Europe

IEEFA Research

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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More News and Commentary

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

IEEFA U.K.: An Official Realization 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 […]

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Global Rate of New Coal-Plant Construction Drops

Associated Press: Led by cutbacks in China and India, construction of new coal-fired power plants is falling worldwide, improving chances climate goals can be met despite earlier pessimism, three environmental groups said Wednesday. A joint report by the groups CoalSwarm, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace follows a warning this week by two international agencies that […]

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Pipeline for Coal-Fired Plants Is in ‘Freefall’

The Guardian: The dramatic decline in new coal-fired units was overwhelmingly due to policy shifts in China and India and subsequent declining investment prospects, according to a report by Greenpeace, the US-based Sierra Club and research network CoalSwarm. The report said the amount of new capacity starting construction was down 62% in 2016 on the […]

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Coal-Mine Conversion in Germany

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: In projects and technology developments, pumped hydro storage has made headlines in Europe. A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease of life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy. The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is […]

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IEEFA Conference: Long Odds for U.S. Coal; Transition in Europe

‘We Live in a Time of Energy-consumption Choices, and Consumers Want Clean Energy'

The U.S. coal industry faces long odds against recovery, said panel members today at IEEFA’s Energy Finance 2017 conference in New York. Sheldon Stone, a partner at Amherst Partners in Detroit who specializes in bankruptcy cases, said bankruptcy-recovery plans filed by the likes of Peabody Energy and Alpha Natural Resources will in all likelihood fail. […]

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Big Shopping-Center Solar in the U.K.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Land Securities 100% Renewable, Plans UK’s Largest Shopping Center PV Array Land Securities Group is powered by 100% renewables under a contract with SmartestEnergy, according to Tom Byrne, energy manager, and is now looking to reduce its reliance on the grid by building up its own onsite portfolio of solar and […]

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Spain Moves to Incentivize More Renewables

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: The government said it will pay 600 million euros ($633 million) annually to renewable and cogeneration power plants as it seeks to reassure investors and revive its clean energy industry. The country guarantees a “reasonable yield of 7.4 percent,” the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism said in an e-mailed statement […]

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Germany’s ‘Energy Revolution’ Is Felt in Poland and Czechoslovakia

Zeke Turner for the Wall Street Journal: A battle is raging in Central Europe over the balance of power—the electrical kind. Poland and the Czech Republic see Germany as an aggressor, overproducing electricity and dumping it across the border. Germany sees itself as a green-energy pioneer under unfair attacks from less innovative neighbors. As part […]

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Three Solar Auctions of Note: France, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia

From Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Three countries provided details of upcoming auctions for renewable energy last week. The French Environment and Energy Ministry said it would invite proposals for 3GW of onshore wind parks over three years, with the first tender planned for November, while Saudi Arabia said that in September it would award its […]

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U.K. Electricity Auction Raises Questions on Coal Subsidies

Andrew Ward for the Financial Times: Coal-fired power generators were among the winners of contracts worth £378m to generate electricity next winter, highlighting the tension between government efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the need for energy security. Critics have highlighted the apparent contradiction between government plans to phase out all coal-fired power from the […]

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