Insights And Expertise

The Potential for Mini-Grids in Myanmar

The full report and the presentation can be downloaded here. Myanmar is one of the least electrified countries in the world. More than two-thirds of its 55 million people lack access to reliable electricity. Over 30,000 rural villages are not connected to the national...

Looking for a Japanese partner for work in Africa

TFE Consulting is looking to partner with a Japanese consulting firm specializing in distributed energy to conduct a feasibility study on mini-grid projects deploying advanced battery energy storage systems in Africa. The work scope has two components: Technical...

Can digital technologies make microgrids profitable?

This article was first published on Cleantechnica (link) At first glance, the prospect for micro-grids in Africa looks promising. We ourselves presented a very positive case in our microgrid report (link) last year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that...

When will robots make robots for robots?

Every year in March, the heads of many of Europe’s leading industrial companies come to the Munich Management Kolloquium (link), organized by Prof. Horst Wildemann (link), to discuss the state of digitalization, ranging from artificial intelligence and machine...

TFE is looking for support on a project in Papua New Guinea

TFE Consulting is working on a project to assess the rural electrification and lighting market in Papua New Guinea. For this project, we will be assessing various remote villages around the country as well as supply chains for solar products. We are keen to enlist the...

India’s solar leap

India’s solar market is mature. And the solar financing market has followed suit – thanks mainly to local banks, NBFCs and investors. Costs are now super competitive. Add to that the speed and ease at which solar can be built and the fact that solar plants...

Solar financing in India has come of age

India’s financing industry has finally learned to ‘speak solar.’ Based on a cumulative 12 GW of solar projects installed so far in India, market participants have become good at addressing the key risks in the sector. Policy makers, banks and investors, and developers...

Africa Rising, Microgrids and 3D Printing

My colleague Sam Duby thinks that the next decade will belong to Africa. Electrification will drive local businesses, microgrids play an ever greater role and digital technologies like blockchain, big data, cryptocurrencies and satellite imagery are lowering the cost...

TFE is looking for an Energy Intern in South Africa (Cape Town)

TFE Consulting is a values-led advisory business that supports clients on accelerating the global energy transformation. Our four key areas of focus are Energy, Digitalization, Mobility and Buildings. We work with companies, investors, international lenders and...

How microgrids light up the world

Kenya shows that the global microgrid market is ready for significant private investment. There are now enough viable business models to provide early stage, strategic or even crowd investors with commercially attractive opportunities.  The medium-term growth...

The Energy transition shifts gears (and that is great news)

These days, the Intersolar fair is taking place in Munich. It has been the lead fair for the global solar boom and has become an icon of the energy transition. It is also one of the best places to take the pulse of the future energy industry. This time, there was a...

India Economic Status Check: Pride or Prejudice?

I spent the last week back in India, where I have lived for seven years before. During my visit, I discussed India’s economic situation with both business partners and friends. I often simply ask: “In your view, is India’s economy going in the right...

Can we build climate friendly cities in factories?

We are currently in the midst of the world’s largest human migration. It takes place mainly within countries, as a shift from the rural areas to the cities. This is most pronounced in poor and rapidly developing parts of Africa and Asia. New cities spring up....

Can India learn from Germany’s solar story?

Over the past few years, as the German solar market has slowed to a steady, unsubsidised pace, India has emerged as one of the most dynamic new markets. It wants to build as much as 40 GW rooftop solar by 2022 and a total of 100 GW. Is the German solar story a success...

Wanted: Business Models for the Energy Future

The energy world is changing fast. Investments into renewable energy are outpacing investments into traditional energy. The incumbents, unused to this pace of change and tied down by large asset bases and long-term investment strategies, are struggling. The first who...

The results of India’s first ever solar CEO survey are out

Bridge To India just published the 2016 India Solar Handbook. Now in its fifth season, the handbook has become the definitive guide to India’s booming solar market. It can be downloaded for free, here: This year, for the first time, we have done a comprehensive...

Happy 2015 – Highlights of the global energy transition

2015 was a good year for the global energy transition. On the deployment side, we saw solid growth of renewable energy technologies, covering a broadening base of markets. In terms of technology, we saw steady cost reductions for existing solutions, albeit very little...

Why we need “Green Market Architects”

Renewables have reached meaningful parity with conventional energy sources in many parts of the world. The timing is extremely opportune and presents a historic coincidence because just now many fast-developing countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and...

Thoughts on the future of energy from COP 21: Part 1

I spent the last days in Paris for the COP 21 and followed many very interesting discussions. Here are some thoughts and my takeaways: 1. The overall mood is positive. This is, of course, partially with respect to the relatively low expectations. No one thinks that...

