Five things we learnt from Energy Spectrum | 665

Energy UK’s Future of Energy report, published on 24 April, lays solid foundations for a industry view on the pace, cost and direction of decarbonisation across the UK economy that fits well with the recent advice on moving to a net zero emissions target. In this week’s Energy Perspective, we give out thoughts on the agenda that it sets out finding much to commend. While broad in its scope, there are areas that we would quibble with such as more emphasis on fairness and equity issues in the retail market. We also suggest that extending its analysis into how to prioritise, resource and fund the main options would be a very useful next step for Energy UK and its members.

A 2 May consultation from BEIS on the future of the UK government’s and Devolved Administrations’ approach to carbon pricing once the UK leaves the EU sets out sensible recommendations on future options. However, as we find in our Policy section, it remains committed to its preferred option of aligning any scheme with the EU Emissions Trading (ETS) Scheme. We consider that, as the UK has been a major buyer of EU ETS permits, fungibility with a larger market should help with liquidity and stability.

Ofgem’s much-anticipated review of the microbusiness supply market comes at a time when the sector is seeing rapidly increasing competition. We look more closely at the review in our Regulation section, finding that the regulator will need a robust market segmentation that properly factors in the different types of supplier, consumer and intermediary on which to construct its assessment.

In our Industry Structure section, we analyse the latest electricity switching figures, published by Energy UK on 18 April, which show that March switching increased by 29% compared the same month in 2018 (according to Energy UK). Our own analysis highlights that since September 2018 when Ofgem launched its consultation on the default tariff cap, the electricity switching has increased as the gap between the average large supplier cheapest fixed tariff and the average large supplier SVT has increased. As the differential significantly increased from the end of January 2019, so too has the total number of electricity switches. We expect switching levels to fall with a decrease of the cap level expected in winter to reflect the falling wholesale price over recent months.

We have two Nutwood articles this week, both written in house and both covering a 2 May conference held by the Regulatory and Policy Institute. In the first, Cornwall Insight Analyst Jacob Briggs outlines how speakers and attendees addressed questions of establishing legitimate spaces for regulators to act, the role of regulators, and how to identify and deliver positive outcomes within and across generations. In the second, Cornwall Insight founder Nigel Cornwall synthesises his presentation at the event around how the regulatory framework in energy had already been adapted over several years to cover social and environmental guidance (SEG), but remains incomplete and in need of modernisation.

Related thinking

E-mobility and low carbon

Ending the ICE age: EV Country Attractiveness Index Findings

Over the past decade, electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular across many of the world’s major economies, with both the eco-conscious and average consumer adding to the rise in sales. This phenomenon has not just appeared from thin air, however, as international climate agreements, national net zero plans, EV...

Net zero corporates and ESG

Help us understand your business decarbonisation challenges

Are you a large business impacted by the challenge of increasing energy costs and decarbonisation targets? If the answer is yes, then we’d love your help to find out more about the challenges you are facing. We recently published an insight paper on the challenging economic climate that businesses are...

Low carbon generation

Understanding the evolution of the Irish electricity markets

The Irish electricity sector has undergone significant change in recent years. The Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) arrangements introduced in 2018 fundamentally transformed the market framework to maximise competition, facilitate electricity wholesale trading, and incentivise the development of low-carbon generation sources. In parallel the physical system continues to evolve rapidly....

Energy storage and flexibility

Waiting to connect: the problems and solutions for network connection queues (Part 2)

Network connection queues continue to be a notable topic of interest as many generators face significant delays to project development – an issue that is directly conflicting with net zero ambitions and recent focuses on strengthening domestic energy supplies. In Part 1 of our two-part series on connection queues we...

Home supply and services

Addressing consumer harms in the non-domestic market

In recent months, Ofgem has shone a light on areas across both the domestic and non-domestic market where suppliers could improve their practices for customers and go beyond what they are obligated to do in the licence conditions. In a time of significant and extended volatility, the regulator has brought...

Energy storage and flexibility

Waiting to connect: the problems and solutions for network connection queues

The number of grid applications has risen significantly in recent years, resulting in increased pressure on the electricity networks to facilitate new connections. In its Energy Security Strategy, the UK government set out ambitions for 95% of electricity to be sourced from low carbon generation by 2030, and for the...

Energy Market Design

Are prices going to rise in Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 5?

A number of factors may be about to put an end to the trend for falling energy prices in the Contracts For Difference (CfD) scheme. The CfD scheme has provided strong subsidy support whilst also providing consumers robust levels of protection. High investor confidence and steady reductions in capital costs...

Business supply and services

What happened in 2022 in the energy market?

The GB energy market never stands still and 2022 was no different. In this infographic, we look back at some key happenings from the past year in different segments of the GB energy market.  Click the image below to see our snapshot.