Tobias Engelmeier | 05 January 2016

At the “Energy for Tomorrow” conference in Paris, last week, one of the core discussions in the energy industry was: is a low-carbon world a challenge of deployment or one of innovation? In other words: do we already have the technologies we need (e.g. solar, wind, grid management) and now just need to focus on deploying them? This could be called the evolutionary approach. There will, of cou...

Tobias Engelmeier | 18 December 2015

The Paris Agreement on reducing global warming got everyone very excited. The leaders of the world came together and agreed on a deal that arguably helps and has some teeth. That is really good news. However, it’s not enough. And it is a topic too important to leave to politics. This is where we are: We need to stop global warming to save the planet (cheesy, but true), and we have about 30 ye...

Tobias Engelmeier | 15 October 2015

As we move closer towards the Paris climate talks, something interesting is happening. Ever more stakeholders seem to be ready to be part of the solution. Negotiations that were earlier bogged-down in zero-sum confrontations suddenly have a new fluidity and a ring of can-do optimism about them. Why? …Actually, the new question seems to be: “Why not?” Creating a low carbon world is seen less ...

Tobias Engelmeier | 08 September 2015

India currently consumes over 1,000 TWh of electricity a year, making it just about the world’s third largest power consumer. More than 60% of this electricity is produced from coal-fired power plants. On a per capita basis, however, India’s power consumption is still very low, at less than 800 kWh per year (compared to China’s 3,500 kWh or the USA’s 13,000). As India’s population conti...

Tobias Engelmeier | 29 July 2015

The Indian solar market is growing at a breathtaking speed: This year alone, by more than 300%, next year perhaps by 150%. Competition is as intense as the market is enthusiastic. Projects are being won at record low tariffs – tariffs that many observers doubt will leave investors with acceptable returns. Will these projects be “stranded solar assets”? Is there a bubble in the making? Richar...

Tobias Engelmeier | 22 July 2015

In the early 20th century, when cars started to compete with horse-drawn carriages in Europe, they still had innumerable technical teething issues and no distribution channels. Germany's last emperor William II famously said (possibly while sitting on a horse): "I believe in horses, automobiles are a passing phenomenon." Well, you know which side of history he was on. Cars, of course, did not...

Tobias Engelmeier | 17 July 2015

A year ago, the Indian government announced a goal of 100 GW of solar by 2022. Large parts or the markets (including us) were skeptical. In the last couple of months, however, the mood has changed. We revise our growth projections for 2015 up from 3 GW to 4.5 GW Solar tariffs have dropped to as low as 5.05 per kWh Some stumbling blocks remain These are the reasons to be optimistic: Real gro...

Tobias Engelmeier | 15 May 2015

Solar is great. It is an abundant, free and omnipresent source of energy. We just need to convert it into a form of energy we can use: heat/cool or electricity. The only problem is that in order to convert it, we need to manufacture specific equipment (collectors, panels, inverters, etc.) – and that is costly. This is where our global energy transition is stuck. What we try to do is reduce the c...