Should the Carbon Price Floor be scrapped?

The Carbon Price Floor (“CPF”) is a UK government mechanism designed to support decarbonisation by making it more expensive to generate electricity with carbon-intensive fuels. The doubling in the CPF in 2015 from £9 / tonne to £18 / tonne means the CPF now represents about 34% of the marginal cost of a coal-fired generator and…

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EFR: what we learned from the first auction

The first auction for enhanced frequency response (“EFR”) in the UK closed at the end of August, with just over 200 MW being secured by National Grid under 4-year contracts, at unexpectedly low prices. All of the winning sites were as yet un-built battery storage projects, and there were a significant number of similar projects…

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Transmission matters: it’s not just about capacity

Transmission systems are key to delivering security of supply and yet tend to be treated as an afterthought – note for example Germany’s massive deployment of renewables in the north of the country without a corresponding investment in the necessary transmission capacity to deliver it to the demand centres in the south. As noted in my…

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Turndown DSR should be a no-brainer, so what’s holding it back?

Turndown DSR is what most people think of when demand-side response is mentioned, ie reduction of demand by consumers in response to either price signals or instructions from the system operator. As it involves reduced consumption and moving consumption from periods of higher to lower demand, turndown DSR is both economically efficient and consistent with…

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Tight system sees power prices spiking

Does the current tight system give a flavour of the winter ahead? This week has seen high peak power prices, with day-ahead prices in the N2EX auction spiking at £999/MWh yesterday, as the system was shocked by a combination of planned maintenance, unplanned outages, low wind output and high demand as the unseasonable warm temperatures led…

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National Grid to recover most but not all black start costs

Back in June I described the increasing costs National Grid is incurring to protect the UK’s black start capabilities. Over the summer, Ofgem issued its decision on cost recovery, and ruled that while National Grid could recover the costs of the Fiddler’s Ferry contract, only part of the Drax costs would be recoverable. National Grid…

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Intriguing ideas and energy innovations of the future

  The energy sector is undergoing a period of significant change with the rapid emergence and adoption of renewable technologies, notably solar PV and wind. Developments in storage promise significant disruptions in the medium term, alongside smart grids, and by the mid 2020s we could see new generation nuclear technologies and tidal power adding to…

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Making waves with tidal power

  The idea of tidal power has fascinated me since I was told (by a tour guide) that the tidal range of the Thames at Tower Bridge was 10 metres. In fact it’s “only” 6.6 metres, but watching the daily rise and fall of the river from the window of my Docklands flat, the sheer,…

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