Utility Week

UTILITY Week 21st March 2014

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4 | 21st - 27th March 2014 | UtILItY WEEK National media Capital flood defences the thames Barrier was operated more than 50 times this winter; more than in any other year in its history. On p23, we examine how much it can take before Lon- don needs new flood defences. 173 the number of times the barrier has been closed in its lifetime 0.5m sea level rise the existing system is designed to cope with 1m sea level rise that would trigger the building of new flood defences 50 average annual usage the barrier can handle Fallon asks green firms to back Hinkley Business and energy minister Michael Fallon has infuriated renewable energy executives aer "inviting" them to lobby Brussels on behalf of the government's deal to underwrite nuclear power with bil- lions of pounds in subsidies. The Times The bonfire of insanity: wood shipped to Drax On a perfect spring day in the coastal forest of North Carolina I hike along a nature trail – a thread of dry gravel between the pools of the Roanoke river backwaters. A glistening otter dives for lunch just a few feet away… The trees seem to stretch to the horizon: a serene and timeless landscape. But North Carolina's 'bottomland' forest is being cut down in swathes, and much of it pulped and turned into wood pellets – so Britain can keep its lights on. The Mail on Sunday Global warming will cause widespread international conflict Climate change will displace hun- dreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn. The second of three publications by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. The Independent story by NUMbErs Ofgem has deferred plans to rebalance transmission charging across the country by two years to consult on new analysis, it has announced. The regulator is still "minded to" go ahead with propos- als, which would close the gap between high charges to access the transmission grid in Scotland and lower charges in southern England. However, it will not now bring in the new system until April 2016. This latest delay is a minor victory for Npower, which has criticised the changes as a "hidden subsidy" for Scottish renewables. However, it is a blow to companies such as SSE, which argues that the current system is unfair. Npower commissioned research from consultancy Nera, which last month concluded Ofgem's preferred option would add £9 a year to a typical house- hold bill. That is because the changes reduce the incentive to build power generation sources near centres of demand. That challenged Ofgem's claim the move would add just £1.60 to annual bills between now and 2020 and save £8.30 a year from 2020 to 2030, because it encouraged siting of wind- farms in windier locations. While the regulator stands by its earlier conclusion, Npower's intervention prompted Ofgem to update its modelling. Ofgem now proposes to consult on the latest analysis this spring and reach a final decision "as soon as possible thereaer", pushing back the start date to April 2016. Martin Crouch, senior partner at Ofgem, explained in a letter to stakeholders that it was impor- tant to give both generators and suppliers time to respond. It is the latest in a string of delays for the review of charges, named Project Transmit, which has divided the industry since its inception in September 2010. MD Seven days... "It will have to develop and evolve over the next two decades" Energy secretary Ed Davey admits the Green Deal could take 20 years to develop properly Plan to change network charges put on hold the sum the cabinet Office will invest into creating the UK's first Smart Energy Demonstrator site at Keele University in staffordshire £5m "We are playing a bit of catch up" Climate change minister Greg Barker on energy efficiency, see p13

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