Sunday, June 30, 2013

Demand side response: a revolution in British energy policy

demand side response

It's highly significant that demand side response is to be included in auctions for the future British electricity capacity market, as announced by DECC last Thursday, because it marks once and for all a move away from the principle that has dominated energy policy since the national grid began: of satisfying peak demand at any price.

Capacity market auctions will commence in 2014, subject to European state aide approval, and will embrace new and existing generation capacity including combined heat and power (CHP), embedded generation, energy storage, and permanent reductions in electricity demand.

Demand side response (DSR) means that small, decentralised generators and owners of stand-by generators experiencing reduced demand, or a combination of both, will be able to gain an income by selling the energy they don't need.

The UK‟s electricity system is currently sized to meet peak demands that only occur infrequently, which leads to generating plant and transmission and distribution networks being under-utilised for much of the time.

This is expensive and wasteful.

DSR will open up a huge new market, which will grow even more as the 'smart grid' spreads, by letting energy consumers become active participants in a more local and efficient energy system.

It will embrace many different kinds of energy consumers, such as businesses, farms, hospitals, hotels, universities, local authorities and commercial buildings.

As a result of this policy such enterprises will have greater confidence to invest in their own generation plant, and will have the ability to create income for themselves on a sustainable, predictable basis.

Any facility that collects real-time consumption data and is sometimes on standby to reduce energy use, or that runs standby generation that can start up upon a signal from the electricity system, will be able to participate.

Participants will be able to bid both one and four years ahead in the auctions, giving them flexibility and confidence to invest in the future.

It's also good news for combined heat and power, since much small-scale generation is CHP, producing heat and power for local networks.

The other benefits of demand side response include:

  • addressing the threat to electricity supply caused by the imminent closure of coal-fired power stations;

  • reducing the need to build new power stations and transmission lines;

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions by allowing power stations to operate closer to the maximum efficiency;

  • avoiding transmission losses by using electricity locally;

  • and reducing the need to keep power stations warm as a spinning contingency reserve.

If we compare the consumption pattern of electricity from the commercial and public sector to the demand profile for all sectors, we see that the peak demands for non-domestic buildings occur at around 11am on weekdays, whereas the total peak is between 4 and 6pm.

This is where the potential for spreading out supply and demand lies.

The potential for DSR to reduce peak demands depends on the flexibility of electricity capacity and the uses to which it is put.

The greatest flexibility is related to load with storage or inbuilt inertia, such as hot water, heating and air conditioning. Some loads, such as computing, exhibit limited flexibility, unless they are in data centres operating unused standby.

Assessments by Element Energy and the Montford University for Ofgem a year ago of the technical potential suggest that DSR measures could reduce winter peak demands in Britain due to non-domestic buildings from 1–4.5GW, but the eventual potential is likely to be much more.

There is work to be done to develop detailed policy implementation that will work well for smaller operators and ensure that the cost effectiveness of DSR is harnessed for the benefit of consumers and the wider UK economy.

A consultation by Ofgem on the subject finished on 28 June. It's probable that the results of the consultation will feed into the practical arrangements under which the capacity mechanism will operate.

Sensibly, there will be a transition period for demand side reduction and small-scale storage within the capacity market.

To this end, Ofgem and the National Grid have just launched a new consultation on transitional products aimed at paving the way for DSR.

The first potential product, Demand Side Balancing Reserve, offers a new opportunity for the demand side to participate in the provision of demand and supply balancing services.

The second, Supplemental Balancing Reserve, is aimed at generators and large users.

Of the first, National Grid is suggesting that it could buy a quantity of demand reduction capability at peak times on non-holiday weekdays during the winter for a set-up payment of between £5-10/kW per year, and utilisation payments for delivery ranging from £500/MWh to £15,000/MWh.

It's also consulting on a second product that would be the same but without the setup payment.

The idea is that this will promote significant growth in the provision of demand-side services ahead of DSR participation in the capacity market.

No one should underestimate the significance of this development: it marks the first time that Britain has moved away from an energy policy of having to supply peak demand whatever it is.

This policy has proved inefficient, insecure, expensive and impractical; the more so as energy and plant construction prices rise and we are constrained by the need to reduce carbon emissions.

