27 February – 3 March 2023

Europe divided over electricity market reform as proposal nears

Europe is struggling to achieve a comprehensive and effective electricity market reform. The EU Commission has promised a proposal in mid-March, following a short-term public consultation that ended on 13 February. However, there is division among European countries, with Germany and France being the main opposing forces. While southern European countries, with France’s support, advocate for rapid and significant market interventions, the northern countries insist that the market should provide the solutions. Germany’s position is pivotal, with its energy and climate minister stressing the need for incentives for investment in renewables, flexible generation capacity, greater flexibility among electricity users and the production of a large part of electricity on a local basis. A new market design should also ensure low electricity prices and adequate security of supply.

Amongst the disagreements, one point of contention is the proposed introduction of a capacity market, which would allow member states to pay power plants to be on standby during times of high demand. Some argue that the capacity market would distort competition and undermine the EU’s efforts to promote renewable energy. Others argue that it is necessary to ensure energy security and prevent blackouts. Another issue is the desire to delink the electricity price from the gas price, with the opportunities that then open to Russia to apply political pressure. The role for nuclear power also needs to be agreed – of great importance to France.

According to Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck, “Spain has made a very interesting proposal,” to break the deadlocks. Spain’s plan aims to use so-called contracts for difference — long-term agreements that set a price for electricity produced over a fixed period — to set a separate price for renewable power. That could also help boost security for investments, officials said when they presented the proposal.

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers are currently negotiating the details of the electricity market reform, with a decision expected in the coming months.

Second Opinion, Bloomberg

(From Mundus Nordic Green News on Mar 01)

Sweden invited into an EU nuclear power group

TT/Omni/GP informs that France wants to form “a nuclear power alliance” with Sweden and some 10 other EU member states to cooperate closely on safety issues, access to expertise and investments. This according to the French Minister for Energy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who took part in the informal EU meeting of energy and transport ministers, chaired by the Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, Ebba Busch (KD) earlier this week. 

SverigesRadio, Aftonbladet, Msn

Geely and Renault let Saudi Aramco into their powertrain company

Saudi oil giant Aramco has signed a letter of intent to become a potential minority shareholder in a new powertrain technology company, Powertrains, to be established by China’s Geely and Renault Group. The new company will focus on combustion and hybrid powertrain technology. The new company aims to have an annual production capacity of more than five million internal combustion, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines and gearboxes per year.


Danish Everfuel and French Hy24 enter into a JV to accelerate green hydrogen development in Nordic region

Danish hydrogen producer Everfuel and French Hy24, administrator of the world’s largest capital fund for green hydrogen, are entering into a JV to accelerate the development of green hydrogen infrastructure in the Nordic region. With an equity capital of 200 million euro, Everfuel and Hy24 will kick-start the development of electrolysis capacity across the Nordic countries, thereby financing, building, owning and operating up to 1 GW of electrolysis. Everfuel owns 51% of the joint venture and Hy24 49%. The JV’s first asset will be a hydrogen plant in Fredericia, Denmark, HySynergy, which is expected to come into operation with 20 MW of electrolysis capacity in the second quarter of 2023.

Press Release

(From Mundus Nordic Green News on Feb 28)

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