FT - The falling cost of renewable energy will increasingly allow wind and solar projects to make money without subsidies, say the top executives in Europe's power industry.
Leading energy companies are becoming more confident that the renewable sector will be able to attract increased investment irrespective of government policies.
Peter Terium, chief executive of Germany's Innogy, and Francesco Starace, his counterpart at Enel of Italy, said renewable power would have to compete on economic merit with traditional sources of electricity as subsidies are withdrawn.
The announcement earlier this year of plans for two German offshore wind farms that would operate without subsidies was a sign of things to come, they argued.
Speaking at a green energy conference in London, Leonhard Birnbaum, chief operating officer for renewables at Eon of Germany, also said wind and solar power could prosper without handouts.
"No other industry has guaranteed returns," he said. "[Subsidy-free renewables] need to be possible otherwise we would be asking for subsidies eternally and we cannot expect that."
Research published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance at the conference projected further sharp drops in the cost of renewable power as the industry matures.
Renewables were forecast to receive almost three-quarters of the $10.2tn of global investment in new power generating technology between now and 2040. During that time, the cost of solar power is expected to fall by a further 66 per cent and onshore wind by 47 per cent, undercutting the majority of existing fossil fuel power stations by 2030.
Jérôme Pécresse, chief executive of renewable energy for General Electric, a manufacturer of wind turbines, said the falling cost of renewables had overtaken political interventions as the main driving force behind the green revolution.
GE plans to go ahead with a 2-gigawatt wind project in Oklahoma — one of the biggest in the world — despite lack of support for renewable power from President Donald Trump's pro-fossil fuel administration.
Mr Pécresse said the Oklahoma project "makes sense in terms of cost and technology," adding: "The impact [of policy] is becoming more and more marginal".
Bloomberg research also predicted tumbling battery prices would make electric vehicles (EVs) cheaper to buy than those with internal combustion engines in most countries by 2025-29. This would lead to EVs making up more than half of new car sales worldwide by 2040.
Mr Starace said Enel was investing in 10,000 electric charging points around Italy to support the roll out of EVs. Mr Terium said Innogy had similar plans.
Infrastructure for EVs was something that "we might leave to the Chinese or Koreans eventually" but in the near-term it was important to establish technology standards and help build the market, Mr Terium said.
Mr Terium said the shift from fossil fuels to electric power in road transportation — increasingly seen as a long-term threat to oil and gas producers — was a big growth opportunity for utilities.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.