Utility Week

UTILITY Week 2nd October 2015

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UTILITY WEEK | 2ND - 8TH OCTOBER 2015 | 13 Policy & Regulation The UK government lacks a cred- ible energy policy and risks the country's security of energy sup- ply by making decisions "on the hoof ", according to the former chief executive of SSE. Ian Marchant hit out at the new Conservative government, saying it is "institutionally incapable" of delivering policy that can support the UK's security of energy supply. ENERGY Former SSE boss hits out at 'institutionally incapable' government "The question is: do we have an energy policy? And the answer is no," he told delegates at a British Institute of Energy Economics event. "We're defining policy by the word 'no'. I haven't heard any vision of what 'yes' might look like." Marchant's criticism follows months of government inter- vention in renewable energy support through cuts planned for both large and small scale renewables projects. He also slammed the government for failing to provide an impact assessment for its cuts to the Renewables Obligation until two months aer its announcement, in what he called a "ready, fire, aim" approach. "They're doing it on the hoof," he told delegates. This week Two top jobs to go as Ofwat overhauls team Current posts of chief regulation officer and senior director of finance and networks will be lost Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross has announced plans to overhaul the regulator's senior management team, creating four new roles and losing two roles, in preparation for PR19. Under the new structure, under consultation for a month, the posts of chief regulation officer, held by Sonia Brown, and senior director of finance and networks, held by Keith Mason, would be lost. Four roles would be created in the senior leadership team: senior director of strategy and plan- ning; senior director, Water 2020; senior director finance and governance; and senior director Thames Tideway. Brown and Mason would be able to apply for any of the new roles. Richard Khaldi would remain as senior director of customers and casework; Bev Messinger, currently sen- ior director of operations, would take on a new role as sen- ior director of business improvement; Claire Forbes would remain senior director of corporate communications; and Elizabeth Hillman would remain general counsel. In a note sent to staff on Tuesday, Ross said: "Strong, competent, committed strategic leadership from the top of the office is clearly imperative if we are to become the Ofwat we need to be, in relation to what we do, how we do it and who we are. It is important, therefore, that we con- sider the sort of senior leadership team we need to provide this. This relates to the capacity of the team, the mix of skills and experience we need within it, and its structure." She said the new, flat structure of seven senior directors and a general counsel reporting to her would address shortages relating to leadership capacity, strategic thinking, breadth and depth of understanding of economic regulation, management of risks and opportunities, and stakeholder engagement. EB RENEWABLES Tories 'disingenuous' over LCF, says Davey Former energy secretary Ed Davey has accused the Con- servative government of raising "disingenuous" concerns over its funding pot for renewable energy to justify its subsidy cuts. The government came to power in May warning that the Levy Control Framework (LCF) has been overspent. But Davey has branded the claims "mis- leading" and challenged the gov- ernment to be more transparent in how it has used data from the Office for Budget Responsibility. "They are being disingenuous in what they're saying," Davey said. The government claims that the £1.5 billion overspend on its £7.6 billion LCF budget has come about because of the "successful deployment" of solar and onshore wind technologies, resulting in higher than expected payments. "I'm not suggesting it won't be tight," Davey added, explain- ing that a carefully controlled budget is a key part of the LCF mechanism's design. "[But] only at the end of the [LCF] period do we get anywhere near the cap – and the head- room," he emphasised. WATER Severn Trent hit with £480,000 fine Severn Trent has been hit with the third largest pollution fine handed out to a UK water firm. It has been fined £480,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,675.38 and a £120 victim surcharge following a pollution incident at Kingsforth Brook near Rotherham in February 2014. The incident stemmed from a rupture in a Severn Trent raw sewage pipeline in Wickersley, which allowed raw sewage to spill into a farmer's field, a pond in a private fishery, and into the brook. It directly contributed to fish deaths and samples taken by the Environment Agency sug- gested it had also affected the local invertebrate community. Severn Trent had previously been issued with two formal warnings from the Environment Agency for similar incidents at the same location. ELECTRICITY UU gets approval for England's largest onshore windfarm The final approval for two turbines at what will become the England's largest onshore windfarm have been granted. Plans submitted by United Utilities (UU) and Peel Energy to build an extra two turbines, at the Scout Moor onshore windfarm, have been approved by Rochdale Borough Council. This comes soon aer planning approval for 14 additional tur- bines was granted by Rossen- dale Borough Council. The moves will see 39.1MW of capacity added at the existing 26 turbine windfarm, which cur- rently has a capacity of 65MW. Ross: 'committed strategic leadership imperative' The need for effective policy to bring forward investment is key, he added. Marchant said the three major coal plant closures that have taken place in recent months contributed 6 per cent to the UK's generation mix last winter, asking: "Where will that come from now? Since 2010 we have started construction on one CCGT [combined cycle gas turbine] in this country."

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