EnBW remains majority shareholder in EVN
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 2010-10-20
German energy supplier EnBW will remain the majority shareholder in Austrian energy supplier EVN, despite initial plans to reduce its stake from 35.72% to 9.74%. This is due to the low bids which, according to EnBW, do not correspond with the inner value of EVN. However, a stake reduction is still possible at a later time.
Essent suspends Ghent power plant project
Essent, a Dutch electricity producer, has said that it has suspended its EUR 400mn (USD 558.06mn) project to build a 400 MW gas power plant in Ghent. The company said that the economic climate in Belgium is not sufficiently attractive. The prolongation of the life of nuclear plants may hurt gas power plants. According to L'Echo, Essent may decide to acquire assets from Nuon in Belgium.
CEZ to reduce investment to CZK 333bn
CEZ, a Czech majority state-owned power utility, will reduce investments in the next five years from planned CZK 425bn (EUR 17.35bn USD 24.20bn) to CZK 333bn.
Director General Martin Roman insists that this is a pre-emptive measure and should not be seen as reflection of company's problems. He claims that savings will be made to prevent the problems which could occur in the next three years. Roman has also said that although suppliers have requested postponement of building of two new blocks of the nuclear power plant in Temelin, they will be eventually completed because growth in electricity consumption will be lower than earlier projected, and nuclear power is the most efficient way of generating electricity without emissions despite costs of CZK 100bn for each new block.
Electricity exchange posted sales up
In Estonia, the transmission grid operator, Elering, claims that the amounts of electricity bought on electricity exchange have trebled from 133 GWh in April to 393 GWh in September 2010. In September, the amount of electricity bought on the electricity exchange accounted for 38% of Estonia's domestic demand. The high demand from Latvia and Lithuania and low supply due to relative isolation of the Estonian price area, is a constant threat to force up electricity prices acquired in the Estonian price area of Nord Pool Spot (NPS). Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of Elering, says the building of additional electricity production plants in the Baltic region would help to diversify risks and relieve price pressure.
Another option is the opening of the Latvian and Lithuanian price area of NPS. Estonia opened electricity market to competition in April 2010. Nearly 40% of the electricity acquired in the Estonian price area of NPS has been exported to Latvia and Lithuania. The average electricity price of the six months in the Estlink price area is EUR 38.21/MWh, ranging from the lowest EUR 34.81/MWh in May to the highest at EUR 56.6/MWh in August. Electricity trade via Estlink 1 between Estonia and Finland has levelled out due to contraction in the price difference.
Fortum's CEO comments company's plans abroad
Helsingin Sanomat, 2010-10-22
According to Finnish power company Fortum's CEO Tapio Kuula, the company is examining the possibility of utilising its know-how in the Asian market. Fortum would enter the market in the same way as it entered the Russian market, in other words, it would acquire existing companies. Fortum's good balance sheet makes this possible. According to Kuula, the company will not enter the Asian market "for a few years yet" but it is looking at the situation.
It would be natural for Fortum to utilise its special know-how in the cogeneration of electricity and heat, in particular, Kuula says. The power plants could use renewable fuels and possibly waste. Fortum's operations in Russia are not yet showing a profit but its loss has decreased. In January-September 2010, Fortum sold electricity and heat to the value of EUR 550mn in Russia. Operating loss totalled EUR 9mn, compared to a loss of EUR 28mn in the corresponding period in 2009. Fortum is now hoping for results from new production in Russia. The first facilities will start up in 2011 and the last in 2014. According to Kuula, new production will bring a better price than the old.
Subsidies pushing installation of photovoltaic facilities
Germany's Renewable Energies Law and related subsidies result in a booming demand for green energy technologies, mainly in the field of solar energy. Experts estimate newly installed photovoltaic facilities to clearly exceed 8,000 MW in 2010. Originally, increase in photovoltaic capacity was scheduled to amount to not more than 2,000 MW a year. Additional subsidies are expected to add up to approx. EUR 9bn (USD 12.56bn) in 2010, and to rise to EUR 13bn in 2011. Germany's Federal Cartel Office calls for a change to a free market system in the field of power generation from renewable energy sources.
Eon, Peugeot in power grid, electric car research project
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2010-10-19
After having cooperated with Audi and BMW in research into electric cars, German energy group Eon is launching another electric car pilot project in cooperation with Peugeot. With the trial with 60 electric Peugeot iOn cars in Stuhr and Weyhe, Eon will study intelligent networks through which electricity is stored in car batteries and released as demand varies.
