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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.

Tracks

Picking winners
Even for the best power projects, gaining electricity access from grid operators is far from straightforward. Amid an every lengthening queue of applications, how do TSOs decide what projects to approve and which to reject? Is it a choice between electricity hungry data centres generating Tik-Tok videos or AI servers? Listen to a discussion with Marius Holm Rennesund of Thema on the potential for demand growth in Norway and the wider Nordic region. And as the discussion about Norwegian nuclear power resurfaces, we talk about the viability of atomic energy in the country.
30:14 6/14/24
EU elections: Fragmentation and paralysis?
As 373m Europeans head to the polls – we ask one simple question. Will the rise of the far right across the EU endanger the energy transition? Pollsters are warning a swing right – and left –  will fragment the European Parliament and could paralyse decision making. So, will the hard-fought parliamentary consensus for the green shift become fragile over the next five years?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Raphael Hanoteaux, Policy Advisor, E3G; Siobhan Hall, Brussels correspondent, Montel. 
29:34 6/7/24
Decarbonising heavy industry
The green transition will not succeed unless industrial sectors also manage to decarbonise production processes. Sweden has experienced problems with long-term power purchase deals, with many companies facing a very tough financial environment amid price volatility and oversupply. Listen to a discussion on the lessons learnt for Europe and one company’s ambitious plans to massively reduce its carbon footprint.  Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Mia Bodin, Partner, Bodecker Partners; Arne Österlind, Energy Portfolio Director, H2 Green Steel. 
24:47 5/30/24
Geopolitical tension rises on creeping escalation
Global geopolitical tensions are growing amid a creeping escalation of the conflicts in the Middle-East and in Ukraine. Listen to a discussion on the dangers to global security and energy supply as very few countries seek to de-escalate conflict zones. This week’s pod also touches on the upcoming EU elections and positive signs in Germany as power demand seems to have bottomed out and turned a corner.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Henning Gloystein, Director for Energy, Climate and Resources, Eurasia Group
29:30 5/23/24
Flexing French nuclear
What a difference a couple of years makes. As France returns to a position of net power exporter, it appears to have moved on from the supply woes of 2022. But booming solar generation, a plethora of negative prices in France and its neighbours have weighed on wholesale electricity prices and raised doubts about the financing of new nuclear plants and renewables. Listen to a discussion on the flexible operation of nuclear plants in combination with solar and wind generation. Could France be heading for a glut of power production?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests:Yves Le Thieis, Vice President, Compass LexeconPaolo Coghe, CEO, Acousmatics
30:14 5/17/24
Europe leads renewables boom
Europe is the frontrunner in the global renewables boom, as wind and solar have become the fastest growing electricity sources in history. Listen to a discussion on why the massive growth in capacity is set to continue this year, while coal and gas generation set to fall further. However, there are headwinds. Curtailments and public acceptance are obstacles that the industry and policy makers need to address, while negative prices may be a concern to some they should provide incentives for innovation in storage and flexibility. Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Dave Jones, Global Insights Director at Ember.
29:00 5/10/24
Choppy carbon prices
European carbon prices have rebounded from two-year lows in February to trade around EUR 70/t. One of the main drivers for the CO2 market has so far been gas. Listen to a discussion with Ingvild Sorhus from Veytabout the other drivers influencing prices and why a return to EUR 100/t is possible as a shortage looms from 2026.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Ingvild Sørhus, Lead Carbon Analyst, Veyt 
29:46 5/3/24
The Trump hand grenade
The global gas market faces turmoil and increased price volatility should Donald Trump return to the white house. Listen to a discussion why a Trump victory in November will be “like dropping a hand grenade on the energy markets”, the implications of Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian gas infrastructure and Putin’s shadow fleet of LNG vessels. And will Iran close the Strait of Hormuz?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Tobias Federico, Director, Montel Analytics; Wayne Bryan, Director European Gas Research, LSEG.
27:34 4/26/24
Acer steps up
EU regulatory agency Acer is taking on new tasks and challenges. Listen to a discussion on the complexities of supervising increasingly automated and interconnected markets, the expansion of the Remit framework, the regulatory body’s new investigatory powers and how it handles huge amounts of data.  In addition, what plans does Acer have to improve its brand recognition in parts of Europe where its role has been misunderstood?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Christian Zinglersen, Director, Acer
29:37 4/19/24
Carbon border tax: Europe's own goal?
The EU's carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) is intended to address the issue of carbon leakage - preventing companies moving to jurisdictions with less stringent emissions rules - and to keep industrial sectors in the EU competitive by charging a carbon levy at its borders. But the inclusion of electricity could trigger several unintended consequences. Listen to a discussion on how the law could significantly affect electricity flows between non-EU and EU countries and impact investment in renewable energy. Could the border tax actually hinder moves to decarbonise Europe?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Phil Hewitt, Director Montel Analytics; Jean-Paul Harreman, Director Montel Analytics.
