ABB, Areva, CEZ, Europe, General Electric, Middle East & Africa, RWE, Siemens, Vattenfall

EUROPE

Issue 10 and Volume 18.

Head of German Energy Agency wants cap on solar expansion

Stephan Kohler, chairman of German energy agency DENA, has warned that a surge in solar power threatens disaster for Germany’s ageing power grid.

Experts forecast that between 8 GW and 10 GW of solar power capacity will be installed this year – the equivalent of about ten large coal fired power plants. In 2009, some 4 GW were installed.

“The network is facing congestion due to solar power,” Kohler told the Berliner Zeitung. “That’s why the expansion of solar power has to be cut back quickly and drastically.”

Current trends would lead to Germany having nearly 50 GW of solar by 2013. But Kohler called for a 1 GW annual cap on new solar panels.

“Then we could reach the manageable benchmark of 30 GW in 2020,” he said.

Bulgaria puts €7bn tag on Belene plant and extends Atomstroyexport contract

Bulgaria has put a maximum price tag of €7bn ($9.7bn) on the Belene nuclear power plant while extending for a second time its contract with Atomstroyexport by six months.

According to World Nuclear News, Borisov expects no readjustment of Rosatom’s €4bn investment offer from last year, allowing him to receive offers for the rest of the foreign investment share for constructing Belene’s two 1 GW VVERs.

The National Electricity Company (NEK) will take a 20–30 per cent stake. Once Borisov gets an answer from Russia he can invite long-awaited strategic European investors to join the project and replace RWE.

Borisov’s overall aim is to cut the €7bn price tag, including inflation, by about €700–800m.

CEZ postpones tender for supplying two new Temelin reactors until 2011

CEZ, the Czech Republic’s largest power producer, has delayed the process of choosing a supplier for two additional reactors at the Temelin nuclear power plant until 2011.

CEZ was to submit documents to Westinghouse, Areva and a Russian-Czech group led by Atomstroyexport this month, but will now do so in 2011.

Bidders had requested more time to prepare documentation, said industry and trade minister Martin Kocourek. Temelin remains a “key project” for CEZ, which wants all bidders in the tender, said the firm. But construction may be delayed for years, Hospodarske Noviny reported, citing unidentified CEZ executives.

E.ON shuts door on plans for UK carbon capture demo at Kingsnorth

E.ON will not proceed further in a UK government carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition.

Its Kingsnorth project was one of two schemes shortlisted in the contest to build the UK’s first commercial CCS scheme. The firm said the market was still not conducive to building the 1600 MW supercritical power station.

Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: “We will now be concentrating our efforts on our Maasvlakte project in the Netherlands as we believe the lessons from that project can be brought back to the UK for future generation CCS projects. We would obviously also wish Scottish Power well as they look to develop their own project at Longannet.”

The current Kingsnorth power station is due to close by the end of 2015 at the latest under the European Union’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.

Qatar state firms pull out of 1 GW Greek project

Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Electricty and Water have pulled out of a €3.5bn ($4.9bn) energy project in Greece.

The two state-owned companies were no longer interested in the project, a Greek government official said, according to the Financial Times.

The 1 GW complex at Astakos in western Greece would have exported electricity by submarine cable to Italy but faced disagreements among its investors and delays in obtaining permits, they said.

The Qatari firms together hold a 34 per cent stake in the project. Rosebud Energy, a German renewables specialist, and S&K Sal, the investment arm of Consolidated Construction Company, each hold 33 per cent.

UK identifies eight sites for nuclear power plants

The UK government has identified eight sites for nuclear power stations while ruling out another three.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said Dungeness in Kent and Braystones and Kirksanton in Cumbria were unsuited for environmental reasons.

The possible locations are: Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool, Borough of Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk; and Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey.

•••

France: Borolex has commissioned three wind farms in France with a total combined capacity of 50 MW at Ronchois, Le Grand Camp and Chasse-Marée.

Germany: Siemens has been awarded a contract to deliver 80 wind turbines of the SWT-3.6-120 type for the DanTysk offshore wind power plant located in the North Sea. Vattenfall will build and operate the wind power plant. Once the plant is commissioned in the winter of 2013–2014, DanTysk will have a capacity of 288 MW.

Italy: RWE Innogy Italia is to build an 18.7 MW biomass cogeneration plant in Sicily in a joint venture with Fri-El Green Power. Local eucalyptus trees will supply fuel for the plant, which is due to be commissioned in 2012.

Poland: E.ON has opened a €100m ($139m) wind farm near Poznan in Wielkopolska province. The Nekla plant has a capacity of 52.5 MW, comprised of 21 wind turbines supplied by GE.

Switzerland: Voith Hydro has been awarded a €32m ($44m) contract to overhaul 13 hydro generators for Swiss utility Kraftwerke Hinterrhein. The work is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

Turkey: OMV has started construction of its 870 MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in the Black Sea province of Samsun. OMV is investing €600m ($833m) in the plant, which will employ GE 9FB gas turbines.

Turkey: Norway’s state-owned Statkraft has inaugurated a 20 MW hydropower plant in the southern city of Adana, its first project in Turkey. Statkraft is investing around $600m in three Turkish hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 600 MW.

UK: ABB has won an order from National Grid to provide a market management system to help balance power supply and demand. The Network Manage Market Management System will replace National Grid’s current system for managing the UK’s total electricity demand of 55 GW.

UK: Plans for a £30bn ($48m) tidal power plant in the Severn estuary have been scrapped. The Severn Barrage project was intended to generate 8.6 GW, about 5 per cent of UK energy demand.

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