EU steps in to halt UK energy security measures

Posted: November 17, 2018 by tallbloke in Energy, EU Referendum, fuel poverty, government, solar system dynamics

energy1The Daily Telegraph reports

A European Court ruling has thrown the UK’s energy security into disarray by ordering the immediate halt to a £1bn scheme designed to keep Britain’s lights on.

The cornerstone energy security scheme has come to an abrupt standstill after the European Union’s Court of Justice ruled that the UK should not be allowed to pay power plants to stay open.

The shock-ruling wiped hundreds of millions of pounds from the UK’s largest listed energy companies on Thursday and threatens to bring a return of energy market price spikes over the winter.

Meanwhile, experts fear the clampdown could dash hopes for new investment in power plants in the future.

Full story

  1. tallbloke says:

    More from the article

    The Government’s so-called ‘capacity market’ scheme pays the owners of Britain’s gas, coal and nuclear plants a fee to guarantee that they are ready to power up the grid when demand for electricity is high.

    The scheme has spurred investment in much-needed new power units, and helped to soothe the break-neck energy market price spikes, by ensuring there is always enough power on standby to meet demand.

    But the new immediate ‘standstill period’ on the capacity market prevents the UK government from holding any capacity auctions or making any payments to power generators which have already won contracts.

    Energy companies have agreed to invest in energy infrastructure which can generate or save power totaling 1GW for the coming winter.

    By 2021 as much as 8GW worth of new power plants, batteries and energy saving devices could be at stake if the capacity market is permanently dismantled.

    The closure could trigger an exodus of existing coal and gas plants totaling 20GW “which could create serious security of supply issues,” according to analysts at Jefferies.

    A Government spokesman insisted that the ruling “will not impact security of supply this winter”.

    “The ruling does not change the UK Government’s commitment to delivering secure electricity supplies at least cost, or our belief that capacity market auctions are the most appropriate way to do this,” he added.

    Although the UK is unlikely to face a higher risk of blackouts, market prices may prove to be more volatile due to the risk that generators may opt to shirk their contractual obligations unless market prices are high enough to make it worth running their plants.

    Without the monthly payments energy companies which rely on the market to cover their rising costs are likely to face a bleak winter.

    Lawrence Slade, the chief executive of Energy UK, said the ruling poses “serious financial implications” for power generators, “as well as the need for investor certainty and security of supply”.

    “This issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible,” he said.

    “We are extremely disappointed by today’s general court judgment as the capacity market has proven that it can successfully deliver security of supply at the lowest cost to consumers,” he added.

    The UK’s scheme has emerged as a test-bed for governments across Europe which are considering following suit. It originally won the approval of the European Commission in 2013 but after months of legal wrangling a snubbed energy start-up has won its case against the decision.

  2. ren says:

    The observed magnetic field is highly asymmetrical.
    Lines of inclination are highly elliptical, with the North Magnetic Pole situated near one end of the ellipse.
    The strength of the magnetic field is no longer a maximum at the North Magnetic Pole. In fact, there are now two maxima, one over central Canada, the other over Siberia.
    Magnetic meridians do not converge radially on the North Magnetic Pole.

    The polar vortex in the lower stratosphere takes exactly the pattern of the magnetic field in the north. This always happens in long periods of very low solar activity.

  3. oldbrew says:

    The ruling does not change the UK Government’s commitment to delivering secure electricity supplies at least cost

    Well, it wouldn’t because they haven’t got one :/

  4. ivan says:

    A few questions.
    Why do the the gas and coal fired plants need to be paid to stay open? They are the lowest cost producers therefore their power production should be a priority supply.
    Are there any stupid ‘carbon’ taxes being applied to their fuel supplies? If so they should be removed.
    If the ‘renewable energy’ generators are getting subsidies why aren’t the same subsidies applied to the ‘reliable energy’ producers?
    Does the National Grid purchase power on the basis of reliability and continuity of supply? If not why not?
    Why isn’t there a level playing field for ALL suppliers with guaranteed month long supply contracts and penalties for non supply?

  5. ren says:

    A very strong high above Norway.

  6. cognog2 says:

    So what happens if we don’t comply? will we be put on the naughty step?
    Another good reason for a proper Brexit

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    Until the UK can leave the EU this ruling will apply. What the government could do is apply a new subsidy for this coming winter to keep generation going. It will not be ruled invalid by the EU until long after the departure when any orders can be ignored.
    To recapture the cost of those subsidies I would suggest a complete rethink about electricity generation in the UK, and an end to subsidies.

  8. Bill In Oz says:

    The Europeans want you Brits to all freeze your bloody butts off this coming Winter as punishment for Brexit.

    Well as you leaving already tell the European court that your own National sovereign right to keep your people warm has priority over anything that their foreign lawyers and judges has to say…

    in brief : butt out you idiots !

  9. Gamecock says:

    Y’all still in the EU?

  10. oldbrew says:

    Gamecock – yes, and our inglorious leader still thinks that’s a good idea 😐