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 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 →

IEEFA Update: A Renewable Energy Revolution in Uruguay for All the World to See

Wind and Solar Provided a Record 44 Percent of Total Electricity Generation in January

The latest monthly electricity data out of Uruguay shows wind and solar generation continuing to grow, reaching 44 percent of total generation in January, a new record that surpasses a 42 percent record set in December. Growth in variable renewable power market share in Uruguay has been dramatic, and the country has become a showcase […]

April 4, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Kosovo’s Latest Coal-Plant Plan Would Violate EU Standards for Market Competition

IEEFA Update: Kosovo’s Latest Coal-Plant Plan Would Violate EU Standards for Market Competition

Project Puts a Small Country's Economy at Risk; Deal Locks in Profits for U.S. Developer ContourGlobal While Offering Little Transparency

A recent Kosovo government announcement of a contract with U.S. developer ContourGlobal to build a new coal-fired power plant in Pristina appears to be in violation of European state-aid rules. The deal, which awards ContourGlobal a no-bid contract to build a 450-megawatt (MW) plant that would burn domestically produced lignite, effectively serves as a barrier […]

IEEFA Update: An Outdated U.K. Electricity Industry Subsidy

Bidders Are Paid Regardless of Whether They Ever Generate Any Power

The U.K. capacity market has cost consumers billions of dollars since it was launched four years ago, but such subsidies—by our lights—may no longer be needed. The market mechanism in question rewards power producers simply to be available to supply electricity. Bidders are paid regardless of whether they ever generate any electricity. It allows utilities […]

February 22, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: A Brave New World Is Taking Hold in the Grid Integration of Renewables

IEEFA Update: A Brave New World Is Taking Hold in the Grid Integration of Renewables

Debunking Myths Around Energy Security and the Supposed Need for Subsidizing Outdated Electricity-Generation Plants

Important regional electricity markets and whole countries are blowing past old record levels of wind and solar power by taking a variety of simple, practical steps to improve grid flexibility. Current trends make a mockery of doubts peddled by system incumbents who keep promoting new subsidies (like capacity payments) for old-school gas and nuclear power […]

February 15, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: A Regulatory Blow to Spain’s Subsidized Coal-Fired Electricity Sector

Security-of-Supply Justifications Are Seen as Political Schemes to Support the Status Quo

In its rejection this week of a government proposal to prop up the nation’s oldest and most polluting coal power plants, Spain’s energy regulator has concluded that a “significant part” of the country’s coal fleet can be closed without risking national energy security. The decision, detailed in a statement by the Comisión Nacional de Mercados […]