News item | 2010-09-07 | 15:00 PM

Energy News Europe - week 35, 2010

Belgium

EDF Belgium and SPE-Luminus to become Luminus
L'Echo, 2010-09-02
As of 1 October 2010 the Belgian energy utility SPE-Luminus and EDF Belgium, the Belgian energy subsidiary of the French electricity company EDF, which purchased Centrica’s SPE-Luminus shares, will both operate under the Luminus brand name. EDF Belgium has already given its portfolio of industrial clients to SPE-Luminus.
© Esmerk

Bulgaria

Nuclear power plant project to cost EUR 9bn
Novinite, 2010-08-26
Bulgarian Minister of Economy and Energy, Traicho Traikov, has announced that the cost for construction of the second nuclear power plant in Belene town has reached EUR 9bn (USD 11.48bn). He said that the government is holding talks with Russia with a goal to reduce the price. The minister confirmed that Greece and Serbia also expressed interest in the project.

The Russian government reported that it has offered Bulgaria a loan of EUR 2bn to keep the project active until an investor is found. The project was supposed to be built by the Russian firm Atomstroyexport. However, the PM Boyko Borisov said that Bulgaria will not build a new plant without a strategic partner from Western Europe.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

EC approves takeover of Praska Energetika
Press Release, 2010-08-26
The European Commission (EC) has given its approval to the takeover of Praska Energetika, a Czech electricity supplier, by EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg, a German electricity supplier. The deal was examined using the simplified review procedure.
© Esmerk

Denmark

Dong abandons onshore wind farms and focuses on offshore farms
Børsen, 2010-08-31
Danish energy giant Dong Energy has given up plans to build onshore wind farms and will instead focus on offshore wind farms in future as a result of the many protests among the general public in Denmark against onshore wind farms. The opposition against onshore wind farms could jeopardise the government's national energy plan that among other things includes plans to set up around 500 large onshore wind turbines over the next ten years.
© Esmerk

Finland

Court rejects appeal on Fortum's takeover of E.ON Finland
Press Release, 2010-08-27
Finland's Supreme Administrative Court has rejected an appeal from the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) regarding a ruling by the country's Market Court. The Market Court had found that power utility Fortum's takeover of E.ON Finland in 2006 did not give Fortum a dominating market position or strengthen the company's market position. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that Fortum did not have a dominating market position in electricity generation and wholesale trade of electricity, given that the relevant geographical area of the market encompassed at least both Finland and Sweden.

The court thus confirmed the Market Court's earlier ruling in the case. Fortum's Executive Vice President Anne Brunila was satisfied with the ruling. Despite different pricing zones, the Nordic countries are one market, she said, pointing out that the regional prices in Finland and Sweden have been exactly the same for the past five years. Increased power links will reduce the price difference even further, she noted.
© Esmerk

PVO-Innopower plans to double wind power production
Kauppalehti, 2010-08-27
Finnish wind power company PVO-Innopower plans to double its current wind farm production capacity. The plan concerns wind turbine projects in Kemi, Kokkola, Kristiinankaupunki, and Kotka, in Finland. The company is yet to make investment decisions, however.
© Esmerk

Germany

Extension of NPPs' lifetime
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-08-30
Reportedly, the German government is planning to extend nuclear power plants' (NPPs') lifetime by at least 10 years. Such an extension period is also expected due to scientific surveys prepared for the "Energy Concept 2050". With regard to climate and economy, surveys say NPPs' life should be extended by 12 to 20 years. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel favours an extension of 10 to 15 years. The government intends to decide on the energy concept at the end of September 2010.
© Esmerk

RWE CEO planning restructuring
Handelsblatt, 2010-09-02
Jürgen Großmann, CEO of RWE, is planning a restructuring at the German energy group in an effort to curtail the influence of the municipal shareholders. RWE is to be converted into a Societas Europaea (SE) which will serve as the holding company. According to Großmann's plans, RWE's operations on the domestic market are to be bundled in a new unit [RWE Deutschland] that is to be positioned under the holding company. Later on, RWE's municipal shareholders are to exchange their 25% stake in the holding company against an almost 50% stake in the German unit.

