European Business Briefs: desert flooding, solar links and a nuclear sale

In this week’s European Business Briefs: greenhouse gas auctioning; managing floods in the desert; a solar link between Europe and Africa; and nuclear power for sale in Eastern Europe.

Auctioning greenhouse gas allowances could generate considerable costs and administrative burdens to businesses, according to a report by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), following a simulation of emissions trading by European energy group EURELECTRIC. ERM’s report reveals that while trading is likely to cut the overall costs of complying with Kyoto emission reduction targets, a poorly designed trading scheme could damage competitiveness and see some sectors losing out.

Danish water company DHI Water & Environment has received a contract to prepare a water resources management plan for the Okavango Delta, a 6000 km² permanently flooded swamp in the desert area of Botswana. DHI will model the hydrology of the area, which triples in size during the flood period. The project will be financed by the Danish Foreign Aid (DANIDA).

New Energy Algeria (NEAL) has joined that International Energy Agency’s solar power programme, SolarPACES. Algeria aims to increase its solar power to 5% of its electricity generation by 2010, and is hoping to establish a partnership with the European Union to supply electricity from Algerian solar power plants. Plans are underway for two under sea transmission cables with capacity of 1.2GW each to carry electricity from Algeria to Spain and Italy.

Croatia’s state power board Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) has announced it wants to sell its share in the Krsko nuclear power plant to neighbouring Slovenia for US$717.5 million, reports Reuters. Croatia and Slovenia jointly built Krsko while part of Yugoslavia in 1980s, but Slovenia stopped Krsko from furnishing electricity to HEP following unpaid bills, and eventually nationalised the power plant in July 1998, effectively excluding Croatia. A HEP official told Reuters the legal deadline for settling the issue was July this year and said HEP was shortly going to file its settlement proposal.

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