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Call for Articles for Upcoming Special Issue: Looking Forward to 2021 Predictions and Trends

Posted to Energy Central in the Utility Management Group
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Audra Drazga's picture
Vice President of The Power Industry Network Energy Central

I am the VP of the Energy Central Power Industry Network.  In this role, I help to connect professionals in the power industry through the development and management of topic-specific community...

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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-01 - State of the Industry, click here for more

Calling all thought leaders, industry insiders, and writers!

We are seeking contributions to our next Energy Central Hot Topic Special Issue Series, which happens to be our most popular one each year. We invite you to contribute to our multi-part issue that will stretch from January to February 2021 on the State of the Utility Industry via Predictions and Trends. 

If ever there was a time to emphatically turn the page and look forward with optimism and excitement about the new year, it undoubtedly has to be our march into 2021. The utility sector has been put through the wringer recently. However, it's already coming out the other side more resilient, intelligent, and ready to tackle the future than ever before. 

With that in mind, we're asking the Energy Central Community to look into their crystal balls to tell us what your predictions are for 2021 and what you expect the major trends and landmark stories will be in the coming year.

  • Do you have programs that are set to deploy in 2021 you want to discuss?
  • Are you anticipating market trends shifting in a new and intriguing way?
  • Are coming policies and regulations set to change the way your utility approaches operations in 2021 and beyond? 

We want to hear about it!

Our goal for this issue is to gather insights on what utilities and stakeholders across the grid are expecting, with the final digital publications resulting in an amazing crowd-sourced view on the state of the industry. 

Share your predictions, your hopes, and your goals for the utility sector in 2021, and your contribution may be featured in Energy Central's most popular newsletter of the year!

Participating for Professionals who work for a Utility, IPP, RTO, or Government Agency

We're inviting submissions from experts and leaders who are working every day in facets of the industry that are shaping and being shaped by the emerging trends of data analytics, intelligence, and related topics. Share with your fellow community members your hands-on experiences and lessons learned, as well as predictions for the coming years.

*For professionals who work for utilities, IPPs, RTOs, or government agencies, submission is free. See below for details on how to submit an article and for deadlines. 

Invitation for Solution Providers and Industry Vendors to Get Involved

The "2021 Predictions and Trends" special issue is a great way to share your insights and message with the most valued utility personnel and industry influencers in the industry. To learn how you can contribute an article or become an official content sponsor of this special issue, please get in touch with a client representative at sales@energycentral.com or Download our Product Guide now for more information. 

Instructions for Participation

Send your submissions to community@energycentral.com with the subject ‘2021 Predictions and Trends' If you need feedback on your submission idea, feel free to send questions or even an abstract to the same email address. 

  • Abstract due date (optional): January 4
  • Final submissions due date:  January 18
  • Issue deployment dates
    • Part 1: January 28th 
    • Part 2: February 2nd 
    • Part 3: February 4th 
    • Part 4: February 9th 
    • Part 5: ​​​​​​​February 11th 

We're excited to see what you're doing in this area and how the community can come together to drive further progress moving forward!

Audra C Drazga
VP of the Power Industry Network

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Paul Lafreniere's picture
Paul Lafreniere on Jan 11, 2021

Re: briefingsforbritain.co.uk/the-costs-offshore-wind-power-blindness-and-insight/          John Constable, Professor Gordon Hughes Sept. 2020

An evil wind is brewing over the pond and it is not Brexit or Covid. The current UK government has recently moved into the breach with a significant offshore wind investment. The media has failed to drown out voices that question the accepted wisdom of falling RE costs. Gordon Hughes former professor of economics at Edinburgh university, has recently completed the largest study on RE costs to date, based on audited accounts of the capital and operating costs of 350 UK onshore and offshore wind farms, covering the majority of the larger wind farms (> 10 MW capacity) built and commissioned between 2002 and 2019. Conclusions are sobering and include:

  • Onshore and offshore actual cost of wind generation have not fallen significantly over [PL1] the last two decades and there is little prospect that they will fall in the next five or even ten years.
  • The advantages of larger turbines have been offset by higher operating and maintenance costs (O&M).
  • Actual capital costs per MW of capacity to build new wind farms increased substantially from 2002 to about 2015 and have, at best, remained constant since then. 
  • Operating costs per MW of new capacity have increased significantly for both onshore and offshore wind farms over the last two decades. 
  • Operating costs for existing wind farms tend to grow even more rapidly as they age. Factors include: shift to more remote sites, increasing equipment failures and preventive maintenance with age and larger turbines
  • Inferior reliability of new turbine generations, leads to a more rapid decline in performance with age, so that the ultimate effect of capacity upsizing on average performance over the lifetime of new turbines, is not clear.
  • The combination of increasing operating and maintenance costs with the decline in yields due to ageing means that at current market prices the expected revenues from electricity generation will be less than expected operating costs after the expiry of contracts guaranteeing above-market prices. Contract lengths have been reduced, implying a need to recover capital costs over a shorter economic life which pushes up the effective capital charge.

The current set of offshore projects being constructed and planned in North Western Europe are closely akin to speculative property development. They are high risk projects that will only be able to repay lenders and offer a return to equity investors if the average wholesale market prices of power rise to at least three to four times their current level throughout North West Europe. Once economic reality becomes undeniable, there will be a huge lobby to pass on the full costs of offshore wind to either electricity consumers or taxpayers. This has consequences for financial regulation. Regulators have urged pension fund etc to make more investment in green assets without acknowledging the risks involved! When the merry-go-round stops…

Posted by Paul Lafreniere

paulj.lafreniere@gmail.com

 [PL1]

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 14, 2021

Paul, given the name of Britain's Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), one might conclude that first in its list of priorities is business - how to make money. And though it would be easy to assume BEIS had undertaken efforts to prove the viability and cost-effectiveness of offshore wind before recommending it in Britain's "Energy White Paper", there's no evidence that's the case.

In the U.S., the oft-heard claim offshore wind is cheap is countered by empirical evidence: in not a single market have customer prices been lower after its introduction. Not surprising, given our own equivalent of BEIS, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has a stated mission only of "advancing the science and engineering of...renewable power technologies." For analysts, both lowering carbon emissions and consumer prices are apparently less relevant than maintaining their jobs.

Begging the question: can offshore wind ever be a cost-effective source of public electricity? Seems like that should be the first one answered.

Paul Lafreniere's picture
Paul Lafreniere on Feb 26, 2021

Amen (pardon me A-women). The Texas debacle will pull the kimono back on costs. Michael Moore may yet be a hero for conventional power.

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