Utility Week

Utility Week 5th June 2015

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 5TH - 11TH JUNE 2015 | 31 Community 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; Reporters: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080; e: lois.vallely@fav-house.com and Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083; e: lucinda.dann@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 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2014 Membership subscriptions: UK £577 per year. Overseas £689 per year. Email: paultweedale@fav-house.com William Marchant @richonlyinname Amber warning, as Secretary of State says it's about Ruddy time the Big 6 cut their energy prices. Mike Foster @mikefosterEUA Good to hear @ChrisPincher raise gas storage in the #QueensSpeech debate. Time for a review of UK policy ahead of the Energy Bill? Jessica Lennard @JessicaLennard Woah woah woah. Did #climatechange just get a mention in the #QueensSpeech? God save the Queen! ;) William Marchant @richonlyinname Wondering if Energy Bill may evolve into vehicle to mop up any CMA fall-out. The timing works & it's not exactly stuffed to the rafters. Robert Ede @Whitehouse_NRG Interesting new PQs tabled by Conservative Bill Wiggin. Evident that lots of people are looking for clarity from Decc. Emma Lucy Pinchbeck @ELPinchbeck Things that happen in my new job: Colleague's out of office: "sorry, I'm in the Antarctic". As you do. Alistair McGirr @alistairmcgirr Consumers, electrification, smart, climate change and market integration – Vital challenges/opportunities for European electricity industry. BruceTheSewerMonster @MrBruceMonster Did you know that the average person spends three months of their life sitting on the toilet? #pottyfact Mark Johnston @mark_johnston An EU #energyunion based on dozens of secret EC documents is fundamentally undemocratic. #euets #eu2030 Guy Shrubsole @guyshrubsole Gas companies say gas has vital role to play in world's energy mix. In other news, Pope remains a Catholic. Top Tweets Disconnector Easy come, easy go You win some, you lose some. Disconnector muses thus as Util- ity Week returns from its regular May break and the great man peruses the winners and losers that have been hitting the head- lines in the past fortnight. Surely one of the biggest los- ers must be Li Hejun, chairman of Hanergy Thin Film, declared the richest man in China only last March. No more, alas. The meteoric rise in the solar panel maker's stock over the past 18 months made it more valuable than Twitter and gave Li a paper fortune estimated by Forbes at more than $30 billion. Then, at the end of May, and without any warning, shares in the photovol- taics company plunged 47 per cent in a single morning, before the Hong Kong stock exchange suspended trading. That saw $19 billion wiped off the company's value, and an estimated $15 bil- lion off Li's personal fortune. In other news this week, Disconnector lost a tenner bet- ting on Villa to win the FA Cup. Sometimes you've just got to take life's vicissitudes philosophically. Time's money In the US, meanwhile, Discon- nector's favourite billionaire (c'mon, surely we've all got a favourite billionaire?) was hitting the headlines of the busi- ness pages with his philosophy outside of his speciality subject, making money. Disconnector That's right, Elon Musk, the improbably named founder of PayPal and fantastically wealthy entrepreneur behind SpaceX (commercial space rocket com- pany) and Tesla (futuristic and desirable electric sports cars) is the subject of a biography that charts the 43-year-old's serial success and gives an insight into his thinking on the wider world. Here are Elon's thoughts on whether it really is the taking part that counts: "My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail." And on finding time for that special woman in your life: "How much time does a woman want a week? Maybe ten hours? That's kind of the minimum? I don't know." Doubtless countless wannabes will try to emulate the great man (Mr Musk, not Disconnector), but what works for one idiosyncratic, driven visionary may not transfer well to the typical Apprentice type who seeks to take on the world armed only with a sharp suit and preposterous self-belief. At best you'll end up divorced, and at worst you'll feel obliged to take the seppuku route. Fast runs Okay, it's not as glamorous as electric supercars and space rockets, but when it comes to developing buses powered by poo, we Brits are at the forefront of technology. Earlier this year, we reported on these pages how the UK chalked up a world first by bringing into service a single- decker bus that runs on bio- methane, brought into service by First West to run between Bath and Bristol. Well, now Reading Buses has raised the bar by taking its poo bus – "Bus Hound" – round the track at Millbrook Proving Ground, where it clocked a speed of 76.785mph. And that is a world speed record for a service bus pow- ered by poo. What have you got to say to that, Elon, eh? Your call Technology is only ever a tool – it's the operator who makes it important. Disconnector was much taken with the story of two Wessex Water workers who rescued some ducklings who'd got lost down a sewer. Wessex was called into action by two holidaymakers in Dorset who had spotted a distressed mother duck stand- ing guard by a manhole with half her brood by her side. When sewerage technicians Brendan Sutcliffe and Keith Carter arrived on the scene, they quickly discerned that there were more chicks down the drain who were unable to get out. Using some quick thinking, they recorded the mother duck's quacks on their iPad and were able to use it to lure the chicks to safety. Disconnector bets the late Apple founder Steve Jobs never thought to list "saving duck- lings" as one of the device's USPs when he launched it.

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