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 EnergyandCarbon.com

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IEEFA Update: More Questions on U.K. Nuclear Project

IEEFA Update: More Questions on U.K. Nuclear Project

Concerns Grow That Hinkley Point C Is an Overpriced Mistake

Two of the U.K.’s main public-spending watchdogs have now criticized the government’s deal with French utility giant EDF to support completion of a new nuclear power plant, only just stopping short of saying the deal was an outright mistake. The critiques highlight the risk in failing to heed the falling cost of renewables and serve as […]

November 29, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Germany: Czech Company That Got a Vattenfall Giveaway Wants More

Foreign Buyer of Lausitz Region Lignite Assets Wants to Have Its Cake and Eat It Too

When you take something off somebody’s hands at a discount price, especially when a shrewd seller is involved, common sense dictates that you might expect there to be some strings attached. Shouldn’t such common sense apply equally to the Czech energy company, EPH, which last year acquired—for less than a song—highly polluting lignite assets from […]

November 22, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Spain: The High Cost of Political Interference in Power Markets

Ill-Advised Government Policy Aimed at Retarding Transition

The Spanish government’s move this week to block closures of inefficient power plants presents the latest example of a trend toward expensive political interference in electricity markets. Elsewhere in Europe, similar intervention can be seen in the shape of “capacity payments” that prop up gas, coal and nuclear power, as well as more recently in […]

November 16, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: U.K. Biomass-Fueled Electricity Generation Appears Not to Be the Answer

Regulators Are Catching Up With Wood-Burning Power Plants

Growing doubts around the merit of burning wood and other solid biomass as a large-scale solution for cutting carbon emissions from power generation may see the renewable fuel dumped —in the same way diesel and liquid biofuels have lost favor as” low-carbon solutions” in transport. Burning biomass to generate electricity is supported by some in […]

November 8, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Netherlands, in New Program to Close All Coal-Fired Generation by 2030, Sends European Energy Markets a Sharp Signal

Phase-out Plans Combined With the Rise of Renewables and the Impact of Improved Efficiency Put Old Electricity-Production Models at Risk

In announcing plans to shut all coal-fired power plants by 2030,  the new government of the Netherlands sent a dramatic signal to electricity markets today that no investment in coal-fired power in Europe is safe. The Dutch statement is especially significant given that the Netherlands itself has only recently commissioned three of Europe’s newest coal-fired […]

October 10, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Technology Gains Help Drive a Rush From Capital Markets Into Offshore Wind

IEEFA Europe: Technology Gains Help Drive a Rush From Capital Markets Into Offshore Wind

U.K. Auction Confirms New, Lower Pricing Trends in World’s Biggest Markets

The U.K.’s latest auction of power purchase agreements for offshore-wind generation confirms an aggressive trend toward cost reductions across the industry and signals the arrival of a mature, bankable new segment of the energy sector. The lowest successful bids in  auction results announced on Monday, €63 (US$83) megawatt hour (MWh), were 50 percent less than […]

September 14, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: The Carbon-Capture Dream Is Dying

IEEFA Europe: The Carbon-Capture Dream Is Dying

As Engie and Uniper Walk Away From a Demonstration Project, the Outlook for ‘Clean Coal’ Generation Is Bleak

The collapse of a Dutch “clean coal” power project has ended near-term prospects for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in European power generation. That leaves proponents of the technology having to turn instead to smaller, industrial applications. And while CCS may make sense on a more limited scale, big problems remain there too. The complicated […]

July 20, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Legal Challenge to Spain’s Capacity Market Payments Is Well-Founded

IEEFA Europe: Legal Challenge to Spain’s Capacity Market Payments Is Well-Founded

Spanish Environmental Groups Say Their Country is Violating European Commission Guidelines; Spain Should Retire Excess Capacity Before Paying Plants to Stay Online

A recent call by two environmental organizations for a formal state aid probe into Spain’s payments subsidizing gas- and coal-fired power plants appears to be well warranted, given multiple breaches of European state aid guidelines revealed by IEEFA in our December 2016 report, “Spain’s Capacity Market: Energy Security or Subsidy?” The Instituto Internacional de Derecho […]

July 14, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Turkey Wakes up to Solar Opportunity

IEEFA Update: Turkey Wakes up to Solar Opportunity

Proposed New Project Would Be One of the World’s Largest; Turkey has High Solar Potential

Turkey is right to seek to diversify from imported natural gas, seeking indigenous energy alternatives, but so far has missed an important part of the answer in solar power. That may about to change, with the award of a power purchase agreement for a plant of up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) – which would be one of the world’s biggest – on condition […]

July 6, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: The Cost of Wind-Powered Electricity Is Dropping

IEEFA Europe: The Cost of Wind-Powered Electricity Is Dropping

Trend in Onshore Pricing in Spanish, German Auctions Follows What’s Happening Offshore as Well

Onshore wind auctions in Spain and Germany last week confirmed the trend in the falling cost of renewables in Europe. The trend is being driven by a shift to auctions that are doing a better job of revealing the true cost of generation than former feed-in tariff schemes. Auctions are capturing real cost reductions in […]

May 31, 2017 Read More →