. Energy News .

US urges Bulgaria to diversify energy supply
by Staff Writers
Sofia (AFP) Feb 9, 2012

The United States increased pressure on Bulgaria Thursday to diversify its energy sector during a visit here of US special envoy for Eurasian energy Richard Morningstar.

"The major point is how important it is for Bulgaria to have transparency in the energy sector as well as diversification," Morningstar told journalists after talks with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev Thursday.

"That includes the nuclear area, the area of gas supply as well as renewables and other unconventional areas," he added.

Morningstar arrived on a two-day trip to Sofia as a follow-up to the visit here Sunday by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that also focused on energy.

Bulgaria is almost totally dependent on Russia for its natural gas and oil and has also contracted Russian company Atomstroyexport to build a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant at Belene on the Danube, even if the project has been put on ice over price haggling.

In talks with Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov also Thursday, Morningstar was cited as having "confirmed the interest of US companies to participate in projects concerning the country's existing nuclear capacities and its plans to build new ones."

Bulgaria currently has only two 1,000-megawatt reactors in operation at its plant in Kozloduy, also on the Danube, and the government is considering the possibility to add a new reactor to the plant.

The minister also discussed with Morningstar "the potential of shale gas as a possible alternative for diversifying the country's gas supplies," his office said in a statement.

Bulgaria withdrew in January a shale gas exploration permit it had granted to US oil giant Chevron and subsequently banned altogether the commonly used shale gas testing and exploration technique of hydro-fracking over environmental concerns.

The US diplomat is expected to meet Friday with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Germany forced to tap into electricity reserves
Berlin (AFP) Feb 9, 2012 - Germany has been forced to call upon its reserves for producing electricity for the second time this winter as Europe is gripped by a severe cold snap, officials said Thursday.

The country's four main power operators requested the reserve generator at a coal-powered plant in southern Germany and two plants in Austria be activated, the regional environment ministry in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said.

The power station in Germany, in the southern city of Mannheim, would continue to be used Thursday, a spokesman said.

"We do not have a problem of supply, of quantity, it's principally a question of stabilising the network," a spokeswoman for the Germany electricity market regulator said.

Germany also had to tap its reserves in early December. The system was set up in August to avoid shortages and stabilise the network for the country's winter power production.

Under the reserve plan, five generators in Germany have been designated, which are powered by coal or gas and normally not in operation, as well as several in neighbouring Austria.

They can only be used at the request of the electricity network operators in case of need or as a preventive step.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March, which prompted radiation to leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Germany decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022.

Eight of Germany's 17 reactors have already been switched off and the nine reactors currently on line are due to be turned off between 2015 and 2022.

Concerns were raised after the decision that Germany, Europe's top economy, could suffer power shortages during the winter.

This week, temperatures that have fallen as low as minus 20 Celsius (minus 4 Fahrrenheit) have combined with supply difficulties of Russian gas to squeeze capacity, said the state ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg, a highly populated and industrial region.

Germany as a whole produces enough electricity for its needs, but much of its production capacity, especially offshore, is located in the north while much of the demand is in the south.

This means operators occasionally have to step in to stabilise the network.

Related Links
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Bulgaria halts electricity exports amid cold snap
Sofia (AFP) Feb 9, 2012 - Bulgaria is to halt electricity exports over its inability to guarantee local consumption in the cold spell gripping the country this week, the economy and energy ministry said Thursday.

"Due to persisting heavy winter conditions in the country we will stop electricity exports as of 1:00 am Friday (2300 GMT Thursday)," the ministry said in a statement.

"The decision is necessitated by the shortage of about 400 megawatts per hour for the local market," it added.

Bulgaria exports an average 1,000 megawatts of electricity per hour to neighbouring Greece, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey.

But the ministry said it had already switched on all its reserve capacities to cover increased domestic demand as temperatures dipped to minus 28.6 degrees Celsius (-19.5 Fahrenheit) in the northwestern town of Vidin early Thursday.

The situation was aggraveted by problems with production at the US-owned AES Galabovo coal-fired plant in southern Bulgaria, it added without elaborating.

Severe flooding had disrupted coal supplies to all four plants in the Maritza East complex near Galabovo this week as miners could not get down to work in the three open pit mines in the region.

"Electricity exports will resume when we recover the reserves necessary to guarantee safe and uninterrupted home supply," the ministry said Thursday.

Bulgaria is a key electricity exporter on the Balkans sending abroad 10.5 billion kilowatt hours last year.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Prague to scale back nuclear ambition: minister
Prague (AFP) Feb 8, 2012
The Czech Republic is to scale back its nuclear energy ambitions, the industry minister said Wednesday in a newspaper interview. "It wouldn't be realistic to produce up to 80 percent of electricity by way of nuclear power," Martin Kuba told Hospodarske Noviny. "And there isn't enough room (in the Czech Republic) to build new nuclear power plants," he added. The pro-nuclear Czech gove ... read more

Enerkem and GreenField Ethanol Announce Quebec's First Waste-to-Biofuels Production Facility

Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Offers Course in Ethanol Response

Plant power: The ultimate way to 'go green'?

America's Economic Future and Clean Energy Potential

Chadbourne Closes More Than 20 Billion in Project Finance Deals

Alta Devices Discloses Record Solar Module Efficiency

Mid-Atlantic SEIA and National SEIA Formalize Partnership to Grow Region's Solar Market

Lawsuit Filed To Halt Riverside County Sun Tax

New EU wind power capacity near level

Germany forced to tap into electricity reserves

China to face electricity shortages?

Israel boosts naval forces in gas fields

WWF urges banks to block Sakhalin oil plan and save whales

Graphene electronics moves into a third dimension

India should scale up green technologies

Raytheon Awarded Naval Power System Contract

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Team to Provide SEWIP Electronic Attack Capability for US Navy Anti-Ship Missile Defense

Marines 'assault' US beaches in amphibious drill

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Orders Airborne Laser Mine Detection Systems

NASA budget will axe Mars deal with Europe: scientists

Mars radar finds possible ocean sediments

Mars Express radar gives strong evidence for former Mars ocean

Surface of Mars an unlikely place for life after 600 million year drought

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement