Regulation & Policy

The new UK energy minister, Charles Hendry, has criticised proposals and time-schedules of the European Commission's (EC) energy infrastructure plan as "overly prescriptive".

A rise in gas-to-power generation would be a bet on the failure of U.K. energy policies under the Electricity Market Reform that favour renewables and nuclear energy, Pierre Noel, senior researcher at the Energy Policy Forum at the University of Cambridge said today. Calling for a level playing field for all power generation technologies, Noel opposed the introduction of subsidies for capital-intensive technologies that infringe on the role of gas in the European energy mix.

Investments in energy is "a high priority" for the Singapore government, Stephen Hill, senior trade & investment officer at the British High Commission told Gas-to-Power Journal today. Singapore's power stations mainly use imported natural gas, as "the city-state has no domestic oil and gas resources and limited opportunities for renewable energy generation in comparison to other countries," he said.

Enel, Italy's largest utility by market share, said today it will profit from the new Italian rate system for electricity distribution and metering services. "The new regulatory framework will generate a slight increase in 2012 rate revenues compared with 2011 levels," Enel said referring to preliminary earnings estimates.

Nuon has started to disclose details the availability of capacities of Vattenfall's power plants in the Netherlands and the Epe gas storage facility at the Dutch-German border on its website in order to comply with REMIT requirements.

Privatisation of 25 Iranian state-run power plants is planned to be carried out by March 21 – the end of the current Iranian year - Iran's deputy energy minister, Ali Zabihi, said today. The privatisation is part of efforts to liberalise the Iranian power generation market.

EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has advised RWE and E.ON to join forces and consider merging their businesses in order to become a truly competitive German player on international energy markets.

Denmark's DONG Energy has implemented the REMIT regulation and will publish production data from its power plants on its website "very soon", the Danish utility confirmed to Gas-to-Power Journal today.

UK energy regulator Ofgem will foster the transparency between retail and wholesale energy prices by disclosing price reports more frequently than in the current 3-4 month timescale. "Ofgem is to move towards updating the report on a weekly basis in the New Year," it said in a statement today.

Indonesia's state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PTLN) is forging ahead with plans to increase LNG imports as a fuel for gas-fired power generation with the aim of denting the country's energy hunger. Nur Pamudji, PTLN's recently appointed president director, said a milestones in 2012 would be that "for the first time, we are going to utilize (LNG) in our electricity system".

The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), ENTSO-E and seven other European energy associations have issued a joint statement on how to prevent Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud in the gas and electricity sector today. It is a plea for stronger cooperation and more pro-active support from policy makers, law-enforcement agencies, tax investigators and financial intelligence units "to join our efforts to mitigate the threat of VAT-fraud".

Retail power prices in China will rise starting Thursday this week, China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced today.

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has highlighted the vital role of natural gas for the British economy today, in a statement timed to coincide with a new gas supply contract between Centrica and Statoil over 5 Bcm/year in the period between 2015 and 2025.

"Today's agreement will help to ensure the continued security and competitiveness of gas supplies to Britain, from a trusted and reliable neighbour," UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Germany's E.ON and the Russian gas incumbent Gazprom are at loggerheads over the terms of gas supply. Arbitration proceeding on contract terms of oil-indexed long-term gas supply are still ongoing. "We can confirm that we have instituted arbitration proceedings in connection with our supply relationship with Gazprom," E.ON spokesman Sebastian Heindrichs told Gas-to-Power Journal.

The World Energy Council (WEC) has published its 2011 assessment of country energy and climate policies, including the annual global "Energy Sustainability Index". WEC urges policymakers to address the "Energy Trilemma" – a triple whammy of Energy Security, Social Equity and Environmental Impact Mitigation.