Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Jan 21, 2013

German energy leaders grapple with switch to renewables

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The challenges of shifting to
renewable energy, such as costs, regulation, financing, and poor
reliability, will loom large for Germany’s energy leaders this
week when they meet to discuss the country’s boldest
infrastructure project since reunification.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision, after Japan’s Fukushima
disaster two years ago, to abandon nuclear energy and switch to
more renewable sources like wind and solar power, is being
watched the world over as a possible model for others to follow.

Dec 13, 2012

BASF may seek to sell off gas pipelines

FRANKFURT, Dec 13 (Reuters) – As Germany’s BASF SE
switches focus to the control of natural gas
resources, it could have at least one major cash-raising
disposal in its sights: its majority stake in gas pipeline grid

Selling its 50.1 percent stake in a business which
transports gas over some 2,200 kilometres of pipeline, mainly
from eastern German to the west of the country, could raise some
2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) for BASF to invest in buying
more gas reserves, some analysts say.

Dec 11, 2012

German energy agency says higher tariffs needed for grid upgrade

FRANKFURT, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s energy agency has
called on the government to allow power grid companies to raise
tariffs to provide a greater incentive for the billions of euros
of infrastructure investment needed to support the shift to
renewable energy.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year prompted
Germany to switch off large parts of its nuclear generation
capacity and speed moves towards greater reliance on green
energy, with 35 percent of the country’s power to be derived
from renewables by 2020.

Nov 29, 2012

Germany legislates to help prevent power blackouts

FRANKFURT, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Germany passed legislation
designed in part to help prevent blackouts as the country moves
towards relying on renewable energy and out of nuclear power.

Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked
on a costly retreat from nuclear and an expansion of green power
sources such as solar and wind, but this is placing strains on
the grid because such renewable sources are intermittent.

Nov 27, 2012

German power grids less stable, report warns

FRANKFURT, Nov 27 (Reuters) – German power networks needed
nearly three times the intervention of technicians last year as
in 2010, a cartel office report showed, highlighting the strain
on the grid ahead of the 2012/2013 winter.

Compared with a year earlier, the number of threats to the
normal running of the network in 2011 rose to 4,548 hours from
1,403 hours in the previous year, said the report on Tuesday,
which the authority issued jointly with the network regulator.

Nov 14, 2012

Energy trading unit lifts outlook for RWE

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s No.2 utility RWE (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) gave a more optimistic outlook for 2012 earnings after halving losses at its energy trading unit by renegotiating gas price contracts.

Gas contracts have been a major problem for European utilities which agreed long-term deals with companies such as Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) and Statoil (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) when prices were high, having to sell to retail customers at lower tariffs.

Nov 14, 2012

BASF, Gazprom agree on natural gas asset swap

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BASF will grant Russian gas company Gazprom full control of their jointly run European gas trading and storage activities to gain more access to Siberian gas fields.

“Through the swap, BASF aims to further expand its production of oil and gas and to exit the gas trading and storage business,” German chemicals group BASF said in a statement on Wednesday. It declined to provide a deal value.

Nov 14, 2012

Trading, savings trigger RWE outlook hike

FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s No.2 utility RWE
raised its outlook for 2012 core earnings, helped by
cost cuts, disposals and an improved performance at its energy
trading unit.

RWE said on Wednesday its capital expenditure was down by 1
billion euros ($1.27 billion) in the first nine months of 2012,
while the recent sale of assets, including its stake in British
nuclear joint venture Horizon, has gained momentum.

Nov 13, 2012

E.ON warns of weaker power demand in Europe

FRANKFURT, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s No.1 utility E.ON
warned of weakening power demand in Europe and
signalled it may have to close plants and step up saving efforts
after cutting its outlook for next year.

“In most European markets, the gross margin for gas-fired
units is approaching zero or is indeed already negative. One
factor is that the demand for electricity remains very low,”
Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said on Tuesday after the
company published financial results.

Nov 8, 2012

Dutch gas super store banks on better times ahead

AMSTERDAM/FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A giant new Dutch gas
storage facility will collide with a weak European gas market,
hit by low demand as the continent battles its economic ills.

But it will enhance the market’s flexibility and efficiency
beyond the gas market’s short term horizon of up to 2015,
traders and analysts said.

    • 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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