Europe

IEEFA Research

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 plants 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

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 →

On the Blogs: A ‘Must-Read’ Article in the Global Financial Press

ThinkProgress: The details of this transition are spelled out in a new, must-read, 4000-word article in the Financial Times, “The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable.” What is most remarkable about the article is that it appears in the Financial Times. The free-market oriented paper is the “most important business read” for the […]

May 19, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: A Plan to Electrify All of Europe With a North Sea Wind Network

Ars Tecnhica: The harnessing of energy has never been without projects of monolithic scale. From the Hoover Dam to the Three Gorges—the world’s largest power station—engineers the world over have recognised that with size comes advantages. The trend is clear within the wind power industry too, where the tallest wind turbines now tower up to […]

May 19, 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 →

On the Blogs: New EU Emissions Law Spells Closure or Retrofit for 108 Coal-Fired Plants

Euractiv.com: Stricter European Union pollutant limits could lead to costly upgrades or the closure of one third of Europe’s large-scale coal power plant capacity, a new report showed today (8 May). On April 28, EU member states approved stricter limits on pollutants such as sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large combustion plants […]

May 9, 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 plants 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 […]

European Transition: New Emission Controls Mean Retrofit or Closure for a Third of Continent’s Coal Plants

Reuters: Stricter European Union pollutant limits could lead to costly upgrades or the closure of one third of Europe’s large-scale coal power plant capacity, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) showed on Monday. On April 28, EU member states approved stricter limits on pollutants such as sulfur oxides (SOx) […]

May 8, 2017 Read More →

Danish Renewable Energy Industry Poised to Flourish Sans Subsidies

Bloomberg News: After more than four decades of relying on subsidies, Denmark’s renewable energy industry is ready to survive on its own much sooner than anyone expected. The Danish energy minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, says that “in just a few years,” renewable energy providers won’t need state support anymore. He says it’s a development he […]

April 25, 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 →