19July 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 179: International Energy Markets in July (Deutsch/English)

By |Friday, 19 July 2019|Categories: coal markets, international gas markets, Newsletter, oil markets|

All you need to know: Our second July newsletter Global Energy Briefing No 179 (32pp) covers the latest trends in international oil, gas and coal markets. We focus on recent oil price movements, OPEC and US shale oil outlook; the second focus is on European gas and global LNG markets as well as the recent coal revival in Asia. We conclude with a look at the latest surge in European carbon prices.

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

11July 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 178: World Energy Statistics – The Race between Renewable and Fossil Energy

By |Thursday, 11 July 2019|Categories: Newsletter, Statistics|

Our early July newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.178, 14pp) is based on the results of BP´s recent “Statistical Review of World Energy 2019”. The short newsletter presents the most interesting numbers and findings in a limited number of easily comprehensible charts – ideal for presentation or illustration.

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

25June 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 177: Big Energy Companies – Strategies, Benchmarks, News (deutsch/english)

By |Tuesday, 25 June 2019|Categories: Allgemein, company strategies, Newsletter, Unternehmensstrategien|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

German + English Edition Available!

Our June newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No.177, 32pp) focuses on our sample of 100 global big energy companies.

Topics are among others:

  • Downstream strategies of Western oil majors and NOCs;
  • LNG investment news;
  • the consolidation of the global wind industry;
  • expansion and re-positioning strategies of leading PV cell/module manufacturers;
  • transition steps of European utilities;
  • latest numbers and trends in global electric car sales;
  • the expansion and globalization of large battery makers.

Companies featured in this newsletter:

  • Saudi Aramco, OMV, Adnoc, Chevron, Phillips 66, Petrobras, Devon, CNRL, Wintershall DEA, Anadarko, Adani,
  • Gazprom, Novatek,
  • Xinjiang Goldwind, Siemens Gamesa, Vestas, Suzlon, Ming Yang, SEwind (Shanghai Electric), Brookfield,
  • LONGi Solar, URE, GCL Poly,
  • Enel, Engie, EDF, Statkraft, Eletrobras, EDP, Iberdrola,
  • CATL, SK Innovation, Northvolt


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

13June 2019

Saudi Aramco: Net profits of $111 billion

By |Thursday, 13 June 2019|Categories: oil industry, Saudi Arabia|Tags: |

Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia and the largest oil producer and oil resource owner of the world. The latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy estimates that the country´s oil resources (2P/50%) are in the region of 290 billion barrels.

Aramco recently published its financial numbers for 2018. They dwarf even the largest Western and Chinese oil majors in some respects:

  • Net income 2018: $111.1bn (+46% year on year)
  • Revenues 2018: $355.9bn (+35% year on year)

Aramco is clearly an extremely profitable company, thanks to a successful oil cartel (OPEC+) and low costs. Aramco more or less sponsors the entire country single-handedly. 

For comparison: ExxonMobil has comparable revenues ($279bn in 2018) but its net income is “just” $31bn before and $21bn after taxes in 2018.

Riyadh was pursuing plans to float a small part of the company in New York or London to raise money. But after lengthy debates about the long-term value of the company and oil resources in general, Riyadh preferred a less complicated way to raise cash through company bonds instead of selling shares.

The capital is needed to diversify and secure future revenues. This happens mainly through downstream integration in petrochemicals and refining in key markets (India, China), and through expanding its natural gas business worldwide.

Sources and more details:


Image: Courtesy Saudi Aramco (Berri Gas Plant)

Read more on this and on related issues in the next edition of our bi-weekly newsletter Global Energy Briefing (more)

12June 2019

Wind industry: Suzlon declines Vestas takeover offer despite heavy debt burden

By |Wednesday, 12 June 2019|Categories: India, wind turbines|Tags: , , |

An offer by Vestas for a majority stake in leading Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon ended without agreement, media reported. Apparently, the takeover price was the major problem.

Vestas´ package was worth close to $1.1bn for a majority stake in Suzlon. Suzlon´s  market cap is just $360m (25bn rupees) today after Suzlon shares falling in Mumbai in the wake of the news.

