The water industry is facing increasing pressure to modernise and revitalise much of its core infrastructure. In addition to pipelines, treatment plants and sewage systems, this also includes the need to upgrade the communication networks used in day-to-day operations, particularly those used to facilitate the transmission of reliable data.
At the same time, water companies are also facing the growing challenge posed by regulator fines for service disruption. This year is already proving to be particularly difficult, with a series of record fines being imposed due to illegal spills, overflows and leaks.
Prospects of Britain facing blackouts are “scare stories” which need to stop. That’s according to Steve Holliday, the former boss of National Grid, who believes the nation has enough electricity capacity to meet demand even during peak times.
His comments come as the latest round of capacity auction for power generation begins.
On December 1, UK government electricity and gas regulator Ofgem announced that they would be cutting £20m from the funding available to energy companies in the UK to create and distribute innovations across their networks. The funding pool available to companies for innovation advancements will now be £70m, rather than the previous £90m available.
Ofgem has made the announcement based on an independently commissioned review into the Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF). In it, the LCNF found that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) of the National Grid have made a myriad of important innovations using recent annual rounds of funding, but that there is room for improvement in regards to cost-effectiveness.