Press release | 2011-08-09 | 13:00 PM

Energy News Europe - week 31, 2011


Opting out of nuclear energy will mean expensive electricity

Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 2011-07-30
According to a study by the Johannes Kepler University (JKU), Austria should be careful not to immediately opt-out of using nuclear energy, particularly as the only country to do so, which in turn would result in more expensive electricity in Austria. According to the study, Austrian energy minister Niki Berlakovich's proposal for energy self-sufficiency is an unrealistic objective and that Austria should instead aim to increase its level of self-sufficiency, rather than aiming to become completely self-sufficient.

A similar study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) claims that opting out of nuclear energy by 2022, as the German government plans, would also have an impact on coal-fired power plants, increasing the amount of coal used for electricity generation to 50% from 42%, instead of halving it as per climate objectives. The report claims that it would be sensible to build gas power stations which have lower carbon emissions than coal plants for the transition phase.
© Esmerk

Czech Republic

CEZ has highest excess of carbon permits

Prague Daily Monitor, 2011-08-03
Organisation Sandbag says that the Czech energy group CEZ has received too many carbon emission permits from its 70% owner, the Czech government. The company had excess of 4.7mn permits at the end of 2010, the largest figure in Europe. The figure is likely to reach 5.6mn by 2013, with value of EUR 96mn. In comparison, the 10 largest European energy firms were short of 431mn permits. CEZ claims that greatest use of nuclear power and renewable sources are behind the high excess. It is likely that Czech energy firms will receive 53-58% of free permits in 2013 providing they spend money on environment-friendly technology.
© Esmerk


Desertec project could go North - to Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal

Handelsblatt, 2011-08-02
European companies' Desertec project (DII Desertec Industrial Initiative), the planned construction of solarthermal, photovoltaic and wind power stations in North Africa and Middle East, should be extended to South Europe for example to countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, according to CEO Christoph Wolff, the head of German Solar Millennium. The latter firm implements solarthermal power plant projects such as Spain's Andasol 3 project at present. Christoph Wolff has emphasized advantages for companies and South European countries' economic development.

Politicians regard investments in renewable energies as useful to help troubled countries in South Europe. The European Investment Bank (EIB), for example, backs Greece by promoting corresponding projects. However, Desertec advocates show little enthusiasm concerning efforts to push solar projects in southern European countries such as Greece as the Desertec idea could lose ground in terms of attention. According to Paul van Son, Managing Director of DII, conditions such as weather and possible investment regions for green energies are much better in North Africa and Middle East than in Greece.
© Esmerk

EWEA expects wind power production to increase threefold 2010-2020

Teknisk Ukeblad, 2011-08-02
The European wind power association EWEA expects wind power production in the EU countries to increase from 182 TWh in 2010 to 581 TWh in 2020, according to a new report. The wind energy production would correspond to 15.7% of the power consumption in 2020. The wind power investments during the period 2010-2020 are estimated at EUR 194bn (USD 275.13bn). Wind power production in 2030 is forecast at 1154 TWh, or 28% of the European power consumption.
© Esmerk


Launch of first 'simplified' invitation to tender in solar sector

Le Monde, 2011-08-03
On 1 August 2011, the French government launched the first invitation to tender for the photovoltaic sector, under the new 'simplified' system that it has put in place. The invitation to tender encompasses total power of 300MW, of which 120MW will be allocated by April 2012, while the remainder will be allocated on a quarterly basis (30MW) during a 18-month period. The invitation to tender applies to photovoltaic projects for buildings in the 100-250kWp bracket, the equivalent of a roof surface of between 1,000 m2 and 2,500 m2.
© Esmerk


RWE said to examine sale of sales subsidiaries

Financial Times Deutschland, 2011-08-02
A spokesman for RWE would not comment on information obtained by German daily Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) according to which the German energy group examined a sale of Süwag of Frankfurt, VSE of Saarbrücken and Koblenzer Elektrizitätswerk. In 2010, the sales revenues of the power and gas sales subsidiaries added up to around EUR 3.20bn . A person acquainted with the matter confirmed that the sale of Süwag would be an option. RWE is planning to sell stakes worth EUR 8bn in a move to secure the group's financial leeway.
© Esmerk


Some HUF 7.77bn to be spent on energy projects by 2050

Mfor, 2011-08-03
In line with Hungary's national energy strategy which has to be passed by the Parliament, between HUF 6.75tn (EUR 24.81bn) and HUF 7.77bn will be spent on energy investments by 2050. As a result, the country's nuclear and wind energy capacity will increase by 2,000 MW and 440 MW respectively.

