Utility Week

UTILITY Week 24 10 2014

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National media UK fracking hit by Opec oil price war Experts have warned that a rush to start fracking for oil across Britain may be over before it has even begun as the slump in global crude oil prices makes the controversial method of drilling uneconomic. The US pumps about 8.5 million barrels a day of crude and is fore- cast to soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the global producer of liquid pe- troleum. However, the recent sharp declines in the price of oil – Brent is down around 25 per cent since June – have cast a cloud of uncertainty over the process of opening up the UK to fracking due to the high costs associated with the process. The Telegraph, 18 October EU emissions targets 'will fail to protect climate' Europe's leaders are about to consign the earth to the risk of dangerous climate change, a UN expert has said. Professor Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, described as "weak" the EU's plan to cut carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40 per cent target put Europe on track for long-term climate goals. BBC, 20 October UAE to launch space mission to Mars The United Arab Emirates, the fourth-largest producer in Opec, which also owns the Middle East's biggest sovereign wealth fund, plans to use some of its income from oil to fund the construction of an unmanned probe to reach Mars by 2021. The UAE already invests about £3.4 billion in space-related industries. Telegraph, 20 October A major fire at RWE's 1.4GW Didcot gas-fired power plant on Sunday has raised further concern about National Grid's ability to meet the UK's winter electri- city needs, following a string of unplanned capacity outages in recent months. More than 20 fire service vehi- cles were required to extinguish the blaze, which broke out on the night of 19 October, accord- ing to reports from the BBC. The cause of the blaze is unknown. The fire is likely to remove half the plant's total capacity from service this winter, a fur- ther blow to UK supply margins, which were slashed in the sum- mer aer the unexpected closure of 3GW of capacity. The fire-damaged Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant has been removed from service, while the return of four of EDF Energy's nuclear reactors has been delayed from October to a stag- gered return through winter. On 17 October, EDF Energy said the nuclear reactors, removed from service due to safety concerns, would return at just 75 to 80 per cent of capacity. National Grid is expected to publish its winter outlook in October detailing its plans to make up for the unexpected shortfall of capacity earlier this year. Energy secretary Ed Davey said on Monday morning that the fire did not increase risk to the UK's electricity supplies. JA Didcot fire raises concern about winter blackouts Seven days... Wind power sets new record Wind power set a new record on 19 October by providing nearly a quarter of the UK's electricity supply for the entire day, accord- ing to National Grid statistics. 24% percentage of UK electricity supply generated by wind power for the day 22% previous record of total generation, set in August this year 7.9GW new peak record – 7,998MW – generated over a half-hour period at midday on 18 October story by NUMbErs "There is no need for the hysterical headlines that we are seeing about closures in plant" Baroness Worthington insists that the UK's security of supply is not under threat following the Didcot fire "We are very grateful for the feedback and advice we have received from the very many interested parties" Scottish Power says it has abandoned plans for a 75MW windfarm in Corwen in north Wales after digesting the feedback from its technical and environmental studies 4 | 24th - 30th OctOber 2014 | UtILItY WeeK Photo: PA

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