How Secular Stagnation is costing the earth

October 28, 2015

Dr Eddie O’Connor is CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power. In this article he returns to the theme of secular stagnation, and the role of capital investment in driving economic growth, especially in emerging markets. A stagnating West, including the USA, the EU and Japan, is the subject of much economic conjecture. Secular stagnation, as suffered by Japan since 1990 is beginning to infect the rest of the developed world.  Conventional economists and other commentators have shown signs of becoming panicky ...

‘Change is Coming’ – Speech at the Bristol Green Capital Summit

October 22, 2015

I've been in the renewables business now for almost 20 years now and I've been fortunate to work with the very best in the industry.  One of these being Andrew Garrad who has in fact worked in the industry longer than me, a career spanning over 30 years.  We have become allies within the industry and our work complements each others. Andrew became Chairman of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital and asked me to provide a key-note address at the Bristol European ...

On Oil, Renewables and Pension Funds – nine months on

October 7, 2015

Eddie O’Connor and Adam Bruce return to look at the impact of plunging oil prices, new technology, and the resilience of renewables nine months after their original article published in January 2015. Some commentators forecast that the fall in the global oil price at the start of 2015 would imperil investment in renewable energy. However, as the authors argue, the trend is in the opposite direction, with clean energy investment, coupled with innovation in technology, delivering value to consumers across ...

Shell’s proposal to exploit Arctic oil

June 22, 2015

The FT this week reported that Shell had run into difficulty drilling for oil in the Arctic.  My initial thoughts about this were largely driven by feelings of hopelessness about the future of the global atmosphere.  The only reason why Shell can drill in the Arctic is because of their and other’s explosive release of hydrocarbons into that atmosphere which has melted the Arctic ice-cap.  Adding insult to injury is one way of looking at it.  A figure of 30 ...

Companies don’t innovate. People who work there do.

June 9, 2015

The purpose of business is to sell products or services to paying customers at profit.  For a business to be sustainable over time, account has to be taken of the three huge forces namely, technology induced change, competition and environmental degradation.  The only way for a business to remain alive, never mind to grow, is to innovate. Competitive advantage is about a company’s ability to outcompete others.  Innovation is involved at every stage of the process to achieve competitive advantage. Choosing the ...

On a single electricity market for Europe

April 16, 2015

In the second of Mainstream Renewable Power’s opinion pieces for 2015, Eddie O’Connor sets out the need for the European Union to move swiftly to the delivery of a single electricity market as the foundation of its 2030 climate and energy package. On 2 April this year it was reported that EU state aid regulators will investigate whether Member States are acting unlawfully by creating national capacity markets for electricity. Interestingly, although the move appears to be supported by DGEnergy, ...

On Oil, Renewables and Pension Funds

January 13, 2015

In the first of Mainstream Renewable Power’s opinion pieces for 2015, Eddie O’Connor and Adam Bruce explore the consequences for investment managers and their clients of plunging oil prices, a carbon bubble, and the resilience of renewables. On 5 January 2015 the UK’s Met Office reported that the country had experienced higher average temperatures in 2014 than in any year since its records began in 1910. It was also the warmest year in the Central England temperature series, which dates back ...

Has Eon shown the world the future?

December 5, 2014

In an August 2014 briefing note UBS wrote that: Our view is that the “we have done it like this for a century” value chain in developed electricity markets will be turned upside down within the next 10-20 years… Within a few months of the note’s publication Eon has announced it is splitting into two businesses; one to concentrate on renewables, energy services and distributed generation – the future; and one to warehouse fossil generation and other upstream investments – ...

Secular stagnation – how renewable energy can help South Africa break free

November 28, 2014

This month sixty young South Africans graduated from the Kimberley Maths and Science Academy.  Set up by Anne MacLean in 2006, with the specific goal of providing talented students from poor backgrounds with an opportunity to achieve their potential in the gateway subjects of maths and science, over the past four years Academy has provided these Grade 9 – 12 learners with ongoing support in maths, science and English through afternoon classes and holiday academies. My company Mainstream Renewable Power has ...

Welcome to the electric society

September 5, 2014

Eddie speech               Extract from remarks by Dr Eddie O’Connor to the BOAO Conference, Seattle, September 2014. Last week my company, Mainstream Renewable Power, announced a change to our corporate strategy. This evolution in our approach from creating value by developing renewable energy in regulated markets, to one where we will increasingly partner with customers to build bespoke generation,  has come about due to the profound change underway in the wider energy sector. 2014 will ...