News item | 2010-09-13 | 15:30 PM

Energy News Europe - week 36, 2010

Austria

Electricity use expected to rise by a fifth by 2050
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 2010-09-08
The Austria Energy Agency expects electricity use to rise by up to a fifth by 2050, with electric cars in particular needing extra power. However, energy use as a whole will fall. Electricity use is expected to rise from 58.7 terrawatt hours currently to between 65.6 and 68.2 terrawatt hours; as well as transport, the production sector is likely to increase its usage, while private households and the services sector will be able to reduce their usage through more efficient appliances and energy-saving measures.

As a result the electricity sector is keen to speed up the expansion of its production and network capacity; it has projects worth EUR 3.60bn (USD 4.57bn) ongoing which will increase capacity by 3.5 terrawatt hours by 2015. It is planning a seven terrawatt-hour increase by 2020 at a cost of EUR 15bn.
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Bulgaria

Enel will sell Maritsa East 3 power plant in autumn 2010
Novinite, 2010-09-05
Italian energy firm Enel is to sell off the Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant in Bulgaria in autumn 2010, according to a statement by the company's CEO Fulvio Conti. The Italian company is selling some assets in a bid to lower its debt by some EUR 45bn (USD 57.98bn) in 2010. The expected value of the Maritsa East 3 sale has not been disclosed.
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Denmark

Organisation calls for govt to stop development of offshore wind farms
Børsen, 2010-09-06
The Danish Agriculture and Food Council is calling for the government to stop the development of offshore wind farms until 2025 and use the funds instead to support bio fuels, straw-fired thermal power stations and bio gas. This is the main message of the 13 recommendations the organisations has outlined and presented to Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis.

The organisation claims that biomass is a better and cheaper alternative when it comes to increasing and decreasing production to meet demand. Besides, energy policy could also create more jobs and greater economic growth for Denmark if it to a larger extent focused on the use of biomass instead of wind energy.

Climate and Energy Minister says that both biomass and bio fuels will have important roles in future Danish energy policy but emphasizes that offshore wind energy will be the pivot in the Danish energy supply.
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Plan for district heating expansion published by Dansk Fjernvarme
Ingeniøren, 2010-09-08
Danish district heating association Dansk Fjernvarme, engineering consultant Rambøll and Aalborg University have jointly published a plan for the expansion of district heating in Denmark, aiming to reduce CO2 emission from heating to zero by 2030. According to the plan district heating should stand for 65% of all heating in Denmark with the remainder provided by heat pumps, solar power and wood pellet boilers.
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Europe

Solar energy parity by 2020
Het Financieele Dagblad, 2010-09-07
A European Commission research institute report that most of Europe will see parity between solar energy and standard electricity prices by 2020. This will be assisted by a reduction on photovoltaic cell production costs as well as an increase in efficiency of these cells as received sunlight conversion increases from 20% to 50%.

In 2010, only southern Italy sees parity in solar electricity prices due to high standard electricity costs. By 2020 this is expected to hold true for the rest of Europe excluding Scandinavia and Russia.
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Finland

Implementation of uranium tax to be examined
Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-09-09
Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen, has invited Pasi Holm, Managing Director of Pellervo Economic Research PTT and professor Markku Ollikainen to examine the implementation of uranium tax in Finland. Pekkarinen is very eager to get the tax implemented. The issue will be decided by the next Government, however.
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France

Areva and EDF begin work on strategic agreement
La Tribune, 2010-09-09
French nuclear group Areva and French energy group EDF have begun work on a strategic agreement that was imposed by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in July 2010. Areva would like to have an agreement in place before the end of 2010. In August 2010, the heads of the two companies met to agree to the outline of the agreement.

Through September 2010, work groups are studying different aspects of the agreement, including a possible increase in the stake EDF holds in Areva. Other work group issues include enlarging Areva's reactor offer, organising the export offer, studying lessons from the two existing EPR projects (both above budget and over schedule) and the combustibles cycle.

Areva President Anne Lauvergeon and EDF CEO Henri Proglio will meet again in October 2010. As for the capital increase project, through which Mitsubishi and the sovereign funds of Qatar and Kuwait would hold stakes in Areva, it has been on hold due to summer vacation in France and Ramadan in Qatar and Kuwait, according to Areva.

The company is launching another bond issue worth EUR 750mn (USD 954.48mn) that completes bond issues from autumn 2009. Together the bond issues would bring in EUR 3.75bn (USD 4.77bn), which could help Areva should the capital increase fall through.
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Statkraft to build 800 MW power plant
L'Usine Nouvelle, 2010-09-07
The Norwegian firm Statkraft is planning to invest nearly EUR 500mn (USD 636.32mn) in a power plant with a capacity of 800 MW. Building will start in 2012 near Saint-Vulbas, France, and last three years. It will work on natural gas and the project will create 35 jobs.
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Germany

State to receive additional proceeds from nuclear compromise
Financial Times Deutschland, 2010-09-09
The additional proceeds of the German state from the extension of the running times of the nuclear power plants in Germany might be significantly higher than known up to present.

