Discussion forum for energy matters The VDI – Vereich Deutscher Ingenieure – has set up at its website www.vdi.de/diskussionsforum-energy, an internet based platform for the discussion of all issues related to the ecological and economical use of energy . “At the forum, experts from all fields of expertise can compare and improve their ideas in a global online dialogue” say VDI. The idea is that new and original ideas can be examined and checked in real time and further developed. The forum also gives newcomers “a chance to introduce themselves to the world of energy and to brainstorm onlone with renowned experts from all over the globe”. And perhaps one day all this may be true. At present however it is only true for German speakers. Finding the right page is easy enough, and the VDI background information is available in English, but thereafter all site instructions including the map are in German only, and any attempt to press the ‘English’ button merely sends you back to the English version of the home page. When you do stumble on the forum zone the global opinions being expressed are all being expressed in German on short post-it style windows. Presumably they are published in whatever language they are mailed in, and so far, they have been mailed in the language of the site.

Purchasing platform

An upcoming site that ought to be worth keeping in mind is that to be published by Electricité de France and ten other European electrical utilities (including Scottish Power and RWE) who have created a company to launch a power equipment purchasing platform on the internet. The company is called Eutilia, and it is to be based in the Netherlands. Its activities will be focused on purchases related to the specific activities of electricity companies – cables, lines, insulators, transformers, meters etc, and its purchasing platform will be open to all sellers and buyers alike whether or not they are Eutilia shareholders.