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28 January 2019

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

By |2019-05-20T13:10:27+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

21 January 2019

Big Oil abandons oil sands – Canadian companies step in

By |2019-05-08T19:42:10+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 […]

18 January 2019

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

By |2019-05-08T19:39:30+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.

17 January 2019

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

By |2019-05-08T19:54:27+02:00Thursday, 17 January 2019|Categories: nuclear industry, United Kingdom|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

1. Hitachi´s exitJapanese 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

16 January 2019

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

By |2019-05-08T19:52:25+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, […]

15 January 2019

Oil majors in transition: Shell to bid for Dutch Utility Eneco

By |2019-05-20T13:03:29+02:00Tuesday, 15 January 2019|Categories: Netherlands, oil industry, utilities|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Oil & Gas Major Royal Dutch Shell and Dutch pension fund PGGM formed a consortium to take over Dutch utility Eneco.

Eneco

Eneco is owned by 53 Dutch municipalities. In a turbulent political process they have decided to sell the company a few months ago. The company value is estimated in the region of €3bn. 

Total turnover in 2017 was €3.4bn. Although more known for its renewable investments, Eneco still generates half of its power (10.3 TWh p.a. in 2017) by fossil fuels, mainly gas. 

Eneco also has a large trading division focused on gas trading (45.3 TWh) and power trading (21.5 TWh).

Shell

The Dutch/British gas and oil giant recently declared to invest $1-2bn per year in its New Energies division, established in 2016. This corresponds to 4-8% of its total investment of around $25bn. 

Its European peers (in contrast to its US peers) pursue similar strategies: BP, Total, ENI and Equinor have pledged around $0.5 bn per year for renewables. ENI plans to increase renewable investments from 0.5 to 1.2bn over the next years. And Equinor even announced […]

11 January 2019

Global Ranking of PV Cell Producers: China 8 : US 1

By |2019-01-14T15:37:08+02:00Friday, 11 January 2019|Categories: China, pv industry|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Solar expert Finlay Colville recently presented the 2018 ranking of solar cell producers. In a nutshell, Chinese PV companies strengthened their position, in line with Beijing´s NDRC plan to dominate specific global growth industries.

1. About ten years ago the Chinese PV industry accelerated global expansion and strengthened the vertical value chain within China (module, cell, wafer, ingot, poly). But they still faced strong competition from high-quality pure cell producers in Taiwan, Japan and Germany and from thin-film specialists such as FirstSolar (U.S.).

2. Soon after, the Japanese and German producers were outcompeted via costs. Over time, even Taiwanese cell producers such as Hanwha Q-CELLS were unable to keep pace with the extremely fast expansion plans of their (mainland) Chinese competitors. 

3. In the next step, even Chinese pure-play cell producers such as Tongwei and Aiko set up a blistering pace of investment with multipes of 5 GW factories, disregarding any risk of oversupply and financial losses.

Ranking 2018

Today, the chart shows that 8 out of the Top 10 PV cell producers are Chinese companies, joined by Hanwha Q-CELLS (Korea) and […]

10 January 2019

Peak Car in 2018?

By |2019-01-11T20:41:26+02:00Thursday, 10 January 2019|Categories: China, electric vehicles|Tags: |0 Comments

What is the state of the Chinese economy? Growth estimates for 2018 differ widely between the official 6.x percent, down to less than 2 per cent.

A strong indicator of weakness is the official car sales number for 2018. It declined, for the first time since 1990, by almost 6 per cent to 22.7 million units. December numbers were even 19 percent below last year, as Bloomberg (CAAM) reported.

The market of combustion engine cars (i.e. gasoline or diesel driven) suffered even more because the sales numbers of electric cars rose, thanks to generous government and municipal support. The fleet of new battery-electric cars (BEV) and plug-in hybrids grew strongly to over 1 million units in 2018 and may reach 1.6 million units in 2019 as strict quotas come into force.

But problems are not confined to the Chinese market. The headline-grabbing diesel car scandals may mask a global sales crisis of gasoline/diesel cars, as a recent study by RBC Capital suggests (see image above). Main reasons are urban smog policies, quickly […]

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