Utility Week

UTILITY Week 20th June 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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utILItY WeeK | 20th - 26th June 2014 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; News editor: Jillian Ambrose, t: 01342 332061, e: jillian.ambrose@fav-house.com; Energy editor: Megan Darby, t: 01342 332087, e: megan.darby@fav-house.com; Associate news editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house. com; Reporter: Conor McGlone, t: 01342 332083, e: conor.mcglone@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house. com; Sales executive: Hayley Cronin, t: 01342 332077, e: hayley.cronin@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 01342 332011. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham house Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, east Grinstead, West Sussex Rh19 1uZ Sacre bleu I say, I say, I say, did you hear the one about the energy company chief executive who funnelled company funds into his wife's bank account to help launch her career as a stand-up comedian? Oh wait a minute, perhaps that's not such a laugh- ing matter. At least not for Henri Proglio, chief executive of EDF Group, because that's exactly what French news magazine Le Point has accused him of doing. Proglio's Moroccan-born wife Rachida Khalil is an actress and comedian, 24 years his junior, who's trying to make a name for herself in the entertain- ment business. She picks up bits and bobs of work, but nothing that would explain how she earned nearly €1.5 million last year, which is what Le Point says she has declared to the taxman, including €100,000 in cash. The accusation is that Proglio pressured contractors to give his wife money and also directed EDF's charitable foundation to do the same. Disconnector must make clear that Proglio categori- cally denies all the charges, and even disputes that his wife declared an income of anything like €1.5 million. The Paris prosecutor's office has started an preliminary inves- tigation into the allegations. It's a funny old world, as we English are fond of observing. Disconnector Going to work on coffee If you thought a strong cup of espresso was like rocket fuel, think again. Turns out it's just regular diesel. Let the great man explain. Researchers at Bath Uni- versity have shown that waste coffee grounds can be used to produce biodiesel in a process they call "transesterification". Using an organic solvent, they found they could extract oil from the waste grounds – up to 20 per cent by weight – from which they could make biodiesel. Research fellow Chris Chuck explained: "This oil has similar properties to current feedstocks used to make biofuels. But while those are cultivated specifically to produce fuel, spent coffee grounds are waste. Using these, there's a real potential to pro- duce a truly sustainable second- generation biofuel." The scientists tested more than 20 types of coffee bean (espresso, decaffeinated, etc) from different parts of the world and found it made little difference to the quality of the oil extracted, which is critical to produce a standard product. The quality of oil made from current biodiesel feedstocks can be temperamental depending on growing conditions. Given that half the workforce of the western world metaphori- cally runs on coffee anyway most mornings, it would be a neat symmetry if they used the same substance to run their cars. The widespread use of waste coffee to produce fuel would not just be a welcome development for the energy industry, it would be heartily welcomed by water companies. Perhaps if coffee grounds had a commercial value, people would stop chucking the damn stuff down the sink, from where it ends up in sewers and sets as hard as cement. I'll drink to that If you thought extracting fuel from waste coffee grounds was brilliant, Nottingham Trent University undergradu- ate Joseph Wild has gone one better by "re-purposing" old fridges to distil drinking water out of air. The water machine is designed for use in humid areas and uses fridges other- wise destined for landfill. It works by drawing moist air into the cool fridge using old computer fans and passing it through a copper pipe. The water condenses and is collected at the bottom of the fridge where it is removed using a tap. It can provide enough safe drinking water daily for a small family. Disconnector knows that the average Utility Week reader will immediately spot the flaw: if the family don't have access to drinking water, it's unlikely they've got access to electricity either. Joseph has thought of that too: the whole contraption runs on solar panels. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Cornelia Strauss @refreshedlala4 is bemused to be called by Ofwat who are now going to do some research in the North West on water charges… to check on UU obviously… Rowland Hill @RowllyPowlly @UtilityWeek All energy companies should pay interest on customer balances! Ovo should be congratulated for doing so! Come on Ofgem! Earn your pay! Briean Robson @richonlyinname I'm oddly charmed that SSE defines one of its 20 principal business risks as "corporate arrogance or hubris". Fair play. *doffs hat* 3WhitehallPlace @3WhitehallPlace Worry about energy bills? Thanks to our policies, bills will be lower than they otherwise would've been had we not bought 60 million woolly jumpers Greg Barker @GregBarkerMP New #GreenDeal ads continue rollout. Now we've got a cat involved. Otto is not going to be happy about that! #GDHIF Jonathan Reynolds MP @jreynoldsMP @tomgreatrexmp got Brazil! #jammy #worldcupsweepstake Mathew Beech @beechams1042 Having seen this gem from @ JamesBeardREA: David P-Villa #SolarWorldCup What other #energy #WorldCup2014 names can you come up with? Mat Hope @matjhope @beechams1042 @JamesBeardREA and not to forget the increasingly redundant Ashley Coal Mark Malbas @markmalbas #solarworldcup FITs Hall Andy Marsh @THE_Andy_Marsh @Mark Malbas ArRay Wilkins #solarworldcup86 Top Tweets

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