Utility Week

UTILITY Week 15th January 2015

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/626032

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 15Th - 21sT JanUarY 2016 | 9 Policy & Regulation This week Industry at odds over storage ownership ECC told that DnOs lack an appetite for innova- tion and should not be at the forefront of storage An industry row broke out at a select committee hearing this week over the best way to develop energy storage and the role of distribution network operators (DNOs). On one side, industry experts claimed that giving DNOs owner- ship and operation of energy storage projects would be the best way to develop the nascent technology. On the other, Tempus Energy chief executive Sara Bell slammed DNOs for their lack of innovation and said they could not be trusted to lead the development of storage. The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, which was hearing evidence on smart grids, was trying to identify barriers to the uptake of energy storage. Stor- age is needed to mitigate the intermittency of renewa- bles but is not yet available at scale. Stephen Goldspink, a director with Siemens Energy Management, told the committee DNO ownership would be a "really positive step" because there is currently no incentive for them to use storage solutions. But Bell said DNOs were "not known for their innova- tive approach". She also said that if you wanted the "most economic response", the storage unit should be sited with an organisation that wants to optimise the whole value chain, and that "is not the DNO". Other solutions put to the select committee on how to quickly remove barriers included the ability to bid for a contract for difference on the basis of a hybrid of tech- nology and for energy storage to no longer be classified as an "end user". LD WaTEr 'Let water firms take lead on flooding' Economist Dieter Helm has called for a "radical rethink" on flood defence, including greater responsibility for water companies. In a recent paper, Helm suggested the conventional approach to flood defence, carried out by the Environment Agency and financed largely by the Treasury, was "at best inefficient", and that water com- panies have the "capability and scale" to take over duties from the agency. The most important single step to be taken now is an "explicit recognition that the status quo is not only unsustain- able but is never likely to be sustainable", he said. "A radical rethink starts with working out what an optimal flood defence system would look like." ELECTrICITY Lords motion to repeal FITs cut Lib Dem peer and former coali- tion minister Lynne Featherstone has tabled a motion in the House of Lords to repeal changes to the feed-in tariff (FIT) announced by Decc last month. Starting on 8 February the department plans to bring in lower tariffs for almost all forms of renewable installation, with 15 January set as the deadline for applications to get the current rates. Changes to the rates for solar photovoltaics have faced wide- spread criticism from within the industry. Under the plans, the tariff for small domestic instal- lations of less than 10kW will be cut by 63 per cent, from around 12p/kWh to 4.39p/kWh. The rate for small commercial instal- lations of between 10kW and 50kW is set to fall from 11.3p/ kWh to 4.59p/kWh. Decc's own impact assessment predicts the new tariffs will lead to job losses in the solar sector of between 9,700 and 18,700. Gas KPMG to report on the future for gas The Energy Networks Associa- tion's Gas Futures Group (GFG) has appointed KPMG to evaluate the different possibilities for the future of gas in the UK over the next 25 years. KPMG has won a com- petitive tender to undertake an independent study, which will inform a GFG report detailing a full range of scenarios on the future of gas until 2050. The shadow minister for energy and climate change, Alan Whitehead, said in November that the gas industry should look forward to a future that includes green gas, district heating and power-to-gas schemes. Networks: what should their role be? Political Agenda Jillian Ambrose "Amber Rudd is still trying to get energy prices down" By mid-January many a New Year resolution has bitten the dust. Aer all, the same sin- cerely held goals which might pepper the year as a whole are unlikely to take on extra resilience due to the turning of a calendar. And so the same-old mantra begins again: "This time I mean it…" For most of us a lapsed ambi- tion is just a slightly depressing, if entirely familiar, start to the year. But for energy secretary Amber Rudd the need to extract cuts last year, but on the whole consumer groups remain scepti- cal that the full force of the 2015 commodities price crash has been passed through. And with the worst of the winter cold yet to come, energy companies may well be hoping to delay further cuts until the spring. Still, Rudd may have reason for greater optimism than most with the weight of the CMA remedies expected to bolster her resolve later this month. consumer price cuts from the big six may feel more frustrat- ing than the average January setback. Rudd's resolution that energy costs must come under control has morphed from a new-job goal last summer, to a number one priority by the Conservative party conference in autumn. And this week in her first major interview of 2016 with The Daily Telegraph, her warning to the big six has emerged once more: cut bills in line with costs. And this time, she means it "in the strongest possible terms", the newspaper said. British Gas may have complied with two 5 per cent

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 15th January 2015