News item | 2010-03-15 | 13:10 PM

Energy News Europe - week 10, 2010

Austria

Tiwag wants to cancel EnBW contract

Wirtschaftsblatt, 2010-03-09
Tiroler Wasserkraft (Tiwag), the Austrian hydropower company, wants to end its contract with Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), a German power producer. The deal about the exchange of surge current against baseload electricity started in the 1990s and was supposed to end in 2017. The contract was previously criticised by Austria's green party which wants Tiwag to end the allegiance to nuclear power producer EnBW.
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Czech Republic

Temelin contract to be awarded in 2012

Prague Daily Monitor, 2010-03-11
CEZ, a Czech energy group, has said that it expects to sign a contract on building two new blocks at the Temelin nuclear power plant in 2012. The company has added that bid offers will be received in 2011 and followed by negotiations. The contract, which also includes three more blocks in Dukovany and in Slovakia, is estimated to be worth CZK 500bn (EUR 19.56bn USD 26.69bn). First talks with bidders, a consortium of Atomstroyexport of Russia and Skoda JS of the Czech Republic, Areva of France and Westinghouse of the US, were held on 10 March 2010.
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Denmark

Dong Energy to increase investments in green energy

Berlingske Tidende, 2010-03-11
Danish state-owned power group Dong Energy's new strategy plan puts an increasingly strong focus on green energy. By 2040, the company's energy production will come almost solely from CO2-friendly energy sources, according to MD Anders Eldrup. The company's plans include increased investments in offshore wind farms, biomass plants and natural gas-fired power stations. Today, 85% of Dong's energy production is based on fossil fuels and 15% comes from renewable energy sources like wind and bio energy.
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Finland

Wind and biogas power to be subsidised from budget

Kauppalehti, 2010-03-09
Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy will publish its proposal for the feed-in tariff for wind and biogas energy in week 10 of 2010. According to the Ministry, the subsidies for wind energy and biogas energy will be paid directly from budget funds. The amounts to be allocated yearly will be the same as forecast in the autumn of 2009. Wind power would be allocated subsidies of EUR 200mn a year and biogas EUR 13mn by 2020.
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Finns not in favour of exporting nuclear electricity

Iltalehti, 2010-03-09
According to a survey by research firm Taloustutkimus for the newspaper, most Finns are not in favour of exporting nuclear electricity from Finland; 55% of men and 76% of women were not in favour of building more nuclear power so that Finland could export the electricity. Of men, 39% and 12% of women, were in favour of exporting nuclear electricity. The survey also asked how much more the respondents were prepared to pay for electricity that is generated with environmentally friendly means. Of the respondents, 37% would not be prepared to pay anything extra, 36% would be prepared to pay EUR 5-10 a month more, 11% would pay EUR 1-2 per month, and 9% said they would be prepared to pay EUR 11-20 a month more for environmentally friendly electricity. The survey interviewed 5,300 Finns on the internet in February 2010.
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France

EDF and Rosatom could partner to propose reactors

Les Echos, 2010-03-09
French energy group EDF and Russian nuclear group (and competitor of French nuclear group Areva) Rosatom could sign a partnership whereby the two companies would work together to propose nuclear reactors to other countries. Rather than propose EPR reactors from France, EDF and Rosatom would work together to sell the Russian VVER reactor. Areva President Anne Lauvergeon does not seem opposed to the idea and says that the future of the industry is in partnerships. The nuclear reactor market is becoming one in which large contracts are won by the bidder with the lowest price, according to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In the face of this change, Sarkozy would like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to house an independent agency that grades reactor safety.

Les Echos, 2010-03-09 French energy group EDF and Russian nuclear group (and competitor of French nuclear group Areva) Rosatom could sign a partnership whereby the two companies would work together to propose nuclear reactors to other countries. Rather than propose EPR reactors from France, EDF and Rosatom would work together to sell the Russian VVER reactor. Areva President Anne Lauvergeon does not seem opposed to the idea and says that the future of the industry is in partnerships. The nuclear reactor market is becoming one in which large contracts are won by the bidder with the lowest price, according to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In the face of this change, Sarkozy would like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to house an independent agency that grades reactor safety.

EDF and Rosatom already work together on other projects. EDF buys combustibles from Rosatom and is also studying other projects in Russia and other countries the Rosatom's subsidiary Inter RAO. The French group could also purchase a stake in a uranium mine project with Rosatom. Rosatom provides enrichment services to EDF, which displeases Areva. The French nuclear group wants to use its Eurodif enrichment factory to supply EDF for another two years.
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Gov't reports that 2009 electricity exports hit lowest level since 1985

L'Expansion, 2010-03-10
The government reports that in 2009 the cost of imported crude oil fell by 34.2% versus 2008. Energy imports were worth EUR 50bn (USD 68.03bn), and exports EUR 11.40bn (USD 15.51bn), leaving France's energy expenditure at EUR 38.60bn (USD 52.52bn), down 33% on 2008. Also in 2009, the cost of crude oil imports fell by 43% on-year, refined imports fell by 29% and gas imports by 23%. The value of refined exports fell to EUR 8.10bn (USD 11.02bn), down 42% on-year. In 2009 France exported 24.6 TWh of electricity, down 47% on-year. Reportedly due to numerous strikes and breakdowns at EDF's nuclear plants, this is the lowest level since 1985. The electricity trade balance reached EUR 932mn (USD 1.27bn) in 2009, versus 2008's EUR 2.80bn (USD 3.81bn).
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Germany

