U.S. Utility Execs Concede Need for More Innovation (or Better Messaging)

first_imgU.S. Utility Execs Concede Need for More Innovation (or Better Messaging) FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Glen Boshart for SNL:Top officials with the Edison Electric Institute wrapped up the group’s annual convention June 15 in Chicago by discussing what they must do to prosper in a rapidly changing industry environment.Tom Fanning, EEI’s newly elected chairman who also serves as chairman, president & CEO of Southern Co.: “We are innovative, we are in the customer interest, we are constantly looking for ways to create the future,” Fanning maintained, suggesting that the problem has been more one of messaging.Christopher Crane, president and CEO of Exelon Corp. and EEI vice chairman sees storage as something utilities need to embrace by working with the labs and universities “to help advance that along.”But the officials acknowledged that the traditional utility culture may be holding them back. Patricia Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president & CEO of PNM Resources Inc. and EEI vice chairman, stressed the need for utilities to hire people from the younger generation who are more adept at using new technologies in innovative ways.“You have to walk the talk, you have to bring in people from the outside, you have to protect them from the internal immune system of the utility” that wants to quickly “kill off anything that’s different,” Vincent-Collawn said.Picking up on that theme, Fanning noted that the culture and employees at his company can be represented by a pie chart, only a tiny slice of which is composed of “the revolutionaries, the creative disruptors.”“The people in the big pie slice want to murder the people in the little pie slice,” Fanning acknowledged. Thus, he said companies need to keep from living on their past successes and instead embrace innovation and new technology.Full article ($): EI officials debate how to keep up with rapidly changing timeslast_img read more

India’s Andhra Pradesh state government readies 10GW tender for new solar capacity

first_imgIndia’s Andhra Pradesh state government readies 10GW tender for new solar capacity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mint:In a surprise move, the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government is expediting efforts to float India’s largest solar tender for setting up 10 gigawatt (GW) capacity, said three people aware of the development.Interestingly, the mega tender accounting for 14% of India’s green energy capacity to supply electricity to the farmers is in the works, even as 5.2 GW of solar and wind energy projects are hanging fire, due to the state government’s decision to reopen renewable energy contracts inked under the previous N Chandrababu Naidu government.State energy secretary N. Srikanth confirmed the mega solar tender development and said that Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL) is the nodal agency for the same.This proposed mega contract also comes at a time, when India’ solar power tariffs have touched a record low of ₹2.36 per unit at an auction conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. Falling clean power tariffs putting an already awarded 16.8 GW solar and wind energy capacity in limbo, as fund starved state electricity distribution companies (discoms) are unwilling to sign contracts for these previously awarded projects at a comparatively higher tariff, Mint reported earlier. Also, the Punjab government is seeking to renegotiate clean energy contracts for operational projects.Andhra Pradesh has around 7.7 GW of solar and wind projects and is home to India’s second-largest installed capacity of clean energy, accounting for around 10% of the country’s green energy capacity, with investments of ₹60,000 crore. The state has 4,092 MW of installed wind power projects awarded through feed-in tariffs. Also, the resource-rich state has 3,230 MW of solar power projects awarded through competitive bidding.Clean energy projects comprise more than a fifth of India’s installed power generation capacity. India has 34.6 GW of solar power and seeks to produce 100 GW from solar projects by March 2022.[Utpal Bhaskar]More: Andhra Pradesh to float India’ largest solar tender for 10 GW capacitylast_img read more

