RenewableUK has highlighted that lifting the nine-year ban on onshore wind could notably improve the UK’s energy security.

The renewable energy sector has expressed support for Labour’s announcement to lift the de facto ban on onshore wind in England.

The pledge, made by Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, at RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind conference in Manchester, aims to strengthen energy security and increase the availability of clean, low cost electricity.

James Robottom, RenewableUK’s Head of Policy, welcomed the policy shift, noting that removing the nine-year ban on onshore wind could significantly enhance the nation’s energy security and provide consumers with one of the cheapest sources of new power.

Mr Robottom said: “We support all efforts to accelerate the build out of new projects in areas where local communities support onshore wind.

“We are urging all politicians to set ambitious UK-wide targets for onshore wind by 2030. Our research shows that delivering 30GW of onshore wind by the end of the decade, double what we have today, would boost the economy by £45 billion and create 27,000 jobs.”

In a future net zero podcast, Anthony Ainsworth, Chief Operating Officer for npower Business Solutions told us that sustainability will help businesses grow.

We’re going to have to speed up the planning process to meet net zero targets.

This is what Anthony Ainsworth, Chief Operating Officer, npower Business Solutions said in this episode of the future net zero podcast.

‘If we really want to make this energy transition happen in the UK, we can’t do it over the next 10 years the way that we’ve done it for the last 10 years.

‘Regardless of which party comes into power, we’re going to have to speed up the planning process if we want to increase renewable capacity in the UK. We have got to see the big picture here for the next 20-25 years and to do that, we’ve got to cut through the red tape.

‘Get planning simpler, get grid connections faster and strengthen the grid quicker. Everyone has got to take one for the team on this one.’

Anthony told us that it is in the interest of businesses to prioritise net zero.

‘Businesses want to play their part in the net zero transition. It is good business for them, for their customers and stakeholders to be on the net zero journey.

‘It means that you’re saving carbon and over time, you’re also saving on costs.

‘For a CEO who wants to keep stakeholders and customers happy and a CFO who wants to keep costs down, being on that net zero transition is appealing.

‘But businesses do not believe that there is sufficient clarity in terms of policy or incentives to drive net zero.

‘So, they do want to play a part but the government is not aiming legislation at the big chunk of middle tier businesses. And I think there’s more that can be done there.’

Watch the full episode below.

Chris Skidmore, Former UK Cabinet Minister for Energy and Chair of the Net Zero Review, has emphasised the importance of local solutions for the net zero transition.

The Big Zero Show kicked off with Chris Skidmore as the headline speaker for The Big Zero Lectures.

The event saw engaging discussions on climate action and net zero strategies.

In a lively Q&A session, audience member Peter asked Skidmore about the phrase “future warming pathway” – Peter found it more pragmatic than the usual “stop all emissions” rhetoric.

Mr Skidmore acknowledged that the term was partly an aside but emphasised the importance of effective communication on net zero.

He noted that “net zero” has become a polarising term, often used as clickbait: “Net zero in a way, it went viral far faster than I expected, but it’s now become slightly more common.

“A victim of its own success, you know, people see net zero and it sort of like, you know, polarises people and it becomes sort of clickbait.”

Mr Skidmore explained that policies around net zero need careful framing.

Chris Skidmore mentioned Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and the challenges of addressing them.

The importance of scientific frameworks, such as those established by the World Resources Institute, was highlighted.

Additionally, Mr Skidmore warned about overshooting the 1.5°C target set by climate agreements.

He emphasised that while the science is clear, the challenge lies in communicating it effectively to the public: “The science is there, but how you communicate that is very difficult.

“And, and for me, you know, people aren’t going to be reading this sort of 4,000-page AR6 report produced by the UNCCC. But it’s the responsibility of politicians to create new narratives to try and shape things.”

Another audience member, Lucy, asked about the risks and opportunities in devolving power to local authorities for the net zero transition.

Skidmore responded passionately – “the future of energy is local”, he said.

Mr Skidmore argued that local solutions could reduce demand on the national grid, making it more efficient.

Chris Skidmore said: “When you look at the sort of net zero grid that we’ve got to build out, actually creating flexibilities on the grid.

“If we build the existing grid that we need for net zero, it’s got to be six times the amount of infrastructure needed.

“If we can think about how to deliver it better locally, so we reduce demand on the grid, we can, it only needs to be twice the size.

“So there are huge opportunities to look at reducing demand if we can look at local solutions. I feel that the role of government should be to set the frameworks and then get out of the way.”

Chris Skidmore shared examples of successful local initiatives.

