EU approves joint capacity mechanism in Ireland and NI

The EU Commission has approved a new joint capacity mechanism for Ireland and Northern Ireland’s energy markets. The move was judged to be able to help ensure security of electricity supply whilst preserving competition and complying with EU state aid rules. Under the capacity mechanism, power plants and other capacity providers will obtain a payment […]

EU approves German power capacity scheme

The European Commission has approved plans to put in place a reserve for four years to ensure sufficient electricity capacity in Southern Germany. In July last year, Germany notified plans to pay power plants in order to establish a Network Reserve. Under the capacity scheme, transmission system operators would pay power plant operators that have […]

EU investigates state aid to national power firms

The European Commission has launched an inquiry into whether subsidies offered by governments to power companies for providing extra electricity capacity violates competition rules. It will gather information on the Capacity Mechanism, which has been introduced in a number of member states, including the UK. The scheme provides incentives for power plants to continue operating, […]

Windfall warning from “clumsy” energy auctions

Environmental not-for-profit campaign group Sandbag today warned the “clumsy Capacity Market” could “actively subsidise 45-year old coal power stations to stay open that would otherwise have shut”. They claimed this would “crowd out opportunities for new gas power stations to be built” and discourage new demand-side response. Four operating coal plants are potentially going to hoover up cash […]

Guest Blog: Wayne Mitchell on EMR – opportunities as well as costs

Last week, I talked about how much the newly-finalised Electricity Market Reform (EMR) policies are likely to cost consumers. If you recall, we estimate between £11 and £17 per megawatt hour by 2020, which when you are consuming in the mega megawatt league, is not an insubstantial amount, especially on top of other existing policy […]

Coal could sweep out low carbon fears peer

Coal plants could sweep up in the auctions to provide power for Britain in future, leaving precious little space for low carbon power generation or energy efficiency, fears the Labour peer Baroness Worthington. She is concerned retrofitted coal plants could apply to participate in the capacity mechanism. In December, the Government will run the first […]

Guest Blog: Paul Massara – Sort the capacity mechanism out, sharpish

You may find it hard to believe given the intense scrutiny energy firms get from the press – but when I and the chief executives of seven other leading European energy companies sent a letter to EU leaders on 21 May calling for a revitalised energy policy, there was little media frenzy. Yet our letter […]

Danger of shrinking electricity margin warns ScottishPower

The country is in danger of a squeeze on its electricity margin of 3% which is a “real issue” for our energy supply, the Chief Corporate Officer of ScottishPower warned today. This margin is the difference between our peak electricity demand and how much spare power generation we have to cover this peak demand. Speaking […]

Parliament could see draft Energy Bill by end of May

Draft legislation for the Electricity Market Reform could be laid before Parliament within a matter of weeks, according to information that was briefly published on DECC’s website before being taken down today. The news comes as today the Queen confirmed the reform of the electricity market in her annual speech. Earlier today a page on […]

DECC updates Electricity Market Reform plans

The National Grid is to take on a pivotal role in delivering the Government’s new energy policies, says DECC. The National Grid will become the system operator for theFeed-in Tariff with Contracts for Difference and the capacity mechanism under the Government’s electricity market reform. At Parliament today, energy secretary Chris Huhne announced the news in […]