Suzlon suffers from a heavy debt burden and is working with lenders to find a solution. Over the past years, the largest Indian wind turbine maker had to stop its high-flying global ambitions due to falling turbine prizes and the abrupt collapse of the Indian market. In 2015 it had to sell its German subsidiary (now: Senvion) and left the US market for some time. Suzlon´s market cap sank from 130bn rupees ($1.9bn) in 2015 to just 25bn rupees.

Suzlon´s debt stood at 111bn rupees ($1.6bn) in May 2019. It has defaulted on bond payments as early as 2012 and remained in a debt-restructuring program since. It defaulted again in April on a long-term bank facility repayment obligation. Another foreign-currency, convertible bond ($172m) is due in July this year.

It still has, however, a very strong position in its Indian home market including a strong order book and a 16 GW installed turbine base. This makes the company attractive for Danish turbine giant Vestas who makes another attempt to enter the promising Indian market and to catch up with its global rival Siemens Gamesa.

Vestas is the leading global onshore wind turbine maker with 10.1 GW of new installations and a global market share of 22% in 2018. The Danish giant is followed by China´s Goldwind (6.7 GW), GE (5.0 GW) and Siemens Gamesa (4.1 GW). The quadriga accounted for 57% of all wind turbines deployed last year.

Second and third tier manufacturers have difficulties to stem the investment for new turbine generations for onshore and offshore, strong price competition and global marketing and O&M. They also suffer from stop-and-go policies in their home markets, such as Germany and India.

Further consolidation can be expected. Enercon (Germany), Suzlon (India) and, to some degree, GE (US) and Goldwind (China), mainly rely on their respective home markets but this strategy is under pressure as truly global suppliers like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa are growing faster, have a more diversified portfolio and scale advantages in production.

Sources and more details:

https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/1803437/vestas-euro-1bn-suzlon-offer-deadline-passes-with-no-deal-report ($$)


Image: Courtesy Suzlon India

Read more on this and on related issues in the next edition of our bi-weekly newsletter Global Energy Briefing (more)

7June 2019

Utilities: Power giant Enel exits Russian coal

By |Friday, 7 June 2019|Categories: company strategies, utilities|Tags: , , |

Italian power giant Enel has announced the sale of Russia´s largest coal plant Reftinskaya (3.8 GW) to leading Siberian power and heat utility Kuzbassenergo, owned by SGC (SUEK), for “at least” RUB21bn (approx. $320m).

Enel is the 2nd largest global utility. It is regarded as the forerunner in the utility world thanks to its fast and successful switch to renewable power in Europe and the Americas, to smart grids and EV infrastructure.

In May 2019, Enel reached its highest market capitalization ever at €58.7bn. It is the largest utility in Europe, ahead of Iberdrola and EDF. Worldwide, the company ranks second only to US-based NextEra (excluding Chinese state-owned conglomerates).

Enel´s CEO Starace recently warned that the EU power sector has reached a “watershed” as cheap renewables will destroy the economic viability of coal production within a decade.

As the outgoing president of Eurelectric, the Europan power industry body, he praised the new-found alliance between the European Commission and the European power sector with both promoting a swift transition to decarbonized power solutions.

In stark contrast to the gloomy appearance of the UK or German power industries, he sees good prospects for the sector in a more and more electrified world.

The IEA concluded in its latest “World Energy Investment 2019” report that utilities focussing on renewables on average show a better financial performance in terms of capital cost (WACC) and returns (ROIC).

Links and Sources:



Picture: Enel power plant in Russia, courtesy Enel.

31May 2019

Global Energy Briefing No 176: Energy Markets and Company Strategies – Deutsch/English

By |Friday, 31 May 2019|Categories: coal price, company strategies, electric vehicle sales, gas price, Global Energy Briefing, investment strategies, investment trends, Newsletter, oil price|

Our second May newsletter Global Energy Briefing (No 176, 38pp) covers the latest trends in international fossil and renewable markets. From the sell-off in oil and gas markets to the latest EV sales numbers and investment strategies.

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

30April 2019

Strategies of Global Energy Companies: Leaders & Laggards

By |Tuesday, 30 April 2019|Categories: company strategies|

We announced it in our 10-Year-Anniversary newsletter post: Strategies of big energy companies will be our second focus, complementing our analysis of international energy markets.

This happens against the background of two mega-trends in the energy sector:
(1) the global energy transition towards low-carbon solutions and renewable energy
(2) the melting-away of traditional industry boundaries: new and established players cross industry borders and develop new business models.