He praised the Bristol City Leap, where a public-private partnership is decarbonising the city’s heat network. He also mentioned regional devolution in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, where local authorities are leading decarbonisation efforts.

Mr Skidmore argued that decarbonisation should not be a reserved matter but handled by those who understand local needs best.

In closing, the Chair of the Net Zero Review emphasised that tailored, local approaches to net zero can reduce costs significantly.

Chris Skidmore urged for empowering local authorities to deliver net zero solutions effectively.

Tejal Shah, Head of Trading & Risk at Flagship Energy provides a market update.

UK and European gas markets have seen some easing on the near-term contracts this week, with the NBP front month down 7% from last Friday, whilst further out on the curve rangebound activity continues. The demand forecast is quite stable with the end of last week’s heatwave and steady supply from both LNG and Norway continues. Storage facilities are also three quarters full providing further downside, however, Europe remains vulnerable to any signs of disruptions which is capping further losses. Traders are also tracking cyclones moving toward the US Gulf Coast, which could harm US exports of LNG. Hurricane Beryl’s winds have slightly weakened as it churns toward Jamaica, where its storm surge, high winds and flooding rains could cause significant damage. Elsewhere President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an interview with Bloomberg News that Ukraine is in talks to send natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European Union as it seeks to maintain its role as a transit country and help Western neighbours ensure their energy security.

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The Labour Party’s election victory has prompted calls for immediate action on energy and climate commitments from industry leaders.

Following the Labour Party‘s win in the general election, leaders in the energy sector have expressed their support and urged for prompt action on the party’s commitments to energy and net zero targets.

Mike Thornton, Chief Executive of Energy Saving Trust, emphasised the importance of the government’s ambition to leverage net zero opportunities.

Mike Thornton said: “The clear ambition of the incoming UK Government to capitalise on the opportunities of meeting net zero is an essential step change that now needs to be matched with delivery.

“We welcome the enabling policies designed to lower energy demand, scale up renewables and decarbonise the electricity grid. These are all crucial to strengthen the UK’s energy security and reduce carbon emissions.

“The next five years will be pivotal for cutting energy bills and decarbonising our homes, businesses and communities. Following a period of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that ambition urgently turns into action.”

Trevor Hutchings, Chief Executive Officer of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology), said: “We would encourage Sir Keir and his team to galvanise a sector that can boost the UK economy and achieve his target of the highest growth in the G7.

“Recent research suggests that the previous governments’ cuts in renewables and clean technology investment over the last decade has added £22 billion to UK energy bills.

“Investing in our sector can mitigate against rising energy costs, improve energy security, create jobs and growth, improve international competitiveness and help address climate change.”

Labour plans to establish Great British Energy, a public company to invest in clean, home-grown energy production.

Labour has announced plans to establish a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy, as part of its manifesto released today.

The company aims to drive investment in clean, home-grown energy production and will be owned by the British public.

Great British Energy will collaborate with industry and trade unions to invest in leading technologies and support capital-intensive projects.

The new company will partner with energy companies, local authorities and co-operatives to install numerous clean power projects, including onshore wind, solar and hydropower.

Communities will be invited to propose projects, with local leaders and devolved governments ensuring the benefits of this energy production reach local people.

To support this initiative, Labour has committed £8.3 billion over the next parliament.

The company is expected to create jobs and build supply chains throughout the UK, with Scotland serving as the headquarters for this clean energy mission.

Labour has also outlined its commitment to achieving a zero-carbon electricity system by 2030 in its latest manifesto.

The party aims to lower bills and enhance energy security through a series of initiatives.

The manifesto details plans to upgrade the national transmission infrastructure to support clean power generation and industrial electrification.

Labour also intends to strengthen the energy regulator to improve customer service and attract investment in bill reduction.

Labour plans to double onshore wind, triple solar power and quadruple offshore wind by 2030.

The party aims to ensure long term energy storage and maintain a strategic reserve of gas power stations to guarantee security.

As part of the Warm Homes Plan, Labour will invest £6.6 billion to upgrade five million homes with insulation and other improvements to reduce bills.

The manifesto also includes measures to ensure private rented homes meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030.

Image: Rupert Rivett / Shutterstock

More than half of small business owners are concerned about rising energy costs over the next five years, according to a new survey.

A recent survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) highlights significant concerns among small business owners regarding energy costs in the lead-up to the general election.

More than half (53%) of respondents expressed worries about rising energy costs over the next five years.

The survey, which included 1,341 small business owners, also revealed that while 96% plan to vote, over half have not yet made a final decision on their choice.

