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As of 19:16 28 Sep 2020
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As of 19:16 28 Sep 2020

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Energy watchdog sets out green energy plans, but firms not happy

Andrew Black

BBC Scotland Business Presenter

The UK energy regulator has set out plans for a £25bn programme to boost green energy by transforming the country's energy networks - but energy companies aren't happy.

Ofgem decides the rules on how much money gas and electricity companies can earn, but also gives them room to pay for new investment from customer bills.

Under these plans, they'll be allowed to spend £25bn on improving gas and electricity networks - £3bn of which will be used to make the electricity network more environmentally friendly.

But Ofgem says the return energy firms will be allowed to make from their investments will be nearly halved.

Perth-based SSE - one of the country's big energy firms - says these plans won't help achieve next zero carbon targets and risks investment in new projects

What's that in the sky?

Flight radar route of aerial survey aircraft
The aircraft's route could be seen on the FlightRadar24 website

If you have seen an aircraft tracking back and forth in the skies in recent weeks you might like to know it is mapping power lines and trees to help prevent power cuts.

The Danish Vulcanair plane has been spotted above the Isle of Wight, Hampshire and West Sussex in recent weeks, prompting speculation about its purpose.

A spokesman for NM Group, a specialist in scanning power lines, said it was using 3D scanning technology to identify vegetation near power lines in Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ central southern England network area.

He said: "Identifying vegetation that is too close to the network, in this way, helps ensure that SSEN field teams can complete targeted tree trimming and maintenance work. This proactive tree management reduces the chance of service interruptions."

View from aerial survey aircraft
NM Group
View of Isle of Wight power lines from the aerial survey aircraft