Two of the Big 6 on the EMR

EDF’s boss has given the thumbs up to the Electricity Market Reform announced today, while RWE npower’s chief expressed concern that “Government is trying to pull too many legislative levers […]

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By Vicky Ellis

EDF’s boss has given the thumbs up to the Electricity Market Reform announced today, while RWE npower’s chief expressed concern that “Government is trying to pull too many legislative levers at once.”

The difference in opinion between the two Big Six energy firms flags up just how crucial the EMR’s success is viewed by the industry.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF, which plans to build four new nuclear plants in the UK, said: “Today’s announcement puts customers’ needs at the heart of the market. It encourages investment in generation which is both low carbon and not dependent on fossil fuel prices. This is good news for customers, policy makers and investors.”

In marked contrast, Volker Beckers, CEO at npower suggested that the EMR needed more clarity.

Mr Beckers said: “There is no plan B: the EMR can and must be made to work. Failure will be bad news for the environment, for industry, and, most notably, for customers.

“I am still concerned that Government is trying to pull too many legislative levers at once and, in doing so, is running the risk of losing focus on what matters for UK energy now. We must maintain a diverse range of technologies and a level playing field where they can compete. Further clarity on the details of the key proposal, the CfD mechanism, is vital to avoid losing momentum.”

Their comments come after Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that the EMR was going to be “the biggest change in the electricity market since privatisation.”