As one of the first major incentive regimes for the deployment of renewable energy in the UK, the Renewables Obligation (RO) has been responsible for delivering much of the UK’s renewable new-build generation. Ofgem E-Serve has announced that RO accredited power stations generated 69.1 terawatt hours (TWh) or 23.4% of UK electricity between April 2015 and the end of March 2016. However, as a demand-led scheme the higher than expected costs of the RO combined with the political positioning of the Conservative Party Manifesto prompted its early closure. First announced by George Osborne in June 2015, there have been a series of announcements and publications dismantling the regime and introducing grace periods and closure dates for specific technologies.
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It feels as if the energy sector has been dominated by political rhetoric around prices for an age. Too often it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction so it’s no surprise that in this context, our event about a well-functioning retail market as part of the Energy UK Breakfast Briefing series was packed out with people wanting to know more.
An important milestone was reached on 29 March when the UK Government formally notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 50 provides for a two-year period to negotiate exit arrangements and to establish a framework for future relations. The timescale is likely to be tight for such a complex negotiation, particularly since the Commission has announced the intention to finalise the agreement by September 2018 in order to allow six months for ratification.
The transition to a flexible electricity market is rightly seen as fundamental to the decarbonisation of the sector at least cost. The ability to provide a quick response to the intermittent supply provided by renewable sources is a necessity to their more wide-spread deployment.
Yesterday I joined a group from the Young Energy Professionals (YEP) Forum for a trip to Hive HQ, near Tottenham Court Road, to learn about how tech and innovation is making the interconnected home a reality.