News item | 2011-11-09 | 15:01 PM

Energy News Europe - week 44, 2011

Belgium

New agreement on nuclear energy
Le Soir de Bruxelles, 2011-10-30
An agreement has been reached by the six political parties concerning the transition of the economy to a sustainable-development model. The project to phase out nuclear energy was confirmed. Within six months of its installation, the new government will put forward a diversified energy plan that includes deadlines for the closure of nuclear plants. The tax on nuclear energy will be used to invest in North Sea wind power and the efficiency of public buildings. The government will propose solutions to avoid sharp increases in the price of energy.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

Experts criticise state energy strategy
Hospodarske Noviny, 2011-11-02
Experts represented in the Czech Governmental Council for Energy and Resource Security have criticised the state energy strategy presented by Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kocourek. Instead of recommending one of the two submitted scenarios, the council has proposed many changes and many members have objected against strong focus on nuclear energy, insufficient calculations of economic impact and excessive expectations of electricity consumption.

The Confederation of Industry has said that some assumptions are not realistic. The biggest criticism is aimed at a plan to generate 85% of electricity in nuclear power plants in 2060. This would require building 15 new reactors which is impossible according to many experts. They also criticise that the strategy ignores trends in neighbouring countries which are abandoning the nuclear energy.
© Esmerk

Denmark

Government's expectations of renewable energy industry are too high
Børsen, 2011-11-01
Part of the Danish government's growth plan includes investing DKK 7bn (EUR 940.72mn USD 1.29bn) in the erection of new wind turbines and transforming power stations to run on biomass in 2012 and 2013. According to Lars Aagaard, Director of the Danish Energy Association, and Troels Ranis, Energy and Climate Politics Director with the Confederation of Danish Industry, this budgeted sum is greater than what the industry is prepared to undergo, stating that a new political energy compromise would have to be instated.

Troels Ranis, in particular, is worried about altering the industry from a competitive outlook under Denmark's already high "green" fees. In response to the scepticism, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt acknowledges that it is an aggressive package, but one that she believes will help Denmark recover from the financial crisis quicker. She prefers to take an offensive approach than to stand by idle-handed.
© Esmerk

Finland

Transmission company in Tampere interested in Vattenfall's network
Aamulehti, 2011-11-03
In Finland, Tampereen Sähkölaitos, the electricity transmission company in the Tampere area, is interested in the electricity network of the area. Tampere is surrounded by Swedish Vattenfall's network, and Vattenfall is presently in the process of selling its network and heating operations in Finland. Electricity company EPV Energy has announced that a consortium of energy companies has submitted a bid for Vattenfall's operations in Finland, but Tampereen Sähkölaitos does not comment whether it is part of the consortium.
© Esmerk

France

GDF Suez fears threat to overseas nuclear plans
La Tribune, 2011-11-02
French energy group GDF Suez will be heavily impacted if Belgium decides to shut down the seven nuclear reactors owned by its Electrabel subsidiary. They account for 10% of the group's Ebitda at EUR 800mn. They are the only reactors in the world operated by GDF Suez, and without them the group will have difficulty getting nuclear projects off the ground in the numerous countries earmarked for power plant construction. The group has already pulled out of nuclear projects in the UK and Romania, and plans for Jordan are threatened by political tensions.

GDF Suez is second on the electricity market in Brazil, but its nuclear projects there are running behind schedule. With its overseas ambitions under threat, GDF Suez has lowered the target proportion of nuclear energy in the mix by 2030, from 15% to 10%. If the Belgian reactors close the figure will need to be cut further.
© Esmerk

Political debate on EPR nuclear power plant in Flamanville
Le Monde, 2011-11-01
On 2 November 2011 the Socialist and Green parties in France are expected to debate on the EPR nuclear power plant under construction in Flamanville (Manche).

