17 April 2019

10 Jahre Global Energy Briefing

By |2019-04-17T19:11:09+02:00Wednesday, 17 April 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|0 Comments

Zehn Jahre Global Energy Briefing. Der Newsletter ist jetzt im 11. Jahrgang und gehört damit schon zu den “dienstältesten” deutschsprachigen Newsletter im Bereich Energiemärkte.

Seine Alleinstellungsmerkmale sind der explizit internationale Fokus von China über Europa bis zu den USA, sowie die breite Abdeckung der Energiewelt vom Öl bis zur Photovoltaik.

Ab diesem Jahrgang gibt es zwei Veränderungen:

(1) Neben die Marktanalysen treten jetzt Strategieanalysen der führenden Energiekonzerne der Welt, insbesondere unter dem Blickwinkel der globalen Energy Transition.

(2) Schon seit Jahresbeginn erscheint der Newsletter nicht nur in deutscher, sondern auch in englischer Sprache.

Unser Dank gilt allen Abonnentinnen und Abonnenten in Deutschland, der Schweiz, Österreich und Benelux!

17 April 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 174: International Energy Markets & Company Strategies (DEU/ENG)

By |2019-04-17T12:19:30+02:00Wednesday, 17 April 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

German + English Edition Available!

Our April newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.174, 53pp) covers two topics:

A. Prices and market balance in the oil, gas and hard coal markets worldwide.

B. Company strategies and market trends in fossil and renewable energy markets (including EV and batteries).

Some focus topics of this issue are:
(a) Price divergence between fuels has further deepened: Oil, carbon up, gas, coal down; price outlook Brent
(b) the changing character of the US gas market; gas flaring in the Permian

c) Global oil companies: Three strategic groups emerging – features and outlook; China´s oil giants under pressure;
d) LNG and commodity traders;
e) PV giants: strategies and financial balances
f) Global wind turbine makers: rankings and financial stability; market access to China remains difficult
g) Shell´s utility strategy; global overview: NextEra,  Xcel,  Eskom
h) Electric vehicles: New EV policy in China; update global statistics


Please find more on our newsletter subscription options here, or follow us on Twitter here. The newsletter is available in ENGLISH and in GERMAN.

25 March 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 173: International Energy Markets and Company Strategies in March 2019 (Deutsch/English)

By |2019-04-17T12:18:54+02:00Monday, 25 March 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

The new edition of our newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.173, 53pp) covers two topics:

A. Prices and market balance in the oil, gas and hard coal markets worldwide.

B. Company strategies and market trends in fossil and renewable energy markets (including EV and batteries).

Some focus themes of this issue are:
(a) oil price outlook and 2019/2020 shale oil volumes; the slump in global gas prices; update EV sales statistics;
(b) preliminary model of “strategies in transition”; the future of the Permian Basin; strategic moves by Shell, Saudi Aramco, Tongwei, LONGi, SPIC, Senvion, Iberdrola, EDP, RWE, VW; trends in the global FTM and BTM battery markets.
(c) vademecum: global energy data.


Please find more on our newsletter subscription options here, or follow us on Twitter here. The newsletter is available in ENGLISH and in GERMAN.

18 February 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 172 : International Energy Markets in February 2019 (English/Deutsch)

By |2019-02-26T13:06:46+02:00Monday, 18 February 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|0 Comments

The new edition of our newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.172) covers prices and trends of major energy markets worldwide. Main topics are: Oil market & oil price outlook, gas markets (EU, US, LNG/Asia), hard coal prices, EV sales statistics; global energy data.


Please find more on our newsletter subscription here, or follow us on Twitter here. The newsletter is available in ENGLISH and in GERMAN.

28 January 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 171 : Markets and Strategies in January 2019 (English/Deutsch)

By |2019-01-28T17:57:03+02:00Monday, 28 January 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|0 Comments

The new edition of our newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.171) covers prices, trends and strategies on major energy markets worldwide. Topics are among others: Oil markets, gas markets (EU, US, LNG, Asia), hard coal prices, PV module price trends, EV sales statistics; investment overview renewables worldwide; industry and company strategy news; global energy data.


