Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Oct 28, 2015

In a world awash with oil, inland Europe runs dry with the Rhine

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Oct 28 (Reuters) – While the world
grapples with overflowing oil, Europe is struggling to refill
its inland tanks as a result of a decidedly old world problem
that could torpedo any recovery in oil prices – lack of rain.

Stubbornly low water levels WL-KAUB are disrupting barge
traffic on the Rhine, threatening car drivers in Switzerland and
oil producing behemoths such as Saudi Arabia alike as the supply
backlog runs down storage tanks inland, but swamps coastal oil
terminals with unwanted petrol and other chfuels.

Oct 10, 2015

Germany says firms set aside enough nuclear decommissioning funds

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Operators of German nuclear power plants have set aside enough funds to pay for decommissioning the country’s reactors, the Economy Ministry said on Saturday, even though stress tests showed the potential cost could far exceed their provisions.

Germany’s four nuclear companies whose shares have tumbled on uncertainty around the size of provisions made for their reactors’ afterlife, said the report showed they were fully able to shoulder the cost of the nuclear exit.

Oct 2, 2015

More flexible Russia improves winter gas outlook for eastern Europe

PRAGUE/FRANKFURT, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Optimism over talks to
secure gas transit via Ukraine, low market prices and healthy
storage levels have raised hopes that central and southeastern
European countries reliant on Russian deliveries will make it
through the winter without disruption.

Amid a global gas glut, Russia – which relies heavily on
revenue from exports to Europe – will want to show it is a
reliable supplier in a buyers’ market, analysts say.

Sep 29, 2015

Shell and UK’s First Utility target German retail power market

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Shell, a brand well known to car owners throughout Germany, has expanded a partnership to provide households with gas and electricity in Europe’s biggest retail market.

The oil major’s supply and trading arm Shell Energy Europe and First Utility, a UK-based independent energy provider, on Wednesday unveiled Shell Privatenergie, a new household energy supplier that pools their energy sourcing and marketing powers.

Sep 17, 2015

Investors shun German utilities on nuclear clean-up uncertainty

FRANKFURT, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Investors are dumping shares
in Germany’s utilities, worried that the struggling firms might
need to raise more capital to pay for the shutdown of their
nuclear reactors, a plan that some estimates say could cost up
to 70 billion euros ($79 billion).

Concerns over the level of nuclear provisions sent shares in
E.ON and RWE into a fresh tailspin earlier
this week, even prompting a government denial that described as
“irresponsible” any speculation about further funding needs.

Sep 15, 2015

Germany denies nuclear operators face 30 bln euro shortfall

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The German government
came to the support of utilities on Tuesday, refuting a media
report of a provisioning shortfall of up to 30 billion euros
($34 billion) which had sent shares in the companies tumbling.

Spiegel Online reported a potential shortfall in
provisioning for nuclear waste storage late on Monday citing the
findings of a law firm appointed by the economy ministry.

Sep 8, 2015

Bavaria says Germany must curb renewable energy costs

MUNICH, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The German state of Bavaria will
press the federal government to reduce supports for renewable
energy, a high-ranking local policymaker said on Tuesday,
calling the cost of green power a threat to economic growth.

“We have to step on the brakes of electricity costs.
Germany’s energy transition must not become a decisive
disadvantage and a risk to our welfare,” said Ilse Aigner,
deputy prime minister of the south-western German state and
minister for energy.

Sep 4, 2015

Gazprom seals big gas deals in Europe despite Ukraine crisis

FRANKFURT/MILAN (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) has bolstered its industrial presence in the heart of Europe with two major gas deals that were announced on Friday despite ongoing tensions with Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The first of the deals, an asset swap with German chemicals group BASF (BASFn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) that gives Russia greater access to gas trading and storage in Germany, was a surprise as the companies had abandoned it only nine months ago, citing a “difficult political environment”.

Sep 4, 2015

Gazprom cements gas ties with European partners

FRANKFURT/MILAN, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom
increased its industrial muscle in the heart of Europe
on Friday, bulking up through deals on asset swaps and more
pipeline capacity with energy companies keen to get back to
business as usual.

Gazprom secured access to western European gas storage as
well as a deal with industry partners to double the capacity of
the Nord Stream pipeline to deliver gas to Europe bypassing
Ukraine, with which Russia is in a protracted conflict.

Sep 2, 2015

EEX to launch wind power contract in early 2016

FRANKFURT, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The European Energy Exchange
(EEX) will launch a wind power futures contract in the first
quarter of 2016, it said on Wednesday, allowing customers to
hedge risks and speculate on an increasingly important part of
the electricity market.

The contract could help both wind and conventional power
plants cope with the unpredictability of wind production over
the course of a given month, Tobias Paulun, EEX board member in
charge of strategy, said at a press conference.

    • About Vera

      "I report on German power and gas markets in liaison with a team of other specialists in European bureaus. I am based in Frankfurt and previously covered commodities out of Hamburg and London. My aim is to identify market and industry trends and to produce high quality copy which is accessible to expert subscribers as well as to energy and business audiences, and to help shape our energy products."
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