The latest from Japan, France, Poland and Germany, where there is increased demand for power generation. Great opportunity for insurers to cover mothballed plants, coal conversion to gas and new build projects. As more countries embrace electric cars and e-scooters, move to ditch gas boilers, plus encourage many employees to work from home, the demand for electricity is bound to increase. All those home office/sheds need to be heated and lit, then packed with electronic gadgets, security lights, mini beer fridges etc.
OK, let’s round up the opportunities in power station infrastructure;
JERA Co., has announced that Anegasaki Thermal Power Station Unit 5—‚currently under a long-term planned shutdown— will be re-commissioned.
According to the electricity supply and demand outlook presented to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, the electricity supply-demand situation in TEPCO Power Grid’s service area is expected to be tight. For this reason, TEPCO Power Grid held a public auction for an additional 550 MW power capacity between 4 January and 28 February 2022.
JERA will move forward to restore Anegasaki Thermal Power Station Unit 5 from its long-term planned shutdown, says JERA, in a statement issued today.
In Germany there are still 30 – yes 30 – coal fired power stations helping to power up all those electric cars, scooters and bicycles, plus the smartphones needed to tweet about how green they are. The long term plan in Germany is to mothball or de-commission nuclear and coal plants by 2038, but the kicker for climate activists is that coal power stations will be converted to run on gas. Oh dear, still carbon.
But for insurers and brokers with the guts to pitch for the work, those conversion jobs are long term, expensive and definitely need all types of specialised insurance cover.
More background on the German power situation here by the way.
FRANCE – MORE NUKES?
France loves nuclear power and recently Macron stated he wants to build more of the so-called `mini-nuke’ power stations, so that France is self-sufficient in energy supply. Nuclear already accounts for 70% of France’s electricity supply. Some 30 billion euros may be invested and the long term aim is for France to have spare electricity to export to countries like the UK and Ireland. Probably not the Channel Islands though.
Although Macron may be cancelled by the electorate in 2022, many of the opposition politicians also believe that France would basically be humiliated if it needed gas from Putin or electricity from Germany, so that means more investment in nuclear power is almost guaranteed. However the chances of non-French insurers getting a decent slice of the action is pretty slim, let’s be honest here.
There is a useful summary at Fortune by the way.
POLAND SAYS IT WANTS TO BANISH COAL
Poland is another country in the EU very keen on coal fired power. But the mood music is changing and there are plans to build more renewable power stations, with wind farms in the Baltic. It is quite windy there some days to be fair.
KPMG sees a big opportunity for transition away from coal in Poland, where it accounts for about 52% of electricity generation, which is probably the highest percentage in the EU, although we haven’t the time to research that assumption. In any event, the pressure from sustainable politicians and activists will undoubtedly bring about change in the remainder of the 2020s, which means big investments in solar and wind turbines.
British company Lightsource recently announced a significant £500m investment project in solar in Poland by the way.