Utility Week

UTILITY Week 6th November 2015

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 6TH - 12TH NOVEMBER 2015 | 5 Yorkshire Water has donated a cheque to help build a new footpath next to the River Swale in the Yorkshire Dales, following a £4.8 million project to replace its water treatment works in West Stonesdale with a clean water pipeline and two pumping stations. The company worked with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's area ranger for Swaledale, Michael Briggs, to arrange for volunteers to build a new bridge and boardwalk between Low Row and Gunnerside. UK interconnection push to derail generation The UK's drive to increase interconnection with neighbouring electricity markets could derail the domestic generation sector, according to new analysis. The UK this week began talks with Iceland to build the world's longest undersea power cable between the two countries as part of a wider push to more than double the UK's current interconnection capacity. But analysts at PA Consulting told Utility Week that the plans to secure almost 10GW of interconnector capacity by 2025 could undermine investment in conventional generation, dramatically increasing the UK's dependence on neighbouring markets in France, Belgium and the Nordic countries. An influx of cheaper low carbon power imports could help the UK to decarbonise its power supply, but it would reduce the already weak market price signal that developers need before investing in gas-fired power generation assets, the analysts said. As a result, the UK could face negative supply margins. "Great Britain's thermal capacity is already operating at a disadvantage relative to capacity from the continent because of the significantly higher carbon price and other system charges. This means that, as the level of interconnection capacity increases, fewer new thermal plants will be built and the closure of existing thermal generation capacity will be accelerated," said PA Consulting in an exclusive column for Utility Week. "Policymakers face a double-edged sword and need to think carefully about how they balance the attraction of meeting their carbon reduction targets and the benefits of cheaper electricity with the increased risk to security of supply," the analysts warned. The UK currently has 4GW of electricity interconnection through four interconnectors to European transmission systems, but the government aims to source a minimum of 10 per cent from neighbouring markets by 2025. In addition to Icelink, the UK's current plans include a second 1GW interconnector to France, a 1GW link to Belgium and two 1.4GW links to Norway and Sweden. More, p28. ELECTRICITY "They are not an abyss for household rubbish" Thames Water's sewer operations manager for Havering and Barking, Jon Wright, is waging war on East London fatbergs. Electricity North West has completed a £132 million investment in the network to minimise the impact of bad weather over the coming winter. The 12-month project involved upgrading and strengthening overhead power lines, electricity substations and underground cables ready for winter. The network is also supporting the government's Get Ready For Winter campaign by asking customers to think about what they would do in a power cut. Electricity North West gets well-prepared for winter ➟ 100% Increasing water scarcity and rapid urbanisation across the globe mean that the desalination market is set to double in size by 2020, according to a report by analysts Frost & Sullivan.

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