Welcome to our October 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

Last week saw the publication of the Second National Infrastructure Assessment – a five yearly review conducted by the National Infrastructure Commission. The report, which rightly has been broadly welcomed by many industry groups and politicians, sets out a blue print to help the UK develop a fit for purpose infrastructure system to support economic growth and its Net Zero ambitions, and importantly recognises flexibility.

It sets out recommendations for transport, energy, water and wastewater, flood resilience, digital connectivity, and solid waste. The Assessment takes a 30 year view of the infrastructure needs within UK government competence and identifies the policies and funding to meet them.

As both the report and my recent article observe, many of the problems we are seeing with our infrastructure today stem from lack of investment in previous years. The report explains “while meeting the UK’s economic infrastructure needs will incur significant, if manageable, costs, the costs of inaction would almost certainly be greater.”

Although the report does highlight a number of recent successes, what is clear from the report is that it requires government to act fast to make “bold decisions, long term thinking, and support for households during the transition.”



Harriet Murray Jones, Partner, Energy


Overview Quick Links


Net Zero

CCC assessment of recent announcements and developments on Net Zero

Climate Change Committee | 12 October 2023

Professor Piers Forster, Chair of the Climate Change Committee, said: “In June, the Climate Change Committee expressed concerns to Parliament about the pace of change required to meet the UK’s climate goals over the 2030s. Since then, there have been important climate announcements from Government, including the Prime Minister’s speech on 20 September. As promised, the Committee have run the numbers.”


We have a date in court with the Government to demand honesty about net zero

Good Law Project | 6 October 2023

The Government is withholding vital information from the public about its net zero plans, says Good Law Project. Good Law Project now going to the High Court in February with Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth to demand transparency.



The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology | 3 October 2023

The REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) publishes annual ‘state of the industry’ report REview23, saying that the entire energy transition still faces significant challenges which are currently delaying the roll out of low carbon technologies across all sectors.

The report, which presents the latest deployment and employment figures for the renewable energy and clean technology industry, shows that while progress on renewable power remains positive, until supportive Government policy measures are forthcoming for heat, transport and circular bioresources, it will continually be a challenge for the UK to meet its legally binding Net Zero commitments.

The report highlights that the energy transition is as much an economic opportunity as an environmental imperative. The industry is currently on track to support more than 210,000 jobs by 2035, with the market value doubling from 2022 at £23bn to £46bn by 2035. However, political uncertainty and rolling back on green policies has meant that renewable developers are hurting, and international investment risks going elsewhere. With the right policy and regulatory environment, the Government can ensure that these figures are exceeded, and the UK can continue to be a world-leader.

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District Heating

Heat GB: Calculating the network costs for low carbon heating

Citizens Advice | 6 October 2023

28 million homes will need to be using low carbon heating systems by 2050 in order to meet net zero targets, according to research conducted by Citizens Advice.


Cheaper bills and a more reliable heating supply for thousands of homes and businesses on heat networks

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 26 September 2023

Thousands of homes and businesses on old and inefficient heat networks will benefit from lower bills and a more reliable heating supply thanks to government funding announced on 26 September.


Apply for the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) Round 5

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 23 September 2023

Round five of the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme has opened. Under the scheme, public, private and third sector applicants in England and Wales can apply for funding to support improvements to existing district heating or communal heating projects that are operating sub-optimally and resulting in poor outcomes for customers and operators. Applications for round five can be submitted until 10 November 2023.

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UK and Germany partner to further advance hydrogen developments

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 26 September 2023

A new important agreement between the UK and Germany could help to accelerate the development of an international hydrogen industry – with the 2 countries at the cutting edge of its development.


Hydrogen blending into GB gas distribution networks

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 15 September 2023

Government is seeking views to help inform their assessment of hydrogen blending’s potential strategic and economic value and lead options for its implementation, if enabled. This will help to inform a strategic policy decision on whether to support blending of up to 20% hydrogen by volume into Great Britain’s gas distribution networks. This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 27 October 2023. Read the press release here: Industry to have their say on increasing role of hydrogen in energy system.

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UK breaks solar records with rooftop power surge

Energy Live News | 26 September 2023

The UK has experienced a remarkable increase in rooftop solar power installations in 2023, surpassing the total installations for the entire previous year, new data shows.

