u-s-government-and-foundations-announce-new-public-private-effort-to-unlock-finance-to-accelerate-the-energy-transition/

 

6. https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/high-level_expert_group_n7b.pdf

 

7. https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/un-announces-high-tech-satellite-based-global-methane-detection

 

8. https://www.iso.org/netzero

 

9. https://www.edie.net/clean-energy-sectors-unite-to-form-global-renewables-alliance-at-co27

 

10. https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/eso-announces-new-contracts-deliver-over-ps14-billion-savings

 

11. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/statkraft-takes-leading-role-in-decarbonising-britains-electricity-system/

 

12. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-energy-oil-and-gas-profits-levy/energy-oil-and-gas-profits-levy

 

13. https://www.renewableuk.com/news/623374/Windfall-tax-risks-severely-damaging-investment-in-vital-renewable-energy-projects-.htm

 

14. https://solarenergyuk.org/news/windfall-tax-will-have-perverse-impact-on-solar-power/

 

15. https://transitiontaskforce.net/get-involved/

 

16. https://www.r-e-a.net/review22-the-reas-annual-state-of-the-industry-report-is-published/

 

17. https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/ulez-expansion-2023

 

18. https://www.edie.net/europes-biggest-battery-storage-facility-comes-online-near-hull/

 

19. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/longer-duration-energy-storage-demonstration-lodes-competition#stream-2:-prototype-demonstration

Energy Bill Relief Scheme update
New green hydrogen hub could provide UK environmental and business boost
Renewables reducing UK’s reliance on gas imports
Business can support the public behaviour change needed to achieve net zero
News in brief

As the UK continues its journey towards net zero, our latest Bryt Insight looks at some promising news for low carbon fuels and renewable electricity. We’ll also break down some of the latest reports and analysis for the energy industry and find out what it means for you.

Energy Bill Relief Scheme update

Before getting into this month’s updates, we know the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) and the coming winter is still at the forefront of businesses’ minds. The EBRS legislation came into force on 1st November and you can find the rules, guidance and scheme documents on the Government’s website, here. You can also find the full regulations of the scheme, here.

We’ve also put together a number of resources to help you understand how the scheme works and what help is available. You can find out more information about EBRS, including eligibility requirements, in our full statement, here. We have also put together a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions around the scheme that you may find helpful, here.

New green hydrogen hub could provide UK environmental and business boost

Plans for a new green hydrogen plant have been announced by Statkraft1. Traditionally produced using fossil fuels, hydrogen at the Trecwn Green Energy Hub will be extracted from water in a process powered by fully-renewable electricity.

It’s hoped the plant will lead the way in making low carbon fuel for businesses in Wales, enabling buses, HGVs, trains, and industrial firms to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Statkraft, our parent company, hopes the plant will generate around three tonnes of green hydrogen a day, powered by electricity from three wind turbines and ground-mounted solar panels that will be part of the Trecwn site. This would be enough to run a single bus for more than 40,000 miles every day, or the equivalent of making 350 journeys from Fishguard to Cardiff – without producing the emissions associated with traditional fuels.

On a wider environmental scale, the project would help support the Welsh government’s net zero target, which includes producing the equivalent of 70% of electricity consumption in Wales through renewable sources by 2030.

As well as the environment, the proposed hub would give a significant boost to local businesses. Hydrogen generated at Trecwn is intended to be used to power trains running on railway lines west of Swansea, delivering many of the benefits of electrification, such as using a zero carbon fuel, but at much lower cost and with fewer requirements for new infrastructure.

Statkraft hopes to submit the plans by the end of 2023, which could mean the site becoming operational by the end of 2026.

For more information on this exciting new project, click here.

Renewables reducing UK’s reliance on gas imports

Analysis by Carbon Brief has shown the UK’s gas imports could have been 13% lower over the past decade if the Government had not cut support for energy efficiency and renewables2. The report shows if the UK Government had not cut the “green cap” starting in 2013, a total of 65 TWh of imported gas could have been avoided which would have saved around £5 billion.

The figures do however emphasise the positive impact renewables have had in the UK. They show that without the growth in renewables the UK would have needed to double the 254 TWh of gas used to generate electricity last year. This demonstrates that with the right support, renewables can effectively reduce the UK’s reliance on gas imports, which is good news for sustainability and system resilience.

To see the full analysis, click here.

Business can support the public behaviour change needed to achieve net zero

Changes in individual behaviour will be required in order to achieve the UK’s net zero goals, according to the House of Lord’s Environment and Climate Change Committee3. The report says nearly a third of the emissions reductions required up to 2035 will have to come from the public making more environmentally friendly choices – such as adopting low carbon technologies, products and services, and reducing carbon-intensive consumption. It calls on the Government to do more to bring about the change in mindsets. The report recommends leaders follow examples of where it has enabled the necessary behaviour changes before in areas such as travel, diet, consumption and energy usage. Other recommendations to the Government included launching a public engagement campaign to help people be more energy efficient.

When asked last month to outline its approach to encouraging behaviour change, the Government pointed to its October 2021 net zero strategy, which outlined six principles that applied to businesses, including SMEs, as well as the public. Those principles were:

  • sending clear regulatory signals,
  • making the environmentally friendly choice the “easiest” and most affordable,
  • empowering businesses to make their own decisions,
  • explaining why major changes are necessary,
  • presenting a clear vision of how we will get to net zero and
  • explaining what the role of businesses and people will be.

At Bryt Energy, behaviour change and the idea of ‘good grid citizenship’ is something we strongly believe in. Chris Curry, Head of Energy Transition at Bryt Energy, commented: “Achieving a net zero system is about mindsets as well as technology. In a net zero system, we’ll all need to be more responsible in our energy usage and see ourselves as engaged ‘citizens’, rather than simply energy consumers. ‘Good grid citizenship’ is about only taking what’s needed and thinking of the grid as something that is shared, with users contributing to its reliable and affordable operation so that it works for everyone.”

News in brief
  • For the first time in its history, Greece ran its electricity system entirely on renewables for five hours last month5. It used solar, wind and hydroelectric power to cover 100% of its demand for that period of time on Friday, October 7th. In good renewables news closer to home, UK wind generation hit a new record on October 26th, with 19.94GW being produced on that day. Additionally, experts believe this record could be broken repeatedly over the next few years as more wind farms come online6.
  • Meanwhile, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has called on ministers to harness the full potential of geothermal energy. It says the source, which is the energy stored beneath the surface of the Earth, has the potential to fulfil much of the UK’s heating demand7.

