Utility Week

UTILITY Week 5th September 2014

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UTILITY WEEK | 12Th - 18Th SEpTEmbEr 2014 | 15 Policy & Regulation This week Lib Dems promise further carbon cuts A further £100bn of private money will be invest- ed in energy, according to Lib Dem 'pre-manifesto' The Liberal Democrats have set out plans for a massive private investment programme in the energy sector in their 2015 "pre- manifesto". The junior coalition partner said it aimed to attract a further £100 billion of private invest- ment into low-carbon energy infrastructure by 2020, with an emphasis on carbon capture and storage (CCS), tidal power, energy storage, and ultra-low emission vehicles. Key to attracting this investment would be plans to set a 2030 decarbonation target range of 50-100gCO2/ kWh, with "60 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030". Labour failed to get the same decarbonisation target included in the 2013 Energy Act, although the coalition did include a provision for the target to be set at these levels aer the next general election. The manifesto says the party would end all unabated coal generation by 2025, and that any new gas-fired power stations built aer 2030 would have to be fitted with CCS technology. Coupled with this, saving energy would be made "a top infrastructure priority", with the Lib Dems propos- ing to introduce an electricity demand reduction market, which it claimed could also lead to greater investment. The party stated its vision for a "Zero Carbon Britain" by 2050, alongside plans to "realise the full potential" of the Green Investment Bank, which would include expanding its remit and allowing it to raise funds inde- pendently. MB EnErgY Npower gets green light on telesales Npower can continue with its outbound telephone sales aer meeting the first targets set by Ofgem, the UK energy regulator said on Wednesday. The supplier, the most com- plained-about energy firm, had been warned by the regulator in June to either reduce late bills and customer complaints by August or stop selling contracts on the phone until the problems were resolved. Sarah Harrison, senior partner in charge of enforcement at Ofgem, said she was "encour- aged" by Npower's progress but "this is only a first step to turn- ing round their customer service and billing performance". "We will continue our inves- tigation into the reasons why Npower's problems occurred," she added. EnErgY Davey: winter energy supply is secure The UK's energy supply will be secure this winter despite a string of unplanned out- ages, according to the energy secretary. Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Ed Davey said the out- ages at EDF Energy's Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power plants, along with the loss of generating capacity at SSE's fire- damaged Ferrybridge coal-fired plant, would not lead to power shortages. Davey told MPs: "We have taken measures to ensure security supply, including intro- ducing new electricity system balancing measures. He added: "The impact that will have on our margins this winter has been taken account of in National Grid's analysis and procurement plans." EnErgY Renewable groups outline six 'key tests' A group of renewable energy trade associations has laid out six "key tests" for the next gov- ernment to meet. The consortium – which includes the Anaerobic Diges- tion and Biogas Association, the British Photovoltaic Association, the Renewable Energy Associa- tion, Renewable UK, Scottish Renewables and the Solar Trade Association – is calling on the next government to establish a renewables target of 30 per cent of UK energy by 2030. Other key tests include: supporting the Climate Change Act; setting a binding target for low and no carbon electricity by 2030; reformation of the Euro- pean Union Emissions Trading System; and for the renewable heat incentive to be extended for new applications beyond 2016. Unabated coal generation would cease by 2015 Political Agenda Mathew Beech "Both sides appear keen to maintain the status quo" The more things change, the more they stay the same. That phrase seemingly applies as much to the energy debate as it does anywhere else. With parliament back from recess and the two new Decc ministers finding their way to the front bench, the short pre-party conference barrages began. And there was very much a sense of déjà vu. Labour, having stolen a march on the back of that Miliband moment last year, by the opposition" (Davey). Both sides actually appear keen to maintain the status quo. As mentioned the other week, Labour believes it has the upper hand – or at least a popular slogan of freezing bills. The coalition also appears happy for the stalemate to rum- ble on. Every time one of Flint's gang mentions the price freeze, you can almost see Davey grin as he shoots them down yet again. There is only one way this debate will end. Polling day. continued pushing the price freeze and promoted the aboli- tion of Ofgem. Ed Davey, accompanied by his new energy team – who in terms of getting a handle on their briefs still appear to be in short trousers – stuck to the tried and tested line: the price freeze will kill competition and put up prices in the longer term. Even an opposition day debate on revoking the licences or poorly performing suppliers resulted in the familiar rhetoric flying across the Commons: "the reason bills have risen is that the energy market is broken" (Caro- line Flint); "failing to focus on competition is a serious mistake

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