Utility Week

UTILITY Week 15th July 2016

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4 | 15TH - 21ST JULY 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Sports fans count the cost The latest research from price comparison website uSwitch. com reveals that British sports fans will pay more than £9 million extra for energy this summer by watching their favourite sports on television, including the Euro 2016 and Wimbledon finals. 35 The number of hours the average Brit will spend watching sport on TV in the summer. 42% of people will watch the Olympic games in Rio. 6.5m The number of people who would cancel an arrangement to watch a big match. £2m Collective savings if sports fans switched from expensive energy deals. STORY BY NUMBERS National Grid banks on SBR for winter margins Seven days... N ational Grid will rely on the Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) to give it the flexibility it needs to manage the electricity system in the coming winter. The transmission system operator has predicted that the capacity margin for winter 2016/17 will be a "manageable" 5.5 per cent. The loss of load expectation is 0.9 hours a year. The figures take account of the 3.5GW of spare capacity that has been contracted into the SBR. Without it, the margin would be just 0.1 per cent and the loss of load expectation would be 13.7 hours per year. National Grid has also pre- dicted that gas supplies will be sufficient to meet demand over the coming winter, saying there is a "wide range of potential supply sources". Cordi O'Hara, director of UK system operations for National Grid, said: "We believe the mar- gin is manageable and that we have the right tools and services available, including extra power we can call on if we need it, for times of highest demand." Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: "Despite the ongoing closure of coal-fired power stations, the risk of blackouts this winter is similar to last year, when the system continued as normal." He continued: "If there's a missing piece in this jigsaw, it's arguably the unexploited poten- tial of demand-side response… [It] is relatively cheap, flexible and can be brought on stream quickly, so it would make sense for the government to allow it to compete on equal footing with supply-side measures." National Grid made the forecast as it launched a con- sultation on its winter outlook, which is due to be published in October. TG "Shale gas is not automatically a 'low-carbon' technology, as ministers and some in the business sometimes claim" Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, says shale gas isn't so green. National media Kangaroo Island eyes renewables switch The third-biggest island in Aus- tralia, which lies just 120km from Adelaide, wants to make its mark in a different way: by supplying 100 per cent of its electricity needs and much of its transport fuels through local renewable energy. The island is calling for propos- als that could use a mixture of its local resources – solar power, wind energy, biomass and even ocean energy – and combine those with battery storage, smart soware and the existing diesel backup. The Guardian, 11 July Legal threat to German energy 'revolution' In Germany, citizens have formed co-operatives to build windfarms and solar arrays in a grassroots push that has helped make Ger- many a world leader in renewables. Rising bills and pressure from the EU have prompted the government to pass a big reform of the Renewable Energy Law (EEG). From next year, feed-in tariffs will be replaced with competitive auctions: anyone can bid, but the developer offering the cheapest electricity wins. Only small photo- voltaic arrays will be exempt. Financial Times, 10 July Storage helps Kenyans thrive in drought Even aer the heavy rains that drenched East Africa in April, Makueni County in eastern Kenya remains dry. But the women of Kikumbulyu village are not worried. Last November, they built a rock catch- ment system to harvest rainwater. Since 2010, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), a Kenyan non-governmental organisation, has worked with villagers in the Makueni area to build rock catch- ment systems, taking advantage of the local geography. Reuters, 11 July

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