Please find more on our newsletter subscription here, or follow us on Twitter here. The newsletter is available in ENGLISH and in GERMAN.

21 January 2019

Big Oil abandons oil sands – Canadian companies step in

By |2019-01-31T14:57:12+02:00Monday, 21 January 2019|Categories: oil industry, oil sands|Tags: , |0 Comments

With the notable exception of ExxonMobil, oil majors are leaving the Canadian oil sands sector. They are replaced by Canadian oil companies. 

Imperial Oil, majority owned by ExxonMobil, recently declared it would continue its US$2 billion Aspen project in Alberta. In contrast, Shell and ConocoPhillips are selling their oil-sands assets. Other majors may follow. The reasons are manifold:

  • An increasing number of important institutional investors shareholders shun carbon-intensive oil sands exposure as much as coal. 
  • Moreover, multi-decade oil sands projects are in contrast to a more flexible and more diversified investment approach which is the “strategy du jour” in board rooms these days. Short-term shale projects, diversification into gas, or even offshore wind, meet off-risk demands in a better way.
  • The main problem, however, for all oil sands operators is logistics. The existing pipeline capacity to consumer areas is exhausted. Rail, barge and even truck transport are used but at a considerable cost and with limited capacity. 

When transport bottlenecks pressed most Canadian crude prices to just 13 $/b politics stepped in. Large Producers such as Canadian Natural Resources, Nexen Energy and Cenovus Energy, who lack access to own refineries, demanded from government a temporary cut in production. The push met opposition by Suncor Energy, Imperial Oil and Husky Energy. Their refineries generate enormous wind-fall profits thanks to low input prices. Now, a kind of “Mini Opec” forces Canadian operators to cut their production since the beginning of this year. Spreads have almost normalized.

Canadian oil sands producers are counting on three proposals for new takeaway capacity to defuse transport problems: the 830,000 b/d Keystone XL pipeline, the 590,000 b/d Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to British Columbia, and a 370,000 b/d expansion of Enbridge’s Line 3 into the US Midwest. But there are major legal and political obstables for all three projects.

The last major oil sand project was (Canadian) Suncor Energy´s Fort Hills project in 2013, which is now ramping up to full output. Independent Suncor Energy holds the top position in Canadian oil sands. In fact, it is already a “mini major”. It currently has about 940,000 barrels a day of oil production capacity and a large refining business. Enterprise value is about US$80 billion.

Canadian companies bet on an increase in efficiency, innovation and benign climate policies. Oil sand is still a very young industry. Operating costs at Suncor fell from over 30 US-Dollar per barrel in 2012 down to below 20 US-Dollar in 2017. They expect to get even below 15 US-Dollar per barrel oil in a few years time, thanks to autonomous oil sands trucks and digitalization of operations.

Read more on strategies of large energy companies in the next edition of our Global Energy Briefing (German and English version available)

Images: Courtesy Suncor Energy; Wikipedia Commons (N.Einstein) 

18 January 2019

Electric Car Sales 2018: China storms ahead RoW. Global EV market share at 2.1 percent

By |2019-01-18T17:36:24+02:00Friday, 18 January 2019|Categories: China, electric vehicles, internal combustion vehicles (ICV)|0 Comments

Electric car sales climbed by 65 per cent in 2018 and reached the 2.0 million unit mark, as preliminary numbers suggest.

This corresponds to a 2.1 per cent share of global car sales.

China´s EV market share climbed to 53 per cent, i.e. the country sold more EVs than the rest of the world.

Read more on this topic and see country specific numbers and charts  in the next edition of our Global Energy Briefing (German and English version available for subscribers)

Source of charts: Global Energy Briefing No 171 (forthcoming) 

17 January 2019

Made in Japan: The British nuclear exit – Hitachi abandons all nuclear projects

By |2019-01-17T20:05:41+02:00Thursday, 17 January 2019|Categories: nuclear industry, United Kingdom|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

1. Hitachi´s exit

Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi (6501:JP; $30bn market cap) abruptly stops its nuclear power projects in the U.K. They announced to book a loss of $2.8bn (300bn Yen) to write down its British nuclear business. 