30:33 4/12/24
France’s ample supply
After record low nuclear output in 2022, France has again become a powerhouse of atomic generation. So much so, that it is again Europe’s largest electricity exporter. Wholesale market prices in the country have tumbled amid ample supply, weak demand and high renewables, primarily solar, generation. Listen to a discussion on the outlook ahead of the summer, and the potential for surprises amid probes into possible corrosion at some reactors.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Chris Eales, Editor France, Montel News; Tasmin Chowdhary, Market Analyst, Volue. 
23:06 4/5/24
Italy’s gas outlook
Europe may have weathered the worst of the storms of the covid pandemic and the energy crisis, but the continent’s gas market remains fragile. In this episode, we talk to the CEO of gas transit operator Snam and one of Italy’s most respected energy experts about the role gas will play for the country as it looks to wean itself off Russian gas. Italy looks set to become more dependent on the vagaries of global markets as it commits to an LNG future. And what is the outlook for gas demand among Italy’s industry?   Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Stefano Venier, CEO of Snam, Massimo Nicolazzi, University of Turin.
41:35 3/27/24
Picasso turbulence
The pan-EU balancing mechanism Picasso has caused price turbulence after its introduction in some markets, notably Italy. The country has since exited the platform and other countries have delayed implementation to the mandatory system. Listen to a discussion on the problems experienced by Italy and proposals put forward to change the platform and to increase data transparency.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Simon Remppis, Engineer at TransnetBW; Alina Trabattoni, Italy Correspondent, Montel News. 
27:21 3/21/24
Virtual hubs and deep markets
EU regulatory body Acer has proposed several changes to the framework of forward markets and cross-border trading, aimed at boosting power market liquidity. Listen to a discussion on virtual hubs, financial transmission rights or “spread futures” and why the Nordic model may not be the best example to follow. And, would dividing the German power zone attract more investment into green energy and increase liquidity?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Lion Hirth, Professor at Hertie School and Director at Neon Energy. 
27:56 3/14/24
The “ketchup effect”
Norway installed the least amount of renewables in the Nordic region last year. Ahead of the country’s first ever offshore wind auction, we talk to former energy minister Åslaug Haga about the outlook for new green energy in terms of meeting growing demand. Listen to a discussion on the ways in which country should speed up capacity build and why it is important to avoid the “ketchup effect”.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Åslaug Haga, Director, Renewables Norway.
30:33 3/7/24
Another bumper year for PPAs
European power purchase agreements (PPAs) look set for another bumper year with potential volume of 20 GW. However, there is some market hesitancy amid economic headwinds and flagging wholesale electricity prices. There is also a good chance for Germany to knock Spain off the top spot for PPA growth. Listen in!Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Luca Pedretti, Pexapark 
26:45 2/29/24
Epic problems, epic solutions
Over the past decade, Germany has experienced serious energy shocks – many of which were of its own making. For instance, the over-reliance on Russian gas and exiting coal and nuclear power at the same time. However, it has also provided solutions on a remarkable scale. Listen to a discussion  - recorded live at the E-World trade fair in Germany - on how the country dealt with its energy crisis, and the positive progress made since 2022. But how can it speed up investments into the grid as well as into renewables?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Tobias Federico, Managing Director, Energy Brainpool, a Montel Group company;Hanns Koenig, Managing Director, Central Europe, Aurora Energy Research; Henning Gloystein, Director for Energy, Climate and Resources, Eurasia Group
30:16 2/23/24
Why GO prices are crashing
European Guarantee of Origin prices have slumped to near 15-month lows amid oversupply and faltering auctions. Listen to a discussion on the measures policy makers need to adopt to boost both transparency and liquidity in this opaque market. Will prices ever reach the highs of 2022 again?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Daniel Arnesson, Manager, Renewable Power Analysis
28:37 2/15/24
Trump looms as geopolitics hots up
The prospect of Trump returning to the White House could shake up the global gas market already on edge from rising tensions in the Middle East. Listen to a discussion about how Trump could reverse President Biden’s pause to LNG projects. Also, the pod highlights why Chinese and German gas demand is returning close to pre-pandemic levels and what this means for imports to Europe as it continues to shun Russian supply.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Nadia Martin Wiggen, Director, Svelland Capital. 
29:53 2/9/24
Geopolitical risk fatigue?
Are oil and gas markets too complacent about the current geopolitical risks in the Middle East, which accounts for around one third of global seaborne oil trade? Saul Kavonic, senior research analyst at MST Financial thinks so. In this week's pod, he explains how an escalation of tensions beyond the Hamas-Irael war could see the closure of the Strait of Hormuz and propel oil and LNG prices to USD 200/bbl and USD 100/MMbtu respectively – dwarfing the peaks during the 2022 energy crisis.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guest: Saul Kavonic, Senior Research Analyst, MST Financial. 
