logo new

Energy Prices

  • Ofgem announce smart meter investigation

    Three energy companies are to be investigated for their performance relating to the Governments advanced meter rollout scheme. N power, E-on and British Gas have been singled out as the energy companies with the lowest amount of completion rates.

    The roll out scheme first began in 2009 and energy firms were expected to take reasonable steps to install the advanced metres into 155,000 business customers in the UK. However, according to Ofgem, only 75% of the installations were completed by the deadline of April 2014.

    The three energy companies highlighted by Ofgem have the lowest completion rates, with 40,000 installations still waiting to be carried out.  Even though the deadline has now passed, the energy companies are still obliged to install the metres, and although N Power, E-on and British Gas were the companies with the lowest amount of installations, there are still several energy firms that did not meet the stipulated deadline.

    The rollout programme began as the advance metres, or smart meters as they are often known, can help business and domestic households to save money by giving them a better idea of how energy around their homes and businesses is used. The Government estimates that these smart meters will enable companies to save £40 million every year.

    Commenting in a press release, Rachel Fletcher, senior partner for Ofgem’s markets division, said:

    “We are disappointed in the overall performance of the majority of suppliers concerning the roll-out of advanced meters to business customers. These new meters offer real benefits to customers including saving money through reduced energy consumption and ending estimated billing.”

    “Regulatory and government programmes are not optional and failure to meet these in a timely way causes consumer harm. All suppliers can and must learn the lessons from the roll-out of meters for business customers and apply them to the domestic smart meter roll-out.”

    Since the commencement of the programme, Ofgem has been responsible for monitoring the energy firms’ progress, and it has consistently told them about the importance of completing the project on time. The investigation will now seek to find out whether or not British Gas, N power and E-on took reasonable efforts to ensure that they met the deadline.

    Soon, energy firms are to roll-out a programme  to fit smart meters into domestic households throughout the UK, however, there has been a lot of criticism over these plans as the meters have been shown to not always make the householder significant savings.

  • Report highlights need for fresh investment in the oil and gas industry

    A new report shows how competitiveness in the oil and gas industry is improving, The Oil and Gas UK economic report also highlights how the cost of extracting oil and gas have fallen dramatically and how productivity has increased by 10%. However, it also details the importance of new investment into the sector.

    Lack of capital investment and exploration

    Another factor highlighted in the report is the declining capital investment for the industry: £9 billion was invested in 2015, compared with over £14 billion in 2014. In addition, job losses are a continuing concern for the sector, as well as declining revenues for the supply chain, which fell by 30 per cent.

    The report goes on to explain how the lack of exploration continues to be a concern. It states that there are low levels of exploration, with only ten wells subject to exploration and appraisal activity in 2015.  In addition, only one new field received approval, and brownfield investment was also on the decline with just five projects given the go ahead in 2016.

    Commenting on the report, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, Deidre Michie said:

    “The UKCS is in urgent need of fresh investment to boost exploration and drive activity, particularly for the supply chain.

     “Exploration has fallen to record lows and little new investment has been approved in 2016 and 2017 looks no better.  Increased asset trading is one area that could free up new investment by facilitating the trading of late-life assets.”

    Calls for government action and recognition

    As a result of the report’s findings, Michie is urging the government to “champion the UK’s oil and gas industry”. One of the measures Michie specifically called for was ‘encouragement’ for new entrants into the sector.

    Although Oil and Gas UK remain focused on increasing productivity and efficiency, while reducing costs in the sector, it’s still asking that the Oil and Gas authority, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial strategy and HM Treasury offer further support for the industry.

    One of the steps Oil and Gas UK have requested is for the government to reaffirm its commitment to the Driving Investment Strategy, which was first published in 2014. The Strategy detailed the need for reform in the industry; reforms already introduced were aimed at increasing exploration and aiding the UCKS to compete for investment, however, despite these efforts, exploration is now at an all-time low.

    Oil and Gas UK also ask industry and government bodies to “work together to create a low tax, high activity province which can continue to support the important supply chain based here and position our sector in the best place to take advantage of any potential upturn.”

  • The end of an era for Didcot A

    The end of an era for the Didcot A cooling towers has been announced. Three of the Didcot A cooling towers have been demolished The Didcot A cooling towers had helped to secure energy supplies in the UK for more than 40 years.

    New gas stations will take over energy production and they aim to provide consumers with low cost electricity. The demolition is part of RWE’s commitment to renewable technologies. RWE says that it has invested more than £6 billion pounds into finding greener technologies and state-of-the-art gas fired power stations.

