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Montel Weekly

Montel Weekly - market insights from people in the know. Montel Weekly is a podcast dedicated to energy news from markets in Europe and beyond. Every week we invite key industry experts to share insights and to discuss latest developments. Hosted by Richard Sverrisson. Produced by Bled Maliqi. Music by Laurence Walker and Ben Bower.


Bank turmoil and energy markets
There have been mounting concerns over the stability of the global banking system after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the rescue of Credit Suisse. Listen to a discussion on the causes of the turmoil and what may happen next. Are we in danger of a broader banking crisis, and what could the consequences be for the energy sector and the rollout of renewables? Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Thina Margrethe Saltvedt, Chief Analyst, Sustainable Finance, Nordea and Lucy Eve, Senior Strategist, Eurasia Group
26:32 3/30/23
Damage limitation
Many market participants expressed relief that the European Commission did not meddle with the marginal price-setting mechanism in its proposals for energy market reform. But plans to protect customers from volatile and soaring prices through encouraging long-term contracts and a capacity mechanism will impact the internal energy market. Listen to a discussion on plans for virtual trading hubs and why this complex but innovative idea will be challenging to implement.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Michela Beltracchi, Senior Advisor Public & Regulatory Affairs, Nord Pool; Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow, Bruegel
31:18 3/24/23
Battery boost as EU eases state-aid rules
The European Commission has loosened state-aid rules in a bid to compete with the US Inflation Reduction Act in providing subsidies for green technology. The move comes in the wake of several high-profile European battery manufactures having indicated they are considering building factories in the US. Listen to a discussion on the main hurdles facing the battery and storage sector and how fresh regulation may spur manufacturers to stay in Europe.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Giorgio Corbetta, EU Affairs Director, Eurobat
27:56 3/17/23
Stronger together?
Ahead of the publication of the European Commission's proposals for energy market design, there are concerns that some recent interventions will be permanent. Listen to why the wholesale markets need to retain the marginal pricing model, avoid a patchwork of national regulation and provide incentives to boost the energy transition. What are the lessons learnt from the energy crisis and the resulting flurry of policy measures aimed at protecting consumers? Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Jérôme Le Page, Director, European Electricity Markets, Efet
25:09 3/10/23
Loopholes and additionality
The European Commission recently laid out rules that will define green hydrogen as part of its renewable energy directive. They will provide clarity on what makes hydrogen renewable, define additionality and potentially boost investments into the fuel. Listen to a discussion on what this will mean for the sector and whether labelling nuclear as renewable is possible or even desirable.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Catherine Banet, Professor of Law, Head of Department of Energy and Resources Law, University of Oslo
25:13 3/3/23
Ukraine: One year on
It’s been a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This week's pod chats to residents of Kyiv – a gas analyst and a top manager at Ukraine's utility DTEK – about the current situation in the city, while living under the constant threat of attack. Listen to a discussion about how Russia targets the energy system and how Ukraine repairs bombed infrastructure. We also talk about cross-border power flows and the outlook for the country’s gas and electricity sector amid the ongoing war. The pod finishes quite dramatically, so make you keep listening right to the end.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Yuriy Onyshkiv, Senior Gas Analyst, LSEG                  Dmytro Sakharuk, Executive Director of DTEK
48:59 2/24/23
Out of the woods?
This week’s pod discusses the outlook for Europe’s gas market for the coming months, as prices have fallen to around EUR 50/MWh – still historically high, but far below those of last autumn. Do low prices spell the end of the energy crisis, or should we expect further supply disruptions. Listen to a discussion on current market dynamics, what it would take to trigger a price surge and why the price cap is pointless.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Wayne Bryan, Director European Gas Research, LSEG
29:18 2/17/23
Rethinking forward power markets
The European Commission has launched a consultation on the future market design of wholesale energy markets. Under pressure to shield consumers, industry and households from high prices it seeks to undertake comprehensive reforms. Listen to a discussion of what the the consequences will be for markets, particularly regarding the fine balance between affordability and supply security. Could the proposals to boost renewables through CFDs and PPAs mean a larger role for national governments and the end of forward markets as we know them?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Stephen Woodhouse, Director, Afry Management Consulting
31:23 2/10/23
Return of the carbon speculators?
European carbon prices have climbed since mid-January, with the benchmark contract threatening to breach EUR 100/t before falling on Thursday. Has the upturn been driven by a return of speculators or are companies buying to balance their books ahead of the deadline on 30 April? Listen to a discussion on current market dynamics and whether prices could hit EUR 100/t? In addition, we debate the complex web of policies that will impact the market in the months and years to come.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Ingvild Sørhus, Lead EU Carbon Analyst, Greenfact
31:05 2/2/23
Transatlantic battle for green subsidies
The US’s Inflation Reduction Act – a USD 400bn package of subsidies and tax credits to help spur renewable energy and projects to slash emissions – has rattled European governments and politicians. Some European companies have already announced they are looking to build green energy projects in the US, while EU officials are looking for ways to keep them closer to home. Listen to a discussion on the likelihood of a tit for tat trade war and consequences for net-zero emissions targets. Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Niclas Frederic Poitiers, Research Fellow, Bruegel
28:48 1/27/23
Scaring off investors
The flurry of European countries introducing revenue caps on electricity production from renewable sources is largely intended to shield industry and households from soaring prices. But some in the industry fear these interventions may deter much-needed investments in green energy. Listen to a discussion on whether these fears are justified and on other concerns about long-term changes to the current wholesale market design.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Kristian Ruby, Secretary-general of Eurelectric.