In addition, the proportion of Hungary's renewable energy sources will reach 15% and 20% by 2030 and 2050 respectively. In line with plans, some HUF 60bn subsidy per year should be made available for the producers of renewable energy. The strategy aims at increasing energy safety. As a result, electricity imports could be replaced by domestic renewable energy sources, accounting for 13% of the country's electricity consumption.
© Esmerk


New interconnector to raise electricity imports to 25% of peak demands

Irish Examiner, 2011-08-04
The new East-West Interconnector with a capacity of 500 megawatts will boost electricity imports from the UK to Ireland to 25% of peak demands by September 2012 after the cable commences its operations, according to Eirgrid. Electricity imports between the countries are currently being undertaken by another interconnector, namely Moyle Interconnector, at a same capacity. Capacity sales for the new interconnector are scheduled to be started between April 2012 and June 2012.
© Esmerk


NVE has applications for 12 TWh of new hydropower

Nationen, 2011-08-03
The Norwegian water and energy resources directorate NVE has received 60-70 applications to build hydropower stations so far in 2011. 122 applications were received in 2010 and during the peak year of 2007 NVE received a total of 200 applications. 707 applications with a combined production capacity of 12 TWh are being processed and Øystein Grundt of NVE says that there is an increasing interest in power production investments, especially small-scale power.
© Esmerk


Duel fuel offer to be introduced by PGNiG

Wirtualny Nowy Przemysl, 2011-08-03
Polish gas and oil company PGNiG is planning to launch a dual fuel offer, which will introduce the sales of gas together with electricity. The company states that it is too early to reveal any further details related to the offer. Even though currently PGNiG does not produce electricity, the co-operation agreement signed with Tauron related to the exploitation of the newly constructed block in power plant Elektrocieplownia Stalowa Wola in March 2011, will enable it to receive half of the produced energy in the block. In addition, PGNiG is also planning to build its own gas powered energy sources.
© Esmerk


New free prices of electricity and gas on 1 January 2013

Agencia Financeira, 2011-07-29
The Government of Portugal has approved a resolution which will bring the liberalisation of the price of gas and electricity to final consumers on 1 January 2013. The new policies will first hit large consumers with a contracted power of 10.35kVA and 10,000 cubic meters of gas.
© Esmerk


CSN backs continued operations at Asco power plant

El Mundo, 2011-08-01
The Spanish Nuclear Security Council, CSN, has given its approval for the two reactors at the Asco nuclear power plant in Tarragona to continue operating for a further 10 years up to 2021, as they have an adequate level of safety. The CSN's favourable report for a licence renewal has been sent to Spain's Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, who has the final say.
© Esmerk


Report reveals better conditions for offshore wind power

Dagens Nyheter, 2011-08-03
Conditions for offshore wind power production in Sweden are better than earlier believed, a report by Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) and the Swedish Energy Authority (Energimyndigheten) has shown. By compiling data on water depth and seabed conditions new potential areas for offshore wind farms have been identified, especially in the counties of Södermanland and Gävleborg. Eric Birkstein, at the trade assoication Swedish Wind Energy (Svensk Vindenergi), said that with offshore wind farms being significantly more expensive to construct than those on land, a system for subsidies should be established to promote those investments.
© Esmerk

United Kingdom

Economy will not benefit from renewable energy subsidies

Daily Mail, 2011-08-05
Renewable energy subsidies will impose a high cost on the UK economy, with a loss of international competitiveness and net job losses, the Renewable Energy Foundation has reported. The outlook is in stark contrast to the benefits touted by prime minister David Cameron, who has repeatedly claimed some 70,000 'green collar' jobs will be created and economic growth given a boost from subsidies raised from green taxes.

The foundation, which studies the green energy industry, said propping up renewable energy schemes will divert investment from other sectors and make electricity more expensive for households. The foundation said the GBP 5bn (EUR 5.7bn) subsidy for renewable electricity generators between 2002 and 2010 was the equivalent of handing each wind industry worker some GBP 230,000. The foundation said the UK could lose between 10,000 and 30,000 jobs depending on how vigorously the government pushes green taxes.
© Esmerk

National Grid submits business plan to Ofgem

Financial Times, 2011-08-05
National Grid, the operator of the UK's has and electricity distribution networks, has submitted a 2,500-page business plan for the period between 2013 and 2021 to energy regulator Ofgem. The business plan seeks approval for a 40% rise in revenue in real terms from existing levels to fund network investment. National Grid plans to invest GBP 21.90bn (EUR 25.26bn) on the UK's electricity network, while the company's investment in the gas network will reach GBP 8.8bn.

The company said its investment plans would be revised if plans for new offshore wind farms and nuclear power plants are delayed. Ofgem is scheduled to issue a response to National Grid's business plan in October 2011, with a final answer to be provided in December 2012.
© 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.