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National Grid to recoup £111m from consumers to upgrade North Sea gas pipelines

The energy regulator will allow National Grid to pass on the costs of upgrading a major North Sea gas pipeline in Yorkshire to consumers, reversing its previous stance, after it emerged the country’s security could be at risk if nothing is done.

Ofgem has approved National Grid’s plan to spend £111m upgrading compressors and pipelines at Easington, in the Humber Estuary, one of the country’s biggest gas import terminals. The cost of the project will be recouped through a levy on household and business energy bills.

The regulator had initially rejected National Grid’s request to undertake the work, but changed its mind because “the resilience of the energy system could be impacted if the pipeline isn’t replaced”.

National Grid, which runs the country’s central gas and electricity transmission networks, had originally asked for £140m, which Ofgem said was too expensive.

Ofgem decides how much money gas and electricity companies can charge consumers through their energy bills to pay for investments, and regulates how much profit they can make. Companies can apply for additional allowances to cover extra costs.

Separately, the regulator has given National Grid and its partners, Wales and West Utilities and Cadent, the green-light to recoup £96m from energy bills to prevent cyber security threats, pay for street works and compensate landowners for disruption.

Ofgem has also rejected National Grid’s request for £123m to maintain gas compressors. The regulator said National Grid must complete the work with the original £500,000 allowance already offered.

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European gas prices hit three-year highs and are set to keep rising as companies scramble to store enough gas for winter

Energy bills are expected to rise when the temperature falls this winter, as the price of gas soars amid a squeeze on supplies and storage.

The price for winter gas is close to 50pc higher than it was this time last year and experts expect prices to rise further, with costs passed on to households and businesses.

Supply jitters have unsettled the market in the wake of a cold spring, while the rising price of oil and carbon allowances drive costs higher still. ­Although major energy companies typically buy about half their gas a year before it is used, many smaller firms secure a tenth of their supply in advance, threatening higher bills for consumers or financial strain for providers.

In the UK market, winter gas prices are 71.75 pence per therm compared to 48.85p/th ahead of the previous winter.

Dutch and German traders are paying €25.58/MWh (£23.13) for winter gas compared to €17.02/MWh this time last year. Even buying gas one month in ­advance commands prices not seen since early 2015. Energy markets are riding high after European gas stores were depleted by the freezing temperatures brought by the “Beast from the East”. Local gas production has also continued to fall. Gas stores stand only 58pc full, ­compared with 77pc this time last year and despite substantial injections over the summer.

The task of replenishing these stores has become more difficult because North Sea production is dwindling and global gas players would rather sell in Asia where returns are higher.

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Massive price hike for Ovo Energy customers – supplier ups price of Simpler Energy tariff by 12.4% for some

In proof that it’s not just the big boys increasing energy prices, even the most popular suppliers are now hiking rates for people on variable tariffs.

Customers of Ovo Energy’s “Simpler” tariff are about to see bills rise by as much as 12.4%.

Ovo, with more than 600,000 customers is one of a new breed of ethical, challenger brands that have emerged in the past 10 years. It’s also popular – being named the best provider for customer satisfaction last year.

But it is the second time the Bristol-based firm has upped prices in 2018.

“Wholesale energy costs have risen by over 15% since June, as a result we’re increasing our variable plan rates and removing the online discount from our variable plan,” Ovo said when announcing the change.

“The price change and removal of the online discount from the variable rate takes effect from 17th October 2018.”

The move follows hikes from challenger brands such as Bulb as well as by the Big Six.

Who’s affected and what will it cost them?

Ovo is increasing the price of its Simpler Energy plan by 6.5% – adding an average of £75 to fuel bills. But that’s not its only change.

The firm is also ditching the online discount it offered Simpler Energy customers – meaning an extra £60 on bills and an effective increase of £135, or 12.4%, for customers who had been using it.

And it might not be the last price rise people on this plan face.

“We review our prices every week,” Ovo said when announcing the latest change.

There is some good news though – everyone affected by this change is also free to move to a new supplier.

“Today’s announcement from Ovo suggests it really does pay to switch and fix your energy tariff,” said Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket .

