DECC announces 5 year plan
DECC has outlined how both DECC and DEFRA will spend their annual budgets, of £3.3bn and £2bn respectively in 2015/16.
According to EDIE, Amber Rudd’s department will, “Ensure the UK has a secure and resilient energy system,” by driving a “significant expansion of new nuclear,” considering new smart technologies such as energy storage and demand side response, plus supporting fracking to supplement gas production from the North Sea and doubling funding for energy innovation.
As yet, there is no news on the Business Energy Tax Review, which the Government is expected to respond to in the 2016 Budget. Overall, commentators want more meat on the detail behind DECC’s 5 year goals to secure UK power supplies.
DECC has said it will be spending £295m in public sector energy efficiency over the next five years, “To cut energy costs, save carbon and free up resources for other priorities.”
David Reed, head of npower Business Solutions, told EDIE: “It’s encouraging to see demand side response at the heart of DECC’s 5 year plan. However, we agree with DECC that there continues to be ‘significant, untapped potential’ for energy savings in the business sector.”
UK energy production and consumption in 2015 released
The latest numbers show UK low carbon electricity generation continues to increase, accounting for almost half electricity generation, 43%, from major power producers last year; up from 33% for 2014. Nuclear made up the majority of this, contributing 23% to the overall generation mix; a 2.5% increase from last year. Total production of low carbon electricity in the UK rose by 14% in 2015. Total production of coal fell by 27% to a record low for the UK.
Overall, the UK’s energy production rose by 9% from 2014, while primary consumption of total energy decreased by 1%; a dynamic that DECC attributes to the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Hinkley Point chaos continues; UK faces blackouts
The Economist argues it would be best if Britain’s French nuclear partner threw in the towel; EDF has still failed to make its Final Investment Decision (FID) which would effectively seal the Hinkley deal. Without this, the new plant cannot break ground.
With ongoing policy fears on Hinkley, UK energy certainty is in tatters. The Economist reminds readers the government has pledged to pay £92.5 per megawatt hour for 35 years once Hinkley starts producing; triple current wholesale prices, should the plant get built.
While EDF dithers, The Industrial Communities Alliance, an all party association of councils from across Britain, says Britain is heading for power cuts. A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change denied blackouts were looming, writes the Guardian.
“We are clear that providing a secure supply of affordable energy for our families and businesses is non-negotiable,” he said. Despite this, the majority of news and policy this February majors on energy security fears, amid calls for evidence of the way forward from Government.
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