News item | 2010-06-10 | 09:15 AM

Energy News Europe - week 22, 2010

Belgium

Creg study shows profit of EUR 1.75bn from nuclear power
L'Echo, 2010-05-29
Creg, the Belgian electricity and gas regulator, has released a new study showing that in the financial year 2007, the nuclear energy producers generated a profit margin of between EUR 1.75bn (USD 2.15bn) and EUR 1.95bn. According to Creg, the production cost reached between EUR 17 per MWh and EUR 21 per MWh while the sale price was EUR 60. The CDH party said that the nuclear producers should pay a tax of EUR 900mn. Paul Magnette said that the study does not take account of the future costs linked to the prolongation of the life of nuclear plants.
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Czech Republic

CEZ enters gas supply market
iDNES, 2010-06-03
Czech energy group CEZ has entered the gas supply market, offering 9.7% lower prices than RWE Transgas from July 2010. Prices lower by a minimum of 5% until the end of 2011 as well as a bonus of CZK 500 (EUR 19.30 USD 23.49) will be available to those who will leave their current gas supplier by the end of July 2010. CEZ claims that its gas prices will be more competitive because gas is purchased at a commodity market. RWE says, on the other hand, that its supply is stable and reliable due to long-term contracts. RWE, which recently became CEZ's competitor with the launch of electricity supply services, does not plan any response to CEZ's announcement. PricewaterhouseCoopers has pointed out that Czechs are conservative and reluctant to change a supplier
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Denmark

Vestas to test methods to store wind power
Ingeniøren, 2010-06-03
Danish wind turbine producer Vestas and Aalborg University have joined forces to develop various methods to store wind power. The three-year research project has received funds worth DKK 15mn (EUR 2.02mn USD 2.47mn) from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (Højteknologifonden). The first step of the project will be to test a combination of a wind turbine and a special electrochemical battery developed by Vestas. The company expects to have a demonstration facility in place already in 2010 including a battery and a single wind turbine but the aim is to test the technology in a wind farm with 10-12 wind turbines. Vestas' role in the research project will be to integrate the control of a wind farm with the control of the battery. Vestas declines to disclose further details at this stage about which technologies the parties will examine.
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Europe

InnoEnergy project to boost innovation in energy sector
Dagens Industri, 2010-05-29
Swedish researchers have begun work on their part of the InnoEnergy project, a SEK 6bn (EUR 622.26mn USD 763.82mn) Europe-wide project to boost innovation in the electricity network. The project is to have six regions, and projects will include Polish research into cleaner coal technology, German into chemical fuels, French into nuclear power, and Sweden is to study ways to make electricity grids smarter and to develop new methods for storing electricity. The venture aims to have created 60 new businesses and 100 completely new products by 2014. At the opening in Stockholm on Friday, Tobjörn Wahlberg at Vattenfall said the electricity grid must be steered by production rather than consumption. Many speakers called for shorter lead times between research results and practical applications. The Swedish arm of the project will involve KTH in Stockholm and the University of Uppsala, as well as ABB and Vattenfall.
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France

Areva acquires Multibrid to create Areva Wind
nouvelObs.com, 2010-05-31
French nuclear group Areva has acquired 49% of German wind turbine maker Multibrid, bringing its total stake to 100%. It has renamed the company Areva Wind, a subsidiary which will be devoted to offshore wind turbine development.
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Germany

SWU Energie builds country's largest wood-fired power plant
Holz-Zentralblatt, 2010-05-20
German power firm SWU Energie has started building a wood-fired power plant in Senden/ Germany. It will start operating in 2011. With an output of 15MW it will be Germany's largest wood-fired power plant. It will process 40,000 tonnes of untreated wood a year and produce both heat and power. The project will cost EUR 33mn (USD 40.38mn).
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Norway