25:41 1/20/23
Has green growth stalled amid patchwork interventions?
Europe’s green energy transition risks stalling amid a patchwork of regulation across the 27-nation bloc intended to tax surplus revenues of renewable energy generators. This could also impact the important PPA market, where corporates dominated the sector in 2022. Listen to a discussion about the trends expected for 2023 and how interventions could affect the market and the burgeoning green PPA sector. Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Dominique Hischier, Head of Analysis, Pexapark
29:04 1/13/23
Opening Pandora’s box
Discussions over potential extensions to the lifespans of German nuclear reactors could lead to several unforeseen consequences and will be like opening Pandora’s box, says Tobias Federico of Energy Brainpool. Listen to a discussion on how Germany managed to replace Russian gas supplies – at a cost – and the challenges ahead for the country in meeting its climate goals. Is the use of fossil fuels a temporary blip or a more permanent feature of the energy crisis? Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Tobias Federico, Managing Director, Energy Brainpool
29:02 1/6/23
Gas price cap: policy disaster? Montel Weekly Special Episode
The EU gas price cap agreed this week by energy ministers is intended to protect gas consumers from soaring prices, but if triggered may lead to reduced supply and increased demand. Listen to a discussion on why the measure could end up being simply a symbolic gesture, as market participants will find ways of circumventing it. There are also concerns about the creation and implementation of an LNG index – could this lead to market manipulation? Also, the cap could trigger the departure of the Ice exchange from Europe’s wholesale gas market, with worrying repercussions for financial instability.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: James Waddell, Head of European Gas and Global LNG, Energy Aspects.
29:20 12/23/22
An energy year like no other (part 2)
In the second of two episodes summarising the momentous energy events of 2022, we focus on the developments in the Nordic region, Germany and the coal and gas markets. Listen to a discussion on the impact of record low reservoir levels in Norway, ongoing nuclear issues in Sweden and Finland as well as increased political interference. How did Germany cope with the sudden loss of Russian gas, and what is the outlook for the global LNG and coal markets in 2023? Guests: Gert Ove Mollestad, Editor Norway, Montel; Olav Vilnes, Editor Nordics, Montel; Andreas Lochner, Editor Germany, Montel; Julia Demirdag, Germany Correspondent, Montel; Laurence Walker, Coal and Gas Editor, Montel. 
50:48 12/22/22
An energy year like no other
In the first of two episodes summarising the momentous energy events of 2022, we focus on the dramatic developments in guarantees of origin market, compare the expansion of renewables in Spain and Italy and discuss ongoing nuclear problems in France. Will next year bring relief to strained markets, or will concerns over security of supply linger? Tune in next week for part two.Guests: Rachael Burnett, Correspondent Spain, Montel; Enza Tedesco, Correspondent Spain, Montel; Chris Eales, Editor France, Montel; Muriel Boselli, Correspondent, France, Montel.
38:30 12/15/22
Winter starts to bite
Concerns over a supply shortfall are rising as much of Europe experiences a cold snap. Gas storage units are full, Russian gas is still flowing and industrial demand is almost down by a quarter, but what is the outlook for the coming months and the coming winter? Listen to a discussion on the key supply and demand fundamentals, and the impact of easing Covid lockdowns in China on LNG flows. Could wholesale gas prices return to EUR 300/MWh seen last August?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Nadia Martin Wiggen, Energy Analyst, Pareto and Eleni Papadopoulou, Lead Gas LNG Insights Research, Kpler
29:43 12/8/22
Are price caps “a joke”?
Many EU nations are introducing revenue caps and/or windfall taxes on power production to help consumers cope with soaring energy costs. The European Commission has also proposed wholesale gas market ceiling of EUR 275/MWh. Listen to a discussion why some member states have labelled this as “joke” and why price caps could have a long-term detrimental effect on Europe and will not alleviate the current gas crisis. Would issuing EU bonds be a better option?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Ana Stanic, Principal, E&A Law.
27:45 12/1/22
Crisis, what crisis?
Iceland has dodged an energy crisis gripping most of Europe with spiralling costs for households and industrial consumers. While the North Atlantic island nation is self-sufficient in energy, listen to a discussion on why its largest utility Landsvirkjun recently renegotiated a supply contract with one of its industrial consumers. Also, hear about Iceland's energy successes, the prospects of exports but also why Landsvirkjun is concerned about prospective changes to guarantees of origin regulation.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Hördur Arnarson, CEO, Landsvirkjun.