It's a fabulous opportunity, and the more organisations and businesses wake up to its potential benefits for them, as well as to the effect on reducing prices for all energy consumers, the better it will be for the whole country.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Strike prices for renewable energy revealed

Viridor's waste-to-energy plant in Cardiff, to be completed next year: it will receive a £90 per megawatt hour strike price.
Viridor's waste-to-energy plant in Cardiff, to be completed next year: it will receive a £90 per megawatt hour strike price.
The prices to be paid over and above the estimated market price for energy from waste, offshore and onshore wind, PV and other renewables were laid out yesterday as part of the government's electricity market reforms, designed to let renewable supply 30% of Britain's electricity by 2020.

The figures cover each year from 2014 until 2019. Some technologies will receive the same price for the whole period, while others will see the price reduce, as their costs are expected to fall.

For projects with a potential deployment capacity over 1 GW:
  • Offshore wind will receive £155/MWh, falling to £135 in 2019
  • Onshore wind will receive £100, dropping to £95 in 2019
  • Large solar PV will receive £125, falling to £110 in 2019
  • Hydro will receive £95 throughout
  • Biomass conversion will receive £105 throughout.
There are also prices for:
  • gasification and pyrolysis (£155-£135)
  • anaerobic digestion (£145-£135)
  • waste to energy (£90)
  • dedicated biomass with CHP (£120)
  • geothermal (£125-£120)
  • landfill gas (£65)
  • sewage gas (£85), and 
  • marine energy technologies (£305).

These prices are broadly comparable to the support levels available under the Renewables Obligation, with a number of adjustments to account for the benefits of Contracts-for-Difference (CfDs).

Under the Levy Control Framework there will be a cap, starting in 2015/16 at £4.3 billion in real terms, to limit the costs passed on to consumers.

The application process is now open for developers of renewable electricity projects to apply for Investment Contracts ahead of when the long-term EMR contracts (CfDs) are finalised.

DECC also confirmed that the Government will allow renewable electricity to be imported and exported from the UK to elsewhere to help meet renewable energy targets, boost energy security and investment.

Renewable energy projects on the Scottish islands will receive additional support to connect them to the mainland.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the strike prices would “make the UK market one of the most attractive for developers of wind, wave, tidal, solar and other renewables technologies. This will help boost home-grown sources of clean secure energy and enable us to decarbonise the power sector."

He predicted that renewables would contribute "more than 30% to our mix by the end of this decade".

The Government also revealed details of the capacity market, which will be launched next year, in which participants will include existing generators and investors in new plant. They will bid at auctions to offer to provide the total amount of electricity that the UK is expected to need for 2018-2019.

Bidders who are successful will receive a steady price from the year in which they agree to make the capacity available. In return they must deliver electricity as required, or face financial penalties.

The announcements coincided with a report from watchdog Ofgem warning that “without action" electricity margins could tighten in 2015-2016 to 2%-5% depending on demand.

Ofgem’s chief executive Andrew Wright said this “highlights the need for reform to encourage investment in generation”.

£75 million of capital for investment in innovative energy projects was also announced, with the aim of lowering the cost of deployment of offshore wind, renewable heat, carbon capture and storage.

Reactions to the strike prices have been mixed.

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the UK’s Renewable Energy Association, said she was struck by what was left out. “The notable omission is dedicated biomass. We will be pushing for clarification of these as soon as possible.”

She observed that there are “hundreds of megawatts of biomass projects looking to commission under the new support regime and their contribution of clean, baseload electricity will help keep the lights on when the capacity crunch comes”.

The Solar Trade Association's Head of External Affairs, Leonie Greene, criticised the contracts for difference model for mitigating against independent renewable energy suppliers because it depends on generators securing a market 'reference' price for their power, which is then topped up by Government to meet the 'strike price'.

She said that there is then a relatively high risk for independent generators of failing to meet this price, meaning that purchasers of renewable power are likely to offer less attractive terms to independent generators in their long-term Power Purchase Agreements for their output.

“Because of the additional risk the CfD model presents to independent generators like solar power, we would expect to see the additional cost of risk factored into the strike price," she said.

Maria McCaffery, CEO of RenewableUK, representing marine and wind energy sectors, was more enthusiastic: "The levels of the strike prices are challenging but possible considering the reduced time periods that renewables will be supported for under the contract for difference system compared to the Renewable Obligation”.