“With all indications that prices will continue to increase this winter, now is the time to switch to one of the many competitive fixed-rate tariffs on the market.

“The price you pay will be secured for the next 12 months – or 24 if you go with two year fixed tariff – and you will save £250 or more on your bills.”

Other ways to save on your energy

Moving to a cheaper deal is the simplest way to cut the amount you spend on energy, but there are other steps you can take too.

First, make sure you supply regular, up-to-date meter readings. Don’t leave your provider reliant on estimated bills – make sure you only pay for what you use.

Second, ensure your home is properly insulated – that way you won’t lose any heat through gaps in your walls or roof.

The Energy Saving Trust calculates that a properly insulated home is £160 a year cheaper to heat.

While cavity wall insulation, double glazing and loft insulation can cost a lot, there are plenty of cheap, simple ways to insulate your home too.

In the winter, turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree can knock £85 off your annual bill according to the Energy Saving Trust, while the body reckons that turning appliances off properly rather than leaving them on standby costs us all £30 a year.

Finally, see if your supplier owes you money – millions of us have overpaid on our bills, and our suppliers are sitting on that extra cash

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SSE shares plunge as it warns profits will be ‘significantly lower’ due to Ofgem price cap

SSE has blamed the better-than-expected weather this year for an anticipated £190m hit to profits in the first five months of the year, and warned of more pain to come from the energy price cap proposed by Ofgem.

Shares in the group dropped by 10 per cent in early trading on Wednesday after it published the numbers in an unscheduled trading update.

The energy provider said relatively dry, still and warm weather and persistently high gas prices had led to “a higher cost of energy than expected, lower than expected output from renewable sources, and lower volumes of energy being consumed”.

These factors led to an £80m impact on first quarter profits, and a £190m dent in operating profit for the first five months of the financial year. Of this total, half was due to higher than expected commodity prices, and half was down to the weather, SSE said.

Looking ahead, the company said Ofgem’s proposed price cap is expected to result in profits being “significantly lower” in 2018/19 than previously expected.

The energy market regulator wants to apply a cap of of £1,136 per year for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit, and is aiming to have the price restriction in place by the end of the year.

The firm also noted: “Unlike other suppliers, SSE Energy Services has implemented only one increase in standard household energy prices in Great Britain in the course of 2018.”

SSE hiked prices for 2.4 million customers in May, one of 41 bill increases imposed by energy providers so far this year.

“Lower than expected output of renewable energy and higher than expected gas prices mean that SSE’s financial performance in the first five months has been disappointing and regrettable,” said Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE.

“The underlying quality of SSE’s businesses remains strong, with regulated networks and renewables providing the core of what will be an infrastructure-focused SSE group in the years ahead.”

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While most of us enjoyed day after day of blissful sunshine earlier this year, it wasn’t such a great summer for SSE.

“Hardly any rain or wind meant output from its hydro and wind assets wilted in the heat, and with nobody putting the heating on, customer meters just didn’t tick over. All the while, the price of gas in the wholesale market has kept on rising.”

He added: “Investors should remember that SSE can’t control any of these factors, and a business increasingly focused on renewable energy will have good years and bad.”

SSE is in the process of merging its energy services business with Npower, but made no comment on the transaction in its latest update aside from noting that the division will be excluded from earnings calculations for the current financial year.

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Perry encourages Saudi, OPEC, Russia to work against oil price spike

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, other members of OPEC and Russia are to be admired for trying to prevent a spike in global oil prices, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said after meeting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow.

U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, which come into force in November, have already cut supply back to two-year lows, while falling Venezuelan output and unplanned outages elsewhere will also keep the supply-demand balance tight, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

“The kingdom (Saudi Arabia), the members of OPEC that are opting their production to be able to make sure that the citizenry of the world does not see a spike in oil price … are to be admired and appreciated, and Russia is one of them,” Perry told reporters.

The United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia are also working together to make sure the world has access to affordable energy, he added

Oil prices fell on Thursday, slipping back from four-month highs as investors focussed on the risk that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand even as supply tightens.

