News item | 2010-11-22 | 16:25 PM

Energy News Europe - week 46, 2010

Baltic states

Energy market integration plan on EU priority list

DELFI.lt, 2010-11-19
The European Commission has included the integration of the Baltic States' energy market into the single European market on its list of priority energy infrastructure projects. Lithuania's projects to build a new nuclear plant in Visaginas, power links with Poland (LitPol Link) and Sweden (NordBalt), a gas pipeline to Poland, and a natural gas storage facility in Syderiai are now part of the EU's Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP).

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said EU member states would ensure Lithuania's energy supplies from renewable sources, contribute to the Baltic States' energy independence, and increase energy security in the region. Arvydas Sekmokas, Lithuania's Minister of Energy, said BEMIP would end the isolation of the Baltic States in electricity and gas supplies. The US has also expressed support for Lithuania's plan for energy independence.
© Esmerk

Bulgaria

Government rejects price of EUR 7bn for Belene NPP project

Novinite, 2010-11-15
The Bulgarian government has rejected a final price of EUR 7bn (USD 9.51bn) offered by Russia's Atomstroyexport for the construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Bulgaria's energy minister Traicho Traikov has said that if an additional EUR 1.3bn for infrastructure costs and consultancy is subtracted from the amount, a more acceptable final price of around EUR 5.5bn is achieved. The original price for the project was put at EUR 4bn.
© Esmerk

Denmark

Storebæltskabel driving electricity prices up

Ingeniøren, 2010-11-18
According to a study conducted by Aalborg Univesity, since the introduction of the "Storebæltskabel" (Big Belt Cable), in August 2010, 1.4mn Danish households in Jutland and Fyn have seen their electricity prices rise. According to Morten Boje Blarke of Aalborg University, households in these regions have paid an additional DKK 476mn (EUR 63.84mn USD 87.13mn) for their electricity, equivalent to DKK 340 per household.

Søren Dupont, Head of Strategic Planning in Denmark, claims that the price rises cannot be solely linked to the new cable. He claims that prices in these regions vary greatly depending on the German and Nordic markets. Price changes in these markets often dictate if rates in western Denmark will rise or fall.
© Esmerk

Europe

EC finds electricity consumers could save EUR 13bn

Press Release, 2010-11-15
According to a study on the retail electricity markets of the EU, which was carried out by the European Commission, if consumers switched to the lowest electricity tariff they could find they would save around EUR 13bn (USD 17.79bn). The study found that in 62% of cases consumers could find a lower tariff and would save around EUR 100 each by moving to the cheapest provider. The study found that 32% of consumers in the EU compared offers and that 47% of consumers are unaware of the size of their electricity consumption. The study also found that in many EU countries the households which consumed the least energy paid the most per unit.
© Esmerk

EC presents long-term energy infrastructure priority corridors

Press Release, 2010-11-17
The European Commission (EC) has presented its priorities concerning energy infrastructure in the next 20 years. There are four priority corridors in the electricity sector: the Baltic Energy Market integration in the EU market, connections in South Eastern and Central Eastern Europe, wind, solar and hydro power interconnections in South Western Europe, and the Northern Seas offshore grid. There are three priority corridors in the gas sector: the Baltic Energy Market integration, the Western Europe North-South corridor, and the Southern Corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
© Esmerk

Germany

Grid operators expect continued expansion of renewable energies

Die Welt, 2010-11-16
The four large German grid operators, that is 50 Hertz, Amprion, EnBW Transportnetze and Tennet expect the expansion of renewable energies in Germany to continue unabated. The four companies expect the installed capacity of renewable energies to increase from at present about 52 gigawatt (GW) to 86 GW by 2015. Solar and wind power plants will then each account for 39 GW and thus for 90% of this capacity. The compensation for electricity fed into the grid, which is being paid to the operators of wind and solar power plants, will thus increase from EUR 12.40bn (USD 16.84bn) in 2009 to EUR 21bn in 2015.
© Esmerk

Ireland

Eirgrid to proceed with interconnector cable installation

Irish Times, 2010-11-17
Eirgrid, Ireland's electricity network operator, plans to proceed with the installation of the East-West Interconnector at Rush before the end of November. The EUR 600mn (USD 809.30mn) interconnector will be routed through the village in the north of County Dublin in a plastic duct a metre below the ground. Eirgrid aims to have the cable that links to Wales operational by 2012.
© Esmerk

Italy

EGP plans to sell EUR 450mn of assets and liabilities

Milano Finanza, 2010-11-17
Enel Green Power (EGP), the renewable energy division of the Italian utility Enel, is planning to sell EUR 450mn (USD 606.97mn) of its assets and liabilities in an attempt to reduce Enel's debts. The assets for sale are worth EUR 119mn and the process could begin by the end of 2010. Mentioned as a target is its lot B stake in Eufer (Enel Union Fenosa Renewables), which will be sold to Spanish energy firm Gas Natural Fenosa. Very little of its EUR 362mn price tag will go into the EGP vaults, however, and the sale will need to be authorised by the authorities in December 2010.

