News item | 2011-09-06 | 12:48 PM

Energy News Europe - week 35, 2011

Austria

New emission certificate act to come into force in 2013
Der Standard, 2011-08-30
Austria's new emission certificate act (EZG) is to lay the foundation for a harmonised European-wide trade with emission certificates in Austria from 2013. The new law will be in place for a period of eight years and will be based on the current law. Slight adjustments and changes include that electricity generating companies will no longer receive free certificates, only the manufacturing industry. Electricity producers will have to purchase the certificates by auction. The generated money will be used towards the country's climate protection.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

Plans to restrict export of brown coal
Hospodarske Noviny, 2011-08-30
The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry plans to restrict export of brown coal to secure it for heating plants. Currently, the export amounts to 1.3mn tonnes per year but it is expected that the heating plants may face shortages of 6.5mn tonnes of coal because its production will fall from 45mn tonnes per year to 38.5mn after 2012. Although the coal is extracted by private companies, the state owns the coal reserves and can set fees for its future use. The ministry believes that by using these incentives, it will be able to increase the volume of coal for the heating plants.

However, it has yet to be decided if such a measure complies with the EU law because it could be seen as a form of excise duty. The coal-mining companies say that the export is relatively low and the regulation may not be sufficient to resolve the problem with supplying the heating plants.
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Czech Republic/Slovakia/Hungary

Hungarian, Slovak, Czech electricity markets to be integrated
Vilaggazdasag Online, 2011-08-31
It has been revealed that plans aiming to integrate the electricity markets of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have been passed. Structural, organisational and legal policies have also been passed. According to plans, the regional power exchange is expected to be launched by the second quarter of 2012. The Czech, Hungarian and Slovak national power exchanges OTE, HUPX and OKTE will use the Cosmos system in order to be able to join the EU's Internal Electricity Market (IEM) in the future.
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Denmark

SF wants to speed up Kriegers Flak wind farm project
Jyllands-Posten, 2011-08-30
The Danish Socialist People's Party (SF) wants to bring forward the construction of the offshore wind farm Kriegers Flak by three years in an effort to create 10,000 jobs in Denmark. According to SF, the bidding process for the wind farm should be finished by 2013 and the construction should start in 2014/2015, which could result in the wind farm being taken into operation in 2015/2016.
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Outdated laws put a stop on green energy investments
Jyllands-Posten, 2011-09-01
New research shows that outdated Danish laws, complicated regulations and bureaucracy constitute an obstacle to companies' efforts to invest in renewable energy projects at the same time as the majority of Danish MPs wish to increase the use of renewable energy.

Professor Ellen Margrethe Basse of Aarhus University points out that most of the laws regulating the Danish environment and energy were passed in the 1970s and the laws are no longer adjusted to the present situation in the energy market. Basse mentions the regulation that district heating plants are not allowed to use wood chips and biomass as an example of the outdated laws that need to be amended. Another example is that the state is required to grant permits for the use of geothermal energy. Basse is calling for politicians to overhaul the Danish environmental and energy laws to make sure that the political targets about increased use of renewable energy are not thwarted.
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Europe

Wind and solar energy may bring problems to electricity services?
Kauppalehti, 2011-08-31
According to Esa Härmälä, Director General of the Energy Department of Finland's Ministry of Employment and the Economy, raising the share of wind and solar energy to represent a significant share of the total, will bring major problems to electricity services in Europe. Alongside wind and solar power, also traditional power plants are needed but it is difficult to get them to operate profitably if they are shut down and started up unevenly depending on the weather.