Hitachi also said they will shift away from the reactor sales business worldwide. After the $6.4bn acquisition of ABB´s power grid division in last December, the risks to its balance sheet apparently were judged too high. 

Financial investors welcomed the step. Hitachi shares in Japan jumped by more than 10 percent late last week when first reports were published.

2. The projects

This means the end to the large Wylfa nuclear plant (Wales) which was originally planned by German utilities E.ON and RWE some years ago. It also means the end to the second Hitachi plant planned in Oldbury.

The exit represents a major blow to British energy policies, started by Tony Blair in 2006, which were to rely on new nuclear plants to replace aging units over the next two decades. Wylfa alone was to provide 7 percent of British power. About 7 GW of nuclear capacity are scheduled to shut down in the 2020s.

Late last year Japan´s Toshiba quit the Moorside nuclear project in the UK in a similar move. EDF´s project in Sizewell (a carbon copy of Hinkley) and Bradwell (Chinese design) appear vague, as EDF lacks the financial firepower and as political troubles with China mount. At present, Hinkley Point (EDF and China´s CGN) is the only new nuclear project under construction. 

3. British energy policy

The British government was prepared to guarantee high power sales prices (Wylva 75 GBP/MWh, Hinkley 92.5 GBP/MWh, both plus inflation adjustment), but the upfront construction cost risk remained a major hurdle. London now contemplates a switch to “regulated asset base” approaches which could shift the construction cost risk to taxpayers.

London is now in an awkward position of either relying more on Chinese nuclear suppliers, or to burn more gas and coal, or to double its efforts to promote renewable power generation and large energy storage. 

4. Nuclear industry: “Inspire the Next”

Hitachi´s exit shifts the nuclear turnkey business even more to Russian and Chinese state-backed suppliers and implies the end of Japanese nuclear projects abroad. Japan´s nuclear companies had amassed a number of projects over the past decade. None of them materialized as cost estimates were rising and investor risks appeared too high. 

Japan´s farewell to global nuclear ambitions will not be the last. Other companies will follow Hitachi´s slogan: “Inspire the next”.

Read more on this evolving story and related news in the next edition of our Global Energy Briefing (German and English version available for subscribers)

Image shows Hitachi Logo 

16 January 2019

The glass ceiling of global clean energy investment – new BNEF numbers cast doubt on market approach

By |2019-01-16T18:02:41+02:00Wednesday, 16 January 2019|Categories: China, clean energy, investment trends, pv industry, wind turbines|Tags: |0 Comments

Bloomberg (BNEF) reported today a first estimate on global investment in clean energy in 2018. It dropped 8 per cent to $332.1bn.

The good news is that falling cost of wind turbines and solar panels somehow blur the impact of this sum. In terms of sectors, only wind and solar attracted more than $10bn : 

  • Wind investment was down 3% to $128.6bn (hereof offshore +14% to $25.7bn) 
  • Solar investment was down 24% to $130.8bn (mainly due to a 53% slump in Chinese investment to $40.4bn) 

In geographical terms, the downturn was mainly due to China where investment was down 32% to $100.1 billion. That was still enough to keep the top spot, followed by the U.S. (+12%), Japan (-16%), India (-21%) and Germany (-32% to $10.5bn).

The authors expect another reduction of both costs and overall investment in 2019. This would be bad news for #wind turbine and #PV cell/module makers. 

The really disappointing news, however, is the stagnation of clean energy investment for nine years in a row, as the chart shows. Since the year 2010, investment has been more or less stagnating. In stark contrast to media headlines and alarming climate phenomena, clean energy apparently has not become more attractive for the investment community. This is all the more true when we subtract China´s investment share.

In a broader perspective, this casts more doubt on a market-oriented, liberal approach of energy transition, promoted by BNEF (Liebreich) and many other experts.

Read more on this BNEF report and related news in the next edition of our Global Energy Briefing (German and English version available for subscribers)

Image shows BNEF chart 

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