Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Nov 27, 2012

German power grids less stable, report warns

FRANKFURT, Nov 27 (Reuters) – German power networks needed
nearly three times the intervention of technicians last year as
in 2010, a cartel office report showed, highlighting the strain
on the grid ahead of the 2012/2013 winter.

Compared with a year earlier, the number of threats to the
normal running of the network in 2011 rose to 4,548 hours from
1,403 hours in the previous year, said the report on Tuesday,
which the authority issued jointly with the network regulator.

Nov 14, 2012

Energy trading unit lifts outlook for RWE

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s No.2 utility RWE (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) gave a more optimistic outlook for 2012 earnings after halving losses at its energy trading unit by renegotiating gas price contracts.

Gas contracts have been a major problem for European utilities which agreed long-term deals with companies such as Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) and Statoil (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) when prices were high, having to sell to retail customers at lower tariffs.

Nov 14, 2012

BASF, Gazprom agree on natural gas asset swap

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BASF will grant Russian gas company Gazprom full control of their jointly run European gas trading and storage activities to gain more access to Siberian gas fields.

“Through the swap, BASF aims to further expand its production of oil and gas and to exit the gas trading and storage business,” German chemicals group BASF said in a statement on Wednesday. It declined to provide a deal value.

Nov 14, 2012

Trading, savings trigger RWE outlook hike

FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s No.2 utility RWE
raised its outlook for 2012 core earnings, helped by
cost cuts, disposals and an improved performance at its energy
trading unit.

RWE said on Wednesday its capital expenditure was down by 1
billion euros ($1.27 billion) in the first nine months of 2012,
while the recent sale of assets, including its stake in British
nuclear joint venture Horizon, has gained momentum.

Nov 13, 2012

E.ON warns of weaker power demand in Europe

FRANKFURT, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s No.1 utility E.ON
warned of weakening power demand in Europe and
signalled it may have to close plants and step up saving efforts
after cutting its outlook for next year.

“In most European markets, the gross margin for gas-fired
units is approaching zero or is indeed already negative. One
factor is that the demand for electricity remains very low,”
Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said on Tuesday after the
company published financial results.

Nov 8, 2012

Dutch gas super store banks on better times ahead

AMSTERDAM/FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A giant new Dutch gas
storage facility will collide with a weak European gas market,
hit by low demand as the continent battles its economic ills.

But it will enhance the market’s flexibility and efficiency
beyond the gas market’s short term horizon of up to 2015,
traders and analysts said.

Oct 29, 2012

EU energy rules to curb OTC trade, boost exchanges-consultant

FRANKFURT, Oct 29 (Reuters) – EU rules to toughen laws
against market abuses in gas and power trading are likely to
drive operators to exchanges and away from the bigger
over-the-counter markets (OTC), energy and financial consultancy
Baringa said on Monday.

“The intention of the new rules is to shrink the OTC market
and make it more transparent and accountable,” said Susanne
Funke, head of regulatory affairs at the consultancy, on the
sidelines of a conference.

Oct 5, 2012

Analysis: Cold, calm and cloudy may mean power cuts for Western Europe

FRANKFURT/PARIS (Reuters) – Western Europe faces a potential electricity supply crisis this winter as France and Belgium struggle with their ageing reactors and after Germany took out a big chunk of its nuclear capacity.

Tight power supply may spark local blackouts in the event of a severe cold spell and could also trigger price spikes at a time industry, bruised by the economic slowdown, badly needs to save energy costs.

Oct 5, 2012

Cold, calm and cloudy may mean power cuts for Western Europe

FRANKFURT/PARIS (Reuters) – Western Europe faces a potential electricity supply crisis this winter as France and Belgium struggle with their ageing reactors and after Germany took out a big chunk of its nuclear capacity.

Tight power supply may spark local blackouts in the event of a severe cold spell and could also trigger price spikes at a time industry, bruised by the economic slowdown, badly needs to save energy costs.

Aug 14, 2012

RWE recovery lags peer E.ON partly due to gas deals

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Profit growth at RWE (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) lagged that of its main peer E.ON (EONGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), reflecting a slower adjustment by Germany’s No.2 utility to the country’s exit from nuclear power and underlining the group’s need to renegotiate expensive gas contracts.

RWE said on Tuesday its core earnings (EBITDA) rose 9 percent year-on-year to 5.04 billion euros ($6.23 billion) compared with E.ON’s 55 percent increase posted on Monday.

    • 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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