News item | 2011-09-13 | 13:20 PM

Energy News Europe - week 36, 2011

Belgium

Electrabel to launch new legal challenge to the nuclear tax
La Libre Belgique, 2011-09-08
Eletrabel, the Belgian energy utility company, which is a subsidiary of the French energy company GDF Suez, is to launch new legal proceedings against the nuclear power production tax imposed in Belgium. The new law suit will be brought before the Belgian first instance tribunal as a previous case failed at the constitutional court. Since 2008 the tax has cost Electrabel around EUR 250mn (USD 352.02mn) a year.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

Nuclear power to become key source
Hospodarske Noviny, 2011-09-08
Nuclear power (NP) is to become the key source of energy for the Czech Republic, according to a new Czech energy concept proposal for 2020-2050. The country is to increase energy production five times to between 126TW and 160TW in 2060 on consumption of around 80TW. NP is to account for 90% of the output.

A 100% increase in NP production is to take place between 2025 and 2030 when NP plant Temelin is completed. The electricity surplus is to be used for electric cars and heat production. There are three versions of the energy concept, some suggest extension of coal mining limits or a radical drop in gas and oil imports. When it comes to renewable sources, their use should continue rising by 2065. One concept version proposes the end of solar power use after 2030.
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Denmark

Old legislation a obstacle to sustainable energy investments
Jyllands-Posten, 2011-09-02
Old and outmoded legislation is a hinder to the expansion of sustainable energy in Denmark according to Professor Ellen Margrethe Basse at the University of Aarhus. The legislation is a direct obstacle to the wishes of a majority of parliament members, namely to boost sustainable energy. Basse points to Danish legislation regarding district heating as an example; it prohibits the use of wood chips and biomass for fuel, a measure taken to safeguard natural gas companies.
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Denmark/Sweden

Study on wind farms busts belief about wind
Talouselämä, 2011-09-08
Finnish energy market expert Energiakolmio's consultant Mikko Lepistö has examined the production of wind power in Sweden and Denmark, and has busted one belief about wind. It is generally thought that if wind farms are located in a wide area, there will always be wind somewhere. Lepistö found that if it was not windy in Denmark, it was not windy in Sweden either. Thus, a wider geographical area did not significantly even out production.

According to Lepistö, the daily average output of wind energy production in Denmark varied between 13 and 2,854 megawatts in 2010. A change of over 1,000 megawatts in average output from one day to another took place 58 times. The best wind conditions occur in January, and in a 24-hour period, it is windiest in the daytime.
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Europe

Gazprom to develop gas power generation
RosInvest, 2011-09-02
Gazprom is to analyse electric power markets in Europe and work out development strategies in the mid-term. The company will engage consultants. Gazprom has accepted bids from six companies: Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH, KPMG, AT Karney GmbH, Booz&Co, GfK-Rus in the syndicate with GfK SE and Readpoint Energy, Mercados-Energy Markets International SA. A winner should define countries, which are more promising for development of gas power generation, value and specify potential of at least five projects (purchase of companies, creation of JV, new construction). Starting (maximum) price of the contract amounts to RUB 50mn (EUR 1.21mn USD 1.71mn).
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Finland

Savings promised by AMR not yet available to consumers
YLE.fi, 2011-09-05
Finland is introducing automatic electricity meter reading (AMR) nationwide in the beginning of 2014. This will enable electricity companies to bill consumers on the basis of actual consumption. The variations in billing may, however, cause significant problems for those of limited means.

According to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, invoicing based on even instalments will be available to those who wish it also in future. Consumers were promised the possibility of monitoring their own consumption online and of steering consumption to periods when the price of electricity is low. Hourly tariffs do not yet exist, however, so the promised savings cannot be achieved. This has been a disappointment to the Ministry. Electricity companies could act more briskly in the pricing issue, the Ministry says.
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France/Italy

Deadline for EDF-Edison deal moved to 30 October
La Repubblica, 2011-09-06
Italian authorities moved the deadline to find an agreement with French energy group EDF, on the reorganisation of Italian peer Edison to 30 October 2011. Italy's Economic Development Minister Paolo Romani will now meet the other parties involved, including Acea, A2A and Iren, and the advisor Intesa Sanpaolo. Reportedly, the deal involves the strengthening of the same conditions set in March, in exchange for the guarantee that Edison will be a main electricity, gas and methane pipeline operator in Italy. Negotiations are still open on the joint venture Edipower, that is unlikely to be fully Italian-owned due to the high investments required.
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Germany

EU questioning planned gas power investment support
Financial Times Deutschland, 2011-09-09
The European Union's energy commissioner Günther Oettinger warned that the subsidies planned by the German government for the construction of new gas power stations may not be compatible with EU law. The plan involves 15% grants for investment by companies whose market shares do not exceed 5%. Without subsidies, investments in new gas power stations are not economically viable. The EU is reviewing the German draft. Oettinger suggested that it might involve discrimination against larger energy companies.

