Round-up: UK renewables sector decelerates while others forge ahead


Many countries are forging ahead with their renewables but the UK, rather than being part of this wave, appears to be moving backwards with its plans. Over the past year subsidies have been cut for onshore wind power and solar power, a tax on carbon emissions was extended to include renewable power, the programme for the “greening” of homes was scrapped and support for biomass has dwindled. [quote] Rising energy costs have been cited by the British government as one of the drivers of these renewable cuts but the government won’t reveal the figures behind its analysis and there may also be an issue of poor market design at play. [Renewable Energy Plans: UK Takes Huge Step Backwards While Others Move Forward]

Will privatisation solve SA’s energy woes?

South Africa’s power sector has long been plagued with problems with faults both at national level as well as within the national utility, Eskom. But the latest round of proposed increases, which will largely pay for past mismanagement, may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. As it is high costs and erratic supply are impacting industry to the point that some companies are struggling to stay afloat. Privatization has successfully resuscitated the power sector in several African countries and we ask: Is it time to privatize South Africa’s power sector? [Time to Privatise South Africa’s Power Sector]

Customer engagement goes digital

In a recent article we described how E.ON UK, one of the country’s ‘Big Six’, has successfully rebuilt its customer trust by adopting better engagement strategies and making the move to digital. [E.ON Customer Engagement: The Business Case]. In the second part of this story we lay out the company’s implementation of this new strategy, which started by simply listening to both customers and staff. Going digital has been a central feature. [E.ON The Next Steps in Customer Engagement: Implementation]

US smart grid spend

As a result of the interest in our article on grid modernization based on the US DOE’s Multi-Year Program Plan, we felt it would be useful to supplement this with an overview of how the first round of up to US$220 million in funding has been allocated. [Unpacking The US Grid Modernization Funding] 88 projects over the next three years will lay the foundations for this ambitious plan, building on the achievements of the more than US$4.5 billion that has been invested through ARRA over the past 5 years.