buchanan.jpgAlistair Buchanan, head of the UK’s electricity and gas regulator was our Power Lunch guest this week.

Nice man, and he answered all our questions fully and frankly. But I still think he should pull his finger out. When electricity was privatized, it took a while to build up competition. Then for a while, competition was very active. But is it now? I don’t think so, and neither did some of our experts round the table.

Too many political issues I guess. Government’s desire to be seen to ‘do’ something – on insulating ourselves from Putin’s gas, carbon reduction, more cuddly windfarms, ‘sustainability’ – has given us an energy market driven by rules, not competition.

Meanwhile, if you really want to make money in this sector, don’t try to generate electricity cheaply. Build a wind farm and pocket the subsidies.