Utility Week

UTILITY Week 2nd October 2015

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

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What was your first job? Stocking shelves in the produce department at Asda in Blox- wich. What are the best and worst parts of your job? The best part is seeing a member company benefit from People & Opinion Utility Week community Reader of the week Mike Foster, chief executive, Energy and Utilities Alliance support my organisation has given. The worst part is people not looking at the evidence but relying upon their opinions as facts. What's your dream job and why? Sports minister – do I really have to explain why? What's your most treasured possession? As the eldest grandson, the mili- tary medals of my grandfather and great grandfather. In the Hollywood film of your life, who would play you? Michael Sheen – in great com- pany of others he has played. What album is currently in your car CD player? Wrecking Ball by Bruce Spring- steen What's your favourite film and TV programme? I'll combine both categories; it has to be The West Wing. What quote or saying do you most overuse? "Move on". If you ruled the world, what would you do first? Provide clean water and decent sanitation for all – a nod to my days at WaterAid. What's your favourite joke? I'm not giving away the punch- line, but it involves a priest, a politician and a lesson about good timekeeping. Ask me when you next see me. UTILITY WEEK | 2ND - 8TH OCTOBER 2015 | 7 "We've been very clear with the British government that if you want to have cheap power, you have to build bigger lagoons." Mark Shorrock, chief executive, Tidal Lagoon Power Who can you trust? Levels of trust in energy the energy sector are considerably higher in NI than they are in the rest of the UK, despite higher energy bills in the province. For more about the characteristics of the Irish market, p28. High-wire robotics Global revenues from the sale of drone and robotics technologies for transmission and distribution are expected to grow from $131.7 mil- lion in 2015 to $4.1 billion in 2024, according to Navigant research WORLDVIEW New model needed to make DSR work New commercial models need to be developed if demand-side response (DSR) is to become a useful and economic way for distribution network operators to shave peak demand, according to Roger Hey, future networks man- ager at Western Power Distribu- tion (WPD). WPD recently reported find- ings from its Falcon project, a £10 million low-carbon networks research project, which included a two-year DSR trial with industrial and commercial customers. A key finding was that distribution level DSR runs into conflicts of interest with National Grid's short-term operating reserve, which cause the cost of asset availability to escalate and become uneconomic for networks. A shared services group at the Energy Networks Association is gathering evidence on the techni- cal and security of supply issues surrounding the growth of net- work involvement in DSR as well as active network management zones. However, Hey said that "it is not for the [shared services] group to develop the market. That is for Ofgem and Decc". Mike Foster will be speak- ing at the utility sector at the Utility Week Congress 2015 in October. For more informa- tion, visit: www.uw-congress.net Nothing to be frightened of here: Labour's firebrands embark on a charm offensive at the party conference in Bright- on. Jeremy Corbyn's "personal ambition" to renationalise the electricity industry has been dropped, and water is in the clear. More, p15 Photo: PA

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