I recently interviewed Brian Habacivich who discussed the global energy markets and energy procurement. Brian is Senior Vice President of Fellon McCord & Associates in Louisville Kentucky. Fellon McCord is an energy management consulting practice. They manage energy for large industrial consumers globally, managing natural gas, power procurement and spent, sustainability programs and carbon foot printing, and they are in the business of reducing costs and risks for large industrial consumers of energy. These consumers can be in the space of building materials, aerospace, First and second tier automotive, primary metals, steel and aluminum, processed foods, institutional end users such as large colleges and universities, and municipal generators of electric power.

Natural gas markets are generally understood as open and de-regulated in the United States. What is the structure in Europe?

Europe has a very different structure. Starting from the UK moving eastward we see that the UK has a very open market. In fact, the UK is more open than the US market in that if you are a residential consumer of natural gas you have the choice to purchase gas from a whole host of suppliers whereas in the US the market is open to the industrial and commercial end user in terms of being able to select your price and supplier and how much and when you buy. But in terms of the retail market in the US it isn’t that open. The UK is a wide open market, very deregulated with a lot of price discovery and suppliers, liquidity and choices. As you move into the continent you find that in France and Germany there is considerable choice for industrial users of natural gas.

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