Anglesey Aluminium have started a 90 day consultation process with their workforce. This is in part a result of the likely increase in the cost of the electricity they use in the production processes. Apparently their electricity usages equates to 12% of the Welsh market.
Politicians have said they “will do all they can to save the jobs” under threat.
I wonder if that includes creating an electricity company. As I understand it, and remember I live in a pretty simple world, the electricity industry is now fragmented. Generating companies sell electricity to anyone who wants to buy it in order to resell it, usually but not exclusively regional electricity companies. But there is nothing that I can see stopping the creation of a new electricity company to sell electricity generated by others.
It would work like this: instead of pumping public money effectively into paying an electricity bill, in order to save the jobs under threat, the government could pump a smaller sum of money into the creation of a management team to run a new electricity company.
That company would already have a pretty good customer in Anglesey Aluminium. There’ll be no need for the new company to make a profit, so it’s pricing can be sharp. Jobs will be saved, arguments about allowances could be done away with, the power generators can continue to generate: what is there to lose?
But it could also then sell to the needy in the domestic market. This would include pensioners and those in need of cold weather allowances and could move us from a subsidised economy to one that is better organised to meet its needs commercially.