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 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

Older German Coal Plants Are Struggling

S&P Global Platts: Profit margins for Germany’s oldest coal-fired power plants to produce electricity next year have again turned negative. The decreasing profitability outlook will increase the pressure on Germany’s oldest coal plants to close, with almost 9 GW having already been shut down since 2012, the latest power plant closure list by the grid […]

August 8, 2017 Read More →

European Wind Giants, by Way of Japan, See an Opening in China

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: The global offshore wind market will almost double by 2020, and China will be the fastest-growing region outside core markets in Europe. Installations in China will surpass those in the U.K. and Germany in 2022, according to the latest forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. European offshore wind turbine companies are […]

August 1, 2017 Read More →
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 →

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, China, U.S., Lead 2Q Surge in Renewables Investments

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Week in Review: The second quarter of 2017 saw $64.8 billion invested in clean energy around the world, up 21 percent from the first quarter and the highest since 2Q 2016. The financing of two big photovoltaic projects in the United Arab Emirates with a combined value of around $2 billion […]

July 18, 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 →

‘Markets Will Dwarf Policy’ for Exporting U.S. Oil and Gas to Europe

Georgi Kantchev and Lynn Cook in the Wall Street Journal: President Donald Trump is touting his policies to boost energy production and exports as a bulwark against Russia. But some industry observers say the U.S. shale boom—which reshaped world markets for crude oil and natural gas before Mr. Trump took office—has only limited impact on Russia’s […]

July 14, 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 →

State-Run Utility in Poland Sees $134 Million in Coal Retrofits

Reuters: Poland’s state-run utility Enea will need to spend up to 500 million zlotys ($134.22 million) to make all of its power stations compliant with the European Union’s latest air quality requirements, Enea’s chief executive said on Thursday. * “The costs of adjusting for the whole group should not exceed 500 million zlotys,” CEO Miroslaw […]

May 25, 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 →

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 →