News item | 2010-08-24 | 15:50 PM

Energy News Europe - week 33, 2010

Baltic Region

NordBalt to receive EUR 131mn from EC
Nordisk Industri, 2010-08-13
NordBalt, a project to create an electricity line connecting Sweden and the Baltic States, will receive EUR 131mn (USD 168.23mn) from the European Commission. In addition, the EU will come up with EUR 44mn to strengthen the net in Latvia.

Svenska Kraftnät and Lietuvos Energija, who are responsible for creating the line have calculated that the entire project will cost approximately SEK 5.30bn (EUR 559.29mn USD 718.26mn).
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Denmark

Dong tried to stop solar heating project
Processnet, 2010-08-16
Danish energy firm Dong has tried to stop the planned investment in a 3,700 sq. metre solar collector in Hejnsvig. The reason is that the company, which is a gas supplier, believes the project could reduce demand for gas and lead to a rise in prices for gas distribution.
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Estonia

Eesti Energia targets wind farms in Gulf of Riga
Eesti Päevaleht, 2010-08-18
Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs has submitted to the government approval, Eesti Energia's, the state-owned power utility, application for right of superficies for over 300 offshore wind turbines distributed in five locations of the Gulf of Riga. Assuming the government approves the application, Eesti Energia will be entitled to exclusive superficies in five locations, including one (18 sq.km) near the island of Ruhnu, and the rest off the island of Kihnu, in the Gulf of Riga.

The total area of of the five locations reaches 110 sq.km. Theoretically, Eest Energia taregted 308 offshore wind turbines would have the combined capacity of 1,500 MW. The national grid oeprator Elering has pointed out that the targeted wind energy output is an oversized dream. Elering's calculations show that the optimum for Estonia would be the combined 600 MW capacity of wind turbines and 900 MW after the rolling out of Estlink2.
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France

Lorraine region to see EUR 750mn invested in solar projects
Le Moniteur des Travaux Publics et du Bâtiment, 2010-07-09
The French region of Lorraine is the second biggest producers of wind energy in France with 493MW installed. The region is also seeing a boom in investments for solar energy.

Some EUR 750mn (USD 956.84mn) will be invested in about six solar power projects. Projects include 143MWp from EDF Energies Nouvelles that covers 140 hectares of a former air base in Toul (the largest solar power project in Europe) and 91MWp from a Neoen project on a former air base in Marville.

Lorraine's rainfall should help keep solar panels clean and the climate protects panels from overheating. As Lorraine is one of the French regions with the least sunlight, it benefits from a preferential price paid for solar energy produced (a bonus of up to 20%). This price is guaranteed for solar panel projects connected to the electricity grid before January 2012.
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Germany

Government agrees on renewable energy action plan
Holz-Zentralblatt, 2010-08-04
The German Federal Cabinet agreed on a national action plan for renewable energy on 4 August 2010. The government expects to surpass the goal of 18% of end energy consumption to be renewable energy by 2020. The percentage in 2010 is 10%. The action plan includes 2020 goals of 15.5% renewable energy in temperature regulation, 38.6% in electricity and 13.2% in transport.
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Verbund to compensate fluctuations in power generation
Handelsblatt, 2010-08-20
Germany's efforts to push the use of renewable energies of wind and solar power results in the need to balance fluctuations in power generation and demand by means of flexible power plants such as pumped storage power plants. Due to its hydro power stations, Austria's energy group Verbund sees business chances in Germany, according to CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber.

He has stated that the German energy market will have to cope with a storage problem. In Austria, Verbund is already planning three storage power stations with about 1,200 MW but is affected by a domestic political dispute that blocks a capital increase of about EUR 1bn (USD 1.28bn).
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Italy

Enel Green Power seeks authorisation for largest PV plant
Il Sole 24 Ore, 2010-08-13
Enel Green Power, the renewable energy division of the Italian utility Enel, has applied for an environmental impact evaluation to build the largest solar power plant in the province of Brindisi (Puglia). The 71.64 MW facility should be built within Enel's Federico II power plant in Cerano. The solar power system could be installed partly on the ground and partly on the roofs of agricultural greenhouses.
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Norway

Statnett secures gas power to avoid power shortage in the west
Aftenposten, 2010-08-13
To avoid another energy crisis in western Norway this winter, state-owned power distribution company Statnett will use power from the Statoil operated gas power station at Mongstad, north of Bergen. The station will start production in October. It is also in negotiations with Statoil to raise the production by 100 MW as a reserve strategy if there is a shortage. This represents the consumption of 40,000 households.
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Poland

Potential sites for nuclear power plans selected
Warsaw Business Journal, 2010-08-17
PGE, a Polish energy company, has selected three potential sites, Kopan, Lubiatowo-Kopalino and Zarnowiec, for construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland.

