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 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 →
IEEFA Update: Questionable Priorities in Kosovo Coal-Expansion Proposal

IEEFA Update: Questionable Priorities in Kosovo Coal-Expansion Proposal

Putting a New Lignite-Power Program Ahead of a Thorough Clean-Up of Existing Generation Is a Strategy That Is Increasingly Difficult to Accept

No better example comes to mind of outdated energy policy in action than what’s unfolding in Kosovo. The tiny country’s main power plant is one of Europe’s dirtiest, as we noted in a report we published two weeks ago chronicling how hundreds of aging coal-fired electricity plants across the continent fall outside new pollution limits […]

May 23, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: In Announcing Coal Plant Closures, Enel, Biggest Utility in the EU, Signals Industry Compliance With New Emission Rules

Key Reaction to More Stringent Regulation Suggests a Trend in the Making

Enel, Europe’s biggest utility by market value, has given the first hint of the impact of new EU pollution limits in announcing the closure of two large coal power plants by 2018 and a plan to close all of its coal and lignite generation by around 2030. Enel’s move gives the first glimmers of the […]

May 17, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: Will Germany Walk the Walk on New EU Emissions Rules or Just Talk the Talk?

The Lignite Industry Hopes the Government Will Adopt a Foot-Dragging Strategy But With Noncompliance Comes Risk

By recently opposing stiffer new European pollutions limits for coal-fired power, Germany—an avowed leader on progressive climate-change policy—joined the ranks of the most reluctant nations, most notably Poland. At issue actually are two major sources of carbon emissions—coal and lignite—lignite being a lower-grade, and dirtier, cousin of coal. Both produce air pollutants such as oxides […]

May 16, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: Offshore Wind Costs Maintain Falling Trend

Competitive Auctions Are Causing Developers to Drop Their Expectations for Government Subsidies

Europe achieved its lowest-ever bid for an offshore wind power project last week in a German auction in the North and Baltic Seas, an event that backs up a recent trend of cost reductions. Germany’s first so-called “reverse auction” for offshore wind shifts away from a feed-in tariff schemes in an approach intended to drive […]

April 18, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: More Fallout Around the Dutch Coal Stranded-Asset Mistake

Uniper, Engie Make Further Write-Downs in the Netherlands; Plans Proceed Nonetheless in Germany for an Equally Outmoded Project

In “The Dutch Coal Mistake” report we published late last year we warned of further write-downs to come from the extraordinary commissioning of three brand-new coal power plants in the Netherlands in 2015. That report spoke directly to the Dutch gaffe but raised broader questions about investing in new coal-powered generation anywhere in Europe. The […]

March 31, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA U.K.: An Official Acknowledgement That Renewables and Better Cross-Border Interconnection Can Replace Coal-Fired Generation

IEEFA U.K.: An Official Acknowledgement That Renewables and Better Cross-Border Interconnection Can Replace Coal-Fired Generation

Latest Government Projections Undermine the Case for a Flagship Capacity Market That Subsidizes Conventional Generation

The U.K. government’s latest energy projections, out last week, show a grid dominated by renewables and electricity imports by 2025, exceeding the conventional generation presently supported by the country’s ratepayer-subsidized capacity market. This news comes on the heels of a report we published earlier this month on how interconnection with neighboring countries and renewable energy […]

March 24, 2017 Read More →