Jason Deign

Articles by Jason Deign. Visit Jason’s bio. Follow @DeigninSpain or on LinkedIn

14 mins

Counting the cost of capital

Actions taken by governments, such as introducing clear energy policy to remove market uncertainty, will lead to a lower cost of capital
10 mins

A contract makes all the difference

Finding the most efficient way to pay for the energy transition is not an easy affair—but lawmakers worldwide seem to be increasingly converging on contracts for difference as the mechanism of choice to fund emerging technologies
15 mins

A question of market control

Grids need to accommodate a host of new and variable low-carbon assets, but who should manage how they operate and what they get paid remains a thought exercise despite the changes already happening
11 min

The true cost of carbon

It is clear that society’s greenhouse gas emissions are costing the Earth but there is still little consensus on what the real price of carbon should be
13 min

The lure of powering Europe from the Sahara Desert endures

North Africa has enough solar and wind energy to easily power the whole of Europe but plans to export renewables generation across the Mediterranean have so far floundered. The burgeoning clean hydrogen sector could change the picture
11 min

Lessons grid operators could learn from Africa

The emergence of low-carbon, distributed energy systems and innovative business models in Africa could provide tips to operators on the future of grids elsewhere in developed markets
12 min

Corporates seek to match generation with demand

Corporate attempts to match every hour of consumption with renewable production could pave the way for grid decarbonisation
12 min

Corporates seek to match generation with demand

Corporate attempts to match every hour of consumption with renewable production could pave the way for grid decarbonisation
15 min

Convincing Big Oil to pay for the energy transition

Oil and gas companies are making a ton of cash by selling fossil fuels that are destroying our future. Could the industry instead be spending lavishly to make amends? It turns out things are not so simple
5 min

Consumers’ role in flexibility is built on trust

The energy transition requires more flexible grids, but this flexibility can deliver benefits to consumers and grid operators. FORESIGHT spoke to Devrim Celal, chief executive at Octopus Energy’s flexibility platform provider KrakenFlex, about these developments and wider business model innovations in the energy sector
11 min

The new business models making solar affordable for all

The cost-effectiveness and flexibility of solar photovoltaic power are leading to a raft of new energy business models to help middle- and low-income households participate in the energy transition
13 min

Grid operators plan for a severe climate future

Electricity networks are buckling under the impact of increasingly frequent and severe climate events. Given the amount of climate change already locked into the atmosphere, this is an issue that will only worsen, forcing assets and infrastructure to adapt. The tools to deal with the problem are available—but it will take a lot of money and political will to avert disaster
12 min

Lithium supply challenges reinforce the hunt for storage alternatives

Europe will need considerable amounts of energy storage to add resilience to the grid as renewable penetration increases and to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. But recent commodity price rises are affecting costs for lithium-ion battery systems, creating opportunities for a raft of novel storage options
10 min

The cleantech funding conundrum

Investors are desperate to put money into sustainable ventures, but entrepreneurs trying to bring novel cleantech concepts to market complain about a lack of funding. Without support, Europe could risk a brain drain in cleantech innovation
11 min

A new direction for transport electrification

Cutting emissions from road transportation is a major part of the energy transition. Electrification promises to transform the way we move people and things around
12 min

The efficiency paradox

Reducing the amount of energy we use is a key part of cutting emissions by 2050, but asking people to be more frugal could be challenging in a society that prizes consumption. Getting incentives right can shift attitudes
11 min

Sovereign wealth funds wade into the energy transition

Significant investment power is held within a few state-owned reserves but these conservative sovereign funds are only just beginning to notice the potential returns of clean energy after decades of profiting from fossil fuels
12 min

Clarity is the key to confidence in voluntary carbon markets

Voluntary carbon offset schemes could significantly help attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions if their effectiveness can be proven
10 min

