Utility Week

Utility Week 26th October 2018

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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Community Bring me the moonlight These days, China likes to think big. Disconnector muses thus on learning that the city of Chengdu in the southwest of the country has decided to tackle the cost of urban street lighting by launching its own artificial moon to illuminate the night skies. Yup, you heard that right. The plan is to launch an experimental satellite from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, according to Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society, the organisation responsible for the project, who was inter- viewed by the China Daily. If all goes well, three more "live" payloads will follow in 2022. By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace street lights in urban areas, saving an estimated £150 mil- lion a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50km 2 . That's one way of cutting electricity bills, if you don't mind walking around in permanent daylight. So much for light pollution. In good old Blighty, the Cam- paign to Protect Rural England, which is campaigning for dark skies, would have another suggestion for reducing the cost of urban street lights. Turn them off. Chinese whispers Of course, pollution is not something that seems to bother the Chinese greatly. Super- cities are springing up all over the country as it attempts to hurtle into the 21st century. One of the costs of such rapid industrialisation is appalling air quality due to the fumes of mushrooming coal plants. It has become such an issue in China that Beijing has been forced to act. Last year, householders in a swathe of northern cities were banned from heating their homes with coal – despite the fact that for many there was no alternative. It was an edict reminiscent of Mao Zedong in its brutal sim- plicity. And had to be rescinded as winter broke. Beijing has also tried to slow the boom in the building of coal-fired power plants, claiming to have slowed down or cancelled many plants given the go-ahead in the great coal rush of 2014-16. Yet satellite photographs taken this year, and released by research group Coalswarm, reveal cooling towers and new buildings that were not present a year earlier at plants that were meant to stop operations or be post- poned by orders from Beijing. The projects are part of an "approaching tsunami" of coal plants with a total capacity of about 259GW – bigger than the US coal fleet and "wildly out of line" with the Paris climate agreement, the group said in a new report. The unpalatable truth is that China needs all that power to feed its steel furnaces and concrete factories. Last week, it unveiled the world's longest sea bridge, at 55km, connecting Hong Kong to the mainland. It cost £15 billion and needed 400,000 tonnes of steel. Hot dogs While in China they are wrestling with how to reduce emissions while stopping their citizens from freezing to death, here in the UK a survey by the Energy Saving Trust has revealed two-fihs of pet own- ers leave the heating on in the winter for their pampered pets. It throws into stark relief the quandary that energy compa- nies find themselves in. By all accounts people resent paying for energy so much that the government saw fit to introduce a price cap, but many of those same people aren't sufficiently bothered to switch supplier, or even turn off the heating for fear of inconveniencing their fur-clad pooch. Disconnector Publishing director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Acting editor: Suzanne Heneghan, t: 01342 332106, e: suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com Acting content director: Denise Chevin, 01342 332087, denisechevin@fav-house.com; Deputy editor: Jane Gray (maternity leave); Features editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080, e: loisvallely@fav-house.com; News editor: Katey Pigden, t: 01342 332082, e: kateypigden@ fav-house.com; Energy correspondent: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@ fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com; Reporter: Adam John, t: 01342 332069, e: adamjohn@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ben Hammond, e: benhammond@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332116; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, e: sarahwood@ fav-house.com. t: 01342 332117 Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e: sophieabbott@ fav-house.com; General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. 2,500 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2017 Membership subscriptions: UK £769+VAT per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK's magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact the publishing director, Ellen Bennett, at ellenbennett@fav-house.com. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk UTILITY WEEK | 26TH OCTOBER - 1ST NOVEMBER 2018 | 31 Doug Parr @doug_parr If you are worried about UK energy security, but not an advocate of clean energy, energy efficiency and EVs, you aren't really serious sandbag.org.uk @sandbagorguk New Aurora research echoes our findings: A cut to the UK carbon price in the Autumn Budget would mean more coal, and more CO2 Pavel Miller @PVMill It's important that we don't see a cut in Carbon Price Support, particularly whilst we have no clarity on UK's participation in the EU ETS next year onwards Sarah Merrick @SpeakSarahSpeak I remember when the ROC shortfall mechanism was being designed (2005?) - there was no way anyone expected it'd apply to 34 suppliers. I doubt there were 34 suppliers in the market back then, but still... Gareth Miller @garethmillerCE A lot of money - a record I imagine - still owed. Anticipated given cash squeeze on supply. With winter coming, markets volatile, & wider collateralised obligations under balancing codes likely to rise, it is unlikely to get any easier Duncan Carter @Duncan_E_Carter This is another socialised cost of supplier failure...in addition to credit balances. Agree failure is sign of competition working, but consumers don't normally underwrite. Except for banks in 2008... William Marchant @richonlyinname Triad charging has its day in The Sun: squaddies warned that sticking the kettle on at the wrong time could cost £38. Jonathan Graham @enerjg Wait until the Sun finds out Triad avoidance might be ending, and the MoD will definitely be paying those charges. Janne M. Korhonen @jmkorhonen Global warming adds the energy of three Hiroshima bombs per second to the world's oceans. This energy does not disappear; it is dissipated in increasingly severe storms and other weather events. Top Tweets

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