Bryt Energy’s Sustainability Manager, Jos Mister, said: “We’re delighted to be able to report on stories so frequently that show renewable electricity going from strength to strength in the UK and around the world. Whether it’s increased availability of wind or solar power or new investments in renewables, these are all encouraging signs that we hope continue.”

  • Wildlife campaigners are hoping stark figures outlined in the WWF’s latest Living Planet Report will act as a wake up call for leaders. The report reveals nature degradation is happening more rapidly and more intensely than previously thought, with the population sizes of animals (excluding insects) having decreased by an average of 68% between 1970 and 20208. It’s hoped the report will encourage policy-makers to take further action as they meet at the UN Biodiversity Conference in December.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/statkraft-announces-first-uk-green-hydrogen-project-pembrokeshire/ 

2. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-gas-imports-would-be-13-lower-if-it-had-not-cut-the-green-crap/

3. https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/515/environment-and-climate-change-committee/news/173479/government-must-support-behaviour-change-to-meet-climate-targets/

4. https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/net-zero-and-behaviour-change/

5. https://news.sky.com/story/for-five-hours-last-week-greece-ran-entirely-on-electricity-from-solar-wind-and-water-12720353

6. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/wind-generation-hits-highest-ever-availability-with-a-peak-of-17-6gw

7. https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/62/environmental-audit-committee/news/173703/geothermal-energy-has-potential-to-fulfil-much-of-uks-current-heating-need/

8. https://www.edie.net/living-planet-report-nature-loss-reaching-catastrophic-levels-globally/

Energy Bill Relief Scheme
£50m available for Industrial Fuel Switching
Widespread support for UK wind and solar
News in Brief
Energy Bill Relief Scheme

Over the past few months, the UK has never before seen such high and volatile wholesale energy prices. With Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, gas prices have soared, and when coupled with a post-Covid increase in demand, as well as electricity shortages in Europe, electricity prices in the UK have been driven up to extreme levels. This has created unprecedented challenges for many businesses and their employees. 

We therefore welcome the Government’s recent announcement of their ‘Energy Bill Relief Scheme’ to support businesses during the current energy crisis.

The scheme will provide a discount on wholesale electricity and gas prices for all non-domestic customers, calculated by reference to a supported price set by the government. 

The Government Supported Price has been set at £211/MWh for electricity, though the level of discount will vary for each business depending on their contract type and circumstances.   

The scheme’s discount will be applied to energy usage initially between 1st October 2022 – 31st March 2023. It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1st December 2021, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts.  

 

Eligibility 

The eligibility for the scheme has been defined by The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as follows:     

Everyone on a non-domestic contract including:   

  • businesses  
  • voluntary sector organisations, such as charities  
  • public sector organisations such as schools, hospitals and care homes  

who are:   

  • on existing fixed price contracts that were agreed on or after 1st December 2021
  • signing new fixed price contracts  
  • on Deemed/Out of Contract or variable tariffs  
  • on flexible purchase or similar contracts  

If you are on a fixed contract, your discount will be determined by the date you signed your contract. We recommend that you check the date you signed your contract to get an indication of whether you will be eligible for a discount on the electricity you consume between 1st October 2022– 31st March 2023.  

You can view the dates and discounts you may receive on the Government’s website, here. 

If you are eligible, you will not have to take action or apply to the scheme to receive support. Suppliers will automatically apply the associated discounts to all eligible customers’ bills for their electricity consumption from 1st October 2022.

The Government will review the scheme in 3 months’ time to inform decisions on future support after March 2023, focusing primarily on assisting the most vulnerable non-domestic customers.  

 

Learn more 

We have a range of FAQs on the ‘Energy Bill Relief Scheme’ and the energy market more generally that we continue to update, which you may find helpful during this time: https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/faqs/

You can also read more about the new support for businesses on the Government’s website, here.

£50m available for Industrial Fuel Switching

The Government has unveiled nearly £50 million of new funding to help firms in heavy-industry sectors decarbonise and accelerate their journey to net zero1.

Those applying for funding will need to put in proposals for pre-commercial solutions to replace fossil fuel use with: 

  • Hydrogen 
  • Electrification 
  • Biomass, waste-derived fuels, and other net zero compatible fuels.  

The competition is open to all industrial sectors and fuel switching technology developers. Applicants must register by November 11th and complete their applications by November 25th. Successful participants will then receive a funding share of between £1 million – £6 million. To find out more, click here. 

Widespread support for UK wind and solar

Polling from across Britain has shown strong support for renewable solutions to help tackle rising electricity prices2. The analysis, commissioned by RenewableUK, shows 77% of people in the UK think the Government should use new wind and solar farms to reduce electricity bills, with 76% of respondents supporting new projects in their local area.

Meanwhile, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) says warehouse roofs could provide 15GW of solar energy a year if properly utilised3. That space currently totals around 18,500 acres of land – it says this could help British industry play a vital role in scaling renewable technologies and generation. UKWA’s report also highlighted that if a third of all warehouses utilised solar generation, they could double the UK’s solar PV capacity and also deliver the entire requirement for the UK’s 2030 target.

News in Brief
  • The new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini budget’ featured plans to “unlock the potential of onshore wind”. It means planning rules for turbines in England will be relaxed to bring consent in line with other infrastructure, making them easier to deploy. The Government hopes the move will help accelerate infrastructure and energy projects in the UK4.

 

  • The ‘clean energy transition’ could generate global savings of up to £10.2 trillion, according to an Oxford University study5. The report looks at historic price data for renewables and fossil fuels and models how they are likely to change in the future. Researchers say the findings should help dispel concerns that the net zero energy transition will be costly.

