News item | 2010-06-29 | 13:45 PM

Energy News Europe - week 25, 2010

Austria

EVN plans EUR 200mn capital increase and investments of EUR 800mn

Wirtschaftsblatt, 2010-06-24
The Austrian electricity company EVN has announced plans for a capital increase. The transaction, which will be carried out in the second half of 2010, is hoped to generate EUR 200mn (USD 246.71mn). It is also deemed possible that the German electricity firm EnBW will seek to sell its 26% stake in EVN in 2010.

This could be done via the stock exchange, as so far there is no potential strategic investor. The sale of EnBW's stake would benefit EVN as its shares would become more attractive to investors, experts say. The capital increase will make it possible for EVN to invest EUR 800mn over the next few years. This could create 12,000 jobs. The investments would also secure energy supply in Lower Austria.
© Esmerk

Bulgaria

E.ON to take regulator to court

Dnevnik, 2010-06-21
Power distributor E.ON Bulgaria, part of German firm E.ON, is planning to take the Bulgarian energy regulator to court over its recent decision to reduce power distributors' tax-deductible expenses from grid losses. E.ON says that the move would lower the company's value and that it represents a breach of regulatory methods. E.ON will look for support from the EC in its legal action.
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Denmark

Govt close to reaching the EU renewable energy target for 2020

Ingeniøren, 2010-06-23
The Danish government has submitted its renewable energy plan to the European Commission. According to the plan, the share of renewable energy of total Danish energy production will amount to 28.3% in 2020. This is close to the EU target of 30%. The 28.3% target is based on existing initiatives, but Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis says there are measures under way including offshore and onshore wind farms and biomass power station that will increase the share of renewable energy.

The situation for the transport sector, however, is worse; the share of renewable energy in the sector is forecast to grow from the present 1% to 6% cent in 2020, whereas the EU stipulates 10%.
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Finland

Energy Industries defend right to buy electricity at cost price

Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-06-22
Finnish Members of the European Parliament Satu Hassi and Heidi Hautala submitted a written question to the EU Parliament concerning the so-called Mankala principle in Finland that they suspect violates the EU competition and subsidy regulations. The Mankala principle means a principle whereby the shareholders of a power company are obligated to pay for the expenses arising from the company's operations relative to ownership, and whereby the shares entitle a shareholder to the electricity generated by the company at cost price.

The Finnish Energy Industries has submitted a memorandum to Parliament where it clarifies the historical background to the principle. The system is not particularly related to nuclear power, and it has been used also in the building of hydropower and coal-powered power plants. The principle has also been used in the building of cogeneration plants for industry. According to the memorandum, such power plants generated 42% of Finland's electricity consumption in 2008. The Supreme Administrative Court has found the principle legal.
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Germany

States start smart grids cooperation

Wirtschaftsblatt, 2010-06-23
The states of Germany, Switzerland and Austria have decided to work together on the development of smart grids. The partnership is for products, services and processes. Officials say it is important to use joint know how and speed up the development. This comes as the electricity network is becoming more complicated due to decentral suppliers, fluctuating volumes and the expansion of renewable energy.
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Italy

Enel Green Power applies for listing on the stock market

Il Sole 24 Ore, 2010-06-18
Enel Green Power, a renewable energy unit of the Italian power utility Enel, has filed its request to the Italian stock market regulator Consob and the operator Borsa Italiana to be listed on the Italian stock market and publish its IPO and listing information. Enel added that it is still open to long-time investors willing to buy a minority stake in Enel Green Power, and that the latter could also be listed on foreign stock markets, probably the Spanish one, from October 2010.
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Netherlands

Energy sector split-up against EU law

NRC Handelsblad, 2010-06-22
The split-up of the Dutch energy sector was against EU law, according to a Dutch court in a case brought by Essent, Delta and Eneco. The state intends to appeal at the high court; if the ruling is upheld, the energy companies will be able to make billions of euros of claims as they were forced to split off their networks. The court ruled that the split-up breached the principle of free movement of capital; the situation in the energy markets was not serious enough to warrant forced splits.
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CO2 storage planned for empty gas fields

De Volkskrant, 2010-06-25
The Netherlands is likely to start CO2 storage projects in the villages of Boerakker, Eleveld and Sebaldeburen in Groningen and Drenthe. According to a study by Energie Beheer Nederland and Gasunie, nine gas fields are possibilities for the project, and three of those are almost empty. The Dutch government has emphasised that CO2 storage will have to play a part in the country achieving its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
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Poland

Trading of biomass begins on Energy Exchange as market grows

Rzeczpospolita, 2010-06-22
In response to a need to improve the reliability of agricultural suppliers of raw materials for biomass energy producers, the Polish Energy Exchange (Towarowa Gielda Energii) is to begin trading in biomass energy before the end of 2010. A register of participants in the market will be created, and referential prices established. The quantity of electrical energy produced from biomass is growing 50% on a yearly basis, and the whole market will be worth PLN 2bn (EUR 492.12mn USD 603.58mn) in a few years' time.
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Spain

Zapatero backtracks retroactive subsidy cuts on green energy projects

Cinco Dias, 2010-06-23
It has been reported that the Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will not cut subsidies to renewable energy projects retroactively. The cuts plan involved subsidy reductions to the photovoltaic industry (35%), wind industry (15%) and thermal solar sector (40%) but, unlike first stated, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has now decided that cuts will only affect projects to be built in the future.

The Government's new decision seems to have been prompted by pressure from banks and some companies (photovoltaic), which have set loans totalling some EUR 15bn (USD 18.40bn) towards the development of such projects. A 35% drop in subsidies to finance these projects would have a detrimental effect. The cuts plan involves EUR 1bn annual savings for three years, and a cut in revenues by dropping the number of hours plants generate subsidised power.

Plants with a fixed structure will only generate subsidised power during 1,200 hours per year, and plants with collectors, 1,644 hours.
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United Kingdom

Government plans carbon floor price before 2018-2020

Utility Week, 2010-06-17
UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the government intends to set a carbon-pricing system with a carbon floor price to encourage renewable, nuclear and carbon-capture technology investment before 2018-2020. Henry said there will be a consultation once the government has a proposal for the new plan. The government also plans to review the role of energy department the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), which Henry said should be more regulatory rather than policy-making.
© Esmerk