Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th January 2016

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Finance & Investment This week Lack of clarity leaves CCS projects in limbo Government faces criticism over failure to clarify its next steps on carbon capture and storage Industry experts have slammed the government for failing to clarify its next steps for carbon capture and storage (CCS). The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) unex- pectedly scrapped its £1 billion competition to help develop the technology late last year, throw- ing future projects into doubt. Speaking at an Energy and Climate Change Com- mittee hearing, CCS Association chief executive, Luke Warren, said: "There has pretty much been radio silence from Decc and from the government in general about the next steps." Chris Littlecott, programme leader at E3G, told the committee the treatment of the projects was "shabby". "It reflects very badly on the UK government's relation- ship with business and their ability to drive long-term investment," he said. Warren insisted CCS is "much more than just about power". "It is also about energy-intensive industries and finding a way in which those industries can reduce their CO 2 emissions," he said. "CCS is the only technology that can enable you to do that." Neil Kenley, director of business investment for Tees Valley Unlimited, said his company's project to create a CCS-equipped industrial zone had been "severely" set back: "We were looking to piggyback on the back of the other two projects, so we maintained the dialogue with Decc to try to do that. Without the infrastructure in place, it puts our whole project back two, three, maybe even five years, and increases costs." TG ENERGY Calls to scrap carbon price floor after 2020 Major energy users have renewed calls for the carbon price floor to be scrapped or frozen beyond 2020, arguing the controversial tax puts UK busi- nesses at a disadvantage to the rest of Europe. The carbon price floor, which is an additional "pay to pollute" tax faced by UK businesses, was frozen until 2020 in the 2014 budget, in response to the falling cost of carbon allowances in Europe. Utility Week under- stands that an announcement on its future beyond 2020 could be made in March's budget. Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, told Utility Week: "This measure doesn't reduce emis- sions. It just means that more of the emissions reductions occur in the UK and less elsewhere in Europe." A Treasury spokesman said: "Government will be making an announcement about rates beyond 2019/20 in due course. No decision has yet been made." ENERGY Eon drops plans for Durham windfarm Eon has withdrawn proposals for a 48MW windfarm project in Durham because of "objections". The company said a review into long-standing environmental and technical issues, including objections from the Ministry of Defence, has resulted in its with- drawal from the Isles windfarm project near Newton Aycliffe. The site has faced a number of objections since it was submit- ted to Durham County Council in 2013. Eon originally planned to build 45 turbines with a combined capacity of 115MW. Following public consultation, this was reduced to 24 turbines with a capacity of 48MW. WATER Welsh Water buys Cardiff reservoirs Welsh Water has purchased two reservoirs in Cardiff. The water firm secured the 999-year lease for the Lisvane and Llanishen reservoirs and surrounding land, from steel company Celsa UK, which acquired them from West- ern Power Distribution in 2013. Welsh Water said the lease will strengthen its drinking water resources in the Cardiff area. Additionally, Celsa UK will still be allowed to take its water supply from Lisvane reservoir. Welsh Water chief executive Chris Jones said: "By acquiring the long-term lease of Lisvane and Llanishen reservoirs, we can strengthen the resilience of the services we provide while also playing a key part in safeguard- ing what is a much valued asset for us and the local community." CCS projects: future remains uncertain 14 | 29TH JANUARY - 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Stock watch 240 230 220 210 200 CENTRICA SHARE PRICE, NOVEMBER 2015 - JANUARY 2016 Nov 2015 Dec 2015 Jan 2016 450 400 350 300 250 200 CENTRICA SHARE PRICE, JANUARY 2011 - JANUARY 2016 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Centrica's share price has continued to decline this week in line with a drop in the broader market. The utility has also been hit by investor concerns over its rumoured bid for Northern Ireland energy company Viridian; and the hostile environment for energy companies more generally. The company, which announced a radical restructure last year, reports its 2015 results in February.

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