She did call for more details to be set out for the sake of investors’ confidence. "The secret is consistent, long-term support and investors seeing that Government is behind renewables and low carbon generation for the long term.”

Utility firm RWE's CEO Paul Massara also called for more detail. “This, along with the overall complexity of the proposals and the need to gain EU state aid approval, means significant uncertainty remains. Only once the final detail on contract terms and conditions is clear will a full understanding of the impact these proposals will have on potential investment into the UK and on Britain’s energy consumers be possible,” he said.

The CBI's chief policy director, Katja Hall also welcomed the figures but added: “The Energy Bill’s passage has dragged on long enough — the big task now is to get it on the statute book as soon as possible.”

She added: "giving the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers will give it real teeth to support investments in low-carbon technologies”.

The Government also announced plans to support nuclear power and shale gas.

This includes £100,000 for communities situated near each exploratory (hydraulically fracked) well, and 1% of revenues from every production site.

The Treasury will pre-qualify EDF’s Hinkley Point C new nuclear power project for a Government Infrastructure Loan Guarantee, which is available to any large infrastructure project. Negotiations remain ongoing between Government and NNB Genco (a subsidiary of EDF) on the potential terms.

This support was lamented as being bad for Scotland by Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, who commented that: "the negative impacts of the UK Government's obsession with supporting nuclear and fossil fuels appear to outweigh the positive moves made on renewables.

“It would be a great shame indeed if Scotland's sensible ambition to create jobs and cut climate emissions through increased use of renewable energy was undermined by these measures," she continued.

"In environmental terms, plans to offer tax breaks and compensation for communities for shale gas extraction, and billions of pounds to underwrite new nuclear power is just plain foolish," she added. "Worse still, every pound wasted on polluting gas or nuclear means a pound less on encouraging energy saving and supporting more clean renewables."

Will Straw, the IPPR’s associate director, warned that shale gas "won’t do anything to keep energy bills down in the short term. We must ramp up our ambition on energy efficiency through innovative funding mechanisms like the UK guarantee scheme and the Green Investment Bank".

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton and Hove, said in Parliament yesterday that ministers should be "spending more time working out how to keep fossil fuels in the ground and less time squandering taxpayers’ money on tax breaks for shale gas that scientists say we simply cannot afford to burn if the Government are to keep to their commitment to limit global warming to below 2°".

This was a reference to a report from watchdog the Committee on Climate Change published this week which warned that the country risked missing its carbon emission reduction targets.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the CCC, cautioned: “There remains a very significant challenge delivering the 3% annual emissions reduction required to meet the third and fourth carbon budgets, particularly as the economy returns to growth.

"Government action is required over the next two years to develop and implement new policies. A failure to do this would raise the costs and risks associated with moving to a low-carbon economy,” he said.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It’s not Utopian: 100% renewable electricity is here

Two questions for you: how many countries in the world source their electricity 100% from renewable sources? And which major European nation that is well-endowed with renewable energy resources, is the worst at exploiting them?

The answers can be gleaned from the recently updated International Energy Statistics of Electricity Generation from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy.

The sources of the statistics are many, from most countries in the world, and not necessarily directly comparable, but have been homogenised as far as possible to make them so. The figures are up to date to 2011, and in some cases 2012.

It's often said by opponents of renewable energy that too much of it is a bad thing: it results in unreliable supplies of electricity. How come, then, several countries source most of their electricity from renewable energy, and two rely on it 100%?

These two countries are Norway and Iceland. Iceland has been at it since 1980. Admittedly it's a tiny country, and is well-blessed with hydropower and geothermal, which provide 74% and 26% of the electricity respectively.

Norway, with a larger population of 5 million, has also been running almost exclusively on renewable hydroelectricity since 1980. However it also has recently added other renewables, wind and biomass (1.5%).

Another country to rely, perhaps bizarrely, on hydroelectricity is Portugal. Because of periodic droughts, the proportion of its contribution to overall electricity supply varies from year to year from between 38% and 58%. As a result, it has invested massively in wind power and now nearly one fifth the Portuguese electricity is from this source. Surprisingly solar contributed in 2012 under 1%, but biomass generated 5%.

