THE UK’s biggest energy consultancy, McKinnon and Clarke, has reacted angrily to the call by one of British Energy’s major City investors, Invesco, for the nuclear-power generator to merge with British/Scottish Gas owner Centrica.
The consultancy, one of the UK’s largest purchasers of energy, said that to do so would further reduce much-needed competition in the energy market.
The firm’s energy analyst, David Hunter, said: “The UK energy market has consolidated from around 20 suppliers 10 years ago to currently only a handful.
“A takeover of British Energy by any of the big six suppliers would further damage price competition, not only at the customer level, but also upstream in power-station ownership.
“This would spell disaster for competition and customer choice.
“A takeover of British Energy, which is 35%-owned by the (UK) Government, may inject some necessary financial resource, but we would dispute that this is best way to secure supplies of energy at a cost which UK homes and businesses can afford.
“Supporting the takeover of British Energy may tackle the nuclear plants funding issue, but at what price?
“Power stations have seldom been more profitable; can there really be a lack of partners to take this next generation forward?
“The government should look at alternative purchasers outwith the big six operators to protect competition.
“This must be part of the government’s decision-making process if the UK is to remain price competitive in energy.”