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12th NOV

Why we have now reached an inflexion point in the automobile industry and why it looks good for Tesla but not for Germany

Statistics tell a 1,000 stories and the following 10 stats have convinced me that we have reached a point of no return when it comes to the electrification of transport. Diesel is dead and we will electrify bikes, automobiles, busses and trucks, and there is no way that the incumbents can block the speed of … Continued

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1st NOV

What we can learn from the mistakes of GE

I am sure that Thomas Edison is turning in his grave as he looks down at his once great and now ailing company General Electric which has led the global electrification revolution for the last century. General Electric or GE as it is more commonly known was always synonymous with excellence but that is not … Continued

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October 4 2018

The future of wind power looks very positive

I recently visited Wind Energy Hamburg where I spent a day walking around and meeting executives in companies across the wind value chain. It was a much more buoyant show that the same event last year with solid growth expected in global wind installations this year (58GW, up from 52GW in 2017) with 2019 expected to … Continued

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6th Sept

Why we need a power blackout

There is a lot of talk of cyber-security in the media and nearly all of us have had a computer virus or have been in some way affected by a cyber-attack, but for most of us they have not been that serious. A cyber-attack on the power system, on the other hand, would be very … Continued

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25th Aug

Who will build the first successful energy platform business?

One stop digital interfaces such as Amazon as well as the growing use of smart phones and other internet based platforms such as Spotify and Facebook are impelling companies across the world to change how they interact with customers, as well as how they attract and retain business. We are actually in the midst of … Continued

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Why we need to understand China’s Energy Strategy

China’s thirst for energy has fueled its incredible economic development over the last two decades, but it has come at a hidden risk, the growing dependence of the country on energy imports, be that coal, oil or natural gas. In addition, the economy is too reliant on coal for its energy needs which is a major … Continued

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0-6

The Future of Coal?

There were two reports published earlier this month which made me think about coal, one was from Credit Suisse and the other BNEF. The report from Credit Suisse, using IEA data, sees coal remaining the prime energy source of energy for power generation across the globe in the coming decades. BNEF, in stark contrast, see coal … Continued

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0-5

Trying to make sense out of the RWE/E.ON utility deal

It was with great surprise to me some weeks back that Germany’s biggest utility E.ON reached an “agreement in principle” with its biggest competitor RWE to acquire its grid and retail business Innogy via a wide-ranging “exchange of assets,” including RWE taking over the renewables and other power generation businesses of E.ON. The result, if the … Continued

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0-4

Why we will electrify trucking faster than you think (and it has nothing to do with Tesla)

Most people are starting to believe that the automobile will become electrified. What is disputed is the timing and whether the automobile will be hybrid or fully electric, and whether it will be battery or fuel cell powered. The same, however, can not be said of trucks. Given the range and power needed, most commentators, … Continued

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Are we about to see a renaissance of the forgotten renewable energy geothermal?

We have been using heat from under the earth’s surface for bathing and wellness purposes for thousands of years. The Italians took it a step forward in 1902 with the opening of the Larderello field when for the first time geothermal heat, as is known, was used to power steam turbines and to generate electricity. … Continued

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The rush for cobalt and what it means for EVs

Two years ago, I identified the significance of cobalt for the future of the electric vehicle. My investments have paid off well. But, sadly, many of the automobile manufacturers such as VW did not understand the significance of cobalt and their inability to secure the material now puts their whole electrification strategy in danger. This … Continued

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The Case for Nationalising Energy

It was with great interest that I read Jeremy Corbyn’s, (the leader of the UK’s opposition) recent speech to the Alternative Models of Ownership Conference. Much of his speech was about the Labour Party’s pledge to ‘bring energy, rail, water, and mail into public ownership’ which got me thinking about whether this makes economic sense … Continued

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The Bosch Solar complex

The Bosch Solar complex and why they and the wider investor community should not be comparing batteries to solar

