Regulation & Policy

German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel has rejected the idea of establishing a commission to analyse ways of a coal power phase-out. He called the nuclear exit a “brave decision,” but cautioned one should “not attempt to repeat such experiments too often.” E.ON and RWE are radically restructuring their operations to stay afloat as Berlin keeps embracing renewables.

Stepping up the use of local energy sources and lowering electricity prices is the main objective of Turkey’s new electricity law, approved by parliament this week. Complicated regulation on energy investment will also be scrapped in a bid to incentivise new-build capacity.

Consultations are underway at Whitehall as to whether coal-fired power plants, that are partially retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS), would be allowed to run beyond 2025 – the cut-off date given by the UK's Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last autumn.

Just days before Ofgem launches a consultation on possible modification of ‘embedded benefits’ for distributed generation, UK Power Reserve has published a report by KPMG warning that removing such incentives would reduce distributed generation at a time when short-term capacity margins are already tight.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Majaliwa, has announced government plans to invest $1.9 billion per year until 2025 in energy projects in an effort to end electricity shortages and boost generation capacity to 10,000 MW, up from currently just 1,500 MW.

Calling Belgium’s plans to phase out its remaining three nuclear plants by 2025 a “serious challenge to low-carbon electricity and security of supply,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged policy makers to adopt a national long-term energy strategy “without delay”.

Implementation of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Coal Plan would reduce the share of coal in the US power mix to 21% by 2030 and 18% by 2040, according to EIA projections. The legality of the CPP is still unclear since it has been suspended by the Supreme Court.

The U.S. senate has approved an energy bill designed to strengthen the country’s power grid and improve the process for gas trading. The Energy Policy and Modernization Act is expected to strenghten the grid and may help drive investment in new gas power plants.

French gas power operator Engie expects CCGT gas power plants may soon become profitable again if French plans for a carbon tax are implemented successfully. 

Officials from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) have called on the Pakistani government to reconsider a hike in gas tariffs for the power sector that they claim will impact power generation in the country. 

The UK government needs to come up with another option to avert a looming electricity shortfall, after EDF pushed back a final investment decision on its Hinkley Point C nuclear project from May to the autumn. The reactor was meant to start up in 2017 but is now unlikely to produce any electricity before 2025.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced investment of $110 billion in the energy sector over the next ten years, stressing the goal of satisfying Turkey’s energy demand by tapping domestic resources such as coal, hydropower and renewables in order to minimise import dependence.

State subsidies to encourage the construction of gas-fired power plants in New Jersey are likely to be banned by the Supreme Court – similar to this week’s ruling against a Maryland scheme. Both state programs had been challenged by the power producer PPL and other generators.

Ongoing repairs at the sabotaged Forcados Export Plant not only restrict Nigeria’s oil exports but also affect about 40% of the country’s domestic gas supply, causing major fuel shortages for power generators.

By 2020, Mexico is tipped to turn into a ‘Global Top 10’ market for stationary gas engines used for distributed power. This trend comes as implementation of a historic energy bill is bringing about market deregulation and ended the quasi monopoly of state-owned CFE.