Russia’s Novak said earlier this week that his country could raise output if needed and warned of uncertainty on the market due to the upcoming U.S. sanctions against Iran’s oil exports.

In September, the Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a group of non-OPEC producers, including Russia, will meet in Algeria to discuss the market situation.

During the meeting with Perry, Novak said he proposed creating a joint investment fund to develop new projects, adding the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) could be part of such a fund.

The RDIF supports this idea and will propose possible parameters for such an arrangement soon, it said in a statement.

Perry and Novak also touched on the topic of gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2, that would double Russia’s export capacity via the Baltic Sea. In July, Washington repeated a warning to Western firms invested in the pipeline that they were at risk of sanctions, saying Moscow was using the project to divide Europe.

Perry, who also met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, told the officials that the Trump administration opposes Nord Stream 2 because it would concentrate a single route of Russian gas into Europe, “one vulnerable to disruption and risks of over reliance for European customers,” his spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes said.

The United States is boosting its own gas exports to Europe, including to Poland and Lithuania, through liquefied natural gas, or LNG shipments. LNG is more expensive for Europe than gas pipelined from Russia, but Washington is emphasizing the reliability of U.S. LNG.

Russian state energy company Gazprom has in the past cut off gas to Ukraine, and onward to Western Europe, during price disputes in deep winter, and imposed bans on customers reselling gas to other countries.

Perry told the Russian officials that the Trump administration welcomes competition on energy from Russia, but “Moscow can no longer use energy as an economic weapon,” Hynes said.

Novak said Nord Stream 2 was a “commercial project”, which Russia hoped would continue to be developed and that the United States would approach rationally.

Perry did not rule out the introduction of sanctions against Nord Stream 2, but said neither leaders of the two countries, nor their energy ministers, wanted to get to the point where sanctions against the project would be engaged.

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World’s biggest working wind farm opens in the UK – built by Danes

The Walney Extension, a Danish-led and funded project in the Irish Sea off Cumbria, has 87 turbines – each around twice the height of Big Ben, standing approximately 190 metres high.

The windfarm is nearly 19 kilometres (12 miles) off Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, and covers an area of 145 square kilometres – equal to an area of around 20,000 football pitches.

It is capable of generating 695 megawatts, enough green energy to power around 600,000 homes and uses more than 300km of cables to connect the turbines offshore to the National Grid onshore.

Walney Extension overtakes the current largest operational wind farm, London Array, off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary.

Construction of the project started in 2015, and has been completed by Danish energy firm Orsted, with the backing of two Danish pension funds.

Each turbine’s blades were manufactured in the UK, in Hull and the Isle of Wight, and the projec

t used key suppliers across the UK, Orsted said – with ongoing operations and maintenance activities for the wind farm based in Barrow and supporting around 250 jobs.

Matthew Wright, Orsted UK managing director, said: “The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story.

“The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Orsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.

“The north west region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here.

“We want to ensure that the local community becomes an integral part of the renewable energy revolution that’s happening along its coastline.”

Orsted also supports the local community in Barrow and beyond with a £15 million community fund and a “Skills Fund” to promote education, support local students and increase uptake of Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) for young people with apprenticeships in the wind turbine industry.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry MP, said: “Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this huge offshore wind farm help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high quality jobs.

“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’ve set out a further £557 million of funding for new renewable projects, helping to tackle climate change and deliver clean growth to local economies.”

RenewableUK’s chief executive Hugh McNeal said: “As this project shows, UK supply chain companies up and down the country are reaping the economic benefits of multi-billion pound investments in offshore wind.

“The industry is working with Government to reach a Sector Deal which will see offshore wind generating one-third of the UK’s electricity by 2030, as well as boosting the innovative UK companies which are supplying offshore wind projects at home and exporting products and expertise around the world”.

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UK’s summer heatwaves ‘could cost families extra £300’

Compare the Market says air conditioning units and fans could significantly boost bills

 

The UK’s scorching summer could cost households an extra £300 on their energy bills.

That’s the suggestion from Compare the Market, which says the hottest temperatures since 1976 have caused many people to turn on their air conditioning units or fans.

The research shows an average air conditioning unit could consume around 21,600 watts if used all day and night, significantly increasing energy consumption and bills.

