Utility Week

UTILITY Week 18th November 2016

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4 | 18TH - 24TH NOVEMBER 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Businesses back smart energy British businesses support the eco- nomic benefits and future innovations enabled by the digital upgrade of Britain's energy system, according to a survey of 500 business leaders by ComRes for Smart Energy GB. 83% think Britain's energy system needs a digital upgrade. 86% believe the smart meter rollout is important for the economy. 95% consider smart technology to be important for economic growth. 68% are considering the role of this type of technology in their own businesses. 97% said it was impor- tant to ensure a resilient energy system for the UK. STORY BY NUMBERS Winter will 'shake out' weaker suppliers Seven days... T he coming winter will "shake out" the weaker and under-capitalised energy suppliers from the market. Speaking at Energy UK's annual conference, Cornwall Energy associate Peter Atherton said the number of suppliers could fall from more than 50 to as few as 15, as a result of rising wholesale prices and other costs. "We are back into a price- rising world with commodity prices and with an increase in renewable subsidies," he said. "It is also going to lead to a shakeout of suppliers. We've got about 50 independent suppliers but there are not enough people in the country to man 50 suppliers." Atherton said that as a result of the explosion in the number of suppliers, "a lot of these independent suppliers are under-capitalised, both finan- cially and from a human capital perspective". "A period of sharp wholesale rises will result in a very useful shakeout. How many should we have? Maybe 15 to 20 companies, certainly not 50 plus." Speaking to Utility Week, Energy UK chief executive Law- rence Slade said that if smaller suppliers were forced to close, "it comes under the heading of it's a competitive market". He added: "When you've got 40-plus suppliers, you have potentially got 40 different purchasing models. There aren't just six or eight players in the market, there are dozens, and all are responding in different ways, as should happen in a competitive market." MB "Where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene." Prime minister Theresa May. See Topic on competition, p8 National media Australia marks renewables record Australia's renewable energy sector hit a record in October, with 21.7 per cent of electricity in the market coming from renewables, according to the latest Cedex report. That represents the biggest proportion of any month since the data was made available by the Australian Energy Market Operator in 2005, according to a report from the engineering consultancy Pitt&Sherry and the Australia Institute. The Guardian, 14 November Trafigura reveals level of state oil trades Trafigura, one of the world's largest independent oil traders, has disclosed $33 billion of direct deals with state-controlled produc- ers during 2014 and 2015 – reveal- ing for the first time the scale of its business with national energy companies. In its annual responsibility report, Trafigura included pay- ments to all state oil companies, not just those that are members of the Extractive Transparency Industries Initiative, a disclosure programme aimed at rooting out corruption and improving visibility. Financial Times, 14 November Anger at Nestlé's Michigan water deal Michigan regulators were deluged with angry comments this week, aer reports that the state had draed a permit approval for Nestlé to nearly double the amount of groundwater it pumps from a plant in Evart, Michigan, to 210 million gallons a year. The pumping increase is only expected to cost the Swiss food giant $200 a year, and possibly the price of a permit fee, because its bottling plant in Evart is considered a private well under state law. The Guardian, 5 November

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