Utility Week

UTILITY Week 6th March 2015

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14 | 6th - 12th March 2015 | UtILItY WEEK E l E ct i o n c o u n td o w n : 6 1 d ay s to g o Uk inDePenDenCe Party sCottisH nationaL Party green Party "The three old parties colluded to reinforce their failing climate policies [by all agreeing to tackle climate change]. Ukip has always said the old parties don't offer a genuine choice to voters and this blatant collusion proves it. Now only Ukip offers a rational alternative for secure and affordable energy, for households and for British Industry. Their plans are based on the 2008 Climate Change Act, which is estimated to cost £18 Billion a year for 40 years, an eye- watering £720 billion over the period. That's £28,000 over the period for every household in the country. Ukip's national agent Paul Oakden deliv- ered the party's policy statement on energy at their spring conference in Margate. He said: 'First, renewables is intermittent, so they require intermittent fossil fuel back- up. But running the back-up intermittently is inefficient, and substantially offsets the savings from renewables. 'Second, while we focus on green gesture politics, other countries adopt a more ration- al approach. There are 1,200 new coal-fired power plants in the global pipeline. Global emissions will increase whatever we do. 'Third, energy-intensive industries are moving offshore, taking their jobs and their investment and their emissions with them. 'And fourth, if we achieve any reduction in fossil fuel use in Europe, it will simply create more elbow-room, and lower prices, in global energy markets, leading to more consumption elsewhere.'" Ukip party spokesman "The SNP is clear that supporting our utili- ties sector is a key part of our efforts to grow Scotland's economy and that continues to be our priority when confronted by situations like the current threat to jobs at Longannet. Under the current system Longannet power station in Fife is required to pay over £40 million a year in transmission charges while an identical coal power station in Lon- don would be paid a subsidy. That is a major burden and has been a key cause of the current situation where hundreds of jobs are at risk and the security of electricity supply is jeopardised as a result. The SNP has long argued for a fairer system of transmission charges and the slow pace of reform is a continued source of frustration. That is why the SNP will continue to press for changes to support growth in Scotland's electricity generating sector. As well as undermining thermal power generation in Scotland, transmission charg- es also represent a barrier to Scotland's ambitious renewable energy targets. We also recognise the enormous op- portunity that comes from Scotland's water and that is why we have committed to keep- ing Scottish Water as a publicly owned and operated utility. Scottish Water's status as a successful public corporation has helped to ensure that people's household water bills in Scotland are lower than in England and Wales, something that has been achieved while still investing £3.5 billion in water infrastructure over a six year period. This election of a strong team of SNP MPs will ensure Scotland gets the tools it needs to support jobs and investment." snP westminster energy spokesperson mike weir "Energy bills must come down – we need an energy-generating democracy that brings the power back into the hands of commu- nities, not boardrooms. We will not force vulnerable people to choose between heating and eating. The recent floods brought home the human cost of man-made climate change. Houses were ruined, businesses shut, lives changed. These should act as wake-up calls. We urgently need to wean our country and the world off its addiction to fossil fuels. Business as usual will only bring more flood- ing and other disasters – hurting us and our children. The Green Party would: • Tackle climate change faster and more effectively by moving Europe from a fos- sil fuelled economy to one powered by renewable energy. We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground. • Prepare for increasing impacts on our- selves and our neighbours by investing in upland water conservation and flood defences. • Protect our natural world from short- term corporate interests. • Cut demand by encouraging European incentives for home insulation. • Change the types of energy we use by speeding up the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. • Reject harmful long-term solutions. We would ban all fracking and stop building nuclear power stations." green Party mini-manifesto Next week: Resilience and sustainability B usiness may intuitively favour a centre- right coalition but they will be concerned that any such coalition will have to prioritise a debate and referen- dum on European Union membership. This extended debate could create the impression of a UK that is protectionist and isolationist, of one that is simply not open for business. Add to this chancellor George Osborne's plans for devolution to some English regions and the operating environment becomes even more challenging and complex. Labour also propose an English Devolution Act and any coalition formed by them with the SNP or Plaid Cymru will be defined by this issue. The electioneer- ing narrative of the centre- le parties is seen as anti- business. Labour has headlined domicile and tax, talking of "outlawing tax avoidance" through a fundamental review of HMRC. It has also been clear on planned interventions in the "broken" energy sector, and while it mentions competition and transparency it appears, along with the Greens, to favour direct intervention and democratic control of energy. But perhaps of more concern than a centre- le or centre- right coalition would be no agreement at all. Anatole Kaletsky argues that the current economic debate is focused on the wrong deficit. Britain's 2014 current account deficit is estimated at $120 billion, or 4.2 per cent of GDP. This is three times larger in terms of percentage of GDP than the next biggest deficit in Europe (France). Our political system assumes major- ity government and our structures and processes support this approach. The new model, where policy is subject to debate across coalition parties and where decision- making may be devolved to other institu- tions, requires the utility sector to develop a new approach. Plan now to ensure that your organisation is prepared for and well placed to respond – whatever the election outcome. Michelle Lewis, director at McQuillan Viewpoint of more ConCern tHan a Centre- Left or Centre- rigHt CoaLition woULD be no agreement at aLL Utilities must plan now to deal with whatever flavour of coalition wins power. Ukip, the snP and the green Party set out their policy priorities for the utilities sector:

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