More companies join Desertec project
More companies are joining the Desertec project. Among the new entrants are chemical company BASF, car producer Audi, and solar companies SMA Solar and Conergy. Also research organisations such as Max-Plank-Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have joined the project. Meanwhile the DII network comprises 18 members and 32 associated partners. The Desertec project is for the evaluation of the feasibility of solar and wind power production in Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Latvia needs to construct nuclear power plant
Dienas Bizness, 2010-10-22
Latvia needs to construct a nuclear power plant, in order to diminish its dependence on external energy sources, evaluate analysts of Diena daily. The country is currently able to generate only one third of the needed energy, and the energy consumption in expected to grow in the future.
Latvia's power transmission system operator, Augstsprieguma Tikls, forecasts electricity consumption to increase with an annual rate of 2% to 3%, reaching 7,300 GWh in 2010 and 9,040 GWh in 2020. In the current moment, Latvia is importing around 50% of energy from the CIS. The experts point out that Latvia's neighbours, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Russia, are seriously working on nuclear energy projects.
Large compensation to landowners risks rise in hydro power costs
Dagens Næringsliv, 2010-10-16
A ruling in the Supreme Court of Norway in September risks raising the costs for hydro power investments warns lawyer Dag Horberg Hansen in lawyer firm Grette. The ruling gives much higher economic compensation to landowners when their waterfalls are used for hydro power production, which in turn will increase costs for construction companies. As a consequence the power prices can also rise. The new evaluation made by the court gives the landowners compensation based on the commercial development of each waterfall, instead of a sum for the total land.
Treasury eliminates EDF Energy from negotiations to buy Enea
French EDF Energy is no longer in the running for the purchase of a 51% stake in the Polish state-owned energy company Enea with a value of around PLN 5bn (EUR 1.26bn USD 1.73bn), according to information gained by the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita. This leaves two contenders – Polish Kulczyk Investments and French-based GDF Suez. The Treasury Ministry will announce the winner on 28 October, and completion of the sale is scheduled before the end of the year.
Energias de Portugal to complete development of two wind farms
Ziarul Financiar, 2010-10-20
The energy group Energias de Portugal will complete the construction of two wind farms on the Romanian market in November 2010. The investment in the projects reached EUR 400mn (USD 559.04mn). The wind farms are located in Dobrogea region, at Pestera and Cernavoda, and have a combined capacity of 228 MW. The wind turbines for the project were supplied by Vestas.
Statkraft acquires E.ON's stake in Baltic Cable
Svenska Dagbladet, 2010-10-20
Statkraft in Norway has acquired E.ON's 33.3% stake in the Swedish company Baltic Cable. Following the deal, Statkraft will become sole owner of the company, which operates a HVDC power link Trelleborg in Sweden and Lübeck in Germany.
Government gives go-ahead for new nuclear power stations
Telegraph (UK), 2010-10-18
Energy secretary Chris Huhne has given the go-ahead for eight new nuclear power stations in the UK, despite concerns about clean-up costs and safety. The Lib Dem minister had previously been opposed to nuclear power. However, it has approved new power plants, as a way of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The minister announced plans to build 44,000 wind turbines around the coast, and to encourage households to put up solar panels, to generate more green energy. The government is also planning to invest in developing new carbon capture and storage technology, to enable the use of coal to generate electricity, without too much pollution.
The new nuclear plants will be built near existing sites in Bradwell in Essex, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Sellafield in Cumbria, Sizewell in Suffolk, Wylfa in Anglesey, Heysham in Lancashire, Oldbury in South Gloucestershire and Hartlepool, also in Lancashire. The new plants would not start generating electricity until 2018; however, so existing plants would have to have their lives extended also.
E.ON exits CCS competition
Construction News, 2010-10-20
E.ON has opted not to continue with the next phase of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition, after deciding that the market was not amenable to the development at its Kingsnorth site of a 1,600MW coal-fired power plant. The Kent facility was one of two vying for funding worth in excess of GBP 1bn (EUR 1.14bn USD 1.57bn) from the government to install CCS technology. It is hoped that CCS could reduce power station emissions by up to 90%. E.ON UK's chief executive Paul Golby said that the current economic conditions have hit the project's feasibility, hence the decision to pull out of the CCS competition.