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The 3D’s: Decarbonisation, Digitalisation and Decentralisation and what they mean for the worlds of energy and transport

The 3D’s, namely Decarbonisation, Digitalisation and Decentralisation are set to rip apart the energy and transport worlds as we know them over the next years. For those who embrace these forces, as opportunities rather than threats, the possibilities are endless. What we are seeing is a once in a century seismic shift in our energy world; … Continued

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The implications of Tesla and 250m EVs on our roads within a decade

I recently visited the HQ of a major global automobile supplier, a company proud of their near 100-year heritage as a key supplier of components for the internal combustion engine. After a chat with management it became clear to me that they are not yet prepared for the changes that will come at them over the … Continued

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Why investing in the big 4 German utilities is still not for the faint of heart…

The European utility market is going through the biggest upheaval in a generation. It is especially difficult for investors to navigate. Leading utilities such as E.ON, Engie and RWE have seen their share prices halved over the last five years. In stark contrast, the share prices of Enel, Iberdrola and EDP have doubled. They have done … Continued

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The critical role of EVs in driving low cost energy storage and renewable integration

Probably the biggest advantage that fossil fuels have over renewable energy resources is that they are easy to store. Over the last 150 years, we have spent massive amount of money building out that storage capacity and the related infrastructure. Renewables resources, on the other hand, such as solar and wind, are usually difficult and … Continued

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How the major global automobile manufacturers fell asleep at the wheel

I gave a dinner speech some months back where in front of me was sitting the former Chairman of one of Europe’s leading automobile manufacturers. My talk was on the future of energy and one of the points I was making was that the electrification of automobiles would happen faster than what most people thought. … Continued

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Bruce Huber in the Economist discussing Renewable Energy: A world turned upside down

Bruce Huber in the Economist discussing Renewable Energy: A world turned upside down. Bruce Huber of Alexa Capital, which helps fund renewable-energy investments, says business consumers are probably going to be more influential in driving the adoption of these technologies than households, because they will more quickly see how they might cut their bills by … Continued

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Learning from the European utility mess

Utility businesses models across the world are increasingly under pressure from three forces: Decarbonisation, Decentralisation and Digitalisation. These changes are so profound that they are calling into question the very existence of many utilities. No more is this so than in Europe where utilities have made, in recent years, asset writedowns totalling over $100 billion … Continued

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Are we seeing the end or the new beginnings of nuclear?

I was at a conference recently where a senior executive from the Russian nuclear company Rosatom gave a presentation on their two new 1.2GW third generation nuclear reactors in Kallingrad, the Russian enclave on the Baltic Coast situated in between Lithuania and Poland. The presentation was about how the build out of an Eastern European grid … Continued

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Why it’s time to tax carbon

It is clear to me that low carbon technologies such as solar and storage will become so cheap that they will enable a shift away from fossil fuels. In the coming years, we will see renewables increasingly powering our homes and businesses and eventually over the next 30 years we will see automobiles fully electrify … Continued

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Apple, 3D Sensors and Driverless Cars

If you have ever played with the Xbox Kinect, you will have a good idea of what a 3D sensor can do! If you have not, you should because using the Kinect will you give an idea of how close this technology is to a digital version of the human eye. Whatsmore, Apple will probably … Continued

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2017 will be the year when Wireless Charging goes Mainstream

The mass of wires that make up our modern lives is quite unbelievable. My house is full of plugs, extension leads, power cables, transformer boxes and charging devices. And charging the range of digital devices that make up our modern lives is a pain. I am always forgetting to charge the phone or bring a … Continued

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Positioning around the Great Battery Race is critical to nations and all companies involved in energy and transport

Batteries have been around for more than one hundred years but thanks to the smart phone they have become important enablers of our modern lives. As battery technology improves they will become critical components for powering our automobiles as well as become vital assets for our power system. In fact, the coming of cheap and … Continued

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Renewables enter a new golden era? Not just yet, I am afraid.