 

  • Ofgem and the UK Government have released the Electricity Networks Strategic Framework, which spells out the “unprecedented scale and pace” the electricity network will need to transform at in order to support Britain’s decarbonisation6. The two bodies will ensure an independent “Future System Operator” will advise key decision makers and ensure the transition is properly planned. Learn more about the actions set out to achieve a net zero energy system, 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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-fuel-switching-competition-phase-2-demonstration-projects 

2. https://www.survation.com/polling-in-every-constituency-in-britain-shows-strong-support-for-building-wind-farms-to-drive-down-consumer-bills/

3. https://www.ukwa.org.uk/market-intel/time-to-act-on-extortionate-and-obstructive-electricity-grid-if-we-are-to-tackle-the-energy-crisis-say-uk-warehouse-owners/ 

4. https://renewablesnow.com/news/uk-to-ease-onshore-wind-permitting-with-new-infrastructure-reforms-799083/

5. https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(22)00410-X

6. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electricity-networks-strategic-framework

Electricity market reforms
Attitudes towards energy and renewables
Good news for renewables
Net zero and sustainability
News in Brief

July saw the Met Office’s first ever Red weather warning and temperatures in the UK rise above 40°C for the first time, with scientists “absolutely clear” climate change was the driver1. On the back of such a warning so close to home of the need to tackle climate change, August’s Bryt Insight looks at how proposed reforms to the UK’s energy market and wider system could help us reach net zero by 2050, to prevent global temperatures rising further.

Electricity market reforms

The UK government has launched a consultation on plans for what it called the “biggest electricity market reform in a generation”. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for energy industry views on changes to the wholesale electricity market, which are designed to address volatile gas prices.

The transformational Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) covers a wide range of options to address the combined challenges of responding to higher global energy costs, the need to further boost energy security and the UK’s transition to a net zero energy system. With electricity demand set to double over the next 13 years, its aim is to identify and implement UK electricity market reforms that work for businesses, industry and households.

Some of the proposed changes being consulted on include:

  • Introducing incentives for consumers to draw energy from the grid at cheaper rates
  • Reforming the capacity market to increase participation of low-carbon flexibility technologies
  • Decoupling costly global fossil fuel prices from electricity produced by cheaper renewables

The consultation lasts until October this year, so if you’d like to get involved and have your say, click here.

 

Meanwhile, in its discussion paper Net Zero Britain, Ofgem has put forward a range of potential reforms to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels, and transition to a home-grown energy future. Last October, the Government pledged to decarbonise all of the UK’s electricity generation by 2035 – a key milestone on the path to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Ofgem’s discussion paper responds to this and identifies two key areas of reform, which would help deliver the energy system needed to put the UK on the path to achieving net zero by 2050:

  • To introduce an independent Future System Operator to lead strategic planning of the energy system at not just national level – as previously proposed – but also to oversee the net zero energy transition at a local level.
  • To reform the electricity wholesale market, including limiting the price setting potential of natural gas and using pricing signals to run the system more efficiently.

To find out more, click here.

Attitudes towards energy and renewables

Unsurprisingly, the cost of electricity is worrying British consumers, according to new research into attitudes and concerns around energy conducted on behalf of our parent company, Statkraft3.

The survey captured opinions from more than 2,000 members of the public and found:

  • 76% were worried about rising electricity prices
  • 59% were concerned their savings won’t cover their bills this winter
  • 83% believed the UK should be energy independent

Respondents also had their say on renewables:

  • 55% are concerned climate change targets will be forgotten due to the current energy crisis
  • 88% were unable to name any specific activities the UK has in place to achieve net zero goals
  • 75% said the UK should have started investing in renewable and “green” energy a long time ago

The survey results come after BEIS found more than 80% of Brits would be happy to have ground-mount solar panels in their local area4.

And another survey of 300 hospitality and leisure business owners5 found most were exploring enhanced energy efficiency measures and 50% were considering installing on-site solar panels to help slash their electricity bills.

Despite the immediate focus on rising electricity prices and energy security, it’s encouraging to see the results of these three separate surveys show that businesses and the general public still support and prioritise renewables and low-carbon technologies.

You can read more about the Statkraft survey by clicking here.

Good news for renewables

In a major boost for UK renewables, the country added one-fifth of global offshore wind capacity in 2021, according to the latest Crown Estate Offshore Wind Report6. The analysis found global offshore wind capacity reached more than 48.2GW, of which more than 20% came from the UK. In Britain, enough offshore wind was generated to power one-third of UK homes, up from 4% 10 years ago.

This figure looks set to continue to grow after the Government has revealed the results of the fourth and “most successful ever” Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round, securing contracts for a total of 93 renewable electricity projects totalling 11GW in capacity. Once all the projects are operational, this will increase the UK’s overall offshore wind capacity by a third, boosting the Government’s aim of installing 50GW by 2030. The BEIS report also noted that prices for contracts of offshore wind are 70% lower than those secured in the first CfD allocation back in 2015.

This is potentially good news for businesses looking at their long-term energy costs, with analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) showing the projects could save about £7 billion on electricity costs under current wholesale prices7.

It’s more good news on the sustainability front, after Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub opened in Oxford8. The station, part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, provides 42 fast and ultra-rapid chargers, capable of charging 400 vehicles. Encouragingly, not only is the technology itself low-carbon but it’s also being powered entirely by renewable electricity, with 10 MW of installed capacity on-site.

Net zero and sustainability

The High Court has ruled the Government’s net zero strategy as unlawful9, following a successful legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project, Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and others. The strategy was first published last October – but the High Court ruled plans were “too vague”, meaning there were no detailed measures that assured targets to decarbonise the UK economy by 2050 could be met.

Businesses and others had hoped the original strategy would contain time-bound, sector-specific reductions goals. The Government now has eight months to flesh out and amend the net zero strategy. This means we can expect a more detailed plan to be produced, which should include specific industry emissions reductions targets that could be relevant to your sector and business.

Bryt Energy’s Sustainability Manager, Jos Mister, added: “At Bryt Energy, we aim to support businesses throughout their decarbonisation journeys. Key to those journeys is planning and, in this High Court ruling, there are key learnings we can take at a microlevel. If your business is setting its own carbon reduction goals, you should aim to set time-bound targets, as well as being prepared to share details of how targets will be met, to back up your plan.”

Meanwhile, a major new report on The emerging sustainability information ecosystem, from professional services giant EY, has put forward a number of recommendations for businesses reporting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and data10. EY found that many businesses are using different definitions of ESG and different methodologies to measure performance. As a result, the report calls for ESG data and ratings agencies to be more transparent about how they source their data and calculate their scores. It says that more standardisation and regulation in ESG-related disclosures is necessary to help stamp out greenwashing.

