European energy firms optimistic for 2011

Energy and utilities firms are upbeat about the growth prospects for Europe’s electricity market this year. A poll of 60 power equipment and service providers and their customers found that […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Energy and utilities firms are upbeat about the growth prospects for Europe’s electricity market this year.

A poll of 60 power equipment and service providers and their customers found that 75% of respondents see a strengthening in market demand this year. Only 1.5% thought the market would weaken, although many firms have yet to be convinced that the EC’s drive towards a single electricity market will be beneficial to their business.

The survey, commissioned by power industry event Power-Gen Europe, found that EU targets to reduce carbon emissions and increase power efficiency, each by 20% by 2020, are expected to drive the market.

However, opinion remains divided regarding the impact of climate change regulation, and that of the EC’s aim to create a common European electricity market.

A third of respondents said that the uncertainty surrounding international climate change regulation was having a negative impact on the European power industry, whilst just under a third believed that a common European electricity market would benefit their business.

“Our survey shows that there is a lot of optimism about how Europe’s energy sector will develop this year, tempered by a fair amount of uncertainty,” said Nigel Blackaby, conference director at Power-Gen Europe 2011.

“Despite the negative impact of the economic downturn, the existing power infrastructure has need for significant new investment.”

Power-Gen Europe is being held this year in Milan in June.