Russian electricity transit to Baltics, Kaliningrad may be stopped
Belarus may stop supplies of Russian electricity to the Baltic States and Russia's Kaliningrad, according to the state-owned energy company, ODU. Belarus has failed to agree on the terms of transit for Russian electricity. Given the lack of agreement, the transit of Russian electricity via Belarusian power grids cannot continue, ODU announced. Yet despite the lack of agreement, Russia's FGC UES and Inter RAO UES have continued electricity transit supplies through Belarus, ODU stated.
GDF Suez to invest EUR 800mn in old nuclear reactors
The French energy company GDF Suez is planning to invest EUR 800mn (USD 1.15bn) in its old nuclear reactors in Belgium. GDF Suez has been given permission to extend the life of its three oldest Belgian reactors. The company should see profits from this investment from 2015.
Russia offers to fund Belene NPP project for two years
Sofia Echo, 2009-12-30
Russia has offered to fund the first two years of the project to build Bulgaria's Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in order not to delay it any further. Around EUR 2bn (USD 2.88bn) is needed to fund the first two years. In return, Russia expects to get shares in the project company. Russia has already offered to fund the project in its entirety in return for a 100% stake in the project. Further negotiations between Bulgaria and Russia over the plant will begin in late February 2010.
Debut for negative electricity prices
The system with "negative electricity prices" made its debut in western Denmark and in Germany on 26 December 2009 during a period of eight hours. It cost electricity producers DKK 0.89 (EUR 0.12 USD 0.17) per kilowatt hour to produce electricity during four hours on 26 December. The negative electricity rates resulted from a combination of low electricity consumption and a massive production of wind energy. The system with negative electricity prices was introduced to "punish" electricity producers whose production exceeds demand.
Elering, NPS cooperate in launch of power exchange
The Nordic electricity exchange Nord Pool Spot (NPS) and Estonian transmission grid operator Elering agreed on an action plan on 29 December in Helsinki, aimed at the launch of an electricity exchange and at the opening of the 35% market in Estonia from 1 April 2010. Taavi Veskimägi, chairman of the board of Elering, says NPS will start preparatory activities to ensure that the exchange is put into operation on 1 April. NPS, Elering, and Fingrid will also start negotiations with the owners of Estlink 1 power cable regarding the renting of capacities of Estlink 1 by the transmission grid companies and letting the rented capacities into the market use. According to Mr Veskimägi, cooperation with NPS is of strategic importance for Elering in the framework of the Baltic cooperation agreement BEMIP, targeted at creating an integrated energy market in the Baltics on the example of NPS.
High-voltage network to bundle green electricity activities
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2010-01-05
Nine European countries, that is Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway intend to promote the expansion of renewable energies and therefore bundle their green electricity activities in a joint high-voltage network under the North Sea. According to information obtained by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, high-voltage subsea cables in the North Sea are to link offshore wind farms off the German and British coasts with hydropower plants in Norway, tidal power plants on the Belgian and Danish coasts as well as wind and solar power plants on the European continent. Representatives of the nine European countries agreed on a cooperation already in December 2009. The national coordinators will allegedly meet for the first time on 9 February 2010. A letter of intent is to be signed by autumn 2010. The participating countries expect that such a high-voltage network might be realised within the course of ten years. Experts estimate that the costs for the project might amount to up to EUR 30bn (USD 43.27bn).
EDF and E.ON conclude asset exchanges
Respective French and German energy groups EDF and E.ON, and their German joint venture EnBW, have finalised agreements over the exchange of rights of energy extraction and production assets between France and Germany. EDF and Charbonnages de France have also signed for the sale of their respective stakes of 18.75% and 16.25% in Snet to E.ON.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant finally shut down
Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (IAE) was shut down at 11 pm on 31 December 2009. Lithuania thus became the first country in the world to give up nuclear power. The country does, however, plan to build a new nuclear plant by 2018. The state-owned power plant, Lietuvos Elektrine, in Elektrenai and other power plants will cover part of Lithuania's energy needs, while the remainder will be imported from Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Scandinavia. IAE's buildings will be demolished by around 2020. Decommissioning works will take some 30 years in all.
Centrica to sell Oxxio by mid 2010
De Telegraaf, 2010-01-06
UK energy group Centrica intends to round off the sale of Netherlands-based budget energy provider Oxxio by mid 2010, it is reported. Oxxio has been up for sale since July 2009 and it is expected to raise between EUR 180mn (USD 258.55mn) and EUR 240mn. Interest parties include Electrabel, E.on, Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij (NL Energie) and Eni.
Low-cost power clients disconnected from Hafslund network
VG Nett, 2010-01-08
Almost 700 Hafslund clients in Oslo and Akershus have had their power disconnected. They have signed a low-cost agreement that gives the company the right to stop power supply of the pressure on the network is too high. Many of these clients do not have other means to heat their houses or buildings, but for an extra fee they can be reconnected to the network.
NorGer's submarine power cable project
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-01-06
EGL's, Agder's and Lyse's NorGer consortium has filed an application in Oldenburg, Germany, for a submarine power cable project between Norway and Lower-Saxony, Germany. The project is estimated at EUR 1bn (USD 1.44bn).
Nuclear power plant decision expected in 2010
A decision on the planned Nuclear Power Plant Krsko (NEK 2) in Slovenia is expected in 2010. The 1,600 MW plant would be built between 2010 and 2025 and would cost between EUR 3.50bn (USD 5.05bn) and EUR 5bn.
Carbon storage project in Aragon is postponed indefinitely by Endesa
El Periodico de Aragon, 2010-01-06
Spanish electricity firm, Endesa, has indefinitely postponed the project it is planning for the region of Aragon in Spain for an underground carbon storage facility. A draft project was presented to the regional government in 2008 outlining four possible locations for the facility. However, the EU has only just awarded grants for the putting into operation between 2009 and 2020 of the 30 MW power plant the firm will have in El Bierzo to serve as a pilot project for carbon capture and storage (CCS). It will receive EUR 180mn (USD 258.55mn). The European Commission has confirmed that EUR 1bn will be spent on Endesa's CCS project for El Bierzo. The plan for the final CCS facility is linked to a new 500 MW oxicombustion thermal power plant project.
Svenska Kraftnät starts electric power effective reserve
Nordisk Industri, 2010-01-08
Following extremely high electricity prices and a shortage of nuclear power production in Sweden, Svenska Kraftnät, a state utility company that administers the national electrical grid, has opened use of its effective reserve on 8 January 2010. The effective reserve has a production capacity of 1,300 MW. Svenska Kraftnät has also come to an agreement with the Swedish power company Vattenfall to start up a 240 MW oil condensation power station.
Crown Estate announces successful wind farm bidders
Times Online, 2010-01-08
The UK's Crown Estate has announced the companies which have won the bidding to build nine new offshore wind farms. These are: SeaGreen Wind Energy, East Anglia Offshore Wind, Eneco New Energy, Centrica Renewable Energy, Moray Offshore Renewables, the consortium Dogger Bank Zone, Eon Climate and Renewables UK, and RWE Npower Renewables. The GBP 75bn (EUR 83.46bn USD 119.51bn) project is intended to generate 25% of the UK's electricity needs by 2020 and will create 70,000 jobs. It will use 6,000 turbines, with most expected to be manufactured in Germany or Denmark. Concerns have been expressed that the National Grid may not be able to handle the inconsistent energy supply from the wind farms, however.
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.