EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - (Page 40)

40 ThE LaST wOrd Dec 2010 / Jan 2011 www.esb.ie/em CHANGING TIMES 8 EM SPEAKS TO ESB ExECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GROUP FINANCE & COMMERCIAL, DONAL FLyNN, TO ExPLORE Why ThE IRISh AND UK MARKETS ARE BECOMING MORE INTEGRATED E SB’s new Executive Director, Group Finance & Commercial, Donal Flynn, is every bit as much an energy professional as he is a finance expert having spent the majority of his career in the sector. He qualified with a bachelor of commerce degree from NUIG in 1994 before joining Arthur Andersen and taking a masters degree in accountancy at UCD in 1995. He spent three years with Andersen before beginning his career with General Electric in 1998. “Arthur Andersen gave me great training and I qualified as a chartered accountant while working in the Dublin and London practices of the firm”, recalls Donal. “After that I spent five years with General Electric in various finance roles around Europe including internal audit.” After that he moved into the energy sector proper when he joined Airtricity in 2003. He remained with the company after its takeover by SSE and stayed as chief finan- cial officer of SSE Renewables until he joined ESB on August 16 last. His reasons for the move to ESB are simple and straightforward. “I do like the energy sector. It is increasingly important to society and is going to undergo a lot of change in the next ten years. I was keen to stay in the industry and ESB is Ireland’s energy champion and it will be at the heart of all of those changes in the coming years and I want to be part of that.” Donal sees his role, which encompasses all of ESB’s various divisions, as being to protect its financial strength into the future. “ESB is 83 years old and has been self-financing throughout its entire history”, he points out. “There are not many companies that can say that. We have a very strong balance sheet and a key part of my job is to protect that.” He sees changes in the market as the biggest challenge to be faced in the coming years. “The Irish and UK markets are becoming more and more integrated,” he explains. “We already have the Moyle interconnector; EirGrid is building another at the moment and there will probably be a third in the future. That will bring us to about 1,500 megawatts in interconnector capacity and make the Irish and UK markets start behaving as one. This will mean significant changes and challenges for ESB. We will change from being the dominant player in one market to one of many players in a much larger market. We will be competing with much larger energy supply companies and our generating plant will be competing with much larger operators in the UK. As part of the ESB leadership team I will have to play my part in managing that change and help meet those challenges.” Donal is confident in ESB’s ability to meet these challenges. “If you look at the history of ESB one thing that stands out is its ability to change and adapt to changing circumstances”, he says. “Going back to the very beginning, the Shannon scheme was revolutionary. It changed the whole country. ESB was made up of a group of very bright and very ambitious people who drove that project to completion. They were ambitious for the organisation and the future of the country, they wanted to see progress and they achieved it. That same ethos and culture has remained with ESB to this day. Years later ESB developed one of the world’s first combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) generating stations – it was also one of General Electric’s first. We used this experience to become world leaders in the area and this was what partly created ESB International.” And this readiness to change remains part of the culture. “We are good at change. Look at our 2020 Vision strategy, look at the huge changes in the organisation over the past 20 years or so. Back in the 1980s we had about 13,500 people working in ESB, we now have around half that number and we are still delivering an excellent service to the public. One thing that really impressed me when I came here was the enormous depth of talent in the organisation. The experience and professionalism of the people in ESB is invaluable. There is also a genuine commitment to public service. That’s what makes us so good at change.” The other driver of change is of course the 40% renewables target which the Government has set to be achieved by 2020. “We are already well on the way to this”, he points out. “Between hydro and wind we have about 600 megawatts of capacity and we are adding more all the time. ESB was founded partly with the aim of achieving energy self-sufficiency through hydro and the peat stations. We’ve been in the renewables area since the very beginning and what was called self sufficiency in the 1920s and 1930s is now called security of supply. We’re very experienced in this area and it’s a challenge we are very comfortable with.” ESB itself is one of Ireland’s most financially sound companies and has recently negotiated some €2.5 billion in funding from a consortium of 15 banks on terms which are comparable to other European utilities. This strength does not, however, mean that the organisation is not sympathetic to those customers affected by the recession. “The extreme difficulties in the economy have very real consequences for real people and we are aware of that”, says Donal Flynn. “One of the advantages ESB has is that many of the people here who deal with our customers were here in the 1980s as well. They remember the last recession and they know what can happen. They work very hard with customers to avoid disconnections. We also try to make sure that when this does happen that the customers are reconnected as quickly as possible. The ultimate answer to this will be smart metering and we are working with the Regulator on that.” Looking beyond the recession Donal believes ESB has an exciting future in prospect. “Change is in our nature, the future will be challenging but exciting and I’m looking forward to being part of it.” n http://www.esb.ie/em

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EM - December 2010 / January 2011

EM - December 2010 / January 2011
In This Issue
News
Energy Solutions
ESB Networks Ltd
ESB Energy International
Health & Habitat
Life

EM - December 2010 / January 2011

EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - In This Issue (Page 1)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 2)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 3)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 4)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 5)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 6)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 7)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 8)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 9)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 10)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - News (Page 11)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Energy Solutions (Page 12)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Energy Solutions (Page 13)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Energy Solutions (Page 14)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Energy Solutions (Page 15)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Networks Ltd (Page 16)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Networks Ltd (Page 17)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Networks Ltd (Page 18)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 19)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 20)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 21)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 22)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 23)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 24)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 25)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 26)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 27)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - ESB Energy International (Page 28)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 29)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 30)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 31)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 32)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 33)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Health & Habitat (Page 34)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 35)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 36)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 37)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 38)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 39)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 40)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 41)
EM - December 2010 / January 2011 - Life (Page 42)
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