Solar spurs growth in turn-up DSR

The need for the new Turn-Up DSR service was clearly shown on Saturday 25 March when daytime electricity demand fell below overnight demand for the first time, due to high levels of solar PV generation. According to government data, there is currently over 7.3 GW operational solar PV installed in GB, with a further 446…

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Inductive charging: can it deliver a world without wires?

One of the downsides of the proliferation of smart devices is the seemingly greater proliferation of charging devices. Go on holiday, and one of the first questions is whether sufficient chargers (and adaptors) have been packed for all the phones, tablets, cameras, laptops, e-readers, gaming devices and so on, so it’s not surprising that wireless…

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Big Data in Energy: big opportunities and big risks

Explosion of data in the energy industry Big data is everywhere in today’s energy industry and it’s getting bigger. To most people, energy data is about consumption metrics, however data is changing the market in all parts of the value chain. Generators use market data to optimise their dispatch, ramping flexible assets up and down…

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Why energy price caps are not the way forward

Once again we hear in the news the ominous threats of energy price caps in response to retailers raising their prices, and while the desire of politicians to respond to consumer anger is understandable, this is a temptation they need to resist. The dangerous logic of price caps assumes that prices are inflated in order…

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The shifting sands of the UK gas market

The UK gas market is facing unprecedented changes, with a conflation of declining North Sea production, threats to the UK’s gas storage capability, and of course, Brexit. Historically, UK gas came almost entirely from domestic production, with a small amount of imports from Norway, however over the past decade the UK’s North Sea output has been…

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Energy security: can you ever have too much?

I recently wrote about the calls from the House of Lords for energy security to be prioritised over the other elements of the trilemma. With the end of Winter 16 almost upon us, and with it the end of the Supplementary Balancing Reserve (“SBR”), it’s reasonable to ask what is level of supply margin is…

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Smart street lighting: a case study in integrated thinking

A significant energy innovation in recent years has been the emergence of electric vehicles (“EVs”), however one of the challenges inhibiting their mass deployment relates to the lack of charging points – 33% of households in outer London have no access to off-street parking to charge an EV, rising to 46% in inner London. Innovations in smart…

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Embedded benefits: changes coming from all directions

The much anticipated changes to the embedded benefits regime came a step closer last week with Ofgem’s announcement that it is minded to implement a proposed change to the CUSC that would limit the demand residual component of TNUoS payments to embedded generators to around £2 /kW, down from current levels of £45 /kW. A…

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House of Lords joins call for electricity market reform

Last week the UK’s House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs joined the calls for electricity market reform, in a critical report: The Price of Power: Reforming the Electricity Market saying that the Government’s energy policy objectives conflict with each other, and have led to a situation where supply margins are tight at the…

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