News item | 2010-05-05 | 09:10 AM

Energy News Europe - week 17, 2010

Belgium  

GDF Suez et SPE still hold 84% of electricity market
L'Echo, 2010-04-28
According to a new report released by Belgian regulators Brugel, Vreg, Cwape and Creg, the level of effective competition in the Belgian gas and electricity markets remained unchanged in 2009. There are now 28 gas suppliers and 15 electricity suppliers. The market remains concentrated with GDF Suez and SPE together holding 84% of the electricity market. In the gas market, Distrigas is the first supplier with 40.1% of market share in 2009, up from 39.4% in 2008.
© Esmerk

Denmark  

The Great Belt Power Link taken into operation
Ingeniøren, 2010-04-28
The Great Belt Power Link between eastern and western Denmark was taken into operation on 26 April. It is the first power link between eastern and western Denmark. The full effect on the cable i.e 600 MW will be achieved by the end of the week, and the link will be tested in June. T Competition in the Danish electricity market is expected to tighten as a result of the launch of the Great Belt Power Link.
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Finland  

Five companies to compete for nuclear power plant reactor?
Satakunnan Kansa, 2010-04-23
In Finland, five manufacturers will probably compete for the nuclear power plants to be built by power companies Teollisuuden Voiman (TVO) and Fennovoima. French Areva's EPR pressurized water reactor of 1,650 MW is one of the alternatives for both TVO and Fennovoima. Also Japanese-American Toshiba-Westinghouse's boiling water reactor of about 1,650 MW is included in both companies' suitability studies.

TVO's list also includes American-Japanese General Electric-Hitachi's boiling water reactor of about 1,650 MW, as well as South Korean Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power's APR 1400 facility with electricity production output of about 1,450 MW. Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' pressurized water reactor with an output of 1,650 MW is also on TVO's list. Fennovoima's third alternative is Areva's 1,250 MW Kerena boiling water reactor.
© Esmerk

France

Forbes again ranks GDF Suez as world's largest utility company
L'Usine Nouvelle, 2010-04-28
Forbes has published its 2009 global ranking of the 2000 largest and most powerful companies. For the second year running, GDF Suez is deemed the world's largest utility company, ahead of Eon of Germany and EDF. GDF Suez came first in terms of revenue, net income, asset value and market valuation. The group is also in 24th place across all industries. It is the third largest French company, behind BNP Paribas and Total.
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Germany  

First offshore wind farm operational
Handelsblatt, 2010-04-26
On 27 April 2010, the first German offshore wind farm, Alpha Ventus, will be operational. The test wind farm has 12 turbines. It was subsidized with EUR 50mn (USD 66.79mn) by the Ministry of the Environment. Alpha Ventus is a joint venture of EWE, EON and Vattenfall.
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Solar-powered house produces surplus energy for e-car
Financial Times Deutschland, 2010-04-27
Within the scope of a model project, German Transport and Construction Minister Peter Ramsauer has opened a new solar-powered house in Essen. The house, which had won the Solar Decathlon in Washington in 2009, produces twice as much energy as required by its residents. The surplus energy can either be fed into the public grid or used to charge an electric car. The house features e.g. a flat roof and a facade covered by photovoltaic modules for power generation.

The power generated during the day is stored in a high-performance battery. It can be used at night to charge the residents' electric car. According to a spokeswoman for Ramsauer, the so-called Plus-Energy-House is to become marketable. A further developed variant of the house featuring more than 120 sq.m of living space is to be tested in practice by a family in Berlin soon. The family also will get an electric car for the test.
© Esmerk

VAT tax affair around CO2 certificates affects Deutsche Bank
Die Welt, 2010-04-30A
Deutsche Bank spokesman confirmed that public prosecutors are among others investigating seven employees of the bank within the scope of the nationwide VAT fraud affair around CO2 emission certificates. A total of 150 people is being suspected of having evaded VAT when trading with CO2 emission certificates. According to the Deutsche Bank spokesman, an entire department at Deutsche Bank, which is active in business with emission certificates, is being accused at present.

