Merger of npower and SSE to go ahead following competition concerns
A proposed merger between two of the UK’s largest energy companies, SSE and Npower, has been given the ‘provisional green light’ this week.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the proposed merger due to fears it would reduce competition in the UK utilities space.
However, the CMA has decided that the issues in question did not pose a risk: standard variable tariff prices were found not liable to increase as a result of a merger, and UK customers were found to have plenty of options for switching suppliers among the more than 70 companies available.
SSE and npower posed concerns as they are part of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy providers which also includes Scottish Power, British Gas, E.ON and EDF.
Annie Lambet, who chaired the inquiry, said: “It is vital householders have a range of energy suppliers to choose from so they can find the best deal for them. With more than 70 energy companies out there, we have found that there is plenty of choice when people shop around.”
Lambert added: “Our analysis shows that the merger will not impact how SSE and npower set their standard variable tariff prices.”
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.