News item | 2011-07-04 | 14:55 PM

Energy News Europe - week 26, 2011

Austria

Country could double pumped storage capacity by 2030
Wirtschaftsblatt, 2011-06-28
According to expert opinions, Austria could double the storage capacity of its pumped storage power facilities from the current 7,000 megawatts (MW) to 14,000 MW by 2030, with which the country would to become the so-called green battery of Europe. The largest pumped storage power plants in Austria generate some 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. Pumped storage power plants can store electricity for short amounts of time, helping to deal with electricity production fluctuations, which helps to stabilise the electricity networks. In 2008, Austria's share of pumped power storage in the European Union was 17.5%, whereas total electricity production was only 2.5%.
© Esmerk

Belgium

Creg warns of electricity shortage by 2015
Le Soir de Bruxelles, 2011-06-28
The Belgian energy market regulator Creg has released a study which states that Belgium risks an electricity shortage by 2015 if its starts to close its nuclear power stations in 2015. Creg's report suggests extending the lifespan of the nuclear power stations by one or two years. Creg's report claims that Belgium will not have the capacity to replace the electricity generated by the nuclear power stations by 2015.
© Esmerk

Bulgaria

Borisov claims Belene NPP project subject of fraud
Novinite, 2011-06-26
Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov has claimed that the project to build the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has been the subject of high-level fraud from its outset and that it is time that those responsible face criminal charges. Borisov said that so far EUR 500mn (USD 708.09mn) has been spent on the project with nothing significant to show for it.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

CEZ may be investigated for dominant position abuse
iDNES, 2011-06-24
Reuters has reported that the European Commission will soon launch investigation of the Czech majority state-owned power utility CEZ for abusing its dominant position in the market. Reports say that the EC is interested mostly in CEZ's actions in the wholesale electricity market. The Czech company allegedly tried to prevent competitors from entering the market by reserving too high capacity of the grid which meant that other projects did not have a chance to be connected to the network. CEZ has said that it does not know anything about the potential investigation and denies any wrongdoing.
© Esmerk

Finland

Fennovoima sends tender invitations to Areva and Toshiba
STT, 2011-07-01
Finnish power consortium Fennovoima that is planning a new nuclear power plant in Finland has sent tender invitations for the nuclear power plant to Areva and Toshiba. The power plant is to be built in Pyhäjoki or Simo in Finland.
© Esmerk

Germany

More electricity from coal power plants
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2011-06-28
According to a forecast of RWI, electricity generation from coal power plants will rise by 2020, when Germany is exiting nuclear power production. In 2010 Germany produced 621 billion kWh of electricity: Lignite accounted for 24.3%, nuclear energy 23.3%, hard coal 19.2%, renewable energies 16.9%, natural gas 14.0% and other sources 5.0%. In 2020 the shares will be: renewable 27.0%, lignite 24.5%, hard coal 22.8%, natural gas 20.1% and others 5.6%. Thus the share of electricity from coal power plants will increase from 43.5% to 46.3%.
© Esmerk

Renewables account for 19.2% of power generation in Q1/2011
Financial Times Deutschland, 2011-06-29
According to first estimates by BdEW, the association of the energy industry in Germany, renewable energy sources accounted for 19.2% of Germany's power generation in the first quarter of 2011, up from 17.1% in the year-earlier period. In detail, wind contributed 7.9%; biomass, 4.9%; hydro power, 3.6% and photovoltaics, 1.9%.
© Esmerk

Parliament fixes nuclear phase-out
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2011-07-01
The German parliament's Bundestag chamber has passed the bill on the phase-out of nuclear power generation by 2022. In addition, the Bundestag passed seven other bills related to the energy policies, such as promotion of renewable energy, accelerated construction procedures for new power lines and the promotion of building renovation to save energy. The latter bill is subject to the approval of the upper chamber, the Bundesrat.
© Esmerk

Italy

Solar energy production should rise to 9 TWh in 2011
Il Sole 24 Ore, 2011-06-27
Italy's solar energy production is estimated to reach 9 TWh in 2011, from 0.7 TWh in 2009, thus overtaking wind energy production which stands at 8 TWh. Solar power production is to be boosted by an increase in the number of power plants that are connected to the grid thanks to the government incentive scheme.

According to Nomisma Energia, the energy sector's 7% year-on-year rise is attributable to the increase in solar energy production. Energy investments rose also by 42% to EUR 22.60bn (USD 32.34bn), while the sector's employment level grew by 19% to 140,000 people, in addition to a further 100,000 people working within the industry.
© Esmerk

Norway

Hydro power reservoirs reach 61.7% filling level
Dagens Næringsliv, 2011-06-30
Norwegian hydro power reservoirs reached a filling level of 61.7% by the end of last week, Sunday 26. This after weeks of heavy rain in May and June. Nevertheless, the filling level is 0.9% below the average for the period. The rise however, led to a 10% dip in electricity price in Central and Northern Norway and a 9% dip in the rest of the country last week.
© Esmerk

Sweden

Vattenfall chairman wants greater energy efficiency in society
Dagens Industri, 2011-07-01
Lars G Nordström, chairman at the Swedish energy company Vattenfall, says energy efficiency in society at large must improve if growth is to be achieved. He highlights the fact that as the economy grows commodity prices rise, which in turn slows economic growth. Nordström believes it is possible to boost growth and reduce environmental impact by using more sustainable energy and to become more energy efficient.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

IPPR raises concerns about CPS scheme
Independent, 2011-06-28
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the think tank, raises concerns about the Carbon Price Support (CPS) scheme. The government hopes the CPS scheme, which is designed to complement the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), will provide a more stable investment environment for low-carbon energy developments.

However, the IPPR warns the CPS could waste as much as GBP 1bn (EUR 1.12bn USD 1.60bn) annually because the additional cost of the scheme, which will only exist in the UK, will result in cheap permits moving from the UK to the EU. The scheme could also contribute to a further 90,000 households falling into fuel poverty, according to the IPPR.
© Esmerk

Disclaimer: The newsletter "Energy News Europe" contains an overview of energy-related news published in European media. It does not represent the views of Vattenfall or its management.