Author Archive: Gerard Wynn

Energy Finance Consultant Gerard Wynn is a U.K.-based 10-year veteran of energy and economics reporting at the Thomson Reuters News Agency and has authored numerous papers on energy issues ranging from solar power in Great Britain to coal-burning in China and India. He blogs at

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IEEFA U.K.: Suspension of £3.8 billion capacity market is an opportunity for re-think

Progress this week on British energy policy

LONDON—The European Court of Justice’s decision yesterday to suspend Britain’s capacity market creates an opportunity to focus on more cost-effective and forward-looking solutions for safeguarding the country’s energy-supply security. We’ve argued previously that Britain’s capacity market. which has served as a model for a similar scheme in Poland, provides subsidies that may no longer be […]

November 16, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Latin America: Uruguay nears world-leading market share for variable renewables

Rivaling Denmark by tapping wind, solar and hydro for 43% of national electricity generation

LONDON—Uruguay is closing in on the world leader in wind and solar power by market share, Denmark, showing how the right grid conditions can help renewables sweep aside fossil fuel-fired electricity generation. We published a report less than a year ago noting that Uruguay was probably the world’s fastest growing variable renewables market, with wind […]

November 14, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: Spain scraps solar tax in energy market shakeup that threatens coal

A new government is reversing outdated policies in Europe’s sunniest country

LONDON—Spain has scrapped a tax widely criticised for undermining solar power in Europe’s sunniest country in an energy policy reversal that has also dimmed the outlook for coal power. The full scale of the new government’s plans will be revealed by the delayed publication of a draft climate change and energy transition law, expected in […]

October 26, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: RWE’s costly faith in lignite

Push to expand the Hambach mine raises a question: How long will a major European utility continue to buck trends?

LONDON—RWE, one of Europe’s biggest utilities, is keeping faith with its massive coal mining operations in northwest Germany, rooted in a logic based on economies of scale in power generation that defies the ongoing shift toward a more modern, distributed, low-carbon grid. RWE’s mining operations in Germany’s Nordrhein-Westfalen (North-Rhine Westphalia) are enormous in scale. At […]

October 24, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: Time to reconsider the U.K.’s flagship scheme for avoiding blackouts

Capacity markets have proven to be an impediment to modernization

Overlapping forces spell further declines for coal-fired power LONDON — Britain introduced a capacity market in 2014 to safeguard security of supply as the country transitioned to more variable, low-carbon electricity sources like wind and solar power, but it looks increasingly like a backward step that rewards ageing, large-scale incumbents while penalising newer, smaller competitors. […]

October 3, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: Poland’s PGE would do well to accelerate plans to diversify away from coal

Rising risk in adhering to a traditional power generation business model

LONDON — Poland’s biggest utility, PGE, should accelerate its plans to diversify away from coal, as surging carbon prices underscore risks gathering around its present PLN 21 billion ($5.6 billion) coal power investment programme. To date, PGE has deferred such plans, avoiding, for example, moving into offshore wind until the mid- to late-2020s, and only after […]

and September 6, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: U.K. pension funds lag in renewable energy infrastructure investing

Abundant offerings across a number of markets

LONDON — Local U.K. government pension schemes are gradually increasing their unlisted infrastructure holdings, driven by examples set by trail-blazing funds and by a new government initiative to increase the scale of such investments. But few are investing explicitly in renewable energy, the biggest single segment of infrastructure investment in the world (infrastructure investing involves real […]

July 19, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: France, Germany and the U.K. are not on the same nuclear page

Policy muddle as one big EU economy hits pause on reactor buildout, another moves toward shutdown, a third plans expansion

LONDON — Europe’s three leading economies are taking three radically different approaches to nuclear power, reflecting contrasting national public priorities in a transition from fossil fuels, and showing the scale of government intervention in energy policy. France, Germany and the U.K. are all global top-20 generators of nuclear power by market share. France is No. […]

July 11, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: As risks mount, Poland’s PGE struggles to break from its fossil fuel past

Utility company’s actions contradict its stated intent to change

The extreme case of Poland’s largest utility, PGE, shows how Europe’s more coal-intensive power companies are struggling to turn away from fossil fuels. Headwinds facing fossil fuel electricity generation in Europe include the global transition toward low-carbon energy sources, pressure on investors to align their investments accordingly, and environmental advocacy opposing bank financing of coal […]

June 14, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: In Kosovo, Plans for a Power Plant That Would Be Out of Compliance on Day One

ContourGlobal Wants to Build According to Old Emissions Limits Instead of New Ones

London-listed power-generation investor ContourGlobal portrays its plan for a new coal-fired power plant in Kosovo as a step toward cleaner air for the small Balkan republic. But the company’s agreement with the government shows it actually hedging its bets, dithering between less- and-more polluting options. ContourGlobal’s 2017 annual report, published this month, shows that the […]

April 17, 2018 Read More →