According to the spokesman, Deutsche Bank expects that the accusations against its employees can be invalidated. The investigators had raided about 50 companies on 28 April 2010. Three persons were arrested. Among the three arrested persons are no Deutsche Bank employees.
© Esmerk

Italy  

Enel launches first 100% eco-sustainable energy supply offer
Milano Finanza, 2010-04-22
Italian utility Enel has rolled out Energia Tutto Compreso Green, the first 100% eco-sustainable energy supply solution in Italy for the retail market. It offers a fixed price for one year, excluding VAT and other taxes. Clients who remain within their chosen annual consumption range (small, medium, large and extra-large) will receive a bonus corresponding to a free monthly consumption for both electricity and gas. Those who will remain within their monthly consumption range will receive two free months worth of consumption. There will be also a 50% price reduction for the chosen consumption range during summer.
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ENEL and Inter RAO UES sign deal for nuclear energy
La Repubblica, 2010-04-27
The energy company Inter RAO UES of Russia and ENEL of Italy have signed an agreement on nuclear energy. The deal includes technology cooperation and joint research, technical innovation, the creation of new nuclear plants, energy efficiency, and distribution both in Eastern Europe and Russia. In particular, ENEL will work together with Inter RAO UES on the construction of the nuclear power plant of Kaliningrad, and on the development of a new Ignitor experimental thermonuclear reactor, related to studies on nuclear fusion. The Italian Prime Minister also underlined that the works for the first Italian nuclear power will start within 2013.
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Norway  

Prime Minister wants more electrical cables and one price region
E24.no, 2010-04-28
Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has expressed an ambition to change the Labour Party's energy policy with a focus on the construction of more electrical cables to the European continent and a shift to a single electricity price region for the whole country. At present there are five price regions, but Stoltenberg thinks a single region will give a more even and predictable price level without the large variations experienced this winter.
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Poland  

PGE and Westinghouse sign nuclear power memorandum
Rzeczpospolita, 2010-04-27
Memorandum regarding the partnership on the nuclear power reactor construction has been signed between the Polish energy group Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) and Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. Specifically, the memorandum refers to a feasibility study into the development of the AP1000 PWR reactor technology and the construction of a nuclear power block based on this technology in Poland. PGE has two other memorandums which it signed with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, as well as with EDF and Areva of France. PGE plans to build two nuclear power plant in Poland, each with a 3,000 MW capacity.
© Esmerk

Spain

Endesa starts up nation's first CO2 capture pilot plant
El Mundo, 2010-04-28
Spain's first CO2 capture pilot plant has started up, at Spanish energy firm Endesa's thermal plant at Compostilla in León. According to the company the pilot plant is able to treat 800 cubic metres per hour of combustion gases and has a daily capture capacity of 3-5 tonnes of CO2. The plant captures carbon dioxide through a process whereby combustion gases undergo counter-current contact an absorbent amine-based solvent at a low temperature. The process works whereby the carbon dioxide combines only with the amine and so it is separated from the gases. A second reactor is then used to produce highly concentrated CO2. Over the next few months Endesa will analyse the plant's performance in order to optimise its efficiency and energy consumption.
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Iberdrola launches electric car package
Cinco Dias, 2010-04-30
Spanish electricity firm, Iberdrola, has launched its new Green Mobility plan, which offers clients the purchase of an electric car, finance, the installation of an electric charging point and the supply of renewable energy. Iberdrola has recently signed an agreement with Going Green to boost sales of electric cars as well as an agreement with Multiservicios Mapfre, for the installation of electric charging points at private client's parking areas.
© Esmerk

Sweden  

Energy Agency to revise electricity certificate
Dagens Nyheter, 2010-04-28
The Swedish Government has ordered the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) to write up a revised plan for the current electricity certificate system in the country. Energy companies have been abusing the current system to reconstruct power generating stations at the cost of the program, while producing low levels of new electricity. This has been particularly common in the hydro power industry, where hydro power companies are making a profit on upgrading and modifying existing plants.

The government had previously not seen a problem with the current system, although, following a complaint by the Swedish Energy Agency, the matter is seriously being addressed. The Swedish Energy Agency will now go through the rules and come up with a proposal for how the system could be improved. The new revisions will be presented by the end of the summer 2010, and new regulations could potentially be in place by the end of the year.
© Esmerk  

"Red-Greens" to raise petrol prices SEK 0.49 per litre
Dagens Nyheter, 2010-04-28
As a part of its environmental plan, the "Red-Greens" (De Rödgröna), a Swedish left wing political alliance, plans to increase petrol prices SEK 0.49 (EUR 0.05 USD 0.07) per litre by 2012. The price raise is a part of the alliance's plan to increase taxes for carbon dioxide release. Should the alliance win the September 2010 elections, petrol costs would increase SEK 0.29 in 2011, before increasing an additional SEK 0.20 in 2012. According to calculations, someone who drives 15,000 km per year would end up paying SEK 29 per month more in 2011 and SEK 49 more per month in 2012.

The new regulations are expected to have a combined affect valued at SEK 8bn. Additionally, the Red-Greens have proposed re-introducing capital taxes and taxes for hydro power and nuclear power companies for their excess profits. The Red-Greens are also optimistic that they will be able to increase the number of biogas pumps in Sweden as they plan to invest SEK 600mn in the development of new biogas pumps.
© Esmerk