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KYOTO — While differing in policy priorities, eight major electric utility firms from six nations acknowledged the need Wednesday to adjust to fast-changing market conditions.

The chairmen and presidents of the utilities companies gathered here for an annual meeting under the banner of “Earning Social Trust in the Electric Utility Industry.”

Specifically, they discussed market reorganization, deregulation and other issues that face the industry, according to Isamu Miyazaki, chairman of the meeting as well as of the board of directors at Kansai Electric Power Co.

The so-called E-7 group was formed in April 1992 by seven utilities firms with the aim of cooperating and playing an active role in protecting the global environment.

The initial members — Electricite de France, ENEL of Italy, Canada’s Hydro-Quebec and Ontario Power Generation, RWE AG of Germany, and Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. — have been joined by Edison International of the United States.

At a press conference held during a lunch break, executives from the French and Japanese firms argued that nuclear power generation should be promoted, despite its general fall from favor worldwide.

Miyazaki said that in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from energy generation, it is important to rely on nuclear power. Electricite de France head Francois Roussely said the nuclear power option should not be eliminated.

Chicco Testa from Italy, where a decision was made in 1986 to abandon nuclear power plants, said that a good mix of different energy sources is important.

Stephen Frank from the U.S. said that all utility companies face the same challenge of earning social trust by providing customers with reliable service, cost-effective services, safety and environmental-friendliness.

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