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The government is under pressure to find ways to mitigate the pain for consumers of the next energy price cap rise. David Blackman looks at the options on the table and gauges expert reaction on which are likely to become a reality.
Analysis
Storing around 10% of the capital’s water, the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Reservoir being under maintenance for the best part of 2021 necessitated an urgent shake-up of London’s water. Here, project leaders from Thames Water discuss the process of taking the reservoir out of action and £25 million worth of upgrades.
Analysis
After distribution network operators (DNOs) published their final RIIO ED2 business plans last month, Grid Edge Policy director and former Ofgem partner, Maxine Frerk, tries (and struggles) to draw some comparisons. Given their various inconsistencies and sheer size – amounting to ten of thousands of pages when including the supporting documents - Frerk asks: who are they expecting to read them?
Analysis
Philippe Sébérac, director of technological and scientific expertise at Veolia, explains how the firm and its project partners have updated their early warning system for identifying and quantifying Covid-19 in wastewater to cope with new variants, and discusses a broader rollout.
Analysis
The dearth of underground asset data and inconsistencies in the way it is collected and stored has long been a problem for utilities. However, a government-backed project promises to overcome this challenge through a new data sharing register. Nadine Buddoo explores progress on the National Underground Asset Register.
Analysis
With 27 energy retailers entering the Supplier of Last Resort process, as well as the first ever use of the government's Special Administration Regime, 2021 has been a year like no other. Consequently, the energy retail market has changed beyond recognition. Utility Week takes a look back at the companies that have exited the market.
Analysis
Given its perceived role in unlocking the true potential of the UK’s energy system as it transitions to net zero, the conversation around the Future System Operator no longer centres on if, but when and how. Utility Week gauged the views of smart grid and system operation leads across the energy sector on the roles and responsibilities of the new body and how a functional FSO can be achieved as quickly as possible.
Analysis
An unprecedented number of supplier failures has further highlighted concerns over poor hedging strategies and risky business practices. There is now a general consensus that rule changes are sorely needed. Yet there are fears the industry “might as well be nationalised” if mandated hedging becomes a requirement. From naming and shaming suppliers to introducing a risk index, Utility Week asks, what next for energy hedging?
Analysis
The application window for the fourth Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round - the largest to date - opened on Monday (13 December). Utility Week speaks to Aurora Energy Research associate Edward Pizzey about how the auctions are likely to play out given the parameters set out by the government in its final budget notice.
Analysis
Storm Arwen was the most damaging storm to electricity networks in 15 years, causing customers to lose power up to eight days. What lessons can they learn to ensure there isn't a repeat if climate change make storms of this magnitude a regular occurrence.
Analysis
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