(SeeNews) – Jul 26, 2012 - Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO of Austrian power utility Verbund (WBAG:VER), criticised the way the energy transition in Europe is being made as "rushed and unprofessional", while presenting the company’s half-year results yesterday.
It is not the necessity but rather the mechanism of the transition that Anzengruber puts into question. The over-subsidising of wind and solar energy endangers the whole power supply in Europe and has to be therefore re-thought, the CEO said. This push results in increasing consumer prices on the on side and complications in the security of future energy supply, on the other, he added.
Instead of the recent funding for renewables, Anzengruber is rather calling for a quota system where the electricity providers are to be required to include a certain percentage of renewable energy in their portfolio. Today investments are not made where it is most efficient, but rather where the subsidies are highest, he concluded.
Additional difficulty to the industry would be brought by the long-term oil price-related gas contracts which make the industrial use of gas power stations more difficult, Anzengruber said. This is already felt in some parts of Verbund and is even more unfortunate having in regard that more gas power stations will be needed in the future to compensate for the production decrease resulting from the use of wind and solar energy, the CEO warned.
Moreover, the grid expansion which is necessary to enable the connection of all new renewable installations is becoming increasingly difficult due to the growing resistance of neighbouring countries and regulatory authorities.
Anzengruber criticised also the CO2 trading system, which was launched a few years ago and was supposed to facilitate the development of low-carbon technology, but has not achieved that goal. According to Anzengruber, the trade resulted in the unfortunate situation where the most economic solution is the use of the most polluting substances, such as lignite.
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