Energy weekly highlights - 12 April 2019
This week’s edition of Energy highlights includes analysis on the call for evidence on ‘helping businesses to improve the way they use energy’, and the impact of the government’s response and proposed next steps, and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem) decision for National Grid Gas (NGG) to undertake consultation activities required by Article 26 in regards to transmission tariffs. Also this week, BEIS has published an update to guidance on applying for an exemption or compensation for a proportion of the indirect costs of funding the contracts for difference (CfDs), renewables obligation (RO) and small scale feed-in tariffs (FIT); the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has provided new guidance for local authorities on grants to provide on-street residential chargepoints for plug-in electric vehicles; and HM Treasury has produced an alternative schedule to the decommissioning relief deed (DRD) under the Transferable Tax History (TTH) mechanism.
Electricity and gas market regulation and licensing
Ofgem instructs NGG to implement regulation (EU) 2017/460
Ofgem has set out its decision instructing NGG to undertake consultation activities required by Article 26, and the cost allocation assessment calculations required by Article 5, of the European Network Code on harmonised transmission tariff structures for gas—Regulation (EU) 2017/460. Ofgem’s decision document sets out its reasons for its decision and the action it has allocated for NGG. See: LNB News 10/04/2019 76.
Financial associations respond to eu energy market initiative
The Futures Industry Association (FIA) has published its response on the European Commission initiative to strengthen the role of the euro in energy markets. FIA commented jointly with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Global Financial Markets Association and stated that there are visible benefits in expanding the use of the euro in EU energy markets. However, the associations believe that currency choice should be driven by commercial reasons and not enforced through regulation, claiming that this would ultimately lead to increased risk. See: LNB News 08/04/2019 70.
Capacity Market, balancing services and energy system flexibility
EC recommendation on cybersecurity in the energy sector published in the official journal
Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/553 of 3 April 2019 on cybersecurity in the energy sector has been published in the Official Journal. See: LNB News 05/04/2019 53.
Networks and network connections
Heat networks encouraged to join heat trust scheme by energy minister
BEIS has published an open letter from Energy Minister, Claire Perry, encouraging all heat network operators to join the Heat Trust scheme. The scheme is voluntary and aims to raise consumer protection standards ahead of legislation being introduced. The letter says that the quality standards that the scheme sets out will give consumers important reassurance and protections. See: LNB News 05/04/2019 62.
BEIS updates guidance on Cfds, ro and small scale fit
BEIS has published an update to guidance on applying for an exemption or compensation for a proportion of the indirect costs of funding the CfDs, RO and small scale FIT. The guidance has been updated to reflect the move from FIT compensation to the FIT exemption. See: LNB News 10/04/2019 100.
New guidance on grants for on-street residential chargepoints
OLEV has provided new guidance for local authorities on grants to provide on-street residential chargepoints for plug-in electric vehicles. Local authorities are able to apply for funding to help with the costs of procurement and installation of on-street charging points for residential use. See: LNB News 04/04/2019 52.
Oil and gas
Oil and gas decommissioning: transferable tax history
HM Treasury has produced an alternative schedule to the DRD, for the purposes of allowing sellers of oil licences to transfer their tax history to purchasers under the TTH mechanism. See: LNB News 09/04/2019 2.
Air emissions, efficiency and climate change
Consultation on energy efficiency - what's next?
Environment analysis: In July 2018, BEIS issued a call for evidence on ‘helping businesses to improve the way they use energy’. The call closed on 26 September 2018 and the government published its response in March 2019. Levent Gürdenli, senior associate in energy and utilities with Bird & Bird, gives an assessment of the impact of the consultation and the next steps. See News Analysis: Consultation on energy efficiency—what’s next?
Charges for all vehicles using new central london low emission zone
An ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) has been launched in central London by the Mayor of London to tackle the public health risks created by the city’s air pollution. From 8 April 2019, most vehicles driving in the ULEZ must meet new, tighter emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the area. See: LNB News 10/04/2019 68.
Responses to consultation on non-road mobile machinery and red diesel show concern over lack of diesel alternatives
Defra and HM Treasury has published a summary of responses for its consultation into air quality and whether rebated gas oil, often called red diesel, for non-road mobile machinery discourages the purchase of cleaner alternatives. DEFRA received 78 responses from various sources which they will use to inform ongoing considerations of how to encourage purchase and use of cleaner alternatives. The consultation ran from 15 May 2018 to 24 July 2018. See: LNB News 04/04/2019 44.
Court of Appeal rules on requirements for an injunction
Boyd v Ineos Upstream Ltd (Friends of the Earth intervening),  EWCA Civ 515
Practice—Pre-trial and post judgment relief. Although there was no conceptual or legal prohibition on suing 'persons unknown', a court should be inherently cautious about granting injunctions against unknown persons since the reach of such an injunction was necessarily difficult to assess in advance. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, set out broad requirements to be considered when granting such an injunction and found that the injunction granted in the present case only partially met those requirements. The digest is available here:  All ER (D) 36 (Apr).
Brexit bulletin - eu agrees to extend the article 50 withdrawal period until 31 october
On 10 April 2019, the EU27 met to consider the UK’s request to extend the Article 50 withdrawal period beyond 12 April 2019. The UK had originally repeated its request for an extension until 30 June 2019. Following extended talks, the European Council adopted a decision, taken in agreement with the UK, providing for an extension until 31 October 2019 at the latest. The decision notes that the extension should last only as long as necessary, and no longer than 31 October 2019. The Withdrawal Agreement may enter into force on an earlier date if approval and ratification procedures are completed sooner. On this basis, UK withdrawal would take place on the first day of the month following the completion of the ratification procedures or on 1 November 2019, whichever is the earliest. If the UK fails to adhere to the obligation to hold European Parliament elections, the extension will end on 31 May 2019. See: LNB News 11/04/2019 4.
Examining the impact of Brexit and UK-wide common frameworks on devolution
Public Law analysis: Kenneth Campbell QC, MCIArb, advocate at Arnot Manderson Advocates and barrister at Lamb Building, considers the interaction between Brexit and UK devolution, the use of UK-wide common legislative frameworks to maintain harmonisation in the UK market once powers and competencies exercised at EU level are repatriated, and the impact for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. See News Analysis: Examining the impact of Brexit and UK-wide common frameworks on devolution.
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