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.
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All eight of the gas and transmission networks are appealing Ofgem’s final determinations for RIIO2. But, what arguments have they put forward and what are their chances of success? Former Ofgem executive Maxine Frerk summarises the points raised and the challenges they pose for the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
Opinion
A new scheme is being trialed by charity Fuel Bank Foundation and the Scottish Government to provide funds to heat off-grid homes in an emergency. According to the latest statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) there are estimated to be slightly more than 373,000 households not connected to the gas grid in Scotland. This equates to 15 per cent of homes.
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All eight of the electricity and gas transmission and gas distribution networks have now confirmed they are seeking appeals from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of Ofgem’s final determinations on their RIIO2 business plans for 2021 to 2026. The only company to accept its final determination in full is National Grid Electricity System Operator.
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All of the transmission and gas distribution networks have now announced plans to appeal elements of Ofgem’s RIIO2 final determinations. Utility Week brings you the latest updates and reaction in this live blog.
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National Grid has said it will accept most of RIIO2 final determinations for its electricity and gas transmission businesses but will submit a technical appeal on the cost of equity and the outperformance wedge to the Competition and Markets Authority. It said the final determination for the Electricity System Operator will be accepted in full.
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In our latest review of sector coverage across the national newspapers, there is continued speculation of appeals to Ofgem’s RIIO2 final determinations by gas and transmission companies. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is reported to be considering selling its stake in Thames Water. There is also coverage of government plans to force energy retailers to switch customers on to lower tariffs.
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Analysts at Barclays have predicted each of the gas and transmission networks will appeal their final determinations from Ofgem for the RIIO-2 price control. The companies have until 3 March to accept or reject the regulator's decision on their business plans.
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The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has once again extended its deadline to deliver the final redeterminations for the four water companies that appealed Ofwat’s PR19 decisions. It means that gas and transmission networks mulling their own response to Ofgem’s final determinations will not be able to take account of the CMA’s stance on cost of capital.
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With expanding AI capabilities, industries such as the energy, rail and telecommunications are witnessing growth in the adoption of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones). The increase in drone usage has already begun challenging the conventional methods of inspection and maintenance of assets. More importantly, it is showing the value of using innovation to overcome traditional challenges.
Opinion
Network operators have announced plans to build a “proof-of-concept” digital map of the energy system, including network assets, generators, and energy intensive users. The Energy Networks Association will work with Ordnance Survey and 1Spatial to pull together data from electricity and gas networks into an integrated map covering the entirety of Great Britain.
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Two semi-detached homes containing appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen, the first of their kind in the UK, are to be built in Low Thornley, Gateshead. The project is being run by Northern Gas Networks and Cadent, both of which have input £250,000 of funding. It will also be part-funded by the government’s £25 million Hy4Heat Innovation programme.
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