Around the Globe: Europe

Nordex builds world’s most northerly wind park

The most northerly windpark in the world is to be established between now and October with the construction of 16 N80 wind power plants by the German group Nordex each with a nominal output capacity of 2.5 MW.

The contract is worth C40m and has been awarded by Arctic Netherlands energy company Nuon and the Norwegian power sector consultancy Norsk Milijoekraft.

The Havoygavlen windpark will be sited at Masoy, about 100 km from the North Pole and one of the best wind sites in Europe with an average wind-speed of over 9 m/s. The 40 MW windpark will be able to produce 120 GWh of electricity annually.

  • The German wind industry increased sales by 22 per cent from last year, with 2079 new wind turbines built last year

Italy plans October 2002 launch for power market exchange

Italy’s power bourse is set to be launched in October this year, a delay of 22 months after its initial start date, said a senior industry ministry official.

The wholesale market was initially scheduled to start in January 2001, but was delayed for a number technical and administrative reasons. In January, the body due to manage the bourse, GME, handed the market’s detailed rules to the industry minister for final approval, seen as a clear step towards a launch.

Carlo Bollino, an adviser to the Ministry said the government’s goal was to launch the bourse before the start of the new year so new electricity imports will be decided under market rules. He notes: “It is necessary that the bourse starts well in advance of the start of 2003 so imports can be dealt with in a market fashion rather that in an administrative way.”

Bollino hopes that the bourse’s software will be ready this month and is keen to set up a trial trading day before officially launching.

ETSO starts European transmission fee unification

European electricity grid operators will launch a system of cross-border transmission tariffs starting this month, said officials of the European Transmission System Operators (ETSO).

The one snag that is taking the gloss away is Austria and Switzerland’s unreadiness to join the launch. In an ETSO statement an official said that the temporary cross border tariff system will start on March 1 even if not in Austria and Switzerland.

The scheme was initially planned for January but complications involving the two countries and Italy lead to a postponement for this month’s launch. Switzerland, whose membership is key because of the amount of electricity that flows across its borders, needs to sign a bilateral deal on allocation of grid capacity with Italy’s energy regulator.

European parliament sets emission cuts

An agreement has been reached within the European Parliament on a new directive to reduce NOx limit values for large solid fuel power plants from 650 mg/Nm3 to 200 mg/Nm3.

The new set limit applies for both new and existing plants from 2016 and is set to be a crucial benchmark in the forthcoming negotiations with Eastern European candidate countries hoping to enter the EU. However, by way of concession, existing plants may be exempt from obligations concerning new emissions standards if they do not operate the plant for 20 000 operational hours between January 2008 and December 2010.

UK debates new nuclear energy technology

The UK government was urged to make a quick decision on whether to approve a new generation of nuclear power stations after a warning from MPs that renewable energy could be too costly.

Martin O’Neill, Labour chairman of the committee, said it was essential that there was no further delay in a decision on nuclear power. He added: “The government should make a clear statement on the future of nuclear energy as quickly as possible.”

The government has already made public its intention of meeting a ten per cent renewable energy target as a proportion of energy supply from its entire consumption. But the forthcoming energy review expects to recommend double that by 2010.

But reports say that meeting even the lower target will hinder the government’s purse.

News digest

Germany: Foster Wheeler’s Finland-based subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, has been awarded a $70m contract to supply a 20 MW turnkey biomass-fired plant, a 20 MW CFB unit and a 44 MW CFB boiler plant for MVV Energie, Prokon Nord Energiesysteme and RWE respectively. The projects are scheduled to be completed by 2003.

Germany: Plug Power and partner Vaillant announced that they have installed the first CE (European Conformity) certified proton exchange membrane fuel heating appliance in Europe. The unit, which produces 4 kW of electricity and 9 kW of heat, was installed in a multi-family home in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Italy: Enel will complete the planned sale of three power generating companies by year-end, without making use of the government’s extension. Franco Tato, CEO of Enel said the company’s generation fell below 50 per cent last year and by 2005 it is expected to to be left with 30-35 per cent.

The Netherlands: GE Power systems has won a contract to supply a $18m, GE MS6001FA (Frame 6FA) gas turbine generator for a yet-to-be-built cogeneration plant in the Netherlands. The plant will be located in the Maasvlakte industrial area of the Rotterdam harbour by Lurgi Energie und Entsorgung from Germany.

Spain: ABB has announced that its Utilities division has signed a $4.24m contract with Spain’s Endesa to provide IT management for its power installations and operation centres. The system is designed to help Endesa make optimal use of its power generation resources. It is to be installed in Madrid and become operational by year-end.

UK: Scottish Power submitted plans to the Scottish executive for a $213m wind farm in Scotland. Around 140 turbines are expected to generate 240 MW by 2003. The plan is the first stage of the company’s plans to install 500 MW of wind power over the next few years.

UK: Ofgem has outlined new energy targets that were set under the new Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC). Virginia Graham, director, EEC, said: “The EEC forms an important part of the climate change programme and the fuel poverty strategy.” The targets apply to companies which have more than 15 000 customers and will apply from this April.

UK: Foster Wheeler has secured an engineering, procurement and construction management contract from Immingham CHP for a 730 MW combined heat and power plant, the largest built in the UK with a total cost of $300m.

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