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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Transmission charging: an out-dated cost-recovery framework distorts the market

Transmission charging is far from simple even in the traditional model of electricity networks, as illustrated by the diagram below. In principle, the costs of bringing electricity from large units of generation to consumers is socialised across users via three main tariffs: Transmission Use of System Charges (“TNUoS”), Balancing Services Use of System Charges (“BSUoS”) and…

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