Taxation and operational expenses are major factors influencing their decisions.

The survey found that 90% of small business owners are concerned about potential tax increases under the next government and 92% are worried about the costs and risks associated with employing people.

Image: Quirky Badger / Shutterstock

Germany, Great Britain, the Ireland I-SEM and Poland lead in Europe’s renewables co-location markets, according to new research.

Germany, Britain, Ireland‘s I-SEM and Poland are recognised as top markets for integrating renewable energy sources (RES) with battery storage systems across Europe.

That’s according to Aurora Energy Research’s report, which anticipates an increase of 421GW in intermittent RES capacity by 2030, posing challenges such as price cannibalisation and curtailment risks.

Countries like Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the Ireland I-SEM are particularly affected, prompting a surge in co-location strategies to mitigate these issues.

Analysts note that Germany offers lucrative revenue opportunities through revenue stacking and minimal grid fees, despite recent hurdles in innovation auctions.

Great Britain benefits from favourable regulations facilitating access to multiple markets and expedited grid connections.

The Ireland I-SEM addresses high curtailment risks with legislation enabling swift grid access for co-located projects, while Poland supports co-location with subsidies and access to long-term capacity market contracts.

However, the report underscores regulatory disparities across EU markets, with many lacking specific co-location policies.

Germany’s stringent requirements in innovation auctions hinder battery asset commercial viability, contrasting with Spain’s efforts to boost battery energy storage targets under its draft National Energy and Climate Plan.

The report identifies Poland, Hungary, Ireland I-SEM, Britain and France as having the most robust policy frameworks, supporting diverse revenue streams and grid benefits for co-located projects.

Image: SSE Renewables

Nearly 80% of business owners aim to cut emissions, but lack of support – especially financial – is hindering progress, according to a new report.

Small businesses call for the next government to take a leading role in promoting sustainable practices among small enterprises.

According to a report by Small Business Britain these businesses, which collectively contribute nearly half of the UK’s business emissions, express a strong desire to reduce their environmental footprint.

However, many cite inadequate support as a major barrier, with financial constraints highlighted as particularly challenging.

The report, conducted in collaboration with BT and based on a survey of over 2,000 business owners, underscores that 80% of respondents are committed to lowering their emissions.

Despite this willingness, less than 2% of them feel equipped with sufficient resources for sustainability efforts.

Nearly 65% of them express a need for greater governmental support to facilitate their transition towards sustainability.

Interestingly, only 10% of small businesses base their sustainability decisions primarily on government policies aimed at achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Instead, personal values, customer expectations and supply chain demands are cited as more influential factors.

Moreover, nearly 27% of respondents indicate that current government net zero commitments have no discernible impact on their sustainability strategies.

Michelle Ovens, Founder of Small Business Britain, said: “There is a clear opportunity for the next government to take the lead in driving a positive shift towards greener growth – through greater clarity, connection, and engagement with small businesses.

“Not only can small firms make a major impact on reducing emissions, but entrepreneurs have a hugely exciting role to play in driving sustainable innovations.”

In this week’s Net Hero Podcast we spoke to Matteo Deidda, Supply Chains Senior Sustainability Officer at Lloyds Banking Group told us that collaboration and communication are key for net zero.

Financial institutions are at the core of the transition to a greener future.

This is what Matteo Deidda, Supply Chains Senior Sustainability Manager at Lloyds Banking Group told us in this week’s Big Zero Briefing episode of the Net Zero Podcast.

‘At Lloyds, we don’t ask our suppliers to do anything that we’re not doing ourselves. The starting point is often the easy one, like installing LED lighting and working towards energy efficiency.

‘And we help guide our suppliers that are just starting out on understanding what the goal may be and how to get there.’

Matteo told us that suppliers should also collaborate with other suppliers to share ideas.

‘Every supplier has got their own challenges but people and organisations usually want to do the right thing. And at times there might be blockers as to why they cannot do it such as the cost, lack of knowledge or they might not know where to look.

‘So we encourage them to share what they’re doing amongst themselves and talk about how they can help each other. As an organisation, we’re really trying to create that sense of a common journey between all our suppliers.

‘And we’re not just asking them to achieve all this stuff, we’re really there to understand what they’re doing, what are they planning and how we can help them.

‘I think that especially when it comes to Scope 3 emissions, everyone is trying to understand what is the best way forward is. Nobody has all the answers and when someone asks, where do I start? I would say just start somewhere.’

Watch the full episode below and if make sure you register for the Big Zero Show before tickets run out!

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