Can UK power market reform replace the capacity market?

National Grid helicopter inspecting power lines

The UK has just completed another auction for a large amount of backup power capacity. The country’s capacity market scheme will cost ratepayers many billions of pounds. Independent consultant Gerard Wynn wonders if they are really necessary. … [Read more...]

Lumenaza creates regional electricity markets: “We want to connect up all 1.4 million solar PV producers in Germany with consumers locally”

Christian Chudoba

A new software platform in Germany lets utilities buy and sell “regional electricity” by connecting up small producers with consumers. Start-up Lumenaza, founded three years ago, meets a growing demand for transparency, explains CEO and founder Christian Chudoba in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. Unlike a typical virtual power plant, Lumenaza targets tiny producers such as owners of rooftop solar. Its goal is to connect up all of … [Read more...]

Interview Francesco Starace, CEO Enel: “We have stopped investing in projects that take more than 2 or 3 years”

Francesco Starace, CEO Enel

“Our aim is to grow the use of electricity as energy vector”. This is how Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel, one of the world’s largest utilities and perhaps the biggest producer of renewable energy in the world, describes the strategic goal of his company. According to Starace, the utility of the future owns and manages a digitised grid that connects up decentralised green energy sources and is at the centre of a whole new system of energy products … [Read more...]

Corporate America’s huge appetite for clean energy

Roof of IKEA at Houston (photo Synapticburn)

An increasing number of corporations are directly buying or building their own clean electricity, writes Elias Hinckley, a US-based strategic energy advisor. Companies across the business spectrum, ranging from Apple to Dow, General Motors and Bank of America, have set goals for 100% renewable power. Hinckley explains the reasons for this trend and notes that energy suppliers and investors cannot afford to ignore this huge new market. … [Read more...]

Energy prices, not capacity mechanisms, are key to ensuring reliability at the lowest cost

Electricity (photo Thomas Hawk)

Electricity generators often claim that prices cannot fully reflect the value of the reliability they offer the market. Hence they insist they need separate capacity payments to justify investments. But according to Mike Hogan of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), the current energy market design is fully able to reflect the value of reliability, even if it doesn’t always do so in practice. In a new report, he describes a smarter approach, … [Read more...]

Ukrainian crisis can be solved – with an Energiewende

protest against fossil fuels for rnewables February 2015 Kiev (photo

A Ukrainian Energiewende could go a long way to resolving the current geopolitical crisis around the country, writes Oleg Savitsky of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine in a new report for the Succow Stiftung. According to Savitsky, it would reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas and uranium as well as on coal from the breakaway regions, while at the same time reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of a nuclear … [Read more...]

Interview Professor Han Wenke: “China’s energy sector is opening up”

solar powered electric vehicle in Anyang China March 2015

Less coal. Less bureaucracy. More renewables. More market. Those are four key elements in the “new balance” China is seeking in its energy sector, after years of huge growth in fossil fuel consumption. Professor Han Wenke, Director-General of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s largest ministry, explains the ramifications of the new Five-Year Plan for the energy sector in an interview … [Read more...]