RIIO reform: current regime too generous to network companies

On the 12th July, Ofgem issued an open letter launching the process for establishing the next round of price controls, known as “RIIO-2”, for the GB gas and electricity systems. These price controls determine the amount of allowable expenditure for network companies (which includes owners and operators of the transmission and distribution networks) and the…

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Future Energy Scenarios: interrogating the crystal ball

National Grid has published its latest future energy scenarios going out to 2050. The scenarios are based on the (in)famous energy trilemma: security of supply, de-carbonisation and affordability, and provide what National Grid says are “credible pathways for the future of energy for Great Britain”. In this post I will explore what these scenarios mean…

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Leaving Euratom: disaster or opportunity?

Since the announcement in on 29 March that as well as exiting the EU, the UK would also be withdrawing from Euratom, the European Atomic Energy Community, there has been much consternation, with fears ranging from the UK potentially being barred from importing nuclear material, to Brexit threatening cancer treatments. So what is the story…

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US shale gas enters the GB energy mix

On Saturday the LNG carrier Maran Gas Mystras docked at National Grid’s Isle of Grain facility bringing with it the UK’s first cargo of US LNG since a small cargo that arrived at the Canvey Island terminal in 1964. This new shipment, enough to meet around half of the UK’s average daily summer demand, is…

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The political pressures driving new nuclear

This week has seen two significant prices of news relating to the new nuclear reactor being constructed at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Firstly, the French nuclear regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (“ASN”), has made a preliminary decision relating to the pressure vessel at Flamanville, the proto-type European Pressurised Water Reactor for the HPC build,…

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