Bloomberg- Christian Kunze pays French farmers to install camouflaged, shoebox-sized “power stalkers” in fields near nuclear stations owned by Electricite de France SA, collecting data the world’s biggest utility says is a secret.
His company, Powermonitor, plans to sell information about reactor starts and stops in France less than three years after Kunze fended off spying charges from EDF’s German affiliate. Banks, hedge funds and traders will pay for such data to gain an edge in continental Europe’s $565 billion power market.
EDF is at the center of a battle over the disclosure of data Citigroup Inc. says may save European electricity users billions of euros a year. The state-owned utility refuses to release information on plant operations that its biggest competitors, E.ON AG and RWE AG, began reporting last year. Now the European Union may force the company to be more transparent.