Inter RAO mulls Enel's majority stake in Maritsa East 3 TPP
Russian power supply firm Inter RAO is interested in acquiring the majority stake in Bulgaria's coal-fired Maritsa East 3 Thermal Power Plant (TPP) that is being sold off by Italy's Enel.
The Russian company said that it will trade a Russian government held stake of 26.4 per cent in Russian power producer OGK-5, which is 56 per cent owned by Enel. If Inter RAO is successful in acquiring the stake in Maritsa East 3, it will be one of Bulgaria's largest energy producers, responsible for 12 per cent of the country's power output. Enel expects to make around EUR 600mn (USD 824.46mn) from the sale of the Maritsa East 3 stake, in which five bidders are interested.
Initial phase of new DKK 10bn smart grid started
Plans to build a new DKK 10bn (EUR 1.34bn USD 1.82bn) electrical smart grid, in Denmark, have now begun. The initial phase has started and is expected to last until 2012, where facilitating matters will be concerned. After that, the establishment phase will run from 2012 to 2020, finishing with stage three, the commercialisation phase.
Energinet.dk claims that by 2025, wind power will be built up to handle as much as 50 per cent of the annual electricity consumption in Denmark. At present, it only accounts for 20 per cent. By this time, it is estimated that 600,000 electric and hybrid cars will be on the Danish roads, while the number of electric heat pumps also rise. The project has attracted the attention of a few major companies looking to take part. These include IBM and Siemens, among others.
Five municipalities proposes 200 coastline wind turbines
Berlingske Tidende, 2010-11-24
Five Danish cities Copenhagen, Århus, Kalundborg, Sønderborg and Bornholm are proposing the establishment of 200, 170 meters tall wind turbines along the Danish coastline as an alternative to the planned offshore wind farm Anholt. The proposal is also seen as an alternative to much criticized turbines on land. The project is estimated to be 25 per cent cheaper than the Anholt wind farm and to generate 12,000 jobs.
Additionally, the proposed turbines would enable Denmark to come close to reaching its 2020 target of 30 per cent sustainable energy. The proposal has already met with positive reactions from members of parliament. Jørgen S. Lundsgaard, energy spokesman for the Conservative party and the Socialist People's Party (SF) spokeswoman Anne Grete Holmsgaard are both positive towards coastline turbines and Minister of Climate and Energy Lykke Friis calls the proposal exciting.
Wind power support greatest in countries with most wind power
The European Commission has carried out a survey of 26,000 people in different EU countries and asked them to say which of eight different technologies they believe will have a positive impact on our lifestyle over the next 20 years. Solar and wind energy were first and second in the ranking, with 87 per cent and 84 per cent of votes respectively. Bottom of the ranking was nuclear power, with only 39 per cent.
The survey also found that the proportion of people that were positive to wind power was greatest in countries that have most wind power. In Denmark, which has the largest proportion of wind power in the world, 96 per cent were positive to wind power and only 1 per cent negative. Support for wind power is also strong in Germany and Spain. O2 Vindel's CEO Linda Magnusson says the figures are in line with its experiences from wind power construction. Only 4 per cent of EU citizens were negative to wind power
Report sees significant growth potential in bioenergy
Press Release, 2010-11-23
According to a report by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the 38 per cent obligation set by the EU for Finland to further the use of renewable sources of energy creates a significant growth potential for the bioenergy industry. The local production of heat, biogas, and biodiesel, as well as the utilisation of field biomasses are still in early stages in Finland, however. In the future, the bioenergy sector may enable the emergence of several thousands of new jobs also outside growing urban areas.
Experts see growth potential first and foremost in the fields of heat, energy wood and wood chips that utilise wood biomass. To meet goals in the future, significant investments will also be needed in local energy production based on other raw materials. Also the production of ethanol is an option to be reckoned with in the case of over-production in the grain trade.
Electricity market reform bill passed
The French parliament has passed a bill on the reorganisation of the French electricity market (Nome). Under the plan, which is set to come into effect at the start of 2011, EDF will have to sell 25 per cent of its nuclear power to rivals such as GDF Suez, Poweo or Direct Energie. The purchase price has not yet been agreed.
Consumer watch dog UFC-Que Choisir announced that the reform could lead to an initial 7 per cent to 11 per cent increase in electricity rates, with charges rising by between 21 per cent and 28 per cent by 2015. The text also contains a provision for the removal of regulated tariffs for business from 31 December 2015, but maintains the regulated rates for households. In the final vote in the National Assembly, UMP and Nouveau Centre groups voted in favour of the bill, which was opposed by the left.
