In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Magued Eldaief, the head of GE’s UK energy business, answers your questions.
In the first of two posts, he discusses the future for nuclear power in northern Europe, wind power in the developing world and whether it is better to back small- or large-scale power generation projects.
In the second post, he discusses subsidies for carbon capture and storage, legislation to curb emissions and the future of smart metering.
Next in the hotseat is Iam Simm, chief executive of Impax Asset Management. He will be answering your questions next Friday, January 28th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 23rd to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to Magued:
Sara Vaughan, image by Eon
In the first of a new series of readers’ Q&A sessions, Sara Vaughan, Eon UK’s head of energy policy and regulation, tackles the burning questions you wanted answering. Eon is Germany’s biggest power company and is heavily involved in the UK market.
In the second part of the session, Sara discusses the obstacles to building new nuclear plants, how the UK measures up on low-carbon technology and the limitations of a carbon floor price.
Next in the hotseat is Ditlev Engel, chief executive of Vestas, the world’s biggest manufacturer of wind turbines. Send in your questions by the end of Friday, November 26th for consideration, to email@example.com.
But for now, over to Sara:
When Germany announced its plan to phase out nuclear power stations last month, shares in the big four German power companies rose. The agreement made with the German government would see Eon, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall pay a nuclear-fuel rods tax of €2.3bn until 2016 – but the market had been expecting worse.
But today Moody’s has warned that the impact of the tax might yet force a downgrade of the companies’ credit ratings.
Chris Huhne, the UK energy secretary, stands up to speak to the Liberal Democrat party conference this afternoon. But his audience stretches far beyond a convention centre in Liverpool. The energy industry will be watching, and here is what they want to hear:
Roger Salomone, energy adviser at EEF, the manufacturers association – Nuclear power
A strong reassurance that the coalition is going to push the role of nuclear power and build the right kind of business environment for that. If he demonstrated his commitment to nuclear in front of the Lib Dems, who are the most hostile, that would be a very strong signal.
NB – Salomone’s point about resistance from within the party is going to become clear today in a speech by Simon Hughes, the deputy leader, who will urge Huhne to oppose nuclear power, as my colleague Jim Pickard wites here.