Utility Week

Utility Week 16th November 2018

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Community Stick to the point We Brits aren't naturals when it comes to protesting – not like the French and the Greeks, who really get stuck in with barricades and burning tyres and all the rest. Demos in this country tend to consist of middle-class types carrying sarcastic signs. So full marks to the bunch of climate change beardies who took time out of their busy schedules to chain themselves together outside the offices of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy earlier this week. Improbably called the Extinction Rebellion (which sounds suspiciously like an album by Muse), most of them chained themselves to each other and to railings outside BEIS's HQ, but some of the more committed activists super- glued their hands to the doors. It strikes Disconnector that gluing yourself to something is a high-risk strategy, given our need for food, water and the toilet, but in the event blushes were spared when the local constabu- lary turned up to prise them off. Their stated objective was to draw attention to climate change, which strikes the great man as slightly spurious given the fact that climate change is rarely out of the headlines these days. Still, one doesn't like to sound sour. It was doubtless a nice day out for all and it's not like the Metropolitan Police have anything better to do. Reality TV Competition for natural resources is already fierce in some parts of the world, and it's a situation that climate change can only make worse. Indeed, the gloomy prediction from some quarters is that future wars will be fought over control of food and water. It's easy to believe. Even today, those fractious neigh- bours India and Pakistan are continually rattling sabres – thankfully for the moment only metaphorical ones – about water supplies. Last month, Pakistan imposed a ban on its broad- casters carrying Indian TV programmes – and the judge in the case cited the long- held grievance that India was "stealing" water that rightfully belongs to Pakistan by building hydro- electric dams upriver. The court case was held at the behest of a group of Pakistani TV producers who were petitioning for a ban on Indian telly on the sensible grounds that Indian TV programmes were better than theirs and so were putting them out of business. The judge officiating granted their petition, but on the basis of rather tortuous logic. "India is shrinking the flow of water into Pakistan. Why shouldn't we close their channels?" Why not indeed. Apart from the fact it doesn't make sense. Bad pennies Even as half the world fights over access to the basics of life, the other half is inventing new ways to ravage the planet. Yes, we're talking Bitcoin. There have long been concerns about the electricity required to power the computers that "mine" cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. But a new study published in The Nature International Journal of Science has actually crunched the numbers and worked out that it costs three times more to mine Bitcoins than the equivalent value of gold. Specifically, it requires 17 megajoules of energy to digi- tally mine one dollar's worth of bitcoin versus five megajoules to physically mine the same value in gold. It's mad enough to squander precious energy in mining gold – but at least you get some- thing shiny for your trouble. 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 | 16TH - 22ND NOVEMBER 2018 | 31 Tom Steward @Steward_T SSE-npower merger is in danger, blamed on the price cap. Draft price cap level was published back in September. Perhaps SSE & npower were expecting the final level to be higher? (It is, but only about £1) William Marchant @richonlyinname Has anyone checked in on SSE and npower yet today? I'm a bit worried that they won't have seen Monday coming. Doug Parr @doug_parr Now Moorside is down there is a big(ger) zero C hole to fill so there is no excuse for low ambition. Assuming all this high falutin' climate rhetoric has any real-world meaning Adam Boorman @AdamBoorman Norwich to launch a white label supplier with ENGIE - the real question now is what will they call it? Let's be havin' you Power? Mustard Energy? So many options... Dept for BEIS @beisgovuk A new survey shows 80% of the UK public support the use of renewable energy. We're investing £557m in new renewable projects from 2019 - a vote of confidence in a #cleangrowth future which will drive down energy costs and boost jobs. Duncan Carter @Duncan_E_Carter Yes consumers want more renewables, but perhaps I've missed @beisgovuk tweet where the same survey says support for fracking fallen from 18% to 15%. Sarah Merrick @SpeakSarahSpeak The equivalent of 98% of Scotland's electricity came from wind in October, nearly all from onshore wind. Calculated by @WWFScotland. What an incredible result! And good to hear it on @BBCr4today 8.00 headlines first! Richard Khaldi @RichardKhaldi Regulators getting in the neck again at @FutureofUtils #Water18 event - perceived failures in regulation now seeming to be a regular narrative at events in the sector... Top Tweets

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