27:46 11/24/22
GO prices surge
GO prices have risen almost fivefold this year amid concerns over supply and robust demand. Listen to a discussion on the outlook for the GO market, forthcoming regulatory changes and why an exit by Norway, a key supplier of the certificates, now looks increasingly unlikely. Will prices soar beyond EUR 8 and remain there in the months ahead?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Adam White, Secretary General, RECS International                  Leo Robert, Green Power Analyst, Greenfact
32:53 11/17/22
How robust is the power system?
An acceleration of the energy transition will put increased stress on Europe’s power system. Energy market stakeholders across the board will need to adopt a more holistic cross-border approach to managing infrastructure in order to ensure the entire system is fit for purpose for green growth. Listen to a discussion on where the current challenges are and how vulnerable the power sector is to attacks, both physical and virtual.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Arne Svendsen, Vysus Group
31:10 11/11/22
Winter gas supply risks remain
Warmer than average weather across Europe in combination with full gas storage facilities and an LNG supply glut should not obscure the fact that Europe could still experience a shortage of the fuel over the winter. Of course the winter weather will be decisive, but also gas demand from other parts of the world that could divert shipped cargoes. Listen to a discussion on why security of supply is not guaranteed.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Bjarne Schiedrop and Ole Hvalbye, Commodity Analysts at SEB
33:47 11/3/22
Mild spell eases energy crisis: but will it last?
A mild spell this autumn has calmed spiralling prices in Europe’s gas and power markets for now, enabling gas storage levels to brim near full capacity. Listen to a discussion on La Nina (and El Nino), the Polar Vortex, sudden stratospheric warning and the north Atlantic oscillation. Will a mild winter save Europe's energy crisis?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Amy Hodgson, Meteorologist, Atmospheric G2
24:50 10/28/22
Regulation and manipulation
The European Commission this week proposed a flurry of measures to lower wholesale prices, shield consumers from perceived market failure and to smooth out “excessive volatility”. Listen to a discussion on how “manipulation” has driven gas prices and why intervention in the form of a price cap is necessary. In the medium term, Europe’s energy markets may need more radical overhaul.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Simone Mori, Head of Europe, Enel
22:42 10/20/22
Rain brings some relief
Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks has alleviated some concerns over hydropower supply in southern Norway, boosting reservoir levels from near record lows. While electricity rationing may be off the table, prices remain elevated in some areas. Listen to a discussion on the market outlook over the coming winter in the Nordic region and in continental Europe.Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Marcus Eriksson, Lead Analyst, European Power, Refinitiv, Ole Tom Djupskås, Nordic Power Market Expert, Refinitiv.
31:35 10/14/22
Finland braces for energy war
Finland is in the midst of an energy war, with households, industry and the power sector needing to stand together to get through the coming winter. Listen to a discussion on how the country is already preparing for blackouts, as it pins its hopes on the start-up of the much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 reactor, increased wind output and mild weather. Could the lights go out in Helsinki this winter?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Jukka Ruusunen, CEO, Fingrid.
24:25 10/4/22
Revisiting the Spanish intervention
Spain has implemented measures aimed at shielding energy users from soaring prices but the move has had little impact on reducing the country´s demand for gas and may have scared off investors. Listen to a discussion on the effect the Spanish intervention has had so far and why it may not be suitable at a wider EU level. And does Europe face even greater challenges in the winter of 2023/24?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Ana Barillas, Head of Iberia, Aurora Energy Research.
27:38 9/30/22
Regulatory tightrope
The European Commission has proposed several emergency measures aimed at shielding households and businesses from price shocks, and has indicated that it also plans deeper reforms to the current wholesale energy market design. Listen to a discussion on the current sentiment in Brussels - what proposals are on the table and how effective will they be in mitigating soaring prices?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Siobhan Hall, Brussels Correspondent, Montel.
28:41 9/23/22
French nuclear conundrum
France has touted a huge nuclear recovery, but experts question the ability of EDF to bring back a reactor a week between October and January. Listen to a discussion on the outlook for French nuclear availability for the coming winter. Should market participants place their trust in promises that reactors will be online in the New Year?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Chris Eales, Editor France, MontelEmeric De Vigan, Vice President Power, KeplerYves Le Thieis, Vice President, Compass Lexecon.
24:47 9/15/22
Fixing energy markets
Politicians have finally threatened action to “fix” a broken energy market that could impoverish households and drive industry out of Europe. Listen to a discussion on what needs fixing and a passionate defence of the marginal pricing model, where the most expensive power plant sets the wholesale price. What short-fixes are urgently required, and how could policymakers reduce the risk of future energy price shocks?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Stephen Woodhouse, Director at Afry Management Consulting.
25:22 9/6/22