Power line, underground cable projects to transmit wind power

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-03-10
South of Bremen, electricity grid operator Transpower intends to implement Germany's first extra-high voltage (380,000-volt) underground cable project outside Berlin. The TenneT subsidiary Transpower announced on 9 March 2010 the start of detailed planning for the 60-km power line with an 8.3-km underground cable section. Cost are estimated at EUR 160mn (USD 217.69mn). Power cables will require EUR 100mn. The Ganderkesee-St.Hülfe power line is to be established by 2013. The project is the first of four pilot projects that have been approved. Regional planning procedures are prepared for the implementation of further power line projects with underground cables, and the dismantling of overhead power lines. Dutch TenneT plans to spend up to EUR 4bn on power network extension in Germany. Wind power is to be transmitted from the coast to South Germany.
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Local utilities join forces against longer NPP use

Handelsblatt, 2010-03-12
150 local utilities in Germany joined forces against the extension of NPP operation. They say if the government allows the longer use of NPPs, than the big four (Eon, RWE, EnBW, Vattenfall) should have to close down old coal power plants. Otherwise the local utilities would stop double-digit billion euro investments in cleaner coal power plants. The government is considering to extent the use of 17 nuclear power plants beyond 2022, if the operators share the windfall profit with the state.
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Netherlands

Decoupling of gas and oil prices will cost the State

Het Financieele Dagblad, 2010-03-08
It is feared that the Dutch state could miss out on future natural gas revenues as the market moves towards decoupling natural gas prices from oil prices. In current market conditions, such an event would see income from natural gas decline by EUR 2bn. GasTerra, which is responsible for selling Dutch gas, expects lower income. Traditionally, gas units are sold in relation to oil contracts. However, day to day gas prices average at around 50% that of oil, and are expected to remain below oil prices in 2011 and 2012. Purchasers are seeking to break away from such contracts. In total, gas sales have raised EUR 200bn for the Dutch state.
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Norway

"Demo 2020" targets UK offshore wind farm contracts

Stavanger Aftenblad, 2010-03-09
Some 100 Norwegian businesses, four research facilities and five universities have joined forces and established business intiative "Demo 2020". The aim is to help Norwegian companies capture a share of the business that will be generated by UK offshore wind power plans over the next three to five years. The total contract value is estimated to NOK 900bn (EUR 112bn USD 152.50bn). The "Demo 2020" group is planning a trial wind park with eight turbines, a project that is estimated to cost NOK 2bn-4bn. The group has applied for government funding for the project. The trial wind farm is thought to be a vital ingredient if Norwegian companies are to have a chance in the bidding for UK contracts.
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Poland

Enea will place bid for 50% stake of energy producer ZE PAK

Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-03-11
Maciej Owczarek, President of the Polish state-owned energy group Enea, has confirmed that it plans to make an offer for a 50% share in the Polish power generating company ZE PAK. He explains that Enea already buys energy from ZE PAK, making this a natural move.
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Spain

Foster Wheeler to supply CFB unit for carbon capture plant

Your Renewable News, 2010-03-05
A government-sponsored company, Fundación Ciudad de la Energía (CIUDEN) has appointed Foster Wheeler to design and supply a circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) unit that will be installed at a demonstration carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) plant at Endesa's power station at Compostilla, Ponferrada, Spain. The unit features Foster Wheeler's Flexi-BurnTM carbon capturing technology and should be operational by late 2011, when testing will start. Terms of the contract were not revealed.
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Sweden

Svenska Kraftnät: focus on consumers

Dagens Industri, 2010-03-09
Mikael Odenberg, General Director for Swedish state utility Svenska Kraftnät, has encouraged authorities to concentrate on how consumers can adapt to high electricity prices in extreme situations, and not to make outlandish claims about how the current electricity system needs restructuring. Odenberg believes that more emphasis should be put on energy efficiency and production levels. The winter of 2009/10 has been harsh in Sweden, with high snowfall and extremely cold temperatures. This has driven electricity use up. However, electricity producers across the country have been working far below their capacity due to delayed modernisations and other necessary upgrades and controls. As a result, the price of electricity in Sweden has shot through the roof, making it a topic of concern for households, businesses and authorities.
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United Kingdom

DECC consults on new grid connection model for new energy generation

New Energy Focus, 2010-03-04
A second consultation has been published by the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on plans to change the way new energy generation installations are connected to the electricity grid. The consultation specifically aims to address the need for better connections for renewable energy projects. The chosen option out of four looked at in 2009 is the 'Connect and Manage' system, which allows new energy generation to achieve grid connection and begin generating once their local connection is ready, even if wider grid strengthening is not.

The costs for the increased constraints on the network which will be managed by National Grid while the reinforcement work is completed, will be socialised equally for all generators and suppliers based on megawatt hours. Additionally, generators will have to raise their grid connection and generation commitment from the current one year to two years, which should help forward planning of new generation. At present, there is around 78 GW of new generation capacity awaiting grid connection, with more than 19 GW of this involving renewable sources. The consultation is open until 31 March with the view to have the new regime in place by June.
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