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

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 […]

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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 […]

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On the Blogs: German Offshore Wind Auction Delivers Record-Low Prices

CleanTechnica.com: Germany’s first competitive auction for offshore wind projects has not only delivered an average bid price that was “far below expectations” according to the Bundesnetzagentur, but also included what is likely one of the world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind projects. Germany’s federal energy markets regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, announced Thursday the results of its first […]

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IEEFA Update: The Emperor Isn’t Wearing Very Much

IEEFA Update: The Emperor Isn’t Wearing Very Much

A Report to Heed: ‘Why Investors Should Treat Oil Company Energy Forecasts With Caution’ (and Perhaps ExxonMobil’s With the Most Caution)

The energy sector is going through a time of unprecedented change, and investors should take heed. We publish often on the sweep and pace of this shift in our ongoing analysis of the U.S. coal industry; our research on oil majors like Exxon; our work on public policy from Puerto Rico to Norway; our commentary […]

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The Dutch Coal Mistake (Part Two)

EnergyPost.EU: Uniper and Engie have made further write-downs on their still very new Dutch coal power plants, writes independent consultant Gerard Wynn, confirming the bleak prospects for coal power production in Europe. Yet Uniper is pressing on with plans to build another new coal plant in Germany. Courtesy IEEFA. In “The Dutch Coal Mistake” report […]

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European Transition Momentum Seen as Catching Up With Coal Holdouts Poland and Greece

Politico EU: A surprise announcement Wednesday by EU electricity utilities that they won’t build any new coal-fired power plants after 2020 was spoiled by Greece and Poland — two coal-dependent countries that have no intention of dropping the polluting fuel. Despite the Greek and Polish resistance, the agreement “shows that conventional utilities are aligning themselves […]

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EU Utilities Rule Out New Coal Investments After 2020

Arthur Neslen: The surprise announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday. National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future. A press release from Eurelectric, which represents 3,500 utilities with a combined value of […]

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European Uptake of Renewables Grows

The Guardian: The EEA’s report suggests that the EU is broadly on track to achieve its goals of 20% emissions cuts and 20% renewable energy share by 2020. But a more challenging target for 2050 – of reducing emissions by at least 80% – will require acceleration after 2030, when tough decisions about phasing out […]

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IEEFA Europe: More Fallout Around the Dutch Coal Stranded-Asset Mistake

Uniper, Engie Make Further Write-Downs in the Netherlands; Plans Proceed Nonetheless in Germany for an Equally Outmoded Project

In “The Dutch Coal Mistake” report we published late last year we warned of further write-downs to come from the extraordinary commissioning of three brand-new coal power plants in the Netherlands in 2015. That report spoke directly to the Dutch gaffe but raised broader questions about investing in new coal-powered generation anywhere in Europe. The […]

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On the Blogs: Coal Mine Turned Theme Park

CleanTechnica.com: The small Dutch energy company Vandebron, which allows consumers to buy their renewable energy directly from local producers on an online marketplace, has offered utility Nuon €1 million for its coal-fired power plant in Amsterdam. After the purchase, the energy startup wants to shut the plant down and turn it into a theme park. […]

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