I've spent the last month, along with the other judges of Energy Risk's 2006 awards, poring over the hundreds of nominations we received. I don't expect you to feel sorry for me, but it's been a really tough job!
Although it may sound contrite, (but I'm going to say it anyway) the experience reinforced how proud Energy Risk is to be providing a service to such an exciting, fast-moving and innovative industry. The volume and calibre of the entries ensured that chosing the winners was a very time-consuming and, in most cases, extremely difficult decision. The wealth and breadth of talent and brains in all areas of energy risk management is something to be celebrated. I'll drop the topic now lest I say something unforgiveable like "You're all winners really"! Full details of all winners will be published in the next issue.
But back to this issue, and this month our special report focuses on Germany where progress towards the EC dream of a competitive wholesale energy market does show signs that it is happening, albeit agonisingly slowly. Oliver Holtaway's story on p11 looks at the German Federal Network Agency plans to secure non-discriminatory third-party access to the country's gas grid and asks whether things will really change.
Although no-one is suggesting the German wholesale power markets are perfectly functioning competitive markets, it does seem that nowadays, if a company is willing to be inventive and adaptive, there are ways in. Oliver's story on p.4 looks at one such company, Deutsche Essent, who planned a careful approach into Germany.- Stella Farrington, [email protected], +44 20 7968 4610.