Search terms: Energy & Natural Resources, United Kingdom
Many already view the feed-in tariffs scheme for small-scale, low-carbon electricity generation as a success. However, pressure for savings and concerns over the high uptake for large solar installations have led the government to announce a review. Controversially, this will include a fast-track consideration of solar installations of over 50 kilowatts - hardly the 'super-size' projects that the review is meant to address.
The government has set its sights on 33 gigawatts of energy capacity from offshore wind power by 2020. One of the key factors in hitting the target will be the successful delivery of the so-called 'Round 3 projects', but this in turn may depend on solving the main marine supply problems that the developers of these generally larger, deepwater wind farms are likely to face.
The High Court provided guidance on contractual termination in circumstances where a party has both a contractual right to terminate and a right to terminate under common law for repudiatory breach. The case, which arose from a joint venture agreement to explore crude oil and gas concession areas, highlights the importance of exercising caution when faced with a choice of termination mechanisms.
As natural gas production from the North Sea declines, non-conventional resources are attracting more attention as a means of filling the looming energy gap. The UK coal-bed methane market is less advanced than those of the United States, Canada and Australia. As a result, there is uncertainty as to the interaction of the regulatory bodies and the issues that underpin the award of licence and planning consents.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has published a summary of the provisions to be included in its new bill, which is designed to introduce changes to the provision of energy efficiency measures and to improve the framework for securing low carbon energy supplies and fair competition in the energy markets.
In recent years new liquefied natural gas receiving terminals have been commissioned in the United Kingdom, vastly increasing national capacity. An increasing proportion of that capacity is not committed under long-term supply arrangements and is thus available on a spot and short-term basis. Interesting trading activity in recent months has attracted much attention.
A dispute arising from a drilling contract, which was based on the International Daywork Drilling Contract Offshore form, highlights some of the dangers of using an international standard form contract without fully considering the implications of a particular project - including the application of the governing law - for the provisions of that contract.
The Macondo incident in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted upstream developers to re-evaluate the allocation of liability under their underlying concession documents, joint operating agreements and relevant commercial contracts. Companies active in the UK offshore upstream sector should consider a number of factors in relation to their potential exposure in the event of a catastrophic incident involving their assets.
In a recent case involving a dispute between a licence holder and a landowner, the Supreme Court found that a landowner's rights were technically prejudiced by deep drilling for oil under its land. However, the award of token damages acknowledged that the drilling did not interfere with the landowner's use or enjoyment of its land "one iota", and that the landowner itself had no right to extract the oil.