Gas transmission/distribution

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A £150 million gas pipeline located 30 metres underneath the River Humber has become operational, National Grid has announced. The Feeder 9 project was begun in 2016 with joint venture project partners Skanska, A.Hak and Porr. It replaces a trench-laid gas pipe which had become exposed.
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Ofgem has issued its final determinations for the RIIO2 price controls beginning in April next year, raising the baseline profit margin for investors in the transmission and gas distribution sectors by more than a third of a percentage point when compared to its draft determinations in July. Utility Week looks at where Ofgem has changed tack and gauges reaction.
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A former partner at Ofgem has said she is still mystified as to why the regulator handed some companies penalties and others rewards under the new business plan incentive mechanism for the RIIO2 price controls. Maxine Frerk said Ofgem needs to provide more clarity on exactly how networks’ business plans are judged. Its chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, told Utility Week some companies had initially failed to show their plans were in the interest of consumers.
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Politicians and business leaders want the country to deliver a green revolution, create jobs and boost the economy. As part of our Build Back Better campaign, Utility Week in association with Addleshaw Goddard has published a major new report exploring the significant role utilities can play in fulfilling these ambitions.
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If hydrogen is to fulfil its potential as a driver of decarbonisation then large-scale production projects need to kick off in the next few years. According to Gas Goes Green Champion, and former Cadent chief executive, Chris Train, the first step should be to start the process of allowing gas networks to blend hydrogen into the grid.
Opinion

Latest in Gas transmission/distribution

Ofgem has urged the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to dismiss the appeals sought by the transmission and gas distribution networks against their final determinations for RIIO2, arguing they are “without merit”. Responding to their notices of appeal in a submission to the CMA, Ofgem said the networks’ complaints “amount to no more than disagreements” with way it has exercised its “expert regulatory discretion”.
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Wales and West Utilities has argued the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) final decision on the PR19 appeals by water companies has “no material bearing” on its grounds for appeal against Ofgem’s final determinations for the RIIO2 price controls. The gas distribution network's submission to the CMA was in stark contrast to its fellow appellants.
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As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week presents a showcase of some of the most promising energy storage technologies. Tom Grimwood explores the potential - and the limitations - of solutions ranging from flow batteries to liquid air energy storage and the use of gravity, among others.
Analysis
Ofgem has given final approval to a modification of the Uniform Network Code that will reinstate the short-haul discount that was previously removed as part of an overhaul gas transmission charges. UNC728B will provide a discount of between 10 per cent and 90 per cent on gas transmission charges for users connected within 28 kilometres of an entry point to discourage them from constructing their own pipelines to bypass the network.
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The energy transition is driving transmission and distribution network operators to adopt new methods that facilitate multidirectional power flows. As part of our Countdown to COP series, Prash Desai of Burns & McDonnell discusses the role digital substations will play in that process.
Opinion
As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to National Grid’s director of COP26, Duncan Burt. He discusses the need for leadership on both the strategies to get us to net zero and the behavioural changes that will be needed.
Interviews
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has pushed back the deadline for its decision on the appeals by transmission and gas distribution networks against their final determinations for the RIIO2 price controls. The deadline for redeterminations is now set for 30 October 2021.
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The past month has seen announcements on the three sets of appeals that should be on a Competition & Markets Authority (CMA)-watcher’s radar – the granting of permission on the RIIO2 appeals, the final decision on PR19 in water and the decision on the rather obscure SSE code modification appeal. Maxine Frerk picks through the pertinent points and discusses the next steps.
Analysis
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has appointed the panel to determine the RIIO2 appeals, as well as updating on the timeline for the process.
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