The European Commission has approved a €420 million (£364m) Czech support scheme for electricity generation from high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plants under EU state aid rules. The Commission concluded the measure would support EU energy and climate change goals without unduly distorting competition.
E.ON has announced that it is investing in Elcore GmbH, a pioneer in fuel cell technology. The company is based in Munich and produces energy-efficient heating systems for single-family homes and duplexes. The heart of the system is an internal developed fuel cell heating technology that generates heat and power simultaneously.
France’s Engie SA plans to sell its 10% holding in Petronet LNG, India’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas.
The latest report by the Australian Energy Market Operator shows there could be both gas and electricity shortages within the next few years on the country’s populous east coast – despite the nation being among the biggest LNG exporters in the world (and set to be the biggest by 2021).
According to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Natural Gas Production Report, natural gas gross withdrawals in the Lower 48 states fell in 2016, averaging 80.39 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) - or 1.03 Bcf/d (1.3%) lower than in 2015.
Utilization of UK gas-fired capacity averaged close to 14GW in February, down from 17.8GW in January, with its role in the generation mix falling from 45% to 38% - largely due to higher wind, especially in the second half of the month, along with a recovery in French imports.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators, including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information, are no longer required to respond.
Work is beginning on the installation of a new 370MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) and major refurbishment works at Centrica’s Kings Lynn power station in Norfolk, England. The plant is one of several new Centrica projects, totalling 500MW that won 15 year Capacity Agreements with National Grid to supply power during peak periods from October 2020.
Wintershall, Germany’s biggest crude oil and natural gas producer, has abandoned plans to carry out further scientific research into shale gas in the “Rheinland” and “Ruhr” approved fields in the German province of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Tokyo Electric (Tepco) and Chubu Electric have decided to fully integrate their thermal power operations within two to three years. The operations, which account for half of Japan’s total thermal power capacity, will be brought together under the auspices of Jera Co. - a thermal power and fuel company jointly set up in 2015.
German gas production fell by 8.1% to 7.9 bcm in 2016, down from 8.6 bcm in 2015, according to industry association BVEG, which released the figures on March 2nd. German gas producers have been trying to maintain production, but face dwindling conventional reserves.
UK gas and power regulator, Ofgem, is proposing to cut the embedded subsidies enjoyed by smaller distributed generators, down from the current level of around £45/kW – double the clearing price for the 2016 Capacity Market auction – to just £2/kW. The changes could come as a blow to many smaller gas fired plants, which make up a significant share of such generators.