Follow Us

Blog

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

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
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

Read More
AAIAAQDGAAoAAQAAAAAAAAu4AAAAJGRmODQ2MGE1LWVlYjAtNDhkYi1iZjM3LWQ3MTkwM2ExMGY5ZQ

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

Read More
AAIAAQDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAvIAAAAJGI0MDVhZmQ5LWQ4NzAtNDZhMi05YzQ0LTBiODgzM2E4NDI4ZA

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

Read More
AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAtjAAAAJDliMThhMDA5LWQwOGItNDgxNi1hYzBhLTFiYzJiNmZhODE1NA

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

Read More
AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAo_AAAAJGM2NGVkYjRkLWVjM2ItNDcxMS1hY2ExLThkMjNhY2JkZTMyNw

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAxoAAAAJDlhODIyYWJjLTE2N2QtNDAwYy1iYTg4LTk2NTVmNGY2OGEwNg

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAuwAAAAJGQzNTA5NWFkLTIzZjMtNDAwNi1hMDMzLWY3NDZlMTliMzE2Ng

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAA2EAAAAJDFhZGJkZmM5LWZmOWEtNGFmOC1hNTRkLTIzNDAyNmQ1YmJhMw

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAwLAAAAJDNjM2RjYjgzLWJkNjktNDYyZi04OTBhLWIzYTc1MjQxNjYyNg

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAnBAAAAJDE1NjA1NTAzLWNlZTQtNGQyMS1hN2Q1LTlkNWZjNzZkZmFjOA

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAqkAAAAJGVhYWU5NjFhLTAwNGEtNDg1NS1iNDRkLWQ0NjMxOTczM2ZkMw

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAylAAAAJGQyMWE1MDQzLTljYzYtNGZhYi04MGEzLTAyOTdmMjFkNDg0Yg

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAnyAAAAJGIyZmUyMDVlLTU0OWQtNDg1ZC05YWRiLTBhOGRiNjZhOTg0OA

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAA3YAAAAJGNhNTcyOGMwLWZjNzUtNDQwZi1iZTViLWNhNWI2NmI3OGZkZQ

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

Read More
IMG_8787

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAm5AAAAJDI1ZTQ0MGExLWQxZGUtNDUwOC05NDE4LTVkYjUwYzIwODBhMg-1

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAv2AAAAJGMzOWM0ZGY1LTk1OGEtNGExYy1iZWE1LTVhZGU0ZjViMzE1Mg

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

Read More
AAEAAQAAAAAAAAuEAAAAJDFiNjFlZGQwLTVlNzgtNDc2ZS04YjM3LTU5YTM4YmRjNTcwOQ

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

Read More
imgres

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

Read More