FRANKFURT, March 18 (Reuters) – Eastern German gas
distributor VNG, part-owned by Russia’s Gazprom
which has long sought a greater share of Europe’s gas
retail market, said on Monday it acquired gas retailing company
Gazprom, which has a 10.52 percent stake in VNG, inched
closer to its target of better access to lucrative nearby
European markets when it bought small retailer Envacom in late
2011 after failing to link up with RWE.
FRANKFURT, March 14 (Reuters) – Weak demand and generating
losses have forced Norwegian power firm Statkraft to
shut down another German gas plant, the company said on
The move is more bad news for gas-fired generation, once
feted for its relatively low carbon dioxide emissions but now
struggling in a market heavily distorted by subsidies for
renewables plants. Other utilities face the same problem.
DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 13 (Reuters) – German utility
E.ON said it expected demand for electricity and gas
in its core European region to be so weak in 2013 that it might
have to mothball some of its most modern power stations.
Power demand in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and energy
market, fell 1.4 percent in 2012 to 552.3 billion kilowatt hours
(kWh), according to industry data.
FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) – Power grid charge exemptions
which saved big industry in Germany 300 million euros ($390
million) last year were ruled unlawful by a German court on
The European Commission separately said it would investigate
the exemptions, which were granted to big companies in sectors
such as metals, chemicals, glass, cement and building materials.
ESSEN, Germany, March 5 (Reuters) – The modernisation of
German utility group RWE’s brown-coal-fired power
plants makes it unlikely that Europe’s biggest carbon dioxide
emitter will this year repeat its 179.8 million-tonne CO2 output
in 2012, RWE said on Tuesday.
RWE’s huge demand for CO2 certificates factors in the EU’s
mandatory carbon trading scheme (ETS), which requires that power
generators cover their output with emissions allowances.
FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) – Germany’s plan to curb rising
energy costs for consumers before a September election may
backfire if it scares off the investors desperately needed to
fund an ambitious shift from nuclear to renewable energy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 550-billion euro ($714 billion)
energy shift, dubbed “Energiewende”, was unveiled nearly two
years ago after Japan’s Fukushima disaster and depends on the
financial firepower of pension funds, infrastructure investors
and utilities, including the likes of Allianz, Munich
Re, E.ON and RWE.
FRANKFURT, March 1 (Reuters) – German local utility group
VKU on Friday proposed reforms to make the power market more
competitive to integrate the rising share of renewable power at
reasonable cost and safeguard steady supply.
Wholesale power prices are teetering near eight-year lows
due to weak demand and overcapacity in Europe’s biggest power
market of 517 terawatt hours (TWh) a year, partly caused by an
unhindered renewables expansion.
FRANKFURT/LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Germany’s wholesale
power market is teetering as long-term prices trade near
eight-year lows and September elections dim hopes for any speedy
reform of renewable subsidies blamed for overcapacity and weak
Successive German governments have paid out generous
subsidies to develop wind, solar and biomass power generation
capacity. This has guaranteed producers fixed prices and given
green power priority access on transmission grids.
ESSEN, Germany, Feb 5 (Reuters) – German utility group
Trianel said its new coal-fired power station at Luenen will be
loss-making for years and urged policymakers to come up with
remedies for a skewed energy market.
Luenen, planned around five years ago by the 29 local
utilities and regional energy firms who together form Trianel,
is a victim of German policy to favour low-carbon generation
with subsidies which have driven down the price of electricity
from other sources.
ESSEN, Germany, Feb 4 (Reuters) – German Environment
Minister Peter Altmaier on Monday reaffirmed his intention to
limit power price rises for consumers ahead of September general
elections and pledged to look for multi-party backing for his
latest reform plan.
“Power prices need to be kept at a level you can calculate
and rely on,” he said at a conference in Essen. “The way the
system works now cannot continue and politicians have to meet
their responsibilities to change it.”