Welcome to our April 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

It is pleasing to see that payments to another 44 councils (worth over £185 million), have now been approved to fund charge point rollout.

The funding is part of the government’s dedicated £381 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which supports local authorities in England to work with the chargepoint industry, to improve the roll out and commercialisation of local charging infrastructure.

Payments to 44 additional councils follow the approval of the first five local authority applications in February. Additionally, the local authorities that have already been allocated to the second round of LEVI funding will be able to apply to the fund from 2 April 2024.

If the Government is to achieve its target of installing at least 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030, it is vital to support local authorities with this roll out.

Having funding now approved local authorities will be considering the best procurement route to successfully deploy the grant (and meet the conditions attached to it).  This not a straightforward exercise as there is a range of differing contracts, frameworks and potential procurement structures available to authorities.  Bevan Brittan has a wealth of experience supporting local authorities on such EV projects and, in particular, working with authorities at the very outset to ensure the procurement strategy and contract structures are clear and capable of meeting the authorities objectives.   

Bevan Brittan will be looking at this subject in more detail at our UKREiiF Fringe event seminar being held in conjunction with EV Chargepoint Operator, Zest. The session will cover, ‘Helping authorities deliver decarbonisation through successful electric vehicle charging infrastructure roll out’. You can learn more and sign up here

Overview Quick Links

District Heating

Heat pumps in demand as grant applications soar by 75%

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 28 March 2024

New figures show a significant surge in demand for heat pumps – fuelled by a 50% increase in government grants.

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Environment Agency publishes guidance on production of green hydrogen

Environment Agency | 28 March 2024

The Environment Agency has published guidance on emerging techniques for the production of hydrogen from water using electrolysis.


Aviation giants urge UK Government to get clear on hydrogen strategy

Airbus | 18 March 2024

A coalition of businesses in the aviation sector, including EasyJet and Airbus, are calling for the next UK Government to strategically plan for commercialising hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes.

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Port of Liverpool unveils plans for UK’s largest roof-mounted solar project

Peel Ports Group | 18 March 2024

Peel Ports Group, the UK’s second-largest port operator, has announced E.ON as one of its net-zero partners, helping to meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2040.

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Carbon Capture Storage / Usage

Viridor agrees £500m carbon capture plan

Viridor | 2 April 2024

Viridor has moved a step closer to making the UK’s first negative emissions project a reality, by agreeing a statement of principles with the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The project will deliver a world-leading Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility (ERF).

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Net Zero

High Court mandates judicial review of the UK Government’s national climate adaptation plan

Edie | 12 April 2024

The High Court has mandated a judicial review of the UK Government’s national climate adaptation plan, in response to a legal challenge asserting that the plan falls short of protecting people, property and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change.


Network Rail announces £45bn rail improvement plans including climate change strategy

Network Rail | 3 April 2024

Network Rail today announced the start of its five-year, £45.4bn* rail improvement plan aimed at delivering a simpler, better, greener railway that provides the best level of train performance possible and that’s more geared-up than ever before to cope with the extremes of climate change.


Electricity upgrade plan includes miles of pylons

BBC News | 19 March 2024

The UK's electricity network needs almost a further £60bn of upgrades to hit Government decarbonisation targets by 2035, according to a new plan.


Government backing for AI businesses to deliver net zero with innovative technologies

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 19 March 2024

UK innovators at the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies will receive Government backing to use their work to cut carbon emissions across key sectors – helping make the best use of renewables and increase efficiency.


Heat pumps still too expensive, Government warned

BBC News | 18 March 2024

Despite its target, only 55,000 heat pumps were sold in the UK in 2022. Sales must increase dramatically, said the UK's spending watchdog.


Changes to grant scheme for heat pumps

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 14 March 2024

Families could save around £2,500 off upfront costs, with insulation no longer required to access heat pump grants.

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Onshore and Offshore Wind

Amazon agrees deal to purchase electricity from UK wind farm

Amazon | 20 March 2024

Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest clean energy companies, and Amazon have expanded their long-term global clean power partnership by signing a major renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) for 159 MW of East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm in the UK.

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Net Zero Cities

Government urged to get rid of red tape to help councils to act on climate

Local Government Association | 25 March 2024

A bureaucratic system of bidding for short term funding pots is hampering efforts to reach net zero targets, a survey for the Local Government Association (LGA) has found.


Over 8,000 households to benefit from warmer homes

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero | 18 March 2024

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will provide 8,800 homes with free efficiency upgrades, saving households £400 a year on their energy bills on average.

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Contracts for Difference

CfD Allocation Round 6 is open

Contracts for Difference | 27 March 2024

The sixth allocation round (AR6) of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme has opened on 27 March 2024.

The round aims to bring forward new, clean energy and deliver value for money for households, continuing the success of the CfD scheme and deadline for application is Friday 19 April.

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Electric Vehicles

More than 10% of Supermarkets offer EV charging

RAC | 22 March 2024

The total number of supermarkets offering EV charge points rose by 59% last year – from 1,015 stores with charging facilities in 2022 to 1,616 in 2023. This equates to 13% of all 12,839 UK supermarkets, including those that don’t have parking facilities.

44 more councils across England to benefit from funding to boost chargepoint rollout

Department for Transport | 18 March 2024

Funding forms part of £381 million dedicated fund to roll out chargepoints throughout the country.

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Energy from Waste

Thames Water turns to retrofit sewage plants to provide electricity for homes

Thames Water | 11 April 2024

Thames Water has retrofitted two sewage treatment works to convert sludge into biomethane to power homes.


DEFRA temporarily stops all EfW permit approvals

MRW | 8 April 2024

Defra has stopped all new energy-from-waste (EfW) permit approvals until 24 May in a move denounced by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) as “political theatre”.

The move came in a ministerial direction to the Environment Agency (EA), a rarely used Whitehall manoeuvre that instructs departments to do something “despite objection from permanent secretaries”, the Institute for Government explained.

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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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