“Markets don’t pick winners and their neutrality will be invaluable in uncovering the best path to the European Energy Transition.”

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“Markets don’t pick winners and their neutrality will be invaluable in uncovering the best path to the European Energy Transition.”

Exclusive interview with Paul Dawson, RWE Supply & Trading, UK / Germany and the new chairman of EFET.

1.   As the new Chairman of EFET, could you give your vision on the European Energy Transition, the central theme of EMART Energy 2012? What development do you expect to have the largest impact?

We need to transform today’s energy infrastructure into tomorrow’s low carbon future to meet our objectives to reduce carbon emissions and to tackle climate change. We need to do this in a way that makes the best of what we have today and accommodates the growth of renewables and other low carbon technologies while retaining the benefit of efficient, liquid energy markets.

The full integration of renewable generation into competitive wholesale markets presents the largest challenge and the key will be to ensure that we retain the benefits of efficient energy and carbon markets while delivering the required investments to ensure that we cut emissions in the most efficient and affordable way.

2.   What future do you see for the traded markets? What will be the main challenges?
Traded wholesale energy markets ensure that energy is delivered to the right places at the right times at the lowest cost to society and are therefore essential to affordable, sustainable and secure energy supplies.  Markets don’t pick winners and their neutrality will be invaluable in uncovering the best path to the European Energy Transition.  We also need to restore faith in markets in the wake of the financial crisis and this will require exemplary standards of market conduct and transparency to rediscover and reinforce the market’s unique ability to uncover the lowest cost way to deliver our future energy supply.     

3.   What excites you today about energy trading?
I think we’re seeing all of the essential building blocks of a single European energy market vision falling into place.  It’s been a long road to travel but the Single Energy Market vision is increasingly a reality.  The concern is that non-market interventions undermine and restrict that achievement.  The challenge now is to take the best of the markets that have developed and broaden these into other countries and jurisdictions and address the challenge of the low carbon transition without throwing out the benefits of the market.  None of this is easy, but it is never dull.

4.   What role do you see for EFET in the coming years?
EFET remains as focused today on the delivery of liquid, transparent and efficient energy markets as it was when it was founded 14 years ago.  The world today is very different and we’re facing a trend towards re-regulation of markets rather than a push to liberalize.  But the essential message is the same.  Markets work, they’re efficient and they are transparent.  And EFET will continue its drive to achieve and maintain efficient markets.

5.   What goal have you set yourself as the new EFET chair?
I want to help lead EFET through the energy transition and I am privileged to be able to draw on the incredibly dynamic and capable staff and membership resources of the organization. EFET is a very special association and I want to help apply those very special and effective resources to today’s challenges.   

6.   In your view, what is the importance of the EMART Energy conference?
Throughout the life of EFET, EMART has been the flagship event for policy makers, regulators and industry to meet and discuss energy sector challenges.  While those challenges have evolved, the vibrancy of the EMART debates continues to shine through.

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