Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th August 2017

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/856348

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 4TH - 10TH AUGUST 2017 | 15 Policy & Regulation This week 'Race' is on for cyber security standards Industry welcomes government commitment to tackle rising risk of cyber attacks in energy system The government and Ofgem must lead a "race" to deliver smart technology standards that protect against cyber security threats in the energy system, a leading consultant has urged. The comments by Oliver Rix, a partner at consultancy Bar- inga, came aer the publication of Upgrading Our Energy System, a joint report from BEIS and Ofgem, which sets out a plan for creating smart systems and flexibility in the UK, including provision for new cyber security standards. Rix cautioned that "the challenge is the pace in which those [standards] can be developed and implemented given the pace of change in technology… it's kind of a race to get that in place". The report says the government has commissioned research to understand "the magnitude of the smart cyber security risk up to 2030" and inform its approach to mitigating those risks, for example by setting new standards for smart appliances and scrutinising the secu- rity of industry systems. "The government and Ofgem are also in discussions to further define their relative roles in the oversight and regulation of cyber security risks in different parts of the industry," the report states. Industry has welcomed this focus on cyber security. Julian David, chief executive of trade body Tech UK, told Utility Week: "At the heart of a smarter, more flex- ible energy system is data. Being able to communicate, interrogate and derive knowledge from data can bring incredible benefits, but it also introduces an increased risk of cyber attack." JG ELECTRICITY Labour warns over quitting Euratom The government's decision to quit Euratom has put a "poten- tial timebomb" under plans to build the Hinkley C nuclear power plant, Labour's energy spokesman has warned. Alan Whitehead told Utility Week that he had yet to receive reassurance from ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about the risks posed to the project by Euratom-related provisions in the contract. The National Audit Office raised concerns in a June report that quitting the pan-European nuclear safeguarding body could be interpreted as a legal change that could result in a revision of the terms of the Hinkley contract for difference. This could in turn enable the contractors to secure compensation if they pull out, even if they have not built the project, said Whitehead. "The potential is there for EDF to walk away from the deal with very large sums of money and not building the project, which would be a disaster for UK taxpayers. This is a potential timebomb." ELECTRICITY UK Power Reserve seeks panel reforms Peaking plant developer UK Power Reserve has proposed a series of reforms to the election process for the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC) panel. The company claims flaws in the voting system have allowed the industry panel, which scrutinises modifications to the code governing the use of the transmission network, to be dominated by the employees of incumbents. Of the seven elected members, four are currently employed by big six energy companies EDF Energy, Eon, SSE and Scottish Power. To address the concerns, the firm has submitted its own code modification to the CUSC panel, called CMP 285. The CUSC panel agreed at a meeting on 28 July that the proposal should be developed by a working group. WATER Retail licence for Cambrian Utilities Cambrian Utilities has become the latest licensee in the English non-household water market. The Welsh firm is a sub- sidiary of Glas Cymru, the single purpose company formed to own, finance and manage Welsh Water. Cambrian Utilities' managing director is Sonia McCorquodale Cruise, who was previously head of commercial business at Welsh Water and has a background in renewable energy. There are now 23 retailers licensed to operate in the market. On the increase: cyber security threats Political Agenda David Blackman "The government has a grip for the first time in weeks" Once upon a time, New Labour had a mantra about what it called joined-up government. It wanted to get away from differ- ent departments doing their own thing without referring to what the rest of Whitehall was doing. Since the general election, Theresa May's government has looked about as joined up as a sack of ferrets. However, last week's announcements on flexible sys- tems and air pollution restored order to at least one corner of the electrical driving dream depends on creating a greener and more flexible grid. The alternative would be a massive increase in baseload capacity. For the first time in weeks, the government gave an appearance of having a grip on events rather than being buffeted by them. Having secured a relatively good reception for its smart sys- tem plans, Clark's team should have carved out some space to pursue its clean growth strategy when Westminster returns. the Whitehall jungle. Those of us who hadn't joined the summer holiday exodus woke up to Greg Clark's announcement on smart energy systems. Publishing the plans on the first Monday of the so-called silly season, when Parliament is off, was a smart move in PR terms by the business secretary. It is hard to see an announce- ment about batteries topping the news agenda normally. Then, later in the week, we saw environment secretary Michael Gove's announcement that petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2040. The two announcements are intertwined because achieving

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 4th August 2017