Press release | 2010-04-06 | 16:15 PM

Energy News Europe - week 13, 2010


Water protection measures to affect hydroelectric output

Die Presse, 2010-03-30
New water protection measures to be introduced in Austria will reduce annual hydroelectric power output in the country by 1.5% per year. There are around 3,000 hydroelectric power stations in Austria. The new rules would limit the amount of river water they would be allowed to use. Costs are expected to amount to EUR 270mn (USD 362.41mn), with EUR 56mn of this to come from public coffers.
© Esmerk


Constitutional Court rejects appeal on EUR 250mn nuclear tax

Le Soir de Bruxelles, 2010-03-30
On 30 March 2010, the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal filed by SPE, EDF and Electrabel against the imposition in 2008 of a EUR 250mn (USD 335.57mn) charge on nuclear power producers. Electrabel, which produces 90% of Belgium's nuclear power, had to pay most of the tax. The court said that the charge was not excessive and did not create financial difficulties for the producers.
© Esmerk


Tentative price of free-market energy for the first day, 2010-03-31
Nordic electricity exchange Nord Pool Spot (NPS) published the tentative energy price for the first day-ahead auction of the newly opened Estlink price area. The market, to open on April 1, will trade electricity at EUR 38.78/MWh. The comparative day-ahead price in NPS Finnish price area is EUR 44.89/MWh and the average for the whole NPS area, EUR 44.94/MWh. In Estonia, Narva power plants, generate energy for the closed market at EUR 30/MWH. As of 1 April, more than 200 enterprises in Estonia are committed to start buying electricity from the open market. The free market energy prices differ widely over the peak hours in the morning and in night hours. The electricity market in the Finnish price area averaged at EUR 71/MWH in January of the 1st quarter 2010, whereas the average 1st quarter price in Lithuania was EUR 41/MWh.
© Esmerk


Households could save energy with demand response

Energiauutiset, 2010-03-30
Finnish consultancy Pöyry has developed ideas for new types of business models for energy saving. The aim is to reduce emissions with demand response where smart devices control all electricity consumption in a household. Demand response would benefit also companies, energy companies, and the climate. According to energy consultant Ossi Porri, demand response offers great potential in sustainable energy economics, but it has not been much advertised. Remotely readable meters alone will not change the way households consume energy. Consumers must also react to changing electricity prices and must be able to see the changes in their electricity bills. Various parties are developing software and services for utilising demand response and for monitoring and controlling consumption. Consumers' flexible energy consumption and reduction of consumption has to be voluntary, otherwise it will be opposed. Consultants estimate that the investment costs of a home automation system will be covered in a year or two as electricity consumption falls when demand response increases.
© Esmerk


EDF and Exeltium finalize agreement

L'Usine Nouvelle, 2010-03-26
The French energy group EDF and Exeltium, a consortium of businesses which use lots of electricity, have finalised an electricity supply agreement. From 1 May 2010, the initial deliveries of electricity to around 100 French industrial sites should begin. The agreement is for 13TWh per year for 24 years at a rate of EUR 42 (USD 56.48) per MWh. The companies are to finance investment in EDF's nuclear energy capacity through banking loans (reportedly from Société Générale, Calyon, Natixis and BNP Paribas). Exeltium was founded by Solvay, Air Liquide, ArcelorMittal, Arkema, Rio-Tinto-Alcan and Rhodia.
© Esmerk

Inquiry rejects EDF proposal for dismantling of Brennilis nuclear site

Le Monde, 2010-03-30
Following a public inquiry, EDF's proposal for the dismantling of its Brennilis nuclear power plant has been unanimously rejected. The handling of the site in Finistère is a test case, expected to set a precedent for the dismantling of further French nuclear sites.
© Esmerk

Prototype of a fourth-generation nuclear reactor to be built in Marcoule

Midi Libre, 2010-03-31
The nuclear energy authority CEA has announced that starting in 2020, a prototype of a fourth-generation 'Astrid' nuclear reactor will be built in Marcoule (Gard). The project could create hundreds of jobs. The 'Astrid' reactor will supersede the EPR model, and will be produced from 2040 onwards.
© Esmerk


Installed solar power capacity reaches 730MW in 2009

Il Sole 24 Ore, 2010-03-26
Italy ranked second world-wide in terms of installed solar power capacity with 730MW in 2009, after Germany with 3,000MW and before the US and Spain. The number of companies active in the sector exceeded 700 units, up by over 12% on 2008. Italian companies tend to specialise in the distribution and installation of photovoltaic power, accounting for about 28% of the sector's overall ebitda, in line with 2008. Whereas foreign companies tend to control solar power component production. According to the national power management agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), the accumulated solar power capacity should reach 2,500MW in 2010 from 1,140MW in 2009, while the 8GW target by 2015 could be exceeded.
© Esmerk

