Utility Week

UTILITY Week 15th July 2016

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UTILITY WEEK | 15TH - 21ST JULY 2016 | 3 Leader Jane Gray This week 4 | Seven days 6 | People & Opinion 8 Policy & Regulation 8 | News 'Evolve gas networks' to decarbonise heat 10 | Analysis Ironically, the Brexit vote may mean the UK has to adopt elements of German energy policy 11 | Market view A strategy for a consumer-focused energy market 12 | Event A report from the Utility Week Energy Summit 15 Finance & Investment 15 | News Affinity Water profits plummet to £46m 16 | Market view Finding alternative revenue sources as energy demand falls 17 | Market view Utilities must rethink their roadmaps in uncertain times 18 Operations & Assets 18 | High viz Viridor's Ardley energy recovery facility in Oxfordshire 20 | Analysis Britain's renewables and carbon reduction targets are under threat 24 | Market view Clear communication is the key to local support for utility projects 25 | Market view Add value to customer relationships with technology 28 Customers 28 | News Water domestic retail market 'a distraction' 30 Community 31 | Disconnector Gas networks look to a brighter future From a condemned industry to the new hope for decarbonisation, the UK gas networks have had a bumpy ride over the past couple of years but are now looking into a brighter future than many could have hoped for at the end of the last regulatory cycle. Back then, energy policymakers thought our gas distribution infrastructure was moribund – a relic in a time of clean electricity- based economic decarbonisation which would support the rise of heat pumps and electric vehicles. It's a vision now commonly considered madness by industry experts as problems surrounding interseasonal storage and renew- able intermittency have become better understood and communi- cated. Indeed, today there seems to be a growing acknowledgement that our gas networks must play a key role if the UK is to make any significant further progress towards its decarbonisation targets. The ECCC, National Grid, IGEM and KPMG have all sent out messages in recent weeks warning that our decarbonisation efforts have, to date, focused too heavily on growing low-carbon sources of electricity and have not thought systemically about how to advance low-carbon heating and transport. This was also a key message at Utility Week's Energy Summit. Alongside other heat pathways, our existing gas networks are well placed to address decarbonisation of heating in particular and have a growing portfolio of innovation programmes that prove the feasibility of adapting their infrastructure to carry low-carbon gases such as biomethane and hydrogen. Such conversions will not help us close the looming gap between current levels of decarbonisation and our 2020 targets, but there is an opportunity now to establish an environment for the next GDN price control, which will make our 2050 outlook consider- ably more achievable. Of course a new recognition of gas in our energy future is not to say that we have ticked a box on low-carbon electricity. Indeed, our understanding of the extent of the challenges posed by increasingly renewable and distributed sources of electricity generation are just beginning to be mapped with clarity. The publication of the Future Power System Architecture report on 20 July should be a defining moment in this improving understand- ing of our future power system – and one that could provide founda- tions for that more systemic view of our energy system as a whole, which is now agreed to be lacking. Jane Gray, Acting Editor janegray@fav-house.com GAS 8 | News 'Evolve gas networks' to decarbonise heat 8 | News Fracking could blow carbon budgets WATER 8 | News Firms must work out sludge costs 15 | News Customers to have a say in spending 28 | News Brexit 'could affect customer legitimacy' ELECTRICITY 15 | News Offshore wind initiative nets £7.9m 15 | News Lifetime lagoon cost matches Hinkley 28 | News EV customers hit with £6 charging fee ENERGY 8 | News Plant delays drive up capacity targets 10 | Market view What can the UK learn from Germany? 11 | Market view A consumer-focused energy market 12 | Event Embrace the energy revolution 20 | Analysis Getting back on track to hit our energy targets 24 | Market view Get the public on side 25 | Market view Time for a digital transformation Visit the Downloads section of the website Cisco Intel: Get connected, stay secure http://bit.ly/29qWpZB Citrix: Transforming utilities through connectivity http://bit.ly/29yGg1l Assa Abloy: Solving the key security challenges of critical infrastructure http://bit.ly/29IZ0fp

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