Utility Week

UTILITY Week 9th September 2016

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Finance & Investment This week Government 'behind curve on renewables' Chair of trade association argues that Whitehall is 'operating on old information' about renewables Government relies on old information and is "behind the curve" in its understanding of renewable technologies, the chair of the Renewable Energy Association has said. Martin Wright urged the government to consider financial incentives, such as tax breaks, to encourage investment in renewables in the UK. He also said the public "must be imaginative" about renewable technologies. He told Utility Week: "Government is always operat- ing on old information and when something is moving very fast you end up behind the curve. That is where we are now within policy and they are finding great dif- ficulty actually getting their heads around it. "People need to have the imagination to understand what could be done and not allow their current percep- tion of the technology to prevent its development." Wright argued that the Treasury may be best placed to put financial structures in place to fund renewables: "It could be done by the Treasury… You need something that is a message from the Treasury and is genuinely designed to encourage investment." Wright added that there is still a public perception that renewables are "peripheral and can't deliver what we need". He compared it to the computer industry, which he said underestimated the potential of laptops. "It didn't think [laptops] could possibly act in unison or work in the way they do over the internet," he said. "I think we are seeing a very similar revolution." SJ WATER NAO to probe sewer assurance provision The National Audit Office (NAO) is investigating assurance arrangements over the £4.2 bil- lion Thames Tideway Tunnel. The NAO said the inves- tigation is a follow-up to its 2014 report – Thames Tideway Tunnel: early review of potential risks to value for money. It will examine how the project's pub- lic sector steering group gained assurance over the evidence base that informed the target outcome for the project and the choice of the tunnel over alter- native options. It will also set out the risks faced by customers and tax- payers as the project moves towards completion, and how these risks are being mitigated. ENERGY Business as usual not sign of LCNF success Network innovation funding should be judged a success based on the quality of the evi- dence generated rather than how quickly a technology is adopted as business as usual (BAU). There is limited evidence that Low Carbon Network Fund projects are able to transition to BAU in the short term because the technology used in many of the projects may not be ready, according to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). The UKERC said in a review that many projects included prototype development and academic modelling, suggest- ing lower technology readiness levels (TRL) than set out in the LCNF governance, inhibiting the ability to be adopted in the short term as BAU. It said: "We do not see the focus on lower TRL innovation and lack of transition to BAU as a negative per se; the critical aspect is the quality of evidence that can be expected and what kinds of decisions this subse- quently informs." WATER Anglian sets up £100m IT alliance Anglian Water, Atos, Capgemini and Cognizant have formed an "industry-leading" IT alliance worth £100 million over an eight-year term. It is the first time any of the three suppliers have worked in this way on this scale in the UK, said Anglian. The IT Alliance will enable Anglian Water to develop the right technology solutions for its business and deliver them quickly and efficiently. The alliance is based on a mutual gain principle, in which each organisation involved has strong incentives to collaborate in order to get the job done to the benefit of all. Financial structures needed to fund renewables 14 | 9TH - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Stock watch 12.0 12.0 11.8 11.8 11.6 11.6 11.4 11.4 11.2 11.2 11.0 EDF SHARE PRICE, 1 - 6 SEPTEMBER 1 Sep 2 Sep 5 Sep 6 Sep EDF SHARE PRICE, 9 AUGUST - 6 SEPTEMBER 9 Aug 16 Aug 23 Aug 30 Aug 6 Sep Aer declining steadily through much of August, EDF shares have regained lost ground over the past week or so. They bottomed out on Thursday 25 August at around €11.09 and at the time of going to press had risen to €11.92. The government's final decision on EDF's Hinkley Point C is thought to have been a key topic of discussion for prime minister Theresa May's meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping earlier this week.

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