Business, Energy Incentives, Europe

Alpiq flips course on plan to sell nearly half of its hydro assets

European utility Alpiq has suspended plans to sell up to 49% of its hydroelectric generating fleet, saying its criteria for “price, contractual conditions and transactional security” had not been met.

The Lausanne-based company had announced its plan to sell nearly half its hydro assets in March 2016 rather than combat Europe’s wholesale power schemes which, according to Alpiq, have made hydropower “impossible for pure electricity producers” by driving market prices below operating costs.

The decision to reconsider was driven in large part by the potential for regulatory changes in the near future that would presumably make hydro more financially viable for operators like Alpiq.

“Alpiq will continue to contribute to these energy policy industry decisions in a constructive and transparent way in order to provide policy-makers with a better overall view of the economic situation for hydropower,” the company said in a statement.

Though Alpiq’s portfolio includes conventional and pumped-storage projects spread across continental Europe, the highest concentration of its fleet resides in Switzerland, where some 60% of all energy consumed is generated by hydropower facilities.

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