GDF Suez's agreement with government under fire
La Libre Belgique, 2010-05-21
Renewable energy suppliers Electrawinds and Eneco have submitted a complaint to the European Commission regarding the nuclear energy agreement reached between Belgian government and French energy provider GDF Suez, present in Belgium via subsidiary Electrabel. The agreement allows for the extension to the operational existence of Electrabel nuclear power stations on the condition that it invests in renewable energy. The pair have complained that this will lead to Electrabel dominating not only the nuclear energy sector, but also the renewable energy sector.
Atomstroyexport to file lawsuit over Belene NPP delays
It has been reported that Russian construction firm Atomstroyexport is planning to file a lawsuit against the Bulgarian government for freezing the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project, for which the Russian firm is the main contractor. The project is being frozen until a new strategic investor can be found following the exit of Germany's RWE from the project in 2009. Bulgaria recently turned down a loan of EUR 2bn (USD 2.48bn) from the Russian government to get the project under way.
Construction of Anholt wind farm expected to start in autumn 2010
Danish politicians now expect the construction of the 400 MW Anholt offshore wind farm to start in autumn 2010 despite discontent with the price of the project, DKK 14bn (EUR 1.88bn USD 2.29bn). The Danish Energy Agency as well an an external adviser, however, have given their approval to the financial frame of the project.
Danish state-owned energy group Dong Energy, that is the only company to have submitted a bid for the project, is expected to win the contract. The Anholt wind farm, that will be the biggest offshore wind farm in Denmark, is scheduled to be completed by 2013.
Dong Energy not to be listed in 2010
Danish state-owned company Dong Energy will not be listed during 2010. According to the Danish Finance Ministry, the financial markets are too volatile at the moment for a stock exchange listing.
Dong Energy boosts wind energy production
Danish energy group Dong Energy regards wind energy as the future energy source and puts a stronger focus on its wind energy operations. According to Dong Energy's CEO Anders Eldrup, wind energy is expected to become the group's biggest division in 2015 thus outpacing the coal energy division. Dong doubled its production of wind energy in the first quarter of 2010 alone thanks to its four large wind farms. Another two wind farms in the UK will be added to Dong's portfolio of wind farms within the next two years.
Eesti Eergia's IPO cancelled due to politics
In Estonia, the ruling coalition did not support the listing of the state-owned power utility Eesti Energia, says Juhan Parts, Minister for Economic Affairs. The Minister believes, however, that the IPO would have been successful. The Minister, says the government decided to inject extra capital into Eesti Energia, in an effort to fund Eesti Energia's capital investments. The investment programme is subjected to approval by the parliament, however. Eesti Energia's investment need may reach as high as EEK 7bn (EUR 447.38mn USD 553.37mn).
Fingrid to invest in Estlink 2
Finnish grid operator Fingrid, has passed a decision to invest in Estlink 2, the second undersea power cable between Estonia and Finland. Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of Estonian grid operator Elering says Elering in cooperation with Fingrid seeks to put the Estlink 2 into production in 2014. Mr Veskimägi attributes Fingrid's quick investment decision in Estlink 2 to the successful opening of the Estonian electricity market to competition. Trading in the Estlink price area of Nord Pool Spot was launched at the beginning of April, while in May 2010, 20% of the electricity consumption in Estonia is traded over the electricity bourse.
Elering has already made the EEK 1.50bn (EUR 95.87mn USD 118.77mn)investment decision in Estlink 2, while the European Commission unveiled support to Estlink 2 in early March 2010. The total investment into the building of the 650 MW capacity undersea cable is EUR 300mn. Next, Estlink 2 partners will invite a public procurement tender for the converter substation and power cables, aiming to sign the procurement contracts during 2010.
CO2 emissions down 11.6% in 2009
Press Release, 2010-05-18
From 2008 to 2009, there was an 11.6% decline in greenhouse gas emissions from EU companies participating in the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System). Greenhouse gas emissions reached 1.873bn tonnes of CO2-equivalent. Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action, said that the decline is due to the crisis and is not surprising. She said that European firms did not invest as much as planned into innovation.
