Utility Week

UTILITY Week 15th January 2015

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utILIty WEEK | 15th - 21st January 2016 | 5 Environment Agency chairman Philip Dilley has stepped down from his post after being heavily criticised for being on holiday in Barbados as severe flooding affected much of the country. Current deputy chairman Emma howard Boyd has taken over as acting chairman with immediate effect and will lead the board in holding the agency to account. "This disincentivises investment and is disproportionate and detrimental to marine energy" Speaking to the Environmental Audit Committee, the head of REA's Ocean Energy Group Stephanie Merry warns that EU directives are detrimental to marine energy projects Photo: Press Association Energy minister Andrea Leadsom has said the government will keep the regulatory regime for shale gas "under review" as the industry develops. Speaking in the House of Commons, she said the government would consider a bespoke regulator for the shale gas sector as needed, as set out in the shale gas taskforce's 2015 report. "I can absolutely assure [the House] that we will keep the regulatory regime under review to make sure that it remains fit for purpose," she said. In the report, the taskforce called for inde- pendent monitoring of shale exploration sites to ensure any indication of a failure of well integrity could be identified and remedied quickly. Under the current traffic light monitoring system, operators have to assess the location of faults before fracking, monitor seismic activity in real time and stop if even minor earth tremors occur. l If no tremors are detected, the situation is 'green' and injection can proceed as planned. l In an 'amber' situation, in which there is seismic activity measuring up to 0.5 on the Richter scale (see above), injection must proceed with caution, possibly at reduced rates. Monitoring is intensified. l If a magnitude of greater than 0.5 on the Richter scale is detected, the situation is 'red', operations will stop and the pressure of the fluid will be reduced. This level should limit further earthquakes, known as 'induced seismicity', which may happen aer the pumping is completed. Networks and car makers prepare for EVs The UK's electricity networks are teaming up with major car manufacturers to prepare for the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Nissan, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin have joined all six electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) and transmission system operator National Grid in backing a new Automotive-Utilities Task Force "in principle". Asset management company EA Technology, which is setting up the group, said it was working with a partner to secure funding. EA said the taskforce got a "great response" from both networks and car manufacturers when it was proposed as a legacy project at the presentation of the results of EV charging project My Electric Avenue in December. It said the taskforce was seen as "an essential next step in ensuring that EVs and electricity networks work in harmony". (Analysis, p25.) ELECtrICIty "[If you are outside of the EU] then you're not in the room making the decisions in the same way and we're not one of 27 influencers" Energy secretary Amber Rudd tells The Daily Telegraph that an exit from Europe would plunge the energy market into uncertainty. Shale gas regulatory regime will be kept 'under review'

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