On market conditions:
The ‘business continuity’ sector within AMPS is experiencing a slowdown at present. Although the IT sector is reasonably buoyant due to demand for critical power back-up for data centres, there has been a definite drop in sales of late.
On the other hand, some months are better than others. Companies I speak to tell me they have a very good month and then see a drop off the next month. The rental market is also slow with the European construction industry in the doldrums.
In Europe, the effective translocation of FG Wilson to China is causing jitters. Europe has been focusing on ‘resilience’. We at AMPS think resilience is the key issue at the moment more than anything else.
Resilience means having machines that keep going and don't break down, that the components are sufficiently good. It's the same as running a car, you need resilience in the components for reliability.
On emissions regulations:
I attend many meetings in Brussels and I get a good feel for the trends for the industry. Brussels is embedded in a variety of regulation, there is a slew of directives in the pipeline, but nothing has yet been resolved.
We know the EcoDesign Directive will begin to bite. Ecodesign hasn't attacked this area yet but it's coming down the line and that is something we can't ignore.
Equally, whatever we at the Association of Manufacturers of Power Generating Systems think of it, the strengthening of emissions standards is going to continue. We shall move from Stage IV to Stage V without a doubt. Whether they run it in a tractor or standby generator, this may pose problems for whoever runs a diesel engine.
On grid codes:
Europe is obsessed with grid codes at the moment because Germany is driving this issue forward. The problem with Germany is a) they've decided to walk away from nuclear and b) they're doing everything regionally, so you've got lots of little regional grids and they have to make sure they all talk to each other.
Unfortunately they can't get it right at the moment and it's upsetting them.