Iren will be created on 1 July 2010 and serve three regions

Il Sole 24 Ore, 2010-03-30
Iren, the group that will result from the merger between Italian utilities Iride and Enia, will be created on 1 July 2010. The group will serve clients in the regions of Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Piemonte, and will have over 80 municipalities as control shareholders. It customers portfolio will be of over 2.3mn people in the environmental and hydro segment, and of 1.7mn customers in the energy segment. The firm will also own a 30% stake in Plurigas, Italian natural gas supply company, a 15% stake in Delmi, holding which also controls energy group Edison, and a 10% in Italian electricity producer Edipower. Iren will work in the renewables, electricity, hydropower, remote heating and gas sectors, and private investors will only hold a maximum 5% stake in it. Its capitalisation will be of over EUR 1.80bn (USD 2.42bn), while the turnover will be between EUR 3.5bn and EUR 4bn. Every Enia share will be swapped with 4.2 Iride shares. The CEO of the new company will be Roberto Garbati, currently Iride's CEO, while the Chairman will be Roberto Bazzano, also Chairman of Iride, and the General Director and Vice-Chairman will be Andrea Viero and Andrea Allodi, currently Enia's CEO and Chairman respectively.
© Esmerk


Interim Minister wants renewable energy shake-up

De Volkskrant, 2010-03-30
Acting Minister for Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven believes that Dutch government subsidies for renewable energy should be abandoned. She explained that these structures cost billions of euros and that they render businesses idle. The SDE scheme was the foremost instrument of the previous coalition cabinet for realising its 2020 climate objectives. According to van der Hoeven, who previously supported the SDE scheme, wind and bio-energy projects should continue to benefit from government support for four more years. Meanwhile, subsidies for solar energy should be cancelled. Furthermore, she wants to withdraw from Dutch government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% of 1990 levels by 2020.
© Esmerk


Poland and Japan seal a deal on civil use of nuclear power

The Japan Times, 2010-04-01
Poland and Japan have sealed a deal to forge cooperation regarding civil use of nuclear power. This is the first time Japan has sealed such a deal with a country from Eastern Europe. Officials from the Japanese government said that in 2020, Poland hopes to begin operations of its first nuclear plant. With the deal, firms from Japan hope to obtain orders to build nuclear reactors in Poland.
© Esmerk


Energy efficiency deemed main criteria to assess economic modernization

Kommersant, 2010-04-02
According to a list of orders given by Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, energy efficiency will be the key criteria for assessing the level of the country's economic modernization. Most orders are aimed at the modernization of the fuel and energy industry. The main task of the innovative policy is to reduce the dependence of the country on the export of hydrocarbons. To achieve some results in this sphere, the authorities will provide tax and other benefits. Among the moves for the fuel and energy sector's innovative development are said to be the accelerated depreciation of energy-efficient equipment and referring the expenses for the introduction of the state-of-the-art oil extraction technologies to the manufacturing costs. Strict design, building, and maintenance regulation standards for fuel and energy facilities must be liberalized. The government is to develop measures for stimulating the production of highly efficient energy equipment, including combined cycle gas turbines, coal-fired power units with supercritical steam conditions, furnace and boiler gas heat recovery units. Among the orders by Dmitry Medvedev are also to promote the switch of the power generation to the combined cycle, the development of coal processing into synthetic fuel technologies, and the use of renewable energy. To boost the installation of energy measuring devices and upgrade district heating systems are also mentioned among the moves aimed to enhance the energy efficiency of the public utility sector.
© Esmerk


Government to subsidise electric vehicles

Cinco Dias, 2010-03-31
The Spanish Government is to offer subsidies of up to a possible EUR 7,000 per car to buyers of new electric vehicles. The Government plans to invest a total of EUR 590mn (USD 791.93mn) in subsidies for the purchase of 250,000 electric cars up to 2014, of which 2,000 are expected to be on the road in 2010. The Government is also looking into introducing a specific electricity tariff for electric vehicles.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

Horizon to announce new nuclear plant at Wylfa in Anglesey

Times Online, 2010-03-30
Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture between German energy companies RWE and Eon, is to formally announce that the UK's first new nuclear power station will be built at Wylfa, on the north coast of Anglesey in North Wales. The 232-hectare site was selected over a smaller site also owned by Horizon at Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire, which the company plans to develop at a later date. Around 90-95% of the population of Anglesey is in favour of the new nuclear plant, which will replace an existing Magnox plant due to close in 2010. The Magnox plant employs around 700 people, making it the biggest private sector employer on the island, which is one of the UK's poorest counties. The new nuclear plant will permanently employ around 1,000 people, and will create 3,000 jobs during construction.
© Esmerk

Confusion over new Government energy efficiency scheme

Independent, 2010-03-31
According to a survey of UK companies by energy supplier NPower, many are confused about the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme, which is set to start on 1 April 2010. Half of the companies surveyed claim that they do not understand how to purchase carbon allowances, which are required under the scheme, while 44% do not know how to calculate carbon emissions forecasts. There is also confusion over which companies are expected to join the CRC scheme. It is thought that around 5,000 business with electricity consumption of more than 6,000 MWh per half-hour will be forced to submit annual carbon emissions audits and purchase carbon permits for the following year. A further 25,000 businesses may be required to register, but may not have to comply fully with the scheme. Companies have six months from 1 April 2010 to register.
© 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.