Christoph's Feed
Jun 27, 2013

Gazprom dealt pricing blow as loses court case to RWE

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) – Russian gas export monopoly
Gazprom’s efforts to keep a link between the price it
sells gas and costlier oil were dealt a blow on Thursday, when a
court ruled it had to include market pricing in the rates it
charged Germany’s RWE.

Gazprom must also reimburse Germany’s second-largest utility
for overpayments it made on gas purchases, RWE said on Thursday,
adding to pressure on the Russian firm from European clients who
say they have lost billions of dollars on long-term supply deals
agreed at higher prices than current market spot rates.

Jun 25, 2013

Bluefield bets on UK solar potential with market debut of fund

FRANKFURT, June 25 (Reuters) – Asset management firm
Bluefield Partners is betting that the solar industry has the
potential to grow in Britain, while taking a beating elsewhere
in Europe, benefiting from favourable laws and a relatively
underdeveloped market.

Bluefield, which specialises in buying and managing energy
and infrastructure assets, plans to list the Bluefield Solar
Income Fund on the London Stock Exchange on July 12
to raise up to 150 million pounds ($231 million) for the
acquisition of solar plants in Britain.

Jun 21, 2013

Germany’s SMA says device to store solar energy can cut bills

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – SMA Solar, Germany’s largest solar company, is launching an battery set that will allow households to store surplus daytime solar energy for use in the evening, cutting energy bills.

German households pay some of the highest prices in Europe for electricity because they pick up much of the cost of subsidizing cleaner energy production.

Jun 12, 2013

Europe must act to make green desert project work-Desertec head

FRANKFURT, June 12 (Reuters) – Europe needs to step up
support for an ambitious plan to import cheap solar and wind
power from African deserts or face a jump in power prices on the
continent over the next few decades, the head of the Desertec
project said.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), a consortium set
up in Germany in 2009, envisages Europe could import up to a
fifth of its electricity from solar and wind parks in North
Africa and the Middle East by 2050, thereby saving 33 billion
euros ($43.8 billion) in costs per year.

May 15, 2013

RWE gas trading improves, sees boost from Gazprom deal

FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) – Reduced losses at its gas
trading business helped RWE to post a
smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly earnings and Germany’s
No.2 utility predicted “significant” benefits from a new deal
with main supplier Gazprom by mid-year.

The group, Europe’s biggest polluter thanks to its extensive
use of lignite, or brown coal, said quarterly earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 3
percent to 3.04 billion euros ($3.95 billion), hit by sluggish
energy prices and falling margins in power generation.

May 10, 2013

The solar paradox: boom, bust or both?

FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) – Planned European levies on
Chinese solar panels will only go some way to halt a rout among
equipment makers who face the paradox of a booming market but
falling revenues – and could suffer even more if a trade war
erupts.

Huge European subsidies for solar power helped create
hundreds of start-ups building solar equipment. Those subsidies
are being phased out faster than expected, while greater
competition within Europe and the United States as well as from
China have pushed down prices and forced panel manufacturers to
the wall.

Apr 26, 2013

Germany’s clean energy drive fails to curb dirty brown coal

FRANKFURT, April 26 (Reuters) – Germany’s green energy drive
is proving surprisingly good for dirty brown coal as utilities
squeezed by rival renewables and low wholesale gas prices use
more of it.

East Germany was a huge user of brown coal, or lignite, and
Germany remains the world’s biggest producer, but its use poses
a problem for Berlin’s environmental plans.

Mar 28, 2013

Allianz, Borealis to buy RWE’s Net4Gas for $2 bln

FRANKFURT, March 28 (Reuters) – German insurer Allianz SE
and a Canadian investor agreed to pay some 1.6 billion
euros ($2 billion) including debt for a Czech gas pipeline
operator, as financial investors flock to such assets in search
of safe returns.

The purchase of RWE AG’s Net4Gas unit is the
latest in a string of acquisitions in the field of power and gas
grids, which are attracting pension funds and insurers due the
promise of steady returns amid low bond yields and volatile
equities.

Mar 27, 2013

SMA Solar’s profit plunges as industry crisis spreads

FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) – SMA Solar’s
profits and dividend more than halved last year, hit by plunging
prices that have led to a wave of insolvencies in the solar
industry.

The world’s largest maker of solar inverters – a key
component in solar installations needed to feed solar power into
the electricity grid – on Wednesday reported a 58-percent drop
in 2012 operating earnings to 102 million euros ($131 million).

Mar 26, 2013

German village offers blueprint for rural green energy

FELDHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – Nations as diverse as North Korea and the United States have sent delegations to visit a tiny village in former East Germany to see how it has transformed the way it uses energy.

A 60-minute drive south of Berlin and home to about 125 people, Feldheim is Germany’s first and only energy self-sufficient village and attracts both international energy experts and politicians.

    • About Christoph

      "I'm responsible for the coverage of German renewable companies, mainly solar, at Reuters News. Previously, I have worked as a correspondent at Thomson Financial News, covering German technology and construction companies."
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