Keep Calm & Put The Kettle On
31 March 2020
Coronavirus and the Power System – Energy companies have moved to reassure the public that our power system can cope with any impact from COVID19.
National Grid ESO director Fintan Slye wrote that, while the system operator has asked staff that can work from home to do so, “nobody should be concerned about their electricity supply”.
More people across the UK working from home should actually reduce demand on the power system, “largely owing to a decrease in energy use from industrial consumers, which is likely to be greater than the increase in domestic demand as people stay at home”, said Slye.
He added that people should carry on normal. “Boil that kettle, tune in to your favourite TV show and enjoy a hot shower… there are teams of people working 24/7 committed to making sure you can do just that”.
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Coronavirus ‘to cut 2020 oil and gas investments by $30bn’
02 March 2020
Oil prices have slid by almost 25% this year on the back of lower demand and slower expected economic growth, according to Rystad Energy. The outbreak of the coronavirus disease is to cause extensive staffing and supply shortages in the oil and gas industry, as well as a fall in investment of around $30 billion (£23.4bn) in 2020.
The virus outbreak could postpone deliveries of oil platforms and other equipment from yards by at least three to six months, due to shortages of staff or supplies, as well as travel bans.
Emissions Intensive Sectors “Not Going Green Fast Enough!”
New research by the Transition Pathway Initiative suggests businesses across the paper, cement, steel and aluminium industries need to step up action to hit international climate obligations. In a new report the TPI assessed the carbon performance of 72 such companies and found that only 29% of the largest publicly listed industrial firms are set to align their emissions with the Paris Pledges by 2030.
The report did however find some good news. The proportion of companies disclosing their emissions has increased from 61% in 2018 to 76% in current times, and more are now setting long-term reduction targets. The cement and paper sectors have seen “particular improvement”.
UK launches £315m new tech fund to help industry cut emissions
The British government has launched a £315m hunt to find new technologies that can shrink the carbon footprint of the most polluting factories to help meet the UK’s climate targets.
The scheme will offer funds over the next five years to energy-intensive firms, such as manufacturers, to invest in new technology which can reduce their energy use.
Ministers hope the scheme will help save £1bn a year on industrial energy bills, and cut carbon emissions by 2m tonnes or the equivalent of taking nearly 200,000 cars off the road each year.
Renewable electricity overtakes fossil fuels in UK for first time
Renewable energy sources provided more electricity to businesses and UK homes than fossil fuels for the first time over the last quarter, according to new research.
The renewables record was set in the third quarter of this year after its share of the electricity mix rose to 40%. A string of new offshore windfarms built in 2019 helped nudge renewables past fossil fuels, which made up 39% of UK electricity, in a crucial tipping point in Britain’s energy transition.
It is the first time that electricity from British windfarms, solar panels and renewable biomass plants has surpassed fossil fuels since the UK’s first power plant fired up in 1882.
The new milestone confirms predictions made by National Grid that 2019 will be the first year since the Industrial Revolution that zero-carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear – overtakes gas and coal-fired power.
“We’ve spoken to several ministers and civil servants over the last two years. Energy has not been discussed enough.”
The UK imports almost half the gas it consumes via pipelines from Europe, we have become overly dependent on imported natural gas to meet its winter fuel needs, Mr Alvera warned.
The UK’s own North Sea gas supplies have wound down, while at the same time the country has shut down much of its gas storage infrastructural capacity.
Mr Alvera suggested that the UK could remedy the situation relatively easily by converting old exhausted North Sea gas fields into gas storage facilities.