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jerryking : electric_power   19

GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Marvel of Electricity - WSJ
By R. TYLER PRIEST
July 15, 2016

THE GRID

By Gretchen Bakke
books  book_reviews  electric_power  power_grid 
july 2016 by jerryking
Canada’s all about energy … to send elsewhere - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 24 2014

Natural resources such as energy are provincially owned with national implications. Where we sell, to whom and for what prices, and how we exploit the resources have fiscal-policy and sometimes foreign-policy implications. Natural resources contribute to the country’s standard of living, and to regional differences, which Ottawa through equalization is charged with trying to flatten.

A “Canadian energy for Canadians” approach would not see Uncle Ottawa bullying its way into provincial jurisdiction. Rather, it would invite the federal government to suggest to provinces that it stands ready to assist them financially in projects that would move Canadian energy across the country.

Think about hydroelectricity. We don’t have anything like a national grid in Canada. We don’t even have effective regional grids, but rather bits and pieces of regional grids. We’ve got highways and train tracks linking the heartlands of Quebec and Ontario, but we don’t have an energy corridor from surplus-producing Quebec to Ontario.
Jeffrey_Simpson  energy  natural_resources  hydroelectric  federal-provincial_relations  power_grid  electric_power 
december 2014 by jerryking
Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping - WSJ.com
Dec. 18, 2013 | WSJ | By Michael Rothfeld and Scott Patterson.

A growing industry uses surveillance and data-crunching technology to supply traders with nonpublic information.

Genscape's clients include banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, hedge funds including Citadel LLC and large energy-trading outfits such as Trafigura Beheer BV. Surveillance and analysis of the oil, electricity and natural-gas sectors can run Genscape clients more than $300,000 a year.
surveillance  data_driven  slight_edge  traders  hedge_funds  sleuthing  Genscape  sensors  commodities  corporate_espionage  competitive_intelligence  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  market_research  exclusivity  investment_research  research_methods  LBMA  nonpublic  primary_field_research  banks  Citadel  oil_industry  natural_gas  snooping  alternative_data  informational_advantages  imagery  satellites  infrared  electric_power 
december 2013 by jerryking
Ontarians' dream is over: Power bills are going up - The Globe and Mail
MURRAY CAMPBELL

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Aug. 18 2003
Ontario  debt  electric_power  NDP  politics 
march 2013 by jerryking
The Mid-20th Century Infrastructure of the U.S. - NYTimes.com
November 16, 2012 | NYT| Uwe E. Reinhardt is an economics professor at Princeton.
electric_power  infrastructure  railways 
november 2012 by jerryking
Take the Subway - NYTimes.com
March 3, 2012 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

Two recent, smart books. The first is called “The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource Limited World,” by James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady. Moody, who works at Australia’s national research agency, and Nogrady, a science journalist, argue that, since the industrial revolution, we’ve seen five long waves of innovation — from water power to steam to electrification to mass production and right up to information and communications technologies. They argue the sixth wave will be resource efficiency — because rising populations, with growing appetites, will lead to both increasing scarcity of resources and dangerously high pollution, waste and climate change.

This will force us to decouple consumption from economic growth.

Amory Lovins, the physicist who is chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, begins in his new book, “Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era,” which is summarized in the current Foreign Affairs. The Rocky Mountain Institute and its business collaborators show how private enterprise — motivated by profit, supported by smart policy — can lead America off both oil and coal by 2050, saving $5 trillion, through innovation emphasizing design and strategy.

“You don’t have to believe in climate change to solve it,” says Lovins. “Everything we do to raise energy efficiency will make money, improve security and health, and stabilize climate.”
Amory_Lovins  books  climate_change  constraints  economic_growth  electric_power  energy  energy_efficiency  Moscow  physicists  pollution  resource_efficiency  scarcity  steam_engine  sustainability  Tom_Friedman  waste  water_power 
march 2012 by jerryking
Searching for hedge funds: the dark matter of the electricity universe
November-December 2006 | Electric Light & Power. 84.6 : p56. | Tanya Bodell
hedge_funds  utilities  electric_power 
november 2011 by jerryking
Energy Lessons from Ancient Rome -
Jan. 20, 2011| BusinessWeek| By Alessandra Migliaccio &
Flavia Rotondi. The ancient Romans used water pressure to bring the
city's monumental baths and fountains to life. Flavio and Valerio
Andreoli are using it to produce clean power. Encouraged by generous
renewable energy incentives, their company, Hydrowatt, specializes in
generating electricity from turbines in aqueducts. ..The brothers tap
into modern water pipelines that follow the same routes as the old
aqueducts. Like ancient engineers who studied the land seeking sources
at higher elevations to provide the pressure needed to reach Rome,
Hydrowatt's engineers seek out places where pipelines have valves
designed to release excess pressure as the water flows rapidly down the
mountainsides. Once they identify such a site, the brothers offer local
authorities that control the aqueducts a deal to replace the valves with
Hydrowatt's turbines.
water  hydroelectric  energy  cleantech  green  Italian  start_ups  Romans  electric_power  water_power 
february 2011 by jerryking
A cordless future for electricity? - CNN.com
A cordless future for electricity?

* Story Highlights
* Wireless electricity may free laptops and phones from power cord chargers
* Researchers at MIT say new version of wireless electricity will be out in a year
* Technology converts electricity into magnetic field to send it through air
* Other types of wireless electricity are available now

updated 12:22 p.m. EDT, Wed September 2, 2009
technology  wireless  electric_power 
september 2009 by jerryking
Hydropower - In an Age of Fossil Fuel, Returning to the Water for Electricity - NYTimes.com
June 29, 2008 | New York Times | By JULIA LAWLOR. HydroCoil
Power Inc., offers a new “microhydro” technology that can convert the
kinetic energy of fast-flowing water into electricity. The promise of
micro, or low-head, hydropower, using dams under 100 feet high, is that
it is carbon neutral, renewable and has little or no impact on the
environment.
hydroelectric  carbon-neutral  water  electric_power 
august 2009 by jerryking
Why is McGuinty allowing NW Ontario to be powered down?
February 21, 2009 G&M column by MURRAY CAMPBELL The focus
now is on the cost of electricity, which the industry says is too high
to allow it to be profitable.

Ontario's "all-in" price (which includes various fees) of about $72 per
megawatt-hour is the second-highest in Canada (after Alberta) and is
higher than most U.S. regions.
Ontario  northwestern  forestry  Murray_Campbell  recessions  costs  electric_power 
february 2009 by jerryking
In Africa, Outages Stifle a Boom - WSJ.com
APRIL 17, 2008 By SARAH CHILDRESS. Frequent and disruptive
power outages plague about 35 of sub-Saharan Africa's 47 countries.
Outages are costing African economies as much as 2% of their gross
domestic product, according to World Bank estimates
Africa  outages  economy  infrastructure  shortages  GDP  electric_power 
february 2009 by jerryking

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