Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Jun 12, 2013

Amprion plans Germany’s first direct current power line by 2019

BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) – Network operator Amprion aims to
seek planning permission this year for Germany’s first direct
current power line, which could carry electricity long distances
without losing much of it, and begin using the link by 2019, a
board member said.

The project, named Ultranet, will initially transport power
from the western German industrial heartland to the country’s
southwest, helping to meet a need created by Germany’s policy of
phasing out nuclear power stations by 2022.

Jun 12, 2013

Merkel vows to rein in renewable subsidies

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised on Wednesday to scale back Germany’s generous system of subsidies to the renewables sector if she is re-elected in September, a move that would reduce the costs of her green revolution on consumers.

Merkel’s policy to wean Europe’s biggest power market off fossil fuels and to embrace renewables has led to a boom in green energy sources, but ballooning costs have led to calls for cuts to feed-in tariffs and for industry to pay more.

Jun 5, 2013

EU heat metering rules open new markets for Germany’s Ista

FRANKFURT, June 5 (Reuters) – New EU regulations imposing
individualised charges for heating in apartment buildings are a
boon for meter specialist Ista, which hopes to build
on its strong presence in Germany to win European market share.

German apartment dwellers have long taken for granted they
will be billed only for the heat they actually use, determined
by accurate meter readings. Yet elsewhere across the continent,
landlords usually charge flat fees for heating, based on surface
area or family size.

Jun 3, 2013

How energy efficiency firms are eating utilities’ lunch

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – With better insulation, triple glazing and frugal boilers, new houses can cut energy use by up to 90 percent, which is good news for consumers but bad for utilities that vie with energy services firms for their efficiency euros.

An unstoppable efficiency drive spurred by EU regulations and national targets poses a dilemma for utilities.

Jun 2, 2013

Analysis: How energy efficiency firms are eating utilities’ lunch

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – With better insulation, triple glazing and frugal boilers, new houses can cut energy use by up to 90 percent, which is good news for consumers but bad for utilities that vie with energy services firms for their efficiency euros.

An unstoppable efficiency drive spurred by EU regulations and national targets poses a dilemma for utilities.

May 27, 2013

Germany’s Vaillant sees growing sales of energy-efficient boilers

FRANKFURT, May 27 (Reuters) – Germany’s Vaillant sees sales
rising two to three percent this year as it wins market share in
crisis-hit Europe, while demand for energy-efficient heating
systems that cut fuel bills also grows in emerging economies.

The 140-year old company is a household name in Europe for
products such as condensing boilers, which extract heat from
otherwise wasted flue gases; for heat pumps, which draw heat
from external air and the ground; and for solar collectors that
combine heating and hot water supply.

May 24, 2013

Germany must curb runaway retail prices for sake of green power -IEA

FRANKFURT, May 24 (Reuters) – Germany must rein in runaway
retail prices for electricity or risk a consumer backlash that
could undermine support for a massive shift toward green energy,
the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

The Western world’s energy watchdog pointed to weaknesses in
Germany’s effort to move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel
energy towards a low-carbon economy, a move that was accelerated
by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to exit nuclear
power altogether.

May 21, 2013

Analysis: German households pay for lower industrial power prices

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German households are paying for ever cheaper wholesale power supplies to industry as the government uses money from soaring domestic bills to subsidize renewable energy, in turn creating overcapacity on the country’s grid.

Chancellor Angela Merkel accelerated the exit from nuclear in 2011, speeding the path towards a power sector that is increasingly dominated by renewables in a move that has been criticized as costly, hasty and damaging.

May 15, 2013

RWE gas trading improves, sees boost from Gazprom deal

FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) – Reduced losses at its gas
trading business helped RWE to post a
smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly earnings and Germany’s
No.2 utility predicted “significant” benefits from a new deal
with main supplier Gazprom by mid-year.

The group, Europe’s biggest polluter thanks to its extensive
use of lignite, or brown coal, said quarterly earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 3
percent to 3.04 billion euros ($3.95 billion), hit by sluggish
energy prices and falling margins in power generation.

Apr 26, 2013

Germany’s clean energy drive fails to curb dirty brown coal

FRANKFURT, April 26 (Reuters) – Germany’s green energy drive
is proving surprisingly good for dirty brown coal as utilities
squeezed by rival renewables and low wholesale gas prices use
more of it.

East Germany was a huge user of brown coal, or lignite, and
Germany remains the world’s biggest producer, but its use poses
a problem for Berlin’s environmental plans.

    • 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."
    • Follow Vera