Five things we learnt from Energy Spectrum | Issue 650

We present five key themes and findings from this week’s edition of Energy Spectrum Issue 650

It could be hard for market participants particularly small ones to see where and how they can understand or influence progress in the midst of Ofgem’s review of network access arrangements and the forward-looking element of network charges. In this week’s Energy Perspective, we examine the key themes of Ofgem’s latest plans and their potential effects. These are likely to include significant long-term impacts on the size, shape and nature of the networks going forwards. For access arrangements and forward-looking charges, the picture is particularly complex because the potential scope and focus of the work itself is a matter of judgement, priorities and resources.

The government’s Clean Air Strategy should act as a stimulant for further decarbonisation across heat and transport. In the Policy section, we analyse Defra’s finalised Clean Air Strategy, finding the department’s focus on residential emissions caused by biomass heating systems is one of the key areas for action. Industry groups welcomed the ambition, but called for consideration of the broader evidence on the benefits of bioenergy.

Recent speeches at Ofgem’s Future of Energy conference represent a manifesto for change in the energy sector, against which senior figures will be judged against. In the Regulation section, Energy Spectrum explores how the regulator’s priorities are aligning to those set out by BEIS Secretary Greg Clark in his November speech.

Gas supply costs continue to fall, with electricity and gas costs diverging. In Industry Structure, Cornwall Insight’s own research shows how though the monthly gas cost index has largely mirrored its electricity counterpart across 2018, the two diverged in December, with the gas index falling 18 points, exclusively driven by falling wholesale costs, while power costs have held steady.

The government will try hard to get Sizewell cover the line and then quietly shelve addition new nuclear build arguing that a combination of renewables, storage, and interconnections can replicate the benefits of nuclear. This is the conclusion of Cornwall Insight Associate Peter Atherton in Nutwood, considering the confirmation from Hitachi that it was suspending all development work by its UK Horizon nuclear development company.

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Customers may also find of interest an infographic review of Cornwall Insight in 2018.

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