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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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Russia and the changing world of European gas

Natural gas prices in Europe are sitting at close to five years lows. This has happened for a variety of reasons but in particular weak demand, the shale gas revolution and changes in EU policy which have increased competition across the gas markets. Europe’s major gas supplier Russia sees the low prices as a short … Continued

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The coming of the hydrogen economy, finally?

Hydrogen and fuel cells seem to be in the news again. We have Honda and Toyotabringing out fuel cells cars and then we have Europe’s largest utility Engie proclaiming that the future is hydrogen. I must admit though I am a little sceptical as I have heard this tune before, and I still doubt the … Continued

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Maybe the worst is behind for Uniper but can we say the same for E.ON?

Right before our eyes, we are seeing new technology enabled service business models across energy. The new business model of utilities are not about selling KWhs of electricity but instead selling flatrates, software as a service, energy service agreements, platforms for data sharing, all of which are empowering customers across the world. But change is … Continued

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How cheap and decentralized energy storage will revolutionize our world

Batteries may have been around for the last 100 years but the technology and cost reduction advances we have seen in the last years has been nothing short of remarkable. In 2009, lithium-ion battery packs were priced at $1,300 per KWh; today they are below $350/KWh with a clear cost roadmap towards $100/KWh over the next … Continued

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Implications of National Grid’s decision to use batteries to help balance the UK power grid

National Grid, the UK transmission operator, recently awarded seven providers, EDF, Vattenfall, Low Carbon, E.ON, RES, Element Power and Belectric, with four year contracts to provide 200MW of so called Enhanced Frequency Response power than can be dispatched quickly to keep the UK power grid in balance and stable. What was interesting about this award … Continued

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The return of the war of the currents and why DC may win this time

On September 4, 1882 the great inventor Thomas Edison turned on America’s first power plant, Pearl Street Station, in downtown New York City. It supplied power in the form of direct current (DC) to 85 wealthy and influential customers in lower Manhattan including JP Morgan, the NY Stock Exchange, and some of the country’s most … Continued

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Why the electrification of transport is gathering momentum…

Today, the largest truck in the world is the Liebherr T282B. This 203 tonne beast is 14.5 meters long and 7.4 meters high. It can haul a massive 365 tonnes of material and is propelled by one of the most powerful internal combustion engines in the world, a 90 litre diesel engine weighing 10.5 tonnes. … Continued

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A good day for the UK consumer and the future of nuclear

The UK government stunned the energy world by announcing a review of the proposed building of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. I applaud the bravery of the British Prime Minister Theresa May and her “11th hour” decision which will not only be good for the British consumer but also for the future of nuclear. … Continued

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The Digital Energy Revolution is on a good way

We are in the midst of a revolution in our energy world, a revolution caused by a mix of new business models and four key technologies: solar, software, semiconductors and storage. The good news is that the world will be a better place because of the digital energy revolution, but electric utilities, and other traditional … Continued

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The coming of Utility 2.0 and a word of warning to the energy utility

I have spent much of the last three week at different conferences, workshops and trade shows as well as visiting a whole host of companies. In total, I have met executives from over 75 energy companies across the world from utilities such as Engie, Enel, Vattenfall and EDP, renewable energy equipment producers such as Canadian … Continued

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Brexit and it what it means for the future of UK energy

I awoke last Friday morning to find that the UK had decided to exit from the European Union (EU). I was a bit shocked to say the least and then I went to breakfast to meet an enraged Irishman who had just lost a small fortune because of the investments he had made in UK … Continued

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Developing decentralised power markets to match local generation

The idea of a centralised power market where you have “one power price” for a particular country or region is the norm throughout most of the world. However, with the build-up of intermittent renewables, most of which is going into the local or distribution grid, there are increasing issues in transporting that to other regions and … Continued

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The Last Chance for Offshore Wind

2016 was not only a record year for global wind installations with a massive 62.3GW of new installations but it was also a record year for offshore wind which at 4.1GW made up 7% of global installations. The largest market for offshore wind last year was Germany which installed 2.3GW and the good news for … Continued

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Why the German Energiewende needs electric vehicles

As it stands Germany already at times produces enough renewables to meet all of its power needs. This was the case on two Sundays in May when there was so much power available that prices went negative, meaning that generators and traders had to pay people to take that power. In fact, on the 8 … Continued

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Why I am positive about a renewable future despite the fact that we installed more fossil fuels than renewables across the world in 2015

The Paris Agreement from last December was a major event in that it solicited national targets and common agreement on a global goal from more than 190 countries, setting the world on a common path, towards low-carbon energy alternatives.  One of the impacts of this will be that countries will put in regulations pushing cleaner … Continued

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Why I think better times are ahead for solar investors

At this time last year I felt that things were changing and that we were entering a new growth wave of solar growth that would drive valuations, new business model and excitement about the sector. And with the market anticipating the massive growth in solar demand last year (40% growth) stock prices reacted very positively … Continued

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Is the Future of Lighting LEDs or OLEDs?

Light-emitting diodes or LEDs as they are more commonly known are becoming very common place in our homes and businesses. In former years, we knew LEDs as the small red indicator lights you see sometimes on electrical devices but today thanks to massive cost reductions and improvements in technology, LEDs are now being used for … Continued

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The German Automobile Industry’s Date with Destiny

I received this text last weekend from a German utility executive friend: “I met my destiny yesterday. Had a test drive in a Tesla S P90D. Summary: OMG. Unbelievable. Really unbelievable. This is f…ing great. No surprise that they have such success. This thing has a driving mode named INSANE and that’s exactly the right … Continued

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How and why electric vehicles will change the energy world forever

Tesla’s Model 3 has achieved an astonishing 400,000 pre-orders since its pre-launch earlier this month. What’s more astounding is that 115,000 possible buyers sent in their deposit before they even knew what the car looked like. Tesla has again shown that there is real consumer interest and demand for electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, we … Continued

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Why energy storage will ensure that energy remains a difficult but exciting place to invest your money over the next years

We have already seen hundreds of billions of dollars wiped off the value of many of our major energy incumbents noting the massive share price falls of major oil and gas producers like Shell and Exxon, utilities such as NRG Energy, E.ON and Engie not to mention a whole range of bankrupt or near bankrupt … Continued

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Why we are likely to see an extreme upward rebound in the oil price

We are nearly two years on from Saudi Arabia’s decision to cast off its traditional role as the central banker to the oil industry. That decision has led to a significant overproduction of oil and the collapse of the oil price from a high of $115 in June 2014 to below $30 a barrel last … Continued

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