Utility Week

UTILITY Week 10th April 2015

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/492370

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 31

4 | 10TH - 16TH APRIL 2015 | UTILITY WEEK National media The public 'cynical' about smart meters Recent research by company SQS has revealed "widespread cynicism" among consumers about the viability of big IT projects such as the smart meter rollout. 62% doubt smart metering will be completed on schedule 27% think their energy supplier's poor track record doesn't bode well for a successful rollout 37% are convinced the new technol- ogy will benefit energy suppliers the most 30% believe new smart meter technology is at risk of hacking and cyber crime Energy minister hired jet to fly back from climate change deal Climate campaigners rounded on the energy minister Matthew Hancock for hiring a private jet to fly himself back to London aer signing a deal with the Mexican president in Aberdeen to help combat climate change. The memorandum of under- standing they signed focused on the UK's commitment with Mexico to press for an "ambitious, equi- table, comprehensive and legally binding global agreement" at the climate talks in Paris in December. The Guardian, 2 April Australian green energy in crisis Investment in Australian renewable energy is plunging, mothballed coal plant is reopening and carbon emis- sions are rising as prime minister Tony Abbott restructures energy policy. A report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015, found that investment in Austral- ian renewable energy fell from US$2.1 billion in 2013 to US$330 million last year. Financial Times, 1 April Texas city goes 100% green to save money A Texas city is to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, spark- ing surprise in an oil-obsessed, Republican-dominated state. "I was called an Al Gore clone, a tree-hugger," said Jim Briggs, in- terim city manager of Georgetown, and a key player in Georgetown's decision to become the first city in the Lone Star State to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. Briggs said he was a staunchly Texan pragmatist and the motive was saving money. The Guardian, 29 March STORY BY NUMBERS T he UK did not have to use its most expensive power plants last winter despite the market having some of the tightest supply margins of the past seven years, National Grid has told the energy secretary. The operator's executive director, John Pettigrew, wrote to energy secretary Ed Davey last week to formally outline the steps National Grid took to maintain the UK's supply. He said the margins were "tighter, but secure", meaning the operator did not need to use the priciest power available in the market, or its supplemental balancing reserve. "Despite the milder weather, supply margins were such that the final unit offered in the electricity market for reserve was put on standby on four occasions," Pettigrew said. The final unit, or plant deemed most expensive, varies according to which are made available to National Grid by generators on a given day, but they are typically the older, least efficient of the UK's fleet. The Littlebrook oil-fired plant was frequently one of the more expensive options before its clo- sure last week (see picture story, right), but one of the units at the Dinorwig hydro plant is also usually offered to the market at a high price. The most expensive option was placed on standby and might have been used on 21 January this year when temperatures over the peak demand period were forecast at 3.1C and wind power was low at 500MW. At the same time, the UK had 2GW of capacity offline in planned outages and 5GW off the system due to breakdowns, while power imports were hit by a 500MW interconnector outage. In the event, demand fell 1GW short of predictions and the plant was not needed. JA Most expensive plant was not used over the winter Seven days... "This scheme is far from smart" In a recent report, Institute of Directors senior infrastructure adviser Dan Lewis said the government's smart meter rollout should be "halted, altered or scrapped" 2.4% NI Water will raise prices for non- domestic water charges in three years ➟

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 10th April 2015