News item | 2011-08-02 | 14:00 PM

Energy News Europe - week 30, 2011

Austria

Energy production details launched on EEX energy exchange

Der Standard, 2011-07-25
Leipzig energy exchange EEX began providing data on Austrian energy production on 22 July 2011. Data has been published on capacity, planned and actual electricity production and planned and unplanned power plant outages at Austrian energy companies TIWAG, Energie, Wien Energie, Illwerke, EVN, KELAG, Hydro Power, Thermal Power, Vorarlberg Power Generation and Austrian transmission system operator Austrian Power Grid. With this it is hoped that transparency in the Austrian electricity market will be increased.
© Esmerk

Belgium

ENI spends EUR 157mn on Vattenfall subsidiaries

Virgilio Notizie, 2011-07-27
Italian oil and gas group ENI has purchased the Belgian operations of Swedish power company Vattenfall through the subsidiary Nuon Energy. The operation has an enterprise value of approximately EUR 157mn. Once the transaction is completed, ENI will control Nuon Power Generation Walloon, Nuon Wind Belgium and Nuon Belgium, which supplies gas and electricity to around 550,000 clients.
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Denmark

Call to encourage recycling of waste heat

Jyllands-Posten, 2011-07-25
Danish businesses do not re-use waste heat from their operations as this is largely unprofitable, and new legislation is set to raise taxes on energy re-use further. The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) says the tax changes are a poor signal to industry when the government is also encouraging greater energy efficiency. A report from 2009 found that waste heat from business is sufficient to heat 75,000 homes. The Venstre Party says it is to call for a review of all energy-related taxes when the current energy agreement ends at the end of the year. It says the current system is outdated.
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France

EDF and Areva finalise three cooperation agreements

Le Figaro, 2011-07-25
French nuclear group Areva and energy group EDF signed three technical and commercial cooperation agreements on 25 July 2011 as a precursor to a broader strategy collaboration. The agreements cover the development of the EDP model nuclear reactors, extending the life of France's current plants, and radioactive waste storage.

Areva and EDF are also expected to sign a strategic agreement in September 2011 on optimizing the next generation EPR reactor, improving the maintenance and operation of existing nuclear plants, to prepare for extending the operating period beyond 40 years and the management of the nuclear fuel cycle. The moves follow efforts from the government to improve relations between the two groups. The possibility of cooperation for the development of the Atmea reactor is still under consideration.
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Germany

RWE to supply Deutsche Bahn with hydropower electricity

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2011-07-23
Within the scope of a long-term one-digit billion Euro contract, RWE will be supplying Deutsche Bahn (DB) with hydropower electricity, RWE and DB reported on 22 July 2011. Reportedly, the contract will be running more than ten years. DB intends to raise green energies' share in power consumption to 30% by 2020. This share amounts to 20% at present. Furthermore, DB intends to cut CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to CO2 output in 2006.
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BGH strengthens right to operate wind turbines on farmland

Handelsblatt, 2011-07-27
The German federal court of justice BGH strengthened the right of wind power plant operators to buy farmland for the operation of wind turbines. In the present case, the court dealt with a dispute in the German federal state of Thuringia. According to the court, the wind power plant operators are allowed to buy farmland in order to subsequently apply for the approval to operate wind turbines on the land. However, once the wind power plant operators have received the necessary approval, they have to offer the premises again for sale to the farmers.
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Italy

New electric car incentive scheme is submitted to Senate

La Repubblica, 2011-07-27
A new proposal has been submitted by the Italian Production Activities and Transport Commission of the Chamber of Deputies to the Senate on electric car initiatives to reduce car emissions by 2016. These will include a EUR 60mn fund to sponsor purchases of electrical cars with a EUR 5,000 bonus in 2011-2012; EUR 3,000 in 2013; EUR 2,000 in 2014; and EUR 1,000 in 2015. There will be also a EUR 150 bonus for private electric car charging stations. Thanks to this incentive scheme over 10% of 42mn circulating cars could be replaced by zero emission vehicles between 2011 and 2015.
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Government aims for 9 % reduction in energy consumption by 2016

Il Sole 24 Ore, 2011-07-28
The Italian government has submitted its 2011 energy efficiency plan to Brussels. The plan outlines energy saving projects in the transport, industrial, service and domestic spheres, with the aim being to reduce energy consumption by 9% by 2016.