News in Brief
  • The UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner has been appointed11 as part of the country’s Energy Security Strategy – Nick Winser CBE. His role will be to reduce timelines for delivering onshore transmission infrastructure and making sure the right infrastructure to boost electricity flow is in place. It should ensure businesses will be able to benefit from a more affordable, renewable supply of electricity sooner than previously planned.
  • As the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister continues, both remaining candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have pledged to maintain the Government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 205012.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://news.sky.com/story/uk-weather-its-no-longer-denial-its-here-why-climate-change-will-make-this-weeks-uk-heatwave-more-dangerous-12653155
  2. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-proposes-reforms-power-uk-forward-net-zero-home-grown-energy-system
  3. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/majority-british-consumers-call-for-energy-independence/
  4. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/over-80-of-public-happy-with-solar-in-their-local-areas-in-ringing-endorsem
  5. https://www.edie.net/uk-hospitality-and-leisure-firms-eyeing-on-site-solar-and-energy-efficiency-amid-price-crisis-survey-finds/
  6. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/4095/2021-offshore-wind-report.pdf
  7. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/cfd-projects-to-save-britain-7bn-under-current-prices
  8. https://energysuperhuboxford.org/europes-most-powerful-ev-charging-hub-energy-superhub-oxford/
  9. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/govts-climate-strategy-deemed-unlawful-historic-ruling
  10. https://www.ey.com/en_vn/public-policy/five-priorities-to-build-trust-in-esg
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-electricity-networks-commissioner-appointed-to-help-ensure-home-grown-energy-for-britain
  12. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-strengthens-protections-for-taxpayers-in-energy-treaty-negotiations
  13. https://www.channel4.com/news/tory-leadership-race-will-new-leader-pledge-to-2050-net-zero-goal
Electricity market reforms
Attitudes towards energy and renewables
Good news for renewables
Net zero and sustainability
News in Brief

July saw the Met Office’s first ever Red weather warning and temperatures in the UK rise above 40°C for the first time, with scientists “absolutely clear” climate change was the driver1. On the back of such a warning so close to home of the need to tackle climate change, August’s Bryt Insight looks at how proposed reforms to the UK’s energy market and wider system could help us reach net zero by 2050, to prevent global temperatures rising further.

Electricity market reforms

The UK government has launched a consultation on plans for what it called the “biggest electricity market reform in a generation”. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for energy industry views on changes to the wholesale electricity market, which are designed to address volatile gas prices.

The transformational Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) covers a wide range of options to address the combined challenges of responding to higher global energy costs, the need to further boost energy security and the UK’s transition to a net zero energy system. With electricity demand set to double over the next 13 years, its aim is to identify and implement UK electricity market reforms that work for businesses, industry and households.

Some of the proposed changes being consulted on include:

  • Introducing incentives for consumers to draw energy from the grid at cheaper rates
  • Reforming the capacity market to increase participation of low-carbon flexibility technologies
  • Decoupling costly global fossil fuel prices from electricity produced by cheaper renewables

The consultation lasts until October this year, so if you’d like to get involved and have your say, click here.

 

Meanwhile, in its discussion paper Net Zero Britain, Ofgem has put forward a range of potential reforms to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels, and transition to a home-grown energy future. Last October, the Government pledged to decarbonise all of the UK’s electricity generation by 2035 – a key milestone on the path to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Ofgem’s discussion paper responds to this and identifies two key areas of reform, which would help deliver the energy system needed to put the UK on the path to achieving net zero by 2050:

  • To introduce an independent Future System Operator to lead strategic planning of the energy system at not just national level – as previously proposed – but also to oversee the net zero energy transition at a local level.
  • To reform the electricity wholesale market, including limiting the price setting potential of natural gas and using pricing signals to run the system more efficiently.

To find out more, click here.

Attitudes towards energy and renewables

Unsurprisingly, the cost of electricity is worrying British consumers, according to new research into attitudes and concerns around energy conducted on behalf of our parent company, Statkraft3.

The survey captured opinions from more than 2,000 members of the public and found:

  • 76% were worried about rising electricity prices
  • 59% were concerned their savings won’t cover their bills this winter
  • 83% believed the UK should be energy independent

Respondents also had their say on renewables:

  • 55% are concerned climate change targets will be forgotten due to the current energy crisis
  • 88% were unable to name any specific activities the UK has in place to achieve net zero goals
  • 75% said the UK should have started investing in renewable and “green” energy a long time ago

The survey results come after BEIS found more than 80% of Brits would be happy to have ground-mount solar panels in their local area4.

And another survey of 300 hospitality and leisure business owners5 found most were exploring enhanced energy efficiency measures and 50% were considering installing on-site solar panels to help slash their electricity bills.

Despite the immediate focus on rising electricity prices and energy security, it’s encouraging to see the results of these three separate surveys show that businesses and the general public still support and prioritise renewables and low-carbon technologies.

You can read more about the Statkraft survey by clicking here.

Good news for renewables

In a major boost for UK renewables, the country added one-fifth of global offshore wind capacity in 2021, according to the latest Crown Estate Offshore Wind Report6. The analysis found global offshore wind capacity reached more than 48.2GW, of which more than 20% came from the UK. In Britain, enough offshore wind was generated to power one-third of UK homes, up from 4% 10 years ago.

This figure looks set to continue to grow after the Government has revealed the results of the fourth and “most successful ever” Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round, securing contracts for a total of 93 renewable electricity projects totalling 11GW in capacity. Once all the projects are operational, this will increase the UK’s overall offshore wind capacity by a third, boosting the Government’s aim of installing 50GW by 2030. The BEIS report also noted that prices for contracts of offshore wind are 70% lower than those secured in the first CfD allocation back in 2015.

This is potentially good news for businesses looking at their long-term energy costs, with analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) showing the projects could save about £7 billion on electricity costs under current wholesale prices7.

It’s more good news on the sustainability front, after Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub opened in Oxford8. The station, part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, provides 42 fast and ultra-rapid chargers, capable of charging 400 vehicles. Encouragingly, not only is the technology itself low-carbon but it’s also being powered entirely by renewable electricity, with 10 MW of installed capacity on-site.

