Friday, May 12, 2006

Heat and Light

Heat and Light - UK Energy Policy in Context is available with the 15 May edition of New Statesman from all good UK newsagents and bookshops. Buy your copy with full colour pictures and graphs now! The plain texts are also available in the online edition, which includes articles by Roger Harrabin and Angela Saini that do not appear in the print edition.

As you can read in the introductory editorial, one of the things I wanted to highlight in this supplement was the central importance of efficiency and demand management. The case is made in articles by Roger Levett (here and here) and Clive Bates (here - and further to his question "what if the energy supply market changed to making money from saving energy", see this).

The supplement was sponsored by Eon, Germany's largest gas and electric company (which also operates nuclear power plants in Germany). Eon owns Powergen in the UK and is battling to take control of Endesa, Spain's largest power company.

Eon owns 6.4% of Gazprom and has contracts with Russia until 2030.
Chief Executive Wulf Bernotat recently leapt to the defence of Gazprom, describing the debate about whether or not the Russian energy group would divert supplies away from Europe as "absolute nonsense"(FT, 2 May; see also Why Putin does not need to hire PR).

In its submission the Energy Review, Eon called on the British government to back a diverse mix of energy sources, including nuclear power. It also said the government should encourage new forms of power generation such as marine power and clean coal technology, as as well as giving tax breaks to energy efficiency households (FT, 4 April).

Eon's profits in its UK division were down 84% in the first quarter of this year, but the group said the unit would still earn more over the whole year than in 2005 (FT, 11 May).

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