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As is customary, every respected or self-proclaimed expert comes with its predictions for the new year.
These predictions are usually for more of the same, more or less. Hence, here are my slightly crazier predictions for 2018. If just one fifth of these materialise, perhaps I might finally pass from being a self-proclaimed to respected expert!
- 2018 will be brilliant for solar (except in the U.S.), EV and storage (with new technological breakthroughs coming fast). Bye bye peakers.
- 2018 will be challenging for wind (“you’re gonna need a bigger turbine”), because the industry will have to deliver ultra-low prices contracted through auctions all over the world. Geothermal, biofuels and tidal will continue to be a bust, floating offshore will thrive.
- A large majority of non-Indian investors in India will be burned. 100% of investors in Iran will come to regret it. Wind in Poland and Romania will not recover.
- More OilCos will buy renewables. After Total-Eren and BP-Lightsource, expect Chevron to buy Brookfield, ExxonMobil to buy Sonnedix after missing Brookfield, Encana to buy Boralex, Petrobras to buy Voltalia and failing, Statoil to buy Scatec, ENI to try to buy Falck, Shell to go after Orsted.
- Chinese Turbine Manufacturers – my bets are on Goldwind – will try to buy Senvion and/or Acciona-Nordex. Attempts on Vestas will be repelled by the Danish Gvt (deemed too strategic) and ultimately Vestas will be merged with Maersk (in 2019) or Lego.
- If Tesla has cash problems or loses a lot of value, Elon Musk will merge it with SpaceX, the perfect cash cow. Or Google will buy Tesla.
- All this will be wrapped into blockchain and AI, very exciting, lot of hype, few tangible results – except for conference organisers. A type of Solarbitcoin will be invented creating a major bubble that will enrich a few and impoverish many.
- But still, 50% of OECD electricity will be generated by coal or nuclear power, so we still have a long way to go!