Energy and Utility Management Consultants

New exploration investment, DECC revises regulations

August 2012


Following recent ridicule from all corners regarding their energy reform plans, the DECC has gone back to square one and are revising regulatory regimes; scrapping almost 90 regulations, and revising and improving some 48. In the biggest regulation shake up in recent memory (some of the current regulations are clearly outdated and include guidelines on the welfare of horses used in deep coal mines for example), the next port of call for the DECC is to revisit the CRC Energy Efficiency programme; which is hugely over-complicated and, some might say, unnecessary.


The fire damaged Tilbury biomass generator is due to come fully back online by the end of this month, 4 weeks after npower had hoped to have returned to full output. Currently running on just one of the three units, and the extra 500MW will be a welcome addition to the grid as the hit-and-miss summer comes to an end. With a capacity of 750MW Tilbury is the largest biomass power station in Europe, and was converted from coal-fired generation in 2011. Centrica, GDF Suez and Bayerngas have signed a deal worth £1.4billion to develop natural gas production in the Southern North Sea. The project to extract shallow water gas from an 18 billion cubic meter field will create thousands of new jobs and is likely to see massive exports from the largest discovery in the Southern Gas Basin in the last 25 years. Production is expected to start in 2015, and the field is expected to meet the demand of nearly 1.5million homes at peak production; 5% of UK gas production. By comparison, the Rough storage facility - the largest in the UK - is able to hold the equivalent of 10% of UK peak demand.


With several other investments being announced this week; the future for UK energy investment is looking healthy indeed.  Despite opposition from local communities and from US Mogul Donald Trump, the Vattenfall-backed wind farm proposed for the shores of Aberdeen seems to be getting a head of speed as the Swedish company agrees a deal with manufacturers to test the new offshore turbines. With support and investment also coming from Technip and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, and just the green light needed from the Scottish government, is is looking positive that the installation will become a reality sooner rather than later. Consisting of 11 giant turbines, and at a cost of £230m, there have been concerns that the visual impact on the skyline would detract from the area's natural beauty and that tourism and related investment would be affected.


There is clearly divided camp between those who appreciate wind turbines from a visual aspect and those who are vehemently opposed to what they believe are 'blots on the landscape'. A partial compromise has been proposed with smaller turbines being placed closer to the coastline and the larger turbines being further out to sea. While we hope this is all settled in due course and valuable additional capacity is offered to the grid; we can't help but mourn the potential loss of a Donald Trump Hotel north of the border...! Ensure your business is up to date with energy market prices and news by subscribing to this feed; simply use the RSS link at the top right of this page and updates will be delivered directly to your inbox. If you’d like to discuss your Business Energy needs with a Utility Consultant or an Energy Management Consultant then give us a call.





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