Europe will require significant investment in conventional power plant capacity to complement and backup the increasing deployment of intermittent generation, according to the boss of one of Europe’s biggest energy companies.  

Speaking to delegates at a Eurelectric conference in Brussels yesterday, Peter Terium, CEO of RWE said that, while there was no immediate crisis due to depressed economic activity, the industry would need to replace many aging power plants in 2014-15.

Terium shared the concerns expressed in the Eurelectric report on the challenging investment climate for Europe’s power sector, which was published to coincide with the conference.

“The world for power producers in Europe has completely changed but the new rules of the game have not been completely established,” said Terium.

He referred to an increase in the regulated sector and a retreat in the liberalised market as an example of the new order.

Terium called for more Europe, more markets and more coherence as the way forward for the industry.

“The Energiewende in Germany has an influence across wider Europe, argued Terium. “The principles of the competitive market have been destroyed by subsidies for renewables energy”.

Terium said that the sector had to get used to a faster changing environment but that this was the same experience as many other industries.

“The excitement is being in the vanguard of designing this change,” he added.

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