German Energiewende: a billion euro mistake?

Germany’s Energiewende and the resulting rapid expansion of renewable energy in Germany has been held out as the model for other nations to follow, but there are growing doubts as to its effectiveness. As I have noted before, the decision to exit nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster has meant that at…

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National Grid skirts calls for an independent system operator…for now

Last summer the House of Commons Energy and Climate Committee raised questions about the conflicts of interest inherent in National Grid’s role as the electricity system operator and recommended that the government should create an independent SO to mitigate these concerns (described in my previous blog post here). Not surprisingly, National Grid was opposed to…

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Creation of local energy markets

This week saw the launch of a £19 million 3-year local energy market pilot in Cornwall. The programme, developed by Centrica and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, comprises four elements: A virtual flexibility marketplace; A DSR platform for businesses; Energy storage; and Micro CHP and/or batteries to be installed in up to 100…

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Do we need an independent system operator?

Calls are growing for the UK electricity system to be managed by an independent system operator (“ISO”) whose activities are separate from the ownership of the wires themselves. Such a change would require nationalisation of the system operation activities of National Grid, and the creation of a new regulatory framework for the electricity system. This would…

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Subsidies central: electricity markets need fundamental reform to remove distortions

Subsidies and extra-market support now underpin every part of the UK electricity market, and as a result, some technologies benefit from double payments and others double charging, and since the double payments are going to diesel generators and the double charging to battery storage, the system is creating perverse incentives that conflict with core government policy. Attention…

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Energy market innovation: timing is everything

The past few days have seen Tempus Energy surrendering its supply licence in order to focus purely on wholesale market trading, and Tidal Energy, the Welsh tidal stream technology company go into administration. Analysis by the Financial Times indicates that even in mature segments of the energy sector, in particular end-user supply, new entrants struggle…

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