2021’s most exciting ‘Charts of the week’

Some of our team have looked back throughout 2021 and picked their most exciting ‘Chart of the week’. Read about their choices and click through to read the full ‘Chart of the week’. To do so, you need a free Cornwall Insight account which is easy to create here.

Green Hair, Green Branches, Green Skin, Green Tariffs?

Picked by Anna Moss, Head of Consumer markets

It was a little tricky to choose a ‘Chart of the week’ for 2021. When I look back at what’s happened in the market over the last year, the supply markets have faced challenge after challenge, much of it with a gloomy outcome.

However, I thought the sentiment captured in our June ‘Chart of the week’ about the uptake of green tariffs supported a broader positive message in meeting sustainability targets. While it is true to say the rising proportion of consumers choosing green electricity tariffs over the last few years have primarily sought out competitively priced, REGO backed tariffs, I’m not convinced this entirely removes the underlying interest in renewable energy from household and small business consumers. It has also raised interesting questions about decarbonised energy services in the future – are there any lessons learned from the decarbonisation of power over the years that could now be translated into future decarbonisation of heat and transport?

This issue will be tackled again by BEIS “in due course” through the Retail Market Strategy, as it looks further into transparency around green products and services. In the meantime, we will continue to track market developments as they unfold.

The Rise Of Wholesale Gas Prices … The Saga

Picked by Andrew Enzor, Managing Consultant

This ‘Chart of the week’ showed a tough outlook for winter. High summer gas prices were the early warning sign of hard times ahead. But little did we know just how hard – our commentary includes the fabulous understatement “gas and power prices in the near term will remain supported”. Indeed they did, to reach the record highs seen over recent months.

Sadly, a likely future chart showing the fall-out from supplier failures driven by the gas price crisis will be bleak for consumers. The increases in the price cap we have been forecasting will likely be only the tip of the iceberg once the Supplier of Last Resort costs are fully known.

Taking Charge: The MHHS Implementation Levy

Picked by Vicky Simonds, Head of Regulation

This is my top ‘Chart of the week’ of 2021 because it provides an update on the Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement programme. Looking forward to 2022 we are expecting the design baseline around May, which is basically the detailed design arrangements building on the Target Operating Model and following this, it will be a very active time in regulation as we anticipate a lot of modifications being raised as a result.

It should also be noted that the programme timeline is due to be reviewed in the spring.

CfD Allocation Round 4: How Much Capacity Might We Expect?

Picked by Tim Dixon, Lead Analyst Assets and Infrastructure

With the long-awaited return of Pot 1, or “established”, renewable technologies into the upcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 4 (AR4) auction, the energy market analysed the government’s draft budget notice and draft Allocation Framework with fine toothcomb in September. The budget and Allocation Framework will ultimately determine how much renewables capacity will be able to secure contracts in CfD AR4, which will be pivotal in meeting both the UK’s 40GW offshore wind target by 2030 and wider Carbon Budgets as we aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This ‘Chart of the week’ looked at the range of potential capacity levels that could secure contracts based on the auction parameters set, and varying strike price bid levels from developers.

Getting The Balance Right – A New Approach To Policy Costs?

Picked by Veronica Truman, Head of Content and Communications

I picked this ‘Chart of the week’ as my favourite for this year as I believe the issue of where the policy costs fall and how they are recouped is really important. Whether costs should continue to fall on the electricity and gas bills or move onto general taxation is a very important area of discussion which needs to be had and agreed on as part of the net zero transition. This ‘Chart of the week’ covers a range of options that could occur and the outcomes. I hope that as we move in 2022, these discussions continue and we see concrete decisions regarding the way forward.

Related thinking

Home supply and services

A Q&A with our price cap specialist, Principal Consultant Dr Craig Lowrey

We recently held an interview with our price cap specialist, Principal Consultant Dr Craig Lowrey. This discussed recent concerns over the price cap, what makes these predictions useful for domestic and non-domestic consumers and more. Dr Craig Lowrey has over 25 years’ experience in the energy sector, building upon academic...

E-mobility and low carbon

Another one bites the dust: Plug-in car grant ends

Last week the government announced the plug-in car grant scheme for electric vehicles (EVs) closed, having previously confirmed funding until 2022-23. Why? Well, the government stated it would allow it to concentrate funding towards what it called the main barriers to the EV transition, including public charging and supporting the...

Home supply and services

New forecasts for the January Default Tariff Cap rise to over £3,000 for a typical user

This week Cornwall Insight released its updated forecasts for the Default Tariff Cap. Q1 2023 which runs from January to March rose to over £3,000 for a typical user, the highest Cap we have ever seen, with the last quarter of 2022 Q4 running from October to December predicted to...

Home supply and services

Windfall taxes are not the only solution to the energy crisis

The energy market is in a state of transition, with geopolitical concerns threatening to undermine energy security and subsequent wholesale energy rises pushing up bills. It is inevitable that policymakers will look at how best to deliver an affordable energy system for consumers. The temporary, targeted energy profits levy, or...

Low carbon generation

RESS 2 by numbers

Last Friday, RESS 2 auction results were published, with nearly 2GW of new renewables projects successful in getting awarded a contract. We have put together an infographic that explains the auction outcome and what these projects will bring to our electricity system. We have also released a report with Wind...


2021/22 Australian energy insights report

Analytics on key current developments in the Australian energy industry are available Cornwall Insight Australia has released a compilation of Australian energy insights, charts, and analyses. The report includes the topics of energy storage and flexibility, generation (all technologies), power prices, low carbon generation, FCAS, policy and regulation, and transmission...

Energy storage and flexibility

Oil prices are dropping, so why are bills still high?

https://youtu.be/kEvKyeFGZb4 Video transcript Oil prices dropping… why are my bills still high? Last week, in particular, gas and power prices were very low. Gas for one day was 35p/th similar to what we were used to The drop is because Britain is now a major transit point for gas to...

Home supply and services

What is the Market Stabilisation Charge?

The Market Stabilisation Charge (MSC) requires all domestic suppliers acquiring a customer to make a payment to the supplier that is losing the customer. The charge applies to all switches, so suppliers are not obliged to inform competitors which tariff the consumer switched to or from. It is comprised of...