Cost negotiation continues over Belene nuclear plant
Atomstroyeksport of Russia is negotiating with the Bulgarian government over the fixed cost increase for the Belene nuclear power plant from EUR 1bn (USD 1.39bn) to EUR 2.5bn. The contract was signed in 2008 for EUR 4bn with a price escalation clause related to the average inflation rate. The Russian state nuclear company indicated, at the end of 2009, that it wanted to extend a EUR 2bn loan to Bulgaria for the project but this was not accepted as Bulgaria is looking for an European investor.
Parliament restricts support for solar energy
Ceske Noviny, 2010-10-29
The lower chamber of the Czech parliament has passed an amendment to the law on support of renewable sources of energy which restricts support for solar energy. The support will be limited to rooftop solar panels with up to 30 kW of output. The sources which are not connected to the grid but used only for the operator's need will not receive any support. The amendment, which is expected to come into force on 1 January 2011 and the restrictions on 1 March 2011, was passed in an accelerated procedure which means that it went only through one reading before being sent to the Senate.
Wind energy sector asks for more subsidies
Vindmølleindustrien, the trade association of the Danish wind energy sector, has proposed that subsidies to offshore wind power should be tripled in Denmark. From the current DKK 0.25 (EUR 0.03 USD 0.05) per kWh that are paid in addition to the market price, the association would like to see an increase to DKK 0.85-0-90 per kWh. The aim would be to secure Denmark's position as a forerunner in the development of offshore-based wind energy.
The proposal is supported by left-wing party SF. Energy Minister Lykke Friis of the Liberal Party (Venstre) has declared offshore wind farms as an important part of Denmark's future energy supplies, and will before the end of 2010 present a plan for the country's energy supplies in the next 40 years.
Dong to phase out power plant units
Danish energy company Dong is to phase out two power plant units due to expectations of reduced electricity consumption and more alternative production, mainly from wind power plants. One of the units is part of coal-fuelled power plant Enstedværket, Aabenraa; the other part of oil-fuelled power plant Stigsnæsværket, Skælskør. Production is scheduled to stop by 1 January 2013.
Eesti Energia targets Pakri as possible location for NPP
In Estonia, Sandor Liive, CEO of the state-run power utility Eesti Energia, says the report of geological studies commissioned by Eesti Energia in 2009 on the Suur-Pakri Island regarding the possible location for the targeted nuclear power plant project, prove that Suur-Pakri would be very good for the location of a nuclear power plant. Mr Liive says Suur Pakri, however, lacks a port, with Olkiluoto in a better position in that sense.
Mr Liive says Eesti Energia will enter a nuclear power plant project only if it is economically feasible. According to Liive, two nuclear power plant projects are being in the initial phases of developmental in Finland and one in Lithuania. Liive, however,is sceptical of the Russian Kaliningrad nuclear power plant plans.
EC produces wind farm guidlelines
Press Release, 2010-10-29
The European Commission has published guidelines which aim to remove the conflict between the development of wind energy and biodiversity conservation in areas protected under Natura 2000. The Commission has states that poorly designed and improperly sited win farms can have a negative effect on habitats and vulnerable species.
Evonik to give up Steag completely in three to five years
Financial Times Deutschland, 2010-11-03
According to information obtained by German daily Financial Times Deutschland (FTD), German Evonik Group is planning to withdraw entirely from the energy business in three to five years' time. Following the imminent sale of an initial 51% stake in its energy division Steag, Evonik also set to sell the remaining stake later on.
How long Evonik will keep the remaining stake in Steag will depend on who will get the initial 51%. The decision is due to be made in mid-December 2010. According to insiders, all five remaining bidders for the 51% stake in Steag have submitted official offers. The five remaining bidders are a consortium of German municipal utilities, German waste disposal group Remondis, Czech EPH, Turkish Park Holding and Hinduja of India.
New draft for CCS law
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-11-05
The German government is preparing a new draft for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) law. The new draft should give the federal states the right to select preferential areas or to forbid storage in certain areas. The initial draft failed because of resistance from the states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, the two states which have former underground gas storage facilities. In both states there is massive resistance from the local people.
Feasibility study for second Borssele power station
NRC Handelsblad, 2010-11-03
Dutch energy company Delta and French competitor EDF are to conduct a feasibility study for a second, larger nuclear power station in Borssele, the Netherlands. Delta operates the existing nuclear power station on the site. Greenpeace has warned EDF's reactors are not safe and that the EPR reactors are untested. Delta states a decision on the kinds of reactor has not been made.
APX-Endex gets approval to connect to other markets
Het Financieele Dagblad, 2010-11-04
The Dutch energy exchange APX-Endex has secured approval from Dutch competition authority NMa to link to the German and Scandinavian exchanges. APX-Endex believes it will be possible to trade with Germany from 9 November 2010 on the day ahead market. The move is expected to increase competition, reduce price fluctuation and lower prices. Dutch electricity producers are not concerned about the additional competition as the market has become bigger.
Acciona to launch two thermal solar power plants
Acciona Energia of Spain is to launch two of the four thermal solar plants that it is currently developing in Spain. The Majadas plant in Caceres is to open in October 2010, and Palma del Rio II plant in November. They each have a unitary power of 50MW and a parabolic cylinders technology. The first plant cost EUR 241mn (USD 336.02mn) to build and the second EUR 230mn. The latter will be completed in 2011 with the Palma del Rio I power plant also at a cost of EUR 230mn. In the long term, Acciona will build another 50MW thermal solar power plant, with storage capacity, in Orellana la Vieja (Badajoz).
Fortum could consider nuclear power investments
According to Finnish power company Fortum's Vice president, Public Affairs, Esa Hyvärinen, Fortum is ready to consider investments in nuclear power in Sweden if nuclear power investments are possible from a political and a legal point of view. Fortum is examining several investment possibilities abroad, but Hyvärinen does not specify whether Sweden is one of the countries being considered. Power group E.ON Sverige in Sweden has said that E.ON will not build new nuclear power plants in Sweden before a comprehensive political agreement has been reached on the building of new nuclear power in Sweden.
Skellefteå Kraft calls for freed power market
Dagens Nyheter, 2010-10-30
Public power companies should have a right to operate freely on the commercial market, chief executive for Skellefteå Kraft has claimed. Gunnar Eikeland said that the stricter regulations put in place for public sales operations were wrong to include energy markets. Eikeland argued that a safe and sustainable energy system were so fundamental to the society's welfare that the public sector should be given right to influence it. He called for the government to instead ensure a possibility for international and Swedish private and public power companies to compete on equal terms.