Enel CEO: Europe Needs a Single Energy Market
Enel CEO Francesco Starace has spoken out in favor of a single energy market in Europe, stating that it would bolster investment and facilitate a move away from reliance on Russia. He went on to say that the European Union (EU) faces ‘structural’ issues within its energy sector owing to the fact that member states act alone rather than as a collective. He noted that diversification is not the problem, but rather the lack of a coherent policy, which stifles the continent’s ability to reap benefits.
“Each single state had its own different policy, its own different view of markets. As a result of all this what we have in Europe is a great diversification which is one of the best things to have,” Starace told CNBC in a TV interview.
“The only thing is we can't use this diversification because we have single markets that don't allow this diversification to bear fruit. So I think the real thing we need in Europe is a single market for energy. That will let this diversification come to the surface,” he said.
Reliance on Russian Gas Scrutinized
Europe’s energy policy has been under close scrutiny since the Ukraine crisis when a reliance on Russian gas generation came to the fore. The EU relies on Russia for around 30 percent of its gas requirements, which are piped through Ukraine. While the continent has not felt a dramatic impact from the geopolitical tensions, the potential for knock-on effects was highlighted when Russia turned off the gas to Ukraine earlier this month over payment issues.
Europe, unlike the U.S. has not pushed ahead with other means of gas extraction such as fracking owing to controversy and fierce opposition from campaigners, but has rather turned its attention to green energy, aiming for a 30 percent cut in energy usage and 40 percent in greenhouse gases by 2013. Critics of the targets say renewable energy is too expensive and not sustainable due to the fact it is often funded through government subsidies.
Starace said that the EU needs to agree on a unified energy policy soon or risk much-needed investment in the sector.
“I think you have to separate Europe and the rest of the world. In Europe everyone is waiting for these decisions, what kind of environment do we need…what kind of market? Until this is cleared it is mistake to really push big investments,” he said.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.