My work on Energy Post is focused on the great 21st century sustainability challenge: quadrupling the size of the global economy, while reducing CO2 emissions to zero. I seek to contribute a consistently pragmatic viewpoint to the ongoing debate on this crucial topic. My formal research focus is on second generation CO2 capture processes because these systems will be ideally suited to the likely future scenario of a much belated scramble for deep and rapid decarbonization of the global energy system.
Everyone knows coal plants are bad for the environment. So why do countries still use them? Coal’s attractiveness comes from the relatively low up front capital investment required to start generating energy. On top of that, the rapid rise of variable renewables (solar, wind) need something to rise with it to fill the generation gap when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. In his final instalment - after his similarly detailed … [Read more...]
Schalk Cloete presents his latest article looking at what affects the profitability of an investment in a specific power sector. After reviewing onshore wind, nuclear and solar, he now looks at gas. His analysis of coal is to come. The major variables are increasing CO2 prices, and natural gas pricing. He adds that the growth of wind and solar should benefit load-following gas power plants: they are plugging the intermittency gap when electricity … [Read more...]
Schalk Cloete presents his latest paper looking at what affects the profitability of an investment in a power sector. After reviewing onshore wind and nuclear, he now looks at solar. His analysis of coal and gas are to come. Intermittency, market share, maintenance, integration costs and other factors are modelled in detail to help predict solar’s future. *This article is brought to you via our new author platform. If you have an article you … [Read more...]
What affects the profitability of an investment in nuclear energy? What are the risks? Energy researcher and analyst Schalk Cloete presents his latest paper on the matter. He looks at the various effects on nuclear power investment, including the rise of other competing renewable energy sources, and the changing price of energy. *This article is brought to you via our new author platform. If you have an article you want to submit to us for … [Read more...]
Bans on subsidies (in some countries) and reduced costs have hit total investment in onshore wind. Meanwhile, market share continues to grow across the EU28. Wind energy now accounts for almost 20% of installed capacity for power generation which makes researcher Schalk Cloete's sobering analysis of risks for onshore wind well worth reading. Following up on his previous article, he examines current assumptions and argues that the discount rate … [Read more...]
In the current policy environment many energy technologies can appear attractive with the right set of assumptions: discounted clean energy technologies (wind, solar and nuclear) where the discount rate is heavily influenced by risk (see graph) and, perhaps surprisingly, new load-following fossil fuel plants (especially natural gas) where continued wind/solar technology forcing actually provides substantial upside potential. CCS researcher Schalk … [Read more...]