News item | 2010-11-16 | 09:48 AM

Energy News Europe - week 45, 2010

Austria

Planned power plant projects to generate 8,000 MW of energy

Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 2010-11-05
There are some 80 power plant construction and expansion projects currently planned in Austria. These projects will increase energy capacity by around 8,000 megawatts (MW), adding to the current 21,000 MW capacity. Some 5,400 MW of this new energy will come from hydro power projects, 2,500 MW from thermal power projects and the remainder from other renewable energy sources such as biomass and wind power. The projects will boost the Austrian economy by some EUR 12bn, create 114,000 new jobs and will reduce CO2 emissions by 2mn tonnes.
© Esmerk

Denmark

Minister wants to bolster the use of straw for electricity production

Jyllands-Posten, 2010-11-09
Danish Climate and Energy Minister is planning a new system of subsidies to increase the use of straw at Danish power stations. This plan comes as a response to recent reports that Danish power stations have reduced their use of Danish straw and are instead buying wood pellets from countries like Russia and Canada. The idea behind the subsidy system is that there will be held special tender invitations for energy produced from straw. This, however, will generate extra costs as straw-based energy is more expensive than other types of energy. The extra cost is to be financed by consumers via the so-called PSO tariff, which is atax paid by consumers through their electricity bills.
© Esmerk

Integration of electricity markets expected to cut electricity prices

Børsen, 2010-11-10
The integration of the Nordic electricity market with the European market is expected to reduce electricity prices in Denmark. The integration will also make it easier to set up more wind power stations in Denmark as a bigger market will facilitate for power companies to sell the surplus energy produced by wind power stations. This means that the share of wind power from total electricity use is expected to rise from the present 25%.

Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis regards the opening of the Danish electricity market as an important move as it will pave the way for a major development of renewable energy sources. She also believes that the market integration will result in a more intelligent and more economic energy use.
© Esmerk

Europe

Electricity markets to be integrated on 9 November 2010

Kauppalehti, 2010-11-09
The European electricity markets will be integrated on 9 November 2010, and this will increase competition between electricity producers and will make it easier to evaluate the effects of bottlenecks in the electricity transmission network. The integration of the markets is necessary so that electricity can be generated in the cheapest possible ways at all times. Managing Director Juha Naukkarinen of Finnish Energy Industries points out that the integration of the electricity markets will not be visible in any way in the short term, however.
© Esmerk

Finland

AMR for all electricity and heating customers by 2014

Press Release, 2010-11-10
According to the Finnish Energy Industries, almost all electricity and district heating customers in Finland will be covered by automatic meter reading (AMR) systems by 2014. In future, customer reports on electricity and district heating will be more individual and user-specific. In addition to improving services to customers, energy companies are also improving their own processes to make them more energy-efficient. In the two years that energy-efficiency agreements have been in force, energy companies have reported total savings of over 500 gigawatt hours a year due to measures taken in energy production. Also the distribution of heat and electricity has been improved and losses in transmission have been reduced.
© Esmerk

Germany

Energy industry warning on government's CCS plans

Die Welt, 2010-11-06
Hildegard Müller, Chairwoman of the Management Board of BDEW, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, warns that if the government's plans for a new Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) law are carried out, the testing of a new technology that would serve the climate policies and the national economy is blocked. The ministers for economics and environment are said to have agreed on a draft that would allow the regional states to block underground storages of carbon dioxide.
© Esmerk

E.on to become global player

Die Welt, 2010-11-11
German energy company E.on aims to become a global player. The new CEO Teyssen announced that the company will sell activity with a value of up to EUR 15bn (USD 20.67bn) in the next three years and to spend some of the money to expand outside Europe. By 2015, the share of business outside Europe should rise from 5% to 25%. E.on sees high demand for power generation capacity outside Europe.

