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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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Have we reached an inflexion point for solar investors?

Unbelievable is a word that one should rarely use, but it is the best adjective to describe developments over the last years in the solar sector. For instance, in 2007 a 220watt 60 cell solar module, from the now bankrupt German producer SOLON, cost €822. Today a similar module costs €95. The price collapse happened … Continued

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Who will be the winners in the Digital Energy Revolution?

There are five key technologies, the 5 S’s of semiconductors, sensors and software, as well as solar and storage, which are poised to revolutionise our energy world in the coming years. Fossil fuels producers will be the ultimate losers. The economics of technologies such as solar and electric cars will be too good to ignore and the … Continued

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2017 will prove to be a record year for global solar installations

At the start of every year I estimate what the global installations of solar will be. And every year I get it wrong and I continually underestimate the size of the solar market. You would think I should learn from my mistakes but I am constantly surprised by the growth in solar. I had expected a slowdown in the … Continued

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Why the new utility mantra is “get close to the customer”

The digital revolution is all around us but as an energy buyer, I have not seen any change in the way my utility interacts with me, and this is despite every utility executive telling me that they are digitalising their businesses. My interaction with my energy retailer and my local distribution grid operator are still as … Continued

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Why we need to ban diesel cars

I recently took part in a podium discussion organised by the European Commission on how to push innovation in energy. All of the podium panellists were asked; if Europe could do one thing, what would it be. My answer was simple: ban diesel cars. My rational was simple: diesel technology is not future proof and Europe is … Continued

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The technology shift going on in solar is great for the consumer but many producers will not survive

I was recently at the Intersolar Conference in Munich and for the first time in many years I came back very excited about what I saw. We are seeing a big technology shift in solar with an increasing focus not only on just reducing the cost of the solar panel but also on lowering the cost of … Continued

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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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