Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Feb 12, 2014

Austria burdened by Germany’s shift to green power

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) – Weather-driven surges of German solar and wind power may lead to higher costs for Austria as its grid is forced to take measures to avoid breaking down, a Austrian energy regulator said, calling for a region-wide solution to excess flows.

Martin Graf, who shares leadership of the Vienna-based E-Control authority with Walter Boltz, said Austria already must deal with a constant unwanted supply of 2,000 megawatts of power from northern Germany that flows into its grid via Poland and the Czech Republic, he said.

Feb 6, 2014

Unleash German shale to halt gas output decline, industry pleads

FRANKFURT, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Germany’s gas industry says it
needs shale to halt a sharp decline in domestic output, but
behind its pleas lies private acknowledgement that environmental
and political opposition is just too strong.

Frustration is compounded by Germany’s lead in fracking
technology, which it has been quietly using for over 50 years.

Jan 21, 2014

German power sector troubles trigger big and ‘bad’ ideas

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Big problems are prompting big
ideas about reforming Germany’s utility sector ranging from a
super-merger among players in the “big four” to creating a “bad”
utility to take over loss-making plants.

The business model for German utilities has crumbled over
the last three years, rocked by the country’s decision to drop
nuclear energy by 2022, record-low wholesale power prices and a
boom in solar and wind power capacity that is pushing coal and
gas plants off the grid.

Jan 21, 2014

Germany’s industrial base at risk if green energy shift fails

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Germany risks undermining its
industrial base if it fails to undertake radical reform of
incentives for the country’s renewable energy sector, its new
economy minister said on Tuesday in a clear signal of his
support for industry.

German firms had to stay competitive, Sigmar Gabriel said a
day before he outlines planned changes to a renewable energy law
to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, which sources say will
involve deep cuts in green energy support.

Jan 20, 2014

German energy leaders look to Gabriel for change

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s energy sector gets its first major speech from new economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel this week with utilities and households both hoping he can ease the cost burden imposed on them by Berlin’s push for greener energy.

Germany is undergoing Europe’s deepest energy transformation as it exits nuclear, renewables surge and cheap coal plays havoc with plans to switch to cleaner natural gas.

Jan 19, 2014

Toy train town takes back grid in German power shift

FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) – The southern German town of
Goeppingen, set in the Alpine foothills, is a magnet for
tourists and famous for being the home of toy train maker
Maerklin.

For activists in the German “Rekommunalisierung” movement
that wants to take local electricity networks away from the big
utilities and put them back in public hands, picturesque
Goeppingen now has another reason to be proud.

Jan 9, 2014

Europe’s storms send power prices plummeting to negative

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – North Europe’s
devastating storms sent wind turbines spinning and helped
strengthen a new winter phenomenon for the region – negative
electricity prices.

Damaging for utilities losing money making electricity,
delighting traders who cash in on price swings, they will not,
however, mean cheap power for households.

Dec 3, 2013

German public rejects TenneT’s bid for wind power funding

FRANKFURT, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Power grid operator TenneT
has failed to persuade Germans to fund a wind power
line along the North Sea coast, the company said on Friday,
raising a fraction of the targeted cash in a campaign that cost
it millions.

TenneT signed up just 142 people for a total 833,000 euros
($1,100,000) of shares, having hoped to raise up to 40 million
euros, or 15 percent of its total investment budget for a 150-km
(90-mile) north-to-south line in Schleswig-Holstein state.

Nov 19, 2013

Berlin defiant as court refers nuclear fuel tax to EU

FRANKFURT, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Germany defended its nuclear
fuel tax on Tuesday after a Hamburg court referred a complaint
by power companies RWE and E.ON to the
highest EU court.

The Hamburg Financial Court said it doubted whether the levy
was compatible with European law, strengthening the hand of the
utilities who say they have paid 3 billion euros ($4 billion)
since the tax was introduced in 2011.

Nov 8, 2013

China, U.S. green spending falling far short, says Germany’s IWR

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Top emitters China and the United States are underspending on carbon-free technology relative to their level of emissions, according to a spending model devised by German research institute IWR.

The private institute, which advises German ministries on ways to curb climate-harming carbon output, has suggested countries be given an annual spending target on renewables relative to their fossil fuels consumption.

    • 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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