To keep European offshore wind world-leading, we need an industrial policy

photo Danish Wind Industry Association-slider

To retain the global lead European companies have in offshore wind, the EU should develop an industrial policy that will guarantee a steady pipeline of projects, writes independent energy expert Mike Parr. This would ensure continued investment by companies in cost reduction and technology improvements. Failure to do so could mean the offshore wind sector would suffer the same fate as the European solar PV industry. … [Read more...]

The secret behind the sensational Dutch offshore wind record

offshore wind farm off the Welsh coast (photo Aaron)

Dong Energy has set a record low price for an offshore wind farm in the Netherlands. According to energy expert Mike Parr, the Dutch achieved this result thanks to their tendering model – following the Danes – offering a shovel-ready project to operators. UK wind farms are much more expensive because the UK lets operators carry out preparatory work by themselves. In any case, the future for offshore wind now looks bright. … [Read more...]

Delusions or lies? The UK government’s five spurious reasons to back Hinkley Point C

David Cameron addresses workers at Hinkley B as part of his visit to the site of Hinkley Point C, Oct 2013 (photo DECC)

The UK's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) on 12 March published a short list of reasons why the proposed 3.2 GWs of nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point should be built. The publication, 5 Reasons why we are backing Hinkley Point C, is a mix of truth, unprovable assertions and omissions which could also be construed as lies, writes independent energy consultant Mike Parr. … [Read more...]

How realistic is the UK government’s promise to phase out coal?

Drax power station (photo Keith Laverack)

The conservative UK government boosted its climate credentials last year with its promise that all coal plants will be shut down by 2025. However, notes Mike Parr of consultancy PWR, this ignores certain inconvenient facts that will make delivery of this promise unlikely. … [Read more...]

Power-to-gas: how carmakers can go green (without cheating)

Audi g-tron

European carmakers are required to reduce their CO2-emissions, but the Volkswagen affair has shown they find it increasingly difficult to do so. There is a way out, however, writes energy consultant Mike Parr: they could follow the example of Audi and invest in power-to-gas systems. This would kill two birds with one stone, argues Parr: it would help decarbonise the transport sector and could enormously help the integration of variable renewables … [Read more...]

Danish offshore wind: it’s getting better all the time

Building of Horns Rev 2 by Don Energy 2008 (photo Danish Wind Industry Association)

Denmark continues to set the pace in driving down the cost of offshore wind. In its latest tender for 350 MW of near-shore wind farms the maximum price has again been reduced. Danish offshore wind now costs roughly half of what the new nuclear plant at Hinkley in the UK will cost. … [Read more...]

ExxonMobil gets a cold reception in Brussels


William Colton, Vice President Corporate Strategic Planning at ExxonMobil, came to Brussels this week, to the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), to present ExxonMobil’s view of our energy future to representatives from EU institutions. It was a clash of two worlds. Brussels failed to be impressed. Mike Parr of the independent consultancy PWR was there. … [Read more...]