Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th October 2015

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4 | 30TH OCTOBER - 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 | UTILITY WEEK National media £100m fund needed for UK solar Solar company Solarcentury has called for an "absolute minimum" £100 million budget to support the UK solar industry, endorsing the Solar Trade Association's rescue plan put forward last week. £7m The government's proposed solar subsidy budget from Jan 2016 2 days How long £7m would support nuclear power station Hinkley Point C £400 Subsidy IMF says is paid per capita to support fossil fuels through taxes £1 Amount needed to be added to consumer bills per year to fund a £100 million solar budget Paris pledges 'will slow energy emissions' Pledges on greenhouse gas emissions made by governments ahead of landmark climate talks this December will result in a rapid and dramatic slowdown in the growth of carbon from the energy sector – but will not reverse that growth within the next 15 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said. The IEA found that the pledges would result in an increase of 3.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide from 2014 to 2030, which is only one-third of the increase in energy emissions seen in the past 15 years. The Guardian, 21 October Apple steps up push for renewable energy Apple and its biggest supplier Foxconn are together pledging to build solar power plants to produce more than 600MW of electricity, in a big step towards making the Chinese factories that produce the iPhone run entirely on clean energy. Taiwan-based Foxconn has committed to building solar capacity of 400MW in China's Henan province by 2018. Apple said it would build 200MW of solar projects, spread across China, to offset the carbon produced by its supply chain in the region. Financial Times, 22 October Californians 'rewarded' with higher bills Californians have dramatically cut water use during the state's relent- less drought, only to learn that many local utilities are hiking rates to make up for the lost revenue. Water providers in areas such as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area have told customers that rates will go up at least temporarily, as utilities struggle to pay for building and repairing pipes, buying water and other costs, even as customers cut back. Reuters, 23 October STORY BY NUMBERS O fgem chief executive Dermot Nolan has hit out at energy suppliers over their failure to pass on historic lows in the price of gas at the same time that the sector is undergoing an extensive competition probe. In an exclusive column for Utility Week (p11), Nolan said companies have failed the 70 per cent of customers still on standard variable tariffs by keeping prices high, at the same time that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating concerns that these same tariffs exploit a lack of consumer engagement in the market. "Wholesale gas prices for this winter are their lowest for six years. This has resulted in better deals for many consum- ers on fixed tariffs. But for the 70 per cent or so who remain on standard variable tariffs, prices have fallen very little this year," he said. When calls for price cuts first emerged last year as global com- modity prices fell, energy sup- pliers argued that hedging posi- tions can take six to 12 months to unwind to allow lower costs to feed through. And earlier this year companies were said to be unable to offer lower prices as a result of the political risk posed by Labour's pre-election price freeze pledge. But aer almost 18 months since gas prices first began to slide, and almost six months since Labour was defeated in the general election, prices are largely unchanged. "This issue was at the heart of the CMA's provisional findings in July. Since then – and even as wholesale gas prices continue to fall – most suppliers have failed to respond by cutting standard variable tariffs. "Maybe suppliers are trying to prove the CMA right," Nolan said. JA Cut prices or risk proving the CMA right, warns Nolan Seven days... "Another question mark over government competence" Labour shadow energy minister Barry Gardiner slammed the government's backing of the Hinkley nuclear project, saying the cost is too high and the technology prone to delays. 0.64% Centrica fell far short of its 2014 target to lower water use in its UK offices by 3 per cent.

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