Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
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.

Oct 9, 2013

Europe’s power markets set to link up in search for best price

FRANKFURT/OSLO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – National power markets
across Europe will next month begin pooling electricity for
millions of consumers across 15 countries, creating the first
step towards a common market for nearly three quarters of
Europe’s demand.

Because the markets used to be isolated, the lack of links
between neighbouring countries makes it difficult to tackle
situations of over or undersupply, which if properly handled,
could lead to lower energy prices for industry.

Oct 2, 2013

Germany overtakes Britain as Europe’s biggest gas user

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Britain has lost its
long-standing position as Europe’s leading gas consumer to
Germany, and the shift could threaten the UK’s ranking as the
continent’s biggest gas trading hub.

Britain’s natural gas demand has plunged 22 percent over two
years due to a weak economy and because cheap coal imports have
made coal more profitable for generating electricity than gas.

Sep 27, 2013

Gas trading volumes rising at Dutch hub, down at UK hub-report

FRANKFURT, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Wholesale gas and gas futures
trading volumes are rising in the Netherlands and falling in
Britain, a sign that Dutch hub TTF is drawing financial traders
away from its bigger British rival, a study said on Friday.

“Activity at the (British) National Balancing Point (NBP)
has reduced and may continue to reduce further,” said Nigel
Harris, co-author of the report which was issued by UK
consultancy Prospex.

Sep 27, 2013

German utilities urge market reform for renewables sector

FRANKFURT, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Operators of future renewable
power units in Germany should sell their output directly to end
the spiralling costs of subsidies to consumers, utility industry
group BDEW proposed on Friday.

BDEW, which normally supports the interests of thermal power
plants that compete with renewables, is trying to shape
Germany’s energy debate as Chancellor Angela Merkel gears up for
talks on a new coalition government after her victory in last
Sunday’s election left her short of a majority.

Sep 26, 2013

Vattenfall’s retreat from Europe fraught with pitfalls

FRANKFURT, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Swedish utility Vattenfall
faces a lengthy battle to extricate itself from a
costly and ill-timed expansion across Europe, with sluggish
demand for power and uncertainty over energy policies putting
off buyers and depressing asset prices.

Scandinavia’s biggest utility spent around 22 billion euros
($30 billion) on acquisitions over the past 15 years, trying to
catch up with bigger rivals such as Germany’s E.ON
and France’s EDF.

Sep 26, 2013

Merkel looks left to rescue Germany’s energy revolution

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s best
hope of saving her bold energy revolution may lie in a coalition
with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who could agree to
modest cuts to costly incentives for green power which are,
paradoxically, driving up energy prices.

The German chancellor’s experiment to wean Europe’s biggest
economy off nuclear and fossil fuels and push it into renewables
is at risk because generous subsidies have proved so popular
with investors in green power that the country is straining
under the cost.

Sep 11, 2013

German cartel chief maps out power market reform after election

MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s power market needs a quick jolt to become competitive again after September’s national elections, the country’s cartel office chief said on Wednesday, proposing a reformed marketing and funding system for renewables.

Energy policy has long been on hold ahead of the polls while the rapid growth of subsidized green power has undermined prices of conventional power and triggered plant closures, leaving the sector in urgent need of consolidation.

Aug 28, 2013

Ballooning costs threaten Merkel’s bold energy overhaul

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s “green revolution” risks becoming a victim of its own success.

Seduced by generous subsidies, Germans are embracing the ambitious project with such fervor – installing solar panels on church roofs and converting sewage into heat – that instead of benefiting from a rise in green energy, they are straining under the subsidies’ cost and from surcharges.

    • 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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