Welcome to our August Energy Matters Newsletter.

The energy sector is a rapidly changing market with daily updates on technological advances, regulatory reviews, policy updates, funding decisions. In each edition of our Energy Matters Newsletter, we aim to provide a user-friendly, summary update of some of the key issues we are seeing across the renewable energy and resource management sectors.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact a member of our energy team.

Energy Spotlight

The summer months can often be a period of relative calm with respect to the development and release of Government policy.

That’s certainly not the case this month in respect of the continued progression of the strategic documentation being produced by DESNZ to further accelerate our hydrogen economy.

Those who have already enjoyed their summer break might have missed that, within the first weeks of August, we have seen the release of three critical aspects of DESNZ policy through the issue of the full standard terms and conditions / front end Agreement of the Hydrogen Production Business Model, the updated UK Hydrogen Strategy and DESNZ’s minded positions in respect of proposal for Hydrogen Transport and Storage Business Models.

There is a lot of content here for the market to digest and we will be separately be reviewing, considering and providing comments over the coming weeks in respect of each of these important documents. From an initial review across the suite it is clear that a lot of detailed work has been undertaken across each of these elements to support and drive forward the hydrogen economy. Additionally, the pace of the framework/strategic policy programme indicates that DESNZ well understands the need for these essential fundamentals to be in place to allow hydrogen projects currently in the feasibility/commercialisation stages to move towards their implementation phase.

The links to the relevant documentation are included in our Energy Matters Newsletter. We look forward to commenting on the key points in our detailed market updates and engaging with those across the hydrogen economy (developers, off-takers, local authorities, gas networks etc) in the coming weeks to understand the impact of these updates on current and future hydrogen projects.

Rupert Lugg, Partner, Energy


Overview Quick Links


Net Zero

Industry and government agree to seize the “immense opportunities ahead” as Britain builds a world-leading energy sector

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 2 August 2023 

Energy firms met today with Secretary of State Grant Shapps during Energy Week to strengthen the UK's plans for energy security and economic growth.


The data and technology challenges on the road to net zero

British Property Federation | 31 July 2023

The British Property Federation (BPF) has published commentary on the data and technology challenges to achieving net zero.


Local area energy planning: achieving net zero locally

UK Parliament | 25 July 2023

This POSTnote considers the relatively new process of local area energy planning that aims to deliver net zero targets more effectively at the regional level.


Pressing the accelerator on green growth could earn up to £57 billion for the UK economy by 2030

CBI | 17 July 2023

New analysis from the CBI has shown that making the most of 27 green growth ‘prizes’ could deliver a £37-57 billion boost to GDP by 2030, equivalent to between 1.6% and 2.4% of GDP. But, as other countries make serious pitches for green investment, businesses fear that the UK faces a ticking clock and serious competition to realise these opportunities.


Government faces fresh legal challenge over ‘unlawful’ climate plans

Friends of the Earth | 7 July 2023

Three organisations are taking the government to court for the second time in under two years over its feeble and inadequate strategy for tackling climate change. Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project say the government’s revised net zero strategy – the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, published 30 March – is unlawful and have filed papers at the High Court requesting a judicial review.


Government cuts cost of polluting in Britain in latest anti-green move

The Independent | 31 July 2023

Ministers quietly rolled out changes to a carbon trading scheme which lets companies compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions.

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Carbon Capture Storage / Usage

Industrial carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS): UK supply chain capabilities

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 14 July 2023 

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the current and potential future capabilities of the UK carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) supply chain.


Opportunities for economic growth in the UK’s CCUS industry

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 12 July 2023 

This report aims to understand the opportunities for economic growth that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) can offer the UK, including particular high-value opportunities for UK supply chains. It includes a full-value chain taxonomy for CCUS-related goods and services, designed to allow a common understanding across the CCUS value chain.

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District Heating

Hundreds of thousands of heat network customers to benefit from fairer energy prices

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 4 August 2023 

New plans for heat network customers to receive fairer prices for cleaner heating.


Heat networks regulation: consumer protection

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 4 August 2023 

This consultation seeks views on consumer protection requirements around:

  • pricing
  • quality of service
  • transparency of information
  • consumers in vulnerable circumstance
  • the scope of the rules and how we should phase them in

It also covers Ofgem’s approach to implementing and enforcing regulation, including through guidance, market monitoring, compliance, and enforcement activity, as well as its approach to delivering the cost recovery regime.


Apply for the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Round 4

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 24 July 2023 

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has updated the guidance and overview to reflect changes to closing dates of Rounds 4 and 5.


Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF): guidance on how to apply

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 5 July 2023 

Round 6 guidance is now available; the Round will close to applications on 29 September 2023.

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Hydrogen production business model

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 9 August 2023 

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published the Low Carbon Hydrogen Agreement: Standard Terms and Conditions / Front End Agreement.


UK hydrogen strategy

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 2 August 2023 

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published the August 2023 Hydrogen strategy update to the market.


Proposals for hydrogen transport and storage business models

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 2 August 2023 

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published their minded to positions and the government response to the consultation.


