Spain to limit big player influence

A Spanish government White Paper has proposed limiting the power of Endesa and Iberdrola to influence electricity prices.

Under the proposals, the two groups, which control 75 per cent of electricity production, will no longer be able to trade all their electricity freely and each company will only be allowed to provide 22 per cent of Spanish demand. Production above this level could be sold to other operators.

Spain’s top four electricity companies, Endesa, Iberdrola, Union Fenosa and Hidro-cantabrico achieved aggregate profits of in the first half of 2005 of €1.91bn ($1.56bn), up 22.1 per cent on the same period in 2004. The growth has come from stronger electricity prices and increased output.

  • Spain plans to open a national discussion on the future of nuclear energy looking initially at the role of the Nuclear Safety Council.

Eurelectric issues Vienna Declaration

The body representing electricity industries across Europe has set out its vision for the role of electricity in the future of a prosperous Europe, embodied in its Vienna Declaration.

Members of Eurelectric foresee electricity playing a unique and key role in developing an energy efficient, low-carbon, energy-secure and competitive economy.

The declaration emphasises the roles which renewable technologies, nuclear power, clean fossil fuels and distributed and embedded generation can play in supplying low carbon energy.

It promotes the further integration of Eurasian and Mediterranean markets and encourages the growth of competitive markets through closer co-operation.

UK nuclear cleanup costs rise

The UK’s government-backed Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has estimated that it will cost at least à‚£8bn ($14.4bn) more than the previous forecast of à‚£48bn to dismantle and clean up Britain’s civil nuclear power stations. NDA chairman Sir Anthony Cleaver said that the rise in costs was due to a greater understanding of the task and the application of common standards across the sites, rather than the current state of the assets.

The NDA assumed responsibility for cleaning up 20 sites from the Atomic Energy Agency in April. It has recommended that the time scale for decommissioning the 11 Magnox stations be shortened by 25 years to reduce security exposure and retain necessary expertise.

E.ON and RWE in carbon price probe

The German Cartel Office (BKA) has launched an investigation into the emissions trading activities of the two major energy groups E.ON and RWE. Complaints from German industry have accused the two companies of abusing their dominant position as suppliers to major clients on the German electricity market in relation to emissions trading.

RWE and E.ON are accused of having artificially inflated emissions certificate prices on the Leipzig electricity exchange (EEX) and having included these higher exchange prices as a cost element in the calculation of electricity price. Electricity prices have risen 30 per cent on the EEX since the start of 2005.

Framatome orders EPR simulator

The Areva and Siemens joint subsidiary Framatome ANP has placed an order for a full-scale European Pressurized Water Reactor plant simulator with L-3 Communication Mapps.

The simulator will be delivered in 2007 to the privately-owned Finnish electricity utility Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) that has appointed Framatome ANP to construct a third nuclear reactor unit at its Olkiluoto site on Finland’s west coast. The simulator will give TVO’s operators a full year of training before the 1600 MW unit enters service.

In a separate development, the Technical Research Centre of Finland has designed an improved method of treating radioactive resin waste created in the water purification process within nuclear power plants.

The new process, which involves the incineration of the resin prior to storage, not only reduces the volume but also prevents gas generation from the resulting ash material.

REpower secures €26m Portuguese wind order

The Portuguese subsidiary of Germany’s REpower Systems, REpower Portugal, has won an order worth €26m ($31.8m) to supply 13 of its 2 MW MM82 wind turbines to Energi E2 Renovables Ibéricas S.L. and its local partner Eàƒ³lica Sàƒ£o Juliàƒ£o. The turbines are for the Joguinho II wind park in Torres Vendras, to the north of Lisbon, due to be operational in the summer of next year.

The supporting towers are to be produced by Martifer Energia, the joint venture partner and large shareholder at REpower Portugal. Energi E2 Renovables Ibéricas managing director, Nikolaj Harbo, said: “The project is in line with E2’s strategy in the European market and is another step in Energi E2’s expansion on the Iberian Peninsular.”

News digest

Finland: The first shipped component for Finland’s new third nuclear reactor, a 200 t steel part of the reactor containment liner, has been delivered by Rautaruukki Oyj at the Olkiluoto site.

Germany: E.ON plans to invest at least a further €300m ($367m) in extending and modernizing its electricity and gas networks across Germany over the next three years.

Germany: Increased European electricity prices were reflected in RWE’s first-half figures which saw operating profits up 5.3 per cent to €3.4bn ($4.16bn). Net profits rose 5.2 per cent to €1.4bn.

Italy: Endesa will spend €65m ($79m) in 2008 installing desulphurization technology at two units of its 976 MW Monfalcone coal fired plant in the Fruili-Venezia-Guilia region of Italy. The project will capture 70 per cent of the plant’s SO2.

Netherlands: A group of 21 Dutch commercial tomato growers has ordered 17 GE Energy Jenbacher gas fired cogeneration systems to produce power, heating and CO2 fertilization.

Spain: Endesa is to commence the contracting process for its €200m ($245m) ‘New Capacity Plan’ that includes the construction of 20 combined cycle power plants across France, Portugal and Spain over the next five years.

Spain: Gamesa Eàƒ³lica has won a turnkey order worth over €10.5m ($12.8m) to supply and construct a 14 turbine 11.9 MW wind farm for Enel Uniàƒ³n Fenosa Renovables at La Losilla, Albacete Province.

UK: Scottish ministerial consent has been granted allowing Scottish & Southern Energy to proceed with the development of the first large-scale conventional hydropower station in Scotland for 50 years at Glendoe in Inverness-shire.

UK: Carron Energy is to seek permission to build an 800 MW gas fired power station on the River Usk near the Welsh town of Newport, alongside the existing 360 MW Uskmouth power plant.

UK: According to Scottish Power, the higher wholesale electricity prices that it passed on to customers in the spring have slowed down the rate of new customer acquisition in the first quarter.

UK: E.ON UK has returned its 900 MW Killingholme power station in Lincolnshire to full service. The plant, originally mothballed in 2002/2003, is thought to be the first gas fired plant in the UK to have been brought back into operation.

UK: The International Marine Contractors Association has issued a paper to members sharing information and soliciting industry feedback on how it can tap the offshore renewable energy market.

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