Once more nice to see the government subsidising big business. Thats a lot of cash to give to essentially, foreign businesses.
Actually, over the medium term the only people making money in the energy markets have been people operating regulated assets (distribution networks) or following the money trail on subsidised renewable toys. Wholesale generation and supply businesses have been net losers.
If I was state owned (oops, I sound like a right leftie there!) I'd accept it, but it isn't.
No, but it is fully state controlled. The whole system is a series of jerry rigged markets created by the state, just using private capital. The whole networks operation is state directed and the spend and return dictated by the state. The state dictate what volume of renewables suppliers have to buy in the wholesale market. The state dictates the content and format of bills. The state approves the network codes that all participants have to abide by. The state says who has a licence to participate. The state sets the terms and effectively the cost of power by picking winners like wind turbines, solar PV, and nuclear. The state says when it wants to force existing fully functional coal plants out of the system. The state decides on daft rules like stopping offshore windfarms building their own connection to shore (adding vast costs to offshore wind's already high price). The state dictates that suppliers have to install millions of low-functionality smart meters. The state dictates what suppliers have to do to address fuel poverty (because heaven knows, high energy costs are all the fault of suppliers and not anything to do with this full state controlled system.
Now, in all of that, do you see the hand of private enterprise or competition? Or any customer-centric innovation? I'm as right wing as sane people come, but markets don't work in utility energy markets. Sadly, governments don't understand and it looks like the water market is going the same way. Before you castigate the current shower of piss over that, note that this has its roots in a process kicked off by the government in the Blair years.