Opinions and Papers

These papers are distilled dispatches from the energy frontline. None of the collations of notes and materials below is intended to indicate that legal materials needed to make an assessment are complete. No legal advice is offered in providing these materials.

They are, however, food for thought.


The Connections Mess – (April 2023)


Why Can’t Battery Projects Connect?


THE STORY BEHIND THIS QUESTION is long and convoluted. It remains without answer even though National Grid indicated last November that it would shortly be changing the way it viewed storage. It would, it then suggested, treat storage as being unlike active generation (generating at the same time as all other plant and so placing a demand on an over-burdened network rather than, as has consistently been argued by battery developers...


Biodiversity Net Gain - (March 2023)


FROM NOVEMBER this year planning consent for development of a site will be subject to an obligation to improve the biodiversity of that site by 10%.


Regulations (due to be published soon) will exempt some developments. It’s worth noting that brownfield sites will not be exempt.


Small sites will be caught in November 2024, one year later. These are physically small sites with small numbers of homes or, for anything else, sites of >0.5 hectares. No site will be counted as small if its...

A Net Zero Failure - (February 2023)


IN EARLY 2016 the NIC published a report outlining requirements for network development, stressing the pivotal role of flexibility via storage, demand-side response and new technologies.


It contained the following table summarising the costs and massive benefits of storage:


Seven plus years later, where are we?


The Price Crisis - (August 2022)


THERE ARE REPORTS of crowds outside Ofgem’s offices in London and Glasgow, gathered to protest against the fact and operation of the price cap.


Ofgem in its defence argues that prices are out of its hands, that the cause of the problem is gas and the rise in gas prices is driven by the war in Ukraine and (but to a much lesser extent) by increased...


Being Specific - (July 2022)


LAST June, the Climate Change Committee published its annual Report to Parliament, Progress in Reducing Emissions*.


Over a month later, the decision of the ‘Client Earth’ judicial review was published.**


The judicial review involved a back and forth about the legality of the government’s Net Zero Strategy (NZS) with reference to two provisions in the...


Counting To Zero - (May 2022)


I HAVE PREVIOUSLY REPORTED on the connection problems for batteries. Many battery projects won’t be able to connect for the next six-to-eight years from today.


This moratorium on connecting batteries is not local. It is widespread.


The cause of the delay is that National Grid says it must reinforce parts of the transmission system before more plant can...


PROGRESS TO NET Zero? - (Aril 2022)


LAST OCTOBER the government announced key policies for net-zero—updated by it in an APRIL policy paper.*.


The policies involved revolve around five themes: offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, hydrogen and networks/flexibility.


The hydrogen targets, aims and ambitions have been outlined before++ and there is little more to be said of them. But what of the rest?


Ofgem on Storage - (February 2022)


IN THE SUMMER OF 2021 the government published a slew of policy papers, all intended to increase system flexibility. This was recognition that intermittent generation (solar and wind) is predicted to increase substantially (a handwave at ~300% per technology isn’t out of place)*.


Yes, the policies were thin on detail and thick on the 'we hope to'. But still, they were policies with a flexibility end-goal.


Ofgem’s latest ‘minded to’ publication (see later) does...


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