Utility Week

Utility Week 21st February 2014

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4 | 21st - 27th February 2014 | utILIty WeeK National media Staff satisfaction the government staff surveys are out – which departments are happy ships and which are set for mutiny? 27% (Decc) 16% (Defra) of staff say when changes are made, they are usually for the better 91% (Decc) 88% (Defra) of staff are interested in their work 58% (Decc) 52% (Defra) headline score for engagement 62% engagement score for high performers in the civil service Water shortages could disrupt power supplies Parts of Britain may be under water aer the worst floods in half a century, but a team of top academics from Newcastle and Oxford University is warning that the country is at risk of water shortages that could shut down power stations and paralyse electricity supplies. The Guardian British Gas 'could turn loss-making' Britain's biggest energy supplier, British Gas, could be turned into a loss-making business if it is prevented from raising prices over the next three years. This is the stark warning from analysts ahead of Centrica reporting annual earnings on Thursday. The company is expected to reveal that its British Gas division has lost more than 350,000 customers. The Telegraph Climate change 'issue of national security' Britain is sleepwalking towards disaster because of a failure to recognise that climate change is causing the extreme weather that has blighted the country for more than a month, Ed Miliband has warned. The Observer Story by NUMbErS The first tranche of the govern- ment's electricity market reform (EMR) was under siege this week, with rows over the short- list of flagship projects, as one of them fell through. The government's go-early process for EMR subsidies saw 16 projects provisionally approved. Ten were prioritised for funding; six were told there would not be enough money for them. One of the ten has fallen through, it emerged this week with the news that GDF Suez has withdrawn its 39-turbine Beinn Mhor windfarm, on the Isle of Lewis. It blamed delays to the necessary grid connection. Meanwhile, two rows emerged over the selection of projects for the shortlist. In a letter to energy secre- tary Ed Davey, Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing expressed "disappointment at the lack of clarity behind the exclusion of three Scottish offshore wind projects". These were projects that had been approved but not earmarked for funding. He urged Davey to revisit the process. Responding to Ewing, Davey said it was objective and there would be no review. The six pro- jects that qualified but were not earmarked for funds "are still in the process", he said. Separately, a top executive at Eggborough, which is set to close aer its biomass conver- sion was missed off the list, accused Davey of favouring wind (see quote, below). As trade unions last week renewed calls to save Eggbor- ough and its 800 jobs, its chief operating officer Paul Tomlinson told Utility Week crisis talks with the Department of Energy and Climate Change were "not filling us with a tremendous amount of confidence". MD Seven days... "We are suffering a little bit from internal politics. We have got Ed Davey at the top of Decc, who is out to support wind… at the cost of other technologies such as ours" Paul Tomlinson, chief operating officer at Eggborough, speaks exclusively to Utility Week, with his comments subsequently covered by the national media the length of the planned interconnector between Iceland and the uK, which came closer to reality this week when the Icelandic parliament gave the go-ahead to further studies. see p16 1,000km EMR shortlist under fire

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