In Germany, there have already been some demands for a subsidy to be paid to traditional coal and gas power plants. According to Härmälä, the situation is better in Finland because renewable energy is mainly generated with biomass that provides an even production similar to traditional fuels.
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Germany

Solarhybrid setting up Europe's biggest solar farm
Berliner Zeitung, 2011-09-01
Project developer Solarhybrid will officially break the ground for the construction of Europe's biggest solar farm on 1 September 2011. The solar farm in Finowfurt, Germany, will have a capacity of 84.5 MW. It is due to go into operation at the end of 2011.
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Italy

TerniEnergia connects 28 solar power plants to grid
Il Corriere della Sera, 2011-09-01
Italian photovoltaic system production and installation company TerniEnergia has announced that it connected 28 solar power plants to the Italian national grid in July and August 2011. Of the total 57.3 MWp capacity, 42.3 MWp was installed for third-party firms, 8.7 MWp as full-equity projects and 6.3 MWp as joint ventures.
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Lithuania

Lithuania: Contract with Hitachi on Visaginas nuclear plant by 12/2011
DELFI.lt, 2011-08-28
Baltic and Polish energy companies are in negotiations with the Japanese-US corporation, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy (HGNE), on a contract to build a new nuclear plant in Lithuania's Visaginas. Lithuania's Prime Minister, Andrius Kubilius, said a draft concession contract would be ready by December 2011 or January 2012. Lithuania hopes that the nuclear plant be built by 2020.
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Netherlands

Essent power station construction permitted to continue
NRC Handelsblad, 2011-08-26
The Provincial Executive for the Dutch province of Groningen has ruled that Dutch energy company Essent may continue with the construction of its coal-fired power station in Eemshaven, the Netherlands. The project recently lost its environmental licence. Environmental organisation are demanding the construction is halted and are prepared to take legal action. Economic Affairs Minister Maxine Verhagen believes a new environmental licence can be secured.
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Northern Europe

Nordic and Baltic regions to become prominent offshore markets
Wind Power Monthly, 2011-08-26
The Nordic and Baltic regions are on the brink of becoming major markets for offshore wind, with Denmark regarded as having the most potential, according to a recent report from Ernst & Young. The adoption of offshore wind in Sweden and Norway will be encouraged by the availability of the green electricity certificate, due in 2012. The report highlights major projects such as the 209MW Horns Rev 1 wind farm, Dong's 400MW Anholt wind farm and the 600MW Kriegers Flak project in the Baltic, noting also that Poland has recently eased planning restrictions for offshore developments.
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Norway

Minister denies regulative capacity of hydro power
Teknisk Ukeblad, 2011-08-26
Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe has shelved the strategy to use Norwegian hydro power to regulate power supply on the European market, an idea that was introduced by former minister Åslag Haga. Borten Moe thinks this would require too high investments in cables and grids, and also cause a large environmental impact in Norway. He prefers the use of natural gas from Norway to help regulate the European market. Gas can be used as a back-up to renewable energy, he says.
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Poland

Wind energy boom likely to stall due to lack of investment
Gazeta Prawna, 2011-08-30
Wind energy represents 2.7% of electricity generated in Poland currently, but this must rise to over 15% by 2020 according to experts. This means linking as much as 8,000 MW of power to the grid.

Investors are planning to build wind farms with a combined power of several dozen thousand MW in the whole of Poland, but experts believe that in reality this will be 3,000 to 4,000 MW, due to lack of investment in the transmission and distribution grid. The cost of creating links to renewable energy sources can be huge, and is sometimes as much as PLN 300mn (EUR 72.24mn USD 104.30mn) for one source with 30MW of power in extreme cases.
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Portugal

EDP attracts international utility firms
Diario Economico, 2011-08-30
The Brazilian Energy Secretary has claimed that the Brazilian electricity company Eletrobras is among the candidates which will submit a bid to take over the 20% stake of the Portuguese energy company EDP, which will be privatised by the Government.

Earlier in June 2011 it was unveiled that Eletrobras would be interested in only 10% of the stock. Besides Eletrobras it is understood that China Power International, RWE and E.On of Germany as well as EDF and GDF Suez are among the candidates which are in the race to take over the stock of EDP which possesses assets that can complement their generation portfolio. At stake there is the strong position of EDP in the renewable energy market and also presence in the Brazilian power sector.
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Sweden

Wind power production doubles
Nordisk Industri, 2011-08-30
Swedish wind power production has risen to 5 TWh in the past 12 months, from 2.5 TWh at the end of 2009, figures from Swedish Wind Energy (Svensk Vindenergi) have shown. Annika Helker Lundström, Chief Executive at Swedish Wind Energy, said that the figures showed the huge potential of wind power and motivated updated political targets for renewable energy.
© 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.