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

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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Europe Looks to China for Partnership as Trump Signals Disinterest in Renewables

Alissa de Carbonnel for Reuters: Faced with a U.S. retreat from international efforts to tackle climate change, European Union officials are looking to China, fearing a leadership vacuum will embolden those within the bloc seeking to slow the fight against global warming. While U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to act on campaign pledges to […]

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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 […]

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Offshore Wind Seen Now as Cheapest Large-Scale Renewable Power Source in U.K.

Anna Hirtenstein for Bloomberg News: U.K. offshore wind power is on target to become the cheapest source of large-scale clean energy, surpassing the government-mandated price target four years early. The levelized cost of energy for offshore wind — a benchmark measuring affordability over the lifetime of generation assets — dropped below 100 pounds ($125) a […]

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Five Dutch Coal Plants at Risk of Closure

From DutchNews.nl: The fate of the five remaining coal fired power stations in the Netherlands remains in the balance on Friday, the Financieele Dagblad reports. According to FD sources, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp (VVD) and junior environment minister Sharon Dijksma (Labour) are ‘on a collision course’ about the need to close the power stations […]

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On the Blogs: U.K. Got More Electricity From Wind Than From Coal in 2016

Simon Evans for Carbon Brief: The UK generated more electricity from wind than from coal in the full calendar year of 2016, Carbon Brief analysis shows. The milestone is a first for the UK and reflects a collapse in coal generation, which contributed just 9.2% of UK electricity last year, with 11.5% from wind. The […]

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Spain’s Hidden €1bn Subsidy to Coal, Gas Power Plants

Megan Darby for ClimateChangeNews.com: Spain is propping up old coal and gas-fired power plants with payments for staying open, regardless of how much they generate. The support, worth €1 billion a year, is a needless burden on consumers, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). It is likely […]

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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 […]

Read More →