Future of hydrogen in industry: initial industrial site surveys

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 5 July 2023 

A summary of a study of 7 industrial sites to understand the safety, feasibility, cost and impacts for these sites to switch from natural gas to 100% hydrogen for heat.


Hydrogen Village Trial: open letter to Gas Distribution Networks

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 12 July 2023 

The government is continuing to develop the proposal for a hydrogen village trial in Redcar, Teesside with Northern Gas Networks (NGN). Whitby, Ellesmere Port will no longer be considered as the location for the hydrogen village trial. A decision on whether to proceed with the trial in Redcar will be made by the government later this year. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will publish information on the outcome of the government’s decision here. For press coverage, please see: Ellesmere Port hydrogen heating trial scrapped after protests | BBC News

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Planning and solar farms

House of Commons Library | 18 July 2023

A Westminster Hall debate on planning and solar farms has been scheduled for Wednesday 19 July 2023. The debate will be opened by Dr Caroline Johnson MP. Ahead of the debate, the House of Commons Library has published a report on planning and solar farms.

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Onshore and Offshore Wind

A bump in the road but not yet a car crash - time to reset and rebuild the UK offshore wind pipeline

Regen | 24 July 2023

Regen director Johnny Gowdy reflects on the recent decision by Vattenfall to pause its Norfolk Boreas project and what this means for offshore wind in the UK.

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Deep Geothermal

UK’s first deep geothermal power plant to be constructed in Cornwall

Energy Monitor | 3 August 2023

Once operational in late 2024, the United Downs geothermal project will deliver around 3MWe of baseload renewable electricity and up to 10MWth of zero-carbon heat.

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Net Zero Cities

BPF calls for immediate clarity on EPC targets for commercial buildings

British Property Federation | 9 August 2023

The British Property Federation (“BPF”) is calling for Government to publish without delay a response to the 2021 consultation on new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for commercial property owners.


Landmark High Court win for Mayor means ULEZ expansion will go ahead

London City Hall | 28 July 2023

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today confirmed the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand to cover almost all of the area within the Greater London boundary on 29 August as planned, following the very significant High Court ruling that the process carried out on the proposal to expand the ULEZ, including the public consultation, was thorough and the decision was completely legally sound.


Biodiversity Net Gain moves a step closer with more funding

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs | 27 July 2023

New nature positive developments moved a step closer today with additional government support announced to enable the rollout of Biodiversity Net Gain. Many housing developers are already successfully operating Biodiversity Net Gain recognising the benefits for people and nature. From later this year, it will be mandatory meaning all major developments will required to deliver a 10% benefit for nature.

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Electric Vehicles

Bank invests to strengthen domestic lithium supply chain and boost Cornish economy

UK Infrastructure Bank | 8 August 2023

UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced an equity investment of approximately £24 million to support Cornish Lithium in the development of the UK’s critical minerals supply chain. The investment, the Bank’s first equity deal, will help finance the creation of a domestic supply of lithium, which is crucial to the scaling up of battery production for electric vehicles and the development of battery energy storage – both key sectors in the UK’s transition to net zero.


Driving the roll out of electric vehicle charging points: the Bank commits £45 million to support ambitious roll-out across motorway services

UK Infrastructure Bank | 26 July 2023

UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced a commitment of £45m in senior debt to support GRIDSERVE, a sustainable energy business and Electric Vehicle charge point operator (CPO), with the roll-out of critical Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across motorway service areas in the UK.


RECHARGE UK’s report sets out electrification roadmap

The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology | 20 July 2023

A new report from electric vehicle (EV) trade group RECHARGE UK provides a roadmap of how the industry can accelerate chargepoint deployment to keep up with the growth of EV sales in the UK. RECHARGE UK is the EV arm of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) and was previously known as the REA EV Forum. The report was produced with the support of Chargesafe Field Dynamics, GreenFlux, Syzygy Consulting, Trojan Energy and Zapmap.

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Contracts for Difference

Energy security boost with multi-million backing for renewables

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 3 August 2023 

A multi-million-pound boost for cleaner, more secure energy will make Britain the ‘first choice’ for investors, Grant Shapps said today. The Energy Security Secretary today announced a £22 million increase in government backing for renewables through the flagship Contracts for Difference scheme – taking the total budget to £227 million for this auction.

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Government welcomes report on electricity networks as critical to Britain’s energy security

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 4 August 2023 

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps welcomes report from Nick Winser, the UK's Electricity Networks Commissioner, and will consider the recommendations before presenting an action plan. Read the report and its areas of recommendations here: Accelerating electricity transmission network deployment: Electricity Networks Commissioner’s recommendations.

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Biomass Strategy 2023

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 10 August 2023 

This strategy sets out the role sustainable biomass can play in reaching net zero, what government is doing to enable that objective, and where further action is needed.


Role of biomass in achieving net zero: call for evidence

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 10 August 2023 

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published an analysis of the responses to this call for evidence.

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If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact a member of our energy team.

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