Power generation
Decision time
21 May 2004
French SME customers will be able to choose their electricity supplier this summer. Is there the choice though?
Finnish Product
20 May 2004
Finland has taken great steps forward in its renewable energy industry, but also has a thriving nuclear sector
EU utilities not ready
1 May 2004
The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme will launch on 1 January 2005. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report claims a worrying number of European utilities are poorly prepared for the new order, for which they may pay a hefty price. Tom Nicholls reports
More funding needed
1 April 2004
The US government is planning a five-year, $1.2bn investment programme for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. But some industry experts claim this is nowhere near enough if the technologies are to be commercialised in the near future. Ellen Lask reports
Setting the ball rolling
1 April 2004
Political interest in fuel cells in Europe has swelled recently, following the example set by the US early last year. But that interest is yet to translate into specific actions. David Jollie writes
Japan: national politics and industrial interest
1 April 2004
Given Japan's heavy reliance on imported fuel, fuel cells are seen as an important way of improving national energy security and the government has contributed heavily to the development of fuel cells since the oil crisis of the 1970s. However, in recent years funding has become increasingly available for demonstration projects, as opposed to research and development. David Jollie reports
Foot on the gas
1 March 2004
Energy market liberalisation in the countries that will join the EU in May is proceeding at different rates. Some new members will struggle to meet the July 2007 deadline for full liberalisation, especially in gas, which is generally behind electricity-sector reform. Nonetheless, progress is being made, writes NJ Watson
Enter the regulator
1 March 2004
Europe's largest energy market has so far made only faltering steps towards liberalisation, despite an early start in the electricity sector. But the German government is under pressure to bring the energy sector into line, starting with the introduction of regulatory bodies this summer. James Gavin reports
Report illuminates power-sector failings
1 January 2004
An interim report into the North American power blackouts in August has identified the culprits and revealed ineptitude and dysfunction within the industry. With power demand rising, the system needs investment, but it is unclear where the money will come from, Ellen Lask reports
Consolidating a power base
1 December 2003
As the European Electricity Directive grinds slowly towards one open competitive market across Europe, Liz Bossley looks at the development of trading in the range of disparate European electricity exchanges that have evolved since the 1996 directive was agreed
Decision time for electricity
1 December 2003
The Nordic region relies heavily on primary electricity, but demand is likely to increase at a faster rate than supply. This prospect presents the Nordic countries with tough decisions, Martin Quinlan writes
Wake-up call for energy planners
1 November 2003
Italy’s mainland-wide electricity failure of late September might have been a freak occurrence, but it should serve as a reminder of the country’s vulnerability in the supply of electricity. Concern about vulnerability – in oil and gas supplies, as well as electricity – has been a long-running theme of Italian energy policy. Paradoxically, the authorities’ attempts to overcome it – mostly involving heavy-handed regulation – have added to the problem instead of reducing it, Martin Quinlan writes
Spanish steps
1 November 2003
Market liberalisation and a shift to gas-fired power generation are behind rising Spanish gas and power demand. A spate of activity has attracted the interest of asset-hungry foreign players. James Gavin reports
The garden is rosy, for now
1 November 2003
Recent events in the US – most notably, the power blackout in the northeast this summer and the volatility of natural gas prices – have cast a spotlight on the country’s energy needs, and by extension, on the role of coal in meeting them. Ellen Lask reports
New methods in an old market
1 October 2003
The world coal industry is witnessing the steady development of an open over-the counter (OTC) market, centred in Europe. Traditionally, international coal trade consists of long-term bilateral deals. The OTC market is still at a fledgling stage, but already has an active financial swaps market to complement the physical market. Liz Bossley and Sam Murray, of Ceag, report
Australian exporters feel the pinch
1 October 2003
Domestic currency appreciation, high freight rates and a record export year for China appear to have dented the profits of the major coal producers. However, Japan’s nuclear woes, a burning summer and the continued rise of China as an importer provided a silver lining, Andrew Roberts reports
Heart of darkness
1 September 2003
Gas still on the back burner
1 September 2003
Brazil is grappling with power market reform, outlining the main directions electricity policy will take. Although the detail is yet to be worked out, hydro-power will take precedence over other forms of generation. The future of gas-fired power seems far from assured, as do the prospects for the gas industry. Tom Nicholls reports
Lights out
1 September 2003
Getting a grip on power
1 August 2003
At last, the government is taking steps to revitalise the electricity industry. Until now, market-oriented reforms have been resisted by local politicians, worried that enforcing unpopular modernisation policies would cost them votes. Amanda Burton reports
Striving for harmony
1 August 2003
A new European Electricity Directive (EED) will replace its 1996 predecessor shortly, reinforcing the intentions of the earlier directive. Liz Bossley and Sam Murray, of Ceag, report