A state-owned Swedish company has become the latest European firm to enter the UK’s lucrative energy market, as Britain’s appeal to continental power suppliers shows no sign of abating after the Brexit vote. Vattenfall, which is 100% controlled by the Swedish government, is launching its first foray into UK energy supply as it joins a competitive field of European players including France’s EDF, German-owned E.ON and Npower, and Spanish-backed Scottish Power. Vattenfall has already made inroads in the UK by building several windfarms, including a North Sea project near Aberdeen and Wales’ largest offshore windfarm which is due to complete next year. Now, in what Vattenfall has described as a vote of confidence in post-referendum Britain, the firm will sell its renewable power from the windfarms direct to big business customers. “Long term we don’t see that this [Brexit] as changing the basic prerequisite for doing business together. We find the UK to be an attractive market for us now and going forward, and we will continue to invest in the market,” said Vattenfall executive Anna Borg. Vattenfall follows established European players such as EDF and E.ON but also Danish state-owned Dong Energy, which sells its wind power to corporate clients, and Dutch firm Eneco, which supplies business customers such as Heineken and Unilever. France’s Engie is also attempting to muscle in on the consumer market and trying to woo households with a tariff that tracks wholesale power prices. Borg said European power companies are attracted to the UK market because of two fundamentals: tight margins between energy supply and demand which means a constant appetite for n ew entrants; and the UK’s legally enshrined climate targets, which will remain when the UK leaves the EU and ensure demand for energy generated by renewables or nuclear.
Guardian 1st May 2017 read more »