Energy strategy to create 100,000 green jobs
Austrian economics and energy minister Reinhold Mitterlehner and the minister of the environment Niki Berlakovich presented their energy strategy for Austria. The latter focusses on the expansion of renewable energies to 34% of the entire energy consumption, the extension of the security of supply as well as the more efficient use of energy. The plan is to generate and invest EUR 100mn (USD 133.47mn) annually in thermal refurbishment and in the creation of green jobs from 2011. There are currently 185,000 green jobs in Austria. The aim is to create another 100,000 jobs by 2020.
Conservatives want to facilitate change of electricity suppliers
Berlingske Tidende, 2010-04-04
Change of electricity suppliers would be facilitated if customers that change to a new company are invoiced only by one company, and not by two, according to the Conservative Party, which would like to see smoother administration. Now customers are invoiced by both the retailer and the owner of the transmission system.
There is already an agreement in the energy sector that could be used to send just one bill, but no company has started using it since bank guarantees are required. Minister for Energy Lykke Friis is willing to change the regulation, provided that significant advantages can be reached. The issue will be discussed between energy spokesmen of the right-wing parties at their first meeting after Easter.
Wind power cluster established
In Estonia, the wind energy producers including Nelja Energia, Estonian Wind Power Association (EWPA), the Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Life Sciences, BLRT, Aseri Tuul, Eesti Energia, Scanweld, Skinest, and other, have pooled forces. The signed agreement establishes a wind power cluster as the participants have common concerns and shared interests in wind power segment that can be tackled by joint solutions.
According to EWPA, the cluster will aim at developing a full solution for small wind power turbines, including the rolling out of the manufacture of components for wind turbines. According to Scanweld, focused in industrial building projects in the power sector, partnership in the power cluster, keeping partners posted on project developments and wind power developments, is a competitive edge.
The cluster's budget for 2010-2012 is EEK 6.80mn (EUR 434,598.10 USD 580,580.18). The cluster seeks cooperation with the strong wind power clusters in Denmark and Spain.
518 new wind turbines in 2009
Le Figaro, 2010-04-06
In 2009, a total of 518 wind turbines were installed in France, making a total of 2,914 units, up from a mere 154 in late 1999. Currently the average power capacity is nearly 2.1 MW, compared to 500 kW in 1999.
EDF CEO wants to divorce from GDF Suez distribution accord
La Tribune, 2010-04-07
Henri Proglio, the CEO of French electricity company EDF, seeks to separate from the distribution partnership it has with French natural gas and energy company GDF Suez. The two groups both own distribution subsidiaries (ErDF for electricity, GrDF for natural gas), with EDF employing 75% of the staff and GDF Suez the remaining 25%.
However, both companies have a 50/50 stake in the distribution companies, meaning that GDF Suez benefits more from the deal than EDF. With the opening of energy and gas markets and GDF Suez becoming a competitor of EDF, the conflict of interests may become even greater. GDF Suez is against the separation of the distribution channels. At the same time, unions are worried that without the ErDF's support, GrDF's 12,000 employees could be at risk.
EnBW intends to expand gas business
Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 2010-04-06
Karlsruhe-based energy group Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) intends to expand gas business and is thereby also betting on gas from Africa or Asia. According to EnBW chairman Hans-Peter Villis, the company has to become more independent from sub-suppliers with the aid of new sources and partners.
Gas business accounts at present for less than 20% of EnBW's overall turnover worth about EUR 15.60bn (USD 20.90bn). Villis stressed that the company sticks to its plans to acquire a just under 48% stake in Leipzig-based gas importer VNG which procures a large part of its gas from Russia. EnBW already today cooperates with the Italian energy group Eni, which conveys natural gas among others in North Africa. EnBW is also interested in the setting up of liquid gas terminals. EnBW might cooperate with its French large shareholder EdF in this area.
