New power stations for greater supply security and environmental protection

(PresseBox) ( München, )
Under the auspices of the E.ON Group’s biggest ever investment program, E.ON Energie is planning to spending around 12 billion euros on its generation capacity. “These investments will contribute to securing our customers’ long-term energy supply as well as to protecting our global climate and the environment,” said Klaus-Dieter Maubach, E.ON Energie’s Board of Management Chairman, at the company’s Annual Press Conference in Munich today. The program will focus in particular on state-of-the-art coal-fired power stations, which, thanks to their unprecedented efficiency levels, will set new standards in environmental protection. Other key investment areas include highly-efficient natural gas-fired power stations and renewables. E.ON Energie plans to commission Germany’s first large-scale offshore wind farm near the island of Borkum in the North Sea as early as late summer 2008.

In addition, E.ON Energie remains committed to pro-actively pushing the further development of other key, up-and-coming energy-sector technologies. Key projects in this area include the construction of a new generation of coal-fired power station, capable of operating at efficiency levels of over 50 percent, and partnering with external organizations to work on a range of R&D programs concerned with CO2 sequestration and storage. In addition, E.ON Energie is supporting the so-called joint implementation projects that investigate global approaches to reducing CO2 emissions.

Investment in grid infrastructure to cater for renewables and European market integration

E.ON Energie has also budgeted a total of 2.5 billion euros for investments in upgrading and expanding power grid infrastructure. A significant portion of this amount will be spent on installing additional transmission capacity to cater for future grid feed-ins from planned renewable generation plants, par-ticularly in northern Germany. The further expansion of cross-border trans-fer points – to aid the ongoing process of European market integration – is another key investment area. By the end of this year, transmission capacities across Germany’s borders to Denmark, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands will have increased by a total of 1,000 megawatts. Also, as from 2009, the transmission network operators in Germany, France, and the Benelux states will be able to fully coordinate their operations across their respective national borders. A major development, according to Maubach: “This represents a big step towards achieving an integrated, harmonized northern European electricity market – and is therefore also an important milestone on the road to pan-European market liberalization.”

Electricity prices to remain constant until the end of Q3 2007

The shortly pending end of state-supervised electricity pricing in Germany means that, in future, local energy companies will focus more on the com-petitive market environment when determining prices, as opposed to genera-tion, supply, and sales costs. In the light of this, E.ON is not planning to make any further changes to its tariff structure before the end of the third quarter of 2007, but will be closely monitoring market developments in the meantime. Maubach: “At this stage, it is impossible to predict what will happen on 1 October or thereafter.”
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