Payments for Belene NPP continue without investor
The Bulgarian government will continue to make payments for the development of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to Russia's Atomstroyexport, which is contracted to build the plant, in the absence of a strategic investor for the project. A further payment of EUR 280mn (USD 353.45mn) will be due to the Russian firm in September 2010 to cover the cost of the plant's first reactor, which is due to be completed then.
Some EUR 300mn has already been paid for the first reactor. It is not known where the EUR 280mn for the payment will be found. Bulgaria's finance minister Simeon Djankov stated in February 2010 that no money from the state budget would be put towards the Belene NPP project. A roadmap for the project was recently drawn up at a meeting between Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov and Russian deputy prime minister Viktor Zubkov.
No plans to privatise energy companies
The future Czech government does not plan to privatise energy companies. Miroslav Kalousek, nominated as new Finance Minister, said that coalition parties agreed that the state will sell some shares in CEZ, a power utility, but it will not privatise the energy companies because their strategic importance for energy security and independence is growing. CEZ as well as CEPS, the electric grid operator, CEPRO, the fuel distributor and oil storage company, and MERO, the oil pipeline operator, will remain under state control.
Minister plans to amend laws to introduce dynamic electricity rates
Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis has initiated efforts to amend the Danish laws so as to secure maximum return on the electricity produced by wind turbines at night and at other periods when electricity consumption is low. According to the minister, electricity prices should fluctuate depending on how wind turbines produce electricity. The minister says the new laws regarding dynamic electricity prices will be implemented gradually as electric cars and heat pumps gain a foothold among Danish households. The minister's plans are based on a new report regarding dynamic electricity rates.
ERGEG issues recommendations on smart grids
Metering International, 2010-06-24
As part of the conclusion to its discussion on smart grids, the European Regulators Group for Energy and Gas (ERGEG) has issued a set of ten recommendations that policy makers should take into account in their discussions on smart grids.
ERGEG now intends to continue in an advisory and benchmarking capacity and will analyse potential business models and design. The almost unanimous consensus on smart grid adoption is noted, but the actual term 'smart grid' is subject to different interpretations, and the roles of regulatory bodies and stakeholders are not clearly defined. ERGEG also differentiates between R&D activities, often partly funded by EU or national agencies, and deployment or demonstration, suggesting that the cost of the latter could be included in regulated tariffs.
Renewable energy 62% of new power production capacity in 2009
Press Release, 2010-07-05
The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has published a new report showing that renewable energy sources represented 62% of the power production capacity installed in 2009 in the EU. In 2008, the percentage was 57%. In 2009, wind energy represented 37.1% of the total. Renewable sources also represented 19.9% of electricity consumption, with hydroelectricity representing 11.6%, wind power 4.2%, biomass 3.5% and solar power 0.4%. By 2020, renewable sources will represent between 35% and 40% of consumption.
France / North Africa
Official launch of the Transgreen project
La Tribune, 2010-07-06
Transgreen, the project to create a submarine electricity network between Europe and North Africa was launched officially in Paris on 5 July 2010. As part of the project, 13 companies, which will each invest EUR 200,000 (USD 250,116.75) into Transgreen, have committed themselves to set up a consortium which will be conducted by EDF, the French electricity company. The project aims at bringing solar electricity produced in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) to Europe through a network of submarine high-voltage lines.
Brüderle intends to set up body to examine electricity pricing
Financial Times Deutschland, 2010-07-07
The German Minister for Economics Rainer Brüderle intends to set up a central market transparency body which is to closely examine electricity pricing and thus strengthen the interests of energy consumers. Brüderle announced this during an energy conference in Berlin. According to Brüderle, the pricing in the electricity wholesale market is often not transparent enough. The new body is to be attached to the German federal cartel office.
Nuclear plan is likely to start at the beginning of 2011
Milano Finanza, 2010-07-09
The Italian Undersecretary of the Ministry for economic development Stefano Saglia has announced that the program for nuclear energy in the country is likely to start at the beginning of 2011, around six months late on schedule. This is due to the fact that the nuclear agency has not been formed yet, nor its managers, the main bodies are therefore missing, and so are the sites. Saglia also said that this is not worrying.