This is the result of the nuclear compromise agreement for the time after 2016. According to information obtained by the German daily FTD, the levy of EUR 9 (USD 11.45) per megawatt hour of nuclear electricity planned for the time after 2016 is to increase according to the inflation rate.

The German state will furthermore benefit directly from the increasing electricity prices since the uniform levy of EUR 9 shall merely apply to wholesale prices of between EUR 43 and EUR 63 per megawatt hour. In case the wholesale prices are higher, the German state is to receive half of the difference so to say that the German state would receive another EUR 3.5 per megawatt hour if the wholesale price per megawatt hour of nuclear electricity amounts to EUR 70.
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E.ON to readjust power plant strategy
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-09-09
Due to the German government's latest energy concept and targets in the field of green power generation, E.ON will be revising its power plant strategy with regard to all energy sources. E.ON is planning for the year 2030 to generate 36% of the energy produced from renewable sources, according to Frank Mastiaux.

He heads the subsidiary E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R), which mainly deals with wind and solar power plants but also with biomass/-gas and wave power stations. EC&R manages to add 1,000 MW a year to capacities. In its first three years EC&R has raised capacities from 400 MW to about 3,500 MW at present. EC&R, which targets about 10,000 MW in 2015, has projects with more than 20,000 MW in its investment pipeline.

Mastiaux has referred to projects such as the London Array offshore wind farm project, and to a German North Sea project, which E.ON intends to start in 2011: the Amrumbank Park with 80 wind turbines with overall up to 400 MW is to be erected.
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Italy

Enel Green Power IPO expected to generate EUR 3bn income
La Repubblica, 2010-09-09
Enel Green Power, the renewable energy division of the Italian utility Enel, announced that on 18 October 2010 it will launch an IPO on a stake between 35% and 30% of its capital, worth an estimated EUR 3bn (USD 3.82bn) income. The price should be set on 4 October 2010, and a 15% of the offer will be reserved for small shareholders, while 85% will be reserved for institutional investors.
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Spain

Electricity bill only covers 49% of generation and distribution costs
El Mundo, 2010-09-09
Due to Spain's specific regulatory framework, the electricity bill of homes does not cover for generation costs. This has resulted in a tariff deficit of around EUR 20bn (USD 25.45bn). In addition to this burden, the electricity firms also have to deal with the fact that 51% of the actual bill is used to pay for taxes and subsidies.

Iberdrola was the first to explicitly state on its bills what its customers were actually paying for: 27% of the bill was taxation, 24% was subsidies to renewable energy projects (mostly photovoltaic), 20% generation costs and 17% distribution costs. In order to change this situation, the industry has asked the Government to reduce VAT charges from 18% to 8%, to subsidise the costs to generate and supply electricity to the islands, and to match subsidies awarded to other sources of energy to these given to the wind energy industry.

According to operators, the cost of electricity represents 2.4% of Spain's homes budget compared to 5.6% in the UK. In order to cover for the tariff deficit, the Government should increase the electricity bill by 15%, a survey by Nomura found out.
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Endesa builds limestone-based CO2 capture demonstration plant
Utility Week, 2010-09-06
Spanish energy firm, Endesa, has begun construction work on a demonstration plant in La Pereda, as part of a cooperation agreement with Hunosa and CSIC.

The demonstration plant, which is to start operations in 2011 for approximately one year, will have the capacity to treat a daily maximum of 2,6000m3/hour of combustion gases and capture a maximum of 8 tonnes of CO2. The aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of limestone-based capture technology, as it is a cheaper method.
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United Kingdom

CKI, HKE, foundation to acquire EDF's power grid for HKD 70bn
The Sun (Hong Kong), 2010-09-07
Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI), Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited (HKE) and Li Ka-shing foundation aim to bid for the acquisition of a power grid in UK owned by France-based EDF. It is estimated that the consortium will complete the plan via a joint venture by end-October 2010.

A total of HKD 70bn (EUR 7.03bn USD 9.01bn) will be spent by the parties on the plan. A shareholders' meeting will be conducted by HKE to discuss the matter on 9 September 2010.
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Government sets out carbon storage plans
New Energy Focus, 2010-08-27
On August 27 2010 the UK Government set out plans for the licensing of the storage of CO2 under the seabed. These plans follow a consultation on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will set out the regulations in Parliament so that EU rules are met.

DECC believes that storage of CO2 under the seabed could lower CO2 emissions from the UK's power stations by 90%. The regulations will apply to all areas of the UK's coast, expect for Scottish waters, which will have separate regulations.
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