The Anonymous Widower

Institutional Investors ‘See Energy Storage As Most Interesting Renewable’ Option

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

A new poll has identified energy storage as the most promising technology for institutional investors keen on renewable assets, amid plans by many to ramp up allocations.

Nearly two-thirds of all asset owners and managers quizzed by the firm chose batteries and other energy storage technologies as the renewables subsector with the greatest potential.

I suggest you read the rest.

The last paragraph talks of Arlington Energy building a portfolio of 1GW of energy storage and gas peaker projects and has raised £200million for starters.

If I was an engineer involved in the development of nuclear power, I would be seriously thinking of looking for a new challenge.


February 20, 2019 Posted by | Finance, World | , | Leave a comment

Wind Farms Sale Is Breath Of Fresh Air After Merger Setback

The title of this post, is the same as that as an article in the Business pages of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Selling stakes in two wind farms for £635million will provide funds to reduce debt and to launch up to £200million of share buybacks, SSE said yesterday.

Amongst the purchasers of the stake in the wind farms is an unnamed British pension fund.

So yet again, we’re seeing pension funds investing our future in wind farms.

It is a trend that will continue, as pension funds look for safe places to put the massive funds they have under management.

  • We need the electricity the farms produce.
  • The engineering of wind farms will get better, and farms will be more reliable and produce electricity economically for years longer.
  • The farrms will probably get the best of maintenance, as pension funds will protect their investment.

In addition to wind, I suspect pension funds and insurance companies will invest in other large renewable energy schemes like solar and wave power and energy storage.

Schemes, such as those I mentioned in Exciting Renewable Energy Project for Spennymoor, will surely be ones that will appeal to the funds.


Pension funds and insurance companies with their massive funds are becoming a major force in vutting carbon emissions.

I suspect that this is not just a UK trend, but one with a world-wide dimension, that includes a lot of the EU, the Far East, North American and Australia.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Asks The Question

Victoria Derbyshire asked this morning how George Osborne’s pension changes will affect you.

They won’t effect me, but they will effect those companies that provide the dreaded annuities, as I won’t be buying one!

I will be putting money into a peer-to-peer lender like Zopa, to provide me with a flexible income.

Suppose you had £50,000 invested in Zopa and it was generally lent out at 5% for five years. This money would be safeguarded by Zopa.

Once it was fully lent out, you would get an interest payment of £2,500 each year and capital repayments of £10,000 a year.

So in other words, you could withdraw £12,500 a year with no trouble.  But if you didn’t and left it to accumulate in Zopa you would be earning more money.

Obviously, you would have to pay tax on your earnings, but the idea of using Zopa or one of their ilk, as an annuity could turn out to be a good one.

There is a rumour doing the rounds, that peer-to-peer lenders will be starting to productise their offerings, by creating specialist ISAs and flexible on-demand deposit accounts.

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | Leave a comment

Not A Good Budget For An Insurance Company Fat Cat Who Smokes Heavily!

I have never understood why pensioners had to buy an annuity to give themselves an income in the last years of their lives.

In fact after hearing Adrian Chiles talking about his ideas for pensions, I vowed that unless it was a capital offence, I wouldn’t buy one!

So George Osborne did the honest thing and has made it that no-one will have to buy one any more. It’s all reported here in Citywire. Here’s the summary.

The government has unveiled a landmark overhaul of pensions drawdown and has abolished the 55% tax on pre-retirement pension withdrawals, meaning no one will have to buy an annuity.

From April 2015 people will be able to access pension savings as they wish at the point of retirement, subject to their marginal rate of income tax, rather than the current 55% charge for full withdrawal.

This had two immediate consequences.

Insurance company shares dropped as reported here in the Guardian.

George Osborne was put on a stop list of those, who aren’t entitled to buy insurance.

But well done George, as he also put the tax up on fags, although he was gentle with beer and cider.


March 19, 2014 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | 1 Comment

Government Waste Paper

I recently received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, to say that my pension was going up.

Government Waste Paper

Government Waste Paper

As like many pensioners in the UK, I get my pension paid directly into my bank account, surely this mass destruction of trees to send something, I didn’t read, was a waste of taxpayers money.

After all, I would notice that my pension had gone up, when I check my bank statement.

What percentage of these letters and booklets were actually read? It must be less than one percent.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Winter Fuel Payments

A former minister, Paul Burstow is suggesting that winter fuel payments be means-tested. It’s here on the BBC.

I’m over 65 and get a state pension, winter fuel payments, free travel in London through my Freedom Pass and discounts in lot of places including on National Rail through my Senior Railcard.

I would like to get a statement each year, as to how much I’ve received.  I could then give an equivalent amount to charities of my choice. Probably, I’d to that on my birthday to celebrate cheating the Devil for another year.

If the government didn’t pay me, they’d only blow in on some ridiculous project.

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pension Scam

I’ve also received a text message saying.

Hi, as you have a frozen pension, you can get a large cash payment within 4 weeks, to get it started today reply ‘CASH’ to this text.

It was unsigned. That told me it was a scam, as if my pension manager wants me urgently, he comes round on his bike, or gives me a call on the land-line.

The grammar is all wrong too.  one of the advantages of an education system, that no longer teaches how to form sentences correctly, is that it’s easier to spot frauds.

And my grammar isn’t perfect!

December 26, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Applying Control Engineering Principles To Pensions

Pensions are a nightmare and more rubbish is talked about them than any other financial matter, except possibly credit cards.

I’m in some ways typical, but the size of my pension pot is not typical.

When I worked for Metier, our wonderful accountant, Brian, set me up with a pension that I can live on.

I also have an income from the cash I got from selling the stud.

And when the DWP sorts it out I’ll have my State Pension.

So basically, I have a fixed sum coming in each month, from which I take my living expenses. Which of course varies on a month by month basis.

So at the end of each month I have a current account, which either has a small surplus or perhaps a small deficit. If it’s a surplus, the money goes into my Zopa account and if it’s a deficit, I withdraw a proportion of the payments made in at the first of the month.

So Zopa acts like a  deposit account, that pays a reasonable rate of interest. The great thing, is that it costs me nothing to transfer money to and from Zopa.

There is of course a slight risk with Zopa, but I’ve used it long enough to have developed a philosphy that minimises bad debt.

Effectively, I’m using Zopa to damp out the fluctuations in cash flow, just as a control engineer might add damping to a feedback system.

October 31, 2012 Posted by | Finance | , , | Leave a comment

The Department Of Work And Pensions Doesn’t Believe In Speed

I was sixty-five on the sixteenth of August and still haven’t had a sniff of a pension, despite several phone calls and a few letters.

I’m not someone who is in desperate need of the money, but surely if I was, it would be causing me great difficulties.

After all, it’s not if my pension age sneaked up on them and they’ve had my details since I started getting winter fuel payments a couple of years ago.

It’s a complete disgrace!


October 29, 2012 Posted by | Finance, World | | 3 Comments

Birthday Charity Giving

I’ve had some more positive responses on my idea for giving to charity on your birthday, which I outlined here.

It just seems to hit a chord with people, to give to celebrate another year of life, hopefully well-lived.

So I’ve now given it a name of Birthday Charity Giving. It was the only sensible name I could think using the first letters of the names of my wife, son and the late company accountant, who set me up with the good pension I enjoy.

August 13, 2012 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | 2 Comments