Europe

IEEFA Research

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 report: Poland’s biggest utility is risking financial instability by doubling down on coal-fired generation

IEEFA report: Poland’s biggest utility is risking financial instability by doubling down on coal-fired generation

New EU emissions regulations raise compliance issues at PGE; Outdated business model may cost billions; ‘An accelerated deployment of renewables’ makes more sense

June 13, 2018 (IEEFA) – New air pollution regulations coupled with rising carbon prices put Poland’s biggest utility, PGE, at serious risk of financial disarray if it continues to pursue a coal-heavy upgrade strategy, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. A strategic shift toward a renewable energy-based […]

IEEFA Report: U.K. Pension Funds Can Benefit Now From Renewables Infrastructure Play

Growth and Proven Returns in a Rapidly-Expanding Sector

Nov.15, 2017 — A new report by HSBC Global Asset Management and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) finds that U.K. pension funds can benefit now from investing in domestic and overseas renewable energy infrastructure. Commissioned by the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative, the report, “The Renewable Energy Infrastructure Investment […]

November 14, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

New Emissions Rules Loom Large Across EU; Gas-Fired Generation and Renewables Present Better Investment Opportunities; Major Utilities Are Out of Step With Markets

October 25, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — A research paper published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that plans by Enel Group’s Spanish-subsidiary Endesa to sink €400 million into upgrading three aging coal-fired plants is a likely loss-making proposition under new European Union emission-control rules. The report—“How European Utilities Can Capitalize on […]

October 26, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Report: European Coal Sector Woes Deepen With New Air Quality Mandate; One-Third of Existing Capacity Must Retrofit or Close

IEEFA Report: European Coal Sector Woes Deepen With New Air Quality Mandate; One-Third of Existing Capacity Must Retrofit or Close

More Headwinds for Major Utilities; New Limits Affect 108 Plants; Implications for Investors, With Gas and Renewables Emerging as Preferred Power-Generation Fuels

May 8, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — More than 100 separate power plants—representing one-third of Europe’s large-scale coal-fired power plant capacity—face costly air quality upgrades or closure as a result of new European Union emissions limits, according to an analysis published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “These regulations will further undermine and […]

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 →
IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

September 22, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

Croatia’s government-run utility plans major renewables investments

Reuters: Croatia’s state-run power utility HEP aims to boost renewable energy to 50 percent of its total capacity from the current 35 percent, investing 1 billion Croatian kuna ($153.96 million) a year on average until 2030, it said on Thursday. It will upgrade existing hydro power plants, as well as adding new ones, and invest […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: Progressive energy policies will make rooftop solar more affordable

Technologies that optimise home installations are still too expensive

LONDON—Roof-top solar can be a critical way to meet new carbon-emissions standards, but unsubsidised payback periods are still too long and, by and large, home-solar systems still lack a cost-effective means of enabling households to use as much of their home generation as possible. Ultimately, batteries almost certainly will become a critical part of home […]

November 28, 2018 Read More →

EU renewables growth continues, but transport demand remains a concern, environment agency says

Reuters: The European Union’s progress towards increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency is slowing, putting its ability to meet its 2020 and 2030 targets at risk, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Monday. Rising energy consumption, particularly in transport, is to blame for the slowdown, the EEA said in an […]

November 27, 2018 Read More →

Economy minister says Slovakia to end coal-mining subsidies by 2023

Reuters: Slovakia will phase out subsidies for coal mines supplying one of the country’s most polluting power plants from 2023, sooner than expected, Economy Minister Peter Ziga said on Monday. The Slovak government subsidizes mining at the country’s only coal company, privately owned Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza (HBP), paying around 100 million euros ($114 million) a […]

November 20, 2018 Read More →

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 →

E.ON to build major wind farm in Sweden

CNBC: German utility E.ON is to build what it describes as one of Europe’s “largest onshore wind farms.” In an announcement Friday, the business said it had decided to invest in the 475-megawatt Nysater wind project in Sweden. The facility will be built jointly with Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners (CSEIP). E.ON is to build […]

November 16, 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 →

EU review shows carbon capture R&D funding failed

Quartz: In a report to be published later today, the European Court of Auditors will say that the EU spent more than €424 million ($486 million) over the past decade fruitlessly trying to establish carbon-capture technology. The EU considers the technology crucial to hit its climate goals, which will require the union’s member states to […]

October 23, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Europe: A blacklist of 120 coal plant developers for investors seeking to lower climate risk

Financial peril across an industry’s entire supply chain is intensifying

Even as risks mount for coal worldwide, nearly 1,400 new coal plants or units are planned or under development in 59 countries. If built, these plants would increase coal power capacity by 33%, adding more than 670,000 megawatts to the global coal plant fleet. Who exactly is developing these new coal plants?  German environmental NGO […]

October 12, 2018 Read More →