Utility Week

Utility Week 24th May 2019

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4 | 24TH - 30TH MAY 2019 | UTILITY WEEK Seven days... PG&E power lines 'caused fatal fire' Electrical transmission lines belong- ing to Pacific Gas & Electric caused the Camp Fire of 2018, California's deadliest wildfire, a state agency concluded on Wednesday. The fire killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 homes, businesses and other buildings. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Wednesday that, a„er a "very meticulous and thorough investiga- tion", it had determined that the Camp Fire was caused by "electri- cal transmission lines owned and operated" by PG&E. The company said in February that its equipment probably caused the fire. The New York Times, 15 May Greenpeace blockades BP's London HQ Greenpeace activists have block- aded all entrances to BP headquar- ters in London, demanding an end to all new oil and gas exploration. The campaigners arrived at 3am on Monday and encased them- selves in heavy containers before the oil company's annual general meeting. The containers, each weighing several tonnes, are being used to blockade all five entrances to pre- vent staff from entering BP's offices in St James's Square. The Guardian, 20 May India's election could prompt rise in carbon India's major political parties com- peting in the ongoing general elec- tions have pledged free electricity to farmers, ambitious infrastructure projects and rapid expansion of the manufacturing sector. Hundreds of lorries each day haul tens of thousands of tonnes of coal out of massive open cast mines in the Korba district of Chhatisgarh state in central India. BBC News, 17 May National media Project delay threat to security of Thames supply T he water industry needs to make important decisions in a timely manner to protect water supplies in the future. Speaking in a session about managing water resources at Utility Week Live in Birmingham on 21 May, Yvette de Garis, head of environmental regulation for Thames Water, said the sector cannot afford delays to major infrastructure projects. The National Infrastructure Commission and the Environ- ment Agency both recognise that resources such as reservoirs will need to be built to avoid a "jaws of death" situation in 25 years. Thames Water has long argued the need for a new reservoir given that it expects an additional two million people to be living in its operating area by 2045. The company sees its three main options as reuse schemes, reservoirs and water transfers from other parts of the country. But De Garis warned that the company had to bear in mind lead times, as reuse schemes can take seven years to deploy while the proposed new reservoir could take 15 years. "Given that we have com- mitted to our customers that we will move to a more resilient supply systems by 2030, having planned for this once in 200 years [drought] event, we need a decision in 2022/23 to progress that reuse scheme. "Although we have set out an adaptive plan, our agility to do anything really different will become increasingly constrained if we miss that deadline. "History suggests the promo- tion of major projects in the UK is beset with difficulties and what we have seen more o—en than not is delays. If that hap- pens with water resources, we may well end up with options that would not be our preferred choice." KP "They're ignoring the UK's many bilateral investment treaties" Dan Neidle, partner at 'Magic Circle' law firm Clifford Chance, says that Labour's plans to take Britain's energy sector into public ownership will put it on a collision course with the European Court of Human Rights and go against international treaties. STORY BY NUMBERS Pensions and public ownership of water Just 29 per cent of people would support water nationalisation if Labour cut pensions as it intends in order to facilitate the plan, a ComRes survey commis- sioned by Water UK has found. 67 Number of UK pension funds identified by the Global Infrastruc- ture Investor Association as having invest- ments in the English water sector. 83% The widely quoted level of public support for nationalisation of the water sector, according to a poll carried out in summer 2017. 22% The proportion of the public that supports moving in on pension funds as part of the takeover.

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