Green Gecco, RWE Innogy to invest in renewable energies
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-04-07
To generate electricity and heat in an eco-friendly way, Green Gecco, which has been founded by RWE, Essen, and 26 public utilities based in the German states of NRW and Lower-Saxony, is to spend by 2010 about EUR 1bn (USD 1.34bn) on wind, hydro, solar, geothermal heat and biomass technologies.
The public utilities, which hold - via a firm - a 49% stake in Green Gecco, and the RWE subsidiary RWE Innogy signed the consortium contract on 6 April 2010. RWE Innogy itself is to invest about EUR 1bn a year in renewable energies within the RWE Group. RWE Innogy will offer projects to Green Gecco, which can include latter projects into its portfolio.
Initially, an onshore wind farm in Northern Scotland and a biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Siegen-Wittgenstein, Germany, are scheduled to be set up.
Enel, Endesa and Renault-Nissan sign electric mobility deal
Milano Finanza, 2010-04-09
Italian energy group Enel and its subsidiary, Spanish energy firm Endesa, have signed a cooperation agreement with Renault-Nissan, partnership formed by the French and the Japanese car firms, to develop electric mobility. The program includes studies on the compatibility between electric vehicles produced by Renault and Nissan with Enel's recharging stations. Furthermore, the groups will evaluate the development of pilot projects in some areas of Spain, Italy and America, as well as study the complete battery life cycle, the various recharging technologies and other related services, and the possible use of batteries as storage for renewable energies in the second part of their life.
Green energy projects could fall through
De Telegraaf, 2010-04-08
Energy experts believe that environmentally friendly energy projects in the Netherlands are in danger of falling though as a result of the recession and increasing competition. Energy provider Essent, a subsidiary of RWE, is preparing to temporarily halt production at its loss-making Cuijk biomass facility, following the withdrawal of state support for the site in 2009.
Other energy companies, such as Shell and Delta, have also decided to hone down renewable energy projects. Meanwhile, the Ministry for Economic Affairs aims to reduce subsidies for green energy production. The Minister in charge, Maria van der Hoeven, recently explained that the current subsidy system was too expensive and that it made businesses idle.
PGE announces plans to create 8,000 MW energy capacities
Gazeta Wyborcza, 2010-04-08
Polish energy group, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), has announced its plans to create new energy capacities of 8,000 MW by 2020, including a 2,000 MW wind energy capacity and two nuclear power plants with a 3,000 MW capacity each. By this time, PGE is also supposed to switch off old capacities of 2,300 MW.
Among projects planned by PGE is: the construction of a 900 MW power block in Belchatow by April 2011; the construction of a 460 MW power block at the Elektrownia Turow power plant by 2016; the construction of two coal power blocks each with a 900 MW capacity at the Elektrownia Opole power plant by 2015-16; and the construction of two 432 MW gas power blocks at the Zespol Elektrowni Dolna Odra by 2015. PGE is also considering the construction of a 1,600 MW coal power station in Lublin but no final decisions regarding this matter have been made yet.
Government reveals plans to boost use of electric cars to 2014
El Pais (Spain), 2010-04-07
The Spanish government has revealed that in order encourage the use of electric cars in the country, it will be offering grants of up to EUR 6,000 (USD 8,040.29) or 20% of the total price per vehicle, it will be setting up around 300,000 recharging points (263,000 in private fleet car parks, 62,000 in domestic residences, 12,000 in public car parks and 6,200 on public roads), and it will be offering cheaper electricity prices at night so cars can recharged.
However, the government has set the less than ambitious target of having 1% of the vehicle fleet in the country being electric by 2014. In 2011, 20,000 fully electric or plug-in hybrids cars will have be on the road, in 2012 this must rise to 50,000 and in 2014 the target is 250,000. This is well short of the 1mn initially proposed by the government, although this is still achievable, according to the government, if 750,000 hybrid vehicles (with electric and petrol engines) are sold.
However, although this technology is the most consolidated, in Spain there are only around 3,000 of these cars registered a year. In 2010 so far, only five fully electric cars have been registered. The cost of the plan will be EUR 590mn in the first two years, of which EUR 240mn will be in grants to the user and EUR 140mn in grants to industry.
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