It says even using cooling technology for eight hours a day could cost more than a pound daily, adding up to around £95 more to bills over the months of May, June and July.

The report shows 43% of UK households are considering taking further longer-term measures to keep cool in the future and 40% have recently purchased new air conditioners, fans and even paddling pools.

People between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most inclined to pay more in order to remain cool, with half claiming they would happily pay the additional costs.

Peter Earl, Head of Energy at Compare the Market, said: “As a nation unaccustomed to excessive heat, many families have turned to household air conditioning systems to stay cool.

“However, these systems are both expensive to run and often require a hefty upfront payment. The monthly cost of air conditioning can come as a real shock to families who are only used to paying costly energy bills throughout the winter months to stay warm.

 

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Civil nuclear regulation if there’s no Brexit deal

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice explains to the civil nuclear industry and stakeholders how the sector will be affected in the UK in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

This notice covers:

  • nuclear safeguards
  • ownership and movement of nuclear material, equipment and technology
  • management of spent fuel and radioactive waste
  • reporting and notifications to the European Commission.

Nuclear safeguards

Before 29 March 2019

The European Commission currently implements nuclear safeguards in respect of nuclear material for all EU countries, including the UK.

The UK has already passed new legislation so that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) can oversee domestic safeguards instead of Euratom and signed new international agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to replace the existing trilateral agreements between the IAEAEuratom and the UK.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, a new domestic nuclear safeguards regime will come into force.

Implications

The new regime will be run by the ONR, which already has regulatory oversight of nuclear safety and nuclear security. The new regime is not dependent on there being a deal with the EU and Euratom.

The ONR will publish guidance on the new inspection arrangements on its website.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

All operators in the UK civil nuclear sector will need to comply with the new domestic safeguards regime as it applies to them. This will be underpinned by regulations and administered by the ONR. The regime will include new domestic arrangements for nuclear material accountancy. Operators are encouraged to submit their views on the draft Nuclear Safeguards Regulations, which are open to public consultation until 14 September 2018.

Ownership of special fissile material

Before 29 March 2019

Under Euratom Treaty arrangements, all special fissile material in any EU country is legally “owned” by Euratom. Operators that hold the legal title to the material have the unlimited right to use and consume the material as long as they comply with obligations in the Euratom Treaty.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, Euratom ownership of special fissile material in the UK will end.

Implications

Operators that hold the legal title to special fissile material in the UK will have full ownership from this date, and their associated rights will remain unaffected.

For special fissile material on Euratom territory, Euratom rules will continue to apply until the material is exported from Euratom territory.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Operators with special fissile material on UK or Euratom territory will not need to take any action in relation to the ownership of special fissile material. Operators’ legal title to this material and any associated rights will be unaffected by the UK’s withdrawal.

Supply contracts for nuclear material

Before 29 March 2019

Under current arrangements operators in the EU, including the UK, are required to obtain approval from the Euratom Supply Agency and, depending on the nature of the contract, the European Commission, before they conclude a supply contract for nuclear material.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, Euratom Supply Agency approval will no longer be required for contracts agreed by UK-established operators, except where these involve an EU27-established operator. For EU27-established operators, Euratom Supply Agency procedures will continue to apply as currently.

Implications

The EU has set out its view that some existing contracts will need to be re-approved. Further details of the actions to be taken are set out below.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

The steps that UK and EU27 operators may wish to consider taking will depend on when their contract was, or is due to be, concluded.

On exit from the EU, some existing supply contracts will need to be re-approved as a result of the UK’s withdrawal. This will apply only to supply contracts that:

  • involve both a UK-established operator and an EU27-established operator
  • have been co-signed by the Euratom Supply Agency prior to the UK’s withdrawal
  • have a supply period which extends beyond the date of the UK’s withdrawal.

For existing supply contracts of this type, UK and EU27 operators affected should engage with the Euratom Supply Agency on the process for re-approval and agree with their counterparts on any steps that will need to be taken to manage the period during which this process takes place. We will continue to work with the UK operators concerned to ensure that appropriate contingency supply arrangements are in place.

