Government bans underground CO2 storage
The Austrian Government has prohibited underground storage of CO2. Only research projects are exempt from the rule. The decision was made as the EU called for member states to clarify the matter in their national laws. The Austrian Government and experts agree that more research is needed before underground CO2 storage, which some say could help beat global warming, should be carried out.
Elering worried over increased energy import from Russia
The Baltics is facing a widening electricity shortage leading to increased dependency from electricity import from Russia, says Taavi Veskimägi, chairman of Elering, the state-owned power grid operator and system administrator in Estonia. Mr Veskimägi says electricity shortfall deepened in the Baltics in July. Veskimagi is concerned over the the increasing and accepted role of electricity imports from Russia to the Baltic electricity market. Mr Veskimagi says the decision by the E.ON Russian subsidiary, E.ON Rossiya, to start electricity supplies to the Baltics, shows a growing trend in moving electricity production out of the European Union.
Under the climate policy and in the situation of nuclear power plants not accepted, electricity imports from Russia and from other third countries, is considered a politically correct solution, says Mr Veskimagi. Electricity consumption in the Baltics surpassed generation by 30% in July 2011. Estonia was the only one in the Baltics exporting electricity in July. Electricity generation surpassed consumption by 46% in Estonia in July.
Country to become nuclear energy superpower
Prague Daily Monitor, 2011-08-22
The Czech Republic will become a European superpower in nuclear energy, according to a report by the Industry and Trade Ministry. Its activities will not include only electricity generation in nuclear power plants but also uranium mining and production of nuclear fuels. The Czech Republic plans to build two new reactors in the Temelin power plant and one in Dukovany to compensate for 4,000 MW of installed output that will be switched off in several power plants in the next 10-15 years.
The Czech Republic is also the last EU country with operating uranium mines in Roznov. Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kocourek has said that another mine will have to be opened to secure the resource independence. He also wants to support research and development to make these activities environment-friendly. Environmental groups say that the strategy brings the country back to energy policies from the 1970s.
Dong Energy plans massive investments to offset expected losses
Danish state-owned energy group Dong Energy will see its earnings drop by several billion krone within the next few years as a result of the termination of Dong's contract with DUC for cheap gas purchases and the expiry of free CO2 quotas. As a result of this, the company is planning major investments to offset the expected losses.
The investments include among other things a gas power plant in the Netherlands, oil and gas investments, and investments in six very large offshore wind farms by 2015. These investments are also expected to contribute to Dong Energy's MD Anders Eldrup's promise to double the company's operating income to DKK 18bn (EUR 2.42bn USD 3.49bn) and reach a turnover of more than DKK 70bn in 2015. The company is planning to make investments worth DKK 40bn in 2013-2014 alone.
Installed capacity of wind energy must triple by 2020
enviro 2B, 2011-08-23
According to the European Wind Energy Association, installed capacity of wind energy in the EU must be multiplied by 2.7 to reach 581TWh (or 15.7% of the EU's projected energy demand) by 2020. By that year, wind energy will be equal to total electricity consumption of households in France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Poland.
As of 2011, wind energy represents the consumption of 50mn EU households. By 2030, 1,154TWh (28% of the EU's total demand) must be produced from wind energy. France must quadruple its efforts to reach 11% of its energy production from wind energy by 2020. EUR 194bn (USD 280.07bn) must be invested in onshore and offshore wind farms to reach the goals of the European Commission.
Windfall tax not to be introduced in 2012
According to Finland's Ministry of Finance, the windfall tax will not be introduced in Finland in 2012. The tax would target the profits provided by emissions trading to nuclear power and hydropower companies. It would have been a hinder to power companies, such as Fortum.
France: Cost of renovating Fessenheim reactor considered feasible
According to the Managing Director of the Fessenheim nuclear reactor, the renovation costs are feasible and can be absorbed. Estimated cost is EUR 100mn (USD 144.08mn). French energy group EDF has until late 2011 to present proposals. The French nuclear safety authority wants the reactor's foundation to be strengthened in order to avoid serious accidents.
