Utility Week

Utility Week 12 12 2014

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

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UtILItY WeeK | 12th - 18th December 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; Associate news editor: mathew beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Insights editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: jane.gray@fav-house.com; Research analyst: Vidhu Dutt, t: 01342 332026, e: vidhu.dutt@fav-house.com; Reporter: Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083; e: lucinda.dann@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, e: paul. newton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@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: 020 8955 7045. 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 Eat up It's official. London is full. What Londoners have long known, and the rest of the country has long suspected, is that the capi- tal is just too jamb-packed with people – there's not enough room to move. Space is at such a premium that a small flat in a bad part of town will cost you £300k – even an ex- Council one. A garage recently went for £500,000, albeit in Kennsington. More evidence of desperate overcrowding was offered to Dis- connector upon learning about the Victorian toilet in the West End that has been converted into a restaurant. The subterranean diner has made a feature of the historic gentlemen's urinals by using them as the dividers between booths. The owners assure us that they have been "thoroughly disinfected". No kidding. Samuel Johnson once sniffily observed that if a man was tired of London, he was tired of life. But Disconnector doubts that Samuel had ever been asked to dine in a toilet. Sunny story It's Christmas! Well, near enough. It's a time of year that warms the great man's heart: wandering down the high street Disconnector in the grey drizzle, with Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody banging out of every other shop doorway while old ladies wrestle each other over bargain basement flat-screen TVs in the pre-Christmas sales, what's not to like? More than that, it's the time of year when dreams come true. You've just got to believe. Disconnector wonders whether belief will be enough to turn the Desolenator into a commercial reality. The Desolenator – being developed by a British company of the same name – is a device that uses "patented technology" to make seawater drinkable using just solar energy (slogan: "Turn sea water into drinking water – just add sunshine". Before you think that Disconnector is away with the elves, you should know that the Desolenator recently won second place, and a grant to go with it, at Climate- KIC's CleanLaunchpad awards in Valencia. The company claims to have a working prototype that can pro- duce 15 litres of distilled water a day from salt water or dirty water from inland sources. It uses no consumables and has no working parts, meaning there are virtually no running costs or maintenance costs. The company is giving no technical secrets away, but tradi- tional desalination is notoriously energy-intensive, and it would take a good acreage of solar panels to produce even a single glass of desalinated water. Desolenator is not saying how it got round this problem but admits that "the product isn't ready quite yet". It has just launched a crowdfunding drive via Indiegogo to raise the nec- essary readies for commercial development. Apparently the banks aren't interested. The big switch The merits of bedecking your house in Christmas lights is something that divides opinion. Some think it's crass, others think it's fun. Either way, for the householders who do it, it is certainly expensive. Take builders Lee and Paul Brailsford from Bristol. They have spent more than £20,00 over 18 years turning an end- of-terrace house in Brentry, Bristol, into an illu- minated marvel. This year's display used a £150 snow machine, a life-size stable with nativity fig- ures, and dozens of snowmen, reindeers and Santas. The event has become such a local attraction that this year 1,000 people turned up to watch the lights being turned on. Among them, one presumes, the neighbours. And of course, their mum. It's her house. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Simon Evans @drsimevans #specenergy @LiberumAtherton says no single object on earth has ever been built costing more than Hinckley C at £24bn Emily Gosden @emilygosden @LiberumAtherton of "Hinkley Point is economically insane" fame tells #specenergy he is pro-nuclear. Just not the economically insane kind. Adam Vaughan @adamvaughan_uk Polish minister is talking on at #COP20 to spare his Peruvian counterpart "two minutes of stress" before he becomes official COP president Jennifer Webber @jennifercwebber Angela Knight slates wind on the day one of the big six announces shift to focus on renewables. Interesting timing. guynewey @guynewey We are bullish about smart meters and think it could transform the market. But nervous about dcc, smets2 and ihd. #acronymhell Keith MacLean @macleank 20% of fresh water abstraction is for power stations and provides 40% of cooling needs Miguel Arias Cañete @MAC_europe Hehe! Vladimir just called to ask if I might know any buyers for 2000km of steel pipes going cheap. #southstream Alex Marshall @alexmarshall81 @alicebell I yesterday Googled Davey's 'year to save the planet' comment. Amazingly we've had that year at least twice before! Howard Johns @howardjohns #shale gas mentioned 35 times in #AS2014 renewable 3 times. #solar 0. Only green thing is the cover. Marc Height @March8eight Will election/price freeze/splitting up utilities affect timing of Hinkley C decision?All trying to get deal done before election, says Haye Top Tweets

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