SSE – npower merger: moving the industry chess pieces

A lot is written about the changing shape of the GB power market, with increasing decentralisation, and a shift away from large units of synchronous generation to more dispersed often intermittent renewable generation. Rather less is written about the changing commercial environment on the retail side of the business. The proposed merger of the retail…

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Incremental balancing services reform announced – more is to come

Last week, National Grid announced a rationalisation of its frequency response balancing services as part of its wider review of the needs of the electricity system. As the electricity system becomes more decentralised with an increasing contribution from intermittent sources of generation, the traditional methods of balancing the system and controlling system frequency are increasingly…

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Helm’s proposal for a default electricity tariff could go further

In my previous post, I described the findings of Dieter Helm’s review into electricity pricing. Here I will explore in more detail the section on supply costs and his recommendation that a default electricity tariff be implemented, which is particularly relevant in light of the legislation to cap electricity prices which is currently passing through…

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The Helm review: some good ideas but lacking in detail

Last week Dieter Helm published the findings of his review into energy pricing and found that the cost of energy is significantly higher than it should be, and energy policy, regulation and market design are not fit for purpose. (It should be noted that the terms of reference for the review extended only to electricity,…

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Finding ways to exploit Iceland’s unique energy resources

Back in April, the press was full of the news that a new Icelandic energy project could revive the prospects of IceLink, the Iceland – UK interconnector project. This week has seen progress in another energy project which may also be of international interest.   Unique energy position Iceland is unique in its energy position…

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The Clean Growth Strategy: long on ambition, short on detail

Last week the Government published its long awaited Clean Growth Strategy, described by the Telegraph as the coming of age of the green agenda. Clean growth is defined in the document as growing the UK’s national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which are expressed in terms of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent….

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Local flexibility markets mark the emergence of the new DSOs

The electricity system is in transition. Transmission connected, centralised synchronous generation is being displaced by multiple small installations of intermittent asynchronous generation connected at the distribution level. Advances in sub-transmission technology including as storage, smart homes, electric vehicles, DSR and others are challenging the traditional design of networks. Accommodating these changes though traditional DNO operations…

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Changing regulatory landscape for electricity storage is not all good news

The last couple of months have seen some interesting newsflow in relation to electricity storage. Storage projects are increasingly popular, with developments occurring at every level of the system from grid-connected utility-scale projects to behind-the-meter domestic storage, and the Government together with Ofgem is keen to remove barriers to entry to allow storage assets to…

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