Other countries also rely heavily on renewables. Denmark uses renewable sources for 45% of its energy: wind (30%) and biomass (15%). Spain provided its 47 million people with 31% renewable electricity in 2011. Italy, with 60 million inhabitants, now sources 17% of its electricity renewably. Germany is on 19%. France, 16%. Even the United States is higher than you-know-who at 12.7% (unfortunately, down from 1983 when it was 14.1%).

You-know-who is, of course, the UK, whose total renewable contribution is just 10%.

Britain has been developing wind energy and wave energy longer than France. Yet it has a pitiful proportion of renewables compared to other European countries.

The fault has been the unwieldy architecture of the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation and its successor, the Renewables Obligation system, which kept small players out of the market and ensured the dominance of big companies and sluggish progress, coupled, more recently, with political dithering.

The Energy Bill offers a great chance to alter this, yet it, too, has been widely condemned as being far too complicated and under-ambitious, especially now that a decarbonisation target is not included.

The EIA figures also show that the United Kingdom ranks 10th in the world for emission of greenhouse gases, being responsible for 1.6% of global emissions from primary fossil fuel consumption for electricity generation.

Britain can, clearly, do far better, never mind all the party political wrangling over support for green technologies. If other countries can do it, so can we.

As author and commentator Paul Gipe says: "the challenge has never been technical. The problem has always been a political desire for a high percentage of renewable energy in a nation's generating mix, and the consistent implementation of policies that work".

Some form of feed-in tariff, the evidence shows from international comparisons, with targeted and consistent support for selected technologies, clearly works to the benefit of those countries implementing it.

Britain is blessed with a huge amount of wind, tidal and marine current energy. There is also a plentiful source of organic material for anaerobic digestion, and solar thermal has always been popular on a small scale. Meanwhile, there is plenty of potential for demand reduction.

Could Britain achieve 100% renewable energy?

A 2011 PriceWaterhouseCooperscenario for 100% renewable electricity recommended that Europe work together to most cost-effectively achieve the magic 100% figure, by setting up a pan-Continental high voltage direct current grid, linked to north Africa, where large solar farms could make up the difference between what countries can generate on their own and their total needs, which would, by then, have been reduced using demand management and energy efficiency.

Another scenario leading up to 2050, produced by WWF/Ecofys, foresees demand reduction, the smart grid, heat pumps, wind, solar, marine, hydro, geothermal and biomass energy as all part of a shared mix.

Zero CarbonBritain is to launch on June 17 at the Houses of Parliament a third version of its roadmap to 100% renewable electricity for the UK by 2030. Its angle includes additional land-use and lifestyle changes.

There have been several other scenarios for achieving the same target from other organisations such as Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Foundation and the University of Oxford.

But despite this excellent advice, British energy policy seems to be lurching in the opposite direction. The Government's current enthusiasm, demonstrated by Energy Minister Michael Fallon last week, for shale gas, is another diversion from what should be a complete decarbonisation commitment.

As Greenpeace energy campaigner Lawrence Carter said: "The Government is pandering to climate sceptic backbenchers like Peter Lilley. With everyone from Ofgem to Deutsche Bank to the Secretary of State for Energy agreeing UK shale gas won’t bring down bills, fracking could end up being a lot of pain."

The appointment of George Eustice as David Cameron's new energy and climate change advisor to the Conservative Parliamentary Advisory Board (CPAB) is also seemingly a step in the wrong direction to appease certain Tory backbenchers. He has talked of the "blight" of onshore windfarms, although he is a supporter of marine energy. At least Peter Lilley was not appointed, as was first touted: he has interests in Tethys Petroleum oil exploration company.

Nor was Lilley appointed to be chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee following Yeo's resignation: it is Sir Robert Smith, who, (where Yeo had investments in green energy) has investments in Shell, the oil company with the worst environmental record, and Rio Tinto Zinc.

With the latest news on climate change being utterly depressing, all the stops need to come out to decarbonise our energy supply.

Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Italy, Spain and all these other European countries show that it is possible to do so. They are all out-classing Britain.

A bright future, full of jobs and export potential, with far less global upheaval caused by climate chaos awaits us, if only the political will was there.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Exposed: Fossil fuel connections of ministers who voted against the decarbonisation target

38 of the ministers who voted against the amendment to set a decarbonisation target for 2030 last week in the House of Commons have received support from, or are in some way connected to, the fossil fuel industry.