The municipal shareholders would thus have control over RWE's operations on the domestic market while RWE would have more leeway. For example, capital increases would be easier for RWE. According to RWE circles, the Supervisory Board of RWE is to decide for example the bundling of the activities on the German market in the new German unit at a meeting on 22 and 23 September 2010.
© Esmerk

Netherlands

Renewable electricity rises to 8.9% of generation
De Volkskrant, 2010-08-28
According to Dutch central statistics bureau CBS, renewable electricity accounted for 8.9% of all electricity generated in the Netherlands in 2009. This is up from 7.5% in 2008 and the growth has been attributed to biomass which has risen to 5.29bn kWh. The growth in wind power has slowed as fewer new wind turbines have been built, but still accounts for 4.59bn kWh. Solar energy increased from 38mn kWh to 46mn kWh. Total renewable energy production, including heating and transport fuels, rose from 3.3% to 3.8%.
© Esmerk

Norway

Four commissions appointed to evaluate Hardanger sea cables
Stavanger Aftenblad, 2010-08-31
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Norway has appointed four independent commissions to evaluate a sea cable alternative to the Hardanger power line which the ministry stopped in August following strong criticism against the project. The commissions should hand in their reports by February next year, and they will look at different aspects of the possible installation.
© Esmerk

No state subsidies for wind power investments in 2011
Aftenposten, 2010-08-28
In 2011, there will be no new subsidies for wind power investments from the Norwegian state, informs state secretary Sigrid Hjørnegård in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. 2011 will be a transit year until the new Swedish-Norwegian green certificate scheme is introduced in 2012, she informs. This year, the state earmarked NOK 1bn (EUR 125.74mn USD 160.38mn) for wind power subsidies allocated by energy authority Enova. So far, Enova has allocated NOK 630mn of this sum. It is unclear if the rest of the money will be used.
© Esmerk

Russia

Rosatom to build nuclear power plants on base of co-financing
RBC Daily (online), 2010-08-23
Rosatom has disclosed details of a new scheme to build nuclear power plants in other countries. It envisages not only construction of NPP, but also purchase of shares in projects by Rosatom. Construction of NPP in Armenia will be the first project to be implemented by the new scheme. Rosatom will finance about 20% of construction cost considering investments payback period within 20 years.

The project portfolio of Rosatom, which are implemented by the same scheme, includes construction of plants in Turkey. Rosatom also won a tender to construct NPP in Vietnam. There are negotiations on participation of Russia in construction of NPP in Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Poland, and Jordan being held.
© Esmerk

Spain

Wind energy capacity reached 19,876MW at the end of June 2010
Energias Renovables, 2010-09-02
According to figures published by the Spanish association of wind energy producers AEE, at the en of the first six months of 2010, the total wind energy capacity in Spain was of 19,876MW and it is expected to reach 20,155MW by the end of the year. During the first half of 2010, some EUR 2.30 (USD 2.95) from the electricity bill of homes in Spain was used to pay the industry's subsidies which totalled EUR 863mn (26% of the energy sector's total).

The installed wind capacity grew by 727MW to June 2010 and wind energy power plants were responsible for 17% of the energy the country used at 23,089GWh. On 4 May, wind energy covered 40% of demand at 278,507MWh. The industry awaits a new regulatory framework over the next few months. This will change the conditions for the industry to be paid subsidies.
© Esmerk

Sweden

Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft team up for wind farm project
Nordisk Industri, 2010-08-31
Power companies Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft have joined forces to form a business partnership for a wind farm in Blaiken, Sweden. Blaikenvind, as the new subsidiary company will be named, will be responsible for coming up with the SEK 3.50bn (EUR 373.08mn USD 472.48mn) to SEK 4.0bn necessary for the project to take shape. Upon completion, the park will have an annual electricity production capacity equal to the usage of over 30,000 homes. It will consist of 100 wind turbines.
© Esmerk