May 17, 2020

Become a Master of Energy at Qatar school

Admin
2 min
Hamad bin Khalifa University
[email protected] Make sure to check out the latest issue of Energy Digital magazine Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar recently admitted its fir...

Make sure to check out the latest issue of Energy Digital magazine

Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar recently admitted its first class for its Executive Master in Energy and Resources.

Specially designed to create an in-depth understanding of the role of energy and resources in modern life, HBKU's Executive Master in Energy and Resources will integrate the disciplines of geopolitics, public policy, technology, finance, management and strategy, and will prepare participants to conduct strategic analysis, reach effective decisions and manage their operations with a global understanding of E&R issues.

The program is offered in partnership with Georgetown University, Texas A&M University, and HEC Paris.

Dr. Mounir Hamdi is the newly appointed dean of HBKU's College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. A world-renowned researcher and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Hamdi was chair professor and head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) before joining HBKU.

He has received awards and grants for his initiatives to improve teaching methodologies, delivery and technologies. He has consulted for companies and government organizations in the USA, Europe andAsia, and has served on the editorial boards of several prestigious academic journals.

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“The HBKU Executive Master in Energy and Resources implements Qatar National Vision of building a knowledge economy, through interdisciplinary learning on issues which are relevant to Qatar and the region,” said Dr. Antoine Hyafil, the academic coordinator for the Executive Master in Energy and Resources.

The 29 admitted students, 21 men and eight women, come from a wide variety of backgrounds from oil and gas to engineering, finance, transportation and real estate. The students will go through five modules over a period of 16 months. Classes began on Jan. 25.

Among the students admitted to the program is Yousef Al-Jaber, head of CSR and Institutional Affairs, Total E&P Qatar. “This program fits exactly with my career development. I studied Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar and the Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar,” Yousef said. “I am interested in this program because it focuses not only on oil and gas, but on all aspects of the energy industry.”

Photo caption: Hamad bin Khalifa University welcomes the first admitted class for the Executive Master in Energy and Resources.

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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