Other minor assets in the firing line include an EUR 18mn stake in US firm Trade Wind Energy; a EUR 5mn investment in Spanish renewable energy firm, Endesa Cogeneracion y Renovables (ECyR); and EUR 65mn of power plant assets in the firm Enel Green Power Bulgaria, which will need to be sold jointly with the majority shareholder, Bulgarian power plant Maritza.
© Esmerk

Lithuania

IAEA experts approve potential nuclear plant sites

Baltic News Service, 2010-11-15
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found potential sites for Lithuania's planned new nuclear power plant suitable. The IAEA mission assessed the technical description of the potential construction sites. The experts concluded that the sites comply with IAEA requirements and recommendations, and that the sites were thus suitable for the construction of a nuclear plant. Lithuania plans to build the nuclear plant in Visaginas.
© Esmerk

Poland

Tender to build nuclear power plant in July 2011

Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-11-15
According to the recent statement of the Polish energy group PGE, tender to build a nuclear power plant is to be announced in July 2011. Final date will depend on whether the Polish government manages to prepare required legal procedures. PGE expects construction works to begin in 2016 and to be completed in 2020.
© Esmerk

Treasury to decide on buyer for Enea by end November?

Rzeczpospolita, 2010-11-18
According to unofficial information gained by the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, the Treasury Ministry wants to finalise the privatization of the state-owned energy company Enea rapidly, and possibly before the end of November. Unofficial sources also indicate that it is the French atomic energy company EDF which is the strongest candidate, rather than Kulczyk Investments or GDF Suez, which have both been involved in talks with the Treasury recently regarding the sale. EDF would not comment on the matter.
© Esmerk

Sweden

Fortum says nuclear investments require political consensus

Dagens Industri, 2010-11-15
No new nuclear power plants will be built in Sweden without a consensus across political blocs, Sweden manager at power company Fortum has said. Executive Vice President Per Langer said that an investment of between SEK 50bn (EUR 5.33bn USD 7.29bn) and SEK 60bn in a new reactor required a solid political decision which would not be undone with a shift of power. However, Langer said that Fortum intended to continue its investments in the Forsmark and Oskarshamn plants where it holds a share. Fortum's SEK 90bn investments in Swedish power production and grid have been very successful and continued investments of an estimated SEK 20mn have been planned.
© Esmerk

UK

Renewable electricity target to be met

The Times, 2010-11-15
A report by National Grid suggests the UK is on course to meet a government target for 15% of all the country's energy come from renewable sources by 2020. Meeting the government target, equivalent to 30% of the UK's electricity, would require installed renewable capacity of around 29 gigawatts, according to National Grid. Its report says the amount of renewable generation connected to the UK network will rise from 4.95 gigawatts at present to 31.95 gigawatts by 2020. However, National Grid noted that many proposed schemes that would contribute to meeting the target would only proceed with favourable market frameworks and planning consents.
© Esmerk

Energy firms say market overhaul is required for nuclear plants

Telegraph (UK), 2010-11-13
The bosses of the UK's major energy firms, including RWE npower, E.ON, EDF Energy, Centrica and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) have set out their hopes that the government's white paper will force up the price of electricity enough to make low-carbon nuclear power achievable. It is thought that the so-called 'carbon floor price' alone, artificially raising the cost of emissions permits, will not be attractive enough.

Three chief executives signalled they would support capacity payments, or paying generators to make their plants available to provide power, while two say that they favour 'low carbon obligations' or forcing firms to produce a certain amount of energy from low carbon sources.

E.ON's chief executive, Dr Paul Golby, said that he would like to see low carbon obligation, but was sceptical regarding capacity payments, adding that energy firms faced significant risks in deciding whether to make the GBP 40bn (EUR 47.15bn USD 64.51bn) investment required for the eight planned new nuclear power stations. Overhauling the market is likely to result in a massive increase in prices for consumers, but energy leaders say that nuclear cannot be built without these changes.
© Esmerk

Government prepares to announce radical new energy policy

The Times, 2010-11-18
The UK Government is preparing to unveil a series of measures designed to support GBP 200bn (EUR 235.17bn USD 318.18bn) worth of investment into greener energy sources over the next ten years. Key proposals are still being refined and a final announcement is expected to be made towards the start of December 2010.

The measures are expected to include the introduction of a carbon floor price, which would aim to penalise investments into fossil fuel power plants and make low carbon energy more attractive to investors. The carbon floor price is expected to increase steeply each year in a bid to force energy firms to invest in greener sources of power, such as nuclear reactors and wind farms.

The measures are also expected to include the establishment of a complete system of feed-in tariffs, which would be designed to reduce revenue uncertainty for generators of low-cost electricity, and an obligation being brought to force energy suppliers to provide a fixed amount of low-carbon power. Additionally, an Emissions Performance Standard is going to be brought in for fossil fuel power stations. This will prevent new coal stations being constructed unless that are fitted with CCS technology, which would strip out and store any carbon emissions.
© 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.