News item | 2010-03-11 | 12:00 PM

Energy News Europe - week 09, 2010

Bulgaria

European funding to be sought for Belene NPP project
Novinite, 2010-03-02
Bulgaria is to seek European funding for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project, with the government indicating that Russia's EUR 2bn (USD 2.74bn) funding offer will not be enough. The project will remain frozen until a European investor is found, according to Bulgaria's prime minister Boyko Borisov. The EC has said that it will support Bulgaria's efforts to find a European strategic investor for the project.

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Denmark
 

200,000 Danes changed electricity suppliers
Børsen, 2010-03-02
Almost 200,000 Danes changed their electricity suppliers in 2009, which is a doubling on 2009. This emerges from the latest statistics from Dansk Energi, the trade organization for Danish power companies.

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Estonia

Estlink 2 to get EU support
Äripäev, 2010-03-05
The European Commission (EC) has shortlisted 43 gas and electricity projects to be entitled to EU subsidies, totalling EUR 2.3bn, Estlink 2 included. Estonia's Elering and Finland's Fingrid, grid operators to implement the Estlink 2 project, the second submarine power cable to link Estonia and Finland, will be entitled up to to EEK 100mn (EUR 6.39mn USD 8.68mn)from the EC.

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Europe
 

Commission grants EUR 2.3bn to gas and electricity projects
Press Release, 2010-03-04
The European Commission has granted EUR 2.30bn (USD 3.15bn) to 43 energy projects as the second part of a EUR 4bn economic recovery package. A total EUR 90mn will be distributed to 12 electricity projects and EUR 1.39bn to 31 gas pipeline projects in the 18 months from 4 March 2010. This should promote a better integrated European energy network securing a flexible cross-border flow of energy within the European Union.

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Finland
 

Nuclear power plant building permits before Parliament in April 2010
Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-03-04
According to Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen, the issue of nuclear power plant building permits will be before Parliament in April 2010, at the earliest. Parliament will need to vote on the permits because the various political parties have differing views on how many permits should be granted. Pekkarinen himself has said one permit is required.

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Germany
 

RWE, Microsoft announce co-operation for energy efficiency
Press Release, 2010-03-01
RWE Effizienz GmbH and Microsoft Deutschland announced a co-operation for energy efficiency. SmartHome is a solution to reduce energy costs in private homes, which will be available by the end of 2010. The control system for heating, lighting and domestic appliances can be used by switches, smart phone or via Internet. The system is working radio-controlled.

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Electricity generation down 6% in 2009
Handelsblatt, 2010-03-03
According to data of the German federal energy and water industry association BDEW, electricity generation in Germany decreased by 6% in 2009. Electricity generation was thus down for the first time in ten years. Electricity from lignite accounted for 24%. The share of electricity generated from nuclear energy remained stable 23%. The share of electricity generated from hard coal decreased from 19% to 18%. Natural gas and renewable sources accounted for 13% and 16%, respectively.

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Ireland
 

Endesa power plant plans endorsed by Kerry County Council
Irish Examiner, 2010-03-02
Endesa Ireland's plans for a natural gas-fired power plant have been backed by Kerry County Council. The proposed EUR 500mn (USD 678.13mn) plant will be built on the site of an old ESB power plant on Tarbert Island, County Kerry. An Bord Pleanala is expected to make a decision on Endesa's application for planning permission for the 450MW facility in late June. Work on the first phase of the development would start late in 2012, while work on the second phase would begin in January 2016.

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Italy
 

PV sector exceeds 1GW installed power in 2010
Finanza & Mercati, 2010-03-02
The Italian photovoltaic sector has exceeded 1GW installed power, totalling an annual production of 1,300GWh from around 70,000 certified power plants. This is enough to meet the energy needs of 1.2mn people, almost 500,000 households consuming 2,700KWh every year. Such development was fostered by various state's issued Conto Energia (energy account) incentives from 2005, but also other agreements with CNR, Anea and Erse that provided EUR 15mn between 2006 and 2008 and EUR 4mn in 2009. Some more EUR 8mn investments have been planned for 2009-2011. Additionally, the Industria 2015 program already approved 5 projects worth EUR 66.7mn, EUR 29.3mn provided for by the Ministry for economic development, and EUR 25mn have been set aside for solar thermal energy, EUR 9.5mn provided for by the government. The photovoltaic industry is expected to post at least EUR 2.50bn (USD 3.39bn) turnover in 2009, and includes around 1,000 installers, producers and distributor, and over 20,000 employees.