In our database we will try to cover the rapid changes across the sectors: from the leading manufacturers of solar modules to Big Oil, from global wind project developers to shale oil companies and battery makers. Our sample comprises about 100 companies (see attachment below). We will report important news, and we will rank, benchmark and compare companies and strategies: looking for leaders and laggards.

On this website and on our twitter account (@energycomment) we will publish some of our findings, starting in May 2019. If you prefer more systematic and regular information, please have a look at our bi-weekly newsletter GLOBAL ENERGY BRIEFING.

Companies mentioned: BP Canadian Solar Chevron First Solar Eni GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Equinor (Statoil) Hanwha Q-CELLS ExxonMobil JA Solar Repsol JinkoSolar Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) LONGi Green Energy Technology Total Risen Energy Anadarko Tongwei ConocoPhillips Trina Solar OMV SMA ONGC Wacker Chemie Petrobras Dongfang Electric Corp. PTT Plc Enercon Reliance Industries Envision Solar International Wintershall-DEA i.E. (BASF) GE Renewable Energy (GE) Gazprom Goldwind (Xinjiang Goldwind) Lukoil Ming Yang Smart Energy Group Rosneft Nordex-Acciona Cnooc Senvion PetroChina Shanghai Electric (Sewind) Sinopec Siemens Gamesa RE Saudi Aramco Suzlon EOG Resources Vestas Pioneer Natural Resources Enbridge Occidental Petroleum Avangrid Suncor Energy EDP Renovaveis Cheniere Energy Acciona SA JERA Greenko Kunlun Energy Huadian Fuxin Novatek Huaneng Renewables Corp Qatar Petroleum Invenergy LLC Tellurian Ørsted (DONG) Dominion Energy ReNew Power Engie China Longyuan Power Group Korea Gas Corp. China Datang Corp. Centrica China Huadian Corp. CEZ China Huaneng Corp. E.ON CEIC (Shenhua/Guodian) EDF China Shenhua Energy Corp. EDP – Energias de Portugal Guodian Corp. EnBW SPIC State Power Investment Enel China Three Gorges Fortum CGN Power Iberdrola China National Nuclear Power Innogy State Grid Corp. RWE China Southern Power Grid Statkraft Glencore Uniper Gunvor Vattenfall Trafigura VERBUND AG Vitol Vena Energy (ex Equis Energy) CIL (Coal India) Eletrobras Rosatom Eskom BAIC Korea Electric Power Corp BYD NTPC Tesla Tata Power LG Chem AES CATL American Electric Power (AEP) Panasonic Duke Energy Corp Samsung SDI Exelon Corp Sonnen NextEra SK Innovation NRG Energy Berkshire Xcel Energy Brookfield Chubu Electric CDPQ Chugoku Electric CIC Tepco Macquarie GIP

17April 2019

10 Jahre Global Energy Briefing

By |Wednesday, 17 April 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|

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!


17April 2019

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

By |Wednesday, 17 April 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

25March 2019

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

By |Monday, 25 March 2019|Categories: Global Energy Briefing, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

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  • a small and independent boutique consultancy in Hamburg/Germany;
  • established in 2008 and directed by Dr Steffen Bukold
  • services in both ENGLISH and GERMAN (native).


  • Strategies in Transition: We track and compare strategies of large energy companies. Our approach is multi-disciplinary and covers all relevant energy industries – from integrated oil & gas companies to utilities,  PV module and battery manufacturers.
  • Market trends: We track price and industry trends in the oil and gas, and in the coal and renewables sector


  • Dr Steffen Bukold   bukold@energycomment.de   Tel. +49.4020911848   Twitter: @energycomment


  • DEUTSCH: Wir bieten den Newsletter GLOBAL ENERGY BRIEFING sowie unsere Analysen und Vorträge in deutscher und englischer Sprache an.
  • ENGLISH: Newsletter GLOBAL ENERGY BRIEFING, research papers and presentations offered in English and German.

Global Energy Briefing:

  • Our subscription-based newsletter covers strategies and markets of energy companies across the industries. Focus: Strategies in Transition
  • Published since 2009 in German.
  • English version available since October 2018.

Other services:

  • Research and policy papers
  • Presentations.

More information about Global Energy Briefing

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