This report argues that a single, interconnected energy market in Europe will reduce energy prices for consumers and business and help accommodate an expansion of renewable energy. However, the construction of electricity connections between countries is not keeping pace with policy ambitions. This should be a focus as negotiations begin towards agreeing an EU 2030 climate and energy package. However, these negotiations will take place in a very different political climate, with much of Europe wracked by austerity and unsettled by a growing undercurrent of scepticism about both Europe and climate change science.
The UK does not currently rely on electricity connections with Europe to avoid electricity shortfalls, as interconnection is not included in Ofgem assessments of UK electricity capacity. We argue that this position should be reviewed in line with progress towards a single energy market. As the European Commission has advised, demand-response mechanisms, energy efficiency and interconnection capacity should be considered before member states intervene in their markets to ensure sufficient capacity. Our analysis shows that UK interconnectors with Europe have proven to be reliable, even at peak times, and that Europe has enough capacity to balance supply and demand up to 2020.
State of the North 2024: Charting the course for a decade of renewalThe North’s communities are ambitious for a better future, but face systemic and pronounced inequalities. Gaps in power, wealth, opportunity, and health result in shorter, sicker, less fulfilling lives.
No home left behind: Funding a just transition to clean heat in ScotlandHow can we ensure that investment in clean heating in Scottish homes drives a just transition, sharing costs and benefits fairly?
The asylum backlog: Job done?This blog post sets out how the department must now grapple with a new set of backlog challenges.