Utility Week

Utility Week 20th October 2017

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

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Community Reasons to be tearful In what is perhaps a timely discovery, a team of scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland have discovered a way to generate electricity from tears. Yup. Apparently, crystals of lysozyme, a model protein abundant in the egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals, can generate electricity when subjected to pressure. They published a paper about their discovery in the journal Applied Physics Letters. The ability to get an electri- cal pulse out of a material under pressure is known as piezoelectricity, and is the science underlying the use of quartz in watches and mobile phones, but this is the first time that the quality has been observed in lysozyme. Giving how much wailing and gnashing of teeth there is about Brexit, the UK is awash with tears these days. What with us having a windy coastline, a high tidal range, and plenty to cry about, there really is no excuse for UK plc not to be the world leader in many renewable technologies. Jacob Rees-Mogg is free to use that one in his next appearance on Question Time. The throw away society Sometimes even small acts can have dramatic consequences, muses Disconnector, on hear- ing how a discarded teaspoon caused hundreds of homes and businesses in the North West to suffer a power outage. The teaspoon in question ended up in a sewer on United Utilities' patch, where it lodged and was joined over time by a sufficient number of wet wipes and cotton buds to block the sewer, causing a flood that knocked out an Electricity North West substation in St Annes. All services were restored in a matter of hours but it is a timely reminder both that our utilities infrastructure is easily knocked out and that idiots continue to dump stuff down the toilet. Something fishy going on There was a time, Disconnec- tor remembers fondly, when fish snacks were considered the perfect accompaniment to a pint of beer. The "fish man" would make his round of pubs mid-evening loaded with cock- les and mussels and the like. For readers too young to have partaken of this great British tradition, don't fret, they mostly tasted disgusting. The great man muses thus on learning that fish are making a comeback, but this time instead of threatening drinkers with food poisoning they are being used to ensure the purity of the water going into the brewing process. The Protivin brewery in the Czech Republic has placed crayfish, which react quickly to changes in their aquatic envi- ronment, in fish tanks through which is pumped water from the same natural source that the brewery uses. The crustaceans are fitted with infrared bio-sensors that monitor their heartbeat and movement. Data is analysed by a computer, and any changes in their body or behaviour flags a change in the purity levels of the water in their tank. "When three or more crayfish are moving or change their pulse activity, we know that the water parameters have changed. We can react quickly because we have the result within three minutes," head brewer Michal Voldrich told Reuters. It's an ingenious idea, admits the great man (Disconnector, not Voldrich), and nice to know that we can all get bladdered on beer made only with the purest mountain stream water – right before we tuck in to a beeurger pumped full of penicillin. Disconnector Editor, Utility Week, and content director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Deputy editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: janegray@ fav-house.com; Features editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080, e: loisvallely@fav-house.com; Deputy news editor: Katey Pigden, t: 01342 332082, e: kateypigden@fav-house.com; Senior reporter: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Sales executive: Sidney Houliston, e: sidneyhouliston@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332009; Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e; sophieabbott@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amandabarnes@ fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham House Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 1UZ. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2015 Membership subscriptions: UK £669 per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK's magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact the editor, Ellen Bennett, at ellenbennett@fav-house.com. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk Dept for BEIS @beisgovuk The #CleanGrowth Strategy sets out how UK is leading the world in cutting carbon emissions while growing the economy Emma Pinchbeck @ELPinchbeck @beisgovuk clearly going to spend 24hrs trolling everyone who said they were too slow with policy announcements.... #CleanGrowth Rebecca Williams @reawilliams_ I am drowning in Govt low carbon documents - what a day to be alive #CleanGrowth Tim Rotheray @trotheray Reflecting on #CleanGrowthStrategy - Well done Gov. Lots of action but vitally a change of tone. Low carbon is to be celebrated @JSHeappey Richard Black @_richardblack Days like today (#CleanGrowth Strategy) you appreciate value of Ministers like @GregClarkMP who build bridges & patiently do sensible stuff Caroline Lucas @CarolineLucas Pretty shocking to see Government #CleanGrowth plan admit that own targets will be missed - urgently need more ambitious domestic action ClientEarth @ClientEarth The govt's new #cleangrowthstrategy fails to put us on track to meet legally binding emissions targets. We are considering our legal options Simon Virley @SimonVirley #cleangrowthplan big step forward. But more to do on energy efficiency and heat if 4th & 5th carbon budgets are to be met Paul Massara @paulmassara Fuel Poverty report out today will show good progress in 2020 targets but lots more to do for 2030. Greater focused [energy efficiency] programmes are key. William Marchant @richonlyinname Potential for annual reviews from 2020 to 23 could be taken as a tacit acknowledgement that smart rollout won't be fully delivered by 2020. Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 20TH - 26TH OCTOBER 2017 | 31

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