News item | 2010-09-21 | 11:30 AM

Energy News Europe - week 37, 2010

Baltic states

Extra capacity in Estlink 1 handed over to NPS, 2010-09-16
The Estonian and Lithuanian power utilities, Eesti Energia and Lietuvos Energija, will jointly give over to NordPool SPOT electricity exchange (NPS) the last capacities of the Estlink1 sea cable. The full capacity of Estlink 1 disposed to NPS is 350 MW, which will improve the electricity market liquidity with the extreme price peaks to become less unlikely, said in comments Margus Vals, director of Eesti Energia's energy trade. According to Eesti Energia, the increase in the trade capacity of NPS, available to all market players in Estonia and the Nordic countries, will have a stabilising effect on the electricity price.

Mr Vals expects the electricity pricing stability to contribute to the development of the pan-Baltic joint electricity market. NordPool Spot should include also Latvia and Lithuania, which would complete the integration of the Baltic electricity market with the Nordic market, after the building of Estlink 2. The volume of the demand of the Estonian free market ranges between 150 MW and 250 MW depending on the season.
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Czech Republic

Czech Republic wants nuclear power among renewable sources
Hospodarske Noviny, 2010-09-12
The Czech Environmental Minister wants the EU to include nuclear power among renewable sources so they can account for 20% of overall energy production. The EU plans to reach its goal by 2020.
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Pension Danmark invests in wind energy
Børsen, 2010-09-10
Danish pension company Pension Danmark has signed a contract with power company Dong Energy to buy half of the Nysted Offshore Wind Farm to the south of Lolland island. The purchase price is DKK 700mn (EUR 94.02mn USD 119.22mn). The company's MD Torben Möger Pedersen says the investment is in line with the company's goals to increase investments in infrastructure and green technology. The Nysted Offshore Wind Farm is among the biggest in the world.
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Dong Energy fears reduced state subsidies to offshore wind farms
Børsen, 2010-09-13
Danish state-owned power group Dong Energy has initiated measures to reduce its costs for setting up large offshore wind farms to prepare itself for possible reductions in state subsidies to offshore wind farms in Europe. The company fears that budget cuts resulting from the financial crisis, massive public debts a dying environmental debate could pose a serious problem for the development of new offshore wind farms.

The company is dependent on massive state subsidies to make ends meet with offshore wind farm projects. Dong Energy's cost-cutting measures include among other things efforts to buy wind turbines cheaper and efforts to make the setting-up and operation of wind turbines cheaper.
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Minister would like to introduce uranium tax
Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-09-16
Now that efforts to introduce the so-called windfall tax in Finland have fallen through, Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen, is keen to introduce a uranium tax to be paid by nuclear power companies. The energy sector opposes the uranium tax as fiercely as the windfall tax. The tax would most likely be based on the amount of uranium used, and would thus be relatively simple. It would be paid by power companies Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima. According to Pekkarinen, the uranium tax could bring in revenue of some tens of millions of euros.
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Fortum adjusts schedule of investments
Kauppalehti, 2010-09-17
Finnish power group Fortum has adjusted the schedule of its investments in Russia due to an increase in demand for electricity. Fortum plans to commission all its new units by the end of 2014. The commissioning of the first three units is to take place in the first half of 2011. Due to the investments by Fortum Russia, power capacity will be increased from the present 2,800 MW to about 5,100 MW. The new capacity will bring income from new volumes sold and is expected to receive at least 3-4 times higher price in the capacity market than old capacity.
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EnBW considers decommissioning nuclear power plant
Handelsblatt, 2010-09-14
Due to the German government's nuclear energy policy, and possible investment cost resulting from safety demands, energy group EnBW considers decommissioning the Neckwarwestheim I nuclear power plant after the Baden-Württemberg state parliament will have been elected in March 2011.
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Fishing board in action against offshore wind farms
De Volkskrant, 2010-09-13
Productschap Vis, the Dutch marketing board for fish, is taking legal action to prevent planned offshore wind farms in the North Sea. The board states that these are being located in the good fishing zones and that sailing restricting will prevent them from fishing here. There are already prevented from fishing nears oil fields and dredging sites. They will seek compensation if the wind farms go ahead.
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Gov presents guarantee scheme for long-term power contracts
Dagens Næringsliv, 2010-09-15
As announced in the national budget for 2010, the Norwegian government has presented a proposal for a guarantee scheme for long-term power contracts in the power intensive industry. It means that when a business signs a fixed-price agreement with a power supplier for 7-25 years, the state will guarantee that the business will follow the terms, providing a security for the power supplier. The scheme will be available for companies with an annual power consumption of at least 10 GWh, such as aluminium producers.
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Up to NOK 26bn to be invested in cables to the Continent
Stavanger Aftenblad, 2010-09-14
Up to NOK 26bn (EUR 3.31bn USD 4.30bn) may be invested in the Nordlink and NorGer power transmission cables between Norway and the European Continent. 50% of the sum would be invested in Norway, and 50% in Germany. In Sirdal, Norway, alone investments could reach NOK 10bn. This includes new power transmission cables, rectifier stations, minor power stations and wind power plants. Other major investments would be required in Kvinesdal, including not least a sea cable. The plan is to bring the cables ashore at Vollesfjord, Flekkefjord.
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Energy company Energa will be taken over by PGE for EUR 1.9bn
Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-09-16
Gdansk-based energy company Energa will be acquired by Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) for some PLN 7.50bn (EUR 1.90bn USD 2.48bn) provided that an approval is granted by the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office (UOKiK). Polish treasury minister Aleksander Grad, the advocate of PGE's becoming Energa's owner, says that it is necessary to create a large and strong energy group which will be able to finance new investments, including the construction of a nuclear power plant.
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Fortum opens EUR 130mn heat and power plant in Czestochowa
Wirtualny Nowy Przemysl, 2010-09-16
Official opening of a 120 MW heat and power plant Fortum in the Polish city of Czestochowa is scheduled for 16 September 2010. The plant will be fuelled with coal (75%) and biomass (some 25%). Its construction cost over EUR 130mn (USD 169.14mn).
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CNE proposes EUR 2.45bn fine for Iberdrola for market manipulation
Cinco Dias, 2010-09-14
The Spanish energy regulator, CNE, has proposed imposing the biggest fine it has ever made on Spanish firm, Iberdrola, for market manipulation of the electricity wholesale market (pool) prices between the end of 2007 and January and February 2008. According to the CNE, Iberdrola Generacion withdrew up to 40% of its production capacity so that prices rose. The fine being drawn up is EUR 2.45bn (USD 3.16bn).
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Fred Olsen Renewable to invest over SEK 3bn in Västerbotten
Dagens Nyheter, 2010-09-12
Norwegian wind power company Fred Olsen Renewable has announced that it plans to invest in 30 wind turbines in the Swedish district of Vindeln. It also plans to erect 34 turbines in Umeå and Robertsfors. The total investment sum is calculated to exceed SEK 3bn (EUR 327.46mn USD 417.72mn).
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United Kingdom

Treasury reviews plans for GBP 9bn clean coal programme
Guardian, 2010-09-14
The UK Treasury is reviewing the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) GBP 9bn (EUR 10.76bn USD 13.98bn) clean coal programme, which includes plans for four pilot clean coal power plants, raising fears among ministers that the programme could be dramatically cut back.

It is thought that the four pilot plants could be scaled back to just two plants, or staggered so that the third and fourth pilot projects will not operational until after 2020. Under current plans, consumer electricity bills are to be levied to raise the GBP 9bn of required funding.
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