Bosch was one of the first global industrial players to actively invest into solar. They saw the huge growth opportunity. They bought some very interesting businesses such as Ersol, Aleo Solar and Johanna Solar. However, they could not make any of them work and exited solar production some years ago, having lost over €3bn. Painful … Continued

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Coming soon the Amazon of Energy

Coming soon the Amazon of Energy

What platforms like Amazon, WhatsApp, Spotify and Facebook have taught over the last years is that size matters and that once such a business reaches a certain scale, they produce customer benefits that cannot be matched by smaller platforms, often described as “network effects”. These businesses then have almost monopoly power and their access to … Continued

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Autonomous cars are coming faster than most think and they will have a big impact

Autonomous cars are coming faster than most think and they will have a big impact

I am clear that my 6 year old will not learn to drive. By the time she reaches the age when she can, she will either not want to drive or will not be allowed to drive. The car will become a mobile office, or an entertainment center and it will be safer for the … Continued

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Revisiting Peak Oil

Revisiting Peak Oil; entering the era of abundant oil

Rather than witnessing peak oil supply or oil scarcity, we are now seeing a flood of new oil supplies across the world. Rather than worrying about where all the oil we will need in the future is going to come from, we are now talking about when global oil demand will peak. The timing of … Continued

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What exactly is energy?

What exactly is energy? The simple answer is solar.

I was recently asked what energy was, to which I spouted out the school textbook definition I had learned many years ago: “the ability to do work.” But after a few follow up questions from my friend I concluded to myself that I did not really know what energy was. And given that I work … Continued

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The Great Biomass Swindle

The Great Biomass Swindle?

The general held view is that the use of biomass, and particularly wood, for energy purposes is carbon neutral, meaning that any CO2 that is released through the harvesting and burning of that biomass will be compensated by regrowth over time. This view has given rise to many countries supporting biomass as a means to reduce … Continued

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Why the future is not plugin hybrid

Why the future is not plugin hybrid

I recently read an article that some of the German government ministers in Berlin were unhappy with the plugin hybrids they are being chauffeured around in. This got me thinking about my own plug-in-hybrid, the BMW 225xe. I like the car a lot but after a year of driving it, I am clear that it … Continued

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Blustery times ahead for global wind

Just back from a somber affair in Amsterdam known as the Wind Europe conference & exhibition, where I had meetings with executives from companies across the wind value chain. The good news is that this year will be a record year in terms of annual installations in Europe and we are continuing to see increasingly … Continued

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China understood the importance of solar; GE and Siemens never did and are now paying the price

I remember the CEO of a Chinese solar company saying to me over a decade ago that “China has no choice but to dominate global solar.” At the time, they were already well on the way to becoming the major player in global solar production but it’s only now that I really understand what he … Continued

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Why the future of batteries is lithium and why they are going to have a big impact!

I constantly here from people that batteries are just not good enough; that they are too expensive, that they cannot hold enough energy, that that they take too long to charge. In a nutshell, that they can never replace oil to power the automobile or be used alongside solar panels to power our everyday home … Continued

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Why electric vehicles will come faster than you think

I am firmly convinced that the electrification of the automobile will happen faster than most people expect. However, I also realize that over the next few years the market will probably grow slower than more ambitious projections, which will of course fuel the doubters. In fact, we are seeing this right now as many delight … Continued

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The 5 reasons why China will rule the world of automobiles

I was at the Frankfurt Automobile Show last week, the biggest automobile show in Europe. There was lots of excitement around e-mobility and most manufacturers had some new electric concept car on show. That said two of the biggest EV manufacturers in the world, Nissan and Tesla did not even have a stand there and … Continued

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How the automobile industry put their own future in jeopardy thanks to a poor EV strategy

The electrification and digitalization of the automobile presents significant challenges to manufacturers be they BMW, Toyota, Ford, VW or Mercedes. One of the biggest impacts will be on the profitability of manufacturers which are likely to come under increasing pressure from new competitors such as Tesla and a whole pile of new Chinese competitors including over 15 … Continued

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