Utility Week

UTILITY Week 26th February 2016

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

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4 | 19th - 25th February 2016 | utILIty WeeK National media Decc and Defra unveil five-year plans the Department of energy and Climate Change (Decc) and the Department for environment, Food and rural affairs (Defra) have published new departmen- tal plans detailing the uK's energy and environ- mental policy priorities from 2015-20. £3.3bn 2015/16 budget for Decc. £2bn 2015/16 budget for Defra. 10GW amount of off- shore wind Decc will support in the 2020s. £2.3bn amount Defra will spend on flood prevention by 2021. China to close 1,000 coal mines in 2016 China will aim to close more than 1,000 coal mines in 2016 with a to- tal production capacity of 60 million tonnes, according to the country's energy regulator. The closures will form part of China's five-year plans to tackle fall- ing prices and a supply glut in the sector which produces around 500 million tonnes of surplus capacity. Reuters, 22 February Independent regulation of Guernsey electricity to stop Guernsey Electricity and Guernsey Posts will no longer be indepen- dently regulated aer the States of Guernsey voted to take back responsibility for their oversight. Their regulator since 2001, the Competition and Regulatory Author- ity (GCRA), will continue to regulate telecoms and ensure competitive- ness in mergers and acquisitions. The Channel Islands Competi- tion and Regulatory Authorities (CIRCA) chief executive Michael By- rne said they had already adopted a "light-touch approach" adding that his staff would "assist with ensuring a smooth transition". BBC News, 18 February Australia to register foreign ownership of water rights The Australian government has said it will register foreign ownership of water rights, redoubling its efforts to appease voters concerned about the amount of farming assets being sold offshore. Nine months aer the govern- ment said it would force foreign owners of farmland to register, treasurer Scott Morrison said the government plans to introduce laws to create a separate register of foreign ownership of water rights by 1 December. Reuters, 22 February story by NUMbErs WASCs ready to fight it out in retail market Seven days... S even of the nine English water and sewerage com- panies (WASCs) have con- firmed they are preparing to participate in the competitive non-household retail market. In a straw poll conducted by Utility Week, seven of nine WASCs said they would not exit the retail market when it opens to competition next year. United Utilities refused to comment and Southern Water said it was "undecided". Wessex Water confirmed it would operate through existing retailer Water2Business, with Bristol Water. Anglian Water said Anglian Water Business will be the business arm, and a sepa- rate entity from Anglian Water the wholesaler, "as is required by market competition laws". Northumbrian Water, York- shire Water, South West Water, Southern Water and Severn Trent Water all confirmed they would stay in the retail market. Thames Water said: "Like other incumbents, we're work- ing to determine the best way to continue to serve our customers and be ready to succeed when the market opens." The market is due to open in April 2017, allowing 1.2 million non-household customers to choose their supplier of water and wastewater services. It will link with the existing market in Scotland, which opened to busi- ness customers in April 2008. The government introduced retail exit to the Water Act 2014 at the eleventh hour, follow- ing a sustained lobbying effort by peers, regulators and some water companies, who all believed that the proper func- tioning of a competitive market required it. Portsmouth Water last month became the first water company to announce it would withdraw from the non-household market when it opened, handing its business customers to Scottish supplier Castle Water. LV "We are in the midst of nothing less than an energy revolution" Outgoing National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday outlined his vision of the changing energy system in the Sunday Telegraph. £700K NGN's innovation project was granted Ofgem funding after it agreed to cover additional costs itself

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