Utility Week

UTILITY Week 13th November 2015

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/599772

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 29

UTILITY WEEK | 13TH - 19TH NOVEMBER 2015 | 13 Policy & Regulation This week Rudd defends UK's renewables progress Leaked letter reveals the UK is likely to miss its 2020 target for renewable energy by 3.5 per cent Energy secretary Amber Rudd has been forced to defend the UK's progress in meeting its legally binding 2020 renewable energy targets, aer a leaked letter to other cabinet members revealed a 3.5 per cent shortfall is likely. Rudd told the Energy and Cli- mate Change Committee (ECCC) that although "it is going to be challenging" to meet the target, the areas of concern are in the heat and transport sectors – and can be addressed with cross-government co-operation. She assured the committee that the possi- ble shortfall was not due to support cuts for renewables made by the government this year. Rudd said the government had always envisaged onshore wind capacity of 11-13GW by 2020 and remained on track to deliver just over 12GW, despite the early clo- sure of the Renewables Obligation support scheme. Under EU law, the UK must meet 15 per cent of its energy use from renewables by 2020 or face possible legal action. It plans to meet its target by obtaining 30 per cent of electricity, 12 per cent of heat and 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources. According to the letter, the transport sector "already requires almost doubling the current levels of renewable fuels between 2017 and 2020". Renewable heat would require further support beyond the 2015/16 policy cliff edge. Renewable electricity already makes up around 20 per cent of the generation mix. Rudd admitted that the government did not yet have the right policies in place for transport and heat. JA WATER 'Grey areas' over pumping stations There are still "grey areas" over which private pumping stations will have to be adopted by Octo- ber 2016, more than four years into the programme. Speaking at a Water & Waste- water Treatment roundtable, held in association with Xylem, in London last week, water companies said that with only 11 months to go until the adoption deadline, question marks remain over which private pumping stations they will have to take on, despite the transfer being set out as part of the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations in 2011. Welsh Water private pumping station transfer programme man- ager, Mike Hartwell, said: "The interpretation of single curtilage is a grey area, and one of the greyest areas is blocks of flats." RENEWABLES Government reviews Swansea Bay project The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is under review by the UK gov- ernment to determine whether the technology could be as easily exported as its backers have claimed. A report in The Times sug- gests government officials want to verify that other countries would be interested in adopting the sophisticated technology. Tidal Lagoon Power received planning consent in June to construct the 320MW project. But the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is concerned about the strength of the private investment case and also wants to check that it will produce the electricity its backers have claimed: supplying 155,000 homes for 120 years. A Decc spokesperson said: "Tidal Lagoon Power is seeking a significant amount of financial support from consumers… we need to carefully consider whether it is in the best interest of bill payers." WATER Most bathing waters make the grade A total of 97 per cent of Eng- land's bathing waters met or exceeded the minimum standard of the European bathing water directive in 2015. Additionally, 63.6 per cent of bathing waters met the European Commission's new "excellent" standard, while 4.6 per cent were rated "poor". This year the EC introduced a tougher system with ratings of "poor", "sufficient", "good" and "excellent", although it is considering removing the "suf- ficient" rating aer 2020. The Environment Agency said this could result in up to 60 more of the UK's 417 bathing water areas being at risk of failure. Onshore wind: on track to deliver 12GW capacity Political Agenda Jillian Ambrose "Political infighting is the last thing the sector needs" Who will shadow the shadow- ers? You might have thought that a shadow cabinet holding the government frontbench to account would be enough. But apparently you'd be wrong. Several anti-Corbyn Labour party members ousted from the shadow cabinet have found their feet in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). And the line-up includes former shadow energy minister Caroline Flint. The PLP may have waned in significance in recent years, but in terms of investment in new generation, Flint's pro- nuclear stance is at odds with Corbyn's anti-nuclear rhetoric. Strong opposition is one thing, but political infighting is the last thing the energy sector needs to achieve a stable policy framework. If the government is to face useful, constructive opposition over the coming parliamentary term, the Labour party needs to speak with a united voice. Or risk the SNP doing it for them. but it is able to play an effec- tive role in challenging Labour frontbench policy positions and promoting alternative policy agendas. And with the Labour party divided between Corbyn's hard-le supporters and more moderate Labour members, there's little doubt that the group will become more vocal. Good news for democratic scrutiny? Maybe. But for the energy sector, which for years has played host to political point scoring, the impact of a divided Labour party may bring more opposition than answers. Labour is united on the need for greater strides in battling climate change and fuel poverty,

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 13th November 2015