Joined at the EU hip?

We often claim a certain prescience in our news items, but in this case there is a sadness attached to so doing.

Below is an article that we posted in February 2016, although reading it again I realise that there was no serious expectation that the UK would voluntarily choose to separate itself from a market second only in size to China. 

"EU Referendum

How will the EU referendum affect the energy market in the UK? From the brief research we have undertaken it seems that most commentators feel that whether in or out, not much will change, as many of the reciprocal physical and trading links with the EU are covered by commercial contracts that are not EU driven or dependent.  It does indicate that whatever the UK electorate decide, when it comes to energy, the United Kingdom and Europe are joined at the energy hip

Well, despite the "decision" that was taken, this week three new european electricity interconnectors won contracts to supply electricity to the UK thereby guaranteeing that our lights won't go out in the winter of 20-21.

So we were wrong but right.

Thanks to our european colleagues we will enjoy peak demand electricity well below previous contract pricing.

Nice to have friends you can rely on isn't it?


Flight of Fancy?

Air passenger numbers are projected to keep growing with all the attendant pollution associated with conventional jet aircraft.  The race is on therefore, to provide a greener solution. Solar Impulse 2 circumnavigated the globe in 2016 but that was a very lightweight specialist aircraft. 

To carry passengers over any distance we are still years away although consortia have been formed with target dates ranging from the end of the decade for hybrid aircraft to 2027 for a fully electric plane capable of carrying passengers on routes up to 500 miles.

And why should the humble electricity consumer be interested? Well as part of this push, batery technology will inevitably advance, which will mean that energy from renewables such as wind can be stored until required at peak times or perhaps when maintenance is required.

All power to the aviators then so that the dream of a carbon free electricity generating future can really take off.


Davos and your energy bills

Whilst often delegated to finance ministers, the worlds great and...well great,  including Trump, Macron and May have descended on Davos for the World Economic Forum aware no doubt of the excellent snow conditions this year. 

So how does this affect our energy costs?

Well although the world is facing a number of challenges, the IMF  increased it's forecast for world economic growth yesterday by 0.2% to 3.9%.  Growth means extra consumption of fossil fuels which will be in the minds of energy traders.

Of course this is just one of the factors affecting pricing long term to throw into the mix of short term factors such as unplanned maintenance of nuclear plant or pipelines; the fact that Egypt has just become a net importer of energy; increased UK wind generation; the reopening of Libyan oil fields and Nigerian militants threatening offshore installations.

Energy markets can best be described as volatile so seek advice and don't get snowed under.  


Happy New Year - Same old stories

December 20th must have been a slow news day witnessed by our Santa and ESOS blog.

Ofgem used the same day to publish a "Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) League Table", to highlight and presumably shame those suppliers with the most clients effectively on a default tariff.  Not really very newsworthy as the three table toppers and therefore the worst were from the "big six".  Equally unsurprising was that the "best" performing suppliers with the fewest on such tariffs were new entrants to the market.

Whilst accepting that certain suppliers were offering new alternatives to SVTs Ofgem included this proviso:

"While such moves are a step in the right direction, they must lead to inactive customers genuinely benefiting from a significantly better deal, and not just being put on a rebranded poor value tariff". 

At this point you may wish to refer to our article published on November 20th raising exactly that danger.

The moral of this story is that if you want to read the news one month ahead of Ofgem, tune in regularly to ESS.

Within the report Ofgem did make the following plea:

".... particularly large suppliers with the highest proportion of customers on poor value standard variable deals, still need to do more to help them get a better deal". 

But at ESS we didn't see huge queues of turkeys lining up to vote for Christmas.



Santa and ESOS

It is that time of year when seasonal pre-prepared stories are wheeled out to cover for scribes absent at office parties, so why should we be any different?

The subject in question is how green is Santa when it comes to his energy consumption?

If he has more than 250 helpers he will have to carry out an ESOS survey. He will have to report on his areas of significant energy consumption. including his premises, processes and transport costs.

His helpers would need to be kept warm inside the factory and with darkness for 24 hours they would need to ensure that their lighting was all LED.  There is a possible solution however.

Moving all production to the summmer months, even if it meant increasing the staff, would appear to be the answer. Solar panels would work wonderfully to power machinery especially as they are more efficient at lower temperatures and would enjoy 24 hours of daylight.  No lighting would be needed and the presents could be stored until Christmas Eve.  

Transport would be no problem at all if one considers that the only fuel required are oats and to date they do not fall within the scope of ESOS.

So with a little flexibility Santa could pass with flying colours.



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