Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th January 2015

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/453394

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 30Th JanUarY - 5Th FEbrUarY 2015 | 3 Leader Ellen Bennett This week 4 | Seven days 6 | Interview andrew Mitchell, chief executive, Thames Tideway Tunnel 10 | Game changer Making connections underground – with robots 13 Policy & Regulation 13 | News Fracking projects face environmental veto 14 | Market view Information security is vital to the success of smart meters 15 | Analysis Pressure mounts on networks to improve connection competition 16 Finance & Investment 16 | News SSE faces 'challenging' business environment, says chief exec 17 | Analysis Political uncertainty dogs utility share prices 18 Operations & Assets 18 | High viz Crowd funding for farm-scale turbines 19 | Pipe up Dr Simon harrison 20 | Market view health and safety for those working in customers' homes 21 Customers 21 | News EDF Energy to cut gas tariff from February 22 | Event news from UW's water and energy customer conferences 27 | Market view Consumers don't think much of smart meters – or their suppliers 30 Community 30 | Reader of the week Keith hayward, hydro International 31 | Disconnector ISO mooted as energy landscape shifts Dermot Nolan chucked a hand grenade into his evidence to the energy and climate change select committee this week, with the comment that he sees a "strong case" for the establishment of an independent system operator (ISO), separate to National Grid. This would allay suspicions of a conflict of interest for Grid, which both advises the government on the future of the transmission network, and owns and operates the assets. The idea of stripping Grid of its system operator role has been around for a while, not least as part of the ITPR (Integrated Transmission Planning and Regulation) project discussions. But it is extremely sensitive for Grid, and until now, has been spoken of in whispers. Nolan's public comments this week notably move the agenda along, marking National Grid's card for aer the election. Ministers of whichever party or parties form the next government will need to take a view. On the one hand, there is the potential for a conflict of interest when one company holds such a broad range of roles. It should be noted that Nolan distinctly said there is no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour on Grid's part – but, as he says, the perception of a conflict can be as damaging as the reality. On the other hand, Britain is a heavily loaded island system, which has been very well integrated, with one company making it work. National Grid has a solid record and unparalleled visibility of the full system; unpicking it could have unintended consequences. Ofgem is working on a report for the next government, and then it will be for ministers to take a view. They will also need to consider whether an ISO, if established, should be complemented by a system architect, whether as a linked or separate organisation. Calls for a system architect have been growing. It's common sense, really. The once-predictable, controllable system of supply and demand is fracturing into thousands of tiny pieces. The result will be a complex web of intermittent capacity, demand peaks and troughs, and new and smart technologies that must have an expert hand guiding their development and structure if they are to deliver effectively on the country's three energy objectives of sustainability, security of supply and affordability, in whichever order. It is not clear how a new ISO would operate, or how broad and deep the implications for National Grid would be. What is clear, however, is that the very structure of the industry is on the table. The next government will make decisions that will shape energy for a generation – and not, it seems, just about the retail market. Ellen Bennett, Editor ellen.bennett@fav-house.com GaS 13 | News Fracking projects face environmental veto 21 | News EDF to cut gas tariff from February 21 | News bG business apologises for billing blunders WaTEr 8 | Interview andrew Mitchell, chief executive, Thames Tideway 13 | Analysis Water companies to advise on buildovers 21 | News Firms fear leaks and sewer flooding 22 | Event Customer care starts with a phone call… ELECTrICITY 15 | Analysis networks should improve competition 18 | High viz Crowd funding for farm- scale turbines EnErGY 13 | News UK to hand energy powers to Scotland 13 | News network connection probe targets SSE 19 | Pipe up Dr Simon harrison 21 | News Small firms trump big six on service 24 | Event Energy sector must resolve 'crisis of trust' Knowledge worth keeping Visit the Downloads section of Utility Week's website http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/ downloads Diligent: british Gas gives board portal a warm reception http://bit.ly/1sAvsnw Rolta: White Paper: IT and OT: In Tune and On Time http://bit.ly/1qPuBgR

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 30th January 2015