    A statement from RWE, which is one of Europe’s leading gas and electricity companies, says that the demolition of Didcot A will have minimal impact on Didcot B and the plant at Didcot will continue to play an essential part in power generation, producing enough gas to fuel 1 million homes in the UK.

    Commenting on the demolition of Didcot A, Kevin Nix, Head of RWE Generation UK, said:

    ”Although this is a sad day and the end of an era in many ways, I am very pleased that the technically challenging demolition of the southern cooling towers has been carried out successfully and above all with the safety of all those involved, including the local community, as its highest priority. This is entirely due to months of pre-planning and the professionalism of the specialist teams involved.”

    An expert team is continuing to work at Didcot to oversee the demolition of the rest of the site. The northern cooling towers will also be felled along with other structures from the Didcot power station. The aim is to complete the demolition work by 2016.

    Plans to close the Didcot A were first announced in 2012 and it was finally closed in 2013; decommissioning of Didcot A started last year and took nine months.

    The demolition of Didcot A is a reflection of the changing face of power generation in the UK. In recent years, the government has been urging energy firms to find cleaner, greener forms of energy and to find ways of reducing carbon emissions.

    As part of government plans to find renewable forms of power generation, the government has announced a number of initiatives to encourage energy firms to find greener forms of energy production. The government has invested considerable funds to help drive the UK towards clean energy and it is committed to spending more in the years to come.

  • UK companies express concerns over government energy policy

    A new survey carried out by Npower shows that British businesses lack confidence in the government’s energy policies. Nearly 60% of businesses surveyed felt that the energy policies unveiled by the Government did not reflect industries actual needs.

    A further 62% also expressed doubt over the future energy policies that are planned by the current government. This includes the Governments Electricity Market Reform, which aims to move the United Kingdom towards a lower carbon future.

    According to the survey’s findings, UK companies are not happy for their existing energy bills to increase so that low carbon energy solutions can be funded; more than 80% of those interviewed stated that the cost of energy is the most important issue for their business, while only 41% said that a low carbon future was their priority.

    More than 25% said that they would not welcome their energy bills increasing to help fund lower carbon initiatives, while another 30% stated that it was unlikely that their businesses would be prepared to pay extra for the cost of low carbon solutions.

    Wayne Mitchell, head of industrial and commercial at npower, commented:

    “This survey has revealed just how sceptical businesses are by the effectiveness and impact of energy policies – the very policies that are going to have far-reaching and long-term impacts on their businesses. As political parties consider their energy manifestos, there is a clear case here for Government and the wider energy industry to work together to better educate businesses about the importance of these policy initiatives in securing the UK’s energy future and the competitiveness of UK plc.

    “The cost of energy bills remains the key issue for business leaders. That’s why we are committed to working with businesses across a wide range of sectors to help make their energy budgets as affordable as possible. What we focus on is the long term; we work with our customers to drive down consumption by increasing knowledge of the changing policy landscape and implementing energy solutions.”

    Businesses also raised concerns over the Government’s Contracts for differences Initiative. The initiative pays companies a set amount for implementing the use of low carbon technology, however, the majority of businesses expressed concerns over this when it was revealed that the plan would cost UK companies more in energy bills.

    The survey was conducted at the same time that Npower launched the 20% Imperative that offers advice to businesses on how they can save money on energy bills.

  • UK’s offshore wind energy potential revealed in new report

    A recently-released study has detailed the potential of offshore wind in the United Kingdom. Wind power usage in the country has already reached record levels, and the research has concluded that its use is likely to increase considerably in the years ahead.

    The report is titled Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential and it was published by BVG Associates. It estimates that by 2030, offshore wind capacity could be providing a total of 25 gigawatts and powering over 20 million UK homes.

    Commenting on the study, RenewableUK’s Executive Director, Emma Pinchbeck, said:

    “This report shows what our innovative offshore wind industry can deliver in the years ahead, securing economic growth and cheaper electricity. The Government can help us by continuing to hold fiercely competitive auctions for financial support, as well as putting offshore wind at the heart of its upcoming Industrial Strategy. Clear, bold, modern energy policy will attract billions of pounds of investment”.  

    UK among those leading the way

    Although the surge in wind power usage has been relatively recent, it has been used in the United Kingdom for a quarter of a century, when the first ten wind turbines were launched in Delabole, Cornwall.

    Currently, the United Kingdom is among the world’s top ten generators of wind power, and the UK is set for a dramatic increase in wind power due to the investment from companies like Dong Energy.