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Nuclear energy could provide 12%-13% of renewables mix by 2020-2022
Finanza & Mercati, 2010-03-04
Italy could generate 12%-13% of its renewable energy mix from nuclear energy by 2020-2022. The country's new nuclear energy regulations are in line with other international legislation. Italy has based its nuclear energy development programme on the US and France as well as other major international partners. In addition, the Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio has asked the Supreme Health Council for an opinion over the health hazards from nuclear energy. The ministry plans to set up a committee to pass on this information to the population and particularly to young people in schools.

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Lithuania

EU grants EUR 131mn for power link project
Baltic News Service, 2010-03-04
The European Commission has designated the project to link the Lithuanian and Swedish power grids as one of 43 major energy projects. The Commission granted EUR 131mn for the project as part of the EU's economic recovery package. The project is being implemented by Lithuania's Lietuvos Energija and Sweden's Svenska Kraftnät.
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Spain 

Centrica to sell local division and exit market
Expansion, 2010-03-02
UK energy firm, Centrica, has decided to put up for sale its division in Spain, Centrica Energia, and exit the electricity market there. The decision was made due to difficulties in consolidating its business and making it profitable. Centrica says that the slow progress made in liberalising the electricity sector in Spain and the continued power held by incumbents on the market has influenced its decision. The firm is hoping the sale will go through before June 2010. No sale price has been published but sector sources believe the Spanish business to be worth tens of millions of euros. Interested buyers could include EGL and Alpig of Switzerland which have businesses in Spain already, or the management team of Centrica in Spain which could look to capital risk firms for support in such a deal. Centrica has a 1.5% share of the electricity supply market in Spain. 

 

 

 

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Acciona to invest EUR 4,000mn in renewable energy
Cinco Dias, 2010-03-01
Spanish construction firm, Acciona, is to carry out investments of EUR 6,500mn up to 2013. Of this total, EUR 4,000mn will be put towards its renewable energy division, EUR 2,000mn towards its infrastructure division and EUR 400mn (USD 545.44mn) towards its water management division. Acciona's strategic plan aims to reduce its debt and international expansion ratio by 40%. The firm has targeted Australia, India, Europe, the US, Latin America, UAE and Canada as its main strategic markets. Acciona hopes that this will increase its gross profit by 45% per year, so that it hits EUR 1,000mn by 2013, whilst turnover is expected to rise by 14% to EUR 11,000mn and Ebitda by 22% to EUR 2,300mn.

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United Kingdom
 

700 MW power plant to be set up by QEWC in Wales
Gulf
Times, 2010-03-04
According to a report released on 3 March 2010 by Arabic, a local newspaper in Qatar, a 700-megawatt (MW) power generation facility may be established in Wales in the UK by Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) through an alliance with the UK-based firms. Apart from that, QEWC's General Manager, Fahd al-Mohannadi revealed that the company will also submit an offer for an expansion of a water desalination plant to between 30mn and 40mn gallons per day in its home country shortly. Via Qatargas's South Hook liquefied natural gas regasification terminal, QEWC will gain benefit from the natural gas firm's existence in the UK for the development of the Wales power station. QEWC owns and operates water desalination and power generation plants in Qatar.

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Super-grid plan for North Sea
Financial Times, 2010-03-08
A so-called super-grid linking the UK, Norway and Germany is set to be unveiled by ten leading firms in Europe, including Areva of France, Italy's Prysmian and German-based Hochtief. Offshore wind power could be developed in high volumes in the North Sea under the plan, the cost of which could be EUR 34bn (USD 46.36bn). A chief executive will be appointed by the Friends of the Super-grid group, which would establish an office in Brussels. A so-called phase one scheme has been put forward by one member, Mainstream Renewable Power of Ireland, that would link England, Scotland, Norway and Germany. Mainstream's chief executive Eddie O'Connor says the super-grid would allow offshore wind power to enjoy a massive expansion.

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Disclaimer: The newsletter "Energy News Europe" contains an overview of energy-related news published in European media. It does not represent the views of Vattenfall or its management.