Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th April 2014

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4 | 4th - 10th April 2014 | UtilitY WEEK National media WPD network study: results in Western power Distribution has completed a three-year net- work monitoring project, backed by the low Carbon Networks Fund; the largest study of its kind in Europe. it found the system could handle more solar panels than estimated and voltage reduc- tions could cut costs. 500m number of measurements taken 20% less capacity was used by low car- bon technology than previously thought £9.4m annual savings to customers in south Wales from reducing voltage We have let you down, say energy companies Energy bosses have admit- ted that their customer service has been poor, bills have been confusing and complaints badly handled in an extraordinary indict- ment of industry practice. Senior executives from among the big six conceded for the first time that their treatment of consum- ers has made them vulnerable to at- tacks by politicians, in anonymous interviews for a YouGov report. The Times UK reviewing Russian nuclear energy pact Britain is reviewing an agreement to co-operate with Russian state- run nuclear engineering company Rosatom following the occupation of Crimea, the government said on Tuesday, in a fresh sign that Moscow's actions could have dam- aging economic and commercial consequences. The Wall Street Journal Coal is new black gold under the North Sea Scientists have discovered vast deposits of coal lying under the North Sea, potentially holding enough energy to power Britain for centuries. The Sunday Times Lib Dems 'block Tory plan to halt windfarms' Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has vetoed a Conservative proposal to block future onshore windfarms, senior Lib Dem sources have told the BBC. BBC story by NUMbErs Labour's proposal to introduce an independent energy security board to help direct long-term energy policy is gaining support within the industry. Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said setting up the organisation would "ensure there is an authoritative source on long-term thinking" for the energy sector. Speaking at Sustainability Live in Birmingham, Greatrex said this would give inves- tors "a sense of direction from government" and confidence that energy policy would remain stable. Unlike the opposition's pledge to freeze energy prices if elected, which caused alarm among investors, the idea of an energy security board met broad industry approval. Keith MacLean, policy and research director at SSE, said such an organisation "would be helpful", but it must be "genu- inely independent". If the government was "brave enough" to establish it, MacLean said the energy security board could help to attract investment in the sector. The government estimates that £110 billion of investment is needed in energy infrastructure by the end of the decade to keep the lights on. However, industry figures have warned the pros- pect of a price freeze combined with recent policy changes puts that in jeopardy. Lawrence Slade, chief operat- ing officer at Energy UK, said: "We are a long-term industry; we can't magic up capacity in the future… From an investment point of view, you need to know what's happening to your invest- ment not just in five years, but in ten or even 15 years' time." MB Seven days... "Some countries are almost 100 per cent reliant on Russian gas – it is something of a wake-up call" David Cameron on the Crimea crisis and the need for energy independence Support grows for an energy security board reduction in Ni Water non-domestic bills value of an Ni Water six-year engineering contract 4% £200m

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