    Construction is currently underway on the world’s biggest wind farm, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020; this is just one of the projects that are being planned as the UK’s energy industry and government ministers seek alternatives to fossil fuels.

    Wind power in the winter

    Further research indicates how wind power could be an effective means of energy production in the winter season too.

    The team concluded that wind power could help provide power during the coldest times of the winter, and assist in meeting the higher power demands during those periods.

    The research also indicates that if there was a ‘widespread’ of turbines throughout Great Britain, it would be possible to optimise power supply by taking advantage of the mixed wind patterns that are experienced in the winter.

    The approach could also help to allay some of the worries over energy sustainability as it was found offshore wind power provided a ‘more secure supply’ than onshore power.

    The study was conducted by scientists from the Met Office, the Imperial College London and the University of Reading and it was published in the Environmental Research Letters journal.

  • Valve expo to be held in Abu Dhabi

    Businesses from the power generation, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and construction industries are being invited to attend an expo in Abu Dhabi in December. The conference is also open to a wide range of other industries, including the nuclear power sector, agriculture companies and water supply businesses.

    The annual Abu Dhabi expo, which is to be held at the National Exhibition Centre, is considered one of the world’s premier events for professionals in the valves, compressors, pipes and pumps sector.

    The event is predicted to attract approximately 7,000 professionals from more than ten different countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, China and Iraq.

    350 companies are expect to attend the popular event, which is held in collaboration with the UAE Contractors Association, Global Fair International and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce.

    The expo will feature world leaders from the valve industry sector and it provides an opportunity to learn from others’ expertise, and to hear about best practises. Moreover, the expo enables businesses to meet with potential new customers and investors, as well as giving a wider platform for businesses owners to promote their goods.

    In addition, the event will give visitors the chance to see the newest technologies, source new product lines, and the opportunity to meet with a targeted audience,

    Businesses planning to take part in the expo can send exhibits in ahead of the expo; they can be sent in via sea or freight. However, overseas exhibitors are urged to be careful if they are carrying goods as there might be customs fees imposed for doing this, and there are restrictions on carrying foodstuffs.

    In addition, anyone wishing to attend December’s event will need to start planning the visit in plenty of time as a visa might be required. Representatives that want to visit the event will also need to get an invitation from the organisers of the Pumps, Valves, Pipes and Compression Industrial Exhibition as this might help to assist with the visa process.

    The three day expo in Abu Dhabi will run from December 15- 17, 2015.  On Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16th December the event will run from 10.00am through to 6.00pm, and on Thursday the event will run from 10.00am to 2.00pm.

    Last year’s event proved to be a huge success, attracting more than 6,000 people, and plans are already underway for the 2016 event.

  • World’s largest wind farm to go ahead

    The world’s largest wind farm, which is being built by offshore wind power developer Dong Energy, is to progress following a final investment decision, it has been announced.

    Commenting on the news, Brent Cheshire of DONG Energy said:

    "This is a historic milestone for Hornsea Project One as we are now making a firm and final commitment to invest fully in the project.”

    The offshore wind farm will be built 120 kms off the Grimsby coast; it will have the capacity to produce 1.2 gigawatts, and the ability to provide power for more than 1 million homes.

    Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, welcomed the news and stated:

    “Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy and this success story is going from strength to strength. Dong Energy’s investment shows that we are open for business and is a vote of confidence in the UK and in our plan to tackle the legacy of under-investment and build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century.”

    Planning and Construction

    Nearly 10 years of planning have already gone into the project, and years of development work have been conducted. Once the site has been constructed, it will stretch more than 407 km, the windfarm will be powered by 7 megawatts turbines, and they’ll each measure 190 metres in height.

    UK company Siemens will be responsible for the production of the wind turbines, and it was announced in December 2015 that infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty will have responsibility for constructing the onshore substation.

    Balfour Beatty began work on the construction in January 2016; the £25 million project will include cabling work and local infrastructure to help ensure the project’s success.

    In addition, a high-voltage AC electricity will be built as part of the project; it will take 900 km of cables to enable the power to be fed to the National Grid.

    Job Creation

    The project is good news for employment figures in the North of England as it is estimated the project will create 2000 jobs during the construction phase, and a further 300 positions are expected to be created once the windfarm has been completed; the opening date is schedules for 2020.

    Future Plans

    Future plans from Dong Energy include a Hornsea Projects 2 and 3, which between them could produce an additional 3 gigawatts of power.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive Module Information