Senior Power Correspondent
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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.

Aug 6, 2013

German utilities attack green squeeze on profits, hint at leaving

FRANKFURT, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Germany utilities are heaping
pressure on the government before September polls to soften
green policies that are hurting their profits, with one company
hinting it could even move gas or coal plants to countries where
it can still make money.

Germany’s 550 billion euro ($728 billion) plan to upgrade
and diversify its energy system, following a decision to abandon
nuclear power, has brought about a boom in wind and solar power.

Jul 12, 2013

Offshore wind sector at the mercy of subsidy whims

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 12 (Reuters) – Bremerhaven, the
bleak, windswept home to high unemployment and the remnants of a
once-mighty shipping industry, is striving to reinvent itself as
an offshore wind hub.

It seems logical for the north German port to redeploy
skills common to building ships and giant turbines, but success
depends on guarantees of the green subsidies that are stoking
fierce debate across Europe.

Jun 27, 2013

Gazprom dealt pricing blow as loses court case to RWE

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) – Russian gas export monopoly
Gazprom’s efforts to keep a link between the price it
sells gas and costlier oil were dealt a blow on Thursday, when a
court ruled it had to include market pricing in the rates it
charged Germany’s RWE.

Gazprom must also reimburse Germany’s second-largest utility
for overpayments it made on gas purchases, RWE said on Thursday,
adding to pressure on the Russian firm from European clients who
say they have lost billions of dollars on long-term supply deals
agreed at higher prices than current market spot rates.

    • 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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