Clean energy to power over seven million homes by 2025 at record low prices

Twelve new renewable energy projects have won Contracts for Difference – enough to power over seven million homes at record low costs.

  • Around 6GW of clean energy is to be added to the grid by 2025 – an important step towards decarbonising our energy system and reaching net zero emissions by 2050
  • Results show the UK’s leadership in offshore wind, creating up to 8,000 jobs across the UK and economic opportunities as we leave the European Union

Twelve new renewable energy projects will be powering over seven million homes at record low prices thanks to the latest round of the government’s flagship Contracts for Difference scheme.

The new projects will provide around 6GW of capacity – 2.4GW more than the last round. For the first time renewables are expected to come online below market prices and without additional subsidy on bills, meaning a better deal for consumers. The costs of offshore wind are now around 30% lower than the second auction held in 2017, with projects now being delivered for as low as £39.65/MWh.

The new projects and lower prices are another step toward decarbonising our energy system as we work toward net zero emissions by 2050, creating jobs and economic opportunities across the UK. According to research by RenewableUK, the new projects could see 8,000 jobs created.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The UK is leading the way in the fight against climate change, and it’s great news that millions more homes will be powered by clean energy at record low prices.

Seizing the opportunities of clean energy not only helps to protect our planet, but will also back businesses and boost jobs across the UK.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Offshore wind is a British success story, with new projects at record low prices creating new opportunities for jobs and economic growth as we leave the EU.

The support we’re announcing today will mean that over 7 million more homes will be powered by renewable energy as we decarbonise our energy system – crucial as we continue on the road to net zero emissions by 2050.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s primary method of supporting low-carbon electricity. It encourages investment in renewables by providing projects with a stable income while protecting consumers from paying increased support costs when electricity prices are high.

Renewables projects across the UK have been awarded CfDs – from Birmingham to Orkney. Successful technology types include:

  • Offshore wind – wind projects off the UK coast delivering up to a third of our electricity coming from the technology by 2030;
  • Advanced Conversion Technologies – converting waste which would otherwise go to landfill into energy;
  • Remote Island Wind – wind projects on the remote islands of the UK which can take advantage of strong winds.

Today’s results are the latest stage of the government’s support for renewable energy. In March 2019 we signed a ground-breaking £250 million sector deal with the offshore wind industry which committed us to maximising opportunities and sourcing up to a third of electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

Read the results: Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round 3

The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, with around 8GW installed at the end of 2018. This is expected to rise to 10GW by next year, and even further as more projects start contributing power to the grid into the 2020s.

In June the government committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and ending the UK’s contribution to global warming altogether. The UK has already made a strong start in decarbonising its energy system, with renewables generating a record 33% of the country’s electricity last year.

It has been estimated that the low carbon economy in the UK could grow four times faster than rest of the economy out to 2030 and could deliver between £60 billion and £170 billion in exports by 2030. Today’s results demonstrate the potential of renewables to create such ‘green-collar’ jobs.

Ofgem to protect customers of failed supplier Eversmart Energy

Eversmart Energy, an energy supplier with around 29,000 domestic customers and a very small number of business customers has ceased to trade.

Under Ofgem’s safety net, the energy supply of Eversmart Energy’s customers will continue and prepayment meters can be topped up as normal. The outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.

Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on all of Eversmart Energy’s customers. This supplier will contact these customers shortly after being appointed.

Ofgem’s advice to Eversmart Energy’s customers in the meantime is to:

  • Not switch to another energy supplier until a new one has been appointed and you have been contacted by them in the following weeks. 
  • Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.

This will make the process of transferring customers over to the chosen supplier, and paying back any outstanding credit balances, as smooth as possible.

Philippa Pickford, Ofgem’s director for future retail markets, said:

“Eversmart Energy customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we’ll make sure your energy supplies are secure and domestic customers’ credit balances are protected.

“Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you and whilst we’re doing this our advice is to ‘sit tight’ and don’t switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff.” 

Updates are available from our website or through our twitter feed @ofgem.