The Socialist Presidential candidate François Hollande recently stated that he would recommend its closure, if it can be shut down safely. He put forward the site's expense, and also wants the proportion of nuclear energy in France reduced from 75% to 50% by 2025. The Green party is pushing for France to pull out of nuclear energy altogether. The Flamanville reactor being built for EDF will have a lifespan of 60 years, and the decision over its future will be seen as decisive for French nuclear energy policy. Its cost has risen from an estimated EUR 4bnto EUR 6bn.
© Esmerk

Germany

Vattenfall to claim damages for nuclear withdrawal
Handelsblatt, 2011-11-02
It is understood that Sweden-based energy group Vattenfall is set to bring suit against Germany before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in an effort to claim damages from Germany relating to its decision to withdraw from nuclear energy. Vattenfall can refer to the investment protection regulations of the Energy Charta Treaty.
© Esmerk

E.ON to call for compensation due to nuclear phase-out
Financial Times Deutschland, 2011-11-03
Reportedly, E.ON intends to sue the German government due to the nuclear phase-out decided in summer 2011. E.ON intends to go to Germany's Federal Constitutional Court in 2011. E.ON requires a compensation, according to a concern spokesman.
© Esmerk

Netherlands

House of Representatives against coal tax
Het Financieele Dagblad, 2011-10-31
The majority of the Dutch House of Representatives is against Dutch energy company Delta's suggested introduction of a so-called coal tax to stimulate investments in nuclear energy. Political parties CDA, VVD and PVV are against the tax, stating that there is already a European system to put a price tag on CO2-emissions. Party GroenLinks is in favour of the tax. The CEO of Delta, Peter Boersma, wants the introduction of the tax so that the price of nuclear energy will decrease and it becomes more attractive to invest in.
© Esmerk

Norway

Minister promises gas deliveries to the EU for the next 70 years
Nationen, 2011-10-28
Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe has declared that Norway is well equipped to deliver gas to the EU not just over the next 10-20 years but over the next 70. The announcement was made in connection with a meeting between the Minister and EU's Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.

Since the development and expansion of Norwegian gas production requires major investments Borten Moe calls on the EU to specify, long term what its gas needs will be. EU's future gas demand is set to be clarified in its energy report Roadmap 2050, which is due at the beginning of 2012. Commissioner Oettinger concludes that the EU and Norway have a long term energy partnership and that Norwegian gas will continue to play a role.
© Esmerk

Poland

Demand for electricity forecast to rise 43% in 2030
Rzeczpospolita, 2011-11-03
A report commissioned by Poland's Economy Ministry from Agencja Rynku Energii shows that in future, demand for electricity will rise in all sectors of the economy. In 2030 the overall requirement will have risen some 43% to 167.6 TWh from 119.4 TWh in 2010.

The greatest increase in demand will be in the service sector, where it will go up by 60% due to the general development forecast in this sector. Household use will increase by 50%, thanks to a rise in the standard of living. Industry demand for final electricity will rise around 22%, a gradual increase resulting from the shrinking role of high energy-use industry in GDP and also to the moderate added value which is forecast for the sector.
© Esmerk

Switzerland

Nuclear authority sets up international group
NZZ Global, 2011-10-29
The nuclear authority in Switzerland is to set up an international expert group. The group will advise the Swiss nuclear safety expectorate Ensi on safety issues for nuclear power stations.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

New task force to boost offshore renewable energy development
Daily Record (Scotland), 2011-10-28
The Scottish Government has established a new task force to support offshore renewable development. The measure should help to achieve Scotland's target of 100% electricity needs from renewables by 2020. The task force will publish an implementation plan in January 2012 and will ensure that developers prepare thorough applications and that and that development applications are processed efficiently.
© Esmerk

EDF Energy submits Hinkley Point C application to IPC
Reuters UK, 2011-10-31
The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has confirmed that EDF Energy has submitted its application to build Hinkley Point C, the UK's first new atomic power station in decades. The IPC has until 28 November 2011 to accept or reject the application. If accepted the approval process will take about a year. EDF Energy has not said when the station could enter service. The utility has already applied for environmental and site licences.
© Esmerk

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