The Energy Bulletin: In the news April 2017

This month, we’ve seen huge news – a snap General Election scheduled for June – and some huge new milestones – record-breaking renewable energy generation and supplies.

Read on to find out the top stories for the UK energy market for April 2017.

general election, energy news, energy market, 10 Downing Street

General Election 2017: Energy bill cap ‘will hit consumers’ | BBC News

In the wake of the early General Election news, the Conservative Party has announced plans to implement a cap on household energy bills. This has been criticised by several members of the energy industry, but have been proposed to “make markets work better”.

The cap has been defended by some as a way of shaking up the market and encouraging more consumers to switch, but critics say it will stop competition and therefore cost more in the long run. Read more from both sides in this report from the BBC.

 

GB energy supply enjoys coal-free day for ‘first time since the industrial revolution’ | Clean Energy News

Britain’s electricity supply went a full 24 hours without relying on coal power this month, as reported by the National Grid on the eve of 21 April.

It’s the first time our electricity supply has been coal free since the industrial revolution, reports say. Instead, the energy came from a mix including gas (47%), nuclear (20%), wind (14%), biomass (6%) and others.

The news has been happily received by environmental groups. Head of energy at Greenpeace, Hannah Martin, commented: “A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in ten years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again.

“The direction of travel is that both in the UK and globally we are already moving towards a low carbon economy.”

 

UK breaks solar energy record on sunny March weekend | The Guardian

Yet another record was broken in the last month, and it’s another win for renewable energy, this time thanks to sunny weather and solar panels.

For the first time ever, a weekend in March saw the demand for electricity dipping lower in the afternoon than the demand at night-time. This has been called a “huge milestone” by the National Grid, and has been chalked up to increased solar generation.

Solar power generated six times more electricity than coal-powered stations, and with night demand higher than day, the occurrence has been described as “another fascinating sign of the huge changes we are seeing in Britain’s energy scene.” See the article linked above for more details.

 

Last month wind power provided enough energy for 136% of Scottish households | Independent

Over the last month, a whopping 1.2 million megawatt hours of electricity were provided to the National Grid through wind turbine power alone.

This is energy equivalent to that needed to power 3.3 million homes, and is an increase of 81% compared to the same month of last year.

“Given this March wasn’t as windy as it has been in some previous years, this year’s record output shows the importance of continuing to increase capacity by building new wind farms,” commented Lang Banks of WWF Scotland. Click on the link above to find out more.

 

Energy projects including Hinkley Point threatened by Brexit, experts warn | The Guardian

Experts including speakers from Chatham House have voiced concerns that the possibility of Britain being denied access to Europe’s internal energy market would mean a major threat for projects such as the newest Hinkley Point nuclear power plant.

As well as the import and export of energy with Europe, some have also voiced concerns about lack of resource like construction specialists without access to European resources. Read more from those who have spoken out in the round-up linked above.

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