Net zero and sustainability

The High Court has ruled the Government’s net zero strategy as unlawful9, following a successful legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project, Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and others. The strategy was first published last October – but the High Court ruled plans were “too vague”, meaning there were no detailed measures that assured targets to decarbonise the UK economy by 2050 could be met.

Businesses and others had hoped the original strategy would contain time-bound, sector-specific reductions goals. The Government now has eight months to flesh out and amend the net zero strategy. This means we can expect a more detailed plan to be produced, which should include specific industry emissions reductions targets that could be relevant to your sector and business.

Bryt Energy’s Sustainability Manager, Jos Mister, added: “At Bryt Energy, we aim to support businesses throughout their decarbonisation journeys. Key to those journeys is planning and, in this High Court ruling, there are key learnings we can take at a microlevel. If your business is setting its own carbon reduction goals, you should aim to set time-bound targets, as well as being prepared to share details of how targets will be met, to back up your plan.”

Meanwhile, a major new report on The emerging sustainability information ecosystem, from professional services giant EY, has put forward a number of recommendations for businesses reporting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and data10. EY found that many businesses are using different definitions of ESG and different methodologies to measure performance. As a result, the report calls for ESG data and ratings agencies to be more transparent about how they source their data and calculate their scores. It says that more standardisation and regulation in ESG-related disclosures is necessary to help stamp out greenwashing.

News in Brief
  • The UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner has been appointed11 as part of the country’s Energy Security Strategy – Nick Winser CBE. His role will be to reduce timelines for delivering onshore transmission infrastructure and making sure the right infrastructure to boost electricity flow is in place. It should ensure businesses will be able to benefit from a more affordable, renewable supply of electricity sooner than previously planned.
  • As the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister continues, both remaining candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have pledged to maintain the Government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 205012.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://news.sky.com/story/uk-weather-its-no-longer-denial-its-here-why-climate-change-will-make-this-weeks-uk-heatwave-more-dangerous-12653155
  2. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-proposes-reforms-power-uk-forward-net-zero-home-grown-energy-system
  3. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/majority-british-consumers-call-for-energy-independence/
  4. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/over-80-of-public-happy-with-solar-in-their-local-areas-in-ringing-endorsem
  5. https://www.edie.net/uk-hospitality-and-leisure-firms-eyeing-on-site-solar-and-energy-efficiency-amid-price-crisis-survey-finds/
  6. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/4095/2021-offshore-wind-report.pdf
  7. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/cfd-projects-to-save-britain-7bn-under-current-prices
  8. https://energysuperhuboxford.org/europes-most-powerful-ev-charging-hub-energy-superhub-oxford/
  9. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/govts-climate-strategy-deemed-unlawful-historic-ruling
  10. https://www.ey.com/en_vn/public-policy/five-priorities-to-build-trust-in-esg
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-electricity-networks-commissioner-appointed-to-help-ensure-home-grown-energy-for-britain
  12. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-strengthens-protections-for-taxpayers-in-energy-treaty-negotiations
  13. https://www.channel4.com/news/tory-leadership-race-will-new-leader-pledge-to-2050-net-zero-goal
UK Government announces New Energy Bill
Consultation launched on climate transition plans
New strategic innovation fund available
Post-transition UK energy oversupply could create opportunities for flexible demand
In other news…
UK GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES NEW ENERGY BILL

For the first time in more than a decade, the UK Government will introduce a new Energy Bill. Announced in the Queen’s Speech1last month, the Bill aims to help the UK build a more secure, homegrown energy system that is both ‘cleaner’ and more affordable. The ultimate aim is to end fossil-fuelled electricity generation by 2035, as announced by the Government last month as part of its Energy Security Strategy.

For businesses, some core elements of the Bill should help make their electricity costs lower in the long term. The government says the key part of the bill will include:

  • Providing a more organised overview of electricity and gas networks with a new Future System Operator to drive the transition to net zero – which will ultimately help businesses better control energy costs.
  • Help reduce the risk of fuel supply disruption by giving the Government the power to provide financial assistance to or require information from core fuel sector businesses.
  • Bring in new business models for carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS).
  • Britain’s first large-scale trial of heating with low-carbon hydrogen.
  • Setting up a new market standard and a trading scheme for heat pumps, and appointing Ofgem as regulator for heat networks.
  • Competition in onshore electricity networks to try and encourage investment and innovation by businesses.
  • Creation of a new pro-innovation regulatory environment for fusion energy and a safe clean up of legacy nuclear sites.
  • For residential consumers, an extension of the energy price cap.

While business leaders have largely welcomed the announcements, there’s a feeling the Government could go further to protect them from market volatility now and in the future2. There was also disappointment that ministers did not commit to funding for a retrofit strategy, to insulate buildings, which would lower emissions and energy bills.

Reacting to the announcement, Commercial Director of Bryt Energy, Sally Masters said: “We know businesses will be looking very closely at the Energy Bill this and other Government announcements to try and see how ministers are planning to provide help, throughout the current energy price crisis and beyond.

It’s important that a balance is found between increasing the UK’s energy independence and reducing costs, without losing sight of the UK’s net zero goal.

At Bryt Energy, we’re here to support businesses and help them understand what these policies mean for you; our team are on hand at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk if you have any questions.”

CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON CLIMATE TRANSITION PLANS

UK businesses have a unique chance to shape the future of net zero, with the launch of a consultation on the development of a “gold-standard” for climate transition plans.

Launched by HM Treasury, the recently unveiled Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) is now asking businesses what key principles should be accounted for and included in the framework, which will be used to support corporate climate transition strategies.

The Taskforce’s ultimate aim is to set up a framework for corporate transition plans for companies across all sectors. As part of the consultation it hopes to discover whether firms believe plans should be aligned with the UK’s wider 2050 net zero target, feature shorter-term decarbonisation action plans, and enable periodic reporting.

The TPT’s Call for Evidence3 runs until July 13th, following which, the taskforce will develop the framework and aim to publish a draft for consultation by the end of year, ready for finalisation in early 2023.

If you’d like to respond on behalf of your business, use the feedback form at transitiontaskforce.net.

NEW STRATEGIC INNOVATION FUND AVAILABLE

With the UK’s net zero transition picking up pace, more initiatives are being launched that will enable businesses to further play their part.

