Utility Week

Utility Week 11th January 20198

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

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Community Not so new year The new year is starting pretty much as the old one ended, with MPs indulging in a game of chicken over Brexit – although who they imagine their opponent to be varies. For most Conservative MPs, the enemy is other Conservative MPs. And preparations for a no- deal exit from the EU continue apace, by which Disconnector means simulating traffic jams of lorries in Kent and awarding ferry contracts to firms with no ferries. That should show johnny foreigner who's boss. We're all going to die Of course, Brexit is a parochial concern compared with a big-picture viewpoint, and the biggest of those is the cosmic big picture, although the news there isn't very cheerful either. Astronomers writing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society have reported that a nearby galaxy will slam into the Milky Way – with inevitable and terminal consequences for all of us. The scientists ran computer simulations on the movement of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the many satellite galax- ies that orbit the Milky Way, and found that rather than circling us, it is set on a collision course. The good news is that despite certain doom hurtling towards us at 250 miles per second, it will still take about 2.5 billion years to reach us, which ironically is at about the same time that the negotiations on a new trading relationship with the EU will finally be concluded. Well earned respite Perhaps it was Brexit fatigue, or maybe the prospect of (distant) cosmic disaster, but Fat Cat Day went largely unremarked upon this year. Fat Cat Day is the day of the year when those judged Britain's "fat cats" earn the equivalent of the national aver- age salary, currently £28,000 a year. The High Pay Centre calculates that the average FTSE100 boss now earns £1,000 an hour, which means that by lunchtime on Wednes- day 4 January they had already hit the magical number. Disconnector finds it unlikely that the country's top chief execs are paid on an hourly basis, but much like footballers' wages being reported as weekly, the purpose of the scale is not to inform so much as to invite envy. So Fat Cat Day came and went and most of the major news outlets carried it as a footnote, without the usual howls of outrage. Perhaps they judged the great unwashed were just too busy stockpiling food and insulin to care much. White lies You've got to take your hat off to Russia's sheer chutzpah when it comes to fakery. If you thought two FSB agents mar- velling at the height of Salis- bury cathedral was ludicrous, let's talk about the white snow of Mysky in Siberia. Now, there's nothing unusual about white snow, you might think, except that Mysky is a coal-mining town and they don't get white snow. There's so much coal dust floating around that the snow is black before it hits the ground. This was apparently an issue for the authorities overseeing the local municipal recreation centre, who wanted a more telegenic look and opted to use what regional official Dmitry Ivanov euphemistically referred to as "modern technology". Yup, they painted the sur- rounding snow banks with white paint. A local vlogger first alerted the internet to the ruse, and the Moscow Times and local news website nk-tv.com were not far behind. Mr Ivanov apologised, say- ing those responsible had been reprimanded. But how would you even start a conversation in which you had to tell off underlings for painting snow? 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 2018 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 | 11TH - 17TH JANUARY 2019 | 31 Future of Utilities @FutureofUtils A massive milestone for the energy industry this morning. 250,000 SMETS2 meters on walls. Celebrations all round. Here's to many more! Dept for BEIS @beisgovuk Small-scale #renewable electricity generators, like houses and businesses with solar panels, could be guaranteed payment for power they export back to the grid under new #smarttech proposals unveiled today - part of our modern #IndustrialStrategy Maf Smith @SmithMaf But why at end 2018 when the Export Tariff scrapped, did Govt not say it would consult in the new year? Govt received substantial negative press and was made to look uncaring, apparently for no reason given the positive welcome this news is getting. Thomas Edwards @NotionalGrid Important things about Smart Energy Guarantee - Need to be registered in BSC, need to have metering - This means there will be transitional issues while waiting for smart meter roll out Richard Lowes @heatpolicyrich News story about Economy Energy being banned from taking new customers followed by Warren G's 'Regulate' on Radio 6 Music @BBC6Music @EErrington1 does someone at the beeb get it? Jonny Marshall @JMarshall_ECIU National Grid release indicative derating factors for renewables in the capacity market. Look harsh on first glance - not sure these would provide sufficient revenue to replace CfDs Tom Steward @Steward_T Energy policy should put efficiency first – both for the direct carbon savings, and the opportunities this approach unlocks. We need to tackle decarbonisation from both ends – smaller demand and cleaner supply – pursuing one without the other holds back progress on #climatechange Top Tweets

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