Volkswagen, Lichtblick start production, distribution of CHP units
Within the scope of its collaboration with Hamburg-based electricity provider Lichtblick, an alliance announced in 2009, Volkswagen now begins the series production of combined heat and power (CHP) units with an electric power of 19 kW. Volkswagen's engine plant in Salzgitter, Germany, makes these cogeneration units.
Volkswagen uses 2-l gas engines that already drive VW car models such as the Caddy and the Touran. The car maker already makes boat and industrial engines, and regards CHP units as another model for new business fields. Reportedly, Volkswagen will be investing several million Euros a year, and create a new top position below the executive board to advance in supplementary business fields. In Hamburg, Braunschweig, Berlin, Bremen, Essen, Leipzig and Stuttgart, Lichtblick has started distributing the natural gas fuelled power units for residential and firms' buildings.
These CHP units, which cogeneration association B.KWK regards as too big for one-family houses, are offered for rent as gas-fuelled heating systems. Customers have to pay a lump sum of EUR 5,000 (USD 6,693). Lichtblick sells the CHP units' electricity in the power market. Christian Friege, the chief of Lichtblick, has referred to more than 30,000 customer inquiries.
Overall 100,000 units are to be installed nationwide in the long term. To compensate wind power and photovoltaic stations' fluctuating electricity generation, Lichtblick intends to network the units to Germany's biggest virtual gas power plant with the capacity of two nuclear power plants.
Watchdog sees lack of competition in electricity market
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-11-26
According to the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, the interest of consumers in looking for alternative suppliers to cut energy bills has fallen. This applies especially to those who never changed suppliers. While the number of people who signed contracts with new suppliers rose by 0.1mn to 2.4mn in 2009, the increase is explained with relocations and with households that already have experience in changing suppliers. The Agency states that regional electricity suppliers are reluctant to expand beyond their established regions in order to avoid competition.
Verhagen wants second nuclear plant as soon as possible
De Financiele Telegraaf, 2010-11-22
Dutch Minister of Economics Maxime Verhagen wants a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands to be approved as soon as possible. Dutch energy companies Delta and Essent currently both have ongoing applications to built new nuclear power stations. The main objection to constructing a new nuclear power station is the storage of radioactive waste. Verhagen has not announced any possible locations for the storage of the waste, but has said the Dutch government is contributing to research into responsible nuclear waste disposal.
Energy sector requires PLN 50bn investment by 2020
Puls Biznesu, 2010-11-24
According to a report by Deloitte the Polish energy sector will spend at least PLN 50bn (EUR 12.61bn USD 16.82bn) on investments by 2020, excluding the transport grid investments. With the state companies not being able to meet the investment needs, it will be necessary to look for other sources of capital. However, the current energy prices of around EUR 50 (USD 66.68) per MWh make the investments hard to justify. It is only when the prices reach between EUR 80-100 per MWh that the investments will become cost-effective. One possibility of financing the future energy projects pointed out in the report might be selling transmission networks, as is the case in other European countries such as Spain or Germany.
Energy authority report calls for hourly power readings
Dagens Industri, 2010-11-25
Hourly meter readings are necessary to achieve a smart electricity grid where power is utilised in the most efficient way, Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate (Energimarknadsinspektionen, EI) has said. In a report to the government EI has called for hourly reading to be introduced no later than 2015 to the 1.5mn electricity customers that have an annual consumption of over 8,000 KWh. Yvonne Fredriksson, general director at EI, said that hourly meter reading would enable customers to adapt energy consumption to the hourly price on the Nordic Power Exchange, NordPool. this, argued Fredriksson, would generate lower power costs for the customer as well as reduce the large price tops by dividing demand more evenly over the day.
Centrica orders LNG from US
Reuters UK, 2010-11-20
The UK energy company Centrica has received a cargo of LNG from the US on 18 November 2010, which represents the first LNG cargo to be re-exported from the US to the UK. Centrica did not comment on the origins or price of the cargo. The US has begun re-exporting LNG to other markets in Europe, South America and Asia after a rise in North American gas production caused its gas prices to fall by 30 per cent during 2010. The US now only imports minimum contracted volumes of LNG. In contrast, UK gas prices have increased since September 2010.
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.