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Michael has worked in the CHP and distributed power sectors since 1992, representing industry groups in these areas at UK, European and international levels, and providing consulting services to private and public sector clients since 1998.  Up to 2006, he served as the founding Executive Director of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE).  He was also the founding Executive Director of COGEN Europe and, before this, the Assistant Director of the UK CHP Association.

Michael leads Delta-ee’s research work on global markets for distributed power and CHP (from 10 kWe to multi MWe systems).

Decarbonised Heating and Cooling: Don’t forget the customer

Image from Decarb Heat

Slowly, but very surely, the EU is getting us used to the idea of a fully decarbonised heating and cooling sector across Europe. It’s a bold and necessary objective which has profound implications for companies right across the energy sector. 

But is the European Commission going about it the right way?  

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European district heat networks – booming asset prices but a flat market. What’s going on?

https://sustainablecities.vattenfall.com/en/berlin

Heat networks have been around a very long time – group heating systems date back to the 14th century in France. However, while the sector boomed from the 1930s and again from the 1970s, Europe has seen only very modest expansion in recent years. This is not a growth market. And yet the underlying assets, the heat generation and distribution systems, continue to be highly sought after by investors.  We know this because we have helped clients seek them out.   

Can this apparent contradiction tell us something about the future of this sector? Is it fated to flat-line and fade, or can it boom again and be a core part of the transition to the new energy world?  Understanding the future of heating markets is a core part of Delta-ee’s research so this is an important question for us.

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Power-Gen Europe 2017 – out with the old, in with the new

Power-Gen Europe, held in Cologne last week, has for decades been an annual ‘must attend’ fixture for the conventional power generation industry. Everyone in the sector has been there, and the big centralised power players competed at a monumental scale for stand size, profile and ‘wow factor’.

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1631 Hits

Is the heating market too difficult for policymakers?

 

Policy is increasingly shaping the heating market – but is decarbonising heat in buildings just too difficult for policymakers?

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Trump. What impact on the outlook for global distributed power?

Not many people saw that coming.  And certainly none of the pollsters. 

So what impact will a Trump presidency, and a Republican controlled Congress, mean for distributed energy expansion both in the US and globally?  Here is a first Delta-ee view.

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The new GE Distributed Power business – do the numbers add up?

At the end of February, GE Distributed Power was launched.  It’s an important market development from one of the big beasts of this fast growing sector.  I want to make 3 points that suggest GE is doing the right thing at the right time:1. I recommend a reading of the associated GE DP White Paper on The Rise of Distributed Power.  One of its themes is that the era of utility-based central power is in decline.What the Paper could add is that this trend looks like it is accelerating faster than even GE thinks: Most of Europe’s biggest utility companies are on their knees financially.  They are losing money on many of their largest plants and are trying to diversify away from big power generation.  RWE in Europe is a good recent example – it announced last week its first loss in 60 years.  E.ON is also struggling, and is diversifying into small-scale CHP (see my blog on this).In many emerging markets, power demand is surging well ahead of the capacity of centralised utilities to deliver.  DP systems are increasingly the default option for end users.  In past Delta-ee research on the Global Gas Engine market to 2020 (0.5 – 5.0 MWe engines), our top 10 opportunity markets included Bangladesh, Nigeria and Indonesia:Gas engine (0.5 – 5.0 MWe) sales projections, all power applications.  Delta-ee 2013.      2. The White Paper describes 4 ‘driving forces’ of DP: The growth of natural gas, including shale gas. The high cost and unpopularity of new electricity network infrastructure. The scope for emerging automated control systems to increase the economic performance of DP. The growth in demand for ‘resilient’ infrastructure.I would add 2 more important ones: The fast expansion of intermittent renewables, including solar and wind power.  This creates network system balancing challenges, and flexible DP systems – including gas-fired CHP systems with thermal stores - are already providing part of the solution. Economics: in addition to the network savings, critical drivers of gas-fired DP and CHP systems in many countries are policy incentives and the fuel/power price spark spread.  Both are on an upward trend in many countries. 3. What about the numbers?  GE forecasts an annual market for all global DP investment in 2020 of $206bn.  This is a very large number, but it includes a diverse range of non power applications and widely deployed technologies such as diesel engines.  Our view of 2020, based on Delta-ee’s global distributed power research, for a subset of the GE DP range - gas engines of all sizes, all fuels and all stationary power applications - is about $35-45bn, more than a doubling from our 2012 data.  I would say the two numbers look broadly consistent - and that the GE numbers do indeed add up.  Either way, we are clear: DP is a growth market. Note: Delta-ee’s Distributed Power Service is launching in March 2014.
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