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Utility Week 28th November 2014

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UTILITY WEEK | 28Th NovEmbEr - 4Th DEcEmbEr 2014 | 17 Policy & Regulation This week Ofgem to fund eight network projects Funding totalling £46 million offered to projects that will accelerate a low-carbon energy sector Ofgem will offer funding total- ling £46 million to eight network innovation projects that aim to accelerate the development of a low-carbon energy sector. The regulator chose the suc- cessful bidders from 10 projects at the final submission stage to share the total funding offer made through its three innovation competitions designed to help the UK's energy networks become "smarter and more cost-efficient" in the transition to a low-carbon system. The three competitions are the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund, the Gas Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and the Electricity NIC. The LCN fund will award £11.5 million to Western Power Distribution's Network Equilibrium project and £4.4 million to Electricity North West's Fault Level Active Response project, while UK Power Networks will receive £3.3 million for its Kent Area System Management pro- ject and SSE Power Distribution will receive £2.7 million for its Low Energy Automated Networks project. From the Electricity NIC fund, £9 million will be awarded to TC Ormonde's Offshore Cable Repair project, with £6.9 million to be given to National Grid Electric- ity Transmission for its Enhanced Frequency Control Capability project and £2.8 million assigned to Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission for its Modular Approach to Substation Construction project. The Gas NIC fund will award £5.7 million to National Grid Gas Transmission for its In Line Robotic Inspection of High Pressure Installations project. JA ELEcTrIcITY Opposition takes aim at nuclear plans The UK's opposition parties have taken aim at the government's new nuclear ambitions, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) branding the plans "folly" and Labour again calling for scrutiny of the Hinkley Point C deal. Speaking at the Nuclear New Build Forum, shadow energy minister and Labour MP Tom Greatrex reiterated Labour's call for the Hinkley Point C deal to be reviewed by the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The project, granted a strike price as high as £92.50/MWh, is reportedly under a secret review at the Treasury, Greatrex said, which reinforces "the case for the NAO to thoroughly scrutinise the Hinkley deal to ensure it represents value for money". Separately, the SNP said the financial uncertainties at Areva – a Hinkley Point C shareholder and designer of the proposed reactors – show the foolishness of the government's support. Areva's shares plummeted aer it warned it must suspend future profit pre- dictions because of problems with a nuclear project in Finland. ENErgY Scotland to set up wave energy body The Scottish Government has announced that it will estab- lish a wave energy technology development body to encourage innovation in the industry. Wave Energy Scotland will aim to "bring together the best engineering and academic minds to collaborate in a research and development programme to accel- erate wave technology further", the Scottish government said. The announcement came the day aer Pelamis Wave Power entered into administration aer failing to secure additional funding to help develop its wave energy technology. WaTEr Northumbrian starts £5m sewer upgrade Northumbrian Water is start- ing a £5 million sewer upgrade programme to improve bathing water quality at Saltburn and ensure it hits tougher EU bath- ing water targets. The one-year scheme will begin on 1 December 2014 and will involve upgrading sections of the sewer network at three north Yorkshire sites: Guisborough; Tocketts Bridge; and Dunsdale. The work will "significantly reduce" the frequency and vol- ume of spills into water courses from the sewer network during times of heavy rainfall. A total of 31 of 34 beaches in Northumbrian's region met the strictest EU water quality stand- ards this year. Blue sky thinking: innovative network projects Political Agenda Mathew Beech "Some say the quality of EMR is being compromised" In a world where patience has been eroded by the immediacy of the internet, the archaic law-making of Westminster is oen criticised for being far too ponderous. However, Electricity Market Reform (EMR), the cornerstone of the Energy Act – which itself took an age to enter the statute book – has been slammed for being rushed and some say the quality of the whole reform pro- gramme is being compromised. A lot of the EMR package was You can almost see the opposition argument being formed – a slapdash government that ploughs ahead ignoring the many to listen to those with the money. An "underinvestment legacy" riposte will probably be fired back from the government. This leaves the industry as usual hanging on for the details with fingers crossed that once they're in place, the general elec- tion won't throw an Ed Miliband- shaped spanner in the works, leading to a whole new model. le out of primary legislation – much to the annoyance and protestations of the opposition – and the gaps are being filled via secondary legislation, which escapes the same scrutiny by Parliament. Some claim that to get everything done and in place in a timeframe that the industry and investors require, it is being rushed through. Decc denies this and says the whole process is open and trans- parent. But, as one observer put it, while the government may be moving a lot slower than parts of the industry want, it has to move quicker than it traditionally does to ensure it happens at all.

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