For UK-established operators, Euratom Supply Agency approval will only be required after the day of withdrawal if the contract involves an EU27-established operator. Operators will need to comply with standard Euratom Supply Agency processes.

For EU27-established operators, Euratom Supply Agency procedures will continue to apply as currently.

Further information

Further details on the Euratom Supply Agency’s standard procedures can be found on the Euratom Supply Agency’s website.

Export licence arrangements

Before 29 March 2019

The controls that apply to the export and transfer of dual-use goods and technology are implemented by the EU Dual-Use Regulation (428/2009). At present, an export licence is required to move certain sensitive nuclear materials, facilities and equipment between the UK and other EU countries.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, there will be a continued requirement for operators to obtain export licences for certain sensitive nuclear materials, facilities and equipment.

Implications

Further details of the export licence arrangements that will apply are set out in the Exporting Controlled Goods technical notice.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Operators can find further detail on export licensing and information on the steps they will need to take in the Exporting Controlled Goods technical notice.

Further information

Further information on how to apply for export licences is available from the Export Control Joint Unit.

Import licence arrangements

Before 29 March 2019

The current import licensing regime set out in the Notice to Importers 2867 means that the import of relevant nuclear materials from EU countries does not require operators to obtain an import licence.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

The Notice to Importers 2867 will be updated in time for Exit Day to set out the arrangements that will apply following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Implications

Under the updated arrangements, importers may need to obtain an import licence for imports of relevant nuclear materials from the EU. The UK will engage with importers on any new arrangements that will apply from this date and provide further guidance on these.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Importers should check the updated Notice to Importers for details of the import licence arrangements that will apply after the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. Further guidance will also be published on the website below.

Further information

Further information can be found on the import control arrangements GOV.UK page.

Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

Before 29 March 2019

Euratom is currently party to a number of Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCAs) with third countries which provide the framework for the UK’s civil nuclear trade with these countries.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s ‘no deal’

Discussions to agree bilateral NCA arrangements with priority countries are on track to be completed before the UK leaves the EU, and the UK has already signed new bilateral NCAs with a number of third countries. This will ensure that civil nuclear trade can continue unimpeded.

Implications

Civil nuclear trade and cooperation will continue under the UK’s bilateral agreements.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Operators do not need to take any action in relation to NCAs.

Further information

Further information is available from the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Factsheet.

Management of spent fuel and radioactive waste

Before 29 March 2019

The current Euratom arrangements provide the framework for the movement of spent fuel and radioactive waste between countries. This includes authorisations for shipments under the Supervision and Control of Shipments of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Directive 2006 (Directive 2006/117/Euratom – “the 2006 Directive”).

Under these arrangements, a number of EU countries have contracts in place for the reprocessing of spent fuel and the treatment and processing of radioactive waste in the UK. The UK government’s policy is not to accept overseas origin radioactive waste for disposal in the UK except in specific circumstances which are set out in the relevant UK government policy documents.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

The UK’s current arrangements for the reprocessing of spent fuel and treatment of radioactive waste will continue after the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

On exit from the EU, the process for authorising new shipments of spent fuel and radioactive waste from the UK to EU27 will change to reflect the fact that the UK will no longer be within the EU. The UK will engage with operators on any new arrangements that will apply for the authorisation of new shipments of spent fuel and radioactive waste from the EU27 to the UK, and will provide further guidance on these.

Beyond this, arrangements for new shipments of spent fuel and radioactive waste from EU27 countries to the UK for the purposes of management will not be affected. Under EU rules, there will be some small changes applicable to shipments of radioactive waste for the purposes of disposal, but the UK government’s policy on accepting such shipments will remain unaffected.

Implications

The management of EU27 spent fuel and radioactive waste in the UK will continue in line with existing contractual arrangements.

For new shipments of spent fuel and radioactive waste between the UK and EU27, all operators will need to comply with the arrangements that apply to third countries when shipping spent fuel and radioactive waste from the UK to EU27 countries. Further guidance will be provided on the arrangements that will apply for authorisations of spent fuel and radioactive waste from the EU27 to the UK.