Together with other accusations of influence by lobbyists on MPs, and the alleged giving by Tim Yeo of advice to a rail freight company seeking to influence Parliament, the revelations give fresh impetus to calls for MPs and ministers not to get involved in decision-making on matters in which they have an interest.

The list, together with their connections, is published at the bottom of this article. It is noteworthy that none of the ministers with connections to the fossil fuel industry voted for the decarbonisation target.

The list comes from cross-checking the list of those who voted against the amendment with the list of ministers with such connections published in March by the World Development Movement, which itself had collated it from numerous publicly available sources.

The WDM's exercise found that one third of all 125 government ministers have such connections.

This does not account for any connections held by backbench MPs, such as Peter Lilley, who voted against the amendment. He, for example, is a non-executive director of Tethys Petroleum Ltd, as well as having been paid £22,462 in July 2011 for giving advice to Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited on the management and flotation of a power generating subsidiary.

Top ministers with fossil fuel connections include William Hague, Vince Cable, George Osborne, Michael Fallon and Greg Barker. They all have links with big finance, oil and coal companies that are driving climate change.

Foreign secretary William Hague, who used to work for Shell, helped Tullow Oil escape paying a £175m tax bill in Uganda, one of the world’s poorest countries. Mr Hague made a personal phone call to the Ugandan president on Tullow Oil’s behalf.

Vince Cable, secretary of state for business and skills, in charge of regulating companies, worked for Shell and was referred to as "contact minister for Shell" by a top Shell executive in 2012.

His business and now also energy minister, Michael Fallon, was an independent non-executive director responsible for inter-dealer broking (until 2012) of Tullett Prebon plc, specialising in Energy & Commodities.

Chancellor George Osborne accepted donations worth £38,000 from the head of CQS, a hedge fund that channels millions of pounds into climate-warming energy. Also, his father-in-law, Lord Howell, is president of the Shell and BP-funded British Institute for Energy Economics. Lord Howell was a Foreign Office minister until 2012.

Energy minister Gregory Barker, who shamefully voted against the amendment, has been the head of international investor relations for Anglo Siberian Oil and Sibneft, a Shareholder in New Star European Growth Fund plc and Henderson High Income Trust plc and corporate finance director of the Australian-owned International Pacific Securities.

The vote on the amendment would have been different if just 12 MPs had voted differently.

It would be in the interests of democracy, let alone the planet in this case, that MPs should be barred from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest.

By the way, mandatory carbon reporting introduced by the government will force fossil fuel companies to disclose their carbon footprints, but banks and other institutional investors will not have to declare the emissions arising from their loans and investments.

Yet without them, big oil, gas and coal companies like Shell, BP and Rio Tinto would not be able to raise billions from pension funds, banks and other financial investors based in the City of London and beyond.

By including these ‘financed emissions’ in mandatory carbon reporting regulations, Vince Cable could force financial institutions to disclose their full carbon impact and fully expose the degree of exposure that these institutions have to the carbon bubble.

The 'carbon bubble' is the name given to the assets held by these institutions which may become worthless if they are not allowed to be exploited by national or global level agreements to curb global warming.

It is therefore in the interests of these companies themselves to account for the impact of such investments.

The lists:

Here is the list of ministers who voted against the amendment, together with their connections to the fossil fuel industry:

Gregory Barker Anglo Siberian Oil (1998–2000) Head of International Investor Relations for Sibneft (1998) 50 Shareholder in New Star European Growth Fund PLC and Henderson High Income Trust PLC.51 Corporate Finance Director of the Australian owned International Pacific Securities
Vincent Cable Chief economist and other positions at Shell International (the world’s most carbon intensive oil company: A leaked memo addressed to Cable from Shell’s chief executive referred to him as “contact minister for Shell”) (1990-1997).
David Cameron Accepted £10,000 from Jonathan Green of hedge fund GLG Partners. GLG is a frequent investor in fossil fuels. Accepted £10,000 from Mark Foster Brown of hedge fund Altima Partners (2005), which deals in fossil fuel shares, including Cadogan Petroleum and Lonrho plc,29 which is a multi-sector company involved in building port terminals in Africa “to support the oil and gas industry"
Kenneth Clarke Director of Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust plc (until 2007)
Nick Clegg Accepted £9,000 from Neil Sherlock, head of public affairs at auditors KPMG (2006-2008)
Michael Fallon Director of Tullett Prebon Plc (independent non-executive); inter-dealer broking (until 2012)
Robert Goodwill  Shareholding in Barclays, Gazprom and Lukoil. Accepted £11,000 donation from Mountboon Investments Ltd financiers (2010)
Dominic Grieve Total shareholdings of more than £240,000 in Anglo American, Standard Chartered, Rio Tinto and Shell
Michael Gove Accepted £10,000 donation from Aidan Heavey, founder and chief executive of global gas and oil company Tullow Oil(2010)
William Hague Worked for Shell UK (1982-83). Accepted over £25,000 in non-cash donations from CQS
Stephen Hammond Director Commerzbank Securities (2000–Present) Has shareholdings in Peal Gas Ltd
Greg Hands Worked or three different firms in an eight year banking career. (1990-97)
Matthew Hancock Payment of £3,000 from UBS AG for speech (2011)74
Mark Hoban Payment of £1,300 from JP Morgan Chase for speech (2010)76
Nick Hurd Represented a British bank in Brazil (1995-1999).
Sajid Javid Directorships and other senior positions at Deutsche Bank AG, (2000-2009), JP Morgan Partners LLC (1997-2009) and Chase Manhattan Bank (1991-1994)
Jo Johnson Investment banker at Deutsche Bank (until 1997)
David Lidington Worked for BP (1983-86) and Rio Tinto (1986-87)
Mark Lancaster Management consultant at Palmer Capital a privately owned venture capital and fund management business. (resigned 2012)
David Laws Vice President JP Morgan’s Treasury Division (1987-1992) Managing Director Barclays De Zoete Wedd (1992-1994)
Maria Miller Marketing manager Texaco (1990-1994)
Francis Maude Member of Barclays’ Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee. (2005-2009). The Conservative Party’s Implementation Team which reported to Maude also received significant donations in kind from accountancy firms KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young and Deloitte.
Theresa May Shareholdings held by self and spouse in Prudential Corporation plc. Accepted donation in kind from Michael Hintze who runs the hedge fund management firm CQS Asset Management. (2009)
David Mundell Accepted £5,000 from Caledonia Investments PLC investment trust. (2010)
George Osborne Accepted donations and donations in kind from Michael Hintze of CQS hedge fund worth £38,700. Leading beneficiary of donations in kind to the then shadow cabinet from audit firms KPMG (£62,500) and Deloitte (£60,000) both of which have specialist oil and gas departments. (2009) Also, his father-in-law, Lord Howell, is president of the Shell and BP-funded British Institute for Energy Economics. Lord Howell was a Foreign Office minister until 2012
Andrew Robathan Worked for BP (1991-92)
Desmond Swayne Manager of Risk Management Systems at the Royal Bank of Scotland and other senior positions (1989-1997)
Elizabeth Truss Commercial manager at Shell (1996-end date unclear)
David Willets Senior advisor to Punter Southall a leading actuaries and actuarial consultants.

This is a list of other ministers who were absent for the vote, but who also have such connections:

Alan Duncan
Oil trader and other positions at Shell (1979-1992) Consultant for Vitol.
Philip Dunne SG Warburg (1981-88) Former Managing Director of Lufkin & Jenrette a US investment bank.
Philip Hammond Director of Consort Resources Ltd later purchased by Caledonia Oil and Gas (1999-2003)
Oliver Letwin Directorships and other senior positions at Investment bank NM Rothschild (1986-2009)
John Nash Assistant Director Lazard Brothers and Co Ltd (1988-1989)
Hugh Robertson Assistant Director and management head Schroder Investment Management (1995-2001)

Finally, here is a list of ministers in the House of Lords with such connections: Lets see how they vote when the Energy Bill comes before them:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Senior positions at NatWest, Alliance Bernstein, and Sucden Financia (1991-present)
Lord Deighton Chief Operating Officer for Europe and other positions at Goldman Sachs. (1983-2005)
Lord Freud Vice-chairman and other senior positions at S G Warburg (later known as UBS Investment Bank) (1984-2003)
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint Chairman and other senior positions HSBC (1992-2010)
Earl Howe London director of Adam & Co. plc (1987-1990)