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E.ON Eyes Future Green Markets Despite Political Issues

By David Holmes on April 13, 2010

The forthcoming UK General Election will almost certainly result in either a Conservative or Labour government or, as many experts are predicting, a hung parliament, which could give rise to a coalition power.

Whatever the outcome of this year’s election, the future government will need to take very seriously the issue of energy market reform. The provision of energy in Britain has changed substantially since National Power and Powergen were liberated from state ownership in early 1990; during the next 20 or 30 years, it is anticipated that the energy market will experience even greater changes; the big six energy companies of today, which include British Gas Energy, EDF and E.ON, must adapt to change if they are to survive the coming decades, which will be dominated by green energy initiatives.

E.ON’s SolarSaver product, which comprises rooftop solar panels that cost around £11,000 each but can generate profit for around 13 years (after 12 years to recover costs) in conjunction with the Government’s feed-in tariff, is one of the first low-carbon products to make use of existing green energy schemes in a market that is still heavily dominated by high-carbon production. Notwithstanding this, E.ON believes that low-carbon products will sooner or later take over the energy market and that early movers in the sector could enjoy considerable success in the future as energy needs move away from high-carbon products.

Chief Executive of E.ON UK, Dr Paul Golby, stressed that energy companies in the future will continue to be dominated by three issues that are key today: keeping Britain’s lights on, reducing carbon emissions in the process and lowering domestic energy bills; however, for this to be possible, low-carbon production would need to be made more affordable. In reference to products such as SolarSaver, Dr Golby commented: “I’m a firm believer in free markets. We’re not trying to build Soviet power stations. But we do need a new framework. I’ve spent billions on building big power stations. Why shouldn’t I spend money on little ones? There is a business model there. We’ve just got to work on it”.