Pretty in pink: Low-carbon hydrogen from nuclear power

The nuclear sector wants to cash in on the emerging demand for low-carbon energy by powering hydrogen electrolysis, but not everyone is convinced the industry’s arguments stack up
11 min

Isolated Iberian Peninsula unable to maximise renewables potential

The Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe is blessed with wind and solar resources that could help the rest of the region reduce its reliance on natural gas—but whether it ends up as electricity or another energy carrier, getting it out remains difficult
12 min

The energy transition is at risk by hydrogen’s perceived simplicity

Low-carbon hydrogen will almost certainly be needed to cut emissions across a range of hard-to-abate sectors. However, if it is used to solve too many problems, it could end up delaying the energy transition and putting urgent decarbonisation plans in jeopardy
8 min

Power to the public

Municipal electricity utilities have a long history in Europe, with more emerging as cities look to lead the energy transition. The model has obvious advantages but has also suffered setbacks in some markets. In an increasingly competitive landscape, using the benefits of private partners may be the way forward
8 min

Rule change promises South African renewables options beyond REIPPPP

South Africa’s energy transition has faltered in recent years with the ripples of political turmoil spreading to its regulatory frameworks and state-owned utility, hampering renewable energy auction rounds and transmission system development in the process. But a proposed change in the law may provide a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for renewable energy developers
10 min

A different kind of vehicle charging to cut emissions

Low-emissions zones are a popular feature in many European cities, with more than 260 schemes in operation across the continent. But with questions over their efficacy, authorities are turning to other approaches to curb emissions from city centres and promote the use of transport that uses clean energy
10 min

Local opposition threatens Europe’s wind targets

Europe’s wind industry is well-versed in community engagement and has a track record in bringing employment and social benefits to populations close to projects. But developers still face opposition and frequently suffer setbacks, a problem that could mean renewable energy targets are missed if lawmakers fail to act
14 min

Emerging markets gain from the digital evolution of energy

Technology start-ups in Africa are making use of the roll-out of mobile phone networks to bring digital innovation to remote areas through pay-as-you-go models for services that can increase prosperity. For the first time, smallholders can afford solar panels for electricity while others can sign on to thriving energy-as-a-service business models that do not require an initial capital outlay
4 min

Blockchain finds a purpose in tracking energy unit origins

Case study: The breathless furore around blockchain has died down but in some ways, the technology is still supporting the energy transition. Carbon-conscious buyers and sellers can use a distributed ledger to track where the electricity they use comes from
14 min

Traditional rules do not apply in this experiment

Five years ago, technologists excitedly started suggesting how to use blockchain for energy applications and a raft of start-ups followed, sporting distributed ledgers for the power sector. Today, the word "blockchain" is seldom heard in energy circles. While the hype may have been overblown, work continues instead on a quieter revolution to the one that was promised
9 min

The time and place for geoengineering projects

Geoengineering efforts offer a science fiction-style get-out option as the effort to avert catastrophic climate change comes down to the wire. Interest and investment in such projects shift resources away from the mainstream energy transition but some suggest the value of the research lies in a worst-case scenario
8 min.

Coal-for-renewables finance model raises doubts

The model of taking coal plants offline in exchange for renewable energy finance is growing in popularity with a concessional funding version underway in Chile. But experts are concerned the incentives could be unnecessary and may even encourage some plants to stay online
8 min.

How to sink the cost of floating offshore wind

Floating platforms could open up swathes of the ocean with water depths beyond 60 metres to the offshore wind sector. To tap into those areas, though, floating offshore wind first needs to become less expensive. A European research project is looking to secure some of those price gains to make the technology finally competitive
10 min

Concentrated solar power faces existential threat

It cannot easily compete with wind and solar PV for daytime electricity generation but in countries with high levels of direct solar irradiation concentrated solar power could play a vital role in decarbonising energy systems thanks to its ability to act as a thermal battery for overnight production. But few markets are rewarding dispatchable overnight renewable energy, putting the future of the industry at risk