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Carbon Capture Storage / Usage

Landmark agreement provides platform for delivery of major carbon store in North Sea

The Crown Estate | 5 October 2023

The Crown Estate has awarded an Agreement for Lease for what could become one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, playing a significant role in meeting the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The Agreement for Lease will allow bp, as lead operator, to further progress its planned ‘Endurance’ CCS project, a reservoir in the rock deep below the North Sea which would be used to store hard-to-abate carbon emissions captured from carbon-intensive heavy industry in Teesside and Humberside. The scale of the project means it has the potential to substantially decarbonise the UK’s industrial emissions, significantly supporting UK Government ambitions to capture and store 20–30 MtCO2 per year by 2030. 

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Battery Storage

Government holds first taskforce for the UK Battery Strategy

Department for Business and Trade | 2 October 2023

The UK Battery Strategy Taskforce had its inaugural meeting. The group brings together industry experts and academics from across the battery ecosystem to support development of the UK’s first battery strategy.


Powering up the UK battery industry

Green Alliance | 21 September 2023

The UK’s ambition to increase electric vehicle (EV) production and uptake has not yet led to a diverse, competitive battery industry. Developing a domestic battery supply chain from extraction to processing and recycling is a critical step to supporting the car manufacturing industry. It will also bring high skilled jobs to the UK, boost the economy, secure the country’s automotive sector and support the transition to net zero.  

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Onshore and Offshore Wind

Planning for onshore wind 

House of Commons Library | 5 October 2023

The government updated planning rules for onshore wind in England in September 2023. These rules differ from those for other energy projects.


AR5: Tidal stream benefits from missing floating offshore wind bids

Regen | 5 October 2023

The recent Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 5 (AR5) flop for fixed offshore wind has made headlines, but the auction impacts for floating offshore wind (FLOW) and tidal stream technologies were just as dramatic. Becky Fowell, Energy Analyst, explores what the results mean for these technologies.


The Crown Estate refines plans for Celtic Sea floating wind

The Crown Estate | 2 October 2023

The Crown Estate has set out further details on its plans for Offshore Wind Leasing Round 5, which aims to establish new floating offshore wind technology off the coast of Wales and South West England. The update includes details on the final planned locations for the new windfarms, as well as further information on a multi-million-pound programme of marine surveys.

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Electric Vehicles

Government sets out path to zero emission vehicles by 2035

Department for Transport | 28 September 2023

The government has set out the percentage of new zero emission cars manufacturers will be required to produce each year up to 2030, following the Prime Minister’s proportionate and pragmatic decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035.


A zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and CO2 emissions regulation for new cars and vans in the UK

Department for Transport | 28 September 2023

The government’s response to this consultation has been published. This response outlines the joint approach of the UK government, Welsh Government, Scottish Government and the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland) to a ZEV mandate and CO2 emissions regulation for new cars and vans in the UK that will:

  • regulate clear targets to achieve the UK’s transition to zero emission cars and vans
  • accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles
  • provide investment certainty for the deployment of supporting technology and infrastructure

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Net Zero Cities

Long term review sets out pressing need to modernise infrastructure to support economic growth and climate action

National Infrastructure Commission | 18 October 2023

Improved infrastructure to boost economic growth across the UK and meet climate goals is both achievable and affordable if the right policy steps are taken now, according to the government’s independent advisers on infrastructure strategy.

The Second National Infrastructure Assessment – a five yearly review conducted by the National Infrastructure Commission – sets out a programme of transformation for the country’s energy, transport and other key networks over the next 30 years. 


UKGBC develops the first roadmap for climate change resilience in the UK built environment

UK Green Building Council | 6 October 2023

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is developing a roadmap to support achieving a climate resilient built environment by 2050. For the first time, an evidence-based pathway will clearly map how the built environment should adapt to and be prepared for a changing climate – including protecting people, and the buildings, communities, towns and cities we inhabit, from the impacts.


Guide to Sustainability in the Built Environment published by CIOB

Chartered Institute of Building | 4 October 2023

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched a new sustainability guide for built environment professionals. 

The guide covers topics including sustainability development goals, green financing, embodied and operational carbon, biodiversity and social value. It offers practical tools and strategies to help readers embrace sustainable practices during the planning, construction and ongoing operation of a building to support national and global efforts to reach net zero, while also improving the environment for surrounding communities. 

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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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