A report by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, entitled “Supply Essentials: Utilities Global Survey 2004” indicates that security of supply has become the most important factor for utilities around the world. A year ago security of supply ranked fourth highest among the list of concerns, but the blackouts in the northwest US and Canada, in Europe and in China in the latter half of 2003 have obviously had a major impact. PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed 148 companies in 47 countries – their findings indicate that major investment in the energy sector will be required if blackouts are not to become a regular feature of the future.

Other concerns listed by the companies polled include the need for clarity on regulation; the need for a route to competitive differentiation; and the need for a well-developed climate change strategy.

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