U.K.

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Report: U.K. Pension Funds Can Benefit Now From Renewables Infrastructure Play

Growth and Proven Returns in a Rapidly-Expanding Sector

Nov.15, 2017 — A new report by HSBC Global Asset Management and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) finds that U.K. pension funds can benefit now from investing in domestic and overseas renewable energy infrastructure. Commissioned by the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative, the report, “The Renewable Energy Infrastructure Investment […]

November 14, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

New Emissions Rules Loom Large Across EU; Gas-Fired Generation and Renewables Present Better Investment Opportunities; Major Utilities Are Out of Step With Markets

October 25, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — A research paper published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that plans by Enel Group’s Spanish-subsidiary Endesa to sink €400 million into upgrading three aging coal-fired plants is a likely loss-making proposition under new European Union emission-control rules. The report—“How European Utilities Can Capitalize on […]

October 26, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Brief: U.K. Government at Risk in Over-Budget Nuclear Project That Stands Incomplete

IEEFA Brief: U.K. Government at Risk in Over-Budget Nuclear Project That Stands Incomplete

A Sensible ‘Plan B’ for Hinkley Point C Project in Somerset Would Avoid Extending Public Loan Guarantees

Oct. 16, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — A research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis cautions the U.K. government against investing further in an unfinished nuclear project on the Bristol Channel in southwest England. The brief — “A Half-Built, High-Priced Nuclear White Elephant: How Should the U.K. Proceed With This Troubled […]

October 16, 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 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 Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

IEEFA Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

Grid Proves Resilient in Face of 60% Drop in Coal Use in 2016; New Renewables and Interconnection Are the Future; Capacity Market Has Failed to Incentivize Modernization; More Targeted Auctions Would Help

The U.K.’s capacity market is the weak link in the country’s ongoing transition toward a resilient, low-carbon grid. That is one of the core findings in a  report—“Electricity-Grid Transition in the U.K.: As Coal-Fired Generation Recedes, Renewables and Reliable Generation Can Fill the Gap —we published today. The report finds that the U.K. grid is coping […]

March 9, 2017 Read More →
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 Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

An Acceleration to Renewables, Faster-Than-Expected Shifts Regionally and Nationally, Growing Risk for Investors Who Lag Behind

Three notable takeaways emerge from the rapid transformation of the global energy economy, as we detail in a new paper we published today as the landmark Paris Agreement officially goes into effect. The global transition to renewables is accelerating. Change is happening faster than expected. Those left behind in this transition face growing financial risk. […]

November 5, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

U.K. Sets New Record for Coal-Free Generation

The Independent: Britain has gone more than two days without using any coal-fired power for the first time in more than a century. The record run of almost 55 hours of coal-free electricity generation between Monday and Thursday is a mark of the fossil fuel’s “rapid decline,” experts said. It is the first time the nation […]

April 20, 2018 Read More →

Renewable Energy Development in India Gets Big Boost From New Green Fund

Reuters: LONDON—Lightsource BP and Indian private equity fund Everstone Group announced on Wednesday the creation of a 500 million pound ($711 million) fund to invest in renewable energy and clean technology in India. The fund, named Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), was launched with an initial war chest of 240 million pounds shared equally by […]

April 19, 2018 Read More →

U.K. Utility Company Weighs Ending Coal-Fired Generation Ahead of Schedule

Reuters: British power generator Drax could end production at its coal plants ahead of a government imposed deadline of 2025, the company’s CEO said on Monday. * “We’re exploring options for repowering our remaining coal units to use sustainable biomass and gas which we believe could help us to become coal free even earlier than […]

April 10, 2018 Read More →

Wind and Solar Surpass U.K. Nuclear for the First Time

The Guardian: Windfarms and solar panels produced more electricity than the UK’s eight nuclear power stations for the first time at the end of last year, official figures show. Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions also continued to fall, dropping 3% in 2017, as coal use fell and the use of renewables climbed. Energy experienced the biggest […]

March 30, 2018 Read More →

Rise of Renewables Seen as Squeezing Out New U.K. Gas-Fired Generation

The Guardian: The UK is well on the way to a new era of subsidy-free renewable energy projects that will largely kill off prospects for new gas power stations, according to industry analysts. The falling cost of wind and solar projects combined with advances in battery storage technology will unlock about £20bn of investment in […]

March 22, 2018 Read More →

Questions in the U.K. Over Pension Funds’ Exposure to Climate Risk

Reuters: Britain’s biggest pension funds have been asked by lawmakers to explain how they are managing the impact of climate change risks on their investments. “We want to know what pension funds are doing to safeguard people’s pensions from the financial risks of climate change,” Mary Creagh, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said. The […]

March 6, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: An Outdated U.K. Electricity Industry Subsidy

Bidders Are Paid Regardless of Whether They Ever Generate Any Power

The U.K. capacity market has cost consumers billions of dollars since it was launched four years ago, but such subsidies—by our lights—may no longer be needed. The market mechanism in question rewards power producers simply to be available to supply electricity. Bidders are paid regardless of whether they ever generate any electricity. It allows utilities […]

February 22, 2018 Read More →

U.K. Details Plans For 2025 End To Coal Generation

The Guardian: One of the UK’s eight remaining coal power stations is expected to cease generating electricity this year, the government has said as it laid out new rules that will force all the plants to close by 2025. The coal phase-out is one of the Conservative party’s flagship green policies, and thelong-awaited implementation plan […]

January 9, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: More Questions on U.K. Nuclear Project

IEEFA Update: More Questions on U.K. Nuclear Project

Concerns Grow That Hinkley Point C Is an Overpriced Mistake

Two of the U.K.’s main public-spending watchdogs have now criticized the government’s deal with French utility giant EDF to support completion of a new nuclear power plant, only just stopping short of saying the deal was an outright mistake. The critiques highlight the risk in failing to heed the falling cost of renewables and serve as […]

November 29, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Spain: The High Cost of Political Interference in Power Markets

Ill-Advised Government Policy Aimed at Retarding Transition

The Spanish government’s move this week to block closures of inefficient power plants presents the latest example of a trend toward expensive political interference in electricity markets. Elsewhere in Europe, similar intervention can be seen in the shape of “capacity payments” that prop up gas, coal and nuclear power, as well as more recently in […]

November 16, 2017 Read More →