Fireworks in Amsterdam in June 2015

I have been accepted to present a speech at PowerGen 2015 in June in Amsterdam. I will be speaking on the European Commission State Aid Guidelines for Renewable Energy, published in July of this year.

My speech, "The European Commission's Mismanagement of State Aid Rules for Renewable Energy," will present the results of my research from an upcoming article in the European Energy Journal. My thesis is that the new rules have been designed to support the large utilities and actually will reduce competition and hurt distributed energy.

Investment in renewable energy in Europe has dropped by 44% this year, due to changes in the support schemes and added uncertainty among investors. But most Member States are not on target to meet the 2020 mandatory goals. The state aid rules are one of the biggest culprits. By giving auctions for support a huge preference, the Commission has sent the sector into a turmoil of instability. History shows the biggest beneficiaries in these type of schemes have been the largest utilities, whose IRR standard and whose cost of capital are both lower than equity investors. Projects also get "dumbed down" to the cheapest technology with cut corners (future problems). This, of course, assumes that someone bids and someone builds if they win the bid: both of which have been dubious contentions in reality.

I will link the article when it is published and encourage anyone interested to attend in Amsterdam (last year they had over 11,000 visitors). I will be my normal out-spoken self and tell it like it is.


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