Dr Paul Golby was Chief Executive of E.ON UK from 2002 until December 2011, having joined the company in 1998. He is also a non executive director of AEA Technology (the commercial arm of the Atomic Energy Authority), and a member of the Energy Research Partnership and the Nuclear Development Forum making him a key nuclear energy lobbyist and beneficiary. The Times estimated his earnings to be around £1 million per year in 2008.
Golby was appointed a director of the National Grid from February 2012.
Lobbying for stiff sentences against Kingsnorth activists
In February 2013 documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to Greenpeace revealed that Golby had repeatedly lobbied the then energy secretary Ed Miliband and other ministers and officials 'over the sentencing of activists disrupting the company's power plants, warning that any failure to issue "dissuasive" sentences could "impact" upon investment decisions in the UK'. Examples of such lobbying, published in the Guardian newspaper, included:
- [A meeting] with Miliband in February 2010 to discuss concerns around lax sentencing of eco-activists, following, in particular, the release of six campaigners engaged in direct action at Kingsnorth, a coal-powered station owned by E.ON.
- A briefing document prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) permanent secretary in January 2011 by civil servants, ahead of a further meeting with Golby, cautioned that the issue of activists' sentences had been raised on several previous occasions. [...]Referring to a group of activists due to be sentenced for aggravated trespass at Ratcliffe, another power station owned by E.ON, on the same day as Golby's scheduled meeting, the memo cautioned: "Today [5th Jan] these 20 activists are due to be sentenced. EoN, and indeed other market participants in the generating sector, are hoping for a dissuasive sentencing to discourage similar such incidents in the future."
- E.ON further confirmed the company had written to formally raise concerns on the sentencing of activists in September 2008, to the business secretary, who was then responsible for energy policy, copying the letter to the home secretary and the justice secretary, and wrote a further letter to the energy secretary in December 2009.
- Golby is Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- According to his biography on E.ON's website in November 2009:
- He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Energy Institute Council and a member of the Energy Research Partnership.
- He was awarded an honorary degree by Aston University in 2007 and Cranfield University in 2008. On 1st January, 2009 he was appointed Pro Chancellor of Aston University and Chair of Council.'
- Peter Stiff, The Times, January 31, 2008. 'Business big shot: Paul Golby'
- James Ball, E.ON lobbied for stiff sentences against Kingsnorth activists, papers show, The Guardian, 19 February 2013 18.35 GMT, acc August 2013
- E.ON About Paul Golby, Accessed 28/11/09