In the media: Nuclear waste fund, Vattenfall, E.ON's split
"We need a fund"
Jörg Sommer, chairman of the German Environment Foundation, says more money is needed to treat nuclear waste in Germany. In an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau, Sommer says provisions made by the utilities will not be enough to cover the costs of nuclear decommissioning, but rejected the idea that power plant owners might hand over responsibility to the state. Sommer suggests that utilities transfer their provisions into a state-run fund.
"We expect fairness"
The state premiers of Brandenburg and Saxony, Dietmar Woidke and Stanislaw Tillich, are in Sweden to discuss Vattenfall’s future in the east German lignite industry in Lusatia. Having spoken to the Swedish economy minister, they were to meet with Vattenfall's management on Friday. Woidke told RBB Inforadio that as Vattenfall had earned “good money” in Lusatia for many years, the region could expect the company to act fairly and cooperatively when it comes to the possible sale of its lignite operations. Woidke told RBB Inforadio that the Swedish government, which owns the utility, was looking at the option of selling its conventional power stations and mining operations, but no decision had yet been made.
Listen to the radio programme in German here.
“German utilities: E.ON and E.OUT”
In an article looking at E.ON’s decision to split in two, the Economist says the plan makes sense, and that the spin-off company comprised of the German utility’s nuclear and fossil fuel operations should not necessarily be seen as a “bad bank” utility. Analysts have noted, the article says, that it will be debt-free and have funds to cover the nuclear exit, and that Germany still needs non-renewable power sources in the mix. Along with other utilities, E.ON is also lobbying for capacity markets and suing the German government over the nuclear phase-out. The main company, meanwhile, will be able to focus on the new, decentralised energy landscape, making use of data and smart metering to “help a Bavarian farmer, say, store excess solar power in the battery of his electric BMW and sell it back to the grid when prices are high, or switch on the washing machine at night when power prices are low.”
See the article in English here.
"E.ON turns from predator to prey in radical spin-off"
E.ON's move to spin off its conventional power generation could turn the utility into a take-target, write Christoph Steitz, Arno Schuetze and Anjuli Davies on Reuters. The group's regulated gas and power distribution assets are certain to grab investors' attention, they write, citing banking and industry sources.
Read the article here.
Klimaretter.info / Norwegian Government
“Half a coal exit”
Experts have advised the largest Norwegian pension fund (worth 860 billion US dollars) to stop investing in activities that are “particularly harmful to the climate,” Klimaretter.info reports. However, this does not mean the fund will stop investing in coal as they do not consider it to be “generally unethical,” the head of the expert group explained at a press conference. Environmentalists had hoped for a general exit from all coal mining and power generation businesses, which would have meant the state fund pulling out its investment in German utility RWE, the article says.
See expert group's report in English here.
See the article in German here.