Alstom sees investment in Europe’s power sector flat-lining

Philippe Cochet, President of Alstom (Euronext:à‚ ALO)Thermal Power and Executive VP, Alstom told the POWER-GEN 2013 conference in Vienna that investment in the European power sector is flatlining and that the US shale gas revolution has also had a negative impact.

“The abundance of shale gas in North America has prompted a shift away from coal towards gas generation, but it has only prompted very little opportunities for new-build,” he said.à‚ The order volume for new power plants contracted by 8 per cent between 2011 and 2012, as fossil plants take the hit from rising market penetration of wind power and solar photovoltaic.
Philippe Cochet
“Only China enjoyed significant growth in 2012, while all other regional market declined, Europe alone took a 7 per cent market downturn due to a sluggish economy and low energy prices,” he said.

The Gas to Power Journal reports that the Alstom president highlighted the rising divergence of US and European gas prices, the drop in coal prices in Europe and the collapse of carbon prices under the EU emissions trading system.

“Who would have imagined two years ago that Germany’s carbon emissions are increasing again and that Turkey has passed legislation to help investment in [domestic] lignite coal?

Policy makers need to take swift action.” he urged.

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