The government will continue working with the Scottish government, Welsh government and Northern Ireland Civil Service to ensure that these arrangements work for the whole of the UK.

The current arrangements that determine which state has ultimate responsibility for the safe and responsible disposal of any spent fuel and radioactive waste generated will not be affected by the UK’s exit for either the UK or EU27 countries.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

The management of spent fuel and radioactive waste in the UK and EU27 will continue as now. UK and EU27 operators will not need to take any action.

Please note that if the existing contract is considered to be a supply contract under Euratom Supply Agency arrangements, operators should check the section of this technical notice on ‘Supply Contracts for Nuclear Material’.

For new shipments, all operators wishing to ship radioactive waste or spent fuel from the UK to an EU27 country will need to comply with the arrangements for third countries as set out in the 2006 directive. This means that shipments from the UK to EU27 countries will require authorisation from competent authorities in both the originating and destination states, and that EU27 competent authorities will no longer be subject to the current two-month deadline to grant authorisations.

Operators wishing to secure new authorisations to ship radioactive waste or spent fuel from EU27 countries to the UK should check the website below for further guidance of the arrangements that will apply after this date.

EU27 operators will be able to continue to enter into management contracts for spent fuel and radioactive waste in the UK.

Under the Community Framework for the Responsible and Safe Management of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Directive (Directive 2011/70/EURATOM), EU27 operators will need to comply with the arrangements that apply to third countries prior to any shipment of radioactive waste for the purposes of disposal in the UK. This will not affect new shipments of spent fuel and radioactive waste in the UK for the purposes of processing, treatment or reprocessing.

Further information

Further guidance on authorisations for shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel will be published on the radioactive waste and spent fuel GOV.UK page.

Reporting and notification obligations under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty

Before 29 March 2019

Under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, the UK government (on behalf of operators) submits information to the European Commission on plans to dispose of radioactive waste. Operators must receive a positive opinion from the Commission before obtaining domestic environmental permits or proceeding with a project.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, the requirement for the UK to notify the European Commission of plans for the disposal of radioactive waste will no longer apply.

Implications

Operators will not need to secure the Commission’s opinion before obtaining domestic environmental permits or proceeding with their radioactive waste disposal plans.

The UK will consult with stakeholders on any future measures to keep neighbouring states informed of these types of activity in the UK that will apply after this date.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

UK operators should continue to follow the requirement to notify the Commission of plans to dispose of radioactive waste until the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. This includes continuing to work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to complete and return submissions and secure Commission opinions.

Further information

Further details of the application of the current requirements are set out in Commission Recommendation 2010/635/Euratom.

Reporting and notification obligations under Article 41 of the Euratom Treaty

Before 29 March 2019

Under Article 41 of the Euratom Treaty operators with plans for certain nuclear investments must report the details of these to the Commission. The type of nuclear investments that require notification are defined in Council Regulation (Euratom) 2587/1999, and the required content of the reports is set out in Commission Regulation (EC) 1209/2000.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

On exit from the EU, the requirement for nuclear operators to inform the Commission of investment projects in the UK civil nuclear sector will no longer apply. The EU Regulations defining the content of Article 41 submissions (Council Regulation 2587/1999 and Commission Regulation 1209/2000) as they apply in the UK will be repealed.

Implications

UK and EU operators will no longer need to inform the Commission of planned investments in the UK civil nuclear sector after the date of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

UK and EU operators should continue to follow the requirement to inform the Commission of planned investments in the UK civil nuclear sector until the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. This includes continuing to complete and return submissions and discuss the submissions with the Commission. After the date of the UK’s exit from the EU, operators will no longer need to comply with this requirement.

Further information

Further details of the current requirements are set out in Council Regulation (Euratom) 2587/1999 and Commission Regulation (EC) 1209/2000.

Notification of radioactive source shipments

Before 29 March 2019

Before any shipment of radioactive sources between EU countries, radioactive source holders must obtain a prior written declaration from the receiver of the source, noting that they have complied with national requirements for the safe storage, use and disposal of the source being received. These requirements are set out in Council Regulation 1493/93/Euratom.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

UK radioactive source holders who plan to send material to other EU states will continue to comply with Regulation 1493/93 by obtaining prior written declarations until the date of withdrawal. The UK will engage with operators on any new arrangements that will apply after this date, and provide further guidance on these.