Kopan and Zarnowiec also ranked highest in an earlier analysis by the Economy Ministry while Lubiatowo-Kopalino finished only 18th. The exact location and technology which will be used in the EUR 11bn (USD 14.16bn) project will be decided between 2011 and 2013.
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Six companies bid for 51% of Enea shares
Financni Noviny, 2010-08-18
According to unofficial information, six companies will bid for 51% of Enea, a Polish power utility, which is offered for sale by the Polish government.

They include two French companies, GDF Suez and EDF, Iberdola of Spain, Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding (EPH) of the Czech Republic, Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) of Slovakia and Kulczyk Investments of Poland. The value of the stake is estimated to be PLN 4.30bn (EUR 1.09bn USD 1.40bn)
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Spain

Only 190 MW of 347 MW registered PV facilities have been constructed
Cinco Dias, 2010-08-17
Out of the 347 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy that was registered in Spain with the Ministry of Industry up to July 2009, only 190 MW are actually operational, with much of the rest not being constructed due to their terms expiring. This means that regional governments would be able to exercise the guarantees that were deposited, which run into the region of EUR 100mn (USD 128.13mn).

The deposit is set at EUR 500,000 per megawatt and developers have one year to construct and put the installation into operation from the date it is written in the register. An extension of a maximum of four months can be granted if problems are encountered. This is according to figures from the National Energy Commission (CNE), collected for the sector association, Asif. Around 45% of the facilities approved during the period have not been completed.

Some of the reasons why the development of these facilities have ground to a halt include developers, seeing that solar module prices were dropping, waited to see whether they would keep dropping but instead they started rising again; access to credit being limited so speculators could not find buyers for solar installations which were registered but which they had no intention of building; and regulatory uncertainty affecting the sector as a whole.
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EDP plans investment of EUR 700mn
Diario Economico, 2010-08-18
The Portuguese renewable energy promoter EDP Renovaveis, has planned an investment of EUR 700mn in the the Spanish region of Galicia and should bid for licences to build and to operate wind farms in this area.

In a previous tender which was cancelled by the local Government, EDP had assured the management of 125 MW generated by wind forces. At the presentsome 2,325MW of wind power will be put to tender.
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United Kingdom

More than half of wind farms operating at less than 25% capacity
Daily Mail, 2010-08-17
Research from energy regulator Ofgem has found that more than half of wind farms in the UK are operating at less than 25% capacity due to being located in areas that are not windy enough. The 2009 figures show that 70% of onshore wind farm developments in England are currently operating at less than 25% capacity.

Ofgem says that the least productive wind farm is in Blyth Harbour in Northumberland, which reaches only 4.9% of its total capacity, while Europe's largest wind farm in Whiteleee near Glasgow operates at less than a quarter of its capacity. Michael Jefferson, a professor at the London Metropolitan Business School, carried out the analysis of the Ofgem figures, and said that financial incentives designed to help the country meets its green energy targets are resulting in companies not putting enough thought into the location of their wind farms.

Jefferson proposes reserving the cash for the windiest sites in the UK, and says that farms which fall below 25% capacity should not be eligible for any money.
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Statoil looking to develop floating windfarm off of Scotland
Aberdeen Press and Journal, 2010-08-17
Alex Salmond has been in talks with Norwegian oil firm Statoil, over the possibility of developing the world's first floating windfarm off the coast of Scotland. The firm has identified two potential sites off Lewis and Fraserburgh.

The project would be further offshore than standard offshore windfarms, and would be the first of its kind in the world. Statoil tested the Hywind floating wind turbine off the coast of Norway, but is now seeking a site for a larger demonstrator scheme in Scottish waters.
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Target for onshore wind power 13 GW by 2020
New Energy Focus, 2010-08-13
According to AMA Research, the UK is targeting an increase in onshore wind power capacity from 3.5 GW currently to between 13 GW and 14 GW in 2020. The target for offshore wind power is 32 GW. The report said that in order to reach the target, each year the capacity must increase by 950 MW for onshore and 2.2 GW for offshore.

By the end of 2010, AMA expects an installed cumulative wind power capacity of 6.5 GW. In past months, the development of onshore wind power has been hampered by delays in grid connections and planning permission refusals.
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