UK politicians up ante over pension funds and climate change, ESG

first_imgOpperman was writing to the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee, which is carrying out an inquiry into green finance. As part of this the committee is trying to develop an understanding of the approach UK pension funds are taking to environmental risks and, more generally, green finance. The UK government is considering requiring pension scheme trustees to have a policy for climate change, it revealed in a letter to a group of parliamentarians.Corporate governance is another area for which trustees could be required to have a specific policy.The requirements are one of several options for policy and regulation the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) is considering seeking feedback on in an upcoming consultation on pension funds and investments related to social or environmental considerations.The government had already committed to such a consultation in its response to a Law Commission report on pensions funds and social investment last year but the letter from Guy Opperman, pensions minister, revealed more about its thinking about what to consult on. Source: Chis McAndrewGuy Opperman, pensions minister, responded to questions from the Environmental Audit Committee in a letterAccording to the letter from Opperman, other options the government is considering consulting on include requiring trustees to evaluate how they intend to take account of financially material risks, and – when they revisit their statement of investment principles – to review how they ensured those considerations were taken into account.The department was also mulling consulting on requiring trustees to publish the statement of investment principles or make it available to all on request, and to tell members that it was available.Opperman said the DWP was planning to launch the consultation in May or June and that, rather than making small technical amendments, it wanted to introduce regulations “which are as effective as possible in delivering the right level and consideration by trustees”.Opperman also revealed the government was planning to shortly propose legislation that would require trustees of defined contribution (DC) occupational schemes to disclose on request the pooled funds in which members are invested, and to tell members annually that this information is available. This, said Opperman, would enable members “to identify and access other publicly available information about the policies of the investment managers in relation to voting, engagement, and sustainable and responsible investment.The DWP would also shortly propose legislation that would require disclosure of information about “the cost implications of churn” – turnover of assets – to DC pension scheme members, he said.‘Outright misunderstanding’ of fiduciary dutyIn his letter, Opperman said the government was aware of “relatively little robust research” on the way that pension funds interpret risks such as climate change but that “good practice appears to be far from universal”.Recent research had indicated that “a lack of attention and outright misunderstanding” of the scope of their fiduciary duty remained widespread among trustees.This was despite guidance on this from The Pensions Regulator.Opperman said there was broad scientific and public policy consensus that climate change was such a risk, so trustees had a duty to take account of it.“ A young person auto-enrolled on a pension today may be 45 years away from retirement. Over that timescale these climate change risks will inevitably grow.”Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee They had a duty to take account of any and all financially material risks, including where these emerged from environmental or social contexts.It was rare for there to be cases where no social or environmental considerations would be financially material, if at all, Opperman wrote in his letter.Subject to the outcome of the upcoming consultation, the government would bring forward legislation that “clarifies this point”, he indicated.Parliamentary committee probes pension fundsThe Environmental Audit Committee published Opperman’s letter when it today announced it had written to the 25 largest UK pension funds to ask how they manage the risks that climate change poses to pension savings.Mary Creagh, Labour chair of the committee said: “The climate change risks of tomorrow should be considered by pension funds today. A young person auto-enrolled on a pension today may be 45 years away from retirement. Over that timescale these climate change risks will inevitably grow.”The letter asks the pension fund trustees a range of questions, such as whether they accept that pension funds are potentially exposed to financial risks through climate change, what actions they had taken in response to climate change-related risks – if they had considered these –, and if they were planning to adopt recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures for their scheme’s reporting.The pension funds have been asked to respond by 28 March.Reactions – delight and dismayCommenting on the move by the committee of MPs, Luke Hildyard, policy lead for stewardship and corporate governance at the UK pension fund association, said: “Numerous credible commentators from institutions such as the Bank of England, Cambridge University and many leading financial services firms have highlighted the major economic impact of climate change and the serious long-term threat that it poses to pension funds’ investments.“It’s definitely an issue that trustees should be making time to discuss and seeking advice on.”Rachel Haworth, senior policy officer at campaign organisation ShareAction, welcomed that the Environmental Audit Committee was “taking decisive action to assess how far pension funds are taking account of climate risk”.“We applaud the government’s intention to introduce robust regulations that are as effective as possible in delivering the necessary changes,” she added.Others, however, pushed back against claims that trustees were misunderstanding their fiduciary duties. Rosalind Connor, partner at ARC Pensions Law said: “The widespread misunderstanding of trustees’ duties may extend to others involved in this debate.”She suggested that, often, statements about the need for trustees to understand their duty to invest in green assets for financial reasons were motivated by something else.“The concern that is really underpinning this is that trustees are not investing in a way that is good for the environment,” she said. “That is not the pension trustees’ duty under the present law.”She said it was because trustees understood their obligations that pension fund investment was not flowing into “greener” investments, not because they didn’t understand them.“If MPs want trustees to invest in more sustainable investments, they should investigate changing the law to make this a requirement. It is not accurate to blame the trustees when they are simply complying with their obligations.”The pensions minister’s letter can be found here.last_img read more

Sir Alex Ferguson recounts Jurgen Klopp’s 3am phone call after Liverpool won the league

first_imgKlopp was selected ahead of last year’s winner Chris Wilder at Sheffield United and Gareth Ainsworth of Wycombe, who came third.Leeds United chief Marcelo Bielsa was in fourth place, recognised for ending their 16-year Premier League exile.But ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp took the award after leading Liverpool to 99 points, dominating the top flight.Klopp and legendary former Manchester United boss Ferguson have grown close in recent years.The Reds chief still cherishes a breakfast meeting between the pair during the early years of his managerial career. “Jurgen, fantastic. I have spoken about Leeds United, 16 years in the Championship, Liverpool, 30 years since winning that league: incredible.“Really thoroughly deserved. The performance level of the team, really outstanding.“Your personality ran right through the whole club. I think it was a marvellous, marvellous performance.“I’ll forgive you for waking me up at half past three in the morning to tell me you’d won the league. Thank you.“But anyway, you’ve thoroughly deserved it, well done.”After receiving his award Klopp said: “I am absolutely delighted to get this title.“There are a lot of Liverpool names on this trophy – Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny looks like he is all over the trophy. Brendan Rodgers, too.“But the main name is Sir Alex Ferguson. I know it is not 100 per cent appropriate as Liverpool manager, but I admire him.“He was the first British manager I met and we had breakfast together – I am not sure if he remembers but for me it was like meeting the Pope.“I never thought then I would be holding the Sir Alex Ferguson trophy in my hands.” Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Jurgen Klopp after the Liverpool boss was named LMA Manager of the Year.And he revealed that the German woke him up at 3am while celebrating the Reds’ title triumph.center_img Source: The Mirrorlast_img read more