Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for Electricity Market Reform in the UK

Morning, Tuesday, 8th September 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will assess the future of Electricity Market Reform in the UK.

It takes place at a time of important developments for the energy sector, with Capacity Market auctions taking place again in 2020 following the consent of the EU Commission, and with the UK Government announcing the likely return of pot 1 Contracts for Difference auctions in 2021 - restoring market and commercial support for onshore wind and solar power.

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders and policymakers to discuss further steps for supporting, developing, and protecting UK energy markets, and latest thoughts on accelerating the delivery of affordable and decarbonised energy supplies.

The discussion in detail:

The Capacity Market (CM)

  • How best to ensure that the CM is fit for purpose, and can deliver reliable, cost effective, and decarbonised power supplies to the UK energy system
  • Lessons from the EU Commission investigation, and how improvements might be designed and implemented, including:
    • amended auction rules and increasing the participation of non-generation technologies like demand side response, and the opportunities this can present for:
      • supporting smart energy business models
      • reduced energy costs for consumers
    • options for lowering the capacity threshold for auctions and prospects for greater participation and more competition
    • simplifying the rules and regulations of engagement
    • reducing barriers to entry by making the process more transparent
  • The COVID-19 health emergency, and how the disruption for energy sector and CM contract stakeholders can be minimised, including:
    • maintaining capacity during disruption
    • latest thinking on how generation units can be operated to protect security of supply
    • dealing with the risk of CM participants missing obligations
    • how the fine system might be reformed to avoid unfair fees, non-compliance penalties, and widen the appeals process during this time

Contracts for Difference (CfD)

  • Steps for ensuring CfDs continue to scale up clean and emerging generation technologies, as well as reduce technology costs and bills for consumers, looking at:
    • possible extension of the scheme to 2030, and what this might mean for:
      • further reducing commercialisation costs
      • expanding onshore and offshore clean energy capacity
      • supporting business development
    • utilising CfDs to further innovate clean generation, and support the development of technology such as floating offshore wind and tidal, and
    • ensuring the pricing system is fit for purpose - including:
      • keeping strike prices low through widening participation and competition
      • reforming negative pricing rules, so that excess capacity is not subsidised unnecessarily

Energy system infrastructure, regulation and codes

  • Steps for modernising electricity network infrastructure, looking at:
    • ensuring it can meet pressures around supply and demand, and integrating clean generation, and
    • how the regulatory system might be reformed to support the EMR programme and market growth.
  • Ensuring the electricity grid is flexible, can balance supply, and procure capacity and distributed generation at the lowest costs for network users
  • Energy system regulation, and reform that can:
    • reduce barriers to entry,
    • harness smart and flexible technologies, and
    • support competition among technology developers and energy suppliers.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • Commitments in the Budget and the Government’s manifesto for supporting the development of new energy technologies and their contribution to national decarbonisation goals, including:
    • plans to at least double the size of the Energy Innovation Programme by the end of this Parliament
    • delivering 40GW of UK offshore wind power capacity by 2030
    • increasing public research and development funding to £22bn a year by 2024-2025
    • continuing to reduce the costs of wind and solar power while increasing its presence in the UK energy system, as well as keeping costs low for consumers
    • relaxation of planning rules for energy storage by the Government, aimed at encouraging investment and uptake of the green technology
  • The Capacity Market (CM):
    • publication of the Five-Year Review, which outlined a roadmap for how the scheme can reduce barriers to entry going forward
    • the Energy Minister confirming the intention to hold two Capacity Market auctions next year: the T-1 auction for 2021-2022 and T-4 auction for 2024-2025
    • government’s response to the consultation on proposals for improvements to the CM
    • the in-depth investigation coordinated by the European Commission in 2019, with consent eventually granted to the UK Government - which sought to determine:
      • whether the CM violated state aid regulations
      • if it discriminated against certain technology types
  • Contracts for Difference (CfD):
  • The ongoing Energy Network Codes Review and its consultation on stakeholder views - which seek to make regulation and codes governing the energy system fit for new participants, smart technologies, and supporting competition

The agenda:

  • Electricity Market Reform and priorities for development a year on from the EU Commission investigation
  • Incorporating non-generation technologies and lessons from the Commission study - widening market access, maximising distributed assets, and enhancing flexibility
  • Recosting energy fit for the transition
  • Navigating through the CM process in disruptive times - addressing stability, environmental challenges, and meeting consumer demand
  • Preparing the transmission network for diverse technologies, the net-zero target, and keeping procurement costs low
  • Ensuring the regulation system supports market growth, supplier and technology competition, and reduces barriers
  • CfD auctions and priorities for Pot 1 and Pot 2 participants - incorporating onshore technologies, fostering innovation, and accelerating strike price reductions
  • The future of EMR in the UK, and policy priorities for widening participation and supporting stakeholder operations through challenging conditions

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the National Audit Office; Defra; Committee on Climate Change; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Health and Safety ExecutiveThe Scottish Government; the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales; and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Professor Keith Bell

Professor of Smart Grids, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde

Laura Sandys

Challenging Ideas, and Chair, Government's Energy Data Taskforce

Senior speaker confirmed from National Grid ESO

Simon Dawes

Incoming Head, Capacity Market, BEIS

Chris Thackeray

Head of GB Wholesale Markets, Ofgem

Robyn Lucas

Head of Data Science, Open Energi


Wera Hobhouse MP

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change)

Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Shadow Minister for Energy and the Green New Deal


Gordon Edge

Head of Strategy, Stakeholders and Business Development, Low Carbon Contracts Company

Dr Nina Skorupska

Chief Executive Officer, Renewable Energy Association

Marta Krajewska

Deputy Director, Power, Energy UK

George Anstey

Director, NERA Economic Consulting

Ross Fairley

Partner, Energy, Burges Salmon

Sarah Keay-Bright

Practice Manager, Policy & Regulation, Energy Systems Catapult

Cian Conroy

Senior Business Development Manager, Europe, Principle Power

Jack Presley Abbott

Head of Wholesale Market Policy, Centrica