Over the last decade we have seen a global boom in renewables with installations increasing every year without fail. We are however now entering a new phase were annual installations are likely to flatten out and maybe fall as we find better ways to integrate renewables into our power systems as well as find alternative … Continued

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Why my daughter will never learn to drive a car…

When I told my five-year-old daughter that I was buying an electric car, she was to say the least excited. But this excitement turned to huge disappointment when she realised that there was no internet in the car. It got even worse, when she realised she could not control the car with her iPad as she … Continued

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Don’t worry, be solar! How and why solar is revolutionizing our energy world

When we talk about energy today the first thing that most people think of is oil, then maybe coal and gas. Increasingly people are however mentioning solar which should not be a surprise given that nearly all of our planets energy needs is already met either indirectly or directly by the sun! Plants are totally dependent … Continued

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Tesla and the iPhone Moment

On March 31st 2016, Elon Musk the CEO and founder of Tesla announced the 2017 launch of a $35,000 Model 3 electric car with a range of 345km per and Porsche like performance with acceleration of below 6 seconds from 0-100km/h. Within a week the company had received over 325,000 orders for the new car … Continued

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The coming of the hybrid ultracapacitor and lithium-ion system and what it means for EVs, power generation and stationary storage

There is a lot of hype in and around energy storage and in particular around lithium-ion batteries which are becoming more widespread thanks to their increasing use in consumer goods and electric and hybrid motor vehicles. However, lithium-ion batteries are still too expensive for many applications and we will not see exponential growth in the … Continued

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Why the future of energy storage belongs to lithium-ion

Electricity storage is both complicated and expensive. Electricity has to be converted into another form of energy then converted back into electrical energy before it can be reused. Scientists have been trying to crack the electricity storage code for over 150 years now. Despite their efforts, the two main storage technologies employed today: lead-acid batteries … Continued

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Saudi raises the white flag in its attempt to regain control of the global oil market

With the OPEC decision to cut oil production, for the first time in 8 years, by 1.2m barrels a day to 32.5m barrels per day, Saudi Arabia has raised the white flag and admitted defeat in its attempt to regain control of the global oil market. If the cut in production holds, it should bring … Continued

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Why energy investors need to rethink how they look at energy

Since the financial crisis in 2008, we have seen massive growth in global energy supply, not to mention falling demand across the OECD and weaker than expected demand for energy from countries like China and India, the combined result of which is that we have seen falling oil, gas, coal and power prices. The big … Continued

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Why hybridisation is only a bridge to the full electrification of automobiles

An automobile engineer recently described the new BMW 225xe Plug in Hybrid as the most complex automobile BMW has ever built. And if you look at it (take a look at the picture) you can understand why. It has an internal combustion engine (ICE) above the front axis of the car and a battery and … Continued

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French nuclear shutdowns raising power price across Europe

Over the last six months’ wholesale power prices across Europe have exploded. German one-month forward power prices are up 60% since the start of January, while UK prices have doubled. That said wholesale power prices have fallen steadily since 2008 which still means today that prices are still lower than where they were back then. … Continued

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Will electricity generation and power distribution go back to the way it was in the 19th century?

The small, picturesque town of Godalming, nestled among the low hills of southeast England, became the first town in the world to install a public electricity supply, in September 1881. Demand initially was for public lighting, which expanded, to an emerging electric tram network, and industry. At the start of this new age of electricity, … Continued

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The implications of the digitalization of energy

Digitalization is the flavour of the month when it comes to energy companies. And energy executives across the world are all using the buzzwords such as Big Data, the Cloud, Digital Wind to Digital Oil Fields and Internet of Energy as they talk about their future strategies but all of them seem to me to … Continued

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Global wind enters a new era

I spent much of last week at Wind Energy Hamburg meeting executives in companies right across the wind value chain. There was a buoyant mood and the good news is that wind is firmly embedded as part of the global power mix. However, the global wind industry is entering a new slower growth phase driven … Continued

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