Romani to meet with EDF Chair to discuss Edison reorganisation
Milano Finanza, 2011-08-23
Italy's Economic Development Minister Paolo Romani is due to meet Henri Proglio, the Chair of French energy group EDF, before the end of August 2011 to discuss the reorganisation of Italian peer Edison. A new plan for the governance and management of Edison, which is effectively controlled by EDF, should be approved by 15 September 2011. This is expected to give EDF full control of the Italian group. Italian shareholders could then be compensated with a put option.
Govt seeks more EU funds for Ignalina decommissioning
Baltic News Service, 2011-08-25
The Lithuanian government will ask for more funds for the decommissioning of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (IAE), Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said. Speaking in an interview with Ziniu Radijas, Mr Kubilius said the EU's proposed funding for the decommissioning projects was insufficient. Lithuania was asking for EUR 870mn for the projects in 2014-2020.
Mr Kubilius said Lithuania hoped for German support for its strategic energy projects: a new nuclear plant, restructuring of the country's gas sector, and a liquefied natural gas terminal. Mr Kubilius was speaking after a meeting between Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Magdeburg, Germany, on 24 August 2011.
Essent environment licence annulled
NRC Handelsblad, 2011-08-24
The Dutch Supreme Court has annulled the environmental licences awarded to Dutch energy company Essent for the construction of a coal-fired power station in Eemshaven, the Netherlands. The licence was issued in 2008 but was judged to have paid insufficient attention to the affects on nearby protected nature areas. The ruling cannot be appealed but Essent can apply for a new licence. It is not yet known whether this ruling will halt construction which is already over 50% completed.
Eight companies left in race to take over ZEW Niedzica
Puls Biznesu, 2011-08-23
Three out of 11 investors interested in the privatisation of the Polish hydro power complex Zespol Elektrowni Wodnych Niedzica (ZEW Niedzica) have decided to withdraw from the transaction. These are: PGNiG, MCI Private Ventures and RE-Invest. It is possible that behind their decision is the recent forecast presented by the Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE) which does not foresee a bright future for water as an alternative energy source. The withdrawal of the investors means that there are still eight firms which want to buy ZEW Niedzica left. Among them are: Enea, Energa, Tauron and Kulczyk Holding.
Acquisition of SPEC by Dalkia approved by councillors
Gazeta Prawna, 2011-08-25
Councillors of Warsaw have approved the privatisation of the heat company SPEC by Dalkia which is going to buy SPEC's 85% stake for PLN 1.44bn (EUR 345.27mn USD 496.74mn). Before the transaction is completed, it also has to be approved by the European Commission (EC).
EDP attracts interest of European utilities
Diario Economico, 2011-08-25
It has been reported that the German utility companies RWE and E.ON as well as the French companies EDF and GDF Suez are in the race to take over 20% of the stock of Portuguese electricity company EDP, which will be privatised by the Government in the near future. All these large energy companies rely on the support of their governments to go ahead with this potential takeover. Besides these European companies, also China Power International and Eletrobras of Brazil might be also on the race to acquire this Portuguese asset although the latter was only keen to buy up to 10% of the stock of EDP.
GDF Suez plans to enter electricity market
At the end of July 2011 GDF Suez Trading was granted a licence for the supply of electricity in Slovakia by the Slovak Regulation Office for Network Industries. At the end of June 2011 the firm registered itself in the Slovak Business Register. GDF Suez currently owes jointly with E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany a 49% stake in the Slovak gas concern SPP.
Oskarshamn cannot guarantee operating capacity in coming months
Dagens Industri, 2011-08-24
The Oskarshamn nuclear power station says it cannot guarantee that it will be operating at full capacity in late autumn and during the winter months. The O2 reactor has turbine problems and O3 problems with cooling water. Oskarshamn says it cannot guarantee O3 capacity even in the longer term.
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.