Customers who have questions should visit the FAQs on Ofgem website or https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-safety-net-business for business customers. Or if they need additional support, call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or email them via their webform. Advice will also be shared on Ofgem’s twitter @ofgem and facebook channels.

UK Government doubles funding for on-street electric car charging

  • Transport Secretary announces extra £2.5 million for chargepoints on residential streets
  • extra funding means people who don’t have their own off-street parking will have better access to charging infrastructure near home
  • investment in charging infrastructure will support UK’s move towards net zero emissions by 2050 and efforts to further improve air quality

Owning and charging an electric vehicle is set to become more convenient than ever thanks to an additional £2.5 million to fund the installation of over 1,000 new chargepoints, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (Monday 12 August 2019).

The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, launched in 2017, which helps people access charging infrastructure near their homes when they don’t have off-street parking. It will go towards helping local authorities to install these chargepoints, which can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts. The scheme aims to encourage even more people to choose an electric vehicle by making it easier to charge their cars near home, following a 158% increase in battery electric vehicle sales compared to July last year.

The scheme has already seen 16 local authorities prepared to install 1,200 chargepoints this year. The Transport Secretary is now doubling funding for the popular scheme to meet demand and accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles as the UK moves towards net zero emissions by 2050 and further improve air quality.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle chargepoints than petrol stations, but we want to do much more.

It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.

That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution – right across the country.

The allocation of funding for on-street residential chargepoints is part of the £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy consists of one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world, supporting the move towards a cleaner, greener, accessible and reliable UK transport network.

As part of this, the government is also investing £37 million into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking and put the UK on the map as the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle.

Innovations to receive investment include underground charging systems, solar powered charging forecourts and wireless charging projects. Much like current mobile phone technology, wireless charging could mean an end to needing to plug your electric vehicle in.

Next STEP in fusion [Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production]

The spherical tokamak is a promising type of compact fusion machine, which has been under development since the 1980s. UKAEA will start operating its new spherical tokamak called MAST-U in 2020, opening an exciting new chapter in the drive towards practical fusion energy.

The STEP programme will develop and identify solutions to the challenges of delivering fusion energy, benefiting from UKAEA’s breadth of expertise and its suite of research facilities – RACEMRF, H3AT and FTF – to deliver an integrated concept design.

The technical objectives of STEP are:

  • Deliver predictable net electricity greater than 100MW
  • Innovate to exploit fusion energy beyond electricity production
  • Ensure tritium self-sufficiency
  • Materials and components qualification under appropriate fusion conditions
  • Viable path to affordable lifecycle costs

The UK government has announced £20 million for the first year, launching STEP as a collaborative programme that combines the strengths of UKAEA with industry, universities and other organisations.

STEP offers numerous procurement opportunities, set out in the STEP Programme Procurement Plan Schedule. This is published every quarter and sets out procurement opportunities as well as details of the responsible procurement officer who can be contacted for more information. Note that tender dates are subject to change.

Wiring Matters – Issue 76 – July 2019

Issue 76 of the IET Wiring Matters magazine is out now ! Here is a brief look at what is in this issue :-

Protective bonding habits

Over the years, the requirements for protective bonding in the IET Wiring Regulations have changed. This article expands on James Eade’s November 2018 Wiring Matters article, where he touched upon some items of metallic equipment, which are usually bonded even when they are not considered to be extraneous-conductive-parts.

Latest developments in International Standards for supplies for electric vehicles

In this article they look at some of the international standards for electric vehicle charging.

An Interview with Michael Peace

The IET’s newest Senior  Engineer, Michael Peace, will be familiar to Wiring Matters readers as the author of last issue’s article  ‘To Bond or not to Bond’. The IET’s Cameron Fraser sat down with him, and found out more about the newest addition to the team.

Elex Shows

As an electrician it is now more important than ever to stay up to date with the latest information and regulations within the industry.  Following the Harrogate Elex tradeshow, show sponsors the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) are heading to Coventry on the 19th & 20th September.

Crabtree: 100 years of safety remembered and celebrated

Crabtree began on 17th April 1919 when John Ashworth Crabtree designed a quick make and break switch.

Read this issue in full here