Should energy tariffs be capped?
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that the current energy market is no longer working, and that vulnerable people are suffering due to high bills. As a result, the Conservative party has vowed to cap standard variable tariffs in its election manifesto, but the group has faced criticism and arguments that higher pricing could in fact occur. Other parties have hit back by stating that the Tories are desperate and using bribery to win favour.
May’s suggestion that millions of Britons would be set to save £100 per year could sway many citizens, as overcharging by the Big Six has consumers disgruntled, but it is important that people are able to make decisions about their energy providers for themselves.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the voice of British business around the world, has responded to the proposal. Josh Hardie, Deputy Director-General, said: “Putting customers at the heart of the energy market is important for everyone.
“The Competition and Markets Authority’s thorough two year investigation identified low levels of consumers switching energy providers as a challenge, and put forward a range of recommendations to address this. It is important that these measures bed in before looking to further interventions.
“A major market intervention, such as a price cap, could lead to unintended consequences, for example dampening consumers’ desire to find the best deal on the market and hitting investor confidence.”
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.