This week (Tuesday 2 October) ENA provided insight and guidance for EU decision makers in Brussels, including MEPs and European Commission officials, at the European Parliament in a debate that addressed the ‘pros and cons’ of the electricity, gas and water companies sharing their existing infrastructure with telecommunications companies (Telcos) as they roll-out broadband across Europe.
The ENA BlogWelcome to the new ENA blog. We want you to engage in these discussions with us so please share your comments and observations on the topics here. Through this Blog we are looking to share some of the policy areas being debated and encourage you to be part of the discussions. By representing both the electricity and gas networks we are withough prejudice to the type of energy. Our members serve one purpose - to keep our lights on, our homes warm and delivering this vital service to the businesses and industries of our economies in the most safe, reliable and affordable way. Please check back here regularly for updates, tweet about it - you can follow and reference us as @EnergyNetworks - and most importantly, engage in the debate. If you have any suggestions or wish to start a discussion of your own here then please email [email protected].
Following on from Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices was always going to be a challenge for the Conservatives at their Party Conference. There had been support and derision of his promise in broadly equal measure from those commentating on it. Bold in a political sense for many reasons and challenging in a practical one for many more.
Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and IGEM today hosted the Gas to Cash Conference in York to explore how farmers can make money from their existing operations by producing biomethane for injection into the natural gas network.
There had been plenty trailed about the energy announcements that were going to be made by the Shadow Energy Team at the Labour Party Conference. Of all the Shadow Cabinet in recent months, Caroline Flint has been the most vocal and damaging to government. But nothing could have prepared the industry for Ed Miliband’s announcement of a freeze on energy prices for 20 months from the General Election in 2015 if a Labour Government is elected.
Although energy headlines from the Liberal Democrat Conference focused on their revised stance on nuclear as part of a low carbon mix – and a notable challenge on a strike price from Davey that EDF had put £1bn into Hinkley Point C already “so have more to lose from walking away from the table” – there was still plenty to discuss on the networks side.
Channel 4 aired its 'docu-drama' Blackout Britain last night (Monday) in which it somehow inexplicably managed to confuse many Tweeters as to whether it was showing reality or fiction. The drama on Twitter actually rivalled that on the screen as those surprised they didn't remember it happening were lambasted by others for not fully understanding the Blair-witch style approach to TV production.
This week (Wednesday) the Labour front bench launched an attack on the cost of living crisis facing the country. Their two topics for their Opposition Day Debate (a chance for the Opposition to choose the topic of discussion usually to attack Government policy) were 'living standards' and 'energy prices and profits'. Linking these two is unlikely to be a coincidence as the Shadow Energy Team continue to argue that they are the ones campaigning for fair prices for consumers. We can expect their attacks on rising fuel prices to be a key part of setting out their stall as the party that will work for those struggling with their day-to-day outgoings.
Firm resistance to metal theft will continue over the next 12 months as the Scottish Parliament has set out plans to legislate against thieves and dodgy scrap metal dealers as part of its programme for the next Parliament.
Until recently, heat has been the policy elephant in the room and the focus on decarbonising electricity generation seemed to be the assumed trajectory for all energy, both its source and the type of demand. Thankfully, there is now a more diverse discussion taking place and it recognises more of the implications and consequences of the policy decisions we take.
This week talking to Lord Jenkin at the launch of Smarter Networks Portal, the first of its kind, illustrated in stark relief the new solutions a smarter network offers to solve the problems that Patrick Jenkin had to grapple with all those years ago. Let us not underestimate its impact - it brought down a government back then.