News item | 2011-11-01 | 15:31 PM

Energy News Europe - week 43, 2011

Belgium

Parliament to hear Creg and electricity networks
L'Echo, 2011-10-26
The Belgian Parliament is to hear from the Belgian energy market regulator Creg concerning its new price limit strategy. Parliament will also hear energy network companies and distribution companies, which are calling for increases in their tariffs.

Elia, the Belgian electricity grid operator, has stated that the increase in the use of wind power expected in the years from 2011 will make large investments necessary over a 20-year period and over EUR 100bn (USD 138.98bn) will need to be spent on the European network over ten years, with EUR 2bn being spent in Belgium alone. Sibelga, the Brussels grid management company, claims that Creg's plans punish local authorities that have invested heavily in their networks.
© Esmerk

Denmark

Minister rejects proposal about Dong as non-profit wind turbine company
Ingeniøren, 2011-10-24
Danish Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon rejects the proposal put forward last week to let state-owned energy group Dong Energy build wind farms on a non-profit basis. Corydon admits that everything should be done to reduce the costs for offshore wind turbine development but points out that offshore wind farms will not get cheaper only because Dong Energy does not get a return on its investments. According to Corydon, it is important to secure political support for efforts to make offshore wind turbines cheaper through technological developments.
© Esmerk

Europe

Energy prices to increase
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2011-10-25
According to a draft for a strategy paper that deals with the European Union's energy policy by 2050, and that European Commissioner Günther Oettinger intends to officially present by the end of 2011, European private households' expenditure on energy are expected to double by 2030.

Corresponding share of latter expenditure in private households' income is forecast to increase from 7% to 8% at present to up to 15% by 2030, and to up to 16% by 2050, including cost caused by better insulation of buildings, and including cost relating to the purchase of more energy-efficient cars. Adjusted for inflation, electricity price is expected to rise by up to 50% by 2030, and to slightly decrease afterwards.
© Esmerk

Finland

Helsinki Energy to participate in planning of new nuclear power unit
Helsingin Sanomat, 2011-10-27
In Finland, power company Helsinki Energy has a shareholding of about 10% of Teollisuuden Voima's (TVO) Olkiluoto nuclear power units. The Helsinki town council has now decided Helsinki Energy will also participate in the planning of the fourth unit at Olkiluoto. Revenue from the Olkiluoto units has been used to fund basic services in Helsinki.
© Esmerk

France

EDF inaugurates first marine turbine
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 2011-10-23
French energy group EDF inaugurated its first marine turbine off the coast of Paimpol (Côtes-d'Armor) and the Island of Bréhat on 22 October 2011. EDF indicated that the marine turbine, which weighs 850 tonnes and has a diameter of 16m, is a world first and will be in place for several months to test how it functions in real conditions.

The marine turbine was produced by Irish tidal energy specialist OpenHydro with the assistance of DCNS and is one of four that are set to be linked to the French electricity grid by autumn 2012. Each of the turbines will have a capacity of 0.5 MW, and together they are expected to be able to supply energy to 2,000-3,000 households.
© Esmerk

Closure of German nuclear plants threatens France's electricity supply
Le Monde, 2011-10-26
French consulting firm Capgemini has said that the closure of German nuclear reactors poses a real threat to the continuity of electricity supply in France in winter 2011-12 and in coming years. Colette Lewiner, global director of the energy sector at Capgemini, said that during cold winters, France imports up to 8,000 MW of electricity, mainly from Germany. This energy will no longer be available, she said. Germany decided to close eight out of its 17 nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Lewiner said that the possibility of power failure will depend on the cold, how nuclear reactors in France function and the availability of production from elsewhere. She believes that Germany will increase production from its coal-fired power plants, for example. Due to electric heating, electricity consumption in France increases the most in Europe during cold weather. According to the electricity network manager RTE, for each degree by which outside temperature falls, 2,300 MW of additional capacity (more than two nuclear reactors) are needed.
© Esmerk

Germany

Plans for pumped-storage power plant in Thuringia
Thüringer Allgemeine, 2011-10-21
Trianel is planning to invest EUR 500mn (USD 689.57mn) in a pumped-storage hydro power plant near Tambach-Dietharz in the German federal state of Thuringia. The Schmalwasser dam is to be expanded into a pumped-storage hydro power plant with a capacity of 400 MW. Planning and permit procedures are to due to be initiated in the coming weeks. Subject to approval, construction could start in 2016. © Esmerk