One opportunity launched earlier last month is the second round of funding under Ofgem and Innovate UK’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)4. It aims to support innovative projects that can help accelerate energy networks’ transition to net zero. The SIF opens for applications in early September and applicants must meet one of the four challenge areas, which are:

 

  • Supporting a just energy transition – ideas that present new ways to identity and support vulnerable customers and help those who are disadvantaged.
  • Preparing for a net zero power system – to help discover new ways to support older energy systems and use new energy sources.
  • Improving energy system resilience and robustness – including ways to develop multi-energy systems and strengthen system robustness.
  • Accelerating decarbonisation of major energy demands – innovators could help manage large-scale demands from heat or transport or improve the energy efficiency of demanding systems.

 

An initial discovery phase will enable innovators to apply for £150,000 to develop their ideas, then projects deemed to have the greatest potential will be awarded up to £500,000 for further development. More funding will then be available for successful projects.

You can learn more about the SIF here.

POST-TRANSITION UK ENERGY OVERSUPPLY COULD CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FLEXIBLE DEMAND

Achieving new energy targets set out in the UK Government’s recently released Energy Strategy could create 72TWh of excess renewable and nuclear energy by 2030 – creating valuable opportunities for flexible demand which can utilise this excess power.

According to research from LCP5, this expected excess demand is equivalent to almost 25% of current demand. Using all of this excess would require 50GW of demand-side flexibility from energy storage, such as batteries, electrolysers and interconnectors to enable exporting. Accelerating the growth in demand-side flexibility would have benefits such as reducing the costs of balancing the grid and helping to mitigate some of the decreasing revenues available for renewable generators to reduce subsidies.

To learn more, click here.

IN OTHER NEWS…
  • The International Energy Association (IEA) is predicting another bumper year for renewables. It comes after the world added a record 295 gigawatts of new renewable power capacity in 2021, a figure which is set to grow further in 2022. But the body warned that stronger policies would be required from world governments to keep the momentum up beyond this year6.
  • With the Government aiming to make the UK “the world’s leading green economy”, the first meeting of the Green Jobs Delivery Group took place last month. The group will support the delivery of up to 480,000 skilled ‘green’ jobs by 2030. According to Government data, more than 68,000 green jobs have already been created or are in the pipeline since the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan in November 2020. These include EV manufacturing in Sunderland, new hydrogen facilities in Teesside, and offshore wind in Yorkshire and Humber7.
  • The government has appointed the UK’s first Offshore Wind Champion, Tim Pick, who will spearhead work to accelerate new offshore wind projects around the UK8. New initiatives include the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Scheme, which will provide £160 million in government funding to boost capacity around the UK. The emerging sector already has two operational projects, including the Kincardine site in Scotland – the world’s largest floating wind farm – the electricity from which is supplied to our parent company, Statkraft, under a long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
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 0121 726 7575 or at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/beis-in-the-2022-queens-speech

2. https://theenergyst.com/paying-the-bill-energy-figures-react-to-queens-speech/

3. https://www.e3g.org/wp-content/uploads/TPT_Call-for-Evidence_Embargoed.pdf

4. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-strategic-innovation-fund-announces-challenge-areas-second-round-funding-help-accelerate-transition-net-zero-0

5. https://www.lcp.uk.com/media-centre/2022/05/government-energy-strategy-seeds-complex-task-of-balancing-future-electricity-supply-and-demand/

6. https://www.iea.org/news/renewable-power-is-set-to-break-another-global-record-in-2022-despite-headwinds-from-higher-costs-and-supply-chain-bottlenecks

7. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/green-jobs-delivery-steps-up-a-gear

8. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/offshore-wind-champion-appointed-as-160m-floating-offshore-wind-fund-opens-for-expressions-of-interest

Electricity market reforms
Attitudes towards energy and renewables
Good news for renewables
Net zero and sustainability
News in Brief

July saw the Met Office’s first ever Red weather warning and temperatures in the UK rise above 40°C for the first time, with scientists “absolutely clear” climate change was the driver1. On the back of such a warning so close to home of the need to tackle climate change, August’s Bryt Insight looks at how proposed reforms to the UK’s energy market and wider system could help us reach net zero by 2050, to prevent global temperatures rising further.

Electricity market reforms

The UK government has launched a consultation on plans for what it called the “biggest electricity market reform in a generation”. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for energy industry views on changes to the wholesale electricity market, which are designed to address volatile gas prices.

The transformational Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) covers a wide range of options to address the combined challenges of responding to higher global energy costs, the need to further boost energy security and the UK’s transition to a net zero energy system. With electricity demand set to double over the next 13 years, its aim is to identify and implement UK electricity market reforms that work for businesses, industry and households.

Some of the proposed changes being consulted on include:

  • Introducing incentives for consumers to draw energy from the grid at cheaper rates
  • Reforming the capacity market to increase participation of low-carbon flexibility technologies
  • Decoupling costly global fossil fuel prices from electricity produced by cheaper renewables

The consultation lasts until October this year, so if you’d like to get involved and have your say, click here.

 

Meanwhile, in its discussion paper Net Zero Britain, Ofgem has put forward a range of potential reforms to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels, and transition to a home-grown energy future. Last October, the Government pledged to decarbonise all of the UK’s electricity generation by 2035 – a key milestone on the path to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Ofgem’s discussion paper responds to this and identifies two key areas of reform, which would help deliver the energy system needed to put the UK on the path to achieving net zero by 2050:

  • To introduce an independent Future System Operator to lead strategic planning of the energy system at not just national level – as previously proposed – but also to oversee the net zero energy transition at a local level.
  • To reform the electricity wholesale market, including limiting the price setting potential of natural gas and using pricing signals to run the system more efficiently.

To find out more, click here.

Attitudes towards energy and renewables

Unsurprisingly, the cost of electricity is worrying British consumers, according to new research into attitudes and concerns around energy conducted on behalf of our parent company, Statkraft3.

The survey captured opinions from more than 2,000 members of the public and found:

  • 76% were worried about rising electricity prices
  • 59% were concerned their savings won’t cover their bills this winter
  • 83% believed the UK should be energy independent

Respondents also had their say on renewables:

  • 55% are concerned climate change targets will be forgotten due to the current energy crisis
  • 88% were unable to name any specific activities the UK has in place to achieve net zero goals
  • 75% said the UK should have started investing in renewable and “green” energy a long time ago

The survey results come after BEIS found more than 80% of Brits would be happy to have ground-mount solar panels in their local area4.

