The boss of RWE nPower Volker Beckers has said his native Germany has “a romantic view of energy policy” that is misplaced and damaging.
He was alluding to the country’s withdrawal from nuclear power but also singled out its stance on solar, which has seen huge sums of money invested in photovoltaic projects with, he said, very little return in the way of power.
Speaking at an energy debate at the Royal Society in London, he also offered a fresh take on the much-talked about ‘energy gap’. “There is an energy gap… but we will never experience it. It is always shifting, so an energy gap effectively looms on our horizon forever.”
But he said this ‘shifting’ energy gap “was not a bad thing. It creates investment stimulus and creates jobs.”
He said the UK government’s Electricity Market Reform, a White Paper which this year introduced a carbon price floor, feed-in-tariffs, and an emissions performance standard, “looks overly complex” and added that this would only “muddy the waters with investors”.
Beckers was speaking the day after he and the bosses of the other so-called ‘Big Six’ utility companies in the UK were summoned to Whitehall for a summit with prime minister David Cameron and energy secretary Chris Huhne.
The six companies have been under fire for some time over price rises and alleged over-complex tariffs and today Beckers hit back in defence of his staff: “My people do not come to work every day to mislead people or to be painted as the bad guys.”
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