However, representatives of manufacturing industries that are heavily reliant on electricity and gas have called on the government to help reduce high utility prices. They have asked for more gas to be imported from abroad and for tax relief to be given to companies struggling with their energy bills. According to NUS Consulting, the price of gas rose 27% in 2010. The firm predicts that the cost of electricity and gas will rise 9% and 27% respectively in the next thermal year.
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Cabinet approves new decree-law on CCS projects

Il Sole 24 Ore, 2011-07-29
Italian cabinet of ministers has approved a new decree-law for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) that implements a EU directive. The first CCS facility will be sited in Porto Tolle (Rovigo), but others will follow starting from the region of Sardinia. Italy seeks to be on the front line in the European plan to build 12 CCS experimental facilities by 2015.
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Netherlands

Enexis expands grid with Enschede smart network

De Telegraaf, 2011-07-26
Dutch energy utility Enexis has added a new electricity network in Enschede to its grid. The new network is a remotely operated smart network. From a central location, excess supply can be prevented and should a fault occur the exact location can be pinpointed. Enexis is to invest EUR 55mn in these network until 2017. Competitors are also planning trials with remotely operated networks with Alliander planning to invest EUR 105mn by 2018 and Stedin is to spend millions of euros on a trial in the centre of Rotterdam.
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Poland

SPEC will be taken over by Dalkia for EUR 359mn

Wirtualny Nowy Przemysl, 2011-07-26
Authorities of Warsaw has signed a contract with Dalkia Polska regarding the purchase of an 85% stake in Przedsiebiorstwo Stoleczne Energetyki Cieplnej (SPEC), the largest municipal heat network in the EU. It is estimated that the value of the transaction will reach PLN 1.44bn (EUR 359.53mn). However, before the transaction is completed, it has to be approved by the European Commission and the City Council of Warsaw. If Dalkia finalises the acquisition of SPEC its share in the Polish heat market will grow from the current 11% to 25%.
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Portugal

Government negotiates sale of EDP with RWE

Agencia Financeira, 2011-07-25
Staff of the Prime Minister's office have been instructed to suggest the state owned company Parpublica to sell the 20.9% stake held in the energy group EDP to the German company RWE.

The remaining stake which is in State control should be privatised later in 2011 but the strategy devised by the Government clashes with the one preferred by the management of EDP which claims that the share capital should not controlled by one single investor. In that sense EDP has maintained contacts with China Power, Eletrobras of Brazil and another consortium which may be available to take over part of the stock of EDP. The stake of 20.9% has an estimated market value of EUR 1.90bn.
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ERSE enforces payment of extra charge to power generator

Agencia Financeira, 2011-07-28
In the future Portuguese electricity generators will have to pay a fee for the use of the power transport infrastructure, a charge which so far was borne out by consumers and that in 2011 will represent some EUR 24mn. This represent the entry fee and revenues raised by national grid companies are split in two tariffs one for the infrastructure whenever generators pump power to the transport infrastructure and the other one the entry fee which grants the initial access to the infrastructure. This policy complies with the harmonisation of access fees agreed with the energy regulation authorities of Spain as part of the creation of the Iberian common electricity market (Mibel).
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Switzerland

Biomass is second most important renewable energy source

Le Temps, 2011-07-28
According to Switzerland's energy office OFEN, biomass produces 4% of the energy consumed in the country. It is the second most important renewable energy source after hydropower. OFEN estimates that so far only 40% of biomass' energy potential is used.

Woods, for instance, grow by between 9mn and 10mn cubic metres a year, while only between 5mn and 6mn of this is used. There have been predictions that by 2020 600,000 households in Switzerland, accounting for 4.5% of the power consumptions, will use biomass. In the long term biomass could provide between 8% and 10% of electricity consumption. In 2008 there were 76 biomass installations providing power for under 8,300 households. The renewable energy and energy efficiency agency AEE said that the number of biomass plants could quadruple between now and 2030.
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United Kingdom

Centrica urged to withdraw from nuclear power plant joint venture

Guardian, 2011-07-25
The City is urging the UK energy company Centrica to withdraw from a GBP 4bn (EUR 4.54bn) joint venture with Electricité de France (EDF) to build four new nuclear power stations in the UK. This is because of delays and the increasing cost of developing the prototype reactor in France.

The Evolution Securities analyst, Lakis Athanasiou, argues that Centrica should pull out of the new nuclear build (NNB) partnership because it is a minority holder in a form of technology that it has no institutional understanding of. He also points out that construction risk with the technology is notorious and states that Centrica should not progress new nuclear any further if the UK Government is not prepared to take this construction risk.
© 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.