LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – Upstream solar companies are
finally cutting prices under pressure from their customers’
fight for survival, with profit margins showing more fat to trim
and potential relief to the struggling sector.
Margins are falling at top producers, but still have a long
way to go when compared with the downstream end, in a gradual
re-balancing across the value chain.
LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – European consumer electricity
bills will have to rise over the next decade.
Current wholesale prices are not sufficient to cover the
capital and operating costs of building new gas, nuclear or
renewable energy to replace the looming closure of a raft of
coal and nuclear power plants.
LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) – Germany plans to phase out nuclear
power and Japan may follow, but history shows that neither can
make up the energy supply gap with efficiency alone.
That will push them towards fossil fuels, putting climate
goals further under stress, illustrating that the world may not
be able to avoid low-carbon nuclear.
LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Trends in global economic growth
and rising CO2 emissions rule out optimism that climate targets
can be met, even while the world gets to grip with energy
The continuing financial crisis and record high oil prices
in 2008 haven’t driven a low-carbon revolution which green
lobbyists and agencies including the United Nations urged three
LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) – The electricity transmission
sector has escaped the kinds of competitive pressures stalking
energy supply technologies, offering investors less risky, solid
growth, but they require massive expansion and upgrade projects
that often face delays.
Cut-throat Chinese competition has crushed margins in
renewable energy manufacturing, creating a cycle of falling
subsidies and rising overcapacity for wind turbines and solar
panels, which has led to layoffs and bankruptcies.
LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) – Europe needs to engage the
multi-trillion-dollar bond market in financing renewable energy
projects, but bonds can’t altogether replace bank loans, which
are contracting sharply.
European Union countries lead the world in targets to deploy
wind, solar, bioenergy in power generation, but meeting these is
another matter following sharp falls in bank lending, the
traditional mainstay of energy project finance.
LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – More data on the greenhouse gas
emissions impact of shale oil and gas is needed to pinpoint
their climate impact, something which recalls a controversy
over Canadian tar sands where opposing lobby groups were said to
have cherry-picked data.
Shale gas has revolutionised the U.S. energy industry,
pressuring prices while tight (also called shale) oil production
is on a steep upward curve. Each was enabled by advances in
horizontal drilling technology.
LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – As countries go offshore to
generate more consistent wind power and avoid blight to their
landscapes caused by onshore turbines, they will be increasingly
limited to unproven, floating turbine designs, adding to doubts
The problems underline the fraught issues behind a modern
energy strategy, balancing carbon emissions, security of supply
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – The European Commission has
smartly dodged a Polish roadblock on carbon market reforms, but
only with a short-term proposal for boosting prices which could
still leave these languishing until 2015 or beyond.
The European commission is in favour of higher carbon
prices, to drive emissions cuts, but at least one EU member
state, Poland, disagrees, and from there stems a skirmish which
threatens the scheme.
LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – The plunging share prices in
green energy manufacturers has fuelled speculation of a takeover
spree – but there is a catch: finding a buyer in a falling
The same share price collapse which saw renewable energy
companies emerge as bargains makes them risky until the bottom
of a continuing fallout is more clearly in sight.