Austria: Energy group Verbund AG has increased it pre-tax profits by 4.8 per cent to $57m in the first half 2000. The strong results were made in spite of competitive pressures in the market from liberalization and a substantial drop in prices.

Germany: East German utility Veag remains reluctant to open its electricity network to other suppliers in spite of a Berlin court ruling ordering it to implement third party access (TPA) rules. The company has been ordered to make its network available to Deutsche Tractebel AG in Berlin for the delivery of power to a Leipzig-based municipal utility.

Germany: German utility RWE, recently merged with VEW, has said that it is implementing an accelerated restructuring programme to streamline the group’s activities in electricity, gas, oil, water and waste. The company is to form eight separate units under a single holding organization to make it more transparent and efficient. The groups will be generation, transmission and trading, distribution, gas, services, lignite and the environment.

Germany: E.ON is planning to close some of its power stations due to overcapacity in the market. The plants will be closed for economic reasons, but E.ON has not said exactly how many will be closed. The company has denied German press reports that said all units with generating costs exceeding DM0.03/kWh ($0.014/kWh) would be closed.

Switzerland: The Goesgen nuclear power station in Switzerland has launched a formal appeal against new safety regulations which it says are excessive. It has lodged an appeal against the main division of the country’s nuclear safety organization, which has demanded modifications to the plant.

UK: The legal framework for the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) are fully in place following the signing of several key documents in mid-August. Documents signalling the end of the current power pool system, including the Balancing and Settlement Code, were signed at an event dubbed ‘Go Active’ by the energy regulator, Ofgem.

UK: The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has expressed concerns to the UK government that the true size, nature and significance of a planned 39-turbine wind farm has been concealed from the public. The project involves the construction of 39 turbines, each 100m in height, on elevated moorland at Cefn Croes in the Cambrian Mountains. CPRW says that a public notice issued by the Renewable Development Co., developers of the project, is misleading.