Welcome to our September 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

Following plans being leaked by the BBC on Tuesday (19 September 2023), we saw on Wednesday (20 September 2023) the Prime Minister announce a change in the way the UK would achieve net zero by 2050.

These changes included:

  • a delay in the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars (although no change in targets for car manufacturers)
  • removal of plans for new private rental properties to have at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ by 2025 and all PRS properties by 2028.
  • a 50% increase in grant funding through the government’s boiler upgrade scheme and set out an exemption to phase out fossil fuel boilers by 2035 (from 2026)

Whether you believe these changes to be “pragmatic and proportionate” (as in the words of the Prime Minister), or “hugely disappointing” (Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation) and with a “chilling effect on investment and skills training across green industries” (Simon McWhirter, UKGBC’s Deputy Chief Executive), the effect is yet more change and uncertainty around UK’s Net Zero policies.

While there is in my opinion less change than perhaps the headlines seek to suggest the uncertainty has knock-on commercial effects and the unpredictability of policy and ever varying headwinds creates headaches for investors and developers. 


Harriet Murray Jones, Partner, Energy


Overview Quick Links


Net Zero

The Clean Growth Gap: The Path to Prosperity

Energy UK | 1 September 2023

“Path to Prosperity” – the third in Energy UK’s “The Clean Growth Gap” series – explores how Government can set the UK on a path that will see the economy expand significantly, creating hundreds of thousands of additional jobs, as well as meeting our climate goals.


High Court to hear legal challenges to government's climate plans 

Friends of the Earth | 1 September 2023

The High Court has ordered a three day ‘rolled up’ hearing for the legal challenges brought by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project over the government’s revised net zero strategy. A date for the hearing has yet to be set.


Artificial Intelligence for Decarbonisation innovation programme: successful projects

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 15 August 2023

This programme supports the development of innovative artificial intelligence technologies for decarbonisation applications to support the transition to net zero.

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Carbon Capture Usage / Storage

CCUS transport and storage Revenue Support Agreement counterparty

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 13 September 2023

The government is seeking views on regulatory proposals relating to the carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) transport and storage Revenue Support Agreement counterparty direction. This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 25 October 2023.


Future policy framework for power with carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS): call for evidence

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 23 August 2023

The government has published their response to the consultation how to support the future deployment of power with carbon capture, usage and storage. Their response provides a summary of respondent’s views on the following areas covered in the call for evidence:

  • competitive allocation design for power with CCUS
  • the evolution of the business model used to support power with CCUS
  • the development of the power with CCUS sector and supply chain
  • how power with CCUS could operate under future market arrangements

It also sets out the government response to the views and evidence provided and sets out actions that have been taken and next steps.

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Contracts for Difference

Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 5: results

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 8 September 2023

Outcome of Contracts for Difference (CfD) Allocation Round 5 which commenced on 30 March 2023.


Introducing non-price factors into the Contracts for Difference scheme: call for evidence

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 8 September 2023

This call for evidence aimed to understand the possible benefits and drawbacks of valuing factors other than just price in the allocation of Contracts for Difference. It covered:

  • a range of potential delivery models for the introduction of non-price factors
  • the kind of factors that could be valued through this process

The government has published its response. Their response summarises the feedback and sets out some of the initial conclusions drawn from it.

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District Heating

Heat network zoning

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 6 September 2023

Identifying and designating zones where heat networks provide the lowest-cost, low carbon heating option.


UK heat networks: market overview

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 1 September 2023

An overview of the UK heat network market and the opportunities it presents.

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Industry to have their say on increasing role of hydrogen in energy system

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 15 September 2023

The government has invited views from industry and consumer groups on increasing the amount of hydrogen used in the UK’s gas network to fuel homes and businesses, in a move to help cut emissions, strengthen energy security and create new skilled jobs.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan has launched a consultation on the UK pursuing a process of ‘blending’, to accelerate the creation of a new hydrogen industry.


Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme: successful projects

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 13 September 2023

The government has published details of the successful projects for Stream 2B.


UK slips down the International Hydrogen Progress Index

Energy Networks Association | 4 September 2023

More certainty is needed on the UK’s future hydrogen plans if the country is going to grasp the economic opportunity hydrogen represents, according to industry leaders. The concerns come as the UK has fallen six places in two years, from second to eighth position internationally, in an index that assesses how ready major economies are to effectively use hydrogen to help decarbonise their energy systems.

This new research by ENA’s gas members and Hydrogen UK triggered industry calls for more certainty from government, providing recommendations of how to regain the momentum lost. According to the index, in 2021, guided by a hydrogen strategy from government that set out commitments, proposals for funding arrangements and timelines, the UK was second only to South Korea in making progress towards using hydrogen to achieve our net zero goals.


UK Drops Controversial Hydrogen Levy, Shifting Costs to Businesses

edie | 30 August 2023

The UK Government has officially cancelled plans to impose a levy on annual household energy bills to fund the development of low-carbon hydrogen infrastructure.

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Former rubbish dump in Essex becomes UK’s third largest solar farm

The Guardian | 11 September 2023

The largest solar farm in Europe to be built on a closed landfill site has begun generating renewable electricity from a former rubbish dump in Essex. The Ockendon solar farm, the third largest in the UK, includes more than 100,000 solar modules covering 70 hectares (173 acres) of land.

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Onshore and Offshore Wind

‘Biggest clean energy disaster in years’: UK auction secures no offshore windfarms

The Guardian | 8 September 2023

No new offshore windfarms will go ahead in the UK after the latest government auction, in what critics have called the biggest clean energy policy failure in almost a decade. Also see: Avoidable and botched: Green groups react to offshore wind omission in CfD auctions | edie


Local areas supported to progress onshore windfarms

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 5 September 2023

Onshore wind projects supported by local people will be approved more quickly in England, in new measures being brought forward by the government. The government has now streamlined planning rules, meaning local areas have a greater say in how onshore wind projects should be considered, ultimately resulting in electricity bill savings and increased national energy security.

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Battery Storage

UK battery strategy

Department for Business and Trade | 24 August 2023

The UK government expects battery design, development, manufacturing, and recycling to play an essential role in meeting our net zero targets. A thriving battery ecosystem could support economic growth, productivity, and jobs.

Stakeholders can have a say on the opportunities, challenges, and priorities for the battery sector by submitting a call for evidence response by 11:59pm on 28 September 2023.

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Net Zero Cities

Families to save hundreds through £1 billion insulation scheme

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 14 September 2023

More than 300,000 homes in England, Scotland and Wales to get insulation installed, which could save families an average of £400 a year on their energy bills.


Hundreds of new zero emission buses to connect communities in England

Department for Transport | 8 September 2023

Government funding to help decarbonise public transport and develop innovative ideas to ensure future infrastructure is low-carbon and resilient.

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Energy from Waste

Government EfW position unacceptable say campaigners

MRW | 10 August 2023

A coalition of anti-incineration groups has criticised the Government for ignoring its calls for an immediate halt on new energy-from-waste (EfW) plants.

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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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