Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th August 2017

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

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4 | 4TH - 10TH AUGUST 2017 | UTILITY WEEK Renewable generation dips Renewable energy dipped slightly in 2016 because of lower rainfall and wind speeds, according to the latest edition of the annual Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 83.2TWh Volume of generation from renewable sources in 2016. 16.4GWh The amount of offshore wind generation. 0.2% The fall on the figure for 2015. 35.7GW Installed renewable capacity at the end of 2016. 16% Growth in installed renewable capacity over the year. STORY BY NUMBERS Seven days... National media Shell adopting a 'lower forever' mindset on oil prices, chief says Royal Dutch Shell is preparing for oil prices to remain "lower forever", its chief executive said yesterday, as it cheered investors with an eight- fold jump in profits for the second quarter. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group reported profits of $1.9 billion for the three months to June, up from $239 million a year ago and boosted by a modest resurgence in oil prices and a strong performance in its refining and marketing business. Oil prices have remained stubbornly low since they tumbled from more than $100 a barrel in 2014, and oil industry executives have talked of prices remaining "lower for longer". 28 July, The Times Windfarm turbines and factory robots at risk from hackers Robots that work alongside humans on factory floors and whizzing turbines that power windfarms are at risk of attack from ransom- seeking hackers, according to cyber security researchers exposing new vulnerabilities. Fresh flaws revealed at the Black Hat cyber security conference showed how hackers could use weak security in industrial control systems. Researchers, who expose vulnerabilities so companies can fix them, showed how to hijack robots so that they stop working or alter products or injure humans, and how to slam the brakes on energy production by windfarms. Financial Times, 30 July Electric vehicle energy demand fears dismissed F ormer Npower boss Paul Massara has dismissed dire warnings that the UK will require massive increases in electricity generation to cope with the phasing out of internal combustion vehicles. In its air quality strategy, published last week, the govern- ment outlined plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. Critics of the plan seized on the findings of a National Grid report, published last month, that predicted peak hour demand for electricity could increase by up to 50 per cent if the number of electric vehicles rises to nine million, requiring additional investment of £200 billion. However, Massara, who is now chief executive of North Star Solar, said these predictions were the most extreme cited by National Grid. He said: "The government's announcement has led to wild claims of increased electric- ity demand. Assertions that UK demand could increase by 50 per cent, and could cost £200 billion, have been bandied around in the media. "But this projection of increased demand is the most extreme forecast from the National Grid. In reality, demand is likely to go up by a much lower amount, perhaps as little as 10 per cent, par- ticularly as the UK moves to a more smart, flexible power grid. Likewise, the £200 billion figure assumes using the most expen- sive technology to meet peak demand when many lower cost alternatives are available." Massara also said that elec- tric vehicles could contribute to the development of a more flexible grid. "Electric vehicles are themselves a key component of a flexible grid, offering energy storage that can help balance supply and demand," he said. Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, backed up Massara. He said: "The cherry-picking of facts in the reaction to Michael Gove's electric vehicle announcement has been deeply unhelpful. For one extreme forecast predicting a 50 per cent increase in demand, there are a multitude of others showing more manageable situations, all of which are far more likely to occur." DB "I think this is extortionate at this point in time when people's wages are being cut or frozen and people are struggling" John McDonnell, Labour shadow chancellor, responding to British Gas raising electricity prices by 12.5 per cent

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