Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Mar 7, 2014

German power utilty EnBW warns of further profit fall in 2014

FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) – EnBW, Germany’s
third-biggest power utility, reported a 5.3 percent drop in
underlying profits on Friday and warned of a similar possible
fall this year as its conventional plants struggle to compete
with subsidised renewable power.

The group said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 2.22 billion
euros ($3.07 billion) in 2013 and could decline further, by up
to 5 percent, in 2014.

Feb 26, 2014

Industry-funded report calls for changes to German energy policy

FRANKFURT, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Germany’s current policy of
rapidly deploying renewable energy should be redesigned to
prevent its industry from losing global market share because of
high power costs, a report by international think-tank IHS
said on Thursday.

The research by IHS, a global research, analysis and
specialist information group, was funded by companies in
Germany’s chemical and oil and gas industries such as BASF
, Bayer and Exxon Mobil and
national business federations.

Feb 19, 2014

Bank exits boost utilities, funds in Europe gas and power trading

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tougher European financial regulations have prompted banks to leave power and gas trading, meaning greater dominance by utilities and trading houses and less appeal for investors.

The global commodities market for banks has shrunk to about $4 billion from as high as $12 billion at the end of the last decade, partly as a result of reflecting stricter restrictions on banks trading with their own money.

Feb 13, 2014

RWE trading unit expects to grow faster outside Europe

ESSEN, Germany Feb 13 (Reuters) – German utility RWE’s
trading subsidiary is seeking to expand in North
American and Asian energy and commodities markets because of
Europe’s slow growth and increased regulation, a senior manager
said.

Within five years, operating profit from overseas activities
will account for 50 percent of RWE Supply & Trading’s overall
result, compared with 15 to 25 percent now, Peter Krembel, head
of global power and gas trading and origination, said in an
interview earlier this week.

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.

    • 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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