And another survey of 300 hospitality and leisure business owners5 found most were exploring enhanced energy efficiency measures and 50% were considering installing on-site solar panels to help slash their electricity bills.

Despite the immediate focus on rising electricity prices and energy security, it’s encouraging to see the results of these three separate surveys show that businesses and the general public still support and prioritise renewables and low-carbon technologies.

You can read more about the Statkraft survey by clicking here.

Good news for renewables

In a major boost for UK renewables, the country added one-fifth of global offshore wind capacity in 2021, according to the latest Crown Estate Offshore Wind Report6. The analysis found global offshore wind capacity reached more than 48.2GW, of which more than 20% came from the UK. In Britain, enough offshore wind was generated to power one-third of UK homes, up from 4% 10 years ago.

This figure looks set to continue to grow after the Government has revealed the results of the fourth and “most successful ever” Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round, securing contracts for a total of 93 renewable electricity projects totalling 11GW in capacity. Once all the projects are operational, this will increase the UK’s overall offshore wind capacity by a third, boosting the Government’s aim of installing 50GW by 2030. The BEIS report also noted that prices for contracts of offshore wind are 70% lower than those secured in the first CfD allocation back in 2015.

This is potentially good news for businesses looking at their long-term energy costs, with analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) showing the projects could save about £7 billion on electricity costs under current wholesale prices7.

It’s more good news on the sustainability front, after Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub opened in Oxford8. The station, part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, provides 42 fast and ultra-rapid chargers, capable of charging 400 vehicles. Encouragingly, not only is the technology itself low-carbon but it’s also being powered entirely by renewable electricity, with 10 MW of installed capacity on-site.

Net zero and sustainability

The High Court has ruled the Government’s net zero strategy as unlawful9, following a successful legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project, Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and others. The strategy was first published last October – but the High Court ruled plans were “too vague”, meaning there were no detailed measures that assured targets to decarbonise the UK economy by 2050 could be met.

Businesses and others had hoped the original strategy would contain time-bound, sector-specific reductions goals. The Government now has eight months to flesh out and amend the net zero strategy. This means we can expect a more detailed plan to be produced, which should include specific industry emissions reductions targets that could be relevant to your sector and business.

Bryt Energy’s Sustainability Manager, Jos Mister, added: “At Bryt Energy, we aim to support businesses throughout their decarbonisation journeys. Key to those journeys is planning and, in this High Court ruling, there are key learnings we can take at a microlevel. If your business is setting its own carbon reduction goals, you should aim to set time-bound targets, as well as being prepared to share details of how targets will be met, to back up your plan.”

Meanwhile, a major new report on The emerging sustainability information ecosystem, from professional services giant EY, has put forward a number of recommendations for businesses reporting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and data10. EY found that many businesses are using different definitions of ESG and different methodologies to measure performance. As a result, the report calls for ESG data and ratings agencies to be more transparent about how they source their data and calculate their scores. It says that more standardisation and regulation in ESG-related disclosures is necessary to help stamp out greenwashing.

News in Brief
  • The UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner has been appointed11 as part of the country’s Energy Security Strategy – Nick Winser CBE. His role will be to reduce timelines for delivering onshore transmission infrastructure and making sure the right infrastructure to boost electricity flow is in place. It should ensure businesses will be able to benefit from a more affordable, renewable supply of electricity sooner than previously planned.
  • As the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister continues, both remaining candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have pledged to maintain the Government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 205012.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://news.sky.com/story/uk-weather-its-no-longer-denial-its-here-why-climate-change-will-make-this-weeks-uk-heatwave-more-dangerous-12653155
  2. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-proposes-reforms-power-uk-forward-net-zero-home-grown-energy-system
  3. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/majority-british-consumers-call-for-energy-independence/
  4. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/over-80-of-public-happy-with-solar-in-their-local-areas-in-ringing-endorsem
  5. https://www.edie.net/uk-hospitality-and-leisure-firms-eyeing-on-site-solar-and-energy-efficiency-amid-price-crisis-survey-finds/
  6. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/4095/2021-offshore-wind-report.pdf
  7. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/cfd-projects-to-save-britain-7bn-under-current-prices
  8. https://energysuperhuboxford.org/europes-most-powerful-ev-charging-hub-energy-superhub-oxford/
  9. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/govts-climate-strategy-deemed-unlawful-historic-ruling
  10. https://www.ey.com/en_vn/public-policy/five-priorities-to-build-trust-in-esg
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-electricity-networks-commissioner-appointed-to-help-ensure-home-grown-energy-for-britain
  12. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-strengthens-protections-for-taxpayers-in-energy-treaty-negotiations
  13. https://www.channel4.com/news/tory-leadership-race-will-new-leader-pledge-to-2050-net-zero-goal
Electricity market reforms
Attitudes towards energy and renewables
Good news for renewables
Net zero and sustainability
News in Brief

July saw the Met Office’s first ever Red weather warning and temperatures in the UK rise above 40°C for the first time, with scientists “absolutely clear” climate change was the driver1. On the back of such a warning so close to home of the need to tackle climate change, August’s Bryt Insight looks at how proposed reforms to the UK’s energy market and wider system could help us reach net zero by 2050, to prevent global temperatures rising further.

Electricity market reforms

The UK government has launched a consultation on plans for what it called the “biggest electricity market reform in a generation”. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for energy industry views on changes to the wholesale electricity market, which are designed to address volatile gas prices.

The transformational Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) covers a wide range of options to address the combined challenges of responding to higher global energy costs, the need to further boost energy security and the UK’s transition to a net zero energy system. With electricity demand set to double over the next 13 years, its aim is to identify and implement UK electricity market reforms that work for businesses, industry and households.

Some of the proposed changes being consulted on include:

  • Introducing incentives for consumers to draw energy from the grid at cheaper rates
  • Reforming the capacity market to increase participation of low-carbon flexibility technologies
  • Decoupling costly global fossil fuel prices from electricity produced by cheaper renewables

The consultation lasts until October this year, so if you’d like to get involved and have your say, click here.

