Utility Week

UTILITY Week 7th July 2017

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4 | 7TH - 13TH JULY 2017 | UTILITY WEEK Hinkley progress EDF Energy has published a progress report on the construction of Hinkley Point C, its new nuclear plant in Somerset. £1.5bn Amount the budget for building the plant has increased by. £19.6bn The new total projected cost of the power station. 15 Potential delay in months of delivery of the first reactor. 3m Cubic metres of soil that have been excavated from the site so far. 1,600 The number of workers on site every day. Construction of on-site accommodation for more than 500 workers has now begun. STORY BY NUMBERS Seven days... National media Offshore wind could be much cheaper than Hinkley Point C The tumbling cost of offshore wind power could mean that it turns out to be 25 per cent cheaper than energy from Hinkley Point nuclear plant when subsidies are awarded to new projects this year, the indus- try regulator has suggested. Developers behind a series of proposed offshore windfarms are vying to secure government contracts that will guarantee a price for the electricity they generate for 15 years. Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said he hoped the winning projects would emerge at a price of "£70 or less" per megawatt-hour. Times, 30 June (based on comments at Utility Week's Energy Summit) Severn Trent to withdraw from the US Severn Trent has announced that it will sell its North American business to focus on its core UK market. The business, which operates and manages water and wastewater systems, was sold for $62m (£48m) to US investors PPC Enterprises and Alston Capital Partners. Severn Trent said it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. City AM, 3 July Small energy suppliers 'risk going bust' More small energy firms could go bust this winter because of increas- ing price volatility driven by green energy growth and the closure of Britain's largest gas storage plant, one of the challenger suppliers has warned. David Bird, chief executive of Co-operative Energy, said that the regulator Ofgem needed to set financial stress tests for new market entrants, to reduce the risk of firms folding and customers being le in the lurch. The Guardian, 2 July Ofgem price cap proposal is a "big six stitch-up", says MP O fgem's plan to fix energy market failings and pro- tect vulnerable customers has been described as a "big six stitch-up". That damning review was issued by John Penrose MP – a driving force behind the Con- servative manifesto commitment to introduce a "safeguard tariff " to prevent "abusive" energy billing. Responding to the publica- tion this week of Ofgem's plans to remedy consumer detriment, especially for the most vulner- able in society, Penrose said: "Ofgem's proposals will not end the energy rip-off for 17 million families, as we promised in our manifesto." He claimed fewer than three million customers would benefit as a result of Ofgem's intentions "and the remaining 14 million will see their energy bills rise as energy companies recoup the cost of the cap by milking the rest of us. "This is a big six stitch- up and as Ofgem won't help, parliament needs to step in and legislate instead." His insistence that legislation is the best way to deliver on the Conservative manifesto pledge follows warn- ings from former regulator Ste- phen Littlechild that Ofgem does not have the necessary powers to impose price regulation on the market. Labour's shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, agreed that legislation ought to be used to deliver rigorous and wide-ranging price regulation. She described Ofgem's propos- als as "watered down". Although Penrose slammed the proposals, consumer groups were generally more positive. Citizens Advice, the statu- tory consumer champion in the energy sector, welcomed news of the price cap consultation. The charity has long called for price protections to be offered to customers in receipt of the Warm Home Discount. Chief executive Gillian Guy said Ofgem's proposals "paved the way" for such a move. JG "We expect to be held to account whenever we fail to meet the required standards" Sir Peter Mason, chairman, Thames Water, responding to Ofwat's five-point plan for transformation of the water company's performance. See column, p6

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