Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th September 2017

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/879860

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 31

4 | 29TH SEPTEMBER - 5TH OCTOBER 2017 | UTILITY WEEK STORY BY NUMBERS Seven days... National media UK's green bank abandons Britain The newly privatised investment bank that was founded by the government to develop renewable energy in the UK has quietly ditched this country. A pledge to invest in Britain was scrubbed from the Green Invest- ment Group's constitution on the day of its takeover by Australian investment bank Macquarie. The government sneaked in the change before handing control to independent trustees who would have had to vote on the matter. It is believed the change was made in order to help the hotly opposed sale to Macquarie, which has made no secret of its plans to use the bank to invest heavily abroad. Daily Mail, 25 September Delay to tidal lagoon a 'terrible signal' The backers of Swansea's tidal lagoon project have warned the government that it risks ruining its reputation among investors by continuing to delay a decision on the £1.3 billion scheme. In a letter to the Treasury, seen by The Daily Telegraph, 28 high-profile shareholders accused ministers of sending a "terrible signal" to entrepreneurs that could prove "extremely damaging" to their reputation. Daily Telegraph, 24 September RWE shares slide after German election RWE, Germany's largest utility, dropped to the bottom of the Dax on Monday morning aer the results of Sunday's federal election sug- gested the anti-coal power Greens could join the government. Shares in the company dropped 4 per cent, even as a weak euro helped the wider Dax index climb 0.2 per cent. Financial Times, 25 September Labour calls for councils to take over energy system S hadow energy secretary Alan Whitehead has called for local council companies to be able to take control of the whole of the energy system, from generation to supply via transmission. At a fringe meeting at the Labour party annual conference in Brighton this week, White- head fleshed out the party's manifesto commitment to set up council-owned utilities. At the meeting, organised in association with Eon, he said: "We want to see cities in control of a whole range of activities: generation, transmission and supply. The vision is cities and communities running their own energy generation as far as possible in local areas." Whitehead said this was "doable" thanks partly to the increasingly value for money offered by renewable energy. As an example of the restric- tions facing local authorities setting up their own energy companies, he pointed to how councils cannot sell power to their own residents because of national licensing arrangements. But decentralisation of the energy system would require a substantial legislative commit- ment if Labour won power at the next election, he warned. "I want to set out a pro- gramme that will require a lot of legislation and a lot of support from our government to enable utilities to undertake that change around. "The next Labour govern- ment needs to take apart centralist assumptions that go with all the legislation," he said, referring to the 1989 Electricity Act. "If that isn't done, there will be really good exemplars but they won't add up to the num- bers we need in term of power generation and transmission to get a proper system working well. That has to be one of the priorities for the new Labour government." At a separate meeting the following day, he conceded that National Grid, in some form, would continue to have a role in the decentralised energy system Labour envisages. DB "It's absolutely vital for the government not to put a blanket ban on onshore wind developments where people want them" Lord Adonis adds his voice to the growing calls for the return of subsidies for onshore wind. Water company complaints The Consumer Council for Water has rapped water companies over the knuckles this week, as it emerged that "unwanted" con- tacts from custom- ers had risen. 2.14m Number of unwanted contacts received by UK water companies in 2016/17. 40,000 Rise in unwanted contacts on the previous year. 11% Fall in written complaints. 57% Proportion of written complaints relating to billing and charges. See news, p25 250% Rise in written complaints to Cambridge Water.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 29th September 2017