 

Meanwhile, in its discussion paper Net Zero Britain, Ofgem has put forward a range of potential reforms to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels, and transition to a home-grown energy future. Last October, the Government pledged to decarbonise all of the UK’s electricity generation by 2035 – a key milestone on the path to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Ofgem’s discussion paper responds to this and identifies two key areas of reform, which would help deliver the energy system needed to put the UK on the path to achieving net zero by 2050:

  • To introduce an independent Future System Operator to lead strategic planning of the energy system at not just national level – as previously proposed – but also to oversee the net zero energy transition at a local level.
  • To reform the electricity wholesale market, including limiting the price setting potential of natural gas and using pricing signals to run the system more efficiently.

To find out more, click here.

Attitudes towards energy and renewables

Unsurprisingly, the cost of electricity is worrying British consumers, according to new research into attitudes and concerns around energy conducted on behalf of our parent company, Statkraft3.

The survey captured opinions from more than 2,000 members of the public and found:

  • 76% were worried about rising electricity prices
  • 59% were concerned their savings won’t cover their bills this winter
  • 83% believed the UK should be energy independent

Respondents also had their say on renewables:

  • 55% are concerned climate change targets will be forgotten due to the current energy crisis
  • 88% were unable to name any specific activities the UK has in place to achieve net zero goals
  • 75% said the UK should have started investing in renewable and “green” energy a long time ago

The survey results come after BEIS found more than 80% of Brits would be happy to have ground-mount solar panels in their local area4.

And another survey of 300 hospitality and leisure business owners5 found most were exploring enhanced energy efficiency measures and 50% were considering installing on-site solar panels to help slash their electricity bills.

Despite the immediate focus on rising electricity prices and energy security, it’s encouraging to see the results of these three separate surveys show that businesses and the general public still support and prioritise renewables and low-carbon technologies.

You can read more about the Statkraft survey by clicking here.

Good news for renewables

In a major boost for UK renewables, the country added one-fifth of global offshore wind capacity in 2021, according to the latest Crown Estate Offshore Wind Report6. The analysis found global offshore wind capacity reached more than 48.2GW, of which more than 20% came from the UK. In Britain, enough offshore wind was generated to power one-third of UK homes, up from 4% 10 years ago.

This figure looks set to continue to grow after the Government has revealed the results of the fourth and “most successful ever” Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction round, securing contracts for a total of 93 renewable electricity projects totalling 11GW in capacity. Once all the projects are operational, this will increase the UK’s overall offshore wind capacity by a third, boosting the Government’s aim of installing 50GW by 2030. The BEIS report also noted that prices for contracts of offshore wind are 70% lower than those secured in the first CfD allocation back in 2015.

This is potentially good news for businesses looking at their long-term energy costs, with analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) showing the projects could save about £7 billion on electricity costs under current wholesale prices7.

It’s more good news on the sustainability front, after Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub opened in Oxford8. The station, part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, provides 42 fast and ultra-rapid chargers, capable of charging 400 vehicles. Encouragingly, not only is the technology itself low-carbon but it’s also being powered entirely by renewable electricity, with 10 MW of installed capacity on-site.

Net zero and sustainability

The High Court has ruled the Government’s net zero strategy as unlawful9, following a successful legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project, Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and others. The strategy was first published last October – but the High Court ruled plans were “too vague”, meaning there were no detailed measures that assured targets to decarbonise the UK economy by 2050 could be met.

Businesses and others had hoped the original strategy would contain time-bound, sector-specific reductions goals. The Government now has eight months to flesh out and amend the net zero strategy. This means we can expect a more detailed plan to be produced, which should include specific industry emissions reductions targets that could be relevant to your sector and business.

Bryt Energy’s Sustainability Manager, Jos Mister, added: “At Bryt Energy, we aim to support businesses throughout their decarbonisation journeys. Key to those journeys is planning and, in this High Court ruling, there are key learnings we can take at a microlevel. If your business is setting its own carbon reduction goals, you should aim to set time-bound targets, as well as being prepared to share details of how targets will be met, to back up your plan.”

Meanwhile, a major new report on The emerging sustainability information ecosystem, from professional services giant EY, has put forward a number of recommendations for businesses reporting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and data10. EY found that many businesses are using different definitions of ESG and different methodologies to measure performance. As a result, the report calls for ESG data and ratings agencies to be more transparent about how they source their data and calculate their scores. It says that more standardisation and regulation in ESG-related disclosures is necessary to help stamp out greenwashing.

News in Brief
  • The UK’s first Electricity Networks Commissioner has been appointed11 as part of the country’s Energy Security Strategy – Nick Winser CBE. His role will be to reduce timelines for delivering onshore transmission infrastructure and making sure the right infrastructure to boost electricity flow is in place. It should ensure businesses will be able to benefit from a more affordable, renewable supply of electricity sooner than previously planned.
  • As the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister continues, both remaining candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have pledged to maintain the Government’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 205012.
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 solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources
  1. https://news.sky.com/story/uk-weather-its-no-longer-denial-its-here-why-climate-change-will-make-this-weeks-uk-heatwave-more-dangerous-12653155
  2. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/ofgem-proposes-reforms-power-uk-forward-net-zero-home-grown-energy-system
  3. https://www.statkraft.co.uk/newsroom/news-and-stories/archive/2022/majority-british-consumers-call-for-energy-independence/
  4. https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/over-80-of-public-happy-with-solar-in-their-local-areas-in-ringing-endorsem
  5. https://www.edie.net/uk-hospitality-and-leisure-firms-eyeing-on-site-solar-and-energy-efficiency-amid-price-crisis-survey-finds/
  6. https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/4095/2021-offshore-wind-report.pdf
  7. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/cfd-projects-to-save-britain-7bn-under-current-prices
  8. https://energysuperhuboxford.org/europes-most-powerful-ev-charging-hub-energy-superhub-oxford/
  9. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/govts-climate-strategy-deemed-unlawful-historic-ruling
  10. https://www.ey.com/en_vn/public-policy/five-priorities-to-build-trust-in-esg
  11. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-electricity-networks-commissioner-appointed-to-help-ensure-home-grown-energy-for-britain
  12. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-strengthens-protections-for-taxpayers-in-energy-treaty-negotiations
  13. https://www.channel4.com/news/tory-leadership-race-will-new-leader-pledge-to-2050-net-zero-goal