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: 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No better example comes to mind of outdated energy policy in action than what’s unfolding in Kosovo.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 →
IEEFA Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

IEEFA Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

Grid Proves Resilient in Face of 60% Drop in Coal Use in 2016; New Renewables and Interconnection Are the Future; Capacity Market Has Failed to Incentivize Modernization; More Targeted Auctions Would Help

The U.K.’s capacity market is the weak link in the country’s ongoing transition toward a resilient, low-carbon grid. That is one of the core findings in a  report—“Electricity-Grid Transition in the U.K.: As Coal-Fired Generation Recedes, Renewables and Reliable Generation Can Fill the Gap —we published today. The report finds that the U.K. grid is coping […]

March 9, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Can Power Market Reforms Curb U.K. Ratepayer Handouts to Gas, Coal and Nuclear?

IEEFA Europe: Can Power Market Reforms Curb U.K. Ratepayer Handouts to Gas, Coal and Nuclear?

Capacity Subsidies May Be Redundant

The U.K. this week holds its biggest auction ever for electricity generating capacity under a multi-billion-pound scheme whose stated aim is to increase investment in new, flexible generation. The intent is to help balance the growth in variable wind and solar power while ensuring there are enough power plants to cover demand. Under the so-called […]

January 30, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: A Rush to Subsidies as Power Plants in Europe Face an Existential Threat

IEEFA Update: A Rush to Subsidies as Power Plants in Europe Face an Existential Threat

Paying Producers for Electricity They Might Never Generate

  So-called capacity markets are driving what appears to be a major new trend in energy policy across Europe: More public subsidies for electric utilities. Utilities may get—but not necessarily need or deserve—high-level government support for a variety of reasons, including for their role in equity markets, where they supply returns and dividends for pension […]

December 13, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

Investors May Not Be Eager to Absorb More Losses Like Those Seen in Recent Dutch Build-Outs

Investment in new coal-fired power plants appears off the agenda in Western Europe. Witness the astonishing write-down of brand-new assets in the Netherlands, where European utility giants RWE, Uniper, and Engie have drastically reduced their valuations of plants barely a year old (read the report we published this morning, “The Dutch Coal Mistake,” which concludes […]

November 30, 2016 Read More →