Utility Week

UTILITY Week 6th March 2015

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UtILItY WEEK | 6th - 12th March 2015 | 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: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080; e: lois.vallely@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, t: 01342 332077, e: sarah.wood@fav-house.com; Publisher: amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership subscriptions: : UK £577 per year, overseas £689 per year, t: 020 8955 7045 or email membership sales manager Paul Tweedale: PaulTweedale@fav-house.com. 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 Dark days Disconnector is much given to worrying about the future. He has been reading the runes and watching for portents – and, good people, the signs are not good. On 20 March, much of Europe will be cast into darkness as we witness the most dramatic solar eclipse of the millennium (ie, the past 15 years), and this time around it could have a more dra- matic effect still as power grids fail. Why? The increased reliance on solar power, apparently. The Telegraph conceded that we were unlikely to face much risk here in the UK because we don't have much in the way of photovoltaics, but it dug up a spokesman from the European Network Transmission System, Operators for Electricity who said that countries with large amounts of solar power could be in trouble unless they took countermeasures. It's a rat! Need more convincing that we're heading for some sort of biblical reckoning? Well, if omens are a bit old-fashioned for you, how about something more modern: London is being invaded by giant mutant rats. Oh yes – now you're listen- ing. The Daily Mail (oen the first with these sorts of scoop) reported a "shocking epidemic" of cat-sized rats in the nation's capital. And they're resistant to traditional poison, too. Disconnector Intriguingly, the newspaper seemed equally appalled by the fact that the rats were no respecters of postcodes. "Homeowner's horror aer finding giant rodent at upmarket London home" screamed the paper. Turned out it was Belsize Park, no less, so things were beyond a joke. Thames Water sewerage workers be warned: there is an army of giant mutant rats waiting down the sewers, and at 8.25am on 20 March the sun will vanish. Best call in sick that day. Foreigners broke my toilet Politicians and the press form an unholy alliance when it comes to scaremongering. One is aer your votes, the other is aer your money; both have an interest in playing along. But when it comes to playing with fear, Ukip takes it to a different level. At the party's pre-election conference in Margate, immi- gration spokesman Steven Woolfe warned that the influx of immigrants was not only put- ting pressure on the country's hospitals and schools, but on the sewer system too. He didn't go so far as to com- plain about them "coming over here, using our toilets", but he might as well have. Disconnector cannot help but feel that Woolfe missed a trick, though, by not pointing out that the arrival of large numbers of foreigners using our sewers coincided with the discovery of mutant rats in those very same sewers. Coincidence, or not? Stealing the limelight The energy sector tends to be pretty staid. Utilities, almost by definition, are unexciting even if they are essential to life and happiness. In the main, energy company CEOs tend to prefer a low profile, and this has le Ecotricity's founder and chief executive Dale Vince pretty much out on his own when it comes to building a public profile. The former New Age traveller has managed to cast his renewable energy company as the outsider in an industry otherwise peopled by faceless industrial behe- moths. Doubtless the long hair, motorcycle jacket and vegan philosophy help. Well, he may soon have competition from Ovo founder and chief executive Stephen Fitzpatrick. His profile is about to get a lot bigger as the man behind the rescue of Formula 1 team Manor Marussia, which went into administration last year. Fans of Vince need not despair quite yet. Ecotricity has just announced that it is to host the Ecotricity Big Top at the trendy West Country Wych- wood music and arts festival in May. This is in addition to the existing tie-up it has had with the world music festival, Womad, since 2013. 3,580 average circulation Jan–Dec 2014 Membership subscriptions: UK £577 per year. Overseas £689 per year. Email: PaulTweedale@fav-house.com James Beard @JamesBeardWWF Advanced #waste to #energy starting to become mainstream? 3 CfDs last week & now £30m from the Green Investment Bank William Marchant @richonlyinname I keep getting invited to waste management conferences. I don't want to go. They're just rubbish. Energy Saving Trust @EnergySvgTrust Replace your inefficient bulbs and bills will fall like a LED balloon! #energyefficiency #lighting Rob Edwards @robedwards53 "I wouldn't be against new #nuclear in the mix in Scotland" says @tomgreatrexmp Jeremy Gordon @JeremyWNA A sad irony in picking gifts for our conferences - a lot of nuclear professionals don't want to appear in public with nuclear branded stuff. Simon Moore @SMoore1984 DECC reckons £110mn saved between administrative and auction CfD prices. Competition is a powerful force. Terry Stewart @sonofkermode National grid always feels a power surge when #kanye performs, as kettles come on and are dropped into baths across the UK #BRITAwards George Smeeton @GSmeeton @David_Cameron's starter homes would be exempt from zero carbon standard. Is that quite wise, Prime Minister…? Matthew Knight @SoutherlyBreeze "@wombat361: Alarm set for 06:45." See the future of UK electricity while wearing your pyjamas. #CfDAuction result @DECCgovuk William Marchant @richonlyinname E.on pays actors to simulate unhappy customers. Well, to have found real ones, they'd have had to answer the phone. Top Tweets

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