Norway joins CCS project in China
Upstream, 2010-05-28
In the next two-year period, Norway is to spend NOK 60mn (EUR 7.54mn USD 9.26mn) in a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in China, informs Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The project is known as Near Zero Emission Coal and is a cooperation between China and Europe. Initially it will focus on preparation for the construction of a demonstration facility, regarding for example technology choice and location. Before the construction phase starts feasibility studies will be carried through.
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Micro power stations excluded from green certificate scheme
Nationen, 2010-05-28
The energy and environment committee in the Norwegian parliament has voted down a proposal from the opposition to incorporate all micro hydro power stations built after 1 January 2004 in the coming green certificate scheme. This means that about 160 micro power stations will be excluded.
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Poland

Enea wants to buy power producer ZE PAK and two coal mines
Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-05-31
According to the recent announcement by Maciej Owczarek, the CEO of the Polish energy producer Enea, the company is going to take part in negotiations regarding the acquisition of a 50% stake in the power producer ZE PAK and its two coal suppliers, the brown coal mines Adamow (an 85% stake) and Konin (an 85% stake). Deadline for submitting binding offers has been set for 30 June 2010.
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Czech CEZ submits bid for Energa
Hospodarske Noviny, 2010-06-02
CEZ, a Czech energy group, submitted a bid for an 83% stake in Energa, a Polish power utility, on 1 June 2010. Polish authorities said that there would be eight bidders in total, including the biggest energy company in Poland PGE or Kulczyk Investments. The Polish government hopes to raise PLN 6bn (EUR 1.46bn USD 1.79bn) to PLN 8bn from the privatisation of Energa.
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Russia

Government to consider list of new energy facilities to be built
Kommersant, 2010-05-27
The Ministry of Energy has submitted to the government a renewed list of energy facilities that are to be built under power delivery contracts. The list includes power facilities with a total capacity of 28GW that are to be built before 2015, against the earlier expected 25GW.
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Slovakia

Lower Austria to complain against completion of Mochovce
SME, 2010-06-01
The region of Lower Austria has announced that it will send a complaint to the European Commission as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for completion of blocks three and four of the nuclear power plant in Mochovce in Slovakia. The government of Lower Austria has said that Slovakia unilaterally closed the EIA without clarifying Lower Austria's objections. It has said that the statement that even a serious accident would not have a cross-border impact is unacceptable and offensive. Stephan Pernkopf of the Lower Austrian regional government has said that Slovakia ignores fear and worries of population and Lower Austria will not tolerate such attitude.
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Spain

Endesa calls for longer life for nuclear power plants
Cinco Dias, 2010-06-01
Andrea Brentan, the Managing Director of Spanish electricity firm, Endesa, has made a call for the life of nuclear power plants in the country to be extended to 60 years instead of the currently planned 40 years. Brentan wants this decision to be made by independent regulators so that the political cost of such a decision is avoided. Brentan has pointed out how important nuclear energy is in terms of security of supply and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Endesa has a stake in seven out of the eight nuclear reactors operating in Spain and has a 47% share of the nuclear capacity.
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Sweden

Farmers against Svenska Kraftnät's plan
Ny Teknik, 2010-05-26
Farmers in the Motala region, organised in Swedish farmer association LRF, are against a plan by Swedish grid operator Svenska Kraftnät to build a 200 kilometres AC aerial cable between Hallsberg and Nässjö. The cable requires power lanes of 44 metres width, plus an area of 200 metres width where people cannot live. The farmers would prefer an underground DC cable, but that is not a possible alternative, according to Svenska Kraftnät. Director-General Mikael Odenberg says an AC cable is required in central Sweden to distribute increased production of wind power and capacity increases in nuclear power production.
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United Kingdom

SSE will not bid for major stake in EDF networks
ShareCast, 2010-06-01
The UK energy company Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has decided that it will not compete for a considerable stake in EDF Energy Networks' UK electricity distribution networks. However, the firm states that it will still work with Borealis Infrastructure during the current sale process, which could ultimately result in SSE gaining a small interest in the networks. In total the French power group EDF is putting three electricity distribution networks in the UK up for sale.
© Esmerk