Utility Week

UW 07 02 14 Uberflip

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4 | 7th - 13th February 2014 | utILIty WeeK National media Public attitudes tracker there has been no shortage of headlines on fracking in the past 18 months and that is starting to sink into the public consciousness, Decc's latest public attitudes tracker shows. 52% proportion of people who have heard of shale gas 32% proportion of people who had heard of shale gas in July 2012 27% of the public supports fracking 21% of the public opposes fracking Ofgem told to control 'big six' energy giants or face being cut off Energy regula- tor Ofgem has been warned by the government that it is in the "last chance saloon" and could be scrapped if it fails to shake up Britain's uncom- petitive gas and electricity market. Senior ministers have made it clear that unless Ofgem takes swi action to improve competition and curb the profits of the big six energy companies, then the future of the regulator will be called into question. The Independent Ofgem's trades audit angers energy bosses Energy companies have hit out at Ofgem aer being ordered to hand over information on every single trade they have made in the past ten years as part of an annual com- petition audit. That amounts to millions of pieces of data and executives have questioned the timing of the regula- tor's "unusual" request, which was made just before Christmas. The Times Solar panels beat pensions, says Barker Installing solar panels on household roofs is a better invest- ment than a pension, a minister has said. Greg Barker, the energy minister, said that anyone approaching retirement should consider putting some of their savings into solar panels because they would deliver a better financial return than a pension. The Telegraph story by NUMbErs T he UK's nuclear ambitions are under threat aer the European Commission last week set out concerns over the financial support package offered for Hinkley Point C. In a 70-page letter to the UK government, the Commission warned the proposed subsidies for the new nuclear plant could overcompensate owner EDF Energy and distort competition. The power station is set to receive a strike price of £92.50/ MWh for 35 years – nearly dou- ble the current wholesale power price – as well as construction guarantees. The Commission questioned whether nuclear technology was immature enough to warrant state aid, noting similar plants were being built in France and Finland without support. It challenged the UK's argument that Hinkley Point C was needed to meet carbon and security of supply goals, given that it would not run until 2023 and there was time to develop other options. As for affordability, the Commission said support for Hinkley Point C would "most likely contribute to an increase in retail prices". Energy minister Michael Fallon said on Tuesday he was "confident" that support for Hinkley Point C would receive state aid approval despite these objections. Fallon discussed the deal struck with EDF Energy over the proposed nuclear plant with competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia last week, he told the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The Commission was "fully entitled" to ask questions, said Fallon. "I am confident when we have gone through that process and answered those questions, [the support package] will gain clearance." Hinkley Point C is a test case not only for the UK but several other European countries also interested in developing new nuclear. MD Seven days... the enterprise Zone Capital Grant Fund awarded to the able Marine energy Park in North Lincolnshire £14.9m the amount rWe wrote down its assets last week following a re-evaluation of its conventional power generating businesses €3.3bn Competition concerns over Hinkley Point C subsidies "This is self-serving nonsense" Economist Dieter Helm speaks his mind on the notion that low carbon energy can be both secure and cheap

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