Eon, RWE refunded nuclear fuel tax
Handelsblatt, 2011-10-25
After energy companies Eon and RWE had successfully challenged the nuclear fuel tax in Germany, they will both be refunded the paid tax on a preliminary basis. According to information obtained by German daily Handelsblatt, Eon has been refunded a tax payment of EUR 96mn (USD 133.57mn) on nuclear fuel. The refund for RWE will amount to EUR 74mn. However, Germany's Finance Ministry has announced that it would legally fight for the nuclear fuel tax.
© Esmerk

Italy

EDF has outline of deal to acquire control of Edison
La Repubblica, 2011-10-28
French utility EDF has reached an outline of an agreement to acquire the control of Edison, the Italian energy group, with the Italian shareholders led by A2A and Iren. This will be presented to the respective boards which are to meet shortly.

The Italian shareholders will receive three power plants from Edison's subsidiary Edipower. These will include three hydroelectric power plant groups in Valtellina, in the province of Udine and in the province of Salerno respectively. A2A and Iren will manage these facilities through a joint venture in which they will retain a 67% and 33% stake respectively. The financial deal will entail an option only on a 30% stake in Edison owned by the Italian shareholders.
© Esmerk

Norway

Power surplus expected in Norway 2011
Stavanger Aftenblad, 2011-10-26
Norwegian state-owned grid company Statnett forecasts that Norway will be a net exporter of electricity in 2011. This is as a result of rising filling levels in the hydropower reservoirs that reached 87.6% at the beginning of week 43. Statnett reports net imports of 7 TWh for the first half of 2011. During the whole of 2010 net imports amounted to 7.6 TWh, compared to net exports of 9.1 TWh the preceding year.
© Esmerk 

Portugal

Four submit bids for the privatisation of EDP
Diario Economico, 2011-10-24
The companies to have submitted a bid in the privatisation process of a 21% stake of Portuguese energy company EDP include Brazilian firms Eletrobras and Cemig, the Chinese company Three Gorges and Germany's E.ON. The Government will open a negotiation period with the candidates before they submit their binding offers. The sale is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2012.
© Esmerk

Russia

Power facilities need upgrading
Kommersant, 2011-10-24
Ministry of Energy and experts consider modernization of Russian power facilities necessary. According to the industry estimates, depreciation is high as over 90% of power plants were built before 1990. Engineering companies estimate capital consumption at an average 60% and at 70% more pessimistically.

Power companies are now facing primary task of renewing the old equipment stock to increase its energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, and reliability of the objects as designed by the government program on energy saving and energy efficiency increase till 2020. Implementing it the Ministry of Energy is planning to boost primary energy saving to 25.32mn tons of standard fuel in 2016 and 58.05mn tons of standard fuel in 2021.
© Esmerk

Switzerland

New Parliament likely to support alternative energies
Basler Zeitung, 2011-10-24
Switzerland's latest parliamentary elections have strengthened the new moderate parties. Analysts believe that this will weaken the resistance against alternative energies. It is also thought that the exit from nuclear power generation is now certain. Gas power stations, on the other hand, will see a lack of support.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

Renewable energy could be primary power source by 2030
Guardian, 2011-10-25
A report commissioned by the WWF suggests renewable energy could be the primary power source in the UK by 2030. Renewable sources such as tidal, solar and wind could provide between 60% and 90% of electricity. Gas power stations and an international supergrid would supply the rest, while the report says there is no need for new nuclear power plants.

The report states that cuts in usage due to improved energy efficiency will offset the 4% increase in household bills to meet the 2020 renewable energy target. Renewable energy could also help to provide economic growth and create jobs. The report says the renewable industry needs a target for 2030 to provide the industry with financial support. Gas power would provide the electricity not generated by renewables and the 90% scenarios state that carbon emissions from the plants would not need to be captured and stored to meet climate targets, while the 60% scenarios require carbon capture and storage technology for a third of the gas plants.
© Esmerk

Crown Estate approves Scottish offshore wind energy sites
BBC News, 2011-10-28
Five wind turbine sites off the Scottish coast have been approved by the Crown Estate. The sites could house some 5GW of turbine capacity, which would double the existing capacity to 10GW. Marine Scotland will have the final say on individual projects when they are announced. Crown Estate said it plans to spend a further GBP 20mn (EUR 23mn USD 32mn) over the next five years on initiatives designed to help promote offshore energy in Scotland, such as environmental studies.
© 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.

If you want to subscribe to Energy News Europe, please use our subscription service.
Subscribe to Energy News Europe