Regulation & Policy

Singapore is to introduce a carbon tax on large direct emitters of greenhouse gases, including power stations from 2019. The tax is expected to affect between 30 and 40 emitters.

UK gas and power regulator, Ofgem, is proposing to cut the embedded subsidies enjoyed by smaller distributed generators, down from the current level of around £45/kW – double the clearing price for the 2016 Capacity Market auction – to just £2/kW. The changes could come as a blow to many smaller gas fired plants, which make up a significant share of such generators.

Last week finally saw an agreement between European Union national governments on the future of the Emission Trading System (ETS) carbon market, after talks that lasted 18 months. The deal could be bullish for gas demand, with the number of carbon credits constrained as the 2020s progress, adding to the cost of coal fired power generation, and making gas – which emits less than half the CO2 of coal – more attractive.

Mexico should pursue an “active competition policy” in order to harness the benefit of the reform of its energy market initiated in recent years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Italy's industry ministry is finalising a decree on incentives to the biomethane sector, which might be approved as early as this summer.

Economic growth and an expanding population are going to pose a challenge for New Zealand from an energy perspective, requiring increased efforts in terms of both technology and policy, the International Energy Agency said.

In its latest New Zealand 2017 review of energy policies in the country, IEA stressed that despite New Zealand having long been “a global leader in developing effective energy markets, renewable energy and establishing robust policies for electricity security”, over the past decade its growing energy needs have “outpaced improvements in energy efficiency, mainly because of the country’s expanding economy and growing population.”

Implementation of gas network codes by European countries as part of the gas regional initiative (GRI) showed a disconnect between progress in the south region and the south-southeast region, with the latter showing a somewhat slower progress in 2016.

It emerged from the Gas regional initiative status review report 2016 published in February by the Agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER).

EU member states have agreed February 17 on the Commission's proposal to invest some Eur444 million in key European energy infrastructure projects.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China are stepping up cooperation on energy security, capacity building, data and statistics through a new three-year work programme that is also intended to support China’s energy transition and efforts to address environmental and air-quality issues.

UK energy regulator Ofgem has set levels of the price cap for households that have a prepayment arrangement for their energy bills.

UK energy regulator Ofgem is requiring suppliers to take part in trials to find out the best ways of helping disengaged customers get a better deal. The trials are one of the remedies put forward by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following its energy market investigation.

The EU has “continued to make good progress on delivering the Energy Union objectives” in recent years, in particular on the 2020 energy and climate targets, having already achieved its 2020 final energy consumption target, according to the Second Report on the State of the Energy Union issued by the European Commission on February 1.

Italy's industry ministry has ruled strategic gas storage volumes in the country for storage year 2017-2018 should remain unchanged year on year at 4.62 billion cubic meters, or around 48,846 GWh.

UK's energy supplier British Gas Business is to pay £9.5 million in redress “following failings in its registrations, complaints handling and billing processes for business customers,” UK regulator Ofgem said.

Increased financial support and stronger efforts in promoting renewable energy development are needed in order for to the ambitious measures set out by the French government to reduce dependence on nuclear energy to be successful, the International Energy Agency said.