Implications

The UK will provide further guidance on the arrangements that will apply after the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. Any changes to these notification procedures will not prevent the shipment of radioactive sources into the UK after exit.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Operators should continue to comply with the notification requirements for radioactive source shipments until the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. Operators should check the website below for further guidance of the arrangements that will apply after this date.

Further information

Further guidance will be published on the radioactive waste and spent fuel GOV.UK page.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

UK Government energy stats show renewables provided almost 30% of electricity generation in 2017

he figures published in late July in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics confirm that 29.3% of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewables in 2017 – up from 24.5% in 2016. Half of this came from wind, which provided 14.8% of the UK’s power (8.6% from onshore wind and 6.2% from offshore) – up from 11% in 2016.

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The publication also confirms that the carbon intensity of the UK’s power supply has fallen to record low levels. On average, a kilowatt hour of electricity generated last year produced 225 grams of C02, down from 483g in 2012. This reduction has been driven by a huge reduction in the use of coal and the rapid growth of zero carbon renewables.

The contribution of onshore wind grew by 39% in 2017, while offshore wind grew by 27%. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which published the figures, said this was due to increases in capacity, greater load factors and higher wind speeds.

In 2017, Scottish renewable generation made up approximately 25% of total UK renewable generation and approximately 69% of Scotland’s electricity consumption came from renewables in 2017 – up 15% on the previous year.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “Today’s record figures demonstrate how fast renewable energy is transforming the way we generate power to create an energy system fit for the future. This is a radical shift, and we will see ever more low-cost renewables meeting flexible demand from homes, electric vehicles and new manufacturing processes and industries.”

Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2017 key points

• In 2017, gas accounted for 40% of UK electricity generation, down from 42% in 2016. Nuclear accounted for 21%, down marginally from 2016. Hydro, wind and solar accounted for a record 20% of generation, up by 27% on 2016, with thermal renewables accounting for a further 9.4%. Coal’s share was down 27% on 2016 at 6.7% of total generation in 2017.

• In 2017, UK energy production was up 0.4% on a year earlier. The rise was driven by growth from wind, solar and hydro and bioenergy and waste. Overall fossil fuel production contracted.

• Imports and exports in 2017 were both up; overall net imports decreased though they still accounted for 36% of energy used in the UK.

• Primary energy consumption was down 1.2%; and on a temperature adjusted basis primary energy consumption was down 0.3% continuing the downward trend of the last ten years. UK temperatures were above normal with a decrease in heating degree days compared to 2016.

• Final energy consumption fell by 0.7% as demand for heating decreased with temperature adjusted final energy consumption up by 0.9% on 2016 levels, mainly due to increased energy use in transport.

• Fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply (including transport), but now account for 80.1%, a record low level. Supply from renewables increased, with their contribution accounting for 10.2% of final consumption.

• Provisional UK Government estimates suggest that overall emissions fell by 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) (3.2%) to 366.9 MtCO2 between 2016 and 2017, driven by the changes in electricity generation.

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UK nuclear regulator to prosecute EDF, Doosan over safety incident

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has notified EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd and Doosan Babcock of its intention to prosecute both companies over a non nuclear-related health and safety matter, the ONR said on Wednesday.

The charge relates to an incident in April at the Hinkley Point B nuclear plant owned by France’s EDF, which resulted in injury to a Doosan Babcock employee.

There was no radiological risk to workers or the public, the ONR said, giving no further details as the case is now the subject of active court proceedings.

“We are reviewing the charges against us and considering our response. As we would in any industrial safety incident of this nature we have and will continue to cooperate fully with the ONR,” an EDF Energy spokeswoman said by email.

Doosan Babcock, part of South Korea-based Doosan Group, said it has cooperated fully with the ONR during the investigation and acknowledged its intention to prosecute.

“As legal proceedings are pending we will not make any further comment at this stage,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale and Nina Chestney; Editing by Dale Hudson and Jan Harvey