Energy chief: Power companies must go green or go bust

Power companies that ignore the growing business and consumer demand for green energy are in danger of putting themselves out of business, a high-ranking energy executive has warned.

Guy Madgwick, managing director of Eneco UK, says the proliferation of companies selling energy has prompted a shift of power toward consumers – who have shown clear support for greener energy.

“Customers will control what we supply,” Madgwick said at the Business for Environment (B4E) Global Summit in London earlier today (9 September). “Companies that don’t react to what customers want won’t be here in 10 years.”

The Government’s own public opinion survey recently found that 75% of the public support renewables, while just 4% oppose it.

Madgwick added: “This isn’t a revolution that’s going to happen overnight, but in the next five to 10 years. It’s a transition our company has already made.”

Dutch power firm Eneco first opened a UK office in 2008, in order to “grow a portfolio of renewable energy projects in the UK”. The company operates a solar farm and several wind projects in the UK, and also owns a 50:50 stake in the Navitus Bay offshore wind project which could have an installed capacity of up to 970MW.

Madgwick also offered up several criticisms of recent Government policy, saying that the focus on consumer bills left too little money for “vital” green investment, while the previous Government’s energy efficiency programme was a “spectacular failure”, exemplified by the failing Green Deal

Since taking office in May, the Conservative Government has abolished the Green Deal, slashed subsidies for onshore wind and announced plans to do the same for small-scale renewables. Earlier this week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change turned down four onshore wind projects in Wales because of concerns over impacts on tourism on local wildlife, despite widespread public support for the technology.

Brad Allen

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