Parliament to decide on nuclear power permits in autumn 2010?
According to Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen, the Parliament must be given time to process the the issue of nuclear power plant permits as thoroughly as possible. The decision may be postponed until the autumn of 2010 so that all the Parliamentary Committees can do a thorough job.
Government awards EPR contract to EDF
Le Figaro, 2010-05-18
The French government has given the contract to operate the second EPR reactor, based in Penly, to EDF. However, the French electricity company will only own 50% plus one share of the reactor. It will also be held by GDF and Total (33%), with Italy-based Enel and Germany-based Eon sharing the rest of the capital. EDF operates 58 reactors in France and will operate the first EPR, which is under construction in Flamanville.
Acciona to collaborate with Dhamma Energy on 250 MW of PV solar energy
Spanish construction and services firm, Acciona, is expected to announce a collaboration agreement with Spanish-Franco firm, Dhamma Energy, for the construction and operation of 250 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy facilities in France. The agreement would be for three years with a project value of EUR 500mn (USD 619.43mn). The first facility will be a 12 MW park in Ardeche (Rhones-Alpes). The agreement will automatically be extendible and will also allow Acciona to enter the capital of some of the solar parks.
Consumers sceptical about smart metering
Spiegel Online, 2010-05-10
According to a poll by Forsa on behalf of the association of German consumer protection centres, VZBV, 18% of Germans are be prepared to pay for a smart electricity meter. 20% do not want such a meter at all. Provided that they do not have to pay for it, 74% of those polled would accept a meter that allows the constant monitoring of electricity consumption but has no additional features such as communication with domestic appliances.
A representative of VZBV says that the smart grid technology is far away from the reality of consumers. He urges electricity suppliers to develop attractive offerings that convince consumers of the benefits of the intelligent meters. He also points out that no preconditions exist in Germany for flexible electricity rates.
More households changed electricity supplier in Q1
Stavanger Aftenblad, 2010-05-14
In the first quarter of 2010, there were 54% more households in Norway that switched electricity supplier compared to the same period in 2009. 80,000 households switched company, which is 26,000 more than normal, reports energy authority NVE. The probable reason is the cold winter and high electricity prices. In addition one power supplier, Vitel, left the market and its 21,000 clients had to find a replacement. In the quarter the average price difference between the most expensive and least expensive electricity supplier was NOK 0.50 (EUR 0.06 USD 0.08) per kWh.
RWE to invest in two wind farms in Dobrogea
Ziarul Financiar, 2010-05-18
The German energy group RWE will develop two wind farms with a total capacity of 350 MW in two towns in Dobrogea region, in Romania, according to market sources. The company is said to also be interested in investing in wind energy projects in the region of Moldova.
Hafslund takes over Göta Energi
Norwegian energy company Hafslund has signed an agreement to acquire Göta Energi, a Swedish power sales company. It will take over 100% of the company, on condition of approvals from Swedish authorities. Earlier this year Hafslund bought 49% of another energy company in Sweden, Energibolaget i Sverige Holding, which together with Göta Energi has about 250,000 clients in Sweden and Finland.
Crown Estate publishes 2 GW of extra capacity for offshore wind farm owners
Utility Week, 2010-05-11
Extensions to Rounds 1 and 2 of the offshore wind zones in the UK have been published by the Crown Estate, with another 2 GW being added. The plans are for Vattenfall to add a further 51 MW to its Kentish Flats and 147 MW to its Thanet wind farms, for SSE and npower to add 504 MW to its Greater Gabbard wind farm, and for Dong to add 750 MW and 234 MW to its Walney and Burbo Bank wind farms. Current developers in Rounds 1 and 2 have been given the chance to add 340 MW more of capacity. Construction of the extra capacity is expected to start in 2014 with completion planned before the end of 2016 and prior to Round 3.