Utility Week

UTILITY Week 20th March 2015

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4 | 20TH - 26TH MARCH 2015 | UTILITY WEEK National media Scots wind support grows A survey commissioned by industry body Scottish Renewables has revealed that support for wind power has increased over the past two years as more development has taken place. 10% The rise in the support for wind power between 2013 and 2015 71% said they supported the continued development of wind power 20% Increase in onshore wind capacity in Scotland over the past two years 65% Level of support for wind in the 55-plus age bracket – the lowest figure of the age groups surveyed Explosion kills three at Texas oil rig An explosion has killed three peo- ple and injured one at an oil and gas field in West Texas, a spokesman for well owner Parsley Energy said. "Our thoughts are with the fami- lies," Lisa Elliott of Parsley said of the accident in Upton County, Texas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it was in- vestigating the rig explosion about 50 miles south of Midland, which involved contractors at Mason Well Service firm. Reuters, 11 March Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014 The growth in global carbon emis- sions stalled last year, according to data from the International Energy Agency. It marks the first time in 40 years that annual CO2 emissions growth has remained stable, in the absence of a major economic crisis, the agency said. Annual global emissions remained at 32 gigatonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year. But the IEA warned that while the results were "encouraging", this was "no time for complacency". BBC News, 13 March Billions of dollars pledged to develop energy in Egypt Egypt and international companies announced plans for billions of dollars' worth of investment in energy at a conference intended as a launch pad for the economy aer four years of political and economic disarray. The bulk of the announcements were for upstream natural gas production and power generation. Both sectors have been starved of investment in recent years. Financial Times, 14 March STORY BY NUMBERS T he Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the profits made by big six energy companies increased tenfold in the years from 2007 to 2013, with higher margins taken from household customers on stand- ard tariffs. As part of its ongoing probe into the energy sector, the CMA reported initial findings that the companies' total earnings have spiralled from £110 million in 2007 to £1.1 billion in 2013, meaning the amount paid by customers over and above sup- plier costs has increased from £1.32 per dual fuel bill to £48.16 over the same period. Energy firms have consist- ently maintained that the mar- gin on supplying households is around 3.9 per cent, which is modest in retail terms. But the CMA said higher margins are made on standard variable tariffs, which are more likely to be used by so-called sticky customers who do not shop around for the best deal and subsequently pay above the odds. The CMA has already reported that more than 95 per cent of energy customers could save around £200 by switching from a standard tariff, but the fresh focus on suppliers' profits is likely to add further fuel to an already highly politicised debate in the run-up to the May general election. Late last week, the Labour party upped the ante on its promise to overhaul the energy market if it comes to power, saying it would take immediate action to push through legisla- tion giving Ofgem the power to force through price cuts (see Lobby, p8). The full recommendations from the CMA will only be made public this summer, aer the election. And the final conclu- sions will be delivered by the end of the year. JA Big six profits up tenfold in six years, says CMA "The logic of vertical integration no longer works" Ofwat chairman Jonson Cox on the water company structures ahead of market opening Seven days... 77% Number of businesses worried about security of supply, according to an Npower survey

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