Until now, Engie (which owns 40% of a joint venture with struggling Toshiba-Westinghouse to build 3 reactors at Moorside – Ed) and EDF have barely competed directly in Britain. That could be about to change because Mr Petrie, who joined Engie in 1999 and has worked in a string of roles in Europe and North America, is preparing to launch a range of new energy services aimed at commercial and retail customers. This will not involve necessarily building big pieces of new kit. “It’s very difficult today to build a new power plant [in the UK] with current market conditions,” he says. Instead, Mr Petrie wants Engie to offer localised services that could include installing insulation, district heating and solar panels on existing buildings as well as supplying gas and electricity. “We see the emergence of a new type of organisation within cities,” he says. Engie, he believes, can build on its relationships with councils and other commercial customers to expand its British business by developing local, decentralised energy in urban areas, where demand is high. “We don’t want to sell a huge amount of energy. Our big focus is on the demand side. The future is going to be much more about decentralized energy,” he says.
Times 2nd Jan 2016 read more »