Global

China tops windpower capacity ranking in 2010
Le Figaro Magazine, 2011-09-03
The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) reports that in 2010 China had the highest installed windpower capacity at 44,733 MW. The US followed with 40,180 MW, ahead of Germany at 27,215 MW. France was in seventh place with 5,660 MW.

Since 2009 France's capacity has risen by some 23.7%. Recent government measures are expected to speed the development of land-based wind farms in France. That said, there is doubt as to the attainability of the country's target of 23% renewable energy by 2020. In many countries investment in windpower has been falling, slowing its growth to the lowest rate since 2004 at 23.6%. By around 2015 WWEA expects global installed capacity to reach 600,000 MW.
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Italy

Solar power capacity climbs to around 9,820 MW
Il Corriere della Sera, 2011-09-05
According to Italian power management agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), the amount of capacity in the solar power sector has increased to approximately 9,820 MW across more than 268,000 power stations. Puglia is the region with the largest capacity, at 1,442 MW, while Lombardy has the highest number of solar power stations installed.
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Netherlands

Essent construction to go on, rules Council of State
De Volkskrant, 2011-09-03
The Council of State of the Netherlands has ruled that energy companies Essent and RWE may continue with the construction of their coal-fired power station in Eemshaven in the Netherlands. This comes after environmental organisations Greenpeace and Natuur en Milieu launched legal action against the province of Groningen for not banning the construction after the Council of State annulled the environmental licence.

The Council of State says the organisations did not leave enough time for the province to decide whether the construction should have been banned after the annulment of the licence. The province now plans to award a temporary licence, pending a new environmental licence, on 13 September 2011.
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Norway

No change in schedule for full-scale CCS at Mongstad
Stavanger Aftenblad, 2011-09-06
The Norwegian government will not change the schedule for the construction of a full-scale carbon cleaning facility at Mongstad gas processing plant, informs the Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe. The government decided to postpone the project by two years in March 2011 due to a concern over the potential risk of the emission of nitramines from the carbon cleaning method used. A new report from the Climate and Pollution Agency of Norway (Klif) has concluded that there is no cause for concern, but Borten Moe thinks the tests of new technologies at the Technology Centre Mongstad need to be completed as planned.
© Esmerk

Poland

Tauron to gain 800 MW of nuclear power in 2020-25
Wirtualny Nowy Przemysl, 2011-09-08
Polish energy company Tauron has reviewed its earlier strategy, now focusing even more on nuclear power. It is planning to have 800 MW generated by nuclear power stations in the period between 2020 and 2025. In order to accomplish the target Tauron will have to take the first steps in the next two to three years, with a number of scenarios considered. One of them would be becoming a member of a consortium headed by PGE.
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Switzerland

Federal Council wants complete exit from nuclear power
Basler Zeitung, 2011-09-08
The Swiss Federal Council wants to ban the construction of nuclear power plants in Switzerland entirely, without any loopholes for future generation plants. The Council says that an exit from nuclear power that holds restrictions will lead to uncertainty, as it would be unclear what defines new reactor technology. The Energy Commission of the Swiss Council of States wants a ban on the construction of current-generation nuclear power plants only. The Council of States is due to make a final decision on whether Switzerland ends its nuclear energy production on 28 September 2011.
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UK

Growing public support for nuclear power
The Times, 2011-09-09
A Populus poll for the British Science Foundation shows that 41% of people in the UK think the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks, compared with 38% in 2010. The increase in public support comes despite the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Some 28% believe the risks outweigh the benefits, down from 36% a year age.

The percentage of people who want existing plants to be replaced when they are decommissioned or who want the number of nuclear power stations to increase has risen from 46% to 54%. Support for nuclear power in the UK has increased gradually over the past ten years and the trend accelerated before Fukushima. Some 39% of women and 23% of men are opposed to nuclear power, while 21% of women and 53% of men support nuclear power. Researchers did not investigate why opinion has moved in favour of nuclear power.
© 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.