27:55 1/31/24
Germany bucks 17-yr power trend
For the first time in 17 years, Germany became a net electricity importer in 2023, largely due to expensive fossil fuels which meant power from its neighbours was cheaper than that domestically generated. Carbon emissions in the country also plummeted but is the drop permanent as the country looks to transform its power system? Listen to a discussion on the choices facing Germany and the pros and cons of splitting its single power market zone.Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Fabian Huneke, Project Lead Energy Transition, Agora Energiewend
28:11 1/25/24
The flexibility episode
Europe’s net-zero targets for 2050 are ambitious, but the roll-out of renewable energy will not be successful without a significant boost to flexibility in power markets. Listen to a discussion on the prospects for batteries, both giga and household, in the energy transition and where the hotspots are in Europe. Could new technology such as sodium-ion be a game changer for energy storage?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Sam Ebohon, Director Flexibility, Baringa Partners
31:52 1/19/24
Saved by cables?
Cross-border electricity cables are controversial. For some they provide supply security while others believe they increase prices in markets used to low energy costs. Listen to a discussion on the impact the power links had amid a period of extremely cold weather in the Nordic region. In addition, what is the outlook for wholesale prices in the coming weeks and months – could Finland see a return of EUR 800/MWh?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuest: Sigbjørn Seland, Chief Analyst, Storm GEO; Odd Gunnar Jakobsen, Analyst, Volt Power Analytics.
33:31 1/12/24
Germany’s big freeze
Germany faces a freeze on many counts over the coming weeks. Firstly, a cold snap is likely to send power prices spiralling. In addition, a budget freeze could hamper the country’s plans to meet its decarbonisation targets after a court ruled the EUR 60bn earmarked for its green transition was illegal. How will Europe’s largest energy consumer afford to keep the lights on?Host: Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Tobias Federico, Managing Director, Energy Brainpool
32:05 1/4/24
End of year round-up, outlook (Part two)
End of year round-up, outlookIn the next two episodes we discuss the key energy issues in the year to date with Montel journalists, while also looking forward to 2024. Despite markets having come a long way since the crisis of 2022, they remain jittery and volatile. Part one will focus on Spain, Italy and France, while part two discusses Germany, the Nordic region and global fuel markets.Host: Richard SverrissonGuests (Part one): Enza Tedesco, Editor Italy; Pablo Bronte, Editor Spain; Chris Eales, Editor France; Muriel Boselli, Correspondent FranceGuests (Part 2) : Andreas Lochner, Editor Germany; Gert Ove Mollestad, Editor Norway; Olav Vilnes, Editor Norway; Laurence Walker, Deputy Editor-in-Chief; Andres Cala, LNG Correspondent
39:10 12/29/23
End of year round-up, outlook (Part one)
In the next two episodes we discuss the key energy issues in the year to date with Montel journalists, while also looking forward to 2024. Despite markets having come a long way since the crisis of 2022, they remain jittery and volatile. Part one will focus on Spain, Italy and France, while part two discusses Germany, the Nordic region and global fuel markets.Host: Richard SverrissonGuests (Part one): Enza Tedesco, Editor Italy; Pablo Bronte, Editor Spain; Chris Eales, Editor France; Muriel Boselli, Correspondent France
41:12 12/21/23
Gas hostage to geopolitics, market jitters
Gas storage is ample, the weather has remained largely mild and French nuclear availability has returned to pre-Covid levels. However, given the escalating conflict in the Middle East and stalemate in Ukraine, several risks remain ahead of the winter season. Listen to a discussion on the outlook for prices amid a very jittery market. Also, will the EU impose sanctions on Russian LNG?Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Henning Gloystein, Director for Energy, Climate and Resources, Eurasia;               Wayne Bryan, Director European Gas Research, LSEG.
37:20 12/14/23
Finland’s Black Friday
A bidding error in the Nordic spot power market could be the costliest fat finger event ever in European energy markets – both in terms of financial losses but also the reputational damage for the electricity system and the companies involved. Listen to a discussion on the events that led to EUR -500/MWh power prices and why some Finns treated it as Black Friday. Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, MontelGuests: Maarit Uusitalo, Manager, Market Solutions, Fingrid ;Riku Merikoski, Senior Power Analyst, Axpo; Gert Ove Mollestad, Editor Norway. 
28:09 12/8/23
Nodal or Zonal?
The UK is reviewing a shift in how it prices electricity from a single wholesale market, with two locational alternatives under consideration: nodal or zonal. This week’s pod addresses the pros and cons of locational prices and whether they will help or hinder the UK’s quest for net-zero emissions.   Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Stephen Woodhouse,  Director Afry Management Consulting and Phil Hewitt, Director, Montel EnAppSys.
28:37 12/1/23
Can COP28 spur EU carbon market?
World climate negotiators will meet for UN-led talks in Dubai next week in attempt to slow warming that is exacerbating extreme weather from flooding to heatwaves to drought. Could COP28 provide impetus to Europe’s carbon market, where prices have dropped from a record high above EUR 101/t to a one year-low below EUR 75/t amid weak fundamentals and rising geopolitical risks. Listen to a discussion on the outlook for the EU’s key climate policy tool. Host: Snjólfur Richard Sverrisson, Editor-in-Chief, Montel Guests: Ingvild Sørhus, Lead Carbon Analyst, Veyt 
24:43 11/24/23

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