The “Winner’s Curse” and Indian solar auctions

Just reading this excellent brief by John Kay on how a UK bank failed that struck me as relevant to the Indian solar market. (link) One lesson from the bank’s failure was the “winner’s curse” – the cost of winning business was so...

A Low Carbon World – Are We Finally Getting It?

As we move closer towards the Paris climate talks, something interesting is happening. Ever more stakeholders seem to be ready to be part of the solution. Negotiations that were earlier bogged-down in zero-sum confrontations suddenly have a new fluidity and a ring of...

Emotional Globalisation

The Euro crisis and the climate crisis highlight a key and potentially fatal shortcoming in our abilities as a species: we find it very hard to cooperate – even if we are collectively with our backs to the wall. It seems like we cannot have compassion with and trust...

Can India Transform its Electricity System?

India currently consumes over 1,000 TWh of electricity a year, making it just about the world’s third largest power consumer. More than 60% of this electricity is produced from coal-fired power plants. On a per capita basis, however, India’s power consumption is still...

4 Simple Things You Can do to Fight Climate Change

Let me say this upfront: We need to save the planet (cheesy, but true), and we have about 30 years to do it. Given the size of the task at hand, that is a very short amount of time. The good news is: we can do it. “We” meaning each one of us, individually....

Why Solar in India is the Opportunity of a Lifetime

The Indian solar story is much bigger than the story of one country and one technology, it is one of those game-changing developments that will have an impact on many aspects of our lives, around the globe. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for India, for the global...

Is India Rethinking its Climate Strategy?

India, the world’s third largest emitter of carbon and one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, is a key player in global climate negotiations. Now, in the run up to the Paris climate negotiations in October and November this year, its negotiating...

Will India’s Power Sector Run Out of Debt?

In a recent research note, Indian rating agency CRISIL (link) suggested that power sector loans of as much as $62.5 billion might turn toxic (for comparison: this is around half the new bailout package for Greece). Half of the amount has been lent to India’s...

Lowest Tariffs, Real Growth: India Solar Status Update (July 2015)

A year ago, the Indian government announced a goal of 100 GW of solar by 2022. Large parts or the markets (including us) were skeptical. In the last couple of months, however, the mood has changed. Here are the causes for optimism: Real growth on the ground: In the...

Evolution or Revolution? How renewables will shape our future

In the early 20th century, when cars started to compete with horse-drawn carriages in Europe, they still had innumerable technical teething issues and no distribution channels. Germany’s last emperor William II famously said (possibly while sitting on a horse):...

6 Key Questions on India’s Distributed Solar Revolution

Rooftop PV in India holds enormous promise. Yet, as of May 2015, there is only a cumulative installed capacity of around 400 MW. He discusses the state of the market, listing the current business models used, market innovation and policies. High irradiation levels,...

Choose which problem you’d rather solve

When I discuss a low-carbon economy and a transition of our energy system with experts around the world, it is clear that many key questions remain unanswered. There are challenges around commercials, technology, politics or behaviour. However, there are even bigger...

A Great Performance by India at the Hannover Fair

This week, India was everywhere in Germany: at the airport and at the train station in Berlin, I was greeted by bright “Make in India” posters. As I drove up to the Hannover Fair – the world’s largest industrial fair to which India was this...

Waiting for Modot

Have you ever seen Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”? It is not exactly an action-filled adventure. In fact, quite the opposite: it is a tragicomedy in which two characters do nothing but… wait. “Godot” – who is made...

Coal: We are on the wrong track

Here is the basic problem of our global energy system: coal is still the main source of energy for electricity generation. If you look at the world’s growth markets countries like in China, India, or Indonesia the growth strategy is heavily reliant on building more...

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Over the past weeks, BRIDGE TO INDIA has provided plenty of analyses of the different solar policies in India in this newsletter. Overall, we are not terribly impressed with them. This is partially because of the weight of expectations the government has put upon...

3 Ways of Looking at the Solar Opportunity in India

Will India be the solar opportunity of a lifetime? Or are we just hearing a lot of noise? To some extend, it comes down to what one believes in: Will India develop as a country? Will its government be part of the solution or part of the problem? I can’t answer...

India’s energy system in 2035: Will solar be the backbone?

Around 70% of India’s power comes from coal, less than 1% from solar. Will that change in the next 20 years? Can solar become the new backbone of the Indian electricity system? I think there is a good possibility that it will. Here is a thought experiment India will...

100 GW of solar in India? Not like that…

There is so far, little to suggest how India is to grow from the current 1 GW per year market to a 10 GW a year solar market, in line with the government’s goals. This is disappointing, especially when measured against the large expectations this government has...