However, Teyssen did not say which regions E.on will target outside Europe; speculations are that it might be China, India or Brazil. Another region of interest might be Northern Africa. Welt newspaper comments that E.on started to reduce activities in Germany two years ago by selling generation capacity, the high-voltage grid and its stake in local utilities. The energy markets in Europe are highly regulated and the move of E.on is seen as a fleeing from German and European energy policy.
© Esmerk

Evonik shortlists two bidders for Steag

Rheinische Post, 2010-11-09
From five bidders, Evonik shortlisted two bidders to which it might sell a 51% stake in power generation company Steag. The two bidders are a holding of municipal utilities and Czech EPH. They are bidding a gross price of EUR 3.80bn (USD 5.23bn), which is net about EUR 700mn for Evonik. The final decision will be made by Evonik's supervisory board in December 2010.
© Esmerk

Lithuania

IAEA mission to assess potential sites for nuclear plant

Baltic News Service, 2010-11-08
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have arrived in Lithuania to assess the suitability of potential sites for Lithuania's planned new nuclear power plant in Visaginas. The IAEA mission will make an independent review of the assessments of the potential sites and make recommendations regarding the sites for the new nuclear plant. Lithuania plans to build the new nuclear power plant by 2018-2020. © Esmerk

Poland

Kulczyk close to sign Enea acquisition deal

Warsaw Business Journal, 2010-11-05
Reportedly, the well-known Polish businessman Jan Kulczyk will shortly sign a deal with the Polish state treasury regarding the acquisition of a 51% share in the energy giant Enea. Kulczyk is willing to pay around PLN 5.60bn (EUR 1.44bn USD 2.04bn) for the stake but it has to prove that it has PLN 10bn, as in line with the privatisation agreement it will have to be ready to purchase remaining shares of Enea.
© Esmerk

New power block might be built by French EDF

Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-11-09
Over the next few months, the French concern EDF will make a decision whether it is going to build a 900 MW power block at the power plant Elektrownia Rybnik. The new block would replace four out of eight currently used blocks in Rybnik.
© Esmerk

Russia

Fortum signs apacity supply agreement

Expert Ural, 2010-11-02
According to Fortum, a Russian branch of Finland's Fortum concern, it has entered into a capacity supply agreement. By signing the company confirmed its obligations to construct and commission 2,360 MW of new capacities in the Tyumen and Chelyabinsk regions (Urals) in 2011-2016. The new power project will reduce risks in the implementation of stated investment industrial projects, as well as enhance power supply of the region. In the long term, the company is planning to return EUR 2.50bn (USD 3.42bn) allocated for the construction of power generating facilities. Payment for power supply under the agreement is guaranteed within ten years. All power generating companies should sign similar contracts before the end of 2010.
© Esmerk

Spain

E.ON to start up 800 MW Puente Mayorga power station in H1 2011

EuropaSur, 2010-11-08
German energy firm, E.ON, plans to start commercial operation at its 800 MW thermal combined cycle power plant in the Spanish town of Puente Mayorga (Bay of Algeciras) during the first six months of 2011.

A complete renovation of the power station, which used to be owned by Enel Viesgo, will have been completed by then, making the facility cleaner (with less polluting emissions), more efficient and less noisy. More than EUR 400mn (USD 562.90mn) of investment is going into the renovation. It used to run on two groups of 220 MW and 533 MW of fuel oil-gas turbines, but after the work is completed, it will be a single power plant run on natural gas, with diesel as an emergency fuel.
© Esmerk

UK

E.ON in talks over the sale of electricity grid that could fetch GBP 3.50bn

Bloomberg, 2010-11-09
Germany's largest utility, E.ON, is in talks with a consortium led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the potential sale of its electricity grid in the UK. According to a Sunday Times report, the deal could reach as much as GBP 3.50bn (EUR 4.06bn USD 5.65bn) and proceeds from the sale will be used by E.ON to a pay nuclear tax, scheduled for introduction in 2011. The report also added that the consortium comprises Australia-based Macquarie Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
© Esmerk

RWE puts UK investment plans under review

The Times, 2010-11-12
The German energy group RWE has announced that its profits have been affected by the performance of its UK subsidiary N-Power. In the first three quarters of 2010, RWE's profits increased by 10% to EUR 6.10bn (USD 8.33bn), lower than average analyst forecasts of EUR 6.3bn. The group's net income was 5.5% lower, totalling EUR 2.6bn. RWE said that its three UK coal-fired power stations had experienced technical problems which meant they were not online for the entire three quarters. It said that its investment plans in the UK have been put under review.
© Esmerk