Utility Week

UTILITY Week 13th May 2016

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 13TH - 19TH MAY 2016 | 31 Community Editor, Utility Week, and content director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen. bennett@fav-house.com; Assistant editor (insights): Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: jane.gray@ fav-house.com; Associate insights editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@ fav-house.com; Deputy news editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080; e: lois.vallely@fav-house.com; Networks correspondent: Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083, e: lucinda.dann@fav-house.com; Reporters: Saffron Johnson, t: 01342 332050, e: saffron.johnson@fav-house.com and Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tom.grimwood@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Richard Powell, t: 01342 332062, e: richard.powell@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, t: 01342 332077, e: sarah.wood@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332507, e: peter.bissell@fav-house.com. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham House Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 1UZ 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2015 Membership subscriptions: UK £637 per year. Overseas £749 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332507 Farewell, then, Boaty… Like many citizens of this Scepter'd Isle, Disconnector was le in a sombre mood this week digesting the terrible news. No, not Donald Trump moving a step closer to having his finger on the nuclear but- ton, but the failure to get the Natural Environment Research Council to name its state-of- the-art polar research ship Boaty McBoatface. We Brits don't do revolu- tion (too messy), but to make sure those in control don't get too carried away with their authority, we like to stick two fingers up at them at any given opportunity – and this was just such an opportunity. Sadly, the pen-pushers at NERC ignored our God-given right to snigger at our betters and sided with "the man" on this one. They opted for the entirely respectable moniker RSS Sir David Attenborough instead. Boo, cries the great man. In a very British compro- mise, they named the deep-sea submersible carried on the ship Boaty McBoatface, but as far as Disconnector is concerned this will only ever serve as a reminder that they bottled it. Not that there's anything wrong with David Attenbor- ough, of course. How can there be? He's a certified national treasure. But he's first and foremost a TV presenter, and therefore it seems he's being honoured for no better reason than his being a celebrity – albeit a respectable one. In the thick of it The fact is, we don't really "do" celebrity in the UK. We sneer at it. You might get plenty of money for getting your mug on telly, but don't expect respect. Just ask Emma Thompson, the British actress famous for doing Austen, Shakespeare and Nanny McPhee who has won numerous awards (including an Oscar) and was once married to LuvvieMcLuvvieface Kenneth Branagh. In her spare time Thomp- son is also a political activist, and here it all sort of unravels because, as Disconnector says, we don't do celebrity. Thompson's latest bugbear is fracking, predictably enough, but when she and her sister (Sophie Thompson, also an actress) turned up with some mates in a field in Lancashire to protest about the granting of a licence for the sinking of a test well, the farmer who owned the land was furious. He trundled up in his tractor dragging a manure-spreading machine and proceeded to circle the group – spattering them with the stuff. The two sisters remained dry in a tent but their compadres were not so lucky. They did manage to chase the farmer away until the police arrived and turfed everyone off. No arrests were made. Fat-shamed on Twitter Readers may be aware of an unpleasant internet "thing" doing the rounds at the moment called "fat-shaming", whereby internet trolls heap abuse on anyone they deem too portly. However, the eagle-eyed folk over at United Utilities took the makers of TV's MasterChef to task on Twitter over their showing contestants emptying the fat from their cooking pots directly down the sink, rather than into a separate container for suitable disposal. Yup, it was fat-shaming of a literal and entirely legitimate kind, and an indicator that despite all the evidence to the contrary, Twitter might actually be useful for something other than finding out who's hiding behind a celebrity injunction. Not quite cold enough to snow Commiserations to the operator at the Met Office who last week mistakenly sent out a snow warning by text – on the hot- test day of the year. Apparently the Met Office has various severe weather warnings queued up and ready to go and somebody lent on the wrong button. The mistake was quickly spotted and texts sent out rescinding the warning, so no harm done – except to the self-esteem of one Met Office employee. Disconnector John Kolm Murray @jkolmmurray Being savaged by average regulator is like be- ing attacked by gumsy, declawed leopard. At worst companies come off mildly dishevelled. Anglian Water @AnglianWater We're adopting private pumping stations & will name this 1 Pumpy McPumpface #BoatyMcBoatface Chris Welby @ChrisMWelby Would help if @ofgem stopped tarring all sup- pliers with the same brush. @BristolEnergy is young but "grown up" Alan Simpson @AlanSimpson01 Govt now talking to Japanese about post- Hinkley nuclear investment. Fukashima-on- Thames? Sounds like another winner. Lindsay Smart @Lindsay_Smart Island nation: think tidal. Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon proposal can match Hinkley for price efficiency, provide safe renewable energy & jobs. American Wind Energy @AWEA Did you know U.S. #windpower is expected to double in size by 2020? William Marchant @richonlyinname Almost regretting taking day off as these capacity mechanism shenanigans look intriguing. Is it acceptable to read DECC docs on the beach? Jon Ferris @JonFerris2 @richonlyinname Will you be sitting in a DECCchair? Naomi Christie @NChristie @JonFerris2 @richonlyinname only if they're not already at full capacity Greenpeace UK @GreenpeaceUK Fun fact: Hinkley nuclear plant is so expensive you could build the Large Hadron Colliders 5x for same cost! 4abetterplanet @4abetterplanet There is currently 4000GW of untapped off- shore wind energy in the USA, or 70% of the entire world's installed generating capacity. Top Tweets

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