Govt to apply for EUR 1.2bn for Ignalina decommissioning
Lithuania will ask the European Commission to grant a further EUR 1.2bn for decommissioning works on the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (IAE) in 2014-2010, Lietuvos Rytas reports. The Commission and donor countries have allocated 1.3bn for the decommissioning project by 2013. Lithuania will require around EUR 2.4bn to complete IAE's decommissioning by 2030. Financing of the project will depend on the completion of nuclear storage facilities and finding an investor to Lithuania's new planned nuclear power plant.
Electricity capacity to double by 2016
Het Financieele Dagblad, 2010-07-02
The Netherlands' capacity to make electricity is to almost double by 2016, according to a study by grid firm Tennet. Some 11 new power stations are planned with an extra capacity of 13,000 megawatts. In addition, the government is keen to increase wind power capacity to 6,000 megawatts. The current capacity is 25,000 megawatts, which is more than the country needs, making it a net exporter of electricity.
The electricity companies with new power stations planned, including Essent and Electrabel, said that this was not a problem; they are looking at the market from an international perspective. A cable has been laid to allow exports to Norway, and there are also connections with Germany and Belgium. Connections to the UK and Denmark are being planned.
LOS acquires Statoil's electricity client portfolio
Dagens Næringsliv, 2010-07-07
Norwegian power supplier LOS has acquired Statoil's portfolio of electricity clients boosting its share of the corporate market from 14% to 25%. LOS will now be delivering 9.5TWh to corporate clients, up from 5.5TWh and including the private market the volume will reach 11.7TWh. The deal is to be reviewed by the Norwegian Competition Authority (Konkurransetilsynet).
EdF promises to share EUR 8bn contract with local firms
Gazeta Prawna, 2010-07-08
French EdF, which wants to co-operate with the Polish energy group PGE on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland, promises that half of works worth EUR 8bn (USD 10.10bn) in total will be given to local firms.
According to the Polish newspaper DGP, EdF is most likely to propose building a nuclear power plant based on the ERP technology currently used in France, England and China. The firm says that the launch of the plant in 2020, as it has been scheduled by the Polish government, is challenging but possible. Its rivals, GE Hitachi and Westinghouse, say that thanks to technologies they have at their disposal, the plant can be built ahead of the schedule.
GDF Suez reported to be interested in purchase of Enea stake
It has been reported that the French energy group GDF Suez is interested in the acquisition of the majority stake in the Polish energy concern Enea, put up for sale by the Polish state treasury in late June. Some 51% of the company's shares have been put up for sale, and the treasury is anticipating that it will sign a deal with an investor to purchase them by the turn of 2010 and 2011.
German concern RWE had been given exclusive negotiating rights for the shares in August 2009, but ultimately decided not to purchase them, since the price demanded by the treasury was far in excess of what the company was willing to pay.
E.ON CHP plant starts producing electricity
Utility Week, 2010-07-01
E.ON's combined heat and power (CHP) station on the Isle of Grain in Kent has been synchronised with the National Grid, and has generated electricity for the first time. The plant will be able to generate around 1,275MW of electricity, and will allow the LNG terminal to boost efficiency and cut its carbon footprint, by around 350,000 tonnes, by exporting around 340 MW of waste heat.
ESB buying NIE for GBP 1.03bn
AME Info, 2010-07-07
An agreement has been reached by Bahrain-headquartered Arcapita and its affiliates to offload Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) for a consideration of GBP 1.03bn (EUR 1.24bn USD 1.57bn). A 100%-owned unit of Ireland's ESB will take over NIE along with additional companies under the NIE Group, including Powerteam Electrical Services (UK) Limited and NIE Powerteam Limited; both are involved in electrical maintenance and construction services.
At present, NIE, a distribution and transmission business in Northern Ireland, is owned by Viridian Group, which in turn is owned by Arcapita. Besides the GBP 1.03bn payment, the share purchase deal will see the NIE Group's existing obligations being assumed by ESB.