SMART grids, clean power and efficient metering are among the topics to be discussed at the African Utility Week conference to be held in Cape Town from Tuesday, so it is clear that green issues are now very much part of the mainstream. But can doing business in a way that does no harm to the environment also be good for companies in the utility sector? And can jobs be created?We can learn a lot from Denmark. As I discovered on a recent visit, the Danes have made extraordinary progress in reducing their energy usage and switching to renewable energy, primarily wind power. And the powerful Danish economy has continued to grow.By 2020, Denmark intends to draw 35% of its energy mix from renewable sources. It wants the energy and transport sectors to be fully transformed by 2050.It was a government led by Social Democrats that shook up the state power utility in Denmark in 1999. The Danish equivalent of Eskom was replaced by separate production and distribution companies. A bill to achi...

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