Chris Huhne will work two days a week "growing" ZBE's business in Europe
Chris Huhne will work two days a week “growing” ZBE’s business in Europe

Chris Huhne

Chairman, Europe

The former Lib Dem  secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change,  Chris Huhne was  hired as European chairman of Zilkha Biomass Energy (ZBE) last month with the remit of growing the business in the European Union.

Chris  was responsible for the policy behind two key bills: the energy bill of 2011 setting up a new energy-saving framework for the UK, and the electricity market reform to spur low carbon investment replacing Britain’s ageing energy assets.

He led the UK delegation at both the Cancun and Durban climate change talks.

The appointment was approved by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), which advises David Cameron on jobs for former ministers. The eight-member body must be consulted if a minister or high-ranking civil servant wants to take up a new post within two years of leaving government. The committee aims to stop conflicts of interest and to “counter suspicion” that “an employer could make improper use of official information to which a former minister has had access”.


In Opposition before 2010, Chris was the shadow Environment secretary responsible for the first comprehensive plan for decarbonisation – Zero Carbon Britain.

He was one of the pioneers in calling for political action to deal with global warming, having argued the case in his book ‘Real World Economics’ in 1990. During his time as a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2005, he was the first legislator to introduce sunset clauses time-limiting European law. Prior to elected office, Chris was group managing director of Fitch, the ratings agency, and an award-winning journalist on The Economist, Guardian and Independent.

He has been on the board of the Consumers’ Association, the council of the Royal Economic Society, and a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. Chris graduated with a BA (First Class) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford University in 1975.

Zilkha Biomass is an american company developing black pellets – pellets of torrefied wood.

“We are dedicated to innovative sustainable energy solutions. Our prior company, Zilkha Renewable Energy, made it possible for more than 400,000 households to switch to green wind power by the time it was sold to Energias de Portugal.

Zilkha Biomass Energy is a continuation of that legacy.

  • Zilkha Biomass Energy makes power out of woody biomass.
  • We produce baseload natural renewable fuel, providing good long term jobs both in the field and in our plants.
  • Zilkha Biomass Fuels produces the Zilkha Black® Pellet, a proprietary waterproof biomass pellet that is transportable like coal.
  • Zilkha Biomass Power operates a proprietary direct-fired biomass-fueled gas turbine unit that powers commercial and industrial facilities.